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Elliston put together, in advising for beralities of Drusus, swerve from the best.
their tribune. Opimius is appointed Cuius Gracchus.
consul, and seeks to insult Caius as A Roman tragedy, from the pen of he is going to sacrifice. The folMr. Knowles, written in the style of lowers of Gracchus resent this and Kcan and Macready, though some- kill one of the lictors sent to disperse what too much in the style of the them. The senate demand the life of latter, has been produced at this Caius;—and with difficulty he is pretheatre, and has inet with tolerable vailed on to head his people-and success. All who remember Virgi- make a stand against oppression. He nius, remember that it had great parts with his wife who retires with feeling, spirit, and power,-but that thegreat mother, Cornelia! to the temit often failed in the too earnest en- ple of Diana for protection. Gracdeavours to be simple and natural. chus is defeated-and retreats to his The language disdained the accus- wife and mother—where he stabs tomed harmonies of verse, and broke himself, to avoid the enemies that itself up into short, uneven, and trite closely pursue him. There is a good sentences, such as we should hear in scene in the first act, where Caius Thames-street or the Strand. Now parts with his family ;-and it is in tragedy certainly ought to keep its such scenes of conjugal tenderness state: the ideal should never be that the power of Mr. Knowles is lost sight of. In the present pro- principally seen. duction there is, we think, still less The character of Gracchus is spiof energy and beauty of thought, ritedly drawn, but its dignity is not and even less of harmony of lan- sufficiently sustained throughout the guage. The colloquies are so fami- piece. It appears to have been clipliar, that a person must be very fool- ped and fractured to suit the hasty ish or very improvident to pay seven sketchy style of Mr. Macready's shillings for permission to hear by acting. The author must ever fit lamp-light what he certainly may this gentleman as correctly as the hear by daylight, without in the least tailor, or he will return the goods on molesting his money.
hand. In parts of Caius Mr. MacCaius Gracchus is not, as our read- ready played energetically and ers will suppose from the foregoing cleverly, but at the close of the remarks, very remarkable for any performance we felt unsatisfied, as striking incident or dramatic interest, though we had witnessed a repre-but there is so much of continual sentation of imperfect study and bustle--and so regular a progress of harsh manuerism. The tragedy is events, that the avdience are insen- evidently written to display one actor sibly borne through the five acts, only. Itisamonodrame, and we should without an opportunity of rebelling almost advise the manager to try at a deficiency of poetry, or an ab- one performance with the hero alone, sence of strong passion or character. and let the other characters speak The main incidents are these-Caius from behind scenes, as they do in Gracchus appears before the tribu- the Polly Packet. When will aunal, at which Vettius is arraigned thors learn the folly of writing for by Opimius—and procures his free- the player instead of for the public? dom. This symptom of power over When will they suffer tragedy to the people alarms the senate, and take the lead of the tragedian? Caius is appointed questor on foreign Mrs. Bunn, as the papers correctservice; Opimius, general. The ly say, looked the noble matron, Corcampaign is supposed to pass be- nelia, well. Mrs. W'est's Licinia was tween the first and second acts—and not so interesting as Miss Foote's Caius, on return, is chosen tribune, Virgilia—and the characters are in having triumphed over a malicious truth the same.
Mr. Terry gets accusation of Opimius. Drusus, a harder than ever! He really grinds miserable co-tribune with Caius, is the English language to dust. set to displace, by pretended kind- The prologue was bad :—but the nesses to the people, his colleague epilogue had nearly administered from the place he holds in their love. poison to the piece. It was hissed The mob, swayed casily by the li- off!-We should not omit to mention
that Mr. Macready contrived his of course, has a countryman or two of death with great dignity-he insinu- his ! ated the dagger into his body with a Poor Tom Dibdin's Cabinet was solemnity worthy the Roman suicide. the opera selected by himself or the
manager, and bespeaking a most evil Mr. Young has returned to this taste in the one or the other. What house, after an unworthy absence of a Cabinet of characters ! What a a season, and as he is a favourite dialogue! What songs! The muwith certain play-goers and party- sic however is pleasing, and music givers, we must not object to his will float Folly's vessel at any time. being engaged, even though the Mrs. Bartley, after a long retireterms may be a little outrageous. ment, has appeared again upon the If little David Garrick could peep boards of this theatre. We always from his grave, he would go mad at admired the talent and good sense the salaries given since his decease. which marked this lady's perform
Venice Preserved has been well ances; but we almost rejoiced in her acted : Young in Pierre, Charles departure from the stage, for we Kemble in Jaffier, and Miss Lacy in thought she had quitted the anxieties Belvidera. We remember John and jealousies of a public life for the Kemble in Pierre, and Mrs. Siddons serenity and comfort of a private one. in Belvidera :- the first is gone for It is not for us to pry into the causes ever-and the last has taken to sleep or motives which may influence her by the Brighton poppy-fields, so as return, - though we can easily conto stifle our hope of ever behulding jecture, that even the quiet and the her more. It must be a large poppy- solace of a retired life may not be field that will make us forget either able to lull the spirit which has once the brother or the sister !
fed upon popular applause. It is Mr. Sinclair, after a six years' so- hard for a person to leave off fame, journ in Italy, has brought his mel- when once the taking it has become lowed and accomplished voice back a habit. Mrs. Bartley, at any rate, to England,—and we hail its return has no reason to regret revisiting her with pleasure, for we have never
old friends on account of the recepperceived the good effects of pure tion she met with, for it was cordial air and study so finely manifested as and enthusiastic in the extreme. The in this gentleman's voice. He is now public shook hands at seeing her, and decidedly a masterly and beauti- seemed delighted at finding her in ful singer. All the harshnesses and brave case and spirit. She does, inuncertainties of his tones are gone, deed, look as if she had not been and the music floats on his voice with pining in retirement-and we are a gracefulness and a power perfect- right glad of it. But, forsooth, that ly delightful. He glides into the person must have a prodigious turn falsetto, without suffering you to dis- for unhappiness who could be very tinguish where he quitted his natural miserable with Mr. Bartley—or we tones—and his shake is more rich and cannot read the temper in the coungushing—more like the ardent throb tenance. of the nightingale than any thing we Mrs. Bartley played Mrs. Beverley have yet heard. All he has to in the Gamester, and with great avoid is, a too frequent wandering force and truth. But we dislike the into the falsetto—and an occasional play. It is a direct set at one pasnasal earnestness, peculiar, as we sion, and Nature never makes such. thought, to Mr. Braham. Mr. Sin- She is to perform Constance in King clair appears to us to have few de- John, but we cannot notice that fects which he could not easily rec- performance in this number. The tify.
Gamester was produced, we suppose, He has not, to be sure, improved to meet the agitation of the times; in his acting, or in his mode of speak- but this public fostering of horror and ing; and, for a person who has vi- irritation at their very birth is, to say sited that land of sweet sounds, Italy, the least, premature and misjudged. we cannot but feel surprised that he How can twelve dispassionate juryshould still carry Scotland so plainly men be found in England, if every on the tip of his tongue; but Italy, prejudicebe angered and fomented? A
minor theatre has had even the base- from the Emperor Montezuma, who offer ness to dramatize the very subject him golden presents and assistance to dewhich is now so over alive in Lon- part ; the former of which he accepts, but don-and the lane, the gig, and the of course he refuses to leave the country uncottage have been brought on the till he has seen the Emperor. This emstage !—The Lord Chief Justice of bassy is accompanied by Teluxo, a Mexican the Court of King's Bench, however, foreign sorcerers, and, receiving the pre
hero, who loudly declaims against the turned theatrical critic for once, and
sent of a sword from Cortez, threatens to delivered an opinion which crushed
employ it to his destruction.
The next the piece.
act opens with Cortez on his way towards Cortez; or, the Conquest of Mexico. Mexico; he is attacked by the independent
Plot-writing is not particularly Tlascalans and Mexicans, and here a dashour forte ; and we would rather at ing battle takes place, of which more anon. any time write a gross of Anniversary. Their submission rapidly follows the vicOdes after Mr. Fitzgerald, than sit tory of the Spaniards, and Teluxo, in condown to the dry task of detailing the cert with the priesthood of Chollula, lays a incidents upon which a modern dra- plan for the destruction of the Spaniards, ma is constructed. A little patriot- Mexico - Montezuma, in consequence of the
while passing through that town towards ism-a hair-breadth escape-a heap
late victory, having overcome his objection to of love--a battle and a burnt castle
a friendly reception in his capital. Cortez is —and you have “ a grand romantic apprized of this danger by a Tlascalan, play!” The heroes must slap their whose life he had saved, and defeats it just hearts every five minutes—and the in time to save his Indian love, Marina, heroines lay their hands upon their who had been led away by her brother Teleft sides, and sing !-Cortez is luxo, unknown to him, from being sacrimade up of all these ingredients, ficed by the priests to their ugly Pagod. with a nice spice or two of Indian This transaction, and the destruction of the feathers—copper skulls—fighting over
temple, concludes the second act. Cortez bridges—and long-tailed horses. All subsequently escapes another snare by
the intelligence obtained by Mareaders, we conjecture-all our readers, we are certain—have read of rina ; and the piece terminates with the Cortez—the renowned Cortez-stout Mexico. So much for the main story,
triumphal entry of the Spaniards into Cortez, who with eagle eyes “stared which is quite enough for our purpose, at the Pacific !” Romance lies as without dwelling upon the interest arising richly over his history as poet or from the relationship of Teluco and Madramatist could yearn for-and no rina, and an underplot borrowed from the imagination could add to its lustre. Indian Emperor of DRYDEN, in which What fabulist could out-dream the
two brothers love the same female, and are Conquest of Mexico! It has been led into the usual game at cross purposes,
both in love and war, on that account." well remarked, that the horses could never have been more aptly intro- These incidents are all-sufficient duced than in the present piece; for for the purpose of the equestrian, it will be remembered, that the hero the pedestrian, the patriot, the muhad a small force with him, and the sician, and the lover; and, accordmanager's Cortez is correct in the ingly, Mr. Bennet is great on his number of his cavalry to a single nag. legs, (to use a parliamentary phrase) The following sketch of the plot is and Mr. Ducrow is great of his legs from a contemporary print; and as it – Mr. Grieve is triumphant in his briefly and clearly relates the story, pencil, and Mr. Cooper is mighty in we are glad to find a substitute instead his declamation; Miss Paton shivers of awkwardly serving ourselves. the air with her bravura, and Mr.
Bishop revels in the pleasures of « The piece opens with the meeting of tasteful compilation. There is much, the Spanish soldiery, and the conspiracy indeed, for the eye, and much for the of two of their chiefs to reject the authority of Cortez, and return to Cuba. Cortez tail half over the pit, and powdered The opera, (we believe it is called The horses, reader! are at both opera) was very well acted, allowing houses-tittupping, snorting, sidling, for the alarm which the bipeds evi- tail-whisking, galloping, dying, with dently labour under, in guarding a- a zeal very inglorious and unbegainst a contact with the quadrupeds. coming in this weak, piping period. Mr. Cooper, Mr. Cooke, and Mr. Mr. Elliston's horses are numerous, Bennett played with good spirit, but and of many colours. They are too, poor Cooke had to stand out a long if we may say it without offence, and ferocious song of Miss Paton's; apparently a leetle nearer the corn-bin which we, who had seats, thought than Mr. Ducrow's. Not, Mr. Duwould never have ended. She rang a crow,
ear; when a horse has whisked his successfully appeals to his companions in half the orchestra with sawdust. arms, who desert their seducers, and the latter are put under arrest. Hearing that
There is Paton scattering her vivid the inhabitants are about to attack him, the
notes about the very next moment ; Spanish leader burns his fleet, and leaves and the next to that, there is “ Love his army no choice but conquest or death ; in thine eyes," pleasing thee with and in the meantime, ambassadors arrive her fair features and sensible voiee,
that we mean to say, Mr. Elliscomplete change of triple,—what d’ye ton's cattle are fit for Sadler's prize call 'ems! Not a note was wrong or show,-or beastly fat,—or very fat, left out.
All we feared was that she —or too fat. Neither do we say, that would tire Cooke, who waited to thine are “ lean as is a rake;" but, bear her from danger to danger, and if we were called upon to decide, we that she would get her head into a should say Mr. Eiliston's had the horse's chancery? Really, if this style flesh, and thine, good Mr. Ducrow, be the triumph of singing, we wish the bone. Mr. Elliston's stud, too, to enjoy few such victories. It must has a good variety of colour, and the be fatiguing to the singer; and it tails are well suspended, and adreally shakes the hearer into little mirably fastened—whereas, Ducrow, sixpences. Our notion is, that where in thy lot, the brown rather predosentiment is not,-music is not mu- minates, and one tail told a tale one sic. Miss Tree, who has certainly night (by nearly getting thrown frum not the execution of Miss Paton its horse) which, we trust, is not a (melody forbid that she should have), common occurrence. On the other is worth all the Patons on the earth, hand, however, if Mr. Elliston's nags with a dozen or two of other popular are better in the foregoing points, singers thrown in, for pure heart- they are worse in others. They cover singing. Her speaking is singing- less ground in their gallop-that is, “ her very foot has music in't” as she they take up their little frenzied legs, moves,—so truly does harmony show and (like the hackney coachman and itself in the person it loves. Miss the countryman) set them down Paton is fearful in a storm of song, where they took them up: They are but give us Miss Tree for the soft less profuse of the sawdust amongst showers of melody and its sunshine. the fiddlers. They dot too much: The papers have been cavilling about whereas, thy chargers, Ducrow, get the latter lady's sudden absencetwo yards in ten minutes, and really some alleging that she will not play seem to go—thine turn about-caper second to Miss Paton,-and others -- plunge—and actually leap a popmore properly leaning to the state- lar with the courage of hunters. Mr. ment made by her friends and phy, Elliston's crack-horse astounds the sician, that she is too ill to perform; gallery with carrying a lady up the she has no cause, that we know of, Cataract of the Ganges; and, truly, to dread a comparison with Miss this sounds no bad feat—but thy Paton, and she always looks to us too cock-horse, Ducrow, wheels aboutdelicate to be quite out of the reach åscends a precipice, and flings a wild of illness.
Indian over a bridge into the gulf Mr. Fawcett enacted a cowardly below! This last beats Mr. Elliston's farrier, who, of course, follows the horse all to tatters. In short, for we heels of the horses, with a knack must cut our parallel short, the specwhich makes nonsense very agree- tator, who is thoroughly fond of fourable. He is so old and good a stager, legged actors, must go to both houses, that no author may fear trusting and study both the studs. We supvery bad jokes in his hands. He pose there will be no end to these sang a song about a widow of Estre- cattle shows till a horse gets really madura, which, though dull, as dull wild, and makes a stepping block of could be, tickled the audience into an Mr. Ware's head some night, preencore. But we hear the horses vious to a comfortable skull-gallop trampling and must give them a over the pit. We would give seven charge before we drop our monthly shillings to be in the second tier on curtain.
that night,-particularly if we could where genius still might triumph, induce a few select friends to pay why should the frivolities of Astley's, their three-and-sixpences on the occa- and the pranks of Bartholomew Fair, sion.
be played off, and in double tinsel ? But, seriously, where is all this Lastly, if horses must draw (and abuse of the public taste to end? Is they generally do) why should they it not a wretched thing to see Faw- not be kept to the afterpiece, so that cett shambling about among the saw. the stage should, for a short time, be dust, as though he had been brought free and safe for common sense, and up in the shambles; and to hear two-legged performers; as until this beautiful music beat to death by year it has invariably been? Will trampling hoofs? Oh! where Shak- any managers answer these quesspeare has so greatly triumphed, and tions ?
EARLY ITALIAN POETS.
There is an account given by book, pp. 452. The Canzone, beginMuratori,* of a manuscript of Alfonso ning, Gioja's, a literary man at Ferrara, Amor nuova, ed antica vanitate, which contained, besides other un- does not bear out Muratori in his as. published poems of an early date, sertion ; for it has at least two old some Canzones and Ballatas, to the words : sorviziato, overcharged with number of about nine, by Lapo faults, and sembra, not found in the Gianni. “ This author,” he adds, Dictionaries, but here used in the “ is supposed to have lived much be- sense of semblea, an array, or assemfore Dante ; but his manner of com- bly ; posing does not show it, being devoid Molte fiate stando teco in sembra. of antiquated words." This proof, The Ballata has not indeed this mark even if it were founded in fact, does of antiquity, but it has another which not seem to be quite satisfactory; is scarcely less conclusive ; and that because a writer will sometimes outs is, that, though in a style exceedingly strip his age in this respect. A bet- pure and beautiful, it has nothing of ter might have been found in the si- is concetto" in it. The first line suglence of Dante concerning him; for gests a comparison with Waller's it is difficult to suppose that that * Go, lovely rose.” In that pretty writer should not have his
song it is evident that the poet, bepoems if they had been composed fore he began, had determined' how before his time; and that, seeing, he he should conclude. It is, thereshould not have noticed them in his fore, in the proper sense of the word, Treatise de Vulgari Eloquentiâ. I a “ Concetto,” though not a faulty am in possession of only two of them, one. It is the address of a courtierone a Canzone in the Giunta collec- poet, who has considered heforehand tion, fol. 104, and the other a Bal- what he shall say or sing to the lady lata, which I copied from the third with the flower he presents to her. volume of the Anecdota Literaria The Ballata is as unpremeditated as ex MSS. Codicibus eruta, edited the loose notes played by a shepherd at Rome, without date, but a modern boy on his flageolet.
Questa rosa novella
Che fa piacer sua gaia giovanezza,
Amor, sia nata per virtù di quelli.
Di racontar sua maraviglia nuova,
• Della Perfctta Poesis, L. i. c. 3.