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ments made with fairness? Are your observations carried on with impartiality? Are you not so anxious to find facts correspond with your theory, that you give them a twist in the desired direction? Do you not take the testimony of men who are destitute of all the qualities necessary to make their testimony worth the attention of a moment? Why do you put the organ of pride at the top of the head? Give an answer to this question, and let all the grounds be stated on which you rely. Tell us who are the proud men you have handled, and the reasons you had for thinking that they possessed an inordinate share of pride. We heard Dr. Spurzheim's lectures-he told us every thing but what we wanted to hear-the observations and experiments on which the present mapification of the cranium has been adopted.
O'KEEFFE'S RECOLLECTIONS.-The mania for disinterring old adventures from dusty and forgotten drawers has been mentioned above. Old Mr. Cradock, good simple soul, the other day published his memoirs, and encouraged by having given away a whole impression, delighted with the public for having taken them off his hands, he has eruted an old journal of a Trip to Paris from his bundles of papers. This is printed, and it is needless to say that it a mere piece of inanity. The Recollections of O'Keeffe is the most singular of these resurrections. It is the gabble of an old man, set upon talking of himself without either order of time or matter, and desired to talk every thing he knew about himself or others, whether worth telling or not: that was not his concern. Old Mr. O'Keeffe has long been blind; and we can conceive him with a bottle of wine before him, and an emissary of Mr. Colburn's at his side, with a portion of paper, and ink, and pens. Now, sir, talk-where were you born? Aye, that will do; now go on. Do you recollect any thing else about that? Who was there? What do you know of him? and so on. I did that he goes on: I knew her, or him, or them-apropos to nothing. Two thick volumes are thus filled with matter, that, five-and-twenty years ago, a man would scarcely have ventured to tittle-tattle with a party of old friends about him. But there is use in it; and so that we are not called upon to buy them, we are glad that people can be found thus to write, and thus to print, and thus to publish. O'Keeffe's old stories of himself and his friends are not without their portion of instruction. We will give a specimen of O'Keeffe's manner-a favourable one-for we will not fill our space with the mere gabble.
. James Solas Dodd wrote and recited a "Lecture on Hearts;" but, the public remembering G. A. Stevens's "Lecture on Heads," it gave little entertainment. He was a most wonderful character; had been all over the world; at Constantinople had the pleasure of being imprisoned for a spy. His learning and general knowledge were great; and though he had but small wit himself, delighted to find it in another. He turned actor, but was indifferent at that trade. He was a lively smart little man, with a cheerful laughing face. It was Solas Dodd who established the Buck Lodge, the first ever in Ireland. The title certainly conveyed ideas of levity; but our Buck Lodge was an institution really honourable and moral; so much so, that a good character was the only means of admission. Macklin took great delight in it; he was one of our members; we held it at Philip Glenville's in Anglesey-street. William Lewis was one, and having an intimate acquaintance, R- S, he wished to initiate him, but to pass over the formalities of being proposed, balloted for, and introduced; so took his friend up into the lodge-room-nobody was there-be opened the great
minute-book, wrote upon a leaf of it, "A Lodge of Emergency," and entered R―― S a member: then swore him on the sword, according to the regular oath, put the bugle-horn ebout his neck, got up a bottle of wine, made him take three glasses according to the Buck toasts; and away they both went. The next lodge-night, when it was opened with all ceremonials, the minutes of the transaction were found upon the book, and astonished every body. Lewis brought his friend up to the lodgedoor: the questions were put, which he regularly answered; but a member stood up in the room, made a formal complaint to the "NOBLE GRAND," and a motion that Brother Lewis should be expelled for his audacity. The question was put and carried nem. con. Lewis attempted exculpation and apology without effect; he was rusticated from our Buck Lodge for that season, and Rwas never admitted a member of this our Royal Hibernian Lodge.
Another of Lewis's whim-whams: he had a chaise and horse at a livery-stable in Temple-lane the keeper sending in his bill, Lewis thought his charge too high, and refused to pay it, and the man refused to deliver up his chaise and horse. We happened to be alone together, over our bottle: Lewis took a sheet of paper, and wrote upon it, "The Lord Chancellor commands Pat Looney to deliver up to Mr. William Thomas Lewis his horse and chaise: Pat Looney, fail not to do this at your peril.” He sent over this paper by his servant Bob to the stable-keeper, who returned a verbal answer-that he, Pat Looney, would lay that very paper before the Lord Chancellor immediately, and try what he would say. On hearing this message Lewis looked rather foolish, but laughed, and yet seemed frightened, so I told him to send the money to the wrangling fellow; he did so; the chaise came, and we took a ride round the Circular-road. In our way we stopped at Dr. Pocock's great house, went in, and saw his antiquities and foreign curiosities; this house was afterwards the Magdalen, established by the pious and humane Lady Arabella Denny.
I was acquainted with two brothers in Dublin College, James and Edward D—~; they both took holy orders; their sister Mary was a most beautiful creature, very fair, blue eyes, and flaxen ringlets, a celebrated belle: I saw her dance at the Castle one 4th of June (the late King's Birth-day); her dress white, her lovely person adorned with white rose-buds, &c. &c. &c.
REVOLT OF THE BEES.-A book has been sent to us under this title, of which, to use a vulgar expression, we have not been able to make head or tail. This is symptomatic of "co-operation:" before the next month is over we shall try to comprehend it. For we think highly of the intentions, but lowly of the talents of the co-operators.
JAMES'S NAVAL HISTORY.-It gives us great pleasure to find that this able and fearless work has arrived at a second edition. We propose in our next Number to give a detailed examination of its merits.
THE POTATOE.-Dr. Paris ought to be a great favourite with the Irish-he has given such an amiable account of the potatoe in his most instructive work, the Pharmacologia.
The history of the potatoe is perhaps not less extraordinary, and is strikingly illustrative of the omnipotent influence of authority; the introduction of this valuable plant received, for more than two centuries, an unexampled opposition from vulgar prejudice, which all the philosophy of the age was unable to dissipate, until Louis the XVth wore a bunch of the flowers of the potatoe in the midst of his court, on a day of festivity; the people then for the first time obsequiously acknowledged its utility, and began to express their astonishment at the apathy which had so long prevailed with regard to its general cultivation; that which authority thus established, time and experience have fully ratified, and scientific research has extended the numerous resources which this plant is so wonderfully calculated to furnish; thus, its stalk, considered as a textile plant, produces in Austria a cottony flax-in Sweden, sugar is extracted from its root-by combustion its different parts yield a very considerable quantity of potass, -its apples, when ripe, ferment and yield vinegar by exposure, or spirit by distillation-its tubercles made into a pulp, are a substitute for soap in bleaching, cooked by steam, the potatoe is the most wholesome and nutricious, and at the same time most economical of all vegetable aliments,-by different manipulations it furnishes two
kinds of flour, a gruel, and a parenchyma, which in times of scarcity may be made into bread, or applied to increase the bulk of bread made from grain,-to the invalid it furnishes both aliment and medicine: its starch is not in the least inferior to the Indian arrow root; and Dr. Latham has lately shown, that an extract may be prepared from its leaves and flowers, which possesses valuable properties as an anodyne remedy.
TALMA. We have been so well pleased with the discrimination and the intelligence, and the original information we have found in an article, on this distinguished actor, in a publication called the Opera Glass, that we have resolved, in spite of its length, to give it additional circulation by placing it here.
It is a fact, that those accustomed to the drama of this country were seldom much struck at first by Talma. Some, whom we ourselves have known, have openly declared that they thought him overrated; and others, who have been a little afraid of committing their reputation for good taste, have passed him by in silence; but we have never known an instance in which opportunities of studying him did not change this indifference into enthusiasm. There is no great difficulty in explaining this. The English performers, especially the tragedians, generally think only of making what they call "points;' they throw all their power into some few explosions, and fancy that any further effort would be thrown away. But the acting of Talma was even. He had his moments of surpassing brilliance, too; but they were so thoroughly interwoven with the character, that they were only remembered with it, and would have been marred in being detached. The beauty of the fragment was nothing in comparison with the beauty of its proportion to the form; and so admirably did each particular harmonize, that there was nothing sufficiently beyond the rest in any one to detain observation, because the whole was perfect. You could always perceive in Talma, when he came upon the stage, that he was in the middle of his character. He did not then begin it. Every look and tone "denoted a foregone conclusion." It was not the mannerist settling his part into his own peculiar style, and that style never varying, whatever might be the part. The tone, the look, the air, were different as he appeared as different heroes. He endeavoured scrupulously to possess himself of their personal appearance and habits. But in adopting these, he in some degree qualified them. We heard him argue once upon the hump and unequal legs of Richard. He then expressed at large his decided conviction, that there was absolute bad taste in carrying the imitation of ignoble peculiarities into any thing like caricature. He would temper the picture to the beau ideal. He might give a hint of Richard's deformity, if he acted him on the French stage, but no more. In Sylla however, where there was nothing repulsive in a close copy, he was scrupulously exact. He thinned his hair; and heightened his brow by a band of flesh coloured leather. As Napoleon had been aimed at in the character, and Talma himself introduced into the play as Roscius, he was encouraged in this accuracy by its bringing him nearer to the look of the Emperor. We have heard him say, that the deep, abrupt, and decided tones in which he spoke through Sylla, were adopted from the manner of its prototype.
We will select one instance from a multitude of recollections, in order to give a notion, if possible, of bis mode of study to our readers. As most of them will best understand us by comparing him with some one they know, we cite a parallel passage of Orestes, by Macready and Talma.
Orestes, as a pretext for seeing Hermione, gets himself sent by the other courts of Greece to that of Pyrrhus, to induce him to give up Astyanax, whom he protects for the sake of the boy's mother. Orestes appears as an ambassador, and speaks, though firmly, the language of persuasion. In discussing the question he becomes warmed into something bordering on a threat, and says to Pyrrhus,
"The father draws their vengeance on the son-
Has drenched his sword-the father, whom the Greeks
and then, suddenly recollecting himself, he adds, "Prevent them, Sir, in time;" or, as it is better expressed in the original, "Sire, prevenez les !"
Macready raised his voice in the first three lines and a half to the highest pitch, then abruptly pausing and changing to bis lowest note, with a fierce look and still fiercer nod, finished the sentence. Talma, on the contrary, in the spirit of one sent to prevail by remonstrance, and reluctant to appeal to arms, changed his manner when he checked his impetuosity, and with a look seemed to supplicate the prince, in consideration of the ruin he would draw upon himself, to yield-a look of respect and interest more than defiance, he pursued, "Sire, prevenez les!" Had Orestes attempted to provoke the haughty and irascible Pyrrhus, it would at once have betrayed his secret desire for the mission to be unsuccessful. It would, besides, have been untrue to the purpose he was sent upon; and his sense of duty would not permit him, ere he was wrought up to madness, to bury his embassy in his love. Besides, a dogged threat to a king in his own court would have been coarse; and Orestes was neither that nor a braggadocio. This trifling instance will show how keenly the one looked into all the subtler and more delicate shades and bearings of the character he personated, while the other was satisfied with mere stage effect, too superficial in its conception to bear the slightest scrutiny. There was another point in Talma's performance of this character so exquisite, that we cannot deny ourselves the pleasure of naming it. When Hermione, through jealousy, wishing to make Orestes the instrument of her revenge on the slight of Pyrrhus, encourages him to expect her love, if he will destroy the prince, whom, she says, she now hates; Orestes promises to accomplish her will that very night; on which Hermoine, in her impatience, betrays her real motive, by exclaiming,
"But now, This very hour, he weds Adromache!"
In the French play (there is nothing said in the English) Talma exclaimed, on hearing this, "Eh, bien, Madame! with an accent which so thoroughly expressed the sudden revulsion of his excited hopes-the surprise, the agony, the despair, which had been flung back upon him by that one remark-that it told the story of the character, and made the whole house shiver. Never did we hear applause so tremendous as on one occasion when those words were spoken by Talma. No other actor ever made them noticed.
Talma's face was by no means remarkable when not in action. But when excited it was amazing. He once told us "he had been twenty years educating his face." On a particular occasion we saw him give ample evidence of its power. There was a play attempted at the Français, upon the subject of King John. Hubert was given to Talma. The play was in the course of turbulent damnation, when Talma rushed in from the murder of Arthur. He sunk into a chair, his elbows on a table, and his hands covering his face. The uproar was what our friend Dominie Sampson would call "predigious," till Talma withdrew his hands, and displayed a countenance of such ghastly horror that the tumult changed instantly into shouts of "Bravo, Talma!” which continued till he left the stage, when the damnation recommenced. He could "wet his face with tears whenever he liked, but they sprang from feeling more than art. In passages of his last, Charles VI., he did this with great effect. His voice was deep and full, but a little inclined to what the French call la voix vollée," which can only be rendered in English, and that not distinctly, by the phrase "a muffled voice." It was sweet, strong, and flexible. He had nothing of the "respirative drag, as if to catch breath," with which the old "Dramatic Censor " taxes Garrick, and which most of our English performers have; Macready for example, to a most distressing degree. Talma used to say it was as much an actor's duty to learn to manage his breath as his words; and certainly he did it in perfection. His person was much under the standard of the hero. It had, from our first knowledge of him, a little of the aldermanic tendency. It must have been not unlike that of Garrick, which is represented as "in many respects, particularly about the hips, formed like a plump woman." Some of his action was very like what Macklin describes of Garrick. Like him, Talma "hung forward, and stood almost on one foot, with no part of the other on the ground than the toe of it." He had the same way, Macklin says, Garrick had, of, as he coarsely terms it, "pawing the characters he acted with; but this he had in common with the French school. He was much given to patting the breast of the person to whom he spoke; and he had the convulsive shake of the hand peculiar to the actors of his country. We once mentioned this last to him. "Yes," observed he, "it is wrong: it ought to be corrected."
Talma used to regret that the prejudices of the French obstructed the improvements he wished to make in their style of declamation. To this day he is censured for
having broken the monotony of their verse by running the lines into one another, and thus evading the rhyme. His delivery was more elaborate than ours-perhaps the difference in the nature of their drama requires it should be so-for they have more to do with words than we have. Hence Talma acted words. We heard him recite Hamlet's "Soliloquy on Death," in English. He coloured every syllable with his voice; and gave—
"The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,"
with a different but finely characteristic expression to every phrase. We once heard him, in the phrase when Othello describes Desdemona.
"Whereof by parcels she had somewhat heard;
express the "not intentively" in a manner perfectly inimitable; but conveying a fulness of meaning of which we never, had we not heard it, could have dreamed it were susceptible.
We have heard Talma observe, that he never acted a part without obtaining, in the course of the performance, some new notion about it, which he never forgot, but could always add to the next. But though we have been much with him, we never saw him study. On mentioning this to him, he replied, with a smile, "My dear, I am studying now." He had the faculty of instantly flinging himself into his part. He would stand talking at the side scenes of the theatre in English, and upon matters which interested him, and suddenly break off on hearing his cue, and spring into Nero or Hamlet.
The letter written by him in English, of which we last week gave a fac simile, explains in some degree his theory in acting. Lest it should be mislaid, we repeat it here "I could not point out the principles which ought to guide you in the study of declamation better than did Shakspeare himself. In a few lines he has laid down the bias and true standard of our art; therefore I refer you to what Hamlet says (act 3, scene 2,) respecting the means of personating the various characters which are exhibited by human life. It will unfold to your view my own principles, and evince, at the same time, my veneration for the great man.'
We have another English letter of his before us. It contains passages still more remarkable, which we have underscored. It was written to a young gentleman who had been counselled to take lessons from D'Egville, we believe, in stage department, because D'Egville had given lessons to John Kemble.
"You know how I live, perpetually engaged some way or other-always busy, without doing any thing, and continually pestered with idle visitors; so that hardly any time is left to me for my private affairs. As you are absent from London, I don't forward you the letters to I suppose you will apprize me of your return there; then I will send them to you, written in the manner you desire. If you take any lessons from the latter, it ought to be upon the stage, and not in a room, that you may give a full scope to your steps and to your motions; but, my dear friend, the first rule is to be deeply impressed, Impregnated with the character and the situation of your personage, let your imagination be exalted, your nerves be agitated— the rest will follow-your arms and legs will properly do their business. The graces of a dancer are not requisite in tragedy. Choose rather to have a noble elegance in your gait, and something historical in your demeanour.-Dixi."
It is scarcely fair to judge of Talma's power in composition from these specimens. He himself says, in a postcript to one letter, "make allowances for my Frenchification." But they are by no means ordinary letters for a foreigner. They infinitely surpass Garrick's French letters to Le Kain, and Voltaire's English ones when in London. In French he wrote delightfully, and particularly letters. Madame de Stael told him, to our certain knowledge, that he was "the best letter writer, for a man, she had ever known; that she had always supposed epistolary talent the exclusive distinction of her own sex, till he had proved to her the contrary." That she was convinced he had even higher powers in the same way, we have her written testimony. In a letter to him, which we have read dated Lyons, July 5, 1810, she says, "You must write and become the sovereign of thought, as you are of sentiment; you require only the will, and possess the power." His only published work is, an Introduction to the Memoirs of Le Kain, in which he makes some excellent observations on the art of