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and habits:" he took the theatre, and went
to work.

On the opening night, the scene of MR.
KETCH'S triumphswhich may be presumed
not to have been confined to that small sphere,
but to have extended, in the glory of his
pupils, beyond the height of the Old Bailey to
the harbor of Norfolk Islandwas densely
crammed with the old stock. The play
was MACBETH. It was performed amidst
the usual hideous medley of fights, foul
language, catcalls, shrieks, yells, oaths, blasphemy,
obscenity, apples, oranges, nuts, biscuits,
ginger-beer, porter, and pipesnot that there
was any particular objection to the Play, but
that the audience were, on the whole, in a
condition of mind, generally requiring such
utterance. Pipes of all lengths were at work
in the gallery; several were displayed in the
pit. Cans of beer, each with a pint measure
to drink from (for the convenience of gentlemen
who had neglected the precaution of
bringing their own pots in their bundles),
were carried through the dense crowd at all
stages of the tragedy. Sickly children in
arms were squeezed out of shape, in all parts
of the house. Fish was fried at the entrance
doors. Barricades of oyster-shells encumbered
the pavement. Expectant half-price visitors
to the gallery, howled defiant impatience up
the stairs, and danced a sort of Carmagnole all
round the building.

It being evident, either that the attempt to
humanise the place must be abandoned, or
this uproar quelledthat Mr. Ketch's
disciples must have their way, or the manager his
the manager made vigorous efforts for the
victory. The friers of fish, vendors of oysters,
and other costermonger-scum accumulated
round the doors, were first removed. Of
course they claimed to have (as every public
abuse in England does) a vested right in
their wrong-doing. They resisted with all
their might, and asserted that they were
legally privileged by the New River Company.
The inexorable manager, taking all risks upon
himself, dislodged them nevertheless, by the
aid of the police, and persisted night after
night. The noisy sellers of beer inside the
Theatre were next to be removed. They
resisted, too, and offered a large weekly
consideration " for leave to sell and call."
The management was obdurate, and rooted
them out. Children in arms were next
to be expelled. Orders were given to the
money-takers to refuse them admission; but
these were found extremely difficult to be
enforced, as the women smuggled babies in
under their shawls and aprons, and even
rolled them up to look like cloaks. A little
experience of such artifices led to their
detection at the doors; and the Play soon
began to go on, without the shrill interruptions
consequent on the unrolling of dozens
of these unfortunate little mummies every
night.

But the most intolerable defilement of the
place remained. The outrageous language
was unchecked; and while that lasted, any
effectual purification of the audience and
establishment of decency, was impossible.
Mr. Phelps, not to be diverted from his
object, routed out an old Act of Parliament,
in which there was a clause visiting the use
of bad language in any public place with a
certain fine, on proof of the offence before a
magistrate. This clause he caused to be
printed in great placards, and posted up in
various conspicuous parts of the Theatre.
He also had it printed in small hand-bills.
To every person who went into the gallery,
one of these hand-bills was given with his
pass-ticket. He was seriously warned that
the Act would be enforced; and it was
enforced with such rigor, that on several
occasions Mr. Phelps stopped the play to
have an offender removedon other
occasions went into the gallery, with a cloak
over his theatrical dress, to point out some
other offender who had escaped the vigilance
of the police- on all occasions kept his
purpose, and his inflexible determination steadily
to carry it, before the vagabonds with whom
he had to deal on no occasion showed them
fear or favour. Within a month, the Jack
Ketch party, thoroughly disheartened and
amazed, gave in; and not an interruption was
heard from the beginning to the end of a five
act tragedy.

We cannot forbear remarking, that we
earnestly commend this example to the notice
of our best stipendiary magistrates, and to the
principal directors of the Police. The flagrant
use of coarse and shocking expressions by
ruffianly boys, and other idle fellows, in the
parks and fields, is a national disgrace to the
existence of which we can bear strong testimony.
It is one of the commonest and least-
checked offences against public decency
within our experience. About the Regent's
Park and Primrose Hill, especially on holidays
when those places have been filled with
orderly people and their children, we have
had occasion for some years to notice the
extent of this pollution of decent ears, and the
perfect repose with which it has been received
by listening constables.

The Manager having now established order
and silence, proceeded with his purpose of
establishing a home for the high drama at
Sadler's Wells. In his first season, he
presented SHAKSPEARE'S plays of HAMLET, KING
JOHN, THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, OTHELLO,
and RICHARD THE THIRD, in all one hundred
and six nights. Besides which, he further
produced, as imperfect substitutes for Jack
Ketch, BEAUMONT and FLETCHER, MASSINGER,
SHERIDAN, HOLCROFT, BYRON, BULWER, and
KNOWLES.

In his second season, besides producing
three original plays, he presented THE
W INTER'S TALE, forty-five nights. In the
successive seasons between that time and the
present, he has produced other original tragedies,

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