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After having been delighted, not sated, with the interest attached to this castle, we bent our steps back to the town, of which we took a survey; a town which has by no means excited the great interest it is worthy to produce in the mind of a lover of the picturesque. For ages the truly ancient British chieftains of Chepstow preserved that region from the iron tyranny of the Northerns. Patriotic were their motives, glorious their deeds: to their bravery it was owing that the people of the ancient city of Caerleon to the west, and of many other opulent towns, dwelt in peace, security and independence. The walls of Chepstow extend full a mile and a half below the present town. They are of solid masonry, very thick, and at least from twelve to sixteen feet in height; proving that in the olden time the city must have been considerably larger and of great importance. The tide at Chepstow has been known to rise some sixty feet, and is only equalled in height by that of the Bay of Fundy, North-America.

We now started for Tintern Abbey, a distance of not more than five miles. The day was gloomy, with an occasional shower, but not suffi. cient to damp our ardor. On our arrival we took up our quarters at a little public house, where we found simple fare, with that extreme cleanliness and homely comfort so often to be met with by the road-side in England ; but we were obliged to check our enthusiasm with respect to the object of our visit, for the landlord, who was the guardian of the Abbey, was not expected home till late in the evening; and, by way of preventing any encroachments upon his domain during his absence, he had taken the keys with him. We sat down however with very respectable appetites to an excellent chicken, together with eggs and bacon and some home-brewed ale, and did as much justice to our repast as the abbots of old (who were now sleeping in their cold monuments in our immediate vicinity) did to more sumptuous fare. Toward evening the weather assumed a more dreary character, and heavy gusts of wind broke upon our ears, conveying an indistinct but pleasurable feeling of solemnity, while it recalled all the deep and powerful interest of the past. At length, between nine and ten, our host returned, and we prevailed upon him, though not without considerable difficulty, and the gentle insinuation of an additional fee, to conduct us into the interior of the sacred edifice. The door of the great entrance was opened, and the lamp of our conductor sent forth a dim unearthly light that at every step seemed to lead us like a will-o'-the-wisp to some point of danger. It was a place and an hour when Superstition walked in all her terrors; and it required no exaggerated feeling to imagine that this was the place where

Descending spirits have conversed with man,

And told the secrets of the world unknown.'

The moaning blasts through the trees every moment checked our footsteps, with an undefined sensation of fear; the broken monuments impeded our path, and it was only by the uncertain and precarious light of the half-clouded moon, that we could occasionally trace the outline of this superb abbey ; its massive broken arches, with here and there one entirely perfect, which had defied the hand of time somewhat longer than those in its vicinity. In a mo

nomentary struggle, the moon would shake off the dark and mountainous clouds that fitfully enveloped her; and burst forth in all her glorious majesty, and for a few minutes literally bewilder the mind with the superb magnificence of days gone by. Here the imposing ceremonies of the Roman Church had weaned the mind from the cares and anxieties of the world; had brought the haughty feudal lord to humble prayer by the side of his humble vassal ; and had sent up the song of praise, in adoration of the Deity. The eastern window has so often excited the admiration of the painter, by its rich and varied tracery, that I should only weaken the force of its beauty by an attempt at its description here. mory however be not faithless, it is universally considered as one of the most gorgeous specimens of Gothic taste. The following morning we again visited this holy ground; and notwithstanding the glaring light of the sun which now shone forth in all its brilliancy, very little it any of its interest had diminished. The surrounding cells, and the minor details of the building, were more freely exposed to our view. The Abbey at the period of our visit belonged to the late Duke of Beaufort. The extreme care and watchfulness bestowed upon it, proved how sensible his Grace was of the value of this relic, and that he considered it as a bright jewel in his ducal coronet. The well known taste and elegance of mind which so fully belong to his noble successor have doubtless secured for it the same care and attention.

How pleasing is the contrast so frequently afforded between the conduct of these lords of the domain and that of corporate bodies who have become the possessors of some of the most valuable remains in the country, of relics where history loves to dwell; where ancient lore unfolds its pages, and with graceful step leads us to martial hall and to lady's bower! But modern Improvement,' with its accursed hand, willingly destroys what ought to be imperishable. Look at the daring and vulgar efforts which have so frequently been made to remove the ancient gates of York, and thus to deprive that Roman city of at least one of its most hallowed recollections. But, thank heaven! such barbarism has not yet entirely struck at the foundation of all that has hitherto been held most sacred ; nor has the day yet arrived, on which the son can look back with cold and chilling indifference upon the noble deeds of his progenitors. But hold! I hear the prompter's bell give warning that I must exchange the reality for the fiction of life, and dress for a new part.

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A most absurd circumstance occurred to me on my return to Bristol from this excursion. It was in the month of September, at which time the annual fair is held. This fair is a great mart for the sale of horses, woollens, and other sweet-meats,' as my friend Caleb Quotem says. I accompanied Mr. Brunton, the father of Mrs. Yates of the Adelphi Theatre, to one of the celebrated shows exhibited there. And here I must offer an apology to the gentleman presiding over one of those inVOL XXV.


tellectual amusements, for not recollecting his name : as it is my interest however to cultivate the good will of my reader, in the hope that he will strongly recommend my writings to his numerous friends and acquaintances,' I will give him the choice of three names to select from; and if he should fortunately hit upon the right one, I have no doubt it will be some satisfaction to the injured individual. If it were not Scowton, it might have been Richardson, and if wrong in both, we 'll confer the honors upon Gyngell. We gazed with admiration upon the magnificently attired ladies and gentlemen, their faces covered with brick-dust, and their lips, those of the gentlemen I mean, with corked moustaches, while black raven hair hung in graceful profusion down their necks. Here we saw the chieftain of the Castle dance with one of his female vassals, without the slightest affectation of pride or distinction in any of his movements; one moment exchanging the graceful bolero for an Irish jig, and the next elevating at arm's length the active Columbine, whose performances were of course reserved for the pantomime ; here stood a dwarf, under the wing of an Irish giantess, and dark lowering banditti arm-in-arm with the ladies of Court! There stood the Bleeding Nun, with a fond recollection of the world she had left, regaling herself with her favorite beverage of gin-and-water; while the pot-boy looked on with admiration and wonder, to see how one spirit despatched the other in so brief a period.

The deep-sounding gong at length sent forth its funeral sounds, and called these artists to their vocation. This however was only a lure to induce the people to lose no time, but to be good-natured, and part with their little sixpences at once. This outward stage was no sooner cleared, than up we mounted and paid a shilling each for a front seat : but judge of our confusion, or rather that of Mr. Brunton, who had been so long a disciple of Thespis, that it was impossible for him to escape the lynx-eyed manager, proprietor and money-taker. No, said the multifarious functionary, with an evidently wounded spirit, and with a huskiness in his throat, which seemed the index of profound sensibility, (though justice compels me to say, I believe it arose less from the latter feeling, than from an early use of spirituous liquors) · no, times is bad to be sure, but not so bad as to allow us to take money

from our own brethren !!! I immediately retreated, to give way to some other applicants for tickets, and should have been grateful if a trap-door had at that moment opened and engulphed me. I felt the force of 'sauve qui peut,' but did not dare to take advantage of it; I therefore remained, a living monument of alabaster. My friend blushed this once, who never blushed before ;' Scowton, Richardson, or Gyngell, called loudly for an aid-de-camp, who came quickly to the spot, received his orders, darted off in an instant, glancing obliquely at two such distinguished persons, as I presume from his orders he considered us, while we were requested to wait a moment.

Now be it known to those who are unacquainted with the fact, that on all occasions when Royalty honors the theatre with its presence, the manager is always in waiting ; in full court-suit, and with a silver candlestick in each hand, he precedes the royal personages to their box, backing the whole way, like a well-trained horse. Our conductor

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appeared, not in a court-suit, it is true, nor with silver candlesticks, but observing all the proper forms and ceremonies, by preceding us in the same way, carrying a large sieve of saw-dust, which he sprinkled before our steps as we descended the platform leading to the most conspicuous and distingue seat that could be procured for us.

The astonishment of the audience at this extraordinary parade is indescribable; and not even the magnificence of the appointments, the splendor of the scenery, and the extraordinary beauty of the poetry, could arrest their attention one moment. They undoubtedly looked upon us as foreign princes travelling incog.

I ought to have mentioned that the preceding summer, I had played a short engagement at the Haymarket Theatre, and thus laid the foundation for my speedy return to the metropolis at one of the larger houses. My debut was in the character of (the name is illegible,) in • Lovers' Vows,' in which I had every reason to be satisfied with my reception; my second part was that of George Barnwell, and then I appeared with my friend Sowerby, in the · Doubtful Season,' in which piece he sustained a very prominent character. I have already spoken of the extraordinary acting of Sowerby, and he certainly had the merit of puzzling the critics. There was a wildness and extravagance in hise style, which frequently excited the risible muscles, and again there would be a burst of genius, that was hailed with rapture. The judgment of Colman as a critic, always ranked high, and he after witnessing his performance in the above play, left the theatre with a doubt he could ill express :

• In short,' said he, ' I was never so much at fault; for he is either the worst actor I ever saw, or decidedly one of the best.'

As Sowerby has once more stumbled on my path, I cannot refrain from relating an anecdote of him, which occurred in Glascow. He was on intimate terms with a Mr. Montgomery, a near relation of the Earl of Gosford, and whose assumed name was Barry. This gentleman had all the advantage and accomplishments appertaining to his position in life. He had finished' at Oxford and was afterward a short time in the army. His qualifications for the stage were by no means equal to his natural and acquired talents. He had a private income of some three hundred pounds a year; and without being parsimonious, had always funds sufficient to protect him against the petty accidents of life. Sowerby, who was the most careless of mortals

, frequently borrowed money; and although there was not a particle of meanness in his composition, he almost as frequently neglected to return it. On one occasion, being pressed for twenty pounds, he called upon Montgomery to borrow that sum; but the latter gentleman decidedly refused him ; arguing that the other, though sufficiently honest, was a careless fellow, who never heeded the consequences of breaking his promise to return the money, and that he, Montgomery, had in consequence on one or two occasions suffered serious annoyance. Sowerby pressed his suit with earnestness, but his friend was inflexible. At length he left the house in great dudgeon, but returned within half an hour, apparently indifferent to what had occurred, and said : Well, if you 'll not ad. vance me any money, I presume you 'll not object to take a walk



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with me. Certainly not, was the reply. He was muffled up in a great-coat which did not at all accord with the season ; but Montgomery knew it was idle to thwart him a second time, and quietly submitted to his eccentricity. They went to the salt-market, at an hour when the place was densely crowded with merchants and men of business; and when they had arrived in the heart of the vast throng, from which there was no possibility of retreat; with a daring fully equal to any of the exhibitions of Rob Roy on the same ground, Sowerby turned quietly round upon his victim, and said, in a calm tone:

I must have that twenty pounds.' Montgomery, treating it half in jest, half in earnest, again refused. Sowerby then firmly grasped his arm, at the same time renewing his entreaties; but Montgomery, notwith standing his extreme amiability of disposition, at length was roused into a strong feeling of annoyance, and rebuked him rather sharply. Per. haps there never was a man more sensitively nervous upon any point that could by possibility bring him before the public, more especially when composed of all classes as this was. Sowerby knew this, and played with and tickled his victim like a trout, till he arrived at his object. He then, with a cool determination, which the other knew it was in vain to trifle with, repeated :

· I must have the money, or I'll publicly expose you.' - How !' said Montgomery ; 'what do you mean ?'

Simply this! He then partially unbuttoned his coat, and displayed beneath it a harlequin jacket, with all its gay parti-colors, and rich spangles. • You will walk with me in this dress, or lend me the money.'

What was the result? The twenty pounds were immediately advanced. Poor fellows! Both have quitted this earthly scene, to be more justly dealt with! The one died from the effects of over-sensibility, arising from the failure of his hopes; the other in sheer insanity, calling out : “Saddle white Surry for the field to-morrow!



I was engaged by Mr. Henry SIDDONS, then manager of the Edin. burgh Theatre, to sustain the leading characters on Miss O'Neil's first visit to the Scottish metropolis. The night previous to her first performance, the portico in front of the theatre was crowded by porters, who established a regular bivouac, for the purpose of making a rush to secure places the moment the box-office was opened in the morning. We performed there three weeks, and every night the theatre was crowded to suffocation. The cautious Scott was mounted on the highest pinnacle of enthusiasm ; and a more delightful time I never passed. My letters of introduction were of a very flattering character, and in all my travels I never met with more genuine hospitality than in Scotland. I established many friendships, which continued as long as circumstances permitted me to cultivate them; and I shall ever think with gratitude of the many acts of kindness I received there. I had previ. ously the good fortune to be known intimately to Colonel BETHUNE of

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