Page images
PDF
EPUB

12.-W. to keep him.-Chaplet.-Damon, Lowe. 13.-Ibid. 14.-E. of Essex. H. Life. 15.-W. to keep him. Chaplet..

16.-{By COMMAND] Ibid, with H. Inv. 17.-E. of Essex. Enchanter. 19.-Minor. P. Hon. 20.-W. to keep him. P. Hon. 21.-E. of Essex. Guardian. 22.-W. to keep him. P. Hon.

23.-[BY COMMAND)-Agis. P. Hon. 24.-Minor. (b) Letbe. 26.. E. of Essex. P. Hon. 27.-W. to keep him. D. to pay.

28.-M. Bride. Almeria, (Ist time) Mrs. Yates. Enchanter. .

29.-7. Shore. Enchanter. 31.-T. and Sigis. Never acted EDGAR AND EMMELINE, (c) a Fairy Tale. O'Brien; (Edgar); King, (Florimond);

his wife, from his home, and a valuable woman the mistress of that home, into gallantries with other women, and a total indifference to his wife. The design has great merit, and the execution of it is pleasingly conducted. The principal characters are well drawn; some of the incidents sufficiently surprising and interesting, and the denouement attended with circumstances which render it truly comic.

Besides the obligation above-mentioned, to the French drama, Mr. Murphy is indebted to M. de Moissy's Nouvelle Ecole de Femmes, for some of his materials; and the Widow Belinour has been thought to bear too close a resemblance, in some respects, to Congreve's Millamant. Upon the whole, however, it is certainly one of our best modern comedies, and the representation of it never fails to give satisfaction to the audience. It has lately been revived at Drury-Lane, with very great success,

(b) “ Indifferent house." Cross's Diary.

(c) This little piece met with great success in the representation, and indeed deservedly. The exchange of sex in Edgar and Emmeline, by the command of the fairies, to enable them to receive the impressions of love unknown to thema, selves, through the conveyance of friendship, is a new and pretty thought; the conduct of it sensible, rational, and delicate, and the behaviour of those little iinaginary beings, the fairies, consistent with the ideas we have constantly formed of them. In a word, altogether it is a very pleasing entertainment, and is ren-. dered still more so by the addition of the musical interludes, whereby the main action is broken in upon and relieved,

Dr. John Hawkesworth, the author, was born about the year 1719 ; though his epitaph, as we find it in the Gentleman's Magazine for August, 1781, makes him to have been boru in 1715. He was brought up to a mechanical profession ; that of a watch-maker, as is supposed. He was of the sect of Presbyterians, and a member of the celebrated Tom Bradbury's meeting, from which he was expelled for some irregularities. He afterwards devoted himself to literature, and became an author of considerable eminence. In the early part of life, his circumstances. were rather confined. He resided some time at Bromley in Kent, where his wife kept a boarding school, which they relinquished in order to accominodate two women of fortune, who came to reside with them. He afterwards becanie known to a lady, who had great property and interest in the East-India company; and, through her means, was chosen a director of that body. As an au•

Master Kennedy, (Elfna); Miss Rogers, (Grotilla); Miss Wright, (her Ist

thor, his Adventurer is his capital work; the merits of which, as is said, procured him the degree of LL.D. from Herring, archbishop of Canterbury. When the design of compiling a narrative of the discoveries in the South-seas was on foot, he was recommended as a proper person to be employed on the occasion : but, in truth, he was not a proper person, por did the performance answer expectation. * Works of taste and elegance, where imagination and the passions were to be affected, were his province; not works of dry, cold, accurate narrative. However, he executed his task, and is said to have received for it the enormous sum of £6000. He died in 1773 : some say, of high living ; others, of chagrin from the ill reception of his “ Narrative;" for he was a man of the keenest sensibility, and obnoxious to all the evils of such irritable natures. On a handsome marble monument at Brom ley, in Kent, is the following inscription; the latter part of which is taken from the last number of The Adventurer.

To the Memory of
JOHN HAWKESWORTH, LL.D.

Who died the 16th of November,

MDCCLXXII, aged 58 years.
That he lived ornamental and useful

To society in an eminent degree,
Was among the boasted felicities

of the present age ;
That he laboured for the benefit of Society,
Let his own pathetic admonitions

Record and realize :
« The hour is hasting, in which whatever praise or censure I have
acquired will be remembered with equal indifference.-Time, who is
impatient to date my last paper, will sbortly moulder the hand which
is now writiog in the dust, and still the breast that now throbs at the
reflection. But let not this be read as something that relates only to
another : for a few years only can divide the eye that is now read-

ing from the hand that has written.” Dr. H. altered Amphytrion and Oroonoko; and is said to be the author of Zimri, an Oratorio, published anonymously. His translation of Telemachus is also much admired.

Sir John Hawkins denies that he was brought up to a mechanical profession, and asserts that'« he had been taught no art but that of writing, and was a hired clerk to one Harwood, an attorney, in Grocer's-Alley, in the Poultry.” Ac

· * " Hawkesworth's Compilation of the Voyages to the South Sea being mentioned; JOHNSON. "Sir, if you talk of it as a subject of commerce, it will be gainful ; if as a book that is to increase human knowledge, I believe there will not be much of that. Hawkesworth can tell oply what the voyagers have told bim; and they have found very little; only one new animal, I think.' Bosa' WELL. “But many insects, Sir.' JOHNSON. •Why, Sir, as to insects, Ray reckons of British insects 20,000 species. They might have staid at home, and discovered enough in that way.' Boswell's Life of Jolonion,

app.] (a Fairy); Mrs. Yates, (Emmeline); with an epilogue. (d) The music by Mr. Arne.

2.-—Tempest. Ed. & Em. 3.-Agis and Ibid. 5.-[By COMMANDZara, Mrs. CIBBER. 7.-E. of Essex and Ib. 9.-M. ado. Ib. (e) 10% W. to keep bim. Ib.

cording to the same writer, he also furnished the Parliamentary Debates in the
Gentleman's Magazine, from 1743, or 1744, when Dr. Johnson dropped them, till
about the year 1760; and held the office of reviewer to the same work, from
1762 to 1772. We are likewise told by Sir J. Hawkins, that Dr. H. thought the
complimentary degree conferred on him by Archbishop Herring, entitled him to
become an advocate in the ecclesiastical courts, and that he had a serious design
of appearing in that capacity, till his mistake was pointed out. But some of Sir
J. Hawkins's assertions are to be received with caution. Dr. H. was one of the
original members of the club established by Dr. Johnson in Ivey Lane, in the
winter of 1749.

(d) Spoken by Mrs. Yates; written by Garrick.
(e) Author's night.

[ocr errors]

PROVINCIAL DRAMA.

Theatre WolverHAMPTON.-This theatre opened Dec. 3, with the comedy of Speed the Plough, and the after-piece of Bon Ton. The manager has picked up two new faces since the last season, and promised us a third. Mr. As. ker and Mrs. Dawson have appeared, the former in the vocal, and the latter in the tragic department. Mr. Asker's voice is not unmusical, but he would be heard with considerably more pleasure if he would let us know what he is singing about, Mrs. Dawson's capacity for the stage is dubious. Her figure, gesture, speech, &c. are tolerable rather than striking. She frequently forgets that there is such a letter in the alphabet as H, has a tincture of provincial accent, and does not pay sufficient attention to grace and propriety in her attitudes. The unpopularity of Mr. Fox, formerly so great a favourite, originates in himself, and not in the fickleness of public attachment. A want of deference to the public will never long be countenanced in actors, that have stonger claims to its favour than Mr. Fox. Independent of this, he is never correct in his parts, and when he is out he does not attend to the prompter, but goes mumbling on a parcel of indistinct words in an under tone, which perplexes the other actors, and often occasions several speeches being omitted, or introduced where they ought not to be. A'Mrs. St. John is promised us by the manager, but she has not yet made her appearance. She is to succeed Mrs. Farren in the operatic characters. Mr. G. Shuter, a young man of very promising parts, has been sent by the manager to perform before twelve tallow candles, at an infe. rior theatre. Why not have sent his candle-snuffers, and kept his actors where their merit stood a chance of being rewarded ? * Wolverhampton, Dec. 10, 1802.

. Civis,

* Theatre HITCHIN-Mr. Lacy's company is now exhibiting here, with tolerable success. The performers are very respectable, and we observe, with much pleasure, the rapid improvement which Miss Maria Taylor, Spilsbury makes in sentimental comedy. We have had occasion to mention this lady's performance before, (under the name of Taylor) at Bedford ; and we make no doubt but she will, ultimately, be a useful member of the corps of Thalia.

Theatre Plymouth.-- MR. EDITOR,- In consequence of the letter inseried in your Mirror of last month, dated Plymouth, Dec. 14, 1802. I wish to avail myself of the earliest apportunity of vindicating myself from so gross an aspersion ; and for your very handsome offer of perinitting me to say a few words in justification of myself, both as a man and a performer, I beg you will accept my grateful ackowledgments.

“First, 1, in the most solemn manner, disclaim all knowledge wbatever of the writer of the letter alluded to by an Impartial Observer, and in reply to the assertion “ that, from my own report, they were led to suppose I possessed talents of the first order, consequently, pretjous to my arrival, several plays were cast in which my name was inserted for principal characters," I must observe that the characters alluded to I afterwards performed with Mr. Bannister, but am at a loss to know at what the writer aims when he says hy my own report. I was engaged by the proprietor from Guernsey, and the first overtures were made by him to me. Being then a total stranger at Plymouth, and so far off, I of course could have no opportunity (had I been inclined) to report my own merils. Secondly, the favourable reception I was so fortunate to meet with in Sparkish and Robin, induced the manager to have the following lines printed in the next night's play hills. “ Perhaps no audience was ever more fascinated and delighted than by the charming performances of Miss Dixon on Wednesday and Friday last; and as her engagement here will be of a short duration, it is respectfully hoped and presumed, that an early and liberal patronage will be given to her future nights. The company has also been reinforced by Mr. Lovegrove and Mrs. Forbes, who were received with the utmost possible approbation on Friday last, and such arrangments are now made, as will render the remainder of the season particularly worthy the attention and support of all dramatic ama. teurs," A bill with the above is in my possession. This, together with the multiplicity of business (and that of the first description) I was afterwards employed in, by the direction of the proprietor, is, I think, a flat contradiction to that part of the impartial observations where I am accused of not only dissatisfying the proprietor, but the inhabitants, with my performances. As a further illustration of what I have already asserted, I beg leave to subjoin a list of the characters allotted nie by the manager."

· [Here Mr. Lovegrove transcribed a list, by which it appears that he performed principal characters, (often both in play and farce,) on 37 different nights. This list, however, for the sake of brevity, we have omitted.]

“ There is a petitesse in the mention of the benefits that I think despicable, and the writer, whoever he may be, as he is so well acquainted with the con. cerns of the theatre, is, doubtless, acquainted with the cause of the failure of mine; if not, I will hereafter assign that cause, together with a simple states ment of Facts,' in my turn, in which the enumeration of some circumstances,

I-VOL. XV.

when made known, may make the Impartial Observer regret eyer having en. deavoured to injure the character of an innocent young man.

“ Let me now request that the gentleman who did me the honour to speak well of me, who it seems has given offence for so di ing, and by that means has made me the innocent victim of spleep and ill-nature., will come for vard, and exonerate me from these aspersions, by sending his name and abode. “ Theatre Royal Bath,

“ WILLIAM LOVEGROV E." Theatre PLYMOUTH.---- Mr. EDITOR--A letter having appeared in your Mirror of last month from Plymouth, of a most calumnious tendency, I feel bound to say a few words in defence of myself. For your goodness in giving me that permission pray accept my warmest thanks. I give you my word and honour I was not, nor do I know, or even suspect, the writer of the letter wherein I am f.vourably spoken of. I must here contradict the impartial writer, in that part of the letter in which he says the inhabitants were dissatisfied with me, and a more complete contradiction cannot, I think, be given, than by affirming that (with repeated plays) I performed upwards of forty characters, and those all principal, in three months, bills of which I still have by me. I have the satis. faction and happiness to know I left Plymouth regretted as an actress, and esteemed as a woman.

« Eliza FORBES." o The Editor, agreeably to his promise, has inserted these letters, with the omission of one or two passages which did not appear. absolutely necessary. When the letter under the signature of a LOUNGER' was received, it was laid by as unft for insertion, isz çansequence of the disguise apparent in the hand-writing. It was afterwards delivered to the Printer by a mistake, which was nos discovered till too lote to be rectified. Our reason for inserting the letter of an 'IMPARTIAL OBSERVER appeared in the publication of last month; and, to manifest our own impartiality, we have now given a place to the two letters written by Mr. Lovegrove and Mrs. Forbes, in their own vindication. Here, we trust, the matter, will rest, We should observe that another Letter of some length, from Plymouth, in refutation of the facts stated by a LOUNGER, was received in December, which we declined publishing for the cause as. signed in the Correspondence Page of last Month.

PRIVATE THEATRICALS,

The private theatricals of Dalby-house, near Leicester, that have, for several successive summers, been objects of the greatest attraction and admiration to the lorers of the drama, have been revived during the Christmas holidays, with all their former elegance and splendour. The play of The Stranger, with the fasee

« PreviousContinue »