« ForrigeFortsæt »
• Mou. Pray Sir, what may this place be ? · Koit
. It was formerly an old convent, but long since deserted. There is nothing here now but long galleries, huge halls, dreadful subterraneous vaults, and • Mou. Oh lord ! what ? • Kou. You don't mind a ghost or two, do you ? • Mou. Ghosts ?
• Kou. Aye, we have them here by dozens; I believe I saw one or two here the other night myself.
· Mou. (his teeth chattering with fear.) Pray how long have you lived here?
· Kou. To reckon by the almanacks, one year-to reckon by my feelings -len.
• Nou. You are probably the
• Kou. Gardener I was hired to be, but there being no longer any garden, I was placed within doors to direct the ceremonies of the house ; but when no ceremony was observed here, I was made Steward to take care of the household furniture ; but there being little or po furniture, I was made Clerk to inspect the accounts; but as there were no accounts to be kept, they made me Bailiff to collect the rents ; but as there were no rents to collect
• Mou. What did you do then ?
· Kou. Then I came down to be Door-porter ; but as no one ever comes to the door
• Can. What is your present employnient?
• Kou. Making love." I find that makes the time pass rather quicker.
• Can, and Mou. Love in this place?
• Kou. Just the place for it, and, to say the truth, it is my way in all places.'
This short play is supported in a lively pleasant manner, and is by no means void of amusement, even in the closet ; as our readers may judge from this spécimen.
Fer.... Art. 26. Rolla : or the Peruvian Hero. A Tragedy, in Five Acts.
Translated from the German of Kotzebuc. By M. G. Lewis, Esq. M. P. Author of the Monk, Castle Spectre, &c. 8vo. 25. 6d. Robinsons, &c. 1799:
Having already delivered our opinion of tliis play, we have only to remark that Mr. Lewis's translation appears much superior to any other that we have seen, in point of style. It cannot be ascribed to the merit of the original, that we have read this with more pleasure than the former versions.
DO Art. 27. The Widow and the Riding Horse. A Dramatic Trifle ;
in One Act. By Augustus Von Kotzebue. Translated from the German by Anne Plumptre. Svo. 18. Phillips. 1799.
Miss Plumptre apologizes for the use of the term riding-horse, which certainly neither is nor merits to be English. It is a pity that she had not used a more general term, as the horse in question turns out to be something of an ass; the hero of the piece saving his estate from the operation of a whimsical will, by proving that his monture
was a mule. The plot is not worth detailing; and though it is Miss P.'s boast to bestow all the tediousness of her author on this public, we own that we feel like the fastidious lover in Martial, and that we could do very well without any part, or even the whole, of
Fer.... Art. 28. The Horse and the Widow, a Farce, as performed with
Universal Applause at the Theatre-Royal, Covent Garden. Al-
Mr. Dibdin has spoken with great modesty, in his advertisement prefixed to this farce, concerning the alterations which he has judged necessary to adapt this piece to a London-theatre. As we think that he is perfectly right in so doing, we shall dismiss this cause without judgment.
29. Poverty and Nobleness of Nind : a Play. In Three Acts.
fortunate as to transfuse into it all those elegancies, which are in.. dispensably necessary to the composition of good dialogue in genteel somedy. Let the reader judge fruin this extract, taken at random :
« VAN DER HUSEN and JOSEPHINE. Husen. Good morning to you, my pretty girl.
Yose. Sir, it is already twelve o'clock.
• Yose. Very gallant. May I ask-
Husen. It wou'd be just as well, if they had none ; the rich wou'd then have the less to forget. In the mean time, I am callid Peter Flock, at your service.
• Jose. And your character ?
Jose. That I will readily believe, but --(aside) the wretch deprives me of all patience. (loud) Your title, I mean to say.
• Husen. For the men, I am Mr. Flock; for the ladies, merely their most obedient servant, Flock. Those who wish to please me, call me, dear Flock.
• Jose. Also Mr. Flock-
Josè. My God! who can please every body?
Jose. (aside) A droll Being.
• Jose. I-I am call'd Louisa Rose, and I am a poor parson's daughter, who lives in this house as a companion. • Husen. Rose ! you shou'd be callid rose-bud - and poor, say you?
Fose. Very poor. • Husen. I am glad of it.
Jose. Probably on account of the proverb : Birds of a feather flock together!
• Husen. I must be very vain, if I consider'd myself as your equal on account of my poverty,
Fose. (rather perplex'd) Perhaps you have business with Mr.
• Husent. But little with himself, but with his daughter.
• Jose. Your mother thought so ! did she?
If this be decmed wit in Germany, the author is not to be blamed : but neither ought we to be censured for declaring that it cannot pass current in this country.
Fer..-J. Art. 30. Sighs; or, the Daughter, a Comedy, in Five Acts.
it is performed at the Theatre Royal, Hay-Market. Taken from the German Drama of Kotzebue, with Alterations, by Prince Hoare. 8vo. 25. 6d. Stace.
This is an altered version of the preceding play, and is certainly better-adapted to the taste of the English reader and spectator. We shall copy Mr. Hoare's translation of the scene quoted above :
· Enter JOSEPHINE. "Good morning, young lady. • Fos. It is rather afternoon than morning, • H. Wil. Not where the day breaks so brightly. • Jos. Very gallant truly:-May I take the liberty to ask • H. Wil. Who I am ?-I am a queer fellow.
Jos. Well, but queer fellows have names.
“ Jos. With all of them ?
Jos. My-my name is Louisa Rose. I am a poor clergyman's orphan, who live in this house. Perhaps you have business with Mr. Von Snarl ?
· H. Wil. No-but I have with his daughter. • Jos. With his daughter?
• H. Wil. They say she has a great fortune; and, about six weeks ago, says my mother, one evening to me-Dear Timothy, you are a poor fellow, and must make your fortune by marriage.
• Jos. Very wisely.
• H. Wil. Very motherly, you mean. There's Mr. Von Snarl, says she, your father's old school-fellow, has a most charming daughter-1 dare say you must know her.
Jos. Oh, to be sure ;— I know Josephine as well as I know myself. • H. Wil. Is she handsome ?
Fos. When she consults her looking-glass, she thinks so.. H. Wil. Is she like you? • Jos. She is not handsomer than I am. • H. Wil
. I like that-she has no need. Has she good sense? Jos. Not enough to prevent her from talking. • H. Wil. Well, I like that.-Is she kind-hearted, good to the
Jos. Oh, lord! the poor get nothing in this house, if I do not give it them.
« H. Wil. I don't like that. Is she grave or lively? . Jos. As wild as a young devil.
H. Wil. Aye! Then she'll just do for me.' As the present race of dramatists are reduced to supply our stage with such productions as these, we shall beg leave to suggest a better expedient. Let Swift's “ Polite Conversation” be cut down into two or three comedies ; and it will be found that they will possess more wit'than twice the number of German dramas. Nothing, indeed, could rival compositions of this sort, unless some pathetic genius should undertake to dramatize Poor Richard's almanack, or the maxims of Rochefoucault.
Fer...r. Art. 31. False Shame : a Comedy, in Four Acts, translated from
the German of Kotzebue. 8vo. Vernor and Hood. We might justly be reproached with false shame, if we should give way to the present rage for German plays, so far as to praise whatever any industrious person chooses to translate from that language. We are willing to give Mr. Von Kotzebue credit for his real merits, but we cannot always admire his hasty productions; nor can we deem it any acquisition to the national literature, when we meet with translations of
Things that were wrote perhaps in half an hour." The first six scenes of this play are eked out by a sentimental gardener, who clips his hedge according to the marginal directions, and talks pathetically, during the whole time. Though seasoned to the narcotic doses of this author, we were ready to exclaim, at the sermon of this hedge-clipping philosopher, “ O ! 'tis so moving, we can read no more.”
8 As an instance of the false shame meant to be satirized in this piece, we shall make the following extract :
• Emma. Herr von Hugel, I have a message to you.
• Hugel. If this message gives me pain, which I greatly apprehend, there has been at least the consideration to choose an asswaging messenger.
Emma. I hope to be the messenger of peace.
* Hugel. Peace precludes.disco rd--and I knew not
• Hugel. I am a plain countryman-which for a moment, I ceas'd to recollect
- Minna has deeply humbled me—it will never again be forgotten. • Emma. Humblid!--that is a hard expression.
• Hugel. The occasion was harder than the expression-she, who treats a serious proposal as a jest --she, whose levity hurries a man with the tears of love in luis eyes to a dance—iet me say, does not that imply contempt?
• Emma. Dcar Herr von Hugel-Beware of an intemperate judgment-you may repent it at Minna's feet :-Do you make no allow. ance for a poor girl's embarrassment ?-I assure you, that most of the follies of which we are accused towards your sex, arise from embarrassment-how, if Minna was heartily well disposed to you? -but only shy of a certain confession, which she feared, might in the eves of the lover, diminish the worth of the beloved.
Hugel. (smiling sarcastically) You are supposing a case ? • Emma. I suppose nothing—there are certain points, Herr von Hugel, wirich to our sex are very important, but which, fortunately, do not always strike your eyes should a girl be not completely what she seems to be, she may, if she can, deceive the public, but not the man whem she intends to marry.
lingel. Iima is not what she seems ?-1 do not understand you. • Enma, Minna is very beautiful.
Hugel. O! certainly.
Hugel. Why tell me that?
Hugel. You are in jest. • Emma. A man, and especially a lover, cannot be an accurate observer we females examine more closely.
Hugel. I beseech you to speak plainer. • Emma. Know then, that Minna's apparent levity arose, from being ashamed to acknowledge to you, what she thought indispensible--that she-range !-I am almost myself ashamed-(in baste) that she is somewhat mis-shaped-at last-it is out.
• Hugel. Mis-shaped !Emma Alinma. On the left side-she fell down stairs from her nurse's
arms--dress can conceal the defect-but to the eyes of her future husband, she wishi’ú not to appear more engaging than she realy is-now you have a key to the enigma.-False shame deterr'd her from telling you herself
for most females would rather avoid a men. tal defect, than a corporeal failing :-Minna does not belong to this common class--her tongue only denied its service; now, you know all—you know what she has lost in the attraction of her formand what she acquired in the beauty of her soul :-my friend mur4