« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
patient is then introduced, and the maguetic power, as Craniologists would say, becomes fully developed. Sighs, tears, and transports, foliow each other, in rapid succession: the Doctor is alarmed at these symptoms; and a dance, comically enough introduced, puts an end to the Act, though not to his uneasiness. We have now a trick at the expense of Jeffrey : this unlucky person, by the wicked invention of Lisette, has a touch of hydrophobia. Copious showers of water are discharged iu his face, and it is proposed by all parties to smother him. To the latter, (though the Doctor assures him that it will be over in ten minutes,) he evinces a particular dislike, and very prudently scampers off as fust, if not as mad, as a March hare. The Doctor's turn follows next :—the patient becomes seriously affected by the old gentleman's experimeuts—his tortures redouble, his strength fails—his eyes lose their sight-he dies. Where are the infallible drops ? Uuder lock and keyand Jeffrey has run off with the latter. Exit the Doctor. La Fleur and the Marquis exchange clothes in the interin and the plotting Valet is himself unexpectedly placed in jeopardy-for counterfeiting death in his master's stead. The Doctor returns in a violent bustle, with a bag of instruinents in liis hand, resolved, as a dernier resort, to hazard an experiment of his own on the body, in the hope of restoring it to life. This is no very agreeable prospect to La Fleur, particularly when he hears that a skillet of oil is on the fire, ready to give efficacy to the experiment in question. At this important crisis, the Marquis de Lancy appears, accompanied by Messieurs Piccard and François, disguised as physicians, to inquire after a patient that had beeu brought thither by a notorious professor of quackery. They are shown the dead body, and the sham physicians commence taking notes with great gravity. The plot thus thickening upon the unfortanate Doctor, who stands a chance of being hanged for murder, he agrees to forego the pleasure of espousing his fair ward, whon he resigns to the Marquis, on the promise of the affair being hushed up. The re-animation of La Fleur speedily follows; aud the old guardian discovers, with bitter reflections on his own gullibility, the trick that has been played upon him.
“ Animal Magnetism” possesses the principal requisites of farce ;- fun, bustle, and extravagance. The waggery of La Fleur— the perplexity of the Doctor—and the pertness of Lisette, form a good picture. The piece was first performed at Covent Garden Theatre, in the year 1788, with
great success ;
and it has ever since continued a favourite with the public.
Little Quick was the original Doctor: his rubicund face, with its rich comic expression, his Sancho Panza-like figure, and his voice, bearing some affinity to the squeak of a Bartlemy-fair trumpet, invested the character with a degree of drollery that it has not exhibited siuce. This is a part; and Doctor Rosy, in “ St. Patrick's Day,” is another, that no actor has ever touched like Quick : and excellent as the performance of Mr. Wm. Farren undoubtedly is, he holds not, in this instance, such absolute sway over our risible faculties, as his veteran predecessor. Mr. Fawcett, in La Fleur, is all that can be desired. His description of the wonderful animal fluid is most learned and confused; he betrays a becoming horror at the sight of the Doctor's apparatus ; receives the gratuitous slaps bestowed by Lisette, with exemplary patience; and not being absolutely defunct, according to College rules, starts into life again, with admirable spirit and vivacity. Miss Hervey, however agreeable, is far inferior to Mrs. Wells, the original Couslip to Edwin's Lingo: and Mrs. Gibbs, though less arch and piquant than our old favourite, the late Mrs. Mattocks, displays, with considerable advantage, that broad style of humour, which no actress knows how to employ with better grace and effect than herself.
“ Animal Magnetism” is the production of Mrs. Inchbald, a lady to whom the public are indebted for much dramatic entertainment.
The Conductors of this work print no Plays but those which they have seen acted. The Stage Directions are given from their own personal observations, during the most recent performances.
EXITS and ENTRANCES. R. means Right ; L. Left; R. D. Right Door; L. D. Left Door ; S. E. Second Entrance ; U. E. Upper Entrance ; M. D. Middle Door.
The Reader is supposed to be on the Stage facing the Audience.
MARQUIS.–Full dress-suit embroidered, white silk stockings, pumps and buckles, handsome robe de chambre over it, and cap. Second dress: a doctor's scarlet gown.
DOCTOR.-Crimsou velvet suit, with black buttons and trimming, black stockings, with white clocks, long, curled, powdered wig, square-toed shoes and buckles.
LA FLEUR.-Old-fashioned spotted velvet coat and breeches, scarlet gold-laced waistcoat, scarlet stockings, with white clocks, square-toed shoes, buckles, three-cornered hat, and long curled wig.
JEFFREY-Black jacket and breeches, canvas apron and sleevecovers, to tie round the wrists, blue stockings, shoes, black patch over left eye.
PICCARD and FRANCOIS.--Black and scarlet gowns, long curled wigs, &c.
LISETTE.-Neat slate-coloured gown, trimmed white stockings, coloured shoes, and cap.
CONSTANCE.-White satin, handsomely trimmed.
Cast of the Characters as performed at the Theatre Royal,
SCENE I.-An Apartment in the Doctor's House.--A
table, chair, pen, ink, paper, and wafers. Enter CONSTANCE, R. hastily, meeting LISETTE, L. Con. Lisette, Lisette, who do you think I have just seen ?
Lis. (L.) Your old guardian, I suppose. Con. Do you think I should look thus pleasant, if it was him I meant ?
Lis. Who, then ?-our jailor who keeps the keys?
-How you talk !
Lis. No, no; I guess who you mean ;--the young Marquis De Lancy ; and he has passed so frequently under your window, within these few days, that I am amazed your guardian, with all his suspicions, has not observed him.
Con. He has walked by, above ten times within this hour, and every time with his eyes fixed up to the lattice of my window, and I had no heart to remove from it, for, every time, he saluted me with a most respectful bow.
Lis. (L.) Was his valet with him ? Con. (R.). No; but I saw another person in deep conversation with him, a strange-looking man, who appeared like one of the faculty, for his dress very much resembled that of my guardian's.
Lis. Who could it be ?
Con. But what most surprised me, he had a letter in his hand, which he respectfully held up to me; but I could not reach it.
Lis. I know who it is—La Fleur, valet to the Marquis, disguised as a doctor; and I have no doubt but, under that disguise, he will find means to introduce himself to your old guardian, and perhaps be brought into the very house ;
and if I can assist his scheme I will; for is it not a shame, the Doctor should dare, here in Paris, to forbid both you and your servant to stir from home; lock us up, and treat us as women are treated in Spain !
[With anger. Con. Never mind, Lisette, don't put yourself in a passion, for we can learn to plot aud deceive, and treat him as men are treated in Spain.
Lis. Right, madam! and to prove I am not less inclined than yourself to Spanish manners, I am as much in love as
Con. Not with the Marquis ?
Lis. Do you think I don't know better where it is my duty to love ? I am in love with his man.
Cun. I wish I knew the contents of that letter he held out to me.
Lis. That you are beloved-admired- I can tell every word in it I know every sentence as well as if I had read it, and now, madam, it is my advice, you sit dowu and answer it directly
Con. Before I have read it ?
Lis. Yes, yes'; give your answer at the time you receive his letter-consider how convenient it will be to give the one, while you take the other :-we are so watched, you know, that we ought to let no opportunity pass, for fear we should never get another; and, therefore, when he finds means to send his letter, you must take the same to return yours.
Con. But if my guardian should ever know I had written to a gentleman
Lis. I'll write for you :-and, should there be any discovery, the letter will be in my hand-writing, uot yours. We must lose no time the Doctor is abroad at preseut, avd it must be both written and delivered before his return.
[Crosses and sits at the table, R. and begins to write. Con. But, my dear LisetteLis. Don't put me out.
Con. What are you saying ?
Con. You don't know my thoughts ?
Lis. No, don't examine your thoughts, I beg you won't : [Folds the letter and rises.] besides, you have no time to read it. I must run to the garden gate and deliver it inime. diately.-[Crosses, L.] The worst difficulty is, having, for