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John K. CHAPMAN AND company, PRINTERs, 5, shoe LANE, AND PETERBOROUGH COURT, FLEET STREET.
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AS FIRST PERFORMED, SATURDAY, JUNE 12, 1858.
Mr. H. MELLON.
DUKE OF VENICE,
PRINCE OF ARRAGOX
; } (Suitors to Portia)
ANTONIO, (the Merchant of Venice)...... Mr. GRAHAM.
Mr. G. EVERETT.
-Mr. WALTER LACY.
Mr. J. F. CATHCART. SHYLOCK, (a Jew)
Mr. CHARLES KEAN. TUBAL, (a Jew, his Friend)
Mr. F. COOKE.
Mr. STOAKES. BALTHAZAR, (Servant to Portia)
Mr. DALY. HERALD,
Mr. J. COLLETT. PORTIA, (a rich Heiress)..
Mrs. CHARLES KEAN. NERISSA, (her Waiting Maid) .... Miss CARLOTTA LECLERCQ. JESSICA, (Daughter to Shylock)..
(Her First Appearance). THE INCIDENTAL Music will be sung by Miss POOLE, Miss LEFFLER,
Mr. J. COLLETT, Mr. T. YOUNG, and Mr. WALLWORTH.
Magnificoes of Venice, Oficers of the Court of Justice, Gaoler, Servants, and
SCENE.-Partly at VENICŁ; and partly at BELMONT, the
Soat of PORTIA, on the Continent,
TAE SCENERY Painted by Mr. GRIEVE and Mr. TELBIN, Assisted by Mr. W. GORDON, Mr. F. LLOYDS,
Mr. CUTHBERT, Mr. DAYES, &c. THE Music under the direction of Mr. J. L. HATTON. THE DECORATIONS & APPOINTMENTS by Mr. E. W. BRADWELL.
The DRESSES by Mrs. and Miss HOGGINS.
THE MACHINERY by Mr. G. HODSDON.
THE DANCES arranged by Mr. CORMACK. PERRUQUIER, Mr. ASPLIN, of No. 13, New Bond Street.
# For reference to Historical Authorities indicated by
Letters, see end of each Act.
VENICE, "the famous city in the sea,” rising like enchantment from the waves of the Adriatic, appeals to the imagination through a history replete with dramatic incident; wherein power and revolutionconquest and conspiracy-mystery and romancedazzling splendour and judicial murder alternate in every page. Thirteen hundred years witnessed the growth, maturity, and fall of this once celebrated city ; commencing in the fifth century, when thousands of terrified fugitives sought refuge in its numerous islands from the dreaded presence of Attila; and terminating when the last of the Doges, in 1797, lowered for ever the standard of St. Mark before the cannon of victorious Buonaparte. Venice was born and died in fcar. To every English mind, the Queen of the Adriatic is endeared by the genius of our own Shakespeare. Who that has trod the great public square, with its mosque-like cathedral, has not pictured to himself the forms of the heroic Moor and the gentle Desdemona? Who that has landed from his gondola to pace the Rialto, has not brought before his“ mind's eye,” the scowling brow of Shylock, when proposing
the bond of blood to his unsuspecting victim ? Shakespeare may or may not have derived his plot of The Merchant of Venice, as some suppose, from two separate stories contained in Italian novels; but if such be the fact, he has so interwoven the double interest, that the two currents flow naturally into a stream of unity.
In this play Shakespeare has bequeathed to posterity one of his most perfect works-powerful in its effect, and marvellous in its ingenuity. While the language of the Jew is characterized by an assumption of biblical phraseology, the appeal of Portia to the quality of mercy is invested with a heavenly eloquence elevating the poet to sublimity.
From the opening to the closing scene--from the moment when we hear of the sadness, prophetic of evil, which depresses the spirit of Antonio, till we listen at the last to the “playful prattling of two lovers in a summer's evening,” whose soft cadences are breathed through strains of music,—all is a rapid succession of hope, fear, terror, and gladness ; exciting our sympathies now for the result of the merchant's danger; now for the solution of a riddle on which hangs the fate of the wealthy heiress ; and now for the fugitive Jessica, who resigns her creed at the shrine of womanly affection.
In the production of The Merchant of Venice it has been my object to combine with the poet's art a faithful representation of the picturesque city; to