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believed the sister service would ever be as ready and able to do its duty, as efficiently as his own, whenever their services should be required by the country.—(Cheers.)

The CHAIRMAN said he had now to propose the toast more immediately connected with the object which had called them together—“ Prosperity to the General Theatrical Fund”—(cheers)—which had been established thirteen years, and was now in all the plentitude of health with every prospect of longevity. He felt that a great deal of their prosperity depended upon the labours of those who had undertaken the management of the charity. The great success which had attended them, however, was derived from the fact of recognition of two great principles, upon which he thought every society which had for its object the benefit of the professors of art ought to be founded. The first principle to which he alluded was, that such a Society should partake of the characteristics of a Provident Institution, and that those who claimed the support and sympathy of the public should show that they had, so far as their means would allow them, by their prudence and foresight, endeavoured to provide for any contingency which might arise. One of the principles, therefore, on which this Society was founded, was, that those actors who received its benefits must first have contributed to its funds, thereby raising themselves, should they become destitute and require assistance, from a condition of mendicancy to a position of dignity and honour, their claim to relief being established on a right. Having placed themselves in this position, the public were not called upon to bestow their charity, when they were asked to assist an Institution established for the protection of those who devoted their lives to the public service, in providing them with rational and intellectual amusement, but they were asked to perform a duty which they alike owed to the actor and to themselves. It was popularly said that property had its duties as well as its rights, but he thought it a more valuable doctrine that poverty, having established its rights by the performance of its duties of foresight and self-denial, in order to provide for adversity, had its claims. Last year, their trustee, Mr. Dickens, who then sat upon his right hand, had taken the Chair at their Festival, and had been nobly supported by the professors of their art, who thereby evidenced that they knew how to perform their duties, and should they unfortunately be overtaken by poverty, they would have a fair claim to support. The second principle upon which their society was founded, was the recognition of the fact that art was impulsive, and could not be confined within any walls of brick and mortar, where it arranged that it might or might not be exercised. (Cheers.) He had seen the publie called upon to support societies for the benefit of the actor, who must have served a certain number of years within what were called the temples of the legitimate Drama. These edifices had been endowed by the public, and immortalized by the great names of a Garrick, a Siddons, and a Kean, but they were not now in a condition to carry out the principles on which they were founded. The actor could not appear on their boards—the edifices remained but so far as they carried out the intentions of the founders they were a mockery and delusion.-(Cheers.) Indeed, they were the only places in which the English actor could not practise his art, or suffer those vicissitudes which the public were called upon to assist in relieving. In this Society, however, there was no delusion; and so long as the living Drama happily existed in England, this Society would be faithful to its objects, and the public and the country would know where to find its friends. That Society was not established for the benefit of art, whenever art dispensed its truthfulness; and so long as it acknowledged the claims of all its professors, no matter what position they held, so long would it be deserving of public support (cheers), and he believed that it would endure so long as the Drama existed, and even after the pyramids should have mouldered into dust—the only requisites for a candidate for its benefits being that he was an artist, and was in misfortune. In the circle of the arts there were none which required so much co-operation and fraternity as that of an actor. An author might not require the assistance of the public, or even of the living, for perhaps his best companions, his best sources of inspiration, would be found in the works of the dead, but the actor's art was necessarily social. The greatest actor produced no impression without the assistance of others. Hamlet must have his gravediggers, and Coriolanus his Volumnia.-(Cheers.) All performers, even in the best of times might, by illness or other unforeseen events, be reduced comparatively low, and looking at the vicissitudes attendant upon an actor's life, it became the duty of the chiefs of the profession, if not of the public, to liberally contribute to the funds of an institution established by actors to

assist themselves--such support being dictated alike by common sense and common justice. He could not conclude these remarks without an expression of his deep regret—a regret which he ought probably have given utterance to at an earlier part of the proceedings of the evening. At the cause which had upon that occasion placed him in the chair and deprived them of the presence of his friend Mr. Macready, he trusted it may be conveyed to that gentleman how deeply they sympathised with him, and their ineffaceable regret at the illness of one who had so long sympathised in all his griefs and partaken of his triumphs, combined with their earnest hope that her health might be happily and permanently restored. That Society had already done good and noble service to the independence and honour of the profession. It has drawn closer together the professors of the art, and shown that that art is too grand to be affected by any monopoly.—(Cheers.) He would conclude by calling upon them earnestly and cordially to drink success to “ The General Theatrical Fund.”—(Cheers.) Mr. BUCKSTONE then rose and said : Gentlemen, I am

will all with me that no amount of thanks or expressions of gratitude can be sufficiently given by the members and well-wishers of “The General Theatrical Fund” to our distinguished Chairman this evening. Many would have considered it but a poor compliment in being invited to the rescue under the circumstances which have deprived us of the presence of Mr. Macready, and might have demurred in accepting the doubtful honour we would have imposed upon them. But, Gentlemen, on receiving intelligence that domestic anxieties of an absorbing nature would prevent our promised Chairman appearing this evening in his place, the application to help us in our need was no sooner made to Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, than with that unaffected alacrity and goodness of heart which are ever the signs of a noble and a liberal nature, he at once assented. He left us in no doubt on the matter, and with one slight reservation, solely connected with electioneering matters, and in which he is pretty sure to succeed (cheers), he promised to be here, and here he is. The great service he has thus rendered us will never be forgotten by the members of the fund, more especially as this is the second time he has honored and served us by presiding at this Festival. He has recently told us, Gentlemen, and it is very comfortable to know the fact, that we are “not so bad as we seem,” and that every many sides to his character."

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I am sure, Gentlemen, you will acknowledge that, in so readily standing our friend this evening, Sir Edward has shown one of his very best sides, and one which must command the respect and approbation of every person present.-(Cheers.) As regards our fund, Gentlemen, to promote the prosperity of which you are assembled here, I am happy to say that were it embodied in a human form, and endowed with the power of speech, it would this evening exclaim that "it was the proudest moment of its life.” Indeed, Gentlemen, I will suppose myself the fund, and will address you, stating its birth, parentage, and education, in the first person singular. You must now imagine the fund, with its capital and its large body of members, to be speaking to you in propria persone.

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