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of law is to find guilty and fine any accused person whom he thinks has any money—(because if he don't he has to take his costs in County Scrip,) it behooves me to “ take time by the fore-lock.” So, for the present, adieu. Should my system succeed to the extent of my hopes and expectations, I shall publish my new grammar early in the ensuing month, with suitable dedication and preface; and should you, with your well known liberality, publish my prospectus, and give me a handsome literary notice, I shall be pleased to furnish a presentation copy to each of the little Pioneer children.
P. S. I regret to add that having just read this article to Mrs. Phænix, and asked her opinion thereon, she replied, that "if a first-rate magazine article were represented by 100, she should judge this to be about 13; or if the quintessence of stupidity were 100, she should take this to be in the neighborhood of 96.” This, as a criticism, is perhaps a little discouraging, but as an exemplification of the merits of my system it is exceedingly flattering. How could she, I should like to know, in ordinary language, have given so exact and truthful an idea-how expressed so forcibly her opinion (which, of course, differs from mine) on the subject ?
As Dr. Samuel Johnson learnedly remarked to James Boswell, Laird of Auchinleck, on a certain occasion
“Sir, the proof of the pudding is in the eating thereof."
MUSICAL REVIEW EXTRAORDINARY.
SAN DIEGO, July 10th, 1854.
As your valuable work is not supposed to be so entirely identified with San Franciscan interests, as to be careless what takes place in other portions of this great kedntry, and as it is received and read in San Diego with great interest (I have loaned my copy to over four different literary gentlemen, most of whom have read some of it), I have thought it not improbable that a few critical notices of the musical performances and the drama of this place might be acceptable to you, and interest your readers. I have been, moreover, encouraged to this task by the perusal of your interesting musical and theatrical critiques on San Francisco performers and performances; as I feel convinced that, if you devote so much space to them, you will not allow any little feeling of rivalry between the two great cities to prevent your noticing ours, which, without the slightest feeling of prejudice, I must consider as infinitely superior. I propose this month to call your attention to the two great events in our theatrical and musical world—the appearance of the talented Miss PELICAN, and the production of Tarbox's celebrated "Ode Sympho. nie ” of “The Plains."
The critiques on the former are from the columns of The Vallecetos Sentinel, to which they were originally contributed by me, appearing on the respective dates of June 1st and June 31st.
From the Vallecetos Sentinel, June 1st.
Miss PELICAN.--Never during our dramatic experience, has a more exciting event occurred than the sudden bursting upon our theatrical firmament, full, blazing, unparalleled, of the bright, resplendent and particular star, whose honored name shines refulgent at the head of this article. Coming among us unheralded, almost unknown, without claptrap, in a wagon drawn by oxen across the plains, with no agent to get up a counterfeit enthusiasm in her favor, she appeared before us for the first time at the San Diego Lyceum, last evening, in the trying and difficult character of Ingomar, or the Tame Savage. We are at a loss to describe our sensations, our admiration, at her magnificent, her superhuman efforts. We do not hesitate to say that she is by far the superior of any living actress; and, as we believe hers to be the perfection of acting, we cannot be wrong in the belief that no one hereafter will ever be found to approach her. Her conception of the character of Ingomar was perfection itself; her playful and ingenuous manner, her light girlish laughter, in the scene with Sir Peter, showed an appreciation of the savage character, which nothing but the most arduous study, the most elaborate training could produce; while her awful change to the stern, unyielding, uncompromising father in the tragic scene of Duncan's murder, was indeed nature itself. Miss Pelican is about seventeen years of age, of miraculous beauty, and most thrilling voice. It is needless to say she dresses admirably, as in fact we have said all we can say when we called her most truthfully, perfection. · Mr. John Boots took the part of Par thenia very creditably, etc., etc.
From the Vallecetos Sentinel, June 31st. Miss PELICAN.-As this lady is about to leave us to commence an engagement on the San Francisco stage, we should regret exceedingly if any thing we have said about her, should send with her a prestige which might be found undeserved on trial. The fact is, Miss Pelican is a very ordinary actress ; indeed, one of the most indifferent ones we ever happened to see. She came here from the Museum at Fort Laramie, and we praised her so injudiciously that she became completely spoiled. She has performed a round of characters during the last week, very miserably, though we are bound to confess that her performance of King Lear last evening, was superior to any thing of he kind we ever saw. Miss Pelican is about forty-three years of age, singularly plain in her porsonal appearance, awkward and embarrassed, with a cracked and squeaking voice, and really dresses quite outrageously. She has much to learn-poor thing!
I take it the above notices are rather ingenious. The fact is, I'm no judge of acting, and don't know how Miss Pelican will turn out. If well, why there's my notice of June the 1st; if ill, then June 31st comes in play, and, as there is but one copy of the Sentinel printed, it's an easy matter to destroy the incorrect one; both can't be wrong; so I've made a sure thing of it in any event. Here follows my musical critique, which I flatter myself is of rather superior order:
THE PLAINS. ODE SYMPHONIE PAR JABEZ TARBOX.This glorious composition was produced at the San Diego Odeon, on the 31st of June, ult., for the first time in this or any other country, by a very full orchestra (the performance taking place immediately after supper), and a chorus composed of the entire “ Sauer Kraut-Verein,” the Wee Gates Association," and choice selections from the "Gyascutus” and “Pikeharmonic” societies. The solos were rendered by Her Tuden Links, the recitations by Herr Von Hyden Schnapps, both performers being assisted by Messrs. John Smith and Joseph Brown, who held their coats, fanned them, and furnished water during the more overpowering passages.
“The Plains " we consider the greatest musical achievement that has been presented to an enraptured public. Like Waterloo among battles; Napoleon among warriors; Niagara among falls, and Peck among senators, this magnificent composition stands among Oratorios, Operas, Musical Melodramas and performances of Ethiopian Serenaders, peerless and unrivalled. Il frappe toute chose parfaitment froid. “It does not depend for its success
upon its plot, its theme, its school or its master, for it has very little if any of them, but upon its soul-subduing, all-absorbing, high-faluting effect
upon the audience, every member of which it causes to experience the most singular and exquisite sensations. Its strains at times remind us of those of the old master of the steamer McKim, who never went to sea without being unpleasantly affected ;-a straining after effect he use to term it. Blair in his lecture on beauty, and Mills in his treatise on logic, (p. 31,) have alluded to the feeling which might be produced in the human mind, by something of this transcen. dentally sublime description, but it has remained for M. Tarbox, in the production of The Plains, to call this feeling forth.