Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

from Timour. Subsequently, however, he discloses who she is; and in consequence she is confined. He visits her in prison, and explains away his seeming perfidy by informing her that Octa, who had just arrived, would infallibly have betrayed her, had he not appeared her enemy; and thus she would have been plunged in the same distress without its being in his power to assist her, as he might hope to do, by thus retaining his power, and the confidence of Ti. mour. He forms a plan for her escape at the hour of midnight, and conducts the young prince to her chamber. The plan is frustrated by the presence of Timour, who, smitten with the charms of the queen, resolves on immediately espousing her. The young prince is nearly sacrificed, but is at length with much difficulty placed in safety with his friends, the Georgians, who come to attack the castle. Timour flies to the ramparts with the queen, and threatens his assailants with her death, if they refuse to surrender the prince. This threat he is about to execute, when his arm is arrested by his father. The queen flies, Timour pursues, and the former precipitates herself from the ramparts into the waves which are seen below. The prince flies to her aid on horseback, and saves her from a watery grave. A general battle ensues between the Georgians and the partisans of Timour; a breach is made in the wall of the castle with a battering ram; and finally, the tyrant, vanquished, is about to fall by the sword of a Georgian, when the entrance of Oglou saves his life, which the queen had previously promised should be spared. The piece ends with the destruction of Timour's castle by fire.

“ Such is the rough outline of this piece, which greatly surpasses in merit as in splendor any thing of the kind which we have seen for a long time. As a literary production it may not rank very high; but as an ingenious dramatic production, rich in contrivance and incident, and above all, in interest, it is intitled to great praise. In some parts there is rather a confusion; and in the first part of the second act the action is too much hurried. The situations are however good; and the characters strongly drawn, and admirably supported, insure it a long run of popularity. In every part there is something to strike and to please; and with all the grandeur it has none of the fatiguing dulness usually attendant on stage pageantry.

“Our limits will not at present admit of our particularizing all the scenes which astonish with their extraordinary grandeur in this

truly magnificent spectacle. In the first act, the splendid combat scene exceeded all we had previously witnessed. The opening of the second act charmed us with a scene representing a chamber in the castle of Timour. Than this beautiful display of eastern grandeur nothing could be more strikingly superb. The transparent glow which burst on the admiring eye seemed the effect of magic, and not only filled us with astonishment at the voluptuous grandeur of Timour, but with admiration of the taste of the artist by whom it was designed. The charmingly tasteful manner in which it was adorned with mother of pearl, and all which nature could furnish, and a chastened fancy select, rendered it uncommonly interesting, and won from the audience repeated peals of applause. The last scene, in which the castle of Timour, and a beautiful water-fall, are the most conspicuous objects, would be injured in its effect by too minute a description. It is impossible to conceive any thing more striking; and the exertions of the horses have a wonderful effect.

“ We have already paid a tribute to the merits of the performers. The music, by King, for its beauty and grandeur, is admirably adapted to the piece; and if interesting scenes, animated action, and magnificent decorations, heightened by genuine harmony, can gain upon the town, those most disposed to condemn the introduction of horses will not be sorry that, in return for their sneers and opposition, the managers of this theatre have at length thought proper to give them a Tartar."

The following hoax upon Mr. Kemble, and just sneer at his picturesquing and spectacling, appeared in a London paper.

" It is said that Mr. Kemble is to appear in the new melo-drama, from the pen of Mr. Monk Lewis, which is forthcoming at Coventgarden theatre. One great object of this new drama is to introduce a grand equestrian spectacle; and it is said that on this occasion Mr. Kemble himself is to be mounted on a ryhite charger.”

Whether it was this paragraph that made him ashamed of this cquestrian exploit or not, it is not for us to conjecture—but Mr. Kemble did not appear mounted on a while charger. That task devolved on Mrs. H. Johnston who, as the papers say, 66 mounted on a white horse, appeared to uncommon advantage, and seemed to manage her courser with great courage and address."

By one of that kind of associations of ideas which we frequently experience, and which delight us by bringing our youth and age into company together, we found our thoughts drawn back, by this ca

[ocr errors]

pering upon white horses, to a story which, poured into the ear of our infancy, became an article of our faith, and remained so till we reached the age of puberty, and, we verily believe, will continue to hold converse with our fancy to the end of life. About a mile from the town where our boyish days were spent, there was a vast open space, where it was said, and believed, the fairies took delight to ex. ercise;—and there, many good souls declared they had frequently seen the king and queen of the fairies galloping on white chargers in a ring, round and round by the hour, and followed by troops of subject fairies.

As Mr. Lewis spares no pains to get information on those important articles, and has no doubt travelled in Ireland, a country more deeply versed than most others in that kind of lore, it is not unlikely that he may have heard this story. Indeed, the idea of riding on the stage on a white steed is so exactly the thing, that we should not be surprised to hear of some old Irish nurse laying claim to her share in the merit of it. The age of infant Roscii and Rosciæ is past, or it is probable that Miss Mudie or some other infant would be employed to ride as queen of the fays.-Oh Shakspeare, Shakspeare!

« Oh flesh, flesh, how art thou fishified!” From a subsequent publication we extract the following observations." Timourthe Tartar seems drawn by the author as a likeness of Bonaparte; vulgarly ambitious, impetuously cruel, the offspring of ignorance and poverty. There wants nothing but what must one day or other be the denouement, defeat, to be an exact portrait.

“ The new grand spectacle of Timour the Tartar promises to _exceed even Blue Beard in attraction and popularity. Had it been produced earlier in the season, the profit of the theatre must have been immense; but now Timour will be stopt in the midst of his successful career by the benefits, which begin in three weeks, when the cavalry will troop off to their country quarters."

Lastly, a new opera was brought out at the Lyceum, in the Strand, and received such unqualified disapprobation, that we shall in all probability be saved the mortification of seeing it on this side of the ocean. The title of this piece, which was no doubt execrable or it would not have been damned, is

THE AMERICANS. By what we have been able to collect respecting it, the main spring which sets the business of this opera in motion is an Irish

author who, not finding that encouragement to which he thinks himself intitled, passes over to this country to surprise the people of it and make his fortune with his talents. Being an Irishman, he is of course made a blunderer, for that seems to be the only purpose for which an Hibernian is ever introduced upon the stage: and this makes all the Irish characters on the stage so like to each other that when one is seen the whole of them are sufficiently known. This Irishman now in question, being landed in America, obtrudes himself and his works upon every one he meets, and insists upon reading some of them to each stranger that comes across him. Though there is nothing new or original in this thought, it is sufficiently calculated to give rise to comic incidents and to sharp reflections, had it been well managed; but as the wit of it was already worn to shreds by repeated transmission through the jest books as the humour was low, coarse, and vulgar, as the only features of novelty of which it could boast belonged to characters disgusting either by their vice or folly,--as the plot was bad and unconnected, and above all, as it contained a caluniny no less false than insulting on that most harmless, useful, and respectable of all sects, the QUAKERS, it met, as it deserved, pointed contempt and severe reprobation from the British audience.

How deficient soever the London audience may be, on certain occasions, in dramatic taste, they never fail to evince a sense of justice too strong to be warped by any temporary gratification that can be derived from even the best comic performance. We could recount many instances of this, but will for the present confine ourselves to one which happened about three years ago. An afterpiece made its appearance, and was so replete with humour that it became very popular. The comic effect of it arose from the embarrassments to which the hero is subjected in his course of wooing, by his endeavours to keep his name of " HOG-FLESH” concealed, and by the ridiculous distresses attending the detection of it. While the people were in the full tide of enjoyment of this pleasant piece, a discovery was accidentally made that a respectable family of the name of Hog flesh actually did exist in London, when the public at once put the farce down, choosing rather to dispense with their nightly gratification, than to mortify or encroach upon the feelings of a worthy family.

RICHARD CUMBERLAND, ESQ. We are sorry to have it to relate that the muses of Britain have wept over the bier of CUMBERLAND, and that Genius and Literature have now seen the last of that society of their chosen sons, which met in Gerard-street, laid in the grave. The British prints*inform us, that this excellent man and charming writer died last month, after a short illness, in the EIGHTY-FIFTH YEAR OF HIS AGE.

As a dramatic writer, his name will live as long as the English stage; and some of his works will continue to be represented for the same period. His most popular play was The West Indian; and after a long interval, his Wheel of Fortune was rendered hardly less popular by the acting of Mr. Kemble. Mr. Cumberland was universally admitted to be a profound scholar, as well as an able writer in various departments of literature, and a poet of no inferior class. He abounded in anecdotes, which he related in a terse, elegant, and pleasing manner; altogether, Mr. Cumberland may be considered as one of the most distinguished ornaments of British literature. He was the son of Dr. Cumberland, Bishop of Kilmore, by the youngest daughter of the celebrated Dr. Bentley.

W. BOSCAWEN, ESQ. The friends of literature and admirers of genius will join us in lamenting the death of W. BOSCAWEN, Esq., who died nearly, at the same time with Mr. Cumberland. He was an excellent scholar, a good poet, and a truly worthy man. His translation of Horace is esteemed the best English version, in point of accuracy and spirit. He was one of the Commissioners of the Victualling Office.

We hope our correspondent,KAIS,' will excuse the delay that has taken place in the publication of the following lines, which have too much merit to be overlooked, if they had not, by accident, been mixed with other papers.

Communicated for the Mirror of Taste.

TO PLEASURE,
Ah, Pleasure, say why dies thy light

Like moon-beams on the eye of day?
Why still does Sorrow shed her night,

And dim with mists thy living ray?

« ZurückWeiter »