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"poetical temperament," ," "flow of feeling," and "out-pourings of soul." Fiddle-de-dee! the mere commonplace twaddle of criticism. Could the performances on this tear-strung lyre be restricted to the hand of Miss Cripps alone, the inventress of the instrument, and its mistress also, I should not so much object to an occasional movement doloroso; but her genius (as it is evinced in the effusion which has occasioned these passing remarks) might unhappily beget a brood of imitators, who, like imitators in general, would select only the worser qualities of their model; and then we should have every young lady in Little-Pedlington whimpering about "blighted hopes" at fourteen; at fifteen invoking death, and sighing for the quiet of the cold, cold grave; and, at sixteen, running off with a tall footman, or a haberdasher's mustachio'd "assistant." Rather than that these things should occur, I would suggestsince extremes provoke extremes-an Act of Parliament to prohibit ladypoets from meddling with any other subjects than silver moons, radiant rainbows, blushing roses, modest violets, and the like; and to restrict them, in their gloomiest moods, to illustrations-of which the most sad and dismal should be-a cloudy night in summer.
Amongst the advertisements, the following is the most prominent. My attention was first caught by that portion which is printed in capital letters, and which I read independently of the context in humbler type. "Magnificent property, indeed!" thought I. As I have never met with anything of the kind at all comparable with it, I think it worth extracting :
CHATSWORTH AND BLENHEIM
Are not likely either speedily or soon to be brought to the hammer, but a most desirable Freehold Property in the Vale of Health
WILL BE SOLD BY AUCTION,
On the premises, on Monday next, at twelve o'clock precisely,
It seldom falls to the fortunate lot of an auctioneer to have to offer to the public a property to describe which puts to the utmost stretch of extension the most sublime and inexhaustible powers of description for to describe; and which, to convey an idea of sufficiently adequately, would be required to be described by the unequalled and not to be paralleled descriptive powers of a LORD BYRON.
What then must be the feelings of Mr. Fudgefield on the present occasion, when he has to offer for sale that most desirable residence, situate in the Vale of Health, and known by a name as appropriate as it is befitting, and well merited as it is most richly deserved,
The particulars of this most desirable and charming residence, which may truly be called A PERFECT RUS IN URBE A LITTLE WAY OUT OF TOWN, will in the course of this advertisement be stated fully and at length; and which Mr. Fudgefield owes it as a duty to his employers to state as circumstantially as he would if it were a
FIT FOR THE RESIDENCE OF
A NOBLEMAN'S FAMILY.
Being near the town and in its immediate vicinity, where everything that Nature's multitudinous desires can wish for can be obtained when wanted, it is not necessary, and scarcely réquisite, that it should
THREE DOUBLE COACH-HOUSES AND ACCOMMODATION FOR TWENTY HORSES; nor indeed should it be expected, when the town can boast of two confectioners, that it should
It is also the opinion of many persons that, as it occasions great expense, outlay, and disburse
ment, to maintain and keep up
ONE OF THE FINEST PINERIES IN THE KINGDOM,
AND AN AVIARY WORTHY THE ATTENTION OF ALL EUROPE,
none but such as those whose fortunes are equal, and whose means are adequate to, such
AND OTHER LUXURIES,
ought to encumber themselves with them. From this rule is not to be excepted
A CHOICE COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS, ALL IN COSTLY BINDINGS, when from any of the circulating libraries in the town any book to convey pleasure to the understanding, instruction to the imagination, or information to the intellect, may be obtained at the cost of a moderate and not unreasonable subscription. The same observations would apply to a
A SMALL BUT TRULY SELECT SELECTION OF
FROM THE FAR-FAMED AND WELL-KNOWN MANUFACTORIES OF
And one of the
MOST SPLENDID COLLECTIONS OF PICTURES,
INCLUDING SEVERAL BY
BY THE OLD MASTERS, EVER BROUGHT TO THE HAMMER: RAPHAEL ANGELO, LUNARDI DE VINSY, PAUL VERYUNEASY, THE THREE STORACES, VANDYKI, RUBINI, PAUL POTTERER, SEBASTION PLUMPO, JULIET ROMANO, TITAN, JERRY DOW, GEORGE ONY, OLD PALMER, DON MYCHINO, AND OTHER SPANISH, ENGLISH, AND ITALIAN ANCIENT OLD MASTERS.
For the reasons above adduced, and as Mr. Strut's unrivalled company are shortly to exhibit
their well-known talents in a theatre of their own, a
SMALL BUT ELEGANT PRIVATE THEATRE
CHARMING DRIVES AND RURAL PROMENADES,
Reminding the enchanted eye of the enraptured beholder of the
which are to be enjoyed at every turn in the neighbourhood of Little Pedlington, an
would hardly compensate the Purchaser for the immense cost which he must be at for planting
and laying out perhaps as many as would
COMPRISE 10,000 ACRES!!!
It is only necessary further to add that
consists of four rooms, small but commodious; with wash-house and most convenient kitchen, detached; with a garden of a quarter of an acre in extent, more or less; from which (should they ever honour the Vale of Health with a visit) the fortunate purchaser of this most desirable Property would be enabled most distinctly to see the
KING AND ALL THE ROYAL FAMILY.
But Mr. Hobbleday is announced (" the greatest humbug in all Little-Pedlington," as he was described to me by Scorewell); so down with my newspaper. As I am to dine with him to-day, in order to meet some of the worthies of the place, I trust that I shall return home in the evening full of interesting matter for the continuation of my Journal.
(To be continued.)
Χαίρε μοι w ходи
"Son vergine vezzosa."
THE season which has recently closed at the King's Theatre was especially Grisi's-to her it should be inscribed in the fasti of the Italian Opera. It is true that the company which she led combined the greatest number of first-rate artists that we have perhaps ever had in this country for the same length of time; but it is also certain that we have known a greater than Grisi, with support not much inferior in efficiency, fail in sustaining an equally excited and protracted interest in our musical beau monde. Without disparagement to this very delightful singer, to whom we too have to confess ourselves debtors for no small amount of gratification, we should ascribe her extraordinary success, in part, to an auxiliary, which can aid even the most gifted individuals but once in a life's career-we mean novelty-cet étre suprême. That her intrinsic merits are most highly attractive and capable of being permanently so, cannot be doubted; but when we consider, what seems a matter of unquestionable fact, that Pasta in 1831, having in her train Lablache, Rubini, Santini, and Lalande, to say nothing of a brilliant ballet, could not create a similar sensation upon town, we must look somewhat beyond those merits for houses crowded in the dog-days like the Calcutta black-hole. The Signora Grisi (we feel strongly inclined to use one of those endearing diminutives Signorina or Signorella) is but a débutante in her profession, and surely a young queen of song and the stage never commenced her reign under happier auspices-in the flower of life, with all its freshness in her heart, and its bloom upon her cheek-with a countenance combining considerable beauty and a most prepossessing expression of intelligence and naïveté-and a figure of, notwithstanding its being an inch or two too short, much luxuriant gracefulness. To these rich endowments, nature had also added a voice of the purest musical quality, taste of singular delicacy, and such an union of sense, sensibility, and energy, as were sufficient to attain the nearest approach that talent can make to genius. Education had found here its richest soil, and springing quickly to maturity, produced its fairest blossoms and most generous fruit. Grisi, when she made her first appearance in this country, towards the conclusion of the season of 1834, seemed to have learned all that could be taught in the best schools, both of acting and singing. But there was no symptom of originality in her style, in either art. Her singing was faultlessly refined-the essence, as it were, of Italian manner in the present day-with all its approved graces, powers, and general effects, set off by a voice deliciously toned, and faithful as an instrument to the simplest or most elaborate score. While, however, she brought us nothing novel in mode or expression, she was, on the other hand, above all ordinary imitation. To borrow an illustration from another art, her singing was like those charming works of some modern sculptors, which, unlike the sublime inventions of Michael Angelo, have been emanations from the antique— the result of an over-ruling sense of its beauty.
In her acting, Grisi took to herself the greatest of models-Pasta. It is not surprising, therefore, that she should have become in this department of her profession unequivocally an imitator. To emulate at once, however, and imitate the greatest genius of the modern Italian stage,
before whom the hearts of all Europe had knelt in homage, indicated no mean ambition.
"Hither as to their fountains, other stars
Repairing, in their golden urns draw light,
And hence the morning planet gilds her horns."
And Grisi's imitation of La Pasta was worthy of both. It had no character of servility; it was not blind, but, on the contrary, minute from the very clearness of her perception and full appreciation of the excellence of her prototype. She conformed to the manner of her divine mistress with all the devotedness of a young vestal when first consecrating herself to the altar. Hence her Anna Bolena, in which she won her first garland in London, might be ranked amongst the most remarkable pieces of acting ever known. So faithful a copy was it, that every look, every motion of Pasta seemed to have been recollected and retained by her; and although such mimetic feats are, in general, subjects for laughter rather than serious admiration, yet this was hailed with a rage of applause which erred in quite the opposite direction. In the present performance of Grisi, people wholly forgot the absent Pasta, and some who did remember her were infatuated enough to make comparisons to her disadvantage. We should be mortified indeed if we could be supposed to approach, in our estimate of the young and fascinating prima donna, the monstrous extravagance of such critics. That would, indeed, be unpardonable lese-majesté towards that enthroned genius, which divinity doth truly hedge in. To say the truth, Grisi's Anna Bolena, although marvellously similar to its original, was yet but a miniature copy, in which the essential characteristics of great style were, i. considerable degree, lost. The same soul looked not through her eyes and Pasta's, nor could she sustain, in unfluctuating continuity, a display of emotion which had not originated in her own breast. So the closely critical eye could detect frequent momentary pauses in her most hurried course of passion, glances of cold self-possession, which betokened a mind not thoroughly absorbed in its theme. Pasta's conception of the part was all her own,-it could not have been anticipated by her author,-she rose above him,-above history,-and converted the weak victim of that licentious brute, Henry VIII., into a being more loftily tragic than even the Queen Catherine of Shakspeare and Siddons. Her simple and noble mind seems incapable of sympathizing with the familiar littlenesses of human character, and resolves all much-excited passion into a grand ideal. The soul of Judith Pasta in a modern sculptor would have revived and realized the creations of Phidias or Praxiteles, In Grisi we are not destined to see this great creative mind perpetuated, while it may be said that her Anna Bolena gains in vraisemblance from its absence. The character in her hands shrinks into truth, and if her eyes cannot look the sublime of Pasta's, they approach nearer to the gospelbeaming eyes of Bullen. That she can lose her reminiscent perceptions of her model, without supplying substitutes from her own imagination, there have, we regret to think, been many little evidences in her latest appearances in the part. We were particularly struck with this, in one instance, which occurred at that beautiful passage in the second act of the opera, where Anna, in her madness, fancying that she sees Percy once again in happy security, moves in the direction of the vision, and with hope, love, and tender supplication stealing over her pale cheek, sings the exquisite melody to the lines
"Al' dolce guidami
During the whole time that Pasta continued singing this aria, she seemed entirely under the delusion of her fancy-the amabilis insania. When we last saw Grisi in the part, just previous to the close of the season, she turned, after the first line of the air, to the audience, and gave it precisely
as if she had been in a concert-room. In estimating, however, the merits of this performance as a whole, it cannot but be admitted that a part so tragic, from first to last, was an over-severe trial for the capacity and endurance of a debutante, and conclude that, considering all its difficulties, it was sustained by Grisi with infinite credit to herself. As a display of her natural powers, we should be inclined to consider the Ninetta in La Gazza Ladra as her most successful part. is less exacting and more concentrated in its passionate distress than Anna Bolena. Few brief scenes on the Opera stage have been more touching than that where Ninetta is led to execution, yet even in it our young artiste showed rather a fine sense of beauty in a model, than drew on her own imagination, as the most affecting point in the passage was that where she sinks on the stage, into that attitude of perfect woe, immitigable affliction, which is familiarly known from Canova's Magdalene.
We have ascribed the excessive success of Grisi this season, in a great measure, to the natural effects of novelty; in this she was indebted, also, to the pieces in which she chiefly appeared. The new operas of Donizetti and Bellini were most successful; neither being works of very sterling merit, nor yet obnoxious to the contemptuous condemnation they have encountered in some quarters. They were dramatic in their effects, and contained some most agreeable melody. The "Puritani" was the favourite. not, indeed, in its concluding scenes of shallow tragedy, but in its first and second less sombre acts; and notwithstanding Grisi's former efforts during the season, it is probable that the strongest impression which she has left upon the minds of the habitual frequenters of the King's Theatre will prove to have been from her gay and graceful performance in the first act of this opera. She was there herself alone-Grisi-youthful and lovelylooking, glowing with excitement, riante, and, what was not least in importance, dressed with most felicitous elegance. We have seldom seen a group more beautifully, more strikingly pictorial, than that where, at the opening of the fourth scene, she clings fearingly and fondlingly to Lablache, who looked to the life, a gallant, not Roundhead, but Cavalier all of the olden time. The majestic massiveness of his figure, and the paternal affectionateness of his manner, contrasting in perfect effect with her delicately-lithe contour, and her maiden innocency of look
"Gio.-Perche mesta cosi-m' abbracci Elvira.
Gio. O figlia!"
The passage reminded us, if we may be permitted to say so, without imputation of pedantry, of the exquisite picture which Virgil gives in the first book of the " Æneid," of Jove bending to the complaints, and soothing the anxieties of Venus for her son.
"Olli subridens hominum sator atque deorum
This, and the subsequent lively scene of the same act were quite perfect in the elegant comedy of opera, and they were crowned with the inimitable Polonaise, which was the chef-d'œuvre of our fascinating cantatrice during the season. Few of her ardent admirers but will find themselves reverting most frequently, when occupied with reminiscences of her, to those so seemingly appropriate lines with which that nightingale gush of song commenced.
"Son vergine vezzosa
In addition to the natural attractiveness of so charming an artiste as the Signora Grisi, upon first acquaintance, there is that about her, we should say, which harmonizes well with the Italian music of the day, and that about both which harmonizes equally happily with the taste of our higher