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Compendium of Entertaining Knowledge.

FOR MARCH, 1808.

We trust a beautiful Defcriptive Engraving of his Grace the DUKE of RICHMOND laying the First Stone of NELSON'S PILLAR, will be acceptable to our Readers. (For Account fee Page 123, of February Magazine.

The Proprietor cannot avoid again prefenting his fincere and respectful thanks to his friends and the public for the decided and liberal patronage with which they have honored this publication-and as the best proof of his gratitude for these favors which they have conferred upon him, he has juft formed in this department fuch arrangements, as, he flatters himself, will render the work fuperiorly novel, inftructive, and interefting.

Biographical Sketch of Mrs. STEW-
ART. (With a Portrait.)


E have feldom felt greater fatisfaction in publishing the likeness of a theatrical performer, than we feel upon the prefent occafion. Mrs. Stewart has, for several

years, been a favourite with the frequenters of the Dublin theatre, and there is at prefent, every prospect of her continuing fo.

The circumstances under which this young lady is placed, are fuch as mult excite very general fympathy. Deprived of her husband, and left with three children, whofe comfort and fupport, of course, depend upon her profeffional exertions alone! unlefs thofe exertions are encouraged by the foftering hand of the Irish public, March, 1808.

the name of philanthropy which we have long borne, will be destroyracter will be most generally questi、 ed, and our future claims to that chaoned or refused.

Mrs. Stewart has been infructed

in mufic by our countryman, mr. Michael Kelly.-Her voice is strong and capable of expreffing much variety. Her action is animated, and her manner calculated altogether for the lighter parts in comedy, and the gay and youthful characters in comic opera, for which the most certainly is peculiarly adapted.-In fhort, no theatre can boast of a female per more effential to the interefts of the former whofe peculiar talents are manager, and the entertainment of the public.



Britif Theatre.


ANE comedy was performed on Tuesday, February 9th, under the whimfical appellation of Begone Dull Care; or, How will it

end ?'


Lord Blushdale, mr. Fawcett; Sir Arthur St. Aubyn, mr. Pope; Algernon St. Aubyn (his fon), mr. C. Kemble; Captain Modern, mr. Lewis; Solace, mr. Emery; Danvers, mr. Brunton; Legis, mr. Crefwell; Gregory, mr. Simmons;

Selina (Sir Arthur's niece and ward), mifs Smith; Cicely, mifs Norton; Deborah (houfekeeper to Lord Blufhdale), mrs. Davenport.

the darkness, and reftores light and harmony to the whole.

But with the plot we must take leave of all commendation of this piece. Of character, which is the main feature of comedy, and to which fable thould always be fubordinate, it poffeffes neither the fubftance nor the fhadow. All the creatures of the fable, in one mode or another, are in the extreme of caricature. Solace is a character whom we neither know nor imagine; he is burnished up with fentiment that would ficken a German audience, and does deeds' which would difguft in romance. Here is a caricature on the part of gravity; and with refpect to humour, the part of Lord Blufhdale is equally extravagant. He is a mere farcical outline, traced from Lord Duberly, in The Heir at Law. He fays nothing that is humourous, and does nothing that is natural. He is only farcical becaufe he is drawn out of nature and truth. The author has mistaken extravagance for thofe deviations which excite ridicule. The farcical and foolish are very nearly allied; but here they are identified."

Captain Modern is a very flimfy gentleman, and is rendered more abfurd by being exhibited in the cha

'racter of a fatirift.

This piece is understood to be the compofition of mr. Reynolds, who feems to have perfuaded himself that, in these perilous times of criticifm, the best chance of fafety for an author is to fight under a mask. In this fentiment we concur with him; for as much of the influence and popularity of his name is abated, and has, in fome meafure, been fuperfeded by a moft unjust hoftility to wards him, it was a matter of prudent choice to come forward in cog, and fupplicate as a candidate for anonymous fame.

It gives us great pleasure to be justified in declaring that the prefent piece does not difgrace him. In fuccefsful intricacy, and the dexterous conduct of plot, this comedy is fuperior to any he has produced. Curiofity is first put in motion be means pettely dramatic; by ingenuity which has the truth of nature and the grace of art. The mystery colJets new thades as the fable advances, and thickens into an impenetrable cloud; and the catastrophe, by a developement as natural as ingenious, and by a progrefs neither too abrupt, nor too artificial, diffipates

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unmixed approbation; and if we may prefume from the fuccefs of fimilar pieces, it will doubtlefs be popular.


A new opera was brought forward at this theatre, on Thursday, February 11th, under the title of Kais; r, Love in the Defarts.'


Amri, mr. Raymond, Ahmed, the termination of its acts.-There mr. Powell; Kais, mr. Braham; is a flight and a purfuit; a dramatic Almanzor, mr. Lyon; Almoran, hue and cry; butle in abundance. mr. Bannister; Rashed, mr. Ma- There are men who march and wothews; Salem, mr. Kelly; Prince men who fing. of Egypt, mr. Putnam; Ofmar, That this opera has been tolerated mr. Smith; Haffau, mr. Dignum; is to be imputed wholly to its mufic, Hali, mr. Cooke. which is the compolition of Reeve and Braham; two names of great eminence.

Leila, mrs. Mountain; Rozella, Signora Storace; an old Slave, mifs Tidfwell.

SCENE-Cairo, its environs and


To this opera there is no author's name appended, and the writer, who-. ever he be, should court as much obfcurity as poffible; he should involve himself in darknefs, and fly from fuccefs into the fhades.

fice of reafon, and fong levy no tribute but in the realms of nonfense ?

Gay, Bickerftaff, and Sheridan, have fhewn us what can be done for the English opera by men of genius; why then is the manufacture, in thefe times, affigned to writers of fo different a defeription?

The prefent opera has no fable; the courfe of its narrative is the change of its fcenes: its incidents are

As a literary compofition it is the moft infipid and ftupid piece that has ever been produced upon the ftage. To fpeak of it according to the thermometrical scale, we fhould fay it was a degree below nought. Such is its chilly dullness and torpid ftupidity, that it must be claffed at an immeasurable diftance beneath even the freezing point.


An opera, we know, has a kind of prerogative for nonfenfe, and a happy exemption from the burthen of good fenfe. But a common modicum is reafonable allowed and de-, manded, and the mufic of the pre-, feat piece, whatever may be its quality, might have borne up against the preffure of a great deal more.

Is the oppofition of fenfe and found fo neceffarily invincible, that mufic can only flourish by the facri

Its character is fomewhat equivocal. It is a mixture of the English oratoria and the Italian opera; but it has no refemblance to the fimplicity, and very little of the pure harmony of our native melody:

It has every commixture and variety of fpecies, from the attempt at the fimple ballad to the fwelling cho rus, and folemn recitative..

But juftice compels us to fay, notwithftanding our refpect and kindness for thele popular compofers, that it is unfuitable to our English opera, and utterly uncongenial with an Englith tafte.

It is compofed more to the powers of Braham's voice, than to the genius of the fentiment, or the juft principles of the fcience of harmony. It is mufic fuperfeded by, and rendered tributary to fong; and not fong maintained in its proper fubordinati on to mufic.It feems compofed after the utterance of a voice, fwelling in irregular magnificence, and burtting forth in unftudied and volúable harmony: it feems as if compofed from Braham's own finging. His notes have been caught at the moment of utterance, and been pen


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