« PreviousContinue »
Miss SHIRREFF AND MR. Wilson have just commenced an engagement at the Park Theatre, in an opera which has a high reputation in Paris, where it was played upward of two hundred nights, with undiminished attraction. The music is by ADOLPHE ADAM, and is said to abound with melodies of a pleasing and effective kind; and we doubt not it will prove to be very popular here. Indeed, if we may judge of the opera by the romance so charmingly sung by Mr. Wilson, at several of his late brilliant concerts, where it was received with marked enthusiasm, its success is certain. The plot is represented to us as good, and many of the situations as exceedingly comic. We may now hope to see the Park, as of old, filled nightly with the beauty and fashion of the town. As the engagement of these artists is only for ten nights, we fear it will be impossible for them to produce any other novelty during that period; since to produce an opera well, requires weeks of preparation. But should a rëengagement be effected, at a future time, with these admirable performers, before they leave our shores for England, it would unquestionably give great satisfaction to our music-loving citizens, to hear 'Amilie' again. And how well it might here be cast, with nearly all the original performers who were in it, when it was first produced at Covent Garden! Miss SHIRREFF and Mr. Wilson, in their original parts of ‘Amilie' and 'José,' and Manvers as the original 'Anderl Brenner;' Giubilei would make a capital representative of the 'Count,' and Miss Poole, in the part of 'Lelia,' would give the public an opportunity of liearing the music of thai part sung. The leader, too, Mr. Thomas, was the leader at Covent Garden, when 'Amilie' was produced, and led it every night. His perfect acquaintance with it, therefore, and his steady, quiet, and unobirusive manner in his situation, would throw a new and additional charm around this much-admired opera. We must have' Amilie,' Mr. Simpsos!
AMERICAN LITERATURE. – We tender our cordial thanks to Rev. LEONARD Bacon, of New Haven, for a copy of his · Discourse before the Society of Phi Beta Kappa in Yale College,' in August last. It is a sound, manly, and very forcible illustration of the proper character and functions of American Literature. The observations upon feudal privileges; the cloquent defence of the vobility of of labor, physical as well as intellectual; the inculcation of frugality and simplicity of maovers; and the exposition of the tendency of the religion of the Bible, as a constituent force, a graud ele. ment, in the civilization and literature of the American people; these stamp Mr. Bacos as a true American, an admirable writer, and a practical Christian. We cannot resist the inclination to quote the following paragraph, as forcibly exhibiting the influence of the old hereditary distinctions upon the common mind in England, where eveu now the greatest bonor is to rise to the level of the old feudal aristocracy:
The orator in the louse of Commons, whose eloquence adorns and enriches his mother tongue; the patriot statesman, whose skill guides his country through the storm; the jurist whose gerius and industry bave thrown light along the Gothic labyrinths of the law; the warrior whose exploiis, ou the deep or on the land, have made the meteor flag of England' burn more terrific thau before; mounts at last to the peerage, and thus attains the goal of his ambition. And what an ambition! He is a peer indeel; but he comes a norus homo into the circle of the old nobility. He is a peer indeed, and is permitted to uphold the decayed aristocracy, by bringing to its aid the vigor of his talents, and the lustre of his parform uces; but after all, the stupid descendant of some ironfisted, leavien-headed old baron, of the days of King John; the coronetrd gambler, 'whose blood has crepe through'titled • scoundrels ever since' it was ennobled by the Tudors; yes, and the rowdy profligate who traces his pedigree back to some unmertionable female in the court of Charles the second ; takes precedence of him, and blesses himself as of a more illustrious birth than this ver. created lord of yesterday. Meanwhile, the mau of science and of letters has no hope of rising to so glorious an eminence. The astronomer who writes his pame among the constellations; the chemist at whose analyzing touch nature gives up her profoundest secrets; the inventor who gives new arms to labor, new wings to commerce, and new wealth and comforts to mankind; the historian who illuminates his country's annals, and turns into wisdom the experience of past ages; the poet who entrances nations with the spell of song and fable; seeks the patronage of the high-bora, bappy to share that patronage with actors and Italian fiddlers; thrice happy if the king, deemiag him fit to stand in the outer court of aristocracy, shall dub liim knight, or exalt him to the rank of baronet. Thus Davy, transformed into Sir Rumphrey, or Brewster, elevated into Sir David, is made equal ia rank with such samples of human bature as Sir Mulberry Hawk; even as NEWTON, after having revealed the system of the universe, and having made his simple plebeian name the most illustrious in the history of human knowledge,was belituled into Sir Isaac, and enabled to stand in the court of Queen Anne at the same degree of greatness with Pope's
"Sir I'lume, of amber snuff-box justiy vain,
Thus the Ariosto of the North,' after having filled the world with his fame, received the honor of a baroneicy, and was made almost respectable enough to be company for such as the high-born Earl of Munster, aud the noble Marquis of Waterford. Thus perhaps, if Milton were to come to life again, under the present administration, and were so far io disest himself of his old Puritan and republican whims, as to inake himself agreeable to my Lord Melbourne, we might hear of Sir John Milion, the author of Paradise Lost!'
Who does not feel the full force of this strain of eloquent satire, and respond to the honest indignation of the writer?
THE DRAMA. – We regret that we are again compelled to postpone a large portion of the remarks of our able theatrical critic upon the doings at the Park THEATRE.' But as there is matter in his first critique of more than a temporary interest, it will not be lost hereafter 10 our readers. He pays an elaborate tribute to Donizetti's beautiful opera of • The Love-Spell,' the overture, and the admirable singing of Miss Poole, Mr. MANVERS, Mr. GIUBILEI, etc.; concluding with a most laughable description of the 'chariot, and the horse thereof,' in which • Doctor Dulcamara' makes his imposing eutrée, wherein he gives the following sage advice to the manager : 'Let there be one gentleman to oficiale as the fore-legs of your quadrupeds, as well as one to play the bind-legs; and let him who playeth the hind-legs feel himself equal in dignity to the artist in the anterior department; so that the entire animal' shall move naturally and quietly along, and the hind-legs be not overtaskod! C.'s second communication is devoted to a just analysis and commendation of the acting of Mr. and Miss VANDENHOFF, and 10 some admirable comments upon Mr. Henry PLACIDE, in connexion with a notice of his benefit, and recent depurture for England. Crowded as we are, we yet cannot omit the following, which is as true as it is satirical: •Mr. PLACIDE has been gradually winning upon tbe admiration of the public, until he has become their greatest favorite ; and most deserving is be of the high reputation which he enjoys among us. In these days of charlatanism, when the drama has become a sort of stalking-horse, to bear upon its back the grimace, buffoonery ,gaggery, and rant, of quacks and pretenders; when a comedian is measured by his capacity to improvise coarse jokes, as foreign to the subject as to common decency, or to distort the features by such grimace as will'set on harren spectators to laugh,' while the true wit of the scene, if any such there be, is left to itself; when the antics of the buffoon are the true . spice and season' of a popular comedian ; while the drama has been thus degraded by certain of its members, here and elsewhere, who have found a quickly-earned notoriety in the applause of the upthiuking; it required a dignity of purpose, a steady and honest perseverance, to sustain the just character of a true comedian. With all his great talonts, such have been the impulses which have urged Mr. Placide in his career, and he has for his reward the reputation of being the first of his class in this country, and we believe equal to the best of any other. ··· Much more could we say of Mr. Placide's merits ; of the respectability which he has thrown around his profession, both upon the stage and in his intercourse with society; of his unwearied attention to his duties; of his constant respect for his audiences, and his invariable exertions to gratify the few, as earnestly as to please the many.' We had written, but must also omit, a sketch of the performances at the BOWERY THEATRE, where Mr. Forrest has been fulfilling an engagement with his invariable success; of Mr. Hill's triumphant career at the New CHATHAM;' and of the lively and popular entertainments at the 'OLYMPIC,' whose capable manager, in the richest strain of burlesque, “ever anxious to suatch at and seize, with the utmost avidity, every thing in the line of novelty and genius,'lately announced, that he had succeeded, 'at not very enormous expense,' and 'without much trouble,' in inducing Mr Johnson to make an operatic effort,' in which he was to dance and sing Jim Crow,' together with. All round my Hat !
MR. WINTHROP'S ADDRE88. — We shall embrace another occasion to present our readers with several extracts which we have marked for insertion in an Address delivered before the New. England Society,' in this city, in December last, by Robert C. WINTHROP, Esq., a near descendant, in direct line, from the Pilgrim Fathers,' whose history and character he has so eloquently set forth. The city reader, who sat among the breathless auditory that crowded the .Tabernacle,' during the delivery of this distinguishod performance, need only to be told, that in the dignity of types it is scarcely less impressive; and by a parity of reasoning, those who read only, can form some idea of the effect created by that additional appeal which is to the eye and ear; the eloquence of personal presence, graceful gesture, and an impressive and musical voice.
Owing to lack of space, this department of the KNICKERBOCKER — usually devoted, as its title imports, to a brief record' of, rather than criticisms upon, new publications, of the existence of which we would not have our readers wholly iguorant - is in the main, in the present ouinber, but the medium of mere passing comments upon several works wbich demand, and may hereafter receive, a more adequate police at our hands.
MR. C. E. Horn's Musical Souvenir.' – We congratulate our musical amateurs on the appear ance of this work, as being likely to afford them a great deal of gratification, and to do much for the advancement of the study of music, an improving taste for which divine science is daily extend. ing itself over all classes of the community. Each number, it is intended, shall comprise generally a song or two, a duett, a trio, and perhaps a quartette, thereby affording a delightful variety for a domestic musical soirée ; and as the selections are made by Mr. Horn bimself, whose refined tasle is the natural result of a deep love and loug practice of bis art, we have so besitation in assertiog that they can hardly fail to be judicious. Among his own compositions, there is a very extensive variety, and we could name many of his duetts and trios, which are admirably calculated for chamber music, and which are scarcely known here, from not having yet been reprinted in this country. In the second number, there is a song called 'The Lily of the Valley ;' the words by a Scottish poet, GILFILLAN, and the music by Mr. G. Loper. It is beautiful in simplicity, and must become a universal favorite. We should like to see Wilson take hold of this song, and sing it. Take the hint, Mr. Wilson, and do so; it will be sure to please. BLANGINI'S charming duett, 'Per valli e Boschi,' has been adapted, with English words, very well, but they do not sing so naturally as the original; and we question the propriety of departing from the original; for every young lady now. a-days studies the most mellifluous and musical of all languages, the Italian; and her singing in it not only increases ber kuowledge of the language, but refines her taste for the bel canto. The mechanical part of the work is well and beautifully executed. The 'Musical Souvenir' should command success, for it deserves it.' Thus remarks a disiuterested and most able musical critic, to us, in a recent note ; and we are glad to find our former praise of the excellent publication alluded to, confirmed by so competent a judge. A third pumber of the 'Souvenir' has, as we infer, appeared, although our copy has not yet reached us. We find, however, in several of the public journals here, and elsewhere in the vicinity, the poetry of a glee that is said to grace its pages, from the prolific pen of Brigadier-General GEORGE P. Morris, of the New York Mirror,' which partakes, in no small degree, of the peculiar characteristics of the writer, and which has been pronounced to be oue of the most beautiful things ever written by that eminent composer.' The lines are as follow :
Like a spell !
Nor can tell !
Well a day!
As the star,
Sky afar !
Like the lay
Not a tie
'Till we diet
Sad we stray:
Contrasted with long Alexandrines, these stanzas do not — as little KEELEY observes in the play of “The Swiss Cottage,' when he comes marching down the stage, high over-topped by RICHINGs, the divine Peter'— make a very commanding figure. It is not the number of words, bowever, that constitutos poetry, as our contemporary's efforts sufficieatly evince.
*THE TRIUMPH OF PEACE, AND OTHER Poems.' – There are certainly tokens of fine poetical matériel in this evidently young writer ; but he has as certainly very many faults to amend. His shorter pieces are much the best: and we have dog's-ears at two or three pages, which open to pleasant and graceful stanzas. His style is too diffuse. Had some tasteful friend put him upon an allowance of wordy embellishment, his volume would have been all the better for the scarcity. 'Do you Remember ?' is not without merit; but it is an ill-judged and not over-modest imitation of a beautiful poem by Hon. Mrs. Norton, with which a truly original writer would scarcely have sought to contrast his own second-hand imaginings. “Do you remember them,' sus. ceptible reader ? — and thereabout especially, where the much persecuted and beautiful authoress says:
• Do you remember when we first departed
From all the old companions who were round us,
And talked with smiles of all the liuks which bound us ?
With unfelt weariness o'er hill and plain,
To think how soon we'd be at home again ?
Kept fading from us like a fairy treasure;
And more of those to whom our fame gave pleasure !
When a lighư breeze, a flower, hath brought to mind
And made us yearn for those we left behind ?'
'The GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE,' PHILADELPHIA. — Among the papers we have found leisure to peruse in this periodical for March, the only number we have seen for many inonths, we find two cantos of an elaborate historical poem, entitled 'COLUMBUS,' from the pen of our correspondent' Quince,' in other words, FREDERICK West, Esq., editor of that lively and entertaining journal, the Sunday Morning Atlas.' The writer displays an intimate knowledge of his subject, and brings a subdued imagination happily in aid of history. The progress of the autobiography is natural, the rhythm easy and flowing, and the images felicitous, yet not profuse. The whole poem, unless it should greatly deteriorate in its closing portions, will reflect much credit upon the author. We observe, also, in the same number, a continuation of the 'Journal of Julius Rodman, being a minute account of the first passage across the Rocky Mountains ever achieved by civilized man.' We think we discover the clever hand of the resident editor of the 'Gentleinan's Magazine,' Mr. E. A. Poe, in these records ; the more, perhaps, that the fabulous narrative of 'Mr. ARTHUR Gordon Pym,' of Nantucket, has shown us how destly he can manage this species of Crusoe matériel. The number is accompanied by a view of the pretty little white house in the Highlands, owned, or occupied for two or three summers, by our worthy poetical and military contemporary of the 'New-York Mirror,' but for some time past the property of Mr. TOMPKins, of Staten Island, the original owner. A few good-sized trees, and a little easier access, would add to its attractions as a summer residence, though it would still scarcely be 'the gem of the Hudson,' as it is termed in the description, which was evidently penned 'a long time ago.' It should be remembered that there are several' gems' of country-houses on our glorious river – if not more! This 'gem,' however, says the description, acquires additional value, from being the spot where, under the inspiration of the scene, several of our amiable poet's cleverest lyrical effusions have been 'ripened for the world.' VOL. XV.
GREENBANK FEMALE SEMINARY. We have often remarked, in an occasional trip to Tarrytown, a spacious and beautiful mansion, on an eminence, looking down upon the pleasant little village, and the fine scenery which environs it on every hand. This edifice, we perceive, by some one of the daily journals, has been converted into a seminary for young ladies, by Mrs. Romeyn, 'under whose immediate care, as principal, all pupils will be placed.' With competent instructors in every branch of female education; a fine climate, delightful scenery, and easy access to town ; above all, with grounds laid out in gardens, walks, and orchards, for purposes of recreation ; the 'Greenbank Female Seminary' would seem to possess every important requisite for an institution of its class.
'Pictures Of Early Life.' – We cannot better devote the few lines of space it is in our power, at a late moment, to command, than by calling attention to Mrs. EMBURY'S 'Pictures of Early Life,' one of the most instructive and delightful little volumes for children we have ever seen. Simple in language, pure in style, entertaining in its narrative, and good in all its inculcations, it should find its way every where to the hands and hearts of the young.
New Work by Boz. – The Philadelphia publishers of Mr. Dickens' publications have made an arrangement for the receipt of the sheets of his forthcoming new work, in advance of the appearance of the numbers in London. They will be read almost simultaneously in every part of this country, being first sent to the most distant quarters of the Union, and issued in the Atlantic cities on the first of every week.
To READERS AND CORRESPONDENTS. - Our readers will share the pleasure with which we wel.
• Mrs. Mary CLAVERS,' (author of that spirited and origioal work, 'A New Home, Who'll Follow ?') as a regular contributor to the KNICKERBOCKER. The work in question has already passed through two large editions in this country, and has been republished in England, with the highest commendation from all the best critical sources. It may be necessary to explain to the unintiated reader, that the term. Thram's Huddle,' in the present number, is the western designation of a small settlement, or village. The expressive French term, l'embarras des richesses, exaetly defines a category in which we found ourselves placed, in relation to sundry communications from our best contributors, which it was greatly desirable — but owing to cireumstances, wholly impossible – to present in the present issue. Admirable chapters of Harry Franco's · Haunted Merchant,' a characteristic and delightful paper from the author of The American in Paris,' The Day-Book of Life,' from a new and esteemed correspondent, and a poem by P. Hamilton Myers, Esq., are reserved therefore, for the May number. The following unacknowledged articles have been received, and are filed for insertion : A very remarkable and interesting · Reminiscence of the Late War;!• The Four-Bears, a Tale of the Mandans ;' The Pictured Rocks, with Sketches by the Lake Superior;' a luscious poem on the White-Fish; A Leaf from Florida; 'Ephraim Pipkin,' by the popular author of My Fishing-Ground;' and a poem by Alfred B. Street, Esq. The review of, and extracts from, Defoe's history of the Old Gentleman,' will be presently resumed. We shall not forget to give the Devil his due.'
The KNICKERBOCKER is growing cosmopolitao. Its vame and fame are no longer confined to the vernacular. A few weeks since, the whaling story, ' Mocha Dick,' which our readers will well remember, appeared in a French dress, in the 'Cabinet de Lecture,' one of the best weeklies published in Paris, and we are told, was received with great favor by its readers. Several of our articles bare also appeared in a new German magazine, published at Pittsburgh. Who knows where we may figure next? Perhaps in the "Sandwich Island Gazette,' or 'Timbuctoo Register.' We observe that EstHUR CHUNDER Goopt has started a new daily in Bengalee, called by the mellifluous pame of 'The Prubhakur.' We shall propose to exchange with Mr. Chundur Goopt. GEOFFREY CRAYON will read gloriously in Bengalee. The unfortunate difficulties at Canton will prevent our making an arrangement with the Ling-che-foo-yan, or 'Canton Literary and Scientific Review,' for the present; but we hope to do so hereafter. In this way, we shall'enlarge our borders,' till Parsee, Wallachian, Circassian, aud Tartar, are all enabled to read the KNICKERBOCKER in their native languages. Our Magazine is destined to be of immense service in introducing civilization and literary tasto into Asia, Africa, and Madagascar!