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and gallery, to whom the subject was manifestly indifferent, since it trenched not upon their interests, resisted the innovation by a branch uproar of the O. P. row. At present the magnitude of the houses, the responsibility of the managers to the proprietors,—and the bottomless pits which engulph their common understanding, forbid all hope of amendment. With regard to the authorship of the patent theatres, the instructions of a popular manager to his literary factors is well known : “ Remember you are writing for an English pit, which is so stupid a brute, that you must arrest its attention by saying, 'now they are going to do so and so ;—now they are doing it;—now they have done it;' or you never will make your plot sufficiently distinct.” And are we to be yoked to the stumbling pace of this stupid brute ;-to be assigned un-pit-ied this bitter pittance? Peerage, and Baronetage, and Squirearchy, and Westminster-Hall,—to the rescue!
But, in sober earnest, what author, even unshackled by managerial counsels, or of the highest individual calibre, would presume to consult his own good sense in treating with an audience? He knows by fatal experience that delicate wit, if pointed with elegance, is not broad enough for the lamp; that an emulation, or even a translation of Scribe's brilliant couplets, would be utterly lost at Covent-Garden, unless he could borrow Garagantua's mouth to render it audible ; and even then, its most biting traits would be lost amid the labyrinth of cadences required by the Rossinists of the upper gallery. He knows that delicate sentiments are prohibited at the winter theatres, where the spectators never cry unless they see a qualifying strip of green baize upon
the boards, or laugh unless burlesque wigs or waistcoats announce that the dialogue is comical. . He knows that honest Bull who weeps at Cato's soliloquy, would witness the parting of Michel et Christine unmoved; nor allow the Femme-Chatte to have earned her title, till she had coursed, and caught, and devoured a mouse before their eyes. Paul Pry's umbrella is worth both the prose and the verse of the Bourgeois gentilhomme, in his estimation.
But how are the claims of those brick and mortar Mammoths (the winter theatres) to be evaded; how is the clamorous roar of the indignant proprietors to be silenced? Alas ! if the iron chain of monopoly were indissoluble, what had become of spinning-jennies and steampackets, of patent corkscrews and jointed clogs ?-the introduction of all and each of which was injurious to some old-established interest. I doubt, however, whether old Drury or Covent-Garden would lose thirty auditors a-night by the innovation. They would remain in undisturbed possession of the city and the standing army ; besides the uncounted multitude of amateurs of Christmas pantomimes, Easter · spectacles, Farley and melodrama, Braham and the cantabile edition of Shakspeare. In the meantime an agreeable délassement for the weary
hour between coffee and the réveil of Musard and Collinet, would be provided for the polite parishes of St. James, St. George, and St. Mary. Much green tea and much scandal would become superfluous ; “the bubbling and loud hissing urn” would no longer make the mournful music of the monotonous drawing-room; cutlets would be unconsciously digested during
an interesting catastrophe, and Paris and Abernethy have written in vain ; domestic squabbles would be soothed or silenced by the sweet murmurs of Stephens, or the exciting animation of Jones; the Oriental Club and the Travellers' would be thinned as instantaneously,as a Newmarket jockey; and the inauspicious query of “How goes the enemy?" would become an obsolete sound between twilight and moonlight at the west end of the metropolis.
Scott himself, when undismayed by the terrors of a savage audience, might recant his vow; and, writing for the stage, form a new era in our literature—the third effected by his fruitful pen; while Moore and Hope, and the authors of Matilda, Granby, and Pelham, might renew the triumphs of Farquhar and Congreve, and renovate a decayed branch of the dramatic laurel. And as a theatre of this description should especially exclude every thing offensive to decency, to good morals, and good taste, it is to be expected that it would meet with no opposition from the constituted guardians of the interests of the public,
ARRIVALS AT A WATERING PLACE.
SCENE-A Conversazione at Lady Crumpton's.-Whist and weariness, Cari.
catures and Chinese Puzzle.-Young Ladies making tea, and Young Gentlemen making the agreeable.—The Stable-Boy handing rout-cakes.--Music expressive of there being nothing to do.
I PLAY a spade :-such strange new faces
Are flocking in from near and far :
One can't imagine who they are !
New Donkeys, and another fly ;
Although we're scarcely in July:
But our old horse can hardly crawl;
We can't tell where we ought to call.
Pray who has seen the odd old fellow
Who took the Doctor's house last week?
Almost as yellow as his cheek:
And stiffer than a poplar-tree;
To dip his carcass in the sea:
He's always in a monstrous hurry,
And always talking of Bengal;
I think, Louisa, we should call.
And so Miss Jones, the mantua-maker,
Has let her cottage on the hill ?-The drollest man, a sugar-baker,
Last year imported from the till: Prates of his orses and his oney,
Is quite in love with fields and farms;
Will buy a glorious coat of arms :
Some say he means to give a ball;
I think, Sir Thomas, you might call.
That poor young man !—I'm sure and certain
Despair is making up his shroud: He walks all night beneath the curtain
Of the dim sky and mirky cloud: Draws landscapes,-throws such mournful glances !
Writes verses,-has such splendid eyes ; An ugly name,-but Laura fancies
He's some great person in disguise ! And since his dress is all the fashion,
And since he's very dark and tall, I think that, out of pure compassion,
I'll get papa to go and call.
So Lord St. Ives is occupying
The whole of Mr. Ford's Hotel;
A little nag I want to sell.
Blue eyes,-eighteen, or thereabouts ;-
But yet the femme de chambre doubts.
Poor thing! and such a charming shawl!
It's quite impossible to call.
Arrived to-day at Premium Court;
In such a horrid dangerous port;
Such dust and rubbish, lath and plaster,
(Contractors play the meanest tricks)The roof's as crazy as its master,
And he was born in fifty-six:
The colonnade is sure to fall;-
Unless we make great haste to call.
Who was that sweetest of sweet creatures,
Last Sunday, in the Rector's seat ?
I never saw such tiny feet.
Poor Arthur,—'twas a sad affair!
But then she's poorer far than fair : And so my father and my mother
Agreed it would not do at all; And so,~I'm sorry for my brother!
It's settled that we're not to call.
And there's an Author, full of knowledge ;
And there's a Captain on half-pay; And there's a Baronet from college,
Who keeps a boy, and rides a bay; And sweet Sir Marcus from the Shannon,
Fine specimen of brogue and bone; And Doctor Calipee, the canon,
Who weighs, I fancy, twenty stone: A maiden Lady is adorning
The faded front of Lily Hall:Upon my word, the first fine morning,
We'll make a round, my dear, and call.
Alas! disturb not, maid and matron,
The swallow in my humble thatch; Your son may find a better patron,
Your niece may meet a richer match: I can't afford to give a dinner,
I never was on Almack's list; And since I seldom rise a winner,
I never like to play at whist: Unknown to me the stocks are falling ;
Unwatch'd by me the glass may fall; Let all the world pursue its calling,
I'm not at home if call.
A VISIT TO THE COURT OF MADAGASCAR.
The following diary, which contains some very interesting information of the present state of Madagascar, was composed under circumstances not a little curious. Since our connection with that island, arising chiefly from the desire to suppress the slave-trade, which had been carried on with the Mauritius to a considerable extent, the government of the colony has always been anxious to extend civilization as much as possible, and to keep up the power of our ally, the King of that part of the country mentioned in the following narrative, he having undertaken to co-operate with us in the annihilation of the trade. The authorities of Port Louis have assisted, especially, in advancing the discipline and military skill of the troops of this potentate; and they have acquired a considerable notion of the English system. As, however, that system itself has lately undergone considerable change by the amendments introduced by Sir Henry Torrens, it was thought right to extend this alteration to Madagascar. Accordingly, a skilful drill serjeant was singled out from the Guards, and sent to the Mauritius, to be forwarded to Tamatave.—The following is that person's composition, and has been sent home to his family in this country. The style seems, we confess, considerably above what would be expected from his rank in life—but, from circumstances within our knowledge, we have every reason to believe it to be his own writing. Some few verbal errors we have corrected; but, in every other respect, there is no other alteration; and we doubt not that our readers will be surprised at such a production being that of a Serjeant of the Guards. The journal commences on his departure from Port Louis for Madagascar.
Since the above was written, and indeed while this sheet is passing through the press, intelligence of the death of Radama, the king of Madagascar, mentioned in the following narrative, has reached this country. From the representation here given of this chieftain, we must say that we sincerely regret this event; for, to say nothing of the progress towards civizilation in general which he was advancing among his people, he seems to have been sincerely devoted to the abolition of the slave-trade, which, till within these few years, was carried on to a great extent between the Mauritius and Madagascar. That very eminent and excellent person, Sir Robert Farquhar, during his protracted government of the former place, gave the first check to the traffic; and he seems to have been very readily and ably supported by Radama, who continued the same course of conduct during the government of Sir Lowry Cole. We trust that the new governor Sir Charles Colville, will find the same spirit in Radama's successor.
Wednesday, October 24th.-I EMBARKED with Mr. Lyall, the British agent, on board his majesty's colonial brig the Erin, which had previously gone outside the Bell-buoy, Port Louis, and was lying-to for us; at half-past 7 o'clock P. M. sailed with a fair wind for Madagascar. Jan. 1829.