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for one of the ladies ? Had she not ercise of authority, not more injurious to learned her part ?-Indeed it was so the interests and feelings of the author, than whispered. Some of the songs were fatal in its principle to the character and beautiful, and they were all beautiful independence of dramatic literature in this ly sung; but the selection might, we
country. think, have been more judiciously
I remain, Sir,
Your most obedient humble servant, made. Dowton, as Falstaff, is a buck
MARTIN ARCHER SHEE. of the first order ; indeed, where Shak
Cavendish-square, Feb. 18. speare was allowed a chance, we were highly amused--but the at
Alas !—To be accepted by the tempt" to put John upon the gentle- Theatre, and then damned in little failed, as it invariably does.
at the Lord Chamberlain's Office, is hard;—“To be discarded thence !"
Death in battle a man of spirit may George Colman, the
has been appointed the Reader of Plays in bear, but death in this quiet stifling the Licencer's Office; and his “ first
manner is not to be borne. First, step has been on Henry's head."
“ Shee wept in silence, and was Di. Poor Mr. Shee, the portrait painter
Do. Dum !”-but then, as if the lion and poet, having concocted a Tra- came over him, he (qu. Shee?) rushed
to his inkstand, drew an angry pen gedy, and what is more, having succeeded with the Manager in procur- (remember he is a painter-militant, ing it to be accepted, has had his reader, and can draw a sword as ably little bud nipped by George Colman
as any man), and indited the above the younger. The Poet has addressed haughty and exculpatory epistle. the following letter to the public:
The play will soon be printed, and
then we shall see whether Shee has Mr. Editor- The new tragedy of Alasco, been wrong, or the younger Colman which has been for some time in rehearsal right; whether Shee's lines are white at Covent-Garden theatre, has, I find, been withdrawn by the Manager of that esta
as purity, or the conduct of George blishment, under the censure of the Lord in refusing a licence, a liberty ! Chamberlain's office. As the infliction of Broad Grins ought to be particular! such a censure can be called for, or justified,
Since the insertion in the newspaonly by some religious, moral, or political pers of the letter we have extracted, objection to its public appearance on the Mr. Shee has vented his anger a sestage, and as the discredit of producing a cond time, incusting a curious little work to which any of these objections specimen of his Grace of Montrose's can be honestly made, might, by con. jecture, attach to some writer whose interests clear style. Really we think Mr.
penmanship in the amber of his own or feelings may suffer by the imputation, I Shee has been hardly dealt with; think myself bound thus publicly to avow, and, perhaps it would become a lithat I am the author of the production in question, and solely responsible for what.
censer to give some reason for putting ever poetical or political delinquencies it his terrible veto upon a dramatic promay be found to contain.
duction, instead of silently crushing In hitherto withholding my name, and it in the egg. The serpent parts submitting my work entirely to the disposal should be pointed out. This matter of Mr. Kemble, I was influenced only by will cause as much bustle, in a short literary diffidence; for I should consider time, as the two parsons about their myself as dishonoured indeed if I had ever
one shirt, of which Mr. Colman has written a line, which, in any circumstances, given so correct an account. The I should be either ashamed or afraid to following is letter the second : avow. Those persons to whom I am known,
Cavendish-square, Friday, will not readily believe me capable of com
Feb. 20, 1624. posing a work, which could be justly Sir,-As I understand an impression charged as being in any respect inimical to has been excited in the minds of some the religious, moral, or political interests of persons, that the new tragedy of Alasco my country.
has been interdicted on religious as well as The immediate publication of the play political grounds, and as it is of some imin question, will enable the public at large portance to me that those who interest to decide, whether the unusual severity with themselves in its fate should not, for a mowhich it has been visited, be the result of ment, be left to suppose that the most vigisound discretion, and laudable vigilance in lant malevolence could discover in any work the official guardians of dramatic purity, or of mine, even a pretext for such an impu. a harsh, unnecessary, and injurious ex. tation, I am obliged, reluctantly, to trespass again on your attention, with a request that accused as the foundation of the judgment you will have the goodness to insert in your which he is called upon to pronounce. paper the following letter from the Lord
It now only remains for me, Sir, by the Chamberlain of his Majesty's Household. publication of my play with all the expediWhen I tell you, Sir, that I have received tion of which its passage through the press this letter in answer to an appeal, in which admits, to show what the particular senti. I assert, in the face of those authorities that ments are which the new dramatic censor have thought fit to inflict on my character thinks unfit to be addressed to the ears of and interest so severe an injury, that my Englishmen in a public theatre, -to offer work contains “ not one sentiment moral, my humble production to the future canreligious, or political, of which an honest didate for tragic fame, as an example of subject of this empire can justly disapprove, the delicacy and cor:sideration which he or which any honourable man, of any may expect from the judicious zeal of this party, should be ashamed to avow,” you vigilant guardian of the morality and decowill know how to appreciate the admissions rum of the stage. I remain, Sir, in his Grace's letter; to which, in my own Your most obedient humble servant, justification, I beg to direct the public at
MARTIN ARCHER SHEE. tention : (Copy)
We have been tempted, as we have cient judge of his duty, and as I agree in been this month indulging in theatrihis conclusion (from the account he has cal curiosities, to make extracts from given me of the tragedy called Alasco), I some very learned opinions which do conclude, that at this time, without con- have lately fallen from the Judicial riderable omissions, the tragedy should not Bench in the West Countrée. Mr. be acted ; and whilst I am persuaded that Young appears to have been deyour intentions are upright, I conceive that claiming before the good people of it is precisely for this reason (though it may Exeter to some purpose, if we may not strike authors) that it has been the wis- judge by the effect of his acting upon dom of the Legislature to have an examiner the great prose writers of that city: appointed, and
power given to the Cham- If this be the usual style in which berlain of the Household to judge whether the dramatic critics in Mr. Woolcertain plays should be acted at all, or not acted at particular times.
mer's Paper write, we should advise I do not mean to enter into an argument him to keep them in strait waistwith you, Sir, on the subject, but think coats during the time the Theatre is that your letter, conceived in polite terms closed. Mr. Young, we believe, to me, calls upon me to return an answer, doth not disrelish commendatory showing that your tragedy has been well prose; but, if he has swallowed the considered.
following, he is a bolder man than I remain, Sir, with esteem,
we took him for.
The Drama.-Exeter Theatre.
The theme of our remarks this week,
must be the performances of Mr. Young, From the above official letter, Sir, you assuredly one of the first tragedians of the will observe, that the Lord Chamberlain age, a man,
" take him for all in all, we acknowledges the uprightness of my inten- shall not look upon his like again.” There tions. You will perceive also that his is a chasteness and vigour of intellect, a Grace neither asserts nor insinuates that gracefulness in this great actor, in which he my work contains one sentiment or expres. blazes forth a (theatrical) star, “veluti Georsion, in itself morally, religiously, or po. gium sidus inter ignes minores.” litically objectionable, but expressly 'al voice is most musical in passages of conleges the present time as the cause of its tinous melancholy-most potent in enerexclusion from the stage. But, Sir, the getic declamation ; it flows along in a full, letter of the Lord Chamberlain excites re- deep, rapid, stream, or winds plaintively on flections far more important than any which through all the course of philosophic concern the interests of so humble an in- thought. In a part of mournful beauty he dividual as I am.
We find from that let- is perfectly delicious—the very personifiter, that the fiat of the newly-appointed cation of a melodious sigh; again in a examiner is irrevocable—that he rules lord proud, soldierly character, where there is paramount of the British drama, and that, one firm purpose, he plays in a fiery spirit in a question of appeal against the manner entirely his own; and, in a piece where in which he exercises the duties of his of the declamation abounds in images of pomp fice, the Lord Chamberlain thinks himself and luxury, he displays a rich Oriental justified in taking the report of the officer manner, which no one can rival.
“ His mode of treading the stage, is firm, intel. Mr. Macready, a few weeks since ; Jones ligent, and decisive ; his action noble.” was King !! and the Mother Queen-the -Mr. Young commenced his engagement youthful and interesting Miss #uddart.with the character of Hamlet. His scene Of Age-to-morrow followed-one of the with the Queen Mother was a piece of bril. most lively and effective farces we know ; liant invective; when the Ghost tells him an indisputable proof of which is that it * Speak to her, Hamlet," the subdued has amused for years, and will continue to tones of his voice as, with his eye fixed on do so for seasons. the spectre, and horror depicted on his countenance, he addressed her, “how is it with you, lady," was a moving sight. The and this evening
takes for his benefit the
Last evening Mr. Young played Lear; soliloquy where Hamlet reprobates his own character of Sir Pertinax Mac Sycophant, tardiness of action, was a fine specimen of in The Mon of the World, which will passionate self-rebuke, and the speech on
conclude his engagement; the box circle, man, a piece of eloquence worthy the poet's
as well as the upper, is taken for this great thought we could
select a thousand beau- performer's benefit; in what circle is not ties, but it would amplify our subject too Mr. Young sought after-whether the much, as we should have to record so many box, the social, or the court ? more on each night. The persons who represented the other characters in this There's a compliment for you! tragedy, were the same as performed with Enough to knock down a bullock !
THE DEFORMED TRANSFORMED, A DRAMA;
BY LORD BYRON.
A Taste has lately sprung up in other children (more Alemannorum), these countries, from the due cultiva- has become very tame and docile tion of which we may hope to derive under its present master, wears a great advantages, moral as well as collar inscribed with the letters literary; we mean--a taste for the F, A, U, S, T, and goes willingly to monstrous. An importation, which any stranger who has the least curiotook place some years ago, of the sity to examine it. Another of these larger race of Hanoverian “ small monsters was introduced to the nodeer,” has been frequently the theme tice of the public, a short time since, of lamentation and seditious outcry under the auspices of an Irish Clerwith some of our gravest politi- gyman; it answered (we think) to cians, whose very seats at the the name of MELMOTH, stood for council-board these nefarious qua- sale some months at the house of an drupeds have undermined ; yet there eminent bookseller in this city, and are animals of another sort, much was finally knocked on the head
enormous in size and far after having bitten two or three permore terrific in aspect, proceeding sons who were foolish enough to also from the same fruitful father handle it. A third of the same land of every thing hideous and un- brood was exhibited last season at sightly,-Germany to wit-whose the Lyceum in the Strand, where it migration into Great Britain has performed several outlandish tricks rather been encouraged than depre- to the great amusement of the speccated. The son of a British peer has tators. The aforesaid Irish Clergylately turned monster-monger, having man had shown up an elder-brother translated one of those strange animals of the monster above, at Drury Lane from the wilds of Saxe Weimar to theatre, some time before; this felAlbemarle-street; it was bred up at low, whom his keeper used to call the table of the poet Goethe with his BERTRAM, drew great crowds to see
The Deformied Transformed, a Drama, by the Right Hon. Lord Byron. London 1824.
his performances, but a report coming tinism,-for it is much easier to to the Bishop of 's ears, that he write contrary to all rules of prohad mauled and otherwise maltreated priety, than according to one. (without any occasion) a beautiful Lord Byron is a man peculiarly young lady, the wife of one Count gifted to succeed in the monstrous; St. Aldobrand, his lordship refused his insatiable thirst of freshness and to prefer his master to a living, ju- extraordinariness, his ravenous appediciously observing that a keeper of tite for all that is outrè, eccentric, „wild beasts had no pretensions to be præter-human, and unique, his liberal a rector over men. A certain illus- principles moreover, whose essence trious Scottish Novelist is also sus- consists in setting at nought all laws pected of concealing several mon- but the law of lawlessness, all rules sters (though of another family) in but the rule of irregularity, all canons his library; and it is even said that whatever, theological, moral, politithere is a design on foot among some cal, or poetical, by which we, poorof the fair sex, blues, authoresses, spirited common-place creatures, are &c. in the present scarcity of lap- content to regulate our lives, condogs, 'to take a number of these duct, and writings, these qualificapretty little German shock-monsters, tions admirably fit out his lordship as companions, in their stead. Upon for an adept in the serious monstrous, the whole, we have observed that ever the strange sublime. Besides, his since the first print of Schiller's Moor long residence in a foreign land, at (a monster of great note and cele- the wrong side of the Alps for every brity) appeared in our shop-win- thing pure or chastely noble, where dows, the imaginations of the Eng- our English sense and sobriety are lish people have run mightily upon altogether tramontane, ridiculous, this sort of animal.
and unintelligible, together with his It is easy to perceive that this taste lately-imbibed idolatry for German for the monstrous will be of infinite genius,—are highly favourable to the use in morality as well as in litera. improvement of a taste for the falture: 1°. In morality; because having setto fine and burlesque terrific. But once accustomed our minds to the if there were any doubt of his lordbeauty of the horrid, the unnatural, ship's abilities in this line, the Dethe grotesque-great, and our ears to formed Transformed would dispel it the euphony of the blasphemous, the in their favour; we will attempt a extravagant, the outrageous,--having brief outline of this fresh monstrosity. familiarised ourselves to the company
The reader has no doubt often and conversation of felons, highway- read or heard of the Devil and Dr. men, pirates, debauchees, witches, Faustus ; this is but a new birth of ghosts, dead-men, demons, devils, the same unrighteous couple, who and to all their diabolical hyper- are christened, however, by the noble bolical practices, we shall shortly hierophant who presides over the ingrow so cunning in iniquity, that fernal ceremony, -Julius Cæsar and Satan himself, though he came in Count Arnold.
The drama opens person as he did to Monk Lewis and with a scene between the latter, who Monk Ambrosio, will not be able to is to all appearance a well-disposed cajole us out of our sweet souls, or young man, of a very deformed pereven of our little “ pickers and steal- son, and his mother ; this good lady, ers" to keep up the fire of purga- with somewhat less maternal piety tory; he will entrap none hereafter, about her than adorns the motherbut those who are not awake to his ape in the fable,--turns her dutiful arts and chicanery, viz.--fools and incubus of a son, head and shoulders little children (God pity them !): out of doors, to gather wood, and 20. In literature; because, having once leave a clear house for his fair-faced imbibed a taste for what is out of na- brothers and their mamma. Arnold, ture, the sphere of intellectual exer- upon this, proceeds incontinent to kill tion will be thereby enlarged; and, himself, by falling, after the manner having overstepped the narrow limits of Brutus, on his wood-knife: he is of truth and reality, we may expa- however piously dissuaded from this tiate at will in the boundless realms guilty act, by-Whom does the reader of extravagance and mental liber- think? A monk, perhaps, or a methodist-preacher; no;- but by the Softened by intervening chrystal, and Devil himself in the shape of a tall Rippled like flowing waters by the wind, black man, who rises, like an African All vowed to Sperchius as they were-bewater-god, out of a fountain. To hold them! this stranger, after the exchange of a And him as he stood by Polixena, few sinister compliments, Arnold, With sanctioned and with softened love, bewithout more ado, sells his soul, for the altar, gazing on his Trojan bride, the privilege of wearing the beautiful With some remorse within for Hector slain form of Achilles. In the midst of all And Priam weeping, mingled with deep this childishness and absurdity, we still
passion however recognize the master-mind for the sweet downcast virgin, whose young of our noble but vagabond poet; his hand bold and beautiful spirit flashes at Trembled in his who slew her brother. So intervals through the surrounding He stood i' the temple ! Look upon him as horrors, into which he has chosen to Greece looked her last upon her best, the
instant plunge after Goethe, his magnus
(P. 23.) Apollo,---the sun of darkness, as he Ere Paris' arrow flew. might in his own magnificent jargon With all our anger against this be styled. Whilst the Stranger min- perversely-spirited man, how the gles some of Arnold's blood with the heart melts in kindness and pity towåter of the fountain, he repeats this wards him, when we find him still incantation :
so alive to every thing that is beau
tiful, sweet, and pathetic! We have Stranger. Shadows of beauty!
often seen the group, to which he Shadows of power !
alludes in the above passage, disRise to your duty
played with the highest powers of This is the hour ! Walk lovely and pliant
the pencil on canvass;
but in the From the depth of this fountain,
one word « trembled he adds a As the cloud-shapen giant
feature to the picture worth all the Bestrides the Hartz mountain. rest, and awakens a feeling iu our Come as ye were,
bosoms which no pencil but that of a That our eyes may behold
poet could excite,-of a poet great The model in air
and glorious as himself. Of the form I will mould,
The following extracts may conBright as the Iris
tinue the thread of our epitome :When ether is spanned ;Such his desire is,
Stranger. I too love a change. (Pointing to ARNOLD.
Your aspect is
Dusky, but not uncomely.
If I chose
I might be whiter ; but I have a penchant
For black-it is so honest, and besides Or Sophist of yore--.
Can neither blush with shame nor pale with Or the shape of each Victor,
fear : From Macedon's boy
But I have worn it long enough of late,
And now I'll take your figure.
Yes. You Shadows of power!
Shall change with Thetis' son, and I with
Your mother's offspring. People have their (Various phantoms arise from the roa
tastes ; ters, and pass in succession before the You have yours-1 mine. Stranger and ARNOLD. (P. 17.)
Dispatch ! dispatch! Stranger.
Even so. Amongst these phantoms are Julius (TheStranger takes some earth and moulds Cæsar, Alcibiades, Socrates, Mark it along the turf. And then addresses the Anthony, Demetrius Poliorcetes, and Phantom of Achilles. lastly Achilles
Of Thetis's boy! The god-like son of the sea-goddess,
Who sleeps in the meadow The unshorn boy of Peleus, with his locks Whose grass grows o'er Troy : As beautiful and clear as the amber waves From the red earth, like Adam, Of rich Pactolus rolled o'er sands of gold, Thy likeness I shape,