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SONNET, On having written Verses under that Title, without conforming ta
its essential Requisites-renouncing the Error. Occasioned by
Rides on the raven pennons of the storm,
Oro'er the field, with purple havock warm,
And scorn to its soft cadence to conform
Who wake the wood-nymphs from the forest s'iade,
With wildest song-me, much behoves thy aid
H. K. WHITE.
DRURY-LANE. Nov. 30.-Hamlet.- Mr. Foot is an actor of great promise. His conception of the character was just, and his execution of the most difficult points in it striking and original. Very few young men bave discovered so much thought and true discrimination, accompanied by such ardent sensibility, in their first essay. In deportment and action there is room, of course, for amendment; but there is " that within which passeth shew,” which indicates real genias, and from which the highest expectation may be formed of his future eminence on the stage.
Dec. 2.-In consequence of the indisposition of Miss De Camp, Mrs. Mountain took her character in A House to be sold, in which she introduced an Italian air with the most charming effect, and played the part, which is somes hat difficult, with great spirit and success.
8.-Busy Body.-Mrs. Jordan's Miranda is one of her happiest efforts in that line of comedy, which, since the retirement of Miss Farren, it has been her desire to sustain ; it certainly does not satisfy criticism, but ber archness, her nature, her tout ensemble is very agreeable, and affords infinite pleasure to the
audience. Of Mr. Bannister's Marplot it may also be said, that, in point of conception, it is far from correct, and in every respect much inferior to Mr. Lewis's; but he is bustling, and whimsical, and effective in it in a very bizh degree ; and it will make no trifling addition to the reputation he has so deservedly obtained.
10.-Every Man in bis Humour.-This comedy, as we have before observed, excellent as it is, is caviare to the multitude ; for the allusions are obsolete, and the characters and manners, though admirably sketched and correctly preserved, are not easily to be comprehended by an audience of the present day. Mr. Cooke has lately done wonders for the play, in Kitely, at Covent Garden ; and to the frequency of its repetition there, on his account, may be attributed the poverty of its attraction at Drury Lane. Bannister, however, was very well in many parts of Bobadil: in the celebrated Gasconade of “ twenty.more” he was particularly successful, and his ludicrous expression of shame, terror, and pain, after the chastisement he receives from Downright, was as completely in character as possible. Wroughton's Kitely was respectable, as are all his performances, but it did not boast any thing striking; Cherry in Master Stephen merits commendation; and Mrs. Powell looked very beautifully in Dame Kjtely. The other cha. racters were supported with all requisite ability.
15.-Mr. Stephen Kemble appeared in Sbybck, for his benefit, and played it with judgment aad spirit. He appeared literally to have “fed fat the ancient grudge he bore" Antonio ; but, bating bis corpulency, which did not properly suit a personification of that rooted malignity, which has possessed the “ Jewish heart” of Shylock, the performance was creditable to his understanding and powers. Mr. Kemble delivered a farewell Address, which, as well as that spoken by Mr. Bannister, on his introduction, was written by himself. It is very ingeniously put together, and every line of it told.
18.-As you like it.-A Mr. Bartley, from the Margate stage, made his appearance in Orlando, and was well received. His performance was guided by good sense and feeling ; and though he has no very striking requisites, for the stage, he will probably be found capable of sustaining many secondary characters with much respectability. We understand that Mr. B. was recommended to the managers by Mrs. Jordan, who perceived his merit last summer, during her engagement at Margate,
27.-Love and Magic--a new Pantomime which has affurded a vast fund of merriment to the holiday folks. The tricks, changes, and business are mostly taken out of former Harlequinades; but the compilation is so ingenious, the merit of the performers so conspicuous, and the effect of the first and last scene so excessively brilliant, that we are not surprised at its continuing its attraction so long. Mr. Byrne; little Oscar, the Harlequin in miniature; Grimaldi, and Miss Menage exerted themselves greatly, and were as greatly applauded.
Jan. 8.-Count of Narbonne.-Miss Woodfall, daughter of the very respectable literary character of that name, made her first appearance in Adelaide, a part well suited to the age, figure, and talents of the amiable debitante. Her reception, which was in the highest degree flattering, did not exceed her desert; we have, indeed, seldom witnessed 30 promising a first apa
pearance. Miss Woodfall's person and countenance are very pleasing ; her voice is not powerful, but the tones are clear and interesting, and seem to be guided by a correct ear. In the scene with the Countess, and in the dying scene, she displayed a degree of judgment and sensibility from which every thing may in ume be expected. This theatre is much in want, at present, of a young actress,
qualified like Miss Woodfall; and it will be the interest of the managers to , bring her forward very frequently. The tragedy has great merit in point of com.
position, but is too outrageous and horrible in its plan to remain in much favour with the public, without the most superlative acting, such as we have seen from Kemble and Mrs. Siddons, in the Count and Countess ; but the performers on this evening were not without considerable merit, Barrymore was skilful and animated in the laborious part of the Count, and Austin was very characteristically dressed and feelingly acted by Mr. Raymond. C. Kemble is a Theodore to whom neither Horace Walpole, nor Jephson, could make the slightest objection, and Mrs. Powell's Hortensia was dignified and impressive. .
17.- Richard III.--Mr. Fearon, son of the late actor, and commander of an East-India man, attempted the part of Gloster, and “ sailed before the wind" in a very capital style. He dexterously avoided the rocks upon which many of his predecessors have split, and bore his vessel triumphantly into port, amid the shouts of hundreds of his brother sailors, who attended to congratulate him on the success of his voyage. In plain English, Mr. Fearon has great requisites for the stage-a fine manly person, though rather too heavy; a voice equal to the utmost degree of cxertion, freedom of department, contidence, feeling, and unabating spirit. He was applauded to the very ecbo, which applauded again; and certainly, if ever the audience were taken by storm, it was upon this occasion, In the latter acts, his bustle and spirit bear him along surprisingly, and in many passages, where these are not required, he has considerable merit; but in the more important qualities of Richard, his hypocrisy, subtilly, sterpness, gloomy perturbation, &c. he is far from successful, He shews often a great want of discrimination, particularly in the soliloquies, and hurries over many of the most significant passages as if he were ignorant of their meaning. He appears, throughqut, to be running a race with the character, and frequently gets the start of it. But there is much genius, notwithstanding these blemishes, and if he means to, pursue the stage as a profession, there is very little doubt of his obtaining a respectable and lucrative situation on the Drury-Lane boards.
19.-Orpban.-Mr. Barrymore was taken so suddenly ill, at the end of the first act, that he was unable to proceed with the part of Polydore. Mr. Bartley, the gentleman who appeared in Orlando, read the remainder of the character. We are sorry to learn that Mr. Barrymore continues much indisposed, and that symptoms have manifested themselves of a paralytic nature.
COVENT-GARDEN, Dec. 18.--Family Quarrels.-A new comic opera, by Mr. T. Dibdin. The public are quite aware of the difficulties which attend this species of composition on the modern stage, where simplicity of fable, and simplicity of music, are in
longer sufficient to excite attention. All an author can do now, is to furnish a vehicle for the airs, duets, trios, &c. and to contrive suitable situations, in which the performers may introduce their songs. For these he must necessarily sacrifice his plot, and do frequent violence to his own judgment. If at last he succeed in creating a kind of bustling interest, and combining his materials so as to produce a light and amusing whole, his purpose is answered, and the people are satisfied. Such is the case with the opera of Family Quarrels.
"The first scene presents a romantic view of a village, in which the adjacent nansions of the two families, whose quarrels give a title to the piece, are beau.. tifully pourtrayed; in the foreground is a rustic bridye, and a cascade in motion. The piece opens with an assemblage of sportsmen, anglers, and huntsmen, one of whom (Squire Foxglove) (a) relates that Sir Peppercorn Crabstick(b) has broken off a match between his daughter Caroline,(c) and Charles, (d) the sota of Mr.(e) and Mrs.(t) Supplejack, because the latter, proud of her own honourable origin, has looked down upon the newly acquired title and fortune of Sir Peppercorn, whose greatest pride is to own his obligations to trade, and the successful efforts of his own indefatigable industry. In their mutual anger, the heads of the two families introduce new plans of marriage for their respective offspring. Lady, Selina Sugarcane,(g) the chattering widow of a West India nabob, is brought from town as a match for Charles, and Miss Caroline is destined by her father to meet the addresses of Matthew Mushroom, Esq. a rich Yorkshire clothier, (b) who is preferred by Sir Peppercorn for his great fortune, and for the obscurity of the family he springs from, Charles, however, by the assistance of his friend Foxglove, procures au interview by moonlight with Caroline, which is discovered by the vigilance of Argus(i) a trusty servant of Sir Peppercorn's, who suddenly catches the lovers together, and forbids her admirer and his friend ever to approach his house in future. --After a variety of schemes, contrived chiefly by the ingenuity of Proteus,(k) in the interest of Charles, and Susan,(1) Caroline's attendant, the lovers are brought together, and, through the mediation of Foxglove, the two families agree to put an end to their quarrels, and consent to the union which they had taken so much pains to prevent.
In our last number we noticed the violent opposition of the Jews to this piece, for two or three nights, in consequence of a song introduced by Proteus, in the habit of a Jew pedlar, which, however, contained nothing that ought to have been construed into an offence. After a few unsuccessful efforts to condemn the piece, on this account, they withdrew their opposition, and the opera has since proceeded with no other interruption than that of applause. If there is nothing very striking in the design, or original in the characters and incidents of this opera, the effect, altogether, is very pleasant ; some of the incidents are extremely diverting; the dialogue is smart, and enlivened with humourous allusions and neat repartec: , the songs are in general well written. Munden's “Gaffer Grist,
(a) Mr. Incle.on. (b) Mr. Munden. (c) Miss Waddy.
(k) Mr. Fawcett. (1) Signora Storace.
Gaffer's son, and bis little Jack-ass,” is a whimsical versification of the fable of the “ald miller, bis son, and the ass," and produces great effect.
The composers are in number five, and the same as in the Cabinet ; viz. Messrs. Reeve, Moorehead, Davy, Corri, and Braham. The music is not, upon the whole, so attractive as in the former instance;' but some of the pieces are very beautiful, and will add considerably to the reputation of their respective authors. We shall perhaps be more particular on the subject of the music in a future nun ber.
23.-Cato.--Mr Cooke's Cato has been one of his most successful perfora mances. The Roman Patriot might have a more majestic representative, but certainly not one who could give more weight and dignity to the sentiments, or meet so well, in every respect, the ideas which we have been taught to entertaim of this illustrious character. In the burst on being told of the heroic conduct of his son Marcus, “ Thanks to the Gods, my boy has done his duty, he was fmpressive in the highest degree, and in the whole of the speech over the dead body; but his great excellence consisted in his manner of uttering the celebrated soliloquy on suicide. It is one of the most exquisite morceaus, in point of judgment, thought, solemnity, and strictly characteristic expression, which live in our stage recollection. Often as we have admired Mr. Cooke, we do not think he ever before excited in us so high a notion of his great talents,
The tragedy itself is so ruined by the ridiculous love-plot, that, now that party spirit no longer exists to support it, its revival can never last more than a few nights. On this occasion it received ample justice from the several performers: Mr. Siddons (Portius), Mr. H. Johnson (Marcus), Mr. Brunton (Juba); Mr. Murray (Syphax), Mr. Cory (Sempronius), Miss Marriot (Lucia), and Mrs. Lichfeld (Marcia),
Mr. Cooke, and consequently the rest of the performers, provounced Cato with the open a, Caato. See some remarks on this point in the Stage departe ment of the present number. · 27.-Harlequin's Habeas.-The new Christmas pantomime is the invention of the indefatigable T. Dibdin. It abounds with the usual tricks and transfore mations. The changes are rapid, numerous, and striking, and some of the incis dents are irresistibly ludicrous. The mistaking a man's wooden leg, which is seen projecting from the foot of a bed, for a warming pan, and thus pulling away the unfortunate stump, afforded infinite merriment. Mr. Harris has been at immense expence for scenery, which chiefly represents some of the most striking objects on the road to Paris :--the gates of Calais, Quillacque's hotel there, the Pont au Change, Conciergerie, Pont Neuf, &c. and St. Dennis's gate at Paris. There is also a most delightful view of Rochester Bridge, with the Castle and Cathedral, by RICHARDS. Phillips has distinguished himself very much on this occasion, having painted no less than six of the scenes. The Bolognas, King, Klanert, Dubois, Master Manage, and the elegant Wybrow', appear to advantage in the principal pantomimical characters. The music is well adapted. Moorehead has furnished an excellent overture, and two charming glees.
We shall notice the new Othello, at Covent Garden, who is announced also for Jaffier, in our next number.