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We went to these celebrated gardens on the night of the late storm, and stood under the orchestra and an

umbrella, seeing the lights gradually put out. It was a very refreshing sight.


To the Editor of the London Magazine.

MR. EDITOR.-I observe that the Reviewer of Peele's Jests, in the last LONDON, is somewhat puzzled by the epithet clenches, applied to them by Ant. à Wood, and hazards a conjecture, that it means "shifts or stratagems." In this, however, he is mistaken-it was formerly a common expression for a quibble, or play upon words, though about its etymon I am quite as much in the

dark as the Reviewer himself. I do not just now recollect the occurrence of the term in any of our earliest dramatists, and rather think it was introduced about the commencement of the seventeenth century:-in many of our dictionaries it still retains a place. The latest instance of its use I can hit upon is in a paper called "A New Session of Poets for the Year 1730," printed in the Gent. Magazine for 1731.

Some brought in whole volumes of clenches

and puns,

And one by mistake brought a parcel of duns.

The inclosed extract from Langbaine's "Account of the Dramatic Poets," 1691, p. 149, you will find very germain to ye matter."

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I Give me leave to say a word or two in defence of Mr. Jonson's way of wit, which Mr. Dryden calls CLENCHES.

There have been few great poets which have not proposed some eminent author

for their pattern :-examples of this would be needless and endless. Mr. Jonson proposed Plautus for his model, and not only borrowed from him, but imitated his way of wit in English. There are none who have read him, but are acquainted with his way of playing with words. I will give one example for all, which the reader may find

in the very entrance of his works,-I mean the prologue to Amphitrion.'

Justam rem et facilem oratum à vobis volo;

Nam juste ab justis justus sum Orator da


Nam injusta ab justis impetrare non decet;
Justa autem ab injustis petere insipien-

tia 'st.

Nor might this be the sole reason for Mr. Jonson's imitation, for possibly 'twas his compliance with his age that induced him to this way of writing, it being then, his "Conquest of Granada," the mode of as Mr. Dryden observes, in the postscript to wit, the vice of the age, and not Ben Jonson's. And besides Mr. Dryden's taxing Sir Philip Sydney for playing with his words, I may add, that I find it practised by several dramatic poets who were Mr. Jonson's cotemporaries; and, notwithstanding the advantage which_this_age claims over the last we find Mr. Dryden himself, as well as Mr. Jonson, not

only given to CLINCHES, but sometimes a CARWICHET, a QUARTER-QUIBBLE, or a bare PUN serves his turn.

I shall conclude my remarks on this weighty affair with a "modern instance," consisting of a whole string of clenches:


Currants have check'd the current of my blood,

And berries brought me to be buried here;

Pears have par'd off my body's hardihood,

And plums and plumbers spare not one so spare.

Fain would I feign my fall; so fair a fare

Lessens not fate, yet 'tis a lesson good;

Gilt will not long hide guilt; such thin-wash'd ware
Wears quickly, and its rude touch soon is rued.
Grave on my grave some sentence grave and terse,
That lies not as it lies upon my clay,

But, in a gentle strain of unstrain'd verse,
Prays all to pity a poor patty's prey:

Rehearses I was fruit-ful to my hearse,

Tells that my days are told, and soon I'm toll'd away!



THERE was a time, and that not half a century back, when, if music could not be said to be wholly unknown in the provinces, there was nothing approaching to a demonstration of the full powers of the art to be found beyond the walls of the metropolis; nor indeed there until Joah Bates, an amateur be it remembered, assembled that prodigious company of minstrels in Westminster Abbey to commemorate worthily the greatest of their fraternity. The design was magnificent, and it was not less splendidly executed, and the result has been to diffuse throughout a nation a knowledge of what music is able to effect. From that time endeavours have been made, and successfully made, to imitate, with more or less approximation to perfection according to circumstances, the excellence then attained, and to spread by the same means a general understanding and a general feeling of the beauties of the art; nay more, such efforts have been combined with the purposes of benevolence, and made to give and receive support from the strengthening aid of charity. For while assistance has been sought from music and directed towards great public institutions, minds insensible to music have been awakened to beneficence, and thus assistance has been drawn from new sources and reciprocally exerted.

Such is the brief history of the rise and progress of those great county festivals which are now becoming so universal, and, we may add, so useful in spreading the love of art, in aiding public charities, and in promoting a circulation of the stagnant wealth of the country. The power of example is like the power of numbers; or, more like the rising of an inundation, there is a point in the progression where the force is accumulated to a degree that becomes irresistible. Thus the example of Birmingham at last wrought upon other places to emulate the greatness of their exhibition, and Liverpool and York have kindled the same spirit almost throughout the whole country. In our last report we enumerated seven festivals which are concluded upon for the next three months, and we may now add an

other which is to be held at Welchpool. We alluded also to those at Bath and Cambridge, contracted for by the grand undertaker Madame Catalani, who may be said to have performed her own funeral in this capacity, and paid the last obsequies to her departed honours as a conductress. The Bath festival was not however so defective as the Cambridge. At Bath there was a band, and there were choruses, and there were parts, and there was a more than nominal conductor. Nothing was wanting but Madame herself, who was so grievously indisposed as to be under the necessity of apologizing instead of singing at three of the performances. Monsieur Vallebreque asserts, it is said, that he lost by this engagement, i. e. probably he esteems that a loss which he intended to have gained. At Cambridge he came off better in point of profit, and worse in point of reputation. The demerits of this concert deserve a little detail as a memento to Corporate Bodies who lend the interests of the institutions they befriend as a lure to the public. The performances were founded in the desire to assist Addenbrooke's Hospital, to which Madame Catalani had engaged to give a fifth of the entire receipts (at Bath she gave we understand, a tenth), she reserving to herself four-fifths for her risk and exertions. Now it is obvious that this bargain must have been provident or improvident on the part of the gentlemen of Cambridge, according to the stipulations they made for a competent band, and according to the receipts; for if the one was small and the other large, it must be clear that the benefit would be great to Madame Catalani, and comparatively little to the hospital. Madame, however, was limited by no stipulations, and her execution of this treaty upon the basis of honour is a singular proof of a faithful and generous interpretation. The singers advertised were Mesdames Catalani, Colbran, Rossini, and Pasta; Miss Stephens and Miss George; Messrs. Rossini, Sapio, Placci, Kellner, and Phillips. It is generally understood at such meetings that the singers announced

are to be heard at all the performances unless it is expressly stated to the contrary. In this instance Rossini and his wife appeared only on the first two evening concerts. Madame Pasta on the last day only, and Miss George and Mr. Phillips not at all. The sacred performances were made up almost entirely of recitatives and airs, and there was not a single chorus. At the evening concerts Rossini sang "Se fiato in Corpo" with Catalani, and "Con Patienza;" but he seemed to seek distinction rather for comic humour than fine singing, of which there were few or no traces, though he has unquestionably great comic powers, so great indeed that the sensitive Catalani could not withstand their effect, but laughed when she ought to have sung. Her planet was indeed in eclipse, being completely obscured by Miss Stephens and Madame Pasta, except in Rule Britannia and God save the King, where she touched the hearts of all her hearers by her vast energy, her prodigious volume of voice, and her fine countenance and acting. Pasta and Stephens were however beyond dispute the favourites. The former by her Il Sacrifizio d'Abraam at the church, which was certainly supremely excellent in expression, and by her Di tanti palpiti and Che faro at the Senate House. Both triumphed by the natural majesty of a style as simple as it is now-a-days rare. Mr. Sapio was much applauded in his songs. Of Mr. Kellner there is nothing to be said. He was looked upon as one of the undertaker's men, and the audience only wished he had been a


As a whole, this grand festival, considered in relation to others, was most disgraceful. The instrumental band consisted of no more than twenty-eight performers; and, as we said before, there was no chorus, an indispensable requisite to relieve the sameness of recitative and air, and to the production of those sublime and imposing effects which indeed are the very first attributes of a meeting of this nature; for single airs and duets may be heard at every concert in town or country. The marks of want of arrangement were visible throughout; there was a scarcity of parts, and no printed books arrived

from London for the last two concerts. The pieces were performed in no regular succession; but as the pressure of the moment required. Madame Catalani transposed her songs at pleasure to the entire destruction of the composer's intention; and the management was altogether reproachful.

The receipts are estimated at about 2,500l., exclusive of donations, which were awarded by the Committee of Management to be the indivisible property of the Hospital, in spite of a claim which M. de Vallebreque is reported to have set up to share (in the proportion of four-fifths to himself) these benevolences. Madame Catalani will therefore be cut down to from 300 to 400l. as her recompense for her services-the expences being between 1,600l. and 1,700., and the Hospital drawing 500l. for its fifth, besides the whole of the donations. We happen to know Madame has refused four hundred and fifty guineas for merely singing at a provincial meeting for a Charity-insisting upon a share.Bath and Cambridge will, we hope, have instructed her better; but in this, as in most other cases, repent ance will probably come too late. Her course is nearly run in England, and we unfeignedly regret that so bright a meridian should have been followed by so dark a setting of so great a light.

By a transition far more natural and just than that by which Madame Catalani finds herself the Conductress of Provincial Music Meetings, her name brings us back to the Italian Opera, where Zingarelli's Romeo é Giulietta has been produced for the benefit of Madame Pasta. When we first understood the piece was in preparation, we mentioned Madame Pasta as about to appear in Giulietta, forgetting for the moment in our haste, that Romeo was written for a contralto, in the probability that she would personate the principal female. We take this opportunity of correcting our inadvertency.

The libralto is a complete specimen of the modern Italian metamorphosis of one of the plays of our immortal Bard.-Ancient Rome, under the dominion of the Pope, is not more unlike to its original greatness.

The piece opens with a nuptial

tivated powers of a true artist. She shone unrivalled in the delivery of the recitativo parlante, rendering every word effective. In the last scene, the greater part of which she supports alone, the conjoined effects of her singing and acting were almost too much to bear. The recitative" Tran

feast at the palace of the Capelli, or the Capulets, where Romeo with his friend Gilberto appears. A mutual fascination seizes upon the lover and Giulietta, which the chorus, who are employed like that of the Greek tragedy, to be the observers and commentators upon all that passes, interpret very sagely, as well as faith-quillo io sono," just before the adjurafully, into "Imania freme, duolse, e tion of Giulietta's spirit, was as exgeme." At this moment Everardo quisite as can be imagined. In the Capelli (Capulet himself) appears with duet, "Ahimè gia vengo meno," the Tebaldo (Tibault), who is betrothed, gradual failing of the vital powers and about to be united, to Giulietta. were depicted with an agonizing fideIn the very crisis of the husband's lity. Madame Pasta had gained a and the father's delights, Romeo is reputation in this character abroad, discovered, all is suspicion and jea- which had spread her fame throughlousy, and the festival is suddenly out the world, and truly her merit has broken off. The scenes next in suc- not been exaggerated. She has well cession, are interviews between the earned the praises bestowed upon her. father and his friends-the lovers and On the first night Madame Biagioli their confidants. Romeo, at length, was the heroine, and she sustained enters the gardens, and soon after is the part creditably enough, taking into found in a retired part, Tebaldo lying account the feebleness of her natural dead, slain by him. The agitations powers. In the later representaattending this discovery are the sub- tions Madame Ronzi di Begnis playject of the finale of the first act.- ed Giulietta, and with much success. The second opens with an interview Amongst the most striking portions between Romeo and Giulietta, who were the duets, "Qual Oggetto,” and swear eternal affection and constancy and separate. Gilberto, in the next scene, prepares the expedient of the sleeping draught, which Giulietta swallows. Her father comes to urge her marriage with Tebaldo, and during his menaces she falls into the torpidity which Capelli mistakes for death. The scene at the tomb closes the piece much as in the original, except that the chorus conducts Romeo to the spot-who dies, and Giulietta faints upon the body.

Such are the materials of this opera, in which there is not a single trait of the sentiments or the language of Shakspeare. It may be truly said to be made up of exclamations. But of such stuff is an opera constructed, and the passionate parts are sufficiently expressive to lead the composer to some very fine musical illustrations.

The piece was produced for Madame Pasta's honour, and her triumphs, both as an actress and a singer, were certainly very complete. It is impossible to imagine more beautiful and more perfect expression. Her performance indicates sensibility and a taste thoroughly formed-in a word, all the attributes of high intellect, as well as of the most industriously cul

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Dunque mio bene," the last of which was given with exquisite expressiveness, with far greater purity than the audiences of the King's Theatre have been accustomed to since the reign of Rossini began.

Nor must Signor Garcia be passed over in silence. In his character there was little to set off a singer, but of that little he made a great deal indeed. His first air was one of rapturous delight, and although subsequent parts of the opera allowed us a full acquaintance with his pathetic powers, yet without detracting from his ability in this the grander walk of the drama, we may be allowed to remark, that in airs which admit of almost unlimited expatiation he is most at home. His singing always reminds us of the soaring of the lark. His soul is in every note -he seems let loose from earth, and the more boundless his flight, the more full of ecstasy is his song, for herein lies the grand difference between Garcia and every other florid singer it has fallen to our lot to hear. He makes every passage expressive, by the ardour and the ease and the feeling with which he "wautons in the wiles of sound." His last aria, " Misero che faro,” gave

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The practice of such a lesson will go far to confer the execution it is intended to display.

La Speranza is a very elegant composition, by Mr. Abel, combining expres

sion and mechanical excellence.

Mr. Ries's Variations on a March in Tancredi and a Rondo on Bishop's air, "When in Disgrace," are in his best style. Mr. Duruset has published a set of Solfeggios, selected from the exercises of Crescentini, Paer, and Pelegrini, intended for the improvement of those who are already acquainted with the principles of the art. They appear more calculated to confer execution than the portamento della voce, and we should not recommend their adoption until the voice has acquired the steadiness and quality of voicing which the practice of the scale alone confers. Their style is perhaps more modern and more strictly allied to that now in fashion, than any Solfeggi extant.


THE following interesting particulars have been communicated to us by a gentleman just arrived from New South Wales.

Mr. Oxley has at last discovered a river of considerable magnitude, with an embouchure to the sea; Mr. Cunningham, the botanical collector for Kew Gardens, has explored a pass through a fine country, from Bathurst to Liverpool Plains; and Mr. Bell, jun. has effected a way from Richmond to Bathurst, which will avoid the difficulties of crossing the Blue Mountains. But the greatest and most unexpected discovery of all is, that of the river which Mr. Oxley has called the Brisbane, and which discharges its waters into Moreton Bay, 400 miles to the northward of the settlement at Port Jackson. This valuable discovery was made only in December last, in the course of a survey of Moreton Bay, with a view to form a convict penal establishment there, in pursuance of the recommendation of the commissioner of inquiry, Mr. Bigge. The river flows through a rich country, and is navigable for 20 miles for vessels of considerable burthen, if not drawing more than 16 feet of water. From this distance the water is per

AUG. 1824.

fectly fresh. Mr. Oxley proceeded 30 miles further up the river without finding any diminution, in either the breadth or depth of it, except that in one place, to the extent of 30 yards, a ridge of detached rocks stretches across, having not more than 12 feet at high water; and he obtained from a hill a view of its apparent course for 30 or 40 miles further. As far as Mr. Oxley went, the tide rose four feet six inches. It was impossible to pursue the investigation then from sickness, heat of weather, and shortness of provisions; but he was to renew his survey early in the autumn. The country was level all round, from south to north-west, in the apparent south-west course of the river; from which circumstance, and the slowness of the current, and the depth of the water, Mr. Oxley was led to conclude that the river will be found navigable for vessels of burthen to a much greater distance, probably not less than 50 miles. There was no appearance of its being flooded; and from the nature of the country and other circumstances, he does not think that the sources of the river will be found in a mountainous region, but rather that it flows from some lake, which will prove to be


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