« ПретходнаНастави »
it was proved by Mr. Sheridan (who pleaded his own cause) and Mr. Peake, the treasurer, that a considerable sum had been expended on the building besides the sum stipulated; notwithstanding which, the theatre was still in an unfinished state. It was asserted by the defendant's counsel, that Mr. Grubb, one of the proprietors, was living in all the pomp of eastern grandeur; but this grandeur, if it could be so called, was known to be but mere tinsel. It was evident from the treasurer's account, that the money which had been laid out was for the general good of the theatre, and not for any particular purpose. The lord chancellor observed, that it was for the benefit of all parties that the theatre should remain open, and that the payment of the performers' salaries was a primary consideration, as it was from their exertions the proprietors, renters, &c. derived any emolument. By his lordship’s interference, the differences between the proprietors and performers were amicably adjusted, and Mr. Kerable, Mr. Bannister, jun., Mr. Dowton, &c. resumed their respective situations.
In 1802-3, Mr. Kemble visited the continent, and passed a few months in the capitals of France and Spain. On his return in 1803, he purchased a sixth share in Covent-garden theatre, for which, it is said, he gave upwards of 20,0001. Hereupon he succeeded Mr. Lewis as acting manager, and made his first appearance on these hoards early in the season in Hamlet.
(To be continued.)
TO THE EDITOR OF THE MIRROR OF TASTE. SIR, As the anxiety of the public to hear more particularly of my revered uncle, Jehosaphat Shadow, has been so unequivocally manifested, I cannot, in common politeness, refuse a compliance. The following is an extract of a private letter, which I received from that meritorious character when I was honoured with his correspondence. VOL. IV.
“ I was always of opinion, that Mr. Shakspeare never was the author of this line, notwithstanding all his other commentators have not scrupled to answer for its genuineness,
Shadows, my lord, beneath a soldier's meaning.
Our great ancestor, Adam Shadow, who was contemporaneous with Shakspeare, was so far from being beneath the notice of a soldier that he fought a score or two of duels with military officers. Never would he bear such an imputation on his courage; and I shrewdly suspect that some military gentleman, who had not the hardihood to meet him in open combat, adopted this mean artifice to interpolate a passage in the play of the deceased poet, which he had not the courage to avow in his own person. Nay, in order to put this question beyond all doubt, Mr. Shakspeare himself, afterwards says, and he meant to pay a compliment to Adam Shadow by so doing,
Now those who assert that the first is not an interpolation, are driven to the absurdity of contending, that Mr. Shakspeare, in one instance, designed to represent Adam Shadow as too great a coward for a soldier's notice, and in the other as able to strike more terror than five thousand soldiers!!
“ I do not think that the tragedy of Mr. Macbeth has been regarded by critics as it ought to be. I affirm then, upon the word of a critic, that Mr. Macbeth was a tavern-keeper, and indeed the niost illustrious Boniface of modern times. When Mr. Macbeth's messenger announces to his wife that the king proposed to take up his lodg. ings at their house for the night, that prudent hostess exclaims
Thou'rt mad to say so!
Like a worthy landlady, anxious for the honour of her house, she. wished to treat her sovereign with the best provisions in the market. Pursuing this idea, when king Duncan enters, who exclaims « fair and honoured hoste88," she, with arms folded, like a good and prudent house wife, answers,
All our service
His majesty was highly gratified at this modest demeanor of the hostess, and delicately hints that a bed and supper would be no unseasonable part of the entertainment: in other words, he seems to say ceremony is good—but solid pudding is better. His words are
Fair and honoured HostESS,
She replics with a modest courtesy
Your servants ever
This is to be sure service dialect; but translated into plainer
Give me your hand:
The last line means more than is generally imagined. At some taverns it is one of the great perquisites of the traveller to kiss the bar-maid, a privilege which his majesty was not disposed to forego.
“ In the ensuing scene the tavern-keeper and his lady hold a colloquy together. Mrs. Macbeth says
He has already supp’d: why have you left the chamber?
Has he ask'd for me?
To which Mrs. Macbeth answers
Know you not, he has?
This is a most beautiful touch of nature: Mrs. Macbeth seems to be busy in the management and regulation of her household concerns, and anxious that her husband should not leave the royal chamber—the king might wish to call for something more, and this
ould add another item to her bill.—Matters go on thus pros. perously until morning, when one of the king's attendants inquires of the landlord “ Is the king stirring?”—Mr. Macbeth, true to his character, replies “ Not yet." On being informed that the king desired to be awakened early, he offers to conduct the messenger to the door. His majesty, it seems, had informed Mr. Macbeth (no doubt for the purpose of having his horse ready in season) that he should depart the next day. Now how great must have been the disappointment of this Boniface (I protest I can scarcely read the sequel without tears) when this honest man contemplating the de. parture of his majesty, and having his bill ready to present, and his wife prepared to swear to every item, receives intelligence that the king is murdered, and all their hopes of gain thus suddenly destroyed! Well might the landlady exclaim
What, IN OUR HOUSE!-She thought it very unjust that a man should die in a tavern without paying for it: she foresaw that, in addition to her expected loss, she might be charged with the funeral expenses, and do as most subjects do when sovereigns are their debtors, whistle for her money. The very next scene is a conversation between drunken porters, which is in some measure licensed in a tavern, because the landlord must comply with the whim of his guest line of conduct reprehensible elsewhere, and which, in any other circumstances, would have intitled a man to a warrant on a complaint formally made, on oath, to a justice of the peace. Another striking fact is, that Mr. Macbeth, notwithstanding his recent loss by king Duncan's bill, (for there is not the slightest intimation given that he was ever paid) invited a party to sup with him, at his own expense. When all the company were present, this honest man knew his place so well that, although he was the entertainer, he says
Ourself will mingle with society,
And play the humble host. Here he incurred another clear loss, which has so affected me that I have oftentimes detected myself in putting my hand to my pocket
and inquiring of Mr. Macbeth the amount of his bill. These several losses of Mr. Macbeth form the basis of the interest I have in perusing this wonderful tragedy. He invites Banquo, in the politest manner, to attend their supper:
Banquo himself pretended to accept of this cordial greeting; but while they were all indulging themselves, sends his ghost by way of proxy for himself—for no other purpose but to make a disturbance at such unwarrantable hours. No wonder that Mr. Macbeth was in such a passion:- he had given the supper, not as a tavern-keeper, but as a private man; he had a right to choose his own company, and the ghost was not invited to attend. He had already been duped of his bill by Duncan, who died, as we have already seen, without paying it; and he never had any kind of attachment to dead men, or to their ugly representatives afterwards. Banquo's ghost impudently enough takes Macbeth's seat, and amuses himself by making wry faces at the company."
LOVE IN MANY MASKS. It is difficult, in every period of life, to inspire a real passion: but it is easy to make most women conceive a momentary one. Many things contribute to this--a fine figure; the appearance of strength and vigor; the graces; wit, or the reputation of it; complaisance; and, often a decided tone and light manners; ambitious ideas; and finally, interested views. With so many resources, it is almost impossible that every one should not find means to gratify his inclinations during his youth; but in a riper age it is necessary to fix the affections. If we will not renounce every species of gallantry, it is necessary to accustom ourselves early to the sweet habitude of living with one whom we love and esteem, without which we fall into the most gloomy apathy, or insupportable agitation. The habitude of which I speak is more agreeable and solid when founded upon the permanent affections of the mind; but this is not so absolutely necessary as not to be dispensed with. It is certain that the cares of a woman are always more agreeable to an old man than those of a relation or friend of his own sex; it scems