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mere is an officer in the army-he affects to be a man of courage, but is really a coward--a plot is laid for putting his courage to the test—a sham Siege of the castle takes place—Valdemere retires to a vault, where he is found “ distilled almost to jelly “ with his fear"—the pretended Siege is followed by a real attack from the enemy—this attack is repelled chiefly by the exertions of Antonio-Livia, the mistress of the castle, rewards him with her hand —the principal persons of the play promise not to expose Valdemere, on condition that he will marry Nina, to whom he had promised marriage, Valdemere is not a bad character, but on the whole this is a poor play.
14. Beacon—this is a moderate piece in 2 acts-the subject of it is Hope—the scene lies in a small Island of the Mediterranean, of which Ulrick is the Lord_Ermingard and Aurora had been mutually attached_Ermingard had gone to the holy warsand there was strong reason to believe that he was dead— Aurora, who is of an ardent temper, still cherishes Hope-according to her promise, she causes a fire to be lighted every night on a rock as a Beacon for Ermingard in case he should return-he does return in the 2d act—he had become a Knight of St. John of Jerusalem, on the supposition that Aurora was married to Ulrick -- he finds that she is still single, and heartily repents of his vow of celibacy - the Pope's Legate summons Ulrick to give an account of his conduct to the Pope--and affords Ermingard reason to hope that the Pope will dispense with his vows-Miss Baillie says-“I have 6 introduced into the scenes several songs, so many
indeed, that I have ventured to call it a Musical “ Drama—I have, however, avoided one fault so “ common, I might say universal, in such pieces, “ viz. making people sing in situations in which it “ is not natural for them to do so-and creating a “ necessity for either having the first characters per“ formed by those, who can both act and sing, (per“sons very difficult to find) or permitting them to “ be made entirely insipid and absurd—for this pur
pose, the songs are all sung by those who have “ little or nothing to act, and introduced when no
thing very interesting is going on-they are also
supposed not to be spontaneous expressions of “ sentiment in the singer, but (as songs in ordinary “ life usually are) compositions of other people, “ which have been often sung before, and are only “ generally applicable to the present occasion.”
If the writers of musical pieces would have the sense to follow Miss Baillie's example, Operas would not be such despicable things as they now are.
Miss Baillie's Comedies do her but little creditthe Election is by far the best of them—her Tragedies have great faults, but greater beauties—she has the happy art of introducing characters, which, tho' natural, are new to the stage.
15. Family Legend—this play was published separately—see D. L. May 29 1815.
16. Martyr 1826--this is a sacred Drama in 3 acts-it is far from a bad play, but it is not so good as might have been expected from Miss BaillieCordenius Maro, an officer of the Imperial Guard, is so struck with the fortitude with which the Christian Martyrs sustain their sufferings, that he
becomes a Christian himself-he is in love with Portia, the daughter of Sulpicius, a zealous heathenshe is in love with him-Cordenius is condemned by Nero as a Christian-Sulpicius and Portia intercede for him in the last scene a lion is let loose on Cordenius-a Parthian Prince shoots an arrow at Cordenius, and kills him—this is done with a friendly view, to save Cordenius from the horrid death to which he was doomed-Cordenius is a good character—the rest of the D. P. (with the exception of Sylvius) have not much to recommend them-when Tyke in the School of Reform spells Philip with an F, it is quite in character—but one cannot forgive Miss Baillie for calling a convert Fearon, instead of Pheron-see p. 34.
Cross, the stage manager of the Surrey theatre, published in 1812 the 2d Edition of his dramatic works- the 1st Edition seems to have been in 1809 -in bis preface he says, that the Royal Circus, or Surrey Theatre, was opened in 1781—that it was burnt in 1805—rebuilt, and opened on the Easter Monday following—his pieces are
1. Round Tower, or Chieftains of Ireland-this Ballet Pantomime was brought out at C. G. in Nov. 1797—it is said to be partly taken from O'Harralan's History of Ireland-- it seems to be a good piece for the sort of thing.
2. Blackbeard-see Bath Jan. 18 1816.
3. Cora, or the Virgin of the Sun—this piece in 2 acts is founded on Kotzebue's play, it was brought out in 1799.
4. Julia of Louvain, or Monkish Cruelty- this short Spectacle is founded on a paragraph in a Newspaper during the French Revolution—it was brought out May 15 1797.
5. Louisa of Lombardy, or Secret Nuptials - this serious Spectacle, in 2 parts, was brought out in May 1803—it is partly founded on the Law of Lombardy.
6. Our Native Land and Gallant Protectors 1803 —the author properly calls this a trivial combination of dance and song.
7. Sir Francis Drake and Iron Arm-Iron Arm is a captain of Banditti – the Governor of Carthagena is alarmed by the approach of Drake-he pardons Iron Arm and his confederates on condition that they will assist him against the English-in the last scene an engagement takes place between the Spanish and English fleets—the whole town of Carthagena appears in ruins-Iron Arm is killed, and the curtain falls with the huzzas of the British sailors - this Spectacle was brought out Aug. 4 1800.
8. False Friend, or the Assassin of the Rocks — see Bath March 7 1812.
9. Cloud King, or the Magic Rose-Cross says that this piece is founded on the ballet of Zemire and Azor, and Lewis' Tales of Wonder- the plot has of course a great resemblance to that of Selima and Azor-the Cloud King was brought out June 30 1806.
10. Rinaldo Rinaldini, or the Secret Avengers — this Ballet of Action was brought out April 6 1801 — thə plot partly resembles that of the Secret Tribunal.
11. Fire King, or Albert and Rosalie—this magic Ballet of Action was brought out June 20 1801 — Cross says that the Denouement is trifling in the extreme, but that it is, as recorded in Lewis' Tales of Wonder, from which nearly the whole of the piece is taken.
12. Halloween, or the Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne--Cross does not say in what year this Spectacle was brought out-he tells us that Halloween is a night on which the peasants of Scotland try various spells and charms in order to determine their future fortunes—the plot of this piece is founded on the novel of the same name.
13. Way to get Un-married-see C. G. March 30 1796.
14. Village Doctor - Dr. Bolus puts a sleeping draught into a brandy bottle-he means it for his wife, but it is drunk by a quaker—this Burletta was brought out at the Circus in St. George's Fields March 25 1796—Blanchard acted the Quaker.
Cross' Dramas would not have deserved notice,