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I was utterly shocked. And as the business of the play went on, and as he stood by, with moveless muscle and glazed eye, throughout the scene which should have been one of violent, perhaps too violent, exertion, a cold shower of perspirațion poured from my forehead, and I endured a revulsion of feeling which I cannot describe, and which I would not for worlds one eye had witnessed.

I had all along felt that this scene would be the touchstone of the play. Kean went through it like a man in the last stage of exhaustion and decay. The acţ closed-à dead silence followed the fall of the curtain; and I felt, though I could not hear, the voiceless verdict of "damnation."

I soon recovered myself and sat out the butchery to the end; it is needless to describe it here. In a short preface to the printed play, which was published a few days afterwards, I stated a few of the facts attending the representation. The account, which appeared in the next number of the “New Monthly Magazine," was a very faithful one. I believe it was from the pen of a now eminent barrister, and the then chief writer of the admirable dramatic articles in the work.

When the curtain fell, Mr. Wallack, the stage manager, came forward and made an apology for Kean's imperfection in his part, and an appeal in behalf of the play. Neither excited much sympathy; the audience was quite disgusted." I now, for the first time during the night, weut behind the scenes. On crossing the stage towards the green-room I met Kean, supported by his servant and another person, going in the direction of his dressing-room. When he saw 'me he' hung down his head, and waved his hand, and uttered some expressions of deep sorrow, and even remorse. “ I have ruined a fine play and myself; I cannot look you in the face" were the first words that I caught. I said something in return as cheering and consolatory as I could. I may say that all sense of my own disappointment was forgotten in the compassion I felt for him. Mrs. West, Miss Smithson, and Miss Kelly were among the group present at this meeting. Nothing could exceed their good nature towards me. The whole company seemed to consider the calamity as a domestic one. Every one was indignant with Kean; Wallack particularly so. He told me that previous to the commencement of the play he had sent 'three summonses to him to come down from his dressing-room ; and at last on going to seek him himself, he found him weeping, and in total despair. Why then persist in attempting the character? Why ensure the ruin of the play, and risk my reputation as a writer ? Why not withdraw, and acknowledge the loss of memory which he had at length become aware ef? This was Wallack's reasoning.' He had, it seemis, urged Kean to apologize in person to the audience; but that lie declined, saying that if he attempted it he should have burst into tears. Wallack subsequently proposed to him, through a friend, to publish a letter in the papers on the subject. That he refused also, preferring to let the fault lie wholly on the author's shoulders. In fact poor Kean had lost all his former energy. He never could have been deficient in generous feelings: but he was worn down; and he had not the courage to confess it. That is the whole truth.

It was then I resolved to publish my Preface to the play, in which, as every one who'read it thought, I dealt too lightly with the culprit. I should certainly be sorry to lean more heavily on him now. - In the mean time I bore my disappointment as well as I could; returned my thanks


sake or

to the other actors for their exertions; renounced dramatic writing for ever, and paid a short visit of leave-taking to Kean, who seemed, as he well might be, overwhelmed with sorrow, whether for

his own I do not attempt to decide. The total loss of the power of study, (as it is technically called,) thus so fatally betrayed, prevented his attempting any new part since that day, which formed a crisis in his professional career. I have never seen him since; and I trust that I may be excused for having entered so far into detail on what is so very personal to myself, in this remarkable episode in the life of (with perhaps Talma’s exception) the greatest actor of my times,

I have abstained from mentioning several anecdotes of his early life and professional career, related to me at different times by Kean, from the belief that some authentic biography of him will be given to the world. Indeed he told me repeatedly, during my intercourse with him in 1827, that he had then made considerable progress in the preparation of his own memoirs.


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Drink, as I drink, rosy wine;
Sing, as I sing, comrade mine;
Toast, as I toast mine, thy fair ;
Wreathe, as I wreathe mine, thy hair.
Now I'm mad, be mad with me:
Some time I'll be wise with thee.

I be v
Thou gazest on the stars, my star,
Thyself a brighter being far!
Oh, that I could become that heaven
To which thine admiration's given,
Then would mine eyes in myriads shine
And multiply their gáze on thine !


On a Statue of Pan playing on the Pipe.
Hush'd be the whispering leaves, the murmuring rill,
The mingled bleatings of the flock be still.
From Pan's own pipe the magic sound proceeds,
His moist lip running o'er the row of reeds.
The nymphs around him close, a graceful band;
Stoppd in mid dance, the tiptoe Dryads stand.

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1, The greatest man in these parts (I'use the word in the sense of Louis le Gros, not Louis le Grand), the greatest man hereabouts, by at least a' stone, is 'our worthy neighbour Stephen Lane, the grazier-ex-butcher of B - Nothing so big hath been seen sincé Lambert the gaoler or the Durham 'ox.

When he walks he overfills the pavement, and is more difficult to pass than a link of full-dressed misses, or a chain of becloaked dandies. Indeed a malicious attorney, in drawing up a paving bill for the ancient borough of B- once inserted 'a clause confining Mr. Lane to the middle of the road, together with waggons, vans, stage-coaches, and other heavy articles. Chairs crack under him, --couches rock, --- bolsters groan,—and floors tremble. He hath been stuck in a staircase and jammed in a doorway, and has only escaped being ejected from an omnibus by its being morally and physically impossible that he should get in, His passing the window has something such an effect as an eclipse, or as turning outward the opaque side of that ingenious engine of mischief, 'a 'dark lantern. He puts out the light like Othello. A small wit of our town, by calling a supervisor, who dabbles in riddles, and cuts no 'inconsiderable figure in the Poet's Corner of the county newspaper, once perpetrated 'a conundrum on his person, which as relating to so eminent and well-known an individual, (for almost every reader of the “H-shire Herald " hath, at some time or other, been a customer of our butcher's,) had the honour of puzzling more people at the Sunday morning breakfast-table, and of engaging more general attention than had ever before happened to that respectable journal. A very horrible murder, (and there was that week one of the very first water,) two shipwrecks, an enlèvement, and an execution, were all passed over as trifles compared with the interest excited by this literary squib and cracker. A trilling quirk it was to keep Mr. Stacy, the surveyor, a rival bard, fuming over his coffee until the said coffee grew' cold; or to hold Miss Anna Maria Watkins, the mantua-maker, in pleasant though painful efforts at divination until the bell rang for church, and she had hardly time to undo her curl-papers and arrange her ringlets; 'a flimsy quirk it was of a surety, an inconsiderable quiddity! Yet since the courteous readers of the H-shire Herald.” were amused with pondering over it, so perchance may be the no less courteous and far more courtly readers of the " New Monthly.". I insert it, therefore, for their edification, together with the answer, which was not published in the “ Herald” until the H-shire public had remained an entire week in suspense :"Query-- Why is Mr. Stephen Lane like Rembrandt ?" -“ Answer-Because he is famous for the breadth of his shadow."

The length of his shadow, although by no means in proportion to the width,--for that would have recalled the days when giants walked the land, and Jack, the famous Jack, who borrowed his surname from his occupation, slew them,

was yet of pretty fair dimensions. He stood

, ,

six feet two inches without his shoes, and would have been accounted a tall man if his intolerable fatness had not swallowed up all minor distinctions. That magnificent beau ideal of a human mountain," the fat woman of Brentford,” for whom Sir John Falstaff passed not only undetected, but unsuspected, never crossed my mind's eye but as the feminine of Mr. Stephen Lane. Tailors, although he was a liberal and punctual contrive to extract any profit from his huge rotundity."'. It was not only the quantity of material that he took, and yet that cloth universally called broad was not broad enough for him, it was not only the stuff, but the work—the sewing, stitching, plaiting, and button-holing without end. The very shears grew weary of their labours; two fashionable suits might have been constructed in the time, and from the materials consumed in the fabrication of one for Mr. Stephen Lane. Two, did I say? Aye, three or four, with a sufficient allowance of cabbage,-a perquisite never to be extracted from his coats, or waistcoasts, no not enough to cover a penwiper. Let the cutter,cut his cloth ever so largely, it was always found to be too little. All their measures put together would not go round him; and as to guessing at his proportions by the eye, a tailor might as well attempt to calculate the dimensions of a seventy-four-gun ship, as soon try to fit a three-decker. Gloves and stockings were made for his especial use, „Extras and double extras failed, utterly in his case ; <r as the dapper, shopman spied at the first glance of his huge paw, a fist which might have felled an ox, and somewhat resembled the dead ox-flesh, commonly called beef, in texture and colour.

To say the truth, his face was pretty much of the same complexionand yet it was no uncomely, visage either, 01 the contrary, it was a bold, bluff, massive, English countenance, such as Holbein would have liked to paint, in which great manliness and determination were blended with much good humour, and a little; humour of another kind; so that even when the features were in seeming repose, you could foresee how the face would look, when a broad smile, and a sly wink, and a knowing nod, and a demure smoothing down of his straight shining hair on his broad forehead gave his wonted cast of drollery to the blunt but merry tradesman, to whom might have been fitly applied the Chinese compliment, Prosperity is painted on your countenance.si

Stephen Lane, however, had not always been so prosperous, or so famous for the breadth of biş, shadow. Originally a foundling in the streets of B-, he owed his very name, like the " Richard Monday of one of Crabbe's finest delineations, to the accident of his having been picked up, when apparently about a week old, in a by-lane close to St. Stephen's churchyard, and baptized by order of the yestry after the scene of his discovery. Like the hero of the poet, he also was sent to the parish workhouse; but, as unlike to Richard Monday in character as in destiny, he won, by the real or fancied resemblance to a baby whom she had recently lost, the affection of the matron, and was by her care shielded not only from the physical dangers of infancy, in such an abode, but from the moral perils of childhood. -!!!

Kindly yet roughly reared, Stephen Lane, was even as a boy, eminent for strength, and hardihood, and invincible good humour. At ten years old he had fought with and vanquished every lad under fifteen, not only in the workhouse proper, but in the immediate purlieus of that respect. able domicile, and would have got into a hundred scrapes had he not been shielded in the first place by the active protection of his original patroness, the wife of the superintendent and master of the establishment, whose pet he continued to be ; and in the second by his own bold and decided, yet kindly and affectionate temper. Never had a boy of ten years old more friends than the poor foundling of $t. Stephen's workhouse. There was hardly an inmate of that miscellaneous dwelling, who had not profited, at some time or other, by the good-humoured lad's delightful alertness in obliging, his ready services, his gaiety, his intelligence, and his resource. From mending Master Hunt's crutch, down to rocking the cradle of Dame Green's baby--from fetching the water for the general wash, a labour which might have tried the strength of Hercules, down to leading out for his daily walk the half-blind, half-idiot, halfcrazy David Hood, a task which would have worn out the patience of Job, nothing came amiss to him. All was performed with the same cheerful good-will; and the warm-hearted gratitude with which he received kindness was even more attaching than his readiness to perform good offices to others. I question if ever there were a happier childhood than that of the deserted parish-boy. Set aside the pugnaciousness which he possessed in common with other brave and generous animals, and which his protectress, the matron of the house, who had enjayed in her youth the advantage of perusing some of those novels,-now, alas! no more,—where the heroes, originally foundlings, turn out to be lords and dukes in the last volume, used to quote in confirmation of her favourite theory: to wit, his being nobly born, as proofs of his innate high blood ;-set aside the foes made by his propensity to single combat, which could not fail to exasperate the defeated champions, and Stepheo had not an enemy in the world,

At ten years of age, however, the love of independence, and the desire to try his fortunes in the world, began to stir in the spirited ļad ; and his kind friend and confidant, the master's wife, readily promised her assistance to set him forth in search of adventures, though she was not a little scandalized to find his first step in life likely to lead him into à butcher's shop, he having formed an acquaintance with a journeyman slayer of cattle in the neighbourhood, who had interceded with his master to take him on trial as errand-boy, with an understanding that if he showed industry and steadiness, and liked the craft, he might, on easy terms, be accepted as an apprentice. This prospect, which Stephen justly thought magnificent, shocked the lady of the workhouse, who had set her heart on his choosing a different scene of slaughter-killing men, not oxen-going forth as a soldier, turning the fate of a battle, marrying some king's daughter or emperor's niece, and returning in triumph to his native town, a generalissimo at the very least.

Her husband, however, and the parish-overseers were of a different opinion. They were much pleased with the proposal, and were (for overseers) really liberal in their manner of meeting it. So that a very few days saw Stephen in blue sleeves and a blue apron--the dress which he still loves best-parading through the streets of B-+-, with a tray of meat upon his head, and a huge mastiff called Boxer--whose warlike name matched his warlike nature-following at his heels as if part and parcel of himself. A proud boy was Stephen on that first day of his promotion.

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