Edinburgh Bookshelf

Kay's Originals Vol. 1


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 115 EPISTLE FROM MISS MARIA BELINDA BOGLE, AT EDINBURGH, TO HER FRIEND, MISS LAVINIA LEETCH, AT GLASGOW. I HEAR with deep sorrow, my beautiful Leetcli, In vain to come here you your father beseech ; I say in all places, and say it most truly, His heart is as hard as the heart of Priuli; ’Tis composed of black flint, or of Aberdeen granite, But smother your rage-’twould be folly to fan it. Each evening the playhouse exhibits a mob, And the right of admission’s turn’d into a job. By five the whole pit used to fill with subscribers, And those who had money enough to be bribers. But the public took fire, and began a loud jar, And I thought we’d have had a Siddonian war. The Committees met, and the lawyers’ hot mettle Began very soon both to cool and to settle ; Of public resentment to blunt the keen edge, In a coop they commented that sixty they’d wedge ; And the coop’s now SO crarum’d, it will ficarce hold a mouse, And the rest of the Pit’s turn’d R true public-house. With porter and pathos, with whisky and whining, They qnickly all look as if long they’d been dining ; Their shrub and their sighs court our noses and earn, And their twopenny blends in libation with tears : The god of good liquor with fervour they woo, And before the fifth act they are “a’ greeting fou.” Though my mnse to write satire’s relactant and loth, This custom, I think, savours strong of the Goth. As for Siddons herself, her features so tragic Have caught the whole town with the force of their magic : Her action is varied, her voice is extensive, Her eye very fine, but somewhat too pensive. In the terrible trials of Beverley’s wife She rose not above the dull level of life. She was greatly too simple to strike very deep, And I thonght more than once to have fallen asleep. Her sorrows in Shore were so soft and so still, That my heart lay as snug as a thief in a mill : I hove never as yet been much overcome With distress that’s so gentle, and grief that’s SO dumb ; And, to tell the plain truth, I have not seen any They get, like the tumble of Yaks in Mundane ; For acting should certainly rise above nature, Rut indeed now and then she’s a wonderful crenture.- When Zara’s revenge burst in storms from the tongue, With rage and reproach all the ample roof rung,- Isubella, too, rose all superior to sadness, Aud our hearts were well harrow’d with horror and madness. From all sides of the house, hark the cry how it swells ! While the boxes are torn with most heart-piercing yells,- The Misses all faint, it becomes them 80 vastly, And their cheeks are 80 red, that they never look ghastly : ’
Volume 8 Page 169
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116 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. Even ladies advanced to their grand climacterics Are often led out in a fit of hysterics ; The screams are wide-wafted east, west, south, and north, Loud Echo prolongs them on both sides the Forth. You ask me what beauties most touchingly strike ?- They are beauteous all, and all beauteous alike With lovely complexions that time ne’er can tarniah, So thick they’re laid o’er with a delicate varnish ; Their bosoms and neck have a gloss and a burnish, And their cheeks with fresh roses from Raeburn’ they furnish. I quickly return, and am just on the wing, And some things I’m sure that you’ll like I will bring- The sweet Siddons’ cap, the latest dear ogle : Farewell till we meet. Your true friend, MARY BOGLE Edinburgh, June 7, 1784. During the summer season of the following year Mrs. Siddons again honoured Modern Athens with her presence, and created as great a sensation as she had done the year preceding. The receipts during her engagement were :- 1785, July 12. Grecian Daughter 14. Macbeth . 16. Fair Penitent . 18. Isabella . 20. Douglas . 23. Carmelite , 25. Venice Preserved 26. Carmelite . 27. Which is the Man?’ 28. Isabella . 2 9. Suspicious Husband 30. Jane Shore . August 1. Earl of Warwick . 2. Mourning Bride . 3. Provoked Husband 6. Gamester‘ . 8. Douglas . 9. Earl of Warwick . f95 0 0 125 0 0 126 0 0 154 10 0 130 0 0 128 0 0 130 0 0 84 0 0 84 0 0 139 0 0 15 0 0 115 0 0 123 0 0 107 0 0 125 0 0 200 0 0 137 0 0 60 16 0 On the 12th of August, Mrs. Siddons made her first appearance in Glasgow in the character of Belvidera. The principal perfumer at that period in Edinburgh. In this comedy Miss Kemble appeared as Lady Bell Bloomer, but Mn. Siddons did not act in it. For the benefit of Miss Kemble. Mn. Siddons’ own benefit, exclusive of sold tickets. Upon this occasion she acted the part of the Fine Lady (with a song in character) [ I 11 in the afterpiece of Lethe.
Volume 8 Page 170
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