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the house should be extremely small; and there- || disquisition, shewing a great architectural fore it is inadmissible in our Theatres. It is in kpowledge, Mr. Wyatt thus proceeds : admissible as to the first point (namely, the enormonis width of the stage-opening), for the rea “ Impressed by the importance of all the foresons which have been already stated (under the going considerations, I determined to adopt, in first head) upon that subject ; and it is equally so my design for a Theatre, the form which I have upon the second point, because it is impossible to described ; and although I was aware, at the time maintain a good Theatre, in tbis metropolis, upon when my drawings and model were first made, such a revenue as would accure from an extremely that a certain proportion of the spectators, in the small house.
Boxes nearest the stage, would have but an im“ So long as the public taste for spectacle perfect view of the stage, I considered that as an shall continue (and it is not likely to cease), all unavoidable inconvenience in all Theatres, and the objections to increased stage-opening, and not greater in that projected by me, than in with it, the magnitude and expence of the all obers; while, on the other hand, the scenery, must remain in force ; and so long as our form which I had chosen, possessed many adTheatres shall be maintained by the money paid | vantages, which could not be derived from any at the doors, it will be impossible to reduce the
other shape. size of those Theatres below the scale of their ne “The angles, however, to which I allude, in cessary expences.
the Boxes nearest to the stage, have appeared to “ The Greeks and Romans, in their Theatres, || several persons who saw my model, as an impermade use of scarcely any change of scenes,
fection in the design, and those persons seeming and their performances were given gratis to the to view the defect more in its positive, than in public; consequently their Theatres were its comparative bearing upon the perfection of a subject to many of those considerations which Theatre, I was led to reconsider, most attentively, attach to ours.
this particular part of the design ; and after a “ Under these circumstances, therefore, the great deal of reflection, and a variety of experisemicircle is totally inadmissible for a principal | ments, I determined to alter the shape, of that Theatre in London.
part of the Theatre adjacent to the stage, by « The oval and the horse-shoe, as well as some springing the proscenium from the back, instead fat-sided forms, have been supposed to be very
of from the front of the Boxes, as at C in the advantageous in point of vision; but it is evident, || annexed ploo (No. 3, Plate No. 3.) and by that, in the oval, a large proportion of the specta- rounding off the fronts of the boxes nearest to the tors must be placed with their backs inclining to stage, inntil they joined the wall which separates wards the scene; and that in all of them (if the the proscenium from the spectatory, at the honse be not of extreme small dimensions) the points marked D in the same plan. By this front Boxes must be at a great distance from the means I have contrived to display the scene stage ; for in proportion as the sides shall ap to the very last seats in the Boxes, without proximate each other, the front must recede, pro- | increasing the stage-opening at all beyond what vided the circumference be not varied.
I had before intended. The scene (except“ The fact is, that there is no object connected | ing in cases of spectacle) is seldom extended, with the formation of a Theatre, which, in all its in depth beyond thirty feet from the front bearings, is of more importance, than, that the line of the stage ; a reference to the red line part of the house, which faces the scene, should be A, described upon the annexed plan, already al. within a moderate distance from the stage: unless luded to, will show how large a proportion of that be the case, it is obvious, that a very large || the scene will be visible to spectators sitting in proportion of the spectators must be excluded the seats which are the nearest to the stage, even from a clear and distinct view of that play of the when the scene shall be extended to the depth of features, whieh constitutes the principal merit of forty-two feet from the front line of the stage ; the actor, in many of the most interesting while the same persons will have the advantage scenes. If the actor's merit, in that particular, of sitting one above another, with their faces be not fairly appreciated, he must of course, be de towards the stage, instead of sitting side by side prived of a proportionate share of the applause, upon the same level, and with their shoulders towhich might otherwise bave been bestowed on ward the scene. The part in the plan (No. 3,) bim; and this mortifying want of encourage
shows the small proportion of the scene which ment bringing with it a gradual and progressive
will not be visible to persons sitting on the seat defect of zeal and emulation, cannot fail, in the
before-mentioned. end, to reduce the number of good actors, and
“ Nobody will deny the importance of this acmaterially to injure the state of dramatic per quistion with respect to vision, in a part of the formances.
house, where, in general, there is no view at all
of the stage. Having canvassed the different advan
“ In the Theatre at Parma (which is particularly tages of the oval, circular, semicircular,
celebrated both for sound and vision), the frontisand horse-shoe forms of a Theatre, in a piece of the stage-opening is placed at a distance
of no less than forty feet from the termination of “In building our carly Theatres in this counthe spectatory, for the purpose of opening a view try, little attention seeins to have been bestowed of the scene to the spectators sitting nearest to upon the means of favouring sound or vision in the stage ; and the width of the stage-opening the form of those Theatres. Their sides, were in that Theatre, with a view to the same desirable either nearly parallel, or diverging little from object, is extended to thirty-nine feet, exceeding, each other; and if those Theatres had not been by four feet, the width which is given to that confined to very small dimensions (such as opening in my design. But it will appear by a would not be consistent with the present populareference to the annexed plan of that Theatre tion and condition of the metropolis), there can (No. 1, Plate No. 3), that when the scene shall be be no doubt that their forin would have been extended to the depth of forty-two feet from the found to be extremely defective. front of the stage, not so much of the scene will “The first gradation of improvement, in this. be visible to persons sitting at the termination, of respect, appears to have been the introduction, the back seats on both sides of the spectatory, of the oval and the horse-shoe, by rouoding off as is visible in the same positions according to the angles of the former shape ; and thus we my design, while, at the same time, the whole of have been approaching gradually to that form the forty-two feet between the spectatory and the which I now propose, and which deviates as little front line of the stage, in the former Theatre, is froin ancient models the Greek and Ro lost space.
man Amphitheatres, as the state of circumstances “The accompanying sketch of my plan (No.3, will admit. Plate No. 3), will prove its comparative advan “The original Theatres in Drnry:Lane and tages in this respect, over that which I have just Covent-Garden, as well as the old Opera House, named. The parts tinted with yellow in the ac and Foote's Theatre in the Haymarket, were all: companying plans, Nos. I, and 3, (Plate No. 3), tlat-sided ; the latter (never liaving been re-built). together with the red line A, (describing the is so to this day. The late Theatre in Drary-lane visual rays from the last seats), show the propor was nearly oval; and the present Opera House. tion of the scene which not visible in either, is in the form of a horse-shoe. to persons sitting at the very extremity of the " There is one other point in a great degree circle; and the parts tinted green shew the pro connected with the form and proportions of the portion of the scene which is visible to persons Theatre, to which I must advert before I entirely, sitting in those places.
conclude this part of the subject; namely, the “ A refereuce to the annexed plan (No. 2, height of the ceiling: Plate No. 3), which is in the forın of a horse. “In forming my design, it has been my object shoe, with the seats of the spectatory terminating 10 avoid raising the ceiling beyond the proportion, as has been usual in our Theatre, against the which I think it ought, for the sake of syminetry, blank wall which separates the boxes from the to bear to the area which it is to cover : that prostage; and with the proscenjum springing from portion is, in my opinion, about 3-4ths of the the front, and not (as in my design), from the diameter of that area, but not less. back of the Boxes, will exemplify very fully the “In speaking of the area in this place, I wish comparative advantages which are attendant upon it to be understood, that I mean the open area, the form which I have given to the proscenin, bounded by the front line of the Boxes, and not and to the Boxes adjoining the proscenium. The by the wall at the back of the Boxes; the former, part tinted yellow in this plan also, togetber with will always appear to be the area of the Theatre, the red line A, shows the proportion of the scene excepting to persons sitting in the highest row which is not visible to spectators sitting on the of Boxes; who will be too near to the ceiling to benches nearest to the stage; and the parts tinted judge at all of the relative proportions between green shows the proportion which is visible to the height of the ceiling and the breadth of the those spectators.
Theatre. “In discussing this subject, I have hitherto
“I do not believe that the height of the ceiling confined myself to those considerations, con
can, in any degree, injure or affect the sound of nected with the form of a Theatre, which ap
the voice in the lower parts of the Theatre; it. pertain directly to the two primary objects of may materially assist in conducting the sound distinct sound and vision; and I trust that I have
into those parts of the honse which are nearest to shown completely, that there is no admissible it; but it must, in every Theatre, be much too form so well calculated to secure those objects, high to act as a reverberator, or sounding-board, as that which I have adopted in my design, but to the lower parts of the house. there is another consideration of great import
“ If this were not the fact, the voice would be a ace, which appertains to the form which I have quite indistinct and inaudible in a cathedral chosen, and which does not relate to either of the church, where the roof is at a vast heighi, the objects above-mentioned ; namely, its decided form of that roof not calcnlated for direct rever. superiority over every other form in point of beration of sound; and the person utiering the beauty; for a circle is a form which will never sound, at the reading-desk, piaced in a situation weary or distress the eye.
by no means so well calculated to convey the
sound of his voice genrrally among his auditors that respect would be likely to produce inconveas that in which an actor upon the stage is placed; nient pressure or obstruction. In the staircases, yet we know that, even under all these circum- for instance, leading to the two Galleries, I have stances, the voice is heard, in most of the cathe taken off all angles upon the landings, making dral churches, quite as well as it is in many cha those landings, throughout, exactly the same pels; which is a positive proof that a low ceiling || width as the steps ; so that whatever crowd may, is not essential to the strength and clearness of at any time, find its way into either of those sound in a Theatre.
channels, will pass through it, whether ascending “ If it were necessary to support this opinion by or descending, without impediment or danger; further argument, the Whispering Gallery, in while persons going to the Pit will reach the floor St. Paul's Cathedral, would serve as an additional of that part of the house, without meeting with a proof that souud may be distinctly heard in a very single step, excepting those at the external doors
of the Theatre. large enclosed area (provided that area be in itself so constructed as to facilitate the conveyance of “ All the door-ways throughout these parts of sound), without any direct reverberation from the house are from five to six feet wide, accordabove : the great height of the dome above the ling to circumstances; the steps and landings of floor of the Whispering Gallery, together with the staircases to the Galleries are five feet, and the large aperture in the centre of the dome itself, those to the Boxes six; the staircases to the are sufficient to demonstrate, that the extraor Galleries, as well as those to the Boxes, are to be dinary effect of sound, iu the Whispering Gal of stone. In the great stone staircase leading to Jery, ia, in no degree, produced by reverberation the Boxes; the ascent is first in one flight, and from above.
then in two ; and so on alternately to the top; « Uuder this conviction I have been influenced the centre flights being exactly double the width in the height at which I have fixed the ceiling, by of the side flights throughout; so that the conthe proportion which appeared to me to be most flux of persons from the side flights never can in symmetry with the area to be covered by that
obstruct the centre flights; and ceiling
these staircases are capable of containing upon “The open area within the front line or breast their own steps and landings a greater number of work of the Boxes, is 58 feet from side to side persons by one-third, than the wbole of the Boxes upon
the level of the dress Boxes; upon the level can contain; consequently the ingress and egress of the two upper tier of Boxes it is three feet to and from the Boxes never can be obstructed more, making together 61 feet; and the height for want of room upon the staircases : the whole of the ceiling, from the centre of the Pitt, is 48
of the Boxes are capable of containing one thoufeet, or two feet three inches more than 3-4ths of
sand one hundred and ninety-two persons; and the open area of the Theatre, within the breast the two staiscases in question will jointly contain work of the second tier of Boses. The beiglit of one thousand eight bundred and thirty-two perthe ceiling in the late Theatre in Drury-Lane sons; the two-shilling Gallery is calculated to
contain four hundred and eighty-two persons ; was 56 feet 6 inches, or 8 feet 6 inches more than the heiglat which I have given to that part in my
and the two staircases leading to it will contain design.
eight hundred and sixty-eight persons; the one
shilling Gallery contains space for two hundred Mr. Wyatt then passes to the important and eighty-four spectators; and the two stairconsideration of the accommodation of the cases leading to that gallery will contain nine public in ingress and egress.
hundred and forty-eight persons; allowing (as
in both the preceding instances) as much room “The FACILITY OF INGRESS AND EGRESS. to each person as they are supposed to occupy -One of the first principles, which I prescribed || when sitting in the Theatre ; and of course more to myself in providing for the facility of ingress than they would really occupy upou a crowded and egress, was to attach similar approaches and staircase. accommodation to each side of the house re “ The avenues and door-ways leading to the spectively; thus, whatever doors of entrance, Pit, being no where less than six feet wide, and staircases, avenues, &c. are provided for one side | being throughout (from the Pit floor to the exof the housc, the same precisely are provided for ternal doors of the Theatre) upon the saine level, the other side.
the persons going to or from that part of the “ In pursuing these principles of convenience house can, at no time, be exposed to any difficulty and security, I have been careful to separate the or danger in passing in or out. external doors of entrance, to the several parts of “ Adverting to the respectability of many perthe house, as much as I could, consistently with sons who go occasionally to the Theatre at the other important objects; and I have made all
second price, and considering the inconvenieuce those external doors, as well as the internal to which such persons have hitherto been ex, doors, the staircases, and the avenues, as wide as posed, by waiting for the time of admission, possible, taking particular care to preserve an either out of doors, or among the servants in the equality of width in all parts where disparity in hall, I have been led to provide a remedy for this
inconvenience; and have, in my plan, made an ascend the same staircases (to a certain height), arrangement for admitting those persons, at any as those going to any of the Boxes above ; but period of the performance, to a well-aired com- having passed the first flight of the staircases, fortable room, where, after baving paid their they will enter the corridor immediately at the money, they may be at liberty to wait the uncer back of the Dress Boxes, and will then be taip time of wbat is called “ half-price ;” an ac quite separated from the rest of the house, commodation which is estimated (by persons well and not at all liable to any molestation; there acquainted with these matters), to be capable of being no lobby, coffee-room, or lounging-place attracting an additional £20 per night, which, of any description, to lead to this part of the for two hundred nights, is £4000 per annum.
bouse any of those persons who would be a “ Decorum.--Among the principal objects nuisance to it. which call for reform, in the Theatres in London,
“ According to the above principles, I hare po one appears to be much more important, than
not only provided a ready access to the Dress that of protecting the more rational and re
Boxes, and refrained from placing near thein spectable class of spectators from those nuisances
any lobby, or room, which might serve as a to which they have hitherto been exposed, by receptacle for persons who could not bave seats being obliged to pass through lobbies, rooms,
in those Boxes ; but I have, upon the next and avenues, crowded with the most disreputable floor, provided a spacious and handsome suite
of members of the community, and subject to scenes
rooms, which will unquestionably attract
all those whom it is desirable to remove from of the most disgusting indecency.
below stairs. “ An avowed exclusion of any particular class
“ There is one other circumstance, which I of people, from either part of the house (excepting the private Boxes) would be utterly im
must mention, as materially appertaining to good practicable ; and therefore the best plan is to
order and decorum within the Theatre ; namely, form an arrangement, which shall virtually house. I have (as before stated), made the wall
the equal depth of the Boxes throughout the amount to an exclusion of those whom it is desirable to exclude, without any declared inten
at the back of the Boxes, in my plan, concentric tion of so doing
with the breastwork or front of the boxes ; and “ As an indispensible provision towards the ac
consequently, the distance from one to the other complishment of this desirable object, I have, in
must be equal in all parts of the Theatre , the my plan, entirely abolished those Boxes which
result of which is, that there will be no gloomy hare hitherto been placed immediately at the
recess in any part of the Boxes, to favour the back of the Dress Circle; (and which are
riotous or improper proceedings of disorderly pervulgarly called the Basket Boxes.) It is very
sons ; every one will be bronght in full view well known to every one, who has been in the habit of the house, and within the light of the chanof frequenting the Theatres, that the women of deliers ; and, that being the case, many will the town nerer hire, or attempt to appear in
be held in awe of observation, who might other. what are called the Dress Boxes; and that
wise have disturbed the house by noisy and licenthe ladies who do occupy those boxes, would
tious conduct. be enabled to go to the play with great comfort
“ It is notorious that the Basket Boxes, and and security, if it were not for the nuisances
the dark back seats above stairs, are almost the to which they are liable in passing to and from only places where riot or quarrel take place. their Boxes.
“I have now discussed the several parts of my “ The Basket, therefore, being abolished, I design, under the four distinct heads which I, at and no lobbies, coffee-rooms, or other ap
first proposed ; and in defining the principles pendage of that description, being placed con
stating the facts_describing the comparisonstiguous to the Dress Circle, nor within a con
and asserting the advantages, connected with that siderable distance from it, the women of the design, it has been my endeavour to avoid all partown and all the most disorderly spectators, will tiality or prejudice; and to represent with clearfind that part of the house so ill adapted to
ness, precision, and truth, every circumstance, to
which I have bad occassion to advert, in the course their convenience, that they will totally desert it, and naturally resort to whatever part of the
of the discussion. If those principles bave been house shall furnish the acconiinodation which I justly defined ; if those facts have been correctly
if those comparisons have been truly they require.
described ; and if those advantages have not “ The same considerations, wbich I have stated, as a reason for refraining from an avow
been exaggerated, four manifest conclusione ed exclusion of any particular class of the com
obviously follow:munity, must, of course operate against appro “ First.-That the size or capacity of the priating to the exclusive use of this circle of || Theatre, as governed by the width of the prosBoxes a separate entrance and staircase. Ac cenium or stage-opening, and by the pecuviary cording to my plan, those persons going to the return to be made to those persons, whose pro. Dress Boxes will enter at the same doors, and perty may be epibarked in the conceru, is the
largest, and therefore the best, which can be ,, of great importance to the interest of the Theatre, adopted.
is provided for, to an extent which cannot fail to “ Secondly.—That the form or shape of the raise the reputation of the Theatre, and essenTheatre, as connected with the primary objects tially to benefit the interests of the public, as of distinct sound and vision, is, independently of well as of those immediately concerned in the its advantages in point of beauty, incomparably profits of the Theatre." superior to any other form.
“ Thirdly.—That the facility of ingress and Such are the principles upon which the egress, as materially affecting the convenience of new Theatre is to be constructed.— They those going to every part of the house respec are at ouce full at novelty and science.tively: as well as their lives, in cases of sudden They comprehend the amusement (together accident or alarm, is secured to a much greater with that which has been always thought degree, than has usually been the case in the Theatres of this metropolis.
an impossible combination), the purity and “ Fourthly.—That decorum among the seve
decorum of public places. They do great ral classes of visitants to the Theatre, as es honour to the architectural genius ard the sential to the accommodation of the inore re moral taste of Mr. Wyatt. spectable part of those vistants, and consequently,
ZARA; OR THE ADVENTURES OF AN ENGLISHI WIFE.
The faint glimmering of the moon on the ed to expose her to the dangers of the sea lie surface of the waters is not more uncerlain resolved at last to take her with him. Elvira, thau the coedition of human life Let the who could not support the thought of being sous and daughters of a Miction rective com separated from her husband, rejoiced in the fort from hope; let not the happy boast too l'esolution he had taken. They embarked at much of their prosperity, nor the miserable Portsmouth, and a favourable wind seemed to sink into despondency and despair. Virtue promise them a safe and speedy passage; but bas always a resource in Providence, which forlune had devoted them to disasters which improves the blessings and mitigates the 'vils they did not foresee. of life. We are about to relate a tale which The vessel was on a sudden attacked by a occurred in the beginning of the seventeenth Tunisian pirate. The dispute, in which the century, when the pirates of Tunis were the Colonel fought like a lover and an Englisli. most dangerous and rapacious of maritime
man, was long and obstinate, but being at last stales.
overponerea hy numbers, the pirates made After two years' constant attendance, Er themselves masters of the vessel. How shall nestus obtained his mistress in marriage. The we paint the despair of Elvira and the distress parents of this beautiful lady bad for a long of the Colonel? He was wounded in the arm, time opposed the happiness of Ernestus, who and his lovely w fe was by his side when the was a man of but small fortune; but being corsairs bo: rded the vessel. The Tunisian at last appointed Colonel of a regitrent, and Captais was struck with the noble air of the theo in the road to preferment, as he was na
Culonel and the beauty of Elvira. The va. turally a brave and intrepid man, they con tural sav. geness and barbarity vanished in a sented to bestow on liim their daughter. moment from the breast of the Captaiu, who
Marriage, so far from diminishing the len ou tbe sight of his illustrious captives ordered derness of the Colonel, increased his affection, the greatest care to be taken of the Colonel, and the possession of Elvira appeared to him and ibe utmost respect paid to Elvira. as the most inestimable treasure. In the The pirates, conteuted with what they had midst of Ibis scene of delight, lie was ordered taken, instantly made for Tunis; where they with bis regiment to Minorca, where he was no sooner arrived than they began to think of to remaiu in garrison for some time. The inaking a division of their prize. As the Co. idea of being separatıd from bis E vira over Tunel and bis lady had not been separated whelmed him with grief; and though he fear." during the voyage, they were in hopes they