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most respectable daily prints are entirely guided by different factions, and the talent of abuse being the handiest, they are not very delicate in bestowing it, as caprice or interest directs. I disclaim all connexion with these, and giving my opinions publicity at a distance, in the seat of candour and elegance, is the best proof of my sincerity.
Mr. Holman, (the acting manager) sustains the first line in tragedy, and gives general satisfaction to the public: no man has a nicer sense of feeling, or exerts it, in some particular characters, with more effect. He is perhaps the only lover at present on the stage. Probably a knowledge of this qualification has brought him before us in Millamour, and some other characters, latterly a subject of much bitterness with some paragraphists.---Talbot is deserving of the applause usually bestowed on him: he is a most excellent, but a most eccentric and uneven actor; yet in the elegant, well-bred, fine gentlemen, in comedy, he is unrivalled, and a mortifying contrast to the noisy airy nothings of the modern school, which are represented with some humour by Mr. R. Jones. Mr. H. Johnston, from Drury-Lane, is engaged here, and is becoming a decided favourite :—his merits are too well known to your readers to need my praise :—his Achmet is a most exquisite performance, to which his fine figure and deportment give additional beauty. I must offer a tribute of respect to the rising excellence of Mr. Putnam; he is assiduous, modest, and interesting.
Messrs. Williams, Grant, Lee, Weston, and Jonson stand foremost in low comedy; the first is truly whimsical, and a great favourite ; the latter, in the country boys, often convulses his audience with laughter, and is most attentive and deserving.—In a future paper I shall, perhaps, pay more attention to these gentlemen, and say more than they would wish should "meet the ear."-Phillips, after being two seasons absent from the theatre, has returned, much to the gratification of the lovers of opera, which, in Ireland, will always be attractive. His voice, though not of great compass, has a delightful sweetness, and in those airs in which Braham is so successful, Mr. P. "not to speak it profanely," falls very little short: along with this he is a good actor, and a most amiable character.
Among the females Miss Walstein stands foremost. She has (probably by her acting) secured the approbation of the public, and yet some re gret that the less-fortunate Macauley, (the heroine of last season) was never seen on the same stage with her. Mrs. H. Johnston is a charming acquisition;-she has a fascinating simplicity of manner, and a most elegant figure. The sprightly Edwin, the soul of comedy, still keeps her ground, and is indeed a treasure" richer than all her tribe." Little Sheridan is pretty, and beauty, like charity, hideth a multitude of sins-so I am charitable. Our ladies are all singers, at least all try to sing at times.-Mrs. Nunn excels, and Mrs. Cooke and Mrs. Stewart are very respectable: the former is the widow of the favourite
"Billy O'Rourke."-Several new and revived pieces have been given with a splendour of decoration according with the patentee's taste and spirit.
12th January, 1807.
Theatre, BATH.-Master Betty on Saturday evening closed his engagement at our theatre, in the interesting character of Zaphna, which he supported with much spirit and feeling.-The enraptured audience took their affectionate leave of him at the fall of the curtain, by reiterated plaudits, which lasted longer than any compliment ever bestowed on a similar occasion.-For six weeks he has delighted the town, by his performance of various and arduous characters. In the part of Essex, which he undertook to study at three or four days notice, he exhibited considerable judgment, and surprised by the quickness of his apprehension. He has been ably supported by Egerton, Charlton, Miss Marriott, and Miss Fisher, our old favourites, and, though last not least, by a young actor of the name of Barry, who, we understand, is nearly related to some of our first nobility, and an eleve of Stephen Kemble's. He has every requisite for the serious and pathetic walks of the drama, and no doubt, when his powers are a little more practised, and those seeds sown by that excellent master become matured beneath the ripening sun of so indulgent and refined an audience, he will be honoured with a wreath equal to any of his cotemporaries in the art. His age and appearance agreeing better with the Young Roscius than any other of the performers, added much to the interest of those pieces where they could be produced together.
Monday, January 19, 1807.
Theatre SUNDERLAND. The constant attentions demanded from me by the occupations which are imposed by the necessity of life, have hitherto prevented me from proceeding in my promised communications; I shall nevertheless keep my word with you, and anxiously seize every favourable moment to prosecute and complete them, for to me the subject is important and nearest to my heart.
Do me the favour, however, to insert a few lines, which are suddenly extorted from me by a paper in your last number, signed Justus. It is not my intention, for it would be below the dignity of Vindex, to hold any thing like a literary contest with a scribbler of his stamp; nor would I insult the understandings of your readers so much as to direct their critical attention to his production: the wretched ignorance and the melancholy stupidity of Justus cannot escape dulness itself. I only wish to inform this advocate of Mr. Faulkner, who is so angry at my resorting to “ fire-side qualifications” for the subject of my commendation, that if he read attentively, he will find I notice no qua
lifications of that nature, but such as necessarily and naturally mingle with an actor's public labours, improving their nature, and increasing their power. With any other private qualities, as a critic, I have nothing to do, and these it was my duty, as a critic, to notice. I am not to learn that great public talent is frequently conjoined to great private delinquency, and where this is the case I would never willingly mention any thing but the public character merely, but when it does happen otherwise, I will ever be foremost to bestow the meed of panegyric, for what lovelier or nobler subject of human praise can be found than a combination of abilities and virtue?
A bad advocate always injures the cause which he strives to defend, and Mr. Faulkner has been most unlucky in his choice. Justus has made shift, by the help of quotation and all, to ask me "if I am answered?" I simply tell him that, if it had not been for this question, I should never have suspected that what he had written was meant for an answer, or any thing like one. He has forced me to tell him too, that in some measure to soothe his offended vanity, and to compensate for the severity with which justice compelled me to notice Mr. Faulkner as a public man, I really did wish to give him some little praise as a private one; and I took no small pains in running over the catalogue of virtues and accomplishments, to find which might be applied to him with the most appropriate felicity: but I listened to the voice of Pity, and she has relieved me from a task of insurmountable difficulty, and saved him, perhaps, from further and still severer mortification.
When a man takes upon himself to be his own encomiast, he finds it, I believe, rather hard to adhere to truth, especially if he be a mere every day sort of man; but I am afraid it must be a rare and almost incomprehensible concurrence of circumstances, which could render it any other than a case of peculiar difficulty to Justus. I would recommend him also to confine his insults to the sweet spirit of Shakspeare in their usual sphere, and not upon paper again exercise his art of making the bard talk nonsense.
A word or two of advice to Mr. Bellamy before I close. If he prefer the commendations of Justus, to the strictures of Vindex, he is lost beyond hope, and doomed for ever to professional contemptibility.He may probably be an adequate successor to the person whose departure is mentioned in such security of triumph, but he may depend upon it that at present he can give importance to nothing, for, at present, he exhibits nothing but bodily and mental imbecility.
I now take my leave, and I trust for ever, of Messrs. Faulkner and Bellamy, and of Justus. The two former can be of no future service in my communications, and I assure you, Sir, I feel no inconsiderable mortification and indignant regret at the time and labour (little tho' it be) which I have already wasted in the notice of the latter. Nothing
but the sharpest necessity can ever force me again to drag from their proper and congenial obscurity, Folly, Ignorance, and Infamy.
Sunderland, Dec. 1806,
Theatre-Royal NORWICH.-This theatre has commenced its winter season, and, as usual, unpropitiously. The managers expect it, and therefore feel no disappointment. The only novelty at present has been a comic pantomime, called the "Magic Rose," yet even this drew but a cold audience. The business of this Harlequinade is tediously long, and the tricks "stale, flat, and unprofitable," We trust it will be dismissed for something more substantial. We were happy to greet our old acquaintances Bowles, Fitzgerald, Smith, Bennett, Mrs. Bramwell, &c. &c. Mr. and Mrs. Grove are new to us, The latter, in the Widow Warren, and the Old Maid, evinced a versatility of talents seldom combined; and Mr. Grove, in Silky and Captain Cape, reminded us strongly of our old favourite Blanchard. We hear that great novelty is in preparation, which at present is delayed owing to the accouchement of Mrs. Bowles,
FROM THE LONDON GAZETTE,
At the Court at the Queen's Palace, January 7, 1807, Present, the King's most excellent Majesty, in Council,
WHEREAS the French Government has issued certain orders, which, in violation of the usages of war, purport to prohibit the commerce of all neutral nations with his majesty's dominions; and also to prevent such nations from trading with any other country in any articles the growth, produce, or manufacture of his majesty's dominions; and whereas the said government has also taken upon itself to declare all his majesty's dominions to be in a state of blockade, at a time when the fleets of France and her allies are themselves confined within their own ports, by the superior valour and discipline of the British navy; and whereas such attempts on the part of the enemy would give to his majesty an unquestionable right of retaliation, and would warrant his majesty in enforcing the same prohibition of all commerce with France, which that power vainly hopes to effect against the commerce of his majesty's subjects, a prohibition which the superiority of his majesty's naval forces might enable him to support, by actually investing the ports and coasts of the enemy with numerous squadrons and cruizers, so as to make the entrance or approach thereto manifestly dangerous; and whereas his majesty, though unwilling to follow the example of his ene mies, by proceeding to an extremity so distressing to all nations not
engaged in the war, and carrying on their accustomed trade, yet feels himself bound, by a due regard to the just defence of the rights and interests of his people, not to suffer such measures to be taken by the enemy, without taking some steps on his part to restrain this violence, and to retort upon them the evils of their own injustice; his majesty is thereupon pleased, by and with the advice of his privy council, to order, and it is hereby ordered, that no vessel shall be permitted to trade from one port to another, both which ports shall belong to, or be in the possession of France or her allies, or shall be so far under their control, as that British vessels may not freely trade thereat; and the commanders of his majesiy's ships of war and privateers shall be, and are hereby instructed, to warn every neutral vessel coming from any such port, and destined to another such port, to discontinue her voyage, and not to proceed to any such port: and any vessel, after being so warned, or any vessel coming from any such port, after a reasonable time shall have been afforded for receiving information of this his majesty's order, which shall be found proceeding to another such port, shall be captured and brought in, and, together with her cargo, shall be condemned as lawful prize. And his majesty's principal secretaries of state, the lords commissioners of the admiralty, and the judges of the high court of the admiralty, and courts of vice-admiralty, are to take the necessary measures herein as to them shall respectively appertain. W. FAWKENER.
The inhabitants of Sunderland and Bishopwearmouth have been lately much annoyed by a walking apparition, to which they have given the name of the White Man. On a recent evening, one of the players going home from the theatre, attempting to seize it, was dragged along with as much ease as if he had been a walking-stick, and then furiously dashed upon a heap of stones, which bruised him so much that he was obliged to send for a doctor. A more serious circumstance happened a few nights before: a poor woman was found dead at the bottom of the bank at Panfield, and it is supposed that she tumbled over it through affright at this disturber of the public quiet. We do not hear that any effectual means have been taken to detect and bring him to justice.
On Thursday, Jan. 15, about twelve o'clock, a fire was discovered in a small room adjoining the Town-hall, at Louth, which is generally used as a prison, and where one of the privates belonging to the 3d regiment of dragoons was at that time confined for being in a state of intoxication. The alarm was immediately given, but the key of the room not being at hand, every effort was for some time made to open the door, It was at length, however, effected, and the poor man was dragged out of the flames a miserable object! There appeared some signs of life, but he died in a few minutes. It is conjectured that some person had im