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but the poet makes the hearts and natures of his personages; and if he will transmute them from good to bad, he ought to prepare us, by some natural prognostic, for the change. All that is noble in Bertoldo disappears like a phantom; and he forfeits our esteem like a detected cheat, who ought never to have possessed it.
Kemble, whatever he thought of Bertoldo, could not well alter his character in re-modelling Massinger's play. But he removed two other defects from the piece, about which there can be no question, namely, certain gross speeches, and an entire foolish character, wholly unnecessary to the plot. Sylli, a creature fatuous with self-conceit, is brought constantly by Massinger into the same scene with Camiola, and spoils the dignity of her impression by our disgust at her endurance of his presence. Kemble threw this idiot overboard; and he is a character of most agreeable absence. The old
dramatists, all but their Chief, seldom fail more egregiously than in their efforts to create jestmakers. They exhibit foolish fellows indeed, but not the arch fools of Shakespeare, who alone knew how to dip their motley coats in the hues of immortality.
The joint powers of Mrs. Siddons and her brother prolonged the reception of this play only for three nights.
END OF VOL. I.