20 OCTOBER 1866, Page 3

The new play produced at the Adelphi this day week,

called Ethel, or only a Life, and which vv-as at first reported as almost hissed off the stage, has been so much improved by the manager's attention to the criticisms passed upon it, that it was, when we saw it last Wednesday, though it had great defects, one of the best and best acted plays now before the public. Its chief defect is that it is a tragedy, and yet the tragic, the sentimental parts, are, though very finely acted by Miss Terry, exceedingly poorly written, so that the poverty and often rant of the words take from the freedom and power of the acting. When Confidence is elaborately compared by a young lady who has just discovered that her lover wished to seduce instead of marrying her, to a sensitive plant, a nautilus, and something else, we forget what, the unreality of the words is greater than any acting can -carry off. But some of the less pretentious scenes are really strong. That in which the linendraper goes to warn the govettess that his son's intentions are not honest, is acted with a power by Miss Terry and a talent by Mr. Stephenson which completely' carries the audience away. Mrs. Alfred Mellon, too, is, as usual, atimir- able. On the whole, in spite of its semi-failure last week, Ethel, or only a Life, seems likely to have a very fair amount of success.