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soil will not be in the same kind, but raspberries and purple flowers will succeed the oak, poplars the pine. Thus, beneath the roots of the drama, lay seeds of the historic novel, the romantic epic, which were to take its place to the reader, and for the scene, the oratorios, the opera, and ballet..
Music is the great art of the time. Its dominion is constantly widening, its powers are more profoundly recognized. In the forms it has already evolved, it is equal to representing any subject, can address the entire range of thoughts and emotions. These forms have not yet attained their completeness, and al. ready we discern many others hovering in the vast distances of the Tone-world. The
opera is in this inferior to the drama, that it produces its effects by the double method of dialogue and song. So easy seems it to excite a feeling, and by the orchestral accompaniments to sustain it to the end, that we have not the intellectual exhilaration which accompanies a severer enjoyment. For the same reasons, nothing can surpass the mere luxury of a fine opera.
The oratorio, so great, so perfect in itself, is limited in its subjects; and these, though they must be of the graver class, do not properly admit of tragedy. Minds cannot dwell on special griefs and seeming partial fates, when circling the universe on the wings of the great chorus, sharing the will of the Divine, catching the sense of humanity.
Thus much, as has been given, we demand from music yet another method, simpler and more comprehensive than these. In instrumental music this is given by the symphony, but we want another that shall admit the voice, too, and permit the association of the spectacle.
The ballet seems capable of an infinite perfection. There is no boundary here to the powers of design and expression, if only fit artists can be formed mentally and practically. What could not a vigorous imagination do, if it had delicate Ariels to enact its plans, with that facility and completeness which pantomine permits ? There is reason to think we shall see the language of the eye, of gesture and attitude carried to a perfection, body made pliant to the inspirations of spirit, as it can hardly be where spoken words are admitted to eke out deficiencies. From our America we hope some form entirely new, not yet to be predicted, while, though the desire for dramatic representation exists, as it always must where there is any vigorous life, the habit of borrowing is so pervasive, that in the lately peopled prairies of the West, where civilization is but five years old, we find the young people acting plays, indeed, and "on successive nights to overflowing audiences,”—but what ? Some drama, ready made to hand by the fortunes of Boon, or the defeats of Black Hawk ? Not at all, but—Tamerlane and the like—Bombastes Furioso, and King Cambyses vein to the “ storekeepers” and labourers of republican America.
In this connection let me mention the drama of Metamora, a favourite on the boards in our cities, which, if it have no other merit, yields something that belongs to this region, Forrest hav. ing studied for this part the Indian gait and expression with some success. He is naturally adapted to the part by the strength and dignity of his person and outline.
To return to Britain.
The stage was full of life, after the drama began to decline, and the actors, whom Shakspeare should have had to represent his parts, were born, after his departure, from the dignity given to the profession by the existence of such occasion for it. And again, out of the existence of such actors rose hosts of play. wrights, who wrote not to embody the spirit of life, in forms shifting and interwoven in the space of a spectacle, but to give room for display of the powers of such and such actors. А little higher stood those, who excelled in invention of plots, preg.
nant crises, or brilliant point of dialogue, but both degraded the drama, Sheridan scarcely less than Cibber; and Garrick and the Kembles, while they lighted up the edifice, left slow fire for its destruction.
A partial stigma rests, as it has always rested, on the profession of the actor. At first flash, we marvel why. Why do not men bow in reverence before those, who hold the mirror up to nature, and not to common nature, but to her most exalted, profound, and impassioned hours ?
Some have imputed this to an association with the trickeries and coarse illusions of the scene, with pasteboard swords and crowns, mock-thunder and tinfoil moonshine. But in what prosession are not mummeries practised, and ludicrous accessories interposed? Are the big wig of the barrister, the pen behind the ear of the merchant, so reverend in our eyes ?
Some say that it is because we pay the actor for amusing us; but we pay other men for all kinds of service, without feeling them degraded thereby. And is he, who has administered an exhilarating draught to my mind, in less pleasing associations there, than he who has administered a febrifuge to the body ?
Again, that the strong excitements of the scene and its motley life dispose to low and sensual habits.
But the instances, where all such temptations have been resisted, are so many, compared with the number engaged, that every one must feel that here, as elsewhere, the temptation is determined by the man.
Why is it then that to the profession, which numbers in its ranks Shakspeare and Moliere, which is dignified by such figures as Siddons, Talma, and Macready, respect is less willingly conceded than applause? Why is not discrimination used here as elsewhere? Is it the same thing to act the "Lady in Comus," and the Lady in “She stoops to Conquer," Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, and Sir Lucius O’Triggei ? Is not the actor, accord
ing to his sphere, a great artist or a poor buffoon, just as a law. yer may become a chancellor of the three kingdoms, or a base pettifogger ?
Prejudice on this score, must be the remnant of a barbarism which saw minstrels the pensioned guests at barons' tables, and murdered Correggio beneath a sack of copper. As man better understands that his positive existence is only effigy of the ideal, and that nothing is useful or honourable which does not advance the reign of Beauty, Art and Artists rank constantly higher, as one with Religion. Let Artists also know their calling, let the Actor live and die a Roman Actor,* more than Raphael shall be
* We may be permitted to copy, in this connection, the fine plea of Massinger's “Roman Actor."
PARIS. If desire of honor was the base
elected Cardinals, and of a purer church ; and it shall be ere long remembered as dream and fable, that the representative of 6s my Cid” could not rest in consecrated ground.
As if they saw their dangers, and their glories,