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WITH THE STAGE BUSINESS, CAST OF CHARACTERS, COS.
TUMES, RELATIVE POSITIONS, &c.
AS PLAYED AT THE PRINCESS'S THEATRE, LONDON, AND
THE PARK THEATRE, NEW YORK.
NEW YORK :
DOUGLAS, 11 SPRUCE ST., PUB
AND FOR SALE BY ALL BOOKSELLERS.
A WRITER in Blackwood's Magazine, who was present at the first representation of this play, pronounces it “one of the most successful dramas which has been produced for a long time upon the stage”; and adds : “our own judgment might possibly have been swayed by partiality--not so that of the thousands who have since witnessed its repeated and successful representation."
The 66 King of the Commons” was first performed the 20th May, 1846, at the Princess's Theatre, London. The author, James White, a Scottish clergyman, was known to the literary world by his play of the “ Earl of Gowrie,” which, though much praised for its dramatic promise, had not been written for the stage, and has never been performed. The present piece, as we learn from the concurrent testimony of the critics, was eminently successful. The manly courage, chivalrous gallantry, and gusty passions of James, however contradicted by historical statements, teil capitally on the stage, and well suited Macready's fitful, wayward, sentimental style of acting. He was received with deafening applause in the part, which is somewhát long and arduous, requiring great energy and variety of temper
The play was handsomely put upon the stage; and all the characters, with the exception of Mungo, were well sustained. Mr. Ryder was respectable in Sir Adam Weir; Mr. Leigh Murray, pathetic and spirited in Malcolm ; Mr. Cooper, blunt and manly in Buckie ; and Mr. Compton irresistibly funny in Laird Small; while for Mrs. Sterling, “it must be said she was nothing less than excellent in Madeleine." The scene between Seton and the King in the fourth act, where the former is accused of treason, and exculpated by the very document that is brought to overwhelm him, commanded the warmest applause of the crowded audience. The last act also went off with spirit;
suppose I'm to be frightened by a yawn! No, Sir; no free-born Englishman can be tried twenty years after the offence. I therefore appeal to the laws of my country, and boldly meet my trial !
Cockle. It's too late now. Five years were given you to purge your Conturnacy.
Smith. Purge my what, Sir ?
Cockle. Pooh, pooh, Sir, no trifling: your time's up: all's over: there's no legal life left in you: you're in a state of Civil Death !
Smith. Civil death! Well, as long as death keeps civil, there can't be much harm done.
Cockle. No harm done! It's plain you know nothing of law. No harm done! Wait a minute. (crosses to house R.-runs to his own door) Smiley, hand me down Long. yarn's Abridgment, (returns with ponderons law-book) Now, Sir, before we've got half through this little Digest, I'll prove to your satisfaction you're liable to be transported for life.
Smith. Half through that very little Digest ? I'd as soon be hanged at once! Is this to be borne ? (coming forward) I appeal to Young England! I come to my Mother Country,–I come to live morally and peaceably, on the best of every thing that can be got for love or money, and my Mother Country hands me a thing like that to digest! But I'll not trouble you, Mother Country! I'll go back to Yankee Land, the moment my inheritance—the moment
my beloved uncle's beloved two thousand pounds are safe in my breeches pocket!
Cockle. Inheritance? You ain't capable of inheriting any thing. But be comforted,—every farthing of your property goes to your wife.
Smith. My wife ?-perfidious Sarah? Damn it-I can't stand this! I'll be divorced !
Cockle. Divorced! You are divorced ! Let me read Jacobus Secundus.
Smith. Bother Jacobus Secundus! Besides, now I come to think of it, I don't know but a divorce from Sarah Smith's well worth the two thousand pounds : especially if I can manage to make it over to my daughter.
Cockle. Daughter? You've got no daughter! Queen Anne distinctly declares you incapable of having a child.
Smith. Does she? Well, I really do wish Queen Anne would be good enough to mind her own concerns. Queen Anne and I shall quarrel presently.
Cockle. Now, listen. The warrant is already in the catchpoll's hands. Take a friend's advice : run—vanishevaporate from the face of the earth! Yet, ere we part, one tear to the memory of youth and Birch ! (they enbrace) 'Tis past ! and now-outlaw, be off!
Smith. (stopping him) Wait a minute! Well, Christopher, if it must be, it must. One last favor—the last in this world !-Can't you give us a bit of dinner?
Cockle. Miscreant, begone? (runs to his house R. H., slams and bolts door) Smith. Friend of my soul-he's gone !-yes, he's
gone and bolted the door! The precious old thief! And here am I, the last of the Gotobeds without a bed to go to !not even a stone to serve him for a bolster! (sitting down) After all, why should I seek to preserve a head that France and England have made up their minds to have—and be damned to them !why should I? Simply because I am persuaded it would never look half so dignified anywhere else as in the position it occupies at this moment—that's why. So here we goes again—I'll just walk back to North America. (takes down cloak and puts it on)
Enter Larry hastily, L.
Lar. (crosses to r.) Hirroo! Hirroo! Here's news for the Smiths and the Cockletops and the O’Luggers !
Smith. (dressing.) Though I am now perfectly indifferent to all subloonary concerns, I'll take precious good care nobody sees me. My half-crowner, here, seems made for the purpose. Ah! a capital idea! I'll adopt the amphibious cut of the chap I bought it from.
Lar. (seeing him.) Larry, my boy, what's that you see? Black cloak, fiery red lining—wait a minute. (searching pockets.)
Smith. I'll be bound they've got a full description of my oval countenance—but I'll trouble 'em to read my oval countenance. (putting up collar and pulling down hat.).
Lar. (pulls out paper and reads.) " Hat down and collar up to shew his face is concealed." ' 'Tis my man !—'tis the