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in the Harleian Collection. It also occurs in Caxton's Chronicle, of 1480. Shakspeare produced his tragedy in 1604 or 1605. The first edition of it was printed by Nathaniel Butter, in the year 1608.
It is not on record who was the original representative of Lear. Nor do we know what succeeding actor rendered himself celebrated in the character, until Garrick drew the tears of the town. Henderson played it contemporary with Garrick, and almost divided the critics. By the death of Henderson, this tragedy remained lost to the stage, until an actor arose who carried the glory of Shakspeare beyond any preceding effort.
Kemble's Lear was a study for Michael Angelo--the Lady Macbeth of Siddons was not a more awful impersonation. His figure, countenance, and manner, all conspired to give trath to the resemblance. His angry impatience,-" The fiery duke;" his incredulity, “ Does Lear walk thus ? Speak thus pu His bitter irony,“ Dear daughter, I confess that I am old.” Who but remembers Kemble's look and voice when he uttered these heart-breaking words
“ I gave you all !" But the climax of all acting was the curse upon Goneril. On his knees, bare-headed, his white locks streaming like a meteor to the troubled air; with heaven-ward eye, quivering lip, and hands clasped together in convulsive agony, he pronounced that terrible curse. In this instance, the actor almost divided the crown with the poet. The daring presumption that marred this glorious drama, deprived us of Mr. Kemble's exertions in the scene where Lear enters bearing in the dead body of Cordelia. What this would have been in the hands of such an actor, we can only anticipate. Bat we deeply regret that Mr. Kemble's correct taste did not brush away this vile interpolation, and restore the original text of Shakspeare.
Cooke gave the more unamiable parts of Lear's character with great effect; but be lost much of the tenderness, and all the dignity. Young plays it with his voice completely in falsetto. He wants the plaintive tremulous tones of Kemble. Kean is, in truth
“ A very foolish fond old man;" But he is not
« Ev'ry inch a king." With what grandeur and pathos did Kemble pronounce these lines, “ The king would speak with Cornwall; the dear father
Would with his daughter speak, commands her service." Mr. Kean's dying scene (for, to his credit be it spoken, he plays the character nearly as Shakspeare wrote it), though somewhat descient in power, is deeply affecting. We felt, when the curtain fell, as if we were relieved from some dreadful calamity, so strongly did his dying looks and agonising tones impress us when he faintly exclaimed,
“ Pray you undo this button. Thank you, sir.
Do you see this? Look on her-look-her lips
Look there-look there!" Mr. Charles Kemble was perfect in Edgar. The assumed maniac, like Caliban, is an imaginary being-wholly out of nature, and there fore not subject to dramatic rules. As Shakspeare trusted to his ima. gination to conceive, so must the actor to represent, this singularly wild and romantic creature of poetic fancy. Mr. Charles Kemble's appearance was highly picturesque: he was a figure that Salvator Rosa would have delighted to contemplate. • In the possession of the Editor.
KING LEAR.-First dress.--Richly embroidered Saxon tunic of rich crimson velvet, ditto cap; fleshcoloured arms, legs, and sandals.-Second dress.-Black.
DUKE OF BURGUNDY.-Yellow Saxon tunic, crimson robe and cap, flesh-coloured arms, legs, and sandals.
DUKE OF CORNWALL.-Green tunic, scarlet robe and cap, flesh-coloured arms, legs, and red sandals.
DUKE OF ALBANY.-Crimson tunic, brown robe and cap, flesh-coloured arms, legs, and sandals.
DUKE OF GLOSTER.-Brown tunic, blue robe and cap, flesh-coloured arms, legs, and sandals.
DUKE OF KENT.-Crimson tunic, brown robe and cap, flesh-coloured arms, legs, and sandals.-Second dress.-Drab-coloured tunic and cap.
EDGAR.-First dress.-White tunic, scarlet robe and cap.--Second dress.-Green tunic, and robe of coarse white baize.—Third dress.-Grey tunic and cap.Fourth dress.-Coat of mail, armour and helmet.
EDMUND.-Scarlet tunic, blue robe and cap.-Second dress.-Steel chain armour, helmet, and red plume.
PHYSICIAN.--Tunic and robe (all brown), trimmed with black.
OLD MAN.-Drab-coloured tunic and cap, flesh-80loured arms and legs.
OSWALD.-White tunić, blue robe and cap, fleshcoloured arms and legs.
CAPTAIN of the GUARD.-Scarlet tunic and cap, flesh-coloured arms and legs.
PAGE to GONERIL.-White tunic, scarlet robe, and white cap.
PAGE to REGAN.-Blue tunic, scarlet robe, and
GONERIL.-White muslin dress, trimmed with gold, scarlet cloth robe, trimmed with gold, tiara for the head, flesh-coloured stockings and red sandals.
REGAN.-White muslin dress, trimmed with silver, and clasped together with metal clasps in front, fawn cloth robe, tiara for the head, flesh-coloured stockings, and russet sandals.
CORDELIA.-White kerseymere dress and drapery, trimmed with scarlet velvet and gold lace, fastened in front with metal clasps, tiara for the head, flesh-coloured stockings and sandals.-Second dress.-White musiin
dress, grey mantle, trimmed, black ditto, handkerchief for the head.-Third dress.-White drapery.
ARANTHE.-Brown cloth dress, clasped together with metal clasps, fawn coloured mantle, bound with black.
ATTENDANTS.-White dress cloth robes, fleshcoloured stockings, and russet sandals.
Çast of the Characters at the Theatre-Royal,
Drury-Lane, 1824. King Lear
Mr. Kean. Duke of Burgundy
Mr. Mercer. Duke of Cornwall.
Mr. Penley. Duke of Albany
Mr. Thompson. Duke of Gloster
Mr. Powell. Duke of Kent
Mr. Terry Edgar
Mr. Wallack. Edmund
Mr. Younge. Oswald..
Mr. Browne. Captain of the Guard
Mr. Howell. Herald..
Mr. Read. Page to Goneril.
Miss Smith, Page to Regan..
Miss Carr. Old Man
Mr. Gattie. Physician
Mr. Hughes. Edward
Mr. Harrold. Officer
Mr. King. First Ruffian
Mr. Randall. Second Ruffian
Mr. Brady. -Goneril
Miss Boyce. Regan
.. Mrs. Knight. Cordelia
Mrs. W. West. Aranthe
SCENE I.-An Antichamber in King Lear's Palace.
Enter EDMUND, R.
Enter Gloster and Kent, L.
Kent. (L.) Be not too rash ; all may be forgery,
Glost. (c.) Plead with the seas, and reason down the
winds, Yet shalt thou ne'er convince me: I have seen His foul designs through all a father's fondness. Edm. It works as I could wish ; I'll shew myself.
[Aside.-Advances. Glost. Ha, [Crosses to EDMUND, R.] Edmund! wel
come, boy.-0, Kent ! see here
Kent. I grieve to see him
Glost. Alas! 'tis the infirmity of his age :
[Flourish of Trumpets and Drums, R. Hark, they approach. [Flourish.--Exeunt, R.
Enter CORDELIA, L. EDGAR following.
Cord. Alas! what would the wretched Edgar with
CORDELIA, R, and EDGAR, L.