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great artist, like a great poet, must be born so; and it is his proud distinction from the votaries of pursuits less connected with the highest powers of the intellect and the imagination. But, although no man of transcendent genius may have been reared under the auspices of the British Institution, the country owes to that Institution, (in its character of an auxiliary to the Royal Academy,) a number of artists, of respectable talent in all those departments of the art, which, if not the most elevated, are among the most pleasing; and which exercise on society an influence of very beneficial tendency. Those, however, (and we own ourselves to be among the number,) who, although they esteem, are not satisfied with this amiable mediocrity, and are solicitous that England shall be rendered as immortal by the triumph of her arts, as she has been by that of her arms, must consider it the chief praise of the Directors of the British Institution, and a high and legitimate praise it is, that they have diffused and are continuing to diffuse in the country, by their annual exhibitions of fine old pictures, (notwithstanding the partial objection to which, as we have already hinted, those exhibitions are liable,) a general understanding and feeling of the true objects and principles of art; so that, whenever that extraordinary union of the qualities, "rare in their separate excellence, wonderful in their combination," which constitute a GREAT artist shall happily again occur, he may, perhaps, find among his countrymen a disposition and a power to estimate his value and second his efforts; and may not like Wilson, one of the finest landscape painters, if not the finest landscape painter who ever lived, be compelled to accept the post of a librarian for the sake of eking out his scanty income, by the paltry salary annexed to that office. Like Hogarth, the inventor of a style of art entirely original, and as striking as new, be driven, and driven in vain, to endeavour to dispose of so immortal a work as the Marriage-ala-Mode by raffle; or like Proctor, as promising a sculptor as any country, ancient or modern, ever boasted, be induced, in a paroxysm of generous indignation at the neglect which
he experiences, to dash into a thousand fragments the most classical and finished groupe that ever proceeded from an English chissel.
At the present season that part of the plan of the British Institution, which opens the gallery as a school for painting, is in operation. In order to prevent the interruption which the students would otherwise experience, no stranger is admitted to the gallery, unless accompanied by a Director of the Institution. We had the pleasure of visiting it in the course of the last month, and were highly gratified. It seems to be admirably regulated. Above thirty of the pictures, which formed the last exhibition, remain for the benefit of the students. The greater part are the property of his Majesty. Among them are the celebrated "Adoration of the Shepherds," by OLD PALMA, one of the best specimens existing of the peculiar quali ties of the Venetian school; the charming group of "Prince Charles James, Duke of York, and the Princess Mary, children of King Charles the First," by VANDYKE; the fine equestrian "Portrait of the Archduke Albert," by RUBENS; "The Cascades at Tivoli," by G. POUSSIN, a landscape of singular richness and harmony; and "A Female listening," by MAES, the contrasted depth and splendour of which render it difficult to believe that the sun is not absolutely shining on the canvas. There are several other excellent pictures by TITIAN, CORREGGIO, TINTORETTO, DOMENICHINO, PROCACCINI, CARLO DOLCE, VONDEVELDE, TENIERS, &c. The students are numerous, many of them ladies; and we were much pleased at observing the quiet enthusiasm, if we may be allowed such an expression, with which they were pursuing their interesting labours. Some admirable studies have already been completed, and others are in progress; but it would be extremely invidious and improper to enter at present into any detailed notice of them. When the period, allotted for the purpose of making these studies, expires, they will be exhibited for a few days together, with the original pictures, for the inspection and satisfaction of the Directors of the Institution and their friends; and we may then,
perhaps, be tempted to offer a few additional remarks on the subject.
One word before we conclude. We have heard with much pain, but we have heard it from so many quarters that we feel it impossible wholly to discredit the statement, that considerable jealousy has been manifested by some of the members of the Royal Academy, towards the British Institution; and that it has been pretty distinctly intimated to those artists, who study or exhibit in the gallery of the Institution, that they must not expect to participate in the honours of the Academy. That this disposition is not universal among the Members of the Academy we are persuaded, for that body contains many individuals of the most liberal principles and character; and, in fact, the exhibitions at the British Institution are occasionally enriched with some of the productions of Academe
cians themselves. We lament, however, that so unworthy a feeling should be cherished in a single breast. It may be that the Directors of the British Institution have not treated the Royal Academicians, as a body, with the respect and deference that are due to their necessarily superior knowledge and judgment on the subject of the arts of which they are the professors. If so, it is by no means creditable to the good sense of those gentlemen. But, whatever may be the unfortunate origin of the existing dissension, we entreat both the Royal Academy and the British Institution to recollect that they are engaged in a common cause a cause in which the real and permanent glory of the country is materially involved; and that they ought not to allow any occurrence of a petty and temporary nature to damp the ardour of their mutual efforts.
VELUTI IN SPECULUM."
WHILE the King's Theatre, Drury Lane, and Covent Garden remain closed,many novelties cannot reasonably be expected, though the summer theatres in general supply their fair proportion both of new pieces and new performers, considering their means and opportunities. The Hay-market, in particular, has been remarkable for its activity since its first foundation, and though the excellent company, with which it contrived to meet the present season, interfered necessarily with the introduction of provincial talent, except in one or two instances, the prolific pen of Mr. Dibdin has kept up its reputation for industry in the department of composition. His last effort was the opera of Morning, Noon, and Night, which still continues its run, though by no means entitled to rank among his best performances. The principal merit of this writer consists in grouping together a variety of incidents and characters, so as to keep the mind in a continual state of expectation, and hurry the spirits from one scene
to another with something like the velocity of a pantomime. His faults are for the most part the faults of haste, for we should scarcely be justified in erying out against his incessant propensity to punning, when it is considered that he never enters the province of the regular drama, and consequently never provokes the application of strict criticism to the style of his whimsical ebullitions. There is, however, one defect in his new piece which cannot be excused upon any ground of privilege, while prespicuity in speaking and writing continues to form one of the indispensible conditions of human intercourse and enjoyment. The plot is so confused as to be quite unintelligible. It is true that some even of our best tramatists have occasionally deviated into a sort of ingenious intricacy, as if from a desire to exercise the understandings of their auditors, and to show how near they could touch upon obscurity without absolutely falling into the pit; but the author of Morning, Noon, and Night, seems rather to have missed his
way, than involved it, so that there is no hope of discovering a glimpse of light by any effort to follow his track in the labyrinth. For the reason already stated, namely, the unpretending nature of dramas of this description, we refrain from entering into any particular examination of the style. There are some laughable hits interspersed through the dialogue, and some passages that must rank under the head of clap traps; and it is to these circumstances combined with such talents as Messrs. Liston, Terry, Jones, &c. are known to possess, that we must ascribe the success which has hitherto attended its representations. The music, too, inust come in for some share of the credit, though it did not strike us as containing many original passages. It was agreeable, however, and sometimes even impressive. It therefore, deserves to be commended, especially when we consider that music furnishes a greater number of instances in which plagiarism, and clumsy plagiarism too, can be esta blished, than either of the sister arts, where the charge, though more frequent, is less tenable.
Another novelty, produced on the same boards, was a farce entitled Family Jars. One would expect from the title, that it abounded in those smart duets between some married pair, which the wits of all countries, whether in candour or in malevolence, concur in enumerating among the indulgences of the happy state. But the author, under consideration, presents us not with quarrels and bickerings, but with adventures and mistakes. The plot, which is simple and perspicuous, has also the advantage of possessing some good comic situations, and in those two points consists the whole merit of this amusing trifle. With out entering into particulars we may describe the story as growing out of the embarrassment of two
fathers, one the master, the other the servant, whose sons have married unknown to them, and who mistake respectively their daughters-in-law, each supposing the other to be his own. Hence arise a number of diverting blunders and many opportunities for equivoque, in which the dialogue abounds. Old Porcelain, the master, was performed by Mr. Terry, in that style of dry humour for which he is remarkable.-Delph, the servant, was Mr. Liston's character, and he gave it all the force of the broadest comedy; nor was Mr. Oxberry behind hand, in exhibiting the ridiculous peculiarities of his love-smitten son. Upon the whole, it was admirably got up. In this, as in the former instance, the author was considerably indebted to the performers, who exerted themselves with the most anxious perseverance. It still continues to reward their labours, by attracting the applause and laughter of successive audiences. We may notice the favourable reception of this little Piece, as a strong instance of the importance of situation. Nothing can be more meagre than the composition. Not one of the characters has a single witty or humorous expression to deliver; but the awkward predicament in which every one is placed, prepares the audience to laugh at the most vapid peculiarities which bear the slightest reference to their condition. There is one injury, and, perhaps, only one, resulting from the success of such Pieces. It has a tendency to confirm the Managers in a notion, to which they seem more than sufficiently inclined already, the notion that stage effect is a matter not only distinct from, but in many instances opposed to, the graces of literary composition. There needs but a small addition to this barbarous prejudice, to banish elegance of thought and diction altogether from the stage.
ENGLISH OPERA HOUSE.
Nothing worthy of remark has taken place at this Theatre during the last month, but the contrivances adopted to render the Opera of Gil Blas attractive. We gave, in our last Number, an account of the Piece itself, but our readers will learn with surprise, that what was originally
produced as an Opera, in five acts, is, at length, metamorphosed into an Opera of two acts. This is "cutting and slashing" with a vengeance.
It must be confessed, at the same time, that the general effect has been much improved by this extensive curtailment.
Mr. Colman's Opera of Incle and Yarico has been performed, and cast in a manner which reflected much credit on the strength of the Company. Mr. Bartley sustained the part of Governor of Barbadoes with considerable talent. His spirited reproach of the sordid Incle was, if not the very best, one of the best efforts we remember to have witnessed from this gentleman. Miss Kelly's Yarico was full of that mild tenderness and
enthusiasm which belong to the part. Miss Povey in Wowski exerted her delightful voice and playful manner to the manifest satisfaction of the audience; and Mr. Wilkinson's grave humour enabled him to moralize, as the servant of Incle, with appropriate simplicity. The house seems to increase in popularity, and is likely to advance in public estimation, as the talents of the Company become better known.
FOREIGN POLITICAL DIGEST.
The Sieur Maillard, condemned to death by a Council of War, has been executed at Bayonne, according to his sentence. As he marched to the place of execution, he sang, Mourir pour sa patrie est le sort le plus beau, le plus digne d'envie. He died with great firmness. General Berton,
Caffé, Sangé, H. Fradin, and Senechault, have been sentenced to death and executed: all the others were found guilty of not revealing the plot, and sentenced to various terms of imprisonment. Berton was a man of strong nerves and coarse mind, and always remarked for a cynical turn. He was distinguished as a most active partizan in the peninsular war; a kind of European Buccaneer, a man of brute courage, impenetrable sang-froid, and had a total disregard of consequences.
On the 12th instant, the Assize Court of Paris was occupied with the case of four newspapers-the Constitutionnel, Courier Français, Pilote, and Journal du Commerce, charged by the Advocate-General with infidelity and bad faith in their reports of the proceedings on the trial of the Rochelle Conspiracy.On the part of the Advocate-General, no proofs were adduced of the incorrectness of the reports. His Deputy contended, that as the AttorneyGeneral was part of the Court, his mere declaration that the passage was incorrect and malicious, was sufficient. The Counsel for the journals offered to bring witnesses to prove that the reports were correct. The Court refused to hear any witnesses, and sentenced M. Guise, the Editor of the Constitutionnel, and
M. Faucillon, the Editor of the Journal du Commerce, to one year's imprisonment, and a fine of 5,000 francs; M. Legracieux, the Editor of the Courier Français, to six months' imprisonment, and a fine of 3,000 francs; M. Cassano, the Editor of the Pilote, to one month's imprisonment, and a fine of 1,000 francs. The four journals are also forbidden to publish any reports of judicial proceedings-the two former for the space of a year; the third for six months; and the last for three months and they are condemned in costs. This proceeding was instituted under the new law against the Press, passed in March last.
General Quiroga has been appointed to the command of Galicia; General Vives to Old Castile; and other tried patriots to two other provinces. General Morillo has resigned the command of the First District, and has been succeeded by General Copons. M. Casa - Irujo, the Spanish Minister at the Court of France, has been recalled, and the Duke de San Lorenzo is to be his successor. Since the unsuccessful insurrection of the Royal Guards, on the 7th July, the Archbishop of Saragossa, the Bishops of Malagar and of Ceuta, have been sentenced to banishment. The Duke del Infantado has been banished to the Canaries; the Marquis de las Amarillas to Ibiza; and the Count d'Espiletta to Seville. The King, by the express desire of his Ministers, has ordered the Convocation of the Extraordinary Cortes for the 25th instant (Sept.) General Elio,
well known for his bloody persecutions of the Patriots of Valencia, has suffered death by the garote. Several of the provinces are still in a disturbed state, although the issue of the insurrection of the King's Guard has depressed the hopes of the Servile party, and left the friends of the Constitution without any fears for the future. This confidence has been still further increased by various successes, gained by the Constitutional troops, under the commands of the Empecinado, General Don Zarco de Valle, and Col. Tabuenea, over the Army of the Faith, under Quesada, the band of Urango, the Insurgents commanded by the Trappist, &c. It is said that Quesada, suspected of treachery, was conducted by his own troops, bound hand and foot, to the fort of Iraty, in order to be tried. More than 1000 of the Army of the Faith, after their defeat, de serted to the Constitutional forces.
On the 26th of August, two letters from the Prince Regent in Brazil to the King his father were communicated to the Cortes, by order of his Majesty. In these letters the Prince declared, that he had adhered to what the inhabitants of Brazil wished, the greater part of the provinces having already recognized him as their perpetual defender, and having made manifest their desire to proclaim his Majesty Emperor of the United Kingdom, and himself King of Brazil.
The Cortes have issued an Address to the people of Brazil, in which are set forth the advantages which the latter will derive from being united to Portugal. The Cortes declare, that the Brazilians will enjoy all the blessings of freedom in common with the Portugueze; that an authority delegated from the king always reside in Brazil, to prevent the inconveniences which might arise from the distance between the countries; and that the power and glory of both can be consulted only by their remaining united under one monarchy.
Great preparations of all kinds are making at Verona for the approaching Congress. Every stranger, who desires to remain there during the Congress, must prove that
he is attached to one of the ministers or in his office; or, if he cannot do that, he must prove that he is under the special protection of one of the great powers.
The Emperor set out from Vienna on the 7th inst. (Sept.) at eight o'clock in the morning, for Wakersdorf to receive his august guest the emperor of Russia. At noon the two monarchs entered the city. The Emperor Alexander had requested that he might not be received with ceremony. It appears that the two emperors will not set out for Italy before the middle of September: thus the Congress will not open before the beginning of October.
Since our last number the news from this interesting country has been very contradictory, and we have very little to state that can be relied upon. After the misfortunes of the Turkish fleet in the canal of Chio, it sailed for Tenedos, pursued by the Greeks; and, being found unfit for longer service, took refuge in the Dardanelles. The Greeks cut off three small vessels in the chace. However victorious the Greeks have been by sea, it appears there is too much reason to believe that they have experienced reverses by land, and that Corinth, the key to the Peloponnesus, has fallen into the hands of the Turks through treachery. These reverses are confirmed by the fact of the Greeks having raised a lery en masse, since the capture of Corinth. A proclamation of the Provisional Government, dated Machata, July 19, and signed by Prince Maurocordato, calls upon all the male Greeks, from 16 to 60 years of age, to assemble in arms, and repair to the post of danger in the present crisis of affairs, under penalty of the loss of their rights of citizenship, and the sale of their property for the public benefit. All Greeks, who have taken refuge in the Ionian Islands, are summoned to return to the defence of their country, under the penalties of expatriation and confiscation. If, however, we may believe the latest accounts, these reverses have been succeeded by a signal victory gained by the Greeks over the Turks, headed