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languages, convertible terms. Music is allied to the highest sentiments of man's moral nature-love of God, love of country, love of friends! Woe to the nation in which these sentiments are allowed to go to decay! What tongue can tell the unutterable energies that reside in these three engines, Church Music, National Airs, and Fireside Melodies, as means of informing and enlarging the mighty heart of a free people !"-Abridged from an elaborate drticle in the April Number of the North American Review published at Buston.
LONDON. The last three months have been productive of two most important events; first, the recovery of Drury Lane Theatre from a state of degradation, the great master of the modern English stage, Mr. Macready, having stepped forward to take the command of Old Drury from the unworthy hands in which it has been placed for the last ten years. The second novelty is the visit of the celebrated and accomplished French actress, Mademoiselle Rachel to our shores. The admiring attention and enthusiastic receptions she has experienced on the stage, at the court, and from the chief performers of the English dramatic stage, cannot but be gratifying 10 the nation which has produced so perfect an actress. The applause which has greeted her within the walls of the Italian Opera Ilouse, has had more sincerity than all the bravos bestowed on the Italians during the season.
The English Opera.- Why the English Opera is not supported is a question continually asked and rarely answered satisfactorily. Our reply, after mature consideration, is, because the British public cannot instinctively discover or appreciate the beauties in a new composition; thus the English musical public follow the opinions of other nations rather from fashion than from a sincere love of the art. What English instrumentalist (violinist or pianist) ever rose to great fame in this country by his own talents ? and yet it cannot be denied we have produced great men, and solo players as talented and as effective as any of the numerous foreign artists who possess the patronage of the haut ton, while the native artist is neglected; justly may Blagrove, Ilarper, Lindley, Willy, Collins, Richardson, G. Cook, T. Cook, and a host of others, complain. To the English vocalist this neglect is made more apparent by the warm reception with which they are greeted when visiting Germany, Italy, or France. There their talents are appreciated and fostered. Could Mrs. Alfred Shaw ever hope to become the prima donna of the English stage, had not Italy and Germany proclaimed her fame? Most of the best English vocalists are on the continent. *Madame Anna Thillon, late Miss Hunt, Madame Albertazzi, late Miss Hausman, Mrs. Campbell, Mrs. Alfred Shaw avd Madame Paressa, late Miss Seguin, are either in France or Germany; the first named lady, by the way, is still delighting Paris in Auber's Diamants de la Couronne. Miss Inserarity, Miss Sherilt, Mrs. Wood, Miss Poole, Braham, Sinclair, Seguin, Manvers, and Wood, are in America, because they cannot meet with an engagement in their native country. Miss Adelaide Kemble, Miss Nunn, and a host of talent are in London, without the hope of an engagement.
We come next to the operatic composers, and would ask any unbiassed critic whether the musical compositions of Rooke, Balfe, Barnett, Bishop, and M'Farren, are inferior to those of Donnizetti, with whose trashy operas we have so long been surfeited? Yet the English Opera llouse speculation failed and Messrs. Balfe, Wilson, Arnold and others, were considerable losers, from the want of that patronage which was so liberally extended to the German company at Drury Lane, a company, with the exception of Staudigl, and the well-drilled chorus, in every respect its inferior. Neither Mr. Balfe nor Mr. John Barnett are again likely to become the managers of a London operatic company, for it has become a clear and painful truth, that there is no hope of the English lyric drama ever succeeding for many weeks in this vast metropolis, and yet there are few disposed to admit that we are not a musical nation. Hopes have been raised that Mr. Macready, who has done so much for the advancement of the national stage, will step forward and rescue the native opera from the impending neglect. Few men are capable of achieving greater theatrical effects than “the regenerator of Shakspeare," but the lesson he experienced in producing Rooke's Henrique will scarcely fail in deterring him from such hazardous speculations as the production of English operas. The native artist will therefore have to seek in vain for an engagement in London, and for subsistence he must become a tourist, and forego the sweets of home.
Covent Garden THEATRE.—Mrs. Charles Mathews is busily engaged in preparing an attractive budget for the re-assembling of her Parliament in September. Several popular members have retired, but we hear of new candidates (for fame) being elected. The first measures brought forward next session will be from D. L. Bourcicault and Leigh Hunt, and will, no doubt, become highly popular with the people when presented to the house, and the details become known. The administration of the fair lessee continues to give the most general and lively satisfaction,
HAYMARKET THEATRE.-Mr. Webster has endeavoured to dispel the gloom which has been thrown over this delightful theatre from the unfortunate loss of Mr. Power, by engaging, at a great expense, Mr. Charles Kean and Miss Ellen Tree; but these attractions have not met with the numerous audiences that might be expected. Mr. Charles Kean's attitudinizing, gesticulation, and guttural accents are now witnessed in London almost as tamely as they were in Newcastle. His Hamlet is the most perfect of his personifications, it contains a vigour and freshness we look for in vain in his other performances. Miss Ellen Tree appeared as Ophelia, and was most effective; but for the cruel and subtile Lady Macbeth she is too gentle and innocent. Mr. Macready's return to this theatre, on 3rd instant, after a most brilliant tour in the provinces, will be gladly hailed by the play-goer. The latest new production is Mr. Lunn's new comedy of Belford Castle, or the Scottish Goldmine, evidently written for the display of Mr. Maywood's peculiar abilities. He personifies an old Scotch millionaire (Muckle), who from humble circumstances has attained great wealth, but under a surface of waywardness and strong self-will conceals a heart open to every generous impulse. He has an orphan nephew and niece, children of his two sisters, dependant on his bounty.' Emily' Connor (Miss P. Horton), the niece, falls privately in love with Frederick Oswald (Mr. Howe), a young military officer; and Charles Mortimer, the nephew, in like manner becomes smitten with the charms of Lady Grace Lorimer (Mrs. Stirling), the daughter of the proud Earl of Belford, who, for his adherence to the Pretender, had twelve years before abandoned bis country to save bis head. Lady Grace, after her father's flight, had taken refuge with Mr. Stapleton (Mr. G. Bennett), the earl's steward, who becomes a second father to her. It was in this retirement that Charles Mortimer met and became enamoured of the fair recluse, and awakened a reciprocal passion in her breast; he succeeds in gaining his uncle's consent, when the earl returns, and forbids a union he deemes derogatory. The contest between pride and wealth is carried on with determined resolution on both sides. At length the power of gold, and the inflexible perseverance of the cannie Scott, triumph; the haughty peer yields reluctantly, and the union of Charles and Emily with the objects of their choice completes the happiness of all parties. There is scarcely sufficient interest in the piece, but a judicious curtailment has much improved it. Mr. Maywood played the part of Muckle admirably; Mrs. Stirling's Lady Grace was played with great feeling; and
Miss Horton exhibited her accustomed naïveté. Mlle. Celeste continues to attract in Marie Ducange.
DRURY LANE THEATRE.-The German company at this theatre has been greatly and generally patronized, and although the speculation may not have realized Mr. Andrews's expectations, the audiences have, nevertheless, been more uniformly numerous than the most sanguine could have anticipated, notwithstanding the disgraceful conduct of the manager at the commencement of the season, in holding forth to the public a long array of talent, which it is but too evident was never intended to be brought forward. Our advices from Germany testify that Mlle. Lützer and Meyerbeer did not intend visiting England. The letters from Madame Schröder-Devrient are before the public, who will sympathize with her; while the conduct of the management towards Madame Schödel has been the means of arrangements by some of the leading performers with other parties in London for the establishment next winter of a German company, which promises to be very superior in talent and resources to the company now leaving our shores. The Girst of the successful performances of the German company was Die Zauberflöte, which opera was produced with greater care than usual. The Sarastro of Staudigl was a most brilliant performance; his graceful person, appropriate action, and his matchless voice drew loud and rapturous applause; his lower notes are rich, clear, and mellow; and his voice has great compass and ponderosity : the magical effect of his “ Iris and Osiris” was most thrilling. Madame Stöckl Heinefetter sang as usual with exquisite judgment, but her voice is thin. Meyerbeer's Robert the Devil has also been most successful. The beautiful opera of Euryanthe afforded another opportunity for the display of Staudigl, Heinefetter, and Tichatscheck's abilities. The vocal parts were given most brilliantly, particularly the finale to the first act.
HER MAJESTY's Theatre.-The Italian Company have determined that no operas, save those of Donnizetti, shall be produced this season; his Fausta and his Roberto Devereur have been brought out and met with a very equivocal reception; the applause that has been awarded was intended for the leading performers, Grisi, Tamburini, and Mario. Fortunately, this is the last season under the present management.
Mdlle. Rachel has appeared before a British audience, and has fully equalled all that has been written about her. Her abilities are of the highest order of dramatic talent. She has a perfect conception of the character she is to depict, and she possesses sufficient powers of look, utterance, and gesture to convey her conceptions to her auditors. She has a good stage figure, being tall and elegantly formed, possessing the requisite dignity of manner to represent the higher characters in tragedy. Her face is intellectually beautiful,-she has too much meaning in her expression to be called a pretty woman, and she can scarcely be called a handsome one. Her features are regular, classic, and not exaggerated, they are rather small than otherwise. Her eyes are splendid, full of fire, and capable of the strongest expression. In addition to these qualifications, she has a fine tone of voice, a most correct pronunciation, and a good knowledge of the power and use of emphasis. She made her debût in Racine's tragedy of Andromeque, and gained further laurels as Camille in Corneille's tragedy of Les Horaces, but her complete triumph was reserved for Pierre Le Brun's Marie Stuurt. In the interview scene between Marie Stuart and Queen Elizabeth, she bore the cold taunts and bitter sneers of Elizabeth, her "" kinswoman" and foe, until nature could endure no more, and then she burst forth with a flood of denunciation which, great as we have hitherto recognised her to be, we had never before seen equalled; it was free from rant, and yet it was terrific, and electrified the house.
Tue STRAND THEATRE, under the able management of Mr. H. Hall, has risen considerably in public estimation. The attraction of Mrs. Keeley is alone sufficient to fill this miniature theatre when the pieces are well selected for their novelty and humour. The Rubber of Life, Aldgate Pump, and The Mission of Mercury have been successful productions, and have been got up with great care. The scenery is much superior to that of Drury Lane Theatre.
SURREY THEATRE.-The English Opera is now cultivated in a soil that has hitherto been considered uncongenial to the “divine art.” M. Adolphe Adam's new opera of La Reine d'un Jour (“The Queen for a Day") has been produced for the first time in England at this theatre, and has been performed fourteen nights to crowded audiences. The translation is by Mr. J. T. Haines, the plot may be thus described :--The wife of Charles the Second is desired to land secretly in England or Scotland, and in order to elude the vigilance of the government, a stratagem is resorted to, Francine Camusat (Miss Romer) a pretty milliner who is in love with Marcel (Mr. Wilson), is induced to personate the queen, and to land at Dover, while the real majesty effects a landing in Scotland. Marcel, not knowing the circumstances, grows jealous and disconsolate, and follows to Dover. Francine is seized and conveyed to Dover Castle, from whence her lover is on the point of effecting her escape, when Charles arrives triumphant and the lovers are united. The opera is very creditably got up, and the music is light and pleasing, displaying considerable originality.
The Queen's Theatre continues to be profitable to the managers, a sure proof that the public are pleased with his exertions. Mrs. Honey has entered on a short engagement, and is now performing a series of her most favourite characters to crowded houses.
Englisu Opera House. This theatre, we regret to say, is not paying its expenses; a theatrical commonwealth, as Mr. Bunn has rightly observed," is common without the wealth.”
The Prince and Princess Theatres remain closed.
Mr. Eliason is preparing to enliven us with Concerts D'Eté, a là Julien, at Drury Lane Theatre."
The Concert season is now drawing to a premature close; Madame Dorus Gras, Liszt, and several other stars are preparing for departure. London is decreasing; for the coming elections have absorbed all other interests; the concert-giver finds tickets must be given away, and that the supplies are stopped.
MISCELLANEOUS LITERARY NOTICES.
FRANCE. Provincial Libraries.- The Chambers grant considerable sums for the endowment of libraries in the different Departments. This year they voted 200,000 francs for this purpose. Great complaints are made of the manner in which the books are selected. Worthless romances and books of a very inferior description are said to form the chief mass of the accessions to these libraries by order of the ministers. This reproach seems to us the more extraordinary, as there can be no doubt that M. Guizot, at least, has a sincere desire for the moral improvement of his countrymen. The salaries of the librarians are remarkably low, 800 francs per annum for the head-librarian, and 600 francs for the sub-librarian. The arrangement of the books is said to be very defective, and it is with the greatest difficulty that strangers can obtain a sight of the manuscripts and rarer works. The buildings are many of them roomy and spacious, having been cloisters which were declared national property during the French revolution. The number of readers is very small; at Rouen, Nantes, Lyons, the most literary cities after Paris, nine was the average number; in smaller cities of 30,000 to 40,000 inhabitants, as Tours, Angers, Bourges, more than three were seldom found. We copy this from a German journal, in which the writer says that he speaks from long experience. If his statement be correct, we hope that measures of improvement will be adopted.
It has now been clearly ascertained that the words Anglois, François, j'amois, j'étois, &c. were formerly pronounced the same as moi, toi, &c. The change in pronunciation took place after the marriage of Catharine de Medici, in 1553, when a number of Italians became attached to the French court; these persons could not pronounce the oi, and it became fashionable at court, in deference to the queen, to pronounce it as ai ; Voltaire was the first who introduced this system in his writings, after which it became general. Boileau, Racine, and Molière followed the early and correct method.
M. Biot has announced a Dictionary of the ancient and modern names of the towns, &c. in the Chinese empire.
The British government having removed the restrictions which, under the post-office regulations, prevented the admission of Galignani's Messenger into Great Britain, except under a high rate of postage, it may now be received in the same way as the other Paris newspapers, viz. by payment of only one half-penny postage.
That interesting and elegant writer, the Marquis de Salvo, has commenced a series of anecdotes, sketches, and tales, under the title Papiers détachés ; this work will no doubt have an extensive sale.
A valuable historical poem of the sixteenth century, entitled De Trislibus Franciæ, from a MS. in the civic library of Lyons, has been published at Lyons and Paris ; the poem gives a minute description of the civil and religious wars of France under the sons of Catherine de Medicis, and represents, by a variety of illustrative tracings, the costumes, &c. of that eventful period.
Two literary novelties are announced, and are the subject of much conver