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as your neighbour, and no better.
I have still a clear noddle, and I'll
sing it to ye.

A pipe of tobacco and ale of the best
Are better, far better, than pillow and rest;
We'll smoke and we'll drink, if it be but to

The devil who comes in the shape of the

In ale, good ale, the fiend we'll drown,
And empty our pipes on his raven crown.

Give me the mug, Tommy Barker,
for I think it's ill singing wi' a dry
throat. Gentlemen all, here's
merry season to you and good cattle
to me. And now for the next verse
A pipe of tobacco, and ale of

lately witnessed, differing so widely from each other, yet happening in such close ssuccesion, still haunted me. The striking contrast of lonely secluded roads, and the light and agony and boisterous mirth; of dark cheerful parlour with its blazing fire and laughing inmates, kept me awake for some time; and when I at length fell into an uneasy slumber, dreams of terror and anxiety oppressed me. The song of the topers for a moment dwelt in my imagination, but their voices seemed to be dying away, and the cry of the youth who had lost his father burst upon my ear. I awoke in horror, and heard persons running to and fro beneath my chamber, and loud but

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

We'll smoke and we'll drink

It won't do, though I am sure I knew the whole song awhile agone. It won't do!"

He said truly. He had not only forgotten the words, but was at each new attempt giving us a variation on the old air to which they were adapted. There was evidently a screw loose in the machinery of his brain, and his memory was out of order. He then tried another song, but with as little success; and at last the whole company began to sing what is called a Dutch medley, and I thought it time to escape from their company as fast as I could. I threw myself on my bed, but could not sleep. The scenes which I had

and frequent sobbings. I sprang from my bed, hastily dressed myself, and, on reaching the ground floor, found a scene offering as strong a contrast to the second I have decribed, as the second offered to the first. Of all those who but a few hours before had "made the Can their confidant," and laughed, and sung, and talked without a thought of sorrow; of all those who had spoken of finding eternity of life in the bowl and the ale cup, and oblivion of care in the fragrance of the tobacco leaf; of all those, one alone had escaped to tell the fate of his companions, who by their own carelessness and imprudence had perished, whilst crossing the river, miserably perished, in drunkenness and despair.

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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 unfurl'd,
Gilds with one smile the solitary world.



The Alcaid.

AN opera, with a Spanish plot, under the title of "The Alcaid," has been produced at this little theatre; and, although Kenny's pen was em ployed in the writing it, and Nathan the inspired Hebrew melodist was the composer, the piece met with but an indifferent reception. The newspapers damned it, by lauding it as an opera that might by judicious curtailment be rendered attractive and amusing; but with all our admiration of Mr. Kenny's ability as a dramatist, we are quite sure that nothing but that wholesale curtailment which has at last been resorted to,-viz. the cutting out of the opera altogether, could advance the interests of the theatre, or tend to the amusement of the public. With Mr. Kenny's experience, we wonder that he should be so rash as to trust to a Spanish plot and Spanish characters for his success with the audience. It is your coat-and-breeches comedy, as it is termed behind the scenes, that makes an Englishman laugh. He likes to see his neighbours shown up in Folly's mirror, and does not care to have a Spaniard reflected back upon him when he looks in the glass. The dramatist should bear in mind the motto over the stage when he betakes himself to the comic; and Signors, and Monsieurs, and Dons should be put aside for other purposes.

The plot of The Alcaid is, as we have said, Spanish; that is, it is full of intrigue, slashed doublets, masks, and improbabilities. It is a tame and even confused copy of all past and established Spanish confusions; and contains the usual allowance of regularly irregular characters. There is one old amorous married man with a hat and feather, with a red Don's dress, a sword at his side, and a stick in his hand; an extra-middle-aged wife, with a turn for wandering kindnesses and home carnivals; an important go-between in brown hose; a jealous servant, persecuted and funny; a waiting woman of easy character, and two pair of spangled lovers, coloured, chubby, and full of song, like piping bullfinches. All

well-ordered Spanish operas have these allotments of persons, and therefore, injudicious as Mr. Kenny has been with regard to his own interests, he has not been irregular in his attentions to the Spanish muse. Those who know how unevenly the interviews between Dons and Donnas invariably run, will forgive our not attempting to particularize the intrigues of the Alcaid:-Let it suffice to say, that the characters are, from the first scene to the last, confounding and loving each other, and that due attention is paid throughout to the discomfiture of the married state. The Alcaid himself, as guardian of the public morals, very properly pays no attentions to his own; and Mrs. Alcaid, goes about all vicious in black velvet, like a restive mare in a mourning coach. Mr. Farren enacted the Alcaid and played, as usual, with good emphasis, and excellent indiscretion. Perhaps his dress, with reference to the late joke respecting him, was indiscreet. Mrs. Glover personated his wife, and threw into it that domestic vivacity-that easy Spanish morality, which wives abroad so generally and pleasantly practise, and which some wives in England can imitate to the life. Mrs. Glover, behind a mask, and in white satin, looked a carnival in herself. Madame Vestris enacted Don Felix in a good loose dashing rakehelly fashion. She is the best bad young man about town, and can stamp a smart leg in tight whites, with the air of a fellow who has an easy heart and a good tailor. We remember once seeing Madame Vestris in female attire, and thought her a very interesting young person in that solitary instance, but we presume that she herself inclines to pantaloons, and prefers contemplating the daring knee and boot, to the neat and modest foot veiled below the ancle. In this opera she is the lover of Donna Francisca, a very pretty interesting lady, with a melodious voice and eye; who deserved a better husband at the hands of the Fates. There is a Don Andreas de Caravajel, which translated into plain English, means a Mr. Huckel, who loves Rosabel, Miss Paton, and after many heavy

difficulties and songs is rewarded with that lady, and a share in the finale. Miss Paton had a poor part allotted to her, and one or two songs which however allowed a full display of her powers of execution. She is indisputably a fine singer, but she will always have the best of her songs. They stand no chance of repose with her. This young lady has not been extremely well used of late, and she herself has not taken the proper course for removing the ill usage. A report of her having acquired a title by marriage has been generally circulated; and she has requested the editor of a paper to contradict it, on the ground of its being injurious to her professional pursuits. Would it not have been better if she had simply contradicted the report herself. However, we have little or nothing to do with the matter, and should not have even alluded to it, if it had not been touched upon in nearly every newspaper and conversation in London. Mrs. Gibbs has nearly outgrown the young waiting woman,but she has rare blood, and shows spirit still. A Mrs. C. Jones pryed about in mouse-coloured stuff cunningly enough. Harley made a good deal of one Jabez, a jealous husband, and sneaking servant. He had one phrase which he toned well, "I can't help thinking of my wife." It seemed the posie of a ring for Jealousy to wear! Liston acted Pedrosa, an important covetous steward, and did not lose all his humour in the Spanish character; though no man suffers so much as poor Liston, when he leaves London. He is the true King of Cokayne! In Lubin Log he is at his height, for he then does not outdress his voice or his face; but in such parts as Pedrosa, his fantastic habit beards his fantastic countenance, and the effect of both is impaired.

The dialogue of the piece is extremely free from low humour and

graceless puns; but it is also utterly free from wit or smartness of any description; and we question whe ther such empty correctness is preferable to the clever irregularities which some of our farce writers-indulge in, and which we, as critics, are bound to abuse. The conversation goes on languidly and serenely, and dies a natural death at the last.

Of the music, little can be said. It is pretty, but Mr. Nathan is one of those composers that require poetry to inspire them. Mr. Kenny is not the writer for Mr. Nathan. When Lord Byron gave him those grand and melancholy songs which spake of Hebrew sorrows and the broken spirits of Judæa, the soul of the composer became at once saddened and awakened by the poet, and the music has all the wildness, bitterness, and spirit, which the high Jewish heart must feel when contemplating its scattered people.


The Reign of Twelve Hours. This is an eastern piece, and we have the same objections to make to it which we have just stated above. Miss Kelly is nothing if not natural, and this slight little sketch deprives her of all chance of being either humourous or simple. It appears to have been hastily written and produced. There has been no other novelty. Der Freyschütz still astounds the town, and Miss Stephens has ejected Miss Noel from the character of Agnes much to the advantage of the drama. This wild piece is now inimitably well acted, as well as sung; and we must again say that Braham exhibits powers of acting, which nothing but the solemn hand of a German dramatist could awaken. He plays the part of Rodolph as if he really loved, and believed in the magic balls. But we enter our serious protest against his half-boots.


Ar length the Winter Theatres, the Concerts, and the Opera House are closed, and music has entered upon her summer tour to the provinces. While nothing is to be heard in London but Weber's Freyschütz, we


may well employ the interregnum in a review of the transactions of the season, and in an endeavour to elucidate by events the progress of the art. Such a retrospect appears as necessary to the philosophical musi

cian, as the annual casting of accounts to the trader-a homely comparison, but nevertheless it has its analogy even to our subject, and to those who are engaged in the practice of the art, which is become but too much a matter of commerce.

It should almost seem that the conduct of public music is on the eve. of some signal change. The Philharmonic and Ancient Concerts have been the only successful establishments, and these are fixed upon foundations which have a strength and consistency independent of the amusement the audiences derive, though this is certainly of the high est possible kind. The first of these celebrated assemblages of talent, more celebrated perhaps and more excellent than any other academia in Europe, is maintained almost entirely by professors, and persons especially interested in the support of music. For we must consider that not only is this concert taken up for the purpose of producing the finest possible specimens of performance, but for the object of spreading the fame, and diffusing the knowledge of the art more universally, and consequently of causing a wider cultivation of the practice. From this is deduced as naturally the augmentation of pupils and of concerts, and indeed of those general professional interests which are the peculiar aims at all times of players and of teachers, of composers and of publishers. The Philharmonic Society, by the invitations and engagements it holds out to foreign ar tists and to living writers of the first rank, by the admirable manner in which the instrumental music is executed, and by the occasional intro duction of new works of merit, does as much to keep alive the reputation of art, and to excite the public curiosity as all the other establishments of the metropolis, the King's Theatre alone excepted, which is the centre from which the rays of musical illumination are now principally projected and circulated. From all these reasons, then, it is evident, that the Philharmonic is the concert of the profession, and acts as a hot bed, and as a conservatory of the rarest productions of art, while at the same time it sustains the dignity and the interests of those engaged n its ex

ercise. By professors, and their families and connexions, the Concert is, and must continue to be, kept together, unless personal division should arise to weaken its powers and its cohesion-an accident every day less likely to happen, as the more frequent access of foreign musicians to the country, and the more extensive cultivation of our native talent, concur to diminish the power of individual professors, however eminent, and to render them less important by the facility with which any desertion can be replaced. Such an equalization can hardly fail to operate beneficially up to a certain point, because it must increase all the incentives to the attainment of excellence, which severe and close competition engenders. The Philharmonic Society may therefore be regarded as a permanent concentration of the highest talent, and the rallying point for professors of eminence.

The Ancient Concert stands upon other prerogatives, but of not less certain authority and continuance. In the first place, there are its great musical merits. We pay willing tribute to its character as a school, preserving the purest models, and the soundest traditionary learning of the art. But for the Ancient Concert, the genuine English style of singing the compositions of the vigorous age of music-of Handel especiallywould have long since been forgotten; and were the Ancient Concerts no more, the style would be razed from the memory in a dozen years, or even less. For, say what musicians may, there is no written method of preserving the peculiarities of vocal expression. If our assertion were to be doubted, the well-known anecdote of the transmission of the Miserere of Allegri, so celebrated for its effects in the Sistine chapel, to the Emperor, would vouch sufficiently for its truth. By means of the Ancient Concert, this traditionary style, we repeat, so essential to the grandeur of the compositions of the great masters, has been and must be (if at all) preserved. This fact secures a certain reverence and respect among professors, as amongst amateurs of the highest pretensions to good taste. To this capital requisite is superadded the influence of the King's

name, and of the royal and noble directors, operating through a large circle of those who are, and of those who wish to be, ranked with the nobility and fashion of the realm. The introduction to this concert is difficult, as access can only be had through the medium of a director. Thus then we see there are sufficient grounds for the belief that this establishment must flourish, so long at least as those who now take the active management remain, or can be succeeded by persons of equal dignity and importance. In the instance of the Philharmonic and the Ancient Concerts, there is not only the intrinsic value and excellence of the several performances, but there are also extensive causes which concur to render their support in a great measure independent of those. caprices or fluctuations which are at all times liable to affect such institutions. They are built not only on superior excellence, but on interests and predilections which are not likely soon to be shaken.

The Oratorios have completely failed this season, and so have the Concerts Spirituels. We have spoken frequently of the causes in our notices of the several performances. But the reader will pardon a short recapitulation, as it seems indispensable to our concentration of the facts which bear upon the subject of our present discussion. The causes of the failure do not lie in any defalcation of public patronage, or of general resort to the theatres. They are to be sought in the competition of former years, carried to an extremity which has begun and nurtured a desire for variety and celebrity in the vocal corps which no possible receipts could remunerate. Previous to the reign of the last proprietor, Mr. Bochsa, Sir George Smart and Mr. Bishop had engaged the two theatres, and each naturally and eagerly desiring to render his own the most attractive (although reduced to perform on alternate Wednesdays and Fridays) strove to exceed the excesses of his competitor. Hence we had all sorts of extravagances, orchestras of twelve harps, and a corps vocale, consisting of nineteen principal singers-hence we had performances that embraced in one night a succession of fine compositions that

ought to have fed a reasonable appetite for a week-hence we had concerts that lasted from five to six entire hours. What was the result? Why, that although the fatigue of listening to such vast collections of all that is excellent became irksome to the polished amateur, the world in general were brought to regard every scheme as inferior and unworthy notice that did not enumerate the whole catalogue of eminent names, and such a selection as left nothing to wish for that was not there. The expence was consequently boundless- was ruinous; but the appetite had grown by what it fed on, and the ruin of the entrepreneur would have been not less certain from the omission of any part than from the engagement of the whole of this prodigious train of talent. The drawback of a second theatre was even silenced by Mr. Bochsa's hiring Drury-Lane; yet although it was attended with little more expence than the rent, the effect was the same. The fact has been found to be as we have stated above, no possible receipts could compensate an outlay so extravagant.

The Concerts Spirituels were a feeble opposition, originating probably in the certainty that the Oratorios must very soon come to a period, and in the hope that, by risking a little at first, a future advantage might be obtained. But although the names of Clementi, Catalani, and Rossini were upon the face of the bills, the performances were thinly attended. There was, indeed, this grand difference. The Oratorios have been so long established that their nature is thoroughly understood by the public at large, and they are congenial to our national musical taste. The Concerts Spirituels bore a new-fangled title, they were not understood--they were foreign, and the Opera House has not yet become a place of general resort for the whole family of John Bull like Covent-Garden and Drury-Lane. As concerts they were also greatly inferior on the whole to the Oratorios.

- If we bear these facts in mind, they well account for the failure of other attempts. The City of London Amateur Concerts were suspended, perhaps, only from the satiety and weariness which amateurs are always prone to feel when they have

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