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mittee's predecessors ought to have ner, he must say, in which it had been been brought forward to answer for argued. Had the objection relative to their conduct. Mr P. Moore, at the the want of parties been persevered in, commencement of the last season, ad- it would only have delayed the hearing vanced 10001. to enable the theatre to till to-morrow. The case must be taopen; a like sum was now ready, and ken to be now argued de bene esse, could the Court say it should be kept and, in his opinion, its merits lay in a shut? It was true, there were debts very narrow compass. The case had on it, but that was no reason they been put as eight proprietors against should not have an opportunity of li. five. This was not the fact, for it was quidating them. Would the Court a bill filed for carrying into effect an say, that the select committee should opinion expressed by a great body of lock up the theatre, and disperse the proprietors at a general meeting. Ia performers, and cut up the concern root fact, it would be impossible to bring and branch, because they were a little all the parties before the Court, as embarrassed ? He trusted he should from death, abatement, and all other not have to address his Lordship in causes, the question might never be reply, to induce him to open the brought to a conclusion. There was theatre, or rather to suspend this ex. no act of Parliament that prevented a traordinary injunction. He reminded few persons coming before the Court his Lordship, that though the house in behalf of a great number of persons was shut, the rent to the Duke of Bed- with their expressed wish. He did ford was still going on; the taxes pro- not know why the names of Messrs ceeded; the interest on the bonds ac- Cocker and Ellice were so particularcumulated; the interest on 3750l. perly brought before the Court, for he annum, for eighty years, was going on, had never heard that gentlemen of the and nothing coming in to liquidate all profession had ever come before it ia those charges. The loss the holders any other situation than other persons. of private boxes would sustain-the He had heard of a story which hap ruin that would be entailed on the pened many years ago on the Welsh poorer classes of persons about the Circuit, where the jury were all Welshtheatre and the salaries of those per- men, in which it was said, on coming sons who must of necessity attend, al- to a name in the paper of causes, “Oh! though the house were shut, were we'll take this, it can't take long, for among the arguments used to induce I shall tell the jury the plaintiff is a bis Lordship to dissolve the injunction, rich attorney, and the defendant a poor and with which the learned gentleman widow, when they will soon dispose of concluded a speech of two hours du- it.” He did not know if his learned ration.
friend was of this opinion, but he must Sir Samuel Romilly hoped he should deprecate the insidious way in which not take up much of his Lordship’s Messrs Ellice and Cocker had been time. His learned friend had had an mentioned. Sir Arthur Piggot had extremely difficult task to perform, designated this as a monstrous case, and he had proved that he needed no and that it was unnecessary to say any acquisition of strength, for there had thing further on it. He did not mean been as large a portion of time ex- to throw the slightest insinuation on pended as though the whole three had the sub.committee, who, it was possibeen heard. He strongly deprecated ble, might be possessed of talents to the asperity with which this case had sway empires, but he must say they been conducted, and the artful man- were not fit to hold the reins of thea. trical government, for they would bring greater amount had been incurred. The nothing but ruin on the concern, if present reminded him of a plot to overthe blow was not averted by shutting turn a government with a treasury of up the theatre. One fact was, his 171.-( Laughter.)-The 1cool, that learned friend did not like a change of had been advanced, had never come administration. To turn out an admin back, but many had gone after it, nistration was not always so comforta. which would be the case again if the ble a job as some persons supposed, theatre was opened. If they could find and in this case the select committee a good-natured creditor who would was not biassed by gain, for they act. stop till best suited him, and then come ed voluntarily and without reward. If and sweep every thing away by an their object was to turn out the pre- execution, and after this, if they could sent theatrical administration, and get find a good natured public who would in themselves, it could not be for the go to see the performers in their comlove of power, but to avert the ruin mon clothes, without gardens, trees, pending over them. It had been de- &c. usually exhibited, it might be scribed as a secret job, and this was very well to open the theatre, but till the whole of the case—they wished to that could be done, it was folly to save themselves from ruin.
think of opening. If by the arrangeThe Lord Chancellor.The great ment of the select committee, the most seal is in the hands of the five. pressing debts could be got rid of, the Mr Peter Moore.—No, my Lord, theatre
might again go on. The opithey have no power:
nion that appeared so monstrous to Sir Samuel Romilly. The keeper Sir Arthur Piggott, was held by the of the conscience is the second named great majority of 50 proprietors out defendant.
of 200. The sub-committee acted on Sir Arthur Piggot.--He cannot act, mere sufferance.
The Lord Chancellor.- What has Here the Court, the most crowded been the practice under the act ? we ever witnessed, burst out into a Sir A. Piggott.-— There has been no hearty laugh, his Lordship himself be- objection made till this bill was filed. ing unable to maintain his gravity. The Lord Chancellor said, that he
Sir Samuel proceeded. The words should read over the acts very carein the affidavit were, “ will” and fully. He thought the specification “may” be the ruin of the proprietors, agreed to before the House of Lords if the committee are suffered to open was, that Drury-lane Theatre should the theatre.
never come into the Court of ChanThis was denied, it being contended cery. that it was only “may.”
After much argument, in the course The Lord Chancellor. The affida. of which Sir Samuel ironically assimivit handed up to me has the words lated the persons in office in the theawill and may in three different places. tre to the great officers of state ; he
Sir Samuel proceeded. The debts said that Mr Lamb, who had been one bad increased under the present admi. of the committee, had now become a nistration ; it was therefore better to plaintiff against them. Sir Arthur was put an end to it altogether, than let very much surprised at its being wish. the ruin go on increasing, for the time ed to place the whole management in must come when an end must be put one person's hands, but a proposition to it, and it ought to be done before to that effect had been made by his fresh contracts and expenses to a much clients. One person had the manage
ment of the other theatre, and un. powers, and he must judge of that a der bis guidance it prospered. This he would do in the laws made relative case was the same as that of a canal to corporate bodies. This question, which had stopped for the want of however, might as well be avoided, for funds, for that was the very case here. the benefit of all parties. It would per. It was not just that the proprietors haps be as well for him not to go into should be losing 80001. a year to sup. the affidavits at all ; yet he felt very port the performers, when they had much that this speculation was going already lost so much. An appeal on at an immense hazard. Of this he ought to be made to the public, whom was very deeply convinced, but how they had delighted, in their behalf. was it possible for him to interfere in Sir Samuel concluded by submitting, a case where the powers of the comthat as the Court was justified in grants mittee were settled by act of Parliaing the injunction, so it was in main- ment ? He had given the case his most taining it.
serious attention, and after weighing Sir Arthur Piggot made a most able all the circumstances in his mind, he reply, and concluded by submitting was decidedly of opinion that he could that the injunction should be dissolved. not support this injunction, on account
The Chancellor delayed giving judge of the absence of parties ; this was not ment till the following day, when he the only reason, for he also was constated, that, after having carefully per- vinced that no case whatever had been used the bill, and the acts to which it made out to justify him in continuing referred, the result of the whole was, the injunction. that by the first act the proprietors The injunction was accordingly diswere constituted a corporate body, solved. and had powers vested in them, which the legislature gave them very parti. cular directions how to discharge. He might lay it down as a principle of AYRTON AGAINST WATERS, FOR MAlaw, that while the powers vested in NAGEMENT OF THE OPERA HOUSE. select parts of a corporation, could be exercised by the select parts of that Sheriff's Court, January 10. corporation, it was impossible for him to say that a body of men could as- Mr Wild stated, that the plaintiff gume powers which were not given was William Ayrton, Esq. and the dethem by the act of the legislature. fendant Edward Waters, Esq. The The general assembly of proprietors declaration was for 12001. for work in this case might give advice ; at least and labour. The defendant had sufthey might appoint a select committee fered judgment by default, and the to give auch advice, but that commit- Jury were impannelled to ascertain the tee had no power to dictate to the damages. general or sub.committee what they Mr Scarlett, in a very eloquent ought to do. If it was true, as was speech, addressed the Jury. He at. alleged, that the general committee tended, he said, on behalf of a genile. was not a valid one, and that the sub. man whose name was of high celebrity committee was in the same state, by not in the musical world. The plaintiff acting agreeably to the provisions of was the son of Dr Ayrton, an eminent the act of Parliament, then the ques. professor, and many years master of tion before him was, whether the cor. his Majesty's chapel. He had brought poration could any longerexercise their up his son, the plaintiff, in the same
profession, had given him a liberal edu, connection there was between the fine cation, and had rendered him fit to en. arts, regretted the state of the Italian gage in any situation, or associate in Opera as it then was, and wished an any society. The defenılant was a attempt should be made to introduce gentleman extremely well known-al- the Operas of the best masters, and most as well known in courts of justice that they should be got up so that all as the King's Theatre itself, in conse. the parts should be cast in the most quence of the contest in which he had advantageous manner. Mr Waters been engaged with Mr Taylor, the particularly was influenced by a desire former proprietor. The object of the to produce that effect. It so happenpresent inquiry was, to ascertain what ed that the attention of Mr Waters sum of money was reasonably to be was directed to Mr Ayrton, by the paid to the plaintiff for the labour, as- celebrity the latter had acquired as siduity, and skill he had bestowed in manager of the Philharmonic Concerts. the concerns of Mr Waters, in the mu- Mr Waters thought no one better quasical department of the Opera House lified to undertake the musical departe last season, and for other services, ment of the opera than one who had which, though not falling under that conducted those concerts, which were class, had been rendered by the plain. attended with a greater degree of fame tiff for the defendant. He would here than any concerts had ever been before. observe, that the Italian Opera had In former times, if you heard one fine for many years been unproductive. To piece of music in a concert, you were those who frequented the Italian Ope. obliged to listen to many dull and tirera it was well known, that on former some compositions; but the conductor occasions it was sufficient if the Man of the Philharmonic Concerts proceednager exhibited one singer, male or ed upon the principle of excluding female, in a season, whose attractions every thing that was not excellent ; were sufficient to draw the attention and with such success had they been of the audience: but all propriety in attended, that the number of subscrigetting up the drama for theatrical re- bers was only limited by the size of presentation was thrown in the back the room in which they were performground, in order to render more pro. ed. Thus was Mr Ayrton introduced minent the particular person engaged to Mr Waters. He was a gentleman, as principal singer. In the event of a scholar, acquainted with foreign lanthe singer so engaged failing in pro- guages, understood not only what beducing the effect expected, there were longed to the science of music, but to also engaged in a season two new the business of the world. Mr Wa. principal dancers to perform in the ters applied to him in general terms ballet. He recollected, in the early for his assistance. Mr Waters had part of his life, when he had more lei- himself no intimate knowledge of mu. sure, though not more taste, than he sic, nor was he much acquainted with had at present, he was used to attend foreign languages; therefore his enthe Opera, and it was then considered gagements with his Italian performers that it was quite in time if any one were of necessity by proxy. He inarrived at the Theatre before the bal- duced Mr Ayrton to accompany him let commenced; for such was the state to Paris. When arrived there, the first of the Italian Opera, that many per. step was to engage Ambrogetti, Ansons of the higher order, many of whom grisani, Camporese, and Madame Fo. had great taste-nay, the whole mass dor. Every pains were taken by Mr of the British public, who knew the Ayrton, to form a complete corps dramatique, in which one particular per. species of vanity was not confined to son should not stand before the rest, singers ; for it was well known that but where every part should be equal. the most splendid orators had made ly prominent. The success of the themselves ridiculous by pretending to Opera, in consequence of those ar- be what nature never intended themrangements, was unbounded. The zeal poets. The musical director had to of Mr Ayrton was not confined to his appreciate and direct the genius of each duty; he wrote the advertisements individual performer. A director, who for the defendant-composed for him. was to adapt the music of such a man (Here the learned counsel read an as Mozart, or, to use the phrase of advertisement, published by Mr Wa- Milton, “ to marry music to immortal ters, which expressed his own ideas of verse," was not a director who was to the extraordinary success of the Italian be met with every day. Here was a Opera last season.). Upon the subject Signor who desired to have such a of the various duties which devolved song, and a Signora who preferred on the plaintiff, his first was to give such an air. It required a man of prohis advice to the proprictor as to the found knowledge of the world to sooth merits of the vocal and instrumental the irritations of the one, or flatter the performers previous to their being en- other, in order to induce them to make gaged. He was, likewise, if neces- a sacrifice of their vanity. It required sary, to re-model operas, a duty which such a man as Mr Ayrton, a man of did not depend on the mere kuowledge suavity of manners, of great address, of music, but required other qualifica- of sound judgment, and refined taste. tions ; for music might be set to the Mr Waters would have done well if
grossest nonsense. The poetry of one he had kept this gentleman in his serof the finest Italian lyric poets, Me- vice; but the love of economy had tastasio, had been so altered by the prevailed. The only question then writers of operas within the last cen- was, what should be the remuneration? tury, that they had become the sub. He should call professors, who would ject of ridicule among the wits of those say, that they would not have filled Mr days. The plaintiff had, therefore, to Ayrton's situation under 1000l. arestore the purity of the poetry to such year ;--they would say, that it was imoperas as had been degraded by the possible to have procured a fitter man, style in which they had been written. or one who combined more talents than Another duty imposed upon the plain. Mr Ayrton. He was, therefore, entiff grew out of this circumstance; the titled to a liberal compensation. As performers of the opera were generally Mr Waters had thrown it on a quantum gifted with great talents, and many of meruit, he trusted the Jury would give them had, in consequence, a consider the plaintiff what he deserved. It was able, but just share of vanity: Parti- not unusual formerly to pay large sacular singers conceived that they acted laries to persons who filled this departparticular parts, or sung particularment. The late Mr Sheridan, than airs, better than others. This produ. whom no one was a better judge, did ced jealousies among them, and it was not think 10C01. a.year too much. It the task of the musical director to was to be observed, that the music was compose these jarring feelings. He of the best sort, and the performers of was himself to determine that for which the first eminence. Madame Fodor they were most fit, well knowing, that had 15001. a-year, and the others were they were themselves not always the paid in the same proportion. It was best judges upon that subject. This therefore important, that such talento