Page images
PDF
EPUB

sand dote-cake solace the vigils of those who LITERARY NOTICES.

watch over them when closed in death and

where each welcome is as warm and as Desirous of making this department some cheering as the first, and each farewell thing more than a mere enumeration of the bears some token with it as kind and genecontents of books, we have determined, in rous as the last. order to make it as valuable as possible, The work, which very modestly'pretends and to give these notices that anony. to be only a manual for the use of those mous character, without which criticism who would simplily the business of Newloses half its efficacy, to have the different Year's visiting, by reducing it to a proper works which are submitted to us, ex- system, does in fact contain a fund of deep amined by different individuals, capable erudition and lively entertainment, upon of passing upon their merits, from baving' every thing relating to the first day in the had their attention particularly turned year's calendar. Of the four books into to the subjects treated of. In pursuance of which it is divided, for instance-book first, this plan, we regret that we cannot keep treats of the origin of New-Year's visiting, back this No. longer for two notices, from which it, perhaps somewhat extravagantly, able pens, that were promised us in time for carries back to the days of Hesiod, whom publication, upon the only books we have yet the learned Peter Heylin quotes in his Cosreceived. The beautiful work on Miner-mography, from the admirable edition of alogy and Geology, by J. K. Welsh, of Bos- the poet's works, by Nicholas Heinsius, ton, and the new translation of Longinus, the celebrated Leyden scholar-as authoriby a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, zing the opinion of this usage having existshall both receive their due attention in our ed among the Scythian tribes that were next. In the meantime, however, we must present at the siege of Troy. Some curimanage to fill the space kept open for them ous observations are then given upon the till the last inoment, with something else; zeal with which the custom was observed in and as one, when disappointed of a dinner, the time of Julius Cæsar, among the warwill stay his hunger, or spoil his appetite, like but hospitable Belgæ-as may be gathwith confectionary, we will' substitute the ered from that passage in the writings of pastry and bon-bons of literary persiflage,for the illustrious Commentator, where he the solid roast-beef and pudding of science 'speaks of the Fores omnibus aperti ul edenand the classics; and as many of our re- di bibendique causa ostiatim per diem totam viewing brethren pass upon books they have percurrerent. We have afterward an internever read, we will try and give an account esting account of the usage, as it existed at of one they are not likely to read. that brilliant court, where the steel-clad

THE COMPLETE New-Year's VISITOR.knights of Brabant By Barent Vanderlyn, 1 vol. 12mo. Staats

“Drank the red wine thro' their visors barred.” & Fonda, Albany. Unless our judgment is very much at fault, this little work will from goblets filled by the fair hands of Jacbe as well received hy the town, as any queline of Holland. From this part of the original publication that has long issued work, we learn, that formerly it was only from the press. But why the author, whose noble or very ancient families who interresources are chiefly derived from this ci-changed these courtesies with each other, ty, should have chosen Albany as his place and that the custom of ladies offering to of publication, we cannot divine. Unless it shake hands with the male visitant upon is that the capitol being the only city in the this day, arose from a ceremony that grew Union besides this, where the excellent and up in the days of chivalry, of the young gallant custom of visiting all one's fair and fair hostesses placing their fragile finfriends on New-Year's day, is observed, gers in the gauntletted palms of their guests, and the ancient town of Beaverwick being to signify that they recognized each as one the mother colony from whence her strap- of their own order, and confided in him as ping daughter of New Amsterdam was de worthy of upholding its dignity. This book rived-it was perhaps due to the most an- terminates with an account of the establishcient metropolis of the two, that a work of 'ment of the custom in this city, from the such importance should emanate from with time when it was first confined to the immein those walls, where Dutch hospitality sur-diate connections of the old Dutch governvives in all its original brightness: Where ors, and other official characters, down to still the smoking caudle cup and tender our day, when it has become of such genecruller first meet the young eyes that openral adoption, that the whole town observes upon a strange world, and mulled-wine the social usage.

[ocr errors][merged small]

Book Second, is addressed to the ladies every circle—now listless, melancholy, and exclusively, and, among other things, treats in despair-I conjured him to tell me what of the manner of preparing the room for re- sudden affliction had overtaken him at such ceiving visitors ; giving at the same time a moment-what circumstance had subdusome useful hints for so arranging the cur. ed—what pain had overwhelmed bis spirit tains, that the light, whether warmed and what dear friend he had lost.-—"Friend," softened through salmon-colored moreen,he exclaimed, and the answer came from or reflected from glistening damask, may the depths of his soul hollowly as the asproperly assist one's complexion. Some tol. cending urn from the bottom of a well, that erably engraved diagrams are added, show. sends up no limpid brimmer from its parching the most approved methods of adjusting ed sources. “ Friend? not one but all-all ottomans and sofas, so that visitors may be my friends—I have lost my”—The word fal. taken in detail, or disposed of in deiach-tered upon his lips, as if they could not pro. ments-ad libitum of their fair entertainers.nounce so dread a thing—I have lost my To all of which are annexed a few available visiting list!" bints upon the art of securing a tete-a-tete, In relating this tragic occurrence, our in windows or recesses, with those whom author argues very soundly upon the espewe wish particularly to favor amid the gen- diency of being always provided with dueral rush.

plicate copies of one's list, to avoid the Book Third, intended for gentlemen on consequences of people thus dropping their ly, treats of the whole process of New-Year's acqucintance. visiting, according to the latest inprove-l But we are rapidly approaching the bot. ments. It gives much useful advice upon tom of the page, and have only room to menthe art of compiling a visiting list, and sug. tion that Book Fourth is composed of the gests the expediency of always being provi- diary of a New-Year's visitor”-the whole of ded with a pocket map. After disposing which we may perhaps copy in a future numsatisfactorily of that much agitated ques. ber and a quantity of miscellaneous pieces in tion, whether it is best to district the morn- verse upon visiting matters. Interesting as ing's operation into wards, or adbere to the these must have been to the immediate ordinary usage of visiting by streets, our friends of the writers, few of them, for the author presses very warmly upon those am public at large, possess any interest. An bitious of becoming at all distinguished as exception might perhaps be made in favor New-Year's visitors, the indispensableness of the following touching adieus of a cele. of system in plan, and coolness, prompt.brated beau, and veteran New-Year's day ness, and decision in execution, to get thro' visitor, whose regret at leaving the circle even a tolerable list of calls. “ Order," he which he had long adorned, was so keen, justly observes, "is Heaven's first law, and when going abroad, that he could only send method is quite indispensable in this matter the following farewell cards to his four esabove all others-a method too, which mustpecial favorites.confound all respect of persons and order

“ Emma good byeof preferences, all distinctions of rank and fashion, into one principle of geogra.

In a far away land when I hear them tell phical precedence," while

or the new risen star and the reigning belle, " self-posses.

I shall think of the card where I wrote with a sigh sion" le urges, “is particularly requisite

T. T. L. to make an efficient use of each allotted moment, when people are darting to and Ellen Adieufro around you, like stones from Catapul This clasp of the hand hath a meaning for theo tas.” It is time, however, as our limits At the moment of parting, whose language should draw to a conclusion, that we should begin A smile for the many, a sigh for the few, (be to quote more at large from the work. P. P. C. which we cannot perhaps do better than by quoting here a passage, which sets off the

Fanny Farewell writer's pathetic powers to much advantage.

Indifferent-cold as I saw thee to day, “Well," pursued my agitated informant,

I would fain have been like thee, so careless and " three of my remaining seconds had alrea. Put a tear in despite of my bitterness fell, Jgay:

P. D. A. dy expired-but I could not leave him thus -I spoke again to bim-I besought Riffle. Mrs. Smith good dayton-I conjured him as he sat there, pale as I shall probably sail in an hour or so, the mantelpiece against which he leaned But I'll stop as I'm passing, before I go, he-the gay, the dashing, the brilliant Rif. And leave you wbat cards I have left, to say deton-the soul of every set-the life of p. 1. o.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

fcannot, for a moment, be at a loss to dis

cover the reason that Italian Music in Paris THE ITALIAN OPERA.

requires the arm of Government to sustain it.

.. liWe are free from all these embarrassments, The experiment of the Italian Opera and consequently the success of the Italian having been fairly tried since the present Opera in this country must be less equivocal company visited our shores, and hardly a than in any part of Europe. doubt remaining of its successful permanent The impulse which Garcia's Troupe gave establishment in this city, we hope long to to musical taste in New York, is the most exenjoy every opportunity of making that re-traordinary event which the era of Music can fined amusement, the subject of interesting boast, and it determines a question very facomment in our pages.

vorable to Italy, that cultivation to be good, It is fortunate for us that we have no nation- must approach as near to nature as possible. al school of music, our country possesses no Tuis constitutes the perfection of taste-here recollections of chivalry, of troubadours, feu- the Italian School leaves in the distance the dal contentions or scenes of romance to hand French and English Schools. They have down to us in song the deeds of heroism reduced music to a code of principles, and which such events naturally create. The not left it to the excursiveness of fancy. broad ocean which rolls between us and Eu- Whenever distances are fixed, comparison rope, is not only the interposing barrier in commences. The proportions of a Greek political relations, but it is also the means of column became the standards to regulate deremoving us so far from local attachments sign, and as our rule of beauty is deduced and preferences that we can make our se- from its larmony, so are our notions of lection without prejudice and form our taste music derived from the expression of passion upon the best models without embarrassment. by simple intonation. Nature is then the We were then prepared to receive the best idol of the Italian artist, and while he is corimpressions which could be made, and when rected by its severity he is also chastised by in 1825 Garcia delighted us with histroupe he its truth. To be successful the artist must was astonished that his best points could be have with him the skill to copy and the powappreciated. Before this period we had heard er to adorn a creation by grouping the scatlittle of Italian music. Some recollect the tered fragments of beauty, so as to form a Buffo of Carmoglio, the violin of Burke, and standard originating in an equal mixture of the songs of Trajetta; yet there was not sul-judgment and feeling. It ceases then to be ficient to give us a favorable impression of a matter of astonishment that our country is the great cultivation which existed in Italy. a ready recipient of good taste, and as soon When therefore it was proposed by Mr. Do- as the unpractised ear recovers its tone, the minick Lynch of this city, to transfer Gar- power of appreciation will be more serbicia's troupe from the London Opera House ble and effective. to New-York, the English critics predicted. Again we have another troupe who came to the failure of an enterprise in a country where seek their fortunes in the western world, and no evidence had as yet been furnished of any weventure to predict, if they bring the proper taste in the Fine Arts. “ If London or Paris materials, the permanency of Italian Operas cannot support an Opera, said they, how can is placed beyond all hazard. The materials you expect success in the rude and uncultiva- must be good or the labor is wasted. We ted wastes of America.” The solution of this do not ask that a Pasta, Sontag, or Malibran problem is found in the fact that we had no should constitute a part of these materials; national tastes to interfere with the great per- but we expect that good singers will be given tection of the art which was introduced a- us. We might have been content with less if mong us. In England there are the inelodies we had not heard Garcia, Malibran, and Anof Ireland and Wales, and the old ballads grisani, but their impressions have left with which were the foundation of a National us standards that at least claim respectability School; and in Paris, the Conservatoire es- in professional acquirement. The troupe tablished for France the same predilections. ef Montresor is good, but the sustaining powThese were to be subdued before the pure ro is in Signora Pedrotti. This lady is above taste of Italy and Germany could be success the usrial height, yet she is so well propors ful. The Italian Opera in England cannottioned, and likewise so graceful that she apsucceed except it be assisted by the French pears not too tall or too large-her face is Ballet, and in France it does not flourish one of expression without much beauty, but from the great rivalry of the French Opera her eye is so fine that every feature is lighted and its attractive decorations, When wellup with great intelligence. Mind strong and hear Boildieu and Auber placed by the side powerful, so pervades every attitude and exof Rossinni, Webber, and Mozart, welpression-while her face exhibits intellec

tual transparency--that you can almost see the be disagreeable, or destroy the charming of agitation of her feelings and the conviction his scale. Fornasari, the Bas Taille is a is strong that art is exhausted in the masterly wonder. His figure is tall and commanding, delineation of nature. ller voice is Sopra- and his face one of great beauty. Every no, difering from alibran's, which is mezzo physical advantage, however, disappears besoprano, undoubtedly the best for pourtray- ore a voice of extraordinary compass, ing deep feeling. Hier scale is good, although depth, and execution. The bass of Angra. not comparable to Ferons, yet what she does sani was grand, yet it was stiff, and wanted she does well, and her great forte is that she that flexibility which so pre-eminently desattempts nothing wherein there is a probabili. tinguishes Fornasaris. li is most extraordiof a failure. There is no exertion-every nary that his fame never reached this country. act is performed with ease and great truth. He must be a forinidable rival of Lallache There is never any over-excitement, nor does and Zuchelli, and will, no doubt, when the sublimity of her conceptions ever degen- more years pass over his head, be at the erate into extravagance or bombast. She very summit of his profession. He has apirresistibly carries the feelings into the very peared in Cenerentola, L'Italiani in Algieri, situation she endeavours to pourtray; and and Il Pirata; in all of which he acquitted the admiration she produces is but in the himself with increasing reputation. His dugreat perfection of the representation. Her et with Orlandi, Un Segretto, was admirably ornament is sparing but always well applied, given. He sustained entirely the Italiani, and -ber shake good, yet rarely employed, - although most indifferently supported, gave her roulades are thrown off with ease-her great power and effect to his part. He is her appogiaturas strong and true. Her as the lion of the Opera, and wherever he goes cending chromatique is powerful and correct, will always commandattention and applause. but there is a defect in the descending which Nature has been most bountiful to him, and she skillfully conceals ia sollo roce. She if he does not throw away the rich endowmade her debut in Elisa E-Claudio, and herments he possesses, he will, no doubt, grace success was complete, although her triumph a very important page on the history of the was reserved for Il Pirata. Montresor, Italian Opera. Me is still very young, and the tenor is good, but we think his voice de- if applause do not stop his industry, he will fective, yet he has been educated in so ex. soon be without a rival. cellent a school that physical disabilities dis-i Signor Orlandi is the most perfect comic appear before great cultivation. The roles actor that ever trod upon our boards. Nothof Ramiso, Claudio, and Guallerio are too ing can exceed his Magnifico and Inatazi in high for him to execute with ease, or do him- Cenerentola and Elisa E Claudio. There seli justice. They impose upon him a con- is no buffoonery at any time, and if he be stant exertion, which fatigues him, at the a little extravagant, it seldom attracts attensame time he loses expression. He executes tion with disapprobation. His voice is barthe music in Il Pirata well, but his acting is ratone, clear, and lexible, and always in far better. It is not overstrained but natura: tune, especially in recitative. In the mad throughout. He is the very Antipodes of the scene with Pedrotti in Elisa E Claudio, he Physical School-there is no rant-no ex. executes his part of the duet with great cleartravagance-every look, feature, and attitude ness and skill. He is an acquisition, and correspond-he is a most accomplished ac- vastly surpasses the mummery of Rosich. tor, and we think some of our pseudo-tra- The operas which have been given are gedians should avail themselves of this pre. Cenerentola, Italiani in Algeri, Eliza E sent advantage. It would not be fair to in-Claudio, and Il Pirata. The two first were stitute a comparison between him and Gar- jailures for the want of a Primma Donnacia, the great Maestro of Europe; they belong the two last were eminently successful, and to different schools. His singing is not flowe believe, productive to the manager. The rid, nor does it seek exuberant ornament, chorusses are well got up by Salvioni, and it is without pretension, but it is full of ex- last though not least, Bagioli the director pression, and is oiten electric. His last aria has given two delicious morceaux in Elisa E i. Il Pirata is a executed with great taste and Claudio, and Il Pirata, which place his repuprecission. He never sings false and his re tation upon high ground. citative is given with great etlect. Ilis mer Our limits do not permit our giving an it consists in great accuracy, correct deline. analysis of the Operas we have mentioned, ation, happy conception, and finished exe-which must, therefore, with such strictures cution, and although he is obliged to avail as we may think of advantage to the musihimself of the falsetto, it is interwoven so cal taste of our city, be deferred to future accurately with his voce di petto as never to numbers of the Magazine.

in the early part of the season, and who is THE DRAMA.

now one of the regular company at the Park.

Mr. Wilkinson has rapidly established himThe coming of the KEMBLES, and the dra-self in the favor of our play-going public; matic festival in honor of John Howard and there is no actor on the American boards Payne, gave an eclat to Theatricals during by whom he is surpassed in a certain line of the autumn, such as our boards have rarely characters. His manner is always chaste; if ever boasted before. The brilliant tribute and his humor is of an unobtrusive and to Mr. Payne was rendered towards the end quiet nature, which pleases equally with the of November, and on the evening of boisterous mirth of others. In Dogberry,

December 1st—The second engagement of though perhaps not as successful as Barnes the KEMBLES closed, to one of the most bril- in convulsing the house with laughter, he liant and overflowing houses that was ever gives full effect to the ludicrous dignity with congregated within the walls of the Park, which Shakspeare has invested this prince Theatre. The play of the Hunchback con- of watchmen; and though he possesses not stituted the chief attraction. Miss KEMBLE that remarkable versatility of talent which as Julia in no degree lessened those power-enables Hilson to draw both tears and smiles ful impressions which her personation of this from his audience, he yet has those qualities beautiful though difficult character has crea- which render him well qualified to supply ted; while her father, as Sir Thomas Clif-the vacuum created by the retirement of ford, though the character is by no means these general favorites. fitted to display the abilities of this excellent Dec. 14th. Mr. FORREst concluded a short actor, succeeded, as he generally does, in engagement at the Park, during which he giving to his part an interest which failed played in the three pieces known as “ The not to insure the admiration of his audience. Prize Tragedies," elicited by the liberality We have a few words to say respecting of this popular actor, viz. Metamora, The * The Hunchback.” This play has proved Gladiator, and Oraloosa. The first of these a great favorite with the public; and while pieces, viewed as a tragedy, is beneath critino drama of modern times has been so com-cism. It has not suffered from the misnomer, pletely, successful upon the stage, it has however, but has long held, and probably been thought worthy of being compared, as will continue to hold, possession of the stage, a reading play, with the productions of ma-l as a most successful melo-drama. The last ny of the old dramatists. Indeed, though is a late production from the pen of Dr. Bird, the spirit in which the characters are drawn the well-known author of the piece enumepartakes in many instances, and necessarily, |rated before it. of the present age, we are not the less dis Oraloosa, after long preparation, was reposed to render Mr. Knowles the praise of presented for the first time on Friday evenhaving successfully followed in the steps of ing, Dec. 7, to an overflowing house, anxthese venerable fathers of the English stage,ious to ascertain whether the author had and proved himself an able disciple of the sustained the reputation he reaped in such school of Fletcher, Webster and Ford. abundance from “ The Gladiator.” On re

December 8th. On this evening Mr. and viewing our recollections of Oraloosa, we Mrs. Rae made their first appearance on are forced to say that we were much disapthe stage of the Park Theatre. The mo- pointed in this last production of Dr. Bird, dest and unpretending manner in which which is in every respect far inferior to The these performers have come before the pub Gladiator: a play which exhibits some adlic, has quite prepossessed us in their favor. mirable theatrical situations, and with maThe play was Morton's comedy of "A Cure ny passages of great power contains others for the Heart-Ache;" and though the parts of a softer character, worthy of being comof Jesse Oatland and Young Rapid are not|pared with some of the sweetest verses of of sufficient scope to enable us to judge accu- our old poets. rately of the merits of performers seen for the The plot of Oraloosa is complex in the first time, we were much pleased with the extreme, the author having in the formation manner in which these debutants acquitted lof it worked up incidents and events, which themselves. Indeed, these performers will might with propriety constitute the subjects constitute a most valuable acquisition to the of three or four dramas. Of its poetical meStock company of the Park, which now pos-rits we would say but little. In the overweensesses sufficient strength for the representa-ling anxiety which the author has taken to tion of our best comedies.

store his play with incident, it seems to have We cannot suffer this occasion to pass, escaped him that a good drama must possess without saying a few words respecting Mr. something more than continued bursts of Wilkinson, who made his first appearance passion, and vigorous and continued action,

« PreviousContinue »