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German may offer his play successively to the different theatres of Vienna, Prague, Berlin, Weimar, Dresden, Hanover, &c. and if rejected at one, it may try its fortune elsewhere. A drama, after having been refused with disdain in the natal city of the author, has frequently received universal applause on a distant theatre; and the manager at home has been obliged by the voice of the public to pay an advanced price for that piece, which he would not accept gratis. A German dramatist receives contributions from the different towns where his productions are performed.

In France also a dramatist is intitled to a certain share in the profits of every representation of his plays on every stage in the republic, and this emolument he not only enjoys during his life, but his heirs during a certain number of years after his death. These contributions he collects without difficulty, for every manager is enjoined to depose in the hands of the magistrate the share of the author, who has no farther trouble than to look in the dramatic almanac how often his works have been performed in every town, and to empower some one to receive his dues. Thus he enjoys not only a lucrative, but an honorable existence: he need not dance attendance on any manager, he is even dispensed from offering his plays to any theatre; he only need publish them, and should any manager think proper to perform them, the author receives his quota.

Kotzebue, who inherited no patrimony, travels about the continent with a suite of horses and servants; but he reaps the fruits of his talents from every theatre between Stutgard and Mietau, between Hamburg and Vienna; and Picard at Paris receives his droits d'auteur from Brussels and Marseilles.

The author of the Rovers in the Antijacobin 1798, has ridiculed the minuteness, with which a German dramatist VOL. II. Pam. NO. IV.

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prescribes the costume and decorations for his plays. This minuteness, however, is not superfluous. He frequently resides in a remote province, and therefore suggests any thought that may strike him, and is thus dispensed from a long journey to officiate at a toilet, or to attend at a rehearsal.

Great has been the outcry against the immorality of the German stage: but the Theatre of a nation must be the mirror of its usages. On the continent a woman never makes a figure in company till after her marriage; then the activity of her life commences, and she repays herself for the days of insignificance passed in the admiration of her mother's conquests. In England, on the contrary, a girl having got a husband, has fulfilled the great purpose of her existence, and reposes on her laurels. I will not here discuss the advantages or disadvantages of either system. I have sufficiently developed them in my Utopian Romance, the Empire of the Nairs; but we must not wonder that gallantry, jealousy, and marriage scenes are the usual subjects of the German Theatre, as the married women who give the ton in German society, would vote a Miss in her teens insipid as a heroine.

It may astonish the good people of this country to hear, that the outcry in Germany is not less violent against the immorality of the British Theatre. Nothing but runaway marriages, and heiresses flinging themselves into the arms of adventurers. Such misdemeanours are unknown in the Holy Empire; so that if an English husband is unwilling to take his better half to see Kotzebue's Stranger, a German mother is equally averse to her daughter's seeing their translations from the English.

Nor is this the only accusation against our drama. So little have we imbibed the Spartan principle of Respect to Old Age, that the ultimate prospect of every individual

here is to become the laughing stock of his juniors. Old square-toes is always fair game; and as if age were an outlaw from the court of chivalry, an old maid, notwithstanding all Mr. Hayley has essayed in her favor, is invariably exposed to the derision of her nieces.

To the honor of German taste, there is in the whole Empire only one theatre for Pantomime; and that in one. of the suburbs at Vienna; neither the holiday children in the boxes, nor the grown children in the gallery, come to the court theatre of that capital, to take lessons of politeness by seeing Harlequin give the clown a box on the ear, or Pantaloon get a fall, from his chair being drawn from behind him. But to return to our main object.

Why should not an English dramatist receive his share in the profits, whenever his plays are performed on a country stage, as well as an author receives the profits of his works sold in the country? A dramatist may be in distress, while his productions are enriching the managers at Edinburgh, Dublin, or Bath. Though his receipts from any town might be trifling, yet these trifles collected in every quarter would amount to a respectable sum, and if it enabled not a dramatist to vie in fortune with a manager, it would put him on a footing with a boxkeeper. This consideration I would recommend to the benevolent exertions of the Literary Fund.

The French may with reason call us a nation of shopkeepers, if all property is sacred here except literary property.

Let me conclude with proposing, that if the other measures recommended in this pamphlet be deemed unworthy of adoption, that an author, if the two great theatres refuse to accept his production, may, after submitting it to the Lord Chamberlain's inspection, have it acted by other players, who are willing to perform it.

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REV. HERBERT MARSH, D. D. F. R.S. Margaret Professor of Divinity in the University of Cambridge;









Priest of the Catholic Church.

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