« ZurückWeiter »
ferings, and the doubt of his personal sense of suffocation from a rush of identity, are exquisitely drawn : blood to the brain, a fatal return of Where have I been ?
the.rs climbing sorrow" he had felt Where am I ? fair day-light ?
before. The immediate feeling of I am mightily abused : I should e'en die self-preservation again interrupts his
ecstasy of grief-he solicits assistTo see another thus : I know not what to ance:say.
Pray you, undo this button. Thank you, Sir. I will not swear these are my hands : let's
His paroxysm again returns, an apo-, I feel this pin prick ! Would I were as. plectic seizure cuts short the accents sured
of his despair, and he dies on the Of my condition.
body of his murdered daughter. After these waverings he entertains
Throughout this exquisite tragedy suspicions of his sanity :
the author has displayed such inti
mate knowledge of the human intelAnd to deal plainly, I fear I am not in my perfect mind.
lect, and so correctly painted the
succession of mental operations, that, From repeated examinations he is the picture can only be viewed as impressed that Kent and Cordelia are the great masterpiece of psychologinot entire strangers; but the impres- cal delineation. sion is feeble and obscure,-the dawn The admirable selection of the of reminiscence:
flowers which formed the coronetMethinks I should know you, and know. wreath of the lovely and distracted
Ophelia, has been noticed in a forYet I am doubtful.
mer essay; and if a doubt could be At length comes that beautiful and entertained of Shakspeare's intention pathetic burst where Nature, throw- to give them an emblematic meaning, ing off the imbecilities of age and the the question would be completely incumbrance of disease, by an instinc- set at rest by the evidence afforded tive act of recollection claims the du- in the play under consideration, in tiful Cordelia :
which a selection of plants is in like Do not laugh at me;
manner made to form a fantastic For as I am a man I think this lady
crown, strongly indicative of the state To be my child Cordelia.
of Lear's mind. Cordelia describes
her father as wandering about mad Pray now forget and forgive.
as the vexed sea, The concluding scene exhibits Cor- Crowned with rank fumiter and furrowdelia dead in the arms of her father; weeds, and amidst the tumult of his dis With harlocks, hemlock, nettles, cuckoo. traction there are some vivid gleams
flowers, of rational tenderness and parental Darnel, and all the idle weeds that grow
In our sustaining corn. anxiety, alternations of groundless hope and fatal discouragement. Here FUMITER (Fumeterre, French). the poet has again manifested his Fumitory, Fumaria officinalis, Linn. metaphysical acumen, and his ac- It is common to our corn-fields and quaintance with the laws of the hu- ditch banks. The leaves are of man mind and its attendant passions. bitter taste, and the juice was formerThe monarch's lamentations are a- ly employed for its bitterness in hypowhile suspended that he may relate chondriasm and black jaundice by the energy with which he slew the Hoffman and others; and more lately villain that hanged his daughter; by Cullen in leprosy. and this temporary oblivion of his FURROW-WEEDS. Rank, as they distress is an interval to recount his are here expressly called, or strong former magnanimous achievements, scented, growing wild in the furrow, and to allow sufficient time for his and disgusting to the taste and other reconciliation with Kent. Again he senses. returns to his departed Cordelia, and HARLOCKS. Sinapis arvensis, Linn. bewails her loss with wild lamenta- The wild mustard of our corn-fields, tions and distracted sorrow. These called indifferently charlock, garlock, pangs are too violent for long con- harlock, warlock, and, by Fitzhertinuance. Suddenly he feels the bert and other old English writers,
hedlock. The seeds of this plant These plants are all wild and unculform the pungent Durham mustard, tivated ; of bitter, biting, poisonous, as those of Sinapis alba form the pungent, lurid, and distracting properwhite mustard, and those of Sinapis ties. Thus Lear's crown, like Ophenigra the common mustard. The lia's wreath, is admirably descriptive plant rises with a stem of about nine or emblematic of the sources and vainches, thickly set with hairs or bris- riety of the disease under which he tles. Hence the proper name should labours. It would be difficult to beprobably be hair-lock, as in Danish lieve that, in either the one case or they call the DarNEL heyre and heyre- the other, the mixture of such flowers grass. As the bitter pengency is re- and plants was the effect of chance. ferred to in the former case, the biting Yet none of the Commentators have pungency is referred to, here.
given Shakspeare credit for the arHemlock. This plant requires no rangement. explanation ; it is generally known to Shakspeare's ignorance of, or conbe poisonous.
versance with, the learned languages, NETTLES. Urtica urens, Linn. has formed a subject for frequent. Called urens from its well known irri- discussion; and as the question may tating power of stinging and burning. probably be considered at
Cuckoo-FLOWERS.Cardamine pra- length in a future essay, little will be tensis, Linn. These flowers, the sy- now said on the point. The classic symbrium of Dioscorides, were ema reader, however, will not fail to obployed among the Greeks and Ro
serve that the passage of Virgil, nomans for almost all affections of the ticed above, bears a strong resemhead. They at present hold a place blance to the speech of Cordelia, and in the pharmacopeia, as a remedy that the following from Ovid gives a for convulsions, epilepsy, and other still closer parallel. diseases of the brain or intellect.
Lolium tribulique fatigant DARNEL. Lolium temulentum, Triticeas messes et inexpugnabile gramen. Linn. Called temulentum from its intoxicating or narcotic powers, when DARNEL and thistles and o’erwhelming
weeds taken alone, or intermixed with malt. From this deleterious property it is
Trouble the corn-fields. termed by Virgil infelix lolium, lurid Shakspeare has it, lolium, and by the French ivruie, Darnel and all the idle weeds that grow whence our own vulgar name for it In our sustaining corn. of, wray-grass or drunkard-grass.
REPORT OF MUSIC. How constantly the course of hu- when finding his name so popular man expectation is interrupted and amongst the fashionable—what shall turned aside by the stronger current they be called?—of England—that geof events, is a piece of stale philoso- nerous race, between whom and their phy that has been powerfully ex- money, according to the proverb, a emplified this season at the King's separation is very quickly effectuated theatre. Never were more ample, if - finding, we say, that he could obindeed there were ever before such tain fifty guineas per night, as the ample, preparations made for giving regular set market price for conductto the public a succession of fine ing a private concert (our poor Engperformances--never was there a se- lish conductors do the same thing for ries with less of force, novelty, or five), and that, in the plenitude of variety. I gran. Maestro Rossini is their delight, this stipend was geneengaged to direct the music, and to rally increased, often doubled, and compose a new opera. He does nei- once or twice more than doubled ther the one nor the other. The under such happy auspices the Signor Signor is disgusted at the outset by (unwillingly, no doubt,) allows the the failure of his wife, and he leaves libretto of Ugo Re d'Italia to lie the orchestra pretty much to its fate; untouched upon his table, and the people of England to wait till next proprietors--the receipts--has been as year for the greatest of his works, completely effected. We prefer the which we have the assurance of Sig- term “ receipts” to “ profits,". benor Benelli it was to have been, in cause the arithmetic of the King's compliment to our national character theatre often turns out like the comand taste, had not the personal dis- putations of his Majesty's Chancellor gusts of Il Maestro, and the private of the Exchequer, and the end of the concerts of the Nobility and of his year produces a balance of loss, when, patrons, precluded the possibility of according to the calculations of the his attending either to composition or Prime Ministers of both Govern his contract. So much for the direc- ments, there ought unquestionably tion of the music and the composer. tu have been a gain. The same His opera, Zelmira, is voted heavy cause, probably, operates the same -his wife, Signora Colbran, is pro- reverse in both instances, and we nounced to be pussée, and so ends may trace the effects to a generous her sad story: Madame Catalani disregard of the expenditure side of follows.-She, however, it is declared, the account. Still Rossini has reignis no longer what she was, and the ed supreme. His Zelmira, his il managers finding that one half of the Barbiere di Seviglia, his Otello, his door money, with other trifling al- Tancredi, and his n Turco, having lowances, leave her appearances pro- been the principal operas given. Mafitless to them, she becomes indis- dame Ronzi takes La Donna del Lago; posed, and after a few nights “is and Romeo e Giulietta, is promised, and heard no more. Mesdames Ronzi will probably be the last of the year. de Begnis and Caradori “ love their The season is, indeed, rapidly drawlords," and suffer the consummation ing to its close, and as soon as Parof those wishes which
our great liament is up, there will be nobody bard declares to be the natural con- left to admire Madame Pasta, or any sequence of such fidelity and affec- other of the prime donne, whom it tion. In plain English, they both shall please Signor Benelli to bring lie-in soon after each other. Thus, forth." What the Parisian critics will out of five prime donne engaged, four say to the delay of Rossini's new are incapacitated for the best months piece, we know not, it having been in the season. Last comes Madame so confidently predicted that his Pasta to fill the void, but so unfor- meeting with Pasta would bring tunately timed have been these ac- about a reformation in his manner of cidents, that she is scarcely arrived, writing, that was to restore him to when Ronzi recovers, and Caradori simplicity and pure expression. If still continues capable. Yet the such could have been the result, all bustle of the succession, and the Europe has indeed to deplore the too proud names of these great artists, prodigal liberality of our English for they are unquestionably du pre- dames of quality, to say nothing of mier rang, have been as efficient for the art itself. the treasury of the theatre as the On the night of Madame Catalani's most perfect performances. The benefit this vast theatre was crowdhouses have been crowded; witness ed in every part; no symptom, it that the free list has been suspended will be said, of declining powers, or (we know it to our cost), and orders failing reputation.- True. But as we very sparingly indulged, that even think Madame Catalani's example in the customary gratification of a all she does of immense importance, box to the principal performers has both to music and its professors, so been withheld, except on the nights we are anxious to elicit the truth in of their own performance-a curious relation to her pretensions and their provision which at least bars them exercise. This highly gifted woman from the very privilege for which we has earned a stock of reputation, presume the box is granted, namely, which must not only raise a great that of seeing and hearing an opera share of the curiosity of the rising acted by others. But so it has been; generation of amateurs, but also has and thus, while every provision for the secured to her the acquaintance and highest possible gratification of the personal regard of a large number public has apparently failed or been of the patrons of the art, as well as frustrated, the capital purpose of the of the public in general.
These are JULY, 1824.
sources of abundant popularity. To the truth of our observation last these must be added the desire of month, that the absumption of so dispresent amusement, which the afflu- proportionate a share of profit by inent always feel; the fashionable re- dividuals, must be injurious to the sort to the opera ; and last, not least, art, by reducing and annihilating other the certainty that so practised a tac- departments. Pasta, Rossini himtician as Signor Vallabreque would self, Colbran, and Catalani, are all never suffer a night for the benefit of to be at this meeting. We are his wife to be thinly attended-par- anxious to know what portion of the ticularly when the received opinion, receipts Addenbrooke's Hospital will that her powers are on the wane, share; for this is also very important, would seem to need some efficient inasmuch as music is now so univercontradiction. In point of fact, then, sally becoming the handmaid of chathe appearance on this occasion may rity. Not less than seven or eight be said to have little or nothing to grand festivals are to be held this do with Madame Catalani's present summer-a number we believe unstate of voice and manner. What precedented. Bath, Salisbury, Northese are, and what the musical wich, Wakefield, Newcastle, Worworld thinks of her, may be gathered cester, and Edinburgh are, it is said, from the fact of her reduced number certain. York will have its meeting of nights at the opera—from the in 1825, and preparations are making empty boxes and benches of the Con- even now for the occasion. Premises certs Spirituels, and from her descent have been bought, and are to be to the English theatre, as an entr’act converted into assembly-rooms upon singer—in pure kindness indeed to in- a scale which sufficiently evinces the individuals at their benefits. “ The public spirit of the patrons of music. truth is, sir,” said one of the mana- Indeed the impulse music has receivgers of one of the great winter thea- ed in York, and all over that country, tres, whom we lately met, “ the is not less astonishing than it is creknowledge of her decline has not ditable to the good taste of the inreached John Bull;" for which rea- habitants of that opulent district. son Mr. Elliston puts her up two One of the most interesting denights in succession (his benefit being monstrations of the growth and power one), announcing, in large letters, that of the art has been made by the din
Madame Catalani will display her 'ner of the Royal Society of Musipowerful and unrivalled talents.”- *cians-an institution which deserves This may do very well for the great all the diffusion and support that it Lessee, but it sounds vastly beneath can receive. This dinner is annually the grand Prima Donna, whom Kings held for the purpose of assembling and Emperors have complimented and together the eminent professors and rewarded. The real truth is, and it those honorary members who comought to be clearly understood, that "pose or assist the society-for prothis still greatest of great singers mulgating the knowledge of its hu(principally, indeed, from natural en- mane object-for making the state dowment) owes her degradation not of the charity generally known—and so much to the decay of her powers, for recruiting its funds. This howor to the excesses of her style, as to ever is not done by a collection at the the impression the cupidity of those table, "vot by a forced loan," as Mr. who advise her engagements has Horsley, to whom the exposition of its made upon the public. The world finances was this year entrusted, judiwere ready to give her the homage ciously said, but hy voluntary contridue to her supremacy, but it was butions, enforced by an acquaintance not disposed to yield to her all the with the humane purpose, and sepower and all the emoluments of conded by the display of art which the art. The festival at Bath is accompanies this meeting. Several just over, with what success solos were performed, besides glees, know not ;-that at Cambridge, un- by the ablest professors, and concertder her conduct, commences on the ed pieces by wind instruments. The second of July; and a curious bill of principal attractions, however, were fare it exhibits. This is the first master Liszt, and Mr. Labarre, grand festival, we believe, in England whom we mentioned in our last rewithout a chorus, but it exemplifies port. Liszt is a most extraordinary
boy. He is thirteen years and a half Szymanowska, (the Russian piaold. He sat down to the pianoforte niste). The Ancient Concert and with all possible self-possession, and Philharmonic have concluded their extemporised for about twenty mi- season. Mr. Guillon, a French flute nutes with astonishing fire, feeling, player, performed at the seventh and facility. His hand is more pow- Philharmonic, but he is not by any erful than it could be conceived such means equal to our Nicholson, either a child could possess; his execution in the richness of his tone, or the as rapid and as neat as that of our brilliancy of his execution; the last best players in all passages which do concert was rendered remarkable by not lie very scattered; and in those a concerto of Mr. Kalkbrenner, a which are in close intervals perhaps splendid composition (particularly in even more so. We observed the lad the opening movement), which comwith the most intense attention, and bined all the boldness of his invenhis countenance is the index of his ge- tion with his marvellous power of nius. When new thoughts enter his hand. mind, his face is instantly lighted up; But the most extraordinary perand for one moment previously to his formance of the season was given on starting into a fugue upon a bold Whitsun Eve, by William Cutler, subject in the bass, we clearly saw Mus. Bac. Oxon, and Maestro di Cathe inspiration dawning in all his pella (as he writes himself, Armifeatures. His faculty of composition geroloz, in any bond, quittance, or is extraordinary, but, as must happen, obligation), of Quebec chapel. The it manifested, by the repetition of fac performance was termed an oratorio, vourite passages, by the brevity of and consisted, as modern oratorios the phrases of melody, and by the must, of opera songs, ballads, a spice general want of continuity and con- of Handel, and divers heterogeneous nexion, that the mind is not yet vocal and instrumental et ceteras. sufficiently stored; though what was The house was not quite half filled, done was excellently done. Mr. La- and half of those who were there barre, the harpist, is not less of a went probably with orders. The perphenomenon, and more of an artist. formance was wretched, in spite of He is about 18 or 19 years old, but Madame Pasta, Mr. Braham, and he exceeds in delicacy and execution Miss Stephens, and although Mr. all who have preceded him. He in- Cutler's Bachelor's exercise was perdeed does what nobody has ever done formed. I know that my
Redeemer before, and rivals in precision and liveth, set in parts by the worthy articulation a good pianoforte player. Bachelor himself, was announced, but On this occasion the Earl of Darn- withdrawn, together with two or LEY was in the chair, and the com- three other pieces out of seven or pany so numerous as to fill the dinner nine of his which were announced. tables laid out in the great Argyll This is the first and probably the last Room. The boxes were crowded concert Mr. Cutler will ever conduct, with ladies, each of the committee for it appears by a manifesto he has having the privilege of admitting the since published, that he hoped to fair spectators to a box. A grace is gain both fame and money ; but that thus added to the festive mirth which he comes off with the loss of a good reigns in such a party, and which deal of both. His exposé is even was felt not as a restraint but as an more curious than his oratorio, and excitement.
he has condescended to prove that The benefit concerts have been however bad his music may be, his very numerous. It is, however, ex- logic and his English are even worse. traordinary that so little of novelty Mr. Cutler has been lately oscillating to challenge observation has been between London, Norwich, and Yarbrought forward. Among the prin- mouth, visiting each place in the cipal, since our last report, have been course of each week. In the fullnes those of Messrs. Cramer (a morning of his glory he announced his transits performance, and very much distin- by letter to the Editor of a newsguished by excellent pianoforte mu- paper, in Norwich, though for what sic,) Miss Goodall, Mr. Bellamy, Mr. other purpose than to spread the ceNicholson, Mr. Devin, Signor Cu- lebrity of his locomotive powers it rioni, Madame Pallix, and Madame is difficult to discover. A quondam