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rulers. We repeat, we are not talking of the present government here with any party feeling ; we can see their faults as well as anybody, but we would even conceal them at present, because we are sure that, in enforcing a necessary taxation, they only do that without which the country cannot exist. If they have given pledges and made promises, they will doubtlessly redeem the one and fulfil the other; but let them wait until they can be called upon so to do constitutionally in parliament, and do not let a faction of turbulent and dissatisfied men and it generally occurs that the most violent anti-tax payers are people who never paid a direct tax in their lives) thwart and embarrass the ministry by a resistance which, we have no hesitation in saying, is at once weak and wicked.
We do not venture upon the province of theatrical criticism in our commentaries, but really the gigantic undertaking of managing the two great houses by one hand deserves a word or two, rather under the head of “ wonderful fortitude,” than in a classification of dramatic memoranda.
Providence has given us two eyes; so that if one should be poked out by any accident, we may yet see with the other. So government gave London two winter theatres, not, perhaps, with the providential forethought, that if one were burnt down the public might use the other, but, as it seems to us, that they might emulate and stimulate each other to great exertions for popular edification and amusement; and it is quite certain that theatrical matters were never in such a flourishing state as when there were two distinct companies of actors, and when what is called the monopoly was in full force. Colman's “ John Bull,” and Sheridan's “ Pizzaro," produced to the rival theatres, nearly about the same period, not less than fifty thousand pounds each. Where then was the great mart of talent?--it concentrated in what Mr. Spring, the boxbook and housekeeper, called “ the Lane” and “ the Garden,” and blazed away in public splendour and private respectability, unknown the moment that playhouses sprang up like pumpkins, and scattered theatrical ability all over the courts and alleys of the metropolis.
The two great eyes,--to carry on the allegory,--got weaker and weaker every year till at last the speculation in either became very bad indeed. Mr. Bunn is endeavouring to cure the ophthalmia by taking both under his control; and as far as having them both he is, perhaps, wise ;-in opening both, we think he is not, -unless he considers it right for the name of the thing, that both the patent theatres should exist.
It is clear to us, as a matter of profit, he would best succeed if he closed one altogether. A sportsman always shuts one eye when he means to make his shot tell; and, as far as the playhouses are concerned, it seems the most absurd piece of pains-taking to find Mr. King acting Rolla at the “ Lane" one night, and the next playing Alexander at the “ Garden”-a Mrs. Sloman (who they say is a very fine actress) practising the pathetic at the “Garden” on Monday, and doing the sentimental in the “ Lane” on Tuesday. Select one house say Covent Garden, because we believe it the larger-jam into it all the dignity, sentiment, pathos, pantomime, comedy, farce, and interlude to be got; stuff it like a turkey at Christmas, and shut up Old Drury. As it is, neither house is ever half full; then one might be crowded, and the moment the public ascertained that it was inconveniently crowded, and that there was not a box to be had to see Mrs. Sloman act, or hear Miss Inferiority (or whatever the young lady's name is) sing, they would all conspire to squeeze each other, and the string of hackney-coaches would reach half up Long Acre,
For an enlargement upon the question of the majors and minors we have no room this month-we may have next; but we must just observe, that the acting of Mrs. Yates in a domestic drama (as it is termed) called “Grace Huntley," at the Adelphi, is just as near perfection as anything on a stage can be. She is a Garrick in petticoats, and symmetrical as her figure is, we hope never to see her in any thing else. If Mr. Reeve would act his fun in sober sadness, he would really be a good player; but, like another and a much greater mime,“ the drink," as old Mrs. Hamlet says in the play, has exactly the opposite effect upon his fun that he wishes it to have; it makes him dull, stupid, and unintelligible.
Mathews's gallery at the Queen's Bazaar has closed; its exhibition, and its complete failure in attraction, shows, in a most curious manner, the value of a shilling in the estimation of man and womankind. While these very pictures were in his own house, huddled higgledy-piggledy in a small, narrow gallery, every body was dying to see them; half the lords in the creation and of their ladies, all the sages and even saints were on the qui vive to get a peep at Mathews's pictures. Here have they been better arranged than they ever were before, seen to infinitely greater advantage, and not ten people a day have been to look at them. To be sure, in going to Mathews's house, besides paying nothing for admission, the visiters were sure to experience the effects of his generous hospitality-and a more liberal man does not exist--the cold collation was an invariable result of the warm reception; and it may be, as is the case with some connoisseurs, that the "plates” were a greater attraction than the “ pictures.” Be that as it may, it is certain that the absolute neglect of the collection, valuable as it is, in many instances, from the intrinsic value of the portraits, but in all from the peculiarity and exclusiveness of its character, has established the importance of twelve pennies in the public mind, and, what is more mortifying to a zealous friend of the craft, the entire absence of any interest about theatrical matters in general society.
The Garrick Club, recently established in King Street, Covent Garden, have been in treaty with Mr. Mathews for the entire collection. Should they agree upon terms, they propose building a room for its reception. We can conceive no destination so suitable--none so secure as to its remaining unbroken. No private individual could or would buy the portraits of four or five hundred actors. The collection, if brought to public sale, would be weeded of the good pictures, and eventually scattered and destroyed, which, after nearly thirty years' labour in the concentration of them, would be too bad. At this Garrick Club they would be deposited entire, and remain in the most suitable locale imaginable. We hope the bargain will be concluded, because we are sure it would be desirable to preserve the “Gallery" as it is, and pretty nearly certain that it would be the best bargain for Mr. Mathews himself.
“ ALIENA NEGOTIA CENTUM."-Horat.
To the Editor of the New Monthly Magazine. SIR,-On passing through Berkhampstead the other day, I naturally sought for the little quiet vicarage in which Cowper was born-a drawing of which met my eye in the pretty parlour of pretty Miss Page of the King's Arms Inn. With deep grief and indignation I learnt that a Vandal named Crofts, the present vicar, pulled it utterly down about three years ago, and raised a mass of brick and mortar in its place. Sir, this act should be made public, in order that public scorn may recompense the bad taste and bad feeling of the parson who did it. If you think so, give this note a corner in your excellent Magazine. Sir, Yours,
[From a batch of “ Merry Poems" we select the following; but the writer must do better next time.]
That ever penned a sonnet,
Or tied a lady's bonnet.
That hath no parallel
E'er loved so ill—so well!
Or else too young-or I
Less fit to wed than die.
Some one else caresses;
Me and my addresses.
The nymph not quite so aged;
And she quite disengaged.
They'll never rant and rave,
And quiet-in the grave.
Nor illness, which is worse;
Yclept an empty purse.
l' the name of love and wonder,
So wrongfully asunder?
Woes that no tears can quench !
And I not one of French.
CRITICAL NOTICES. A Treatise on those Disorders of the Brain and Nervous System usuall
considered and called Mental. By David Uwins. Our planet has been called the Bedlam of the system. If it be so, how pleasing to observe the more convalescent of the patients strenuously devoting their skill and attention to the alleviation, or at least the solace, of their common malady! And how admirable the dispositions with which Providence has fitted up this beauteous hospital of incurables ! What endless varieties of grace and sublimity to breathe peace and gladness to the diseased soul, and to prepare, by the gentlest, but most healing of disciplines, the human maniac for that better condition where Reason will have nothing to fear from the rabble of vices and passions that have dethroned her in the present!' Viewing the matter in this light, we may consider our external world but as a series of remedial processes, or rather palliatives, to assuage our several lunacies,-its glades of verdure-the breeze, the brook, and the sweet music they discourse-the
Avapiduos yeaucouce; those summer-smiles of the ocean-all the charms and spells that Nature flings around us,—the whole earth, in short, but as a vast elaboratory, where the medicines are mixed and compounded.
But our vocation restricts us to the prosaic side of the question. We are not all so mad as Dr. Haslam thinks; and his remark, that “there is no individual of a sound mind," is an epigram, not an aphorism. Insanity, thank God, is an excepted case in the book of our existence;-a parenthesis only, that interrupts and suspends its context; and our friend Haslam knows it as well as we do, for an unsound is a morbid state of mind. That which is morbid implies a change: whereas, if our minds were unsound in their primary structure, insanity would be a symptom, not a change. There is nothing like bringing these gentlemen, who deal in strong expressions, now and then to book. But our business is with Dr. Uwins, whose Treatise we unfeignedly think is the best which the subject has yet called forth. He treats it as a gentleman and a scholar: if technical occasionally, it is from necessity, and the penury of our language in medical terms;-above all, he affirms nothing but from a copious induction of particulars. But why busy himself about a definition of madness, or about the definitions of Darwin and Brown? Why not enter at once upon the subject, without detaining himself and his readers in the useless antechamber of a definition ? Insanity is too multiform in character, and too volatile in essence, to endure the chains of a definition. If you extend your definition, it becomes description; and, as definition is forbidden to enumerate, it is quite clear there can be no definition of insanity. Dr, Uwins with his « erroneous conception,” Darwin with his “excess of active volition," will not help us. As for erroneous conception, we need not remind our accomplished author that the most sound and accurate conception frequently leads to those entangled problems and wild eccentricities of conduct which are the ordinary phænomena of madness. Erroneous conception, supplying volition with motives that render its exercise unsafe to the individual and to society, comes somewhat nearer the mark. Yet how much must be implied, and how much omitted, in such a definition! It says nothing of that necessary ingredient of madness-a too hurried process of association ;-that frontier-line at which an ardent imagination ends, and a disordered intellect begins. We could have wished, also, that he had let phrenology alone; for it grieves us to see him struggling, like Sinbad, with a load of materialism on his back enough to sink or strangle him. A medical reasoner, who argues from cerebral conforma. Nov.-VOL. XXXIX. NO. CLV.
tion, must treat insanity, not as a disease to be cured, but an evil to be borne. The usual doctrine of mind will answer his purpose quite as well; and it is a rule in philosophizing not to call in more causes than are required to account for a given effect. The crusaders were as mad as March hares; but, admitting Peter the Hermit to have been determined by a projection of the cerebral mass to the freaks of folly and superstition which turned Europe and Asia upside down, was the same organic disposition likely to exist amongst the thousands and tens of thousands, as mad as himself, that flocked to his standard ?
The truth is, unpalatable as it is to the pride of human philosophy, these problems must for ever remain unsolved; their solution implying a total change in the moral constitution of our nature. It were a more useful as well as a more modest procedure to limit our inquiries to the pathology of the disease, with a view to establish a correct mode of treating patients who are labouring under this awful visitation; and although to medical students we strongly recommend the profound remarks of Dr. Uwins on the pathological conditions or proximate causes of the malady, his chapters on the Prospects of Recovery, and the Preventives of the disease, contain good sense and sound reasonings of universal application. And when our author quits the dry and, we fear, barren soil of nosological disquisition for a series of strong-minded expostulations upon the duty “ of being satisfied with cheaply-bought pleasures," of keeping the nerves “ alive to pleasurable, and dead to painful sensations," " of cultivating self-respect," and, as a precaution against religious insanity, which is a frequent and melancholy phasis of the disease, urging us to bear in mind. “ that piety is not measured by' ardent feeling, or by an ascetic abstinence from the pleasures of existence," he speaks in the lofty and convincing tone of a moral philosopher, whose lessons derive resistless authority from a profound knowledge of man and his unhappy nature.
But it is to the treatment of the disease that all reasonings ought to be subservient, to be worth a farthing; and it is delightful to see what rapid strides have been made in this interesting branch of therapeutics. The most signal improvement is the growing disposition on the part of the directors of public hospitals and of private establishments to prevent the exhibition of the patients to gratify a wanton curiosity. Bedlam was at one time one of the fashionable sights of London. Ben Jonson makes Sir John Daw, in the “ Silent Woman,' escort the ladies to it as a regular morning lounge; and even so late as 1784, when Mackenzie published his “ Man of Feeling," that pleasing writer begins one of his chapters thus :« Of those things called sights in London, which every stranger is supposed desirous to see, Bedlam is one. To that place, therefore, an acquaintance of Harley's, after having accompanied him to several other shows, proposed a visit." But the author puts into the mouth of Harley his own good sense upon the subject :-“I think it an inhuman practice to expose the greatest misery with which our nature is afflicted to every idle visitant who can afford a trifling perquisite to the keeper; especially as it is a distress which the humane must see with the painful reflection that it is not in their power to alleviate it."
The Duchess of Berri in La Vendée. By General Dermoncourt. Pauvre Madame! The most rigid English prude-(we say English, as the prude English is the prude par excellence) must feel interest in, and compassion for, the fate of this illustrious but unfortunate lady. Of a right royal line-the widow of a Bourbon-the mother of a prince-she has struggled with difficulties and privations like a heroine; and had she lived in the gallant days of chivalry, a thousand-ay, ten thousand-swords would have leaped from their scabbards to aid a cause wild and impracticable as the one she engaged in, for only her own sweet sake. Much and deeply as