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through her part with wonderful composure. Mr. Kemble appeared greatly agitated, yet in no instance did his trouble interrupt him in carrying on the “ cunning of the scene:" Perhaps a finer dumb shew was never witnessed. In the scene where C. Kemble, as Macduff, triumphs over the fallen usurper,
the audience took considerable delight. Many cried out, “ Well done, kill him, Charley!" and exulted in the ideal pangs of the dying Macbeth.
The performances of the evening closed with the entertainment of the “ Quaker," who was as dumb as though “ the spirit did not move him." The whole was over before ten o'clock.
After the curtain dropped, the audience kept their seats, in expectation of the managers coming forward. They were loudly called for, yet did not condescend to appear. The only excess in which the spectators indulged was a noisy disapproval of, what they conceived to be, unjustifiable innovations on their prescriptive rights; they continued clamorous even after midnight. There was a complete rivalry between the public and the managers, in exhaustion of patience.
When Mr. Kemble made his first appearance to speak the address, a paper was handed to him
from the pit; he glanced at it, and, as it is supposed, found it not to be friendly, for he blushed, and huddled it into his pocket. The audience singled him out as the object of their peculiar disapprobation, and in the entire second act, stood up with their backs turned to him. Indeed, through the whole play, they kept a standing position on the benches, with their hats on. A candle was thrown at Mr. Liston, during the performance of the “ Quaker.”
When the magistrates appeared, the indignant cries of“ No police in a Theatre” induced those ill-advised men to make their congés, and retire. Constables attempted to clear the pit and galleries; in the former they met with opposition, and evasion in the latter; the tenants of the upper gallery dropping themselves quietly into the under.
By degrees, the uproar subsided into the loyal effusion of “ God Save the King," when those who remained, retired, and the house was cleared at half-past twelve.
The above concise detail of the tumult that occurred on the first night of the re-opening of Covent Garden Theatre, may be taken as a fair sample of the diversions practised therein for
sixty-six nights in succession, when peace was proclaimed by both public and managers; both parties agreeing to the reduction of the pit-price from 4s. to 3s. 6d. the advancement of the boxes from 6s. to 7s. and the reduction in point of number of the private boxes, together with the non-engagement of Madame Catalani.
During this “ Theatric War," it may be guessed the wits were not backward in showering down their lampoons on the hapless managers. Kemble, of course, came in for his full share of pasquinades, some of which are certainly worthy of being treasured here ; from which we select the two following.
SOLILOQUY OF THE MOOR OF COVENT GARDEN.
I had been happy if th' united House,
Th' ear-piercing whistle, and terrific bell,
And ye, ye catcalls, of infernal sound,
--cease your horrific din.
THEATRES AND THEATRICALS.
Then, if I to the stage belong,
Of Billington and Braham!
Of Townsend and of Graham.
The soul of harmony is dead,
With rioting and battles.
My lyre to horns and rattles.
THE UNSUCCESSFUL GHOST. An unfortunate débutant who made his appearance as the Ghost, in “ Hamlet,” was so rudely treated by the audience, that, in the midst of the scene, he took off his visor, and put the audience in perfect good humour by saying, “ Ladies and Gentlemen, it was my hope to please you; if I have failed, I must give up the Ghost."
END OF VOL. II.
Printed by D. S. Maurice, Fenchurch-street.