As there are some substances which seem almost to defy
the power of friction, so there are some dramatic themes which appear to resist all endeavours to wear them out. An assassinated man, with another standing by his side, who has nothing in the world to do with the matter, but who stands a fair chance of being hanged till some " Dens ex machine " steps in to the rescue,—such a gentleman, with all his perils and escapes, has from time immemorial been a focus of domestic drama. Decorated with some rural scenery and groupings, and eked out with a country dance or so, the old tale becomes a " new " Adelphi piece, and rejoices in the title of Harvest Horne. Everybody in the company has a part; Ma- dame Celeste being the supposed daughter of the real murderer, who nearly lets the innocent stiffer for fear of betraying her father, but who finds her tongue loosened on the discovery that the grim assassin is no father at all. As this position of the heroine has not been used above a dozen times, it is more novel than the other circumstances of the crime. The Adelphi audience shudder at the perils of Mr. Boyce, the stock melo- dramatic hero; weep at the sorrows of his sweetheart, acted by Miss Wool- gar; indulge in virtuous hatred of the veteran murderer, Mr. 0. Smith; and are in raptures of delight when the murdered gentleman sets all to rights by kindly returning to life, and showing himself in one of the prettiest conservatories that ever was put upon the stage. Four hours are perhaps more than is strictly required to unfold the mysteries of Har- vest Home ; but the audience are not a bit weary. Besides, are they not
regaled with the humours of Mr. Wright as a Cockney sportsman?—the chief purpose of whom is to demonstrate that the Highland kilt does not so effectively protect the person of a Londoner from inclemencies of wea- ther as the ordinary breeches and gaiters. This notion lays open an ample field for pleasantries, such as Mr. Wright can utter and his audience can appreciate.