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MEMOIRS

OF

A MANAGER.

CHAPTER VI.

HAVING it is presumed in the preceding volume removed every shadow of doubt, wherever any doubt existed, respecting the morality of the Drama, as well as enforced its policy and importance in a national view; a few words remain to be added on what some people may think the first consideration ; namely, the expenses attending it.

. In the opinion of many, every shilling spent on the Drama is an unnecessary expenditure, aad consequently to use their own language, so much money thrown away! To those people who are advocates for only what is necessary, it may not be improper to observe, and to ask - Do they never wear useless articles of apparel ? or eat and drink what are unnecessary? When they vol. ii.

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can shew that a coat must necessarily be of fine texture and with double rows of buttons ? that rulles to shirts, lace to caps, feathers and artificial flowers are necessary, then it will be admitted that the Drama is otherwise and absolutely unnecessary! When they can prove that gluttony, or its opposite Epicureanism -- that spiritous liquors, wine or even strong beer, or strong potions of any kind-then, and not till then, will it be allowed that the Drama is superflous, and in effect, a specious of slow moral poison! The direct contrary however is the truth ;- the human constitution is impaired by the use of strong liquors, while the mind's health is renovated by wholesome institutions of the Drama. It may be said in reply that articles of dress though merely ornamental are in a certain degree useful to maintain rank and credit in the different orders of society. Well, and is not mental ornament equally necessary to distinguish man in society? Is the head the only part that is to be left unfurnished and undecorated and totally neglected ? In the present state of civilized Europe the Drama is a necessary part of educa, tion: the gentleman and even the respectable tradesman would make but a poor figure, if entirely iguorant of it. Whoever is a total stranger to the Drama, and at the same time is obliged to have intercourse with the world, let him beware of the consequences. He would be in the situation of the man who sets out on his travels with out knowing any thing of geography. Good plays are, as to the obtaining a knowledge of mankind, what maps and charts are to the traveller and circumnavigator in acquiring a perfect knowledge of the globe. By the reading of plays in his closet or rather by witnessing the representation of them on the stage, a man may acquire as much practical every-day knowledge in an hour, as can be gained in a month without them : however well-intentioned and virtuous the mind of a man may be if (in the present state of society) he is entirely ignorant of the drama he can never apply his talents to advantage for himself, or society, but will continue to be duped by knaves, thwarted by fools, apd' impeded by prejudices, and his best intentions perverted into the furtherance of the specious schemes and interested speculations of selfish and designing men.

In support of things as they are, it has often been urged that articles of luxury are to be indulged in, ånd, in a commercial nation like this,'encouraged for the sake and support of the manufacturers : well, and will not the argument apply with the same force on this subject. Are there 'not thousands of individuals and their families whose subsistence in a great measure depends on the labor carried on in the dramatic marufacturies ? Are all these to starve by being thrown sud. denly, and as it were all at once out of employ? are they not fellow creatures ? members of society, and such as nearly all societies in all ages and in all countries, have contained, countenanced and encouraged ? consisting of authors, artists, tragedians and comedians, singers, musicians, printers, painters, paper-makers. &c.; to say nothing of dress-makers, tailors, oilmen, gas lighters or tallow-chandlers. The carpenters too, these carpenters are important personages, manufacturers of modern dramas. And are none of these to be

considered in the eye of the philosopher and political economist? are they not as deserving of notice, and at least as useful members of the state as the silk weavers of Spital-fields, the button-makers of Birmingham, the toy-shop folks of Sheffield, the fillagree muslin-men milliners of Manchester ? or even the grand importers and manufacturers of cosmeties, quack medicines, inflammatory liquors, gin and whiskey, snuff and tobacco, tooth-picks, tweezer-cases, essence bottles and tobacco pipes ?

If the labourers in the dramatic field, are of equal importance with the manufacturers of the articles above enumerated, they are certainly deserving of equal en. couragement ? for it is written every labourer is worthy of his hire. Let it not be for a moment supposed that the trades here alluded to, the weavers, &c. spoken of as not deserving of encouragement! no such thing; the argument here is that in a nation like this all trades are necessary; or rather, if left unmolested employ, like water soon finds its own level. The purposes of agriculture should have their full supply of hands after that things may be left to take their own course, and in process of time all parties will be satisfied.

There are many very worthy individuals, who though liberal and friendly to the drama, still are of opinion that it ought not to be countenanced in times of dearth and scarcity or general depression. This argument like the former one will make as much for, as against the question, and as the lawyers say will cut on both sides. In good times people are naturally contented, and happy, in bad times the reverse ; thereforo amuse

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