Page images



of the Church; who were qualified by the King's charter to choose their own government and governors, under the obligation that every man should take the oaths of allegiance and supremacy,' which all the first planters did, when they received their charter, before they transported themselves from hence, nor was there in many years the least scruple amongst them of complying with those obligations, so far men were, in the infancy of their schism, from refusing to take lawful oaths. He was no sooner landed there, but his parts made him quickly taken notice of, and very probably his quality, being the eldest son of a Privy Counsellor, might give him some advantage; insomuch, that when the next season came for the election of their magistrates, he was chosen their governor; in which place he had so ill fortune, (his working and unquiet fancy raising and infusing a thousand scruples of conscience, which they had not brought over with them, nor heard of before,) that he unsatisfied with them, and they with him, he transported himself into England; having sowed such seeds of dissension there, as grew up too prosperously, and miserably divided the poor Colony into several factions. **He betook himself to the friendship of Mr. Pym, and all other discontented or seditious persons." -Vol. i. p. 326-328.

"Look here upon this picture, and on this"-is all we have to request of the reader; nor is more necessary to provoke his contempt for the miserable libeller of the "Quarterly Review." We need not point out to more particular disgust the nature of that person's head and heart who could thus disfigure the page of history; and translate the noble opposition to all acts of State which were not exactly legal, into base opposition to all acts of State-a very spirited act of heroic endurance which had conferred much credit on its author, into a petty circumstance of opposition to the King which had given him very great authority only with the discontented -a simple statement of a person returning from his travels through Scotland, into an assertion that he had finished his education in Scotland-weighty, into "crafty"-the circumstantial account of the giddyness of a youth who transported himself into the Colony of New England, was made governor, quarrelled with the people out of his scruples of conscience, and pettishly returned home, into the pompous statement that his (the same youth's) first appearance in public life was in Colonial affairs, in which he soon became an authority; but that he afterwards turned the greatest enemy of the colonieswith many other equally amusing and malignant translations, of which our readers may judge in the parallel columns.

We confess that we are heartily sick of pursuing these inquiries further: we had purposed to go through the few remaining attempts at character, all of which may be stripped of their false and deceitful colouring; but we have said enough to hold up this Reviewer to universal distrust. We must be allowed, however, to smile at his infelicitous choosing of a Lord Grey, (of whom there were two or three in the days of the "Great Rebellion") for he has hit on a person who was a mere boy when the struggle began, and whom, in the middle of the war, Clarendon describes as "a young man of no eminent parts," not as the Reviewer would falsely have it "a man of no eminent parts.'

One more exposure, which is rather curious, and we have done. It has been of late a current rumour that the present Archbishop of York will certainly support the second reading of the Reform Bill. This was sufficient ground for our Reviewer to go upon. Accordingly we were not surprised to meet among his falsehoods the following:"There happened to be, at that period, in the Archiepiscopal See of York, a man who had made himself popular' with the Reforming party, as a supporter of those opinions and those persons which were against the Church itself.' When the infamous Bill of Attainder was introduced, and sent up to the Lords, and that the cry resounded against the Bishops' for their supposed hostility to that Bill, the Archbishop of York was the first not only to abandon his personal duty, but to advise and assist in the passing of that monstrous and fatal measure of injustice."

[ocr errors]

Now we beg to say that this is untrue, and that the Reviewer must have known it. The person alluded to was not then Archbishop of York, nor did he become so for some time afterwards. He was Bishop of Lincoln: and if the Reviewer would draw a parallel between him and the present Archbishop of York, he must prove the latter to be

"A proud, restless, and overweening spirit, of a very imperious and fiery temper, a man of great pride and vanity, a liar, a passionate and dissolute man, a man of very corrupt nature, who had been imprisoned for perjury and subornation of perjury”—

for all this Clarendon describes the Bishop of Lincoln to have been.


We have finished our task. After this-will any man say that the Quarterly Review" can be considered an authority with any honest party whatsoever? The slander of the living, the warmth of politics may extenuate; but who, that remembers the sanctity of the dead, can think, without deep indignation and honourable disgust, of one who could thus, to serve a momentary purpose, wilfully garble the pages of History into a deliberate calumny of the Great Actors of the Past? For the reasonings and the arguments of the "Quarterly Review," we have only to say they are worthy of the arts we have exposed. Considered as a Literary and Critical work, general opinion has now ranked it below contempt, and perhaps so wretched a book at the sum of six shillings, as the present number, was never sold before by a respectable publisher. The poor stuff about Mary Collings, and Mrs. Trollope, and Fanny Kemble, and Captain Hall, excites the pity of men of sense. The delusions we have exposed will excite the nausea of men of honour. In these tricks the Libeller ministers to the great cause of advancing Liberty, and "the Knave is our very good friend!"


Free-trade in Theatricals-The West Indies-The price of Prayer in England-Cruelty to Animals The Majors and Minors-Imprisonment for Debt-Hunting by SteamA Classical Scene in the Mountains of Coimbatoor-Judge-Law-The State of the Metropolis-The Street Keepers-Penny Papers-The Fast-The Want of Accomplishments in Actors-One of the Beauties of Legislation-The Boy King for


FREE-TRADE IN THEATRICALS.-This is a nicer subject of speculation than may at first strike the person who is, on principle, a general enemy of monopolies. To destroy the patents and throw open the stage, it is alleged, will be the destruction of the art: the public in general are but wretched judges, and unless a school of a superior order is in a manner forced by a monopoly, the taste of the majority will be consulted, and acting will be reduced to the level of the Surrey and the Cobourg. A theatre is a Court affair, it is said: it has always best succeeded where the company was a licensed body, and the audience a particular class-the more you admit the mob, the more the Drama degenerates. By maintaining and favouring particular houses, they become schools of acting, objects of ambition for the inferior performers-in short, academies, into which all professors esteem admission as a patent of ability. This creates a high standard of taste both in the performer and the spectator, whereas, on the other hand, throw the Stage open, the good actors will quickly disappear with the present generation, and you will have a race of men and women content with cheap applause, and all but universal suffrage. This is a specious reasoning. In answer to it, we may allege, that, if monopoly had this tendency naturally, through desire of gain or other causes, the monopolists themselves have diverted it. The size of the theatres, the nature of the performances, and the promiscuous audience, are themselves enough to destroy good acting; and, in fact, good actors are diminishing in number every day. The theatre is so far from being a Court affair under the monopoly, that it is actually a mob-entertainment, rarely frequented by persons of refined habits-for very good reasons. The confusion, noise, beastliness, and danger of insult, in our large theatres, is almost proverbial: a lady sitting in an open box, though surrounded with male relatives, feels hardly one remove from the uproar of the street. As for the maintenance of an academy of acting, we do not see what should exempt acting from universal laws. As well might it be said that certain butchers should possess a monopoly or privileges to keep people in the taste for good beef. It might be alleged that the universal appetite for animal food, and the dangerous facility in opening butchers' shops, reduced the standard in oxen; that since the public could get mutton any where, the breeders would be no longer particular in the breed of sheep. But we do not find it so; but that, on the contrary, the more the people eat, the better is the beef. Graziers are solicitous as to the nature of the supply, seeing that the demand is on the increase, as the reward is proportionate. They who have money and taste will create of themselves an academy, whether it be of graziers or actors: there is a natural spirit of competition in all men who gain their livelihood and accumulate capital by their own exertions:

actors and companies will endeavour to excel one another, and neither nature, precept, nor example, will be wanting.

The effect of a free-trade in theatrical representation will be manifold. One assuredly will be, that the entertainment in each theatre will differ, and fall into classes, according as the taste of the public varies and may be classified. There are hotels, inns, public-houses, adapted to all wants, pockets, and tastes-why not theatres?—the rich and the refined will go to the Clarendon, the poor or the coarse to the Cat and Bagpipes.

THE WEST INDIES.-Major-General Cox, in writing (in a letter quoted in the Times) of the present condition of Jamaica, says, "This unhappy rebellion is going on favourably." The next sentence of his letter is a commentary on the meaning of the term, "going on favourably."-"The fellow that was shot in Unity Valley seems to have had the effect of quieting all here!" This strongly reminds us of what Galgacus is alleged to have said of the Romans, in much better Latin than Major-General Cox writes English-"Ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant ;" or, as the modern Briton would translate it," When the fellows are all shot, we shall be quiet!" When we read Lord Belmore's despatches, and then turn to the debates in Parliament, we think of the Chancellor Oxenstiern's saying," How small a portion of wisdom seems necessary to (mis)-govern the world!"

THE PRICE OF PRAYER IN ENGLAND.-The German Prince tells us, in his " Tour," that, among the curiosities, he went to hear the Rev. Robert Taylor preach against Christianity, and observes that "he retains only one thing of the Anglo-Christian Church-to make you pay a shilling for your seat." This remark will afford a good comment upon the appearance of St. Paul's on the Fast Day, as described by "The Times:"


"The Lord Mayor's chaplain preached the sermon at this cathedral yesterday, on which occasion the Lord Mayor and a few of the members of the Corporation attended.

"The seats were not half occupied, but the nave was crowded; and in this part of the church were many females, who were compelled to stand during the whole of the service upon the stone floor, because they did not bribe the officers. Surely this is a subject which is not unworthy the attention of the diocesan. Might it not tend to promote religious sentiments amongst the humbler classes, if the distinction between wealth and poverty were made less offensively apparent, in our churches at least?"

CRUELTY TO ANIMALS.-Mr. Gompertz, the Secretary for preventing cruelty to animals, considers it wrong to use animals for food at all, unless they have died a natural death.-(Voice of Humanity, p. 93.) This is humanity with a Vengeance! It is a desperate crime to kill a bullock, but none to poison a whole population. This is a specimen of that spurious humanity which must be carefully distinguished from the true. When ladies so love their lapdogs, that a whole family might be starved sooner than the little wants of their pets be neglected, we laugh at or despise the morbid fancy; but in the secretary of an active and wealthy society, it becomes at least respectable. It is on the same principle that poor men are taken from their families and clapped upon the treadmill for three months, because they cannot drive oxen to the slaughter-house with humanity. The fact, is that cattle are

not to be coaxed down long streets and up narrow passages, but if the humane would establish markets out of the town, and build abattoirs in the same neighbourhood, their benevolence would be of a less questionable character. Mr. Gompertz's humanity is scarcely less absurd than that of Hindoos, who feed dogs and cats as pasture for fleas and other vermin.

THE MAJORS AND MINORS.-The drama is just now in a state of transition the most disagreeable. State theatres have a monopoly, and do not enjoy it; play-houses spring up on sufferance; they depend on connivance for existence--a movement would destroy them. Thus they exercise a perilous freedom-the free-trade of piracy. The consequence is, that old enterprises are on the brink of ruin, and new ones are catching at a straw to save themselves from drowning.

The Covent-Garden people, it seems, have come to a resolution to work the ship for the benefit of the company; the owners throw in house-rent, fire, and candle. This is always done in desperate undertakings, as in the case of the Whalers, in which every man who risks the catching of fish is entitled to his share of blubber. The public is a dangerous creature to harpoon: with a fling of its tail it sometimes upsets a boatful of speculation; and if, when it is wilful, line enough is not given, or the man with the axe is not prompt to cut away when the case requires it, it is too often that it carries along with it to the bottom much enterprise and energy.

IMPRISONMENT FOR DEBT.-This age assuredly gives signs of regeneration, in some respects, at least. We are beginning to open our eyes to the most venerable abuses, though, it is true, we are very slow in correcting them. If Cyril Bergerac, who pretends that he made a voyage to the moon, and amused the Lunites with our absurdities, had told them of our plan of making a debtor pay his debts, they would have been as astonished as they were at hearing that it was the sign of a gentleman on the earth to have an instrument of destruction dangling at his side. First catch your debtor is the prescription of the English law; then give him his entire liberty within certain walls, whence he has all possible opportunity to waste his substance, but none to increase his store. If he be industrious, put him where he cannot work; if he be idle, place him in the midst of more indolent companions; if he be well-principled, send him to a school of vice. Then, when the debt is increased, and the means of the debtor exhausted, his character lost, his habits ruined, turn him out into the world, that he may make that a business which was before an accident-the living upon credit. All this time the creditor must care as little about his own improvement as the debtor: a gambling trade, unconscionable profits, huge losses, unlimited credit, the King's Bench standing in the place of caution, and the bailiffs being at hand to correct the blunders of grasping blindness. We trust Lord Brougham will carry his project through.

HUNTING BY STEAM.-A friend of mine startled me a little by stating, that he occasionally took the same horse ninety miles to cover, and after a day's hunting, brought him home a like distance. "Unless you hunt by steam," I exclaimed, "it is impossible!" Why," says he," that's the whole secret. I go with my horse on board the steamer at Quebec, and reach Trois Riviere in good time to breakfast,


« PreviousContinue »