Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

prietors of the theatre lowering the price of admission to the pit, removing the obnoxious private boxes, rescinding Madame Catalani's engagement, discharging Mr. James Brandon, house and box book-keeper, who had rendered himself very offensive to the 0. P. people, abandoning all prosecutions against those who had been required to answer for their misconduct at the sessions, and offering a public apology. The ungracious task of making it, fell upon Mr. Kemble, who delivered what it was deemed necessary to say, with remarkable self-possession and dignity. It was received by the audience with great applause, and a placard was hoisted in the pit, bearing the words, We are satisfied;' it was speedily followed by a similar announcement in the boxes; and thus terminated the famous O. P. war, wholly unparalleled in dramatic or indeed in any other annals.”

An audience at the theatre, convulsed, it may be, by the powers of a comic favorite, little know the circumstances of discomfort and pain under which, oftentimes, he comes before them. As an instance of the severe mental trials which an actor has sometimes to undergo, it has been mentioned, that during the time his father-in-law was lying dead, Grimaldi was engaged, for many hours each day, in rehearsing broadly humorous pantomime; and, as if to render the contrast more striking, he was compelled, on the day of the funeral, to rehearse part of his clown's character on the stage, to run to the melancholy death-ceremony, to get back from the church-yard to the theatre, to finish the rehearsal, and to exert all his comic powers at night to set the audience in a roar. An affecting account is given of his closing theatrical career, while yet in the prime of life. His constant labors had brought on premature debility and painful disease. In the last piece in which he was a regular performer, says his biographer, 'even during the earlier nights of its very successful representation, he could scarcely struggle through his part. His frame was weak and debilitated, his joints stiff, and his muscles relaxed; every effort he made, was followed by cramps and spasms, of the most agonizing nature. Men were obliged to be kept waiting at the side-scenes, who caught him in their arms when he staggered from the stage, and supported him, while others chafed his limbs — which was obliged to be incessantly done, until he was called for the next scene, or he could not have appeared again. Every time he came off, his sinews were gathered up into huge knots by the cramps that followed his exertions, which could only be reduced by violent rubbing, and even that frequently failed to produce the desired effect. The spectators, who were convulsed with laughter while he was on the stage, little thought, that while their applause was resounding through the house, he was suffering the most excruciating and horrible pains. But so it was, until the twenty-fourth night of the piece, when he had no alternative, in consequence of his intense sufferings, but to throw up the part.'

This work will well repay perusal, and is especially calculated for a travelling companion. Every chapter has some interesting story or incident, without contingency as to what may precede or follow it. New-York: Wiley AND PUTNAM.

BUDS OF SPRING. Poetical Remains of Augustus Foster Lyde. With Addenda. One volume. pp. 150. Boston: PERKINS AND MARVIN: New-York : WILEY AND PUTNAM.

The religious and moral tone which pervades these remains' of a warm poetical spirit, early called home to the God who gave it, will recommend them to the favorable regards of the public. Candor compels us to add, however, that they are for the most part rather pleasing than powerful; and that while they are unexceptionable in tendency and sentiment, they cannot lay claim to great force of imagination, or originality of thought. There are passages, nevertheless, in some of the more elaVOL. X.

59

borate portions, which serve to show what might have been anticipated from the manhood of so young an intellect. Take, for example, the following, from a poem entitled 'Humility,' a college effort :

" It was amid the visions of the night ;

Darkness lay like a mantle on the earth;
I dreamed I stood upon heaven's battlements,
And lo! an augel spread his mighty wings,
And took his flight along the golden wall,
That girds the courts of everlasting light ;
And, as he flew, he lifted up his voice,
And cried, 'Humility is dead!'
A strange convulsion came upon my frame,
And the cold sweat stood on my throbbing brow;
Thrice did he spread his pinions to the wind,
And thrice I heard that melancholy cry,
. Humility is dead!' - and then he paused,
Even in mid heaven, and folded up his wings,
And bowed his head upon his breast, and died.
I looked to heaven; and from its crystal columns
The bauners of rebellion were hung out,
And on them written, 'God is King no more!
Those harps, that late had breathed such rapturous strains,
Upon the jewelled pavement lay unstrupg;
Strange sounds of blasphemy broke on the ear,
And fearful shouts usurped the place of praise.
I looked in earth - and as I looked I wept :
Good men forgot their wonted gentleness,
And higher swelled the augry cry for blood,
The blood of rulers whom they late had loved ;
Earth seerged an amphitheatre, in which
Man's vilost passious strove for mastery.
A moment more ; a rushing, mighty sound,
Came like the noise of many chariot wheels,
And hicaven and earth were hushed to quietness,
For both were still in universal death."

The work appears to have attained its magnitude, through a very intrepid and ertensive application of the most approved recipes for book-making. The preface, introduction, notes, and 'addenda'– irrelevant miscellaneous verse, by the editor – make up the larger part of the volume. This savors of ostentation, or mistaken judgment. The whole is presented in a neat and tasteful dress.

CROMWELL. AN HISTORICAL Novel. By the author of 'The Brothers,' etc. In two

volumes. pp. 542. New-York : HARPER AND BROTHERS.

Tuis long promised, and long anticipated work, is at last published. The fact that it is an emanation from the same vigorous and well-stored intellect, the same refined taste and accomplished scholarship, that enriched our literature with The Brothers,' and those grand historical 'Passages' which delighted the public in the early numbers of our worthy contemporary, the American Monthly Magazine, will insure for the new romance a host of eager and much-expecting readers. We have eagerly possessed ourselves of the contents of the two handsome volumes; and the anticipations expressed in our February number, are more than realized. Mr. HERBERT has given us a great picture of Cromwell. He has placed him before us as we have never before seen him, in that strange blending of true and honest patriotism with ambition and wild fanaticism, which Scott's high monarchical prejudices hindered him from conceiving, and which no other that we know of has attempted. We have neither time nor room for such a review of this sterling production as its merits deserve; but we hope to see it well and worthily examined in the New-York Review, or the North American. It is deserving of a full and elaborate article in either of those periodiSONNETS. By Edward Moxon. In one volume. pp. 75. London, 1838. New

cals; and no reviewer, we may hope, will omit to extract entire the fourteenth chapter of the second volume, recording a mutiny and military execution, in a manner every way worthy of Walter Scott. The engraved portrait of Cromwell, with which the first volume is embellished, bears on its front the stamp of authenticity. We are surprised, however, at the sweet smile about the mouth! Surely, the ProLector looked not so lovingly.

COMPANION TO THE TOURIST IN Europe. A New French MANUAL: Comprising

a Guide to French Pronunciation, a copious Vocabulary, Selection of Phrases; a Series of Conversations on the Curiosities, Manners, and Amusements of Paris, and during various Tours in Europe; Models of Letters, etc. Designed as a Guide to the Traveller, and an attractive Class Book for the Student. By GABRIEL SURRENNE, French Teacher to the Military and Naval Academy, Edinburgh. From the fourth Edinburgh edition. Revised and enlarged, by A. PESTIAUX, Professor of the French Language, New-York. In one volume. pp. 244. New-York: WILEY AND PUTNAM.

Little need be added to the above copious title, in relation to the character of this excellent Manual. The student of French will soon be enabled, by the aid of this book, and with very little application, to become acquainted with such phrases as are used in conversation, and which it is absolutely necessary he should understand. An original and valuable feature in the work, is that portion of the volume entitled "Modern Conversation, or Descriptive Dialogues in French and English,' composed expressly for this book, upon subjects of the greatest interest to the modern traveller. * In these, the student or tourist will find a minute account of every object of curiosity in Paris, given in French and English, and the correct pronunciation of the former language, according to the most polite usages, exhibited by means of Italic letters and connecting marks.' The author has entirely succeeded, as it seems to us, in combining a concise and luminous view of the spoken language of France, with a valuable companion for the English or American traveller.

York: WILEY AND PUTNAM.

The poetic feeling is apparent in all these sonnets, and many of them possess the added merits of auty and grace in com tion. A love of nature, and a due estimate of virtue and the gentle affections, are prominent features in this very handsome volume. We have room but for the following:

* HERE sleeps beneath this bank, where daisies grow,

The kindliest sprite Earth holds within her breast;
In such a spot I would this frame should rest,
When I to join my friend far heuce sball go.
His only mate is now the minstrel lark,

Who chants her morning music o'er his bed,
Save she who comes each evening, ere the bark

Of watch-dog gathers drowsy folds, to shed
A sister's tears. Kind Heaven, upon her head

Do thou in dove-like guise thy Spirit pour,
And in her aged path some flow'rets spread,

Of earthly joy, should Time for her in store
Have weary days and nigbte, ere she shall greet
Him whom she longs in Paradise to meet!

This sonnet refers to the lamented LAMB, and the daily visits to his grave of his affectionate sister, whom 'Elia' has immortalized. Lamb was a warm friend of our author, and more than once alludes to him in his correspondence.

ALICE, OR THE MYSTERIES: A SEQUEL TO ‘ERNEST MALTRAVERS.' By the author of

'Pelham,' 'Rienzi,' etc. In two volumes. Pp. 448. New-York : HARPER AND BROTHERS.

BEFORE these pages can have reached our readers, this latest novel of Mr. BULWER will have become familiar to a large majority of his American admirers. We shall not, therefore, attempt a connected review of the work, but content ourselves with a few general and brief remarks in relation to its literary merits. Our author has evidently profited by the criticisms upon the production to which this is a sequel. While it is undeniable that 'Ernest Maltravers' could not fail to have a bad effect upon minds whose principles were not yet ossified, by shedding a mild lustre over gilded vice, it is equally true, that 'Alice' is mainly free from kindred blemishes. It is, indeed, a well conceived and admirably written novel. The prominent characters are drawn with exceeding skill, and the main incidents move on with increasing rapidity and force to the end of the volumes. The elegance of diction, the conciseness and felicity of expression, peculiar to Mr. BULWER, not less than the power of graphic description, for which he is remarkable, are here abundantly exhibited; while, ever and anon, new truths are brought forward, or old ones adorned, in those golden mazes of exquisite illustration, through which our author so loves to wind. We were about to commend the work to the reader's favorable regards, but that were a labor of supererogation.

AN HISTORICAL DISCOURSE ON THE CIVIL AND RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS OF THE COLONY OF

Rhode Island. By John CALLENDER, M. A. With a Memoir of the Author; Biographical notices of some of his distinguished contemporaries; and annotations and original documents, illustrative of the History of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, from the first settlement to the end of the first century. By Prof. Eston, of Brown University. Providence. New-York: APPLETON AND COMPANY.

We are glad to see this valuable historical document re-published, with the additions above enumerated. It was delivered and published in Newport, (R. I.,) just one hundred years since, and has always been considered a document of great interest, embracing a history of that elate, during the first century of its existence as a colony; a period of deep interest, as the opinions then disseminated continue in full force, and have stamped the character of the people even to the present generation, with that freedom of opinion, that public spirit and enterprise, that simplicity of manners, which were the most prominent traits in her first colonists. It is pleasing, too, to contrast the manner in which Roger Williams and the little band which accompanied him, became possessed of their lands, with the disgraceful means resorted to, in the present civilized age, to obtain the lands of the aborigines, at the south. In addition to the discourse, which constitutes about one half the volume, are biographical sketches of John Callender, President Stiles, Roger Williams, Rev. William Blackstone, Bishop Berkley and others; beside many interesting documents relative to the several religious sects, of the period, Indian conveyances of land, charter of king Charles II., July & 1663, etc., etc. Professor Elton has done himself much credit, in bringing to light the present work in so satisfactory a manner, and we hope to see other historical documents as well illustrated.

The typographical execution of the volume is not surpassed by any similar American production. It reflects credit on the editor, as well as the Rhode Island Historical Society, under the auspices of which it was published.

EDITORS' TABLE.

"Wilson CONWORTH.' The last chapter of this eventful history appears in the present number. It has been received with signal favor, portions of almost every successive chapter having been widely circulated in the journals of the Union. It may not be amiss to add, that the writer will continue a constant contributor to this Magazine. What ensues, will explain to those who have followed the fortunes of Conworth, how the mss. came into the hands of his editors. It was received with, and should have accompanied, the first number, published in January, 1837.

"WEARIED with the toils of professional life, I set out in the summer of 1833, to make the tour of the western states. I had scarcely shaken off the idea that I had really got away from clients, and the insufferable atmosphere of court rooms, when, one morning, by calculating my longitude, I found I was a thousand miles from home. Thanks to steam cars and steam-boats! But this rapidity of journeying, and loss of sleep, and being a thousand miles from home, after all, made me quite sick, and I was forced to engage a room for a week, and consider myself an invalid ; athough, as good luck would have it, I had fallen, about this time, upon a pleasant village. My physician was a very intelligent man, and agreeable companion, and did all he could to amuse me. Hearing from him, one day, that he had a gentleman under his care, of somewhat eccentric character, I expressed a desire to take the air, and accompany him in his visit.

"We passed a little out of the village, and came to a neat cottage, the grounds around which had the air of unusual refinement. We entered, and, lying upon the sofa, I beheld the form of my old friend and class-mate, Wilson Conworth. He did not speak, but a faint tinge passed over his face, and then a tear slowly gathered and rolled down his wasted cheek. His heart seemed too full for words. Every effort to speak, choked his utterance. I sat by him some time, holding his hand, although I knew not what to say, or how to address a man, whom I had supposed dead for years, and now found only a day's journey from his grave. The physician advised that I should leave him for the present, as he feared the consequences of any excitement.

' After we had left the house, I learnt that he had been a resident in the place about four years; that he was very retired and studious in his habits, and constantly employing the surplus of a not large properly in assisting the poor. No one k new from whence he came, but all respected the purity of his life. I did not feel authorized to tell what I knew, but merely answered to my companion's inquiries, that he was an early acquaintance of mine. Afterward, I called upon my own account, and staid with Conworth until he died, which was but a few days. During all my visits, he declined giving me any information respecting himself, but seemed anxious to learn the history of my own tolerable fortune.

"The day before his dissolution, he put the following pages into my hands, and said : • This will explain all. Do not read it until I am dead.'

'In giving it to the world, I have been influenced by the wishes of a dying man. It does not pretend to literary merit. It would be strange, too, if the opinions expressed by a man who confesses himself the victim to a faulty education, should be just in all respects. Indeed, I am aware the work has many faults — many crude opinions ; the strugglings of a mind, chained by evil habits, and darkened by error, to free itself of its

« ПредишнаНапред »