24 NOVEMBER 1855, Page 8

ibt Chains.

Last of all the revivals, comes The Provoked Husband of Vanbrugh and 'Gibber; which was produced at the Haymarket on Tuesday. It is certainly the least fortunate of the series ; for, in the first place, its hu- mour and its morality are alike obsolete at the present day ; and in the second place, with the exception of one or two minor parts, it is totally 'unsuited to the Haymarket company. Lady Townley is just the cha- racter which is not adapted to Miss Cushman ; for those very qualities 'which produce such startling effects when more fittingly employed, mili- tate against the truthful representation of the flippant lady of quality.. Mr. Howe, generally a most serviceable actor, was a poor and inefficient Lord Townley. The fact is, The Provoked Ensband must be regarded as one of those many old pieces, that, after clinging for a long series of years to the stage, has at last fairly dropped off. That power of sustaining a courtly atmosphere which belonged to several actors of the old school, and was so indispensable in giving a proper tone to the conven- tional comedy of the last century, is as much lost among the existing pro- fessors of histrionic art as the secret of making the best porcelain has ex- pired among the Chinese. Our best living artists attain their position by the force and fidelity with which they represent the details of human na- ture: the preservation of an artificial manner that is an appendage to human nature, without constituting one of its elements, is beyond their reach.