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acting of the clown, Touchftone, in As you like it, is fo truly admirable, that, let the merits of former comedians have been what they would, thofe, who have seen so perfect a performance, will not regret the impoffibility of comparing it with Tarleton's, or that of his immediate and celebrated fucceffors, Kempe and Armin.

With all due refpect to the memory of those other great and accomplished actors, recorded by Baker, and extolled by the best poets of their time; how ever excellent Alleyn's performance of the Jew, Barabas, might have been, I am of opinion that Mr. Macklin's performance of the Jew, Shylock (which character he continues to appear in now that he is above fourfcore years of age) is, or at least has been (for I have not feen him in it lately) equally fo: and let Burbage in Richard the Third, or Kitely (which character, from the arrangement of actors' names in Jonfon's edition of Every Man in his Humour, folio, 1616, it is most probable he performed) have been great or fine to whatever degree, nothing human furely could furpafs in thofe characters the phoenix, the paragon, Garrick!

To produce inftances of fuperlative excellence within the reach of comparifon.

What actor ever acquired a portion of celebrity beyond that of Quin, in Falstaff? Quin! the contemporary of Betterton* and Garrick! whofe death, at Bath, several years after he had left the ftage, his furviving friend and quondam rival fo pathetically lamented, in his prologue to the Clandeftine Marriage; the Lord Ogleby of which play raifed Mr. King to the fummit of comic excellence, which his more recent great character, Sir Peter Teazle, in the School for Scandal, has eftablished him in the unrivalled poffeffion of:

"O let me drop one tributary tear, On poor Jack Falstaff's grave, and Juliet's bier; You to their worth muft teftimony give; 'Tis in your hearts alone their fame can live. Still as the fcenes of life will thift away, The ftrong impreffions of their art decay.

Your children cannot feel what you have known; They'll boaft of Quins and Cibbers of their own.”

Which tribute to departed excellence was elegantly repaid in Mr. Sheridan's beautiful Monody on Garrick +.

The prophecy in the last couplet, "Your children, &c.” has been amply verified; for, loft as the character of Falstaff was thought, on the ftage, has not Mr. Henderfon restored it to the theatre in its greatest luftre? and—the higheft encomium his performance of it could receive-did not Mr. Garrick, after his retirement, fit with delight to fee it? Yes; I have beheld him. And what enhances the compliment paid to Henderfon by Garrick is, that notwithstanding the wonderfully-fine fpecimen he gave of his own powers for doing juftice to the character of Falstaff, in his recitation of the Ode on Shakspeare, he never ventured to perform it, any more than that of Shylock; which he rehearfed in a most mafterly manner, but which, fearful perhaps of being thought fecond in it to Macklin, he never publickly ap peared in.

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So far am I from indulging a mode of thinking like Sir Richard Baker's; that, although the theatrical favourites of my youth have left indelible impreffions on my mind, I confefs myself not only fatisfied, but in many inftances delighted, with the prefent race of performers: and, let whoever might by death or retirement quit the stage, instead of faying with Baker, no age muft ever look to fee the like," I have always thought that by a judicious revival of fome too-long neglected play, as of Philafter in 1763, wherein that theatrical phenomenon and luminary, the late Mr. William Powell first appeared; or by the production of new plays, wherein juvenile, or hithertounnoticed veteran actors, might be fhewn in advantageous lights, there would never be a meritorious fucceffion of performers wanting; which opinion, the late effulgent difplay of the heartrending powers of Mrs. Siddons in Ifabella, &c. has confirmed me in.

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See the very affecting account of Betterton's funeral in the Tatler, No. 167, May 4, 1710. + Mr. Garrick's remains were interred at the foot of his beloved Shakspeare's monument is Westminster-Abbey.

No longer, therefore, need we weep o'er Juliet's bier," fince even thofe who felt the effects of, and yet remember the aftonishing performance of the great and lamented actress alluded to, even in Conftance, in King John, than which nothing could be finer, may and do juftly boaft that in the all-charming Siddons they have still a Cibber of their own."

My fubject has inadvertently betrayed me into comparifons, as far as circumftances and diftance of time would permit, of fome of the most eminent performers that have graced the English stage: what I have taken the liberty to fay of them, is (compliment unintended, and adulation difdained!) the difpaffionate refult of my ftrictly fcrutinized fentiments; and, being fuch appofite examples, the particularizing them was abfolutely neceffary to my argument, in confutation of Sir Richard Baker's ridiculous dogma: which purpose being, I think, effcted, I should immediately quit the fubject, were I not apprehenfive that my not mentioning any other living performers might be mifconftrued into a tacit difapprobation of fome of them; or my remembrance of the delight I have fo often received in feeing them, be thought loft in the vortex of admiration with which Mrs. Siddons is beheld. Let me, therefore, with warmeft panegyric, speak of Mrs. Yates, Mrs. Barry (now Crawford) and Mifs Younge; names fit to rank with thofe of Cibber, and the female Garrick, Pritchard!

Of comic actreffes, in Mrs. Abington we have another Oldfield; in Mifs Farren a Woffington; and in Mifs Pope a Clive. In Mrs. Bulkley what propriety and gracefulness! in Mrs. Brereton and Mifs Satchell what delicacy and feeling! Mrs. Mattocks, what a lively Hoyden! Mrs. Wilfon, what a pretty Abigail; Mrs. Hopkins and Mrs. Webb often diminish our regret for the retirement of Mrs. Green; and Mrs. Wrighten, poffeffing not only first-rate comic powers, but also one of the fineft voices ever heard, can receive no higher praise than that of being named.

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Mr. Baddeley, who has great general merit, without o'erftepping the modefty of nature," has gone a ftep beyond acting in the Ifraelite, Mofes, in the School for Scandal: his performance is alfo fuperlatively fine in the Swifs, Canton, in the Clandeftine Marriage, and in various French characters.

Mr. Wewitzer is likewife very happy in characters, the language of which is, to ufe Dr. Johnson's ever-expreffive words, " diftorted and depraved by foreign pronunciation."

Mr. Moody's merit in Irish characters is almost above praise; efpecially when it is confidered that he is equally excellent in the more elevated ones, Sir Callaghan O'Brallagan, in Mr. Macklin's Love a-la-mode, and Major O'Flaherty in Mr. Cumberland's WeftIndian, as in the fimple fervant, Teague, in Sir Robert Howard's Committee, and the wretched bog-trotter in Mr. Reed's* Register-Office: he is alfo very excellent in the English clown, Simon, in Garrick's medley of mummery, Harlequin's Invafion.

Mr. Egan and Mr. Mahon have confiderable merit in Irish characters.

Mr. Edwin (who is the best comic finger we have heard) Mr. Quick and Mr. Wilfon (both excellent comic fingers) are very pleasant and praife-worthy comedians; the latter is no unfuccefsful imitator of Shuter. Edwin's performance of Lingo, in Mr. O'Keefe's farce of the Agreeable Surprize, is inimitably humourous. Tony Lumpkin, in Goldfmith's too-much praised comedy (if it deferves that name) She ftoops to conquer, and Ifaac Mendoza, in Mr. Sheridan's comic opera_ of the

*This is not the editor of the Biographia Dramatica, &c.

Duenna,

Duenna, have ranked Quick with the foremost of his contemporaries; and Don Jerome, in the fame opera, has placed Wilfon next to the little Portugueze.

Mr. Lee Lewes is a very fuccefsful imitator of our much-regretted Woodward (alas! poor Bobadil) but, having given the praise due to Mr. Lee Lewes and Mr. Wilfon, for preferving to us a fhadow of two fuch great comedians, I muit obferve, that had all actors, inftead of prefenting the genuine effufions of Nature, as working in themfelves, only imitated their feniors; in lieu of thofe ftriking originals the flage justly boafts of, there would have been nothing but copies, ftill fainter and

EXHIBITION AT THE THE HE pictures of the prefent feafon, are evidently better than the laft. Sir Joshua Reynolds has contributed very amply to the collection. Mr. Weft has given two fcripture fubjects, and, for the first time, a landfcape.Copley has furnished a performance containing three of the royal offspring. Loutherbourg has added feveral excellent landscapes and water-pieces. Meff. Northcote, Hoppner, Fufili, and others, have given a few fancy fubjects, which confiderably relieve the affemblage; but portraits every where ftrike the eye, and clearly demonftrate that our artists do not fufficiently exercife invention. The defection of Mr. Gainsborough is lamented by all, for who like him fucceeds in prefenting a faithful copy of nature in fcenes of pathetic fimplicity. Angelica's abfence is alfo felt.

The miniatures are very inferior to the collection of last year. Some neat washed drawings by Downman are to be diftinguished in the fculpture room. Mr. Bunbury's fubjects are moft of them well expreffed. The Hon. Mefdames Harcourt and Damer have alfo contributed their aid. Among the fculpture models, Ixion on the wheel, by Mr. Procter, deserves to be distinguifhed.

fainter, tranfmitted from the days of Tarleton, Alleyn, and Burbadge, to thofe of King, Macklin, and Henderfon. In faying that the elegant Abington is another Oldfield, the genteel Farren a Woffington, and the humorous Pope a Clive; it muft not be fuppofed I mean that they are imitators or copyifts of thofe celebrated actreffes: in the two former inftances we know it is impoffible; the perfons named together not having exited at the fame period: and, though Mifs Pope may be, not improperly, ftyled an eleve of Mrs. Clive, he is no more an imitator of her predeceffor, than Sir Joshua Reynolds is a copyift of Hudfon.

(To be continued.)

ROYAL ACADEMY, 1785.

SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS.

No. 18. Portrait of a lady.-Evidently the Mrs. Smith of Sir John Lade. It is a full length, but deftitute of the graceful attitude which generally marks his portraits of that dimenfion. A want of animation pervades the colouring as well as defign.

No. 23. Portrait of a lady. — A good likeness of Lady Hume; but from her fine figure the fhould have fat for a full length.

No. 89. Portrait of an officer.—A good likeneis of Sir Hector Monro.

No. 122. Portrait of a nobleman.A half-length of Lord Northington in his robes, as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.-The likeness ftrong.

No. 175. Venus.-An admirable performance: the limbs of the wanton goddess are well difpofed to excite defire. The form is finely rounded; the face is full of warm expreffion: the eye in particular is animated with the leer of paffion. The boy peeping through the trees adds no force to the picture; but the landfcape poffeffes a glow congenial to the fubject.

No. 155, The Prince of Wales.— The drapery of this portrait while it ftood in Sir Joshua's gallery, confifted of a fcarlet great coat. The artist has fince changed it to a clofe drefs, which

is, no doubt, an improvement. This picture is in Sir Joshua's beft manner, but is not favourable to the Prince,

162. Portrait of a gentleman.-Sir Audley Wilmot is, without doubt, the fubject. This performance has confiderable merit.

173. Portraits of three children.The Marquis of Granby and his two fifters. The compofition of this picture poffeffes harmony.

181. Portrait of Lord Loughborough.-An affemblage of lines, in which light and fhade appear not without harmony or defign.

182. Melancholy. The attitude and expreffion of the countenance well imagined. But treffes of red-ocre are not becoming locks for Melancholy to appear in.

212.

Portrait of a lady. Mrs. Mufters in the character of Hebe. The defign poffeffes great elegance. The drapery, fky, and foreground are coloured in a tender ftyle: and the face of Hebe has the animation, youth, and beauty of the original.

384. Portrait of an officer.-Not placed in a light favourable to the pencil of this artist, but painted with confiderable force and spirit.

397. Portrait of a lady.--Mifs Palmer, the niece of Sir Joshua. This portrait is extremely fine: the light breaks through the gauze hat with great effect; and the pencilling of the whole is well in tune and finished.

423. A little girl.—A fancy ftudy: pleafing and natural.

Mr. WEST.

No. 31. Landscape.This performance confifts of a view near Windfor. Cottages are introduced in one part of the scene; in another, a fow and pigs, with cattle. The trunk of the withered tree in the front ground, by no means adds to the reprefentation; nor have we much opportunity to compliment the artift on any part of his performance. The foliage of the trees and the verdure of the earth poffefs neither force nor fpirit. The pigs in pageantry are unpleafing objects, and the cattle appear out of nature. Labour and practice have been LOND. MAG. May 1785.

employed; and, in this piece, genius has affifted but sparingly.

No. 153. St. Peter's first fermon after being filled with the Holy Ghost. This picture is of large dimenfions, and is painted for the King's Chapel, at Windfor Caftle. It no doubt poffeffes many excellencies. The figures are well grouped, and moft of the countenances marked with expreffion. The female in the fore ground appears entranced with the difciple's doctrine. The Moors in the back distance feem impreffed with religious horrour, and very diftinguishing beauties are fcattered through the fubject; but a ftrong outline on every feature, limb, and fold of drapery, diffuses a hard complexion over the piece. The drapery is befides far too heavy to be pleafing: the fimplicity of Chriftianity does not require that the apoftles fhould be clothed in thick blankets, and those too of hues that are too gaudy and fierce in femblance.

219. The Lord's Supper, painted for the King's Chapel, at Windfor.The figures are penciled with great neatnefs; but as it is a lamp-light fcene, why has Mr. Weft increafed the faffron tone of the piece, by clothing fo many of the figures in yellow.

Mr. COPLEY.

No. 80. The portraits of the Princeffes Mary, Sophia, and Amelia. This is the only piece which Mr. Copley has given to the prefent collection. The two elder Princeffes appear engaged at play with their fifter, who is feated in a child's phaeton: three favourite dogs are fondling near them: this picture has great merit. The royal offspring are recommended by a foftnefs of colouring very unusual to the artist. The exotic plants and birds which are introduced are highly finished. But we must disapprove of this appendage; particularly as the vine branch, on which the birds reft, forms a feftoon along the upper part of the picture, which gives a heaviness to the whole.

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full length portrait; three fmall portraits of the royal family, under fize; and a fancy piece.

No. 99. Jupiter and Io.This performance has great merit, the idea of annexing the features of the Deity to the cloud, originated, no doubt, in Corregio; but in juftice we muft add, that the rapture of Io is defcribed by Hoppner with the fulleft evidence of human expreffion.

No. 145. Portrait of a gentleman, a whole length performance.-There is great merit in the colouring of the gentleman; but the attitude is that of a fencer; his whip is his foil, pointed at a dead hare. The artift has fucceeded

tolerably well in the horfe; for all artifts do not poffefs the univerfatility of the fcience like Gainsborough. The hare, and the action of the greyhound is natural, but the landfcape is heavy.

No. 220, 221, and 222. The Princeffes Sophia, Amelia, and Mary.We cannot compliment the artist upon his fuccefs in pourtraying the lovely fubjects. He has attempted a tender nefs of colouring, and failed in giving that prominence to the features which is requifite.

No. 371. A primrofe girl.-A very pleafing picture. The girl poffeffes a rufticity and animated femblance ftrictly in nature; but her caft of form is too mafculine.

Reverend Mr. PETERS.

This difciple of St. Luke-for we do not find that the primitive Peter knew much of the palette-has produced three pictures. The fubjects are, a fortune-teller, No. 30-with the portraits, No. 70 and 87, of two noblemen, grand mafters of the Mafons, painted for Free-Mafons' hall.-The fortune-teller is a well-imagined little fubject. The firft of the portraits is meant for the Duke of Manchester. The drapery is the beft part of the performance, for the likenefs is indifferent; and in addition to this defect may be mentioned the right leg of his grace, which appears, by falfe fhading, to be contracted. That worthy character, Lord Petre, is the fubject of the other portrait, which certainly bears

the pre-eminence, as the drawing is better and the likeness deferving praise. Mr. FUSILI.

This artift poffeffes a mind warm with enthufiafm: magic, fupernatural agency, and fubjects of mystery he is fond of feizing. His pencil has force in defcribing thefe inftruments of terrour, and he judicioufly arrays them with fymbols that heighten their effect. Two performances are in the prefent collection, viz. " I

96. The Mandrake, a charm, pull'd him up though he grew full; and when I had done, the cock did crow." See Ben Johnson's Witches.

A lady in this piece, appears confulting the genius of the Mandrake: fhe is filled with horrour at the fate which is foretold to her. A forcerer is obferved hovering on the back of a cock, over the scene of action, to give warn ing of the day's approach. There is great fpirit in this work.

Mr. Fufili's fecond piece is Profpero. He is giving his orders to Ariel, who feems ready to take flight. Another fpirit is near at hand, decorated with leaves of hemlock, nightshade, and other plants, that are faid to be made ufe of in fpells. This piece has merit, but it is inferior to the former.

Mr. RIBAUD.

The picture of Samfon which has been prefented to the Royal Academy by that veteran of the palette, Mr. Ribaud, is a performance that will long do honour to this country. The flesh is coloured with incomparable firmness; the countenance, in which anger is pourtrayed, is judicioufly fhaded, fo as to give every force to the paffion; and the light which breaks upon the body produces an effect inexpreffibly fine. This diftinguished work fhews the artift in a new point of view, as hitherto he has been confidered as a portrait painter only, and that in a middling. degree.

Mr. LOUTHERBOURG.

The exhibition is under the highest obligation to the performances of Loutherbourg. They are ten in number: they do not difplay great variety in their fubjects, but are extremely pleafing,

No.

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