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recognized by any title but the very plain one of New York. We propose to name it the Artist City, or the City of Studios. Not all the sister Cybeles combined, can produce such profusion of easel and marble work; such sculptures, paintings, gravings, drawings; so much of etch and sketch, as we now have garnered in the midst of our busy streets. No less than three hundred pallets are set every morning by as many artists to begin with. And as Kaleidoscope is "a particular arrangement of reflecting surfaces," it shall at least show what these followers of Phidias are doing in the sea
-Mr. Church, Art Union Building, is busy with two landscapes-oue a broad view of Niagara from the Canada sidewhich, to our sense, conveys a juster idea of the wild and vast sweep of the waters, than any picture of the falls we have yet seen. The other, a prelude to a larger composition, is a sketch of South American scenery, rich in variegated colorpalms, cataracts, volcanoes, tropical vegetation, and flowers of all hues, tangled in luxurious pre-Raphaelite profusion.
-Elliott (same building) is engaged upon two full-lengths, and a number of other portraits. One of the full-lengths is a likeness of Governor Seymour, and a very striking likeness it is, too. This portrait is for the seldom-visited gallery in the City-Hall, yclept the “governors' room," in which the pictures of all the governors of the state of New York are safely locked up from the public, gaze, except upon the fourth of July, when the dusty populace is admitted, and allowed to look out of the front windows upon the soldiers in the park below. One is apt to see many familiar faces at all times in this artist's studio. At present there are likenesses of Hon. J. S. Wadsworth, Mayor Wood, Henry S. Bacon (full-length), Geo. W. Pratt, W. Porter (Spirit of the Times), Col. McKenny, Asa H. Center, and several fine heads of ladies. Elliott's pencil mellows by time. He has never painted better portraits than those which are yet wet from his easel.
-Mr. Hicks, whose fine studio in Astorplace, opposite the Mercantile Library, is in itself worth a visit, has just completed a full-length of Mr. Wolcott (of York Mills, Oneida co.). We commend this picture especially, for the great fidelity and
truthfulness of all its details. The books, table, carpet, bronze ink-stand, easy-chair, even the hat, cane, and cloak, are managed with true artistic skill. These things, in themselves commonplace enoughwhen brought in as accessories - have a value, not to be overlooked. The most common and familiar objects, when introduced in a picture, are more or less pleasing, as they are well or ill-painted. But, apart from this, they have an intrinsic value as vehicles of color, the harmonious distribution of which is the problem every artist has to solve anew with every fresh picture. The portrait itself is well-painted; it is carefully and judiciously handled, and stands out firmly from the canvas. The aërial perspective of the ante-room, beyond the figure, is happily managed. Besides the full-length, there are portraits of Henry L. Pierson and Henry Ward Beecher, and a pleasant idylic sketch called "The Lost Children." We shall refer to Mr. Hicks's picture of The Literati, betimes.
-Mr. Kensett, cor. Broadway and Fourth st., is just putting the finishing touches to a large landscape, with such an air of " dolce far niente," that one is almost entranced with the sweet indolence
"The very air seems sleepily to blow.'
In the foreground, there are large masses of rocks, with one great jutting crag, finely contrasting with the clear, deep shadows in the quiet waters below, and a belt of woodland, skirting one side of the picture, is penetrated with rays and gleams of light, that do not seem less true to nature because they meet the eye unexpectedly. The middle-ground is finely and carefully painted, leading the vision further on, until it is carried to Mount Washington in the distance, which rises up in the transparent atmosphere, illuminated with broad sunlight. The whole picture is in Kensett's happiest style, and the repose and solitude of the scene are rather enhanced than lessened by a covey of wildfowl skimming over the surface of the still water, in the foreground. We shall look with interest for the promised landscapes from this artist's easel-the results of his last summer's itinerary among the lakes of England, Ireland, and Scotland, the Windermeres, Grassmeres, Killarnies, and Lock Lomonds- many thoughtful
sketches of which are hidden in the nooks of his studio.
-Mr. Louis Lang, whose studio adjoins Mr. Kensett's, has just finished a large picture, representing a literary pic-nic at Lake Mahopac. It is the happy disposition of this artist, to give a sort of romantic character to even such commonplace things as portraits, and by skillful groupings, pleasing arrangements of colors, bits of landscape, touched in here and there, with the aid of sunlight effects, flowers, leaves, and air, to create out of very little material, images of a most fanciful and pleasing kind. Another picture in his studio represents a sewing party of ladies, seated on and around the porch of a villa; some of the faces are recognizable, and not the less pleasing, because you come upon them unexpectedly. Another group of children on the lake shore, engaged in a variety of games, some dancing under the looped-up fringes of a tent, some in the open-air, at blind man's buff and forfeits, some scattered about on the turf
"Like tumbled fruit in grass”
remind oue of ancient holiday scenes and happy May-day games of earlier years. There are some smaller pictures, also, in this artist's studio-Night and Morning, Meditation on the Sea Shore, and others, which exhibit a delicate and graceful fancy, as novel as it is agreeable. In the next Kaleidoscope we shall have reflections of other studios in the city.
There is no greater pest in good society than an habitual punster--a fellow without judgment enough to keep his wit in control, nor wit enough to excuse his want of judgment-without either modesty or politeness, who intrusively thrusts himself between speaker and listener, to the vexation of both-a word-catcher, pickmouth, and trifler, who forgets the refinements and courtesies that should adorn a
gentleman, the limits of good-breeding, the proprieties of social conversation, the respect due to age or sex, and lays an inintolerable tax upon good-nature, for the sake of a wretched jest. This nuisance must be abated. Ladies, lend us your frowns!
"We are poor laggards on the trail of time, Born in the sundown of the dregs of rhyme.'
Five Pounds Reward (the price of Para
dise Lost), for a poem of a hundred lines, containing at least one new idea, and not a superfluous adjective.
MODEL CRITICISM.-The way to do it.
Lyrics of the Ventricles, by Caroline Hemans St. Clair. 12mo., pp. 589. Goblet & Garrotte. This is a volume of new poems
by a lady who is destined to hew her way
to the front ranks of American Literature. With the exception of a few small versicles, the work before us is marked with constant volcanic gushes, and a grand lava-like flow with tender strata of scoria. The wild upof molten granitic thought, interspersed heavings of passional emotion in the lines, "to him I loved in early youth," are fearfully contrasted with the extinguished Popocatapetl of her despair in, "None but I have known thee truly." These demonstrations of an over-sensitive and delicate female heart, panting to throw itself upon the broad bosom of the public, will have a certain amount of influence upon the young and undeveloped daughters of this republic. The book should be upon every centre table.
SHORT ANSWERS TO LONG LETTERS PHILOLOGIST.-" -"Whether either and neither should be pronounced eyther and nyther?"
The old English orthoëpy is "ayther" and "nayther," the corresponding sounds of their, heir, neigh, neighbor, heinous, etc. Modern usage has sanctioned eether and nedher at least in this country. Young England says "eyther and nyther," which you may adopt if you please; but you must be careful not to say "thire and hier," and "nighbor" and highnous," until you hear from us.
CHAUCER." And I would like to know the origin of these phrases: 'The ruling passion strong in death;' The divine right of kings;' 'In spite of one's teeth ;' 'Hauling over the coals;' and, above all, what was the tune the old cow died of?" " We leave Chaucer's queries open for an
MARY ANN.-"What is your opinion of the Boker case?"
We think no honorable man, or highminded woman, can read the animadversions of the press in regard to this matter, without a blush of shame and indignation.
THE WORLD Two themes have largely absorbed the attention of our world during the past winter, of which it is, perhaps, as well that we should now briefly discourse, since the new season is at hand, and other matters will, ere long, drive them from our memories and our minds. For, it is more true of us Americans than it ever was of any people, that we live
"One foot on sea and one on shore, To one thing constant never." Our loves--our public loves, that is-are fed on straw, and flame out as quickly as they flame up. Impertinent oblivion overtakes our dearest idols almost before the last worshiper has turned away from the shrine. Yet, it should be said for us, that we are willing to return on our steps; for it is alternation and relief, rather than positive novelty, that we crave. We are glad that April should go and May come without thereby engaging ourselves either to abjure April or to enthrone May. And, in like manner, after a season of unusual delight in the drama, and of exalted interest in "spiritualisms, so-called," we shall go on to balls at the watering-places, and picnics in the rural districts, without one sad, backward thought of actresses, authors, or mysterious mediums.
Let the chronicler, then, seize the flying moment; for, sooner or later, the balls and the picnics, in their turn, must cease, and fail, and float away, into the "limbos, large and wide," of the dumb, desolate Past; and then, we shall begin again to seek the excitements of city life, and to ask what good thing, or what new, awaits us, and where we are to look for things good or new.
It would be a pleasant belief, could we cherish it, that the last winter had given us a good American play, and a good American actress; for a genius good in its kind is a priceless possession to any people; and one is so utterly weary of the everlasting expectation of incredible things in which we, Transatlantic leaders of mankind, have been trained, for now a full halfcentury, that really to have attained something simply credible and creditable would afford us just cause for such peans of selfthanking, self-admiring, as the passionate
lover of Lady Geraldine so fiercely denounces. Our intellectual ornithologists have so often cheated us with unfulfilled predictions of a genuine swan, "at last," that we are beginning to despair. And yet, why should we not hatch a swan, too, as well as our neighbors? It is intrinsically impossible for us to give ourselves a satisfactory answer to this question, and we shall, accordingly, continue to watch each new incubation of genius with an unconquerable interest, and a hope strong against hope, though we should be steadily disappointed through fifty more consecutive years.
Disappointed this winter we certainly were, and sadly.
In the first place, we were disappointed of our play.
No American tragedy was ever put upon the stage with such pomp and circumstance of state theatrical as Mrs. Howe's "Leonore." It had been announced, through the press and in private, for many weeks. It was known to have been composed with the greatest care-to be no hurried improvisation prompted by a moment of brilliant temptation, but the long result of months of serious and sedulous labor, lovingly bestowed by a lady who has, at least, given proof that she is fired by the "noble rage" of fame, and who was, by not a few competent persons, believed to be also inspired by the "fine frenzy" of genius. It had been accepted by a spirited manager, who had already shown himself as skillful as he was enterprising, and the chief rôle of the piece was to be filled by an actress whose popularity and vogue were unquestionable.
Here were all the elements of a very brilliant outside prestige. Add to these that the drama has not been so popular in our city for many years as during the past winter, and it will be plain that the most uneasy and anxious author could hardly ask a more favorable atmosphere for a début than was assured to Mrs. Howe at "Wallack's Theatre," for the production of her "Tragedy."
The spectacle presented by the house on the first night has been sufficiently commented on,long since, and everybody knows
that it was a showy incarnation of the sincerest interest, anticipation, and good-will. All who loved the drama, and wished well to our authorship, and could find room in a theatre which is by far too small for the audiences which are ready to throng it whenever sufficient provocation is offered, came-and sate and saw-and sorrowed and went away, and returned not again!
Then followed the dreary farce of madeup houses, and the desperate contest between managerial zeal and good feeling on the one hand, and popular indifference, dashed with disgust, on the other; and the issue was, of course, what we all are so sorry to know it was.
"Leonore" ceased to be played because it is not a play. You cannot carry on a drama-the essential quality of which, as the name itself indicates, is action-without beings capable of action. A drama of declamations is no drama-and here was just the fatal mistake made by Mrs. Howe. She constructed a great number of fine or fierce speeches, and put them into the mouths of the players, and the players spoke their speeches trippingly or tremblingly, as the case might be, but not a soul in the audience cared or could care what came of all this speaking, because not a soul in the audience had or could have a vital conviction that there was any human interest involved therein. Had the poetry of Mrs. Howe's play been of the very highest order, and had it been declaimed by a company of very exquisite rhetoricians, the charms of the language might have fixed the attention of the hearers, and satisfied them with an entertainment, not dramatic, indeed, but intellectual and agreeable enough. It is very largely in this way that such a play as Shakespeare's "As You Like It," for instance, contrives to keep the stage. There are no characters in "As You Like It" who interest us very particularly, and the action of the piece excites hardly a thrill of curiosity. The play of the passions which bring about the intrigue, and unfold it again to the dénouement, is singularly insignificant. Rosalind fascinates nobody into a concern for her ultimate welfarethe Duke is a shadowy creature of whom it does not matter to any of us, one whit, what disposal the writer may choose to make—Orlando, Celia, Olivia, Jaques, all have a certain individuality, to be sure,
because Shakespeare's genius was so inteusely and unconsciously constructive that he could not help making a man or a woman of any name he took up and touched; but their individualities are neither very attractive nor very powerful. And yet we all delight not only to read "As You Like It," but to see it well put upon the stage-because the language of the play is so brilliant, and so beautiful; because its treasures of thought and fancy and feeling are so sparkling and so precious, that any effective display of them is irresistibly charming.
But if we were less familiar than we are with the text of "As You Like It," or if it were bunglingly delivered to us, it would not be likely to draw very full houses.
And the text of "Leonore" was not so brilliantly rendered, as that its excellence could atone for the unreality of the characters, the improbabilities of the action, and what we must frankly call the insufferable moral atmosphere of the piece.
We are by no means lovers of cant in any form, and of critical cant we profess to entertain an especial abhorrence. But there are certain canons of æsthetic law which rest on the "pillars of the Universe." And the most essential of these canons were not treated by Mrs. Howe, in her play of "Leonore," with the least respect.
In the composition of that play, the author undertook, we dare say,' unconsciously enough, to combine the classic with the romantic principles of dramatic construction. A tragedy, as conceived by the classical school, is the development of a single passion, and the representation of a certain number of human beings, as entirely involved in the toils of that passion. In such a tragedy there is and can be no room for the presentation of human life as it actually runs its actual course. The very conditions of the work exclude the idea of painting a possible human experience in all its outward appearances, and as modified by actual life. If we take Corneille and Racine for our types of this school, we shall find that in their tragedies there is no relief of reality in the action of the piece. The object of the author is, to depict reality of emotion, and everything, even to the metrical form of the piece. is so contrived, as to throw the listener into an unusual mood of mind-to eman
cipate him from the idea that he is observ-
But in Mrs. Howe's play, we had the intensity and sustained uniform intention of the tragedy united with the forms of the drama, and as a consequence of this most unnatural union, an utter absence of force, either tragic or dramatic. We were called
upon to accept the impressions of the French classical tragedy through the conditions of the English romantic drama, and we could not but refuse to do so.
In calling her work a "tragic play," Mrs. Howe seemed to indicate some vague perception of these truths—and it is infinitely to be regretted that she should not have followed out these perceptions, if she indeed possessed them, to their legitimate consequences. Give us the power of music to sustain us in an exceptional mood, and Grisi for our prima-donna, and we should not object to the plot of "Leonore." Or, throw the play into the form of Phèdre or Bajazet, and give us Rachel to impersonate the heroine, and we might have been terribly fascinated by her power in delineating a passion so remorseless and so fear
But ask us to witness what purports to be a picture of possible Italian life, delineated with circumstance, and we must exclaim against whatever is unnatural, unrelieved, diabolical.
For diabolical the heroine is made to appear, when you are forced to accept her whole life in the Satanic light in which Mrs Howe presents it.
Upon the author, then, primarily and most positively, the failure of "Leonore" must rest. The actress could not have saved it, had she been twice herself. As it is, she has real force enough to save any character which she apprehends thoroughly, and has mastered carefully, and which is susceptible of salvation.
We have no fondness for the plays in which Miss Heron has won her greatest triumphs in New York. We do not see the particular good that can result to the community from such a long-continued, close, and passionate analysis of shame, and sorrow, and suffering, and sin, as is demanded by the drama of the demimonde, or even by tragedies of the stamp of Medea. If the age were an age remarkable for the sternness of its prejudices, or the severity of its moral feeling-if our community were a community intensely Puritanical and prudish, one could see that some possible good might be done by plays which would show us how often the root of sin is in suffering. Nor could we ever dispense with plays tending to such a moral; for it is one of the sweetest and deepest morals of Christianity, and it rises