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“Get you, therefore, hence,
Patience to endure."
“ Two stars keep not their motion in one sphere."
King HENRY IV. Act V. Scene 1. The address of Yelverton, Attorney-General on the occasion of Sir Walter Raleigh's being brought up by habeas corpus on 26th Oct. 1618, to have execution of the judgment on the conviction for treason, in 1603, awarded against him by the Court of King's Bench, seems to be a parallel of, if not borrowed from, this idea of Shakspere :-“Sir Walter hath been a statesman, and a man who, in regard of his parts and quality, is to be pitied. He hath been as a star at which the world hath gazed ; but stars may fall, nay, they must fall, when they trouble the sphere wherein they abide."
However, the allusion to a falling star is not unfrequently to be met with in the poetry of Shakspere's time. Donne says, “Go and catch a falling star.” And in Suckling's poems a similar thought is expressed.
In the Pipe Roll of the 4th Edward III., “Willms de Lucy, nuper custos pacis Regis in com' Warwick reddit compotum de iiij. li. de tine pro transgressionibus,” &c. By this it appears that the family of Lucy have for time immemorial afforded justices of the peace for the county of Warwick. In the present instance, the record proceeds to state that the Willm. Lucy, who accounts to the Exchequer for the fine he had received for trespasses committed, paid 40s. hy two tallies, and remained a debtor to the Exchequer of 61. From the circumstance of his accounting for a fine received by him, it appears that he was like his descendant and successor in the magisterial office, custos rotulorum, or (as Shallow expresses it) custalorum. T. E. T.
DRURY LANE THEATRE. This magnificent theatre opened on the 1st October. Having noticed the production of " As You Like It," in the body of our work, it is not necessary to do more than allude to it here.
“King John," illustrated in the same ample and correct manner, was produced on the 26th instant; but, as we intend to give the attention due to such elaborate and costly illustrations of the great national poet in a series of articles, where something like justice can be done to them, we shall do no more at present than refer to it, and recommend every scholar to go and see this magnificent pourtrayal of the manners, implements, and costume, of the middle ages, exemplified in a very pictorial manner.
The off-nights, as they are termed, have been filled up with what are called the old stock pieces. And as they do not draw an audience, and cannot add in any way to the character of the management, we are at a loss to know why they are played.
It appears to be a mere superstition that clings to theatrical people concerning them. And they do not perceive that with the departure of the manners they represented, and the sentiments they echoed, they too have gone. A tailor might as well endeavour to revive the cocked hats and salt box waistcoats of our ancestors. They are not more obsolete than the manners and sentiments of these comedies, as they are called. They undoubtedly reflected the public feeling of their day, and so far were dramatic; but the public of this day will not be satisfied with the echoes of a language they do not comprehend, nor, consequently, cannot care for. A few white-headed gentlemen may eulogise them with that garrulity that belongs to the memory of youthful pleasure; but the men of this day know nothing about them; and that that is the case, cannot be more sufficiently proved than by our being asked by a literary gentleman and an influential critic, “Who wrote the Road to Ruin ?'”
The present day demands its drama, and will have it somewhere, as well as any other-and no matter whether in two acts, three, five, or ten; and the man who produces it will be sure, to use a commercial phrase, to manufacture an article that will be in universal demand. Those who do not, will find their stock remain heavy on their hands, and will be ultimately ruined by it.
The new afterpiece, by Mr. Planché, “ The Follies of a Night," is much nearer the wants of the play-goers, and has, consequently, been very successful. It is well constructed, and is agreeble and entertaining. The invention, gaiety, and cleverness reqnired for the produclion of such a piece, are not common qualifications, though they are not to be confounded with those higher attribuets that list the great Drmatist to the loftest state the intellect can acquire.
THEATRE ROYAL, HAYMARKET. We are very glad to be able to give a very sincere and cordial approbation to a piece by Mr. Mark Lemon, " Grandfather Whitehead." It is founded on a French Drama, in which Bouffé personated the principal character. Mr. Mark Lemon, however, by his own peculiar talent, has made it essentially English, and his own. It consists in the delicate and interesting development of the affection of an old man for a child, his grandson. The fondness tinged with folly, the intellect obliterated, but the heart in full action, are manifested in a series of circumstances that show strongly the author's knowledge of character, and the strength of his invention. Mr. Farren's delineation of the character was full of pathos and humour, and manifested his fine knowledge of the peculiarities and characteristics of age. The youth was pleasingly and admirably performed by Master Webster.
Mr. Buckstone has returned, and has been performing in his own pieces, which, though not very high productions, bespeak a true dramatic feeling, and roughly reflect the genuine humours of the day.
COVENT GARDEN. Since the publication of our last number, an English version of Rossini's Opera of “ Semiramide" has been produced at Covent Garden Theatre. The characters being cast as follows :- Miss Adelaide Kemble, as Semiramide ; Mrs. Alfred Shaw, as Arsace ; Giubilei, as Assur ; Leffler, as Oroe. Miss Kemble's powers and qualifications are well known; and the greatest interest was derived from the first appearance of Mrs. Alfred Shaw on the English Stage: a lady who has long been a Concert Singer of the first eminence, and bas likewise gained a Continental celebrity. Her voice is a contra alto of considerable compass and great fexibility; and her mode of passing from one note to another smooth, and her execution very perfect. Her enunciation is likewise excellent. In the celebrated duet, Giorno d'orrore, her voice blended most beautifully with Miss Kemble's, and the passages were sung with the greatest effect and feeling. In one instance, (we think it was in this duet,) Mrs, Shaw gave a fifth, where a third was written, with great felicity.
It is impossible not to revert to the things that were, and our recollections of Pasta operate as a severe test in judging of Miss Kemble. Her voice is not full and round enough to give perfect effect to the music of this Opera- nor should we say that she feels herself so much at home in it as in “ Norma:" but still it must be considered as a high and tasteful performance; and her acting was very fine. In the duet between Assur and Semiramide, Giubilei was opposed to Galli in our recollection. His voice is deep and powerful, but his execution abrupt and unshaded—he does not attend sufficiently to the diminuendos. The old trick of travelling down the scale to the lowest note of his organ is what the best of the audience do not care for, but if done very occasionally, to show the compass of the singer, may be excused; but there the matter should end. Leffler's voice told well in the concerted pieces.
The scenery and decorations are most splendid.
Great pains have evidently been taken to subdue the orchestra, but unqualified praise cannot be given. The remarkable passage in the Overture, of the alternation of two notes, was anything but cleanly done by the violins. Their mode of syncopating is likewise coarse in the extreme; the division of the syncopated note should hardly be heard, whereas they cut the note in two and bray out the second part of it.
That part of the Overture in which the clarionet takes the lead, and other wind instruments follow, was done with precision ; but the clarionels were not good in tone.
As a whole, however, it is a praiseworthy effort, and, as contrasted with the English Operatic entertainments a few years since, proves the advance of laste on the part of the public, and of the increased proficiency of the musical profession.
On the off-nights here, too, the same extraordinary policy has been pursued as at the other theatres, and Mr. Vandenhoff' has been performing stock pieces" in a mediocre manner to a miserable account of empty boxes. The manager at last has announced, and very properly determines to play that which is demanded, namely, Opera, four times a week; and if he did so six, he would be so much the wiser
Critical Begister of Books.
thing like metaphysical disquisition ; Attica and Athens ; An Inquiry into contenting himself with the simplest
the Civil, Moral and Religious Insti- exposition of those phenomena in the tutions of the Inhabitants; the Rise construction of the two languages, and Decline of the Athenian Power; with which it is the student's first and the Topography and Chorography concern to become acquainted as mere of Ancient Attica and Athens. With facts. It would give us much pleaa Map and Plan. Translated from the
sure to find this little work become German of K. O. Müller, Grotefend, the text-book for Latin and Greek and others, by John Ingram Lockhart, syntax in our schools. As it may be F.R.A.S. pp. 194. Groombridge.
used for either of these separately, it This is a very judicious selection from
may at once be put into the hands of the writings of five eminent German the junior classes; whilst it must mascholars. More than half the book nifestly greatly lighten the labour of (114 pp.) is occupied by Müller's those who, having made some little masterly essay on the topography, progress in Latin, are beginning the natural features, political divisions, study of Greek. 'O! that there had and public buildings of Athens and been such a book in existence someAttica. With this profoundly learned, no matter how many-years ago, in but most unpedantic and unobtru
our school-boy days! We should sive guide at his elbow, the Greek have thought, full surely, the millen, scholar, sitting by his English fire- nium was at hand, had any one laid side, may feel that he treads in soul, before us a book that without comwith a firm step and an untroubled pression might fit into the compass eye, that glorious land that has of a common sheet almanack, and yet hitherto, perhaps, worn for him the containing, with tabular clearness and aspect of a lovely but bewildering pointedness, the whole of the positive dream. Grotenfeld contributes a
syntax of Greek and Latin. But we short essay, the condensed result of much research and thought, on what boys; stern critics are we, whose vo
are no longer light-hearted schoolmay be called the natural history of cation it is nodum in scirpo quærere : the Athenian people, their origin and
we must, therefore, say that there are descent, and the accidents that determined the peculiar bent of their book, which Mr. Hill will no doubt
one or two slight blemishes in the moral character, their mythology, himself discover and correct in a their social and political institutions, future edition. One such occurs, for and so forth. À chronological epi- instance, at page 16, where he speaks tome, by Canngiesser, carries the po- of opus exceptionally governing the litical history of Athens down to the dative case, his example being, - Dur year 1690. Its political and civil eco
nobis et auctor, opus est." — Cic. nomy, in ancient times, are admirably Now the use of nobis in this phrase investigated by Gruber: and, lastly, is not exceptional: opus is generally a few pages by Von Hammer describe the state of Athens and Attica accompanied with a dative of the per
son and an ablative of the thing: the about the year 1820.
exceptional peculiarity consists in the
thing needed being expressed in the Educational, &c.
nominative. The Harmony of the Latin and Greek
Languages. By the Rev. Thomas
Fiction, &r. This is a parallel syntax of the two Life. By Charles Whitehead, Au. languages, in which the rules are ex- thor of "The Solitary." 3 vols. post pressed on the whole with much 8vo. pp. 1008. neatness and perspicuity, and illus- This work of fiction fully bears out trated by pertinent examples. The its own description; it is indeed " A author has wisely abstained from any- Romance of Real Life.” The charac
ters, events, and incidents, are all an addition to that knowledge of our real as they can possibly be, and still infinitely versatile nature, which has have the interest of romance attached already been so ably revealed to us to them. This proves the genius of by the greatest writers, Shakspeare, the Author, and arises from his Cervantes, Rabelais, and Fielding. power to invest the individual with a We are not penning, nor have we any universal interest. Mr. Whitehead, motive to pen, an eulogy on Mr.Whitehowever, has given us a painful view head: to do so would be an insult to of human nature; and his masterly him or any other man of true intellecdissection of the moral nature does tual power; but we speak that which is not leave nearly so elevating a feeling true, and can be demonstrated. Mr. as the dissection of the physical. Whitehead has his faults; but they When the nervous unpleasantness of are chiefly faults of manner. He has the latter is conquered, a sublime also his unpleasantnesses, which may wonder follows in the developement
be faults of nature. He seems to look of the intricate construction of our sternly on our race. He is indeed mortal frames, and the beauty of the truly dramatic; for his own sensaadaptation of the means to the end. tions are never apparent. He is toBut in the dissection of the moral na- tally independent of his characters, ture, a hideous mass of meanness and and he relates their vicissitudes and depravity is revealed.
reveals their fortunes, as if he cared The characters in this novel, or not for them : as if all that this world rather this history of a certain set of could afford, either of good or evil human beings with fictitious names fortune, was but dust in the balance. and circumstances, are vividly por
This casts a sombre hue over his trayed ; occasionally, perhaps, betray- pages, and leaves the reader in a very ing the labour with which they have reflective, if not mournful, state of been carved out by the author ; but mind. still strong, muscular, and palpable, Not that the Author is deficient in leaving the impression on the reader powers of humour, but he is cynical of actual acquaintanceship. The de- in his application of them, and draws scription of inanimate objects is equal- human frailty with an unflinching and ly forcible, and every thing and cir- uncompromising truth and severity. cumstance is set before the reader in The great merit of his writing consists the strongest relief. There is no in the masterly manner in which he straining after effect—no melo-dra- individualizes his characters. And matic excitation of suspense-no ex- this bespeaks the highest powers of aggerated and wire-drawn develope- invention and delineation. In doing ment of events. Mr. Whitehead has this, most authors give us only charelied on the power of nature and re- racteristics, but Mr. Whitehead, at ality, and on his extraordinary skill the same time, as all true geniuses to depict it.
do, gives the human being. His For these reasons, the work must powers of observation must be acute become a standard one. It may not and active, and his penetration into at first captivate those who read only character extraordinary. The characto be startled with a monstrosity, or ters of Ludlow, Burridge, Myte, and tickled with a conceit: but it will many others, are essentially what are gradually win its way. All who look termed eccentrics; but they are such for genius to introduce man to na- eccentrics as one immediately acknowture—who desire their reading to ledges--as much as if one saw them find knowledge, and that of the pro- in their actual vitality. In this closefoundest and most useful kind, that ness of delineation of character of vaof the human heart, conveyed to them, rious form and kind, we will venwill approve of the Romance of ture to say, to the immense peril of Richard Savage. It will pass from our critical reputation, that Mr.Whitehand to hand and from mind to mind, head exceeds Dickens, or any living as a very masterly delineation of the English writer, and approaches the human creature and character. It is very few great ones, such as Cervan