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SHAKSPEARE ACCORDING TO LAW.

DEAR COM.

Many of your readers can doubtlessly call to mind the witty antics now registered among the antiquities of the stage :—the salt effusions of other days must be fresh in the memories of many. I do not allude to the glorious productions of Wycherley, Vanburgh, Ben Jonson, or any other of the benefactors of the drama, but to the productions of the immortal bard as they were performed many years ago at the different Minor Theatres, conformably to their licenses—with singing and dancing—when it was not an unfrequent occurrence to hear Othello and Desdemona indulging in a duet, or see Macbeth and his Lady break into a pas de deux.

On looking over the papers of a late dramatic friend, I accidentally discovered a part of Macbeth adapted to the stage at that period, which I subjoin, for the benefit of the monopolists. It serves at least to show to what

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SHAKSPEARE ACCORDING TO LAW.

a state those zealous patrons of the drama would have Shakspeare reduced, before they will allow him to be seen on any other boards than those of Covent Garden and Drury Lane. Let the Minors represent the swan of Avon in his own sublime form, and lo! the vengeance of the law shall be upon them; but let them mutilate—burlesque-profane his immortal works, and verily-his Majesty's Lord Chamberlain will grant them a license so to do! Truly, this monopoly is a pretty farce. Because we have but one Newton, we are to use but two telescopes. Now, I propose that the number of theatres in the metropolis should be determined after this fashion :- Take the theatres now open in London-multiply them by the public houses -and then divide by the dissenting chapels -and the quotient will be the quantity that ought to be licensed by the Lord Chamberlain.

Ralph RIGMAROLE.

SCENE-The Heath.

MACBETH. BANQUO. WITCHES.

Macb. I haven't a day seen so cold and so hot as this. Ban. Much iarther to Fores is it? [Observing the

Witches.] Dam'me, Mac! what is this? Such queer-looking figures, so rum in their attitude, They seem as if earth was quite out of their latitude.

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