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nor of showing off their attainments as linguists; and we would wager a considerable sum, that if all the delicate little music-books of the aristocratic young ladies of the day were opened to public inspection, they would be found crammed with airs-French, Italian, German, Swiss, Turkish, or “ any airs but those” which Mr. Rodwell so zealously and ably vindicates.
It is a Herculean task to attempt to reform a prevailing taste, or to overthrow an established popular feeling. If an English Opera House were established according to Mr. Rodwell's suggestion, it would never become fashionable, so long as the public conviction in favour of foreign music lasted. The Italian Opera, moreover, is the fashion wholly and entirely, without reference to the superiority of the performances ; against this there is no contending. Gay tried it, and wrote his Beggars' Opera as a burlesque upon the tragic absurdities of the King's Theatre; and a most remarkable result has been produced. The Italian Opera of course remains uninjured, but the burlesque, which was to cover it with ridicule, has itself become a serious favourite, and ladies weep to hear Polly's lamentations to the tune of “ Three Children sliding on the Ice;" and are wrapt in astonishment at the chivalrous bearing of Capt. Macheath, who, like the swan in the fable, terminates his earthly career by drinking half a pint of brandy, and singing his sorrows to half a dozen jig tunes.
Mr. Rodwell, we repeat, deserves well of his professional brethren, and indeed of all his countrymen, for the development of his design for increasing the power of national talent; but we cannot flatter him with a hope of success, having, as we have already said, the English Opera. House before us as an example of an establishment founded for the same purpose-licensed for that particular object—and being absolutely forced, for the means of existence, to introduce foreign music, and engage foreign singers to perform it.
A serio-comic “ affair,” as yet, however, limited to paper bullets, has excited a considerable sensation in Ireland—the forty“ patriots" are up in arms, in consequence of an assertion made by Mr. Hill, the member for Hull, at a meeting of his constituents, that one of the said “ forty" was,
“ Like Pollard oak, hollow at heart" — that he had advised ministers to push to the extreme the Irish Coercion Bill--as the Irish Panacea, at the same time that he avowed himself compelled to vote against it—for the sake of his seat for some county, city, town, or borough. Of course there has been no name named; but as the song says
“ Each cries that is levelled at me.” As the matter is still on the tapis, and may be more serious than we peace-loving people desire, we prefer “ saying our say” upon it next month.
The Lion's Mouth.
“ ALIENA NEGOTIA CENTUM." —Horat.
BEULAH SPA. THE facetious vein into which our “ Monthly Commentator" permitted himself to glide, while describing last month the localities and the lymphatics of this celebrated resort, conveyed a very erroneous estimate of its claims to public notice. We have felt it right, therefore, to accept the invitation of the proprietor, for the purpose of revising our “ verdict," and lay before our readers the result of our investigation.
The site of the Spa is an elevated one. It rises from the brow of one of those eminences which constitute the Norwood Hills; the height of which hills, as Dr. Weatherhead informs us, has been computed, from trigonometrical observation, at about 390 feet above the level of the sea at low water; consequently, as the London fogs never rise more than 240 feet above the same level, the air cannot be otherwise than pure, salubrious, and invigorating.
Respecting the temperature, physical properties, &c., of the water, Dr. Weatherhead, in his published - Account of the Beulah Saline Spa," states, that, at the bottom of the well, its average temperature is 52° of Fahrenheit ; that its specific gravity is 1011; and that, by an analysis of its composition, by Mr. Faraday and Mr. Hume, a quart is found to contain 2101 grains of solid saline matter, while a quart of the Cheltenham water, as analyzed by Mr. Brande, is found to contain only 161 grains. Thus, in a single quart, the difference in favour of the Beulah water, in solid mat. ter, is 49.grains. The quality of the latter is also superior; 100 grains out of 161 of the Cheltenham saline consisting of muriate of soda, or common table salt, the aperient properties of which are comparatively feeble; “ whereas the mass of the ingredients in the Beulah Spa is composed of two powerful saline substances, the sulphate of magnesia, and that peculiar triple salt, the sulphate of soda and magnesia, constituting three-fourths of the whole saline impregnation." From our own observation we can corroborate Dr. Weatherhead's statement, that the taste of the water“ is distinctly bitter, without being at all disagreeable, leaving on the palate the peculiar flavour of its predominant saline ingredient, the sulphate of magnesia."
The situation of the Beulah Spa is naturally beautiful as well as salubrious; and it has been greatly improved by art, Mr. Decimus Burton having been employed in the laying out of the grounds, and in the erection of the different rustic edifices by which they are adorned. Great improvements are going forward: at present, here is a lawn, a rosery, a wilderness, and an archery ground; and, beyond the archery ground, another wilderness is forming. Lady Essex is also improving the plantations, and superintending the construction of a fountain. When complete, the grounds—a wood of young oaks, opening to the south-west, and formerly the haunts of the gipsies-will embrace an extent of more than forty.acres. In the ensuing spring, its easy distance from the metropolis,-its contiguity to the town of Croydon, and the villages of Norwood, Dulwich, Sydenham, &c.--and its general localities and agrémens, will render Beulah a more delightful morning lounge, as well as an occasional or permanent residence, than ever.
Exposition of the False Medium and Barriers excluding Men of
Genius from the Public. It is not always easy to form an accurate judgment of the contents of a book by its title. So completely did that of the present volume set all our conjectures at defiance, and so affected and indefinite did it appear to us, that, conceiving the author to be at least destitute of common sense, we were half tempted to dismiss it unread from our table; but, impelled by a sense of duty, we sat down, in spite of our unfavourable impressions, seriously to peruse it. We had scarcely, however, proceeded through a dozen pages, when we met with the following paragraph:
- In the fresh spring-time of our existence, when the eagle wing of sorrow and hope is strenuous in the glorious dawn, and the rich and rosy dews fall heavy on the opening flower that begems the path over which, with swelling bosom and unbaffled energies, we bound with feet that feel not the earth beneath us, while the voice is uplifted in full enjoyment of Nature's free and heartfelt presence, it is a good thing to be a ploughman. But to become an author, is to poison the sacred draught of heaven, and to bring down Olympus in desolate ruins over the highway of life! Under what stupendous dreams are all his hopes buried for ever! To till the wholesome earth, and reap the tawny harvest of the year, is a somewhat sturdy task · in the eye of Phæbus,' and often felt to be a heavy manual toil; but it hath no certain heartaches for its reward ; and is a blithe and jocund labour, compared with his who, through the painful day and dead enduring night, struggles and yearns towards the goal of immortality. The energies of his heart are as the horses of the sun,-his course around the vast empyrean is at length accomplished, -his reward is squalid human misery, with giant Despair striding forwards in the clearing distance."
Our readers will be surprised when we tell them that this was almost too much for our patience, and that we regarded the writer as either above or below criticism. As a specimen of fine composition we have nothing like it, save Dillon's celebrated “ Progress to Oxford with the Lord Wenables," or “ Ned Matchless' Tour to Paris," by George Clayton, jun. The whispers of duty, however, again prompted us, and we determined to read on, a little influenced, we confess, by a wicked curiosity to see how the picture would proceed, and where it would end. Amusement at the expense of a bedlamite at large, seized with the mania of authorship, we have indeed enjoyed to satiety. We congratulate ourselves that, at this dull season, a treat so exquisite was in reserve for us; and offer our best thanks to the publisher for disregarding the false medium and barriers which might for ever have deprived us of a performance which, take it all in all, we shall not look upon its like again. We conclude that Mr. Effingham Wilson does not retain a reader in his establishment, and we trust Heaven, in its mercy, will avert from him so dire a calamity. What unheard of literary treasures has he now at his disposal ?-all, in fact, that this monster of a reader, endued with ubiquity, has excluded from the public for an indefinite number of years. The geniuses will flock to the Royal Exchange as to another Parnassus. Apollo and the Muses will visit earth again to do honour to this their consecrated temple; and Effingham Wilson will be more than a Mecænas,-he will be a god,-the idol of all the mighty intellects which, to the scandal of these degenerate days, have written works which only themselves could ever be prevailed upon to read. We would, however, just hint to him, while all his blushing honours are thick upon him, that he must be contented with unprofitable fame, with the mere glory of rescuing genius from oblivion,--for we learn from our author that the very infallible test of genius is the want of success. Dec.-YOL. XXXIX. NO. CLVI.
sufficient importance upon the compendious chapters of Gibbon, or the critical disquisitions of Sale, prefixed to his translation of the “ Koran," though from both he has evidently obtained considerable assistance. The authors generally consulted by the historian of the Arabs are numerous, and display his diligence and research. The narrative is written in a style of agreeable conciseness, though with something too much of a labouring after epigrammatic turns of sentences. Like many a fellow-historian, our author is not satisfied with the labours of his predecessors; and we think he shows no little presumption when he terms the historian of the “ Decline and Fall” the “ arrogant Gibbon.” This epithet, and other terms of dispraise applied to the illustrious dead, are but too frequent. Had the “ lord of irony” been a contemporary of Mr. Crichton's, we very much question whether he would have dared to use such language, as those most severely repented who in this way trespassed; and Mr. Crichton might have found that he was not so insignificant but that Gibbon might have embalmed him in his language, and, like the insect in the amber, he would then have descended to posterity by means of an accident. We would not, however, be severe. Diligence and intelligence always deserve their reward: though, like others, we are more reluctant to grant it when an envious feeling or a grossly warped judgment assails and depreciates one whom all men acknowledge to be illustrious. Hume, Robinson, and the other great ones of their day, did homage to the concise and the eloquent Gibbon. Mr. Crichton is not of the same stamp as those whose names we mention; and, while we admit him to possess very considerable ability, we are compelled to say that he has added another proof to the assertion that this is not the age of historians.
Trevelyan. 3 vols. There are some works whose great charm is their reality ;—they come so home to our own recollections, they are fraught with the hopes which we have ourselves hoped, with the fears which we have ourselves feared, and touched with the same sorrows which we have ourselves known. Amid this class is “ Trevelyan," one of the most affecting, the most graceful narratives that we have met with for a long time. It is full of those exquisite touches which give that real and natural character to which we have before alluded. The story begins with the delineation of Miss Trevelyan, whose portrait is one rarely found in the pages of the novelist, but often in the path of common life. Plain, slightly deformed, and the spring of life passed in the seclusion of an invalid father's chamber, Miss Trevelyan, on his death, finds herself alone in the world-her only tie a brother in India, too distant, therefore, for support or society. Little accustomed to strangers, -having passed that period of existence when connexions are easily formed and friendships readily begun,- painfully conscious of her deficiencies, the isolated and neglected Miss Trevelyan sinks into despondency, and passes year after year in a cheerless and monotonous solitude. From this she is roused by an appeal to the kindest feelings of her heart. Her brother has been left guardian to an orphan-one whose situation is even more desolate than her own. There is no foundation for affection like sympathy; and in this case the attachment is cemented by pity and gratitude. Helen is an established resident under the roof to which she had brought the hope and cheerfulness of youth, in requital for Miss Trevelyan's affection-an affection the stronger in proportion to its loneliness. Colonel Trevelyan returns, and becomes attached to his beautiful ward. She admires him-she is grateful; but another catches her imagination, and through it wins her heart. With the generous self-devotion of real love, he forwards her marriage with another, and endeavours to secure her happiness at the price of his own.
We will not destroy the interest of the tale by further analysis of the plot, but only say that it increases as it proceeds. Colonel Trevelyan's is
an admirably-conceived character,--so noble, so high-minded, yet with nothing either exaggerated or repelling ; and we forgive his fine qualities for the sake of his unhappiness,—we say forgive, for, to the shame of human nature be it said, we do not like to be reproached by the perfection of even a fictitious character. But our pity for Colonel Trevelyan is stronger than even our admiration; and hence our interest is never chilled. The heroine is exquisite : her faults are so natural, her good qualities so loveable,-something so feminine, so genuine, so attractive about her, that it is difficult to believe that we have only read of her-she seems more like an actual remembrance. The contrast is perfect between her and Lady Augusta : the one so eager, so generous, so full of fine impulses and warm feelings; the other so calm, so cold, so measured—the very beating of whose heart, if it does beat, is like clock-work-a mechanical human being, moved by springs—the springs of selfishness and habit. We have great difficulty in believing that all are formed of the same clay; at all events, the dust must have been tempered in different atmospheres,-some dried in the east wind, till not one gentle or vernal influence is left. . We remember being greatly pleased with “ Marriage in High Life;" but “ Trevelyan' is a vast improvement on its predecessor. Lady Scott is the author; and we congratulate her, not only on having produced one of the most charming novels of the day, but as the author of one of those true and touching creations which, once read, become part of memory,—one of those favourite volumes to which we refer, and which we insist upon others reading and liking as much as we do ourselves. Select Passages from the Georgics of Virgil and the Pharsalia
of Lucan. Few, very few, among scholars have succeeded in translating the ancient poets. Mr. Wallis is certainly not one of them. He is evidently a man of considerable learning and some taste, but the genuine feeling of the poet does not belong to him. Did we require other proofs than his translations, we should refer to those poems attached to the work, and which are called original; the best of them,—to “. Winter,"—is only an embodying of what Shelley and others have said before. The spirit of the translations may be judged by the following, which we take promiscuously. It is in the first book of the “ Pharsalia," where the characters of Cæsar and Pompey are contrasted :-
" But Cæsar's greatness was not the renown,
The fame alone of what he once had been;
His only shame from battle to retreat." And then let the difference be observed between this and Rowe's, labouring under the cramp of rhyme:
66 'Twas not the thought of what he once had been
In old records, or dusty annals seen;-.
That blush'd for nothing but an ill-fought field.”
Chapel of Trinity College, Dublin. By James T. O'Brien, D.D., &c. 1 vol. large 8vo.
The outline of the plan of these most admirable sermons is simple, and steadily adhered to throughout; it is as follows:—The scriptural meaning of the word Faith, as signifying trust and confidence in God through Christ, is first ascertained ; the manner in which this great, vital principle of true religion is wrought in the mind is set forth, and what is the whole proceeding or