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young lady with much goodness and too much levity, and a wife sinking under the misfortune of having lost a husband, without the smallest clue to unravel the mystery of his absence. It seems to be the notion of modern authors, that if they can but give a character a different condition, that is, turn Dr. Pangloss into a parish clerk and undertaker, or into a little Moorfields broker, that they have hit on a new character; and thus, perhaps, to oblige a performer in what he calls his line, an author takes measure, and fits him after a fashion that makes him known at first sight to the town. It will not displease an author of talent to be told these faults; he will feel, from the happy facility true genius possesses of arriving at truth, the force of my observations; instead of chusing the subjects of a great master, he will then paint from nature; he will delineate new characters, and not servilely imitate the situations of another because they have happened to please the public; he will not introduce a fandango in his play only because Mr. Colman had one in his, nor enlist an Irishman merely to utter groans, and make bulls without any novelty of character, or interest in the piece. The public, authors, and performers, seem agreed to compound good sense, and furnish, by reciprocity of contract, stale commodities at a cheap rate of praise; but the Man in the Moon remembers when players had not only to study parts, but to arrive in that study at the truth of the character given them, instead of authors having to fit the capabilities of the actor; how much better it was for the public, long experience has shown,

These observations are not irrelative, they, perhaps, determine the rights and properties of a regular drama, and the independence of authorship: indeed it is a reflection upon the genius of our actors, that they do not rather desire authors not to write for them, as it is called, but take the allotment of the author or manager in the Green-room, subject to what they may feel of the part offered them; at any rate the author should be unshackled, it is with the performer to reject a part he cannot give life to. I feel that I ought not to pass over the inimitable acting of Dowton, in the character of Ardent; the admixture of impetuosity, feeling, testiness, and kindness was admirably conceived, and the workings of his mind were so naturally expressed in the scene where he brings the husband and wife together, that they were probably understood and felt by the whole audience. It must doubtless be ungrateful to an author to hear detailed the demerits of his piece: few would even have the patience to answer the interrogatories once offered to Macklin-that author was behind the scenes one night, when a gentleman, in the course of conversation, suggested to him a subject which he thought would do extremely well dramatised; to which he received an answer,

“ It has been done, sir.”-“ Done, sir!”-“ Yes, sir;"__" How long ago, pray, sir ?”— ""

“ “ Five years.”—“ And how did it succeed?”—“ It

" was damned, sir."-And pray, sir, whose was it ?”“ It was mine, sir, and be d-n'd to ye.”

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I have just been favoured with the following very curious letter, which, as it may afford some hints to the managers of affairs, I have given to my readers.

Dated Ironmonger Lane, Nov. 9th, 1803. MR. MAN IN THE MOON,

Being satisfied that you are a man of observation, and disposed to listen to the just complaints of the injured, I offer my memorial of the service in which I have been engaged many years for my country. You will recollect, in your last Number, that you mentioned the unpardonable neglect of those who have the conducting of public affairs, in not employing the efficient strength of the regulars, who may certainly with considerable justice be called the Army of Reserve; for numbers of them have nothing to do at present. I own that I do not see why we regular forces should be reduced to give place to the Volunteer Gentlemen, for whom, nevertheless, I have great respect; yet they certainly have not seen, or been exposed to the hardships that I have been, or sustained the fatigue that I have. I think that I ought not to be, as you call it, laid on the shelf. My atchievements are well known to the public, and about a twelvemonth


I was called out into actual service, but am now reduced again, and without even half

pay: I have the vanity to think that I might be a great defence to the City of London in the hour of danger, and I should have no objection to meet Buonoparte on his great war horse, if he gets as far as Temple-bar. I beg you will state my grievances, and desire of employ, in any way you please. I am sure you are a man of feeling, and a man who understands these matters.

am, therefore, MR. MAN IN THE MOON,

Yours most respectfully,
Guildhall, City.


I cannot help thinking but that my friend, the MAN IN ARMOUR, has just and heavy cause of complaint; I have often noticed his attention to his duty when employed, and advise that he shall be permitted to offer a personal challenge to the proud and troublesome Corsican, which might be worded after the following manner :


Hearing that it is your most puissant determination to visit these shores, I invite you so to do, and that you may present yourself on the west-side of Temple-bar on the first day of the next month, at the hour of twelve, and announce your arrival with a bugle horn, to be blown by a dwarf, when the gate will be opened, and you will find me in readiness to throw the gauntlet. I shall be in complete armour, you will, doubtless, be the same, and I expect when you get so far that your vizor shall be down. I swear by the spurs of the renowned knight St. George of England, that I will not fail. (Signed)

THE MAN IN ARMOUR," The Lord Mayor's Court, Noo. 19th, 1803.

I have lately discovered a philosopher, with a telescope, making experiments, the better to ascertain

my physiognomy; and a fair lady has favoured me with the following epistle:

MR. MAN IN THE MOON, “ I have not slept since the publication of your paper; for I am, you must know, dying with curiosity to see you; I imagine to myself your droll visage, until I fall into successive fits of laughter, and would give any thing to find you popping your head through the hole of the window-shutter in my chamber. I have, I assure you, a hundred questions to ask :-Pray, are you a married man?--are' there any little men in the moon?—was you taken to the moon for gathering sticks on a Sunday?-do you mean to notice uswomen in your observations, or to overlook our faults?-are lovers governed by the influence of the moon, and is the changeableness of our sex to be attributed, as it is said, to her inconstancy?-does she govern the wonderful changes of fashion, and rule the taste of Madame Lanchester?-has the moon any thing to do with Buonaparte, with the changes of administration, with Sir Francis B-, the Mameluke, or Mr. W n? You have no idea how delighted I should be to have all these, and ten thousand more questions answered; but I will send you a list of curious items, against which you can write the answers. You will observe, by my name, that I am a distant relation of yours,

, and I shall, I am sure, be very happy to see you, whenever you have an opportunity. I am, MR. MAN IN THE MOON, Yours, most sincerely,

CYNTHIA.” Half-Moon Street, Piccadilly, Nov. 19th, 1803.


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