Imatges de pÓgina

The Drama.

691 When George Colman was truly of the ingenuity and pleasantry of George Colman the younger, he was the situations, each early play affords one of the pleasantest men alive; abundant proofs: but where such .witty, inventive, original! And as characters are created, the situations we always rather incline to the me- cannot avoid being powerful and mory of what is estimable and ex- striking. Dennis Brulgruddery, with cellent, than to a dejected contem- his Irish wife and Yorkshire servingplation of what is real and indifferent, man, living on a heath in Cornwall, we will just say a few words upon in a public-house, without a custhe dramatist that was, and get as tomer, is a farce of itself. Such a hastily as possible over the dramatist monstrous compound is by no means that is. The peculiar forte of George common. And Trudge's discovery Colman lay in his combination of of Wowski, in Inkle and Yarico, is extravagancies of character, in his very delightful and full of contrast. breudth of humorous dialogue, and It is like a reverse of Titian's Misin his improbable but laughable si- tress and the Negro. Dr. Pangloss's tuations. Ollapod, in the Poor Gen- contemplation of himself in a Tantleman, is a compound (we should dem with a terrier between his legs, say a mixture) of medicine, cavalry, and Stephen's relation of the storming jargon, and sporting allusions, and of the pigsty, and washing the little with this whimsical complement of singed pigs in milk, are vivid descripa pursuits, the character whirls through tions of situations, which are quite as five acts,

ever pleasing, ever new." real and amusing as incidents themDr. Pangloss, Lord Duberly, Lady selves. This extension of situation Duberly, Mr. and Mrs. Brulgrude to the second and third degree evinces dery, Caleb Quotem, are all the same the hand of the master. There is no violent yet whimsical caricatures of pure and quiet comedy in George character, and all possess individual- Colman's writings, no delicate dely certain points which separate them lineations of the human mind in the from the mass of common men. Of trials and severities of life, or in its the humour of the dialogue a thou- finer points of inirth; but he never sand instances might be chosen ; for affected these deeper accomplishthere is no writer who surpasses ments of dramatic writing, and it can George Colman in the merry extra- therefore be no matter of accusation vagancies and increasing inventions against him that he was deficient in of conversation. He piles load upon them. He wrote to make mankind load of jolly exaggeration ! Dennis laugh; - and he succeeded beyond Brulgruddery's account of himself in any other dramatic writer of any the first scene of John Bull, in which

he relates to his servant Dan his birth, There is one species of Drama for
parentage, and education, is perhaps which George Colman has a strong
the richest building up of delightful predilection, and which we do not
lies and humorous enormities in all very greatly admire, and that is,
Colman's works. What a birth! the sentimental, half humorous, and
What a parentage! What an educa- half musical play ; - such as the
tion! “He is brought up to the Mountaineers, the Surrender of Ca-
church,” for “ he opens the pew lais, the Battle of Hexham, and the
doors :” he is “ turned out for snoring Africans:-under this class indeed,
at sermon time,”—for “ he awakens but immeasurably inferior to its pre-
all the rest of the congregation !” decessors, comes the Law of Java.
What clusters of non sequiturs! Dan The anxiety to include all the talent
devours up his discourse with the of a theatre, must, we conjecture,
greediness of a Desdemona—but still have been the origin of this grasping
the house affairs and Mrs. Brulgrud- and unnatural style of writing: Mr.
dery call him thence. Pangloss's les- Young, Mr. Kemble, and Mr. Maa
son to Lord Duberly is certainly ano- thews, and Mr. Liston, were in the
ther and an admirable instance of out- receipt of salaries, and might as well
rageous and triumphant humour. The be employed to the utmost, and
broadignorance of the Peer, contrasted therefore, desperate blank verse and
with the pedantic and nice vanity and broad humorous prose were juma,
quickness of the Tutor, makes the bled together to allow of this assema,
finest display of absurdities possible. blage of tragic and comic actors on

Vol. V.

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the stage at once. The Mountaineers composed of captains of the guard, and the Surrender of Calais were the and flashy feeling dons :-and there best of these nondescripts, but they is a sort of Henry Augustus Mug in were written by their author in all an English servant, Pengoose, writthe freshness of his genius and his ten on purpose for Liston. With the youth. The Africans was a tame exception of this character, all else is and extravagant Opera, but the monstrous, tedious, and feeble ! dramatist was then old enough in Pengoose is a travelling servant of his mind for retirement. There is a Cambridge University, chosen by time when it is becoming in an actor some student as a valet, and left desto retire ; there is also a time when it titute at Amsterdam-to find his way is no less becoming in an author to about the world as he can. He is quit the stage. John Kemble and fond of making memoranda for a Tom Cribb have taken Nature's hint tour; and in these “ mems” consists and quitted their laborious and noble all the humour of the character professions ; — George Colman the Liston was admirably lax and ridicuyounger has come forward in his lous in the part, and his flat face later years, like Mendoza, to try a quite pointed all the blunt jokes of contest, with enfeebled powers, and to the author. The actors did their utsuffer a defeat.

most for the piece; they seemed The Law of Java is a musical, to remember George Colman the serio-comic piece, in three acts, with younger. Miss Tree was beautiful, very many characters, and few in- and pathetically powerful in her actcidents. In humour, in spirit, in ing of the Macassar wife; Miss Steoriginality, it is decidedly unfit to phens was lively as her friend. Jones be named with the previous works bustled through a young soldier with of its author, and we should have considerable adroitness, and Abbott been glad to see it published with looked portentous in the Emperor of another name.

In Colman's real Java. youth, he prefixed the name of Ar- The scenery was not remarkably thur Griffinhoof to some of his lively good; and we do not anticipate a productions, and now, as if in the long run for this “ Jast of the Roperversity of human nature, he glares mans." out his true name, on pieces which DRURY LANE THEATRE. Mr. Griffinhoof would have shudder- Mr. Kean has taken two new parts ed at. The plot, if plot it can be in the course of the last four weeks ; called which plot is none, is founded Don Felix in the Wonder, and Caron the distresses of a young native of dinal Wolsey in Henry the Eighth. Macassar and his wife, who fall into In the latter character, he wanted the hands of the Emperor of Java. dignity of person, although his soul The lady is an unconquerable lady at times towered to an immeasurable of the Emperor's Harem; and the height. In the former part, he was husband, in his visits to his better as gentlemanly, airy, and pleasant as half, is caught by the guards, and the most polished comedian we ever sentenced to death, which sentence is saw in the part. He played Don however commuted for a journey to Felix for the benefit of Miss Tidsthe poison tree, the common punish- well, who retired from the stage after ment of Javanese criminals. He forty years' hard service. RetireNickily meets with his father, a Her- ments begin to thicken. Liston is mit, at the entrance of the desert, going to quit ! Mathews is banishing and as happily obtains an urn of the himself to America (where he will un-Velno vegetable syrup, from a re- be lost !) - Mrs. Davison is taking a turning and dying criminal. The final benefit - Miss Tidswell is gone! hero and his papa get back to court-It is like a general shutting up of Jusť in time to save the youthful shops ; and we only wait for the wife, who is almost persecuted to a farewell addresses of Claremont and abplus. By an old law, it is disco- Chapman, to pull off our own critical vered that the Emperor is bound to eaps, and retire ourselves. Why do grant the criminal's request; and he, not certain Magazines make their of course, requests the life of Zaide, formal departures, and take benefits his wife! The reader knows the ses in their last numbers ! qüelThe intermediate scenes are



The vast quantity of materials Pietro and Lusignano (Begrez), near which this month presents to our

Damietta, Noraddin recalls his vow, choice almost “puzzles the will." and Pietro menaces a fresh punishSeldom, perhaps, has there been so ment in the destruction of the city much music « going” in London, by fire, which is immediately fuland certainly never more of novelty: filled. to the facts then without further pre- The fluctuating Noraddin is again face.

solicited in behalf of the Christians At the King's Theatre Mose in by Fatima, and she admits that a deEgitto has been metamorphosed and gree of conviction is mixed with her brought out (with some slight addi- fears of the Deity who works such tions from other works of Rossini) great marvels. Noraddin, seized under the title of Pietro l'Eremita, with alarm at the impending conand it is rendered very effective; no version of the Sultana, promises to contemptible proof of the power of hasten their departure, threatening situation and circumstance in aiding them at the same time with death if art, for, as an Oratorio at Covent they linger. The Sultana announces Garden, scarcely was there ever a this decree to Lusignano. more complete failure. “ O, Sir,” said this moment Orosmanes enters, and a conductor, as celebrated for his learns from his father the return of quaintness, aptitude, and power of an embassy, dispatched for the purillustration, as in the line of his pro- pose of demanding the hand of an fession, “ it is a great matter for a Arabian princess which has been man to be able to throw his arms and pledged to Orosmanes. He receives legs into a note,” and straightway this news, together with that of the Peter the Hermit starts up to confirm meditated departure of the Christians, the worthy conductor.

with the deepest melancholy. He The scene is laid in Egypt, about seeks to conceal Agia, but is ob the time of the tenth century, where served by Lusignano, who, at Piethe crusaders, prisoners of Noraddin tro's desire, communicates the cir(Zuchelli) are forbidden by him to de- cumstance to Fatima. She pursues part, and the land of Nile is covered the fugitives to their subterraneous with miraculous darkness, the Divine retreat, and brings them back. punishment for the persecution of The length of the opera here ocPietro (Cartoni) and the Christians. casions a considerable contraction of The scene is opened by Noraddin, the entire drama. Some of the scenes whose apprehensions are excited by are blended, much of the last part enthis visitation, and he promises the tirely omitted, and the catastrophe hermit to permit them to depart if changed. the light be restored. Light instant- The Christians and their opponents ly re-appears at the prayer of Peter. are all assembled, and Pietro is Orosmanes (Curioni), the son of threatened with death by Orosmanes, Noraddin, has secretly espoused A- who is himself struck dead by a gia (Madame Camporese), a Chris- thunderbolt at the moment when he tian convert; hence this prince, is'about to draw his sword to slay the agitated by the fear of losing his be- hermit. The grief of Noraddin and loved, represents Peter as a magi- Agia gives opportunity for some fine cian, and works upon his father to musical expressions, and the celebreak his promise, and to compel the brated prayer, Dal tuo stellato soglio, is Christians to remain. He contrives, abstracted from the omitted third by the assistance of his agent, Ismeno, act to conclude the piece. The geto excite a sedition, and the people neral effect of the music is, perhaps, demand the detention of the cap- more excellent than its particular tives.

parts, though it is commonly ege Noraddin yields to their importu- teemed to be among the best of Ros nities in spite of the entreaties of sini's works. It is certainly the finest Fatima (Madame de Begnis), his Sul- of any of his serious compositions tana. The Christians being assem- which have been performed in this bled for departure, under their leaders, country. The situations are often


highly productive of passion, and the lago is a rejected lover of Desdemusic is exceedingly expressive. Of mona, and le pretends to favour such a kind are the duets between Roderigo. At the return of Otello Orosmanes and Agia, Noraddin and from a triumphant expedition, ElmiFatima, and Noraddin and Orosma- ro proposes Roderigo as a husband

Some of the concerto pieces are to Desdemona, when her attachment also very beautiful.

to Otello is discovered. Iago, by Mi manca la voce, * and Dal tuo representing that a letter and a stellato soglio, are fine combinations handkerchief, sent by Desdemona to of melody and harmony. There are Otello, are intended for Roderigo, several duets, particularly one be- works upon the Moor to determine tween Noraddin and his son, in which on the murder of his wife, which Zuchelli manifested fine science. he accomplishes by stabbing her in Great praise is due to the singers. bed. Soon after, he is made acCamporese, in her recitatives, gave quainted with Iago's treachery, the magnificent proof of her expressive pardon of the senate for his marripower, and Curioni was very suc- age, and Elmiro's consent; every cessful. This opera introduced Sig- thing promises happiness, when he nor Zuchelli to an English audience, undraws the curtain, exposes to view who is a novelty of some rank. His the corpse of Desdemona, and plunges voice is a bass of most tremendous the dagger into his own heart. A volume and extensive compass, yet scream of horror from all the dramascarcely so fine in its quality as that tis persone concludes the piece, in a of Angrisani. He has considerable manner quite new to the Italian stage. flexibility, but excels most in the It is difficult to say which is the most sustained and declamatory parts. He powerful agent in this very effective is more defective in his shake than drama, the music, the situation, the any performer we ever heard. Sig- singing, or the acting; but we never nor Zuchelli appeared at one of the felt so thoroughly disposed to admit opera concerts, but the stage is the supremacy of musical tragedy as clearly his proper region.

upon this occasion. The acting of At the Ancient Concerts Handel's Madame Camporese, and of Curioni Why do the nations, and part of Poly-" (whose morning face, by the way, pheme's fine business were allotted to bears a very strong resemblance to him. Signor Zuchelli speaks English the busts of Shakspeare) was superb, better than most Italians (indeed he and their singing had more of true was born and remained some years feeling than we ever remember to in England), but the style seemed have witnessed since the days of Tranew to him, and he appeared to be mezzani in Sidagero, and of Grassini. alarmed and ill at ease. In the or- The music is extremely difficult of chestra he therefore sang to less execution, it is made up of divisions, advantage than on the boards of the and in compass is often terrible. It King's theatre.

has less of melody than is common Another new, and even more at- to Rossini. The translation of A tractive performance has been pro- poor Soul sat sighing, is heavy and duced in the Otello of Rossini, given tiresome, by the repetition of no less for Madame Camporese's benefit, on than four verses; nevertheless, the

Thursday last. The plot is consi- audiences of this house have very derably altered from that of Shak- seldom, indeed, felt so deep an inspeare. Otello is secretly married to terest in an opera. It will, we preDesdemona, the daughter of Elmiro, sume, supersede Pietro. a senator of Venice; she is designed Signora Cinti is arrived from Paris, for Roderigo, the son of the Doge. but has not yet appeared.


This it was that gave rise to the late dispute between the two prima donnas. Madame Camporese opens the piece with the solo, Mi manca la voce, which words were no sooner pronounced than Madame de Begnis whispered loud enough to be heard by the singer, E vero! and the harmony is said to have been enforced by a return box on the ear from Madame Camporese. This part of the story we doubt, for Madame Cam. porese is as dignified in her manners as elevated in her profession. Her singing powers are certainly exalted by every other requisite more than by voice. So far De Begnis was right.

beauty has hitherto been more cele- was or is to be found for new comers. brated than her singing.

Mr. Greatorex and Mr. Sapio were The opera subscription concerts compelled to share the same night. have begun, but have not met very The Philharmonic and the Opera great support. At the second, which Concerts have the alternate Montook place on the 6th of May, four days; the Ancient Concert and MaGerman females, Mesdemoiselles dame Catalani both take the WedFransma, Dessaur, F. Praga, and nesdays. But Madame Catalani E. Praga, sang a duet, an air, and rules supreme. At her nights there finale, in Italian and in German, but have been present never less than they had not been sufficiently culti- 1000 persons, and the orchestra has yated to please in a country where exhibited the novel appearance of the finest vocal talents of the world rows of ladies sitting rank above are at this moment concentrated. A rank upon the steps erected for the not less singular novelty was the in- musicians, who are seen to rise, as it troduction of a French comedy, Fron- were, out ofagrove of feathers, flowers, tin Mari garçon, between the acts of turbans and diamonds, which obscure the concert.

half their dimensions.

These conWe announced in our last report certs have little to recommend them, the performance of Messrs. Kiesewet- except the GREAT IDOL herself, and ter and Mazas, at the Philharmonic. whatever is superadded is listened to The former violinist appears to have with such lax attention, or rather improved in delicacy and in facility with such utter disregard, that it of execution, in which he is trans- were far better not to be in at all. cendant, even since last season. He Mr. Kellner, a bass singer, not abso is a great favourite with the profes- lutely new, but yet not much heard sion as well as the public. Mr. Ma- in London since his return from Italy, zas is powerful and rich in tone, and sang at the third. His comic duet altogether an artist of the first rank. with Begrez, All'idea di quel metnllo, At M. Sapio's benefit concert he was murdered by the slowness of played a concerto, wholly upon the the time in which it was played; and fourth string. This extraordinary indeed, it seemed, as Signor Arioconceit is, we are told, the invention nelli says of marriage, " quite out of of Paganelli, an Italian violinist, of his way." His voice is sound and whom report speaks in the highest good without being powerful, or interms. M. Mazas accomplished his deed in any circumstance distintask in a masterly manner; the sub- guished as pre-eminent. His manject Di tanti palpiti, was pleasing, ner is that of a man who understands the execution powerful, yet neat. thoroughly what he is about, but who He took the harmonics with great is a little too ambitious to display all truth of intonation, and with fine and more than all he is able to do. tone, and, upon the whole, we found Thus his Italian song was injudi. much to admire, where we expected ciously chosen, because it was cononly surprise. Mr. Lafont, another tinually deformed by notes in his falaccession to the violinists, is also sette, (which mixture poor Arnold come to England, and he purposes to used to call “ Bubble and squeak;") give a grand concert at the King's and his own composition, The Gonta Theatre in June. We have heard herd of Appenzel, had the same defect. him in private, and he has a fine At this moment, perhaps, there is no hand. His tone is particularly rich, place in the vocal department more and his playing is delicate in taste, necessary to be filled than that of a and elegant in fancy. He appears to principal bass singer ; and Mr. Kellavoid the extremes of execution, and ner seems to us to possess as many of is content with exhibiting a bold, the requisites as any of the candidates, finished, and classical style.

but his success will materially deThe Benefit Concerts have been pend upon his yielding his own preuncommonly numerous and of the possessions to the confirmed and esfirst order: never, perhaps, was there tablished predilections of his hearers, such a competition of talent. So nun and more especially to those of the merous indeed are the claimants for conductors of concerts. Of Madame public favour, that, since the first Catalani herself, we have so recently week in May, not a single open night spoken at large that we could scarce

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