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this view, when we remembered that the
manager who had been selected to express, on
behalf of his brethren, a deep-seated distrust of
the rivalry of music-halls, was also the very
manager whose theatre has been literally
beseiged by the public for the last hundred and
fifty nights, and is likely to be besieged in the
future for a hundred and fifty more. Surely it
was a grave error to choose such a prosperous
proprietor as Mr. Webstera man who has
shown a determination, to advance with the
timeto point the protectionist moral and adorn
the managerial tale!

To speak seriously, in conclusion, the
managers have taken a false step. They have
placed themselves in a persecuting as well as a
prosecuting position; and they are most
unwisely attempting to dispute a principle which
the public opinion of the age has long since
regarded as settled. We earnestly recommend
them to reconsider their course of actionin
their own interests. The hostile point of view
from which they now regard the music-halls is
short-sighted in the extreme. To return to our
previous illustration. It is notorious that the
cheap newspapers, instead of disputing the public
encouragement with the newspapers at a higher
price, have raised up an audience for themselves.
It is notorious that the library circulation of
good novels has rather increased than
diminished, since the time when opposition novels
have stirred the waters in the world of fiction,
by pouring regularly from the press in cheap
instalments at a penny a week. On the same
principle, the music-halls have unquestionably
raised up their new public; and, in doing so,
will indirectly help to improve the prospects of
the theatres, by increasing the number of people
who look to public amusements as the occupation
of their evening. If the managers don't
see thisif they don't see that a per-centage of
the music-hall audience (not a very large one
probably, but still a per-centage) is, in the
ordinary course of things, certain to drift into
theatres from a natural human love of change
they must at least admit that they already
possess, in undisturbed monopoly, immense
dramatic advantages over those other caterers for
the public amusement, who are following them
at a respectful distance. They have the use of
means and appliances which no music-
hall can possibly command, without being
knocked down and built up again for the
purpose. They have actors and actresses who
stand, in a personal as well as in a pecuniary
sense, out of music-hall reach. They have
relations with English literature which no music-
hall possesses, or dreams of possessing; and
they have a refined, intelligent, and wealthy
public to appeal to, from which the music-halls
are separated by the great social gulf which
we all know there is no crossing. Here, without
prosecutions, disputes, and vexatiously strict
interpretations of the letter of the law, is
vantage-ground enough for any theatre which is
properly administered; vantage-ground which
the fiercest music-hall rivalry cannot cut away.

As for the public interest in this question, the
discussion of which we have modestly left to the
last, the direction that it takes is so obvious
as hardly to need pointing out.  The more
competition there is, the more certainly the public
will be the gainers. Let the spur of the music-
hallsif any such spur there bestimulate the
theatres to higher and higher exertions by all
manner of means: the drama will be the better
for it; the actors will study their art the more
for it; the audiences will be the larger for it;
the managers will be the richer for it. The
success of The Colleen Bawn, at the Adelphi;
the success of that excellent artist Mr.
Fechter, at the Princess's; and the success
of the admirable pantomime at Drury Lane;
all three achieved in the same theatrical year,
are facts to form an opinion on; facts which
justify the conclusion that a great dramatic
attraction is as much above all small rivalries
in our day, as ever it was in that golden
theatrical age when music-halls were not heard
of in the land! We trust the managers may
yet be induced to reconsider the motives on
which they have too hastily acted. We trust
they may yet see that it is their interest, as we
are sure it is always their inclination, to follow
the old proverbial rule which enjoins us all to
Live and let live.


ANCIENT magic was ancient science. To
surprise the secrets of Nature, and, by surprising
them, to control phenomena and turn them to
his purposes, has everywhere been the
irresistible longing of man, placed amid unseen
forces with nothing but his wit to aid him.
How marvellously his wit has aided him need
not be told; but the help came slowly, and the
victories were gained only after a succession of
defeats. That which mainly thwarted him was
Impatience, and its offspring, Credulity; that
which mainly aided him was Patience. From the
first sprang Magic; from the second, Science.
Passion is ever credulous, and when the mind is
greatly excited, it is ready to believe almost
anything which favours its desires.

The credulity of early ages has also another
source. In ignorance of the true order of
Nature we find no difficulty in believing that
one thing takes place rather than another.
What to the cultivated minds seems a physical
impossibility, to the uncultivated seems as
probable as anything else. It is therefore not only
far from incredible, it is highly probable to the
savage that the ordinary phenomena of Nature
should be the actions of capricious beings, whose
caprices may be propitiated. He observes the
rain falling, the seed sprouting, his cattle perishing,
his children sickening, all by agencies unseen,
which he at once supposes to be Spirits
resembling the spirit within him, though
mightier: superhuman in power, they are
conceived to be human in feeling because no other
conception of power is possible to him. In
animating Nature, man necessarily animates it with