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vades Henrietta's bright, healthy complexion, as she recognizes the pressure of his somewhat hard hand. When hers is released, she dives into the saddle-pocket for the fine lace-fringed handkerchief. Cousin Spooney looks amazed.
“How long soever a man may be about it, it is clear that there must be a first thought, a first impulse, as to marrying a girl; and Sir Rasper's impulse came on him rather suddenly this morning. Pleased with Henrietta's appearance, flattered by her preference, and perhaps wanting a solace for the fast-wearing-out season, he said to himself, as he changed his hack for his hunter, “By Jove ! why shouldn't I marry her ?'
" To OUR READERS. “If any of you know any cause or just impediment why these two persons should not be joined together in holy matrimony, you are now to declare it."
According to our notions, the above is not novel-writing, but something a good deal better, and to be rated in price, as it would in page, about as one is to twenty. Independently of its great merit and freshness, the above passage combines very happily Mr. Surtees' two favourite themes-fox-hunting and fortune-hunting-a brace of somewhat incongruous items that, we must say, we never saw any man better“ up in. With all the ardour so proverbial in the one pursuit he unites à most extraordinary knowledge of the world for the other, and so hits off his M.F.H. and “Ensign Captain" with equal relish, fidelity, and success.
“ The Analysis of the Hunting-field" is just what, from its title, one would suppose it to be a description of the different characters that compose a field. First of all, by every rule of precedent, “comes the master, punctual as masters should be—” And here, again, we can scarcely refrain from borrowing a bit of descriptive, as naturally and as purely put together as anything in “The Spectator.” With all Mr. Alken's well-known ability, we must confess that he has very far from realized it, and that "the picture” is more perfect without the print than when helped out by it. After the master, we have the huntsman, then the whipper-in, and so on to the earth-stopper, the groom, the farmer, the squire, Peter Pigskin, the blacksmith, Lord Evergreen, Captain Shabby Hounde, lady fox-hunters, and Colonel Codshead; the whole forming a volume that, in its line—the lighter and more generally amusing branch of sporting literature--we unhesitatingly pronounce the most perfect and attractive ever published. Indeed, we take an especial pride in seeing a man of Mr. Surtees' standing turning his talents to such a channel, and arming his taste with such an argument. As far as the accompaniments are concerned, we need do no more than name Mr. Ackermann as the conductor, and so leave the hastening purchaser to try and imagine the green and gold glory there is awaiting him. Beautifully printed, splendidly-really splendidly-got up, and crowded with some of Alken's most spirited and best finished productions, it is the drawing-room book of the season, and the first favourite of its year-a prize in itself to every sportsman, and a most agreeable companion for the more general reader.
THE FINE ARTS.
FORES's COACHING RECOLLECTIONS. THE OLDEN TIME. Engraved by J. Harriss, from a Painting by C. C. Henderson. London: Fores's Sporting Repository, 41, Piccadilly:-“ All right!" shouts the guard, smack! sounds the whip, and off fly four steeds of right mettle, to accomplish the pace, in point of time and style, that even Phæbus himself might not object on this occasion to “ tool.” The “ insides,” having concluded the customary atmospheric remarks, begin to comfort themselves after their own peculiar fashion; the young lady, who is bent on a visit to her far-distant friends and to melancholy, holds before her a letter with as many crossings as the Mall, the contents of the missive being swallowed with greater avidity, if possible, than those quarto sandwiches which are being devoured by ihe elderly dame opposite, next to whom sits—or reposes--a gentleman in the vale of years, and a most unchristianlike nightcap. The “box seat” begins to work less at his “ principe," and to listen more to the jovial yarn of the well-seasoned Jehu, and—but where has the inspirited print before us carried us back in our “Coaching Recollections ? The sportive peruser can fervidly picture in his fiery imagination all the diabolical horrors attendant upon the excruciatingly-wretched ascendancy of that “monster of such horrid mien,” over the whilom arena of many not-to-be-surpassed scenes of stirring incidents—the road-whilst glancing at the vivid and life-like representation of “The Olden Time" which has just been issued by the Messrs. Fores, of Piccadilly. Whatever may have been the deeply-felt regrets of many a Nestor on the decline of the road, they must be greatly increased by gazing on the well-depicted scene of the latest of the “Coaching Recollections.” Mr. Henderson has, by this specimen of his artistic abilities, added to his already far-extended reputation-if, indeed, such a consummation were within the bounds of possibility. The several bipeds and quadrupeds are alike faithfully drawn: amongst the former may be instanced the driver of the mail, and the waiter who is lounging at the door of the inn. The engraver has successfully contributed his quota in the proper execution of this, which we will not hesitate to pronounce to be the chef-d'oeuvre of the enterprising publishers.
PUBLIC AMUSEMENTS OF THE METROPOLIS.
“ Sighs for a home, and sighs, alas ! in vain :
Through each he roves, the tenant of a day,
" When Christmas revels in a world of snow,
We are exceedingly gratified to find that our humble efforts (together with the powerful assistance of one of the most influential of the hebdomidals—the Sunday Times) to awaken the slumbering capacities of the “powers that be” to the present degraded state of many of our metropolitan places of amusement have not passed unheeded. At the time we write, we know not the decision arrived at by the Lord Chamberlain respecting the lowering of the prices of admission to many of the minor theatres ; but of this much we feel perfectly assured, that the interference of the proper authorities in a matter that gave promise of an infinity of harm to the public morals, will ultimately lead to a beneficial result.
Assuming this minor difference to be adjusted in the most satisfactory point of view, there still remains a question to be settled of major importance, in which every true lover of the drama is intensely interested. Will those most competent by official appointment condescend to enlighten us by bestowing a trifle of information regarding the purpose for which Drury Lane and Covent Garden received their patents ? Was it intended that the two “national” theatres, as they were termed in the “high and palmy days” of the stage, should be the scenes of foreign “airs” and of continental twistings and turnings ? Melpomene and Thalia are now unceremoniously excluded from the “ great” houses ; and surely, unless some fostering hand be promptly put forward to provide a fitting habitation, our country's drama, after sighing for a home in vain, will inevitably sink
“ Despised, neglected, left alone to die."
'Forty-Six did not expire without liberally providing for his holiday friends an abundance of Christmas cheer. The denizens of London have been at this season richly catered for, as far as quantity extends, in the production of seasonable entertainment at the various places of amusement. Pantomime reigns paramount over burlesque this year at least so far as numbers count, there being we really cannot declare how many, so numerous are they of the former species of entertainment; whilst of the latter there is a solitary unit, and that is, the Christmas production at the little theatre in the Haymarket. In all the necessary essentials this one burlesque will beat all the pantomimes to “atoms ---a locality, by the way, of which we must candidly confess our entire geographical ignorance.
The St. James's THEATRE is the favourite resort of the beau monde ; and, indeed, we should be greatly surprised if such were not the fact, for the French Plays are so admirably rendered, and the general management is so excellent, that the inevitable result of Mr. Mitchell's exertions in the public cause must be complete success. Perlet, that peerless personator of French character under many phases, is a prodigious favourite with the countless numbers who loudly testify their approbation of the versatility of talent exhibited by this incomparable artist. Mademoiselle Brohan is a desirable acquisition to the London troupe. She is vivacious to a degree ; and her general manner is arch, lively, and pleasing. Her several impersonations are characterized by an ability that evidences a thorough knowledge of her art.
The ETHIOPIANs are just now in full force. So severely do they test the cachinnatory muscles of our common anatomy, that at some time or other we should not be at all surprised at their being within an ace of having to answer for some shoals of expiring humanity. Those who follow in the wake of Somnus we charitably exhort to attend the representations of these sable serenaders, whose anthypnotic powers will, most assuredly, in a brace of shakes, irresistibly change the veriest drone that ever winked into one of the most " wide-awake' representatives of creation.
The Christmas offering of the zealous manager of the HAYMARKET claims its descent from the fairy tale of the Countess D'Anois, Prince Lutin, now yclept “ The Invisible Prince ; or, The Island of Tranquil Delights.” Perchance the reader may deem it sufficient to declare the claims of modern authorship are in this instance due to Mr. Planchè, for it to be at once understood that success attended the first representation. Still, remembering that Mr. Planchè's name is “a tower of strength" at all times, we certainly make no bones in averring that the wreath that encircles his name will be gloriously augmented by this last flower culled from a richly yielding fairy garden. The invisible prince is sustained by Miss P. Horton, who is the very prince of princes ; her costume is in the best of taste, and her graceful manner, heightened by her killing looks, is quite sufficient to win the affections of any princess of domestic or foreign growth. We are not by any means surprised that Xquizitelittlepet, personated by Miss Julia Bennett, should lose her heart to such an irresistible scion of nobility. Miss Julia Bennett contributes her talents as the Princess of the Island of Tranquil Delights in a manner highly pleasing : her gear, sooth to say, is not peculiarly suitable to her contour. Miss Reynolds, as Apricotina, is a most powerful adjunct ; her impassioned manner is exquisitely good, and her determined action in rendering the parody on the “ Buffalo Gals” is richly ludicrous, and comical in the extreme. Neither must we omit a word of commendation for this lady's mode of giving an excellent parody on “The Bold Dragoon," a provocative to mirth that Momus himself could not outdo. James Bland, the undisputed monarch of burlesque, is a prince" every inch ;" his facetious and easy style tells
wonderfully ; his mandate for his guards to “stick at nothing" is delivered in the most funnily pompous tone that it is possible to conceive. That the Fairy Gentilla is well represented, we deem it but due to say “so much for Buckingham.” The scenery, dresses, and decorations are all good ; the acting of the whole dramatis personce is excellent ; the dialogue overflows with brilliancies-an interesting fact for the manager, that will cause his house to overflow with audiences. Puns of the first order are interspersed : allusions to the most engaging topies of the day are made in the best possible taste ; the several parodies introduced evince an easy, polished style of composition not to be surpassed ; and to sum up our opinion, as Sheridan would have it, take this extravaganza altogether, we have no hesitation in pronouncing it to be not alone the best burlesque of the day, but the most successful of its class ever yet produced.
Mr. Allcroft brought his Promenade Concerts at the Lyceum to a successful termination by providing on the most liberal scale a Bal Masqué. The admissions, politely forwarded by the enterprising manager, not reaching their destiny until two days after date, we are incapacitated from declaring more than general opinion favoured the arrangements on this festive occasion.
ASTLEY's is nightly thronged with holiday folks all agog for the rich Christmas entertainment so liberally provided by Mr. Batty.“ Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” is the title of the new pantomime, in which is introduced some gorgeous scenery, some hundreds of little ankles and miniature feet, supporting one-half as many gossamer spirits, some good tricks well performed, and an abundance of pointed allusions to the passing topies of the day. Success, we are rejoiced to declare, has crowned the indefatigable efforts of the enterprising lessee.
We have not space to enter fully into the merits or demerits of the pantomimes at the other houses. Suffice it to say, that amongst the worst are DRURY LANE, where “ St. George and the Dragon" cannot drag-on a lengthened existence ; and the Princess's, the pantomime at the latter house containing one solitary trick.
The Walhalla in Leicester Square is, without question, the very best gallery wherein the Posés Plastiques are given. Madame Warton, "the original Venus rising from the Sea,” bestows particular care and attention upon the grouping, which we pronounce to be artistical. The various tableaux vivans are complete embodiments of classical works of masters, both ancient and modern.
The season Forty-six by Forty-seven has opened and run on so far very differently from its half-brother, Forty-five and Forty-sixthe best for hunting, according to that good authority, Mr. Surtees (vide “The Analysis”), we have had for many years. Sport of all