• LORDS AND COMMONS.
• Tuts is the title of a new comedy, by Mrs. GORE, which has been represented in the course of the week at Drury Lane Theatre. Mrs. GORE is the authoress of several fashionable novels, which we have had occasion to speak well of; and considerable expecta- tion was entertained of her success in the drama. Lords and Com- mons (any other name would do as well) was successful, but not eminently so: the audience listened with a certain quiet pleasure, which, when it seemed not likely to grow more lively, flattened into something like disappointment. The truth is, that Lords and Commons has all the smartness of a modern novel of high life; but it wants the point of comedy in dialogue, and its breadth in action. The stages of its progress are not marked: the end brought about has no gradations necessary to effect it: the mate- rial part lies in a nutshell, and all the parts and characters that flutter about it acquire no consequence by either forwarding or retarding the movement of the main body. The fact is, that it is a sketch—a chapter or two in a novel—by a clever person, who may still write a good comedy, but who must learn to distil and condense the rose-water of a romance into a powerful and concen- trated essence. We must have action, plot, bustle, variety of character developing itself by bursts of marked and peculiar senti- ment, or else by a decided line of action. Every scene must scin- tillate with polished and pointed repartee, with new and striking remark, or with some softer kind of beauty. The main topic, too, requires to be supported by some secondary interests. Characters must not merely come on the stage to show their characteristics : every part in a comedy, to use a vulgar phrase, must be driving at something. From deficiency in this respect, Lords and Com- mons, though pleasing, clever, and often witty, seemed to stagnate on the stage ; and the whole took rather the higher tone of a pic- ture of life than a drama.
The story of' Lords and Commons briefly consists in this—Sir Caleb Cabob, an old East Indian, returning home, finds his adopted heir, Melville, whom he had placed in a house of business with a large capital, immersed in all the expenses, follies, and dif- ficulties of fashionable life. The old man, not only seeing him in a course of ruin, but surrounded by titled swindlers and demireps, who are living upon him, and robbing him in every form, adopts a vigorous plan of convincing the young man of the hollowness of his friends and the folly of his conduct : he disinherits him pub- licly; and, withdrawing his capital from his house of business, utterly ruins him. The blackleg lords and their ladies, like rats, quickly desert a falling house ; and the old gentleman, satisfied with the result of the experiment, restores his adopted son to favour, and marries him to a young lady, to whom he is devoted— as devoted as Ascot, Crockford's, and the claims of half a dozen other women, married and single, permit a votary of fashion, though an occasional visitant in Lombard Street, ever to be. The piece was as well performed as the capabilities of the comedy and the resources of an excellent company permitted.
• The principal personage was supported by the principal actor —the admirable FARREN ; who in dress, look, manner, vivacity, and obstinacy, gave us a most lively idea of a nabob, who has lived thirty years in a remote station up the country, a petty monarch, realizing a not petty fortune. Every thing he had to do was done with the ease of power : he threw his character into every phrase and movement, and in short, saved the play from being considered a piece of mere genteel dialogue. Mr. BRINDAL played Birmingham, a dandy valet. He is almost perpetually on the stage : his insufferable coxcombry, and second- hand airs of exquisite refinement, were amusing, without being laughable. The actor deserves great credit: we never before rated him at his full value.
HARLEY is a Mr. Dick Dennett, Frank Melville's tiger ; a area- tare who performs the same duties to a young man of fashion that a-led captain or chaplain does to a decayed one; he is what a toady is to a rich old maid, or a peace aid-de-camp to a general officer's lady. He is perpetually ready to do anything; he will fetch and carry, cure dogs of the mange, doctor the horses, carry billet-dour, engage opera-boxes, arrange a party, get up a dinner, choose wines and drink them. HARLEY is lively, and as bustling as he has an opportunity of being; but it is not a successful effort There are a party of leg lords and baronets; which were very well got up, both in dress and manner, by Messrs. R. JONES and H. WALLACK; and villanously ill by Mr. BALLS, who looked like the waiter at an inn, a little over-seas, and uttered a cry every now and then, by way of fun, which we never heard equalled except at the Zoological Gardens. Mr. RUSSELL and Mr. COOPER have parts of no great consequence, and did them justice. • The ladies of the piece are more numerous than distinguished. Miss PHILIPS played the old banker's daughter with propriety : in a scene where she has to choose between her father's ruin and a husband, she does not love with effect. Mrs. C. JONES'S talents are not called into play; and Mrs. ORGER looked an equivocal lady of fashion with an air of dubious respectability. Mrs. HUMBY played a waiting-maid; but her triumph was reserved for the Epi- logue,—which she spoke with an impudent good-nature, a hoy- denish familiarity, that fairly took the house by storm. Her drawl, her whine, her foolish air of astonished simplicity, absurd as they sometimes are, begin to be understood and relished by the public. -It, is- a grand- thing to have the ear of the public' in a theatre, as it is, to have that of the judge in court.