Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

dangerous, by the dramatic censors of Paris, in 1821, to allow a viva to be raised to Liberty, even in an Italian song, and the actor was ordered to substitute the words “ Viva la Hilarita!" against all the rules of sense and metre. In this manner it is always sung, to the great amusement of the sensible dilletanti, who know the liberty taken with the original.

DR.

[ocr errors]

a

JOHNSON'S IRENE.In 1749, Garrick having become manager of Drury Lane, employed the theatrical power, with which he had just been vested, in bringing out Johnson's tragedy of “Irene," which had long been kept back : but in this benevolent purpose he met with no little difficulty from the temper of Johnson, who could not brook that a Drama which he had formed with much study, and which he had been obliged to keep for more than the nine years of Horace, should be reversed and altered at the pleasure of an actor; yet Garrick knew that without several alterations it would be unfit for the stage. A violent dispute having ensued between them, Garrick applied to the Rev. Dr. Taylor to interpose. Johnson was, at first, very obstinate:

Sir,” said he, “ the fellow wants me to make Mahomet run mad, that he may have an opportunity of tossing his hands, and kicking his heels." He, however, was prevailed upon to comply with Garrick's wishes, and to permit a certain number of changes to be made, but still not enough to ensure its successful representation.

Before the curtain drew up, cat-calls were whistling, which alarmed some of Johnson's friends. The prologue, written in a manly strain, awed the audience, by the extraordinary spirit and dignity displayed in some of its lines ; and the play went on smoothly until it approached to the conclusion, when Mrs. Pritchard, the heroine, was to be strangled before the audience, and had to speak two lines with the bow-string round her neck. The audience cried out “ murder ! murder !” She attempted to speak, but in vain; and, at last, she quitted the stage alive.

This passage was afterwards expunged, and she was carried off to suffer death behind the scenes, as the play now has it.

6 Irene” was produced on the 6th of Feb. 1749, and performed nine nights. Johuson received £100 for the copy right from Dodsley, and netted £195: 17s. by three benefit nights.

[ocr errors]

VOL. ii.

P

THE COCKPIT, IN DRURY LANE. This Theatre had originally been dedicated to the purpose which its name imports ; it was also frequently called the Phoenix, from the circumstance of that fabulous bird having been chosen for its sign, when it was converted into à Play-House. It was situated opposite the Castle Tavern, and there is still in existence, a passage from Drury Lane into Great Wild Street, called Cock-pit alley; and Phænix alley, leading from Long Acre into Hart Street, probably owes its title to the neighbouring Theatre. This house was pulled down by the populace on the 4th of May 1617; and, during the work of demolition, many persons were killed and wounded by the falling in of its walls.

It appears, from a letter sent, on this occasion, by the Privy Council to the Lord Mayor and Justices, that the mob consisted of many thousands of persons, who, smitten with the love of morality, began by pulling down the bagnios, and in the height of their zeal, extended their Reformation to this Theatre. The House was speedily rebuilt, and the performances were continued until 1648. Soon after the Restoration, Thomas Killegrew obtained a license for the building, of a new Theatre, which he erected on the site of the Old Cock-pit; and his company, who had now obtained the appellation of “ The King's Company," removed to this Theatre, which was opened on the 8th of April, 1663, with Beaumont and Fletcher's Comedy of “ The Humourous Lieutenant.”

[ocr errors]

MRS. JORDAN.

This once inimitable actress, whose talents and amiable disposition will long continue to hold a place in the tablet of memory, while performing in Glasgow, was presented by the audience with a gold medal, which they enclosed in the following letter.6. MADAM,

Accept this trifle from the Glasgow audience, who are as great admirers of genius as the critics of Edirburgh.”

On one side of the medal is the. Glasgow arms which is a tree, &c. On the reverse, a feather, with the following inscription.

Bays from our tree you could not gather,

No branch of it deserves the name.
So take it all, call it a feather,

And place it in your cap of fame.

LES TABLEAUX.

Some few years ago, the following singular bill of fare was distributed by the company of actors of the town of Offenburg, in the grand duchy of Baden. " The Seven WORDS ON THE CROSS, AND ASCENSION

OF Jesus: A Pantomimic Exhibition, in Seven Movements. First Tableau. The taking of Jesus, and cutting off the ear of Malchus, in two movements. Persons : Jesus, Peter, John, James, Colonel of the Jews, Malchus, Iscariot, and the multitude of the Jews.

Second. The accusation and blow in the face, in two movements. Persons : Jesus, Caiaphas, several High Priests, and people.

Third.The denial of Peter, in two movements. Persons : Jesus, High Priests, and Guard; Peter seated at the fire with servants.

Fourth.—Despair of Iscariot. Persons : High Priests and Iscariot.

Fifth.— The Scourging.

Sixth.Pilate washes his hands. Persons : Jesus, Pilate, and Jews.

Seventh.Erection of the Cross. Persons : Jesus, under the Cross, Veronica with the napkin, and people.

Eighth.-The Crucifixion, in seven movements.-Persons : Jesus, Mary Magdalen, Salome, John, Colonel of the Jews, Longinus, servants, and people. Jesus pronounces the seven words on the cross. After the seventh movement, darkness

:

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »