Puslapio vaizdai

drew their pictures from actual observation, and their versimilitude has been universally acknowledged by those who were amused to see it in their neighbours, or mortified to behold it in themselves. The hero of this comedy is a once-needy Scotchman, whose poverty and will consenting, leaves his native land; for, according to the epigram

"Had Cain been a Scot, God would have alter'd his doom, Nor forc'd him to wander, but confined him at home,"

to push his fortune in a more congenial clime. The two great objects of his ambition are to amass wealth, and to raise himself to distinction; both of which he pursues with unwearied diligence. Though low-born, or, at best, descended

"From great and glorious, though forgotten kings,"

and almost without education, he has a large fund of craft and cunning, a subtlety of observation, and a promptitude of action, well suited to his designs; the unceasing employment of which leads him, step by step, from poverty to riches. Though a tyrant to those that are dependent on him, he is the same fawning parasite to his superiors in rank-and the most obsequious humble servant of all whom he can either cheat, or make the tools of his ambition. Finding his utter insignificance in polished society, from the want of a liberal education, he resolves to remedy that defect in his son, whom he places under the tuition of a clergyman, who instils into the mind of his pupil those principles of rectitude and honour which make him despise his father, and act in direct opposition to his will. The very plan, therefore, that Sir Pertinax adopts to forward his ambitious schemes, tends to overthrow them.-He sought to give villany an external grace, but, employing education as the means, he is justly punished for his ignorance.

Lord Lumbercourt is a dissipated peer, who has no thoughts beyond present enjoyment, and who sacrifices fortune, family, and reputation to a life of pleasure. He is a political football, kicked to and fro by every party, and, at last, left to the neglect and contumely of all. Sidney is the picture of an ingennous mind, informed and polished by education. He is a man placed by fortune in a state of dependence, but gifted with a spirit that can rise superior to

"The scorn of villains, and the frowns of fate."

Much of the humour of this drama arises out of the character of Lady Rodolpha; whose lively wit and satirical levity are an excellent match for the biting sarcasm of Sir Pertinax. Her presence draws forth the booing qualities of this servile hypocrite, who pays her almost as much reverence as Sir Hudibras did Trullia :

"Madam, I do as is my duty,

Honour the shadow of your shoe-tye.

Her picturesque description of Bath, and its miscellaneous mob of nigh and low life-of the odd mixture of quality folks and canaille,— your little purse-proud mechanics apeing the airs and follies of people of fashion, is equally applicable to present times. The northern education of this vivacious lady has not spoiled her natural frankness; and her concluding wish confirms the good opinion we had, from the first, entertained of her generosity and spirit.

The Man of the World is not only a satire on Scotchmen, but on

political venality and corruption of every description. The chicanery of Sir Pertinax is that of every one who aspires to power and place; and his group of lords, judges, generals, and bishops, all crowding to the great man's leeve, is a true picture of our daily political intrigues. The unpopularity of the then existing ministry gave double edge to the satire of the Man of the World, when it was first played in London. The English nation, heartily disgusted with Scotchmen and Scotch influence, were glad to express their antipathy through the medium of the stage; every sentence, therefore, that bore hard upon hypocricy and avarice, was applauded with enthusiasm. Some hot-headed North Britons, "more fam'd for brimstone than for brains," attempted an opposition on the first night; others, of the wiser sort, sat with sad civility, and pocketed the affront. The jokes were too bitter to laugh at, and to express disapprobation would have brought down the overwhelming ridicule of the audience. We may imagine a vociferous Scot, smarting under the lash thus reproved by a brother of more saturnine temperament--" Am 1 upon a bed of Roses?"

The name of Macklin is equally celebrated as an author and an actor. If The Man of the World be not the best comedy in the English language, it ranks foremost among the best; and we can mention no farce that may justiy compare with Love a la Mode. Macklin's style of acting was bold, grand, and original. He redeemed Shylock from buffoonery, and gave his own vigorous conception of that wonderful character. His just taste clothed Macbeth in the Highland costume; for the Scottish chief had, till then, been played by Garrick in a full dress military uniform, and a tie wig He was equally excellent in tragedy and comedy.-In tragedy, where the dark and terrible passions are exhibited; in comedy, where hypocriey and sarcasm are the predominant features. His power of raising broad mirth must have been considerable; since his Jerry Blackacre provoked the jealousy of Quin, who showed Macklin some rudeness on the occasion, and received chastisement at his hands. His temper was impatient and irascible, but the goodness of his heart soon corrected any sudden ebullition. When, in the honourable exercise of his profession, he was so ungenerously assailed by his brethren, that he found it necessary to appeal to the laws for protection, his moderation and forbearance called forth the especial approbation of Lord Mansfield, who told him that he had never acted better." He abhorred trickery on the stage, and off it; his severe judgment forbade him to pander for popular applause, while his integrity, as a man, was firm and unimpeachable. Through the course of a long and toilsome life, checquered with almost every vicissitude of fortune, he never deviated from the straight-forward path of honour; and, though old age overtook him in poverty, it found him not in disgrace. Like other distinguished men of his day, he provoked the satirical mimickry of Foote, whose favourite diversion it was to burlesque Macklin's oratorical lectures, and to caricature his manner of teaching Barry Othello. He died July 11, 1797, aged 107, and was buried in a vault under the chancel of Covent Garden church.

It may be presumed that, in drawing Sir Pertinax, Macklin fairly took measure of his own powers-hence the wonderful genius that he displayed in the delineation of this wily Scot. In every requisite for this character, Cooke was eminently rich. His assumption of the dialect was perfect; and, so admirably did every look and gesture second his just conception of the part, that the late Mr. Kemble only confirmed the unaniinous opinion of the public, when he declared

that Cooke's Sir Pertinax was the most highly-finished comic exhi bition that the modern stage could produce. Cooke somewhat abated the rigid sternness that Macklin was wont to maintain throughout the character, and threw over certain parts a jocularity and humour that heightened the general effect. One of his greatest points was the history Sir Pertinax gives his son, Egerton, of his rise and progress in life. When he came to the "old slighted, antiquated, musty maiden, that looked just like a skeleton in a surgeon's glass case," he chuckled over the ludicrous description, and wound up the whole with a triumphant air and tone of exultation that completed the picture. If we were called upon to point out the most unique and perfect specimen of comic acting, we should unhesitatingly refer to Cooke's Sir Pertinax.

Mr. Young's conception of the character is, for the most part, correct, his delineation powerful, and his Scotch dialect nearly unexceptionable. But he wants Cooke's sardonic grin and ever-varying expression of countenance, that was true to the minutest turns of passion, he is not happy in portraying those frequent transitions from abrupt ferocity to sanctimonious composure-he cannot relax from fierceness and rage, to an "amicable reesibility of aspect."Still his performance has great merit. Those who remember not Cooke will be delighted with it; and even those who bear in full recollection that incomparable actor, will admire Mr. Young's versa. tility of talent, as exhibited in this singularly difficult character.

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The Conductors of this Work print no Plays but those which they nave seen acted. The Stage Directions are given from their own personal observations, during the most recent performances.


R. means Right; L. Left; D. F. Door in Flat; R. D. Right Door; L. D. Left Door; S. E. Second Entrance; U. E. Upper Entrance; M. D. Middle Door.


R. means Right; L. Left; C. Centre; R. C. Right of Centre; L. C. Left of Centre.






The Reader is supposed to be on the Stage, facing the Audience.

SIR PERTINAX MACSYCOPHANT. - Dark Court dress, richly embroidered.

EGERTON.-Blue coat, lined with white silk, white waistcoat, black silk breeches, and black silk stockings. LORD LUMBERCOURT.-Brown Court dress. SIDNEY.-Black coat, waistcoat, and breeches. MELVILLE.-Blue coat, white waistcoat, pantaloons, and boots.


TOMLINS.-Blue coat, white waistcoat, and buff


Servants, in party coloured liveries.

LADY MACSYCOPHANT.-Dark striped satin dress.


LUMBERCOURT.-Fashionable white satin dress, with rich and tasteful trimming.

CONSTANTIA.-Plain white muslin dress.

BETTY HINT.-White dress, apron trimmed with pink riband, cap trimmed with the same. NANNY.-Neat servant's gown.

Cast of the Characters in the Comedy of THE MAN of the WorlD, at the Theatre-Royal, CoventGarden, 1824.

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The Conductors of this Work print no Plays but those which they have seen acted. The Stage Directions are given from their own personal observations, during the most recent performances.

The instant a Character appears upon the Stage, the point of Entrance, as well as every subsequent change of Position, till its Exit, is noted, with a fidelity which may in all cases be relied on; the object being, to establish this Work as a Standard Guide to the Stage business, as now conducted on the London boards.


R. means Right; L. Left; R. D. Right Door; L. D. Left Door: S. E. Second Entrance; U. E. Upper Entrance; M.D. Middle Door. RELATIVE POSITIONS.

R. means Right; L. Left; C Centre: R. C. Right of Centre; L. C. Left of Centre. The following view of the Stage with Five Performers in front, will, it is presumed, fully demonstrate the Relative Positions.

The Reader is supposed to be on the Stage, facing the Audience

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