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WHEN some six or eight years ago, M. Jullien put on his broad white waistcoat, and got up promenade concerts at Drury Lane, with now and then a condiment of red fire, when the quadrilles represented any thing particularly dreadful-we rejoiced to see him. We liked to behold his complacent countenance, to watch the motion of his hand, when he soothed down his band into piano, and his frantic ecstasies when he stirred them up to forte; and when the great man descended from his throne (on which occasionally he stood, when something very tremendous was going on), and imitated the note of the nightingale on a little thing called the piccolo, our delight knew no bounds. The act seemed to us not only clever but magnanimous;—we were reminded of Agesilaus playing with his children.
Therefore we wished every success to this mighty Jullien-but we little thought what we were doing. We little dreamed what a spirit of destruction was concealed beneath that white waistcoat and bland smile. As a whole poultry-yard is stricken with terror at the appearance of a hawk in the atmosphere, so do managers in the immediate vicinity of Drury Lane tremble when they hear that the Prince of Conductors is about to
At the Lyceum light pieces are put on the stage in an exquisitely beautiful manner, and are acted to perfection. John Reeve the younger is, to be sure, somewhat of a crude personage, but then he is the son of John Reeve the elder, and has, therefore, a prescriptive right to be deemed comical. The manager by no means desires those ugly gaps that are to be seen here and there on the benches of the pit. The people ought to be packed close-close-close, without interstices. To the question asked, "What has become of the absentees?" The answer is, "Gone to Jullien's."
At the Olympic, which has weathered several storms, and where as nice a little working company has been collected as you would desire to see- -(Mrs. Stirling's vivacity is charming)-one begins to find that "audience" is any thing but a noun of multitude. What is the cause of this?-Oh, every body has gone to Jullien's.
At Covent Garden, the manager tempts the public with a new Norma -Mademoiselle Nissen-and tries to make it think that Auber's "Haidée" is amusing, in spite of its obstinate incredulity on that head. However, with all the magnificent entertainments of this establishment, it has been found necessary to lower prices. The alleged reason is, of course, a disinterested desire to let the inhabitants of the metropolis have the most exquisite enjoyment at the lowest possible price. We are even taught to believe, that the money-takers have a rabid predilection for taking five shillings instead of seven. Nothing can be more natural. The less money you take, the less trouble you have in counting it-a clear saving of labour. But, perhaps, we may find another cause, if we peep into Drury Lane, and see the baton of M. Jullien, and hear the Cornet-àpiston of Herr König. Why will you be so dreadfully attractive, M. Jullien? Let us grant that you and that grand fascinator, Herr König, may draw, with
your own proper force, as many folks as you please, but why must you unite three or four military bands and tell them all to join in playing the "National Anthem?" Loyalty becomes your ally, and the AntiChartist looks on you as his symbol. It is such glorious sport for those who loyally take their hats off to "bonnet" those who disloyally keep their hats on. There will be a Jullien button next, as a sign of devotion to peace and order. Doubtless, your attractive powers are felt even as far as Oxford Street, and Mademoiselle de Roissy, the heroine of the Princess's, looks with apprehension on you as a sort of male Adalgisa.
But there is an exquisitely feminine countenance, which expresses no terror at counter-attractions. We mean the countenance of Mrs. Charles Kean, whose Viola is one of the most charming performances imaginable. The calm, deep affection written on those features, and modulating that gentle voice, pass all power of description, so much is done with so little effort, and with such extreme delicacy. The "Keans" have given a new impetus to the fortunes of the Haymarket, and that at a very critical period, and the house has been exceedingly well attended since the revival of "Twelfth Night." Although one or two of the Haymarket luminaries have quitted the establishment, there is excellent material in the company, which is now first beginning to be developed. There is Mr. Wigan, a gentleman of education and original thought, who, despising stage-conventionalities, can dare to make constructions of his own, and put up with the censure he may receive on that account. Miss Reynolds, by many deemed a beauty, can give a very graceful representation of the ladies in comedy, while she is a lively supporter of burlesque. As an efficient actor of small, and not very thankful, characters, there is Mr. Rogers, a burly-looking gentleman, with a great deal of the conscientious artist in his nature. The old standard names of Keeley (masculine and feminine), Webster, &c., of course retain their strength.
The Adelphi Theatre is a safe little port into which the winds of adversity are unable to blow,-even if they try to come through the cornet-à-piston of Herr König. To a large portion of the London public, there is a charm in the comic improvisations of Mr. Wright, and the rotundity (both of figure and voice) of Mr. Paul Bedford, to which no other entertainment offers an equivalent. At no theatre is there a company in which there are so many "pets" as at the Adelphi. We need only give the names, Wright, Bedford, O. Smith, Celeste, Woolgar, as a proof of the assertion. M. Jullien may set his five military bands puffing at this little fortress with all their might and main, but the walls are thick and the mortar is firm, and the edifice will not tumble.
Do our readers expect us to open our budget of secrets, and tell them all we know about the Windsor theatricals? With due deference, although our knowledge on this subject is something vast, we intend to keep it within our own bosoms, and take upon ourselves the personal risk of exploding. We would only just say, that no persons now in England, whether their histrionic or social position be regarded, could be so properly set at the head of the royal theatricals as Mr. and Mrs. Charles Kean.
Oh Jullien! Jullien to return to you again,-last year you tried to convince us that you were a friend to the drama, but now you sweep away the theatrical audiences, you will make us think that you are "Julian the Apostate."
THE YOUNG COUNTESS.*
THE interest of the "Young Countess," is made to depend upon materials of a slighter texture than usual with Mrs. Trollope. A young and beautiful widow-an Austrian countess of great wealth-invites a party to her château, where she has hitherto lived almost in seclusion, with a fair and gifted protegée, Caroline de Marfeld, and the zest of the story is made to depend upon the love borne by the countess for a certain Count de Hermanstadt, and the jealousy she experiences, and not without reason, for the preference given by the count to Caroline.
This is certainly slender material enough, but sufficient in Mrs. Trollope's hands to produce a work of interest, and containing less that is objectionable than any previous publication of so unsparing, and often so unscrupulous a satirist. Here all is pleasant and tasteful. Scenes of pastoral simplicity, and fashionable folly are most curiously mingled together. How amusing when the countess, by happily becoming a widow, sets to work to make a kind of Lochsenberg or fac-simile of an old castle, of a ruinous old edifice, the original stronghold of the Counts of Rosenau! How ably is she assisted by the veteran Morritz, and the lively Caroline! And then again, when the visitors arrive at the restored castle, how distinctly is every individual brought out-the Princess Loffendorf, handsome, vain, and spoiled; Prince Altenthon stately and impertinent; the hero, Alfred de Hermanstadt, "with thoughtful brow, coal-black hair, moustache, and soft, violet-coloured eyes;" sister Bertha, so fair and so good, and her lover, Count Bergstaz, so elegant and charming; Geno Alberti, the enthusiastic violin-player, whose genius we may respect, but not so his having wooed and won with his violin a rich and fair young English lady; and lastly, as a foil to all these, the pedantic, over-dressed, vulgar Mrs. Griffiths, whose acquaintances are all potentates or members of the Institute, the good-humoured, fat, and foolish Hilbury, and Mademoiselle Chambray, bent upon the destruction of poor little Hilbury's peace of mind, and the independent use of his English gold. It can be easily imagined how well Mrs. Trollope can play with such a group of personages.
The love-story is chiefly told through the medium of tableaux vivans, the by-play of the other parties by the very simple machinery of so many breakfasts and dinners, and so many rides and rural amusements. The interest, however, never flags; and when a change is brought over the scene by the jealousy of the countess, which, fed by the evil counsels of a spiteful attendant, vents itself in the most cruel vengeance upon the poor protegée, it is like a dark cloud coming over the face of all that was before bright, clear, and beautiful. The countess pays for her crime by a conventual life, and Caroline wins the hero with the violet-coloured eyes, poetical justice and a happy conclusion being brought about at the same time.
The Young Countess; or, Love and Jealousy. By Mrs. Trollope. 3 vols. Henry Colburn. Dec.-VOL. LXXXIV. NO. CCCXXXVI 20
OR THE OLD LOVE AND THE NEW.*
It was an unlucky night on which the young, open, happy, thoughtless Percy introduced his more sedate, experienced, and wily friend Sinclair to the love of his boyhood, Edith Aspinall. While affecting to contemn the choice of his friend, Sinclair by slow, but sure, steps, wins Edith's affections from her first frank and confiding, but bashful, suitor.
Percy has a tyrannical old uncle, who would have been a Captain Absolute only that he is a general, and is named Haviland, after his property of the same title in Yorkshire. The old general, in a momentary pet with his nephew and heir, marries the youngest daughter of a clergyman, and this event hastens Percy's doom, for Edith has admired Havilands, and retains more vivid recollections of its beauties than she does of her first lover. Percy, however, is not the man to sink under his altered prospects, and whilst Sinclair is wooing his maiden fair, our hero makes his obeisance to his uncle, and establishes a flirtation with his young and innocent aunt. The dénouement of this story of wayward and worldly love is pathetic but rather unsatisfactory. Percy shoots himself, recommending the general's widow to his friend Beckenham, and Edith to his friend Sinclair.
THIS is the first work, in the popular style of a novel of the day, which Miss Costello has yet written, and even though we are inclined to regret that the taste of the public leads so many writers out of the path they would, in preference, choose for themselves, we cannot but rejoice that so agreeable an addition has been made to the light reading of the time as that of Clara Fane. The plot of the story is exciting and romantic; yet such events as are recorded in it are of more frequent occurrence than is ofttimes imagined, and the writer of fiction does well who selects for his narrative the singular in life, in place of that which is common. We by no means intend to imply that Miss Costello has avoided the domestic scenes and the occurrences of ordinary life; on the contrary, it is in working out these that she has produced some of the most amusing features of her novel. But her forte evidently is, in the delineation of characters, wherein loftiness of thought, purity of mind, feeling, and refinement, tenderness and sensibility most prevail, and in proof of this we may adduce the portraits of Claudia and Sybilla, two charming sisters, perfect gems of beauty and grace. Besides the exercise of the skilful novelist's art, Miss Costello reminds us, most pleasantly, that she is a traveller, and conducts us, with willing feet, amid scenes rendered by Nature attractive at all times, but doubly so at the present moment, when war and confusion point them out to all Europe as spectacles of interest. We travel with Clara Fane along the banks of the Danube, visiting many places which, since the narrative was written have acquired a melancholy celebrity, and leaving sites now marked by desolation and bloodshed, gladly penetrate with her into the romantic wilds of Austrian Switzerland; we
Percy or the Old Love and the New; by the Author of "The Hen-Pecked Husband." 3 vols. T. C. Newby.
+ Clara Fane. A Novel. 3 vols. By Louisa Stuart Costello. Bentley.
listen to the mysterious legends of Servia, now first presented in an English garb, and welcome the tender songs of the Kozàcs—a race hitherto suspected of no such peaceful accomplishment as the cultivation of poetry; with her, also, we traverse the Alps and descend to the beautiful plains of Lombardy, seeking repose and luxury in the marble villas of the Lake of Como, whose enchanting shores are now, and we fear, are long destined to be deformed by slaughter! The descriptions of scenery and the snatches of song scattered through these volumes show the imaginative taste and brilliant fancy, for which the author has long been distinguished. It would be better for the manners of the day if more writers followed such a track, and chose the better part of nature as the most proper for record, instead of descending to find excitement in the worst.
"Clara Fane" is a work such as a refined mind alone could have conceived, and such as refined minds will hail with welcome. It has a novelty and philosophic beauty about it, which at once surprise and attract; for easy and simple as the style appears, there are depth of feeling and powerful thought in every page.
LEIGH HUNT'S "TOWN."*
HERE is a library book, a pocket companion, a work to devour, an admirable and seasonable present. Who more at home with chatty anecdotes and literary illustrations of the great metropolis than the ever delightful Leigh Hunt? We shall return to this charming book hereafter.
BELGIUM, THE RHINE, ITALY, GREECE, AND THE MEDITERRANEAN.†
CONTINENTAL illustrations, at a moment when continental travel is almost out of the question, must acquire quite a new interest. If a solace remains under such a bereavement, it is to take up a book like this, by the side of what the good people on the continent call, curiously enough, a "sea-coal" fire. Imagine seventy and upwards of beautiful engravings, for a little more than a guinea! Truly art effects a purely English object, when it thus imparts to those less favoured by fortune a share in the pleasures hitherto attainable only by the rich. Italy and Greece, the homes of ancient art, still lovely in their decay— the Rhine, consecrated by a thousand legends-Belgium, every edifice of which recalls associations of sturdy energy and commercial activitythe Mediterranean, whose shores are endeared by historic fame, and charm us by their surpassing loveliness, summon up visions of romantic beauty, which will not meet with disappointment in those who refer for gratification to this splendid tome.
*The Town; its Memorable Characters and Events. By Leigh Hunt. 2 vols., with forty-five illustrations. Smith, Elder, & Co.
+ Belgium, the Rhine, Italy, Greece, and the Shores and Islands of the Mediterranean, Illustrated in a Series of beautifully-executed Engravings, with Historical, Classical, and Picturesque Descriptions, by the Rev. G. N. Wright and L. F. A. Buckingham, Esq. Peter Jackson.