Page images
PDF
EPUB

me.

as your neighbour, and no better. lately witnessed, differing so widely I have still a clear noddle, and I'll from each other, yet happening in sing it to ye.

such close ssuccesion, still haunted

The striking contrast of lonely A pipe of tobacco and ale of the best

agony and boisterous mirth ; of dark Are better, far better, than pillow and rest; We'll smoke and we'll drink, if it be but to cheerful parlour with its blazing fire

secluded roads, and the light and spite The devil who comes in the shape of the and laughing inmates, kept me night.

awake for some time; and when I at In ale, good ale, the fiend we'll drown, length fell into an uneasy slumber, And empty our pipes on his raven crown.

dreams of terror and anxiety op

pressed me. The song of the topers Give me the mug, Tommy Barker, for a moment dwelt in my imaginafor I think it's ill singing wi' a dry tion, but their voices seemed to be throat. Gentlemen all, here's

a dying away, and the cry of the youth merry season to you and good cattle who had lost his father burst upon to me. And now for the next verse

my ear.

I awoke in horror, and A pipe of tobacco, and ale of

heard persons running to and fro be

neath my chamber, and loud but No! no! that I gave before ; let's agitated whispers, and then groans see. Ay! ay! that's it

and frequent sobbings. I sprang We'll smoke and we'll drink

from my bed, hastily dressed myself,

and, on reaching the ground floor, It won't do, though I am sure I found a scene offering as strong a knew the whole song awhile agone. contrast to the second I have deIt won't do!”

cribed, as the second offered to the He said truly. He had not only first. Of all those who but a few forgotten the words, but was at each hours before had “ made the Can new attempt giving us a variation their confidant,” and laughed, and on the old air to which they were sung, and talked without a thought adapted. There was evidently a of sorrow; of all those who had screw loose in the machinery of his spoken of finding eternity of life in the brain, and his memory was out bowl and the ale cup, and oblivion of of order. He then tried another care in the fragrance of the tobacco song, but with as little success; and leaf; of all those, one alone had esat last the whole company began to caped to tell the fate of his compasing what is called a Dutch medley, nions, who by their own carelessness and I thought it time to escape from and imprudence had perished, whilst their company as fast as I could. I crossing the river, miserably perished, threw myself on my bed, but could in drunkenness and despair. not sleep The scenes which I had

a

SONNET.
The fields are carpeted with virgin snow,

Smoothed with the weft of Nature's winged feet,

Where she descends the earliest Month to greet,
Waiting the smiling queen's return below,
Her welcome, yet capricious will to know,

Respecting Earth! and now they take their seat

Upon a thorny bank where wild birds meet;
And look upon the deadened streams that flow
Beneath the thick ice, silently and slow!

And now they listen to the lonely note

Of the sweet chaffinch with the tuneful throat,
Spring's favourite minstrel! and anon, they go,

Where a resplendent crocus, half unfurld,
Gilds with one smile the solitary world.

a

THE DRAMA. THE HAYMARKET THEATRE. well-ordered Spanish operas have The Alcaid.

these allotments of persons, and An opera, with a Spanish plot, un- therefore, injudicious as Mr. Kenny der the title of " The Alcaid,” has has been with regard to his own inbeen produced at this little theatre; terests, he has not been irregular in and, although Kenny's pen was emá his attentions to the Spanish muse. ployed in the writing it, and Nathan Those who know how unevenly the the inspired Hebrew melodist was interviews between Dons and Donnas the composer, the piece met with but invariably run, will forgive our not an indifferent reception. The news- attempting to particularize the inpapers damned it, hy lauding it as an trigues of the Alcaid.—Let it suffice opera that might by judicious cur- to say, that the characters are, from tailment be rendered attractive and the first scene to the last, confoundamusing ; but with all our admira- ing and loving each other, and that tion of Mr. Kenny's ability as a dra- due attention is paid throughout to matist, we are quite sure that nothing the discomfiture of the married state. but that wholesale curtailment which The Alcaid himself, as guardian of has at last been resorted to,-viz. the the public morals, very properly pays cutting out of the opera altogether, no attentions to his own; and Mrs. could advance the interests of the Alcaid, goes about all vicious in black theatre, or tend to the amusement of velvet, like a restive mare in a mournthe public. With Mr. Kenny's ex- ing coach. Mr. Farren enacted the perience, we wonder that he should Alcaid and played, as usual, with be so rash as to trust to a Spanish good emphasis, and excellent indisplot and Spanish characters for his cretion. Perhaps his dress, with resuccess with the audience. It is ference to the late joke respecting your cout-and-breeches comedy, as it him, was indiscreet. Mrs. Glover is termed bebind the scenes, that personated his wife, and threw into makes an Englishman laugh. He it that domestic vivacity—that easy likes to see his neighbours shown up Spanish morality, which wives ain Folly's mirror, and does not care to broad so generally and pleasantly have a Spaniard reflected back upon practise, and which some wives in him when he looks in the glass. The England can imitate to the life. Mrs. dramatist should bear in mind the Glover, behind a mask, and in white motto over the stage when he be- satin, looked a carnival in herself. takes himself to the comic; and Madame Vestris enacted Don Felix Signors, and Monsieurs, and Dons in a good loose dashing rakehelly should be put aside for other pur- fashion. She is the best bad young poses.

man about town, and can stamp a The plot of The Alcaid is, as we smart leg in tight whites, with the have said, Spanish; that is, it is full air of a fellow who has an easy of intrigue, slashed doublets, masks, heart and a good tailor. and improbabilities. It is a tame member once seeing Madame Vesand even confused copy of all past tris in female attire, and thought her and established Spanish confusions; a very interesting young person in and contains the usual allowance of that solitary instance, but we preregularly irregular characters. There sume that she herself inclines to panis one old amorous married man with taloons, and prefers contemplating a hat and feather,—with a red Don's the daring knee and boot, to the neat dress, a sword at his side, and a stick and modest foot veiled below the in his hand ; an extra-middle-aged ancle. In this opera she is the lover wife, with a turn for wandering kind- of Donna Francisca, a very pretty innesses and home camivals ; an im- teresting lady, with a melodious voice portant go-between in brown hose ; and eye; who deserved a better husa jealous servant, persecuted and band at the hands of the Fates. There funny; a waiting woman of easy is a Don Andreas de Caravajel, which character, and two pair of spangled translated into plain English, means lovers, coloured, chubby, and full of a Mr. Huckel, who loves Rosabel, sous, like piping bullfinches. All Miss Paton, and after many heavy

a

We re

a

a

a

difficulties and songs is rewarded with graceless puns ; but it is also utterly that lady, and a share in the finale. free from wit or smartness of any Miss Paton had a poor part allotted description; and we question whe to her, and one or two songs which ther such empty correctness is prehowever allowed a full display of ferable to the clever irregularities her powers of execution. She is in which some of our farce writers-indisputably a fine singer, but she will dulge in, and which we, as critics, always have the best of her songs. are bound to abuse. The

conversaThey stand no chance of repose with .tion goes on languidly and serenely, her. This young lady has not been and dies a natural death at the last. extremely well used of late, and she Of the music, little can be said. herself has not taken the proper It is pretty, but Mr. Nathan is one of course for removing the ill usage. A those composers that require poetry report of her having acquired a title to inspire them. Mr. Kenny is not by marriage has been generally cir- the writer for Mr. Nathan. When culated; and she has requested the Lord Byron gave him those grand editor of a paper to contradict it, on and melancholy songs which spake of the ground of its being injurious to Hebrew sorrows and the broken her professional pursuits. Would it spirits of Judæa, the soul of the not have been better if she had sim- composer became at once saddened ply contradicted the report herself. and awakened by the poet, and the However, we have little or nothing music has all the wildness, bitterness, to do with the matter, and should and spirit, which the high Jewish not have even alluded to it, if it had heart must feel when contemplating not been touched upon in nearly its scattered people. every newspaper and conversation in THE ENGLISH OPERA HOUSE. London. Mrs. Gibbs has nearly out- The Reign of Twelve Hours. grown the young waiting woman,- This is an eastern piece, and we but she has rare blood, and shows have the same objections to make to spirit still. A Mrs. C. Jones pryed it which we have just stated above. about in mouse-coloured stuff cun- Miss Kelly is nothing if not natural, ningly enough. Harley made a good and this slight little sketch deprives deal of one Jabez, a jealous husband, her of all chance of being either huand sneaking servant. He had one mourous or simple. It appears to phrase which he toned well, “I can't have been hastily written and prohelp thinking of my wife.” It seem- duced. There has been no other noed the posie of a ring for Jealousy to velty. Der Freyschütz still astounds wear! Liston acted Pedrosa, an im- the town, and Miss Stephens has portant covetous steward, and did ejected Miss Noel from the character not lose all his humour in the Spanish of Agnes much to the advantage of character; though no man suffers so the drama. This wild piece is now much as poor Liston, when he leaves inimitably well acted, as well as London. He is the true King of sung; and we must again say that Cokayne! In Lubin Log he is at his Braham exhibits powers of acting, height, for he then does not outdress which nothing but the solemn hand his voice or his face; but in such of a German dramatist could awaken. parts as Pedrosa, his fantastic habit He plays the part of Rodolph as if beards his fantastic countenance, and he really loved, and believed in the the effect of both is impaired. magic balls. But we enter our se

The dialogue of the piece is ex- rious protest against his half-boots. : tremely free from low humour and

REPORT OF MUSIC. At length the Winter Theatres, the may well employ the interregnum in Concerts, and the Opera House are a review of the transactions of the closed, and music has entered upon season, and in an endeavour to eluher summer tour to the provinces. cidate by events the progress of the While nothing is to be heard in Lon- art. Such a retrospect appears as don but Weber's Freyschütz, we necessary to the philosophical musician, as the annual casting of ac- ercise. By professors, and their facounts to the trader-a homely com- milies and connexions, the Concert parison, but nevertheless it has its is, and must continue to be, kept toanalogy even to our subject, and to gether, unless personal division should those who are engaged in the prac- arise to weaken its powers and its tice of the art, which is become but cohesion—an accident every day less too much a matter of commerce. likely to happen, as the more frequent

It should almost seem that the access of foreign musicians to the conduct of public music is on the eve. country, and the more extensive culof some signal change. The Phil. tivation of our native talent, concur harmonic and Ancient Concerts have to diminish the power of individual been the only successful establish- professors, however eminent, and to ments, and these are fixed upon foun- render them less important by the dations which have a strength and facility with which any desertion can consistency independent of the as be replaced. Such an equalization musement the audiences derive, can hardly fail to operate beneficially though this is certainly of the high up to a certain point, because it must est possible kind. The first of these increase all the incentives to the atcelebrated assemblages of talent, tainment of excellence, which severe more celebrated perhaps and more and close competition engenders. The excellent than any other academia in Philharmonic Society may therefore Europe, is maintained almost entirely be regarded as a permanent concenby professors, and persons especially tration of the highest talent, and the interested in the support of music. rallying point for professors of emiFor we must consider that not only nence. is this concert taken up for the pur- The Ancient Concert stands upon pose of producing the finest possible other prerogatives, but of not less specimens of performance, but for certain authority and continuance. the object of spreading the fame, and In the first place, there are its great diffusing the knowledge of the art musical merits. We pay willing trimore universally, and consequently bute to its character as a school, preof causing a wider cultivation of the serving the purest models, and the practice. From this is deduced as soundest traditionary learning of the naturally the augmentation of pupils art. But for the Ancient Concert, and of concerts, and indeed of those the genuine English style of singing general professional interests which the compositions of the vigorous age are the peculiar aims at all times of of music-of Handel especiallyplayers and of teachers, of composers would have long since been forgotten; and of publishers. The Philharmonic and were the Ancient Concerts no Society, by the invitations and en- more, the style would be razed from gagements it holds out to foreign ar- the memory in a dozen years, or even tists and to living writers of the first less. For, say what musicians may, rank,- by the admirable manner in there is no written method of prewhich the instrumental music is exe- serving the peculiarities of vocal excuted, and by the occasional intro- pression. If our assertion were to duction of new works of merit, does be doubted, the well-known anecdote as much to keep alive the reputation of the transmission of the Miserere of of art, and to excite the public cu- Allegri, so celebrated for its effects riosity as all the other establishments in the Sistine chapel, to the Emperor, of the metropolis, the King's Theatre would vouch sufficiently for its truth. alone excepted, which is the centre By means of the Ancient Concert, from which the rays of musical illu- this traditionary style, we repeat, so mination are now principally pro- essential to the grandeur of the comjected and circulated. From all these positions of the great masters, has reasons, then, it is evident, that the been and must be (if at all) prePhilharmonic is the concert of the served. This fact secures a certain profession, and acts as a hot bed, and reverence and respect among proas a conservatory of the rarest pro- fessors, as amongst amateurs of the ductions of art, while at the same highest pretensions to good: taste. time it sustains the dignity and the To this capital requisite is superinterests of those engaged n its ex- added the influence of the King's

a

name, and of the royal and noble ought to have fed a reasonable appedirectors, operating through a large tite for a week-hence we had concircle of those who are, and of those certs that lasted from five to six enwho wish to be, ranked with the no- tire hours. What was the result? bility and fashion of the realm. The Why, that although the fatigue of introduction to this concert is diffi- listening to such vast collections of cult, as access can only be had all that is excellent became irksome through the medium of a director. to the polished amateur, the world in Thus then we see there are sufficient general were brought to regard every grounds for the belief that this esta- scheme as inferior and unworthy noblishment must flourish, so long at tice that did not enumerate the whole least as those who now take the ac- catalogue of eminent names, and such tive management remain, or can be a selection as left nothing to wish for succeeded by persons of equal dig- that was not there. The expence nity and importance. In the instance was consequently boundless was of the Philharmonic and the Ancient ruinous; but the appetite had grown Concerts, there is not only the in- by what it fed on, and the ruin of the trinsic value and excellence of the entrepreneur would have been not several performances, but there are less certain from the omission of any also extensive causes which concur part than from the engagement of to render their support in a great the whole of this prodigious train of measure independent of those. ca- talent. The drawback of a second prices or fluctuations which are at all theatre was even silenced by Mr. times liable to affect such institu- Bochsa's hiring Drury-Lane ; yet altions. They are built not only on though it was attended with little superior excellence, but on interests

more expence than the rent, the effect and predilections which are not likely was the same. The fact has been soon to be shaken.

found to be as we have stated above, The Oratorios have completely no possible receipts could compenfailed this season, and so have the sate an outlay so extravagant. Concerts Spirituels. We have spoken The Concerts Spirituels were a frequently of the causes in our notices feeble opposition, originating probaof the several performances. But bly in the certainty that the Oratorios the reader will pardon a short reca- must very soon come to a period, pitulation, as it seems indispensable and in the hope that, by risking a to our concentration of the facts little at first, a future advantage which bear upon the subject of our might be obtained. But although present discussion. The causes of the the names of Clementi, Catalani, failure do not lie in any defalcation and Rossini were upon the face of of public patronage, or of general the bills, the performances were resort to the theatres. They are to thinly attended. There was, indeed, be sought in the competition of for- this grand difference. The Oratorios mer years, carried to an extremity have been so long established that which has begun and nurtured a de- their nature is thoroughly understood sire for variety and celebrity in the by the public at large, and they are vocal corps which no possible receipts congenial to our national musical could remunerate. Previous to the taste. The Concerts Spirituels bore reign of the last proprietor, Mr. a new-fangled title, they were not Bochsa, Sir George Smart and Mr. understood—they were foreign, and Bishop had engaged the two theatres, the Opera House has not yet become and each naturally and eagerly de- a place of general resort for the whole siring to render his own the most family of John Bull like Covent-Garattractive (although reduced to per- den and Drury-Lane. As concerts form on alternate Wednesdays and they were also greatly inferior on the Fridays) strove to exceed the ex- whole to the Oratorios. cesses of his competitor. Hence we - If we bear these facts in mind, had all sorts of extravagances, or- they well account for the failure of chestras of twelve harps, and a corps other attempts. The City of Lonvocale, consisting of nineteen princi- don Amateur Concerts were suspal singers-hence we had perform- pended, perhaps, only from the satiety ances that embraced in one night a and weariness which amateurs are succession of fine compositions that always prone to feel when they have

« PreviousContinue »