12 JUNE 1841, Page 15


THE English Opera-house opened again on. Monday, with a melo- dramatic company ; and we found the acters playing bawl and Frrzum.r. with great gusto and energy. At the Hay market, Mr. C. KEAN and Miss E. TREE have been reengaged, as we anticipated, but for six nights instead of twelve ; Mr. C. KEAN'S admirers may nevertheless calculate on his stay being protracted till the dog-days are over. At the Strand, Mrs. KEELEY is playing The Devil with Dr. Faustus; though this is old news, since her effigy figures in blue on every " external paper- hanging station" about town—such is the classic term for hoards and dead walls appropriated by the worshipful company of bill-stickers. Mrs. KEELEY, however, is any thing but a blue devil, as the laughter of the audience testifies ; and she employs a deputy dressed likes fireman in a flame-coloured suit, with gilded horns and tail, to do the pitchforking. Here our chronicle would have ended, but for a remarkable novelty at the Haymarket; namely, the performance on Thursday of a new piece on the very night for which it was first announced in which Mr. MAYWOOD made " his fourth appearance, being the last night but seven of his engagement." This is a " new and original comedy," entitled Belford Castle, or the Scottish Gold-mine, which has been manufactured at the shortest possible notice, for the purpose of enabling Mr. MAY•• woon to sport his broad Scotch brogue in a character better adapted to his powers than Sir Fertinar. Macsycophant. The playwright seems to have aimed at producing a converse of MacluaN's play, and made a benevolent " Man of the World," a Sir Pertinax Muckleworth, in the person of Mr. Muckle, "an exceedingly opulent Scottish gentle- man," as he is styled in the bills : he has his humours, and appears hasty and headstrong, but is really the most goodnatured, easy old fellow possible ; a perfect paragon of propriety and generosity, with a dogged determination to make everybody rich and happy ; in short, a philanthropic Crmsus—a "Scottish gold mine" with bowels of kindness. All the characters, indeed, are so exemplary for virtue and discretion, that one wonders how it is possible for such excellent persons to have the serenity of their contentment ruffled, with such a fruitful source of oil and wine in Mr. Muckle, in addition to the milk and honey of their own goodness : and so transient is the gloom that clouds the sunshine of their happiness—the threatened. danger is such an innocent make-believe—that the piece ought to be performed exclusively for the delight and edification of juvenile audiences, as George Barnwell used to be for the especial benefit of apprentices. Mr. Muckle has a nephew and niece, who have chosen partners for themselves 'without his knowledge, and thus his plans are disconcerted: he, however, submits with a good grace, after a show of resistance. Not so the father of his nephew's choice : the proud Earl of Belford will not consent to his daughter's marriage with a plebeian, and the lady will not marry without it ; so the " gold mine " secretly swallows up all the poor peer's lands, and a forgotten bond is raked up which threatens to absorb all his ready cash. Still the father remains firm ; but when Muckle tears the bond, he relents, and receives back his estates in exchange for his daughter.

Mr. MAYWOOD is a good representative of the benevolent old Scot, and his dialect told with the effect of humour : bating a redundancy of gesticulation, and somewhat too much of obvious actor-art, his perform- ance is clever. H. WALLACH, with a bag-wig and a blazing star on his black velvet coat big enough to denote its being insured in the Sun Fire-office, looked duly pompous as the Earl of Belford. J. WEBSTER, as an exquisite chevalier, bedizened like a Lord Mayor's footman, with a large assortment of very long adverbs and a small stock of French phrases at command, seemed upon very good terms with himself. G. BENNETT, as a faithful steward, with a little bald patch on his crown, and wearing a coat that seemed to be a perpetual blush for his rare virtues, deported himself with such urbane humility that he looked like a candidate for the tonsure in disguise. Mr. F. VINING, as the nephew, sputtered out his vexation and impatience with due vehemence. Mrs. STIRLING, as the Earl's daughter, by her touching earnestness and unaffected grace, gave the charm of seeming reality to her character ; and Miss P. HORTON abetted STRICKLAND in a farcical situation of equivoque with amusing effect.