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proprietors would permit. Their performances accordingly commenced on Thursday the twenty-sixth of August, with the tragedy of Martinuzzi, taken from the excellent dramatic poem, entitled The Hungarian Daughter, by George Stephens, Esq.
In accomplishing this object many difficulties arose. Mr. Heraud was instructed to apply to the Lord Chamberlain to enlarge the license of the English Opera House, so as to enable a body of authors to effect, at their own expense, the performance of their own plays. Yet, as if to put the last and deepest stamp of infamy upon the present system in all its phases, this reasonable request was refused refused, notwithstanding the patent theatres were meanwhile either closed or desecrated by illegitimate usurpations, concerts, and foreign opera, and not available to Dramatic purposes. In consequence of this rejection of a just claim, the Council were compelled to stuff their tragedy with songs, that it might be licensed as an opera. After considerable delay the license was obtained, the performers were engaged, and the piece put into rehearsal.
The performers engaged on the occasion were the élite of the profession :- Mrs. Warner, Miss Maywood, Mr. Phelps, Mr. Elton, Mr. Selby. The play could not have been better cast in any respect; and in one, the only actress capable of performing the character was engaged. Mrs. Warner, the Siddons of the present age, performed the Queen Mother-Isabella. To describe how she performed it were to analyze the grand elements of which the character is composed. To witness this majestic piece of acting is to receive an indelible impression of glorious art to dwell in the memory as “a pride for ever." Mr. Phelps's performance of Martinuzzi himself, is one of the chastest and most touching pieces of impersonation on the stage. For tenderness, for pathos, for deep feeling and intense emotion, it is unrivalled. In the qualities of elocution and fine acting, it is all that is desirable. His two scenes with Czerina were overwhelming in effect; and, at the close of the tragedy, his death is the most magnificent thing we ever witnessed. Miss Maywood and Mr. Elton performed the two lovers with fervour and passion, such as attracted admiration and applause. Mr. Elton, perhaps, was too energetic, but he has since mellowed into the part, and by subduing his manner has increased its effect.
On the first evening of the performance, one of the most wicked stratagems was resorted to by the interested opponents of the experiment. They contrived literally to pack the house in many parts in knots and groups under recognizable leaders, who commenced the warfare by sneering at the applause bestowed by the genuine part of the audience, by walking in and out of the several boxes, making discouraging remarks, and then leaving them; by laughing at the sublimest images and most striking situations, and by other glaring and most obstreperous acts, all of which indicated, beyond a doubt, the existence of a well-organized conspiracy. But it availed nothing. The good sense of the British public was not to be put down; and the result was, that never was a play more enthusiastically applauded, on the first night of its representation, in parts and as a whole, than was Martinuzzi.
The Times paper, we find, has compared Mr. Stephens to old Webster, and other dramatists of the Elizabethan period. This criticism is severely just. Is it not fitting that a modern theatre should be opened for living poets of whom even so much as this can be truly said ? On the second night's representation, Mr. Macready was present. There was a good house; and the success of the piece was complete.
OUR MONTHLY CRYPT. “ As good almost to kill a man, as kill a good book : who kills a man, kills a reasonable creature, God's image ; but he who destroys a good book, kills Reason itself, kills the image of God, as it were, in the eye. Many a man lives a burden to the earth ; but a good book is the precious life-blood of a master-spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life.” Elements of Physiology, for the Use of Students, and with especial Reference to the Wants of Practitioners. By RUDOLPH WAGNER, M.D., Professor of Comparative Anatomy and Physiology in the University of Gottingen, &c. &c. Translated from the German, with Additions, by ROBERT Willis, M. D. &c. &c. Part I. On GENERATION. Sherwood, Gilbert, and Piper.
1841. When a nation prides itself on being purely practical, its practice is apt to be very empirical. Such, we are afraid, has been the case with us English in more matters than one, and among others, in that staple art and article, the practice of medicine. The Germans, on the other hand, have a reputation for endless theorizing, and for dwelling much on those facts which are remote from every day application, by seeing nature through everlasting miCroscopes. Both these charges are probably true; and the errors of method which they indicate, cannot perhaps be better remedied at present, than by that corrective amalgamation of the spirit of the two countries, which may be accomplished for each by good translations of the standard works of the other. This is being done to a great extent, as regards our part of it. The continual reference to German works in our Cyclopædias of Medicine, Anatomy, and Physiology, was a cheering sign of the fact, and the translation at length of the approved works of Müller and Wagner is a considerable improvement and progression therein. To say that there is nothing in the English language equal to them in their own way, would be saying little. There is a pains-taking earnestness about your German investigator, and a power of being the historian of minutiæ, and of quietly looking into particulars which are not visible to the naked eye, to which the English student has but slender pretensions.
The present Treatise on Generation embraces what is excellent in this way, but without being tedious and unduly elaborate. The facts also are presented in a clear and methodical arrangement; and general statements are educed from them, wherever it has been found practicable to do so. One great feature of the work is the copious illustration of the text by beautiful woodcuts, of which the present part contains no less than one hundred and forty. By this means, the scientific reader, even supposing him to be hitherto unread in physiology, may follow the subject through all its details, and with clean bands; and without the microscope, (the very use of which is a science,) be made the owner of much of the wealth which has hitherto belonged entirely to personal labourers in the field of animal organization. This result would have been even further attained, by the addition of one or two pages of glossary, explaining the newer and more uncommon parts of Wagner's terminology, by a reference to which, had it been given, we, albei medical ourselves, would have been occasionally not a little enlighter
We think we see traces of a return to a more learned age than the present; but until this arrives, it would always be well to presume somewhat on the ignorance in these matters of the English scientific man.
The notes of the translator appear to us to be very interesting and valuable, and the translation itself seldom reminds us of its German origin. Dr. Willis's English is that of a polite scholar.
This First Part of the work does not professedly treat of the theory of generation, yet we are glad to see that Professor Wagner recognizes some termination to the aggregation of facts, and the necessity for something beyond the eye to the completion of his inquiry. Nothing seems more desirable at present, than some definite canon, whereby we may judge when our facts are sufficient, and at what period we have a right, as inheritors of Nature, to demand her principles : for is it not evident, that facts themselves are infinite, and that if we delay until they are all registered in our books or brains, we may indeed be storing our memories, but without ever making an approximation to that wisdom which feeds on causes? The want of such a canon has had, as we think, two pernicious effects : 1stly, A universal preference for destructive instead of perceptive analysis ; and 2ndly, A multiplication of terminology, altogether exceeding the uses of man's life and reason, and the powers of the human memory. This looks like the access of a dark age of facts. Well does Wagner say, “No organic process can be comprehended isolatedly in its essence—that which we name with Goëtbe, primary or fundamental phenomenon, cannot be shown from the empirical mode of comprehending an object in itself, but only with the assistance of another cognizant active power, viz. the mind.” That after a certain apprenticeship to experience, then the mind has a right to be enfranchised, and to work for itself, is a doctrine which the instinct of self-preservation ought to move the learned world to teach speedily in its temples of science; and it would be well worth the while of the British Association to consider formally, whether, on many subjects, this apprenticeship has not naturally terminated long ago. A Treatise on the Structure, Functions, and Diseases of the Foot and Leg of the
Horse ; comprehending the Comparative Anatomy of these Parts in other Animals, &c. &c. By W. C. Spooner, M. R. V.C., Southampton. London : Longman. 1840.
Comparative anatomy is only a theory when applied to the human body, while, on the contrary, it is not merely analogical, but to a great extent practical and real for veterinary science. Therein is its crown and head, because therein its uses to the community are direct and immediate. And it is no trifling fact, that in this century, for the first time, a scientific profession should have arisen in a distinct shape, to sum up the treasures of our knowledge of the animal kingdom, and to utilize and convert them into practice. It looks as if the world were not altogether dreaming, but beginning to echo, concerning everything, the Divine saying, “Behold it is very good,"—that is, brimming with benefits and applications, both private and universal. If this be too high-flown for our theme, the foot of the horse, we beg the reader's pardon, and can only say, it was difficult to resist the effusion, when we regarded so much knowledge as coming out of ignorance, and, what is a still more difficult birth, so much utility emerging from speculation.
Mr. Spooner's works stand in no need of our praise for their professional merits. They have already received the mark and impress of the approbation of the teachers of veterinary science. They have already been commended to students from the Professor's chair, and by the respectable journals which are the organs of the profession. It is rather our pleasing duty to recommend the present Treatise to other sorts and conditions of men
-to the general physiologist, who wishes for a safe guide in extending his knowledge, and above all, to that large class for whom the horse is either a creature of pleasure and convenience, or of livelihood and necessity. On the principle, which this class so often woefully illustrates, that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, we beg to refer them to Mr. Spooner's book, where they may “drink deep,” and, learning their ignorance, have a prospect of safety. For our own part, although we deny ourselves the pleasure of keeping a carriage and four, for precisely the same reason as Dr. Johnson did, and although we are non-veterinary, we have much pleasure in admitting the largeness of Mr. Spooner's views on the horse, and his perception of the extension and connection of his subject, on many sides, with many sciences; and last, not least, in bearing testimony to the easy and gentlemanly style of his discourse, with which he indicates at once the polish of his mind, and his great familiarity with his materials. The only want we have felt is the deficiency of the work in woodcut illustrations, which, in the anatomical sections at least, would be a great advantage to the reader. We throw out this hint, feeling pretty confident that Mr. Spooner will soon have the task of preparing a second edition. Pride, or the Heir of Craven. A Tale of the Fifteenth Century. In Six
Cantos. By HENRY Cook, Author of “ Adrian," &c. &c. London: Parker. 1841.
of this poem we hardly know what to say-whether to encourage the author with the hope that he may in time attain excellence in the arduous art to which he aspires; or to advise him at once to cease his court to the Muses. So much of the real poetic instinct, and so many inaccuracies, we have seldom seen united. Energetic verses and gratingly inharmonious rhymes, nervous sentiment, and drivelling common-place, bold imagery and incorrect prosody, may often be found within the compass of a few pages. In all the mechanical appliances of his art, Mr. Cooper is at fault ; and the evidence before us is wholly insufficient to enable us to decide whether he possesses its more essential qualifications. There is nothing very original in the plan of his poem ; tournaments and jousts, with the death-bed revelations of old women, have been pretty nearly exhausted of all interest. In conception, the character of the Lord of Craven-the proud baron-is good, although somewhat inadequately executed. The other characters have little to distinguish them; and the hero is absolutely a milksop. We have every wish for Mr. Cook's success, and none but kindly feelings towards him; but he has much yet to learn before we can consider him an accomplished poet. The Priest of the Nile: a Tale of Ancient Egypt. By Mrs. CHARLES
TINSLEY. 2 vols. Whittaker, and Co., Ave Maria Lane. This is a laudable attempt to illustrate the mythic history of the Egyptian Osiris. The writer supposes Sesostris and Osiris to be the same person, and has contrived to give much human interest to mythological materials. A poetic spirit makes itself felt in every part. The Prince Duke and the Page: a Historical Novel. Edited by Lady LYTTON
BULWER. Boone. 1841. Here is a novel truly worth reading, and worth remembering, for it contains much of the sterling solidity of history, with much of the dazzling brilliancy of romance. Its hero, the Prince Duke, is the illustrious Wallenstein, the favourite character of Schiller and Coleridge, Dr. Foster, and Colonel Mitchel. Lady Bulwer has done herself much credit, by editing such a work as this; and the author, whom we imagine to be some young man conversant with foreign literature of the German school, has evinced talents which, if duly cultivated, will raise him to celebrity. He takes, throughout, a more favourable view of Wallenstein's conduct than the majority of grave historians sanction; but we pardon the flattery, for the sake of the eloquence in which it is arrayed. In perusing his eventful career, the reader of this work will derive many a brilliant lesson respecting the intricate politics of Germany during the thirty years' war. We have no room at present for analysis of the more particular features of the work, but hope to return to it again. Meantime, we cordially recommend it to the attention of the public.
The Storm, and other Poems. By FRANCIS BENNOCH. London: Smith.
Possessed of a delicate temperament, and being capable of appreciating the beauties and retaining the music of the chef-d'ouvres of our masters of song, many conceive an irresistible desire to idle away their leisure hours in dallying with the Muses. What to others has been the object of severe study and earnest meditation-of nights of watchfulness and days of toil—is to them the mere amusement of a moment, begun without previous preparation, and continued without care or industry. They write with a certain gentlemanly negligence; and if they seldom offend against decorum, never take more than the first step towards perfection. In a word, they are amateurs, not artists.
To this class, apparently, belongs Mr. Bennoch. Of him we know nothing except from the volume before us ; but that contains all the distinguisbing marks of the species of poetry to which we bave above alluded. It is not sufficient merely to feel like a poet. Admiring a splendid picture, we may be able to conceive a still more magnificent design, and yet be wholly destitute of the artistic skill requisite to give our winged imaginings permanent existence on the canvass. "In like manner, although we may behold a sunset with all the emotion of a Milton, we may be unable to describe it even tolerably in verse. No art, even the easiest (and poetry is one of the most difficult), can be learnt at leisure. A long apprenticeship, patient application, and dogged determination, are required before we can expect to obtain facility in our operations; nor will these alone avail us: we must have a perfect knowledge of what has been effected by our predecessors, and a dis. tinct understanding that we must do more than they; for if we excel them not, we fall inconceivably below them. Only he that initiates has the glory; as his followers have shunned the danger, so are they deprived of the renown.
Mr. Bennoch has praise-wortbily progressed a certain distance in his art; but although entered on the true road, he soon stops short. His poems contain the dawnings of excellence, but lack altogether any approach to the splendor of perfect day. They are the effusions of a pupil rather than of a proficient; and of a pupil, too, who seems likely ever to remain such.
The following description at first attracts our attention by means of a certain lively dash in the measure; yet, if analyzed, its images will be found to want originality, and perhaps chastity :
“ But ah! how vain the wish of man!
His fairest hope,-his dearest plan,-