Page images

Do they rely then on the ground of innocency? If they do, I submit to you, on the authority of law, that inferential evidence is quite sufficient; and on the authority of reason, that in this particular case, the inferential testimony amounts to demonstration, Amongst the innumerable calumnies afloat, it has been hinted to me, indeed, that they mean to rely upon what they denominate the Indiscretion of the husband. The moment they have the hardidood to resort to that, they, of course, abandon all denial of delinquency, and even were it fully proved, it is then worth your most serious consideration, whether you will tolerate such a defence as that. It is, in my mind, beyond all endurance, that any man should dare to come into a Court of Justice, and on the shadowy pretence of what he may term carelessness, ground the most substantial and irreparable injury. Against the unmanly principle of conjugal severity, in the name of civilized society, I solemnly protest. It is not fitted for the meridian, and, I hope, will never amalgamate itself with the manners of this country. It is the most ungenerous and insulting suspicion, reduced into the most unmanly and despotic practice.

familiarity for many years, I accompanied my domesticated minister of religion to your family, I almost naturalized the nearest female relative I had on earth, unsullied and unmarried as she was, within your household; but, you fool, it was only to turn it into a brothel! Merciful God, will you endure him when he tells you thus, that he is on the watch to prowl upon the weakness of humanity, and audaciously solicits your charter for such libertinism?

I have heard it asserted also, that they mean to arraign the husband as a conspirator, because, in the hour of confidence and misfortune, he accepted a proferred pecuniary assistance from the man he thought his friend. It is true he did so; but so, I will say, criminally careful was he of his inte rests, that he gave him his bond, made him enter up judgment on that bond, and made him issue an execution on that judgment, ready to be levied in a day, that in the wreck of all, the friend of his bosom should be at least indemnified. It was my impression, indeed, that under a lease of this nature, amongst honourable men, so far from any unwarrantable privilege created, there was rather a peculiar delicacy incumbent on the donor. I should have thought so still, but for a frightful expression of one of the Counsel on the motion, by which they endeavoured not to trust a Dublin Jury with this issue. "What," exclaimed they, in all the pride of their execrable instructions," a poor

"Let barbarous nations, whose inhuman love
Is wild desire, fierce as the suns they feel;
Let Eastern tyrants, from the light of heaven
Seclude their bosom slaves, meanly possessed
Of a mere lifeless violated form-

While those whom love cements in holy faith, plaintiff and a rich defendant! Is there

And equal transport, free as nature live,
Disdaining fear."

nothing in that!" No, if my client's shape
does not belie his species, there is nothing in
that. I braved the assertion, as a calumny
on human nature-I call on you, if such an
allegation be repeated, to visit it with vin
dictive and overwhelming damages.
would appeal, not to this civilized assembly,
but to an horde of savages, whether it is pos-
sible for the most inhuman monster thus to
sacrifice to infamy, his character-his wife
his home-his children! In the name of
possibility I deny it; in the name of huma-
nity I denounce it; in the name of our com-
mon country, and our common nature, I im-
plore of the learned Counsel not to promul
gate such a slander upon both-but I need
not do so; if the zeal of advocacy shoold
induce them to the attempt, memory would
array their happy homes before them-their
little children would lisp its contradiction

But once establish the principle of this moral and domestic censorship, and then tell me where is it to begin? Where is it to end? Who shall bound? Who shall defacé it? By what hitherto undiscoverable standard, shall we regulate the shades between solemnity and levity? Will you permit this impudent espionage upon your households ; upon the hallowed privacy of your domestic hours; and for what purpose? Why, that the seducer and the adulterer may calculate the sexurity of his cold-blooded libertinism! -that he may steal, like an assassin, upon your hours of relaxation, and convert, perhaps, your confidence into the instrument of your ruin! If this be once permitted as a ground of justification, we may bid farewell at once to all the delightful intercourse of social life. Spurning, as I do, at this odious system of organized distrust, suppose the admission made, that my client was careless, indiscreet, culpable, if they will, in his domestic regulations, is it therefore to be endured, that every abandoned burglar should seduce his wife, or violate his daughter? Is it to be endured, that Mr. Blake, of all men, should rely on such an infamous and conve bient extenuation! He, his friend, his guest, his confidant-he who introduced a spotless sister to this attainted intimacy, shall he say, Lassociated with you hourly, Baffected your,

their love-their hearts-their instinctive feelings, as fathers and as husbands, would rebel within them, and wither up the horrid blasphemy upon their lips.

They will find it difficult to palliate such turpitude-I am sure I find it difficult to aggravate. It is in itself au hyperbole of wickedness. Honour, innocence, religion, friendship—all that is sanctified or lovely,, or endearing in creation. Even that hallowed, social, shall I not say indigenous vira the-that blessed hospitality-which foreign envy could not deny, or foreign robbery,

despoil-which, when all else had perished, there-there--even on its guileless features cast a bloom on our desolation, flinging its -there is the horrid smile of the adulterich foliage over the national ruin, as if to rer !!! bide the monument, while it gave a shelter to the mourner-even that withered away before this pestilence! But what do I say? Was virtue merely the victim of this adulterer? Worse, worse-it was his instrument-even on the broken tablet of the decalogue did he whet the dagger for this social assassination. What will you say, when I inform you, that a few months before, he went deliberatively to the baptismal font with the waters of life to regenerate the infant that, too well could he avouch it, had been born in sin, and he promised to teach it Christianity! And he promised to guard it against "the flesh!" And least infinite mercy should overlook the sins of its adulterous father, seeking to make his God his pander, he tried to damn it even with the sacrament!-See then the horrible atrocity of this case as it touches the defendant-but how can you count its miseries as attaching to the plaintiff? He has suffered a pang the most agonizing to human sensibility-it has been inflicted by his friend, and inflicted beneath his roof-it commences at a period which casts a doubt on the legitimacy of his children, and to crown all, “ unto him a son is born" even since the separation, upon whom every shilling of his estates has been entailed by settlement! What compensation can reprize so unparalelled a sufferer ? What solitary consolation is there in reserve for him? Is it love?—Alas, there was one whom he adored with all the heart's idolatry, and she deserted him. Is it friendship? -There was one of all the world whom he trusted, and that one betrayed him. Is it society? The smile of others' happiness appears but the epitaph of his own. Is it sofitude-Can he be alone while memory, striking on the sepulchre of his heart, calls into existence the spectres of the past. Shall he fly for refuge to his "sacred home?”— Every ebject there is eloqueut of his ruin! Shall he seek a mournful solace in his chil. dren? Oh, he has no children! There is the little favourite that she nursed; and


Jhave been the order of the day

O gentlemen, am I this day only the counsel of my client? -No-no-I am the advocate of humanity-of yourselves-your homes-your wives-your families-your little children. I am glad this case exhibits such atrocity, unmarked, as it is, by any mi tigatory feature; it may stop the frightful advance of this calamity. It will be met now, and marked with vengeance. If it be not, farewell to the virtues of your country; farewell to all confidence between man and man; farewell to that unsuspicious and reciprocal tenderness, without which, mar, riage is but a consecrated curse, if oaths are to be violated, laws disregarded, friendship betrayed, humanity trampled, national and individual honour stained, and that a jury of fathers and of husbands will give such miscreancy a passport to their own homes, and wives, and daughters-farewell to all that yet remains of Ireland! But I will not cast such a doubt upon the character of my coun try. Against the sneer of the foe, and the scepticism of the foreigner, I will still point to the domestic virtues, that no perfidy could barter, and no bribery can purchase, that with a Roman usage, at once embellish and consecrate households, giving to the society of the hearth all the purity of the altar; that lingering alike in the palace and the cot tage, are still to be found scattered over this land, the relic of what she was; the source, perhaps, of what she may be; the lone, and stately, and magnificent memorials, that, rearing their majesty amid surrounding ruins, serve at once as the land marks of the departed glory, and the models by which the future may be erected.


COVENT GARDEN. our last, Benefits

Preserve those virtues with a vestal fide. lity; mark this day, by your verdict, your horror at their profanation; and, believe me, when the hand which records that verdict shall be dust, and the tongue that asks it traceless in the grave, many an happy home will bless its consequences, and many a mother teach her little child to hate the impious treason of adultery.

we are therefore, by custom, precluded from noticing the various representa tions which the public have patronized, according to the merits of the parties. This evening, the Theatre closed for the season; and on the dropping of the curtain Mr. Fawcett came forward, and addressed the audience as follows:

“Ladies and Gentlemen, 8 "I have again to offer the most grateful acknowledgments of the Proprietors of this Theatre for your kind and liberal patronage. Supported by this all-powerful aid, the Covent Garden Company has maintained its high celebrity throughout a season fraught with unusual public distress; and by its po pular attraction the Proprietors have

been enabled to meet their large and heavy expenditure.

"The various revivals and new pieces have been more than usually successful; scarcely one amongst the great number that has not been most favourably received; and the production of a new tragedy, which has been universally admired for its classical and poetical beauties, is an occurrence as gratifying as it is rare. The termination of the present season has been marked by the retirement of one of the brightest ornaments of the British Stage. The high public honours paid to the professional talents of Mr. Kemble, must have the

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

"The Performers, Ladies and Gentle men, with heartfelt thanks for your unceasing kindness, take their leave till the time when they shall have the ho nour of meeting you here again. PERFORMANCES.

28. Gamester-No Song no Supper-Aurora. 30. Romeo and Juliet-Libertine.

1. Exile-Maid and the Magpie.

2. Guy Mannering-Aladdin.

3. Apostate-Gentle Shepherd.

4. Alexander the Great-John of Paris. 5. Soldier's Daughter-Rosina.


JUNE 7. "The Election." This opera, if it be entitled to that appellation, is avowedly altered from one of the dramas of Miss Johanna Baillie. In the original, the characters are finely drawn-and the passion of hatred is exemplified with a force of expression commensurate with the great object of the author that of delineating the various passions of the human mind. We have often wondered that more of these pieces have not been brought out. We remember De Montfort, in which Mr. Kemble gave a perfect pic ture of the most deadly revenge-not eved appeased by the death of his unconscious rival. His delineation was a masterpiece of the histrionic art.The plot of this opera is briefly as follows: Mr. Baltimore (H. Johnston), the representative of an ancient house, who despises all those families who can not boast a long line of ancestry, conceives an implacable hatred against Mr. Freeman (Bartley), his neighbour, who by industry has accumulated a princely fortune. Freeman is a philanthropist : he assists the unfortunate, relieves the distressed-and his charities are unbounded his popularity in the neigh bourhood of his estate, however, serves to stimulate the hatred of Baltimore, Europ. Mag Vol. LXXII. July 1817,

effect of stimulating the exertions of those performers who may succeed him, that they may deserve and attain the like honours when they are obliged to bid you a last adieu !

"Until the second. Monday in Sep, tember, the usual period of re-opening, the Proprietors respectfully bid you farewell; and they assure you, that the recess shall be passed in new efforts for your amusement and gratification

[blocks in formation]


who cannot bear the idea of being ri valled by a plebeian. Notwithstanding his rage at his opponent (for Freeman makes it a rule to oppose the head of the ancient family of the Bullimores on every occasion), he yet risks his own life to save that of Freeman, when he had accidentally fallen into a canal. Freeman, all gratitude, makes the kind est advances to his preserver-offers to give up to`him his interest in the borough for which they are candidatesbut nothing can appease Baltimore's hatred-he treats Freeman costumeliously. and a challenge is the consequence. When the parties meet, Truebridge (T. Short) interposes, and disarms all resentment by informing them they are the sons of the same father. Such are the serious incidents of the piece-and they become powerful in the hands of the respective performers. Of the comic scenes, were it not for the naïvete of Miss Kelly, as Miss Freeman, we should have little to commend: but though she makes more of the part than any other actress could do, the character is no compliment to her talent. Mr. Horn, as Charles Baltimore, was a very tame lover-but sang sweetly W. S. Chatterley, as Peter, a servant, played the part with



considerable humour: and Mrs. Chatterly (Mrs. Baltimore) was extremely interesting. The company does not boast much variety of talent - but we hear of several new candidates for public favor, whom we shall duly notice.

JUNE 13. A Mr. Crisp made his first bow to a London audience in the musical entertainment of" Lock and Key."

He was very successful in the character of Muns; and in the song, "A woman is like to," he was encored. W. S. Chatterley dressed Brummagem, extremely well, and gave much spirit to the part.

[ocr errors]

JUNE 18. A new, local, temporary Dramatic Sketch, called "The Bridge that carries us safe over," was produced, in honour of the memorable Battle of Waterloo, and the opening of the new Bridge. It is, indeed, a comic Hodge Podge but on these occasions, criticism must give place to the motive which induced the Proprietor to pay his tribute to the glories of the day.


[ocr errors]

JUNE 19. Beggar's Opera." This opera introduced a new candidate for public favor, in the character of Polly. She possesses much taste, great science, and powerful execution. She is a pupil of Horn's, and her name is Buggins, sister to the young lady of the same name, who sang the Arab's Faith, in Elphi Bey. This opera is so well known, and the songs are so familiar to our readers, that we have only to observe, the piece was called for for repetition the following evening, which perhaps is one of the highest compliments that can be paid to any debu


JUNE 23. "My Uncle," an operatta, in one act, was the novelty of the evening it is from the pen of Mr. Beazley, the author of Is he jealous? The Boarding House, &c. and is superior to either.

Town. This elegant national Theatre may be considered as the nursery of native talent; and if the flowers do not arrive at full maturity, the eye is grati fied by the variegated beauties which the Proprietor so successfully transplants.

JULY 1. "Artaxerxes." Miss Buggins appeared this evening in the character of Mandane, and realized the warmest wishes of her friends, by the brilliancy with which she sustained the part. Her articulation is clear, and her execution is as scientific as her notes are harmonious. She was rapturously greeted throughout the Opera, as well for the taste she displayed in the airs-" If o'er the cruel tyrant, Love;” and “ Adieu thou lovely youth"-as for the feeling with which she gave the recitations. "The Soldier tired" was unanimously encored; and we prognosticate that she will become a decided favourite with the

"The Cabinet." This opera has been reduced, by permission, to two acts; and Mr. Pearman, from the Bath Theatre, made his first appearance in the character of Orlando. This Gentleman possesses a sweet tenor; his lower tones, firm and musical; and his falsetto good. Braham electrified us by the power of his execution; and after such a master, the attempt at Orlando was daring: but Mr. Pearman seemed determined to be every thing, or nothing- and boldly risked his fame on that which might establish his claim to metropolitan patronage. He was most favourably received throughout; and was rapturously encored in the beautiful air, When away from my beautiful maid. W. S. Chatterley was the able representative of the superannuated lover, The Marquis de Grand Chateau : it was more perfect than his Lord Ogleby. Miss Kelly's Florella was what it ought to be

and Mrs. Chatterley, in Constantia, was loveliness personified.

JULY 15. The Great Room, which was fitted up for the Society of Arts, was opened this evening to the public, as a rural promenade, and is entitled to patronage, not only from its novelty, but for the accommodation it affords to the frequenters of the English Opera, in being thus relieved in so short a period from the oppressive heat that too frequently overwhelms a summer theatre. It is laid out as a shrubbery, traversed with walks, and illuminated with lamps. The ends and sides are lined with lofty trees, of which there are also two parallel rows down the middle; the latter hung with Chinese lamps. The shrubs are of the most rare and beautiful kinds, all natural and growing in pots. There are seats in the walks, at convenient distances, for the accommodation of the company. The refreshing verdure of the shrubs, their fragrance, and the coolness of the place, are most grateful to the senses, and create sensations far more exquisite than the most costly decorations of art. It is, in short, a miniature Vauxhali; and the groupes which nightly promenade, almost ralize the delightful visions in the Arabian Tales.

JULY 16. "Bachelor's Wives; or, the English at Brussels." Mr. Arnold has taken VARIETY for his motto; as, two or three times a week, we either have a new piece produced, or some candidate for histrionic honours: and it is gratifying that success has gene rally attended both. This operatta is lively and interesting; full of bustle; the dialogue sprightly; the music pleasing. The following is an outline of the plot:-Emily Gaylove (Miss Kelly) and Julia Melfort (Mrs. W. S. Chatterley),

the wives of two officers in the British army, arrive at Brussels for the purpose of ascertaining the cause of the nonarrival of their usual letters from their respective husbands; and there find these "gallant gay Lotharios" passing as Bachelors.. Now, although these gentlemen are intimate friends, it happens that they are not acquainted with each other's wives: and this Emily coquets with Melfort (T. Short); and Julia encounters Gaylove (Wrench). They, each, agree to meet at a masked ball-and in the interim the ladies as

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

The opening of this theatre always conveys a joyous feeling; and though it do not boast of talent equal to that which adorned these boards some twenty years ago, we are still permitted generally to enjoy an unmixed portion of gratification. Here, the labours of criticism give place to the light and lively portraitures of the Comic Muse; and when we retire to our pillows, if we Cannot "bestow a Benjamin's mess of praise," we have very little to coudemn.

There is an Irishman introduced, Monsieur Patrick O'Dennis Le Grand (W. S. Chatterley), who jumbles illegiti mate Irish and broken French most Judicrously. The piece, we have no doubt, will have a run.

3. Artaxerxes-My Uncle-Don Juan. 4. Free and Easy-Ditto--Ditto.

5. Artaxerxes-Ditto-Ditto.

7. Sport after Rain-Cabinet-Ditto.

8. Free and Easy-My Uncle-Ditto.

9. Sport after Kain-Cabinet-Maid and the Magpie.

10. Is he Jealous-Artaxerxes-Deserter of Naples.

11. Two Words-My Uncle-Ditto. 12. Free and Easy-Ditto-Ditto.

14. My Uncle-Beggars' Opera-Ditto,

15. Cabinet-My Uncle-Ditto.

16. Batchelors' Wives-Turn Out-Ditto.

17. Maid and the Magpie-Bachelors' Wives -Don Juan.

18. Angler-Election-Ditto.

19. Bachelors' Wives-Free and Easy-Deserter of Naples.

21. Ditto-Ditto-Ditto.

29. Love in a Village-Batchelors? Wives.

23. Artaxerxes-Bachelors'



of Naples.

24. Maid and the Magpie-My Uncle-Bache lors' Wives.

JULY 7. "The Village Lawyer." A Mr. Butler, from the York Theatre, made his first appearance in heepface. His humour is of the broadest cast; and if he would not suffer Grimace to be too predominant, he would be a use ful auxiliary to the Company, which boasts this season of the talents of Mrs. Glover, Messrs. Jones, Mathews, Russel, Tokele, Terry, &c.

JULY 14 This evening introduced a Mr. Amherst in two very oppos te cha racters-that of Megrim in “Blue De

« PreviousContinue »