2 MAY 1840, Page 13


COVENT CALI EN, erolific of fanciful and elegant spectneles. has pre- sented the Merry Wives of Windsor, surrounded by scenery and atino- S here as charming and cheerful as the fair dames themselves : never has stage sunshine shed such refreshing brilliancy over the mimic scene, as that which lights up the ereen meadows of hatchet, awl makes the "silver Thames "golden with its glow. The Castle of Wind- sor as it appeared when Queen Bess held her court there—the snug country-house of Master Page, with its gabled porch overgrown , with flowers, and the more stately dwelling of Ford embedded in foliage—their interiors decorated in the quaint style of Eliza- bethan architecture, and filled with the persohs of the drama, attired in the various, fantastic, and superb costumes of the time—Make Mt interesting picture of old English life and customs. Madame VasTitIS and Mrs. Nisaarr are the Merry Wives; and as graceful, arch, and joyous a pair, as ever plegued jealous husbands or punished presump- tuous libertine. Mrs. Ni"''TT, as .1h.s.. Fed, lures on the amorous old fat knight with a cordial fascination that might deceive a less besotted brain than his; and Madame, as Mrs. P«ye, rebukes Ford's jealous humour with infinite significance of look and gesture. Bane- r.ev's Fobdeff, though too active and boisterous, and wanting in unctuous. roguish gusto, is jovial, hearty, and provocative of merriment. CHARLES MATHEWS'S performance ot Master .Vencler is elaborate, and highly amusing ; but the execution is too i.alpable, and we think his concep- tion is neither original nor correct. Slender is a conceited coxcomb, with a swaggering self-importance, that ludicrously contrasts with his cowardly imbecility : Mae:news represents bins as a modest simpleton, and an earnest lover, who is rather an object for pity than derision. Miss RAINFORTH is somewhat too formal arid prudish for sweet Anne Page. 1%11:Avows's Sir Hugh is capital : he gives the pragmatical. choleric, simple-miaded parson to the life; and his Welsh dialect is characteristic. Mrs. C. JONES, as Mrs. Quichty, shows the gossip and go-between practised in her vocatioa. BLAND, as Doctor bales, acts the impetuous Frenchman better than he speaks the part. GRANBY. " Mine Host of the Garter," is a most jolly tepster. The last scene with the Fairies is beautifully managed; the distant -view of Windsor Castle, seen over the Forest, stud the effect of cloncly moonliabt, is really a fine imitation of nature. Messrs. GLIEVE have greatly in- creased their reputation by these last efforts of Scenic art. The songs, now customary, were introduced ; but Veerras is the only one of the . vocalists who prevents one from feeling that the music has no con- nexion with the drama.

With the exception of a ludicrous extravaganza at the Olympic, called The Hou,e if Ladies—a seine! to The Ladies Club, in which the pro- ceedings of Parliament are parodied by petticoated orators—no other no- velty has been produced this week. Mrs. STILLING'S dashing, oti-hand, business-like air, as a female legislator, is very clever and diverting; and Miss PITZWALTER takes part in the debate with edifying nonchalance.