« ZurückWeiter »
ger. During the whole of the evening, and util a late hour, the neighbourhood was crowded with people from all parts of the town, a ttracted to view the ruins of an edifice which had been for just three quarters of a century a scene of public amusement, instruction, and delight. They did not depart until a late hour, when they went away, each anxious to carry off some little fragment of the ruins, as a memorial of this melancholy event.
Mr. Harris was at Uxbridge at the time this dreadful fire took place. His son went to him, and by the way of breaking it to him by degrees told him that the cieling of the wardrobe had fallen in, which was an accident in some measure expected. “ Well, said Mr. H. “ that's all my fault-I was the cause of its not being repaired.” “ But that is not all,” added his son,
“ for the walls have fallen in so, that we cannot play.” Mr. Harris exclaimed—“That's back- it would have been better for cus if it had been a fire, as we might have recoveredl.” 6. Then,” rejoined young Harris, “ you have your wish--the whole theatre is burnt to the ground.” Amidst his own sorrows, Mr. H. cried—“ Are there any lives lost?”—The son, who had left town before the misfortune happened under the Piazza passage of the theatre, answered, “ There were not.” The father, then, with his characteristic humanity and generosity, exclaimed, “ 'Tis well! I can rebuild a theatre, but I cannot restore men's lives.”
A new theatre is erecting, after a design by Smirke, junr. before the beginning of next season. Our correspondent, 0. C. T. wrote to us on this subject as follows
“ I beg to remind the managers and the world at large through your Mirror, that Mr. Wyatt, the archituct, who at the age of twenty-two, built the Pantheon, which was the admiration of all Europe in its day, now lives to afford all the excellence of matured talents. From his gemius England inight expect a theatre which should rival any in the world.”
Mr. Harris has sold 50 shares of 1000l. each, the sum to be raised. They are at a premium. The new house, &c. will cost 93,000!.--the above 50,0001. and the recovery are to pay it.
The workshops of the Opera House, and the whole of the little theatre are filled with taylors and scene painters already preparing dresses · and scenery for the new house.
We shall now add some Outlines of the History of Covent-Garden Theatre.
“ This theatre was built in 1733, and first occupied by the company of Mr. Rich, the celebrated harlequin and composer of spectacles, in whose management it continued till his death in 1761, when the concern devolved upon Mr. Beard, the singer, his son-in-law. The theatre was at first built without a one-shilling gallery; but the vox populi vox Decrum soon gained this object, and the unsightly roof which the theatre presented is to be attributed to the subsequent addition of its one-shilling gallery. The performances of this theatre of course took their tone from the peculiar talents of its managers, presenting, in Mr. Rich's time, little worth seeing but shew and the prince of harlequins, and in Mr. Beard's guiding the taste of the town too strongly to such operas as have since been followed by that train of evils, of which Cobb and the Dibdins are the immediate authors. It was in Mr. Rich's management, however, that Gay's Beggar's Opera was produced, as every one of our readers must recollect who kuows that the success of that opera was said, by a kind of cross-pun, to have made Gay Rich and Rich Gay; and, that Mr. Beard patronized the class of operas, to which I have alluded, may be proved by Bickerstaff's dedication of his Love in a Village to that gentleman.
“ In 1767 Mr. Beard retired, and a negociation was set on foot by Messrs. Harris and Rutherford for the purchase of all the property in the theatre, which belonged to the then proprietors; but the advantage of having a capital performer as one of their sharers being suggested, Mr. Powell was invited to join them, and he recommended Mr. Colman as a person from whom the undertaking would receive great benefit. The proposal being assented to by the several parties, the property of the theatre was assigned in August, 1767. The conduct of the stage was entrusted to Mr. Colman; and the house opened on the 14th of September with the comedy of the Rehearsal, and a prologue written by Paul Whitehead, and spoken by Mr. Powell. Mr. Rutherford, after many disputes among all the managers, sold his share of the theatre to Messrs. Leake and Dagge. Mr. Powell died in July 1760, and his widow afterwards married Dr. Fisher, who by that means became entitled to some part of her late husband's interest in the theatre. Mr. Colman managed the affairs of the stage until the year 1774, when his right was purchased by the rest of his partners, to whom it was immediately assigned. Since this the management has been successively vested in Mr. Harris, Mr. Lewis, and Mr. Kemble, the last of which gentlemen has purchased a share of the proprietorship, and is now manager of the concern."
THE SURREY and RUSSELL INSTITUTIONS are to have Circulating Libraries, as well as libraries that never walk abroad. Lane in Leadenhall-street, and Carpenter in Bond-street, are almost out of their little wits on the occasion.
THE FOURTH VOLUME
ADDRESS to the Public-
217. 281. 339.
Johnny Groat's House a
200. 264. 328. 388
INDEX TO THE FOURTH VOLUME.
Allendale's Man of Sorrow. 34 Inchbald's New British The-
Phillips, Sir Richard, Me-
Address, Mr. Kemble's 51, 253
Covent Garden Company in the
INDEX TO THE FOURTH VOLUME.
Fatal Curiosity revived 57
and Percy 301
Drury-lane 187. 247.310. 371
at the King's
60. 123. 196