« PreviousContinue »
scarce endure to be transported by We hear the most improbable tales hand from this room to the next. at this distance. Pray, is it true Their vigour is as the instant of their that the young Spartans among you birth. Their nutriment for their brief are born with six fingers, which existence is the intellectual atmos- spoils their scanning ?-It must look phere of the by-standers: or this last very odd; but use reconciles. For is the fine slime of Nilus-- the melior their scansion, it is less to be relutus,—whose maternal recipiency gretted, for if they take it into their is as necessary as the sol pater to heads to be poets, it is odds but they their equivocal generation. A pun turn out, the greater part of them, vile hath a hearty kind of present ear- plagiarists.- Is there much difference kissing smack with it; you can no to see to between the son of a th**f, more transmit it in its pristine fla- and the grandson? or where does the vour, than you can send a kiss.- taint stop? Do you bleach in three Have you not tried in some instances or in four generations?-I have many to palin off a yesterday's pun upon questions to put, but ten Delphic a gentleman, and has it answered ? voyages can be made in a shorter Not but it was new to his hearing, time than it will take to satisfy my but it did not seem to come new from scruples.- Do you grow your own you. It did not hitch in. It was hemp ?-What is your staple trade, like picking up at a village ale-house exclusive of the national profession, a two days old newspaper.
You I mean? Your lock-smiths, I take have not seen it before, but you re- it, are some of your great capitalists. sent the stale thing as an affront. I am insensibly chatting to you as This sort of merchandise above all familiarly as when we used to exrequires a quick return. A pun, and change good-morrows out of our old its recognitory laugh, must be co- contiguous windows, in pump-famed instantaneous. The one is the brisk Hare-court in the Temple. Why did lightning, the other the fierce thun- you ever leave that quiet corner ? der. A moment's interval, and the Why did I ?-with its complement of link is snapped. A pun is reflected four poor elms, from whose smokefrom a friend's face as from a mirror. dyed barks, the theme of jesting ruWho would consult his sweet vis- ralists, I picked my first lady-birds! nomy, if the polished surface were My heart is as dry as that spring two or three minutes (not to speak sometimes proves in a thirsty August, of twelve-months, my dear F.) in when I revert to the space that is giving back its copy?
between us, a length of passage I cannot image to myself where- enough to render obsolete the phrases about you are. When I try to fix of our English letters before they can it, Peter Wilkins's island comes across reach you. But while I talk, I think me. Sometimes you seem to be in you hear me,-thoughts dallying with the Hades of Thieves. I see Dio- vain surmisegenes prying among you with his perpetual fraitless lantern. What Aye me! while thee the seas and sounding
shores must you be willing by this time to Hold far away. give for the sight of an honest man ! You must almost have forgotten how Come back, before I am grown we look.
And tell me, what your into a very old man, so as you shall Sydneyites do? are they th**v*ng all hardly know me. Come, before day long? Merciful heaven, what Bridget walks on crutches. Girls property can stand against such a whom you left children have become depredation! The kangaroos-your sage matrons, while you are tarrying Aborigines—do they keep their pri- there. The blooming Miss W-r mitive simplicity un-Europe-tainted, (you remember Sally W-r) called with those little short fore-puds, upon us yesterday, an aged crone. looking like a lesson framed by nas Folks, whom you knew, die off every ture to the pickpocket! Marry, for year. Formerly, I thought that diving into fobs they are rather lamely death was wearing out,-I stood provided a priori ; but if the hue and ramparted about with so many cry were once up, they would show healthy friends. The departure of as fair a pair of hind-shifters as the J. W. two springs back corrected expertest loco-motor in the colony.- my delusion. Since then the old di
vorcer has been busy. If you do not serve for the grave postscript to this make haste to return, there will be light epistle; which postscript, for little left to greet you, of me, or weighty reasons, justificatory in any mine.
court of feeling, I think better omitted Something of home matters I could in this first edition. add ; but that, with certain remem
ELIA. brances, never to be omitted, I re London, March 1, 1822.
ON BLACK CATS.
Sleep thou in peace, my sable Se- baseless fabric of a vision is dislima, rest and be thankful, for thou solved; I wish that it had left not a wert born in an enlightened age, and wrack behind. But when Satan disin a family of females, and elderly appears, an unsavoury scent remains gentlemen. Well is it for thee, that behind him ; and from the carcass of thou wert not cotemporary with the buried absurdity, there often proceeds pious Baxter, that detester of super an odour of prejudice the more disstition; or the learned Sir Thomas tressing, because we know not whence Brown, the exploder of vulgar errors; it comes. Neither elderly ladies nor or the great Sir Matthew Hale, black cats are now suspected of whose wholesome severities against witchcraft; yet how seldom are they half-starved sorceresses, so aptly illus- fully restored to their just estimation trated his position, that Christianity in the world. is “ parcel of the common law of Be it perverseness, or be it pity, or England.” Rest, I say, and be be it regard for injured merit, I conthankful, for the good old times had fess myself an advocate for the human been bitter times for thee.
tabbies, so famed for loquacity, and Why should colour excite the ma for their poor dumb favourites in lignant passions of man? Why will black velvet. the sole-patentee of reason, the soi Whether it be true, that Time, disant Lord of Creation, degrade him- which has such various effects on self to the level of the Turkey-cock, divers subjects, which is so friendly that is filled with rage and terror at to wine, and so hostile to small-beer, a shred of scarlet? What is a hue~ which turns abuse to right, and uan absorbed or reflected ray, or, as surpation to legitimacy, which imother sages tell, a mere extended proves pictures while it mars their thought that we should love or hate originals, and raises a coin no longer it? Yet such is man, with all his current to a hundred times the value boasted wisdom. Ask why the Ne- it ever went for ; — whether this gro is a slave? He's black, not like wonder-working Time be able to deà Christian. Why should Bridget's face the loveliness of woman, shall cat be worried? Why, to be sure, be a subject for future inquiry. But, she's black, an imp of darkness, the my pretty Selima; (thou, that like witch's own familiar ; nay, perhaps, Solomon's bride, art black, but comethe witch herself in disguise: a thing ly; thee, and thy kind-the sable most easily put to proof; for if you order of the feline sisterhood, I knock out Grimalkin's ege, Bridget would gladly vindicate from those will appear next day with only one: aspersions, which take occasion from maim the cat, its mistress halts; the blackness of thy coat to blacken stab it, she is wounded. Such are thy reputation. the dangers of necromantic mas Thy hue denotes thee a child of querading, when the natural body night'; Night, the wife of Chaos, and is punished with the stripes inflicted being a female, of course the oldest on the assumed one: and this was female in being. How aptly, thereonce religion with royal Chaplains, fore, dost thou become the favourite and philosophy with the Royal So- of those ladies, who, though not 90
These superstitions are gone: this evening of their days. Thou dost Vol. V.
express thy joy at the return of thy colour, or divided by condition.mother, even as the statue of Mem- Tabby and tortoise-shell, black, non at the approach of her rival, white, and grey, tawny and sandy, frisking about in thy mourning garb gib and grimalkin, ye were a sacred by moonlight, starlight, or no light, race, and the death of one of ye was an everlasting merry mourner; and mourned as a brother's—if natural ; yet a mute in dress, and silence too, and avenged as a citizen's—if violent: not belying thy name by volubility. and this in the cradle of the sciences,
How smooth, how silky soft are (so called, I presume, because the thy jetty hairs! A peaceful multi- sciences were babies there,) and in tude, wherein each knows its place, spite of the 700,000 volumes of Alexand none obstructs its neighbours. andria. Thy very paws are velvet, and seem Yet I cannot but think that the formed to walk on carpets of tissue wise Egyptians distinguished black What a pretty knowing primness in with peculiar reverence. We know thy mouth, what quick turns of ex that their religion, like their writing, pression in thy ears, and what maiden was hieroglyphical ; that their redignity in thy whiskers. Were it not spect for various animals was merely for thine emerald eyes, and that one symbolical ; that under the form of white hair on thy breast, which I the ox, they gratefully remembered abstain from comparing to a single the inventor of agriculture, and adoptstar, in a cloudy sky, or a water lily ed a beetle as the representative of lying on a black lake, (for, in truth, the sun. Now, of how many virit is like neither,) I should call thee tues, how many powers, how many nature's monochrom. And then the mysteries may not a black cat be an manifold movements of thy tail, that emblem? As she is cat, of vigilance; hangs out like a flag of truce, and as she is black, of secresy; as both, the graceful sinuosity of thy carriage, of treachery, one of the greatest of all bespeak thee of the gentle kind. political virtues, if we judge from the False tokens all: thou can’st be fu- high rewards continually given, and rious as a negro despot; thy very daily advertised for it. Again, we hairs, if crossed, flash fire. Thou know the annual circle, and the signs art an earth-pacing thunder-clou a by which it was measured, was anliving electric battery, thy back is other object of idolatry; but one armed with the wrath of Jove. ample half of time is typified by a Hence do thy enemies find occa
black cat. sion to call thee a daughter of dark But should these deep speculations ness, clad in Satan's livery—a patch be deemed mystical by the present on the fair face of nature ; and there- age, which, if it be an age of light, fore, an unseemly relic of a fashion, is certainly an age of lightness, it not only unbecoming in itself, but may, at least, be admitted, that the often perverted to the purposes of Egyptians would prefer their own party.
colour, and we are assured by VolYet, my Selima, if thy tribe have ney and others, that they were not suffered much from the follies of only black, but literally negroes. mankind, they have profited by them As for the esteem they entertained also. If the dark age looked black for cats in general, we may account upon them; if the age of black arts, for it on the supposition, that they black friars, and black letter set them were delivered, at some period of in its black-book, and delivered over their history, in an extraordinary their patronesses to the blackness of manner, from a swarm of rats, either darkness; yet time hath been when national or political. And that the they partook of the honour and wor agents of this deliverance were reship paid to all their species, while presented under the feline figure, they walked in pride at the base of which may be plausibly considered the pyramids, or secreted their kit as a bodily representative of the spirit tens in the windings of the labyrinth. of reform. Then was their life pleasant, and After all, Selima, I doubt whether their death as a sweet odour.
thou hast lost as much by never beThis was, indeed, common to all ing worshipped as thou hast gained thy kind, however diversified by by living in a Christian country.
State is burdensome, and supersti- Well may she be proud and coy, tion' is seldom prone to regard its whom fate has appointed, not to be objects with affection.
the idol of the children of Ham, but But there is one of thy hues whose the favourite of the loveliest of the condition might have been envied daughters of Britain.. by all the sacred mousers of Egypt.
REPORT OF MUSIC.
The Opera, however fashionably power to introduce and preserve à it proceeds under the auspices of its succession of style more complete noble Committee, languishes in re- than any more modern accademia. spect to its original and greatest The rule that twenty years must charm – its music. Il Barone di Dols- have passed over a composition beheim, an Opera, by Signor Giovanni fore it can be heard from this orPacini, is the only novelty that has chestra, demands no more than the been brought forward, and its re consecrating hand of time, while it commendations are so few, as scarce- gradually opens the same train (at ly to entitle it to remembrance. Pa- this remove indeed) as is open to cini is an imitator of Rossini, but he other performances, and affords the appears to miss the leading points of additional security that the piece attraction in that composer-anima- will be proved worthy by having tion, and melody. He ains at com been retained so long in recollection. plication, and his Opera contains It is certainly highly desirable to little beside concerted pieces, which hear the splendid and perfect effects render it heavy and tiresome. Signor produced by this band--but no room Cartoni, on this occasion, made his in London is so difficult of access. debût. He is a singer of limited Surely the noble directors would renpowers, and very far below the first der an acceptable service to art if class. Both Madame Camporese they would open some door to those and Signora Caradori had characters; who have earned a title to distincthe former in one affecting scene sus- tion, and whose taste might be matained her reputation ; but time and tured by hearing such a Concert. experiment only lead to the convic- The subject is worthy the consideration that the powers of the latter are tion of these great conservators and too feeble for the amplitude of space promoters of legitimate science. in which they are excited. Signors The Oratorios at Covent Garden Curioni, Ambrogetti, and Placci, were are this year under the management
of also among the dramatis persone. Mr. Bochsa, and the conduct of Sir There was little for Curioni to do, George Smart. The first, which took but Ambrogetti contrived to render place on January 30, was a splendid himself as prominent and as high in performance. Part I. consisted of a favour as usual; the whole, how- Selection from the Messiah ; and the. ever, is tiresome, and the Opera will second, of a portion of Rossini's Sahave but a short life, and by no cred Oratorio, Mose in Egitto. The a merry one."
third was a miscellaneous Act, comThe Concerts of Ancient Music are mencing with Mr. Attwood's Corocommencing under the same list of nation Anthem, and comprehending a royal and noble directors, and with motley mixture of sacred and pronearly the same orchestra, as last fane, The Heavens are telling, and year. Indeed, this establishment is Quel occhietto coccoletto. These mixone of principles, and these principles tures are a monstrous satire upon the are confirmed by the testimony of religious observances which assume consenting ages. So long therefore as the necessity of excluding the public it exists, and we hope, for the sake of from the enjoyments of the theatre, the fine examples it holds forth, it and, at the same time, allow the will exist so long as music is known commingling of the highest mysteries in England, the Concert can undergo of Christianity with the lowest buflittle change, although it has the fooneries of the Italian comic Opera.
The orchestra exhibited a grand singer has announced her intention of display of talent; no less than eight declining all engagements for a fixed of the principal English and Italian sum, and of giving a few Concerts in female, and twelve male, vocalists London previous to her final retire of both countries, and of the first ment. class.
The publications of this month are headThe instrumental band was equallyed by a third volume of National Airs, numerous, and well assimilated in from Mr. Moore and Mr. Bishop. The its proportions. The manager, Mr. prominent beauties of the first number Bochsa, who of all living artists immediately raised this work to the high
est estimation. The second, though it possesses the most unbounded fertility, activity, and facility, accom
could not boast of single pieces as exquisite panied by eminent genius, has him- This number, perhaps, is scarcely so bril
as the first, was yet excellent and equal. self produced an Oratorio, to be liant in its poetry as either of the former ; called The Deluge, to words written but, upon the whole, is fully upon a par by Mr. C. Dibdin, which will very with No. II. Mr. Moore's facility seems shortly be given under his own direc- less, and his vigour and wantonness are tion, and with an orchestra of aug- settling down into calmer, more tender, mented power. There is, therefore, more melancholy sentiments.
We too, every appearance of these perform- probably feeling the effects of time, may ances being continued with great
like his conceits less, and his pensiveness spirit during the present season. We
more ; such, at least, are our impressions. shall render an important service, Mr. Bishop's talent. The symphonies and
This number contains additional marks of both to the public and the profession, accompaniments are as felicitous as any if we can impress upon the manager part of the work. that a very general fault is their
There is a very elegant publication, The enormous length, which fatigues even Beauties of Rossini, selected and arranged the gluttons in music, and injures his by Mortellari
. This first number contains own interests by sending the hearer the best airs, duets, and trios, in Il Baraway so supersatiated, that his appe- biere di Siviglia. Much of Rossini's mutite is rarely strong enough to ven
sic deserves to live for its vivacity and its ture upon a second such entertain- melody, and in this form his Operas are ment, although he cannot find it in
stripped of the load of recitative and chorus, his heart to make a timely retreat
and complicated finales, which are rarely from the first.
pleasurable to general collectors ; if then,
the publication be rendered at less cost than The Vocal Concerts, so long a favourite resort of the fashionable ful and successful, considering the demand
the foreign scores, it cannot fail to be useworld while conducted by Messrs. there now is for Italian music. Greatorex, Bartleman, and the Kny The new Novel of The Pirate has furvetts, are no more ; but will undergo nished in its poetry themes for musicians. a transmigration and revival, under The Serenade, Love wakes and weeps, the name of Subscription Concerts, has been already set by Mr. Banister, Mr. to be given by the surviving proprie- Wilson, and Mr. S. Webbe, Jun. The tors, Messrs. Greatorex and W. Kny- second has ventured to settle the long disvett, at the smaller rooms of the puted point as to the authorship of the
Scotch Novels, by assigning peremptorily Royal Harmonic Institution. The
these words to Sir Walter Scott, in his plan is said to be entirely new; but title : this is the least worth notice of the the difference appears to lie only in three ; Mr. Banister's is just pretty. Mr. the exclusion of chorusses, and the Webbe's has much more pretension, but it introduction of an instrumental quin- is somewhat lowered by being too chromatette, or quartette.
His Farewell to Northmaven is a To the honour of English huma- good imitation of Scotch melody, and is nity and art, a Subscription Concert agreeable and expressive; Sir John Stefor the benefit of the widow and venson's Soft Breezes Brcathing, is a very children of Andreas Rombergh, the poor thing indeed. We hope his genius is celebrated composer, was given at
not on its death bed! It begins to “ bab
ble of green fields." the Argyll Rooms, on the 11th of
Mr. Kiallmark has two really sweet February. Madame Catalani has been at Li- put symphonies and accompaniments, and
songs : Araby's Daughter, to which he has verpool, where she was received with Helen's Farewell, an elegant and plaintive the most unbounded delight. This melody.