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ON MODERN FEMALE CULTIVATION.-No. IV. [Concluding Paper.*]
WOMEN and the working classes are, as regards cultivation, similarly circumstanced. Few now dispute their right to knowledge; but the best mode of presenting them with it, and the best mode of rendering the gift beneficial, remains yet an unsolved problem. The recognition of the principle, that it is the privilege of all to ask for knowledge, and the duty of all to "give to every one that asketh"; and that the only limit to the gaining and the diffusion of knowledge, is not that assigned by man-circumstance; but that marked out by Providence-capacity ;— the recognition of this principle, and this duty, forms an era in moral history, analogous to those discoveries in science, which have subjected the elements to his sway. As yet, however, neither has advanced much beyond a state of infancy; and to mature either into perfection, is probably reserved for the men and years of another generation. The subject of this paper is Female Cultivation; and to that therefore we restrict ourselves. The great misfortune, then, that lies in the path of highly-cultivated women, is the absence of active occupation for their mental energy, which, when combined with ambition, as it too generally is, lays waste and consumes them. Men have professions and offices; to them belong, of right and courtesy, all the activities and authorities of life. Authorship is the only accredited vent for a woman's intellect; and this, by obviating one evil, induces many others. The fever of unoccupied energy is quenched; but, by and bye, the worse fever of sensitive ambition, or ungratified longing after sympathy, arises, and her position in society becomes yet more false. Where must the cure be sought? In an inconceivably higher education of what may be called the sense of responsibility. Wherever genius indisputably exists in a girl, there let parents and instructors frankly acknowledge its existence; and on that admission ground a simple but serious inculcation of these doctrines:-that to possess intellect is, in the first instance, an accident, not a merit; that it is by no means a novelty; that, like rank and wealth, it involves the most serious cares and duties; and that even The previous Papers appeared in Nos. 222, 224,
superior knowledge is worthless without active virtue. Parents and instructors must learn to regard as nothing short of sin all efforts to stimulate a girl's mind, for the grafication either of their vanity or hers. It is treating genius as the Jews did their false Messiahs, going out after it, with an adulating cry of "Lo here, and lo there!" It is making mind subservient to notoriety, instead of use and happiness; it is dissevering attainments from the moral application of them, which so often makes genius, mind, and attainments to woman, a snare, an anxiety, and a reproach. Another remedy might be found, in equally high views of the influence of woman being early addressed to the heart and understanding of gifted girls, still based on the doctrine of responsibility. Show her that it is not in the quantity of talent, or influence, but in the faithful appropriation of each, that merit consists; and that the moment she is satisfied to use either for mere personal advantage, she has taken a step towards becoming weak and contemptible. The constant cry of all young imaginative minds, is,
What shall I do to be for ever known? But her next is, if a female, "there is nothing for women to do." She feels in the position of Esau: man has taken the birthright; and she fancies that for her no blessing is left. Those who would comfort the grieving enthusiast by pointing out literary fame, would act neither wisely nor kindly: few of the many who feel the yearning are equal to the attainment of that fame; and, could nothing else be objected to the remedy, it involves no general principle. The fair answer is, to unfold to the complainant the records of biography; to show her the grand fact, that in most of the triumphs achieved by men, whether in arts, literature, morals, or religion, she has shared, and in the purest form, by having been their instructor, instigator, or friend. Separate and individual triumphs are the lot of few women, and those few are rarely happier for them; but collateral triumphs she may have without number. How few have been the distinguished men who have not acknowledged that their deepest obligations have, at some time or other, been to a wife, a sister, or, above all, a mother! Let the mind of every girl, especially of every girl of talent, be sedulously directed to this cheering view of female influence to the beautiful and refreshing under-current which it may furnish in the troubled course of daily life. Women are accused of being inimical to enlarged views and principles: how should it be otherwise, unless early led to look beyond petty and individual interests?—unless early led to discover the glory of a life set apart to, and consecrated by DUTY?-unless she be early convinced, that a passion for self-aggrandizement deteriorates mind, and alloys amiability? Perhaps, after all, the problem most difficult of solution, is, how to make heart and mind co-operate tranquilly, -imagination and will harmonize; how to manage female intellect in connexion with female sensibility. It is, perhaps, impossible that this result should ever be attained without much preparatory suffering; but surely the period of such suffering might be abridged. The highest, and yet the simplest mode of education, consists in teaching mind to manage itself to understand and make efficient use of its peculiar endowments-to profit by
its own mistakes-and to bring into practical exercise what, in theory, it admires and loves. The melancholy, the romance, the ardour, if not untractableness, that more or less mark every gifted girl, arises mainly from unoccupied energy;-provide that energy with suitable employment, treat its possessor with tenderness, and, by degrees, what seemed strange and troublesome will pass away. Mrs. Colonel Hutchinson has left a curious picture of her childhood, which may be quoted in proof. "Play among other children" (we give her own words,) "I despised; and when I was forced to entertain such as came to visit me, I tired them with more grave instruction than their mothers, and plucked all their babies to pieces, and kept the children in such awe, that they were glad when I entertained myself with elder company, to whom I was very acceptable; and being in the house with many that had a great deal of wit, and very profitable serious discourse being frequent at my father's table, and in my mother's drawingroom, I was very attentive to all, and gathered up many things that I would repeat again, to the great admiration of many who took my memory and invention for wit." Now, the above is by no means an attractive picture; yet we know that this identical child afterwards matured into a matron and a heroine of the purest and stateliest kind—
A perfect woman, nobly planned
Her parents wisely discerned the folly of seeking to feed such a mind on acc accomplishments and imaginations; it asked for "strong meat," which was not withheld. With her brothers she was initiated in all grave, sound, masculine knowledge; and what was even better still, in the uses of it. She did not make the less affectionate wife or mother for the costly garniture bestowed upon her intellect and those who remember how, by the exercise of that intellect, she stood between her husband and death, will frankly own that she made the better friend. The old political axiom of maintaining a balance of power amongst various states, might with advantage be adopted in female cultivation. Woman, as woman, is generally sure to abound in feeling: gifted woman is nearly sure to abound in its excess: hence, she stands less in need of stimulants than sedatives of the spur less than the rein; yet, if sedative and spur are harshly inflicted, instead of a regulated mind, we may have a broken spirit. The natural remedy is, to cultivate the imagination by means of the understanding; the feelings in connexion with the faculties; the heart through the medium of the head. As a general hint, there was much wisdom in the advice given by an old mother to a young one: "stimulate the sensibility of your boys, and blunt that of your girls." There is nothing harsh in this last clause but the sound: the process may be effected in all grace and gentleness, by endeavouring to brace the nerves even when the heart is moved; by encouraging reason to sit as judge over sympathies and impulses; by showing that imagination and her conceptions, fancy and her fairy work, must, if good for anything, approve themselves at the bar of the understanding. Poetry and fiction devoured for amusement enervate the mind: poetry and fiction considered as subjects for study, and taken in
connexion with high reading of other kinds, will have a sobering effect even upon the most imaginative and romantic. It is not thinking that unrealizes the mind, but musing and dreaming. Probably those who live least under the influence of imagination, are practised poets and novelists, and this, from the habit of submitting their inventions to the test of judgment and experience. Before closing these remarks, we must advert for a moment to a class of females who, as nearly as possible, seem to have all the good of cultivation and none of the evil. They may be called the enjoyers of literature, in opposition to the producers; the world never hears their names, and yet they may be clever and influential within their private sphere. Wanting genius, and free from ambition, they are interested in the minds both above and beneath them; their happiness is their chief concern literature is the garnish of their lives, not its food; they value knowledge, but they never dream of celebrity. Every one acquainted with Madame Roland's 'Impartial Appeal,' knows her touching remark, of which the mention of these women has reminded us. We give it entire.
"The study of the Fine Arts considered as part of the education of a young woman, ought, in my opinion, to be less directed to the acquisition of distinguished talents than to the inspiring them with a love of employment; to the making them contract a habit of application, to the multiplying their means of amusement; for it is thus that we escape from that ennui which is the most cruel disease of man in society. Oh, what an injury did those do me who took it upon them to withdraw the veil under which I loved to remain concealed. If those who knew me had judged properly in respect to facts, they would have prevented me suffering a sort of celebrity which I never envied; instead of now spending my time in refuting falsehood, I should read a chapter in Montaigne, paint a flower, or play an ariette, and thus beguile the solitude of my prison without sitting down to write my confession."
On coming to himself, Shelley found that the villain had disappeared. Raging with the insult, he immediately sought his friend Mr. Tighe, who lost no time in taking measures to obtain satisfaction. Mr. Tighe was some time in discovering the hotel at which the cowardly aggressor had put up, but at length traced him to the Donzelli. It seems that he was an Englishman, and an officer in the Portuguese service: his name I have now forgotten.
MEMOIR OF SHELLEY.
In the autumn of 1820 I accepted Shelley's invitation to winter with him at Pisa. He had been passing part of the summer among the chesnut forests of that delicious retreat the baths of Lucca; and I found him at those of St. Julian, at the foot of the mountain, which Dante calls the Screen of Lucca. A few days after my arrival, we were driven from his house by the overflowing of the Serchio, and migrated to the south side of the Arno, at Pisa, next door to the Marble Palace, with the mystical inscription "Alla Giornata." Shelley complained of his health his nerves seemed dreadfully shattered; but his appearance was youthful,-nay, almost boyish, although his hair (which had a natural wave) was mixed with grey. A few weeks only had elapsed since a singular, and almost incredible and dastardly outrage had been committed on him. He was at the post-office asking for his letters, when a stranger, on hearing his name, said, "What! are you that atheist Shelley?" and without more preamble, being a tall powerful man, struck him a blow which felled to the ground and stunned him.
He had, however, started for Genoa, whither Mr. Tighe and Shelley followed, but without being able to overtake him, or learn his route from that city. This anecdote will show the feeling of animosity which the malice of Shelley's enemies had excited against him in the breasts of his compatriots;-but the time is happily past when Quarterly Reviews can deal out damnation, or that they can drive out of the pale of society, or point out as a mad dog to be knocked on the head, any one who does not happen to profess the same creed as themselves. How little did the reverend writer of that article know of Shelley, when he says that "from childhood he (Shelley) has carried about with him a soured and discontented spirit-untractable as a boy, and unamiable in youth-querulous and unmanly in all three." But as if this foul nomenclature was inexhaustible, the critic ends by taxing him with "low fraud, cold selfishness, and unmanly cruelty." Are such libellers to pass with impunity? Is this proper and decorous language from a clergyman?
Shelley's whole time was dedicated to study. He was then reading Calderon, and mad about the Autos; but he did not the more lay aside his favourite authors, the Greek dramatists: a volume of Sophocles he used to take with him in his rambles: generally had a book even at dinner, if his abstemious meal could be called one;† and told me he always took a book to bed with him. In the evenings he sometimes read aloud a canto of Dante or Tasso, or a canzone of Petrarch. Though his voice was somewhat broken in the sound, his recitation of poetry was wonderfully effective, and the tones of his voice of varied modulation. He entered into the soul of his author, and penetrated those of his listeners.
Prince Mavrocordato was his daily, almost his only visitor. It was with peculiar delight that I listened to Shelley's spirited and poetical version of the Prometheus and Agamemnon of Eschylus ;-in the last of which he used to rave about the opening chorus. He was become, as well he might be, disgusted with publishing, with seeing poets enjoying reputation who did not possess a tithe of his genius, and some even of those decking themselves out, like daws, in his borrowed plumes. He used to say, that as he
+ The reason for Byron's abstemiousness was a very different one from Shelley's. Like his late Majesty, Byron was horrified at the idea of getting fat; and to counteract this tendency of his to corpulency, mortified his Epicurean propensities. Hence he dined four days in the week on fish and vegetables; and had even stinted himself, when I last saw him, to a pint of
Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret. Thus his sensuality broke out now and then; and I have seen him eat of as great a variety of dishes, as a German at a table d'hôte. He succeeded, it is true, in overmastering nature, and clipping his rotundity of its fair proportions; but with it shrunk his cheek and his calf. This the Guiccioli observed, and seemed
by no means to admire Milord's eremitish diet.
had failed in original compositions, he would translate the Prometheus'; and it is to be lamented that he did not carry his design into effect. His 'Cyclops' of Euripides and 'Hymn to Mercury' of Homer, are specimens of what his powers as a translator were, and how critically he was versed in Greek, and caught the true spirit of his authors. Plato he read with all the facility of a modern work, and had made a translation of the Symposium,'-an attempt so difficult, that the Germans pretend their language is alone capable of mastering it. This splendid effort I had hoped Mrs. Shelley would have given the public, having promised, in 1824, some of his posthumous prose works.
During this winter he wrote little-without encouragement, who can? One of his poems I must not, however, forget to mention, (and perhaps not the least exquisite, though it fell dead from the press,) the Epipsychidion.' This Psyche was the Contessina Emilia V. She was an interesting, beautiful, and accomplished girl, and immured in the odious Convent of St. Anne, by a jealous stepmother.
Shelley was a martyr to a most painful complaint, which constantly menaced to terminate fatally, and was subject to violent paroxysms, which, to his irritable nerves, were each a separate death. I had seen magnetism practised in India and at Paris, and at his earnest request consented to try its efficacy. Mesner himself could not have hoped for more complete success. The imposition of my hand on his forehead instantaneously put a stop to the spasm, and threw him into a magnetic sleep, which, for a want of a better word, is called somnambulism. Mrs. Shelley and another lady were present. The experiment was repeated more than once.
During his trances I put some questions to him. He always pitched his voice in the same tone as mine. I inquired about his complaint, and its cure-the usual magnetic inquiries. His reply was-"What would cure me, would kill me," (alluding probably to lithotomy. I am sorry I did not note down some of his other answers. Animal magnetism is, in Germany, confined by law to the medical professors; and with reason-it is not to be trifled with. Shelley afterwards used to walk in his sleep; and Mrs. Shelley once found him getting up at night, and going to a window. It is remarkable, that in the case of the boy Matthew Schwir, recorded by Dr. Tritchler, the patient spoke in French, as Shelley in Italian. He improvised also verses in Italian, in which language he was never known to write poetry. I am aware that in England the phenomena of animal magnetism are attributed to the imagination. I only state these facts that may perhaps shake the incredulity of the most sceptical.
Shelley was afterwards magnetized by a lady, to whom he addressed some lines, entitled,
The Magnetic Lady to her Patient, of which I remember some of the stanzas:
Sleep on! sleep on! forget thy pain:
My hand is on thy brow,
My pity on thy heart, poor friend;
Sleep on! sleep on! I love thée not But when I think that he
There has been an imaginary voyage of Lord Byron's to Corsica and Sardinia, with the Countess Guiccioli and Shelley, published by Galignani, and which has passed through several editions. This voyage is said to have taken place during the winter I passed at Pisa, and which Shelley never quitted. The writer of this vision conjures up a storm, and makes Shelley so terrified, that he is put on shore God knows where. Now, it so happens, that Shelley was never so much in his element as at sea. Storms were his delight; and when at the lake of Geneva, he used to be taken for Byron braving Bises in his boat, which none of the Batteliers could face.
Shelley was in anger of being lost more than once at sea, and had a very narrow escape in coming from the Isle of Man in the year 1813 or 1814. He had taken his passage in a small trading craft, which had only three hands on board. It was in the month of November, and the weather boisterous when they left Douglas, which soon increased to a dreadful gale. The Captain attributed to Shelley's exertions so much the safety of his vessel, that he refused, on landing, to accept his fare. It is a strange fancy some people have to libel the dead, in order to gratify the malignity of the living.
It was during my stay with Shelley that the Neapolitan insurrection broke out. His ardent mind, with a truly poetical, but, unhappily, not a prophetic spirit, hailed this as the dawn of Italian freedom; and as the Spanish short-lived revolution had inspired him with his magnificent Pæan to Liberty,' so he then wrote his 'Ode to Naples;' compared with which, those of Collins have always seemed to me tame and lifeless. It has the merit of being, what few of our English modern odes (ill called so) are, really an ode, constructed on the model of those left us by Pindar, and worthy of the best days of Greece. The Italians are enthusiastic in their praise of this ode;--perhaps neither Felicaja or Petrarch have produced any more sublime. Shelley could never endure Moore's lines against the Neapolitans, beginning, "Yes, down to the dust with them," &c. He used to say that such taunts came ill
from an Irishman; and, whether merited or no, were cruel and ungenerous. Shelley considered Coleridge's Ode to Switzerland' as the best in modern times. He knew it by heart, and used to declaim it and the Ancient Mariner' in his peculiar and emphatic manner. Byron knew as little what an ode meant, as he did a sonnet-the most difficult of all compositions. Shelley's lines beginning,
There's blood on the ground,
were not composed on the occasion of the Spanish revolution, as they are entitled, but on the Manchester massacre.
We had many conversations on the subject of Keats, who, with a mind and frame alike worn out by disappointinent and persecution, was come to lay his bones in Italy. Shelley was enthusiastic in his admiration of 'Hyperion' and the Ode to Pan in the Endymion'; but was little partial to Keats's other works. Their correspondence at this period would prove highly interesting. Poor Keats died three days before I arrived at Rome, in March or April 1821; and much of the remainder of that year, which Shelley passed at the Baths of St. Julian, was occupied on 'Adonais,' which breathes all the tenderness of Moschus and Bion, and loses nothing in comparison with those divine productions on which it was modelled. Not the least valuable part of that Idyll is the picture he has drawn of himself, in the two well-known stanzas beginning "Mid others of less note." How well do those expressions, "a pard-like spirit, beautiful and swift!"-"a love in desolation marked"—" a power girt round with weakness"-designate him.
"In one sense, religion may be called poetry, though distorted from the beautiful simplicity of its truth. The persons in whom this power abides may often, as far as regards many portions of their nature, be Atheists; but although they may deny and abjure, they are compelled to serve-which is under-seated in the throne of their own soul; and whatever systems they may professedly support, they actually advance the interests of liberty. It is impossible to read the productions of our most celebrated writers, whatever may be their systems relative to thought or expression, without being startled by the electric life which there is in their words.
There is a passage in that elegy which has always struck me as among the sublimest in any language, though it is rather stood than to be explained, like Milton's 'Smoothing the raven down," &c.
Life, like a dome of many-coloured glass, Stains the white radiance of eternity, Until death tramples it to fragments. His great amusement during this summer was with his friend Williams, to navigate the clear and rapid little river, the Serchio, and the canals that branch from it. This chosen companion and partaker of his fate, lived in the place of Pisan Villagiatura, some miles higher up the stream, against which Shelley used often to tow his light skiff, in order to enjoy the rapidity of the descent. A boat was to Shelley what a plaything is to a child
his peculiar hobby. He was eighteen when he used to float paper ones on the Serpentine; and I have no doubt, at twentyeight, would have done the same with any boy. It was the revival of this dormant passion for boat-building which led to the fatal project of building a schooner at Genoa, of a most dangerous construction: all her ballast, I forget how many pounds of lead, being in her keel.
his Parody on Wordsworth's 'Peter Bell,' and some other fugitive pieces of the same kind, remarkable for a keen sense of the ridiculous.
At the latter end of this year he paid a visit to Lord Byron at Ravenna. He was then writing Cain,' and owes to Shelley the Platonic idea of his Hades and the phantasmal worlds-perhaps suggested to Shelley himself by Lucian's Icaro-Menippus.'*
It was this visit which decided Byron on wintering at Pisa-a wish to be near Shelley was one of his inducements; independent of which, Tuscany was almost the only State in Italy where a foreigner, situated as Byron then was, could find refuge or safety. The part he took in the affair of Romagna, though denied by that veridical article in the Westminster Review, is now known;-nor shall I enter into the question how far he was wrong in intermeddling with the politics of other countries. I bear too great a love for Italy, and abhorrence of Austrian despotism, to blame him. Had not Cardinal Gonsalvi been then the Pope's prime minister, perhaps the stiletto (if he had not been openly arrested) would have ended his days. Byron's name is still a terror to the despots of Italy. His writings have done much to fan the flame of liberty. Shelley used to say that poets were the unacknowledged legislators of the world.
I shall end this part of my sketch with some curious observations of his :
It may be imagined that Shelley was of a melancholy cast of mind-on the contrary, he was naturally full of playfulness, and remarkable for the fineness of his ideas; and I have never met with any one in whom the brilliance of wit and humour was more conspicuous. In this respect he fell little short of Byron; and perhaps it was one of the great reasons why Byron found such a peculiar charm in his conversation. I doubt whether Byron could have surpassed him in
Northcote used to take leave of his pupils going on their continental tours, with "Now, young man, remember you cross the Alps expressly to become a thief." Byron was as little scrupulous as the great artist in appropriating to himself the works of others; but he had the ingenuity to select those that were in bad repute, and therefore not generally read. Shelley's Queen Mab' and Casti's Novelle' were two of his favourite cribbing books. I taxed him roundly more than once with this habit of his; and especially of his having plagiarized his lines in Cain' from Earth's distant orb appeared
The smallest light that twinkles in the heavens ;
and of taking Don Juan' from Casti, passim. “I
+ Some months since, being at Genoa, the police, hearing that I had been with Byron at Pisa, sent me an order to leave the city in twenty-four hours, on the suspicion of my being a Carbonaro. It is true, that on my arrival at Turin, our ambassador offered me his protection; but British officers and subjects are now insulted in every petty state.
They measure the circumference and sound the depths of human nature, with a comprehensive, all-embracing, all-penetrating spirit, at which they are themselves most sincerely astonished: it is less their own spirit, than the spirit of the age. They are the priests of an unapprehended inspiration -the mirror of the gigantic shadow that invests them the echoes of words, of which they conceive not the power which they express-the trumpet which sounds to battle, and feels not what it inspires-the influence that is moved not, but moves. Poets and philosophers [he repeats] are the unacknowledged legislators of the world."
[To be continued next week.]
WE have great pleasure in having it in our power to present our readers with an abstract of the very interesting historical notice on this subject, which formed a part of the Lectures lately read by the elder Mr. Landseer at the Mechanics' Institution.
Strange as it will appear to those who are more accustomed to active life than to silent speculation, Assyria, (says Mr. Landseer,) with her immense hosts, and her spacious and magnificent cities, had no money-Egypt, opulent, populous, mysterious, and abundant Egypt, had no money-Ancient Persia, before the age of the first Darius, had no money-the early Hebrews, even during the most prosperous period of the age of Solomon, and down to the time of Judas Maccabæus, were without money-Etruria, from first to last, was without money-Rome was without money to the time of Servius Tullius-and the Greeks of the heroic ages were equally destitute of money.
Among all those nations, gold and silver, when used in barter, was weighed out by the scales; as when Abraham purchased the cave of Machpelah, he "weighed to Ephron the silver which he had named in the audience of the sons of Heth;" moreover, there was anciently no money in Arabia, or the riches of the Patriarch Job would not have been estimated by his camels, oxen, and she asses: and there was none in Greece down to the time of Homer, who nowhere mentions or alludes to it, but, on the contrary, by informing us, that the armour of Diomede cost only nine oxen, while that which Glaucus generously gave in exchange for it, cost one hundred, shows that cattle, in their larger purchases, were made the current measure of value. It is from this circumstance too, of oxen and asses being at the time the ordinary and known signs of property, and current measure of value, that we find them specifically mentioned in the tenth commandment; and the virtuous prohibition of covetousness derives local intelligibility from the notoriety of the fact.
curious adaptation of engraving to the purposes of Society, but an important event in the History
of the World. It is not, however, known when or in what country money first became the substitute for cattle and unstamped bullion, as the general representative of property and the measure of value. Mr. Landseer is of opinion that the Darics, issued by the first Darius, are the oldest Persian coins that were ever minted in that empire.
stamps were applied to them in order to save
of that which to modern habitudes and to some
There is, however, reason to believe, that Darics were not the very first coins which the world had beheld. Montesquieu is of opinion, that the Lydians first found out the art of coining money. By others, the invention is attributed to Phidon of Argos. But the arts of dyeengraving, and of the mintage of money, were, no doubt, like most other arts, progressive. That ingots of bullion were in commercial use, that
modern philosophers appears to be so indispen-
We regret that it is not in our power to ac-
Coined golden money appears to have existed here as early as the reign of Cunobelin, the father of Caractacus, but there is reason to believe its use reached not far beyond the payment of British tributes to Rome, where larger and more ponderous articles of property could not easily have been transmitted; since Adam Smith informs us, that the Saxon Kings of England, for several ages after Cunobelin, record their revenues not in money, but in kind, that is to say, in cattle, corn, and the more endurable species of provisions. William the Conqueror introduced the custom of paying the royal revenues in cash: the money, however, was for a long time received at the Exchequer by weight, and not by tale.
it will desire something original; but little
Mr. Mason, we hear, is anxious to obtain
Of literature we have heard little this week; when the public grows weary of republications,
Laporte is said to be in treaty with Malibran for Covent Garden; we doubt much if he will succeed, as she is already engaged for Naples and Milan. Mad. Grisi and her sister, with Tamburini, are also engaged for the forthcoming season at Paris. Should Mr. Mason retain the theatre, Grisi will return to complete her engagement.
Moscheles and Schlesinger are now at Hamburgh. Mr. Neate shortly leaves for the Continent, and John Cramer is gone to the Modern Athens, where he has before played with unbounded success. Thus these celebrated pianists migrate from country to country with their passport at their fingers' ends. Oury, the violinist, and his wife, the celebrated pianiste Madlle. Belleville, are on their way to the Russian capital.
OUR WEEKLY GOSSIP ON LITERATURE
THE Reform Bill promises to be fertile in
The invention of coining was not only a very high, is proposed to be erected, with the Esq., were elected Fellows of the Society.
King on the summit, and the base ornamented
SCIENTIFIC AND LITERARY
Aug. 7.-Papers were read' On the drying of plants for the Hortus Siccus,' and 'On the advantages of irrigating garden grounds by means of tanks or ponds.' The first communication was by Dr. Knight, of Marischal College, Aberdeen, and the second by Mr. Knight, the President of the Society.
The flowers and fruits exhibited were very beautiful, especially the carnations, picotees salvias, verbenas, noblesse peaches, and striped Hoosainee melons; an ingenious contrivance was also exhibited, by which a flower-stand of three or four stages could be instantly metamorphosed into an armed bench. A new part of the Transactions was announced as being ready for delivery. Notice was also given, that, in consequence of the meeting room being about to undergo repair, the meetings would be suspended
until the 2nd of October.
Lieut.-Colonel O'Reilly, and Thomas Warden,
Colonel Murray's National Work, in which the
of the verse, is not quite enough to make us forget 'The Pass of Killiecrankie," Schiekallien,' 'Portree,' and 'The Storr.' The latter is a singular scene, with its pillared and pinnacled rocks, which seem to pierce the sky, and are only fit for the seat of the eagle.
THIS eventful season terminated on Saturday last, when with increased success, Paer's Agnese,' and Albert's 'L'Anneau Magique,' were given to a crowded house. The German company, shorn of its honours, by the absence of Mad. Devrient, Malle. Schneider, Haitzinger, and Pellegrini, closed their season the night previous, with an indifferent representation of 'Fidelio;' however, in justice to Mad. Fischer, we must say that she sang the part satisfactorily, and in other respects was not so much inferior to Devrient as we had expected.-A loud and very protracted call for the manager, was at last obeyed. 15,000l. for the compliment is, as Franklin would have said, paying too dear for a whistle.
COVENT GARDEN-FRENCH PLAYS.
THE play of Henry III.' by M. Alexandre Dumas, was given here on Saturday last. It has been previously made known to the English public through the medium of a clever but somewhat heavy translation by Lord Leveson Gower,
-acted at this house, under the title of Cathe
rine of Cleves.' The French play is extremely well written, and the principal part is acted by Mdlle. Mars, in a style which throws criticism on its back, and makes panegyric cry out for a new dictionary. The elegance, the chasteness, the truth, and general beauty of the performance, cannot be equalled by any living performer; and its occasional power in those parts which touch on the province of tragedy, has not been evinced by any other actress since the best days of Mrs. Siddons. The acting of Mdlle. Mars, when she first appears on the couch in Rug- | gieri's apartment, and where she is, for some time, between sleeping and waking; her avowal to St. Megrin of the passion for him which has long been devouring her in secret;and the thrilling tones of mortal despair in which she utters the words " Rien-rien," after a vain look round the chamber to discover something by which the object of her adoration may descend from the window, and escape impending assassination, will never-can neverbe forgotten by those who were present. To know the effect which consummate art can produce in the utterance of the two simple words we have quoted, it must be witnessed, for it is beyond the reach of imagination. Those words, Řien-rien," as delivered by this gifted being, will ring in our ears as long as our senses permit us to have a care or a recollection about the stage. If it is permitted to joke upon a subject on which we feel so seriously, we should say that never before was so much made of nothing. But one or two more opportunities remain to an English audience of beholding the passions, as painted by this unrivalled artiste, of watching the awful storms and sunny calms with which she alternately agitates and soothes her hearers. Those who have the best taste will be most eager to seize them. Nothing official has been said about this being her last professional visit to London, and we look with confidence to M. Laporte to take care that it is not so. Mdlle. Taglioni made her last appearance at Covent Garden on Monday, on which occasion the last new ballet, ‘La Sylphide,' was repeated. The sun of her dancing set in a storm of applause. Here again we feel the want of language to express our admiration; nor is it sur
prising that we should-her dancing is so little of the earth that mortal terms seem scarcely applicable to it. After the ballet, the newspapers inform us that Mdlle. Taglioni proceeded to the Tower, and embarked in a steamer for France. It might be all very well for her to send her trunks that way, because they would, perhaps, be inconvenient to carry through the air-but why she herself should have sought the troubles of a sea voyage, when three bounds would have taken her to Dover, and one more have landed her on Calais pier, we cannot guess. Report says that she is already married-if so, her husband has acted wisely in concealing the fact-it is his only chance to escape falling a victim to public indignation. Report also mentions something much more agreeable-which is, that this dancing comet will again be visible at Covent Garden in November and December next. We recommend good glasses to be kept in readiness.
ON Wednesday night, after O'Keefe's comedy of The Young Quaker,' in which, by the way, Miss Turpin sang some snatches of ballads very much as they should be sung,-we saw here an 'original two-act comedy," (we quote from the bill,) which was first produced on Saturday last. It is scarcely necessary at this eleventh hour to detail the plot; but it may be well to state that it turns mainly on the rash determinations, and as ready abandonments of those determinations, by one Mr. Sudden, in whom, by his m appellation, the reader will easily detect Mr. Farren. This part is very well planned, and certainly well executed, by Mr. Buckstone, the author of the piece; yet, if we did not already owe much to that author, on the score of amusement, and at the same time like much to speak well of all we see, we should be inclined to carp somewhat at one or two little commonplace matters needlessly introduced in it;—such, for instance, as the old and worn-out gag (for it is nothing better,) of giving a direction to a servant, then letting him get as far as the door-then calling him back again for a few more words-then suffering him to make a second half exit, and again having him back again with " And, d'ye hear, John?" and so on continually, until the whole is wound up with the usual "Oh nonothing." We object to these messages by instalments; but Mr. Buckstone is an old and a clever stager, and "verbum sap." We have said above, that the interest of this piece turns mainly upon the conduct of a character played by Mr. Farren; but one good turn deserves another, and that other is furnished by a part enacted by Mrs. Glover. This excellent actress played to the life a mother anxious to see her daughters settled in life; and who accordingly smiles, and frowns, and coaxes, and storms, as occasion calls for, until they are all settled with a vengeance; for in the last scene we find these cared-for young ladies severally united to Poverty, Vulgarity, and Imposture. The moral of this piece, in both its main intentions, is good-the writing pleasant-and the acting excellent. For further particulars inquire at the theatre, any time after seven in the evening. We need say no more-but stop-(as Mr. Sudden says)—“ second thoughts"--we need say more-and that is this-Mrs. Humby played a little but important character in Mrs. Humby's very best manner; and more than that we can't say, whether we need or not.
NOVELTIES are produced so fast at this theatre, that they push one another off their stools before they are well seated. This system is unfair both to authors and actors, and we much doubt its being beneficial to managers. The rapid succession of new parts prevents the possibility of the performers being perfect, even in their
words, on a first night; and before a piece has been repeated often enough to give them a chance of becoming so, a new visitor is announced, and the last comer takes leave. These remarks were particularly applicable on Monday night to a new interlude, called 'Six to Four on the Colonel,' in which it was quite evident, if not to the audience generally, at least to those who had any stage experience, that all con
cerned were much more abroad than at home. However, the audience seemed disposed to overlook what the actors had not looked over, and all went smoothly. Some smart sayings and sentences here and there were so much laughed at and applauded, that we feel justified in asking for the remainder,-a favour which, we hope, it will not be thought too much to grant. Mr. Abbott bustled pleasantly enough through the principal part, and suited his actions, we presume, to the words. When the words come, we shall be better to judge. Mr. Forrester is a lively and agreeable actor, and, we are happy to add, an improving one. Mr. Williams was, as usual, careful, painstaking, sensible, and attentive to his part. Mrs. Honey is a sweet little woman, and has only to stick to what she touches to make that sweet also. As its name imports, the odds were Six to Four on the Colonel' at starting. The lead was taken and kept, and the owner, or author, is clearly entitled to the stakes.
As if determined to justify the remarks we have made above, the management has showered two more new pieces on the town, both of which were represented for the first time on Thursday night. The first, called in the bills "an original petite comedy," and entitled 'Ladies at Court,' is stated upon the same indisputable authority, to be by "a celebrated author." We have not the honour of knowing whose head this cap is intended to fit, but have much pleasure in congratulating the little unknown upon his previously acquired celebrity, seeing how slender his present exertions. In one respect, it is one a chance there is of any accruing to him from of the grandest pieces we ever saw, for there is a Grand Duke-and a Grand Chamberlainand a singer at the Grand Opera. The grand chamberlain has a nephew, (or grand nephew, perhaps,) and he is in love with a milliner—and he is also in love with the opera singer-and he has had some adventure of some sort at some time with some countess-and the countess appears to be the mistress of her master, the Grand Duke, and nobly refuses to become his wife-and the opera singer goes to the milliner's, where she meets the nephew-and the countess comes there too, and meets him also, and they are jealous of one another, and the milliner is jealous of both; and then the milliner is sent for to court, and appears there in fine clothes-and obtains from the Grand Duke a pardon for her lover, the aforesaid nephew, for something that he has done; and she snubs the old chamberlain, who wants to make love to her; and the Grand Duke is told that the council waits, and he lets it wait; and some guns are fired, and an insurrection is announced; and the Grand Duke says, the chamberlain's nephew is at the head of it, and the nephew comes, and says he isn't, and talks about saving his country and marrying the milliner; and all this leads to the conclusion of the piece, which is the only satisfactory conclu
sion we came to. There were a few sentences of smartish writing here and there; and this is all the praise we can, in justice, award to the piece-except, that if it is free from attraction, it is at least free from offence. If it should have a run, we think we can guess which way it will be. If we have not been clear in our description of the plot, we beg to say, that it is the plot's own fault. The effect of it on us was like looking at a quadrille party without hearing the music-one sees people in vigorous commotion without being able to imagine what moves them.