Page images
PDF
EPUB

scovered, which was put in a sand heat, in the laboratory's

I kept a fufficient fire under it, and with Farenheit's thermo• meter, or glass, I kept them, as much as poffible, in the fame

degree of heat as the urine of a living person in health. I changed the urine every morning, and every night. I took care that thefe two persons should have the same food. As • for him who took the pills, he drank fome part of the time small beer, and two or three glasses of old red port-wine,

after dinner and supper, and upon his being lax, he was « forced to take them in water in which cinnamon had been • boiled; which was much to the disadvantage of Mrs. Stephens's medicines. The other person drank nothing but the • lime-water, except now and then, but very rarely, half a pint of small beer in four and twenty hours.

• After fixteen days digestion, I took the pieces of stone out, and laid that belonging to the phial No. 1. upon a piece

of paper marked No. 1. and that of the phial No. 2. upon • another piece of paper marked No. 2. I set them near the • window of the Laboratory, and left them for 8 days in the “ fun and heat of the air ; after which I weighed them, and < found that N. ). which was immersed in the urine of the * person who had taken our rolls, had loft five grains; and • that, which was No. 2. belonging to the urine of him who

had used the three pints of lime-water, and one ounce of • soap every day in my presence, had rather increased in weight

than loft. I expected such an event indeed, as this, when I s observed almost every morning his chamber-pot furred; whereas, on the contrary, the other pot was as if it had • been fresh scoured, and nothing at all sticking to it. This • observation every one may easily make, who takes Mrs. * Stephens's or any other medicines ; and we may depend upson it, that if the pot is furred, it is impoffible the remedy we take, should cure us. However, the outside of this • ftone No. 2. appeared to me a little soft. In order to be quite b.out of doubt, in this matter, I desired the person who had • took the lime-water and soap, to take the rolls, and the other 6 who had took these, to use the lime-water and soap, which they did, for the fame number of days, I put two other 4 pieces of the fame ftone, and the like weight of ten Grains,

into phials, and proceeded exactly as I had done before. The • event was, that No. 1. which had been put in the urine of

the person who had taken our medicines, had loft fix grains; 6 and No. 2. in the urine of him who had taken the lime* water and soap, had gained one grain.'

Mr. d’Escherny is candid enough to insert, in page 56, the objections which have been made to the medicines of Mrs. Stee phens, by the late learned Dr. Jurin, in these words :

“ Mrs. Stephens's medicines, I was sensible, had given re“ lief to many persons in my condition, and some numbers had « to appearance been cured by them; but, on the other hand, “ I considered that of those, who had died, and been opened, w after they were reported to be cured by taking these medi“ cines, there had not been one, but what had a stone or es stones found in his bladder. To this I added, that the num“ ber of those who had taken those medicines ineffectually, was “ very great: and it fell in my way to be informed of not “ few instances of such, as after taking them for many months “ together without any benefit, had submitted to be cut, ra'“ther than go on any longer with a medicine so extremely nauseous, and which had greatly increased their pains-with16 out bringing any thing away.

“ These considerations, joined to the knowledge I had of « the weakness of my stomach, which could ill bear any “ nauseous medicines, especially in large quantities, and often " repeated, made me turn my thoughts to the lixivium or lye " of which soap is made, by boiling it with oil or fat.

“ This lixivium I knew, had, notwithstanding its caustic « quality, (which signifies burning, and very near much as aqua fortis) been taken without inconvenience by several persons; « and though the good effects of it, which had come to my “ knowledge, were not considerable ; yet, that, I thought " might be owing to the smalness of the dose it had been given “ in, &c.” After using this lixivium for above fix months, *(though I certainly could have cured him in a fortnight) he found

himself perfectly recovered. The greatest quantity he took was 1080 drops, which the doctor computed made about an ounce and a half troy weight in a day.'

We

We could wish these objections had been more clearly refuted than they are by Mr. d'Escherny; though we own his remarks on the lixivium or lye of soap, are but too jult; as well as upon the liquid shell, Blanchard's remedy, Turlington's balfam, &C. And we are of opinion that the cases with which he has illustrated his observations, are clear and convincing proofs of the great benefit that hath accrued to mankind from the proper use of Mrs. Stephens's remedy, taken in the form of rolls, to which it is now reduced.

ART. V. Cibber's Two Differtations on the Theatres, with an

Appendix, in three Parts. The whole containing a general View of the Stage, from the earliest Times to the Present : With many curious Anecdotes relative to the English Theatres, never before published; and Remarks on the Laws concerning the Theatres. 8vo. Pr. 35. Stitch'd. Griffiths.

HE public is often apt to behave like a partial and

whimsical parent, blind to the merits of one child as to the faults of another : and it requires some degree of resolution to do an office of humanity and justice to a prodigal son, when the public is not disposed to give him a favourable hearing. Nevertheless we will venture to say, that though Mr. Cibber has here presented as irregular an entertainment as one could reasonably wish to fee; though his plan is licentious enough, and his manner and stile abundantly faulty, we cannot but acknowledge he has produced some good materials. He knows the stage, and it is but doing him justice to say, There is taste and judgment in many of his observations. Of these we shall select a few, that the unprejudiced reader may judge for himself. In talking of the passive indolence with which the town indulges the most paultry entertainments, he says, what we are afraid is too true, that the greater number of spectators, go to the

theatres merely as an idle amusement-to while away the hours, or dissipate the spleen,-as humour, leisure, indolence, or fashion, lead them,

. If If we consider this general humour of dissipation in which * people go to plays—we shall no longer wonder we hear of

frequent loud applauses, moft lavishly and indiscriminately

bestow'd ; if they are amused, they care not how ;-and < seldom stay to ask their judgments the question, Whether • the greatest absurdities have not met with the greatest encourcagement ? And whether patentees, and players, have not joined in laying a foundation for a false disgraceful taste?' The following questions seem to claim some regard.

• Have we not had a greater number of those unmeaning fopperies, miscalled entertainments, than ever was known

to disgrace the stage in so few years ? Has not every year produced one of those patch-work pantomiines? These masquing mummeries, replete with ribaldry, buffoonery, and non« sense ;-but void of invention, connection, humour, or in<struction? These Arabian kickshaws,-or Chinese festivals, · These, - call them what you please as any one filly

name may suit them all alike-Thefc mockeries of sense « These larger kind of puppet-thewsThese idle amusements • for children, and holiday fools ;-as ridiculously gaudy as the glittering pageantry of a pastry-cook’s shop on a Twelfth-night!'

Our author has candour enough to do ample justice to the merit of a gentleman who seems to be the particular object of his resentment; yet in the following paslage he singles him out as an instance of faults which are perhaps too common upon the stage.

• As this actor was thus indulged in his mimicking the defects

of nature, I hope, I may be allowed to point out the less - pardonable errors of judgment; or more unpardonable tricks

of a player, knowingly introduced, against the conviction of • sense, and judgment: These modern clap-traps of the stage, '-where reason is facrificed to vanity,—where vehemence

supplies the place of spirit, and extravagancies are called « beauties ;-where mouthing, and ranting, pass for elocution, ' and the voice so injudiciously forced, the power is loft e'er

half the part is play'd. A false jeu du theatre becomes, too

often, the vice of some present actors;—but they are happy, • if they can thereby raise a clap from the million :--No mat« ter whether the applause is just, so it be loud:' VOL. II.

E

And

And a few pages afterwards he falls into the fame trespass against this gentleman, for which he had complained of him a litcle before, his exposing the natural defects of his brother actors; though he artfully disguises it by saying, his wilful neglect of harmony. But for the sake of fome observations which we think are founded upon nature and truth, we shall quote the whole passage, and conclude with it.

Though I have as quick a perception of the merits of this actor, as his greatest admirers, and have not less pleasure

from his performance, when he condescends to pursue simple ( nature: -Yet I am not therefore to be blind to his studied

tricks, his over-fondness for extravagant attitudes, frequent • affected starts, convulsive twitchings, jerkings of the body; • sprawling of the fingers, Napping the breast and pockets : • A set of mechanical motions in constant use, the caricatures of gefture, suggested by pert vivacity,-his pantomimical • manner of acting every word in a sentence;-his unnatural

pauses in the middle of a sentence ;-his forced conceits, * his wilful neglect of harmony, even where the round period

of a well expressed noble sentiment demands a graceful ca• dence in the delivery.

· These, with his mistaken notions of some characters, and • many other vices of the stage, which his popularity has fup• ported him in, I shall take a proper opportunicy of remark• ing, in a more particular manner, and laying such observations before the superior judgment of the town.

« An actor, who is a thorough master of his party-hot only in point of memory, but by having clearly conceived, • and entered into the spirit of the sentiment and expression,

will stand in no need of premeditated gestures or attitudes ; • the words and situation will, of themselves, suggest them to him; and they will appear the more natural, and confe

quently have the greater effect, for their not having the air of study, and preparation.

• The various inflexions of voice, the stress of the emphasis, the just proportion of pathos, neither carried improperly “ into rant, nor over-tame, but governed by the occasion :4 All these will rise to naturally, that the part will seem to act 6 the actor, instead of being acted by him :

-The emo

« tions,

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »