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Compendium of Entertaining Knowledge.
FOR FEBRUARY, 1808.
[In allufion to our prefent political Situation, it is hoped the emblematic Engraving given this Month, and reprefenting BRITANNIA, defended by WISDOM and VALÓR, from the faults of her COMBINED ENEMIES,' will prove acceptable to the Admirers of this Publication.]
IT is at prefent out of our reach
a or cor
rect biographical sketch of this young lady; the is however, generally understood to be a daughter of Mr. Holman's, well known to all our readers for his great profeffional abilities and as one of the acting managers of the theatre of this metropolis, the chief ftage monarch, having become a fashionable abfentee. The fair debutante, we are informed, in point of education, manners, and accomplishments, ftands high in the opinion of her friends, and has been for fome time back under the theat cal tutelage of her father and mrs. Edwin. How far fhe has benefited by their joint efforts, the public will fpeedily be enabled to judge, as we learn the is fhortly to appear in fome ether characters. Mifs Holman, on her first entre for her father's benefit, on Monday, February 22, did not feem to exhibit over much of that diffidence experienced by perfons fimilarly fituated, and went through the part of Adeline in Fontainville Forest, with the applaufe generally beftowed by an indulgent audience, upon any young candidate for ftage honours. Mifs Holman appears to be about 18, poffeffes a neat figure-and certainly did on her first and fecond night attract crouded houfes-public expectation and curiofity having been raised on this occafion to the higheft February, 1808.
pitch-how far anfwered those who
were prefent, can beft defcribe.
annexed, was taken at the theatre, for that purpofe. by an eminent artift, who attended
The Dublin Theatre.
IT might have been naturally expected, that during the time of mr. Young's engagement, (who has been the only object that has drawn any thing like an audience to the theatre) our deputy manager would have prepared fome novelties to attract the town, when that actor left the company. But no-we were prefented on Monday, Feb. 15, with the Honey-moon-on Tuesday with the Chances-and the only performance during the whole week that can lay the leaf claim to novely was the Dramatifi, in which Melvin performed Vapid. Hence the benches became empty-the treasury exhausted-and the public and the performers alike diffatisfied.
This is generally the cafe, when the management of any concern is entrufted to others, the proprietor himfelf becoming an abfentee. Mr. F. Jones, or Fee Faw Fum, efq.-or by whatever appellation we are to diftinguith this our Crow-ftreet monarch-certainly does not evince any overflowing of gratitude to the Irish public. Their bounty has repaired his ruined fortunes, by the encourage
ment given to his theatre-flies over to England and there fpends the haft guinca which he can fqueeze from the teafurer on this fide the water! Can we wonder if the indignant fpitit of the Info, refeat this treat ment? Can we wonder if they-defert his theatre-Is it at all furpriz ing that the Irish public thould refent the inful and make him feel (where he is most affected) in his puife, the punishment due to him, who draws money from the generofity of one country, and lavishes it in another. Feeling the dreadful effects arifing from the almoft deferted ftate of the theatre, during the first part of the feafon-and thoroughly mortified at the unprecedented fuccefs of the Pe ter-freet company, mr. Jones has had recourfe to almott every expedient but the right to recruit the finances of his theatre, In the middle of the feafon he has produced (what is termed in the green-room phrafeology) aftar.' Mr. Young has drawn him a few good, and fome tolerable houfes. But we had much rather fee the regular frength of our company renewed, than thefe fudden de bilitating ftimulants applied. To change the metaphor- Birds of paffage, fays the author of the Epifties, are generally birds of prey.'-Be it remembered that mrs. Siddons took with her 3000l. out of the island in one feafon.
But what is the regular ftrength (we had, nearly faid the weakness) of the company? If Falftaff was accufed of unlading the gibbets, and preffing the dead bodies,' may we not fay that Frederick has emptied the barns and half depopulated the fpouting clubs?- Such a band of niountain feare-crows !!!'-But we forbear-nor fhall we particularize, Here they are-and they muft cat!
Of the whole week's performance Melvin's was the moft entitled to commendation.-The houfes (particularly on Friday evening) have been
fo dreadfully thin, that the cold rendered it almoft impofiible to fit out the performance.
The fucceeding week produced, us the novelty of the Blind Boy* and the revival of Fontainville Foreft; but it was for the benefit of the act. ing manager. It introduced his daughter to the public, who with her father's interest, and the inftruction of mrs. Edwin, may one day become a powerful rival to mifs Sheridan. The play was repeated the fame week; but it is a molt finful admixture of the terrific, the fplendid, and the pompous! And yet this is the traih for which Shakespeare and Farquhar are neglected?-Has mr. Jones left no one behind him to control mr. Helen's propensity for thofe marvellous vile dramas?It has been whispered that there was one Sway appointed to the office; if fo, may we not be permitted to afk, if this fame mr. Sweny is a meie man of straw?-Does the man underftand any thing about plays?If he knows the difference between Scrub and Coriolanus, he furely would not permit this brother manager to go on at this rate.
ALL men of principle understand what are their respective privileges in fociety, and until one and the fame motion can be given to the various parts of an iminenfe body, reciprocal rights will be violated, focial broils will enfue, and the practice of duelling will exift. Notwithstanding the cenfures which have been fubmitted against its exiftence, and the very bold affertions which have been made ufe of to explode it, I contend with confidence, that it raifes and refines every individual faculty of man; it renders him independent, and independence leads to virtue: in fociety
been repeated again and again, without having any wonderful influence on the conduct of mankind. I am well aware that the confequence of a duel is always mifery to individuals; for even the worst of thofe, who are fo unfortunate to be brought to a premature death by their own indifcretion, are refpected by fome who lament their lofs; but thefe terrible cataftrophes do not militate against the juftice of the punishment. They ought to remind the pietumptuous and the ignorant, that man will not permit his exclufive privileges to be trampled on with impunity.
infinite advantages refult from its exiftence; it establishes fincerity, concord, and good manners: it checks a multitude of evils, and confequently promotes the intereft of morality, Let those who cenfure it, as the cuftoin of barbarians, as the relic of an age of fenfelefs fanatifcifm, and de plorable fuperftition, read the hiftory of thofe nations which antiquity boafts of as being moft polifhed, and then reflect on their argument; let ther examine the modern world, and particularly Europe, where the sphere of ideas is enlarged on every fide, the light of knowledge is more extensive ly diffeminated, and where inan is With regard to a reference by law, beft acquainted with his place in the no injury can be repaired but by the fyftem of nature, and with his focial conferring a proportionat benefit upduties, and they will fee that with the on the injured: and there are injuflow lapfe of time, civilization has ries a fentence of the law will not advanced, and with its advancement recompenfe. Pecuniary reparation this custom has become more general, is the chief mode of punishment: I both in its influence and operation. aik, is that adequate to the lofs of re"If ignorance really has mifled us in putation? Wil it punish the wretch, this particular, the force of experi- who having leduced one of the fairence would long before this have en- eft part of the creation, turns her into lightened us. The man who refufes the world, impure, polluted, and con to fight a duel, is not confidered by taminated? It will neither reftore the world as acting with reafon, but reputation nor punish feduction! as fanctioning a vice; he is held up then I contend, that the laws which as obnoxious to mankind, and like prefcribe the recompenfe, fail with the detefted Faria, is viewed as an regard to juftice, nay more, that a object of all conceivable depravity, punifliment fo impotent, tends to the and a degradation to his fpecies corruption of morality, as it emboldens men to commit every fpecics of crime, in the hope of an expiation which they regard only as a trifling tax on their pleasures. Befides, when all the fprings of the heart are in action, the man of fenfibility afks not who is to lay before him the law of equity and the privileges of nature; he enquires not into the principles on which the expounders of the law adminifter juftice and maintain order; when labouring under indignities, he would fpurn at the man who prefumed to inftruct him how to act.
We are frequently told, that diforder has been generated through every clafs of fociety by the prevalence of this cuftom, that there are laws to punish those who injure us, and that by not referring to thofe laws, we arrogate to ourselves the privilege of judging in a caufe, which, from beng interefted, we cannot confider impartiallyIt is unneceffary to in-. form you, that thefe teffons, with a few others equally inftructive, have
N OF TE.
The Paria are a clafs of men in the Eaft Indies, whofe fate is peculiarly wretched; they are not only denied every com-all arbitration he rejects; Dunion with their fellow-creatures, but Within his bolom reigns the highest law, prohibited, on pain of death, from even vi-. Honour, fole judge and umpire of itfelf. ting the haunts of man.