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and the lower filled with the living. Don Juan is the pantomine on this mimic stage, when the real Don in the boxes, irritated at the insult offered to his representative, draws his rapier, and drives off the Devil.
The adventures of Giovanni being thus brought to a conclusion, the third act consisted wholly of a gorgeous representation of the procession of the Knights of St. Patrick on the late Installation in Dublin. From the back of the stage, and through the centre of Sackville-street, the procession of installed and uninstalled Knights, with the Sovereign of the order, advanced with all the pomp and magnificence by which it was distinguished during the late visit of his Majesty. The movement of this body was marked by discharges of artillery, and passed completely across the pit, over a stage similar to that erected for “the Coronation." Sackville-street, however, was remarkably ill treated, as the practical blunder was committed of filling the windows with figures staring their souls out the contrary way from the march of the procession, looking towards the audience, while the pageant was advancing from the back; which gazing before for a thing behind was, we presume, an ingenious illustration that the scene was beyond the Channel. The scene next changed to the Exterior of the Cathedral of St. Patrick. Battle-axe Guards, Aides-de-Camp, and Stewards, formed a line for the Peeresses, who severally entered the church to be present at the ceremony; when the scene again changed, and the Interior of the Cathedral was discovered. The Law Officers, Bishops, Dignitaries, and Peeresses, were seen seated in their respective places. Choristers then entered from the back of the pit and ascended the balconies. After which the Knights, with their Esquires, and banners, approached, followed by Heralds, preceding the Sovereign, and his attendants, and took their seats. Then followed the ceremony of installation. The represeutation of which was extremely faithful, and the dresses particularly splendid; but the ceremony was altogether too tedious, and the audience repeatedly expressed their hisses and their impatience. We were next treated with his Majesty's departure from King's Town; most irreverently termed Dunleary;-a ship in convulsions; Ear. Mag, Vol. 81, Jan, 1822,
a moving Panoramic view of the coast to Milford Haven, and a grand allegorical vision of Clouds and Sea Horses, heathen Gods and Goddess, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, the whole of which was not very well managed, and certainly not very much approved. Mr. Elliston was the Sovereign of the night, and personated the character with becoming dignity, and the piece was given out for repetition amidst contending shouts of displeasure and approbation; though we think "the ayes had it."-The House was crowded.
DEC. 26. "Giovanni in Ireland" made his first regular appearance this evening, when, according to the former stipulations of the stage manager, the piece was produced with sundry emendations, curtailments, and alterations, somewhat after the plan of improving the Sailor's blanket, by transferring the end to the middle. In a sort of preface attached to the Book of Songs sold in the Theatre, the author contended that the " extraordinary patronage bestowed on Giovanni in London" demanded his appearance in Ireland, and that his substitution for Pantomime was in every respect a great gain to the public. Now although we can have no possible objection to an author's putting himself right with the public by any well written, or well spoken, form of elucidation; nor, if such is his fearlessness of the future, to his announcing himself before he is secure of the fate of his authorship: yet, whatever respect we may be inclined to feel for the abilities of Mr. Moncrieff, we are compelled to dissent from his positions in this exposé. We much doubt, for instance, whether the Don and his valet are a tenth part as amusing as Harlequin and Pierrot, and we altogether deny that they are more rational and instructive." That the patronage of "Giovanni in London" has been extraordinary, we will allow, for to us it has always appeared perfectly extraor dinary that such a Drama should have been patronized any where. With the "feelings of honour and virtue," inspired by the fabrication of modern chevaliers, we are not convinced that it's stage imitations can inoculate any persons, unless the author should insist on our excepting the favoured individuals who were invested with plumes and collars in the new piece; and to deeds of honour and virtue"
we can conceive no worse possible introduction than the exploits of the Don, either Spanish, English, or Irish. In addition to this preface, on the first evening, a preparatory dialogue, excusing the delay of the piece, was commenced by Russell and Loveday, but very unceremoniously, and very suddenly hissed off the stage.
We come now, however, to the improved re-appearance of this “ amusing vagabond," and we are bound in justice to say, that it was considerably amended, inasmuch as it was sorter!-The transplantation of the chivalric installation to the second act; the curtailment of the ceremonies; and the omission of several scenes, rendered it, as a whole, certainly more palatable, and rather more applauded. For four successive evenings Giovanni thus struggled on his luckless career, amidst much opposition, and tumult till on Saturday Deember 29th, he was finally kicked out of Ireland; and this most melodious of libertines compelled to resign all his conquests,black, brown, and fair, nuns, peasants, and princesses, and exit from Hibernia to return no more. In vain the trumpets brayed, the drums rolled, and the chorus swelled ;-In vain our friend Elliston looked Kingly and condescending, the defiance of the enraged Pit was not to be soothed by either smiles or music; and the worthy manager, e'en in his robes of royalty, was bongré, malgré, forced to make a speech, and declare Giovanni's final withdrawal: we should be happy to add from London as well as Ireland. In our opinion, the chief error existed in encreasing the importance of this nonsense so far as to make it a first picce as most of the scenery, and decorations; and much of the music and acting were of a very superior description, but the materiel upon which they were exhausted, was very far from being worthy of such an expenditure. Madame Vestris and Miss Copeland, and Harley and Fitzwilliam deserved every praise for their performance; and with all our objections to Giovanni as an hero on either side of the channel, we think he was on this occasion rather harshly treated, and an illiberal and systematic opposition formed against the interests of the Theatre.
JAN. 15. To night was produced a new serious musical play, founded upon, and called “The Pirate,” which, as we have been extremely lavish in
describing as a novel; we may the more summarily despatch as a drama. The piece opens with Cleveland's shipwreck. from which he is rescued by Mordaunt and sent under escort of Bryce Snaelsfoot to the Udaller's house, where he very speedily captivates Minna, without the tantalizing circumlocution of the Novel, The Udaller's daughters are however, a most unfortunate evidence of the inferiority of fact to description. The Minna and Brenda of the Novelist have a mysterious beauty thrown around them, from their dwelling in the wildness and remoteness of that ocean of eternal storms, and solemn and cloudy superstitions of their lineage and their land. On the stage this mystery of beauty is dissolved, and we see nothing but two girls in brown jerkins, and salmon coloured kirtles. It would be useless to trace the plot scene by scene. The principal features of the original story are adopted with sufficient fidelity, though omitting all introduction of the sage Triptolemus and his economical sister; as the compilers, Mr. Dimond, and the Honourable George Lamb, seem to have overlooked the chief charm of the Romance, and that which ought to have constituted the strength of the Drama. The popularity of the mysterious Author of the Scottish novels is eminently sustained by the bustle and melo-dramatic variety of his incidents; while the Dramatists in their determination to make their work serious, have omitted many of the stirring circumstances that make the life of melo-drame, and given us gravity, where it would have been far more profitable to have introduced action. In such a compilation, they ought to have made prize of all the striking incidents, and have left partings and reconciliations; maternal agonies, and that preposterous display, the meeting of the old lovers, Norna and Mertoun, to the imagination. To mention but a few of those, they might have given us the whale hunt, an exhibition of modern machinery which would have had all the attraction of singularity and velty. We should have seen the march of Cleveland to the Town-house at Kirkwall, with the mob kept at bay, and the bold defiance of the rovers, while the Kirkwall fair, and the capture of Magnus Troil's sloop, would have given vividness and variety to the drama. After the destruction of the
Pirate's ship the Fortune's Favourite by the Halcyon Frigate, the piece concludes with explanations and discoveries; temporary trouble and lasting happiness. Of the performers, we can conscientiously praise Cooper, Penley and Harley, as Cleveland, Mordaunt, and Jack Bunce; and Mrs. West and Madame Vestris were energetic and spirited as Norna and Minna. Of the remainder, the less we say, the more they should thank us. Munden was Bryce Snaelsfoot for two nights only, and we therefore omit him altogether, the more especially as his successor, Fitzwilliam, left us little to regret. Pope, as the elder Mertoun, was most whining, doleful, and lackadaisical; for Claude Halero, the most amusing of prosing poets, the compilers had done so little, that Mr. Gattie did nothing, and all the rest, Smith's Captain Goffe excepted, which was very good,-we charitably pass over. Most of the scenery was picturesque, and the interior of the Udaller's house and the ruined Churchyard were specimens of a superior order. Much of the music was sufficiently good for it's purposes, but one of the airs, "She who walks," attributed in the Opera Book to Mr. T. Cooke, being in reality the composition of Winter, in his "Ratto di Proserpina," naturally throws some slur upon the authenticity of the others. The house was tolerably full, and the piece succeded, notwithstanding some opposition, and we fear some partizanship, to it's prejudice.
Since our last notice of Miss Edmiston, that lady has again appeared as Lady Macbeth, with very evident im
provement in her whole performance; and notwithstanding our many critical colleagues appear to feel it one necessary mark of impartiality not only to differ from each other, but occasionally also from themselves, we uphesitatingly repeat our opinion, that her future fame depends almost entirely upon herself. Miss Edmiston has more recently appeared in the character of Cordelia, in " King Lear," and Belvidera, in "Venice Preserved;" both of which perforinances we conceive to have been still more confirmatory of our favourable opinion, as being more adapted to her talents; and in all probability more congenial to her taste. Of these, Cordelia was much the best; and mannerism and imitation are the Scylla and Charybdis which we eaṛnestly recommend her most studiously to guard against. Kean's King Lear, highly as it has been always eulogised, is, we think, much improved since we last witnessed it's representation, and it may now most deservedly be ranked as inimitable by any performer of our times. The character of Jaffier is, however, throughout so unsuitable to the style and tact of Mr. Kean, that the only excuse for his appearance in it is, that his popularity compels his appearance in every Tragedy; though as the expression of tenderness and irresolution are not his forte, his reputation is in jeopardy by attempting them. Mr. Cooper's Pierre was honourable to his rising fame, and all else was too nearly like what we are in the habit of seeing on every visit, to require notice, or to demand criticism.
DEC. 26. Christmas has been so long and so invariably considered the
harbinger of dramatic pageantry and splendour, that they have now become
almost as necessary requisites to our annual festivity as mince pies and turkey even our critical austerity is relaxed in their contemplation, and we hail the gorgeous display of magic palaces, and enchanted bowers, with all the proper feelings of delight and wonder. Our theatres, great and small, at this season, unite in astonishing us; and we have in consequence this year been treated by the Coburg with that surpassing novelty, a Looking-glass Curtain! thus proving, that the manager has at last found out how to produce something which his audience can reflect upon. —“ Veluti in Speculum" is, therefore, now no longer a dramatic adage, but a dramatic truism; though, until gentlemen shave themselves in the pit, or ladies adjust their curls in the sideboxes, we cannot discern even an approach to utility in this largest of all looking-glasses, weighing five tons! -As should the experiment ever be repeated, peculiar, we believe, to the Coburg, of chimney-sweepers complimenting the Pit company with the relics of their soot-bags from the Gallery, the pleasure will not be encreased by beholding the operation in the "Lucid sea of glass" which displays the goodly visitors reflected on it's surface. It is only justice, however, to the Proprietor to state, that this brittle piece of uselessness is peculiarly costly and magnificent; and certainly deserves a much better announcement than the mutilated English, and bad grammar, of the Coburg Play-bills. But we must leave disquisition for description, and proceed to business:
That glory of a Covent Garden Winter, the Pantomime, was produced this evening, and was entitled “Harlequin and Mother Bunch; or, the Yellow Dwarf. This house has possessed an old and uncontested reputation for fairy palaces and agile Pantaloons, for the transformations of joint-stools and wheelbarrows, and to make a mighty consummation of all pleasant absurditics, for Grimaldi! But rivalry seems necessary to excellence in all things, and the humble pretensions of Don Giovanni,” have had a perilous effect on the brilliancy even of "Mother Bunch," the programme of which was as follows:
"The Yellow Dwarf, (Grimaldi,) one of the Genii tribe on the coast of Golconda, is enamoured of the Prin
cess All Fair, (Miss E. Dennett,) daughter of the Queen of Golconda, who has bestowed her heart on the young King of the Gold Mines, (Ellar). The Queen, her mother, is induced, however, by the powerful threats of Mother Bunch, to forego her promise, and consents that the Princess shall wed the Yellow Dwarf. The disconsolate All Fair is so overwhelmed with the horror of wedding with this yellow imp, that she undertakes the dangerous task of seeking out the fairy, and imploring her to abandon her resolution; when, in order to protect her from the fury of the lions of the desart, she provides herself with a cake of millet seed, to charm away their rage. Her plan is, however, discovered by the art of Mother Bunch; her cake is seized, and she is caught by the Yellow Dwarf at the foot of the orange tree, where he makes her promise to become his bride, and fixes a ring on her finger, when she is transported to her own chamber, dressed in her wedding garments, to the great distress of the whole Court of Golconda. The young King, however, arrives, and claims her hand; the Queen, in despite of Mother Bunch, orders the ceremony to be performed, when the fairy bursts among them to prevent the marriage; the Yellow Dwarf, mounted on a large Spanish Cat, fights with the King of the Gold Mines, but being unequal to encounter such a Knight, makes his escape with the Princess, and carries her to his magic castle of polished steel; Mother Bunch, enraged at his cowardice, bestows on the King of the Gold Mines a diamond sword, that will vanquish all who oppose him, but if ever he lets it quit his hand she will become his foe. The King overcomes the giant of the castle and recovers the Princess, at the ecstatic sight of whom he lets fall the sword; when Mother Bunch for his neglect compels him to become the motley hero, Harlequin; and the Princess, Colombine. The other characters of Queen, Guinea Pig, and Dwarf, are changed to Pantaloon, Harlequin's Lacquey, and Clown; and so commences the usual escapes, changes, transformations, and whims of a Harlequin Pantomime."
The first scene, the Exterior of the Palace of the Gold Mines, was a handsome indescribable façade, where
the Monarch appeared surrounded by his Court, and some ceremonies, probably habitual to Ashantee and other opulent dwellings of savagery, took place before his Majesty. This was followed by a View of the Desart, an exhibition of perfect dreariness; while the Princess's bedchamber was a most showy compilation of rich walls, erimson silk and gold drapery, and her Nuptial Hall still more wealthy in tinsel. The stage next exhibited a succession of walls and battlements of a dingy blue by moonlight, called a castle of polished steel; the design of which was clever; but the colouring much more like slate than steel. Here a combat with a giant took place, in which the great man, as of old, was slain by instalments, an arm was lopt off and then a head; when the remainder of his person made a goodly retreat through the stage. The transformation of the lovers and rivals next occurred, and with it the romance vanished, for the rest was real life, Billingsgate, Blackheath, and other solidities of existence within the grasp of cockney recollections. Harlequin and Colombine find a junk in the harbour of Golconda, which is smitten by the resistless wand into an English ship, the lovers reached Margate. The view of this classic part of London recreation, the Ostia of Cheapside, is unlucky, for the resemblance was scarcely discernible. A pile of casks on the pier is suddenly converted into the Eclipse steam-boat, a very handsome structure; after which Grimaldi exerted his ingenuity,by seizing a bathing tub, and equipping it with a barber's pole, a gown as a sail, a bonnet as a pennant, and a cleaver as a helm, steered away with great speed and pleasantry. A succession of scenes in Cheapside, Stamford Hill, the Bell at Edmonton, the Rotunda of the Bank of England, then delighted or wearied the audience as it might happen, till the grand close, the Palace of the King of the Gold Mines, a gorgeous developement of the whole strength of gold pillars, gold dresses, and a gold cascade. This Pantomime is not the best that we have seen from the anthorship that has indulged the children of all sizes with such ancient pleasantries, for the tricks are of no great variety, and still less of any striking novelty. But few clever mechanical inventions were exhibited;
and a basket of fowls turned into a poulterer's shop, was perhaps the best. The dearth of incident was but feebly compensated by the exhausted drollery of John Gilpin, who rode about, lost his wig, and lost his seat, till the house almost lost their patience, when the freak was concluded by his bolting, head first, into a chinashop. For splendid scenery, we recollect no superior to this Pantomime; but for the more requisite ingredients of whim, ingenuity, and incident, we remember many infinitely more amusing. It has, however, been repeated to crowded audiences, with unbounded applause, ever since it's first production; and continues to delight children of all sizes with nearly it's original attractions.
JAN. 7. Miss Stephens's first appearance for the season took place this evening, as Polly, in "The Beggar's Opera," in which Miss Hallande made her bow for a first time as Captain Macheath. Of our vocal favourite, Miss S. we need only say, that she was received by a crowded audience with the most cheering welcome, and never appeared to greater advantage, nor sang more sweetly. Most of her songs were encored, and her execution throughout seemed, if possible, improved. We have so often declaimed against the equally unfeminine and ungraceful assumption of male attire by ladies, more especially in characters which from their very nature are efficient only when performed by gentlemen, that it is scarcely requisite to repeat our objections. Miss Hallande played Macheath as well as ladies usually do, and strutted, and sang, and vapoured, with much more spirit than she usually does as a lady; still we were not pleased, several of the songs are beyond the compass of her voice; and though much applauded, it was "the attempt, and not the deed,' which was thus honoured. Mrs. Liston sings admirably as Lucy, but Mrs. C. Kemble and Miss Kelly are the only actresses of that termagant.
JAN. 24. The character of Juliet, this evening introduced another fair debutante to a London audience, in the person of Miss Fanny Brunton, sister to the late comic heroine of Covent Garden, and a niece of Lady Craven: circumstances which were doubtless most powerfully advantage