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221

" MAKE READY !"

ENGRAVED BY J. SCOTT, FROM A PAINTING BY E. B. SPALDING.

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 vier
Man willingly all else forego

This special something to pursne!

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!”

PUBLIC AMUSEMENTS OF THE METROPOLIS,

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'auore 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, exo ceeding purity of taste, great impressiveness of style, and earnestness of manner. Since last year Madame Sanchioli has effected vast improvement, 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 in 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 Planchè's burlesque, without positively shrieking with delight? No wonder then that in this laughter-loving age the HAYMARKET THEATRE should 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

pce. 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 running 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. 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. Backstone 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" ' 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-loving 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 swell 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 his able representations of “ Don Cæsar de Bazan," Robert Macaire in “ L'Auberge des Adrets,” and Perez 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 genuinc 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

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