ePub 版

But a hundred others can equal Lis- she was justly regarded as possessing ton in setting the rabble in a roar. attractions for the London audience. His exclusive province is calm drol. But it is surprising how quickly and lery; the laugh which he excites how completely those young creatures, without exhibiting, and the easy pun- fair, or brown, learn the art of makgency in which the sarcasm is shot, ap. ing a bargain. Malibran demanded parently without taking aim at any one. no less than £125 a night for nineteen He now comes forward but seldom, nights; and what is not less surprising, and we regret the loss of a genuine obtained her demand, amounting to comedian, in the impoverished state of £2375 for six weeks' singing and stage ability. But if he can get £60 playing! being £375 for three night's a-week for walking through French performance in the week; and that vaudevilles, stript of their lightness, too, paid every Monday morning, the only thing good about them; and and in advance. But even this was incapable of common sense, the only not all: an arrangement, by which she thing that their translators could give was to appear on seven extra nights them ; we feel but little surprise that at Covent Garden, (both theatres he should be more alive to salary than being now under one management,) fame. And in this, he plays a part produced £1088 more, making a total set before him by many a man in a much of £3463 for twenty-six nights, or higher station.

about two months' performances ! A All authorship has its perils ; but year, at this rate, would have prowhat must stage authorship be, wbich duced to her upwards of £20,000. has successively to run the knout un A pretty sum for singing! And der the hands of the manager, the though the theatre did not give her examiner, and the actor; with the this, it is not improbable, that bepublic, only waiting its exhibition, to tween benefits, private concerts, counsweep it into oblivion! To take the try engagements, and douceurs, she case of the actor- Mr Bunn, and Ken carried off little less than that sum ney the well-known and clever dra- within the time. We know the folly matist, had prepared a farce called of expecting the opulent to think of " A Good. Looking Fellow," in which any thing in the expenditure of their a part was written for Liston. The money but their own amusement; yet comedian returned the MS., with this prodigality might make a rational the following very decided note : mind reflect a little, whether British “ Dear sir, I have read the piece very wealth was given to pamper every attentively, and regret that I cannot craving foreign profligate who can concur with Messrs Harris, Reynolds, sing and play in any thing so foolish Kenney, and yourself, as to its merits. as a foreign opera. The exertion is My opinion is, that it would be inevi so worthless the recompense so betably did in less than a quarter yond all bounds! Here was a little of an hour; and as I really lack the creature, who, though certainly clever, courage to risk being pelted off the was but a singer after all, and even stage, I must beg to decline the ac, there, by no means first-rate; yet quaintance of Mr Narcissus Briggs. this woman is suffered to lay her Yours, J. Liston."

grasp on a sum four times that of the This was decided, but not decisive; income of one of the judges of the for the manager, being also the au land- of a commander-in-chief- of a thor, and haviog a parental feeling for minister of state-of the average inhis babe, transferred Mr Narcissus come of the bishops-ten times that into the hands of Harley. The farce of the average profits of the bar, and was received with great laughter, and enough to have pensioned a whole was played twenty-six nights, though province of the clergy. Mr Bunn is at the latest period of the season. evidently a Fanatico per la Malibran! " Very facetious, but not very pro- yet, struck as he may have been by phetic," fairly enough observes Mr hergeneral performances, his narrative Bunn.

of her conduct leaves an impression The next "grande enterprise" of wholly unamiable on the mind. With this very enterprising manager, was all her appearance of enthusiasm and the engagement of Malibran. This simplicity, she seems to have been singer and actress had acquired sudden one of the most craving of possible reputation on the foreign stage, and beings, always writing letters of af.


[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

fected feeling, but real avarice ; and L.6000! All this is monstrous; it while sitting under an influx of wealth, actually disgusts the mind to think of that must have astonished her at the such sums being lavished on a parcel absurdity and lavishness of the coun. of jumpers-even the effrontery of the try-soliciting, striving, and grasping demand is offensive. Here a knot of with the covetousness of a real miser. the meanest of mankind-the very dross While thousands were thus pouring of Parisian life-actually think their in upon her, she writes to the manager caperings worthy of being paid at a as if she was not worth a shilling on rate which the liberality of nations has earth ; and accustomed as she had scarcely ever offered to their greatest been to little better than beggary in benefactors. The noblest poet, the her own impoverished country, and most profound philosopher, the great. in the tours of that wandering and est mechanical inventor, the most galunprosperous personage, her father lant soldier, all would be regarded as Garcia the singer, she swallowed exorbitantly overpaid by half the sum money with more than Israelitish which those vulgar and frivolous conavidity. Her death, four years since, tributors to the cupidity of the Italian (1836,) excited a public sensation opera think themselves entitled to from its melancholy circumstances, demand, and by the prodigal folly of and from the public outcry at De fashion actually obtain. The remedy Beriot, the violin player, whom she for this gross offence does not lie with called her husband, though M. Mali- managers. It must come from the bran was living. What has become nobility and from the sovereign. So of her wealth we know not, unless long as their patronage is thus wasted it is in De Beriot's hands. She never on the foreign stage, so long will these enjoyed it herself. She had no time " dancing families" come over here to to enjoy it; and thus, after a brief gather all that they can.

Of course, career of excessive toil and excessive it would be ridiculous to suppose that grasping, the whole fruit of her all this was filial piety on the part of miserably anxious life and exhausting the Terpsichore herself. The family labours may have gone only to fatten of the danseuse were her shadow, the a Dutch fiddler. So much for money. L.6000 was virtually the payment for making.

the saltatory exploits of one exhibi. We have a similar instance in the tor. The only remedy for this imsalary of Taglioni. A woman whose putation on the national understanding, sole merit is that she dances well-of all is to cultivate the national drama; and merits the least meritorious—is actually this is to be done, only by enabling fêted throughout Europe-received at the managers of the great theatres to the tables of emperors and empresses pay for it; and this is to be done only _huzzaed by courts---presented with by retracing those steps which a vula purse of diamonds by one super- gar and shortsighted liberality, as it opulent fool and with a chariot with is called, took to the ruin of every solid silver spokes to its wheels by thiug respectable in the shape of theaanother; demanding for a few nights trical property. There must be draof pirouetting and bounding at the matic ability in England; for there Italian opera–a sum which would never was a real demand for ability of feed the peasantry of a province for a any kind which was not answered. if month; and amassing money which Shakspeare and Sheridan are at an might raise the drooping sculpture, unapproachable height—and even this painting, music, and literature of an too may be only a conjecture; the geempire.

nius of Otway and Southerne, Young, What was the engagement which and Rowe, or of Morton, Reynolds, Taglioni had the modesty to demand and Colman, is not of so colossal an in the theatre of Drury Lane? One hun. order as to make every thing else dred pounds a-night for herself, three dwindle under its shade.

And yet nights a-week, and L.600 to be paid those writers contrived to fill up the for the services of her father as ballet- theatrical vacancies of their day remaster; L.900 to her brother and sister markably to the public gratification, to dance with her, with two benefits made the drama highly popular; and for herself, guaranteed to her at while those cheerers of the last cenL.1000, and half a benefit to her bro« tury followed the improving manners ther, guaranteed at L.200 -- in all of the age, and cleared the stage of


the offences of the days of Charles II., The reader is probably acquainted they left behind them the only dramas with the works of Mr Colley Grattan, which the public can still endure. If author of the “ Highways and Bye. we are to bave a national theatre, we ways," and other clever and amusing must try the old tactique; extinguish performances ; but he would be dethe minor theatres, which have so to. frauded of some of his fame were his tally failed as schools of the drama; good-humour unchronicled. We kuow and thus, bringing the demands of no stronger instance in point than the actors within rational bounds, bring following :-“ During a residence at back original talent to the authorship Boulogne, he had rendered himself so of the stage.

very agreeable to his landlady and her As we have mentioned Malibran's family, that, on his being about to marriage with De Beriot, we givo, for take his leave, she expressed great the benefit of all friends of police office regret, saying, that she had at first marriages in England, the form of taken a prejudice against him, but managing these matters among the such had been the urbanity of his enlightened of other nations calling manners, that she had even got over themselves Christians.

his nose, (a feature of whose beauty " Hereby is declared null and of no it would be difficult to boast.) · That effect the marriage contracted on the 23d is impossible, my good lady,' said he, of March 1826, at New York, between for my nose has no bridge to it.'” Marie Felicite Garcia, born in Paris 24th This was certainly pushing French of March 1808, and Francis Eugene Louis observation of mankind rather far, but Malibran, born at Paris 15th November the good-humour of the answer went 1778, before Charles Louis d'Espenville, farther. cousul of France at New York. In con We must now leave the topic of sequence, the woman Garcia will have this theatres and managers. Their detail, judgment registered,"&c.

in these volumes, is that of a vexed This is a summary way of doing man, but of an ingenious and an inthings, and we have no doubt must be telligent one. His book, on the whole, regarded by the “ illumined" as a is very amusing, and we suppose that very satisfactory style of getting rid it will be in the hands of every one of the trammels of matrimony ; it who talks, thinks, or cares about accounts also for the fact, that many a theatres. foreign fair has half a dozen husbands living at a time.


We have long entertained a grow. the well-known author of the “ Histo, ing opinion that a kuowledge of the rical Account of lona," and of other Celtic languages is essential to the productions devoted to the noble pur. study of European philology, and that pose of exalting his native "nook of the ignorance under which we indivi. earth" to a proud pre-eminence over dually labour in this respect, is no less the rest of the universe. The work disgraceful than detrimental. In that is dedicated, apparently by permission, belief, we have been irreversibly con- to Sir Robert Peel, and affords evifirmed by a perusal of the interesting dence, at least equally demonstrative work which supplies the title and the of the good-natured courtesy of that subject of this article. It proceeds eminent statesman, as of his high from the pen of Mr Lachlan M.Lean, appreciation of Celtic antiquities.

*« The History of the Celtic Language; wherein it is shown to be based upon natural principles, and, elementarily considered, contemporaneous with the infancy of the human family: likewise showing its importance in order to the proper understanding of the Classics, including the Sacred Text, the Hieroglyphics, the Cabala, etc. etc. By L. Maclean, F.O.S., author of Historical Account of Iona,' Sketches of St Kilda,' &c. &c.. London: Smith, Elder, and Co., &c. 1840.”

We submit this notice of Mr cated day by a faint but perceptible herM‘Lean's book, with no idea that we aldic emanation in the East, gradually are entitled to review it ; but intend. waxing stronger and stronger, till now, ing in an humble and teachable spirit behold | the king of day himself gilding to point out some of its most striking the summit of the mountains with the passages, and to communicate to our splendour of his countenance, and now readers some of the instruction or gradually mounting, and diffusing stronger amusement which it has afforded to light-stronger intelligence--till he arrives

at the goal of noon. This appears to the ourselves. So great, indeed, is our

author no inapt emblem of the commenceimpatience to proclaim its merits to

of the order of things in the moral world. the world, that we have not even

If we would contemplate the human fas waited to acquire a thorough under

mily in its infant state, we must turn our standing of its principles, which we

backs upon this hemisphere, and travel fear could only have been accomplish to the East to see the dawn of intellect, ed after a much longer delay than the and there listen to the efforts of infant rules of Maga would readily permit. humanity forming a language; we must Mr M.Lean himself seems aware, that, learn the powers of their signs and symlike other great acquisitions, his theory bols-a giant alphabet-and attend to the is not to be mastered without a due de reduction of these rudiments to practice. gree of labour. “If any person,” he In brief, we must contemplate man as says, “ take up the History of the Cel. naked.tic Language, as about to be submit. We pass over the poetical beauty ted, and expect to get through it as and close coherence of these observa. through a song, for that person the tions, to notice their peculiar propriety author has not written : Intelligibilia in reference to the subject under connon intellectum adfero." This is strong. sideration. « If we would contemly put, but we shall see how it is borne plate the human family in its infant out in the sequel. We only entreat state," or we must contemplate man as our readers to do as we ourselves have naked." The truth of the proposition done; and if they meet with any thing is less remarkable than its adaptaobscure in our extracts, to believe that tion to the author's purpose. If we the defect is rather in their own intel. must contemplate man as naked, how ligence than in our author's intelligi. is this to be done? The usages of bility. For our parts, we shall be con- ordinary society are unfavourable to tent for the most part to let Mr M.Lean such contemplations; and the natives speak for himself, and shall only make of Australia can only be reached by such connecting explanations or sup- “ turning our backs upon this hemiplementary comments as may best set sphere," not figuratively, but in ear. off the excellencies of our “ great nest. But we are not, therefore, to original."

despair. If we cannot contemplate The title-page of the work must man in a state of absolute nudity, we have prepared our readers for things must be content to take him in the worthy of that high announcement; nearest approximation to it that cir. and the preface does not diminish the cumstances admit; and, fortunately excitement of so great expectations. for philology, the costume of our Perhaps Mr M.Lean has in this respect Celtic countrymen enables us, with disregarded the Horatian rule, which little trouble, and at less expense, to inculcates a modesty of exordium. prosecute our discoveries in this direcBut we are not sure that the precepts tion as far as the most enthusiastic of epic poetry can safely be applied to enquirer would desire. By this historical compositions, or at least to means, we are exempted from the histories of the Celtic language; and necessity of à priori speculations, on the principle of a bird in the hand where the opposite mode of argument being worth two elsewhere, we feel is so fully illustrated and so concomparatively indifferent as to the stantly suggested by all that we see. ulterior pages of a work where, in the Mr M-Lean's reasoning on this subvery preface, we are put in immediate ject is quite irresistible. The object possession of eloquence and wisdom, to be attained, is an exposition of the of a character so unusual as is exhi. original state of man, of which nudity bited in the following passage :

was a fundamental feature. It is un“At the commencement of the present deniable that this element is more order of material things, the first sun indi- conspicuous in the country of the kilt than among the wearers of inexpres, the Cromarty Frith called Inver-Gor. sibles, and thus, as the Celts approach don, which can be nothing else than the nearest to Adam in dress, so it a purer and more primitive compound must be presumed they do also in of the Hebrew vocables, to which Mr dialect.

M-Lean refers, viz, oinbr and Jordan. The pretensions which Mr M'Lean We are not sure that Mr M'Lean advances on behalf of his native tongue is quite orthodox as to what he calls are of no mean order. He is clear “the affair at Babel.” In every view that it is the primitive form of human of it he is convinced that it had no speech, and treats with dignified con effect upon the pure transmission of tempt the conflicting claims to anti- the Celtic. “But allowing," he says, quity preferred by various languages “a confusion of language, literally which have bitherto enjoyed an un- speaking, to have taken place, it redeserved veneration among man. fers only to such as were engaged in kind. Mr M.Lean says,

the tower. Noah was in life, and did “ With the Hebrew language, under

dere he head the faithless crew ? No; he that appellation, he has no quarrel, being

attends to his vineyard, which he comparatively modern; receiving its very

planted far east from Shinar.

Therename from Heber, the great-grandson of fore, take either view of it, the first Shem. who fourished somewbere about speech still remains unconfounded two thousand years after the creation of the stream of language may be still Adam, and, consequently, about two thous traced without a break up to the sand years after language had been ripen- fountain of paradise!” Can any ing and flourishing. Those who plead for of us hesitate after this to throw it as being the primitive language, under aside our Miltons, and to engage that name, give the lie, innocently, ser. Dugald M.Tavish from the stand in haps, to their own belief of the account of Hanover Street, for a morning hour, the confusion of the primitive tongue at three times a-week, to acquire in all Babel; seeing, it is plain, that if the pri- their purity the genuine accents and mordial language were then and there con aspirations of Eden in its very hours sounded, it must have been then and there of innocence ? lost : and how could Heber, who flourished

Mr M.Lean seems all at home in subsequently to that period, retain it?"

the proceedings of Paradise, and the This is certainly convincing, and progress of Adam through his vocabshows the folly of all those systems ulary. His second chapter, which which either deny the antiquity of the treats of “ The Dawn of Human ExErse, coeval as it is with Nature and istence-Man contemplated as fresh with nudity, or would postpone it to from the bands of his Maker,” opens a mere mushroom like the Hebrew, with this magnificent description, which cannot trace back even its name beyond the great-grandson of Shem. " We may now fancy the morning of

But Mr M Lean has not yet done man's creation -- the sun in eastern granwith this Heber, whose appellation,

deur emerging from behind the Shirvanian he tells us, “is a misnomer." " The hills, as if eager to obtain a view of the original is (Hebrew) oinbr or ainbr. not unimportant stranger--Adam in silent Now oin or ain means, in Celtic, a

admiration, tired of wondering who and

what he himself was, and whence come ; river ; and bar, or bhar, beyond. The name, therefore," he continues,

now arrested for the first time at sight of

a rare object-a golden globe--mounting “is equivalent to our Inver; whence Inverich, Iberich, or Iberians, and

gradually the blue field, and taking indis

puted possession as sole monarch of the Ebirich or Ebrideans,—all expressive

planet world; for the regent moon with of isolation, or beyond water. Here.

her myriads of twinkling attendants retire in we are abundantly borne out by

at sight of him with obsequious majesty ; sacred writ itself. The identical word

the lion rampant with beaming eyes and v oinbr, is the word rendered in

terrific mane, dallying with the meek lamb Deut. iv, 49, “ This side Jordan ;"

--the domestic cow browsing in Eden, or and in Joshua, xiii, 27, « The other

couchant ruminating the ape among the side Jordan."

yielding boughs scampering and pampering To those who, like our friend Tom. the wily serpent now rearing his burkips, have travelled the north circuit, nished crest, and now astonishing Adam it will occur in aid of these last illus- with sinuous gambols--the hyena laughing trations, that there is still a place on like a maniac - the cuckoo, together with

« 上一頁繼續 »