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ADAM tilling the earth, assisted by Death. In the back ground is Eve, suckling her first born son, and holding at the same time a distaff. From this manner of treating the subject by the old painters, seems to have originated the saying,
When Adam delv'd and Eve span,
Where was then the gentleman ?
. (To be Resumed.). VOL. II.].
MEMOIRS OF MR. KEAN.
(Resumed from page 350, Vol. I.) He now left Dorchester for London, where he had to appear before the committee, who at that time had the management of Drury Lane Theatre. Deceived by appearances, these gentlemen conceived no favourable opinion of his talent, and it is said even reproached Mr. Arnold for his defective judgment; still the agreement was signed and could not be violated; of course therefore he had a claim upon the treasury, which indeed was admitted, but on the second Saturday, to his great surprise, his application was rejected. Upon inquiry into the reason of this conduct, he was informed that Mr. Elliston had written to the management claiming him as engaged at the Surrey Theatre. This letter was “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing,” and upon Kean's recurring to the correspondence that some time before had passed between him and the Surrey manager, it appeared that though an engagement had been talked of, it was by no means concluded. He accordingly applied to his patron, Doctor Drury, by whose mediation he was again received into the service of the committee, and advertised by his own desire for the part of Shylock, in which accordingly he made his first appearance before a London audience, on the 26th of January, 1814. His success was immediate and decisive; but it may be fairly said he was not the idol of public favour till his performance of Richard III, which took place on the 12th of February : this brilliant exhibition at once placed him on the vacant throne of Garrick, from which seat neither the malice of his enemies, nor even his own follies, have been able to displace him for a single moment; but before entering into the details of his life, it may be worth while to present the reader with a chronological table of his first appearance in each character up to his departure for America: Shylock, January 26. 1814. Egbert, in Ina, April 22. 1815 Richard III. Feb. 12. | Octavian, - July 4. Hamlet, March 12. Bajazet, - - Nov. 6. Othello, - - May 5. Duke Aranza, Dec. 5. Iago, - - May 7. Merchant of Bruges, Luke (Riches ) May 25.
Dec. 14.S Macbeth, - Nov. 5. Reuben Glenroy, 2 Romeo, - January 2. 1815. 1. February 13. s
Richard II. March 9. King John - June 1.,
wood, - June 8.) January 12.)" Orestes, - Oct. 22. Sforza - - March 9. Brutus, - Dec. 3. Bertram, - May 9. Eugene, (Switzer- L Kitely, - June 5.
land) - Feb. 15.) Timon of Athens, 2
Hotspur, - March 9 October 28. } Malvesi, (Dwarf of Sir Edward Morti-2
Naples ) March 13.) mer, Nov. 23. } Omreah,(CaribChief) Oroonoko, - Jan. 20. 1817.
May 13.5 Manuel, - March 8. Diggory, (All the Eustache de St. ? world's a stage, - Do. S Pierre, - May 4. }
King Lear, - April 24, 1820. Achmet - May 26. Virginius, - May 29. Paul, - - do.
Coriolanus, Jan. 24. Barabas, - April 24. 1818. Hebrew, - March 2. Selim,(Bride of Aby-2 Jaffier, - June 12.
dos.) - Feb. 5.} AdmirableChrichton, l Norval, - May 6.
June 12.5 This long list of characters is a sufficient voucher for the versatility of Kean's talents, but it must not be supposed that his success was uniform ; King John and Coriolanus were perhaps the worst of his performances, Othello and Sır Giles the best, though Richard the Third, was the most popular; this undue preference of the latter may, however, be attributed to the bustling nature of the play, which is more suited to the common taste, than the dramatic passions of Othello and Sir Giles. The lovers of the drama were not slow in finding out and acknowledging the difference; so great was the admiration excited by his performance of Massinger's Jew, that the majority of the actors determined to present him with a handsome gold cup as a testimonial of their reverence for his talents, and several noblemen solicited to be made partners in the donation. This indeed was contrary to the original design which confined the expense and the honour to his brethren of the theatre, but the names of Lambe and Byron added dignity to the present. On the
25th of June aceordingly it was presented to him by Mr. Palmer, the father of the Drury Lane stage, who opened the ceremony by reading over the names of the donors, viz.
The Right Hon. Lord Byron, Hon. Douglas Kinnaird, Hon. G. Lambe, s. Davies, Esq. Chandos Leigh, Esq. Messrs. Pope, Oxberry, Palmer, Dibdin, Rae, Wewitzer, Harley, Knight, Powell, Braham, Pyne, Hughes, Wyatt, G. Smith, Peake, Madame Storace, Mrs. Billington, Miss Kelly, Mrs. Bland, Mrs. Sparks, Mrs. Mardyn, Mrs. Orger, and others of the Drury-lane corps, amounting to upwards of fifty persons
Mr. Palmer, in presenting the Cup to Mr. Kean, said, it would be impossible for him, by'any observation of his own, to add to the high and merited eulogium which had been unanimously expressed by his colleagues in the tribute which they offered by him to Mr. Kean's admirable talents. “But, believe me, sir,” said Mr. Palmer, “you cannot feel more satisfaction in receiving this Cup than I have pleasure in presenting it by the desire of the ladies and gentlemen whose names are inscribed upon it. Permit me to wish you long life, health, and happiness to enjoy it."
Mr. Kean then returned his thanks for the honour done him, in the following manner :
“ Gentlemen, if I ever lamented the want of eloquence, I must do so on the present occasion, when I feel how incapable I am to express what I feel, or to reply to my friends in the glowing language which they have used. I cannot but lament my deficiency, and trust they will accept the honest dictate of my heart in the declaration, that I consider this as the proudest moment of my existence. In public favour there has been, there will be those that hold a superior rank to myself; I truly value the public approbation, but the favour I have gained in the opinion and attachment of my professional colleagues is most flattering to the best feelings of my heart, and the recollection of it shall never be effaced from my memory. It has ever been my study to obtain their good opinion, and this token of their regard I proudly conceive to be a testimony of the success of my endeavours.
“ I shall study to be brief, but I must be insensible if I did not truly appreciate the honour conferred upon me in the present tribute, and the past attentions of the father of the stage. A just and commendable prejudice exists in favour of early impressions, and a compliment is increased when it comes from a veteran, (who remembers and venerates the old school, by whom the talents of Garrick and Barry are