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quadrupled in thickness by inserted illus of great value to the student, as it will at trations, portraits, autographs, etc., and once indicate where rare authorities, not famously bound; in another, science and always attainable in the best public libraart are specialities; in another, theology ries, can be found. For, we trust the posis conspicuous, containing all authorities sessors of our private libraries are not of weight and value ; in another, histories, like those collectors D'Israeli speaks of, voyages, manners and customs, the labors who “place all their fame on the view of of naturalists ; in another, the drama, a splendid library, where volumes arrayed Shakespearean collections, belles lettres; in all the pomp of lettering, silk linings, here surgery unfolds itself in myriads of triple gold bands, and tinted leather, are beautifully-colored plates, and there pbi- locked up in wire cases, and secured from lology is firmly entrenched bebind two the vulgar bands of the mere reader, dazhundred dictionaries.
zling our eyes like eastern beauties peering We have had an intimation, that it is the through their jealousies !” intention of the writer of these sketches of our private libraries to continue the All communications intended for this subject, and finally collect and publish the department must be marked“ Kaleidopapers in a volume. Such a book will be scope," Putnam's Monthly.
THERE is an old adage, to the effect that stituting for that imperious note of inter“ it takes all kinds of people to make up rogation, which is the symbol of youth, the the world,” which is constantly quoted in complacent note of acquiescence, if not of explanation or excuse of the existence of admiration, which beseems the defeated people for whose existence no sufficient ex- temper of maturity, and so dismisses all cuse or rational explanation inamediately problems as with a shrugging of the offers itself to the inquiring mind.
mental shoulders. Why it sbould take all kinds of people The love of art, which is an aspiration to make up the world; why the world in youth, becomes a consolation in our might not very well have been made up of riper years. The beautiful creations, which exemplary, decorative, and valuable peo prophesied to us, when life was still a ple, whose individuality would have been, question and a bope, pacify and indemnify like "beauty, its own excuse for being," us when life has become a reality and a nobody has ever attempted to satisfy us. disappointment.
Perhaps it is not probable that anybody, From a world full of people for whom who should make the attempt, would suc- we cannot account, and with whom we are ceed in it; and the adage, we suppose, always coming into collision, how gladly must stand till the occasion for it passes do we turn to a world of beings whose away—that is, till the golden year ar right to be vindicates itself to every sense, rives,
and with whom you cannot quarrel, if you
would! Justinus Kerner, the German poet “When wealth no more shall rest in mounded and psychologist (who wrote that remark.
heape, But, smit with freer light, shall slowly melt able story of the Seeress of Prevorst, In many streams, to fatten lower lands,
which is so excessively improbable that we And light shall spread, and man be liker have always been inclined to believe it man."
strictly true), had a habit of seeing famiTill that extremely desirable, but, as yet, liarly, and dealing witb, spirits, long beextremely distant, consummation shall bave fore tables turned or wardrobes walked ; been reached, it will be difficult for us to and it is recorded of him, that he grew 80 dispense with the facile philosophy which fond of this sweet society, that often he accepts the mysteries it cannot solve, and would stop at the door of a ball-room, and, reconciles itself with the universe by sub- looking around with great sadness on the
human faces before him, would exclaim, such society, and to frequent such scenes with evident sincerity and longiog:Would as shall comfort and encourage our better to heaven these people were all pleasant natures, and restore, from time to time, spirits, instead of men and women, then the freshness of that finer sense, which the would I go in and join them.” As Kerner world's contact is forever rubbing away. felt towards his disembodied friends and The Greeks-pagans as they were acquaintances, as contrasted with those knew this well; and they made their who still wore the garments of the flesh, 80 streets and public walks beautiful with bave we often felt towards a company of images of divinity, heroism, and loveour fellow-beings on coming from a gallery liness. You will find few splendid drawof pictures, or of statues, or a concert of ing-rooms, we fear, in the finest of our fine music, or pages glorious with the fine streets, so richly furnished with real great thoughts and regal fancies of some wealth of beauty as were the squares of selected soul.
Athens; and, if it be true that a “man is Not that we are in the least addicted to to be judged by the company he keeps," misanthropic moods. Far from it! We it becomes a question for abecedarian hold that there is no lunacy so deplorable philosophers to solve, whether, of the two, as the madness which makes men solitary should be styled the truest gentlestan, among their fellows, and drives them from your opulent modern, who dwells in the their kind. But the world is too much midst of vulgar vanities of gilding and glass, with us," and if we are forever elbowing worth an earl's ransom, or the penniless one an'other, forever dealing with creatures Athenian of antiquity, who walked surimperfect as ourselves, and vexed as we rounded with the stateliest visions of digare with passions, great and small, life nity and grace that ever took shape becannot fail to lose its sacred inner glow, fore the eyes of men. All the modern and the soul to abdicate, one by one, all its world, indeed, is not so far behind the fine instinctive hopes, its splendid irration- Athenians in respect for the higher neces alities, the powers which buoy it up, and sities of man. make it sublimely useful to itself and to The great cities of Europe charm the others.
western traveler, and seduce him from his It is bardly possible to estimate, it is home affections, by the society which they quite impossible to over-estimate, the im- offer him for his better thoughts, and his portance to a community of the resources subtler instincts. However patriotic a man which art offers to the imagination and the may be, if he be not “fit for treasons, intellect. It is very easy to talk sad non- stratagems, and spoils," he cannot help sense about the "beautiful;" but there is preferring a residence within reach of no no nonsense so sad as the nonsensical de ble galleries of art, lovely public gardens, preciation of the beautiful. If we men exquisite music, and rich libraries, to a were but machines set to work for a brief home which, though it may be in all other time in the world, the sum of our utility things richer, in these is utterly lacking. being appreciable in the visible results of It is very idle to declaim against the our labor—if we had no individual exist- passion which leads so many cultivated ence estimable and sacred in itself, and no Americans abroad to the Old World, and individual destiny inevitable and solema keeps 80 many of them there. It would before us—then it might be reasonable be a disgrace to an educated man that he enough to question the value of activities did not feel this passion stirring in his which minister less to the eye than to that soul; for it is simply the desire of comwhich uses the eye-less to the ear than munion with whatever is most perfect in to that which uses the ear-less to the ex- human achievement, and most ideal in ternal sense than to the intangible spirit human life. within. But we cannot rid ourselves When a man learns that certain artists of our souls, do what we may; and, if we have created works of beauty which have weary out, or waste, or never heed the delighted, inspired, and enriched the sublimer self within us, we shall have to minds of ten generations, what manner of suffer for it, sooner or later, on earth or man must be be, if no ardent wish arises in somewhere else.
his mind to look upon these works and It is good for us, therefore, to cultivate gauge their meaning for himself? Or, when a man hears that there are cities 80 direction of the streams of wealth that fairly built that their churches and their pass out from the purses of the rich, not palaces, their fountains, their bridges, and with the meagreness of these streams, that their towers bave taken a place in the we quarrel. Our opulent friends, who are admiration of mankind, with the great so anxious to do the public a service, we and lovely works of nature herself-cities are sure need only be persuaded that there where all that is grand or gay in the is one most important service as yet very capacity of music, ministers magnificently poorly done, in order to secure its immeto the mirth, or the sorrows, to the solem- diate and satisfactory performance. nities, or the sports of men-is it not most That practical system of associationnatural that he should believe a pilgrimage by virtue of which our mountains have to these cities, and a residence in them, been tunneled, our rivers wedded to each will make him a wiser and better, a more other, and our lakes joined to the searefined, more thoughtful, and happier that wonderful system of combined efforts man?
by wbich all the great marvels of this marIf we would wean our citizens from the velous age bave been achieved - has love of foreiga lands, we must make our never yet been thoroughly and heartily own, at least, as attractive to the higher applied to the establishment of the arts in nature as it now is rich with all things America. Why should it not be so apthat our mere necessities demand.
plied ? In the great nations of the older world, On every side we hear people lamentpatriotism has been educated by appeals ing the desultory and distracted way in to every instinct that lives in the hearts which all artistic interests are cared for, of men. The arts of Europe are not con- even in this great and wealthy city of fined to a single European country. The New York. Everybody wants the opera, French, the English, the Germans, each, for instance, to be established among 18. in their measure, have built up at home Large sums of money are subscribed, a some image of that inward world of beau- superb house is erected, and an admirable ty wbose external shape the American company is collected, after many failures must cross the wide Atlantic to enjoy. and trials a company which, on the whole,
We must do likewise. Whatever may we are all agreed to consider as suficientbe thought of buman immigrations, the ly satisfactory, as capable, that is, of proveriest know-nothing of us all can hardly ducing excellent old operas in a respectaobject to the largest introduction into our ble way, and of introducing us agreeably national life of the elements of inspiration to whatever novelty the musical genius, and of beauty. Every citizen, who brings sach as it is, of the day may be able to home to us, from the Old World, a create. fine statue or a noble picture, makes his The house is soon, however, found to be country bis debtor for so much new and not all that we could have desired, the refined wealth of thought and of enjoy- management and the proprietors get into ment; and still more generously does he hot water with each other, and the artists endow his nation, when he helps some na- begin to quarrel with themselves and with tive genius into the light, and gives form everybody else, as is the manner of artists. or color to some idea born in an American If there were anything like a concert of brain.
action among a dozen people who were People are continually complaining of the really in earnest in regard to the opera, dullness of American society ; but whose as much in earnest on that subject as they fault is it that our society is dull? Is it not are in the matter of a railway, or a bank, theirs who, baving the means to multiply these difficulties would have turned out to the resources of society, by adding to the be no difficulties at all. number of the reining infuences which
“ The house is defective," you say. may be brought to bear upon the members “Very well ; then the house shall be reof society, neglect to employ these means? modeled, and at once; the defects shall
There is no want of liberality in Ameri- be found out and removed." ca. If money is nowhere more eagerly “ The artists cannot agree with the man. made than in the United States, nowhere ager, por with one another." is it more lavishly spent. It is with the “Very well; as our object is to have an
opera, and not to keep a menagerie of can only find one or two men who are really riotous singers, we shall achieve that object determined to establish it. at once, by bringing all reasonable mem- The public cannot provide itself with an bers of the company to reason, and by opera any more than it can provide itself politely dismissing all who cannot be so with any other positive institution. The brought into the harmonious relations which democratic machinery of our social and the stage requires,"
political world is very apt to make us Let it not be said that this cannot be overlook the fact, that the sagacity wbich donc.
discerns, and the courage which meets, an Our universities are not languishing for instinctive, popular demand, as well as the the lack of professors; our factories do wisdom which goes before and leads the Do not stop because skilled workmen can- popular will, must be the prerogative of not be brought here from abroad. We 8e- small classes of the people, and must be duce the designers of France and the exercised by them, if we are to see anymachinists of England, the refiners of Ger. thing achieved. Did the people make for many and the glassworkers of Bohemia, to themselves even so eminently public an come over and help us. Why should we institution as the Erie Canal or the Columfind it so hard to make up a respectable bia College ? opera corps, and to keep it in order?
One of two things let us do. Let us Is it not simply for the reason that so either admit that we hold the opera, in fow people, among those who have the ca- common with all other institutions, the pacity for managing the business details of end of which is to provide for the finer insuch an enterprise, and command of the stincts of enjoyment in buman nature, to means necessary to insure its success, feel be a superfluity not worth the trouble of a a sufficient interest in the matter, or a suf- thought; or, let us urge it upon those ficient confidence in the disposition of the whose position and whose opportunities public to support them, to take hold of the combine to designate them for the peraffair with that American energy of com- formance of that function, to see that the mon sense which would secure a favorable opera and other kindred institutions are result?
established and conducted among us on As we write, the enterprising Mr. Strak- rational and effective principles, and in a osch is acting out an impressive commentary rational effective way. Whatever is worth upon our observations. He is achieving a doing is worth doing well, and whatsuccess at the Academy, in the face of the ever a people, 80 intelligent as the people most discouraging circumstances, simply of New York, are convinced is worth the by attending to the interests of his under- doing, certainly will be done well. taking as he would if it were a great If we reject the Spartan theory of rebakery or a blacking manufactory. When publican life (which simply leads us back it was announced that he meant to open to the barbarities of Spartan or Puritan the door of the opera to us, everybody despotism), let us adopt the Athenian predicted that he would accomplish only theory, and shame the antique city in regrief and loss. We had just been robbed ducing it to practice. of onr best operatic corps; the snow bad And decidedly we do reject the Spartan just fallen, and the sleigh-bells were ring theory ; we like to be amused; we are only ing out everywhere that merry tune, with too happy to be entertained ; and the worwhich the sweetest music finds it hard to ship of the beautiful, if not yet performed compete, in the ears of a merely excitable altogether “according to knowledge,” is, people; and “society'' was spinning around nevertheless, fervent enough even in this apon its axis (or, rather, its many ases) with great money-making Nishni-Fair of the that accelerated velocity which always pre New World. See how cordially we have cedes the quiescence of Lent. Everything received the great artists whom Europe has looked black in the prospects of the bold sent to us—how frantically we heap praises impresario, but he did not quail. He meas- on those of our own people who contrive ured his resources, tried the experiment, to get a hearing from us. and now what remains for us but to con- The débrd of Madame de Wilhorst, at the gratulate bim on baving proved to us that Academy of Music, was a comfortable siga opera can be established in New York, if we of the times in this respect. In the first place, it was very pleasant to witness the stantly more sympathetic as her character evident disposition of our people to hear develops and ber lyric training is perfected. fairly and to judge liberally a spirited She is a good and thorough proficient in young lady, who had resolved to attempt music, up to the point which she has now the most arduous heights of the musical reached, and is so well advanced as to be art. In the simple announcement that a able to go on fearlessly, and to profit fair young New Yorker, bred in our board rapidly by profounder instructions than she ing-schools, and habituated only to our has yet received. She has vigor enough own world and its society, had determined, and fire enough of nature to be susceptible without the preparation of an operatic of dramatic culture, and we have a right training, to come forward on the lyric to expect of her that a year or two of destage and risk a comparison with our votion to study, in the best school, will put memories of Bosio and of Sontag, there her name among those which all lovers of was something eminently audacious and music repeat with delight when the vision American, which at once startled and of the Opera and its enjoyments rises in fascinated us. The charming débutante the mind. impersonated, for the moment, the great Contemporaneously with the rising of American ideas of “ go ahead!” and “never the star in Irving Place, a Star of the mind!” Her début was, therefore, in more South rose upon our dramatic world at senses than one, a kind of national fête. Wallack's theatre. Miss Matilda Heron All of us, who had heard her sing in less came to us a mere notoriety, and remains ambitious scenes, were satisfied that she with us a renown. Her, too, we have enhad at least voice enough and skill enough dangered with our adulations. We expectto save her from a positively shameful fail. ed 80 little of her, that the much she gave ure; but the most sanguine hardly hoped as quite addled our wits. Seeing on the for her a positively brilliant success. With stage of one of our staiđ and steady theawhat a sense of relief and gratitude, there, tres, a vebement, earnest, passionate, fore, did we draw our breath, after the first sincere actress, who acted as if acting were scene bad amazed us into a recognition of a serious reality, we put no bounds to our so much more merit in her than we had exultation. We prostrated the superlatives ever suspected!
of the English language at her feet, and The locomotive had leaped the chast- broke all the statues of the Dramatic Panthe clipper had rounded the point- the theon in her honor. It is the bighest bold young bird had alighted safely among praise we can offer Miss Heron, to say that the branches of the bay-tree! Hcreupon, she does not seem to have been intoxicated we went off at once, with the national nerv- with the very new wine of our pane ousness, into the most frantic enthusiasms syrics. of praise. If we do not spoil our promis- She seems to know, herself, how much ing prima donna, it will not be our fault, she has still to achieve how much further surely ; and yet, such extravagance of she can yet go in that path of artistic simlandation as we fall into upon these occa- plicity, and truthful adherence to drama sions, is a better extreme of error than tic laws, upon which she has already gone indifference or timidity of appreciation 80 far. While her pathos, and intensity of would be. The song of birds is sweetest emotion, the vibrating volume of her and the fragrance of flowers is finest in the voice, and the passionate grace of her gestwholesome airs of the temperate zone, it is ures, move the pit to tears, and touch true ; yet one finds more and better of both even the stonier hearts in the boxes, the in the tropics than at the poles.
actress herself will, we are sure, remember We have, at last, secured the positive that her own ideal must be continually ris promise of a really admirable prima donna, ing, if she is not to educate her hearers in the person of Madame de Wilhorst. No beyond herself. A little true acting, freeuch début of an American vocalist bas quently seen, will soon teach those who been witnessed here. She has a delicious see it, to be impatient of whatever is unsoprano voice, edged a little, it is true, true in the acting which instructs them. with the sbrillness of extreme youth, but It is in this way that admiration grows resonant and pure in quality--not entirely into criticism ; and Miss Heron, we hope, sympathetic, but certain to become con- will remember that she can do us no