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Recueil des Meilleures Pièces du Théâtre A


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LETTERS from BERTHA, on a Visit to

tane AdW.B. Bradle and Co. Salisbury.



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No. 680.



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venny shurshay ;' and joyfully I sought my,“ Some troublous planet, I believe, was lord REVIEW OF NEW BOOKS,

home; but, alas! it had become a house of of the ascendant in my horoscope, and the Random Records. By George Colman the mourning. The window-shutters were closed, anagram of my name is No Calm." Founger. 2 vols. post 8vo. London, 1830. all was sad, and my father in the deepest As the mere details of the birth, parentage, Colburn and Bentley.

aMiction. My mother had died that morning; and education of a man who has distinguished Random Records deserve a random review; she had been for a short time ill, but not himself so much by his literary and dramatic and these volumes are not entitled to more dangerously so, till on the preceding night; productions, contributed so largely to the pub. than desultory notice. A cunning, and rather she had, as I was afterwards informed, swal- lic amusement, and filled so brilliant a place in bypocritical-looking portrait of their facetious lowed, by mistake, a wrong medicine. I never the social circle, as Mr. Colman has done, would sothor

, done in stone, faces the title-page; saw her more! The impressions of sorrow make the dullest critique we could elicit from and gives promise of that certain quantity of are seldom lasting upon a childish mind, but I his Records, we shall beg leave to dispense with queer story and moralising, quaint pun and shed many a tear in secret. I need not tell all his “ tediousness" on these heads, and simreligious precept, which chequer the page, and the reader, that my vow of Maunday Thursday ply illustrate the better portions of his perform. teppe the reader to pause on the question, night was broken ;-it dwells not, I confess, ance, by extracting what we find most likely to whether George Colman the younger is really upon my conscience: my poor dear mother's vary our own appearance. We select, to begin, a wag or a puritan? or, as extremes, they say, spirit has never risen to accuse me: nor do I his opinions on play-writing. Deet, whether he does not, as a memoir-writer, think that any spirit, but Hosier's ghost, would “Few avocations are, in my present opinion, carbine the two characters; and, like the ser- ever visit me for the perjury about my stock - less eligible than that of the drama ;- but it peut symbols of eternity, foretaste immortality ings.”

caught my fancy when I was a boy,—for I be. by putting pointed tales* and worshipped heads We wish Hosier's ghost could rise, dripping, gan not long after nineteen. At first, the very tagetber. Perhaps we expected too much from from its ocean repose, to punish this stocking* act of scribbling gave me pleasure; and I scribthe merry lieutenant of the beef-eaters; but pun; we cannot like it-and it is better to bled away, ignorant of the art to blot,' and pien se consider what he has refused to leave the subject for the author's whimsical thoughtless of any danger in submitting my cruhonse in others, we ought not to be surprised excuse for publishing.

dities to the critics : the novelty of the thing at his having cut off much of his own wit,

“ It is plain” (he says) “ that there is no wore off ;-and soon, after my amusement bebozour, and drollery. We are inclined to excuse for me left;-a stale one will scarcely came my profession, 'I felt the irksomeness of bold, indeed, that it is unsvise and unin. be admitted. This reminde me of an obsolete every task, and contemplated probable vexation fructive for a man to pen his autobiography story of a parcel of schoolboys, who had a in the event of it. When you are labouring when he is much on the wrong side of sixty fashion-lately revived among dandy clerks for fame, or profit, or for both, and think, all years: when Falstaff “ began to babble o' and apprentices of smoking tobacco. It was the while you are at work, that instead of ob. kteen fields," all his recollections of Hal, the in the time of James the First, whose de taining either, you may be dd,-it is not tavern, Mother Quickly, Doll Tearsheet, Bar- testation of the babit, and of the noxious weed, pleasant ; nor is it agreeable to reflect, that a dolph's nose, and other matters of huge in- was manifested by his pedantic • Counter- handful of blockheads may, in half an hour, terest, could not have been worth one halfpen. blast' nst it; but it had no effect upon the consign first to disgrace, and then to oblivion, enth of bread. To execute such a work with boys :--they still whiffed away, like little your toil of half a year ;-nay, that your own credit to one's-self

, and advantage to the world, Whigs, to shew their independence of his ma-footman, who is one of what is call'd “The is must be done at a period of life when full jesty. In short, the young dogs smoked day Town,' can, by paying a shilling, hiss and hoot Hur of mind enables us to enforce the les- and night, like the kitchen-chimney of a tavern. at your new comedy, from beginning to end; Es of experience; not when experience itself This, of course, was concealed, as much as you and, having broken your night's rest, your judge bus dwindled into maudlin imbecility and the can conceal a smell, from the Dominie ;-till, in the upper gallery goes to sleep in your garret. TUOsness of old age-which tires on trifles, one luckless evening, when the imps were all But these considerations apart, I verily think, and is wonderfully unimportant upon the most huddled together round the fire of their dor- that the wear and tear upon the nerves, occaportant matters. But these are general re- mitory, involving each other in vapours of sioned by dramatic composition, may deduct artists, and have nothing to do with the their own creation,-]o! in burst the master, some years from a man's life. It has been my Licenser of our

theatres in his new capacity, and stood in awful dignity before them. How habit_I know not why, except, perhaps, that There he exhibits, nevertheless, a strange now! quoth dominie to the first lad,“ how the Muse is more propitious after dinner-to emgt mixture of the Broad Grins with the dare you be smoking tobacco ?' * Sir,' said write chiefly late at night; and, when I have zingown and Slippers the fun of the bon- the boy, “I'm subject to headaches, and a grown heated with my subject, it has so chill'd perant with the piety of the official. If from pipe takes off the pain. “And you ?-and my limbs, that I have gone to bed as if I had de sablime to the ridiculons be but a step, he you?—and you ?? 'inquired the pedagogue, been sitting up to my knees in ice. Some few as shewn as

that, from the melancholy to the questioning every boy in his turn. One had dramatists, however, have told me, that they BRATORS is not quite so far: with an instance a raging tooth'-another the cholic, – the have always written with such ease and rapid* which we will commence our quotations. It third a cough-the fourth-in short, they all ity, that I have been astonished ;-or, indeed,

bolyday pleasantry; and occurs on the had something. Now, sirrah,' bellowed the have scarcely believed them ;-but my wonder ther's leaving his school at Mary-le-bone, doctor to the last boy, what disorder do you and incredulity have generally ceased upon a we be imbibed his rudiments.

smoke for?' Alas! all the excuses were ex. perusal of these gentlemen's hasty productions. As it was Passion Week, most of my hausted !-when the interrogated urchin, put. After all, success may tickle an author's vanity, birlfellows had been taken home for the ting down his pipe, after a farewell whitf, and but failure sadly mortifies his pride ; particu

bort Laster holydays; I had been promised to looking gravely up in dominie's face, said in larly in writing for the stage, where success and be set for

, but no messenger came; alone, a whining hypocritical tone_• Sir, 1 smoke for failure are so immediate and so mark'd ;-and, disappointed, rexed, sobbing, and forlorn, 1 corns.' And so, indulgent reader, bereft as 1 to say the best of it, a dramatist's is a devil of tend to bed in my stockings ; and mentally am of all other plea, -anticipated in every a life! mured, with all the earnestness of childish excuse,--allow me (for want of a better) to Though lightly expressed, there are ideas here stestation, never to pull them off till I had aftirm that I write to cure my corns.which may provoke reflections, not only in dra. for my mother. Next day (Good Friday) Probably another reason may be found in matic writers, but in all other aspirants after larkshire Jolin announced to me the welcome the author's patronymic, of which he remarks : literary fame :--though on such a book as this, all

kinds of reflections are(like comparisons) odious; • Quære, tail --Editor's Irap.

Quære, shocking! Editor's Imp, encore, and we, scorning them, pass to a good story.

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Among the players at Richmond some fifty tipathy to the march of intellect and spread of my father, who was beginning his toilette, years ago was Dodd; and Mr. Colman relates: knowledge, &c.

when it was announced to him that the doctor " There was a gossipping anecdote told of “ Alas! (he exclaims) there is much jar- had arrived. My sire being one of the tribu. Dodd, while he was acting here, for the truth gonising of late about the march of intellect' tary princes who did homage to this monarch, of which I will not be answerable. He sojourn- and the spread of knowledge.' Mechanics' was somewhat furried; and, having dressed ed, as the story goes, in lodgings near the thea- Institutions, and Universities for men - mil- himself hastily, took me with him into the tre with a chère amie belonging to the company. liners, hosiers, and grocers, certainly indicate drawing-room. On our entrance we found This, perhaps, he might have found to be a marching and spreading at a furious rate; it Johnson sitting in a fauteuil of rose-coloured snug arrangement in the summer months, if is to be wished that so quick a march may not satin, the arms and legs of which (of the the tranquillity of the tête-à-téte had not been turn into a full gallop, and run away with us; chair, remember, not of the doctor) were of daily disturbed by discussing frivolous points, and that the spread of knowledge may not burnished gold; and the contrast of the man upon which the fond pair very furiously dif- spread like the fire of London, which de. with the seat was very striking;fered ; insomuch, that the gentleman was wont stroyed every thing in its way. "A little washed coal-heaver in a vis-à-vis could not be to enforce his arguments more by missiles than learning is a dangerous thing ;'-and a great much more misplaced than Johnson thus de. by metaphors ;-in short, he threw chairs, deal cannot be hammered into the heads of posited. He was dressed in a rusty suit of tables, and chimney-piece crockery, all about vulgar men, whose attention is to be distracted brown cloth dittos, with black worsted stock. the room.

In the heat of one of these do- between the courses of a college and the cares ings; his old yellow wig was of formidable mestic fracas, which happened at an early din- of a counter :-nay, we are told, so extensive dimensions; and the learned head which sus. ner upon a shoulder of mutton, while Dodd clat- is the philosophic plan of dispersing plebeian tained it rolled about in a seemingly paralytic tered and the chère amie screamed, the landlord darkness, that the humblest handicraftsmen motion ; but in the performance of its orbit it rushed upon the scene of action,- in hopes, are to be members of the London Alma Mater: inclined chiefly to one shoulder,--whether to if he could not prevent a further breach of the bricklayers and masons are to be matriculated, the right or left I cannot now remember ;peace, to hinder their breaking more of his scavengers to keep term, dustmen to take de- fault never to be forgiven by certain of the property. How dare you, mister,' ejaculated grees, yet carry on their trade and their twaddleri, who think these 'matters of the Dodd, who was brandishing the shoulder of labour. Try whatever we can, there is nothing utmost importance. He deigned not to rise mutton in his hand, .obtrude into our apart. new under the sun; and the present projects on our entrance ; and we stood before him ment while we are rehearsing ?? • Rehears for the diffusion of knowledge are but revivals while he and my father talked. There was ing!' cried the amazed landlord, while the of the old systems of Laputa ; where, as Mr. soon a pause in the colloquy; and my father, broken bits of sham china were crunching Lemuel Gulliver informs us, every thing was making his advantage of it, took me by the under his feet, I could have sworn you executed upon the profoundest principles of band, and said — Doctor Johnson, this is a were fighting.' No, sir,' said Dodd, "we erudition and science ; insomuch, that the little Colman.' The doctor bestowed a slight were rehearsing the supper scene in Catherine cooks cut beef and mutton into triangles and ungracious glance upon me, and, continuing and Petruchio, or the Taming of a Shrew.'* rhomboids; and even Mr. Gulliver's tailor the rotary motion of his head, renewed the --'Why, it does look,' observed the landlord, measured him for a suit of clothes mathe previous conversation. Again there was a giving a glance round the room, as if you matically. This operator,' he says-operative pause ; – again the anxious father, who had had been trying to tame a shrew, sure enough.' we now call him, which is only a slight failed in his first effort, seized the opportunity * Don't you know, fellow,' asked Dodd, that distinction without a difference,—took his cus- for pushing his progeny, with~ This is my we are advertised to act the parts this very tomer's altitude by a quadrant, and then the son, Doctor Johnson.' The great man's connight?' “Not I, truly,' returned the host. dimensions of his whole body with a rule and tempt for me was now roused to wrath ; and, ' Then go down stairs, sir,' cried the come compasses ;—but happening to mistake a figure knitting his brows, he exclaimed, in a voice of dian, sternly, and read the bill of the play ; in the calculation when he put it upon paper, thunder, “I see him, sir !'~he then fell back and read it every morning, sir, to prevent he brought home the clothes quite out of in his rose-coloured satin fauteuil, as if giving your repeating this impertinence. History shape; a circumstance as little regarded in the himself up to meditation; implying that he records not whether the landlord read the island of Laputa, as it will be, by and by, in would not be farther plagued, either with an playhouse bill ; but it sets forth that he did the island of Great Britain, when the spread old fool or a young one. The gigantic Johnnot forget his own ; - for, when he presented has arrived at perfection. Care, however, son could not be easily thrown out at window, it, at the end of the week, it contained an must be taken that some, among the lower -pa ularly my under-sized sire ;-but appaling longitude of charges for old tea-pots, classes, should be left uneducated ;—such per- he deserved to be quoited down stairs, like a chipped wedgewood vases, delf shepherdesses, sons will be indispensable, as they were in shove-groat shilling not exactly, perhaps, and other items of paltry earthenware, headed Laputa, to act as Happers, for the purpose of for his brutality to the boy, but for such an with ‘Mr. Dodd, debtor to John Wilson for rousing their more enlightened brethren from unprovoked insult to the father, of whose hoschoice articles of very rare and ornamental abstract meditations, that they may mind their pitalities he was partaking. This, however, is china, broken at the rehearsal of the Taming ordinary business : otherwise, when the early only one among the numerous traits of grossof the Shrew. It may be supposed that the sweep pops his head out through the chimney- ness already promulgated in which the Bolt expenses attending this rehearsal checked the pot, and contemplates the morning star, he Court philosopher completely falsified the princomedian's ardour for giving the piece a long will get absorbed in astronomy; and, if not ciples of the Roman poet :run; and that he took care it should not be reminded by his flapper, with a blow of the L'ingenuas didicisse fideliter artes repeated every day, till further notice. » bladder upon his face, he will never descend

Our next extract is a production attributed from his altitudes, and brush down the soot After this rude rebuff from the doctor, I had to a baker near Westminster School, where and bag it. Without such a remembrancer, the additional felicity to be placed next to him Colman advanced in letters. It runs thus: the butcher will be lost in anatomy, the green. at dinner:- he was silent over his meal; but • If I had a garden, a field, and a gate,

grocer in botany, the pot-boy in metallurgy; ! observed that he was, as Shylock says of

carpenters, deep in dialectics, will chop less Lancelot Gobbo," a huge feeder ;' and during That is, I wouldn't care for his grace's estate, If I had Covent-garden, Smith-field, and Billing's-gate.' leave the streets’in utter darkness, and post- of Bolt Court), the perspiration fell in copious

wood than logic, luminous lamplighters will the display of his voracity (which was worthy On which our authority remarks—“ The men will be too much men of letters to deliver drops from his visage upon the table-cloth :happiest feature in this tetrastic is, the unex. them in due course. pected conversion of country wishes into Lon. this subject I leave to grave men.”

Grave discussions upon the clumsiness of the bulky animal, his strange

costume, his uncouth gestures, yet the dudon desires ; it imparts a certain rus in urbe

At his father's, in early life, George the minion which he usurped withal, rendered his character to the whole poem, which is mighty (literally, then) Younger had opportunities of presence a phenomenon among gentlemen ;-it refreshing, agreeable, and ingenious. Should I be censured for editing this little posthumous and the following notices of several members barian, learned Attila, king of the Huns,

seeing some of the eminent men of that day ; was the incursion of a new species of bar. effusion of Mr. Jackson, of the Bowling Alley, of the famous Literary Club have interested come to subjugate polished society. Oliver I can only plead that I have done so in conformity with the reigning taste; of which the ments of after-life on the impressions of the boy presentation to Johnson, proved how doctors

us considerably, though evidently the judg- Goldsmith, several years before my luckless newspapers afford so many similar specimens,

Of Dr. Johnson he tells us : under the head of Original Poetry.""

differ.' I was only five years old when Gold.

“ On the day of my introduction, he was smith took me on his knee while he was Mr. Colman entertains a very judicious an- asked to dinner at my father's house in Soho drinking coffee one evening with my father

“Wherein Petruchio throws a shoulder of mutton Square ; and the erudite savage came a full and began to play with me :-- which amiabl about the stage, to the delight of the galleries.” hour before his time. I happened to be with lact I returned with the ingratitude of

Emollit mores, nec sinit esse feros.'

I wouldn't care for the Duke of Bedford's estate;

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