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the present occasion, and, with very singular emotion, wished that I might always meet with men as sensible to kindness as he himself should ever be.” He even wrung me by the hand, and took his leave precipitately and in tears. He had a reputation of polishing up such valedictions, and perhaps he might love to leave favourable impressions; and, but for his melancholy close, I might myself have reckoned this but a “trick of custom," but I still think there was more in it, and am apt to fancy that he was sorry to quit the theatre which for so many years he had sustained, and that his mind was shaken by some of those presentiments that accompany all changes when we lose the restless hilarity of youth.
Upon my own play of “Cambro-Britons," I shall say but one word, and that is, that it procured me the praise of Jackson, of Exeter, the enchanting composer of the “Canzonets.” Mr. Kemble told me that he admired extremely the following speech of Shenkin, a character finely played by Munden:
“ Though a mountaineer ! 'Slife, girl, the mountain is the It is the fountain-head of goodness, and if the stream is ever muddy in its course through life, why, it is by working through the muck of cities in the valley."
soil of all the virtues. To the mountain independence clings, and heaven's best
blessing - Liberty.
He added, that he believed the illustration perfectly original. We may both be mistaken, but I, who wrote it, to the present hour believe so too.
I had no intention to give up the ghost, of which I had been the modern patron, even to Mr. Lewis's beautiful “Spirit of the Castle," but I ventured an improvement, with great success, and, instead of allowing the maternal shade to walk out, as a sort of ground-floor inhabitant, I fairly took her up, from the tomb out of which she rose, and carried her through the window of a chapel, while clouds of the loveliest forms rolled at her feet in the ascent, and gradually enveloped the figure during its progress to a purer region. But enough of such spectacles, the substitutes for character and passion, unworthy of the true poet, after the superstition which they revive has been dead and “buried, my good Tyrrel,” past all reasonable redemption.
The first attempt at Drury Lane to supply some of Palmer's parts with a representative, was in the introduction of Mr. Powell, from the Norwich theatre, who acted Don Felix and young Wilding: he was only respectable in either; and, instead of the remotest resemblance to John Palmer, he had the closest to Frank Aickin, in face and person, only less vigorous and impressive. Mr. Hoare now got up here a very clever version of the French “Camille, ou le Souterrein," with music by Dusseck, a man of genius; it was called the “ Captive of Spilsberg;” but Mrs. Jordan had no part in it, for a very weighty reason, which operated against Mr. Cumberland's “Word for Nature” also, and Miss Biggs played the character which he designed for her — it was a comedy of five nights only. The theatre was in a dismal plight just now, for Mrs. Siddons had lost a most lovely daughter, by decline, at Clifton, and was too severely shaken to carry her attention, for some weeks, from her untimely grave.
Mrs. Siddons at length returned to the stage, and accepted a part in my “ Aurelio and Miranda," which I had, unadvisedly, founded upon the romance of the “Monk,” to give my friend Kemble an opportunity of personifying Lewis's Ambrosio. It, however, was only acted six nights, for the hue and cry against the romance, and its immorality, had roused every thing pious against the representation; and yet I had omitted the devil himself, for the tempter, and given to Aurelio no stronger allurement than a disguised female, enamoured of his eloquence. Kemble acted inimitably, and Mrs. Powell did her best; for the rest, “nothing can come of nothing." I had done little, and they did less. Wroughton expressed his surprise that we were so persecuted, but Kemble, from the beginning, said only, “I will ensure the three first acts.”
Mr. Colman was now to rencherir, as the French call it, upon his “Bluebeard," and in truth should have called the present offering “Blackbeard,” on the warrant, not only of Monk Lewis's preface, but the dark excrement with which he had bechinned Mr. Barrymore in Ruthenwolf. This tyrant is so provoked with the resistance of Claribel, Mrs. Crouch, that he orders her to be mar. ried to a drunken porter, instead of which she is married to Mr. Kelly; for your author always looks to the private connections of his performers, and the piece was only a vehicle to indulge the known attachments in the theatre, of which other instances have before occurred to the reader. It was on the subject of Colman's second title, the “Banquet Gallery," that Wroughton was critically alarmed by the following letter from an antiquary; he
looked like Garrick when he received the famous note from Junius.
“SIR:- I see that a musical drama is announced to the public called Feudal Times, or the Banquet Gallery. In ancient architecture gallery was understood to mean no otherwise than a long, narrow avenue on a story above ground leading to various apartments, as we see in travellers' inns, college halls, and over the side aisles of cathedrals, etc.
"In ancient times all repasts, banquets, or, more properly, feasts, were held in the halls of mansions, college-halls, as indeed we see the practice continued to this day, on very great occasions Westminster Hall at a coronation, etc., every one remembering the old lines of
««'Tis merry in the hall,
When beards wag all.'
“This same wagging of beards is differently understood among antiquaries, some affirming it to be when the merry men were engaged in telling of jests and droll stories, others, that it was when they were employed in eating; and I ever found the eaters had the most partisans.