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The Black Domino, an operâ ; Bar. tian Mercier. He is principally remem. bard, Macintosh and Co. (written for bered by his severe criticisms on CorPower); The Magic Bell (acted at the neille, Racine, and Voltaire, contained Lyceum), and Love Extempore, must in a work called “Essai sur l'art Draall be considered as rather below than matique," and by his " Tableau de on a level with Kenney's usualmark. In Paris." Mercier was a member of the the latter farce, at the Haymarket, Convention, sat on the trial of Louis David Rees obtained a good and unex. XVI., and voted with the more modepected opportunity in consequence of rate minority who proposed the imprithe retirement of Liston. Like many sonment instead of the execution of other authors whose principal estate is their unfortunate monarch. derived from the pen, Keriney fre Kenney bad received large sums for quently wasted his talents on uncongé. his writings, but he was not in flourishnial and unworthy subjects, and wrote ing circumstances. His friends, during at railroad speed, under the pressure his last long illness, bestirred themselves of the res angusta domi.
to get him up a benefit at Drury-lane. When Sheridan Knowles's John of Mrs. Kenney had been preceptress to Procida was brought out at Covent Lady Palmerston, and through that Garden, in 1840, Kenney furnished channel, many of the leading nobility the Surrey Theatre with a tragedy on became warmly interested. He died the same subject, entitled The Sicilian suddenly on the appointed day, but the Vespers,' in which the leading charac. fact was not made public, and the beter was sustained with great reputation nefit proceeded. A large sum, amountby poor Elton, who was lost in the ill- ing to nearly five hundred pounds, fated steamer Pegasus, on a passage was thus secured to the family. As a from Leith to London. She struck on proof that his faculties were not im. the Gold Rock, and all on board perish paired by either age, illness, or coned, with the exception of six. The stant exertion, a few days only before last production of Kenney's pen was á his decease, although lying in all the serious drama, entitled Infatuation, agony of approaching dissolution, on a Tale of the French Empire, which the bed from which he never rose with has never been printed, and was only life, he wrote a poetical address, to be repeated four times. It was written spoken by Mrs. Glover, but she was in 1845, to display the peculiar tá unable to commit it to memory within lents of Miss Cushman, then acting the appointed time. His own farce of at the Princess Theatre. In the fore. Love, Law, and Physic, was one of the going list, we have enumerated forty- pieces selected for the benefit night; one dramas, and it is very possible the remainder of the performances conthat some have been omitted.
sisting of The Beggar's Opera, and Kenney died on the 1st of August, The Waterman. 1849, being then in his seventieth MARIA EDGEWORTH, and SIDNEY year. It is amazing how he lived so MORGAN, are names which will ever be long, seeing that his health for a long honourably associated with Irish literaperiod had been broken by severe and ture, to which their contributions are complicated illness. Amongst other as numerous as they are varied and physical afflictions, he suffered cruelly excellent. Both these lively writers, from a nervous affection, which gave who draw national character with such his appearance and movements such an à truthful pencil, might have been exair of eccentricity, that more than pected to shine with peculiar lustre in once he was taken for å deranged pa. the dramatic walk, had they trained tient escaped from an asylum. He their steps to pursue its windings. But married the widow of Thomas Holcroft, their taste and natural bent led them the author of The Road to Ruin, &c., more habitually into different paths. who survived him. By her, he left a fa. Amongst the published works of Miss mily of two sons and four daughters. Mrs. Edgeworth, we find two comic dramas, Kenney's father was a French writer entitled Love and Law, and The Rose, and politician of the revolutionary era, Thistle, and Shamrock. Both are exof considerable celebrity-Louis Sebas- clusively Irish, and it does not appear
* Mrs. Hemans had selected the subject before either of them. Her play, The Vespers of Palermo, appeared at Covent Garden, in 1823.
that they were ever intended or offer ed for representation. We scarcely think they would have succeeded bad the experiment been tried. The Hic bernian idiom is infinitely amusing when introduced as an episode ; but when it forms the staple of an entire dramatis persona, the peculiar flavour is weakened by repetition, and becomes as tiresome and monotonous as the Scotch variety in Allan Ramsay's northern pastoral. The Gentle Shep herd, as originally written, was acted in 1777, at the Haymarket, by an entire Scottish company. They might as well have exhibited in pantomime. A play that requires eighteen pages of glossary could not be otherwise than unintelligible to a London audience. Miss Edgeworth was incapable of writing anything absolutely without merit, but her dramas would not have rendered her name immortal. Lady Morgan, when Miss Owenson, produced a comic opera, entitled The First Altempt, or The Whim of the Moment, which was performed in Dub lin, on the 4th of March, 1807, and attended with great success; but we do not know whether or not it has ever been printed. The music was composed by Tom Cooke. In her subsequent writings we find two vo. lumes of " Dramatic Scenes from Real Life." LADY CLARKE, the sister of Lady Morgan, is the authoress of a comedy called The Irishwoman, acted also in Dublin, in 1818, and pub lished by Colburn, in the following year.
The late EARL OF MOUNTNORRIS, who was born in 1769, and died in 1844, was said by his friends to have written a tragedy (when Lord Valentia) full of beauty and sublimity, but more calculated for the closet than for the present stage. We have never heard the name mentioned, nor has the drama ever appeared before the public in any shape. His lordship travelled extensively in Eastern lands, in pursuit of political, geographical, and botanical knowledge, principally to gratify his curiosity, and gave the
result to the world in three volumes, quarto, in 1809, under the title of « Voyages and Travels to India, Cey. lon, the Red Sea, Abyssinia, and Egypt, in the years 1802-6.” This work was much read at the time, and is still referred to as a book of authority.
We have given a full biographical memoir of TYRONE Power in earlier numbers of this MAGAZINE ; it is therefore unnecessary here to repeat what has been already written. We have only to name the dramatic productions which entitle him to a place in the present list. They are five in numberviz., The Married Lovers, St. Patrick's Eve, How to Pay the Rent, O'Flana. gan and the Fairies,* and Paddy Carey. These were all written to in. crease his own stock of characters in the line to which he had legitimately succeeded, and are to be estimated rather as well constructed, and effective for acting purposes, than as aspiring to any ambitious pretension in a literary view. The three first are printed. The correct manuscripts of the two last were lost with the owner in the illstarred President. Married Lovers was the least successful. When produced in Dublin, in the summer of 1831, it was coldly welcomed; but as usual, when the curtain fell, Power was called for, to receive the gratulations of the audience, more in his character of actor than author. As he retired bowing, under a volley of applause, a friendly wag in the gallery called out confidentially, in an audible whisper, “ Power, don't take that for your benefit !" St. Patrick's Eve, as an historical drama, possesses more than ordinary interest.
While reverting to Power, we are reminded of the Irish Tutor, so iniinitably acted by him, and of the Groves of Blarney, with which he inseparably associated LORD GLENGALL's amusing farce. Few modern pieces of this class have enjoyed such enduring popularity, which is likely to continue as long as the stage possesses any actor capable of representing the peculiari. ties of Irish character with reasonable excellence. The Irish Tutor, which came out at Covent Garden on the 28th November, 1822, was acted above thirty times during that season, the original representative being Charles Connor, who had a rich conception, and an easy vein of natural humour, but he was ungifted with the power of singing, and the dcficiency interfered much with his professed walk. The farce had been given by the author to Abbott, when he was joint manager with Far. ley, at Cheltenbam, and was first acted at that idle resort of fashion and valetudinarianism. The subject (as nineteen out of twenty in the modern list are) is from the French ; but the character of Dr. O'Toole is, of course, a new and a very happy creation. Before the close of the same season (1822-3), Lord Glengall produced a second farce at Covent Garden, en titled Cent. per Cent., or the Masquerade, but the success was very inferior to that which attended the first. It was felt to be too long, and the Irishman, Dr. O'Rafferty (again played by Connor), was not made suffi. ciently prominent. In the year following, W. Abbott, then manager of the Dublin Theatre, endeavoured to revive Cent. per Cent. in the Irish metropolis, but it was scarcely tolerated, and not repeated a second time. In 1829, Lord Glengall brought out, at Drury-lane, a comedy in five acts, called Follies of Fashion, which had a run of eleven nights. The plot is slight, but the characters are well contrasted, and the dialogue flows agreeably. Without soaring into wit, it seldom descends to insipidity. The three pieces of the noble earl are printed, and form a respectable volume on the shelves of a dramatic collection.
* Originally dramatised, under the title of Shawn Long and the Fairies, from a tale in a periodical, by the late Mr. W. Kertland, a well-known and active citizen of Dublin, who, although not born in Ireland, had become naturalised by long residence. He also wrote an operatic romance, called The Maid of Snowdon (music by F. W. Southwell), which was produced, with tolerable success, at the Theatre Royal, Hawkins'-street, Dublin, on the 5th of January, 1833.
The EARL OF LANESBOROUGH (when the Hon. Mr. Butler Danvers) wrote two dramas, Busy Peter, a comic in. terlude, and The Bohemian, or Ameri. ca in 1776, a play, in five acts. They were acted in Dublin, the first in 1826, the second in 1833, and were extremely well received. Both were presents from the author to the respective managers, Mr. W. Abbott and Mr. Calcraft-an act of literary dis. interestedness on the part of amateur authors much to be commended, and worthy of more general imitation than it has yet received.
On the 23rd of November, 1831, a very remarkable play was produced in
the Dublin theatre, under the title of
The Warden of Galway. The author's name was not at first announced, but he was known to be the Rev. Ed. WARD GROVES. The subject is histori. cal, and to be found at full length, and authentically related, in Hardiman's history, but has been frightfully travestied by Prince Puckler Muskau, in his legend of travels. The event on which the tragedy is built occurred in the year 1493, and the house is still standing (decorated with a skull and crossbones) from the window of which the culprit is said to have been suspended. That a father, at the inexorable demand of justice, should sentence his only son to death, and actually execute him with his own hands, is an instance of public duty superseding natural affection, which casts the patriotic stoicism of the elder Brutus completely into the shade. The subject is eminently suited for a tragedy ; but many good judges thought that the catastrophe, although softened on the stage, would be found to exceed “ salutary terror," ard to verge on the repulsive extreme which Horace so emphatically denounces in the supper of Thyestes, and the murder of her children by Medea. The result far surpassed the most sanguine expectations of the manager and author. No play was ever more rapturously received, or more unanimously applauded. It filled the theatre for sixteen repetitions; and although supported by the stock company alone, produced a much larger receipt to the treasury than the combined efforts of many leading “stars," who exhibited their radiance on the intervening nights. The fourth representation was for the benefit of the author, under the immediate patronage of Daniel O'Connell, then in the full tide of his power and popularity. The receipts exceeded £400, and at least £60 was excluded from want of room. During a long series of years The Warden of Galway continued to be acted occasionally in Dublin, and has been repeated altogether above fifty times. It has never been printed ; and a short synopsis of the plot and inci. dents, closely followed from history in all leading points, may not be unacceptable to many of our readers who are unacquainted with the tragedy, which is not likely to be revived with the changes of theatrical dynas. ties and generations.
Galway was, at a comparatively ear. fortune which had been entrusted to ly period, a great entrepôt for foreign his care. At length the period for his merchants trading to the British Is. return arrived, and, accompanied by lands.* These were, for the most his ardent friend and cousin, Velas, part, Spaniards, who, in the fifteenth quez, he sailed for home. Previous century, engrossed much of the com, to their departure, however, the two merce of western Europe. Their young men had entered into a mutual piety induced them to obtain the ap. compact by which the survivor, in pointment of a spiritual head of their case an accident or fatality should be own, to be chosen by the suffrages, fal either, was to become the heir and lay and clerical, of thirteen families, executor of the other. During the called " the Tribes ;" all of which are voyage, Roderick, brooding over his still extant, in lineal succession, except misfortunes, the self-sought ruin of the De Fonts, who are only represented his inheritance, and the dread of cer. in the female line by the present Sirtain discovery, grew melancholy and William de Bathe. Sometimes it has abstracted as the yessel neared the Irish happened that the Warden was also coast. One placid night, when within Mayor. The author of the tra. a few days' sail of Galway, while Ve. gedy unites the civil and spiritual titles, lasquez was sitting on the poop, not wishing, as we may suppose, to “gazing," as the author eloquently introduce into so deeply serious a play and poetically paints the scene, " in the comic title of the chief of the mu. silent transport on the bright theatre nicipality, which is usually mixed up, of moon, of stars, and sea," Roderick upon the stage, with all that is absurd took the helm from the pilot, whom he and ludicrous in society, to such an ordered below. The only persons on extent that the appellation has be deck were the two youths and a sercoine synonymous with heayy and un. vant of Roderick, named Connor, who intellectual mediocrity. Churchhill lay unobserved upon a sail toward the can find nothing more detractive to forecastle; when, on a sudden, Rosay of one of the victims of his satire derick — "no notice given, no word exthan that
changed "- darted upon the ususpect, * Prudent dullness mark'd him for a mayor;"
ing Velasquez and plunged him in the
deep. The only mortal witness to and Shakspeare makes the chief ma- this foul deed was Connor. On reach. gistrate of London exclaim, in Henrying Galway, the first person Connor the Sixth, when roused from his after met after his wife, Evelyn, was Wal. noon nap to keep the peace between ter Lynch, with the city officers, making Duke Humphrey and Cardinal Beau. proclamation of the installation of the forti
new Warden and Mayor. The terms
of the proclamation, which decreed "Good God i that nobles should such stomachs bear!
the punishment of any crime upon I myself fight not once in forty year."
those who concealed the guilty, proOne of the tribes of Galway was, duced a terrible impression upon the and is still, the family of Lynch. In servant's mind, and he revealed to Fa1493, Walter Lynch became mayor, ther Dominic, a monk, in the presence and according to the dramatist, War of his own wife,the horrible secret. The den of Galway; but in this association monk narrated the confession thus of authority fact gives way to fiction, openly made to the Warden, who had The son and only child of this Walter,.but a little before arranged to marry Roderick Lynch, and a nephew, named his returned son to his long betrothed Velasquez, had proceeded to Spain, kinswoman, and Walter's ward, Anassome time before, on a visit to the fa tasia, on that very day. The father, ther of the latter, and partly to trans subduing his natural feelings, and con, act with him some important mercan. quering his paternal agony, resolved to tile business. While abroad, Ro- discharge his painful duty as guardian derick fell into the vices of the no. of the land. He accused Roderick of bility of Castile. He gamed, lost, the crime, and when the delinquent and spent that portion of his father's fenced, and declaimed indignantly, in,
* Many existing vestiges in this interesting town attest its antiquity and former importance.
stead of meeting the charge with a prompt and simple denial, his strong and clear mind became at once im. pressed with a conviction of his guilt, The passage is closely and powerfully put without amplification. The monk, shaken by the passionate eloquence of Roderick, exclaims, as the suspected criminal leaves them
* He must be innocent!
Do you then doubt ?
But he has not denied it.
Call upon Heaven?
The Warden, then, in due course of law, delivers up his son to justice. At the trial, the monk is unable to ap. pear from sudden illness; and Connor, tortured into madness by the impending fate of his master, becomes incoherent, and unable to substantiate the charge. Roderick confidently, and with an air of injured innocence, demands his release. The Warden, resolved upon elucidating the fact, sud. denly rises from the judgment-seat, and announces the approach of Velasquez - whether in spirit or in the flesh does not precisely appear. Roderick, conscience-stricken, and appalled by superstitious terror, acknowledges his guilt, and is condemned and sentenced to be hanged, by his father. This is the dangerous point of the play, for the author has used the existing formu. la of the law, in similar cases, to the very letter. Yet the most turbulent and excitable gallery in the world was awed into a silence so profound, that a pin might be heard to drop, and as the act-curtain descended, a longdrawn respiration of relief became audi. ble throughout the house. The effect of that scene on the first night will long be remembered by those who were present, and concerned in it. Of the actors who sustained the principal cha. racters, none remain but he who now pens this passing record.
The trial terminates the third act of the play. In the concluding portion, the son appeals in vain to his father's natural feeling and extinct affections. In vain does the lovely Anastasia plead for a commutation of the sentence. To no purpose do the citizens rise in tumult and prevent the public execution By the stern Warden's command, Ro. derick is conveyed by a strong guard
to the castle, and hanged from a window in his father's drawing room. Thus does a magistrate of Galway, towards the end of the fifteenth century, revive the severity and unbending resolve to vindicate the outraged laws, which have immortalised the first Roman consul five hundred years before the Christian era. The dramatist has introduced a poetic termination to his tragedy, which, without weakening the solemnity, adds materially to the inte. rest. It cannot be denied that the language of the play throughout is natural and expressive, rising occasionally into harmonious versification and poetical imagery, while the construction is simple, powerful, and intelligible. The characters are well sustained, although, in the Warden, the principle of fiat justitia, ruat cælum, is, perhaps, too strongly illustrated. But let it be remembered that this is strictly historical, and not invented.
The Warden of Galway has been twice attempted in London, without success, but on neither occasion under auspicious circumstances. First at the Victoria Theatre, then the Cobourg, in 1832, and more recently during the last season of Mr. W. Farren's management at the Olympic. I am still of opinion that, twenty years ago, at either Drury-lane or Covent Garden, the play, well acted, would have made a hit, although, as a matter of course, local influences gave it a peculiar attraction with an Irish audience. But the fifth of a century is more time than enough to revolutionise taste in matters of greater importance than thea. trical recreation.
In 1832, the year following the success of The Warden of Galway, Mr. Groves produced another tragedy in Dublin, entitled, Alomprau, or the Hunter of Burmah. Here again he had recourse to history, but to a country and people less familiar than the chronicles and citizens of Galway. The incidents he selected for his second play occurred in the rival kingdoms of Bagoo and Burmah, about the middle of the last century. Alompraw was only acted four times, and has never been revived. The author subsequently wrote two melodramatic pieces, one on the subject of the Killarney prince, O'Donoghue of the Lakes, the other on the legend of The Donagh ; also, a third historical tragedy, embodying the adventures and fate of Lord Tho