9 JUNE 1866, Page 21

Journal of a London Playgoer. By H. Morley. (Routledge.)—We cannot

say we are greatly interested in Mr. Morley's reminiscences, which are not indeed reminiscences, but only a collection of criti- cisms written at the moment, sometimes good, once or twice cut- ting to the bone, but usually just as good and as bad as such criticisms are. Mr. Morley's taste is evidently with the ideal school,—for example, he thinks Miss Helen Faucit the greatest living actress, which is true if Satan is a great poem—and from that point of view his judgment seems generally sound. Believing the point of view utterly false, that Lady Macbeth, for instance, was meant to be a queenly but ladylike woman, saying her sentences as ladies said them in early days, and not as Helen Macgregor would say them, we dissent from many of his verdicts; but that is a matter of opinion, and with his horror of modern burlesque we entirely coincide. It is merely, as at present managed, a description of poses plastiques, without even beauty of form to recommend it, and in its dialogue of bad puns and fade artificial impudence insufferably wearisome. Mr. Morley is fairer to Mr. Phelps than many critics, who always forget to record in the midst of that actor's stilted rant flashes of genuine power. As Wolsey, for examjile, he does not say twenty lines endurably, but then he says nineteen as no actor living can say them. Mr. Morley will recall to many an elderly man scenes and incidents and actors which it will be pleasant to him to think over again.