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If the directors of the two Italian Operas carry out a tithe of that which they promise, there will be, most assuredly, no dearth of musical attraction in the coming season—a season which, on the part of the lessee of HER MAJESTY'S THEATRE, will be unusually early, commencing, as it is at present intended, the middle of the month we have just welcomed. The prospectus of Mr. Lumley looks well on paper, including many of the favourites of the public, together with an accession of artistes, whose continental fame is by no means to be sneered at. It is difficult to pronounce whether the sweet notes of Jenny Lind will be heard at this house or at old Drury; for at these presents the charming cantatrice resembles a fare between two omnibus conductors : Mr. Lumley pulls one way, Mr. Bunn in the other direction. April is about the period mentioned for the opening of the new Italian Opera at Covent GARDEN—if, indeed, it can be thoroughly prepared by that time. In the present state of the building, when the hod-man and the trowel are the stars in the ascendant, and the hammer and the saw (not one of the “wise saws”) play the chief parts, we would rather object to follow too literally the bard when he says
" Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music
Creep in our ears." At DRURY LANE Alfred the Great-in his own conceit-has been actually floundering about, assisting to restore the legitimate drama ; but the late Miss Fanny Kemble would not abate her price : therefore Mr. Bunn's laudable endeavours to place Shakspeare once more before a British audience are completely frustrated. Of course his hopes for the drama are perfectly annihilated now that a second or third-rate actress has refused his terms. There are not to be found any others who can faithfully represent the poet of all ages. No: Mrs. Butler is popularly considered the only representative of Tragedy of the day, or rather, of her day. Button up your pockets, Mr. Bunn, against the rude attacks of our English performers ; and, above all, remain true to your foreign friends. The affiches of this house contain the following :“ The free list, excepting as regards the public press, is entirely suspended.” Now, if you value your own interests, Mr. Bunn, lose not a moment in cancelling this, to yourself, most cruel announcement. By pursuing such a plan as we humanely hint at for your own especial welfare, you will succeed in imparting an appearance to your house. By the speedy withdrawal of this edict, there is no doubt you will be enabled to entice somebody or other into Drury Lane, which, on our last visit, appeared like a wilderness. The purveyors of fruit in the house are very vehement in the expression of their candid opinions of their harsh treatment at the hands of the lessee during the continu.. ance of this most unjust and expressively arbitrary mandate. It is a treat of no ordinary description to behold Harrison (that most excruciating of tenors), Weiss (the basest of all basses), and Harley (the buffoon), on the stage at the same time, in Balfe's Bondman. Harrison is continually making gesticulative motions to some frowsy, feminine, imbecile old occupant of the stage-box. Harley amuses himselfand not the audience--by ever and anon thrusting his hands into his pockets, and making the most ghastly grimaces. As for poor young Weiss—who is always thrown into old men's parts-he is, we are
sadly afraid, past all redemption : he appears to labour under the delusion-Apropos, we once heard of a faithful domestic who was the unhappy victim of a most singular delusion : we say unhappy victim, because she fell a prey to gin and beadledom ; she allowed a beadle, in the full majesty of a cocked hat and plush smalls, to gain her affections and her last year's wages, from too confidently imagining that the male progeny of such an official source would make their appearances in the world with cocked hats on their infantine knowledge-boxes !-We repeat, Mr. Weiss labours under the delusion that he is a pump; and accordingly, he extends one arm like a direction-post, whilst the other is allowed full play, and seems to do duty for the handle. His knees undulate in a manner quite refreshing—to any hydropote.
Mr. Webster is making money as fast as he can coin it, at the HayMARKET, which is nightly crammed ; such is the estimation the present performances are held in. The Invisible Prince, as we prognosticated, has proved one of the most attractive burlesques ever produced. The indefatigable manager has in contemplation the production of several novelties, amongst which may be mentioned a new comedy-- The School for Scheming, by Bourcicault.
Astley's pantomime still continues to draw plentiful audiences, both young and old : the juveniles abound in this arena of bipeds and quadrupeds. Westminster Bridge being again passable must be considered a good “opening ” for Mr. Batty.
The WALHALLA in Leicester Square has been crowded during the holidays. The group of the Seasons is decidedly the chef d'oeuvre of all the poses plastiques of the day.
TO THE EDITOR.
SIR-In the Magazine for January, 1847, I find intentions and motives attributed to me not consistent with fact, and which if uncontradicted might cause uneasiness to my relatives and friends. I am not disturbed by the censure of “Linton.” I know that in bagging 205 brace of game to my own gun on the 21st (not the 12th) of August, I only did what a great many good sportsmen try to do, viz., make as large a bag as they can; my being more successful than others sufficiently accounts for my being condemned; and I also feel assured that every good shot will know that such a bag cannot be made by any other than steady and accurate work, and not by shooting wild into the middle of packs, even were they found to sit in that way on the 21st of August. Neither, Sir, do I presume to question the wisdom or good taste of your giving such views a place in your talented magazine; but when this is followed by the assertion that I wish to sell the property of Monzie, I must beg that you will, by publishing this letter in your number for February, enable me to assure my friends and acquaintances, that nothing is further from my intention.
I remain your humble servant,
ALEXANDER CAMPBELL, of Monzie. Leamington, Warwick, 21st January, 1847.
OBITUARY.—It is with very sincere regret, in which we are sure our readers will join, that we have this month to record the decease of one of the most eminent and really useful writers on sporting subjects this age has produced. To few, indeed, who take an interest in breeding and rearing the most valuable animals of this country, will it be necessary to descant on the great ability or unwearied energy which so long distinguished the works of Mr. Youatt. In his profession—that of a veterinary surgeon-he was the first to elevate, by his own conduct and example, the art to that rank which at present it is so properly allowed, but which a few years since its followers scarcely ever aspired to. As editor and joint-proprietor of " The Veterinarian"—the first magazine devoted to that subject-Mr. Youatt had ample opportunity of impressing his opinions and suggestions ; and it is not too much to say that the advance of veterinary knowledge and veterinary “ standing” have been mainly effected by the managers of that so deservedly popular periodical. As an author, in the more general sense, Mr. Youatt's works on the Ox, the Sheep, the Dog, and the Horse, together with his most able treatise on Humanity to Brutes, will be the best argument for his excellence. All are marked by the most intimate knowledge of the animals themselves, and the most indefatigable research in getting up “the points" to be expatiated on. Beyond this we would, in alluding to perhaps the most successful one of all, “ The Horse," "call attention to a very rare recommendation, and maybe the very key-stone of its success. That Mr. Youatt was really a practical man and a true sportsman, all who knew him, or have even read him, will readily admit. He evinces it in every place in every one of his works; and yet those very works, from being written with a plainness, and an absence of all conceited or over-technical terms, carry with them, equally entertained and instructed, the most ardent of sportsmen and most unsophisticated of “general readers.” In essays on purely sporting themes, we must confess the nomenclature of the initiated is too apt to ooze out; while veterinary productions, above all others, usually abound in the language of "the school.” Mr. Yonatt died on Saturday, Jan. 9, at his residence in Osnaburgh-place, Regent’s-park, aged 70. To his friends, associates, and fellow-men his loss can be hardly greater than to the whole brute creation, who had, in his life, the most zealous of advocates and humane of masters.
STEEPLE-CHASING-If Father Frost has made a great hole in the hunting of this season, he has certainly caused still more inconvenience to the patrons of and practitioners in the steeple-chase. Here the sport is not the only item lost, but with it goes the chance of that “consideration" for which, more or less, we take steeple-chase horses, like racehorses, to be trained, tried, and kept. Once, however, blessed with a little settled, open weather, and these cross-country combats will be coming off as thick as three in a bed. Latterly almost every meeting announced has, like the yet retreating Leamington, been again and again postponed; or, as in the case of the Aberystwith-hunt week, if attempted at all, been hurried through to a very touch-and-go tune. In such a state of “fix” committees and clerks are very properly guarding against disappointment and unnecessary expense, and so, till they can see their way a little more clearly, continue, like finished coquettes, “unwilling to name the day.” This applies more particularly to meetings that, weather permitting, would come off at some early date; while those whose custom it is to wait for the afternoon of the season, see no "just cause or impediment" to making their arrangements as usual. Amongst others so determined on, we have already the Hereford Grand Annual, the Carmarthenshire, Liverpool, Brocklesby-liunt, Birmingham, Derbyshire, Pembrokeshire, Royal Leamington, Leominster, Lincoln, Grand Military, Windsor, and Grand French-the last, just advertised for the 11th of April, with 12,500 francs (or, £500) added, and the names of two Counts, one Baron, and one Baronet (Sir William Massey Stanley) appended as stewards. In the Irish programme, on which we have not touched, there is scarcely the shadowing forth of Erin's average strength for her own especial pastime; but perhaps, all things considered, this is not to be surprised at.
A DESIDERATUM.—Every fence in the line of the Wolverhampton chase fixed for February 2nd is warranted to be seen from the Grand Stand.
The GRAND MILITARY STEEPLE Chases. These steeple races will take place the second fortnight in March, but the locality has not yet been decided
upon. The following have already entered their names as subscribers to the various stakes :
A Sweepstakes of 10 sovs. each, &c.: H. S. H. Prince Edward of Saxe Weimar, Grenadier Guards ; Lt.-General the Hon. E. P. Lygon, Inspector of Cavalry; Viscount Seaham, 1st Life Guards ; Hon. R. N. Lawley, 2nd Life Guards; Capt. Gambier, Royal Artillery; Lt. Colonel Hankey, Capt. Allen, Lieut. Lockhart Little, Cornet Hatfield de Rodes, Cornet M. Fenwick, Cornet S. R. Brise, King's Dragoon Guards ; Major King and Lieut. Fort, 5th Dragoon Guards ; Cornet H. Lee Carter, the Carabineers; Cornet Geo. Littledale, Royal Dragoons; Lieut. T. F. Grove, Inniskillen Dragoons; Capt. Clerk, 12th Royal Lancers; Lt.-Colonel Lawrenson, 13th Light Dragoons; Capt. Scobell, Capt. Boucherett, Lieut. Miles, Lieut. Fleming, 17th Lancers ; Capt. Powell, Grenadier Guards; Capt. the Hon. E. R. Boyle, Coldstream Guards; Sir E. Poore, Bart., Scots Fusilier Guards; Capt. Kennedy and Lieut. S. Grant, 68th Light Infantry; Capt. Crawford, Lieut. D'Arcy, Lieut. Alleyne, Lieut. Kennedy, Lieut. Philipps, Depot 89th Regiment.
A'Sweepstakes of 5 sovs. each, &c. : Lieut.-General the Hon. E. P. Lygon, Inspector of Cavalry; Col. Hankey, Capt. Travers, Lieut. Lockhart Little, Cornet Hatfield de Rodes, King's Dragoon Guards; Cornet H. Lee Carter, the Carabineers ; Cornet G. Littledale, Royal Dragoons; Lieut. Lyon, 17th Lancers; Capt. Hon. E. R. Boyle, Coldstream Guards; Lieut. S. Grant, Lieut. S. L. Hobson, Lieut. D'Arcy, and Lieut. Kennedy, 68th Light Infantry.
The Welter Stakes, of 10 sovs. each, &c. : Lieut.-General the Hon. E. P. Lygon Inspector of Cavalry; Viscount Seaham, 1st Life Guards; Hon. R. N. Lawley, 2nd Life Guards; Lieut.-Colonel Hankey, Capt. Allen, Cornet Hatfield de Rodes, Cornet M. Fenwick, Cornet S. R. Brise, King's Dragoon Guards ; Capt. E. Taylor, and Cornet H. L. Carter, the Carabineers; Lieut
Colonel Lawrenson, 13th Light Dragoons; Lieut. Fleming, 17th Lancers ; Lieut. D'Arcy, and Lieut. Kennedy, Depot 89th Regiment.
The fourth race will be the Handicap for the beaten horses.
Nominations and entries for all the above are to be made to J. Wilkinson, Esq., hon. secretary, Regent's Park Barracks, on or before Feb. 15.
In re the real chase and nothing but the chase, we could do no better than give our last month's synopsis over again, with the grateful addendum that the good men of Worcester have evinced a thought for the past as well as an eye to the future. The ex-master is now to be honoured with a dinner and a testimonial of esteem from his brother sportsmen ; and from all we can hear, there are, can be, few men more truly deserving of any such tribute than the gentleman for whom it is in this instance intended—Captain Candler.
THE SALMON AND HIS Foes.-It would appear from the two following newspaper histories that the otter we have this month introduced is not the only opponent the fair-play rod-and-line fisherman has to contend with in his assumed sovereignty of the stream. The first, we believe, is not without precedent; while the second, for “proof,” we imagine must be.
ANGLING EXTRAORDINARY.-A very remarkable scene occurred on the beach at Musselburgh, on Monday week, in which a small dog signalised himself in a manner well worthy of record. It appears he had been in the habit of swimming occasionally for any unfortunate bird which may have come under the range of his master's guh, and upon the occasion alluded to he was in waiting for this purpose. An ineffectual shot at a bird was followed by a sudden rush of the dog into the water, which at this spot is rather deep, and in which to his master's astonishment, he almost immediately disappeared. In a few moments he again came to the surface, and got footing on terra firma; but this time he was not alone; for struggling fiercely with him was (as was at first supposed) some monster which he had caught, and by which he appeared about to be overcome. Once or twice he was fairly overturned, but still he fought bravely, and at length he succeeded in proving victor. The monster, when landed, turned out to be nothing less than a salmon of about 5lb. weight.
The more wonderful record is headed “A Salmon Fight," and would, in the hands of an apt artist, furnish no bad companion subject to Landseer's celebrated painting of “A Forest Joust,” the lords of mountain and of flood alike being forced from love to war.
A Salmon Fight.-Instances of the ferocity of the varied species of bipeds and quadrupeds have been often recorded in the public journals, and Mr. Jesse and Mr. St. John have lately furnished interesting incidents regarding the traits and habits of these animals ; but we have to narrate a more remarkable occurrence, in the character of the salmon, than we have yet had the opportunity to record. The facts are these :-While several cuttermen (of the preventive service) were on their rounds the other day, and bearing along the Findhorn, between Glenferness and Dulcie-bridge, they observed an unusual commotion among the spawning beds on the ford. On approaching the spot two large male salmon were seen engaged in mortal combat for possession of a female. Never did chivalric knights contest for the hand of " ladye fair” more fiercely than these buirdly“ lords of the flood.” The tranquil bosom of the stream was lashed into foam by the struggles of the finny antagonists; in the meantiine the object of the fray was beating about “spectatress of the fight.” From the appearance of the stream-dyed with blood, and gradually assuming its former smooth surface-it was evident that the contest was over. One of the salmon at last floundered on the surface dead, and the victor, it may be conjectured, ex