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whoever does it. The fact is, sir, your bills meet with as much opposition as bills in Parliament; and I'm sure I don't know why, unless it is that they are what we call money-bills.
Manager.-Perhaps they are too large, and occupy too much space : you know the printing is very large, the type is bold, and the capitals are immense.
Bill-sticker.—That's it, sir. It's the immense capital ; it's such a novelty in theatres that they ’re all afraid of it. Shall I pull down their bills, sir ?
Manager.-Certainly not. I will never sanction those whom I employ in unworthily attempting to hurt the interests of others. My theatre is for the amusement of all, and the employment of many; but the injury of none.
Bill-sticker.-Oh! if that 's your motto, everybody ought to stick
and I 'm sure I will for one. Manager.—Thank you, friend, for the promise of
Bill-sticker.-And it's no mean influence, either ; for, though only one poor fellow, I carry more bills in a day than the House of Commons carries in a whole session.
(Exit Bill-sticker.) Manager. — Well! management does not seem so smooth, after all: one meets with vexations now and then, I fear. Oh! who comes now?
(Enter Queershanks.) Manager.—Your pleasure, sir ?
Queershanks.-My name is Queershanks. You have built a theatre, have you not?
Manager.--I have, sir.
Queershanks.-Certainly : but not a model of a theatre; a model of a man.
Manager.-What for, sir ?
Queershanks.—Why, sir, you will want occasionally to give representations of statues. I am an excellent hand at it.
Manager.-But, sir, my theatre is dedicated to Apollo.
Queershanks.—The very thing, sir: I have stood as the model of the Apollo Belvedere to the cleverest artists.
Manager. They must have been clever artists to make an Apollo Belvedere with you for their model; but I cannot entertain your engagement in that shape.
Queershanks.-Not engage me in that shape! My shape is unexceptionable. Only look at this muscle. Here's muscle for Hercules, sir! Feel it, sir; will you be so good ?
Manager.-I see it.
Manager. -Quite unnecessary, sir. I don't think what you could do would suit our audience.
Queershanks.—Do you mean to say, sir, I should do you no good? Look at this muscle, sir. "Would not muscle like that make a tremendous hit? (Striking him.)
Manager. -Sir, I 'm quite satisfied.
Queershanks.—Satisfied, sir! so you ought to be: I've got the nose of Mars, sir.
Manager.—My dear sir, what is it to the public if you 've got Mars' nose and Pa's chin.
Queershunks.-I mean the classical Mars, not my mother, you silly fellow. Then I 've got the eye of a Cyclop, and the whiskers of Virginius. As yours is to be a classical theatre, will you give me a trial ?
Manager.-What can you do?
Queershanks.— I'm very good in the ancient statues, only I've made them modern to suit the time. You know the “
African alarmed by thunder ?"
Manager.—Yes: a fine subject.
Queershanks.—I 've modernised it into the “ Black footman frightened by an omnibus :” this is it. (Music; he does it.)
Manager.- Very good! What else have you? Can you give me “ Ajux defying the lightning ?”
Queershanks.- I have modernised it into the “Little boy defying the beadle.” (Music; he does it.) Manager.-Capital ! Have you any more? Queershanks.-One more. You've seen the "
Dying Gladiator?” I think my “ Prize-fighter unable to come up to time" beats it all to nothing. (Music; he does it.)
Queershanks.—That's something like sculpture, isn't it ?
Manager.—Why, I think the audience I wish to attract will like something better than dumb show. Good morning!
Queershanks.—I'm gone, sir ; but remember you've lost me. I tell
you, sir, that my statues would have made your season; but I leave you, sir, with contempt (striking an attitude). Do you know that, sir ? It's the celebrated statue of Napoleon turning with contempt from the shores of Elba, which, as you know, he left because he wanted more elbow room. (Exit Queershanks with an attitude.)
Manager.-Well ; each person that applies for an engagement seems to think he is the man to make my fortune for me, and gets quite angry that I won't let him have an opportunity of doing so; but I begin to see I must think for myself.
(Enter Servant.) Servant.-A lady and two children wish to see you, sir. Manager.- Show them in. (Exit Servant.) Some new can
didates, I suppose : here they come. Ladies! they are the first that have done me the honour to apply to me.
(Enter Mrs. Fiddler, Miss F. and Master F.) Manager.-Your pleasure, madam ? Mrs. ¥.—My name is Fiddler, sir ; did you ever hear of me? I've got a friend, a supernumerary at Astley’s, who has great influence in the theatrical world : he promised to speak to you ; has he done so ?
Manager.-Really, madam, I do not remember to have had an interview with
person. Mrs. F. — Indeed! that's strange: but I suppose you ’ve heard of the clever Fiddlers ?
Manager.—You mean Paganini, perhaps, and De Beriot ?
Mrs. F.--No, indeed, I don't; I mean my clever children here, Master and Miss Fiddler.
Manager. Indeed, madam ; I'm happy to make their acquaintance.
Mrs. F.-And so you ought to be, sir. Come here, Julietta : this young lady, sir, has got such a voice! It goes upon
the high C's as safe as an East-Indiaman. I want you to engage
her. Manager.-I should like to hear her sing, before I thought of engaging her; she might fail.
Mrs. F.-And if she did, sir,-if the public were so unjust,how great would be the consolation to you to know that you partially repaired the injury by paying the dear child a salary !
Manager.- I am afraid, madam, I could not proceed on that plan.
Mrs. F.—You will excuse my saying, sir, that you have strange notions of liberality; but you shall hear her sing. Come, my dear, let 's have the Baccy-role; it ’s beautiful in your mouth, my dear.
Manager. - (Aside.) Baccy-role, indeed! (Aloud) Let's hear you, my dear. (Miss F. looks stupid and does not sing a
Mrs. F. moving her hands and arms, sings for her very badly, a bit of the Barcarole from Masaniello.)
Mrs. F.—You see, sir, that's what the dear child means ; though she can't do it before you, she is so nervous. But all that will wear off when she gets before the audience.
Manager.-It's to be hoped so; but what can the young gentleman do?
Mrs. F.- What can he do! anything-he's a dancer ; his pirouettes are tremendous: only look here! (She turns him round and round till he falls down giddy.) See ! he spins like a top; in fact, he 'll soon be the top of his profession.
Manager.—Why, bless the boy ! you don't call that dancing,
Mrs. E.-Of course : the dear boy bas over-exerted himself, that 's all ; but he 'll soon come round.
Manager.-- Why, he has come round too much; but I can't
Mrs. F.-Then, sir, let me tell you, you 'll never do. (Exeunt Mrs. F. Master F. and Miss F.)
Manager.-Why, that 's what everybody tells me. Here, Tom ! don't let me be annoyed by any one else. I find there's no small difficulty in exercising one's own discretion in these matters. I may do much to improve the race both of authors · and actors, if I think and judge for myself; but to render my efforts of any avail, the public must do so too. And when will they begin to do it ? (Curtain falls.)
A CRITICAL GOSSIP WITH LADY MARY WORTLEY
MONTAGU. The character of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu is about as little known to the generality of readers as the source of the Nile, or the precise position of the North Pole. She has taken her place in public estimation as a forward, witty, voluptuous woman of fashion, who Airted, if she did not intrigue, with Pope ; who was initiated into all the mysteries of a Turkish harem, and who chronicled those mysteries with no very delicate hand :-who affected friendships, lampooned her associates, and wrote verses of single-entendre; who married rashly, loved unwisely, and led a life of ultra-friendship and long unexplained divorce. Such is Lady Mary Wortley Montagu supposed to be! so prone is biography to perpetuate the fleeting scandals of the day, to distort mystery or obscurity into indecorum or baseness, and to darken and discolour the stream of time with the filth that is vulgarly and maliciously thrown into it at its source. The period appears to have arrived at which Lady Mary's character has obtained the power of purifying itself. With many faults, constitutional as well as acquired, there can be no doubt that she was a lady of surpassing powers of mind, of extreme wit, an easy command of her own as well as of the learned languages, a surprising knowledge of the world even in her youth, a vivid poetical imagination, a heart full of foibles, but fuller of love for her own circle, and that of her friends; and, above all, an abundance of common sense, which regulated her affections, her actions, her reflections, and her style, so as to render her the most accomplished lady of her own, or of the subsequent age. We do not think we can do justice to this fascinating creature in a better way than by lounging through the three volumes which Lord Wharncliffe's ancestral love, literary ability, and elegant taste, have given to the world. We may gossip with this work as we might with her who originated it, stroll with her in her favourite gardens, listen to her verses, catch her agreeable anecdotes, receive her valuable observations on human nature, as though she were actually before us in her splendid and eternal nightgown, or in her Turkish dress, (so sweet in Lord Harrington's charming miniature,) or in her domino at Venice, or in her lute-string, or in her English court-dress. Our gossip,
however,—save as to the remarks we may, to use the phrase of the dramatist, utter aside to that vast pit, the public,—will very
much resemble that between Macbeth and the armed head, at which the witches give their admonitory caution. That caution will not be lost upon us—for it will nearly be,
“ Hear her speak, and say thou nought." The introduction to this interesting work is from the editor, and it is written with a Walpole felicity in its points, though we would rather have had it more continuous than anecdotical. Our purpose we have professed to be, to gossip with Lady Mary, and we therefore shall make but two extracts from the introduction,—the one because it is perhaps leaning to the unfeeling; the other, because it is indisputably the truth of feeling. Madame de Sevigné did not deserve the phrase which we have marked in italics in the following passage, and indeed Lady Mary, in one of her letters, announces herself as a successful rival of this very agreeable French letter-writer, nouncement which ought to have cautioned an editor against depreciating the powers of one whom the edited had chosen to select as a rival.
“ The modern world will smile, but should however beware of too hastily despising works that charmed Lady Mary Wortley in her youth, and were courageously defended by Madame de Sevigné even when hers was past, and they began to be sliding out of fashion. She, it seems, thought with the old woman just now mentioned, that they had a tendency to elevate the mind, and to instil honourable and generous sentiments. At any rate they must have fostered application and perseverance, by accustoming their readers to what the French term des ouvrages de longue haleine. After resolutely mastering Clelia, nobody could pretend to quail at the aspect of Mezeray, or even at that of Holinshed's Chronicle printed in black letter. Clarendon, Burnet, and Rapin, had not yet issued into daylight."
With the foregoing extract (and all critics should get rid of their bile as quickly as they can) all that is unpleasant is at rest. Let us give the following feeling, beautiful anecdote.
“The name of another young friend will excite more attentionMrs. Anne Wortley. Mrs. Anne has a most ature sound to our modern ears; but, in the phraseology of these days, Miss, which had hardly yet ceased to be a term of reproach, still denoted childishness, flippancy, or some other contemptible quality, and was rarely applied to young ladies of a respectable class. In Steele's Guardian, the youngest of Nestor Ironside's wards, aged fifteen, is Mrs. Mary Lizard. Nay, Lady Bute herself could remember having been styled Mrs. Wortley, when a child, by two or three elderly visitors, as tenacious of their ancient modes of speech as of other old fashions. Mrs. Anne, then, was the second daughter of Mr. Sidney* Wortley Montagu, and the favourite sister of his son Edward. She died in the bloom of youth, unmarried. Lady Mary, in common with others who had known her, represented her as eminently pretty and agreeable; and
Second son of Admiral Montagu, first Earl of Sandwich. Upon marrying the daughter and heiress of Sir Francis Wortley, he was obliged by the tenour of Sir Francis's will to assume his name.