« AnteriorContinuar »
A History of British Fishes, with woodcuts of all the species and numerous illustrative vignettes, intended as a companion to “ Bewick's British Birds," is in a forward state. The descriptions by W. Yarrell, F.L.S.
Documents illustrative of the Life and History of Thomas à Beckett, edited with notes and illustrations by John Holmes, Esq., and Joseph Stevenson, Esq., preparing for publication in 8vo.
The August Number of the cheap and select Monthly Series, entitled “ Colburn's Modern Novelists,” comprises Mrs. Radcliffe's celebrated Romance of Gaston de Blondeville, in 2 vols.
The Court of Sigismond Augustus, or Poland in the Sixteenth Century, an historical novel, is in preparation by a Polish Refugee.
Dr. Southey is engaged upon a Life of Dr. Watts, to accompany a new edition of the “Horæ Lyricæ,” forming the 9th vol. of the Sacred Classics.
The Rule of Life, or Guide to Practical Piety, deduced from the Sacred Scriptures, will shortly be published.
The Life of Mrs. Siddons, by Thomas Camp. bell, 2 vols. 8vo. 268.
Howitt's Abridgment of his History of Priestcraft. fcp. 8vo. Is. 6d.
Belgium and Westeru Germany in 1833, by Mrs. Trollope. 2 vols. post 8vo. 188.
Arrowsmith's Map to Burnes' Travels into Bokhara. 8vo. 78. 6d.
Dacre, a Novel, edited by the Countess of Morley. 3 vols. post 8vo. 11. Ils. 6d.
The Surgical and Descriptive Anatomy of the Bones, Ligaments, and Joints, by W. H. Thomas, 12mo. 6s.
Chitty's Practical Treatise on Medical Juris. prudence, Part I. royal 8vo. 21s.
Baines's Map of the Lakes, with an Itinerary. 38. 6d.
Madame Boivin on the Diseases of the Ute. rus, from the French, by G. O. Heming, F.L.S. 8vo. 148.
D’Israeli's Curiosities of Literature, Vol. V. 12mo. 5s.
Valpy's Hume and Smollett's England, Vol. VI. 12mo, 53.
Sketches of Natural History, by Mary Howitt. 18mo. 58.
The Fly-Fisher's Guide, illustrated by co. loured Plates of upwards of Forty of the most useful Flies, by G. C. Bainbridge, Esq. 3d edit. 8vo. 16s.
Coleridge's Poetical Works, Vol. III. 12mo. 5s.
Landseer's Catalogue of Pictures in the National Gallery, 8vo. 12s.
Scenes and Hymns of Life, by Mrs. Hemans. 12mo. 78. 6d.
The Darker Superstitions of Scotland, by J. G. Dalyell. 8vo. 168.
LIST OF NEW BOOKS. A Treatise on Naval Tactics, by P. Paul Hoste, translated by Capt. J. D. Boswall, R.N., with 52 Plates, and additional Notes and Il. lustrations. 4to. 31. 3s.
Twelve Discourses in Explanation of the Liturgy of the Church of England, by Dean Burrowes. 8vo. 8s.
South Australia, or a Description of the Country, illustrated by Charts and Views. 18mo. 2s. 6d.
English Scenes and English Civilisation, 3 vols. post 8vo. ll. lls. 6d.
PUBLICATIONS. Illustrations of the Bible. Parts 6 and 7. By John Martin. The genius of John Martin is happily occupied in illustrating the Sacred Volume. The awful grandeur of the subject is appreciated by the British painter: this is a high, but a merited compliment. Moreover, the shadowy nature of the descriptions affords ample scope to the imagination of the artist; he is tied down by few rules, and is almost free to permit his wild but luxuriant fancy to revel as it pleases in portraying the scenes and circumstances of holy writ. The prints, of which we have now several before us, are grand in the extreme-magnificent in conception-and very beautiful in all their minor details. It is impossible to look at one of them without feeling at once convinced that Martin is a noble painter in the chief requisites at which the art aims-to move, impress, and delight. The illustrations of Nos. 6 and 7 are-" The Seventh Plague," "The Destruction of Pharoah's Host," “ Moses Breaking the Tables," and " Fall of the Walls of Jericho."
Memorials of Oxford. No. 20. It is long since we noticed this useful and interesting work. To Alma Mater it must be especially interesting ; so to all who drank the first draught of knowledge at one of her many founts; but to the public generally, it is a pleasant and profitable acquisition-describing, as it does, the most perfect, and beautiful, and time-honoured of our English buildings, with their histories, briefly, but agreeably and distinctly detailed. Mr. Le Keux is well known as the most eminent of our architectural engravers; to him the work is indebted for much of its completeness, Engravings from the Works of Sir Joshua Reynolds. Part 7.
By S. W. Reynolds. The productions of Sir Joshua, still the chief painter of Britain, can never tire. There is in them the great charm of Art-Nature. They are but copies of the works of a far more perfect Master ; yet, as copies, they have never since been equalled. The publication now before us is of the highest interest and value; it is beautifully “ got up"-of a very agreeable shape and size and when printed, will be one of the most delightful ac: cessions to the drawing-room which modern times (so fertile in rare and exquisite specimens of art) has yet produced. Illustrations of the Poetical Works of Sir Walter Scott.
Appendix thereto. We regret to find that this work is brought to a close. It has been conducted with considerable taste and talent, and adds materially to the enjoyment we receive in perusing the works of the great man of the nineteenth century. If his fame as a poet was lost in his reputation as a novelist, there are thousands and tens of thousands who cannot forget the delight with which they followed him through the wild and beautiful scenery of his native land, or the joy they received from his delineations of the gentler or harsher passions of human nature. To such his poems are still dear, and all such should illustrate them by those graphic explanations which have been, with so much care and at so much expense, prepared for them. The editor, Mr. Martin, offers some remarks, in a very temperate and well-written preface, on the course pursued by Mr. Turner in reference to this work. We need not explain the circumstances to which we refer, for Mr. Turner took care to let his “ complaint” be known, by publishing it as widely as newspaper advertisements could go. It is but just to Mr. Martin to say that his explanation is perfectly satisfactory; indeed, he deserves the highest praise for the gentle and gentlemanly manner in which he has treated the matter.
The days of Beau Nash have been revived at this pleasant little theatre. Gentlemen with toupees and powder, and coats stuck out with buckram, and legs with stockings above the knees-ladies with hoops and“ slippered stilts," and heads built up with enormous piles of hair and ribbon swindlers who are gentlemen, and gentlemen who are swindlers, confounding with a quiet and liberal ease all pedantic distinctions of meum and tuum – with the immortal Nash himself presiding over all, the decus et solamen of the Pump-room, the watchful lynx of the gaming-table, the darling of fashionable and conventional absurdity, yet withal no unkindly pattern of our better human species. For this we are obliged to Mr. Jerrold. We differ very widely from the writers who have blamed him for selecting such a subject in the first place, in the next for treating it unsqueamishly (in other words, for ransacking and exposing its foibles, its weaknesses, and its follies), and in the last for an entire and most un
charitable absence of a few.“ startling situations,”- that might have made all these odds more even. Such objections may be fairly termed high praise. Surely, if any object could propose itself to a writer of Mr. Jerrold's peculiar faculty of observation and wit
, worthy of all success, and of all the rewards, present and future, that should attend it, here it is. He strives to fix, in permanent colours, some of the fleeting, bygone follies of mankind. Long ago, from the groves and glories of Bath, its assembly, its pump-room, and its wells, a “parting genius was with sighing sent, which now the dramatist restores to us in his habit as he lived, with his tawdry dress and his white hat, putting him on the real scene, with the real associates of his life around him, fearing not to make them occupy what is now rare and dangerous ground (for the stage, now-a-days, must reduce everything either to strict morality or to “open manslaughter and bold bawdry'),—that neutral ground of character which stands between vice and virtue, which is, in fact, indifferent to neither, the “ happy breathing-place from the burden of a perpetual moral questioning,”-and scorning
to mar the truth of his picture by any merely trading convulsions or startling situations. This it is, as Mr. Jerrold delicately but proudly intimates in his preface to the published drama, to write a “comedy of manners.'' The writer can truly affirm,” Mr. Jerrold continues, that much less labour of thought, much less vain research, than was exercised to give a dramatic existence to Beau Nash, sufficed to produce any two of the most successful dramas named in the preceding title-page." "We do not doubt it.
The principal hints, however, of the drama (historical) have been derived from a “ Life of Richard Nash, Esq.,” now extant, and written in such choice English as to have the honour of being attributed to Goldsmith. The eccentricities which figure throughout the memoir are woven with great skill and acuteness into the conduct of the comedy. Nash is equally familiar with lords and pickpockets; is a desperate slave to gaming, yet the active preseryer of many of its victims ; encourages play as a useful vice, while he makes charity a fashionable virtue; strips sword-wearers and apron-wearers of their swords and aprons; and condescends to write for the puppets of the celebrated Mr. Powell a satire against the slatternly bootwearers of Bath, wherein Punch,“ having thrown his wife out of window, goeth tranquilly to bed in his boots.” This Mr. Powell, whose peculiarities are pleasantly hit off by Mr. Jerrold in a sketch of his chief assistant,
Thespis Claptrap, is he of the Tatler and Spectator, whose skill in motions” has been immortalized by the genius of Sir Richard Steele. Who can ever forget the exquisite letter of the under-sexton of the parish of St. Paul's, Covent Garden, complaining of his congregation taking the warning of his bell, morning and evening, to go to a puppet-show, set forth by “one Powell,” under the Piazzas, by which he had not only lost his two customers, whom he used to place for sixpence a-piece over against Mrs. Rachel Eyebright, but Mrs. Rachel herself had gone thither also. “ I have placed my son at the Piazzas," says the despairing sexton, “ to acquaint the ladies that the bell rings for church, and that it stands on the other side of the garden ; but they only laugh at the child.-As things are now, Mr. Powell has a full congregation, while we have a very thin house, This rage for puppets is pleasantly transferred to Bath. It adds to the characteristic picture of life and manners on the scene. Another purely historical personage in the comedy is the famous reclaimed rogue Jack Baxter. Speaking of the two, Nash and Jack, the lauded potentate and the laudatory pickpocket, Mr. Jerrold rem that “ Two or three stern thinkers, who have objected to the want of a' moral tendency' in the comedy, may say of the king and the sharper, Arcades ambo ! Alí the author has to reply to this is, he disputes not such classification." Why should he ? This brings us to what we commenced with. He has done right and boldly in leaving these characters as they
were. He has effected the purpose of perpetuating manners and society in a certain conventional aspect, and the picture will live. It is not his fault if some of his personages are mere puppets--moral or immoral, as the strings are pulled- such is artificial society ever. We leave the moral Quixotes to fight against them as they may; or we leave them,“ in their anxiety that their morality should not take cold, to wrap it up in a great blanket surtout of precaution against the breeze and sunshine.".
Meanwhile we beg of our wiser readers to enjoy with us the “ breeze and sunshine” of Mr. Jerrold's dialogue in this little theatre. It is sharp as well as smiling-full of wit and sprightliness. Of one thing, however, we would remind Mr. Jerrold, that in a comedy of manners it is of infinitely greater importance to sustain constantly before us the given picture of life and character, than' to expose in good set satire its errors or false pretensions. We must make a charge here, too, against our accomplished author, which we have elsewhere made more than once. He is too fond of repartee. He can bear to be told this, for he shares the fault in very illustrious company. Congreve always made wit too much the business, instead of the ornament, of his comedies. In Mr. Jerrold's dialogue passages are every now and then peeping out which seem to have been prepared“ cut and dry” for the scene. The speaker has evidently brought them with him he has not caught them on the scene by the help of some light of dialogue, or suggestion of present circumstances. We beg of Mr. Jerrold to consider this more curiously in his next production, and we beg of him to lose no time in favouring us again. We ought to say one word of the acting. It is good, though not of the highest order. Mr. Farren has set up too high a standard in many of his own achievements, to leave us always satisfied with what he does. But he is great in Nash—now and then. Mr. Brindal plays Lavender Tom in a way that is quite worthy of that delicate and admirable sketch-and more we cannot say. Buckstone and Webster are also good, and Mrs. Nisbett looks charming with her hoop and powder, and black sparkling eyes.
THE LYCEUM THEATRE, OR ENGLISH OPERA HOUSE. Since the publication of our last number, Mr. Arnold's new theatre has been completed, and thrown open to the public. Both externally and internally, it presents a vast improvement upon that, above the ruins of which it has risen. In front it has a handsome corinthian or composite portico and pediment, while internally its arrangements and decorations are both commodious and elegant. În point of shape, it is rather more elliptical than most of the other theatres of the metropolis, resembling in this iespect the Italian Opera House. The most remarkable features in its appearance are the light pillars which spring from its dress circle pannelling as from plinths-and, without having any architectural connexion with the line of the first circle, are carried up to the gallery and second box circle, the frontage of which is formed of their cornice and balustrade. The balcony, which projects beyond the line of the dress circle, is also a novelty in this country, although very usual in continental theatres. As it is not very spacious, and, at the same time, is fitted up so as to afford peculiarly comfortable accommodation to its occupants, it cannot be considered unreasonable that the price of admission to it should be rather more than to the other boxes. The general style of ornament throughout the house is of the Roman arabesque kind, and is remarkable for its light gracefulness and gay effect. That the new Opera House is well adapted for the great purpose of its erection has been proved since it has been opened. Music, both orchestral and vocal, is remarkably well heard in it.
The honour of leading its performances was reserved for a new English opera--for Mr. E. J. Loder's Nourjahad; which, however, did not make its appearance for some days after the announced commencement-to use a University phrase. We looked forward with no little interest to the
production of this novelty. Our English school of dramatic music haş sunk into so wretched a state of degeneracy, that we were anxious to know whether or not the day had arrived that was to give a fresh and vigorous impulse to its energies. We had, in this regard, reason to indulge in some flattering anticipations, inasmuch as we have known some of our composers to speak very roundly of their own recondite powers, and to blame public taste alone for the fault which allowed such treasure to lie unworked in the mine. We do not mean to insinuate that Mr. Loder was one of this class, but we still hoped that he would—his courage being wound up to the extraordinary effort of composition-make good their boast by implication. The subject of Nourjahad was happily selected for an opera : it afforded most ample opportunity for great variety as well of dramatic as of musical effect. We must say that the person who undertook the management of the former proved himself unequal to his theme. He
gave but a sketch of incident and of character, and left the burden of his subject upon the property-man and scene-painter; neither of whom, much to their credit be it spoken, were in any manner wanting to the trust imposed upon them. We have never seen more elegant pageantry on any stage, than they have produced from their studio and laboratory. To come to Mr. Loder. Any expectation of originality in his composition was put an end to, when we heard the concluding bar of his overture. It was nothing more nor less than an ill-managed rifaccimento of familiar strains from Auber and Herold. In justice to him, however, we must say that, although the inspiration of the opera itself was derived from the same fount, it was conducted with a better feeling, and with more congruity of effect. There was, assuredly, no originality in it from first to last (with perhaps one or two exceptions), nor did it in any part exhibit much force of character; but again, on the other hand, it was, in its many airs and duets, light, graceful, and agreeable. Its orchestral accompaniments were full and masterly, frequently reminding us of better men than the French romauncers, and giving decided promise that Mr. Loder, whenever he may think proper to consult his own imagination for his theme, will produce something capable of reflecting credit on himself and his country. That he has a taste for the management of operatic composition, we cannot but believe, when we consider how skilfully he has managed both transition and connexion in many parts of this opera. Nourjahad, with all its faults, has, in truth, much in it to please not only ordinary ears, but the nicer perception of the well-informed amateur or professor, who can appreciate in music something more than the simple melody of an air. We believe it has been successful; we hope it may have been so—not only for the sake of the spirited management of the new theatre, but that Mr. Loder may therefore be stimulated to renewed exertion, and to do better things.
Miss Mitford's Tragedy of Charles the First has been produced here during the past month with very great success. Greater than it deserved it could hardly have experienced, looking merely to the noble effort it implied of presenting on the English stage a new English historical tragedy. Nor was the execution unworthy of the effort, though, as it seems to us, it falls short, perhaps necessarily, of the great subject it grapples with. The death of Charles the First is the grandest event known to the history of the world. It was brought about by men of the most singular ability and extraordinary comprehension that the world has seen. It was intended by them as an awful and deliberate assertion of a great principle established through severe contentions, through peril and self-sacrifice-a 'warning and an example to succeeding generations. It was done in the face of day, before startled kings and astonished people. It was the victory of firmness and principle, and intellectual power. Not so with Miss * Mitford's scenic representation. She throws the moral beauty into