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and in the soft solicitudes of love, in rotatory exercise with which, it might the supplications of sorrow, the wild, seem, she endeavours to increase their etherial, and impressive quietude of expression. madness, or the pathetic pleadings of Mrs Young, (formerly of Dru. agonized affection, she wins her way ry-Lane,) is an actress of varied exto the heart with irresistible force. cellence. She sustains the heroine If we deny her claim to the sceptre of of genteel comedy with ease, eleterror, that of pity is all her own; and gance, and grace, and the weightier never, surely, was the celestial being ladies of tragedy, with force, with of the poets' conception more beauti- dignity, and feeling; and in those fully embodied.

parts, more particularly, in which the Returning from this pleasing ad. tone of passion is not loud, but tenmiration to the remembrance of our der, natural, and true, she exhibits critical duty, we must compel our. a happiness of execution which is selves to point out some of the faults hardly equalled on the British stage. of this delightful performer.-In the She owes a great deal to a highly first place, then, we sometimes think elegant person and deportment, which, that the frequent habit of perform- whether displayed in the gracefulness ing characters of pathetic tenderness of a fashionable fair one, or the soft has induced an intonation, which symmetry of a youth, is always enappears like what we would call gaging and attractive. Her face, whining, when used in situations though not regularly handsome, is ofwhere it is not inspired by correspon- ten playful and often powerful ; and dent emotion. The powers of play. her clear voice is exhibited in an artiful fascination also, which she has culation singularly pure and distinct. been accustomed so successfully to At times, perhaps, she rather yields exert, may sometimes, perhaps, be to the broad tone of Mrs Jordan's yay her judgement, and surprise her style, which is only pleasing, and not into the very natural weakness of wish- always pleasing, in its original. In ing to transfer the sympathy of the general, her judgment is excellent, audience from the part to the ac- her feelings ardent, her humour contress; and we have sometimes fan- siderable, and her knowledge of her cied we have found her coquetting art extensive. Mrs Haller and Mrs with the house, and yielding to the Beverley are strong and praise-worthy temptation of making us say, instead examples of her powers in the serious of “ what an amiable creature is cast of characters, and Lady Teazle, Amanthis,” what an amiable woman and Maria in the Citizen, in the cois Mrs H. Siddons, who plays Aman- mic; and to her justly appertains the this ! Further, although we willing- merit of being incomparably the best ly pardon a piece of affectation in a representative of the eccentric Wipretty woman, we assure Mrs Sid. dow Brady. dons, that she is in no danger of lo- The hoyden, the chambermaid, sing the slightest degree of her influ- and the rustic, the simpleton and the ence over our hearts, although she sylph, find an excellent representative should sometimes withdraw her beau. in Mrs W. Penson. This lady posa tiful eyes from the house to the sesses a small and pretty person, with scene, and divest them a little of that ap intelligent and animated countenance ; her eye is large and spark- ting of great poetic merit, we yet ling, and her mouth ornamented with think the severity there bestowed a full proportion of very white teeth ; upon it quite too general and inconher voice is pleasantly sharp and siderate, and that due praise has not powerful, her utterance rapid, and been given to the skill and ingenuity her flow of spirits exhaustless. She with which the fable is told, and the is, too, a very pleasing and scientific numerous incidents selected and comsinger, though not always safe. With bined, so as instantly to awaken the these qualifications, it is almost need. most lively attention, progressively less to remark how entertaining in her to deepen the interest, and to keep hands are such parts as Priscilla Tom- the mind in the keenest suspence to boy, Floretta, Madge, or Audrey. the very last moment of the play. Her very best part is, perhaps, Wil- From the acting, this drama recei. liam, in Rosina, where her pretty figure ved every advantage; and in many is displayed to all possible advantage. respects must certainly have been

Mrs Nicol is the representative of much superior to the London repreall the old women, whether polished sentation. To the Eugenia of Mrs or vulgar, serious or burlesque, and H. Siddons, Mrs Glover's will bear when she is not polished or serious, no comparison : eminent as this lady she is very entertaining. Her Mrs is in comedy, in tragedy she is turgid Malaprop is strikingly excellent, and unnatural, and her grief is hystemerely by her giving the slipslopism rically disgusting. Mrs H. Siddons of the character with the most un. never once departed from, or exceed. deviating gravity, and never appearing ed the truth of character in the poor to taste the joke herself.

persecuted Maniac; she was a The subordinate departments are lemn, wild, and impressive, timid, well filled, and the business well sup- tender, and beautiful in her misery. plied and conducted. One great de. De Valmont gave Mr Siddons scope ficiency, however, there is, to supply for the exhibition of his best powers. which every attempt that has been Mr Terry made his first appearance hitherto made has been ineffectual- before an Edinburgh audience in Mr there is no elegant young man in the Farley's part of Bertrand, and inestablishment;

no Surface,or Belcour, stantly produced that powerful inteor Archer : Mr Siddons, therefore, rest in his favour, which has ever is compelled to undertake these him since been progressively encreasing. self; and we need not say how en. It is, indeed, one of his finest parts. tirely they are out of his line. L'Eclair and Rosabelle were enliven.

The first new piece presented to ed by the comic good-humour of the Edinburgh audience was Di. Berry, and the sprightliness of Mrs mond's Foundling of the Forest, W. Penson. The play met with the which has already been noticed in most decided success; it ran for many this year's record of the London nights together, and continued to be Drama; it is therefore needless to performed throughout the season with make any farther critical mention of undiminished effect. the play : we shall only observe, that The next novelty was the revival of although it must be admitted to vio- the Winter's Tale. Possessing, as late the purity of taste as a dramatic might be imagined, a kind of heredicomposition, and not to contain wri- tary reverence as well as professional

SO

fection for the name of Shakespeare, and bullies the courtiers ; yet, by Ir Siddons at once gratified his own the force of vigorous conception aste, and paid the most acceptable and true discrimination, aided by very ompliment to that of the public, by strong feeling, she gave an energy and ringing forward, in the most tasteful pathos to this rash and fiery but gend appropriate style, the plays of nerous and amiable champion of dour national bard. Accordingly, mestic virtue, that equally surprised ipon the Winter's Tale, and, short. and delighted us. y after, upon the Tempest, were The hall of trial and the bower of jestowed all the advantages which Perdita were from the pencil of Mr cenery, dress, and decoration could Nasmyth, and did credit to his tampart. Every thing was executed lents and his taste, with the exception with full attention to characteristic of an absurd endeavour to carry on propriety, and with a correctness, the appearance of a crowd by means beauty, and magnificence, which could of painted groups of figures in the not be exceeded in any theatre of galleries of the trial scene. The il equal capacity. Nor was the acting lusory effect, if any, can be but for unworthy of the ornamental depart. the duration of an instant; and the ment. The peculiar abilities of each deception, once observed, is an object performer were generally well con- of perpetual dissatisfaction. sidered and judiciously applied; a În the Tempest, the scenery minute attention was every where (throughout entirely new) was the paid to the necessary business of work of Mr Williams, * an artist hi. the scene ; and a most laudable ac. therto unknown to fame, but giving curacy of study exhibited through- good promise of deserving it. The out all the characters. In the Win- landscapes were wild and picturesque, ter's Tale, Leontes was played by Mr the bold fantastic forms of uncultiSiddons, Camillo by Mr Archer, vated nature were well imagined, and Antigonus by Mr Terry, Floricel by the character of mysterious solitude Mr Putnam, and Autolycus by Mr well expressed. Mr Williams's deficiBerry. Mrs Young was the repre- ency seems chiefly to be in his execusentative of Hermione, Mrs Siddons tion. There is a coarse and hasty of Paulina, and Mrs Vining of Per- daubing (too coarse even for scenedita. From the general praise which painting) frequently observable in his is justly due to the correct and im- work, that looks more like the perplexpressive exertions of all, it is unne. ed and clumsy scrambling of ignorance cessary to select any one as the mark to conceal its deficiencies, than the of particular commendation, with the indolence of a scientific and dexteexception, perhaps, of Mrs H. Sid- rous artist, willing to spare his tadons, who, for the first time, under- bour. He is evidently wanting, too, took the character of Paulina. The in the principles of his art, as well delicacy of her figure and habitual as in the finer dexterities of execuprettiness of manners did not exact. tion; and perspective and architecly assimilate with our notions of the ture should be the objects of his sedauntless virago, who scolds the king rious study. The Tempest was thus

* Not Mr Hugh William Williams, an eminent water-colour artist of this city, but Mr J. F. Williams, whose talents are devoted chiefly, if not exclusively, to the decorations of the theatre.

cast :-Prospero, Mr Terry ; Hip- theatre. A drama may (and many polyto, Mrs Young; Ferdinand, Mr of Shakespeare's do) contain proPutnam; Trinculo, Mr Mason ; Ste. found knowledge of nature, great phano, Mr Kelly; Caliban, Mr Berry; truth of character, unbounded luxuMiranda, Mrs Vining í Dorinda, riance of imagination, the highest oriMrs H. Siddons; and Ariel, Mrs ginality of poetic invention and Penson.

barmony of composition, and yet not It should perhaps be noticed, that, possess that inferior, perhaps, but nenotwithstanding all this anxious at. cessary' quality which is requisite to tention and costly preparation which make them, in representation, the Mr Siddons thus lavished upon the idols of popular admiration. It may productions of Shakespeare, these be easily conceived, we think, that a iwo plays met with a reception and play combining all the above excel. encouragement rather cold and doubt. lencies, may be so addressed to cerful when compared to that which tain remote and considerative facul. was given to the Foundling of the ties of the mind, abstruse and reflecForest, and other pieces of a similar tive perceptions of the intellect, as to or inferior worth. The first sensa- require the familiarity of private metion of our minds on such an occa- ditation before they produce that efe sion, fond of and familiar as they are fect, which, to ensure them success with the unparalleled excellence of in public, they must create instantaShakespeare's compositions, is asto. neously; that is, before they are canishment, mixed with an inclination pable of exciting emotion, of comto censure the taste of the age which manding our sympathies, and of bevan reject such rare and powerful coming the inmates of our hearts. writings for the efforts of Dimond A composition may also call for some or Reynolds. Mr Siddons has done factitious character of taste, some suhis duty; he has made trial of our perinduced state of the feelings, found. taste, and he is henceforth justified ed on peculiar modes of education, in yielding to its current ;

or particular and favourite pursuits “ The drama's laws the drama's patrons perceived and relished ; and thus con

of study, before its worth can be

tract the circle of its popular influand the public must not blame a ma- ence, and elude those more universal nager who only obeys the necessity and superficial feelings, those more which themselves impose, when he natural and immediate operations of produces the ephemeral and high-sea- the mind, on which theatrical success soned exhibitions which excite curio- is strongly founded; and which, if sity by their novelty, and attract the well addressed, will ensure popularigreatest numbers of spectators by the ty to a very moderate production ; glitter of decoration, by pomp, and when, if neglected, the finest poetry noise, and nonsense.

will be in danger of public disregard. Something, however, may be said Again-characters, their situations, in defence of the public. There is their sentiments and feelings, though a great degree of error in our censure drawn with the best powers of geni, of it, which arises from confound. us, may, by the romance of poetical ing the intellect of the closet with imagination, be removed from the the mental perceptions exercised in a touch of human sympathy, and car,

give."

a

ed out of the boundaries of human which all the subsequent interest of terest ; or, if they still should be of the piece depends, and by the loves of is world, they may be of features Florizel and Perdita (though exqui

delicate in themselves, or so ex- sitely beautiful and true) being too aisitely refined in their portraiture, fine in nature, and too softly poetical so careless in their arrangement, in execution, to be alļied to general inconsistent in their combination, feeling, or tangible by common symto become, in spite of poetry, pathies ; to this may be added 'the dious, and ineffective. Of the numerous variety of characters, quite rst class, we consider “ The Tem. unnecessary and unrelated to the proest” to be an example, and of the se- gress of the play, which confuse the ond, “ The Winter's Tale.” It was mind, and impertinently distract its ell said of the former, by a critic of attention still further from the main he day, when it was first represent. business and the principal persons: d here this season, “ that though

These are a few of the causes xquisitely poetical, and abounding

in which may serve to account for the he finest and loveliest images, it is ill success of these two plays ; and, tot an interesting play in action ; for "if we are right in our theory, it will Prospero is a grand and elevated per. help to explain, to what those plays onage, removed from the intercourse of Shakespeare, which still keep the of humanity, and sublimely familiar stage, owe their undiminished attrac. with the visionary existencies of ano. tion. Macbeth, Lear, Othello, &c. ther world, delivering the most wonde- &c., to equal excellenceof every high. rous sentiments that ever were concei- er denomination, add those qualities ved in the loftiest language that ever which go directly to the excitement was uttered; but he is so high a. of popular approbation. They seize bove all his co-agents as to speak al- the perceptions of the heart and most in soliloquies ; and while his fel. mind, without the necessity of any low-mortals are the mere creatures of reflex operations; and they possess his will, the supernatural agents are the rarer merits of holding them still unfortunately brought so constantly faster after such operations have conbefore the spectators, as entirely to firmed our first sensations of delight. lose that shadow and mystery neces.

To Mr Siddons, however, it is our sary to the interest and credibility of wish to pay every acknowledgement such airy beings."

for his laudable and liberal efforts to In the Winter's Tale, the excel. extend and improve our state of dra. lence with which the jealousy of Le. matic entertainment. ontes is drawn, the truth and force of On Monday, January 29th, 1810, delineation shewn in the character of was produced the Family Legend, Paulina, and the impressive and dra- the avowed production of Miss Joanmatic nature of many detached per

na Baillie. Since the appearance of sons, situations, and incidents, are Douglas, the enthusiasm of the Scotoverwhelmed by the gross and total tish audience had not been awakened violation of dramatic probability in by a story of their native land from the structure of the fable, the incom- the pen of a native poet, and they prehensible causelessness of the jea- came prepared to receive and support, Lousy of the principal character, on with generous and kindred cordiality,

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