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of bulletins, regularly signed by the physicians; all proved the folly and madness of the people. After an absence of some years, during which he had graduated at Cambridge, he returns to the stage; curi. osity excites for a time, but enthusiasm no longer exists. He walks the streets comparatively unnoticed. Has he less talent ? No; he is decidedly improved ; then wherefore is this falling off? Go, ask Fashion! I will not however accuse the London public generally of caprice. Siddons and Kemble maintained a sovereign and despotic sway over the public taste ; and notwithstanding the extraordinary revolution produced in the theatrical world by the appearance of Kean, not a laurel was withered upon Kemble's brow.

EDMOND KEAN: SHIEL:

FIELD OF WATERLOO: VISIT TO PARIS: TALMA.

A new light was shed upon the theatrical world in the appearance of Kean at Drury-Lane, and which produced great excitement between the disciples of Kemble and the new school; not however that decided change in the public which arose on the appearance of Garrick ; still it marked a difference like that which exists between a bold outline and a refined portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence. Enthusiasm at once placed Kean on an elevation with Garrick : no man will venture to dispute the almost unlimited genius of the latter; the homage paid to the unbounded powers of Garrick by the greatest men of the day is a sufficient voucher. One glance at his various portraits, so full of intel. lectual expression, destroys scepticism. And yet how are we to account for such seeming anomalies as Macbeth marching at the head of his troops in a modern court suit and a well powdered peruque, across the blasted heath? Why, his very appearance must have scared the witches from their outposts ! Where was Doctor Johnson slumbering, with all his acumen ? — where Churchill, Horace Walpole, and a host of others? The stage is greatly indebted to John Kemble for the reform he effected in the way of costume. Although far from accom. plishing all that was required, the foundation was yet laid by him; and the English stage will (if it does not already) rival that of the French.

All the prejudices of my theatrical education were on the side of Kemble ; and although his style was occasionally tinctured with an artificial bearing, I have witnessed bursts of nature and of genius that were perfectly electrical, and only found escape in the tumultuous and rapturous plaudits of his audience. It was long before I could open my eyes to the genius of Kean, nor was I ever a complete prose. lyte. The strongest proof of his talent, however, lay in the fact that he held undiminished power in public favor to the last. The million may be wrong nine times out of ten, but the truth is in them at last ; and justice, though sometimes tardy, is at length even-handed. The melancholy part of poor Kean's character is, that he suffered himself to be beset by most unworthy associates; and instead of elevating the position of his brethren, he by acts of recklessness and almost insanity, morally destroyed his own reputation, and gave a blow to the profession which he had the power of sustaining. How different the case with

47

VOL. XXIV.

Kemble! An honored guest at his Prince's table, and the companion of men not only of rank, but possessed of the highest attributes of genius. I should much rather have extolled the amiable qualities than glanced at the weaknesses of Kean ; but his life has become a matter of history; and he unfortunately plunged into the ceaseless whirl of intoxication, and seldom heard the sober voice of truth.

The Right Honorable RICHARD Shiel, one of the brilliant stars of the House of Commons, was a member of the Irish Bar at the period of Miss O’Niel's great success in London, and certainly contributed very largely to her reputation ; for he produced a series of plays, written expressly for her, and which had the great advantage of showing off all the peculiar characteristics of her style. Nor did she stand alone in these plays; for they also derived every aid from the splendid talents of Macready, Young, and Charles Kemble. On one occasion during the rehearsal of the Apostate, Mr. Shiel addressed Mr. Young, who performed the character of Malek :

Now, with your kind permission, I wish to give you my idea as to the situation in which you are placed. You are a prisoner in the hands of these russians, who are taunting and upbraiding you with your religion. You have all the pride and noble daring of the Moor, vanquished in person but in mind the same. Human patience is exhausted, and in a burst of indignation, you draw your sword, and find you havn't

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The quickness and brilliancy of his eye, together with the outpourings of his eloquence, now so well and publicly known, blended with a mild and forbearing manner, made him extremely popular with us all; and although the literature of the stage lost by his retirement, the Senate gained his powerful aid in that more elevated sphere.

About a year after the battle of Waterloo, I made an excursion to Belgium and Paris, in company with Mr. Charles Kemble, Mr. Poole, the celebrated dramatic author, and another gentleman with whom we were all intimate. It would be idle to attempt a description of all the adjoining towns, which at that time possessed an indescribable interest:

'For brevity is very good,

Either when 't is or 't is not understood.' With what pride an Englishman traverses those spots rendered sacred to him by the valorous deeds of his countrymen; how irresistible the throbbings of his pulse as he approaches the memorable field of Waterlog! With what strange and mingled sensations he views the spot where our own WELLINGTON calmly stood ' amid the strife of elements and the war of worlds."

We of course secured the guide of Napoleon, Lacoste, to conduct us over the blood-stained field. We gazed long upon Hougomont with wonder and admiration; and La Haye Sainte caused deep emotions ; but what awful impressions arose from the appearance of one spot, where the ripening corn waved in graceful luxuriance! There the gallant Picton fell

:

• Brave men scorn death, but they value life
Because their lives are useful to the world.'

There some thousands of men were buried; the chivalry of England and of France mingled together in the earth, and their mouldering relics give life to thousands. There is a marked and distinct line formed round this patch of earth, enriched by the noblest and best blood of Europe. And in the midst of all this glory, thy greatness, NAPOLEON, was not forgotten. I believe there never was a true Englishman who visited that scene of carnage, who did not pay the deepest homage to his genius. The prejudices of our countrymen vanished before his misfortunes; and England displayed as much sympathy in his fate as France itself.

A portion of Paris brought the ancient part of Edinburgh strongly before me. The lofty buildings, with their sharp gable-ends and overhanging tops, were full of reminiscences. The Tuilleries and the Louvre, with all their past historical associations, and still more recent mi. raculous changes, gave to truth the semblance of fiction; and the ima. gination revelled in scenes of splendid gayety, and shrunk at the horrors of midnight murder. The delightful gardens, in whose shady walks many a happy lover had sent forth the very out-pourings of his heart, and fondly anticipated years of inexhaustible happiness, alas ! too bright to be lasting, were in all their freshness and beauty. Notre Dame disappointed me, having the recollection of our own magnificent cathedrals; still, how impossible is it to pass the portal of an ancient church without the deepest and most reverential feeling. Here were exhibited the imperial robes of NAPOLEON studded with bees; but alas ! for him the honey had fled, and the bitterness of exile weighed down his mighty spirit. Superstition, or Imposition, here showed us a portion of the crown of thorns, and a relic of the Holy Cross. The monstrous absurdity of restoring these mockeries tended greatly to weaken the influence and power of the Bourbons; for the mass of the people had drunk too deeply of the cup of infidelity to feel any interest in the sacred cause of religion when supported by such puerile absurdities. I confess that to my view the ceremonials of worship impress the mind more fully with the subject, and separate the worldly feelings by placing one's thoughts on high ; but in the effort to elevate the mind we must be careful not to destroy it. I frankly acknowledge I do not like to see the ministers of Religion or Justice in their everyday attire ; and should strenuously object to the sentence of hanging being passed upon me, unless my friend the judge put on his black cap, and observed the proper forms and cere

the occasion! The levelling system does not at all accord with my ideas :

if changes must occur in this changeable world, give me the sliding scale,' and save me from these wholesale innovations. During my stay in Paris I received an invitation, in company

with friend Mr. Charles Kemble, one of the most accomplished and agreeable men of his day, to dine with TALMA, the friend of Napoleon; the bright star of the French stage; the man who held the same vast power in the mimic world that his great patron the Emperor did in the affairs of Europe; he who would frequently obtain an audience of that great man when princes waited in vain for an interview; and there, in the pleasing converse of dramatic lore, Napoleon became like a giant refreshed, and prepared for deeper and more serious thoughts.

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I may now venture to leave Paris, but not without seeing those dens of iniquity the gambling-houses. The varied scenes of frantic joy and human debasement I witnessed at Frescati's were appalling. The extremes of excitement were as powerfully exhibited in the loser of twenty francs as in the man who had perhaps lost his twenty thousand. Our friends across the channel are certainly a most amusing study; and great as are the moral changes that have taken place in France since their fearful revolution, we can still trace the same characteristics which have marked their earliest ages.

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VINNY BOURNE, as he is affectionately called by those who knew him, was, at the time he lived, the most elegant of Latinists; the ornament of Trinity College, and said to be unsurpassed for the grace and fastidiousness of his verse by any scholar in all Europe.

Except a few particulars given by the poet Cowper, it is to be lamented that little is known of him; for he was of the number of those who steal through the quietest paths of life, remote from wild adventure ; and when they die, the busy world knows them no more. They leave no footsteps on the sands of time. But the few who come after them, loving the same pursuits, and seeking them in the same unfrequented by-paths, will discover the exquisite reliques of genius, monuments to their memory more durable than marble, and whose chaplet of flowers is still sweet and unfading. There is an expressive beauty in the words which he desired to be inscribed upon his tomb:

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Bourne's life was emphatically one of silence, passed in the pursuits of literature, wherein it may be justly said of his elegant taste, that he touched nothing that he did not adorn it. His ambition led him to court no homage or distinction, or any high place which his talents might have insured. He merely trimmed the midnight lamp of the scholar. He himself closed up the door to worldly advantage by declining valuable ecclesiastical preferments which were offered him; but his motives were the purest, and redound greatly to his honor. All which is then known of him is that he was admitted on the foundation at Westminster in 1710 ; that he was elected to Cambridge four years afterward, where in due time he succeeded to a fellowship in Trinity College, and took the degree of Master of Arts in 1721. He afterward became one of the ushers of Westminster school, where he remained till the time of his death. The kind estimation in which he was held by his contemporaries is well attested; but even he has left behind him a little memorandum which sets his character in an amiable light. It was written in humble penitence for his past life, and with a Christian's hope of the future, at a time when he felt the hand of death upon him, and when he turned his eye with awe and solemnity to that home whence no traveller

* POEMATA LATINE PARTIM REDDITA, PARTIM SCRIPTA A VINCENTIO BOURNE, COL. TRIN. CANTAB. Soc.

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