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source of all wealth, while the riches of commerce were only derivative. Which was of greater importance in a building, a solid foundation, or an ornamented superstructure? Agriculture was the ground-work,-Commerce the elevation.
All the attempts which had been made to deny or to palliate the demoralizing effects of commerce, had failed. The slavetrade had, indeed, been abolished, but slavery itself still existed, to support the trade from the colonies to the mother country. The unhappy African was still held in a state of hopeless bondage, the victim of commercial speculation, in order that his fellow-men might obtain a few luxuries at a cheaper rate than they could otherwise procure them. The rights, the morals, the happiness, of thousands of human beings are nothing, when balanced against hogsheads of sugar and bags of cotton.
That state of society which was most favourable to good morals, would be found most favourable to happiness and to national prosperity. The superior state of morals existing in the agricultural districts, compared with the commercial and manufacturing ones, had been denied, but could not be disproved. In the county of Lancaster, application had been made to remove the assizes from the northern into the southern part of the county, upon this ground,-that the number of criminals from the southern (the manufacturing) division, compared with the northern (the agricultural) division, was as fifty to one. In Westmoreland, a county exclusively agricultural, there occurred, in a space of time occupying between forty and fifty years, not a single execution.
Two objections had been taken to the agricultural population. One was, that they were very poor; the other, that they were not very learned. If the first were well founded, it surely argued little for the liberality of the sons of commerce, that some portion of the means of enjoyment had not been extended by them to this useful and meritorious class. It was, however, a fact worthy of observation, that, in proportion as commerce had been extended, so had the poor rates increased. Passing, however, from the poverty of agricultural labourers, (their misfortune, not their crime,) we shall not, perhaps, be able to defend them on the other point of attack, by maintaining that their information is very extensive. We may, however, excuse them for their ignorance of many things, when we find them to so great an extent ignorant of evil. But the inhabitants of crowded towns,-those who are congregated in immense masses to furnish the merchant with exchangeable articles,-those who, we have been told by the commercial advocates, are employed exclusively in the fabrication of goods for the foreign markets; these, it seems, are a much more enlightened set of persons, and actually enjoy
intellectual amusements. Let us see what they are. attend the mechanic from his work to his recreation. us trace the mild and amiable lines of his countenance. Let us observe the decency and suavity of his manners. Let us follow him into the little dark and dirty pot-house, in which he is seated to enjoy
"The feast of reason and the flow of soul."
There let us view him surrounded by his intellectual companions, celebrating that weekly festival, (not marked in the calendar,) which every consistent manufacturer respects. Let us behold him inhaling, with philosophic delight, the delicious fumes of the American weed; and stimulating his intellectual energies with copious libations of sophisticated ale or poisonous spirits. When he has attained the proper degree of excitement, he will probably add to these calmer pleasures the more animated one of gaming; and all the powers of his mind will be bent to a consideration of the chances of odd or even. Such are his intellectual amusements. But it must not be supposed that he is always immured within the walls of a smoky town; he is sometimes excursive. Occasionally he accompanies some of his intellectual associates into the surrounding fields to enjoy the rational, the humane, the refined, the intellectual sport of bull-baiting. Truly his enjoyments are of a very elevated and ennobling description. But these things are but the lighter, the softer, the least repulsive parts of the manners of a manufacturing town. It is not possible to conceive any thing more painful to the heart of sensibility, than the scenes which are there to be met with. Children, the offspring of infamy, reared amidst sin and misery, and whose earliest words are oaths, execrations, and obscenities. Women, devoid of all the distinguishing virtues and charities of the sex,-without conjugal regard, without maternal affection,-destitute of every attribute which bespoke them feminine, of all but the female form,-rushing from labour to intoxication, and seeking to drown in the oblivion of the one the disgusting recollections of the other. There, is human nature to be found in its lowest state of degradation.
A gentleman who had maintained that the manufacturing population were superior to the agricultural in wealth, in morals, and in happiness, had said, that the contrary was not to be found in any book. This was by no means conclusive in favour of his views of the subject. The truth was not to be invalidated, because it was not to be found in a book: but the fact was denied, for the writers were almost universally on this side of the question. Among them might be reckoned Adam Smith; and the same opinions had been advanced by
Bacon, Swift, Hume, Gibbon, Bishop Berkeley, Dr. Johnson, Bishop Watson, and Dr. Franklin. But this view of the subject depended not on the external aids afforded by the names of these men, (and they were no mean authorities,) but on its own intrinsic truth. Adopting the sentiment of one of the great men adverted to, it might be affirmed, that, if Britain were surrounded with an impenetrable and insurmountable wall of brass, she possessed within herself the means of being the richest, the freest, and the happiest nation upon the face of the globe.
Love is no flame
That would destroy the earthly tenement;
The man by that irradiate is at peace,
Inspirited to do all noble acts!
It hath no burning, neither madness in it;
It harms not any, but communicates
Its genial warmth and light to all mankind.
But there's a flame, which, tho' hot-headed youths
Doth burn, and burn, and madden in the bosom,
Memoirs of the Life of John Philip Kemble, Esq; including a History of the Stage, from the time of Garrick to the Present Period. By James Boaden, Esq. 2 vols. 8vo.-London, Longman and Co. 1825.
MR. KEMBLE, whose memoirs are here presented to us, was, during many years, the "pride of the British stage. Few actors have possessed minds as powerful and comprehensive as his; and still fewer have brought to the profession an equal extent of erudition.
To write the life of such a man as it should be written requires that the author should be a good general scholar; that he should be well acquainted with dramatic literature, and the history of the stage; that he should be a man of taste and of sensibility. Mr. Boaden is unquestionably a welleducated man; his love of the drama has been long known; he was the personal friend of Mr. Kemble, and a warm admirer of his genius; his taste indeed is sometimes a little fastidious, sometimes not very pure; his sensibility is not always well directed; his credulity is rather too great; his prejudices are not few; he has a habit of prosing about trifles; and he occasionally cuts some very flat jokes: but, with all these failings, he is, upon the whole, well fitted for his duty, and the great actor may be pronounced fortunate in his biographer.
The work is preceded by a somewhat meagre sketch of the history of the stage, from the retirement of Garrick to the appearance of Kemble. The latter, we are informed, was born at Prescot in Lancashire, in the year 1757. His parents followed the profession of which their son was so distinguished an ornament; and when a child, Mr. Kemble frequently appeared on the boards in parts suited to his years: but, as his father did not intend the stage for his profession, after receiving the first elements of education at a preparatory school at Worcester, he was sent to the Roman Catholic seminary of Sedgeley Park in Staffordshire; from whence, at a proper age, he was removed to the English College at Douay, to
VOL. II. PART II.
qualify him for one of the learned professions. His attention to the studies of the place was unremitting, and his proficiency of course considerable. The object with which he was sent thither was, however, to be frustrated; for he had determined to be an actor. With this resolution, he came to England; and, on the 8th of January, 1776, made his debût at Wolverhampton, in the character of Theodosius. What impression he produced upon the nail-makers, Mr. Boaden is not prepared to tell us; but, by a reference to facts and dates, he very properly and very satisfactorily refutes some silly stories which have been circulated respecting Mr. Kemble's early In 1778, we find him in the York company, under the management of that eccentric mortal Tate Wilkinson, with whom he remained until 1781. During this time he appeared in a variety of characters in tragedy and comedy, and produced several dramatic pieces: a tragedy called "Belisarius," a comedy named "The Female Officer," and an alteration of the Comedy of Errors, under the title of "Oh! it's impossible." None of these appear to have been printed; but he published at York, in 1780, a small volume of fugitive pieces. While he sojourned with the York company, he occasionally occupied the public attention alone, by giving an "attic evening's entertainment," which consisted of readings and recitations. This was subsequently expanded into what was termed a "Theatrical Fête," in which Kemble had a Mr. Cummins, (a popular actor in the company,) and the manager himself, for his coadjutors. This entertainment resembled the former, except that it was not confined to monologue; but scenes were given from Shakspeare, Massinger, and Young. Mr. Kemble accompanied Wilkinson to Edinburgh in July, 1781, and returned with him in August to York, where he concluded his engagement, having accepted one for Dublin : thither he proceeded, and, after acting in the principal provincial towns, as well as in the Irish metropolis, he made his first appearance at Drury-lane Theatre on the 30th of September, 1783.
Mr. Boaden here pauses to notice the principal performers who at that time supported the two winter theatres. Smith, John Palmer, Dodd, Bensley, King, Parsons, Lewis, Wroughton, F. Aickin, Quick, Edwin, Henderson, Miss Farren, Miss Pope, Mrs. Abington, Mrs. Mattocks, and Miss Young, pass in review before us. Henderson, the most accomplished actor of his day, is thus commemorated :
"Mr. Henderson was at this time, perhaps, the greatest master of the art; he resembled his illustrious predecessor in his versatility. His tragedy, however, was certainly inferior to his comedy. In the former he had comparatively fewer requisites. His understanding was of