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derful to relate! he kept his word, for numbers of them were appointed to offices in Drury Lane Theatre and the Opera House. By this munificence he gained his election ; but, in a very short time, he found opportunities to oblige new friends, most of the others being obliged to relinquish their situations, from receiving no pay.
The following whimsical account of Mrs. Siddons's first appearance in Dublin, is extracted from an old Irish newspaper :-"On Saturday, Mrs. Siddons, about whom all the world has been talking, exposed her beautiful, adamantine, soft, and lovely person, for the first time, at Smock-Alley Theatre, in the bewitching, melting, and all-tearful character of Isabella. From the repeated panegyrics in the impartial London newspapers, we were taught to expect the sight of a heavenly angel; but how were we supernaturally surprised into the most awful joy, at beholding a mortal goddess. The house was crowded with hundreds more than it could hold, with thousands of admiring spectators, that went away without a sight.
“This extraordinary phenomenon of tragic ex
cellence ! this star of Melpomene! this comet of the stage ! this sun of the firmament of the Muses ! this moon of blank verse! this queen and princess of tears ! this Donnellan of the poisoned bowl! this empress of the pistol and dagger! this chaos of Shakspeare! this world of weeping clouds ! this Judo of commanding aspects ! this Terpsichore of the curtains and scenes ! this Proserpine of fire and earthquake! this Katterfelto of wonders ! exceeded expectation, went beyond belief, and soared above all the natural powers of description ! She was nature itself! She was the most exquisite work of art! She was the very daisy, primrose, tuberose, sweet-brier, furze-blossom, gilliflower, wall-flower, cauliflower, auricula, and rosemary! In short, she was the bouquet of Parnassus!
“ Where expectation was raised so high, it was thought she would be injured by her appearance; but it was the audience who were injured : several fainted before the curtain drew up !
“ When she came to the scene of parting with her wedding-ring, ah! what a sight was there ! the very fiddlers in the orchestra, “ albeit,
, unused to the melting mood," blubbered like
hungry children crying for their bread and butter; and when the bell rang for music between the acts, the tears ran from the bassoon players' eyes in such plentiful showers, that they choked the finger stops, and making a spout of the instrument, poured in such torrents on the first fiddler's book, that, not seeing the overture was in two sharps, the leader of the band actually played in one flat. But the sobs and sighs of the groaning audience, and the noise of corks drawn from the smelling-bottles, prevented the mistake between flats and sharps being discovered.
“ One hundred and nine ladies fainted ! fortysix went into fits ! and ninety-five had strong hysterics! The world will scarcely credit the truth, when they are told, that fourteen children, five old women, one hundred tailors, and six common-councilmen, were actually drowned in the inundation of tears that flowed from the galleries, the slips, and the boxes, to increase the briny pond in the pit; the water was three feet deep, and the people that were obliged to stand upon the benches, were in that position up to their ankles in tears ! An act of parliament against her playing any more will certainly pass.”
PROGRESS OF LUXURY.
In an old Cambridge comedy of “The Returne from Parnassus," we find this indignant description of the progress of luxury in those days, put into the mouth of one of the speakers.
“Why, is't not strange to see a ragged clerke,
THE GERMAN PLAY," AT venice. An hereditary Prince made the tour of Italy: Venice was not left unvisited; and, during his residence there, he found himself in a social circle with the principal families. One thing, however, , hurt him much; as often as he was invited to any of the chief nobility's houses, some little Italian play closed the entertainments, and in these,
almost without exception, some German custom or other was represented in a ridiculous light.The prince took it amiss, but had discretion enough to keep his feelings to himself, and his example was followed by all his attendants, his chamberlain alone excepted.
The time of departure approached ; and the prince, on the evening before, invited all the persons by whom he had been entertained. Supper being over, the gentry were proceeding to place themselves at the card tables, when the chamberlain addressed them to the following effect:-"They had,” he said, “frequently charmed the eye and the ear of the prince, his master, by theatrical performances, which could not but be good, since they were Italian. It was, indeed, impossible for him to repay them in the same standard coin ; yet, he flattered himself, if they, for a few moments, would vouchsafe him their attention, to represent to them a German piece, as good as it was possible to make one there." The chamberlain then led the company to a great hall below, at the extremity of which was a miserable stage. At length appeared a German traveller, having round his waist a leathern belt, in which were stuck two pistols ;" he stared about