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to him at this portion of the play. But Garrick is admitted to have risen superior to all rivalry; his rapid change of feature and expression during his self-questioning and upbraiding, his tempest of fury at the thought
A station like the herald Mercury,
Where every god did seem to set his seal
When "Hamlet" was played at Covent
of his uncle's crime, subsiding into the deepest Garden in 1793, with some attempt at correct
woe as his father's loss returned with fresh force to his recollection, and the earnestness with which he planned to catch the conscience of the King by means of the play, distanced all "He filled the whole soul of competitors. the spectator, and transcended the most finished idea of the poet," cried Hannah More, enthusiastically. But in the great scene with Ophelia, Garrick was considered to be too rude and boisterous, and the critics generally preferred the tenderer manner of Wilks and Barry. The address to the players had been omitted in all stage versions of "Hamlet "" from Betterton's time, until Garrick had the good sense to restore it, though he was guilty of tampering with the play in many other most shameful ways. Wilks never spoke this speech therefore. Garrick's delivery of it was striking and intelligent, but was considered to be wanting in dignity. His manner was said to be rather that of a stage-manager and teacher of acting than that of a princely patron and monitor. Henderson was admitted to speak the lines "with less of the pedagogue and more of the gentleman." When the King rises, and brings the tragedy of the "Mousetrap" to an abrupt conclusion, it was Garrick's constant practice to pull out a white handkerchief and twirl it round vehemently as he hurriedly paced the stage and uttered the
For some must laugh and some must weep,
A stage trick which Hamlets of our own time
Look here, upon this picture and on this, it appears to have been the constant practice of the stage since the Restoration, for Hamlet, instead of pointing to representations upon the arras of the late and the reigning kings of Denmark, to produce the miniature of one from his breast, and to hold up a miniature of the other hung locket-wise round the Queen's neck. This last plan, though the most convenient, inasmuch as it dispenses with the necessity for a scene expressly painted for the occasion, is by no means the most correct. The small hand portraits generally used could hardly convey the full length portraiture implied in the words
ness of costume and stage decoration, a sort of There was a halfcompromise was effected. length portrait of the late king upon the wall, and the Queen wore upon her wrist, as a bracelet, a miniature of the reigning monarch. Mr. Macready, when the appliances of the theatre permitted it, adopted the unquestionably correct plan of drawing the Queen's attention to the pictures of her two husbands upon the tapestry. The throwing down the chair in this scene to add to the excitement consequent on the Ghost's re-appearance, is a very cld Garrick (according to Ireland) stage tradition. even went so far as to have a chair expressly prepared with tapering feet so that it might fall instantly upon a touch.
Garrick was in the habit of receiving a number of curious letters from anonymous correspondents, commenting upon his performances. These communications have preserved to us a record of some of the smaller points of his acting. One of these his unknown critics complains that the actor pronounces the o in tropically long instead of short, and is too solemn in his demeanour to the grave-digger. Another charges him with changing the proper pronunciation of the words matron, Israel, villain, appal, Horatio, wind, to metron, Iserel, villin, appeal, Horetio, and wind with a short i. There is a complaint too of the long pause made by Hamlet on the appearance of the Ghost. The writer then goes on: "There is one thing I must mention, which I think has but a very ridiculous appearance, although it has been practised by everyone that I have seen in the character, and it is this when the Ghost beckons Hamlet to follow him, he, enraged at Horatio for detaining him, draws his sword, and in that manner follows the Ghost; presently he returns, Hamlet still following him, sword in hand, till the Ghost
I am thy father's spirit!
at which words Hamlet, with a very respectful bow, sheaths his sword, which is as much as to say that if he had not been a ghost upon whom he could depend, he dared not have ventured to put up his sword." From this letter (dated August 14, 1742) it appears that the advice to the players was omitted; it was probably not until he became manager (in 1746) that Garrick was able to restore it; while the scene where Hamlet meditates
killing the King, "pat while he is praying," excised from all modern versions of the play, was given in full. Another critic considers Mr. Garrick's utterance of the words,
How, the fair Ophelia !
wanting in feeling. "Certainly," he says, in the funeral scene, "if you were a hired mourner and paid for repeating the sentence, you could not do it with more seeming unconcern." Indeed, it seems to be admitted that Henderson surpassed all other Hamlets in his mode of rendering this passage, making it "thrill through every bosom." One correspondent thinks Mr. Garrick plays Hamlet with too much colour in his face for a melancholy prince, and another that he is far too choleric and pettish in his manner to Polonius. That Garrick attached consequence to these criticisms is evident from the changes they occasionally induced him to make in his mode of acting, and from a long letter or two in reply he sent to "H. H. at the Hungerford Coffee House in the Strand," a correspondent who had given an address though he had concealed his name.
The close criticism with which the actors were followed manifests the extraordinary interest taken by the public of the last century in theatrical performances. Henderson on one occasion, in the excitement of the closet scene in "Hamlet,” flung from him the portrait of King Claudius. Immediately this is denounced as an innovation "too violent for a young man; Mr. Garrick never did it." The following night, having greater command over himself, he retained the picture in his grasp, whereupon the critic, writing under the appro. priate name of "Scourge," observes, that if right the first night the actor must be clearly wrong the second, and proceeds to add, "in our opinion, Mr. Henderson, departing from the established custom of the theatre by sometimes neglecting to kick down the chair on the appearance of the Ghost, which was never omitted by the greatest actor who ever graced the stage, and not having got quit of his hat when he starts in the first scene, is a violation of dramatic decorum, and deserves severe reprehension from the critic. Deviations so slight as to evade the common eye, and innovations so trifling as to be thought unworthy of notice, have led the way to heresies in religion and the
abolishment of order in civil government (1) Let us nip the error in the bud, and not by our silence give sanction to impropriety. Being once right let us remain so (!) "
A complaint was made that the Hamlet of Mr. J. P. Kemble was too scrupulously graceful. His performance attracted much attention, from the fact that he could hardly help
being new and original, never having seen any of his great predecessors in the part. Certain of his readings occasioned much discussion. His "Good even, sir," courteously but formally addressed to Bernardo, marking a less intimate acquaintanceship with him than with Horatio and Marcellus, was regarded as a novelty. It was noticed that he insinuated the King's habit of intemperance by his marked emphasis of his delivery of the line
We'll teach you to DRINK deep-ere you depart. His stress upon the pronoun in the inquiry Did you not speak to it?
excited the wrath of Mr. Steevens, the commentator upon Shakespeare. Kemble submitted the matter to Johnson. "To be sure, sir," said the Doctor, "the You should be strongly marked. I told Garrick so long since, but Davy never could see it." Kemble preferred And for my soul, what CAN it do to that? whereas Garrick had always said with extreme rapidity
What can it do to THAT?
Having drawn his sword to menace the friends who hindered his following the Ghost, every Hamlet before Kemble had presented the point to the phantom as he followed it to more removed ground. Kemble trailed the weapon after him, having his left hand raised toward the spirit. His sinking on his knees as the Ghost disappeared (he sunk down a trap in those days) was censured as a stage trick. Henderson, however, admired it, and afterwards adopted it. In the scene where Hamlet answers Polonius-" Sianders, sir,"-Kemble, to give a stronger expression of his wildness, tore the leaf out of the book. Garrick had always repeated, "the mobled queen?" after the player, as in doubt of the propriety or meaning of the term. Kemble echoed the words as in sympathy. In the scene with Ophelia, he pronounced the word lisp lispingly, lithp, "a refinement below him," says Mr. Boaden, his biographer. Henderson and Kemble in the speech to Horatio, preferred
Aye, in my heart of heart, as I do thee. Garrick gave it differently, “heart of heart.” Garrick in the play scene threw out as a wild piece of rant
Kemble and Henderson uttered the words
The croaking raven doth bellow for revenge.
with a reflective air, applying them to Hamlet's own case. The stately march from Guildenstern to Rosencrantz, presenting the pipe to the latter, with the words
I do beseech you, was an innovation of Kemble's; as also was the
kneeling down to pronounce the adjuration to the Queen in the closet scene
Mother, for the love of grace, &c.
Generally, it may be added, Kemble was slower of utterance and indulged in longer pauses than other Hamlets, habits which grew upon him as he advanced in life, when from his frequent attacks of asthma his voice did not always come when he called for it. It was his nature, too, to be solemn and deliberate; his walk was always slow and pompous, the expression of his countenance was contemplative, and did not easily lend itself to rapid transitions. His acting was perhaps impressive from its weight and majesty rather than from its impetuosity or impulse.
Although Hamlet is not one of the characters most completely identified with Edmund Kean's great fame, it is clear that his performance of the part made an extraordinary impression upon the town. Hazlitt speaks of it as a "brilliant success," while he yet suggests that it was too harsh and bitter, that in Kean's hands Hamlet's misanthropy had nothing amiable about it, but was fierce and gloomy as Timon's, while occasionally the virulence of crook-backed Richard showed itself from beneath the inky cloak of the Royal Dane. Yet the critic commends highly the passionate tenderness of the interview with Ophelia, and admits that, although the playscene bordered upon extravagance (Mr. Kean was perhaps the first Hamlet that crawled across the stage reptile-wise from Ophelia to the King), its force and animation could not be too highly applauded.
There can be no doubt that the costume worn by Burbadge and Taylor was simply that of the actors' own time. Betterton and Wilks, we know, covered their heads with enormous fullbottomed periwigs (costing some forty or fifty guineas each), which came in fashion at the time of the Restoration, and remained in favour until about 1720, and were probably, in parts of dignity and importance, to be seen upon the stage for some years later. Garrick as Hamlet wore a court suit with a bag wig powdered. Kemble appeared at first in a rich black velvet court dress, with a star upon his breast, the garter and pendant ribbon of an order, mourning sword and buckles with deep ruffles; his hair powdered, and permitted in the scenes of feigned madness to flow down dishevelled on his shoulders. In later years he assumed a "Vandyke dress" of black satin and bugles. Particularity in the matter of stage costume was coming into fashion, though some hypercritics censured his suspending from his neck by a sky-blue ribbon the Danish
order of the Elephant, which was stated to have been instituted in the fifteenth century, at a decidedly post-Hamlet period. Hairpowder in time vanished from the stage, as from everywhere else-Mr. Bowden regretted it because of the brilliance it gave to the eyes-and the French Revolution bringing close-cropped Brutus heads into fashion, later Hamlets adopted the short curly wig with which modern audiences are familiar. This however, at last, it seems is threatened with abolition in favour of the flowing flaxen Scandinavian locks which Mr. Fechter's picturesque Hamlet has brought upon the boards.
Looking back upon the records of the great departed actors, and trying to form some conception of their rendering of this wondrous creation of our Shakespeare's,-passing before us in imaginary review the players who have strutted and fretted their hour upon the stage in Hamlet's sable garments,—we shall probably arrive at the conclusion that David Garrick must have approached the nearest to the ideal of the character. Allowance would have to be made for his low stature, and perhaps for a certain stage-trickiness to which the Roscius was clearly prone; but grace and vigour of action, wonderful variety of expression, passion, fire, rapidity, a voice of great power and compass, and surpassing and over-ruling intelligence, all these remain: a sum of attractions no other player can show forth. Betterton, with all his majesty of mien and noble elocution, had physical disqualifications, as had Henderson, in spite of peculiar skill and attainments. Wilks and Barry, with great personal advantages, were wanting perhaps in solidity and intensity of emotion: "The gods approve the depth and not the tumult of the soul." And if Kean's virulence and sullen passion were opposed to Hamlet's princely philosophic nature, Kemble surely had far more of the Roman than the Dane; was too sober when excitement was needed of him, and statuesque when he should be moving. With living Hamlets it is not within the purpose of this paper to deal.
It may be noted, as a precedent to be particularly avoided, that Mrs. Siddons, on the occasion of her benefit, to stimulate the sluggish curiosity of a provincial audience, played Hamlet repeating her performance more than once, especially at Bristol in 1781. A female Hamlet ("that's villainous," as Hamlet says in reference to another stage enormity), because, forsooth, it has been discovered there is something feminine in Hamlet's nature! equal right might there be a male Lady Macbeth, because certain of the lady's sentiments and her manner of delivering them manifest a masculine tone. DUTTON COOK.
THE METROPOLIS OF GABLEDOM.
Ir is, I presume from the frequency with which people indulge in it, agreeable on a tour to have a habit of finding out defects and blemishes, especially when one has a companion to utter one's moans to: but, in my strolls last September up and about the valley of Urach in Suabia, my critical faculty, possibly from the want of an audience, became completely one-sided and tediously benignant. In the soft rainless weather, with a delicate white veil of mist drawn over the sun, I found it very pleasant (the pleasanter for reminiscences of groaning Eilwagens and dusty highways) to walk leisurely through a twenty-mile orchard, where the work of life seemed to be for the men, to pull down, with long rake-like poles, and for the women, to gather up, piles of purple plums and rosy-red or greenishyellow apples. What a sight must these valleys of Wurtemberg, the very kingdom of apples, be in spring, with forests of fruit trees imbedded in meadow grass, and all in blossom! After all, flowers are charming, but they fade, and become ugly mementoes of the decay of all things, after a few days; but an orchard is a "joy for ever."
There are castles too in Urachthal, as in all these Suabian highlands, which have fostered so many princely German houses, the Hohenstauffens of the past, the Hohenzollerns of the present. The country is indeed admirably adapted as a nursery for such products, as well as for apples, with dales rich and fertile for the peasants to till, and mountains which break at the top into vast wall-like precipices, and the show of fortresses wherewith nature mimics art, for knights to descend from to their pillage, and to fly back to on their retreat. But though there are castles there are no beggars, those usual custodians of the picturesque—at least, I found none, except indeed a couple of infants playing at mendicity, who relieved me of a Prussian groschen which had been troubling my serenity for days.
At any rate, the dalesmen are as friendly as though a tourist were a special source of wealth to every one of them, and they offer one the Wurtemberg salutation, Grüss Gott, with an earnestness which is delightful. They live too so much in the open air in this early autumn weather, that by simply looking on one learns as much of their ways and habits as by talking, which is a charming discovery for persons who do not know the language. Thus, on the second afternoon after my arrival at the town of Urach, I sat in the balcony of my inn, and held, as it were, a levee of the population of peasants and burghers gathered in the
market-place, with its eighteen gabled houses, below. There were the old women (old before their time from hard open-air work, but seemingly not the less happy for that) scolding the boys, and garrulous; and the servants of the citizens (for Urach is a Stadt, and talks much of its prefeudal grandeur) sitting outside their doors, gossiping; and a young father and mother and three-year old daughter admiring the grave deportment of. the baby with a kitten (which was by no means so enthusiastic a spectator) put into its Suabian perambulator. Then the haycarts come home, drawn by sleek meek-eyed oxen, led by hay-making women in broad black flap hats, as though they had a complexion to spoil; and a great calvacade of goats walks in from the hills, without any one asking them where they are going. Meantime, the big dog of the market-place promenades for the benefit of the cool evening air, and with just a cursory view to broken victuals; and the two rival troops of ducks, in harmonious jealousy of this latter canine weakness, leave off flapping about and melodiously quacking, and making believe to paddle and swim in the dry gutters, and fly into the most uncalled-for paroxysms of rage, in fine-lady-like affectation of nervousness, at their neighbour, whom they have known from duckling-hood. Later on into the evening, the stage-coaches rattle in noisily from each of the four opposite valleys of which Urach is the sun and centre, with horn-blowing and yellowand-scarlet coachmen looking unabashed as though their dress were not an absurd costume for sensible men anywhere out of a play; and, at their advent, once again the chattering of women and children seems to blaze up before sinking into repose, which however, in this bright September, it will hardly do till the ripe hour of nine. At last the watchman begins his rounds, singing beneath my window every hour a long lament about the good of early to bed and early to rise, or saving of candles, or something or other of a highly moral tendency; and white gables start in the moonshine into sudden relief from all the houses of the MarktPlatz, except my inn, which, being an inn which thinks much of itself, and is the Royal Postamt, is up to the spirit of the times, and has planed itself down into genteel ugliness. When I go to bed, I can watch from my pillow the pointed roofs of the old place, as they seem in solemn conclave to nod their garrulous heads together, and two mountains, broad and black, leaning over all.
My inn, the Post Gasthof, considers itself a model inn, and so it is. Baedeker calls it the best inn in these highlands, and that is true also. The landlady is comely and civil; the landlord, besides being courteous, must
doubtless be an excellent politician, for he does nothing but read the papers (and what can German landlord do more?); and the boywaiters, like most German boy-waiters, are handy and attentive, though with a weight of care upon their shoulders which would bring a newspaper-boy or youthful clerk anywhere about New Square to an untimely grave. Here, too, I heard again, for the first time this year, the friendly blessing, Gut appetit!" ejaculated by the chambermaid or waiters as they set down the first dish. And intellectual food is not wanting. An old-fashioned German town has no cafés, where citizens and strangers meet to read the journals, play dominoes, cards, and billiards, smoke, and drink beer and cognac and coffee, as in France, where every village, even a Breton one, has its two or three. So here the inn of the place provides the local paper, and may be also the Allgemeine Zeitung, and thither come at night the substantial townsmen and farmers to read and discuss the news, and sup, or simply drink a seitel of wine. But the Post Gasthof at Urach is magnificent in its literary stores, for it takes in, besides provincial and Augsburg papers, even an Illustrirte Zeitung. Let it not detract from the glory of this announcement that I was reading a romance in the latter periodical, with much painfulness, with a view to study. ing the tone (a very low one) of modern German fiction, when turning to the title, on being surprised by a certain brassy ring in the pathos or bathos, which carried me back to the days of my childhood, I discovered to my disgust that I had been all this time absorbing the sentiments of our renowned fellow-countryman, the most celebrated of all novelists of the name of Smith, for whom a certain penny London weekly paper is said to have temporarily substituted poor Sir Walter Scott at a cost of half its enormous circulation. Nor are all these luxuries for the spirit
excuses for neglect of material cravings. My hostelry offers to its guests once or even twice a day, if there exist persons capable of the double exertion, half a dozen varieties of herbs and potatoes dressed with vinegar, and an equal assortment of cherries and plums and apples (so impartial is the German stomach), to eat with savoury dishes. Here also, I am proud to record, I, for the first, and certainly for the last time, partook of morsels of red-herring served as sauce to the bouilli. But its grandest and most aspiring culinary effort was displayed on the day of my arrival. We dined at half-past twelve, and at that hour the day had, as usual, shaken off the mist and turned hot beyond compare. It was when the sunshine was flaming in most furi
ously at the windows, that there made its appearance a species of plum-pudding literally blazing with lighted spirits, for which the chef must have employed naphtha or oil of turpentine at the least. Unlike what I must henceforth regard as the unseasonable and effete ceremonial with brandy at a Christmas dinner, the sparks at Urach flew about for I do not know how long, and singed both the sides of the pudding and the hands of the two waiters in a manner frightful to behold.
We had during my visit great doings there. Two stout generals of the German Bund, with appropriate aides-de-camp, in a fair way to become stout enough in time to fill their present superior's waistcoats, drove up while we were at dinner, and forthwith there assembled a military band, and serenaded the warrior chieftains through a multitude of dishes for an hour or so. For that space of time the whole population of Urach remained collected in the market-place, the girls laughing and whispering, children playing and quarrelling, and old men listening, just as in a scene in a German opera. After dinner the satiated heroes and their satellites adjourned to the greenest of meadows, and there a miniature army formed into platoons and broke and formed again, the glens and dells all round panting and throbbing with the echoes of their musketry. I had strolled, after coffee, up to the wide-spread ruins of Hohen Urach, famous to the German mind for the death of the poet Nicodemus Frischlin. On the one side was Urach, compact, and with the sound of carpenters' hammers rising clearly from the old church full of carved wood and stone, where I hope they are preparing to obliterate the signs of churchwardenly taste, of which I find England cannot boast a monopoly on the other side rose many hills, which enclosed on three sides, according to the custom of this country, deep green meadows. I could also see, far below, a hut camp, and near it acres covered with bleaching linen, which at first I imagined (and was startled at it) to be German soldiers' linen, but which doubtless belonged to one of the manufactories, which about Urach, as about Reutlingen, are seated by the streams, but without soiling the purity of these greenest of landscapes, or, apparently, killing the trout.
An exquisite woodland path led me from the summit to the meadow below, which was shared by manoeuvring troops and mowers deep in waves of hay. It is closed on two sides by beechwoods swarming up the hill, and at its mouth by Hohen Urach and its great skeleton of a fortress, now surmounted by many bowery trees, while at the upper end rise crags over which falls a silvery waterfall.