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with all the glowing warmth of a living woman, inspired by some strong passion of love or hate ; and, at the same time, idealized into a speaking statue, in which the “ divine rage” is tempered, and subdued down to the equable and permanent level of legitimate einotion ; yes, of legitimate emotion, for the perfect truth of nature, as human nature is seen in this life enjoying or suffering, even in its loveliest or loftiest forins, would be bad painting, bad statuary, bad poetry, bad oratory, bad acting; in all these Arts, called, therefore, Fine, we must have shown us the concentrated essence of passion, rectified and refined-pure from baser matter--and mysteriously etherealized ; and she who, in her nineteenth year,* and, however instructed by the best domestic tuition, a novice on the stage, does that, Mr. Ballantyne, if not throughout the whole continuous course of any one character-yet I believe Miss Kemble in some characters effects that achievement--i8 a girl of genius, and well entitled to stand- not, most assuredly, on that pedestal on which, as Mr. Buller rightly affirmed, the paid press had endeavoured to place her side by side with the Siddons, with their heads at the same altitude, and shining in the same lustrous line of immortals—but on a humbler seat along with the inspired, from which no living actress may displace her, but which she herself will leave ere long, rising surely, and not slowly, from one place of honour to another, till, in the consummation of her skill, and the maturity of her powers, she shall place herself at last listen all ye men to me, a prophet-I will not dare to say how near, or how far below THE SIDDONS; for shembe it known to all men - is unapproachable in her sphere
but, in the same constellation, consisting of not many stars, but those how bright l of which Sarah will for ever be the central light, round which all the rest will continue to revolve (forgive my astronomy), and from “her golden urn draw light.”
Shepherd. Hoo can them do that that never saw her ?
North. That, James, is their look-out, and not mine. None of your hypercriticism. Then her voice, dear Mr. Ballantyne, her voice. Its intonations, in tragedy—and the tragic is the test of spoken music-are touching in the extreme-silver-sweet and naturally mournful; the simple sentences that Shakspeare, in their hour of agony, breathes from the lips of the Daughters of his brain, the Joys and the Griefs, flowing from her heart as if they were all native there, in music remarried as it were to immortal verse, --never on my ear tell so simply as from Fanny Kemble.
Shepherd. I wush I bad said that! You're aye stealing ma best thochts--ye auld sinner!
North. What the devil do the blockheads mean by telling us (vulgar hounds !) that her organ is not yet very strong--and that her figure is
* In August, 1830, Fanny Kemble was in her twenty-second year. In 1854, she is in her forty-sixth.-M.
not yet fully developed ? Would they have a delicate girl of nineteen to “ bawl for a boat across the ferry," or to exbibit the proportions of a matron, the happy mother of ten children, all of whom she nursed, both on feeling and principle, at her own ample bosom, as is well seen upon her, to the horror of her husband and the astonishment of all the rest of mankind ?
Shepherd. Haw! haw! haw!
North. Miss Kemble's voice does not want volume--but then the volume of a young lady's voice, I humbly submit to this society, ought not to be in folio. Miss Keinble's figure is elegantly and gracefully moulded, and he who is not satisfied with her face, after having studied her eyes and forehead, but begins bothering you with vulgar and unintelligible stuff about her nose—as whether it be a little cocked or not a little cocked, or by what epithet you would finally, and, in “ malice aforethought," characterize it--or whether her mouth be shaped on this, that, or the t'other model--as if there were not millions of indescribable mouths in this populous world, shaped on no model whatever, and yet very kissable mouths too, and when they speak, flowing, like the land of Canaan, with milk and honey—why, such a nincom. poop or ninnyhammer can excite in you no other idea of feeling savn one of each --combined into a strong desire—to ascertain the shape of his own nose, not by observation, but experiment, and to set the muchagitated question respecting the amount of his own mouth for ever at rest, by tearing it with your two thumbs-somewhat after the fashion of an American gouger, with merely a change of feature—from ear to ear, which as it would be monstrous to elongate, you have a good mind to crop.
Shepherd. You auld savage !
North. 'Tis indeed at once ludicrous and loathsome to hear such critical homunculi delivering final judgment on a young lady's mouth. They deliver it with a pompous trepidation, as if they had been sworn on a play-bill to speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, to the best of their belief, as it shall not be asked of them, and as they shall answer to Mr. Manager Murray, on the last night of Miss Kemble's performance—so help them, printer's devil !
Mullion. Stop, stop, sir. Remember the Chaldee. You're getting a little impious.
Shepherd. Remember the Clialdee? It was me that wrote the Chaldee.
Mullion. HEM !!!
J. Ballantyne. Nay, brother! “ that is the most unkindest cut of all.” You did not say so, Sandy, till you read Sir Walter's letter.
A. Ballantyne. But I thought so, lad.
Shepherd. Brithers aye differ about a matters baith o'taste and judgment—baith ' theory and practice—the affairs baith o this warld and the next. I ken that weel by my ain experience. A' my brithers are gude honest fallows, and we would do a' we could, in a reasonable way, for ane anither ; but in maist matters o' opinion, frae the doctrine o savin' grace doon to the best traps for mowdiwarts, we're at daggers-drawing; and it's impossible to drink a gill wi' the doucest o'them, without finding him as dour at an argument as a wuddy.
J. Ballantyne. It cannot but be disheartening to me, gentlemenand what, in common parlance, is called a “damper”—to know that I have broached an opinion on the genius of Miss Fanny Kemble in THE JOURNAL_(necessity alone could compel me, at a Noctes Ambrosianæ, to name so very humble a periodical-yet, though humble, I hope honourable)—which I have since learned is at variance with that of Christopher North and Sir Walter Scott.* But though to such authorities I bow my head, here and thus—(bowing urbanely to Mr. North)—I cannot, will not—even to them-surrender my judgment. (Hear, hear!) You, sir, have been so kind as to express a favourable opinion generally of my taste and feeling in theatrical criticism, and though I dare not believe that I deserve your eulogium, yet knowing the honesty of my intentions, I confess that I heard it with pride. What heart, sir, could be insensible to the exquisite beauty of your most poetical and philosophical delineation of the genius of a true Tragic Actress ? Assuredly not mive. But does that genius belong to Miss Fanny Kemble ? I have said—No. Remembering her in her best character, I cannot recognise the Original in that Picture. That may be my misfortune-not that of the amiable and ingenuous girl, whom in comedy I ventured to call already more than good, and to predict that erelong she would not be less than great. I fear not that in that judgment I shall be found mistaken ; I hope that in the other I may. And happy indeed, gentlemen, will I be, if the daughter of Charles Kemble and the niece of Sarah Siddons exhibit, what, perhaps, never yet has been exhibited on any stage, the union in one lady of the highest power, both in Tragedy and in Comedy ; and that Miss Fanny Kemble will be hailed by admiring audiences, on the same night as Thalia and Melpomene.
Omnes. Ilear, hear, hear !
A. Ballantyne (10 Blackwood.) James has spoken well, and has more than redeemed his lost credit. Has he not, Mr. North?
* In June, 1830, when Fanny Kemble was performing at Edinburgh, Scott went to see her, and has recorded in his Diary what he thought of her Isabella;-" It was," he says, “a most credi. table performance. It has much of the genius of Mrs. Sidduns, her aunt. She wants her beau. tiful countenance, her fine form, and her matchless dignity of step and manner. On the other hand, Miss Fanny Kemble has very expressive, though not very regular features, and what is worth it all, great energy mingled with and characterized by corrent laste."-M.
North. He has. My dear A. B., I am delighted to hear your voice, Believe me, when I say, that you do not sit below the salt in my esteem,
Shepherd. The human heart is shaped very like this table—a sort D' oval, and thus freens can be accommodated in the ane, and at the ither, without ony body pretendin' to ony precedence, and to the prevention o' a' quarrels, on that pint, atween love and pride.
North. When last, my dear friend, at the Trows?
A. Ballantyne. Let me see-do you know, sir, that I never remember-time.
North. Except, my dear Sandy, when your Cremona is at your heart, and then you never forget time. Ah! the tones of thy violin are indeed divine. They gradually steep the imagination in a dream of moonlight seas,-of the shadows of old glimmering forests,—and when they lend their aid to awaken to loftiest pitch some one of Handel's sacred harmonies, methinks, Sandy, that we then see into the very heart of heaven, and hear the instrumental anthems of angels.
Shepherd. Poo! I just perfeckly hate and abhor a concert. It souns to my lugs as if ilka ane o' aiblins a dizzen chields, a' reckoned musicianers too, were tryin' to play louder and faster nor his neighbour, wha may be glowering thro’ specs at the sam byeuck, and a playin' too, on different instruments, and, there wou'd be sma' danger in swearin', no abune twa o'them the same tune. Mr. Alexander, for fifety roaratoryawes, I wou'd na gie a cheep-o' your “ bit whussle.”
A. Ballantyne (susurrans to the SHEPHERD.) Um. My dear sir, the Trows, I am happy to say, are well—so is the Kerse. The fish ?
North. Yes-yes-I received him, my dear Sandy, in a state of seraphic preservation-burnished silver without-and burnished gold within—for do you know, you salmon-striker, that his majesty the King of the Fins is never so royal_nor am I ever so loval—as when the red runs into yellow, like the lustre of a comet-a colour to which language in its poverty has no name,—for that which house-painters show on bits of pasteboard as salmon-colour is more like that of the Shepherd's nose.
Shepherd. Ma nose is nae mair sawmon-colour nor your ain, sir; but indeed, it's no easy to ken what's the colour o' your neb, the hues o your face are sae multifawrious. It wou'd require a proboscis as strong as a het poker to make anything like a successfu' staun' agair: the spats o' lowe flamin' in ominous circles on your brass cheeks. But this I ken, that if ever you gang intill a field whare there is a bill, you had better walk back-foremost, for that face will enrage a beast that canna thole red mair than wou'd the hail body o'a mail-coach guard on the king's birth-day.
North. James, the well-known and much-admired paleness o' my face protects it from your sarcasms.
· A. Ballantyne. We boiled one, sir, “in his ain broo,” that is, ye ken, in Tweed water-in a “ wife's great big muckle black pat,” as said a bit callanty frae the cottage where we borrowed it,--not an hour having elapsed between that anxious moment, when the Kerse unhooked him for me on a sand-shoal between the rocks—after a set-to of some twenty minutes, and no more—for my gut is always triple at the Trows, and would pull out a whale if I had room to play him, and that moment free from all anxiety about any thing in heaven or on earth, when the first flake of crimson curdle-after, I fear, no grace-reposed between my tongue and palate-melting in a flavour, which in richness and delicacy—a rare union in either fish, flesh, or fowl—did, Mr. North, in truth and verity, I assure you, surpass that even of any salmon I ever swallowed in your society-in a dream.
North. Why dost thou never break the gloom of my solitude at the Lodge, by the light of thy countenance and cigar, nowadays, my dear Smoker ?
A. Ballantyne. I understood, my good sir, that you were in Switzerland.
North. So I am. You are a tame trout-fisher, Sandy-with a small fly, a dreamer of dreams. Last time I came up to you on the greensward of Cardrona mains, I could not but imagine that you must have dropped your wedding-ring in the water, you looked so meditative and woebegone; but by a Fish at the tail of your line, you are suddenly transfigured into an impersonation of all that is most active, scientific, and intrepid in this sublunary world. Your styles are different-but you belong to the same class as “ The Kerse.”
A. Ballantyne. After such salmon as you have seen me kill, Mr. North, all trouts are pars.
Shepherd. Pawrs mennons—and mennons expelled iktheolodgy. To a bit body that fishes but for pawrs, or wha at least never grupps naething else, like North there, sawmons, in his imagination, maun be like whawls,
“Wallowing unwieldy, enormous in their gait.”
A. Ballantyne. Mr. North, James, is the best trout-angler with the fly in Europe.
North. I have tried the sport, my dear boy, in the best and worst streams in every quarter of the globe, and never yet by mortal man was outnumbered.
Shepherd. But wecht, sir, wecht-what say ye till wecht? I have asked ye that a thoosan times, and never gotten ony satisfactory answer—naething but a haw, hoast, or a hum—what say ye till wecht?
A. Ballantyne (in a low voice to the SHEPHERD.) Every great man has his weaknesses, Mr. Hogg. Venerate that gray head-hush