« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
quate compensation. It is obvious, that at the time they considered the compensation adequate, or they would not have parted with the said lands. If a man sells his coat in summer time for a groat he has no right to reclaim it in winter because he did not receive a shilling. limitation of possession, to 2560 acres, has also very naturally given great offence to claimants of lands which, by their extent, would be sufficient to constitute a principality. We suspect they will meet with but little sympathy. Some restrictions were absolutely necessary to ensure the prosperity of the colony.
To enumerate, however, the various difficulties which beset the landquestion in New Zealand, and which led to the conflicts at Wairau and elsewhere, would be to reprint the voluminous evidence which was laid before the select committees of the Houses of Parliament. The agents of the New Zealand Company have, from interested motives, raised every possible obstacle to retard a settlement of these difficulties, and they have now enlisted an uninterested and philanthropic party, "The Society for the Protection of Aborigines," in their favour, at least so far as concerns increasing difficulties by wrangling for the rights of the natives. wish the colonists joy in their new allies; but we have no doubt in the ultimate success of the just and equitable views entertained by her majesty's government, however much in so antipodal a situation they may have been thwarted by missionaries, settlers, and natives alike.
The charter of 1846, which was intended to introduce an entire change in the administration of the affairs of New Zealand, both in regard to the substitution of municipal corporations in lieu of the legislative council, and other changes; and also in respect to the future regulations of the land-question, the duty of carrying out which devolved upon Governor Grey, gave also perpetuity to the first and original principle, that the queen was entitled in right of her crown to waste lands in this colony, and authorised the governor to alienate such lands. Captain Grey, who had succeeded to the government of this island of the Antipodes long after the natives had been educated in the new school of rights could, however, find no "waste" lands. The new bishop, who had also gone out as the representative of the philo-barbarians, was won over to sue for the universal claims of his intelligent and well-taught flock. The Aborigines Protection Society sought the opinions of Joseph Phillimore, Esq., D.C.L., and Shirley P. Woolmer, Esq., of the Middle Temple, barrister-at-law, and proclaimed the act to be" a monstrous proceeding towards the New Zealanders." Thus her majesty's government has been driven to make a point of expediency of what had been assumed all along, by every successive government, since British sovereignty was established in New Zealand, to be a right; and that simply owing primarily to procrastination and indecision, and secondarily to the intrigues of the interested, and the exertions of well-meaning but mischievous philanthropists.
* It is worthy of remark that the church missionaries paid at the rate of 3s. 4d. per acre; the government purchases are effected at the average rate of 3d. an acre, while the New Zealand Company claim about 20,000,000 of acres at about one half-penny per acre!
THE HABITUE'S NOTE-BOOK.
BY CHARLES HERVEY, ESQ.
A Contrast-Plunkett v. Fuoco-Odéon-Mademoiselle Céline Vallée-Les Colonnes de St. Marc-Mademoiselle Mila-" La Comtesse de Sennecey"-Madame Rose Chéri-Mademoiselle Melcy-"Il Signor Pascarello"- VaudevilleBilling and cooing.
THERE existed once, in the ancient and beautiful city of Paris, a spacious and handsome theatre, the favourite resort of the fairest, noblest, and wealthiest, of France's children. Princes of royal blood were among its habitués, and brilliant, indeed, was the assembly of beauty, rank, and fashion, congregated together within its walls. There did Dorus Gras pour forth her silvery strains, dwelling on note after note with surpassing sweetness; there did the impassioned Rosine Stoltz ever and anon electrify even the most insensible by some magnificent burst of vocal eloquence, which found its way to, because it sprang from, the heart. There did Carlotta, with one of her indescribably witching smiles, convert the refined silence of bon ton into a tempestuous enthusiasm which, without her, had lain dormant, and to which, Prometheus-like, she gave the vivifying spark! There did Adèle, the classical, the elegant Adèle, encircled by her attendant nymphs, bound with graceful lightness where Deep in the forest dell
The Sylphide loves to dwell,
scarcely touching the ground which so fondly courted the impress of her fairy foot.
Such was the Académie Royale de Musique.
The same theatre still exists in Republican Paris, as spacious and as handsome as of yore, but there the resemblance ceases. Scanty in number, and unaristocratic in appearance are its frequenters; the stranger's eye, in vain seeking "the glass of fashion and the mould of form," rests astonished upon the shako of the National Guard and the blouse of the patriot citizen. Dorus Gras, Stoltz, Carlotta, and Adèle, are gone, and with them the prosperity of the theatre and the delight of its habitués. The silent and breathless attention of former days has given place to murmurs any thing but flattering to their object, and hisses, which formerly not even Mademoiselle De Roissy herself could succeed in extracting from her well-bred though sorely tried auditory, are now directed fast and furious against the opera's "sole remaining joy"-the last link between past perfection and present mediocrity-Adeline Plunkett. Such is the Théâtre de la Nation.
But we have not done with it yet-bear-garden that it is-we intend showing up its cabaleurs, aye, and most properly too, and we have just picked out our most uncompromising steel-pen-one of the ne plus ultra magnum bonum sort-wherewith to chronicle their iniquities.
But, in order to do so categorically, we must go back to the first representation of "Nisida." Now those who have neither seen nor read an account of this ballet will doubtless thank us very much for informing them that the two leading female characters in it are sustained by Mademoiselles Maria and Plunkett (seniores priores), and that an incidental pas is danced in the course of the piece by Mademoiselle Sophie Fuoco. That being premised, we plunge at once in medias res.
Hardly had Adeline, with her joyous smile and graceful loveliness,
commenced the echo of one of her steps, when from divers parts of the house proceeded several unmistakeable chuts, intermingled with cries of "Fuoco! Fuoco!" just for all the world as if the theatre was on fire. Poor little Adeline, momentarily taken aback by this unwonted reception, was soon encouraged by the counter-applause of the main body of the audience to go on with her pas, which she did, smiling the more sweetly as the chuts became more persevering. Presently in bounded Fuoco on her toes, of course, like those ingenious ivory balancing figures which, knock them about as you will, always keep on one foot.
Now, though a pointe is in its way a very agreeable Terpsichorean feat, yet, like toujours perdrix or rice pudding every day, it is apt to pall on repetition; Madame Fuoco's admirers, however, appeared to be of a contrary opinion, for they never ceased clapping and crying bis until both their hands and their tongues were well-nigh exhausted. Thus stimulated, it is probable that the indefatigable Milanese would have contrived to keep the soles of her feet in the air a good quarter of an hour longer, had she not suddenly slipped, and-; rassurez-vous, she was up again in a moment, and toeing it away more vigorously than ever. Again did Adeline essay to conciliate her persecutors with her most winning smile and her most fascinating poses, and again did the chuts break out, but this time fainter and fewer in number than before, and almost drowned in the storm of applause which thundered from all parts of the house. Nay, more, with every fresh display of grace and loveliness, the fair Nisida advanced another step in public favour, and on the fall of the curtain, while Mademoiselle Fuoco, who had nothing to do in the last scene, was exchanging the tulle and gauze in which Sylphides delight, for the silk or barège of every-day life, the shouts for Plunkett (or as the French will call it, Plonkett), were deafening.
Well, now, this very becoming, very edifying, very creditable scene has been repeated (minus the tumble) more than once, and may possibly, have as many representations as the ballet. "Bataille!" exclaims Odette in "Charles VI.," and bataille it is! The feuds of Clairon and Dumesnil, of Georges and Duchesnois, of Bourgeoin and Volnais, of Mars and Mante, of Rachel and Maxime are revived in the persons of Plunkett and Fuoco! Beauty and grace on the one hand, equilibrium, like a spoon on the edge of a tea-cup, on the other! Here, a pretty face, a symmetrical form, a charming naïveté-there, pointes! pointes !! pointes !!! Brussels against Milan, Adeline against Sophie! I am for Adeline! Et vous?
Some of my readers may yet remember a pleasing actress, who, during the season of 1847 became a deserved favourite with the frequenters of the St. James's Theatre-Mademoiselle Céline Vallée. This agreeable jeune première has recently enrolled herself, syren-like, among the exiles of the Odéon, making of that whilom wilderness a veritable Lurleyberg.
Messieurs les étudiants
S'en vont à la Chaumière,
are words now meaningless and unintelligible, as the père Lahire will tell you if you ask him. What with les evènemens and Céline, la Grande Chaumière is now a hundred times too big for its visitors; why, the dancing ring alone would hold them all, aye, and the montagnes Russes into the bargain.
Seriously, the most enterprising Hadji never undertook a pilgrimage with half the zeal that inspires these modern devotees. Onward they
march, untired and undismayed, towards that lonely sepulchre, where repose Agnès de Méranie" and "Le Dernier Figaro ;" nor do they faint by the way. For even, as in the great Sahara, the wearied voyager's eye lights occasionally on a refreshing and verdant oasis, so the wanderer in the desert of the Odéon is sure to discover-and oh! how precious is the discovery!-une fraîche et charmante Vallée.
Another clever actress and pretty woman is Mademoiselle Eugénie St. Marc, formerly of the Vaudeville, and now of the Variétés, who shared Lafont's popularity in London some two or three years ago. She lives with her mother in the Rue des Colonnes, a short street leading from the Rue de la Bourse, with arcades on both sides, like those at Berne and Bologna. Madame St. Marc, fait des mariages, introduces young men to rich parties, and vice- Versailles, as Levassor says, advertises in the Entr'acte and other newspapers, and being a lady full of prudence and forethought, derives many a snug per centage from her hymeneal labours. And yet, though dwelling under the same roof, there is little professional sympathy between mother and daughter, for while the one joins hearts the other breaks them (Mademoiselle Eugénie, you owe me one for that). I remember standing not long ago with a facetious friend at the corner of the Rue de la Bourse, from whence a view of the Etablissement St. Marc is obtainable.
"Il me semble," said he, "que je suis à Venise."
It will not do, Mademoiselle Mila! You may nod your head and look as naïve as you will; you may open your eyes so wide that you can hardly shut them again; you may wear pink-ribboned caps, and arrange your bandeaux so as just to leave your ears visible, but you will never make the habitués of the Gymnase mistake you for Désirée. Nature has given you a piquant profile, but you cannot always be fixing your eyes on the little loge grillée behind the scenes, you must sometimes show the public your full face, and then-no, no, Mademoiselle Mila, take my advice, consult your La Fontaine, and when you come to the fable of the ox and that ambitious tenant of the marsh, whose appearance is far more prepossessing in a fricassee than au naturel, apply the moral to your own case. You will find that cap fit you far better than Mademoiselle Désirée's.
The Praslin tragedy has partly supplied Messrs. Bayard and Dennery with materials for a very stirring and effective piece, "La Comtesse de Sennecey." However much one may regret the fresh publicity thus given to so melancholy a history, it is impossible to help admiring the consummate tact with which this repulsive subject has been cotoyé and effleuré by the experienced dramatists alluded to. Their Comte de
Sennecey's worst fault is inconstancy; that of his wife an extreme jealousy, suggested by the over-fond susceptibility of love. Misled by false appearances, and believing the comte to be more guilty than he really is, Madame de Sennecey attempts self-destruction, and escaping, thanks to the timely interposition of a watchful friend, recovers to find her repentant husband at her feet. This happy dénouement somewhat justifies the title given to the piece of comédie-vaudeville, although up to almost the close of the last act there was such a constant weeping and sobbing among the fairer portion of the audience, especially in the
balcon, as I have never seen equalled since "Clarisse Harlowe." As I beheld one laced handkerchief after another brought into requisition, I could not for the life of me help thinking what a capital thing a perpetual succession of pieces like the "Comtesse de Sennecey" would be for the blanchisseuses de fin.
Bressant plays the count-as he plays every part he undertakesadmirably, and Rose Chéri makes so loving and loveable a countess that one is apt to pity the man's taste who forsakes her for that handsome, si vous voulez, but inanimate statue, Mademoiselle Melcy. Eh, dear! as they say in Cheshire, how that once pleasing actress is changed for the worse! From constantly copying Rose Chéri even to the minutest inflexions of her voice, she has lost the ingenuous naïveté and really graceful manner she once possessed, and has degenerated into a mere plagiarist,-cold, stiff, and mechanical. Unfortunately, the imitation mania has, during the last two or three years, spoiled many a promising débutante of this theatre; the two types proposed as copies have been Rose Chéri and Désirée, and there is hardly a single actress at the Gymnase, on the sunny side of thirty, who does not fancy herself an Irène, or a Babiole. Rose Chéri, Desirée-Desirée, Rose Chéri-C'est toujours la même note.
By the way, and pour mémoire, the son and heir of the Comtesse de Sennecey, is personated by a tiny fellow of the name of Edmond, who is, without any exception, the merriest, archest, and cleverest little chap I ever saw on any stage. He seems a general favourite both before and behind the curtain, and I don't wonder at it.
Most of the theatres are looking up, notwithstanding the elections. I was at the Opéra Comique last night, and had as much difficulty in getting a place as in the palmy days of "Les Mousquetaires de la Reine;" and yet, if ever there was a stupid opera, both as regards music and plot, it is "Il Signor Pascarello." Three long, dreary acts, only lightened by some couplets sung by Mocker, and a grand air marvellously vocalisé by Louise Lavoye, attired as a fountain-nymph. Look to your laurels, Madame Damoreau !
Dear old Vaudeville! once more thou art about to open thy doors, and this time under better auspices than thou hast known for many a long Now may'st thou sing,
Ah! de ce jour c'est une autre existence,
Nay, perhaps, ere these lines find their way into print, the curtain may have risen upon thy opening prologue, of which I already know enough to augur its success. Then will appear in turn all the ancient triumphs of the Rue de Chartres, Madame Albert as Madame Grégoire, Madame Thénard as Marie Mignot, Mademoiselle Caroline Bader as Fanchon la Vieilleuse, Mademoiselle Potel, clever little Pauline Potel, as Cendrillon, and then-shades of Barré, Radet, and Desfontaines, exult at the welcome tidings!-Madame Doche as Kettly.
Yes, here at least, in spite of the Republic, la Montagne, trees of liberty and the Icarian M. Cabet himself,
The Queen shall have her own again!
Paris, Sept. 21, 1848. P.S. More work for Hymen! M. Charles Ponchard, son of the Ponchard, to Mademoiselle Cecile Pijon d'Halbert. Coo away, my pretty doves!