網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

Bons.

recognized by any title but the very plain truthfulness of all its details. The books, one of New York. We propose to name it table, carpet, bronze ink-stand, easy-chair, the Artist City, or the City of Studios. Not even the hat, cane, and cloak, are manall the sister Cybeles combined, can pro aged with true artistic skill. These things, duce such profusion of easel and marble in themselves commonplace enough work; such sculptures, paintings, gravings, when brought in as accessories — have drawing8; so much of etch and sketch, as a value, not to be overlooked. The most we now have garnered in the midst of our common and familiar objects, when inbusy streets. No less than three hundred troduced in a picture, are more or less pallets are set every morning by as many pleasing, as they are well or ill-paintartists to begin with. And as Kaleidoscope ed. But, apart from this, they have is “ a particular arrangement of reflecting an intrinsic value as vebicles of color, surfaces," it sball at least show what these the harmonious distribution of which is the followers of Phidias are doing in the sea- problem every artist has to solve anew

with every fresh picture. The portrait it-Mr. Church, Art Union Building, is self is well-painted; it is carefully and jubusy with two landscapes—ove a broad diciously handled, and stands out firmly view of Niagara from the Canada side- from the canvas. The aërial perspective which, to our sense, conveys a juster idea of the ante-room, beyond the figure, is of the wild and vast sweep of the waters, happily managed. Besides the full-length, than any picture of the falls we have there are portraits of Henry L. Pierson and yet seen. The other, a prelude to a larger Henry Ward Beecher, and a pleasant idylic composition, is a sketch of South Ameri- sketch called « The Lost Children.” We oan scenery, rich in variegated color— shall refer to Mr. Hicks's picture of The palms, cataracts, volcanoes, tropical vege- Literati, betimes. tation, and flowers of all bues, langled in

-Mr. Kensett, cor. Broadway and Fourth luxurious pre-Rapbaelite profusion.

st., is just putting the finishing touches to a -Elliott (same building) is engaged upon large landscape, with such an air of " dolce two full-lengths, and a number of other

far niente," that one is almost entranced portraits. One of the full-lengths is a

with the sweet indolencelikeness of Governor Seymour, and a very striking likeness it is, too. This portrait

“The very air seems sleepily to blow.' is for the seldom-visited gallery in the In the foreground, there are large City-Hall, yclept the "governors' room," masses of rocks, with one great jutting in which the pictures of all the governors of crag, finely contrasting with the clear, the state of New York are safely locked deep shadows in the quiet waters below, ap from the public, gaze, except upon the

and a belt of woodland, skirting one side fourth of July, when the dusty populace is of the picture, is penetrated with rays and admitted, and allowed to look out of the gleams of light, that do not seem less true front windows upon the soldiers in the to nature because they meet the eye unexpark below. One is apt to see many fa- pectedly. The middle-ground is finely and miliar faces at all times in this artist's carefully painted, leading the vision furstudio. At present there are likenesses of ther on, until it is carried to Mount WashHon. J. S. Wadsworth, Mayor Wood, Henry ington in the distance, which rises up in the S. Bacon (full-length), Geo. W. Pratt, W. transparent atmosphere, illuminated with Porter (Spirit of the Times), Col. McKenny, broad sunlight. The whole picture is in Asa H. Center, and several fine heads of Kensett's happiest style, and the repose ladies. Elliott's pencil mellows by time. and solitude of the scene are rather en. He has never painted better portraits banced than lessened by a covey of wildthan those which are yet wet from his fowl skimming over the surface of the easel.

still water, in the foreground. We shall -Mr. Hicks, whose fine studio in Astor- look with interest for the promised landplace, opposite the Mercantile Library, is scapes from this artist's easel—the results in itself worth a visit, bas just completed of his last summer's itinerary among the & full-length of Mr. Wolcott (of York lakes of England, Ireland, and Scotland, Mills, Oneida co.). We commend this pic- the Windermeres, Grassmeres, Killarnies, tore especially, for the great fidelity and and Lock Lomonds — mang thoughtful

sketches of which are hidden in the nooks dise Lost), for a poem of a hundred lines,
of his studio.

containing at least one new idea, and not
-Mr. Louis Lang, whose studio adjoins a superfluous adjective.
Mr. Kensett's, has just finished a large pic-
ture, representing a literary pic-nic at

MODEL CRITICISM.—The way to do it.
Lake Mabopac. It is the happy disposition Lyrics of the Ventricles, by Caroline
of this artist, to give a sort of romantic

Hemans St. Clair. 12mo., pp. 589. Goblet character to even such commonplace things

& Garrotte. This is a volume of new poems a3 portraits, and by skillful groupings, by a lady who is destined to bew her way pleasing arrangements of colors, bits of

to the front ranks of American Literature. landscape, touched in here and there, with

With the exception of a few small versicles, the aid of sunlight effects, flowers, leaves,

the work before us is marked with constant and air, to create out of very little materi

volcanic gushes, and a grand lava-like flow
al, images of a most fanciful and pleasing with tender strata of scoriæ. The wild up

of molten granitic thougbt, interspersed
kind. Another picture in his studio repre heavings of passional emotion in the lines,
sents a sewing party of ladies, seated on
and around the porch of a villa; some of

“to bim I loved in early youth,” are fear.
the faces are recognizable, and not the less fully contrasted with the extinguished
pleasing, because you come upon them un-

Popocatapetl of her despair in, “None

but I have known thee truly." These expectedly. Another group of children on

demonstrations of an over-sensitive and the lake shore, engaged in a variety of

delicate female heart, panting to throw it games, some dancing under the looped-up

self upon the broad bosom of the public, fringes of a tent, some in the open-air, at

will have a certain amount of influence blind man's buff and forfeits, some scatter

upon the young and undeveloped daughters ed about on the turf

of this republic. The book should be upon
“ Like tumbled fruit in grass" -

every centre table.
remind oue of ancient holiday scenes and
bappy May-day games of earlier years.
There are some smaller pictures, also, in
this 'artist's studioNight and Morning, PHILOLOGIST.-"Whether either and nei
Meditation on the Sea Shore, and others, ther should be pronounced cyther and
which exhibit a delicate and graceful fancy, nyther ?
as novel as it is agreeable. In the next The old English orthoëpy is "ayther" and
Kaleidoscope 'we shall have reflections of

“nayther," the corresponding sounds of
other studios in the city.

their, heir, neigh, neighbor, heinous, eta
There is no greater pest in good Modern usage has sanctioned eether and

neether—at least in this country. Young
society than an habitual puuster--a fellow
without judgment enough to keep his wit England says "eyther and oyther," which
in control, nor wit enough to excuse his

you may adopt if you please ; but you must
want of judgment-without either modesty

be careful not to say “thire and hier,"

and “nighbor" and bigbnous," until you
or politeness, who intrusively thrusts him-

hear from us.
self between speaker and listener, to the
vexation of both a word-catcher, pick-

CHAUCER." And I would like to know

the origin of these phrases : The ruling
mouth, and trifler, who forgets the refine-
ments and courtesies that should adorn a

passion strong in death ;' "The divino
gentleman, the limits of good-breeding,

right of kings ;' In spite of one's teeth ;' the proprieties of social conversation, the

• Hauling over the coals;' and, above all,

what was 'the tune the old cow died of ?!
respect due to age or sex, and lays an in-
intolerable tax upon good-nature, for the

We leave Chaucer's queries open for an-
sake of a wretched jest. This nuisance
must be abated. Ladies, lend us your

MARY ANN." What is your opinion of
frowns !

the Boker case ?"

We think no bonorable man, or bigb“We are poor laggards on the trail of time, minded woman, can read the animadverBorn in the sundown of the dregs of rhyme."

sions of the press in regard to this matter, Five Pounds Reward (the price of Para- without a blash of shame and indignation.

SHORT ANSWERS TO LONG LETTERS

swers.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

nounces.

Two themes have largely absorbed the lover of Lady Geraldine so fiercely deattention of our world during the past

Our intellectual ornithologists winter, of which it is, perbaps, as well have so often cheated us with unfulfilled that we should now briefly discourse, since predictions of a genuine swan, " at last," the new season is at band, and other matters that we are beginning to despair. And will, cre loog, drive them from our memo- yet, why should we not batch a swan, too, ries and our minds. For, it is more true as well as our neighbors ? It is intrinsic

us Americans than it ever was of any ally impossible for us to give ourselves a people, that we live

satisfactory answer to this question, and we “One foot on sea and one on shore, shall, accordingly, continue to watch each To one thing constant never."

new incubation of genius with an unconOur loves--our public loves, that is—are

querable interest, and a hope strong against fed on straw, and flame out as quickly as

hope, though we should be steadily disapthey ilame up. Impertinent oblivion over

pointed through ifty more consecutive takes our dearest idols almost before the years. last worshiper has turned away from the Disappointed this winter we certainly sbrine. Yet, it should be said for us, that were, and sadly. we are willing to return on our steps; for it

In the first place, we were disappointed is alternation and relief, rather than posi- of our play. tive novelty, that we crave. We are glad

No American tragedy was ever put upon that April should go and May come with- the stage with such pomp and circumstance out thereby engaging ourselves either to of state theatrical as Mrs. Howe's “ Leoabjure April or to enthrone May. And, in nore.It had been announced, through like manner, after a season of unusual de- the press and in private, for many weeks. light in the drama, and of exalted interest It was known to bave been composed with in “spiritualisms, so-called," we shall go the greatest care-to be no hurried imon to balls at the watering-places, and provisation prompted by a moment of picnics in the rural districts, without brilliant temptation, but the long result of one sad, backward thought of actresses, months of serious and sedulous labor, lovauthors, or mysterious mediums.

ingly bestowed by a lady wbo bas, at least, Let the chronicler, then, seize the flying given proof that she is fired by the “noble moment; for, sooner or later, the balls age" of fame, and who was, by not a few and the picnics, in their turn, must cease,

competent persons, believed to be also inand fail, and float away, into the “limbos, spired by the "fioe frenzy" of genius. It large and wide," of the dumb, desolate

had been accepted by a spirited manager, Past; and then, we shall begin again to who had already shown himself as skillful seek the excitements of city life, and to as he was enterprising, and the chief rolo ask wbat good thing, or what new, awaits of the piece was to be filled by an actress us, and where we are to look for things whose popularity and vogue were unques good or new.

tionable. It would be a pleasant belief, could we

Here were all the elements of a very cherish it, that the last winter had given brilliant outside prestige. Add to these as a good American play, and a good that the drama has not been so popular in American actress ; for a genius good in our city for many years as during the past its kind is a priceless possession to any winter, and it will be plain that the most people; and one is so utterly weary of the uneasy and anxious author could hardly everlasting expectation of incredible things ask a more favorable atmosphere for a in which we, Transatlantic leaders of man

début than was assured to Mrs. Howe at kind, have been trained, for now a full half- “Wallack's Theatre,” for the production century, that really to have attained some

of her “ Tragedy." thing simply credible and creditable would

The spectacle presented by the house on Afford us just cause for such peans of self- the first night has been sufficiently comthanking, self-admiring, as the passionate mented on,long since, and everybody knows

that it was a showy incarnation of the sin- because Shakespeare's genius was so inccrest interest, anticipation, and good-will. teugely and unconsciously constructive All who loved the drama, and wished well that he could not help making a man or a to our authorship, and could find room in a woman of any name he took up and theatre which is by far too small for the touched ; but their individualities are audiences which are ready to throng it neither very attractive nor very powerful. whenever sufficient provocation is offered, And yet we all delight not only to read came—and sate and saw-and sorrowed “As You Like It," but to see it well put and went away, and returned not again! upon the stage because the language of

Then followed the dreary farce of made- the play is so brilliant, and so beautiful ; up houses, and the desperate contest be- because its treasures of thought and fancy tween managerial zeal and good feeling on and feeling are so sparkling and so preci. the one hand, and popular indifference, ous, that any effective display of them is dashed with disgust, on the other; and the irresistibly charming. issue was, of course, what we all are 60 But if we were less familiar than we are sorry to know it was.

with the text of “As You Like It," or if it “ Leonore" ceased to be played because were budglingly delivered to us, it would it is not a play. You cannot carry on a not be likely to draw very full bouses. drama—the essential quality of which, as And the text of "Leonore" was not so the name itself indicates, is action-without brilliantly rendered, as that its excellence beings capable of action. A drama of could atone for the unreality of the chardeclamations is no drama and here was acters, the improbabilities of the action, jast the fatal mistake made by Mrs. Howe. and what we must frankly call the insufferShe constructed a great number of fine or able moral atmosphere of the piece. fierce speeches, and put them into the We are by no means lovers of cant in mouths of the players, and the players any form, and of critical cant we profess spoke their speeches trippingly or trem- to entertain an especial abhorrence. But blingly, as the case might be, but not a there are certain canons of æsthetic law soul in the audience cared or could care which rest on the “pillars of the Uniwhat came of all this speaking, because verse." And the most essential of these pot & soul in the audience had or could canons were not treated by Mrs. Howe, in have a vital conviction that there was any her play of “ Leonore," with the least rebuman interest involved thercin. Had spect. the poetry of Mrs. Howe's play been of the In the composition of that play, the auvery highest order, and had it been de- thor undertook, we dare say,' unconscious claimed by a company of very exquisite ly enough, to combine the classic with the rhetoricians, the charms of the language romantic principles of dramatic construcmight have fixed the attention of the tion. A tragedy, as conceived by the bearers, and satisfied them with an enter- classical school, is the development of a tainment, not dramatic, indeed, but intel- single passion, and the representation of a lectual and agreeable enough. It is very certain number of human beings, as entirelargely in this way that such a play as ly involved in the toils of that passion. Shakespeare's “ As You Like It," for in- In such a tragedy there is and can be no stance, contrives to keep the stage. There room for the presentation of human life as are no cbaracters in “ As You Like It” who it actually runs its actual course. The interest us very particularly, and the action very conditions of the work exclude the of the piece excites bardly a thrill of curi- idea of painting & possible buman experiosity. The play of the passions which ence in all its outward appearances, and bring about the intrigue, and wofold it as modified by actual life. If we take again to the dénouement, is singularly Corneille and Racine for our types of this insignificant. Rosalind fascinates nobody school, we shall find that in their tragedies into a concern for her ultimate welfare- there is no relief of reality in the action the Duke is a shadowy creature of whom of the piece.

The object of the author it does not matter to any of us, one whit, is, to depict reality of emotion, and everywhat disposal.the writer may choose to thing, even to the metrical form of the piece. make-Orlando, Celia, Olivia, Jaques, all is so contrived, as to throw the listener have a certain individuality, to be sure, into an unusual mood of mind--to emad

66

cipate him from the idea that he is observ. upon to accept the impressions of the ing “ life," or a mirror of life, and to put French classical tragedy through the conhim into & condition in which he will re- ditions of the English romantic drama, and ceive the lofty or fiery declamation of the we could not but refuse to do 80. piece, just as we receive the impressions of In calling her work a tragic play," an opera. Of course, therefore, to criticise Mrs. Howe seemed to indicate some vague a play like the Cid, or Les Horaces, or perception of these truths-and it is infiPhèdre, as if it were, or pretended to be, & nitely to be regretted that she should not representation of the probable conduct of have followed out these perceptions, if sbe the Spanish hero, or the Roman maiden, or indeed possessed them, to their legitimate the Grecian queen, in certain given cir. consequences. Give us the power of mucumstances, is simply absurd. Just as ab sic to sustain us in an exceptional mood, word as it would be to criticise Semiramide, and Grisi for our prima-donna, and we or the Somnambula, or Il Trovatore, in the should not object to the plot of “ Leonore.” same way. The romantic drama, on the Or, throw the play into the form of Phèdre other hand, assumes to depict the course of or Bajazet, and give us Rachel to imper. events as well as the history of an emo- sonate the heroine, and we might have been tion, its appeals to our attention are less terribly fascinated by her power in delineintensely concentrated, and it continually ating a passion so remorseless and so fearoffers us the relief which the classical tra. ful. gedy denies, because the drama parports But ask us to witness what purports to to reflect an image of possible buman be a picture of possible Italian life, de life, and buman life everywhere, out of a

lineated with circumstance, and we must mad-house, is chequered with continual exclaim against whatever is unnatural, unrelief. The condition of this relief, in a relieved, diabolical. romantic drama, is its reality; and, there- For diabolical the heroine is made to fore, wbile the subordinate personages of a appear, when you are forced to accept her classical tragedy never have, nor can have, whole life in the Satanic light in which Mrs any substantial value of their own at all, Howe presents it. being simply "confidants” to listen, to Upon the author, then, primarily and most echo, or suggest something essential to the positively, the failure of “ Leonore" must development of the great passion which is rest. The actress could not have saved it, personified in the leading characters, the bad she been twice herself. As it is, she subordinate personages of a drama must has real force enough to save any characbe human beings, just as they would cer- ter which she apprehends thoroughly, and tainly be in human life, and although the has mastered carefully, and which is suslimitations of the stage, of course, will ceptible of salvation. compel these people, apparently, into a We have no fondness for the plays in much more absolute and intimate connec- which Miss Heron has won her greatest tion with each other, and with the action triumphs in New York. We do not see of the play, than they would bave in the particular good that can result to the similar circumstances of real life, they community from such a long-continued, onght yet to be represented as human be close, and passionate analysis of sbame, ings with interests of their own. Hence and sorrow, and suffering, and sin, as is dethe necessity of secondary plots in the ro- manded by the drama of the demimonde, or mantic drama; hence, too, the unap- even by tragedies of the stamp of Medea. proached dramatic superiority of Shake. If the age were an age remarkable for the speare, whose characters live of them. sternness of its prejudices, or the severity selves, and whenever they come upon the of its moral feeling-if our community stage bring their own atmosphere with were a community intensely Puritanical them.

and prudish, one could see that some But in Mrs. Howe's play, we bad the in- possible good might be done by plays tensity and sustained uniform intention of which would show us how often the root the tragedy united with the forms of the of sin is in suffering. Nor could we ever drama, and as a consequence of this most dispense with plays tending to such a unnatural union, an utter absence of force, moral; for it is one of the sweetest and either tragic or dramatic. We were called deepest morals of Christianity, and it risen

« 上一頁繼續 »