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So much for cordial and unqualified praise, and the per contra balance is small. One bint, however, we would venture, and that is, that for the future the buffoonries of Jim Crow and Bone Squash Diavolo' be abolished. A little of the song, occasionally, as an interlude, is well enough, but au reste, let it be dispensed with. This we think is the verdict of the public, however uproarious may be the groundlings and the gallery, in favor of those elegant entertainments.
Park THEATRE – MR. FORREST. — This gentleman's last engagement has not, we are sorry to say, added to his reputation. A round of arduous characters has presented Wr. Forrest to his audiences with all those defects in his personations which have ever attended his attempts of Shakspeare. Othello,' of all Mr. Forrest's Shakspearean delineations, is the least objectionable; 'yet even this is only an exhibition of the man Othello,' without the mind. His gesture, voice, and emphasis are generally good ; but there is not the spiritual expression of the character at all. The genius, the soul, is wanting. He looks as Othello might have looked; he uses the same words; but he does not speak as Othello should speak; he does not shadow forth the inward construction of his mind, with all its strengths and weaknesses, its heroic confidences and its human misgivings, its agonies of hate springing from the depths of love ;' he does not do this, simply because he does not, and perhaps cannot, identify himself with the genius and spirit of the past. In the expression of jealousy, the great plague-spot which taints the whole of Othello's conduct, Mr. Forrest moulds his face into a distortion, the meaning of which we defy any living physiognomist to decipher. Is it rage, hatred, malice, envy, separate or conjoined? Or is it the unmeaning twisting of the muscles, which a mountebank or a madman could equally well effect? Whatever it may be meant to be, it is no more an expression of jealousy than of joy. It seems something borrowed from Bedlam; 'full of fury, and signifying nothing.'
When dressed for · Lear,' Mr. Forrest's face, garments, and 'tout ensemble' are truly and effectively got up;' and as he stands, a painter might choose him for a model of the ill-judging king, provided he had genius enough himself to conceive his true expression. But his acting of the character is physically and morally false. | Lear has declined into the vale of years, and it is his infirmities, as much as his paternal affection, which induce the wish for retirement. He leaves the throne, because he feels the infirmities of age upon him, and because, he desires that the evening of his life may pass quietly away, and give rest and peace to his venerable decline. Now in Mr. Forrest's delineation of this time-worn man, one would imagine that the animal strength of boyhood had rejuvenated the palsied limbs of fourscore years, or that a frolicksome youth had donned his grand-papa's wig and cane, and was giving a boisterous imitation of the old gentleman's squeaking trehle, accompanied by a sturdy copy of the debilitated movements of his ' most weak hams' Lear could never utter the curse upon his daughters as Mr. Forrest persists in giving it'; or, if he could have called back the strong and healthy lungs of his youth, and collected every bodily energy for the withering effort, and made it, it would have been his last effort – his dying speech ; and the play might end there, for any personal aid which the principal character could, in his material substance, have given it afterward. "The greatness of Lear,' says Charles LAMB, 'is not in corporeal dimensions, but in intellectual. The explosions of his passion are terrible as a volcano. They are storms, turning up and disclosing to the bottom that sea, his mind, with all its vast riches. It is his mind which is laid bare. The case of flesh and blood seems too insignificant to be thought on; even as he himself neglects it.' It is not in the curse alone, but throughout the play, that we see the great physical force of Mr. FORBEST predominating over all the spiritual qualities which should be exhibited. The genius of the character seems forgotten; probability is outraged; and instead of the old, injured, imbecile father, unable to draw even sympathy from his daughters, we see a stern, sinewy, implacable giant, with a white beard, possessing bone, muscle, and all sorts of physical energy, enough to pulverize his duughters, and drive their subjects before him like a flock of wild geese.']
Mrs. Shaw. - Few who had the pleasure of seeing her, can have forgotten Mrs. Shaw, who made her first appearance in this country at the Park some year or two since. Returned from a western and southern tour, she has, during the past month, rë appeared at this house, and ably sustained her favorite characters. (As Julia,ʻin the 'Hunchback,'' Desdemona,' 'Cordelia' in tragedy, Christine in the Youthiut Queen,' and other personations, quite as difficult and as varied, she has maintained the good impression which her first engagement so justly created. With a very agreeable person, a perfect knowledge of stage business, a round, rich, and full voice, although sometines monotonous, Mrs. Shaw has intellectual talents well worthy of the profession which she adorns. Unlike most of those who have gone the circuit of the western and southern theatres, she has returned with a good taste, unadulterated by the pernicious cant and fustian clap-trap, which is so much admired in the back woods of Kentucky, and prevails more or less through all the western theatres. Mrs. Shaw's manner is chaste and subdued. She is never betrayed into those indecent, passion-tearing, pockethandkerchief enormities, in which some of our popular actresses so effectively indulge. Where real talent exists, these availables of the 'rough and tumble school' are justly despised ; and it is only a consciousness of the lack of legitimate power, which can ever induce a performer to make use of them. Mrs. Shaw would be a most valuable addition to the stock company of the Park, which in the ladies' as well as the gentlemen's department, is yet sadly deficient. With the exception of Mrs. WheATLEY, and Mrs. VERNON, there is not now at this house a lady performer worth listening to. Mrs. RICHARDSON has been for some time indisposed, but we hope will soon be enabled to appear with all her well-remembered power. Miss Cushman is sometimes effective, and natural; always sprightly in farce ; and, strange to say, not the worst Lady Macbeth in the world; but she will be guilty of the enormity of pantaloons. Mrs. Shaw would fill a great vacancy, and we sincerely hope, for the honor of Old Drury, that she may make her own terms, and that they may be accepted.
MADAME LECOMPTE, a danseuse of considerable celebrity, has greatly increased the attractions of the past month. Both as a dancer and pantomimic, Madame LECOMPTE has almost turned the heads of the good people. There is more skill and greater agility, more physical power and steady confidence, in all the many evolutions of this artiste, than has ever before been witnessed on the American stage. In ‘La Bayadere' and the 'Fenella' of 'Massaniello,' she has won great applause, and the dollars, of large and delighted audiences.
"AMERICAN THEATRE,' Bowery. — The past month has again afforded us an opportunity of seeing Mr. Booth in some of his principal characters; and as usual, we must award him liberal praise for the admirable manner in which his personations, throughout his engagement, were sustained. We have so recently spoken of the performances of this gentleman, that it is unnecessary to go into detail in this place. We cannot forbear adverting, however, to his 'Sir Giles Overreach,' as recently presented, in terms of pointed laud. Who that heard and saw him in this part, will ever forget the scene where, in reply to 'Wellborn's' charge of indebtedness, seconded by 'Lady Allworth,' he exclaims, with a look of condensed passion and bitterness :
"Good, good! Conspire
“Yet, to shut up thy mouth, and make thee give
And, as the 'fair skin of parchment is disclosed to his astonished gaze, his impas
I am overwhelmed with wonder!
From henceforward to the end of the play, is one continued exhibition of triumphant genius; and the total abandonment of the actor to the spirit of the author; his avoidance of that low trickery which appeals alone to the eye and ear; drew down deserved plaudits, loud and long.
'The Frost-Spirit and Sun-God,' recently produced at this establishment, far exceeds, as a scenic and mechanical spectacle, any thing of the kind heretofore presented. The excellent manager, Mr. DINNEFORD, was very properly called out, and justly complimented upon the entire success of the piece.
OBSERVATIONS ON ELECTRICITY AND 'Looming.' - We invite attention to the first paper in the present number, upon the subjects of Electricity, and the phenomenon of 'Looming.' The article of which it forms a part, came to us through the hands of an esteemed friend, who was himself greatly interested in the subjects treated of; and our readers will share the pleasure which the author's reluctant permission to insert it in our pages has afforded us. To the correctness of the facts therein stated, we can ourselves bear decided testimony. We have often encountered those 'moving bodies of warm air,' and always during such a state of the atmosphere as is described by the writer. The peculiarities of 'looming,' as here recorded, are doubtless familiar to our readers on the Atlantic sea-hoard, and along the shores of the great western lakes; and that the theory of their cause, here advanced, is the true one, we entertain no doubt. We invite particular attention to the terseness and clearness of the language in which these 'Observations are conveyed to the reader. It will be seen that the writer comprehends what he intends to say in a few words, and those which are most expressive. We refer to this, because a style thus simple, is a great desideratum with many writers upon scientific topics, who too commonly indulge in dry and barren explications, and adopt unintelligible nomenclature, instead of coming directly to the point, with all plainness of speech.'
The next and concluding number of these 'Observations,' which will be given in the KNICKERBOCKER for February, will be devoted to a consideration of the transmission of sound through the air, and a theory of thunder-showers and of west and northwest winds. The deductions of the author, in support of his positions, are fortified both by experience, and the concurrent testimony of some of the soundest minds in this country. It is proper to add, that the entire article in questi was written some years since, and that its facts have been confirmed by repeated observation of corroborative phenomena; placing the truth of the theories advanced, beyond the reach of doubt.
'Mad Dog!, Mad Dog! – Mr. George DEARBorn has published a small pamphlet, intituled 'A Treatise on Hydrophobia, taken from the mss. of a late eminent physician, to which is added an INFALLIBLE REMEDY, both as a Preventative, (where is the word 'preventative to be found ?) and in confirmed cases. By Henry Hughes, H. M. First Royal Regt., Montreal.' In 1821, if we remember rightly, a New-York physician was notoriously sanguine in relation to the effects of the scutellaria latcrifolia, in the relief of this dreadful disorder. A thousand cases were declared to have been effected by it; yet it had no more real or lasting effect than anaseliis, so much boasted of at an earlier period, and alisma plantago, afterward held as a certain cure. They all finally grew out of repute; and we fear such will be the fate of the present 'infallible remedy.' But the medicine should never be left untried, in any confirmed case of hydrophobia.
The KNICKERBOCKERS. — Never-to-be-forgotten name! Who that sat down to the sumptuous dinner and intellectual feast given and enjoyed at the late anniversary of the Society of good Saint Nicholas, at Delmonico's, but must needs glory in belonging to this ancient and honorable family! What were the old portraits of the departed Dutch fathers, which ornamented the banqueting-hall — what the sour-krout, the oilyköeks, the 'crisp and crumbling krullers,' under which the table groaned – to the spiritual banquet; the letters from absent members, and distinguished guests invited; the toasts, the songs; the rich and matter-full speech of the president; the general hilarity? Verily, had not the daily journals, with that pestilent hurty which characterizes these latter days, long ago given the details of this anniversary to the world, we should be tempted to embalm them in these pages; but 'express mails' and rail-roads have made them, ere now, familiar to newspaper-readers, in every quarter of the land; and we would fain avoid being the organ of disseminating Johnny Thompson's news.' We annex, however, the letter of DIEDRICH KNICKERBOCKER, which, in several of our daily papers, was sadly marred in the printing. It was read with great feeling by the President, and received with the profoundest emotion :
EERWAARDIGE HEER: Als gy een pypji hebt om te rooken ik zende u met dese kort brief het. Algemeen Handels blad om te lezen. Ik kan niet iniddag mit u eelev om dat onzer Hollandishe Koninginne is overleden maar ik zende u. • Een dracht maaki macht. Ik bly ve u getrouw vriend,
* DIEDRICH KNICKERBOCKER.' Success and long life to the ancient Society of Saint Nicholas!
To Puelishers, READERS, AND CORRESPONDENTS. – Notices of the following works, although in type, have been unavoidably omitted with the Literary Record' departmeut of the present number : 'Constance Latimer,' by Mrs. EMBURY ; Never Despair,' by Prof. BOKUM; 'City of the Sultan,' by Miss PARDOE ; "The Duke of Monmouth,' a Novel; “Tales from the German,' by NaTHANIEL GREENE, Esq.; 'The Clock-Maker;' Carey on Wealth ;' WAYLAND'S ' Political Economy ;) • The Tourist in Europe ;' 'Advent: a Mystery ;' • Recollections of a Southern Matron ;' Adams'. Elements of Moral Philosophy ;' WYSE on Education; "The Old Commodore; Foster's Counting House Manual; and a new • History of Rome.' Beside a good variety of amusing and entertaining articles, 'Original Letters from an American Abroad,' Ollapodiana,' etc., the following papers, of a more solid character, are filed for insertion : American Antiquities,' Number Five; •A Few Plain Thoughts on Phrenology ;' and 'Scandinavian Literature and Antiquities.' Number Two of the Intercepted Letters from a Sensitive Briton,' will appear in the February number; together with an exciting document of the 'olden time,' in the shape of an original journal of 'eight years' hard fighting during the war for our independence,' in the havd-writing of that gallant officer, MAJOR ALLAN M'LANE, father of the lion. Louis M'LANE, and an original poem from John Galt, Esq., of Scotland. Our readers will be glad to hear again from their old favorite, the author of the Cruise of a Guincaman,' · The Mutiny,' etc. The 'Letters from Rome,' are respect. fully declined. They are evidently intended as imitations of the admirable ‘Palmyra Letters;' and as such, are worse, if possible — and this is supposing an extreme case — than the ‘Conclusion of Ernest Maltravers,' which some one of the inferior scribleri, who has no occasion to envy the mnie for his redundance of ear, has been palming upon this community, (through the mistaken courtesy of our worthy weekly contemporary, the ‘Mirror,') as a genuine production of the author of * Pelham ! Mr. Bulwer, it is scarcely necessary to say, has never written an original article for any American periodical, save the two which were placed in type from his mss., for the pages of the KNICKERBOCKER. 'Stanzas for Christmas' are certainly clever lines, but they are marred by a little cacophany, toward the close. Moreover,' H. D. C.' will find the scenes he has chosen for illustration much better described in the 'Visit of St. Nicholas,' written several years since, by CLEMENT C. Moore, of this city, and still circulated every season, about Christmas-time, in all the newspapors, far and near.
The rings which encircle the planet Saturn, may be considered as among the most grand and wonderful phenomena of the universe. This phenomenon was first perceived by Galileo, in the year 1610, soon after the invention of the telescope ; but its real nature was not at first apprehended. He imagined that Saturn was in the shape of an olive,' and that this planet consisted of two small globes attached to a larger one ; one of these globes being placed on one side, and another upon
the other side. In the above year, he published his discovery, in a Latin sentence, the meaning of which was, that he had seen Saturn appearing with three bodies. After viewing the planet in this form for two years, he was surprised to see it become quite round, without its adjoining globes, and to remain in this state for some time ; and, after a considerable period, to appear again in its triple form, as before. This deception was owing to the want of magnifying power in the telescope used by Galileo. For the first telescope constructed by this astronomer, magnified the diameters of objects only three times ; bis second improved telescope magnified only eight times; and the best telescope which, at that time, he found himself capable of constructing, magnified little more than thirty times ; and with this telescope he made most of his discoveries. But a telescope of this power is not sufficient to show the opening, or dark
space, between the ring and Saturn, on each side of the planet ; and, at the time it appeared divested of its two appendages, the thin and dark edge of the ring must have been in a line between his eye and the body of Saturn - which phenomenon happens once every fifteen years. About forty years after this period, the celebrated Huygens greatly improved the art of grinding object-glasses; and with a telescope of bis own construction, twelve feet long, and afterward with another of twenty-three feet, which magnified objects one hundred times, he discovered the true shape of Saturn's ring; and in 1659, published his ‘Systema Saturnium,' in which he describes and delineates all its appearances.
It was suspected by astronomers, more than a century ago, that the ring of Saturn was double, or divided into two concentric rings. Carsini supposed it was probable that this was the case. Mr. Pound, in the account of his observations on Saturn, in 1723, by means of VOL. XI.