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water-boots of M. Delacre-Snaude, of Dun- their way in countries whose goods are strictkirk, will be highly serviceable to the sailors ly excluded from the French territory. and boatmen.
“ No one," says M. St. Cricq, “ complains Among the sinaller varieties in which the of being prevented from producing, and that national ingenuity has displayed itself, are I think well worthy of attention. Many are the preserved provisions of ní. Appert, the complaining that they cannot sell, or that portable water-closets of M. Derosne, the they sell at too low prices. This is an evil, impenetrable elastic camblets and stuffs of undoubtedly ; but does the remedy depend Verdier and others ; economical jacks and on us ? stoves, the plating of metalị, the hardening “ Yes, if the want of sale or low price is of wax candles, Simonin's composition for caused by the division of our own market cleaning prints, and a multitude of other with foreigners ; for it depends on ourselves useful inventions, the particulars of which to reserve it. Yes, again, if by rendering ought to be generally known in England. our market more accessible to external proLithography—an art which has been intro. ductions, we ought to secure to our own in duced since the peace, and which MM. En. foreign markets a vent which would exceed gelmann, Motte, Noël, and Langlumé have in profit the sacrifice we shall have made at raised to such extraordinary perfection-is home.” now employed not only for stamping paper,
Such principles are not, certainly, to be but for impressing cloth, cotton, silk, and sweepingly denounced as erroneous; though porcelain. Its cheapness has the effect of in many instances, some of which we have refining the taste of the lower orders, and it alluded to, the conduct of the French go. is a powerful auxiliary to that palladium of vernment does appear somewhat injudicious. civilization-the art of printing.
The heavy duties on the raw material used It is hardly necessary to remark, that are in several of their manufactures ; the misticles of raw produce have been purposely direction of industry at the royal establish-' excluded from the above statements, its ob. ments ; the government monopoly of the ject being merely to furnish a clue to a just salt, tobacco, and other trades; the little notion of the importance of French manufac. attention hitherto bestowed on the roads and tures with reference to our own. It is, how. canals ; the irregularity and weight of the ever, right to observe, thật the bulk of French internal wine duties ; and the high tonnage exports have always been its natural produc. dues on shipping, are but a few of the grievtions ; that not one-third of the population, ances that are loudly complained against. even at present, are engaged in trade and It is certainly rather curious, that while manufactures, and that these statements cana' we are seeking markets in every corner of not therefore give a just idea of the relative the world, our intercourse with our nearest strength of the two nations. With Great neighbours should be so very small; but if Britain it is exactly the reverse ; two-thirds the French, as we have already said, have of her people depend for subsistence upon made up their minds, that it is not their her manufactures, or rather, more strictly interest to trade with us (and we are far from speaking, upon the exportation of them. The saying generally that it is), there remains population of France being one-third greater nothing for us to do but to pocket the affront, than that of the United Kingdom, her home and endeavour to sell our Wares to whoever market is consequently so much more exten- else will buy them. sive, and her dependence on foreign cus In turning from the details we have been tomers so much less. It is also obvious that pursuing, to take a final glance at the effect the eight millions of exports form a propor. which the industry of France is producing tion of the whole value of French fabrics, upon the comforts of her people, we think it very small compared with that which the cannot but be admitted, that the charge so twenty-four millions form of the bulk of long made against her, of aiming at what is those of Great Britain.
dazzling, instead of that which is useful, is The great aim of France, at the pre- every day losing the proofs which have sent moment, is undoubtedly to secure hitherto sapported it. The royal factories for herself the advantages of being a com- yet remain, it is true ; and the exhibitions mercial and manufacturing nation. The of the Louvre contain a variety of articles, means she is using to attain the end are the the value of which consists in their rarity, same as were originally adopted by Great rather than their utility. But we have facts Britain, and by most countries whose trade enough before us to show that these superis in its infancy-those of restriction and Auities are rather the defects in the general prohibition. The
The minister of commerce character of the national labour the excepdeem's it his duty to take care that foreigners tions to the principle which directs it-thân do not interfere with the sale of national the instances from which a just opinion of productions in the home market - at the its worth can be formed. The pains taken same time professing an earnest desire of by those intelligent and patriotic citizens, enabling the French manufacturers to make who are constantly impressing on the minds :
of the manufacturers that their true interest Mr. Pitt, in 1787—a statesman of whose is to study the demands of the whole-not of sentiments the long war would perhaps have a few-of the country-not of the court-led many to think very differently. have already had an excellent effect, and “ I am surprised,” said that great minis their influence is gradually subverting the ter, " to hear from such enlightened men as errors and prejudices that have so long pre. I have heard speak upon the subject, that vailed in commercial matters. The agricul. France and England are naturally and neces. turists also are beginning to study maxims sarily enemies. The fact, I am persuaded, of practical wisdom; they are introducing is directly the reverse, for however ambition or the improvements adopted by the farmers of accident may have embroiled them with each other countries, and are calling in the aid of other, still there has always been in the india science to guide the application of their viduals of both countries a disposition to capital.
wards a friendly intercourse ; and the people Property of all kinds in France is in of France and Britain have each of them truth now reaping, in tranquillity, the har- virtues and good qualities, which the other vest whose seed was sown in the blood of has liberality enough to acknowledge and the Revolution, and whose growth has out- admire. To suppose that any two states are stood the stormy wars of the empire. The necessarily enemies, is an opinion founded abolition of feudal tenures the substitution neither in the experience of nations, nor in of general laws for provincial customs, the the history of mankind. It is a libel on the relief of agriculture from the burthen of constitution of political societies, and suptithes, and of commerce from the restrictions poses the existence of diabolical malice in of corporations and guilds—equality of taxa- the original frame of man!" tion and equality of rights, such are the benefits which France has purchased for her. self. They have been dearly bought, it is true ; but those who can appreciate their THE PATENT THEATRES. value, will bardly think any price too costly for such inestimable advantages.
(From the New Monthly Magazine.Can we, then, too strongly deprecate ex
No. XCVIII.) pressions of ill-will and hostility towards a people like this? Can we too urgently insist on the security which the example of a The long pending disputes in Chancery on government like that of France affords to the the subject of both the Patent Theatres, lead preservation of our own constitutional free
us to consider whence, and at what time, the dom? We cannot understand what sort of difficulties that occasion them could arise. love of their country those persons can feel, houses in the largest city in Europe, ought
The monopoly of the national drama by two who, while they are loud in their eulogies on our own laws, take every opportunity to indeed,
in proportion as an interest in sci
not to be an unprofitable privilege; unless, scatter the seeds of discord between us and that nation whose institutions so essentially ence and a taste for literature have been resemble our own. In the times when coun- even in the lower orders of society, dra
gradually awakened in the middling, and tries were governed by the caprice of princes, matic representations, the most attractive of one people was instigated against another to intellectual amusements, are declining in vagratify the ambitious views of the sovereign ; lue, or growing out of fashion. It is not but, in the present day, when the general easy to ascertain the value of theatrical proopinion directs the concerns of civilized na- perty in London at any precise date; but it tions, the public know, or ought to know, could not have been deteriorated in 1802, that their welfare can never be promoted by since we find that Mr. J. P. Kenible, a comjealousy and distrust of the inhabitants of petent judge of such matters, gave Mr. Haradjoining states. If a designing minister, ris 22,0007, for one-sixth share of Covent either in France or this country, had formed Garden Theatre; the entire property whereof a plan to deprive the people of any part of cost the latter gentleman 60,0001. in 1767. their rights, his best auxiliary would be to Mr. Garrick, also, who is said to have paid briog about a war between the two powers, only 35,0001. for Drury Lane in 1747, reand to turn men's attention from the preser- tired from public life with an ample fortune, vation of their own independence, to the de- acquired in the joint capacity of actor and struction of that of their neighbours. Hap- manager. In the various statements sent *pily our countrymen are not to be thus de- forth to the world by the proprietors of ceived ; the day when the French were con- either theatre, to prevent competition, or sidered our natural enemies has long since with a view to enhance the price of admispast, and we must henceforth behave to sion to the public, different pretexts are asthem as to those whose friendship we culti- signed. In the memorial drawn up on be
To those who think otherwise, we half of Mrs. Richardson (representing a recommend the perusal of the speeches of quarter share of the patents and other re
maining property of the late Drury Lane the patentees in building theatres so large Theatre in 1810), against the applicants for that the public could not hear the performa third theatre before the Privy Council, it is ers, destroyed the relish for the legitimate broadly asserted that “the proprietors of drama except on particular occasions, when Drury Lane Theatre have it in their power the talent of a new actor has re-awakened to prove incontrovertihly, to any person that interest, in despite of all the disadvanwhom your majesty, in your goodness, may tages under wbich the audience laboured. please to appoint for investigating the fact; We cannot better describe those disadvanthat their theatre (and it is supposed that tages than in the words of Messrs. Warren they might safely add that of Covent Gar- and Curwood (counsel for the applicant for den) could have held, taking the average a third theatre). “ My position is this, that through every season since its construction, the houses are empty from the natural incomdouble the number it has ever received." In modiousness of them. They may be occathe next year we find Mr. Sheridan, in his sionally and accidentally filled by the repreplace in the House of Commons, during the sentation of a new play, or the performance debate on the London Theatres' Bill, assign- of a favourite actor; but, in general, they ing something like a cause for the ill success will be deserted from the want of accommoof the theatre under his management: “ It dation."—“Although they have increased was the taste of the town that perverted the the size of their theatres, it is no accommotheatre. Mr. Kemble would much rather, dation to the public, unless they could inhe was sure, act on his own two legs, than crease the powers of the human organs—the call in the aid of cavalry; but the fact was, eye and the ear; for in their present state that the taste of the town was more gratified they are certamly more fit for a Spanish by them, that taste being perverted by the bull-fight, or an ancient Naumachia, than for depravity of manners, and the alteration in theatrical performances. If curiosity ever the mode of living, which prevented people induced any of your lordships to visit the of fashion from attending and taking the places appropriated for the accommodation lead in the theatres as formerly." At a of the humbler classes, you would find that later period (1818), when the Committee of the great size of the theatres entirely defeats Management of one house, and the proprie- the object of the drama; and looking down tors of the other, memorialized the Lord from the height through the vast concave, Chamberlain against the Olympic and Sans the actors appear like the inhabitants of LilPareil theatres, they complain that they find liput parading the great hall of the imperial “their long established patent rights de- palace of Brobdignag. Not a feature of the stroyed, upon the faith of which a million of face can be distinguished, far less the variamoney has been of late years embarked in tions and flexibility of muscles, the turn of their two theatres.”
the eye and graceful action, which, in an acTo return to the principal question, whe- complished actor, give life and energy to the ther the public have of late years shown an composition of an eloquent author. You apathy towards performances of the regular would also find that it is impossible to exert drama, and passing by Mr. Sheridan's “ de- the human voice to that extent as to be pravity of manners," which we take as a heard in those places, and still to retain the figure of speech (since he could never se- power of modulating its tones, to express riously have meant to have applied it to the with truth the feelings of passion and of whole nation), we affirm that in all times, nature." within our own recollection, the regular drama With regard to the encroachments of the has proved attractive, when a succession of minor theatres, we agree with Mr. Ellisnew pieces has been introduced, or some ton (in bis answer to the patent memorial thing like variety bas been thrown into the against the Olympic), that the encroachment cast of the parts in the old ones. It cannot commenced with the patent theatres. “The be expected that the same individuals will patent theatres have become theatres for the go every night to see Messrs. A, B, or C, display of the irregular drama ; the eneternally perform Richard, Othello, or Sir croachment was, in truth, committed by the Peter Teazle. Refer to the respective eras patent theatres on the minor theatres, and of Mr. John Kemble, Mr. Cooke, or Mr. not by the minor theatres on the patent theKean. The latter gentleman filled the house atres; and it was in the rage of engrossing to the very slips by the attraction of his Sir the whole store of stage exhibition, from the Giles Overreach ; and we have heard that deep pathos of tragedy to the highest flights Mr. Sheridan himself on the only occasion of tight-rope dancing--from the amblings that he visited the theatre during the ma- of the poet to the amblings of the ridingnagement of the sub-committee), expressed house from the splendid illusions of the his surprise that Mr. Kean should have scene-painter to the sloppings of the stage with chosen such a part : a surprise created, no 'real water'—from the attic playfulness of doubt, by his recollection, that it nerer filled “Congreve' to the more congenial playfulthe treasury books during his management. ness of “ Puss in boots,' &c.” AgainThe fact is, that the ambition or cupidity of “ Posture-masters must be found (for the
minor theatres), who should writhe them- tach to them." Then followed chancery, and selves into more contortions than Mr. Pack its concomitant-ruia! Trustee-ships, old was employed to do on the stage of the 'The- renters, &c. arrangements in and out of atre Royal Drury Lane :-dogs must be Chancery, and a maze of confusion, tbrough found, who should bark more eloquently which we have in vain endeavoured to see than the · Dog of Montargis' was engaged our way. Suffice it that in 1810 we find the to do on the stage of the Theatre Royal creditors classed under the order of ChanCovent Garden :-children must be found to cery in ten or twelve classes, and the amount support the dignity of the minor stage, as of their claims stated at not less than from effectually as the dignity' of the great three to four hundred thousand pounds. national concern' of Drury Lane was sup- Twelve classes of creditors ! Mercy on us! ported, lately, hy the little girl who person- one class is quite sufficient for an unfortuated Richard the Third :'--horses must be nate individual. Drury Lane Theatre was found to prance, if possible, more classically destroyed by fire in February, 1809. than those that sustained the ‘ regular and During the interval between the destrucnational drama' of 'Timour the Tartar.' tion of the old, and the erection of the prePoor Mr. Astley! (the original proprietor of sent theatre, the application, to which we the Olympic) used to exclaim pathetically, have before alluded, was made to the privy (Why do they take my horses? I never tried council, and also to parliament, for permisto engage Mrs. Siddons.''
sion to build a third theatre (under a charter The main cause of all the difficulties of of incorporation), to be entitled, “The the patent theatres has been, not public London Theatre.” The time was ill-ebosen: neglect, nor expenses occasioned by actors' something was said by counsel about“ smoksalaries, nor other legitimate purposes in ing in its ruins :" and it seemed like taking support of the “national drama," but the an ungenerous advantage of the recent misaccumulation of this very “million,” so os- fortune. Mr. Sheridan was present as a tentatiously set forth by the memorialists. privy counsellor, and also pleaded his own While Mr. Sheridan was making speeches in cause. The counsel rejected the petition, parliament against the increase of the public and Mr. Whitbread got rid of the bill in the debt, he was insensibly augmenting his own Commons by pledging himself that a new and the theatre's incumbrances. Debt, Drury should soon rise like the phenix that which, from the commencement of the pre- was so often afterwards tortured in its sersent century, has pressed like an incubus on vice. We copy some of the proposals for the national resources, began about the same the London Theatre, that the public may time to intrude itself into the two principal see what it then lost; and, should any such preserves for public amusement. The old project be entertained again, benefit by past theatre, which Mr. Sheridan derived from experience. Garrick, and wherein Garrick made his for The memorial for the London Theater was tune, was said to be in such a dilapidated signed by the Right Honourable Thornas state in 1791, that Mr. Sheridan and Mr. Smith (then Lord Mayor of London), and Linley determined to pull it down and erect by nine other gentlemen on behalf of them. another. To commence on a grand scale, selves and others. The capital subscribed they issued proposals for a loan of 150,0001, was 200,0001. Among other resolutions, it
a moiety to be applied to the extinction of was proposed the existing incumbrances, and the other to " That, for the security of the public, and the erection of a new theatre on the same
as a means of for ever protecting them site." The new theatre was erected in 1793; against the advance of prices,' the profits and its evil genius, like the wooden or leaden above five per cent., if any, should be divided Apollo that surmounted its roof, preside into three equal parts, and be appropriated as over it from its birth to its destruction. The follows :estimate made by Mr. Holland, the archi “1. One-third thereof to constitute a fund, tect, amounting to 80,0001. “ was," we copy to be set apart and applied from time to time Mr. Sheridan's expressions, “ without at
to the repair, alteration, and embellishment tributing the slightest unfair conduct to that of the theatre, or to answer extraordinary disgentleman," deficient, as compared with the bursements, or to come in aid of occasional actual expenditure, only in an even sum of calamities, so that there be no pretence for the same amount. The theatre opened in any farther call on the proprietors, or any inthe beginning of the year 1794, “ in a very creased demand of prices from the public. incomplete state, with the intended sura
“II. One-third of the same surplus to rounding buildings comprised in the plan create a fund for the encouragement of the and estimate not even begun, and a debt exceeding one hundred and sixty thousand drama, by giving annual premiums for new pounds left unprovided for. Under these plays, by establishing a school in the theatre circumstances, the proprietors, took the liquidation of the debt upon themselves, al
*Is it not extraordinary that the manager of a
theatre is the only purveyor who does not know the though no personal responsibility could at value of his wares?' A booksellet will, if he approre
for the histrionic art, and for its accessaries, tragedy, and attract them, by alternate and music, 'dancing, and decorations, &c. and to judicious exhibitions, to the representation of provide a retreat to meritorious writers and well-cast comedy and opera. But, no : they artists, who, by a service of twenty years in thought that the public, like the actors in the the theatre, might entitle themselves thereto. Critic, “ would never have enough of a good
“III. The other third to go to the pro- thing;” and were determined to cut up their prietors, as profit on the capital advanced.” goose and suck the golden eggs. They
The new Drury Lane Theatre was erected played tragedy as often as the lungs of under the auspices of Mr. Whitbread, and Roscius would bear it. They did more opened in 1812, with a fresh subscription, they tried to persuade the town that they had limited by the Act of Parliament to 300,0001. no other good actors, by printing the name of (to be added to the debt “left unprovided KEAN in enormous capitals, and sinking for,'') under the management of a committee every other first-rate performer into common and sub-committee. The trustees, &c. of the type. The theatre was afterwards let on old concern were now ex-official characters. lease ; first to Mr. Elliston, and afterwards The sub-committee, on whom the conducting to the present lessee, Mr. Price. As we have of the performances chiefly rested, were lords, nothing to do with their private concerns in members of parliament, and gentlemen of a speculation, for the result of which the fortune. Lords and members of parliament Drury Lane Committee are alone answerto manage a theatre! To listen to tragedy, able to the public, we turn to Covent comedy, opera, and farce; actor, actress, or Garden. singer, on engagement, and at rehearsal ; to Whilst Drury Lane was getting more and consult upon casts of character, scenery, more in debt, her rival sister was following dresses, &c. &c. and to “divide upon the in the same unprofitable career. We have question !" Politics must have been post. bestowed so much space on one of the faponed for pantomime, and bills of the play mily, that we must necessarily be brief in must have taken the precedence of bills in our account of the other. The Theatre parliament. The very first act of the com. Royal Covent Garden was also destroyed by mittee (or sub-committee) was a joke; and fire in 1808, and the expense of the new gave rise to a better joke-“The Rejected building was not less than 300,0001.—it had Addresses.” The“Cobbler of Preston" could a previous debt of 30,0001., making the not have been so puzzled as these dignitaries whole debt 330,000). The sale of thie old appear to have been between their two states of materials, money received from the insuexistence. Like the two Roman augurs, when rance offices, and other property, reduced they met, they must have laughed in each the debt, at the opening of the theatre, in other's faces. Their memorial, in 1818, to 1809, to 200,000 guineas.* the Lord Chamberlain, contains the ludicrous · Since all these expenses, affecting both assertion that they, the memorialists, would theatres, were made the pretext for raising suffer “certain ruin” if the Sans Pareil and the prices on the public, it may be worth Olympic theatres were permitted to exist : while hazarding a few observations on them. this memorial is signed - Essex, Yarmouth, The difference between Mr. Holland's estiD. Kinnaird, T. Å. Farquhar, P. Grenfell, mate and the cost of the preceding Drury, is Edward Codrington,” &c. &c.
very extraordinary, and the liberality of the | Lordly management had nearly closed the proprietors still more so. Who, in erecting doors a third time, when the discovery of the an extensive building, would not require brilliant genius of Mr. Kean by the town security for performance of the contract? (not by the sub-committee, for they could not and who would not enforce it? Again, when lay claim to any foresight in the matter), insured was found to be only 35,0001.; the
this theatre was destroyed by fire, the sum turned the tide in their favour. But to sustain their characters as amateurs, they made the excuse for this is, that the insurance
sum expended in the building being 160,0001. use of this “God-send” in the clumsiest way possible. They possessed an excellent companies demanded 31. 3s. per cent. for incompany of comedians, who had for a sea. 41. 4s, and 52.58. on larger sums. We know
surance of theatres from fire on 50001., and son, through the mismanagement of the com; that the companies decline underwriting mittee, lost their attraction. The theatre had become what is called “not fashionable.” such hazardous property; but it is evident
more than a certain sum, individually, on Now was the opportunity, since Mr. Kean's that, had the estimate of Drury Lane in this extraordinary success had restored the “ ton,"
case been adhered to, it might have been into try and charm the crowds who came to see sured, or the loss incurred would have been
only 45,000l. ; whilst, in consequence of this of a work, pay a certain sum for the copyright, and risk an addicional sum in the publication, at the hazard of losing by the fiat of a very capricious pub. Jic-the reading public. But the writer of a drama • We copy these details from Mr. Sugdeu's speech must make up his mind to stake the labour of in the Court of Chancery on the 16th of January, months on the fortune of a single night.