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There are good anecdotes of many literary characters in this amusing miscellany. Some mistakes there must be such, for example, is the statement that Mr. Lewis, author of the Monk, was poisoned by two favourite negroes, to whom he had bequeathed their liberty, and who became impatient for their legacy. That amiable, though odd man, died of sea-sickness as he returned from visiting his estate in the West Indies,* where it is most certain he had exerted himself to improve the condition of his slaves. The disease was aggravated by his persisting in a fatal opinion of his own, that taking emetics would remove the nausea.

There is a very diverting account of a party at Mr. Cumberland's, near Tunbridge, with Jack Bannister; how the veteran read the Men of Mirth, a new play, instead of opening a fresh bottle; how Kelly fell asleep during the reading; and what effect his snoring produced on the sensitive nerves of the poet; with much more to the same purpose.

Mr. Kelly's style of story-telling is smart and lively, a little protracted now and then, as will happen to a professed narrator. In point of propriety we have only one stricture to make the author ought to have spared us his sentimental lamentation over poor Mrs. Crouch; it is too much in the line of Kotzebue morality. We never wish to press ourselves into the private intrigues and arrangements of public performers, but the joys or sorrows which attend such connections must not be blazoned as matters of public sympathy. There is bad taste in doing so. Mr. Kelly has told us many good stories, we beg to requite him with one of Northern growth. A young man in the midland counties of Scotland, boorishly educated and home-bred, succeeded in due time to his father's estate, and, as the lairdship was considerable, began to be looked on as desirable company in the houses of those prudent matrons who have under their charge one, or more than one,

"Penniless lass, wi' a lang pedigree." One of this class, a lady of considerable rank, was, in the intervals of a formal entertainment, endeavouring to make the wealthy young cub a little more at ease by the ordinary jokes on his celibacy, and exhortations to take a wife with all speed. The interest which her ladyship seemed to take in the matter induced the sapient youth to explain his ideas of domestic convenience in these emphatic words, drawled out in the broad Angus dialect, without the least sense of impropriety, Na, my leddy; wives is

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I would give many a sugar-cane

Monk Lewis were alive again.'


Lord Byron (MS.).


fashious bargains-but I keep a missie.' We leave the application to the Signior Kelly.

A variety of persons are mentioned in Kelly's Memoirs, whose public exhibitions have given an hour of pleasure to conclude the human day of care, and who in their private capacity have enlight ened the social circle, and afforded gravity itself a good excuse for being out of bed at midnight. Of these some are still labouring in their old walk; Liston, for example, whose face is a comedy, and whose mere utterance makes a jest out of dullness itself; and Charles Mathews, driven from the public stage to make way for puppets and pageants, and compelled to exert his talents, so extraordinary for versatility and inexhaustible resource, in making his own fortune instead of enriching the patentees. Others enjoy a well-won independence in the quiet shade of retirement. There is Jack Bannister, honest Jack, who in private character, as upon the stage, formed so excellent a representation of the national character of Old England-Jack Bannister, whom even foot-pads could not find it in their heart to injure.* There he is, with his noble locks now as remarkable when covered with snow as when their dark honours curled around his manly face, singing to his grand-children the ditties which used to call down the rapture of crowded theatres in thunders of applause. There is the other Jack too, who discriminated every class and character of his countrymen, with all the shades which distinguish them, from the highbred Major O'Flanagan down to Looney Mac Twolter-he too enjoys otium cum dignitate. The recollection of past mirth has in it something sorrowful; the friends with whom we have shared it are gone; and those who promoted the social glee must feel their powers of enlivening decrease as we feel ours become less susceptible of excitement. Others there are mentioned in these pages whom our dim eyes seek in vain;' their part has been played; the awful curtain has dropped on them for ever.

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ART. XI.-The History of England, from the Invasion of Julius Cæsar to the Revolution of 1688. By David Hume, Esq. New Edition. London. 1825. WHATEVER opinions may be entertained respecting the faith which ought to be placed in a modern narrative of ancient history, there is, generally speaking, hardly any doubt concerning the truth of the materials from whence the composition

This distinguished performer and best of good fellows was actually stopped one evening by two foot-pads, who recognizing in his person the general favourite of the English audience, begged his pardon and wished him good night. Horace's wolf was a joke to this.

is derived. Perhaps the inferences of the writer may be denied, or his arguments may be deemed fallacious, but the sources of his work are admitted, without contest, as authentic testimonies. We are sufficiently careful to guard against the errors of the author, particularly when the subject is such as to offer a probability of his being either deceived himself, or inclined to deceive his readers, a misled follower or a fallacious guide. Should any suspicions arise, we contest his qualifications, we examine his principles, we ask for his creed. And if we are disposed to try the history by the severest test, we compare it with the original authorities, and we examine whether the facts which rest upon ancient evidence are fairly and faithfully recited or rendered. If the author's text and the authorities' which he quotes are found to agree, we are satisfied. After this investigation has been performed our inquiries end. The vigilance awakened by the modern Historian is rarely excited by the ancient Chronicler. Upon our ancestors we willingly bestow the faith which we withdraw from our contemporaries, and consider all as very sooth' which has the venerable sanction of grave antiquity.

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Our disinclination to examine into the positive veracity and comparative value of the ancient sources of ancient history may be easily explained. The individuals who flourished in the many, long, remote centuries, which we denote by the comprehensive term of the middle ages,' are so essentially distinguished by language, manner and mind, from the individuals of the living age, that they seem to form but one class when contrasted with our contemporaries. All minor distinctions amongst them are lost in the general conformity. The Nun of Sion prays beside the Benedictine Monk of Lindisfarne. Mailed crusaders unite with the ranks of the gallant chivalry of the Tilt Yard. Plantagenets and Tudors meet in the same presence-chamber. The interval by which they are separated from us, appears to place all their forms at the same distance. All are equally uncouth and strange. Enveloped alike in mist and gloom, we are impressed with a vague idea of remoteness, and we do not sufficiently measure the gradations in which they recede.

Hume, in the first chapters of his history, affords a curious exemplification of the deceptions thus produced by the aerial pers spective of the mind. It might be anticipated that the author of the Essay on Miracles would have prefaced his historical inquiries by carefully scrutinizing the value of his authorities. In endea vouring to establish his facts by an appeal to historical testimony, we might have expected some recollection of his own rules. We have been taught by him to attend to the character of the witnesses, to balance every circumstance which can occasion


back Julius Cæsar to the stage, and raised from his ashes the living Brutus. But in 1812, deeming he had done his part, desirous of some repose and not unwilling, perhaps, to make the public sensible what the theatre might suffer by his absence-he withdrew himself from London for nearly two years. In the same year, and just before his departure, the stage lost its brightest ornament by the retirement of Mrs. Siddons.

Mr. Kemble's return to the British capital and stage was triumphant. The pit rose to receive him, and the boxes poured laurels upon the stage. He ascended to the very height of popularity, and was acknowledged as, without dispute, the first actor in Britain, probably in the world, until Kean arose to dispute the crown. The youth, activity and energy of this new performer, the originality of his manner, which was in reality a revival of the school of Garrick, above all, the effects of novelty, had a great influence on the public mind, although the opinion of the more sound critics' remained decidedly partial to that performer who relied for his success on deep and accurate study of the dramatic art, of the poet's words, and of the human mind, rather than vehement and forcible action; which, though it surprizes the first or second time it is witnessed, is apt, when repeated, to have the resemblance of stage-trick. Perhaps Mr. Kemble's resolution to retire, even while his powers seemed to others in their full vigour, was hastened by the toil which he foresaw it must cost him to maintain at his age-and with health that was fast breaking a contest with a rival in all the vigour of youth. However this was, Mr. Kemble took leave of the audience, 23d June, 1847, after acting, with unabated powers, the character of Coriolanus, which he probably chose, because in that he could neither have rival nor successor.

We add, with regret, that neither his health, nor perhaps his finances, although easy, permitted him with convenience to close his days in his native country. Lamonted by numerous friends of the first distinction for character, literature, and rank, John Kemble retreated to Lausanne, and there finally fixed his residence.

He made over his share in the theatre to his brother Charles, and disposed of his dramatic collection (which some public library should have purchased) for £2000 to the Duke of Devonshire. He died, 26th February, 1823, in the arms of the excellent person to whom he had been united for many years spent in domestic happiness. Few men of milder, calmer, gentler disposition, steeled at the same time with a high sense of honour, and the nice-timed feelings of a gentleman, are probably left behind him. Two instances may be selected from the works before us. A wrong

A wrong-headed actor, having challenged him on account of some supposed injustice, Kemble walked to the field as if to rehearsal, took his post, and received the fire as unmoved as if he had been acting the same on the stage; but refused to return the shot, saying, the gentleman who wished satisfaction had, he supposed, got it-he himself desired none. On another occasion, when defending Miss Phillips against a body of military gentlemen, whose drunkenness rendered their gallant attentions doubly disagreeable, one of them struck at him with his drawn sabre; a maid-servant parried the blow, and Kemble only saying, well done, Euphrasia, drew his sword, and taking the young lady under his arm, conducted her home in safety. As a moral character, his integrity was unsullied; and the whole tenor of his life was equally honourable to himself and useful to his art. At proper times and in gentlemen's society, he could show himself one of the old social school, who loved a cup of wine without a drop of allaying Tiber; but this was only, as Ben Jonson says, to give spirit to literary conversation: and, indeed, when we have heard Kemble pour forth the treasures of his critical knowledge over a bottle, we were irresistibly reminded of the author of Epicene giving law at the Mermaid or the Apollo. :


We have already given our general opinion of Mr. Boaden's performance, but have not perhaps done sufficient justice to the accuracy of his narrative, and the liberality and truth of his critical remarks. The style is a little too ambitious,—and sometimes so Gibbonian as rather to indicate, than distinctly to relate what happened. But with these imperfections it is a valuable present to the public, and deserves a place in every dramatic library; not only as a respectable and liberal history of the eminent actor whose name the book bears, but as containing much curious information, a little too miscellaneously heaped together, concerning the drama in general.

On one of his incidental topics we must pause for a moment with delighted recollection. We mean the readings of the celebrated Le Texier, who, seated at a desk, and dressed in plain clothes, read French plays with such modulation of voice, and such exquisite point of dialogue, as to form a pleasure different from that of the theatre, but almost as great as we experience in listening to a first rate actor. We have only to add to a very good account given by Mr. Boaden of this extraordinary entertainment, that when it commenced M. Le Texier read over the dramatis personæ, with the little analysis of character usually attached to each name, using the voice and manner with which he afterwards Kelly's Reminiscences, vol. ii. p. 148. Q



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