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creation, and the land presented a scene of comparative happiness and peace; for the stranger warriors formed alliances with the natives, instructed them in just and equitable laws, and introduced arts, and even luxuries, to the admiration and knowledge of the inhabitants. Whilst I was musing on this delightful change, a voice suddenly arrested my attention. I heard, with surprise, invocations to the Deity! The wondering people were called upon to repent, and turn from those superstitious observances by which they had been so long enthralled. The preacher was an aged man. His beard, flowing and white, almost reached to his girdle. His eloquence was affectionate and impressive, and he was listened to with attention. I could perceive, after he had left the scene, the inhabitants frequently offering their prayers, with hands uplifted to heaven, and, on the Sabbath, numbers meeting together for social worship. The holy man was succeeded by others, but these were mysterious in their addresses, and promulgators of superstitious and fantastic ceremonies. Suddenly, the sound of the hammer and the voice of the workman were heard. A man of mild, but suspicious aspect, oversaw the work, and directed the proceedings. In a short time, a church, formed of wood, arose, and around it the cottages of the inhabitants immediately clustered. But, ere long, a numerous multitude of workmen assembled. Preparations, the most extensive, were, immediately, in progress, artificers of all descriptions were employed, and the houses became so numerous, as to assume the appearance of a large and populous village. A building, of gigantic proportions now arose before my wondering eyes: its arched windows, and lofty spire, at once indicated a noble cathedral. Here, gorgeous processions were continually entering, hymns of varied and powerful melody arrested the ear, the deep and solemn tones of the organ rose on the sigh of the evening breeze, and priests, of a high and noble bearing, officiated at the altar ; but, their devotion, so conspicuous in the public service, was not continued by them in their retirement. Beneath their sacred vestments, I could sometimes perceive the glance of armour; and the blandishments of the softer sex were not always forbidden in the palace of the prelate.
The clashing of swords was now frequently heard in the streets. The people, dispirited and broken down by the tyranny of their nobles and their clergy, were again relapsing into barbarism, the cheerful aspect of the country disappeared, darkness was covering the land, and gross darkness the people, when the rush of men was again heard, and a loud and irresistible shout proclaimed the approach of a multitude. In an overwhelming tide it rushed towards the cathedral, and devastated all within its lofty walls. Fire was about to be applied, and the destruction of the splendid pile seemed to be inevitable, when a small band of adventurous artificers rushed forward and staid the sacrilege. A worship, simple in its form, and unattractive to the eye, now occupied the place of the prouder ceremonial, and the simple song of praise that then arose was more delightful to my ear, than all the music to which I had formerly listened. The country again rapidly improved. I could now perceive, as the inhabitants passed along, they carried books of various sizes, and, assembling in the most frequented of the streets and in the market-place, religious and political discussions ensued, and were conducted with warmth and eloquence. Scenes of diversified character now passed rapidly before us. The torch of persecution was first waved over, and then quenched in the blood of holy martyrs. Soon the city extended along the banks of the beautiful river, and little vessels were reflected on its transparent bosom. A savage horde now issued from the mountains, and again the whole city was agitated and confused. There, armed men stood—here delicate women trembled, and anticipations of massacre and ruin pervaded the minds of all. But the mountaineers, under a rough exterior, had many vir
tues, and, led by one of a princely mein and bearing, they marched from the city rather with the sympathy than the anger of the inhabitants. A race now was conspicuous, whose pretensions to superiority even called forth a smile on the placid countenance of my attending genius. Habited in the fashionable attire of their day, surmounted by a short red cloak, they only walked on a particular part of the streets, and demanded homage of all whom they met. Their influence was considerable for a time, and they ruled with a rod of iron, but their little hour flitted away like a dream, and soon their memory and their name were heard of no more. They were succeeded by a race whose pretensions to superiority were equally unauthorised, but who united with these pretensions many virtues. That race receded, before the slowly acquired, but all-powerful, influence of a third. This class was indebted for its elevation, to a gigantic power, which was substituted for labour, which ascended mountains and defied waves, and I could see preparations for a memorial to the man, whose genius regulated and constrained this Titanic influence. The city had now extended itself far beyond my vision, which the smoke from the mighty buildings of the latter class also tended to obscure; but I could perceive, by certain powers conferred on my sight, that their day of greatness was also limited, and that, in the endless cycle of human events, their rise and progress would also be followed by decline and by decay.
The cloud that had so frequently enveloped me now ascended. I looked for the youth who had been my attendant, but he was gone. The visions all passed away. The solemn bell of the cathedral was summoning the worshippers to prayer, as I found myself seated on the pedestal of the monument of that great reformer, whose name sheds a glory on Scotland—a name which shall ever be venerated by all who love the prosperity of her Zion.
THE CREATION OF THE CAMEL. (From the German.) "Father of beasts and of men"—so spake the horse, as bending, in lowly adoration, he drew nigh to the throne of Jupiter—" men say that I am one of the most beautiful creatures with which thou hast adorned the earth, and, sooth, to say, my self love does not permit me to dispute the assertion ; and, yet, methinks, there are in me several things that might be amended."
"And, what, thinkst thou, is there, that in thee could be amended? Speak! I am ever ready to hear advice," said Jupiter, with a benevolent smile.
"Perhaps," continued the horse, " longer and more slender legs would increase my speed—a long swan neck would, certainly, not disfigure my appearance— a broader breast would add to my strength—and, as thou hast destined me to bear on my back man, thy favourite, a natural saddle might supply the place of that which the rider, in his kindness, fixes upon me."
"Good !" said the Deity; patience a moment; and, with a stern and commanding countenance, uttered the word of creation. In an instant, life sprung into the dust, organized matter rushed together, and, suddenly, there stood before the throne—the hideous Camel!
The horse beheld, started back in affright, and shook and trembled in unconquerable aversion.
"Here," said Jove, " here are legs longer and more slender—here the broader breast—here the swan-like neck—here, the natural saddle. Wilt thou, horse, that I thus re-create thee?"
The horse still shuddered, and strove, but in vain, to recover from his horror.
"Hence I" continued Jupiter, "Hence! begone I and, for this time, be instructed, without being punished: yet, stay I to remind thee, although a penitent, now and then, of thy presumptuous daring, do thou, new creature, continue to enjoy the existence that I have bestowed." The god cast a glance of favour and protection upon the camel, and, even yet, the horse can never behold it without a shudder.
WEAKNESS OF HUMAN REASON.
(From the German. J Look into the opinions of men, contemplate their great diversity, their complete opposition to each other; and where shall the serious, the reflecting mind find a peaceful station to rest upon? Where shall it find "the shadow of a mighty rock, in a weary land," of fluctuating devices and tempests of opinion? Not in human literature, not in the inventions of men; but in silence before the God of our lives, in pure devotion of the heart, and in prostration of the soul. The knee bends before the Majesty of Omnipotence, and all the powers of the mind say, Amen !—In matters so important as pure religion, the salvation of the immortal soul, it is highly worthy of Divine Wisdom that He should take supreme direction to Himself alone, and not leave any part of the work to the device of man; for it is evident to every candid enquirer, that whenever he interferes he spoils it. Religion is of too pure and spotless a nature, that a touch will not contaminate it- It is uniform, consistent, and of the same complexion and character in all nations. Languages and customs may greatly differ; but the language of pure devotion of the heart to its Maker is one and the same over the face of the whole earth. It is acknowledged and felt " through the unity of the spirit, in the bond of peace." There is a harmony and consistency in the works of God, external and internal; the external operations of nature are strictly typical of internal things; the visible of the invisible world.
WEST-COUNTRY WIT AT THE CLOSE OF THE AMERICAN WAR.
The following jeu desprit, which appeared in the Glasgow Mercury in 1783, may tend to throw a little light on the feelings of the period :—
For sale, by auction, at the Great Rooms, St. James's Street, the entire stock in trade of a Warlike Nation, just left off business; one hundred and twenty thousand men, very little the worse for use, and warranted as brave as at the very first moment. To be had dog cheap.
Several thousand officers' sioords, very fit for Hyde Park, the play, operas, &c. most of them having never been used elesewhere. They are elegantly ornamented, and not a speck of rust to be discovered, which is the more remarkable, as many of them were never out of the sheath.
Several thousand military cocked hats, of a mild and inoffensive nature, and such as retain not any vestige of the smell of gunpowder. Perfumers will find their interest in putting their noses to them.
An hundred barrels of gunpowder, very fit for rejoicing days, as it was never known to do much execution.
A large quantity of cannon, of all sorts and sizes; the bores are very large. N. B. Those who purchase the cannon may have the loyalists gratis.
Several tons of hair powder, intended for foreign service, and and now lying at Portsmouth.
Some thousand cannon balls, with which India Governors may play at marbles.
Several schemes of contracts, very proper to bilk any Government.
Six red ribbons, intended for brave officers, but never used. N. B. They may be dyed for the Irish order of Knighthood.
A large cargo of ministerial abuse, which, for the convenience of purchasers, will be devided into lots.
Lot 1st—consists of abuse against Mr. Fox, marked on the top Reynard, the ex-minister, the man of sin—with twenty-seven proofs, that he can neither speak, act, or think reasonably on any subject, but the pipe or the cards.
Lot N —Abuse against Mr. Burke, marked on the top Mr. O' Conomy—consisting of a collection of the names of children's books, &c. and seventeen arguments, tending to prove that Mr. Burke is no great thing.
A collection of abusive letters on the 27tb of July—marked a Seaman. N. B. With a little alteration they will fit any subject.
A very large cargo of Opposition Abuse, which, like the other, may be divided into lots.
Lot 1st—Against Lord Sbelburne, marked on the top, Malagrida, but as this cargo will not bear lobe examined, the purchaser must have it as it is
Lot 2d—Against the last ministry, marked on the top, weak, wicked, and unwise \ among other articles are—bloody war, damnable fleets, scandalous neglect, rotten ships, secret junto, \c. fyc. This lot » intended for keeping, and has lasted full ten years without the least alteration or diminution. Twenty proofs that the country is ruined—near fifty years old, and yet as good as new. A great penny-worth. With several ether articles; complete catalogues of which are to be had at the place of sale, and at the shop of Sarcasm, Squib and Company, No. 2, Queen's-head Alley, Paternoster- Row.
N. B The above gentlemen have just imported a large cargo
of prisoners, from foreign parts. Gentlemen of landed property will find their interest in purchasing them as scare-crows.
In these troublesome times, I find it good to follow Habakkuk's example, which is all the politics I wish to know: he prayed, he got into his watch-tower, and waited for an answer, and he received it, and praised God for it. We know where to lay the blame: unbelief is the provoking sin, it has brought ruin on many kingdoms. O my country, my country, I fear for England. It is of the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not; may that move him to pour upon us a spirit of prayer and supplication, that, as a nation, we may, with national repentance, keep the Fast, humbled under his mighty hand. This is such a fast as he hath chosen, and, for his own glory, may he work a general reformation, so that iniquity may not be our ruin. —Bomaine's Letters, 1792.
Home.—There is something inexpressibly touching in the story of Ishmael, the youth who was sent into the wilderness of life with his bow and his arrow, "his hand against every man, and every man's hand against him." Even in our crowded, busy, and social world, on how many is this doom pronounced? What love makes allowances like household love? God forgive those who turn the household altar into a place of strife! Domestic dissention is the sacrilege of the heart.
Fine Shaking.—He be a mighty fine talker, surely! but he be shy of the pen—'tis not every man what talkest biggest what's the best schollard at bottom. Why, there's the newspaper I saw in the market, (for I always sees the newspaper once a-week,) says as how some of them great speakers in the Parliament House, are no better than ninnies when they gets upon paper; and that's the Corporal's case, I suspect ; I suppose as how they can't spell all them ere long words they make use on. For my part, I thinks there be mortal dexate (deceit) like in that ere public speaking; for I knows how far a loud voice and a bold face goes, even in buying a cow, your honour; and I'm afraid the country's greatly bubbled in that ere partiklar; for if u man can't write down clearly what he means for to say, I does not thinks as how he knows what he means when he goes for to speak!—Bulwer.
Religion, is a nation's weal,
A nation's antidote to woe;
The plagues, from Eden's loss that flow.
Religion, gives earth's angel forms,
The truth and love of angel minds, To brave, life's frowning sky of storms,
With might the brow of manhood binds
Religion, is the white-winged dove,
That o'er a people's virtue broods; And with a mother's anxious love,
From spoiling hands her offspring shrouds.
Religion, pours the feeding oil,
That bids thy torch, fair science, blaze;
And superstition dark recoil,
As from a seraph's dazzling gaze.
Religion, is a wall of fire,
Impervious to invading foes;
Each proud armada overthrows.
With slaves, religion cannot dwell,
Of liberty she speaks the spell,
Religion's wreath of simple flowers,
Becomes her more than diadem; Enshrined a queen in regal towers,
She changeth as a faded gem.
She is not like the swollen tide,
That rolls along with gorgeous sweep;
Mid' cloister'd domes on every side,
But mark yon fount of mountain dell,
Whose streams spread verdure where they stray; While gentle murmurs only tell,
How 'neath the boughs they steal away.
'Tis thus religion, pure and meek,
With bloom doth deck the vale of time;
Thus shall her tints of harvest streak
EAST COUNTRY REMINISCENCES.
The Edinburgh Advertiser of January 6, 1764, has the following advertisement:—" Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell, at their house, Covenant Close, Edinburgh, continue their boarding-school for ladies, at the usual price of six pounds per quarter. They are taught the following branches of education, without any additional charge to their parents, viz.:
"All coloured work; white seam; Dresden and lace work; embroidery in gold, silver, silk, or bugles; washing of lawns, gauzes, and blow laces; making of shell and filigram work; French, Italian, and enamelled gum-flowers; Indian and French japanning, and mezzetinto on various kinds of glass; making of caps, pongs, necklaces, and ear-rings; painting on gauze, in colours, and in imitation of Dresden work; cutting in paper, in landscape and fancy; pickling and preserving, &c
"They are, also, taught the French and English languages, geography, writing, arithmetic, book-keeping, and the method of letterwriting practised weekly. Their linens, lawns, laces, and gauzes, are washed in the house, gratis, and they are taught to make up all their own things in the millinery way. The above articles are, also, taught to day-scholars on reasonable terms.
"N. B. —Mr. Mitchell continues to teach ladies and gentlemen at their houses, and at home, at private and public hours, as formerly."
A Novel, entitled " The Fair of May Fair," containing sketches of London Society, on the plan of Marmontel's Tales, is in the press.
Mr. Auldjo, author of the Ascent of Mont Elanc, is about to publish Sketches of Vesuvius, with short accounts of its principal Eruptions, from the commencement of the Christian era, to the present time, illustrated by lithographic views.
ON THE IMPORTANCE OF A MORAL AND RELIGIOUS EDUCATION.
Chief Justice Alderson, in his address to the grand jury, at the Lancaster Assizes, held lately, gave vent to the following truly excellent remarks :—" Gentlemen, I approach, with great anxiety, and with great sorrow, the consideration of the Calendar of these Assizes; with great sorrow, because, I perceive, in it, a vast variety, and a very great number of oifences of the blackest enormity,—with great anxiety, because, I feel the importance of the duties which will devolve upon me, as well as upon you. I approach it with sorrow, besides, to perceive a great inattention to life, prevailing in this county of Lancaster, arising from the serious number of those cases, in which, the parties accused, have shed the blood of their fellow christians; offences, whicb, seem to me, to be so prevalent, that, though I have had some experience upon this Circuit, in former years, I do not ever remember to have seen so many instances.
11 What can be the cause of all this, it is difficult to conceive, unless it is that mischievous sort of education, which consists only in learning to read and write, without giving, also, that better instruction, which is calculated to lead to peace and godliness. Nothing can be more fallacious, than to suppose that this is education. Education, the best gift that one man can give to another, must, to constitute it worthy of the name, consist in the training up of men, to the knowledge and practice of their relative duties in society. It may, properly, begin with reading and writing, as the means by which other instruction is to be communicated, but, to stop there, is to give them of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, without adding to it the tree of life—without teaching them, also, their duties, as fathers, as husbands, as men, and as christians— is to leave society in a state of twilight, which can only lead, as it originally led, to the introduction of sin and woe. Gentlemen, I hope and trust, that you, in your several stations, will remember, that you do but little to serve your poorer neighbours, if you do not add the instruction of these duties, to that instruction of reading and writing."
A WOMAN TO MARRY.
First place, says Corporal Hunting, Sir—woman I'd marry, must not mop when alone !—must be able to 'muse herself; must be easily 'mused. That's a great sign, Sir, of an innocent mind, to be tickled with straws. Besides, employments keeps 'em out of harm's way. Second place, should obsarve, if she was very fond of places, your honour—sorry to move—that's a sure sign she won't tire easily; but that if she like you now from fancy, she'll like you by and by from custom. Thirdly, your honour, she should not be averse to dress—a leaning that way shows she has a desire to please: people who don't care about pleasing, always sullen. Fourthly, she must bear to be crossed—I'd be quite sure that she might be contradicted, without mumping or storming ;—'cause then, you knows, your honour, if she wanted any thing expensive—need not give it—augh! Fifthly, must not be
over religious, your honour; tbey pye-house she-creturs always thinks themselves so much better nor we men :—don't understand our language and ways, your honour: they wants us not only to belove, but to tremble—bother !"—Eugene Aram.
ODDS AND ENDS.
In a shop window in Anderston Walk, may be seen the following inviting notice:—All kinds of Women Stays here.
In what state is a coat like a person recovering of a fever. When it has got the turn.
Why is a bell that wont ring like a town in Ireland. Because it is Belfast.
NOTICES TO CORRESPONDENTS.
"Os the Benefits which arise from Affliction" was too late for this number, but will appear on Saturday, if possible.
Another chapter, from " Baillie Pirnie's Memoirs," will appear in a few days.
"Elegy on Major" under consideration.
If the Lady who sent us four short poetical pieces will tell as which of them is her own, that one will, probably, be inserted.
SUPERB LONDON HATS from the following celebrated Makers—ISAAC FORTH, lately appointed Hatter to Her Majesty, BICKNELL & MOORE, BOWLER & SON,
WILSON, EVELEGH, &c &c To be had of R. NIXON,
98, ARGYLL STREET, Corner of the ARCADE, who has just received a supply of the NEATEST and NEWEST SHAPES.
LODGING FOR SALE, ST. VINCENT STREET PRICE FIFTEEN HUNDRED GUINEAS That
commodious Family Lodging, No. 4, BLYTHSWOOD HILL, consisting of Eleven Rooms, &c. &c.
The Feu Duty payable is at the rate of 75 per cent, less than the Houses opposite, and the Situation for Air and Fashion is unexceptionable—Apply to M. M. PATTISON, 43, Buchanan Street.
SET OF SILVER TABLE SPOONS, he —To be Sold, at the Sale of FURNITURE, in Messrs. BARCLAY and SKIRVING'S Auction-Rooms, 164, Trongate, on SATURDAY the 24th current,
A SET OF SILVER TABLE ARTICLES, viz. :—18 Table, 18 Dessert, 12 Tea, 4 Sauce, and 1 Turreen Spoons, 6 Toddy Ladles, Fish Knife, he. he. of the Newest Pattern and little used, Plated Bread Basket, Candlesticks, Cruet Frames, Salvers, &c. Consulting Table, Iron Safe, Paper Hangings, &c.
THE late JOHN ABERNETHY, Surgeon—The celebrated PILL and DRAUGHTS, as prescribed by the above eminent Practitioner, may be had of Mr. G. Pexfold, Glasgow Medical Hall, 50, Argyll Street, Glasgow; and of Messrs. Puqh and Flews, Chemists, 33, Prince's Street, and 33, Northumberland Street, Edinburgh.
These Medicines (prepared with great care from prescriptions in the hand writing of the late J. Abernethy,) correct disorder or inaction of the digestive organs.
A disordered state of the digestive organs causes most diseases to which mankind are liable, as a preventive for which, the use of these Medicines, when the bowels require it, attention to diet, and warm clothing, are earnestly recommended.
A Treatise, embracing the opinion of the late J. Abernethy, upon disorders of the digestive organs, containing also rules for diet, is enclosed in each package.
Ask for Babington's true Abernethian Pill and Draughts. N. B.—The label signed, " Walter Babington."
BJ3T The very extensive and increasing circulation of " The Day" has suggested the measure of offering it as a medium for Advertising. We beg leave, therefore, most respectfully to inform the public that the columns of this Morning Journal receive advertisements at the same rates as the Glasgow newspapers.
Glasgow, 19th March, 1832.
Published, every Morning, Sunday excepted, by John Finlay, at No. 9, Miller Street; and Sold by John Wtlix, 97, Argyle Street; David Robertson, and W. R. M'phun, Glasgow Thomas Stevenson, and the other Booksellers, Edinburgh: DaVid Dick, and A. Gardner, Booksellers, Paisley: A. Laiks, Greenock; and J. Glass, Bookseller, Rothsay.
PRINTED BY JOHN GRAHAM, MELVILLE TLACE.
A MORNING JOURNAL OF LITERATURE, FINE ARTS, FASHION, &c.
GLASGOW, FRIDAY, MARCH 23, 1832.
A WORD OF APOLOGY FOR THE GLASGOW DRAMA.
As nothing can give us greater pleasure than to vindicate the claims of the theatre upon the attention of a refined public, we cheerfully give a place in our columns to thesubjoined letter, which we have received from a correspondent. The view which the writer takes of the causes which have impeded the success of the Glasgow stage, differs from what has been expressed upon the same subject in some articles in our paper, especially from one contained under the date of January 9th. We then ventured to state, that the theatre had been encouraged in Glasgow while it deserved to be so, and that, if the Managers would continue to do their duty to the public, they would find their advantage in it. How far we were right in saying so may bejudged of by those who remember the condition of the Glasgow theatre, at the end of the last century, the period from which we chiefly drew our conclusions. The remarks which follow apply to later times, but certainly make out a very strong case for the individuals who have had the management of our theatrical amusements. The difficulties which a manager has to struggle with in Glasgow are, certainly, very great, and are perhaps too seldom taken into account in estimating his exertions. But, though this be true, it leads to the unavoidable inference, that his arrangements must be made in the first style, in order to meet with public patronage. If the present patentee would adopt this advice, which we give from a sincere desire to befriend him—we cannot ensure him success— but we promise to do all in our power to procure it for him. Or, if he is unwilling to trust entirely to the strength of our recommendation, he may make his speculation safe, by engaging the public to support it before-hand. There are many liberal men in this city, who would subscribe considerable sums, either in return for season tickets, or some such way, in order to enjoy the privilege of seeing really good performances in the theatre. Mr. Alexander has already done much; but we sincerely think that, if he were to adopt some measure to this effect, he would find that his previous exertions, whether or not they have been already rewarded, would then lead to new or increased prosperity.
We view the acted Drama as an innocent, rational, and intellectual amusement—calculated to improve the manners, taste and morals of such individuals as can appreciate its beauties. To us, every new dramatic representation is like the reading of a new tale or poem, or the first glance at some beautiful production of the artist. It reveals the mind from grosser pursuits and inspires it with a nicer conception both of moral and intellectual beauty.
The Glasgow public are, certainly, not so partial to dramatic entertainment, as from the existence of certain features in their character, we would be prepared to expect. They have long been a thriving community, and are not, entirely, destitute of taste in other particulars. They can also number among themselves men of considerable literary talent; and, being a reading population, ought, by this time, to have contracted a stronger predilection for theatrical pleasures, connected as these intimately are with the pleasures of literature.
Many causes contribute in checking the taste of the Glasgow public for dramatic entertainment. They are a religious people, and are still, more or less, affected by the prejudices of the dark ages. They will not approach the theatre lest they be contaminated; or if, in having been once led to see a drama, their feelings have been wounded, but, in one particular, you will hear them declaring, as they retire, "It is just as we said—we shall never go again." They are also a calculating people, and grudge the expense of a night at the theatre. But the principal objection, and to which all others are but as dust in the balance, is the melancholy one, that they want the true dramatic taste. They may be fond enough of display, and perfectly capable of being drawn out to any novelty that comes sufficiently recommended—such as a wonderful singer, or violinist, an equestrian, or performing elephant—but have little capacity of receiving pleasure from the works of fancy. To the majority of our citizens the written drama is a dead letter. Shakespeare is seldom in their hands, if even in their libraries, and, therefore, the acting of Hamlet or Othello offers no attraction. Their practice is, to turn out on a given night and enjoy a laugh, if the performance happens to be farcical; or, if otherwise, to sit and gaze at each other, see and be seen. This is the true cause of the drama's depreciation in Glasgow—the public want the refinement to enjoy it. In certain towns of England, which we could name, there is scarcely a family, some of whose members are not theatrical, and critically so. They can go back, with ease, to the days of former managements, can contrast the comparative merits of the respective companies, can single out, with a nice discrimination, the beauties of each performance, and are so far liberalized, as not only to enjoy the play, but even to court and cultivate the society of the players. This is what we call dramatic taste. It manifests itself in an inquiry after the doings of the profession—in a laudable concern for the prosperity of the management—in a friendly attention to benefits, and in a frequent attendance at the house when not otherwise engaged. We know of one theatre in England, and a provincial one too, where, in one season, not fewer than a hundred and twenty season tickets were disposed of. We have yet to learn that, during the last twelve years, our Managers have contrived to dispose of half that number.
It has been always so in Glasgow. We happen to know a little of its theatrical history forthe last20years, and never recollect of the theatre being different from what it is still. A lounge for certain fellows, who used to drop in, whatever might be the nature of the performance—an occasional resort for the family circle when disposed to be happy for a night—and the favourite amusement of a few, who loved the drama for its own sake. On a night of extraordinary attraction, no doubt—say the Manager's benefit—the visit of a London performer—or the patronised bespeak of My Lord Lyndoch, or His Grace the Duke of Montrose, when the fashionable world seemed to be taken by storm, and the lounger, the family circle, and the critic, all pressed into the breach—why, then, as yet, there was a tremendous ado—extra boxes, raised prices, and returned money; and those individuals who recollect the theatre only on such occasions, and who want the penetration or the candour to consider the whole circumstances of the case, and contrast them with the similar cases of the present day, may cry out as they please about the good old times, and lament the supposed inferiority of present companies and present managements. It is all a dream, with which the question of our dramatic taste has no more connection, than has the controversy about the course of the Niger, or the state of literature in Japan.
It remains to be proved, that the true dramatic taste, which is traceable, in our opinion, to the mens divinior of poetry, and, coeval with it, depends at all upon the aggregate talent of any company of players, or upon the discretion, taste, or enterprise of any individual management. Our conviction is, that it does not—that the company rather arises out of the dramatic taste. Give us a public, possessing the capacity of deriving pleasure from this species of amusement, and disposed to cherish it, and, we venture to affirm, you will find the company to be of your own choosing. The character of the performances will rise in proportion to your capacity of enjoying them. Once show a manager that you are disposed to support him, in the costs of his speculation, and, we lay our life, he will readily come forward and meet the public demand. We know this to have been the feeling of all our managers, for the last twenty years, but the public have never so expressed themselves. We owe it to the few of the right calibre, who love the drama, that we have a theatre open in our city. These, no doubt, would be proud to enjoy, and could well appreciate, the very highest talent in the kingdom; but, do they ask or expect that such talent should be provided for their especial accommodation? Certainly not. The declaimer against talentless companies, and injudicious or parsimonious managers, should go to the house-keeping citizen and bachelor, and say, "to you we owe it, that we are not supplied with better acting. Your more frequent appearance in the house would obtain this for us; and, if you would be useful in your day, and remembered after death, as the director of public taste, and the reclaimer of our youth from habits of vice and dissipation, you will do this. Your own mind would thus become enlarged, your knowledge of human nature would extend, on every successive visit, and the refinement, as well as the intelligence of the gentleman would settle upon your history, and exhibit you to the men of other generations, as one that had not lived altogether in vain."
It is all very well to eulogize, in general terms, the managements of Rock, Jackson, and Montgomery. Let those who do so, give us the particulars of those managements—the receipts and disbursements—the profit and loss that attended them. Let us have not in bare conjecture, but in reality, the particulars in which they differed from the present. This will show that the individuals to whom we allude, know what they affirm. What are Rock and Jackson to us, or we to Rock? No more than Hamlet's Hecuba. Let them come to later times, of which, all can speak. Not to show that the taste for the acted drama has neither advanced nor retrograded much in Glasgow, during the period that we have known it, we will mention a few facts—and facts are said to be stubborn things.
We recollect of Macready's company, and it was a highly talented one, including, besides the present William Macready, of Drury Lane, the clever Mr. C. Betterton, Macready, senior, Mr. Grant, Mr. and Mrs. Macnamara, the Laceys, little Lancaster, Signor Montignani, Mrs. Garrick, &c, playing, in 1813 and 14, to pitiful houses, insomuch that, on one occasion, the performances never commenced, there being only three in the house at a quarter past seven. We recollect of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Kemble, Mrs. St. Leger, and Mr. H. Johnston, performing, many years ago, with a most respectable company, to most indifferent houses. We recollect of Mr. H. Johnston's company performing, with the attraction of the late Mr. Hamilton, the
celebrated elocutionist, as Othello, to not more than ten or twelve persons in the gallery, and five in the pit, of which five, we, ourselves, were one. We remember of Miss O'Neil playing Mrs. Beverly, to the Gamester of Mr. Putnam, the Edinburgh elocutionist, the performances being for the benefit of the latter.; when Putnam, poor fellow, after paying the expenses of the house, and Miss O'Neil, the stipulated sum of fifty pounds for her performance (shame upon her for exacting it,) was found to be nearly fifty pounds out of pocket, there having been not quite thirty pounds in the house. Yet, this was experienced in Queen Street, not many nights prior, or posterior to the idiotic appearance of Cochrane, the "Moon-Struck Author," on which occasion, the large house was crowded to suffocation, to witness a performance which, in point of real merit, fell infinitely beneath the common exhibition of Punch's Opera. Call ye this a specimen of dramatic taste, in the olden time? Verily, then, it has declined among us. From all such displays of its revival, may the presiding genius of the stage deliver us!
But, further, and, to come nearer the present time, we recollect being in the house, Queen Street, on the evening of December 11, 1827, (such is the memorandum, in our theatrical note-book,) when Colman's comedy of " John Bull" was performed, under the patronage of our worthy chief Magistrate of that period, it being the "first fashionable night" of the season, when—will our readers believe it ?—we counted, in the boxes at the end of the third act, the Lord Provost, himself, his lady, and sister, with the worthy Editor of a present newspaper, and another male friend, whom the kind functionary had, no doubt, pressed into the service, in order to keep him in countenance. Yet, the theatrical company was good at that time—superior to what it had been for sometime before, and equal to any since. The play was well cast, and most respectably performed, but was met by no proper return, on the part of the audience. The beauties were entirely overlooked.
We recollect of Kean, when in the zenith of his popularity, playing Lear to about twenty in the pit, and, on a later occasion, when announced as appearing for the last time, before leaving for America, and to address the audience after the play, performing his original part of Brutus to two in the boxes, both of whom were turned out of the house for hissing Kean, and about fifty in the pit; yet, this was another specimen of dramatic taste in past years. They look at this question through a confused medium, who impute the want of a good company in Glasgow to any other cause than the want of demand on the part of the public themselves. Nor was Glasgow alone in this: Edinburgh, Liverpool, Dublin, nay, London itself, where the greatest talent in the kingdom is to be seen, labour under the same depreciation. A vitiated taste has settled upon our communities, and turned them away from the patronage of dramatic representation, properly so called, to the praise of horsemanship and spectacle. These may be seen away from the theatre: therefore, it is necessarily deserted.
Memoirs or Great Commakders, by G. P. James, Esq. Author
of Darnley, 3 Vols. London, 1832. Mr. James may be an able Novelist, but we are far from thinking that he is a good Biographer. The man who, in fact, like the Author of Darnley, is possessed of a brilliant and inventive imagination, and has been in the custom of colouring fact with fiction, is seldom found well calculated for giving the light gossip and playful anecdote which constitute the charm of a good memoir. It is one thing to place, before the world, the picture of a romantic drama, where all the personages are the beings of imagination, and another, to be able to introduce a reader into the private history and habits of a real personage, who has already obtained a species of