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source of all wealth, while the riches of commerce were only derivative. Which was of greater importance in a building, a solid foundation, or an ornamented superstructure? Agriculture was the ground-work,—Commerce the elevation.
All the attempts which had been made to deny or to palliate the demoralizing effects of commerce, had failed. The slavetrade had, indeed, been abolished,' but slavery itself still existed, to support the trade from the colonies to the mother country. The unhappy African was still, held in a state of hopeless bondage, the victim of commercial speculation, in order that his fellow-men might obtain a few luxuries at a cheaper rate than they could otherwise procure them. The rights, the morals, the happiness, of thousands of human beings are nothing, when balanced against hogsheads of sugar and bags of cotton.
That state of society which was most favourable to good morals, would be found most favourable to happiness and to national prosperity. The superior state of morals existing in the agricultural districts, compared with the commercial and manufacturing ones, had been denied, but could not be disproved. In the county of Lancaster, application had been made to remove the assizes from the northern into the southern part of the county, upon this ground, -that the number of criminals from the southern (the manufacturing) division, compared with the northern (the agricultural) division, was as fifty to
In Westmoreland, a county exclusively agricultural, there occurred, in a space of time occupying between forty and fifty years, not a single execution.
Two objections had been taken to the agricultural population. One was, that they were very poor; the other, that they were not very learned. If the first were well founded, it surely argued little for the liberality of the sons of commerce, that some portion of the means of enjoyment had not been ex. tended by them to this useful and meritorious class. however, a fact worthy of observation, that, in proportion as commerce had been extended, so had the poor rates increased. Passing, however, from the poverty of agricultural labourers, (their misfortune, not their crime,) we shall not, perhaps, be able to defend them on the other point of attack, by maintaining that their information is very extensive. We may, however, excuse them for their ignorance of many things, when we find them to so great an extent ignorant of evil. But the inhabitants of crowded towns,—those who are congregated in immense masses to furnish the merchant with exchangeable articles,-those who, we have been told by the commercial advocates, are employed exclusively in the fabrication of goods for the foreign markets; these, it seems, are a much more enlightened set of persons, and actually enjoy
intellectual amusements. Let us see what they are.
“ The feast of reason and the flow of soul.”
A gentleman who had maintained that the manufacturing population were superior to the agricultural in wealth, in morals, and in happiness, had said, that the contrary was not to be found in any book. This was by no means conclusive in favour of his views of the subject. The truth was not to be invalidated, because it was not to be found in a book: but the fact was denied, for the writers were almost universally on this side of the question. Among them might be reckoned Adam Smith; and the same opinions had been advanced by
Bacon, Swift, Hume, Gibbon, Bishop Berkeley, Dr. Johnson, Bishop Watson, and Dr. Franklin. But this view of the subject depended not on the external aids afforded by the names of these men, (and they were no mean authorities,) but on its own intrinsic truth. Adopting the sentiment of one of the great men adverted to, it might be affirmed, that, if. Britain were surrounded with an impenetrable and insurmountable wall of brass, she possessed within herself the means of being the richest, the freest, and the happiest nation upon the face of the globe.
Love is no flame
Memoirs of the Life of John Philip Kemble, Esq ; including a
History of the Stage, from the time of Garrick to the Present Period. By James Boaden, Esq. 2 vols. 8vo. London,
Longman and Co. 1825. Mr. Kemble, whose memoirs are here presented to us, was, during many years, the “ pride of the British stage. Few actors have possessed minds as powerful and comprehensive as his; and still fewer have brought to the profession an equal extent of erudition.
To write the life of such a man as it should be written requires that the author should be a good general scholar; that he should be well acquainted with dramatic literature, and the history of the stage; that he should be a man of taste and of sensibility. Mr. Boaden is unquestionably a welleducated man; his love of the drama has been long known; he was the personal friend of Mr. Kemble, and a warm admirer of his genius; his taste indeed is sometimes a little fastidious,-sometimes not very pure; his sensibility is not always well directed; his credulity is rather too great; his prejudices are not few; he has a habit of prosing about trifles; and he occasionally cuts some very flat jokes : but, with all these failings, he is, upon the whole, well fitted for his duty, and the great actor may be pronounced fortunate in his biographer.
The work is preceded by a somewhat meagre sketch of the history of the stage, from the retirement of Garrick to the appearance of Kemble. The latter, we are informed, was born at Prescot in Lancashire, in the year 1757. His parents followed the profession of which their son was so distinguished an ornament; and when a child, Mr. Kemble frequently appeared on the boards in parts suited to his years : but, as his father did not intend the stage for his profession, after receiving the first elements of education at a preparatory school at Worcester, he was sent to the Roman Catholic seminary of Sedgeley Park in Staffordshire ; from whence, at a proper age, he was removed to the English College at Douay, to
VOL. II. PART II.
qualify him for one of the learned professions. His attention to the studies of the place was unremitting, and his proficiency of course considerable. The object with which he was sent thither was, however, to be frustrated; for he had determined to be an actor, With this resolution, he came to England; and, on the 8th of January, 1776, made his debût at Wolverhampton, in the character of Theodosius.' What impression he produced upon the nail-makers, Mr. Boaden is not prepared to tell us; but, by a reference to facts and dates, he very properly and very satisfactorily refutes some silly stories which have been circulated respecting Mr. Kemble's early career. In 1778, we find him in the York company, under the management of that eccentric mortal Tate Wilkinson, with whom he remained until 1781. During this time he appeared in a variety of characters in tragedy and comedy, and produced several dramatic pieces: a tragedy called “ Belisarius, a comedy named “The Female Officer,” and an alteration of the Comedy of Errors, under the title of “Oh! it's impossible." None of these appear to have been printed; but he published at York, in 1780, a small volume of fugitive pieces. While he sojourned with the York company, he occasionally occupied the public attention aloue, by giving an “attic evening's entertainment,” which consisted of readings and recitations. This was subsequently expanded into what was termed a “ Theatrical Fête,” in which Kemble had a Mr. Cummins, (a popular actor in the company,) and the manager himself
, for his coadjutors. This entertainment resembled the former, except that it was not confined to monologue; but scenes were given from Shakspeare, Massinger, and Young. Mr. Kemble accompanied Wilkinson to Edinburgh in July, 1781, and returned with him in August to York, where he concluded his engagement, having accepted one for Dublin : thither he proceeded, and, after acting in the principal provincial towns, as well as in the Irish metropolis, he made his first appearance at Drury-lane Theatre on the 30th of September, 1783.
Mr. Boaden here pauses to notice the principal performers who at that time supported the two winter theatres. Smith, John Palmer, Dodd, Bensley, King, Parsons, Lewis, Wroughton, F. Aickin, Quick, Edwin, Henderson, Miss Farren, Miss Pope, Mrs. Abington, Mrs. Mattocks, and Miss Young, pass in review before us. Henderson, the most accomplished actor of his day, is thus commemorated :
“ Mr, Ilenderson was at this time, perhaps, the greatest master of the art; he resembled bis illustrious predecessor in his versatility. His tragedy, however, was certainly inferior to his comedy. In the former he had comparatively fewer requisites. His understanding was of