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belongs to another named.

tell me true, a female singer on your stage who can equal, nay, who can approach the enchanting, the divine Maria Malibran? But why should I ask you, my dear? She

age, like many of the great singers I have

Catalani, Ronzi di Begnis, Donzelli, Curioni, Velluti, Blasis, what do y

know of these? You speak to me of English tenors. Mr. Sims Reeves, according to you, has a voice like a silver clarion. It is worth making a pilgrimage to Loretto with peas in your shoes to hear him sing “My Pretty Jane,” or “Come into the Garden, Maud.” You talk about other tenors : Harrisons, Perrens, Eliot Galers; je ne les connais pas, ces gens. I can remember a Mr. Incledon who used to sing the “Storm ; " that was when I was very young indeed. I can remember a Mr. Sinclair, one of the sweetest of singers.

And I can likewise remember the famous John Braham, a grand singer, a pigmy in stature, but a giant in song: a little black-whiskered, blue-gilled man, who with a few notes could melt you to tears or rouse you to enthusiasm. Ah! to hear him sing the “ Death of Nelson," Farewell, my

trim-built Wherry." I present my compliments to your English tenors, and beg to know if, in their wildest accesses of vanity, they can hope to excel or to equal John Braham.

Among the theatres you have visited, you mention the Adelphi, which, it appears, has been thoroughly rebuilt, and is resuscitated as a most sumptuous and commodious little salle, somewhat after the Parisian model.

The old Adelphi was a very stifling, uncomfortable little cupboard of a place, but very celebrated in its day. The great Sir Walter Scott was a

friend of one of its earliest conductors, Mr. Terry, and in Lockhart's “ Life" you may read some friendly, affectionate hints

on the perils of management, sent by the Scotch baronet to the English actor. Baronets trouble them


selves about theatres in quite a different manner, now. I remember Sir Charles going, years and years ago, to see a dreadful piece, called “ Tom and Jerry,” at the old Adelphi. Was it before, or after that, the theatre was called the Sanspareil ? Before, I think. This improper performance

? . took the town by storm. To the ladies, of course, it was tabooed, but I have heard that two viscounts, an archbishop, and a proctor from Doctors' Commons, paid full price to the pit on the ninety-second night of its performance. Sir Charles was a great playgoer, and, like his Gracious Master, was fondly attached to—but soft !

Let me see : haven't I witnessed the performance of the inimitable John Reeve, as Marmaduke Magog, in the “ Wreck Ashore ?” Yes, and we had a proscenium box, two-and-twenty years since, to see a dramatised version of Mr. Dickens's “ Oliver Twist.” I remember it as though it were yesterday. Clever Mr. Yates was the Jew Fagin; the terrible O’Smith was Sykes ; Wilkinson, an extraordinary man with a crabbed face, played Mr. Brownlow's friend, Mr. Grimwig; and Mrs. Keeley-yes, the delightful, chatty, humorous, good-natured, perennial Mrs. Keeley—was the Oliver Twist, and is the only survivor, I believe, of that bright band.

I can recall, too, a wonderful piece called “ Die Hexen am Rhein,” with gnomes and witches and salamanders, and real water, into which people jumped. Also, another piece which the ladies were sternly prohibited from seeing, but went to see it in considerable numbers, nevertheless. That wonderful Mrs. Keeley was the hero again, and wore smalls, and a flapped waistcoat, and a coat with large cuffs; and with a round, bullet, closely-shorn head, and roguish, twinkling eyes, looked the very image of Mr. George Cruikshank's etching of Jack Sheppard. I think that was the name of the piece. with a rich husky voice, whose name has quite escaped me,


A very

fat man,

played a part called Bluenose or Bottleskin, or some such name, and sang a song about his nose, which was encored every night; and I know there was a ballad in the piece, written by Mr. Rodwell, to words in some inconceivable thieves' jargon I disdain to recall, but with, perhaps, the sweetest melody ever heard since “Cherry Ripe.” And then I lost sight of the Adelphi altogether. You say you were there on Thursday, and saw a startling melodrama, called the • Dead Heart.” From the description you give me it must be very thrilling. You omitted to give me the author's name, but I should say, from the nature of the incidents, that it must be by some disciple of M. Alexandre Dumas. A wonderful man, my dear. I saw his “ Christine " in Paris, in 1830. It lasted six hours, and was called a Trilogie, which, I believe, means three plays in one; and there were duels fought, and ladies run away with, all in consequence of this terrible melodrama, the week afterwards.

The most interesting item you give me with respect to the Adelphi is, that the money and cheque takers, and the box openers, are all females. What! is the old reign of insolence, extortion, and sulkiness, at an end? Are ladies no longer liable to be bullied and insulted because they don't care about giving a shilling or eighteenpence for a greasy, flimsy playbill, worth, perhaps, a quarter of a farthing? These new attendants, you say, are positively civil and obliging ; take care of your bonnet for nothing, and are only stern when they refuse to take the money which the public, in spite of the printed placards liberally displayed about the theatre, persist in offering them.

I cannot sufficiently congratulate the frequenters of theatres for this wholesome reform, or commend Mr. Benjamin Webster too highly on his liberality and public spirit in abolishing a monstrous annoyance and imposition. The theatre was crowded, you say, the night you went to see the “Dead Heart.” I like to hear of theatres being crowded, and of people amusing themselves. Rational recreation keeps people from hatred, malice, and all uncharitableness, and from coveting their neighbour's house, and his wife, and his ox, and his ass. Which is best, I ask ; to pay our shilling to the gallery and have a good evening's entertainment, or to wait till the Sunday evening and trudge Wapping-wards to St. George's in the East, there to cough over the Litany, and hoot a silly priest and his choristers ?

The Princess's—yes, you have been there; but Mr. Charles Kean's gorgeous Shakspearian spectacles—William bound in gold and morocco, with tooled edges and illuminated margins -no longer attract crowds to Oxford Street. The house is in a transition state, your critical friends tell you; and though the new lessee, Mr. Harris, means well, he doesn't exactly seem to know what he means as yet. However, you saw a capital and irreproachably moral drama, called “ Home Truths,” and after that a wonderful little Jew man, with a more wonderful nose, who played a dancing dervish in a divertissement, and, in the most wonderful manner of all, spun l'ound and round like a teetotum, till your eyes ached, and you thought the dancer's head was off.

Shanko Fanko who, with the exception of words of four syllables, can spell through the Times tolerably well—read me the account of this wonderful dancing, or rather spinning dervish; and likewise an explanatory note which appeared a day or two afterwards from the critic who had erroneously asserted that the Dervish wore a false proboscis. It appears that the nose

boon of nature, not a work of art." I don't know the critic, but he must be a marvellously comic-minded man to put so much humour into so few words.

I should like very much to go to that droll little theatre in the Strand, of which you profess yourself to be enraptured.

is a



It does not seem much bigger, you tell me, than a bird-cage, and one can see, from the stalls or the private boxes, the faintest corking on the eyebrows of the actors, and the minutest grain of pearl powder and the most delicate blush of rouge on the cheeks of the actresses. You say these accomplished persons dress beautifully, in the very best taste, and in the richest materials, to say nothing of real lace and undeniably genuine jewellery. Well they may, in so small a theatre, and in an age when double-barrelled opera-glasses are so powerful. What class of entertainments do you tell me are produced at the Strand ? Farces. Very well.

Petites comédies.-Nothing could be better. Burlesque Extravaganzas.-Ah! I know. You mean those whimsical and fanciful parodies of fairy tales or classic fables, for the concoction of which, before I left the world, Mr. Planché was so famous. But I suppose he has left off writing for the stage now, as I read some time since that he had been gazetted by Royal letters patent to be a Morning Herald—no, it was a Crimson Dragon, or a Red Cross Knight, or something fabulous and chivalrous of that description ; but I know the appointment had something to do with the Heralds' College in Doctors' Commons, where Sir Charles once went to look up our pedigree, and paid forty pounds for a piece of parchment with a coloured illustration and a large seal; but he had the satisfaction of seeing a solemn gentleman with a white neckcloth step out of a brougham at the door, whom they told him was Garter.

There is a great deal of dancing in Burlesque Extravaganza apparently. Also of comic singing. And from the description you give me of the entertainment you witnessed, I am afraid that the objectionable practice of putting young lad ato male tume is somewhat too liberally resorted to. I should perfectly agree with you that there was no

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