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tion that it is not, as some theorists pretend, the mere association of ideas, but the immediate inspiration of the Deity :
"Sit, Jessica! Look, how the floor of Heaven
Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold;
There's not the smallest orb, which thou behold'st,
Still quiring to the young-ey'd cherubims:
Such harmony is in immortal souls;
But, whilst this muddy vesture of decay
Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it."
This drama is highly diversified; we have the stern, unbending Shylock-the romantic Lorenzo, and Jessica-the eloquent Portiaand the grotesque, good Master Launcelot Gobbo,-a combination of character the most rare and extraordinary. As a work of genius, we contemplate it with wonder; but our wonder ceases, when we contemplate it as the work of Shakspeare.
The character of Portia afforded Mrs. Siddons few opportunities for the display of her matchless powers; but those opportunities she seized with the grasp of genius, and transfused into the language of Shakspeare a kindred spirit. Her trial-scene was in the grandest style of the art; nor were the lighter parts scarcely less worthy of praise, from their delicacy and gracefulness. If we speak of any other Portia, after Mrs. Siddons, it must be in very qualified terms. We have seen Mrs. Bartley (when Miss Smith) play the character with correctness and energy; but the divine mind was wanting, to conceive, illustrate, and, as it were, grapple with the genius of Shakspeare.
Shylock was, by the bad taste of former times, consigned to a low comedian; it was not enough that the Jew should be rendered detestable, but ridiculous also. It was the peculiar merit of Macklin to release him from this erroneous misconception; a merit which drew from Pope, who was present at the first representation, his celebrated eulogium. This circumstance not only had the good effect of placing the Jew in proper hands; it scouted from the stage the spurious trash of Lord Insdown, and established the genuine play in its stead. How Macklin performed Shylock, is known to every one who is at all conversant with the history of the stage. It was esteemed a masterpiece of dramatic excellence; and it was not until Henderson appeared upon the scene, that it was thought possible to equal, much less to improve upon, Macklin's performance. Yet Henderson, in some points, excelled his master; he softened down the coarser parts of the original, and threw into the picture a light in the highest degree chastened and brilliant.
Cooke's Shylock was one of his most perfect performances; 'it was supported throughout by just conception and powerful execution As was formerly said of Henderson, during the trial-scene, he stood like a tower. No actor knew better than Cooke how to work upon the feelings of an audience; and there are few things in the art that produced a stronger effect, than his savage and determined method of whetting his knife on the floor, and the fiend-like look that accom panied it, when he makes this reply to the question of Bassanio :-
"To cut the forfeit from that bankrupt there."
It is with a feeling of regret that we see a large proportion of Shakspeare's characters lost to the stage; Shylock, fortunately, is not "This is the Jew
That Shakspeare drew."
one of them, so long, at least, as the good taste of the public justly appreciates the talents of Mr. Kean. No living actor can touch him in Shylock; it was in this character that he made his first impression, and he plays no other with equal force and discrimination. His delineation of the furious passions are powerful in the extreme; he is, as the late Mr. Kemble said of him, terribly in earnest. Yet he throws in such natural bursts of feeling in the midst of his most passionate denunciations,-which Cooke did not, for he was malignant throughout,-that all the peculiarities of this wonderful character are faithfully preserved; and Shylock, in the hands of Mr. Kean, is not the monster that the superstitious colouring of ancient times has depicted him, but the persecuted, avaricious, and revengeful Jew, as represented by Shakspeare. The finest part of Mr. Kean's acting is his reasoning as to the feelings and propensities of a Jew, compared with those of a Christian-"Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands?" and the incomparable scene with Tubal. His manner of uttering, "I would my daughter were dead at my foot, and the jewels in her ear! Would she were hears'd at my foot, and the ducats in her coffin!" was never surpassed by any actor. In the trial-scene he wanted dignity,-not the dignity of mind, but of figure; but he amply atoned for it by higher qualities
"Whene'er he fails, 'tis nature's fault alone,-
DUKE.-Crimson velvet jacket and breeches, spotted velvet robe, ermine cape, white shoes, and crimson roses.
ANTONIO.-Black velvet Venetian dress, black shoes and roses. BASSANIO.-Grey and pink, russet boots, and white gloves. Second dress-White tunic, trimmed with silver; blue satin waistcoat, embroidered, and blue sash-belt, white silk stocking pantaloons, white shoes and roses.
SHYLOCK.-Black cloth gaberdine, scarlet sash, blue stockings, black shoes, and buckles.
SALANIO-Grey Spanish dress, trimmed with silver, pantaloons, and russet boots.
GRATIANO.-Green velvet coat, white waistcoat, worsted pantaloons, and russet boots.
SOLARINO.-Scarlet Spanish coat, white waistcoat, white worsted pantaloons, trimmed with scarlet, and russet boots.
LORENZO.-Green and buff Spanish dress, and russet boots. TUBAL-Black stuff gaberdine, trimmed with grey, hat, shoes, and buckles.
LAUNCELOT.-Plain black shape, long red stockings, and russet shoes. Second dress-Brown and red, shoes, and red roses. GOBBO.-Plain brown shape, leathern belt, blue stockings, and russet shoes.
BALTHASAR.-Green and orange livery.
SENATORS.-Black gowns, trimmed with white, and white caps. PORTIA.-Salmon-coloured gown, trimmed with silver. Second dress-Black silk stockings, black tunic, and lawyer's gown. Third dress-White Spanish pelisse, white satin hat, and feathers. JESSICA.-White and spangles.
NERISSA.-White and spangles, with coloured body. Second dress As Portia's second dress, but no gown.
Cast of the Characters at the Theatre-Royal,