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their helplessness, and wants declared will loosen the tongue of the teacher. Ideas will be uttered to those eager to understand ; and more quickly than opinion, the look, the tone, the manner, shall propagate the feeling that feeling which many indicate, but all can never express, which, as the mind is higher, becomes more vivid, till genius warms in its intensity, which, living on the contemplation of abstract goodness, blends in its purity with religion, and points out the source whence originated the now hackneyed, often misquoted, phrase, that 'the Stage is an aid to the Pulpit.”
Shakesperiana. Under this head it is our intention to open a repository for any communication that may illustrate Shakespeare or any of our old Dra. matists and Poets. Every person of intelligence and information has it in his power to throw some light on passages that may have become obscure from the lapse of time and the change of manners. Local customs and expressions, and illustrations derived from works or other sources, apparently totally remote from the subject, frequently occur, and we are convinced are lost from want of the opportunity of placing them in what may be termed the safe custody of printing.
Any such communications having an evident bearing on the subject will be sure now of being placed on record, and cannot but ultimately afford to the lover of the respective authors and to their commentators, facts and hints of value.
We therefore earnestly solicit all admirers of our greatest writers to favour us with such observations and facts as may occur to them in the course either of their reading, travelling, or residence in places where ancient manners or modes of speech are preserved.
We will also venture to say, that notwithstanding the labours of a Malone, a Collier, or a Knight, the subject is by no means exhausted, and there are yet several, perhaps hundreds of volumes contemporaneous with the Elizabethan writers, that none of the commentators have time or opportunity to peruse; but in which may be found something that will throw light on the plots, allusions and phrases of the dramatists and poets. Many of these old works on theology, medicine and science, or histories, and miscellaneous or legal treatises, are perused by persons interested in the particular subjects of which they treat, and probably by them alone. But if these readers will keep an eye to the purpose we propose, they will confer considerable benefit on literature by opening sources of information and illustration that can in no other way be attained.
We have received the following from a gentleman who unites to a knowledge of law and legal antiquities an equal taste for general literature.
MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR. Act I. SCENE I.
I will make a Star Chamber matter of it.
- The Council shall hear it: it is a riot. Justice Shallow, in both instances, alludes to “ The Court of the Lords of the Council,” better known as the “ Star Chamber," from
the circumstance of its sittings having been held in Camera Stellatd. The jurisdiction exercised by this Court was a species of extraordinary judicature-applicable to cases not within the reach of the law, or where it became doubtful whether the offence came within the letter of the statute law. It is to a doubt of this nature, as to what was a riot, that Shallow plausibly refers his grievance to the Star Chamber; for it was not every tumultuous or disorderly act committed by many, that came within the statutes concerning riots, Lambard, the lawyer and antiquary, in his Eirenarcha (ed. 1588, p. 190, a book often reprinted and much in use when Shakespeare wrote), after stating what acts of violence did not amount to a riot, gives an instance of a riotous act committed by women,-whose acts, generally, were not deemed riotous, even when committed in concert, and violent and , tumultuous,- being punished in the Star Chamber. The process and punishment of this Court, also, was of a summary character, and more prompt than the courts of law; and as the Court was of the highest authority, the greatest personages sitting in judgment, Shallow's vanity and anger are very apparent from his desire that his particular grievance should be cognizable in a court of that description, whilst his angry motives are veiled under the uncertain description of the offence.
Shakespeare, perhaps, might have desired that the Court itself, which was getting odious from its almost exclusive dealing with political offences, should also be brought into contempt by its being associated with Shallow's trumpery grievance.
T. E. T.
The Shakespeare Society has just issued its Eighth Publication, “ Notes of Ben Jonson's Conversations with William Drummond of Hawthornden. January, MDCXIX.
• Then will I dress once more the faded bower,
COLLINS. This most interesting work has been edited by Mr. David Laing, of Edinburgh, with additional illustrations by Mr. Payne Collier and Mr. Peter Cunningham. The notes, which are almost if not quite as extensive as the text, are exceedingly interesting, and contain a mass of anecdotes and facts that none but such diligent and ex. perienced antiquarians as Mr. Laing and Mr. Payne Collier could supply. Mr. Peter Cunningham's contributions and acquirements in this branch of literature deserve laudatory notice; and it is exceedingly pleasing to observe young scholars devoting themselves to a branch of literature so valuable in illustrating the productions of the great national writers. As a more enlarged notice of this interesting work is given elsewhere, it is unnecessary to do more than refer the reader to it.
MR. F. BOSEN'S SOIRÉE MUSICALE. At the residence of Dr. Ashburner, of Wimpole Street, we had, on the 9th ultimo, the pleasure of hearing the last new violinist from Germany, of whose arrival in this country we were previously aware, and whose reputation among the cognoscenti we knew ranked very high. It is simple justice to say, that all our anticipations were more than realized by the admirable performance of Mr. F. Bosen. While in execution, both for rapidity and precision, he equals the best violinists in England, he far surpasses them all in tone and expression. We should say that the forte of Mr. Bosen was a fine imaginative expression, mingled with great delicacy and unaffected tenderness. He not only plays with taste, for that may be acquired, but also with genius, which never can be acquired. His concert was ably supported by Miss Cubitt, Miss Pauline Lang, and several German gentlemen, (amateurs,) who all sang very agreeably, and with an intellectual purpose very seldom heard in public concerts. Mr. Leonard Schultz also played on the guitar with his usual brilliancy of execution, and Julio Regondi gave a bolero on the concertina, which was in all respects delightful. It was the composition of Mr. F. Bosen, who accompanied him on the pianoforte. Mr. F. Bosen played one solo on the violin in the course of the evening, once in a duet, and once in a trio, with Messrs. Mühlenfeldt and Hausman, and proved himself a finished musician, as well as a first-rate violinist, on each occasion. He is a great acquisition to the solo performers of this country, and we shall watch his rising reputation with much interest. The concert was attended by a very elegant assembly, the greater part of whom were ladies.
H. THE OPERA. The principal event of the month has been the revival of “ I Puritani,” or rather its performance by a new set of artists- Persiani, (Ronconi, Rubini and Lablache taking the chief parts. Persiani wants the passion of her great rival, Grisi; but her expression and grace lend a great and peculiar charm to the part. Ronconi sang with great taste, and on one occasion with a pathos that betrayed greater capacity than his general style promises.
Of Rubini it is unnecessary to say any thing, but that his taste, power, and feeling seem only to increase, although they have long been apparently perfection itself. This is almost mortifying, as it is said we are about to part with him for ever.
Lablache is in most excellent tone and spirits, and the delicacy with which he manages that wonderful organ, his voice, is past praise,
We have long desired to utter a word with respect to the justly celebrated and most expensively filled orchestra in the world. It seems perfectly unaccountable how the professors, many, and, indeed, most of whom prove themselves to possess the highest sensibility of nerve on their own respective instruments, can endure or aid in creating the din of actual noise that is sometimes indulged in. It is said, and we believe perfectly truly, that Mozart's sensations were so acute, that he swooned at hearing a trumpet harshly blown; and old Hasse could never be persuaded, even by Frederick the Great, to hear Quartz, the celebrated Flute-player, such a horror had he of any thing out of tune. We do not mean positively to assert that this fine band was ever actually out of tune; but we do assert that it indulges in a boisterous and violent expression of its power that is in very bad taste. The accompaniments were played at main strength, and in vain one sought for a piano passage. The patriarch Lindley must have had something to do, but he was heard but once; and the like of Bauman's bassoon. The tromboni, trumpets, and ophecleidi carried every thing before them. These instruments have, in fact, become the tyrants of the orchestra, and completely usurp the authority of the violin, which was absolute for years.
This violence and loudness is destructive of genuine effect, and is subversive of all refinement and good taste. The beauties of light and shade are lost. The accompaniment should be subordinate to the singer, and, to quote Dr. Burney's admirable phrase, "transparent." The voice should shine through them. This was the case with the German band when under the direction of Schellard, in 1833. They since that, however, have degenerated, probably from a notion, gathered from the proceedings at the Italian Opera here, that John Bull prefers sound to sense.
We trust that hereafter a purer taste will manifest itself, although this is not likely to be the case until some man of musical genius and refinement has the absolute control of the concern. It is but justice to state also, that the score of “I Puritani” is very heavy, and that much of the blame lies with the composer.
THE GERMAN OPERA. . The German Opera closed its unsuccessful career in the early part of last month. We regret to hear of its want of encouragement, though we think there was a sufficient cause for its not procuring it. With the exception of Heinefetter and Staudigl, there was not even a “first second-rate in the company.” And Heinefetter, though a woman of talent, came as it were misrepresented before the public. She was not the Heinefetter ; her sister being the singer justly esteemed the first in Germany.
THEATRE ROYAL, HAYMARKET. The only novelty at this Theatre has been an after-piece, entitled PETER AND PAUL. It is taken from the French of L'Oncle Baptiste, the principal part in which was lately sustained by Bouffé in his inimitable style. Mr. Farren, in the English version, enacts this character. The humour of the piece consists in portraying the horrors attendant on the introduction of vulgar and uneducated persons into conven
Esther and her People: being a Practical
Exposition of the chief Incidents recorded in the Book bearing that Name. In Ten Sermons. By the Rev. John Haghes, Incumbent Curate of Aber. ystwyth, and Vicar of Llanbadarn.
fawr, Cardiganshire. 18mo. These Sermons are simple in language, and are a well adapted exposition of the facts they treat of, and a judicious and apt application of the moral to be drawn from the interesting events recorded in the sacred
riorate his well-earned notoriety. The particulars worthy of note, as to the date, history and merits, or attributed merits, of each picture, are neatly and judiciously penned. The price and handiness of the book will command purchasers; and any one, whether visiting the Galleries or not, will gain entertainment and instruction from its perusal. We should advise every one to read it previous to visiting the respective Galleries, as they will easily recognize the pictures; and nothing is more annoying than to be obliged to be constantly referring to a catalogue when viewing fine and suggestive works of art.
Bizarre Fables. By Arthur Wallbridge.
Sq. 12mo. These tales appeared, we believe, originally, in some periodical; at all events, we feel convinced we have perused some of them before. The name on the title is evidently assumed; but whosoever is the author. he may congratulate himself on the possession of talents and a style not possessed by many of the professediy light writers of the day.
The tales are written lightly and gracefully, and prove the writer to be an acute and delicate observer of manners and characters in many different spheres of life. We prophesy for him a popular career, and shall, doubtless, meet him again in work of a higher scope, and demanding a more strenuous development of his powers.
It may be as well to inform the reader, that the elegant little work consists of twenty stories, illustrated very prettily and cleverly by thirty. nine wood engravings. The stories all have a very excellent point, and illustrate a moral of a high and sound nature. A prettier and more piquant little work we have not met with for many a day. A Handbook for Free Picture Galleries;
namely, the National Gallery, and the Dulwich Gallery ; the Pictures of the Soane Museum, of the Society of Arts, and of the British Museum. By Felix
Sommerly. 12mo. Mr. Summerly (whoever that gentleman may be) is already known, at least to the holiday part of the world, by some very sensibly writtenGuides; and the present work is not likely to dete
A Shilling's Worth of Nonsense. By
the Editors of "Punch, or The London Charivari." Sq. 12mo. This is a would-be facetious publication, by some of the contributors to that popular and witty production, “Punch.” The wood illustrations are very well executed, but not particularly rich in humour; though some of them are characteristic. The let. ter-press is neatly written, but by no means fulfils the expectations raised by the other writings of the Authors. The work consists of Twenty-five Essays on a variety of subjects, which are not arranged very methodically, as will be seen by the following example: Benevolence, Wives, Childhood, Pictures, Ancestry, Sorrow, &c. We cannot say that there appears to be any thing very novel in the remarks on these oft-essayed subjects; and what is still more surprising, there is very little of that rollicking spirit of fun, with which the weekly paper is so abundantly supplied. Indeed, what jokes there are, seem like old familiar faces; and we would refer particularly to the article “ Pica tures,” where there are some ver batim witticisms from Punch. There is, however, a fine spirit pervading the papers; and they advocate the side of humanity, with a clear perception of what is right and just, and with a thorough contempt and guidance of common-place conventionalities.