ePub 版



To stand the hazard of the die,

And set all hope upon the cast,
The storm to face, the cold defy,

And brave the fury of the blast

For just one certain aim or so,

How often in this life we view
Man willingly all else forego

This special something to pursue !

Fame, fortune, or fair lady's smile,

Mere chance of power or place or pay,
Will-Wisp-like shall him on beguile,

And cheat the tiring, tedious way.

A way, though slow, yet far from sure;

A path too likely to be crossed;
One step, one word but premature,

And, almost gained, the prize is lost.

E'en so, with hope and nerve well braced,

When “ dangerous silence” marks the hour,
The shooter seeks the watery waste,

Alone its nooks and creeks to scour.

Each turn and sign the timorous zeal

Of midnight sport has made him know,
And, with a smothered shivering, steal

Just inch by inch upon the foe.

And yet, one paddle roughly struck,

One tell-tale beam from yonder moon,
One whispering breeze--and not a duck

Shall wait the hurrying, awkward" loon."

For this one aim, his long, cold night;

That aim but gained—and hark! the splash,
Which heralds " all creation's flight

As gone in one almighty smash !”


THE ITALIAN OPERA.-HER MAJESTY'S THEATRE.-This lyrical establishment has made the beginning of an early season, and notwithstanding the doubts, fears, and anxieties hazarded as to the probability of success crowning the efforts of the manager, it may be truly urged that seldom have the habitués of this monster house welcomed so glorious a commencement. Donizetti's “ La Favorita," the opera selected for the opening, is not the chef d'oeuvre of that accomplished composer ; yet withal there are many brilliancies which are rendered with great effect by the principal vocalists: of whom, a word of welcome to Gardoni the new tenor, Superchi the new barytone, and Bouché, the new bass. These are advents of no common order. Gardoni rejoices in a sweet and flexible organ, exceeding purity of taste, great impressiveness of style, and earnestness of manner. Since last year Madame Sanchioli has effected vast im. provement, such as severe study, together with constant practice, would only impart. Her duet with Gardoni was most beautifully given, and rapturously received. The chorus has been well disciplined; accordingly the music is not so horribly mutilated as is too often the case. The ballet of Coralia” is remarkable for the début of Marie Taglioni a name that will not suffer any discredit from this youthful representative of the choregraphic art. She possesses to a degree all the attributes of an art that she bids fair to shine in at no distant period. The other new danseuse, Mademoiselle Rosati, is remarkably graceful in all her pas. The last scene of this ballet is a perfect gem, in which all the accessories of the pictorial and Terpsichorean sciences, are brought triumphantly to bear.

If you desiderate to be in good humour with everybody, and to view all things with an unjaundiced eye, we know not a surer plan to accomplish such a desirable purpose than to ensconce yourself in one of the boxes of the little theatre opposite the leviathan ju the Haymarket. There, most assuredly, will your risible faculties be powerfully brought into play. For where is the man that could witness the drolleries of Buckstone in the new comedy, and listen to the humorous dialogue of Planche's burlesque, without positively shrieking with delight? No wonder then that in this laughter-loving age the HAYMARKET THEATRE shonld be nightly crowded. No surprise is it to us that such vast numbers should flock to a house where the pieces produced are, in the proper signification of the term, entertainments. Mr. Bourcicault's new comedy, “ The School for Scheming," is a production that wonderfully improves upon acquaint

rce. Probably it is rather deficient and meagre in dramatic.construction-a fault that causes it at times apparently to lack sufficient interest, and instead of ranning smoothly on, to drag, from the requirement of an infusion of action. The dialogue is sparkling in the extreme, and the satire interspersed is both pointed and pungent.

[ocr errors]

The hits at the money-seeking fraternity are well directed and severely administered. The many allusions to the railway bubbles of the day are couched in a vein of bitter irony. Of the acting, much can be said. Buckstone as the Mac Dunnum, of Dunnum, is irresistibly amusing. His attire is remarkable for its exceeding quaintress. Selby personates Lord Fipley—a character rather overdrawn by the author-in a manner that gives rise to no little mirth. The Honourable Claude Plantagenet, and Helen his daughter, find able representatives in Farren and Miss Fortescue. The growing inarticulation of the former incomparable artist is sadly to be deplored. Mrs. Glover and Mrs. Humby' accomplish all that can possibly be effected with the parts apportioned them. “ The Invisible Prince" continues to receive nightly assurances of the most unbounded satisfaction from all description of parties. In our previous impressions we omitted to particularize the scene in which “four very bad characters," Ruffino, Desperado, Sanguino, and Stilletto, enact their atrocities, as one conceived in the veriest true spirit of burlesque.

“Look upon this picture, and on this." The extravaganza of“ The Enchanted Forest," at the LYCEUM, is after The Invisible Prince," there is no mistaking, and very considerably too; as "one trial" of patience in sitting out the representation of The Enchanted Forest" it will prove the fact." The dialogue abounds in puns too distantly related; in other words, they are very far-fetched. Take the bear, for example. He must be an animal possessing an extraordinary amount of patience, to suffer himself to be played upon so frequently. There is no denying that he is bandied about beyond all bearing. Yet it must be remarked that Mr. Wigan supports the character in a remarkably upright manner, which probably accounts for the audience's powers of endurance. The management has not spared expense in the "getting up;" still even this profuse liberality will not cause the piece to rise very high in public estimation. In a laudable anxiety to benefit the lessee, we would fain hint that the mode of giving orders to a paper-loying audience to make a piece go down, is not the safest way of occasioning it to go up in popular esteem.

The FRENCH Plays continue to be {well' rendered and well received. Mr. Mitchell's Theatre on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays is devoted to these performances. On every representation the attendance of the beau monde is numerous." On many occasions the Queen and Prince Albert grace the house with their presence, and appear to be highly pleased with the entertainments.' Lemaitre is now succeeded by Lafont. The former artist afforded infinite delight to crowded audiences, by bis able representations of Don Cæsar de Bazan,Robert Macaire in L'Auberge des Adrets,” and Peres in " Le Barbier du Roi d'Aragon." The St. James's, on the off-nights, is thronged by the admirers of the mellifluous strains of the genuine original and real Simon-pure ETHIOPIANS. All sides afford most undeniable and positive proofs of the efficacy of the treatment for the “blues," so popularly and praiseworthily pursued by these ingenious “blacks." These dark professors have incited many imitators to “strut and fret their hour upon the stage." Amongst others, a quintette of shoe-blacks ignorantly supposed that the chief qualification for render

it to go up

ing the nigger melodies consisted in imparting a dark hue to the countenance. Accordingly, these would-be vocalists daubed their faces, and attired themselves in Holywell-street toggery, that had “done the stage some service." This being effected, they appeared on the boards of one of the minors as “Minstrels,” of some state or othera wretched one, for a certainty. The result was, just as any sane person would naturally conjecture, these ignorant darkies lost their time, and their landlord lost his rent and good temper.

“ The Royal Fox-Hunt; or, Life's Course of Man and Steed” is now running its course at AstLEY's. The wild enthusiasm of the “noble sportsmen” here knows no bounds. Every night they appear to be as fresh as ever (would that we could declare as much for their cut-aways) in their pursuit of the varmint. Altogether their peculiar style and gait cannot be very easily got over. On every occasion of the meets, the fox makes away for the same covert; and, singular to relate, gives a precisely similar double. On the completion of this accomplishment, Master Reynard effects a turn, and looks his impetuous pursuers full in their faces, with all the mauvais pleasantrie of that most renowned of the species-the fox of Ballybotherem. At the same time the audience justly appreciate this Fox's Creamof the joke. As faithful chroniclers, we must not omit to observe that in order to throw a halo around the “Life of a Racer,” as depicted at this establishment, Mr. Batty has succeeded in procuring Sir Gilbert Heathcote's Miss Love. The varied evolutions of this thorough-bred appear to be highly relished by a discriminating and sporting "sweep"-speculating public

The new vocalists, Miss Bassano and Miss Anne Romer, are important acquisitions to the Princess's. Their voices are unquestionably good, and by avoiding manifold faults of style, both ladies will undoubtedly, at no very distant period, prove to be bright ornaments to the musical sphere. Miss A. Romer possesses a countenance of a very pleasing kind. There is a truthfulness in her expression that favourably impresses you, even at a glance. We hope her career will be as brilliant as the commencement appears to augur. Miss Bassano would materially add to the favourable opinion she has created, if she would wisely abate her many imperfections in acting, Her grimaces are most atrociously appalling, and hideously frightful to behold. The poor leader at one time appeared in perfect agonies as his approaching fate, and, like the affrighted dentist, when a lady patient opened her month so extensively that the distracted operator cried out,

“No thank you, madam! I'd rather remain outside !" this flourisher of the bâton entertained the propriety of not being quite so contiguous to a cavern of such dimensions as that from whence issued such mellifluent sounds. Knowing perfectly well that the representative of Norma will take our advice in the spirit that it is thrown out, we proceed to call her attention to the utter absurdity of adjusting her arms like direction-posls. This we point out in a friendly manner, because by relinquishing her present habit of attitudinising, this lady will most assuredly gain a step on the thorny road to fame. It is hard to determine whether it be to the extreme parsimony of the manager of this establishment, or to the neglect of the salubrious duties which devolve upon the laundress of

the company, that must be attributed the dingy and seedy state of the mouldy dirty bed-sheet-looking-like togas that envelop the attenuated forms of the commingled Hebrew and Christian supernumeraries which undoubtedly should “flourish;" but, alas ! now only “fade” in Bellini's “ Norma.”

By the persuasion of a friend, and the feetness of a steed of rightgood mettle, we have positively gained the New River Head, and we have not lost by a visit to Sadler's Wells, where our gratification in witnessing the latest novelty, “Feudal Times," repaid us for undertaking so lengthened a tour. Miss Laura Addison is an actress of great merit, and it is greatly to be regretted that she should be lost in such a locality as Islington, when there are theatres in the most habitable part of the metropolis to which she would prove a inost valuable adjunct. Evidently there is some error in the affiche in attributing the representation of the Earl of Mar to Mr. Phelps, when there is no mistaking that the character personated by Mr. G. Bennett is marr'd from first to last. The indomitable perseverance of this gentleman, in persisting in tearing and twisting the portion of the dialogue allotted him, so that it is quite unintelligible to his anditory, must not be entirely lost sight of. To the admirers of the watch-dog kind of growl, and of the old Cobourg fifth-raters' snarl, Mr. Bennett's bite-your-nose-off. nish style must be deliciously refreshing

Chance and a heavy shower of rain occasioned us to seek shelter in the OLYMPIC; and grateful to the gods we felt for conducting our steps to a spot so prodigal of mirth. The bill set forth that the amusements would commence with the "admired” drama of “The Blind Boy." It is an indisputable axiom that there exists amongst a great social community a vast difference of opinion on the same matters. In former audiences, doubtless the source of admiration originated from a very different kind of feeling to that inspired by the performance we witnessed of the melodrama in question. The characters that peradventure in days gone by drew tears from the agitated beholders, in this instance drew down long and hearty gnffaws. “Time works wonders” indeed. In the present particular case the wonder is not how many of “The Blind Boy” cast got on the stage, but how they get on off the stage. We must not altogether pass by the representation of Rodolph ; such an omission would be quite unjustifiable. The name of the histrionic who figured in this part is Mr. Robertson, an actor, some perhaps not very distant day, destined to reach the summit of--a coal-shed, or the top step of an omnibus. For the first post he possesses the regular coalheavery qualification of imbibing half-and-half--a process we espied him pursuing when at the side wing. For the other stage his voice is peculiarly adapted to hail the promiscuous passenger.

The Walhalla, the St. James's Assembly Rooms, the ADELAIDE GALLERY Casino, and the CASINO DE VENISE continue to receive their númerons votaries.

The Polytechnic INSTITUTION is well attended, both on mornings and evenings. The lectures delivered at this institution by competent professors are the fruitful sources of great gratification, and of infinite instruction to numerous and attentive auditories.

« 上一頁繼續 »