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racles, from their not being duly attested; but is it possible to desire a more satisfactory testimony of these miraculous cures, than that of a man of science and respectability, under whose immediate inspection they were performed, and who has “ himself been a frequent eye-witness of many hundreds of cures performed by his majesty's touch alone.” The honourable Daine Barrington, in his observations on the more ancient statutes, inserts what he heard from an old man, a witness in a cause, with regard to this miraculous power of healing. The following are judge Barrington's words. “He had, by his evidence, fixed the time of a fact, by queen Anne's having been at Oxford, and touched him, whilst a child, for the evil. When he had finished his evidence, I had an opportunity of asking him, whether he was really cured? Upon which he observed, with a significant smile, ‘ that he believed himself never to have had a complaint that deserved to be considered as the evil; but that his parents were poor, and had no objection to the bit of gold.” “It seems to me, that this piece
of gold which was given to those
who were touched, accounts for the great resort, on this occasion, and the supposed afterwards miraculous cures.” Gemelli, the famous traveller, gives an account of 1600 persons offering themselves to be cured of the evil by Louis XIV. on Easter Sunday, in the year 1686. Gemelli himself was present at the ceremony, and says, the words used were: “ Le Roy te touche, Dieu te guerisse.” Every Frenchman received fifteen sous, and every foreigner thirty. To some of the supposed patients the king said: Etes-vous malade aussi & This power of healing by the kings of France, occasioned great
resort to Francis I. while prisoner at Madrid, by the Spaniards, whe had not such faith in the efficacy of their own king's touch.
It appears, by a proclamation of James I. March 25, 1617, that the kings of England would not permit any resort to them for these miraculous cures in the summer-time. By another proclamation, of the 18th of June, 1626, it is ordered that no one shall apply for this purpose, who does not bring a proper certificate that he has never been touched before; and the same, it has already been seen, were the terms on which queen Anne granted her royal touch. This regulation, undoubtedly, must have arisen from some supposed patients who had attempted to receive the bit of gold more than once.
In a prayer-book printed in the year 1708, is a form of the churchservice for the occasion of the royal touch. After the Lord’s prayer, it is stated: “Then shall the infirm persons, one by one, be presented to the queen; and while the queen is laying her hands upon them, and is putting the gold about their necks, the chaplain that officiates, turning himself to her majesty, shall say these words following: “God give a blessing to this work! and grant that these sick persons on whom the queen lays her hands may recover, through Jesus Christ our Lord!’ —After some other prayers, the chaplain, standing with his face towards them that come to be healed, shall say: “The Almighty God, who is a most strong tower to all them that put their trust in him, to whom all things in heaven, in earth, and under the earth, do bow and obey, be evermore your defence; and make you know and feel that there is none other name under heaven given to man, and through whom you may receive health and salvation, but only the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! Amen.”
FRom the LITERARY PANorAMA. HAY-MARKET THEATRE.
Alfonso, a Spanish marquis, suspects that his wife’s son, Leon, is not his own. His suspicions are just, but are perverted by Malvogli, a Portuguese artful adventurer, who has wound himself into his confidence and is in a fair way, both of disinheriting the young man and depriving him of Rosaviva, his mistress, the marquis’s ward. Things are in this train, and all is agitation and perplexity to the family, and expectation to the adventurer, when a mysterious unknown makes his appearance, alarms the plotter, and gives hope to the servants of the house, who detest and suspect him. This stranger, Borrachio, knows so much of the man, that it is necessary for the latter to bribe him with a promise of half the dowry he is to receive with the marquis's ward, and to promise it too by a certain time in the evening after the contraction of their marriage. The wedding ceremony approaches; the marquis, in order to wreak his revenge on his wife, summons her to witness it; but previously, while they are alone, discloses to her his knowledge of her son's father. The lady acknowledges her concealment of the truth, but alleges that her son is,
nevertheless, legitimate, a circumstance which she was compelled, by a harsh father, to conceal, at the time when her first husband died, and she was married to the marquis. Her husband instantly relents; but finds it difficult to believe the insinuations of the family against his favourite, who is charged by the marchioness with having known the whole truth and artfully hindering her from disclosing it. At this juncture he enters to meet his bride; is charged with his villany; and stoutly denies it; when he is interrupted by Borrachio, who, by a contrivance of Fabuletto, had not received the promised message, and coming to threaten in consequence, falls into a snare himself. This man, it appears, is the brother adventurer of Malvogli. He had been cheated of their mutual plunder, and afterwards stabbed by him and left for dead, but finds him out at this critical moment, just in time to blast his hopes, share his punishment, and restore the peace of the abused family. Our readers will perceive that the plot has something of the manner of the German drama about it. But, in many respects, it more than once reminded us of something better, viz. a certain play written by the prince of French comick poets: we mean Moliere’s Tartuffe. However, there is a degree of probability in the plot, which, though bordering on the romantick, laid fast hold of the audience, and rivetted their attention to the very end of the last act. This, we must acknowledge, is so uncommon at present with dramatick writers, that we cannot refrain from begging Mr. Dimond to accept our mite of approbation, and though there are, occasionally, some true German touches in the language, as for instance, “Earthquakes, fatal to his native lisbon, pursue and overwhelm him”—yet upon the whole, the language and the skilful management of the business of the scene, are above the dramatick level of these latter days, and The Doubtful Son is justly entitled to praise. Let us hear what Mr. Dimond himself says of it, who has published his production under the title of THE Dou BTFUL Son, or Secrets of a Palace. A Play in Five Acts, as acted at the Theatre Royal in the Hay-Market, with general" applause. By William Dimond, Esq. Wyatt, London, 1810. Price 2s. 6d. - PREFACE. A very old Spanish romance, perused by me in childhood, the title of which I have long since forgotten, though the incidents have still lingered upon recollection, afforded a ground work to the present drama. During a period of severe indisposition, when occupation and pleasure were equally removed from my pursuit, I lessened the weight of some heavy hours, by retracing the half-faded impressions of an earlier age, and arranging them into a dramatick shape. As I have never written intentionally, for the publick, and am, altogether, careless of a literary refutation, my play, as soon as finished, was cast aside as an object of no further regard, and without any idea to its future performance upon the stage. Accident, some time afterwards, placed in my hand a French comedy by Beaumarchais, in which I discovered the identical circumstances I had adopted from romance, to have been already appropriated with success to a dramatick purpose.
The approbation of a Parisian Parterre, has frequently been found but an equivocal guide to the taste and temper of English audiences— However, I was induced by this discovery to reconsider my own drama with a more favourable attention.— Upon a comparison of the two plays with each other, I inclined to an opinion, that Beaumarchais had managed the opening of his plot with more adroitness than I had employed. Under this impression, I cancelled the greater portion of the two first acts in my own drama, and introduced as much as possible, both of the action and expression of the French author in their room.
The character of Borrachio is of my original invention, and the entire agency of my three latter acts is also a creation of my fancy, with only one trivial reference either to Spanish or French design.-I have modelled the progress of the plot according to classical rules, and the unities of time and place have been strictly preserved.
The popularity which the “ Doubtful Son” has obtained in representation, leaves me no motive for regret that I suffered him to be drawn from my port-folio on the stage. Each theatrical critick, whose opinion possesses any esteem in society, has individually published his commendation of the play. I should therefore offer but an ill requital to the world for so particular a fit of its goodnature towards me, were I, in my single person, to affect any diffidence regarding the merits of the piece. Sincerely sheaking, I BELIEve IT TO BE A GooD PLAY;t but this declaration shrings from my wish to
* It is advertised in the newspapers by the bookseller, no doubt in compliment to
the weather: “With eaccessive applause!”
f If we mistake not, a dramatick writer, in the beginning of the 17th century, or certainly at the latter end of the 16th, entitled his production: “If this is not a Good Play, the Devil’s in't.”—The quaintness of the title, perhaps, prevented Mr. Dimond from quoting it altogether, though it should seem, to use the language of Mr. D. that
the author, like him, “was ren fault.”
ered vain, before he had been told that vanity was a
be ingenuous, and not from my vanity. The knowledge that I have succeeded, and the belief that I have deserved success, communicate no throb of exultation to my heart; while, on the contrary, had my drama been proved the vilest of the vile, and hooted by indignant auditors from off the stage, I should have abated no single particle from my stock of self-esteem. The Family of Blockheads is too numerous and too creditably established in society, to render an acknowledgment of their relationship a disgrace to any Innan. I still write, because the effort of composition occasionally amuses my mind; and I continue to publish, because the world appears to receive my works with partiality. But, if I know my own heart, the feverish pride of authorshift—its insatiate appetency for applause—its agonizing sensitiveness under reproof–now influences no portion of my feelings. Once, perhaps, I felt differently.—I became an author at fifteen, and the eagerness of hopes and wishes is inseparable from the dawn of youth. I listened to flattery when I could not distinguish its tones from the voice of truth; and I was rendered vain before I had been told that vanity was a fault. A few fleeting years may not have added much to my experience, but they have stolen away nearly all my enthusiasm, and I have long since learned to estimate the usual objects of this world's ambition, even as their hollowness and insincerity deserve. The pride of literary distinction appears to me, beyond all others, vain and futile. What is that fame, of which the poet’s heart creates its visionary mistress? A fugitive, uncertain phantom, that tempts but still eludes his living embrace, never to be yielded as a bride, till Fate has chilled his human fires, and the consciousness of his spirit has withdrawn to other worlds. Peace is the only real good; and national monuments, sha
ded by the laurel and the bay, yield no dearer resting place to him who fain would sleep for ever, than a turf-grave clasped by osiers.
If I were to offer an individuat tribute to the merits of each performer whose name appears affixed to my Dramatis Personae, I should swell a preface into a volume. Within my own recollection of the stage, no new play has been sustained by a happier combination of talent. Perhaps I ought to particularize Mr. Sowerby, from the circumstance of his being introduced by me upon this occasion to a London audience, as a fresh candidate for its favour, and, consequently, less generally known and appreciated by the town. His performance of Malvogli, one of the most difficult and intricate characters of the modern stage, in my opinion, has indicated a strong original genius under the guidance of an excellent judgment, from the future development of which, the most valuable results may be expected.
Temple, July 13, 1810.
We have always objected to heap fulsome incense on the performers, and, therefore, dissent strongly from this latter paragraph; and we put it to the unprejudiced judgment of our readers, whether this young man, who imitates, with no sparing imitation, both Elliston and Kemble should be held forth to the publick as an original genius, with an ercellent judgment. We do, at the same time, confess, that he exhibited proof of abilities and just discrimination; but let him take the advice of Garrick, in a conversation held by that buskin’d chief with a friend of ours, and then, in time, but only in time and by assiduity, he may attain powers to give those valuable results Mr. D. expects. We again repeat, that gross flattery, even to old players, is bad enough, heaven knows; but to young ones it must inevitably
FROM experiments lately made in France, it now appears that the rice paste, of which the Chinese make the goblets, cups, and other vessels, sometimes brought to Europe, is an artificial product whose constituent parts are at present unknown. M. Kratzenstein, of Copenhagen, it is thought, has at length determined the real nature of this substance, having given the following description of a cup made of the same:—“The substance is a fusible glass of the coleur of clear jelly, which has been pressed into a mould formed of two pieces, while the paste was still soft. It is ornamented with figures and handles in relief. The sharp edge, produced by the meeting of the two pieces of the mould, is visible all round. The substance is so hard that it scratches glass. It is more difficult to cut than marble. A broken part offers a dull appearance, like dried, boiled starch, and its colour and transparency bear a strong resemblance to alabaster.
Some trials which have been made, have shown that a substance analogous to rice paste, may be prepared by melting 8 parts of oxyde of lead with 7 parts of feldspar, 4 parts of common white glass, and one part of borax; or, which is equally proper, by taking 8 parts of the oxyde of lead, 6 parts of feldspar, 3 parts of flint, and 3 parts of borax, potash, or soda. As to the stone called Yu, which resembles this composition, it is only known by means of the missionaries at Pekin; and as it is so highly prized on account of its beauty, its hardness, and the sound it gives when struck, it is astonishing it is not known in Europe. The missionaries wish to have it believed that gu is a natural stone, but the sonorousness of its substance gives reason to suppose that it is an artificial kind of glass. Although several sounding stones are known, as clinkstone, or porphyry slate, and the quartz christals from Prieborn, the