« AnteriorContinuar »
tion previously suggested in his unpub. lished opera of The Gypsies. The speech of Stephano in the scene with Rosano has evidently furnished the outline of Jaques in The Honey-moon.
It is unnecessary to repeat what has been already observed of the predilection generally entertained for this opera by the author's literary friends-- and in Mr. Jaines Tobin's letter to Mr. Whitbread, it is distinctly stated to have been accepted before the fire which destroyed Drury Lane Theatre -- yet in 1819, when, under the friendly auspices of Mr. Elliston, it was at length (by the title of The Fisherman's Hut) announced for representation, some suspicions arose whether it was en. titled to be classed with Mr. Tobin's genuine productions *. The effects of this prejudice were visible during the repre. sentation, when a sceptical and sometimes a captious spirit prevailed over that candour and liberality which are in general the characteristic of a British audience. It may have been unfortunate for The Fisherman's Hut that it was permitted to occupy the place of a full play: it possessed, indeed, some rare merits of dialogue and situation; but the fable appears to have been of too slight a texture to satisfy the present taste. As a second
* With respect to the genuineness of this production, it remains to state, that in common with the other dramąs, which, during the author's lifetime were offered for acceptance, The Fisherman was read to his intimate friends - of whom it will be sufficient to mention the gentleman who has sketched the poet's character in these Memoirs, and the author of the prologue to The Honey-moon.
piece, it is impossible not to believe that it must have obtained universal applause ;
as a first, it perhaps solicited indulgence, never more gracefully bestowed than in cherishing the posthumous reputation of a writer so deservedly admired as the author of The Honey-moon.
Under the influence of doubt and misconception, The Fisherman's Hut, though supported by admirable acting, had obviously little chance of obtaining that popularity, which might have been expected from one of Mr. Tobin's productions. With this painful impression it was on the third night withdrawn by Mr. Elliston, not without the advice and concurrence of the author's friends, in whom the delicacy and liberality of his conduct could not but produce deep and permanent feelings of gratitude and obligation.
To the candid and unprejudiced Public, The Fisherman is now submitted, with the hope that on perusal it will be found to justify the manager's taste, and at some more favourable moment become, in a compressed form, a permanent acquisition to that Theatre, in which a generous effort has been made to protect it from oblivion.