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“ old woman,”.
very naturally reyerts to their new : and it seems to be the general opinion that of the two, their old clothes are likely to set the easiest. Mr. Jenkins, it seems, cannot live without his comforts --for he is a man of taste, and has his little gentlemanly recretions—and Mr. James, and his Myrmidons, with a laudable anxiety, inquire whether the strange Gentleman will allow them bags, canes, and nosegays. Penruddock, enters, desires that.
,” if such be in the house, may be sent to attend upon him. At the suggestion however of Mr. Weasel, who acts as his Pylades, and professional adviser, he desires to be shewn to the gayest chamber.
He now enters a magnificent ball-room, where preparations had been making for the celebration of a grand fête, had not death, by a stroke of apoplexy, forestalled the owner's intentions. Here occurs his second interview with Herry Woodville, who arrives, according to appointment, to meet Penruddock, but still unconscious that he is the individual upon whom the fate of his family depends. Penruddock puts a case hypothetically, exactly similar to his own; and asks the young Soldier what the wretch deserved who so cruelly abused the confidence of his friend? The answer is prompt and decisive—“Death from your hands, and infamy from all the world.”—Penruddock informs him that the wretch is his own father; and that the victim is himself. The meeting abruptly terminates—Henry rushes out to seek his father, and learn, from his own lips, the truth or falsehood of this astounding and unlooked-for accusation.
An affecting interview with his parents follows; from them he receives the sad confirmation of Penruddock's injuries. He returns to the recluse, and after atoning, hy the fullest acknowledgment of his error, for his impetuosity, makes a tender and manly appeal to his benevolence. And here the sublime part of Penruddock's character begins to unfold itself-He is charmed with the spirit of the young soldier; the sternness of his resentment softens under the influence of more aniiable feelings, and from that moment, he secretly resolves to exhibit a proof of the noblest of all rirtnes, from the difficulty of its practice, in the prejudices it has to overcome,-that of returning good for evil. We have here an admirable stroke of nature. Henry is taking leave, when Penruddock exclaims, “A word before we part You bear a strong resemblance to your Mother-will you be troubled with a message to her ?”. These few words recall
, with pathetic terseness, his melancholy tale; we discover what is passing in his breast, and though hope has fled for ever, a holier feeling has succeeded it—that of humanity. The majestic form, the sublime expression of Kemble's countenance at this moment appear before us; and his tremulous
tone, while pronouncing these words—" You bear a strong resemblance to
your Mother, still vibrates in our ear.
Mr. Timothy Weazel, who is indeed a jewel of an attornernow receives his final instructions from Penruddock. The splendid mansion of the late Sir George, with its costly furniture, are doomed to instant sale--the mourners in black, and the party-coloured mountebanks in livery, are to be paid off, and dismissed ; Mrs. Woodville's settlement, which had been dissi. pated by her imprudent husband, is restored to her: and the entire property of Woodville himself, that had also been swallowed in the general wreck, is consigned to his son.
This last glorious triumph of benevolence over the dominion of an evil spirit, calls forth an unexpected burst of feeling from the lips of Mr. Timothy Weasel ; with whom we part on the best terms imaginable, and concerning, whom we may say, as it was said of one of the most amiable of his craft, honest Hickey!
“ Yet one fault he had, and that one was a thumper-
He was, (could he help it?) a special Attorney!” An interview of deep feeling follows between Mrs. Woodville (the once-loved Arabella) and Penruddock ; the grandeur of whose character is heightened by every succeeding incident: all parties are reconciled and made happy and the comedy, which had been alternately smiles and tears, closes amidst the most pleasurable sensations. The feelings are awakened and elevated by an instance of such transcendant virtue," above all Greek, above all Roman fame!” a dignity is imparted to human nature itself, by the exhibition of a character, perfectly natural in all its combinations, and which, in direct contradiction to the absurd doctrines of Materialists and Infidels, proves that circumstances avail nothing, when the mind has received its direction from the immutable principles of Religion and of Truth.
We have been thus particular in detailing the character of Penruddock, from its peculiar interest and importance. There are however other personages belonging to the drama, that make a very conspicuous and agreeable figure. A certain impetuous, warm-hearted old gentleman, Governor Tempest; an honest plain-speaking sort of a fellow, one Mr. Sydenham; and a loquacious, hot-headed, vain, amusing Welch Baronet, Sir David Daw: their various peculiarities are sketched with infinite humour, and give relief to the more sombre shades of this truly interesting comedy.
As regards the performance-we must begin with Kemble and as far as the character of Penruddock is concerned, we must end with him-he was the alpha and the omega--he conceived and executed the part with such intense study, judgment, and feeling, that it surpassed many of his own efforts--and left the attempts of his cotemporaries hopeless : it would be ridiculous to say that any actor, besides Kemble, ever played Penruddock. He, who would successfully attempt it, must think like him, look
like him, speak like him. He must have his manner, voice, and intellect--and if our heads never ache till we behold all these qualifications again combined, -content.
Dicky Suett-my queer one! my Bibsy !--my darling boy! He! he he!-Ha! ha! ha!-Ho!- the infinite comicalities of that lath-like figure—that head-of-a-knocker physiognomy, that ambling, shambling gait-that quizzical amalgamation of whistle, leer, grin, and chuckle, which distinguished, in a thousand odd combinations, the indescribable, the inimitable Dicky!
Suett (there was not an ounce of his namesake on his own comical body) was the original Timothy Weazel—and if ever a lawyer was rendered universally agreeable, thanks to this genuine child of glee, whom we yet remember with a smile and a tear.Mr. Blanchard is his legitimate successor in this character, which he plays with considerable spirit and humour; and if he would season it a little higher with an occasional dash of fun, it would afford the theatrical Epicure a rich comic treat. Tóm King, in the Governor, we never had the good fortune to see; but we have seen Mr. Liston play the character, and more than that, we have at the same time seen the audience laughing heartily, not at the eccentricities of Governor Tempest ; but at those of Mr. Liston. Mr. W. Farren has all the hurricane of the irascible old gentleman-he thunders most effectually; but lacks somewhat of his sunshine ; Tempest is passionate but not crabbed—"a damn'd fond forgiving old fool!" brimful of impetuosity and kind feeling. Mr. Farley, as the Cambrian Adonis, sir David Daw, is extremely amusing—his bustling air of self-importance his fair round belly, with good capon lin’d—his queer costume-and that sudden effervescence of temper which breaks ont, when he fancies that he is not treated with proper respect, produce a very laughable picture; we prefer Mr. Farley, in Sir David, to the late Bob Palmer : he is more impertinent and grotesque ; and looks a much greater Booby than our old favourite, the prince of “ My Lord Dukes.
The author of this play is Richard Cumberland-a man worthy of every respect from the lovers of literature. He was born on the 19th of February, 1732, in the judges' chamber, at Trinity College, Cambridge: his maternal grand-father was the celebrated. Richard Bentley, one of the most profound scholars that this or any other country, ever produced; and who, according to the fashion of those times, invested learning with such a degree of severity and mysterious awe, that its most ardent votaries became terrified at the first onset ; and many altogether turned aside from a path that seemed to promise little else but hard labour, hard words, and hard blows. His father, Doctor Denison Cumberland, was Bishop of Kilmore. Richard received the rudiments of his education at Bury St. Edmunds; he then became a Westminster scholar : and at the age of 14 was sent to Trinity College, Cambridge his first entré in the busy world
was as private secretary to Lord Halifax, then president of the board of trade.
He continued to fill several public situations with the most unblemished reputation:-when in the year 1780 he was sent on a secret mission to the court of Spain--but failing in his embassy, a circumstance no way attributable to any want of zeal or ability on his part, he found himself involved in considerable pecuniary difficulties, from the expenses he had unavoidably incurredhe had likewise the mortification of seeing himself wholly neglected by the very ministers whose dupe he had been ; who employed others, in their future negociations, whose characters were less generous and uncompromising than his own.
He subsequently retired to Tunbridge Wells, where he continued to amuse himself with a variety of literary pursuits. As a dramatic writer he is peculiarly prolific; having composed no less than 54 pieces for the stage-his other works consist of “ Anecdotes of eminent Puinters in Spain"-" The Observer,” a periodical work ; “ Henry,' a novel; “ Arundel,” a novel ; - Calvary,” an epic poem; * The Exodiad,” written in conjunction with Sir James Bland Burges; and Memoirs of himself: he is also the author of innumerable prologues, epilogues, political tracts, fc.
However bright his early prospects might appear, the close of his life was such as every friend to genius must deeply, very deeply, lament. Old age had overtaken him, and found him still providing, and with ali his ability with difficulty providing, for the day that was passing. This is a melancholy reflection; as it shows the heartlessness and ingratitude of the public, that, with all its boasted admiration of literature, abandons many of its brightest ornaments to poverty and obscurity. He lies buried in Westminster Abbey, a mausoleum worthy of a poet! We were present at his funeral, and heard with the most lively emotion the eloquent and affecting eulogium pronounced over him by the late venerable dean, Doctor Vincent. When we beheld him drop a tear, as the coffin descended, and contemplated his tottering form and tremulous voice, how strongly did these beautiful lines of Pope recur to our memory
“ E'en he, whose soul now melts in mournful lays, Shall shortly want the gen'rous tear he pays !"
The Conductors of this Work print no Plays but those which they have seen acted. The Stage Directions are given from their own personal observations, during the most recent performances.
The instant a Character appears upon the Stage, the point of Entrance, as well as every subsequent change of Position, till its Exit, is noted, with a fidelity which may, in all cases, be relied on; the object being, to establish this work as a Standard Guide to the Stage business, as now conducted on the London boards.
EXITS and ENTRANCES. R. means Right; L. Left; R. D. Right Door ; L. D. Left Door ; S. E. Second Entrance ; U. E. Upper Entrance ; M. D. Middle Door.
RELATIVE POSITIONS. R. means Right ; L. Left; C. Centre; R. C. Right of Centre ; L.C. Left of Centre. The following view of the Stage with Five Peformers in front, wili, it is presumed, fully demonstrate the Relative Positions.
** The Reader is supposed to be on the Stage facing the Audience.