Imágenes de página
[ocr errors]

nance, Don Luis Lopez Ballasteros. The Minister of Marine remains. This decree is dated December 2, and is countersigned Luis Maria Salazar, who remains as Minister of Marine. By the second decree, his Majesty appoints, as President of his Council, Don Ignacio Martinez de Villela. This place was vacant by the refusal of the Duke del Infantado to accept it. By the third decree, Saez, the King's former Prime Minister and Confessor, is nominated to the bishopric of Tortosa, vacant by the death of Don Manuel Ros y Medrano. At the same time that he ceases to be Minister, he ceases to be Confessor to the King.-By the fourth decree, his Majesty, seeing the absolute necessity, for the good government of his vast monarchy, of establishing a Council of State which may unite the knowledge and the experience requisite to guide the resolutions of his sovereign authority,' has nominated ten individuals, composed of persons selected from the old Council of State existing on the 7th of March, 1820, and others, to be a Council of State. His Majesty reserves the power of adding to their number. His Majesty, as well as bis two brothers, may preside at this Council. The Councillors named are-Eguia, the Duke of San Carlos, Don Juan Perez Villamil, Don Antonio Vargas_Laguna, Don Antonio Gomez Calderon, Don Juan Bautista de Erro, Don Josef Garcia de la Torre, and Don Juan Antonio Rojas. The existence of the new ministry was not expected to be long, some of its members being obnoxious to the clergy, who were offended at the dismissal of Saez. Ferdinand has ordered the dissolution of the corps of Royal volunteers throughout Spain, and a reduction of salaries to the minimum on which the public servants can well exist, as the only means of reestablishing the finances. A sanguinary scuffle between a portion of the French garrison, and some lancers of the regiment of Ferdinand VII. has occurred in Madrid. A royal decree has conferred upon the eldest son of Elio, the traitor to his country, the title of Marquis of Fidelity, and certain pecuniary rewards. The loans of the Cortes have not been recognised. The Russian Minister, Pozzo di Borgo, having congratulated Ferdinand, in the Czar's name, on his happy restoration to unlimited despotism, had quitted Madrid. Morillo had demanded passports for France. Upwards of five hundred constitutionalists who had proceeded to Gibraltar, had been ordered to quit that town by the governor, the Earl of Chatham. Much discussion has taken place respecting the Spanish colonies, and apprehensions are entertained that the Holy Alliance,

or some of its members, have shown a disposition to aid Ferdinand in his recovery of them. No amnesty has yet been published in Spain.

The Portuguese have sent an embassy to Brazil to bring back that country to its former allegiance, in vain. The Imperial Government of Brazil refused to treat with the Envoy, unless he came prepared in the first instance to acknowledge the sovereignty and independence of the Brazilian Empire. The envoy was not even allowed to deliver or land the letters which he brought from his royal master to his son and daughter, their Imperial Majesties of the Brazils. The chargé d'affaires of the Russian emperor, at a private interview with the Infant Don Miguel, at Lisbon, presented to him the following address :

"SIRE-Being charged by His Majesty the Emperor, my August Master, with the honour of complimenting your Royal Highness in his name, I cannot do better than quote the words of the letter, which imposes on me so honourable a duty. You will not fail,' says the letter, to express to His Royal Highness, the Infant Don Miguel, the sentiments which are excited in the Emperor by his generous enterprise, his noble courage, and the filial respect with which he laid at the feet of the Sovereign the homage of the services which he had already performed, and the offer of those which he might be able to perform in future. These are actions which carry with them the best reward; the most brilliant that the Infant can receive is the glory of having saved his King, his Father, and his Country. Your

Royal Highness will permit me to make use of this happy opportunity to express also the sentiments of my respect and veneration."

An expedition dispatched to Madeira had arrived and succeeded in quelling the disturbance which had arisen in that island. Proceedings were commenced on the 8th of October, against twenty-five persons confined in prison; one died of poison which he took, twenty-four were summarily tried, and sentenced according to the royal order-twenty-two condemned to various penalties, and two, having been rather imprudent than criminal, discharged. As no actual rebellion had taken place, it was impossible to reconcile the favour of the Sovereign with the inflexible impartiality of the Judge.

The King of Sardinia, who abdicated in 1821, rather than swear to a constitution which he did not mean to observe, and whose conduct in this respect forms a striking contrast with his constitutionswearing brethren of Spain, Naples, and Portugal, is near death. He, at least, deserves respect for his firmness, though a few centuries ago, and in barbarous times, such an example of royal regard to truth would not have been wonderful in his family.

The Austrians have given a decree in

the official Gazette of Lombardy and Venice, ordering a certain number of Italians, of whom a list is given in the ordinance, and who have been absent for six years, to return immediately to the dominions of his Imperial Majesty, on pain of confiscation of all their property, and of being declared dead in law. Among them are some distinguished by their birth and fortune. Some are in Greece, and some in Spain, where they have defended the cause of the Revolution.

A dreadful inundation happened in Sicily on the 14th of November. A deluge of rain destroyed a great number of the small houses in the suburbs of Messina, carrying them and their wretched inhabitants along with it, many of them into the sea. To what extent the melancholy effects have reached, is not yet ascertained. The sea was covered with wrecks of buildings. So dreadful a visitation is not remembered by the oldest inhabitant to have taken place there before. The greater part of the calamity is owing to the high lands at the back of the town having been reduced to cultiration instead of being planted, as the laws direct, with an annual increase of large trees. The rubbish and loose mould mixing with the waters became irresistible, and swept away every thing in their progress to the sea. The number of dead bodies found amounted to 331.

Congresses are still talked of in Germany, and the interview of the Emperors of Austria and Russia at Czernowitz has given rise to numerous speculations. The interview at this place is said to have been held in consequence of ar rangements made between the two Sovereigns while they were at Inspruck, in the Tyrol, after the close of the Congress at Verona, and on their return from Venice; that the sole object of this interview at Czernowitz was to confer on the affairs of Turkey, as had been settled at Inspruck; that, however, on this occasion, the Emperors declare that they are wholly satisfied with the result of the political system which they have adopted, and by which they have maintained and consolidated the repose of Europe, endeavouring to destroy restlessness and rebellion: lastly, that the two Emperors will always remain faithful to the principles which they have openly manifested.

The Speech of the President of the United States of America has reached us, dated December 2. It is a document of great length and importance. One of the most interesting topics to which it alludes is the independence of the South American States. Any "interposition for the pur

pose of oppressing them, or controlling in any other manner their destiny, by any European power," will be regarded as the manifestation of an unfriendly feeling towards the United States. This declaration is worthy the character and strength of the Republic, and is exactly as it should be.

On the 22d of October, the Pacha of Scutari and Omer Vrionc, with 12,000 or 15,000 men, were then five leagues from that town. The place was in a good state of defence. Andreas Metaxa was civil governor, and Constantine Botzaris, the brother of the modern Leonidas, had posted himself before the town with 5000 men, to observe the Turks, who had not ventured on any attack. Mavrocordato was expected with twelve sail and some Hydriot troops; and Pietro, the Bey of the Mainotes, with 6000 men from the Morea. It was expected that a serious engagement would soon take place. The affairs of the Greeks generally remained at a stand. The Turkish fleet had returned to the Dardanelles.

The treaty of peace between Persia and the Porte has been published. The basis of the treaty provides, that the stipulations made in 1744, relative to the ancient frontiers of both empires, shall be observed, as well as the stipulations treaties relative of former to pilgrims, merchandise, fugitives, prisoners, and the residence of Ambassadors at both Courts respectively.-All places on the frontier of the Ottoman Empire, of which the Persians took possession in the course of the war, are to be restored, in their actual state, within the term of sixty days. The prisoners taken on both sides are to be restored mutually.

The Pacha of Egypt has been disciplining his troops in the European manner. Col. Seyes, aide-de-camp of General Grouchy, commands a body of 20,000 men in Upper Egypt that practises entirely the evolutions of European troops.

A warm altercation has taken place between the government of Buenos Ayres and Capt. Willes, of the British brig the Brazen. It appears that Captain Willes' boats had boarded vessels which arrived in the territory of Buenos Ayres in the river Plate, and that under the quarantine laws such a practice was deemed not admissible, especially in the waters of a friendly state. On the boat of the Brazen proceeding to board an English vessel, a shot was fired at it. This Capt. Willes considered as an insult, and stated that until satisfaction was given, no vessels should pass in or out of Buenos Ayres bearing that flag. The British residents in vain interfered, and the affair has been left to be settled by the respective governments.


His Majesty has, this month, been graciously pleased to honour both the theatres with his presence. This popular and benignant act is the more deserving of grateful mention, because it has not been usual for the King to visit the theatres until after Christmas, when part of the nobility and gentry have returned to London. His visit at this season was, therefore, not only more than usually beneficial to the managers, but more pleasing to the people, as he thus joined with the mass of his subjects, few of whom were above the middle rank of life, in that amusement which is, of all others, the most humane, the most hearty, and the best calculated to awaken sympathies which are common to all. The crowds at both houses were unusually great; the aggregate receipts are said almost to have reached 2,000l.: and, of course, numbers of those who paid could scarcely obtain a glimpse of the royal visitant. It is impossible to imagine any thing of the kind more splendid than the appearance of either house from the stage, when the curtain drew up, and the national anthem was performed:-the dense crowd of happy and eager faces in the pit; the three circles of boxes filled in front with well-dressed ladies; the slips crammed, fearfully, to the last cranny; the galleries almost bursting with the full population; and the whole throng, high and low, animated by one enthusiastic pride in their national greatness, and in one feeling of respect to the representative of the Majesty of their constitution and laws. We are glad when kings thus meet their people: they may learn at a glance how false are the calumnies which would represent them as factious; how worthy their affections are of winning; and how easily a graceful cordiality may obtain them.


There has been no absolute novelty at this house during the last month, and yet the establishment has been unusually prosperous. This has been commonly the dullest season of the year :-the freshness of the first opening nights is gone-the improvements have grown familiar to the eye-the gentry have not come to town, nor the children from school-the citizens are waiting for Christmas-and the frequenters of the galleries await the advent of Pantomime and Grimaldi. Yet this theatre has been so thronged, almost nightly, as to deprive the play-bills of their prerogative of fiction. The principal cause of this success is the brilliant manner in which operas have been presented; though Mr. Kean brought one over

flowing audience to witness his Richard, and Dowton and Liston have rendered the melancholy comedy of 'The Hypocrite' attractive. Miss Stephens made her first appearance in Diana Vernon, supported by Liston's humorous and characteristic performance of the Baillie, Macready's manly and imaginative representation of Rob Roy, and the unexpected versatility of Mr. Brown, who (marvellous change from Lord Foppington!) played the Dougalcreature with great force and truth. Although Miss Stephens is (thank God!) very unlike Diana Vernon, and though her songs in this piece are "short and far between," yet the pleasure of seeing and hearing her again was eagerly sought for on any terms, and amply repaid all whom she attracted. Braham came forward as Henry Bertram; and though by appearing in that character rather than in Prince Orlando he waived all unpleasant declaration of rivalry with Sinclair, yet he was obviously inspired with the wish of shewing the triumphant mastery of his art, and completely succeeded. Here he was supported by Miss Stephens as Lucy Bertram -a part which well becomes her pensive looks and fascinating absence of manner

If this

yet in which she has very little to sing worthy of her powers; for we think the song" Rest thee, babe," is not one of her happiest performances, and "Lease on me, my sodger love," is over in a little minute. This opera is cast with unprecedented strength, for, besides the two principal vocalists, there is Liston " prodigious" in Dominie Sampson, Mr. Sherwin with a very natural rusticity in Dinmont, and Mrs. Bunn with her fame and power in Meg Merrilies. lady is too youthful and fair, adequately to represent the withered priestess of the glens, in whose else exhausted heart one human feeling burns with strange warmth, and whose frame is animated by supernatural energy, she gave the prophetic warnings to Bertram, and the affecting reminiscences of her past days, in tones and accents which the spirit of old romance might challenge for her own. There is so much interest in this opera, that it will perhaps be more frequently repeated during the season than any other; yet Braham has gained most hands in the " Cabinet," and Miss Stephens has won most hearts in "Love in a Village." The music of Prince Orlando is Braham's own composition; it is perhaps his best; and he now sings it with all the fervour of his youth, and all the undying partiality of an author. Mr. Braham, though not an actor to our taste when he has

only to speak, yet becomes a different being the moment he begins to sing: his chest heaves, his eye brightens, and as he approaches the more difficult passages, he evidently enjoys the contest in which he is sure of achieving a victory. His greatest effort was the Polacca, in which he left all competition far behind him, exulting in the difficulties of the piece, and putting a passion and sentiment into every quaver. He three times repeated this effort, without much diminution of power, though the call was most injudicious on the part of his friends, for the repetition not only fatigues the singers, but destroys the wonder which so brilliant a performance once heard would leave behind it. The objection did not apply to the treble repetition of the little dancing song between Harley and Miss Stephens, which was exquisite in its kind, and yet would not have tired the audience, nor lost its freshness, had it been sung three times more. In "Love in a Village" Mr. Braham performed Hawthorn, and sung the good old English songs with unaffected vigour, especially that plain honest song "Oons, neighbour, ne'er blush for a trifle like this," which, in these days of cant, it does one good to hear. Miss Stephens's Rosetta, as we have hinted already, was her most charming part; indeed, it is perhaps her happiest effort, except her Polly, which we wish she would play to any body's, or nobody's Macheath. Rosetta is just made for her; a lady rustic, a sentimental runaway-something between the milkmaid and the countess, more bewitching than either an innocent impostor, lisping out a joke in arch simplicity, and holding her head on one side and looking unconscious, while she steals away your soul. Her introduced song of "Savoureen Deelish," which she sings without music, is-but let our readers go and hear it for themselves to those who have not heard it, our praises would seem extravagant, and to those who have, they are needless.

Mr. Kean burst out strongly in Richard, but his Othello is greatly inferior to what it was. Here and there are vestiges of what has been-gleams of fiery passion and exquisite tenderness; but the general performance is comparatively tricksome and cold. Thus it too often is with genius; it is fostered into a luxuriance by which it overruns its strength; and the mechanical facility and habits remain when its spirit has departed-as the rock retains the tracery of the ivy which spread itself del cately over it, when the living green has perished for ever. May we yet hail the new expansion of our

original tragedian's powers in a second spring!



All the world, that is, all which is yet in London, is astonished and delighted at the success of Mr. Young, as Sir Pertinax Macsycophant in "The Man of the World." We are delighted, but not astonished at all. We have long thought we discerned, in Mr. Young's acting, indications of a genuine comic vein, which we were assured he would turn, when he pleased, to excellent advantage. Of absolute gaiety, indeed, we did not suspect him; but we knew that he could exhibit a solemn humour, hit off a plausible knavery, and play a grave impostor to the very life. In the famous scene with Hubert in "King John," for example, his promises and fawnings are exactly of the tone which fain would belie the heart but dares not, and the oily smoothness and pretence for which comedy affords ample scope. Among his friends he has been long remarkable for the facility with which he catches dialects, peculiarities, and tones; and, therefore, we were prepared for a very clever exhibition in Sir Pertinax, and were quite satisfied-never having seen Cooke in the part. Scotch, whether true or not, was wonderfully consistent with itself, and he spoke it as if "native, and to the manner born;" his booing was so perfect, so submissive, so full of servile meaning, that it must have made his fortune had he been destined to a diplomatic career; and his disdain of all common honesty and good faith was absolutely magnanimous. The good-natured pity with which, on Egerton's spouting forth some piece of lip morality, he exclaimed "Ah! Charley! you're vary young," was almost redeeming, and carried the indulgence of a man of the world to its highest pitch, without trespassing on the romantic. His account of his life was a fine example of climax ; his utter amazement at the resistance of his son and the clergyman to his proposals was comical; and his last rage and disappointment admirably kept within bounds for a tragedian. It is a great triumph to play such a part three times to good houses, as he has done; for the other characters, with the exception of Egerton, are very poorly supported; and the play itself is every thing that a play ought not to be. Instead of shewing the noblest virtues or errors of human nature, it unveils its meannesses; instead of exciting cordial merriment, by exhibiting "folly grown romantic," (as comedy should do,) it dwells on the details of paltry baseness; and is essentially un

The Drama.

dramatic, as any piece is which does not touch some noble passion, or awaken some human sympathy. We go not to see the play, but the actor who performs Sir Pertinax, just for once and to satisfy our curiosity; and we attend to the representation with the same feeling as if we were listening to a bravura singer, or looking at Madame Sacchi in the air surrounded with crackers. Our pleasure is certainly not increased by hearing Mrs. Chatterley's version of Scotch, or witnessing Mr. Bartley's elevation to the bonours of the peerage.

King John has been produced, at great care and expense, with the true costume of the age, as the playbills inform us, and as we believe, notwithstanding the presumption of falsehood which the mode of announcement raises. It was well enough before. To be more classical than John Kemble seems almost "useless and ridiculous expense." Not one playgoer in a hundred knows or cares any thing about the dresses of the time of King John; but he recollects the dresses he has been accustomed to see from a child, and misses the spectacle which "was most pleasant to him." Why is our little remaining faith in the wonders of the stage to be thus shaken by the Managers? We took it for granted all was right, till we were thus told it had been wrong and now that our belief is once unsettled we know not what to trust to. Mr. C. Kemble, however, has, at least, the merit of disinterest edness; for he has exchanged his fine apocryphal habit for authentic red stockings and a steel night-cap, which detract from his appearance as much as a provoking correctness takes from the pleasantry ofan old, hearty, good-for-nothing friend. King John's habits are certainly picturesque; and Constance's dress, though heavy, is superb; but we cannot reconcile ourselves to the others. We gave up our reason to Cardinal Wolsey, with full power to fix all these matters for ourselves and our children, and we cannot descend to question heresies. Whether the dresses were true to history or not, the acting was true to nature, though Kemble's Falconbridge and Young's King John are too well known to need criticism. Mrs. Bartley played Constance; the audience did not do her justice, nor did she quite do justice to herself. She wanted but very little of being exceedingly good; she looked the part well; and spoke generally with great force and judgment, but she marred all by a strange drawl at the close of her sentences, which prevented the incipient applause. A young gentleman named Holl played Arthur very prettily, though his voice was scarcely strong


If the

enough to fill the house; and Mr. Bennett was generally excellent in Hubert. Palermo," from the pen of Mrs. Hemans, A new tragedy called "The Vespers of has been produced, after exciting considerable expectation. Its fair author has been for some time known to the public, as a poetess of rich fancy and deep though lities alone do not go very far to ensure chastened feeling; and though these quathan sufficient to excite general interest success in the drama, they were more for the issue of the adventure. this lady adds great dramatic power to production of the play has not proved that her unquestioned capacities, it must still it; for, not only is its language delicately add to her reputation with all who peruse streaked and veined with poetic thought, but it has an energy and sometimes a felicitous condensation which the works of the gentler sex rarely exhibit. Regarding it as a tragedy, we think its subject is not happily chosen. An indiscriminate massacre is a frightful background for a dramatic picture; and the gratuitous ferocity we take in their course, by divesting of the conspirators destroys the interest them of the noblest attributes of public virtue. The heroes of a revolution, on the stage, should be "sacrificers," not "butchers." It is unpleasant to look on at a fight where neither can win, and where put soonest out of their misery. Then, the only question is, which party shall be again, the revolution is complete in the third act, when the stage is covered with the dead, and the spectator involuntarily asks why there should be more. Still the play, though liable to dramatic objection, is replete with poetical beauty. There is much vigour of thought in the conception of the chief characters-Procida, Montalba, and Vittoria: they are fine tragic outlines, but in the attempt to clothe them with human flesh and blood, there is a comparative failure. The versification is entitled to high praise; it is harmonious and well sustained, and yet, with few exceptions, sufficiently easy for dramatic purposes.

All the male characters were well acted, allowing for a little exaggeration on the part of Mr. Yates, who, it must be confessed, encroached too nearly on "Ercles' vein." Young declaimed, with sonorous majesty, as the elder Procida, and displayed great feeling in the meeting with Raimond, whose weaknesses were well nigh concealed by the gallant bearing of Kemble. In the prison scene, where the son, who has writhed in fetters, impatient for the battle, is released and rushes out to die on the field of glory, Mr. Kemble gave one of his noblest bursts of heroic

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »