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Mathews, we have already shown, was a The later career of Madame Vestris is member of her company. We can offer too recent to require being closely followed. no interesting details of the preliminary After the closing of Covent Garden she proceedings, but we know that on Wed- played for a time with Mr. Macready at nesday, the 18th of July, 1838, the star of Drury Lane, and subsequently at the Haythe Olympic was united to her clever com- market, the Princess's, the Surrey, as well edian at Kensington Church, the happy as at the principal towns in the provinces, pair starting immediately for the far west, ultimately becoming located at the Lycefull of hope and anticipation. Success, um, where her friends were introduced to however, is not be commanded ; and as her on the 18th of October, 1847. The Robert Burns once sang,
old Olympic Revels were here renewed,
the well-known name forming one of the The wisest schemes of mice and men principal features in the playbills. BrilGang aft awry.
liant extravaganzas from the prolific pen
of Planché, and other sparkling producOn arriving at New-York, and finding tions, were brought forward, and placed the weather insufferably warm, they passed upon the stage with a degree of taste on the a few weeks in cool retirement, during i part of the fair director that was truly rewhich time a portion of the press was in markable. “I am not yet put upon the dustriously employed in “ writing them shelf,” we remember her pleasantly saying down.” In this the parties so well suc- in one of these fairy exhibitions, in which ceeded that a persecution was commenced her rich contralto voice was heard with upon their public appearance, sufficient to much of its original charm. It was evidestroy their proffessional prospects, and dent, however, to those who remembered to undermine the health of the lady. her in the zenith of her beauty, that the From these attacks she was removed by eye had lost some portion of its lustre, that her husband, who took his farewell of an the step had less of its graceful sprightliAmerican audience, on the 13th of Nov- ness—a change which forced upon our ember, in one of the most manly addresses thoughts the truthfulness of the adage, that upon theatrical record.
“ things will last long, but not for ever." Madame Vestris — Mrs. Mathews we Illness at length assailed the fascinating should now call her, but the pen clings star of the theatre, and compelled her to with affection to the old name-reäppeared succumb. Her last public appearance was at the Olympic on the 2d of January, 1839, on the 26th of July, 1854, in the comedietta in a new burlesque entitled “Blue Beard,” of “Sunshine through the Clouds," on the and Wych street heard the plaudits with occasion of Mr. Mathews's benefit. It which her return was greeted.
was nearly forty years previously that she At the close of her ninth season the first stepped upon the boards-2 girl of Olympic was finally forsaken for Covent surpassing loveliness—for a husband's beuGarden, which was opened by her on the efit, and her last professional hour won 30th of September, 1839, with Shakspeare's from her a similar favor. From that night comedy of “Love's Labor Lost,” in which the sunshine was seldom seen through the she herself played Rosalind. At this clouds by poor Madame. Her malady house Madame Vestris presented to her was accompanied by increasing physical patrons a class of entertainments more agony, through which she lingered in hopesuited to the lordlier temple over which less suffering until the night of Friday, the she presided. She was herself, for instance, 8th of August. Six days later her remains the Lady Teazle of Sheridan's brilliant were interred at the cemetery of Kensal comedy ; the Amarantha of Beaumont Green, where rest many who mixed with and Fletcher's “Spanish Curate;" and one her in the busy scene. Two of her oli of the merry wives of Windsor, the true managers are there, Charles Kemble and Mrs. Page of the poet's fancy. The com- Morris, of the Haymarket; with Liston, pany selected by the fair lessee formed a too, one of her chief props when the Olymgoodly array of talent, and many novelties pic was under her golden sway. were brought forward; but on the 30th of Madame Vestris was long acknowledge April, 1842, the third and last season of the most charming actress upon the Eng this management was brought to a close, lish stage, and for nearly forty years lire the undertaking having been the reverse in the full blaze of public favor. She was of prosperous.
I a woman of undoubted talent, whether
judged as an English, French, or Italian, are indebted for the great improvement comic actress, or as a charming natural in our scenic representations, her talent for vocalist ; and blended with her former dramatic effect exercising an influence efforts was an indescribable fascination not which will long be observable upon our easily to be shaken from remembrance. stage. Time, as was once observed by an admirer, This gifted actress, in the morning of appeared for many years to stand still, gaz- her day, had no monitor to direct her ing upon her attractions, and so gently course, and heard no other voice than that did the great despoiler of beauty deal with of flattery. The young beauty conseher in face, figure, and voice, that there is quently imbibed a love of display which scarcely a female on record who so long re- became her characteristic through life. tained unimpaired her professional fame. Those who should have taught her to avoid Acting and singing with her was an impulse; temptation led her to its fearful brink, coyshe had none of the learning of a school, but ering the abyss with a gilded and a glossy trusted to her own innate feeling and taste, web. Hence, in after days, came rumors her performances receiving a considerable of failings to which the world too freely charm from the melody of her voice. The listened. Of those failings we will speak stage has heard no such voice since the gently, remembering her early training, days of the splendidly-gifted Jordan, whose and knowing that the narrow tomb is now joyous tones imparted a warmth around, her home. With great endowments, and whilst her laugh was the most enlivening | with lavish praise constantly ringing in thing in nature. The lower notes of the her ear, she knew nothing of affectation. Vestris were of a richness rarely surpassed, Her generosity and kindliness of heart was and the symphony to one of her songs cre- frequently exhibited, and received its reated in her audience a manifest gratifica- ward in affectionate and unwearied attention. It may be questioned whether she tion in her own hour of suffering, over was equal to the personation of the higher which Providence kindly spread the healclass of theatrical heroines, requiring for ing wing which hid her from our sight. their due embodiment an intellectual sub- We owe her much for refined entertaintlety ; but for the vaudeville and the ex- ment, and shall often think of her, travaganza, with which her name is so in
“Kindly and gently, but as of one timately associated, she possessed every
For whom 'tis well she's fled and gone; graceful accomplishment, and was the very As of a bird from a chain unbound, spirit of this species of light comedy. To As of a wanderer whose home is foundher sumptuous fancy and refined taste we!
So let it be!"
From the Gentleman's Magazine.
CH A T T E R TO N.*
In that portrait-gallery of illustrious men as admirable as Shakspeare, Swift, writers to which Mr. Masson has intro- and Goethe, as honorable as Wordsworth duced us, we turn from the likenesses of and De Quincey, to look with an interest
no familiarity abates upon a new delinea
tion of the "marvellous boy.” It is evi* “Essays, Biographical and Critical, chiefly on
dent that Mr. Masson himself has labored English Poets. By David Masson, A.M., Professor of English Literature in University College, London," on this portraiture most commg yang
London," on this portraiture most lovingly and well. (Cambridge: Macmillan and Co. 8vo.)
He could not otherwise have given us so faithful and complete a likeness of the or two, and you may see him, whilst still young poet in his sullenness and pride, a Blue-coat boy in Colston's school, writand kindliness and grief, or have surround- ting verses and lampoons for a provincial ed him with a group of accessories so pic-journal, imposing on the pewterer, Burturesque in themselves, and so useful in gum, an antique-looking pedigree ascendillustrating and bringing out in bolder ing through an illustrious line to one of prominence the subject of his picture. the knightly followers of the Norman,
It is, indeed, in this accessory matter and making his first essay in those ancient that much of the strength of Mr. Masson's poems which still command the admirabiography consists. A mass of curious tion and the wonder of whoever reads information, diligently gathered from ob- them. Or wait again a year or two, and scurest publications, is happily made use you may see him, an apprentice now to of to throw light upon the times through the attorney, Lambert, hoaxing Bristol which the narrative extends, and particu- antiquaries with an elaborate record of the larly upon those circumstances of the opening of their ancient bridge; boldly times which had the most bearing on the manufacturing Rowley poems in abundindividual history of Chatterton. Mr. ant measure; collecting knowledge and Masson has contrived to levy subsidies of especially antiquarian knowledge, from this kind from the most unpromising every source that was not sealed against sources, and to use his materials with a him; corresponding, upon equal terms, rare constructive skill. He leaves, in fact, with Horace Walpole; contributing to nothing now to be inquired into concern- one of the London magazines; and, finally, ing the external influences, whether of walking often in a moody state about the events or persons, which can be supposed neighborhood of St. Mary's Church, “ with to have had much to do with the wayward a brain consciously the most powerful in and precocious growth of the poet's mind. Bristol,” whilst he was yet sent down to
Taken as it stands on Mr. Masson's feed with servants in his master's kitchen. pages, the life of Chatterton is indeed a But the inward strife of these important strange and tragical tale. There was no years is never to be seen or known. The genial childhood in it-no seasons of de- mortifications which so proud a nature pendence and delight, however brief, to could not fail to encounter amongst purseusher in the storm and darkness of his pas- proud and illiterate citizens, and the bitter, sionate youth. From first to last there constantly recurring sufferings of a penni. was a morbid element in his mental nature, less state, were evils not to be repelled and ingrained ambition, and reserve, and by any means at Chatterton's command. pride, fearfully at war with all enjoyment The powers he was conscious of were, peror repose. At little more than seven years haps, imperfectly recognized; the poverty of age we have this account of him : he bore about with him was a condition
only too palpable to all; and it is easy to “Generally very sullen and silent, he was conceive how a spirit infinitely more paliable to sudden and unaccountable gifts of weep-tient than his might have found cause to ing, as well as of violent fits of rage; he was groan under the indignities to which such also extremely secretive, and fond of being alone; |
a contrast must be sure to doom him. It and on Saturday and other holiday afternoons, when he was at liberty to go home from school,
was, in fact, the refusal of a loan of money,
at a critical time, that brought about the mother, Mrs. Chatterton, and her acquaintances, circumstances under which the mournful what the boy could be doing sitting alone for drama of poor Chatterton's existence hours, as was his habit, in a garret full of all closed. Intervening scenes of overpowerkinds of out-of-the-way lumber.”
ing interest there were, but it was this
refusal—whatever else, bad this been This riddle, that the kind-hearted mother wanting, might by possibility have proved and her gossips could not solve, has no ob- as fatal—which looms out in the distance scurity about it now. Unconsciously to as the unmistakable cause. The connectherself, in that back street of Bristol, she ing links are evident enough. It was this had given birth to a young eagle, who was that gave occasion to a deliberate design even then pining and preparing for the of self-destruction, which had more than atmosphere and habits of his kind. Wait once suggested itself to the unhappy boy's a year or two, and you may see him try mind before; it was the accidental discohis wing in perilous flights; wait a year very of this design that led to his immediate dismissal from the attorney's office; And in that instance, in His mercy, God and it was this dismissal that determined had hung the veil. This, at least, we are him to adventure on that sea of wretched- assured of by poor Chatterton's letters to ness in which he was so soon to be a me- his mother. They are written, at this morable wreck.
period, in an animated, boasting, buoyant, The brightest interspace in Chatterton's almost happy tone. The first was comlife was that which came between his posed “in high spirits ;" the second tells emancipation from the attorney's desk of his “ glorious prospect," and of his posand the commencement of his brief des session of that knowledge of the art of pair in London. Hope brightened the booksellers which “no author can be poor future to him with a glory which the past who understands;" in the third “matters had never known. There was a pleasure go on swimmingly,” so much so indeed as even in the pain of Bristol leave-takings, to give occasion to the triumphant exclamafor he was going forth to assert for himself tion, “Bravo, hey boys, upwe go !" And a new position amidst new scenes. And, it is worthy of remark, too, amidst the reover and above his genius, he was going velations of these letters, how in the fullforth with a courage and a confidence de- ness of his own unsubstantial prosperity, the serving of a better fate. With little but writer's patronage and generosity overflow. a few guineas, collected for him by sub- His friends are to send to him the effusions scription, in his purse, the precious burden they would wish to see in print; his moof his Rowley poems, some manuscripts in ther is to be remembered out of his own modern style, and his high ability and en- abundance; and his sister is desired to terprising spirit, he turned away forever choose the colors of the two silks with from the old acquaintances and haunts of which he will present her in the summer. childhood, to seek renown and wealth in Alas! before the leaves of that coming a more promising career.
summer fade, neither silk nor color must It was on the 25th of April, 1770, that that mourning sister wear. Chatterton for the first time set foot in The letters we have just referred to London. Mr. Masson dwells on the minut-carry us onward to the close of the first est incidents—the rambles, and the calls month of Chatterton's London life-the and occupations, the scanty dinners and happiest, probably, in spite of disappointthe busy days of that eventful period in ments and anxieties and labors, of any he the young adventurer's life. The narra- had ever until then experienced. But in tive discloses an amount of energy almost connection with it, the question will unequalled. Within a few hours of his ar- suggest itself—was the munificence he rival he had already obtained interviews contemplated fairly warranted by any actwith the four persons from whom it was ual success, or was it merely the delusive most likely that he might obtain some expectation of a self-confidence yet sanprofitable literary employment. “Tired, guine and unharmed ? Mr. Masson, who and yet happy,” says Mr. Masson, “ the has entered deeply into the inquiry, asceryoung stranger bent his steps homeward in taining every thing that can be positively the direction of Shoreditch.” And then known, calculating every certain gain, and foreshadowing the dark catastrophe so conjecturing cautiously where proof is unnear at hand he adds :
attainable, adopts the first of these opin
ions, and concludes that “we shall prob“Ah! we wonder if, in passing along Shoe-ably be correct if we say that Chatterton's lane after his interview with Edmunds, brushing with his shoulder the ugly black wall of
total receipts during his first two months that workhouse burying-ground on the site of
in London can not have exceeded ten or which Farringdon Market now stands, any pre
twelve pounds." This, with his abstemious sentiment occurred to him of a spectacle which, habits of living and inexpensiveness in refour short months afterwards, that very spot | gard of amusements, must have been an was to witness—those young limbs of his, nou ample and encouraging, though not cerso full of life, then closed up, stark and unclaim- tainly a splendid, income. Such as it was, ed, in a workhouse shell, and borne, carelessly and irreverently, by one or two men, along that
however, a portion of it — and the fact
should always be remembered in abatevery wall, to a pauper's hasty grave! Ah! no; he Daces all unwittingly, poor young heart, that ment of our sentence on his manifold sins spot of his London doom, where even I, remem —was allotted to his mother and his sister bering him, shudder to tears; for God in his in the shape of a snuff-box, fans, and china, mercy, hangs the veil."
l as the fashion of the age demanded. Mr. with this despotic act, he placed his foot ing him to a stable, in giving him a blow upon the sacred head of his majesty, who, with a switch, and almost a blow with a at this moment, regretted not having his poignard, they followed general right and body guard, or at least his first gentleman local custom. All this was not badly of the chamber. The next morning, in- solved for a legitimate king who had stead of the flourish of trumpets which never beheld any thing except as reflected used to announce his awaking, he heard by his crown. But, as we have already around him only hens clucking to their said, the prince inherited good sense from chickens, and the stamping of numerous his grandmother, and despite of superinbeasts--quiet companions, whose presence tendents and Spanish friends, he had reseemed to announce that a stable was tained some of his intellectual faculties. He henceforth was to be his usual palace. thought that further by discovering him. Twice in the day the old woman came self to the Arabs, he should run the risk with milk, which he took care to put out of being given up to the Moors, and masof reach of the goat. One day he made sacred, or perhaps offered at so high a the woman understand that milk did not ransom that his uncle could not or would satisfy him, and she brought him some not pay it; and he decided that it would dates and a thin cake, which seemed to be much better to wait for an opportunity him the best meal he had ever made. of getting himself ransomed at the comThereupon his strength began to return, mon trade price, as a Christian of low and he was able to stand.
birth, by some private speculator, than to One morning, wishing to breathe the run away at the risk of another chastiseoutward air, and find out where he was, | ment. he left the tent; the sun had risen, and he His wounds were entirely healed. His beheld around him only a burning sky master, whose ill-humor had passed off, and a sea of sand. He had walked for- ordered him to aid the old woman in ward a few steps into the open space, looking after his fellow-lodgers—the goats, when a ferocious-looking man ran towards camels, and chickens; and to lead them him, and applied to his shoulders a switch out into the desert. Rightly understood, which he had in his hand. The insulted this is the occupation best suited to a deprince seized the rude fellow, who drew throned monarch. The duties of a shephis dagger, and was about to plunge it herd have also a kind of royalty, perhaps into him, when the old woman staid his worth more than the other kind, arm, making signs to Sebastian to return A sovereign, particularly of our days, to the tent, which he did. However bold can not dispose of the least of his subjects and angry one may be, we are never de- without thousands and thousands of judi. sirous of dying, especially when just re-cial forms, and a hundred jabberings. If covered from illness. When the prince's he only wants their money, he must ask anger allowed him to think, his reflections for it; and if they consent to give it, they were not agreeable. Nobody likes to be insist upon knowing what is done with it. thwarted, least of all a prince who has A shepherd meets with no contradiction, never been used to it.
has no shackles to get rid of. Does he reAfter giving his back and head a good quire clothing ? he shears a subject. Is rubbing, a sure method of obtaining con-one troublesome ? he kills him. Is he solation, he guessed that the man who hungry? he eats him. No remonstrance had behaved so unceremoniously could is heard. The deceased does not comnot be his subject ; that he himself was plain, and the rest of the flock rejoice, for not in Portugal, as the aspect of the place their rations are increased. It is true that had already made him suspect; that a shepherd receives no honied speeches neither was he in his camp, for he would from his oxen or his sheep; but what are not have been treated so cavalierly in the honied speeches ? deceit and falsehood. presence of his army; whence he conjec- It is true also that he sometimes has to tured that he had no longer any soldiers, drive away the wolves; but then he does nor even any subjects, and that possibly not see his dogs and rams join with them he was become a subject himself. At against him. And wolves are less hortal length, by going on from reasoning to than flatterers, detractors, place-hunters reasoning, from consequence to conse- creatures thirsting for man's life and gold, quence, he concluded that he was a pris- and skilled in depriving princes of reasca oner among the Arabs, and that in contin-1 and perception,