Imatges de pÓgina



dead, and a laceration of the feelings of the living. Without, therefore, enlarging upon a discussion that can end in no possible good, it is enough to know, and too much to record, that at twenty minutes to twelve on Friday, September 26, 1836, died, at the Moseley Arms Hotel, Manchester, the greatest vocal genius, in my humble opinion, the world has yet possessed, Madame Malibran. Whenever memory recurs to that distressing period, I can almost fancy I hear, knowing her temperament so well, the choking expression of the dying cygnet, (addressed to her wretched partner,)" Je m'étouffe, o mon cher ami;” and at the age of twenty-eight, with, lying in her path, a forest of laurels yet ungathered, and a mine of gold yet undug. Pretty farce this life!

The various rumours afloat at the time created such a lively sympathy on the immediate spot, that the attention of Mr. Rutter, the coroner, was attracted, which led to that gentleman's waiting on the subcommittee appointed to conduct her funeral, to deter"d'en connoître une partie, afin qui'l puisse bien juger ses véritables "amis. Il est heureux, Monsieur, de vous compter de ce nombre.

"Agréez, Monsieur, l'expression de ma reconnaissance particulière pour l'affection que vous aviez pour ma pauvre sœur chérie, et que "vous conservez à mon malheureux frère.


"C. DE FROMEQUIN, née de BERIOT." "P. S.-Charles vous réservera le souvenir que vous réclamez.



"Directeur de Théâtre de Drury Lane, London."

The postscript refers to my request for a ring of trifling value, as a memento of one it were impossible to forget; but neither ring nor answer have I received from Monsieur de Beriot, up to this very hour.


mine the propriety or otherwise of holding a coroner's inquest. Their report of the facts connected with the illness of Madame de Beriot was read to Mr. Rutter, who acted very properly in the discharge of his duty, and, from a consideration of them, it was evident that no grounds whatever existed for taking so decided a step. Having been favoured with a copy of the committee's report, I deem it a document of such peculiar interest, as to justify my giving it a place:


In consequence of the melancholy decease of Madame Malibran de Beriot, a general meeting of the committee for conducting the late festival was convened on Monday last; the Boroughreeve in the chair.

The meeting was most numerously attended. The deepest sympathy was evinced on the occasion, and one unanimous opinion expressed, that the musical world had, by her death, been deprived of its greatest ornament and pride.

Mr. Beale having stated to the committee that the duty of superintending and conducting the funeral had been committed to him by Monsieur de Beriot, it was the universal feeling of the meeting that the responsibility should be shared by the whole committee, and that the funeral should be conducted in such a manner as, while it avoided all unnecessary parade and ostentation, might bespeak the general

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sympathy and regret which were felt for the untimely fate of the departed.

A sub-committee was appointed for the purpose of making arrangements for the funeral, and the Warden and Fellows very liberally offered a resting-place for her remains in the collegiate church.

The committee, participating in the interest which must be felt respecting the close of the life of one so eminent in her profession, connected also as it is with the late festival, which in every circumstance attending it, with this one sad exception, was prosperous and gratifying, felt that they should be discharging their duty by giving to the world an authentic narrative of the facts which occurred during Madame Malibran de Beriot's attendance at the festival. For this purpose the evidence of those most intimately connected with the proceedings has been carefully collected, and the following statement is the result of such inquiry.

Madame Malibran de Beriot arrived in Manchester on Saturday, the 10th of September, after a hurried journey from Brussels. She did not attend either of the rehearsals on Monday, on the ground of indisposition, but she was present at the first performance at the church on Tuesday morning, and soon after her arrival there she had an attack of illness which made it doubtful whether she would be able to sing on that morning. She was strongly pressed by gentlemen of the musical committee to call in medical assistance,



but she declined it; and as it was thought that her indisposition was of a temporary nature, she proceeded, when she was in some degree recovered, to sing her first song, "Holy, holy." With how much expression she sang that song, those who have heard it will not soon forget.

Her next song, " Deh parlate," she also sang with her accustomed excellence.

Her performances on Tuesday evening were executed with her usual éclat, though evident traces of indisposition still remained.

On Wednesday morning she sang the song allotted to her without much apparent exertion or distress, and on that morning the duet "Qual anelante," in which she sang, was repeated, to her great delight. She said, "I wish to sing that again for Clara's sake," Miss Novello being a great favourite with Madame Malibran de Beriot, and acquitting herself highly in that duet.

At the concert on Wednesday evening she appeared well able to sustain her part, though evidently labouring under indisposition; and when the duet of Mercadante's, sung with Madame Caradori, was received with such rapturous applause, and elicited from the great majority a loud encore, (though some of the more judicious part of the audience thought she had better be spared,) she did not hesitate for a moment, but instantly expressed her readiness to repeat it. The duet, as repeated, was sung by her, as well as by Madame Caradori, with in

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creased exertion, and when in the last triumphant shake she almost electrified the audience, many felt for her what she would not anticipate for herself that she was exerting herself beyond her physical strength. But her high spirit carried her away; and she evinced her general character when she declared immediately afterwards, that whilst she was on the stage her spirit surmounted all difficulties.

Madame Malibran de Beriot was very soon afterwards observed to be seriously unwell, and then, at the solicitation of the committee, and with the assent of Monsieur de Beriot, medical aid was sought for. Dr. Bardsley, and Mr. Worthington, surgeon, being amongst the audience, were called in by one of the committee, and most zealously tendered their services. She was found to be in a feverish state, and apprehensions were entertained of a premature confine


Immediate bleeding was resorted to, to allay the great pain and tenderness occasioned by pressure. The hope of her appearing again that evening was abandoned, and an intimation to that effect was publicly made by one of the committee.

On the Thursday morning the Boroughreeve, Mr. Macvicar, waited on Madame Malibran de Beriot to inquire after her health, and to ascertain whether she would be able to sing on that morning, stating at the same time his wish that she should by no means run any risk to gratify the wishes of the public. She expressed the greatest desire to sing, but was in the

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