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their own lives, they have gone out to save others, under similar (sometimes worse) conditions of the elements, when the strong wind has become a gale, or strengthened to a hurricane, and hazy weather has been superadded to a heavy sea. One must be dead indeed to emotion who can read unmoved these annals of despairing ship's crews on the one hand, and of the noble intrepidity, the self-forgetfulness of danger of those who volunteer, in its very teeth, to save them. In the instance we have quoted, can anything be finer than the unflinching bravery of the coxswain, who, though the boat is damaged, and he himself bruised, sticks to his post of honour, and heads a second crew of volunteers, while his son, worthy of his father, endeavours to supplement the lost rudder by steering with an oar, and this with seas running, against which " the boat at times was as upright as a ladder against a wall?' It shades Blondin and the trapeze to think of it. It is an exciting scene altogether. The terrific surf breaking on the Pebble Ridge—the ship ashore—the life-boat struggling through the awful sea, and all Appledore turned out and watching the event with no idle curiosity, but
with bated breath and sympathizing hearts and ready hands; and some of these lookers-on were all the happier, depend on it, that their horses enabled them to ride off for the spare oars which the overturning of the life-boat made necessary. Nothing is more contagious than the example of noble deeds. The very sight of such daring stirs a man's soul; and the magnanimity of old Cox must have gone far to stimulate relays of volunteers. Long may he wear the Silver Cross of Merit, with which the Institution has properly honoured him, and decorated his son. It is to aid, in such acts, that we call our readers' attention to them: for, as the dangers of the sea are never-ending, so must be the work of those whose merciful province it is to mitigate them as far as possible, by increasing the number of life-boats on our coasts, supporting them in an efficient state for service, and rewarding the humanity and bravery of their crews. Donations and annual subscriptions are earnestly solicited, and will be thankfully received, by all bankers in town and country, and by Richard Lewis, Esq., at the office of the Institution, 14, John-street, Adelphi.
C. A. W.
THE THEATRES, &c.
At the Sunday evening bands which used to be held in Regent's Park the musical performances were generally diversified towards the close by the "piping" of Several poor little children picked up from the masses below and exhibited on the orchestra platform labelled "Lost;" thus awakening the sympathy of bereaved mothers, but the jocularity of the crowd. Now looking back at the progeny of the ancient mime, which we have recognized year after year disporting on the stage with their ccustomed mumming, grimace, and gymnasticism at Christmas-time, we are disposed to hail every " Jack and the Bean Stalk," "Jack the Giant Killer," "Number Nip," "Little Red Riding Hood," and so on, as little delinquents exposed before us as having been a considerable time entirely lost sight of, but as now found and produced for the satisfaction of those who may be inclined to own them. If indeed these annually lost children of the harlequinade could only be looked upon as interesting, no doubt great affection would be manifested by parents and guardians in owning them; but, alas! are the progeny of "Mother Bunch" and "Old Mother Hubbard" still the sweet babes of engaging innocence, who formerl y delighted us
in the prime days of pantomime with their legendary adventures? Is "Jack and the Beanstalk" now anything like the daring and adventurous Jack that little Miss Poole may have impersonated at Covent Garden forty years ago? Does "Jack the Giant Killer" kill his giants with the deft prowess tradition gives him? Is not" Goody Two Shoes" now Tittle better than a daft whimperer that nobody can possibly love ) and " Little Red Riding Hood," does she not play her part so disingenuously that Nemesis himself, the wolf, is ashamed of her meaningless sangfroid and apathetic manner?
Reflections such as the foregoing prepare us for the discovery that on the present occasion of the Christmas holidays there are only two or three pantomimes at the utmost deserving of the name. The familiar clown and pantaloon appear at two only of the larger West-end houses, viz., Drury Lane and Covent Garden, while some half-dozen of the minor theatres exhibit ragged regiments of harlequinaders associated with tho poorest pantomime materials that time and disuse have allowed them to get together. However, "poor though the offering be," a hardy British public did not fail on the Boxing-night of 1869 to encounter inclemency of weather and eyen disappointment to their expectation, rather than omit a natural custom so time-honoured as that of inaugurating the production of a Christmas pantomime. Nor did the thought of the snowstorm ont-of-doors on the inclement night of the 27th of December last appear to detract from the warm audiences of the crowded theatres.
Mr. E. L. Blanchard, the modern wizard and thanmaturgist, supplied the Theatre Royal DrueY Lane with its contemporaneous pantomime. It was the twentieth example of his unique, genial, humourous, and fanciful style. The subject chosen was the nursery tale of "Beauty and the Beast," with which the adaptor incorporated the legend of the "Peri Pardoned," told by Thomas Moore. A good deal of playful fancy is shown in the treatment of the subject, and the rhymes and versification generally are graceful and amusing. Beauty's sacrifice of herself in marrying the Beast and so fulfilling her father's promise, becomes the means of securing for the Peri forgiveness for misdeeds of a sufficiently grave nature. The title of the whole is " Beauty and the Beast; or, Harlequin and old Mother Bunch." Beauty was played by Miss Victoria Voices and the Beast by Mr. F. Vokes. Four members of this elastic family were engaged in the opening of the pantomime, and to their eccentric acting much of the success of the early scenes was due. In the harlequinade they also took part dancing and performing the "comic business," as it is called, allotted to them with indefatigable diligence and success. Many of Beverley's scenes were views of great beauty; a representation of the Vale of Cashmere, with a declining sun shining on lakes fringed with palm-groves, being a very tasteful and harmonious composition. The transformation scene was splendid—with radiant effects of light and colour, boys this year floating dreamily on that balmy and luminous atmosphere that has been hitherto peopled by suspended balletgirls; creatures, one would suppose, all too fragile and delicate to be strapped to machinery and thrust forth into space over a busy stage to win applause by their lime-lit smiles and waving forms. Glad are we that some intelligent member of the mundane fairy world has flown on her winged plumes to the editor _ of the Times with the story of the crowbar, which formed the Procrustean couch on which she was hoisted into mid-air, at one of the large houses this pantomime season.
The story of the "Yellow Dwarf," his wickedness, his self-conceit, his unsuccessful love-making, and his righteous doom, together with the loves of King Dulcimer of the Gold Mines and the pretty Princess Allfair containing also some particulars of Ban Cwpid's tricks and the capture of the great Steel Castle, were represented in this year's Covent Garden pantomime. Unusually gorgeous in •cenery this pantomime has been more perfectly
presented than such entertainments are wont to be. The transformation scene though very beautiful does not apparently contain any new idea, but as a culmination of glowing colours or brilliant forms, nothing can be more glittering and scintillating in the realm of coloured fires. Being asked the other evening by a little girl which was the best pantomime we answered "Both," at which our little acquaintance laughed as being a rather unsatisfactory reply.
Two new dramas, "The Nightingale" at the Adblphi and "'Twixt Axe and Crown" at the Queen's theatre, Long Acre, have varied the somewhat too much lengthened-nut monotony of the pantomimes and burlesques. But we cannot say that any great success has attended the Adelphi with Mr. T. W. Robertson's new melo-drama entitled "The Nightingale." Our contemporaries of the daily journals are not by any means unanimous in their approval of the latter new piece. "'Twixt Axe and Crown," Mr. Tom Taylor's adaptation or reconstruction of a German play, is a work of an historical character, setting forth with characteristic surrounding the positions of Papish Queen Mary and Elizabeth her Protestant sister, when the latter was only the Princess Elizabeth. The American actor and actress, Mr. and Mrs. Rousby, are equal to the requirements of the high class drama, their histrionic talents finding full sway in the new play, which has proved highly successful. _ .
The New Royalty announces the final season of the present talented directress, Miss Mary Oliver, and we hear the lady will soon undertake the management of a new and larger theatre than the Royalty. Meantime, those who have not seen the extravaganza of "The Flying Dutchman" at the Royalty have an enjoyment in reserve which must be gratified in fruition soon, before the piece is withdrawn. The bright little comedy of "Checkmate" by Mr. Halliday still holds its place in the bills.
Among general public amusements at the present season, we have found Mr. W. S. Woodin's entertainment of the "Carpet Bag and Sketch-Book" now at the Egyptian Hall, one of the most attractive. The carpet bag of our favourite entertainer of 20 years' acquaintance is now refilled, and contains, like the Pandora's box of mythology, a number of curious and novel things, having the best prize at the bottom, " last—not least" in our memory, and constituting a telling conclusion to the whole entertainment. In the hall we were presented (for a shilling) with a Christmas book written by Mr. W. S. Woodin entitled "Woodin's Whimsicalities," which we found to contain some really charming drawing-room comic songs and some poetry of the reflective cast; good in its way and reminding us of the best specimens of poetry suitable for girls and boys as well as grown-up people.
E. H. Malcolm.
THE LADIES' PAGE.
TOILET CUSHION IN TATTING.
Materials.—Boar's-head cotton, No. 14, or tatting cotton No. 50, of Messrs. Walter Grans & Co., Derby,
tatting pin No. 2, and a small shuttle.
The stars. The 1st Dot. Fill the shuttle, and, commencing a loop, work 2 double, (1 purl and 2 double 3 times); draw close; turn this dot down under the left thumb.
1st Oval. Commence a loop, work 4 double, (1 purl and 2 double 5 times); 2 double more, draw close. Reverse the work.
2nd Dot. Commence, work 2 double, join to the last purl of the previous dot; 2 double (1 purl and two double twice); draw close.
2nd Oval. Commence, work 4 double, join to the last purl of the oval; 2 double (1 purl and 2 double 4 times); 2 double more, draw close. Reverse.
Repeat the second dot and second oval until
18 dots and ovals are made, which will be sufficient to form the circle; leave an end of cotton
The Centre. 1st Oval. Fill the shuttle and, commencing a loop, work 8 double; join to the purl of the first dot; 8 double, draw close. Work 5 ovals more the same, joining to every third dot; when the six ovals are made, fasten off, and then attach the two ends of the circle together and fasten them off.
Nine stars will be required to form the cushion, and they are then sewed together.
The cushion should be covered with coloured silk, and the sides ornamented with a niching the same colour as the lining.
CROCHET PATTERN FOR QUILTS, CUSHIONS, ETC.
With white wool make a chain of stitches of the length required; turn, and work one long treble stitch in the fifth stitch; then work another long treble in the fourth stitch of the chain, thus crossing over the long treble first worked; work one long treble in the third next stitch, then one in the stitch before that, so as to cross them again, and repeat to the end of the row. For the next row take the blue wool;
make 4 chain, work 1 long treble in the first opening of last row, then 1 in the third, and after that 1 backwards in the second; go on thus crossing the long treble stitches to the end of the row. Fasten off at the end of each row, and cut the wool to begin always on the same side. Work alternately one white and one blue row, always in the same stitch.
Materials.—Three-ply fleecy or fine knitting yarn, doubled; needles No. 10, or, if a small size is wished for,
needles No. 12.
Cast on 41 stitches, knit 16 plain rows or 8 ridges, 17th row knit 20 stitches, pick up a stitch from the row below and work it, knit one plain stitch, pick up another and work it, then knit the remaining 20 plain, a piece of coloured wool twisted in before and after the increasings will be of use to mark the places 18th row plain. Repeat these two rows 18 times more, increasing on the alternate row after the first 20 and before the last 20 stitches. As the upper part requires to be a little wider than the lower, it is advisable to work a short row of 16 or 18 stitches, turning back on them about three times
on each side the middle rows, which consist of 20 plain rows or 10 ridges on all the stitches, 77 in number; having completed these, work thus to decrease for the other side the centre. Knit 20 stitches plain, knit 2 together, knit plain until within 22 stitches of the end of the row, knit two of these together, and the rest plain. The return row is plain knit, repeat these last two rows until the stitches are reduced to 41, then knit 16 plain rows and cast off. Either sew up the cast-on and cast-off rows or knit them together.
You have been, I presume, madam, among the crowds of young and old, to the musical revival of the great wonder-work of the last century. You have heard the Frenchman's musical expression of the German poet's thought, uttered by the motley assemblage of nationalities which constitutes an opera troupe in these latter days. You have seen the learned Dr. Faustus's wig and gown whisked off behind his easychair, and the rejuvenated Doctor emerge from his antiquated apparel as fresh and sprightly as Harlequin himself, to make love in Do-di-pettos. You have seen the blonde young Gretchen, beauteous and pure at her spinning-wheel, gay and frolicsome before that box looking-glass and that kitchen table—have heard her tender vows of affection and her passionate outbursts of despair. You have heard the timid Siebel warble out his adolescent longings for the gentle maid in the very scantiest of tunics, as becomes the fair proportions of the stage girl-boy. You have seen the respectable old Martha faint at the news of her husband's death, and forthwith engage in a desperate flirtation with the gentleman who brings the news. You have seen the gallant Valentin lead off the march of that band of stalwart warriors, who seem to have somehow lost the correct step in their weary campaigns. Your memory, even now, has a somewhat confused impression of Frederic!, moonlight, Mazzoleni, Kermesse, Sulzer, gardens, Kellogg, churches, Himmer, flaming goblets, Stockton, and an angelic host with well-rounded calves in pink tights, radiant in the red light that, from some hidden regions, illuminates the aforesaid scantily-clad angels, as they hang, like Mahomet's coffin, 'twixt heaven and earth.
But I question, madam, whether the strongest impression which your memory retains be not exactly the one personage in the drama whom I have omitted to mention—the red-legged, gleaming-eyed, loud-voiced gentleman who pulls the hidden wires which set all the other puppets in motion—Mr. Mephistopheles himself. Marguerite, studied, refined, unimpassioned in the pretty Yankee girl—simple, warm outpouring in the sympathetic German woman—and Faust, gallant, ardent, winning in the bright-eyed Italian—thoughtful, tender, fervent in the intelligent German—are background figures in the picture your memory paints; while the ubiquitous, sneering, specious, cunning, tempting, leering, unholy Mephistopheles is a character of himself, in the foreground, whose special interpreter you do not care to distinguish.
Ring down the curtain. Put out the lights. We will leave the mimic scene, and return to the broad stage of life, whereon all are actors and all are audience. There are Gretchens and Faults everywhere—American, English, French,
German, Italian—of all nations and tongues— but there is only one Mephistopheles. They have lived and loved, and fallen and died. But he, indestructible, lives on to flash fire in the cups of beings yet unborn, and lurk with unholy intent in hearts which have not yet learned to beat. There is only one Mephistopheles; but he is protean in shape. The little gentleman in black, the hero of so many strange stories, is but the Teutonic incarnation of a spirit which takes many forms in many lands. Out of the brain of the great German poet he steps, in a guise which is known and recognized wherever the story of love and betrayal finds an echo in human hearts. Poor Gretchen! She had heard of Satan, and bad been rocked to sleep by tales of the Loreley, and knew from the Bible that there was an evil spirit in the world seeking whom he might devour. But little did she dream, when she stopped her spinning-wheel to think for a moment of the gallant young lover who wooed her so ardently, that the glance of his eye was lighted with the flame of eternal fire, and that the fond words of love he spoke were hot breathings from the regions of the accursed. Poor Gretchen I
But, my dear madam, this is all a fable. Mephistopheles—the real, vital, moving Mephistopheles—has outlived Goethe, and will outlast the very memory of the unhappy heroine of his noble poem. He walks the streets to-day as fresh and persuasive as when, in ophidian form, be haunted that lovely garden which is said to have once stood near the banks of the Euphrates, and there beguiled the mother of mankind. Your friend Asmodeus—albeit not the quondam friend of that name for whose especial amusement he unroofed so many houses in the last century, when he was suffering from severe lameness—has a discerning eye to pierce his many disguises. He does not walk our streets now-a-days in red tights or with tinsel eyes; he does not limp about with a sardonic laugh; nor could you see the cloven hoof which is said to betray his identity. Were such the case, the little street-boys would point him out, and the daily papers, with which his friend Dr. Faustus had so much to do in their origin, would record his movements with greater eagerness than they do the comings and goings of generals and governors. No, my dear madam, he assumes no such striking costumes; but he brushes by you in your daily walks; he sits beside you in the car, the theatre, and even in the church, in respectable, fashionable attire. Frank dickers with him in his counting-room; Tommy chases him in the playground; Mrs. Asmodeus makes him a fashionable call, and—God help us all!— we sometimes find him sitting domiciliated at our hearthstones, He changes like the wiazard we used to read of in our wonderful fairy-books, who was an ogre one moment and a mouse the next. He is more potent than the philosophers stone; for that changed everything into gold only, while he becomes, at will, all the ores and alloys of creation. Fortunatus's wishing-cap and Prince Hussein's tapestry were baby-toys to him. They whisked their owners away to the place where they wished, at the moment, to be. He is ubiquitous.
He lurks under the liberty-cap of the goddess whose features are stamped in the shining gold and his laugh is the clink of the jingling pieces. He turns himself into a regal sceptre that sways the gaping crowd, and it becomes a magnet that draws with resistless power the outstretched itchingpalms of men. He takes the witching form of woman, paints her pulpy cheek with peachy bloom, knots into grace her mass of wavy hair, lights in her sparkling eye the kindling flame, hangs ou her pouting lip the expectant kiss, and bids her supple waist invite caress; and more seductive tar than gold or power are these cunning lures to win men to bow down in abject, grovelling worship of his might. My dear madam, I would not imply that your beauty and grace are exhibitions of bis skill. By no manner of means! I faithfully believe that Frank was drawn to you by the holiest, purest, best of emotions. But then, you know, so many of your lovely sex are under the influence of that cunning gentleman while they least suspect it. When a poor girl who owns but one jewel on earth—the priceless one that adorns and ennobles her lowliness—barters that treasure away for the cheap glitter of polished stones or the rustling sweep of gaudy silk, is not the basilisk gleam of the Mephistophelean eye visible in the sparkling of those gewgaws and the sheen of that stuff P When your friend Asmodeus, honest in his modest self-respect, is most ignominiously ignored by the stylish Mrs. Money, her father was a cobbler, more noted for brocades than brains, or the refined Miss Blood, her grandfather was third cousin to some Revolutionary major, more distinguished for shallowness than for spirit, does he not smile in his sleeve with great irreverence for the brocades and the birth, at the easy way in which the old fellow has wheedled them into his power by tickling their conceit and vanity P He creeps into all sorts of corners and lurks in the smallest of hiding-places. He lies perdu, in the folds of the figurante's gauze, nestles under the devotee's sombre veil, waves in the flirt's fan, and swims in the gossip's teacup. He burrows in a dimple, floats on a sigh, rides on a glance, and hovers in a thought.
But I would not infer, madam, that he is the particular pet of the fair, or that he specially devotes himself to their subjugation. It is certain that he employs them with his most cunning skill, and sways the world most powerfully by their regnant charms. But the lords of creation are likewise the slaves of his will and the dupes of his deception. He bestrides the nib of the statesman s pen and guides it into
falsehood and treason. He perches on the cardinal's hat and counsels bigotry and oppression. He sits on the tradesman's counter and bears down the unweighted scale. He hides in the lawyer's bag and makes specious pleas for adroit rogues. He slips into the gambler's greasy pack and rolls over his yellow dice. He dances on the bubbles of the drunkard's glass, swings on the knot of the planter's lash, and darts on the point of the assassin's knife. He revels in a coarse oath, laughs in a perjured vow, and breathes in a lie. He has kept celebrated company in times gone by. He was Superintendent of the Coliseum when the Christian martyrs were given to the wild beasts. He was long time a familiar in the Spanish Inquisition, and adviser of the catholic priesthood in those days, and Governor of the Bastile afterwards. He was the king's minister of pleasure in the days of the latter Louises. He was court chaplain when Ridley and Latimer were burned. He was Charles IX.'s private secretary at the time of the St. Bartholomew affair, and Robespierre's right-hand rman in the days of Terror. He was Benedict Arnold's counsellor, Jefferson Davis's bedfellow, and John Wilkes Booth's bosom friend.
A personage, and yet none ever saw him. His cloven hoof, his twisted horns, his suit of black, his gleaming eyes, his limbs of flame, are but the poet's dream, the painter's colour. Mephistopheles is but the creature of our fancy, and exists but in the fears, the passions, the desires of mankind. He is born in hearts where love is linked with license, in minds where pride weds with folly, in souls where piety unites with intolerance. We never meet the roaring lion in our path; yet our hearts are torn by his fangs and lacerated by his claws. We never see the sardonic cavalier; yet we hear his specious whisperings in our ears. The sunlight of truth shines for ever upon us; yet we sit in the cold shadow of error. We put the cup of pleasure to our lips, and quaff, instead of cooling draughts, the fiery flashes of searing excess. We long for forbidden delights, and when the fiend Opportunity places them within our reach, we sign the compact of our misery to obtain them. The charmed circle this unholy spirit draws around his fatal power is traced along the devious line that marks our weakness and our ignorance. Storm as we may, he stands intrenched within our souls, defying all our wrath. But he shrinks and crouches before us when, bold and fearless, we lift the cross of truth, and bid him fly the upborne might of our intelligence. Mephistopheles is an unholy spirit, nestling in the hearts of myriads of poor human beings who never heard of Goethe. Long after the mimic scene in which he shares shall have been forgot—long after the sirens who have warbled poor Gretchen's joys and sorrows shall have mouldered in their graves— long after the witching beauty of the Frenchman's harmony shall have been for ever bushed —long after the very language in which the German poet portrayed him shall have passed