A song within in Voyces. Song: O what is Beauty that's so much adored A flattring glass that cozens her beholders. The Night of Death makes it look pale and horrid The Daynty preseru'd flesh how soone it molders To loue it lyuinge it bewitchett manye But after life is seldom heard of any. I'd give the kingdom, but to purchase there The breadth of a red Rose, in natural colour, And think it the best bargain that ever king made yet, But Fate's my hinderer, And I must only rest content with Art, And that I'll have in spite on't.
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Accordingly an artist in painting and perfumery is summoned to adorn the face of the corpse and give it a fresh lively red colour. However this merchant of cosmetics is none other than Govianus, the rightful heir, disguised, and he fucuses the dead cheeks and lips with a peter which is confected with a strong poison, so that when the Tyrant lustfully kisses the cold flesh, he is blasted with the venom and falls in the agonies of death.
The incident is extremely powerful, if extremely horrible. As the Tyrant expires Govianus taunts him thus O thou sacrilegious villain, Thou thief of rest, robber of monuments, Cannot the body after funeral Sleep in the grave for thee?
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Must it be raised? Only to please the wickedness of thine eye? Does all things end with death and not thy lust? Hast thou devised a new way to damnation, More dreadful than the soul of any sin Did ever pass yet between earth and hell? A very large number of plays are founded upon what may be termed the "Romeo and Juliet" motive, the awakening, or the restoration to life in some sort, of a loved one supposed dead, arousing from a trance, it may be, or a coma, a theme admitting almost innumerable variants.
Meyer's Der Verstorbene; G. It may be convenient here briefly to review the progress of the Vampire in the theatre, at least in his most important appearances. An Italian opera, I vampiri, the work of the much applauded Neapolitian composer Silvestro di Palma, which was performed at the Teatro San Carlo in did not of course take anything from the novel by Polidori which indeed, it preceded by nearly twenty years. Seconda edizione. Presso Filippo Raimondi.
Con licenzi de' Superiori. On 28th March, , at Leipzig, was produced an opera, "Grosse romantische Oper," Der Vampyr, founded on the original French melodrama, the scene being changed from Scotland to Hungary. Der Vampyr was an enormous success. A free adaptation of this being made by J. The French melodrama had been converted into an opera for the German stage, and the music composed by Marschner. Hawes, who had obtained a score of it, having induced Mr. Arnold to produce it at the Lyceum, I was engaged to write the libretto, and consequently laid the scene of action in Hungary, where the superstition exists to this day, substituted for a Scotch chieftain a Wallachian Boyard, and in many other respects improved upon my earlier version.
The opera was extremely well sung, and the costumes novel as well as correct, thanks to the kindness of Dr. Walsh, the traveller, who gave me some valuable information respecting the national dresses of the Magyars and the Wallachians. Heigel, and the music by p. This was seen at Stuttgart on 2 Ist September, , and it proved a remarkable success. It was announced as being from "Byron's famous tale," although at this date such an attribution can hardly have deceived any.
The scene is laid in Hungary during the seventeenth century, and in the sixth tableau Elsa dances an infernal lavolta with the vampires in their haunted castle, but she is rescued by her lover, Retzka, who slays the vampire Morgano with a consecrated poniard. Guten Abend Herr Fischer! Belly and G. Telle, which had some success in its day.
In England Dion Boucicault's The Vampire, in three acts was produced at the Princess's Theatre, London, 19th June, , when the author made his first appearance before a metropolitan audience. Of this drama the following criticism, if criticism it may be called, was given by Henry Morley in his "Journal of a London Playgoer. John Ervine in the sullens. Under 19th June Morley writes: "If there be any truth in the old adage, that 'when things are at the worst they must mend,' the bettering of Spectral Melodrama is not distant; for it has reached the extreme point of inanity in the new piece which was produced on p.
By this ingenious arrangement, the resuscitation of the original Vampire has been enabled to supply the lovers of the revolting at the Princess's with three acts of murder--that is, two consumated, and one attempted; but, as the delicate process of vampirical killing is exactly after the same pattern in each case, the horror is quite worn out before the career of the creature terminates.
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Nothing but tedious trash remains. Boucicault, with due paleness of visage, stealthiness of pace, and solemnity of tone; the scenery, especially a moonlit ridge amidst the heights of Snowdon, was beautiful, and the costumes were prettily diversified; but the dreary repetition of fantastical horror almost exhausted even the patience which a benefit enjoins. Unfortunately, the mischief of such a piece, produced at a respectable theatre, does not end with the weariness of the spectators, who come to shudder and remain to yawn; for it is not only 'beside the purpose of playing,' but directly contravenes it; and though it may be too dull to pervert the tastes of those who witness its vapid extravagances, it has power to bring discredit on the most genial of arts.
Seeing that Henry Morley was Emeritus Professor of English Literature in University College, London, it were reasonable to suppose that he should have been acquainted with Polidori's novella. Or perhaps I rather ought to say that therefor it was not to be expected he should have known of this famous work. Boucicault afterwards revived The Vampire as The Phantom, and this was given in London with good applause. Ralton; Sir Guy Musgrave, Mr. Etynge; Ralph Gwynne, Mr. Levere; Davy, Mr. Ralton; Edgar, his nephew, Mr. Howe; Dr. Rees, Mr. Burnett; Curate, Mr.
Paul; Corporal Stump, Mr. Subsequently, I presume when The Phantom was given in London, some modifications were made which seem to me most decidedly to be improvements.
The first act was placed in the latter part of the reign of Charles II, and two hundred years were supposed to elapse between the first and the second acts. This necessitated trifling changes in the dialogue at certain points; and naturally a complete alteration of costume to a modern style for Act II. In fact the script of the play which is printed in Dicks' Standard Plays, No.
In the Second Art the respective characters are dressed in the provincial costume of Wales at the middle of the present century, The following description of Alan Raby's costume for each act will show the necessity of a complete change in the style of dress which this drama requires. Alan Raby. I notice that Boucicault has in certain scenes borrowed his situations pretty freely from Le Vampire of Dumas, and occasionally he has even conveyed actual dialogue from the French play.
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At the commencement of The Phantom we are shown a room in a Welsh inn, and it appears that Davy and Janet the hostess have just been married. A sudden storm sends Lucy Peveryl thither for shelter, and she confides to Janet that she is on her way to meet at sundown her cousin Roland Peveryl, who is a fugitive and proscribed. On this account he dare not openly seek her hand, but the lovers are secretly betrothed.
He has promised to meet her, in order to bid her farewell for a time, in the most unfrequented spot, the ruins of Raby Castle. No sooner does Janet hear that name than she cries out with horror, and speaks of a fearful story connected with the place. They are interrupted by the arrival of Lord Clavering with a party of guests, amongst whom are friends of Lucy. She frankly informs them of her rendezvous, and they decide to accompany her, more especially as the inn has not sufficient accommodation for the travellers, who resolve to take provisions and wine and spend the night in the deserted chambers of the old castle.
Davy endeavours to prevent them, nor are his efforts altogether selfish. He tells them: "No one ever sought a night's shelter in the ruins of Raby Castle, that ever lived to see the morning. Within the ruins of Raby dwells some terrible thing--man or fiend!
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No traveller that knows the road will ever venture near that spot after nightfall; but strange wayfarers, benighted in the storm have wandered to this place of shelter, and the next morning they are found--dead--each with a wound in his throat in the right side, from which they p. This they actually find in far better state than they have been led to expect, and their servants who have insisted upon Davy showing them the way soon get a very fair supper from the provisions they have purchased at his inn.
Roland Peveryl is not to be found, but whilst they are eating a stranger enters, a Puritan, and announces himself as Gervase Rookwood, a traveller who has lost his way in the mountains. Davy, however, almost collapses with terror.
He recollects that many years before the castle belonged to Sir Owen Raby, a noble cavalier, while Alan Raby, his younger brother had joined the forces of Cromwell.