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Or the Music, respecting which no small sum has been spent in puffing it in the news-papers, it may
be said in general to be pretty, and would have donę Rauzzini credit had it been his own. But the prettiest parts of the pretty have been borrowed: neither of the duets, which excited general applause,--though I cannot fay they fo singularly merited it--neither of the duets are originally from Rauzzini. Still there was something to commend.
The want of principal singers was a disagreeable circumstance, and might have been avoided. Rauzzini heretofore, may have sung well: at present he scarcely boasts of mediocrity, and yet he sung--for it was finiging—that which should have been better sung by Pacchierotti! Signora Carnevale, might pass well enough for the Queen of Golconda; if we suppose her Majesty no exquisite finger. Carnevale was pleasing in one Air; but Cramer's Violin, in the accompaniment and particularly the symphonies, got, as it deferved, all the applause. Carnevale's powers
limited. You will perhaps little regard the opinion of John Bull, respecting an Italian opera, However, I will venture to deliver an opinion, in which I doubt not but that three-fourths of the audience on Thursday night would agree with me, were they honest enough to let truth take place of affe&tation. Know then, good Mr. SPECTATOR, that Miss Philips would have sung Rauzzini's airs as much better than Rauzzini as he than Barrymore! And Miss Gcorge as much superior to Carnevale, as Allegranti to Miss George. I mean in the opera before us: let Miss Philips represent Albert, and Miss George the Queen of Golconda, and if they do not sing the airs with more taste, and bestow on them additional graces, I will be content to be tossed in a blanket! I know that every one will pub. licly pronounce this opinion high treason against taste; and privately confess it is the truth and nothing but the truth!
If any particular praise is due, the fccnc-painter deserves it. The first scene in the second act, and the last in the piece, are particularly beautiful.
the dances which, in this piece, are Itrangely jumbled with the singing--after the French stile though, remember that of the dances, need I say any more than that they were performed by Le Picq, Vestris, Slingsby; Theodore Simonet, and her two daughters, Rossi, &c?—The names of the performers are the best recommendation of the dances, which are composed by Monsieur D'Auberval; but have very
little in them of the excellence of Noverre. D'Auberval is not a good dancer, and is a worse composer.
CONTRARY to most of the public prints, whose accounts, like those of the other Theatres, are supplied by the interested and the prejudiced, thus much for the entertainment. It remains next to speak of
The AUDIENCE. And of the Audience it may be said that it was as numerous and brilliant as any the Opera House can boast since the famous benefit night of the famous Veftris. The whole house, however, was in mourning; and the head-dresses of the ladies were pretty equally divided between the Balloon-hat and white feathers; and the diminutive fancy cap. Of the frail sisterhood, the Bird of Paradise and the l'hite Crow were most conspicuous; for the house was not contaminated with the more influencing example of the Perdila, or her equally attractive admirer.--That 'the house might not, however, be destitute of something particularly offensive, the performers were obstructed in their entrances and exits, and the effect of foine scenes entirely deranged by some forty or fifty of the gentry who ought to have becn seated in the Pit, and where there was room enough to have stowed double the quantity, But we are told in the Bills that, By their Majeflies Command no person can be admitted behind the scenes ; which at once accounts for the nuisance ; for a coxcomb is never in his element, but when he is violating some command. It were to be wished, that the managers would render their Majesties Commands a little more efficacious by fhewing these gentry into their proper seats, and not permit them to exhibit their rudeness by a disagreeable interruption of the performers, and exciting the difgust of the more regular part of the audience.
I Should not have dwelt so long on the subject of this Theatre, but that the entertainment has been represented in the daily prints, with such exaggeration of panegyric as it by no means merits, and that I might give my voice against such accumulated falfhoods.
SCHOOL for SCANDAL. Beware of counterfeits, for such are abroad! Mr. Sheridan has not yet published this matchless comedy. Some years ago, a wretched political thing made its appearance under the title of the Duenna, by way of extracting gold from dross; and the like miserable attempt has lately been made with respect to the School for Scandal !--Verbum fapientia.
Mrs, Mrs. HODGE S.
It has been said in some of the morning prints, that this lady is retired to Weybridge, for the benefit of her health. I am happy to assure you, that she is by no means indisposed. Mr. Hodges has an estate in the neighbourhood of, and a house at, Weybridge.—Peace Viper !
from those beneath him. But it is the curse of arrogance to be frequently reminded of former obscurity.
JELLY, one morning, walked through his master's court-yard, and passing a bricklayer, who, intent on his business, paid no regard to Jelly, hc, with all “ the insolence of office," exclaims, “ Don't you know me ?"_“Yes, says " the bricklayer, I remember when you used to 6 lie nakeda bed, whilst your shirt was washing." -Finding the man's memory better than his manners, Jelly, like a lion, snuffing the rising storm, “ grumbling to his den return'd!"
SQUIRE MORGAN'S NEPHEW.
This young gentleman has lately taken one of the best houses near that of his uncle, who is yet abroad. He has a numerous train of servants; and being good-natured and affable, lets them have too much of their own way. Hence their characters are naturally diversified, and consequently easily discriminated. The most important amongst them is Master Jelly, who may be called chief amongst the chief; for a more consequential man scarce ever existed. He is one of those who are unwilling to let their importance escape notice; and if every body does not tell him that he is a great man, he takes care to tell every body himself. As he ranks high in the estimation of his master, he expects servility
London: Printed by T. RICKABY, No. 15, Duke's-Court, Bow-Street, Covent-Garden ;
And Sold by T. AXTELL, No. 1, Finch-Lane, Cornhill, and at the Royal Exchange; by
W. SWIFT, Bookseller, Charles-Street, St. James's-Square; by P. BRETT, Bookseller and Stationer, opposite St. Clement's Church in the Strand; by G. KEARSLEY, No. 46, Fleet-Street; and by W. THISELTON, Bookfeller and Stationer, No. 37, Goodge-Street, Kathbone-Place.
CORRESPONDENTS are requested to address their favours to the New SPECTATOR, to be left at Mr. Swift's, in Charles-Street, St. James's-Square, where a LETTER-Box is affixed for their reception.
Mr. GRAVITY DULNESS,
You, and your bluff Deputy, are two splenetic, psalm-singing, fermonising writers, I mean scriblers; and the sooner you have done the better. What business had you to vilify Squire Morgan's Nephew and the divine Perdita ? Keep a good tongue in your head.
CARD. Miss N**** presents compliments to the New SPECTATOR, and to his fagacious Deputy, Mr. Bull, and as she is obliged, by the command of parents, to read their joint productions before the whole family, begs they will let brevity mark the future numbers, for however the old folks may relish them, they never fail to give her the vapours. Grosvenor Square.
Such is the general complaint against the New SPECTATOR and Co. that unless I alter my mode of writing, I am likely to reap little benefit from the favours of my correspondents. No less than eight formally address me with Reverend Sir, apprehending, from my gravity, I fuppofe, that Lam in holy orders. And by fome cards I have received from Portman-Square and the neighbourhood of St. James's, I find several ladies of high rank have enjoined their daughters not to read a line of such an old-fashioned moralift as I am; and have been cruel enough to insinuate that I am an old bachelor, past all manner of mischief; a charge sufficient to set all the young ladies in the world against me.
To have the gay and the lovely part of the sex against me is a very mortifying circumstance; yet I cannot bring myself to use that species of writing, which is now so generally adopted by, and received amongst men from whom better things might naturally be expected. I must confess I have no knack at double entendre, by which some periodical writers amongst us, get wonderful applause. Nor have I any propensity to bestow those encomiums on folly and dissipation which are due only to sense and decency, I cannot think of praising the Royal Family of England, and at the same time speaking well of the English nobility; for can light and darkness be more opposite than the general conduct and characters of each? When the public taste is become vitiated with immoral productions and loose wit, the writer has little chance who endeavours to stem that torrent of corruption with which such literature, by its general diffemination, deluges the land. Though his obfervations, and his fame may be confined to small circles, he will have the consolation of reflecting that his works will never rise in judgment against him.
The most dangerous member of any commitnity is an immoral writer; he not only corrupts his contemporaries, but, if he is a man of genius, the baneful influence of his works extend to posterity. The multiplicity of obscene and indelicate books and prints daily obtruded on the public, is to be equalled only by the avidity with which they are purchased.
Their effects on manners are visible and obvious. Private con. versation is perpetually tinctured with double entendre, to which our women are now so much accustomed as to listen to this most contemptible of all wit, not only without discovering the in dignation of insulted virtue, but even without the least symptom of disapprobation ; whilst, in public, they vie with each other in assuming all
those impudent and meretricious airs by which the common prostitute endeavours to attract attention. I should be sorry if there were not many undeserving of this censure: I speak generally.
Such of my contemporaries as have meanly forsaken the standard of MORALITYI am not fanguine enough to look for CHRISTIANITY amongst themand by their writings feed this flame of diffipation, meet with a short-lived praise, flattering their vanity, which foars not to future applause, unless future infamy may be called applause, and carn their daily bread by shewing that countenance to vice which may give encou. ragement to its votaries, and afford a kind of li. terary sanction to the most diabolical crimes.
NOVELs, originally intended as pictures of life, and incentives to virtue, have now just the contrary effect ; for though some common moral is generally aimed at in the catastrophe, yet vice throughout the tale is mostly represented in such pleasing colours as cannot but excite the admiration, rather than the deteftation of the youthful reader, whose principles are as commonly undermined by this pernicious amusement, as by the influence of example. Of this kind of mixed composition it may justly be said that “the depraved disposition of mankind is pretty fure to drop the morality and carry away the ribaldry."
WEIGHING, tlacrefore, all that can be faid for and against the mode of writing so much tecum. mended by my correspondents, I am inclined to persevere in my present unfashionable route, turning neither to the right hand nor to the left ; though I will chearfully give place to any smart production I may be favoured with, provided the wit be inoffensive and the satire wholesome; but may the labours of the New SPECTATOR never be read if they raise one blush on the cheek of modesty, or an indelicate thought in the bosom of innocence !
As you appear to be quite impartial in your Theatrical observations, and not to be influenced, as you have expressed it, by the “ the ar“ tifice of avarice, the partiality of friendship, " the zeal of ignorance of the heat of resent, ( ment;" I trust
you will give me leave to observe, that the conduct of the managers of Old Drury is not only incxplicable in itself, but infulting to the Town, in giving the parts of Alicia, Almeria, Portia, Imoinda, Imogen, Eleanor, &c. &c.
colour is as execrable as two eyes !-Miss Verjuice having but one the consequence of an overbearing disposition in her youth. White teeth have a masculine appearance, which if she possessed, a perfon would be employed to disfigure them. How horrid to have white teeth!
WHATEVER the fashion is, this unnatural lady is just the reverse. When short stays are worn, she admires the reign of our Elizabeth, when stays -extended from the chin' to the knee-were the sole defenders of virtue !
When a long petticoat is the ton, so averse is my dear Miss Verjuice to fashion and nature that on a windy day, with attentive speculation, the pious motto on her garter may be easily perused. “ Fix your thoughts on things above!"
to the Miss Kembles, who are universally allowed to be very incompetent to the sustaining any
of those characters, when there are several ladies in the same company by whom they would be supported, at least with decency.
I will at present mention only a few names in confirmation of what I have advanced; and Ihall be glad to know by what secret influence, or wretched system in dramatic politics, we are debarred the pleasure of secing the incomparable Siddons seconded by her theatrical, instead of her natural fisters?
Previous to the engagement of the Miss Kembles, Miss Farren was making a considerable progress in the Tragic line, and filled several characters with honour to herself, and pleasure to her auditors.-Mrs. Bulkley is, no doubt, remembered to have been seen with great satisfaction in both tragedy and comedy; and there is wanting nothing but practice and encouragement to render Mrs. Wells a respectable servant of Melpomene, as well as of Thalia. It may be remembered that, at the latter end of last season, this lady played Fane Shore with such propriety as to gain a thundering plaudit, thrice repeated, at the end of the performance. If, therefore, she and Miss Farren, and Mrs. Bulklcy play first-rate characters decently, might it not be fupposed they would support inferior characters reputably? And if so, why is the Town to be as you once said, served with Perry instead of Champaigne ?
I am, Sir,
The conversation of this Original is equally absurd with her dress. She is the true offspring of Eve. Contradiction is her only food. However strange, Mr. SPECTATOR, this food may appear to you, I really know a family of fifteen filters, who exist entirely on that delicious food. Why not? It was the ambrosia of the gods ! It was this food alone that gave immortality to Jupiter, Juno, Vulcan, Venus, &c. I knew a lady that died suddenly in an assembly room, because one evening she had her own way! Miss Verjuice Leadape is the most complete virgin of fifty-fix, that 1784 can boast of. Her knowledge is extensive: there is not a rape, murder, or robe bery committed in the metropolis that she is ignorant of!
I met her the cther day in Pall Mall, and went up St. James's-street to avoid her. No sooner had I reached Piccadilly, but I found her ready to receive me. I hastily crossed the way, went into George's, staid some time, but on going down the Hay-market, to my surprize and mortification, who should I meet, full butt--quoting her own phrase-but Miss Verjuice Leadape! She seized my arm-the impression remains ftill and forced me to accompany her. At last we arrived at the auction, where after being the subject of the whole room, I took a convenient opportunity and left her.
Miss VERJUICE receives company every Thursday to tea and cards. All Westminster is invited, fave the respectable men and ladies of character. She keeps the pool at Quadrille to a fish, and is never better pleased than in a party of tabbies whose un feeling souls are steeled with insensibility, and whose satisfaction is to hear of the downfal of their acquaintance. To make any more reflections on this Original would be need.
This Original, Mr. SPECTATOR, is a lady who has passed the meridian of beauty, and whose pride overbalances the precepts of nature. So much is her averfion to that kind benefatress, because it is natural to wear one's own hair, she had her head shaved, and sports an enormous wig, which being elastic, and by constant wearing has fo contracted the scull as to force the brain to forfake its habitation. She exclaims against nature as a rebellious usurper, as a destroyer of politeness and good manners, and as a nuifunce to a civilized nation !-A natural blooming healthy