Imágenes de páginas
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

ing, that he has not been unmindful of these detained by a single note, much less by an advantages.

harmonious concord, from those Vulcanian, Of this work, consisting of nearly 120 instruments. A different kind of noise, ipa. closely printed pages in quarto, with nu- deed, will be produced by hammers of difmerous Engravings, it is impossible to ferent weights and sizes; but it seems not give more than an outline, which in this and to be in the power of the most subtle ear to some future numbers of our Magazine we discover the least imaginable difference with shall endeavour to do. Rousseau says, respect to gravity or acuteness. But, though - The genius of a real Musician makes the different noises may be produced from difwhole universe subservient to his art. It ferent bodies, in proportion to their size and describes all the images of life by sounds; solidity, and every room, chair, and table, it causes even silence to speak, it interprets in a house, has a particular tone, yet these ideas by sentiments, sentiments by accents, noises can never be ascertained like musical and it excites, within the inmost recesses of notes, which depend upon reiterated and the heart, all the passions it expresses.” regular vibrations of the aliquot parts of a Music is the art of combining sounds in a string, or other elastic body; and in windmanner agreeable to the ear. This combi- instruments, upon the undulation of the air nation may be either simultaneous or suc- conveyed into a tuhe.“ cessive : in the first case, it constitutes har- Yet notwithstanding the assertion of the mony ; in the last, melody. With regard learned Doctor, Mr. Jones obserres, “ It to its antiquity, it appears both by sacred certainly appears ridiculous, primâ facie, and profane history, that music was one of to suppose, that the different weights of the first arts known to mankind. Musical hammers can produce a

difference in instruments were in use before the flood; sound. But do we exactly know how the for Jubal is said to be the father of all such anvils of the ancients were constructed? as hundle the harp and organ. Gen. iv. 21. The name incus has no other meaning than And among the Greeks, almost all the an- its thema cudere, “ to strike;" and the cient philosophers wrote treatises on music, Greek appellation of urpean signifies only, especially the disciples of Pythagoras, that the anvil is indefatigable in bearing the Plato, and Aristotle. We are told by Ni- repeated strokes of the hammers. But it is comachus, Macrobius, and other ancient not improbable that anril is derived from authors, “ That Pythagoras, one day me- ancile, " a small round shield," or perhaps ditating on the want of some rule to guide vice-versa, ancile from anril. Whence we the ear, analogous to what had been used to may perhaps conclude, that the axpewr of the help the other senses, chanced to pass by a Greeks resembled in shape the round buckler blacksmith's shop, and observing that ihe with a convex surface. In this case, where hammers, which were four in number, is the impossibility of the anvil becoming sounded very harmoniously, he had them responsive in sound to the respective weighed, and found them to be in the pro- weights of the hammers? This convexity portion of 6, 8, 9, and 12. Upon this he might have acted like the sounding-board suspended four strings, of equal length and of an instrument. Besides, the comparison thickness, &c. fastened weights, in the above- which has been adduced between hammers mentioned proportions, to each of them re- and anvils, and strings and bows, or clappers spectively, and found that they gave the ' and bells, does not apply; for if wine-glasses, same sounds that the hammers had done, for instance, are struck against a key, a viz, the fourth, fifth, and octave, to the candlestick, a decanter, or any other body, gravest tone; which last interval did not they most certainly give various sounds make part of the musical system before; for according to their various shapes, cathe Greeks had gone no farther than the pacities, and weights. So that the clapper heptachord, or seven strings, till that time.” of a bell in this situation is wrongly comUpon this passage Dr. Burney wittily ob- pared to the hammer; for in fact, the ciapserves, that though both hammers and per is the anvil in motion against the steady arvil have been swallowed by ancients and hammer. Let us place a number of bells, moderns, and have passed through them each of a different sound, upon a screwfrom one to another, with an ostrich-like shaped barrel, and let them strike succesdigestion, upon examination and experiment sively a fixed knob of any hard substance; it appears, that hammers of different size will they not give the same variety of and weight will no more produce different sounds as if small hanımers were set to tones upon the same anvil, than bows or strike upon them ? will they not play the clappers of different sizes will from the part of clappers and hammers, instead of same string or bell. Indeed, both the ham- bells and anvils? The same reasoning apmers and anvils of antiquity must have been plies to strings and bows; which last, upon of a construction very different from those experiment, will certainly and invariably of our degenerate days, if they produced emit different sounds, according to the difany tones that were strictly musical. Of the ferent size and length of the cord. Dryden millions of well-organized mortals, who have seems to have been of opinion that there passed by blacksmiths' shops since the time exists a sort of chiming in the strokes of of Pythagoras, we believe no one was ever hammers upon anvils; for, in his transla

1818.] Theatres-Covent Garden, and Drury Lane.

245 tion of the Æneid of Virgil, in book vüi. v. best philologists, that chiming implies har593, eager to represent the harmony con- mony. Therefore the sound of hammers, tained in these beautiful lines of the original, which striking the anvil, had anciently, if Ini inter sese magna vî brachia tollunt,

not in our degenerate days, a sort of corIn numerum versant-que tenaci forcipe fer- respondence in sound, to a well-exercis

ed ear, might constitute musical intervals, rum,

and, consequently, ratios of harmony. It where the cadence is so forcibly expressed, appears clearly that Pythagoras had in view that Pythagoras (could he have anticipated the key note, its fourth, fifth, and Hat seventh, it) might have brought it as a support for in the numbers 6, 8, 9, 12, resulting from his statement, the English poet says : the comparative weight of the hammers, and By turns their arms advance in equal time; that he came to the solution of his problem By turns their hands descend, and hammers by uniting three tetrachords, and counting chime.

down from the top note to the lowest," “ Now it is indisputable, according to our

(To be continued.)



skilled in the art of managing themselves, Acquiring strength by the decline of have yet, with most disgusting self suffiits opponent, this theatre has opened ciency and importance, undertaken to under auspices so favourable, that it will guide a machine, which from its magnibe indeed the fault alone of the Mana- tude and intricacy requires all that exger, if he does not reap an abundant perience and ingenuity can effect, to harvest in so promising a season. We keep it even in regular motion. And are happy to bestow our meed of ap- now, after having been tossed to and fro, probation upon the successful efforts of and twisted and twirled into every possiMr. Farren, who has lately made his ble shape, this ill-fated theatre must subdebut in Sir Peter Teazle. His talents mit to the last expedient of reduced appear to be in every respect promising, prices, a measure unasked for by the but we shall forbear from entering into public, and as impolitic as we appreany detailed criticism, until we shall hend it to be decisive of the theatre's have had an opportunity of sceing them fate. It is no other than a desperate more amply displayed.

speculation by which it must either stand We could have wished that Mrs. or fall; like a ruined tradesman who Yates, who likewise promises to prove upon the eve of his bankruptcy endeaa valuable ornament to the Thespian vours to reinstate himself by underSchool, had been prudent enongh to selling his competitors. Whether this make her entrée in a less arduous cha- last attempt to rescue the theatre from racter than that of Lady Macbeth. In- impending perdition will or will not have dependently of the wide field that is the effect proposed, the public are left here opened for the display of talent, to judge from the result. Provincial-enwe have an indelible impression of that terprizers (their first appearance on a character upon our minds, which any London stage; Gentlemen and Ladies, inferior acting awakens only to its own their first appearance on any stage,) disparagement, by compelling us to draw have lent their exertions to the rescue, an invidious comparison, and we can- and have drawn forth the approbation not but exclaim, in the satirical language of an audience, who have felt perhaps a of Porson,“ Such acting will be relished, charitable compassion for the theatre's when that of Mrs. Siddons is forgotten.” fate, which forbad them to discourage We shall however adopt the same course her last struggling effort. If these obas we have proposed to do with Mr. jects however fail of their lasting attracFarren, and suspend our judgment, until tion, and the Public should become Mrs. Yates, by a wider display of her ge- weary of their charity, the Comniittee neral talent, shall allow us to give it with must stand in a body in Brydges Street, better satisfaction to ourselves and to or go out into the highways and hedges, our readers.

und compel them to come in. Conceiving

that the corporeal bulk of Mr. Stephen We refer our readers to a few re- Kemble would be well calculated to susmarks in our criticisms upon the En- tain the weight of that odium, which glish Opera House, in respect of the in- the Committee are ill able to bear upon judicious proceedings - of those Com- their own shoulders, they have

apmittees of management, who, totally un- pointed that Gentleman Stoge Manager,


Theatres-English Opera.

[Oct. 1, and profess to have committed the whole he has unluckily strayed into a private interests of the theatre into his hands. It madhouse, and a subsequent interview is perhaps difficult to conceive a more with Muffincap (Mr. Wilkinson) an arduous or ungrateful task than the one, orphan hired from a charity school as sọ imposed upon Mr. S. Kemble, and servant, who represents himself as a we fear that the anxiety and labour he person hired to look after the people in will have to endure in the performance the house, strengthens his belief, which of this duty will soon deprive him of the is lastly confirmed at the sight of whips, pleasure and satisfaction of which he chains, padlock, and other theatrical was once so proud,“ of being able to properties in the manager's room ; and play Falstaff without stuffing." Failing upon beholding the uncouth gestures in their attempt at real attraction, the and the forlorn and ragged appearance of wisdom of the Committee has prompted the strolling players, who continue to them to adopt-artificial means of exciting pass to and fro, and assail him with wild the interest of the Public, by introduc- and fantastic exclamations in the reing a debutant, in the person of Mr. H. hearsal of their respective parts, he is Kemble, whose name alone, and the wound up to such a pitch of terror, that relationship that he bears to a family so he fancies himself actually upon the point distinguished for Dramatic talent, might of being murdered by the supposed attract at least one full house, in anti- lunatics. From this dilemma he is hapcipation of his probable or possible suc- pily relieved by the appearance of his cess; but the more our attention was ward and Mr. Dulcet, who come before roused, and our interest excited by such him as suppliants for his forgiveness and anticipations, so much the greater was support. His consent is easily obtained, our chagrin and disappointment in wit- and the dropping of the curtain leaves nessing his lame and impotent perform- the audience nothing but to unite their ance of Romeo at the opening of the wishes for the future welfare of the theatre. “Such acting," says the Times, happy pair. " would be dear at any price--even at a Fearful lest his talents for originality shilling," and we really must think that should either be doubted, or not duly the reduction of price will but ill com- appreciated, the author has appeared pensate for such meagre performances. anxious to preserve himself from the It reminds us of the Bath Coach, that accusation of plagiarism, by expressly travelling with two horses, and reduced asserting in the play bills that his profares, is humorously styled, “ Cheap and duction is “ not taken from the French." nasty."

We apprehend the caution to have been

needless; for we find neither that ingeThe only novelty produced here, nuity in the device, nor that lively spirit since our August number, which seems in the developement of it,which never fail to demand attention, is a musical Farce to form the leading characteristics of a in two acts, entitled Amateurs and Ac- French dramatist. We do not mean tors. We give a brief sketch of the plot however by this to detract from the as follows.

Miss Hardacre, a young merits of the production, which give rise heiress (Miss Love) is carried off from Mr. to an admirable satire upon the injudiElderberry, her guardian, (Mr. Bartley) cious and misapplied efforts of the maby Mr. David Dulcet (Mr. Pearman) naging (or mismanaging) Committees, to who being one of the Amateur Actors, whom may fairly be attributed the contrives to carry her to the playhouse, downfall of Drury Lane; and we are where his friend Mr. Bustle, the mana not without our fears that this spirit of ger (Mr. Harley) conceals them from umuleur managerism will go far to the guardian's pursuit, until by their award a similar fate to the Italian Opera marriage Mr. Dulcet gives himself the House. A happy allusion to the ejectsuperior claim upon the fair object of ment of a late managing member of his affections. Elderberry arrives shortly Parliament is introduced in a converafter them at the playhouse, and is sation between Harley and a strolling mistaken by the manager, for an old player, when the tter describes an gentleman of the name of Berry, whom amateur directing the rehearsal of a he was expecting to arrive under an play, when he did not understand even engagement at his theatre. The con- the technical terms, and who in all the versation between Elderberry and the warmth and energy of dramatic dictamanager, far from clearing up the mis- tion, instead of saying erit P. S. bounced take, induces the former to believe that off the stage, exclaiming erit M. P.


1918.) New Publications, with Critical Remarks.

247 Had Mr. Harley been inclined to pun he science, the credit of the manager, and might have well added, “ We will have we fearlessly add, to the better satisfacno more M. P.'s."

tion of the Public. Witness the delight Divested of its satire this Farce has of an audience assembled to listen to little claim to our approbation, either the Opera of Artaxerxes; witness the for its plot, its humour, or its music. In very extraordinary success of the Slave, point of fact, the whole bent of our au- Guy Mannering, the Duenna, and a thor's efforts appears to have been devoted thousand others that we could enume. to the idea of holding up to just contempt rate, of which every succeeding repetiand ridicule the self-sufficiency of those tion serves only to present new beauCommittees, Sub-Committees, and Special ties, hitherto undiscovered, and to enCommittees, with the fatal result of courage not more in the author than in whose proceedings the public have of the audience in general, a science, so late been much disgusted.

universally and so justly appreciated, We cannot omit this opportunity of and for which this country has of late offering to Mr. Arnold, a few hints, years imbibed a taste unknown in forwhich we think he would do well to mer ages. If in a grand national theaconsider. It cannot escape notice, that tre the substitution of melo dramas, in this house, expressly styled an En- rope dancing, and exhibition of pageanglish Opera House, and in fact the only try for the purities of the legitimate one in the Metropolis, there is not per- Drama, have called forth, not the severihaps a greater dearth of any thing than ties of austere criticism, but the just inof pure and legitimate music. Scarcely dignation of all enlightened minds, so will an Opera, properly so called, has yet the representation of Burlettas and been produced. Operatic Interludes, Serio-comic Ertravaganzus, if continued and Musical Farces (without music) to the almost total exclusion of the more have occupied the place, where the ta- refined beauties of genuine Operas, be lents of Arne, Cooke, Bishop, and many but ill received, at least by that part of other eminent masters, might have been the audience, whose approbation is at all displayed, to the encouragement of the worth cultivating.



NEW PUBLICATIONS, WITH CRITICAL REMARKS. I. Samor, Lord of the Bright City, Spreads stainless, and unsullied by a cloud.

an Heroic Poem, by the Rev. S. H. Though thy hills blush not with the purMILMÁN, &c. vo. pp. 358.

ple vine, WE read Fazio, one of the best of our

And softer climes excel thee in the hue modern Tragedies, with considerable plea- And fragrance of thy summer fruits and sure, and this is from the same distinguish

flowers, ed pen. Whilst, however, we admire the Nor tiow thy rivers over golden beds ; beautiful imagery which is interspersed Thou in the soul of man, thy better wealth, throughout Mr. Milman's poem, we cannot

Art richest; nature's noblest produce thou, but notice the occasional obscurity of the The immortal mind in perfect height and language, and regret that so noble a pro- strength, duction should have been blemished by Bear'st with a prodigal opulence; this thy many passages of more than common ab

right, surdity. The opening verses are no less Thy privilege of climate and of soil, admirable for their sentiment than for their Would I assert : nor, save thy fame, invoke, construction.

Or Nymph, or Muse, that oft was dreamed

of old Land of my birth, O Britain ! and my love, By fall of waters under haunted shades, Whose air I breathe, whose earth I tread, Her extasy of inspiration poured whose tongue

O'er Poet's soul, and flooded all his powers My song would speak, its strong and solemn With liquid glory: so may thy renown Most proud, if I abase not. Beauteous Isle,

Burn in my heart, and give to thought and

word And plenteous! what tho' in thy atmo

The aspiring and the radiant hue of fire. sphere Floats not the taintless luxury of light,

To attempt an analysis of the volume, in The dazzling azure of the southern skies;

the very narrow limits to which we are ne Around thee, the rich orb of thy renown

cessitated to confine ourselves, would be ab-' conclude our extracts from this highly inThe idea of a feet awakening from the teresting volume, with an apostrophe to midnight sleep,' is uew, but we confess Britain, as patriotic and beautiful as that



New Publications, with Critical Remarks,

[Oct. I,



surd; we must therefore be content to offer we have not taste enough to admire it.
a few general remarks on the style and ex- “ Forgets itself to pleasure,” has not the
ecution of the poem. The incidents upon sublimity of the thought which suggested
which it is founded, refer to that very inte- it, namely Milton's, “ Forget thyself to mar-
resting period of our history, when our ble.- How exquisite is the following pic-
British ancestors sought the aid of the ture of Rowena.
Saxon chiers, Hengist and Horsa, to repel

Too proud
the inroads of the Scots and Picts. Samor For less than absolute command, too soft
is, according to Hollinshed, the Earl of For aught but gente amorous thought,
Gloucester, and the Bright City, Gloucester, her hair,
formerly denominated by the Britons, Caer Clustered as from an orb of gold, cast out
Gloew. Mr. Milman abounds in similes, A dazzling and o’erpowering radiance, save
some of them very forcible ones; but we Here and there on her white neck reposed
see no reason for his spoiling a fine passage, In a sooth'd brilliance some thin wandering
and obscuring its sense, by introducing them tress.
in parentheses. For instance, in describing The azure flashing of her eye was fringed
his hero, he says,

With virgin meekness, and her tread, that Lofty and alone, (Even as the pillar great Alcides set,

Earth to disdain, as softly fell on it, The limit of the world and his renown,

As the light dew-shower on a tuft of flowers. O'er Calpe, round whose shaft the daylight The soul within seemd feasting on high

wreathed Its last empurpling on the battlements)

That to the outward form and feature gave

A loveliness of scorn-scorn that to feel
Stood Samor in the amethystine light, &c.
The second book opens nobly.

Was bliss, was sweet indulgence.

B. i. l. 150. “ Noon is ablaze in heaven, but gloom, the gloom

Although the greater part of Mr. Milof the brown forest's massy vault of shade

man's poem, is in the most delightful strain Is o'er the kings of Britain.”

of feeling and pathos, and may be said to

be almost a galaxy of brilliant poetical conMr. M.'s taste seems to have been formed ceptions, yet, as we have before observed, by the study of our early poets, and he

passages of singular obscurity do not unfrefrequently introduces their high sounding quently occur. In line 157, b. 6, Vortigern phrases, without much selection or pro- is seated on “ Caermerdhyn's topmost papriety." Battailous” is a word which has been lace tower,” and the author tells us, long'obsolete, and“ babbling," as applied to day, is senseless. The reflection of the

“ I was his soul's treasured luxury and moon on the arms of the combatants is said


To frame out of himself and his drear stall to cast

Darl; comfortable likenesses." “ A glimmer which is hardly light.. There is something Miltonic in this : We envy not the monarch his luxurious the author had probably in his eye the employment. A prophetess is said to be « darkness visible” of our great bard. 6 dallying, with her loose and hanging The description of morn also in the third chin." The battle, also, between Malwyn book, is beautiful, and, without being a ser- and llengist, places death in a very curious vile imitation, resembles, (we had almost situation. said rivals,) some of the finest passages in

" But then « Paradise Lost."

Began a combat, over which death seemed Orient the bright-haired charioteer of hea- To hover, as of one assured, in hope

Of both, for victims at his godless shrine." Poured daylight from his opal wheels, and The battle axe of Malwyn vibrates “ like struck

a serpent's tongue."" From the blue pavement of the sky, clear

It seems almost invidious to notice such flakes

trifling blemishes as these, when they are Of azure light upon the eastern sea:

so amply compensated by beauties, numerAnd as the gray mists slowly curled away,

ous, powerful, and brilliant as the '«

spears Rose the white cliffs of Kent, like palace of the Saxon army.” “The Bright City” fair,

is indeed a sun of poetical excellence, from Or fane of snowy marble to enshrine

which we are unwilling to detract, by hyperBlue Amphitrite, or the sea-gods old

critically particularizing a few of the spots Of Pagan mariner. Rode tall below

which may appear upon its disc. Suffice The Saron a avy, as from midnight sleep

it to observe that it is a luminary, whose Wakening ; the gray-sails in the breeze of lustre will not be likely

to fade in the esti

mation of those who know how to appre 'Gan tremble, gleaming oars fash in the ciate pure and genuine poetry. We will spray.

[ocr errors][merged small]


[ocr errors]


« AnteriorContinuar »