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Mr. Ponsonby was inimitable in Old Dogberry : the conceited emptiness of the old Constable, his affected pauses, ridiculous mistakes, and emphatical truisms, were copied to the life. The manner in which he assured his auditors that “if he were as te: dious as a King, he couldfind it in his heart to bestow all his tediousness ontheir Worships;” and that “he thanked God he was as honest as anyman living, that was an old man, and no honester than he,” was truly comic. -
Lord Lauderdale, as the devil with his tail chopped off, was prodigiously entertaining, though his Lordship supported the character without the assistance of a mask.
Mr. Lambton, as Fauconbridge, railed atthe Duke of Austria in a very spirited style; and vindicated his preference of his own birth and blood over those of Sir Robert", with characteristic vivacity.
* An allusion to an attack (see p. 44.) on Lord Castlereagh, K. G. Sir Robert Stewart is his Lordship's legal style.
Mr. Charles Wynne, as Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Watkin as the Sergeant at Arms, and Lord Ossulston as the Mace, were an admirable group. His Lordship, particularly, was exquisitely gilt, and supported the difficult character of the Mace with great perseverance and humour. Mr. Greenhill, as Mr. Speaker's Secretary, was as great a quiz as could be desired.
The Duke of Norfolk as Silenus, and Mr. Hurst" as his Ass, were very great.
Mr. Brougham, in the character of Schedoni, wore a real Neapolitan costume, which he had the honour to receive as a present from her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales, and looked very truculent and well; he passed most of the evening in close conversation with the Neapolitan Minister.t
Mr. B. Gordon was an excellent copy of a Chinese
* Robert Hurst, Esq. M. P. for Horsham. † At this period there was no Neapolitan Minister at this court. Murat was still on the throne,—E.
Joss, which he represented without either mask or stuffing, and was admitted to be the most natural resemblance in the room. Sir Charles Monck, as a fresh-water Lobster," excited much merriment by walking on his hinder claws, adorned with the insignia of the Bath. The inflexible gravity of his deportment, contrasted with the ridiculous figure he cut, was irresistibly pleasant. Mr. Will. Martin, as a Somnambulist, talking in his sleep—the Marquis of Douglass, as a French lacquey—Lord Darnley as Jack Straw—Sir Samuel Romilly as Doctor Cantwell—Sir Frederick Flood as Father Foigard—and several other excellent characters, which we regret we have not room to notice, added to the festivity of the evening; and it was not till a late hour in the morning that the gay CHANGE OF ADMINISTRATION.
fantastic scene finally closed.
* This seems to refer to a foolish story of the worthy Baronet's having had a place for keeping lobsters alive in his ponds in the country. The Baronet made a motion on the subject of the order of the Bath, sess. 1815.
March 11, 1816. No small sensation was produced in the House of Commons last night, by an intimation thrown out in the course of debate, by Sir Gilbert Heathcote, Bart. that there was a third Party in Parliament, neither devoted to the Ministry nor to the Opposition, from which it was more than probable that the Prince Regent—acting (as Sir Gilbert pointedly observed) in the name and on the behalf of his Majesty—would select the responsible advisers of the Crown. The projet of such an Administration was circulated in the House, and having had the good fortune to obtain a copy of it, we give it publicity, without pledging ourselves to the truth of the
report, or the precise details of the arrangement.
First Lord of the Treasury, and Chancellor of the
* R. Preston, Esq. M. P. for Ashburton; an eminent conveyancer. He, as subsequently appears, took a very lively interest in agricultural questions, which he seems to have discussed with a warmth very unusual on such subjects.-E.
# Every body recollects Lord Cochrane's escape from prison about this period.-E.