« PreviousContinue »
rooms, on the south side of Cavendish Square, and as the house is devoted to art, the reader may still find a painter's name upon the door ; aye, and an excellent violin inside of it, with a poet's pen, too, quarterly, in the escutcheon, and a gentleman professing the art in Sir Martin Archer Shee, now president of the Royal Academy.
Romney realised a fortune by his pencil, though not a splendid one. He retired in the decline of life to Kendal, where he had the affectionate attentions of his wife to his last moments; and he lies buried at his native place, Dalton, having within a month completed sixty-eight years of a very sensitive but laborious existence. He left one son to lament him, the Rev. John Romney.
Bannister's Administration, or All the Talents He Could Get
Collins – S. Kemble — Natural Falstaffs — Obesity Never Pleasing - Midas and the Immortals Really Ascending – Foote's Hamlet — Pope — Sir Richard Ford Issues His War. rant for Colonel Despard - C. Kemble's Foil - Mr. Tur
Angelo's Opinion of Him as a Fencer – Holcroft's “ Hear both Sides” Heard, but Not Liked - A Preface; Every One Will Not Sell for a Guinea —" John Bull," Written by Colman for Covent Garden — Curious Challenge of the Little Manager — The “Marriage Promise,” by Allingham - Mrs. Jordan's Emma Harvey – The Author Curtails “ Falstaff's Wedding," for R. Palmer Hamlet the Dane, His Excesses — Death of James Aickin, Misses Kemble in the Field — And the Author - Colman Opens on the 15th of May - Charles Mathews at Home – Old Wiggins — Mrs. Litchfield Reëstablishes the Dane again - Joins with Mrs. Jordan in a Kindness to Poor Lee Lewes — The Violante Nervous — Mrs. Litchfield's Attention to Her — Astley's Theatre Burnt — Death of Tate Wilkinson — Death of Jos. Richardson, a Proprietor of Drury - Richardson's Funeral –
Mrs. Jordan Establishes Her First Family in Golden Square. RIDRANNISTER commenced his viceroyalty
with a ministry broken to pieces by
deaths and desertions. He therefore in vited all the talents to be found in the country to support his government, and among these he soon reckoned not only Cherry, but Collins, a very efficient man in the home department. Stephen Kemble, too, added great weight to the concern, and sported with lucky pleasantry upon his own size in a prologue which he wrote for Bannister. To use a phrase of the great author, Kemble, one way, was qualified to act Falstaff, - he did “bear a brain;" he understood well what he said, but in his conception he rather appeared to follow Quin than Henderson, — he was more noisy and vigorous than voluptuous and witty. He seemed to act the part rather than think it. You did not see the humour fermenting in his goblet. As to his size as a requisite, enormous positive obesity is never pleasing; it is better to look a mummy than be one. Reality on the stage sometimes is a defect, - I should no more demand a natural belly for Falstaff than a natural hump for King Richard. Apparent form is all that the actor requires, let his art do the rest, and the more he is compelled to exert it the greater his merit.
On the 15th of December, after a second address, which he now spoke himself in the dress of Falstaff, Mr. S. Kemble took his leave, quite satisfied with his town experiment, and returned to his company, not to march them “through Coventry, but to join them at Newcastle. He was confined to the performance of a few characters from his bulk; but as the representative of the firm and manly, he was worthy of the name he bore.
“Midas " was revived this season, and brought them excellent half price. A deep and substantial stage was placed now under the feet of the immortals, and at the ringing of the prompter's bell “the wood began to move." In fact, the whole platform, with its enormous weight, was, by machinery, elevated forty feet from the permanent stage, and revolving clouds at length shut them from the sight of the spectators, and the prospect below opened naturally to the view.
A Mr. Foot, a Winchester scholar, and by profession a printer, attempted Hamlet at this theatre, on the 12th of November. He was a sensible man at all events, but he had only served an apprenticeship to Alderman Nicholls, and tried an establishment at Drury without being free of the company. Pope, however, was now the substitute for John Kemble; and if not, like that great actor, a first rate, certainly a very respectable substitute; and, most assuredly, the three kingdoms could not then supply a better.
Sir Richard Ford claims at least a passing notice in the present work, as having been once, it was believed, permanently united to Mrs. Jordan. His warrant as a magistrate secured the famous Edward Karcus Despard and his gang, who were apprehended on a charge of high treason. It produced a charge from Lord Ellen borough to the grand jury much too excellent to drop with the occasion ; indeed it marked clearly for ever the duties of a grand juror. The finding or the ignoring a bill is not a matter of form, and throwing everything upon the jury who try the cause. Persons are not hastily to be subjected even to prison and acquittal. Sir Richard Ford conducted the execution of Despard, and such as were found guilty on the trial.
A Mr. Turner, the barrister, who attempted Macbeth at Covent Garden Theatre, now much improved, played Richard the Third, at Drury Lane; he even repeated the character; but in the duel between himself and Charles Kemble the foil of the latter entered his mouth, and a considerable quantity of blood flowed from the wound. After a slight suspension of the business, Mr. C. Kemble came forward, and expressed his happiness that the injury had been but trivial. I wish,