Alexandre Duval

The Diary of an Invalid

Source: Henry Matthews, The Diary of an Invalid, being the Journal of a Tour in pursuit of health; in Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, and France, in the years 1817, 1818, and 1819, vol. 2 (London: J. Murray, 1824, 4th edition), pp. 216-217

Production: Alexandre Duval, Édouard en Écosse, Toulouse, 22 January 1819

Text: 22d. In the evening to the theatre. The play was Edouard en Ecosse; founded on the adventures of the Pretender in England, the work of M. Duval, who is fond of dramatising English story. The part of Charles Edward was admirably played by Beauchamp. His face and appearance, when he first comes in, pale and worn out with fatigue, presented a striking resemblance of Napoleon. The political allusions with which the play abounds, were eagerly seized throughout, and applied to the Ex-Emperor.—“Je n’ai fait que des ingrats” was long and loudly applauded. In the last act of the play the air of “God save the King” was incidentally introduced; which afforded the audience an opportunity of manifesting their feeling towards England, which they did not neglect — and an universal hiss broke out. A pantomime followed, but a very faint imitation of the inimitable entertainment which is called by that name in England. The first dancer is called Harlequin, without his wand or his tricks; the first female dancer is Columbine; and the unfortunate Pantaloon, in addition to his own part, is Clown also; so that besides the kicks on the breeches which he receives in quality of the first character, he has also to endure the slaps of the face which fall to the lot of the second. His mock dance was excellent; and his animated sack, for he jumps into a sack and displays wonderful locomotive powers therein, was worthy of Grimaldi himself.

Comments: Henry Matthews (1789-1828) was a British judge. On account of ill health, he went on a recuperative tour of Europe over 1817-1819. The published diary of his travels, The Diary of an Invalid (1820), was very popular and went through a number of editions. The two-volume diary has several entries on theatregoing. Alexandre-Vincent Pineux Duval was a French actor, dramatist and theatre manager. His three-act play Édouard en Écosse, on Charles Edward Stuart (‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’), was published in 1801. I am unsure of the precise theatre in Toulouse, and of the identity of the actor Beauchamp.

Links: Copy at Hathi Trust