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There is a witchery in beauty as this capital, she married Monsieur well as in sound! and it is so dif- Vallebraque, still retaining the ficult to say which exercises the name which had raised her to strongest infinence over the heart such celebrity: instead, however, and its affections, that the admirers of Signora, she was henceforth of the fair Angelica were at a loss to known by the name of Ma. determine which recommended her dame Catalani. She received letmost to public esteem: , in the ters of recommendation to the latter, however, she stood unrival- royal family of Spain, from the led; and in the former she had Princess of Brazil, who was parmany competitors; and if her in- ticularly attached to her; and nocence and beauty were more whose esteem was less founded on highly esteemed, it was only be- her professional eminence, than cause they were found connected on her private virtues. with such extraordinary endow- In Spain she was honored with ments. It is certain, however, the friendship of the royal family, that the grace and elegance of her and became extremely popular with movements and person, heighten- the nobility and gentry, during ed and refined as they were by the her residence at Madrid. severe dignity of virtue, rendered After having visited the French her one of those miracles of nature metropolis, in 1806 she arrived in which only certain ages are per- England, and appeared at the mitted to behold.
Opera House, in the Hay-market, Her celebrity procured her an in the latter end of that year. Her invitation from the Prince and annual salary was only £2,000, • Princess of Brazil, now King and and one benefit, a sum not more Queen of Portugal. The opera than half what she received at Lishouse at Lisbon boasted at this bon; but she looked forward to time of the first Italian singers in that encouragement which, if it Europe. The fascinating Grassi- be not always, at least should be ni, and the still more enchanting always, the prize of superior Crescentini, were among its prin- attainments; and her expectations ejpal ornaments; and to the in- were amply realized. structions of the latter, who was Madame Catalani made her first deemed a prodigy in his art, Ma- appearance on the 13th of Decemdame Catalani owes much of the ber, 1806, in the character of Secelebrity which she has since miramide; and, to give a full disobtained. She remained five years play of her powers, a new compoin Lisbon, on a salary of three sition of Portogallo was substituthousand moidores, and was ho- ted for Bianchi's original music, noured with presents of great as being more suited to her natuvalue. During her residence in ral and exquisite powers: she was accordingly received with the Taylor's offer. She thought her most unbounded applause, and her brother's talents not sufficiently fame became every day more firin- appreciated by the situation aply established.
pointed him in the orchestre, and In 1808, her salary was increas- therefore, as Mr. Taylor refused ed to $5,250 and two clear bene- him the place to which she thought fits. Her health, however, did not him entitled, it is certain that she keep pace with her fortune, and acted more under the influence of became as variable as the climate. her feelings than of her reason at Madame Dussek accordingly was the moment. To him, however, who to perform in serious opera, and can make no allowance for that take the part of Buffa whenever irritability of feeling which is the Madame Catalani was unable to inseparable attendant of genius, perform. A fracas however took we can only say, that he knows place between her and Mr. Taylor, too little of the human heart to esin 1809, which diminished her timate as he ought the moral vapopularity in England. Mr. Tay- lue of human actions; for though for offered her £6,000 and three weakness and irritability are not to elear benefits, but though this en-be defended, yet as they formą gagement was highly liberal she part of our nature, and are frerefused to accept of it. The public quently found united with virtues attributed her refusal to a spirit of a superior order, they should of avarice, but, in doing so, they not be too hastily condemned. judged by first appearances. The Another circumstance contridelicacy of her health frequently buted, at this moment, to render obliged her to decline many en- Madame Catalani less popular, gagements, which were sufficient- namely, her refusing to sing for a ly tempting, if avarice had been charitable institution. The public the god of her adoration; and erroneously attributed this refus. when we know that she refused al, as well as her difference with 240,000 roubles, about 10,000 Mr. Taylor, to motives of avarice, guineas, from the Muscovite nobi- but if this were the real cause of lity for giving ten concerts in her refusal, how can we explain their ancient capital, we cannot the fact, that she sent twenty guithink of ascribing her refusal of neas as a private donation to that Mr. Taylor's offer to a spirit very charity? If this be the manwhich, if it had existed, would ner in which avarice manifests it. have certainly gratified itself by self, it were well for charitable embracing the offer of the Mus- institutions that all the world were covite nobility. Perhaps the state misers. of her health in 1809 was not the After the fracas between her and sole cause of her refusing Mr./Mr. Taylor, she appeared occasi
onally at private musical parties. letter was published in all the She performed at the principal journals of the time. towns in the three kingdoms; at
Froin Berlin she proceeded to the grand music meetings atOxford Hanover, where she was graciousand Cambridge, and at several ly received by his Royal Highness charitable institutions, She was the Duke of Cambridge, and all at length induced to go to Paris, the ladies of the court. where the King of France granted crowned at the Theatre with her her the patent of the Theatre usual success, and after giving a Royal Italian, with a yearly salary concert for the benefit of the poor, of £7,000 sterling. This Theatre, she departed for Stutgard. We which was then by far the most are informed that the melody of elegant in Paris, she managed her voice made such an impression with great ability for four years, on the late King, who was pasand alternately engaged the cele- sionately fond of music, that he brated composers, Paer and Spon- pronounced her name a few mitine, to conduct the musical de- nutes before his death. partment. She also engaged the From Stutgard she went to first singers of Italy, both male Munich, but, in consequence of and female. The receipts, how some trifling misunderstanding, ever, were trifling whenever she she departed without singing: did not sing herself, so that her She was persuaded, however, to attention to the interest of the return shortly after, and was afestablishment became a fatigue, fectionately embraced by the to which her health was unequal, Queen, who greatly regretted the and she determined to resign the mistake which had taken place.. charge and visit the capitals of The King was not less attentive Europe. She went first to Berlin, to her, and recommended her, to where she was received by his the friendship of his daughter, the Prussian Majesty with the most Empress of Austria. flattering respect. The Prussians Vienna was the next Theatre of were at a loss which to admire Madame Catalani's vocal powers. most, her surprising talents or Here her success was unparallelbeneficence. Of this she received ed; and a simple statement of the most honourable testimonies facts will easily evince the enfrom all the Prussian courts, and thusiasm with which she was rehis Majesty sent her, accompanied ceived. The great room of the by a most gracious letter, the Redoubt was filled to 'excess at grand medal of the Academy, each of her concerts, though it (similar to that which the Great contains 3,000 persons, and the Frederick sent to Voltaire.) This tickets of admission were very
high. The Emperor, as a mark At the departure of Madame of his royal favor, presented her Catalani from St. Petersburgh, with a superb ornainental of opal, the Empress embraced her in enriched with diamonds. Here the most affectionate manner, her benevolence and liberality to and the reigning Empress prethe poor, who always participated sented her with a pair of beauin her success, displayed itself as tiful gold ear-rings, and a diausual. Every mouth resounded mond necklace. The Emperor her praise, and the magistracy of Alexander, not less sensible of her the city, to testify the high sense virtues, kissed her hands at her which they entertained of her cha- departure, and made her a present racter, caused a medal to be struck of a magnificent girdle of brilliwhich bears an inscription highly ants. She remained four months flattering to her,
in Russia, during which time she Madame Catalani had long che- gave concerts at St. Petersburgh, rished a wish to visit Russia, from Riga, Moscow, and Wilna, which which she received many invitati- produced her, exclusive of all exons. On leaving Austria, therefore, penses and the sums she bestowed she proceeded to St. Petersburgh, on charity, upwards of 15,000 where she commenced with a con- guineas. When she went from cert, the tickets for which were Moscow to Warsaw, she was prefixed at twenty-five roubles. The sented on her arrival with a letter success which attended her per- from the Muscovite nobility, offerformance the first night was só ing her, as we have already obgreat, that several hundred per- served, 240,000 roubles, if she sons were disappointed of seats would come and give ten concerts, each succeeding night. She was at their ancient capital during the persuaded to give her concluding winter. Apprehending her health, concert at the public exchange, would not endure the severity of: where she was honoured with the the climate, she declined the flatpresence of 4,000 individuals. The tering and advantageous invita-, receipts of this concert she de- tion. voted to the relief of two hundred She made her second appeardistressed families in St. Peters- ance in England in July 1822, and burgh. Such is the illustrious cha- gave a concert at the Argyle: racter who has been charged with Rooms on the Sixteenth of that avarice in the metropolis of the month, where she was received British empire ! These plain with the most enthusiastic apstatements, we trust, will total-plause. Nothing could equal the ly efface from the mind of the effect which she produced in singPublic, the ill-grounded concep-ing Rode's violin variations. In tions of her character.
this extraordinary exercise of her
vocal powers, she displayed at once We are sorry out liinits will her surprising rapidity, strength, not allow us to follow her, we and sweetness. She gave an- must therefore conclude by menother concert on the 30th of July, tioning her late return to London, the profits of which amounted to where her success is without exupwards of £300, and which she ample. At this, however, we feel devoted to the funds of the West- no surprise ; for since she first minster General Infirmary ; and, commenced her musical career, to indeed, the whole tenor of her life the present moment, she has been shews the mistaken prejudice, not only the first singer in Europe, which bad been at one time excited but in fact the only singer who against her in this country. may be truly said to have had no
From London, Madame Catala- competitor. The public mind neni proceeded to Glasgow; and af- ver hesitated for a moment between terwards visited Edinburgh, New- the comparative merits of her and castle, York, and Liverpool : here any other performer; and when she was joined by Mr. Yaniewicz, we say the public mind, we do who became the sole director of not mean the English public alone, her concerts. From Liverpool but that public of which all the she proceeded to Leeds, and nations in Europe are composed. next visited Sheffield, where she No country could produce a sewas suddenly taken ill while cond to her, though Italy, France, the audience were assembling, or and England have produced singrather after the greater part of ers of whom, perhaps, it would them had assembled. The effect have been said, “ the force of naof her illness produced a tempo- ture could no farther go,” if the rary suspension of her vocal pow-illustrious Angelica Catalani had ers; and she continued three days been silently immured in a nunc in this alarming state. She left nery, and her transcendent powSheffield without a concert, pro- ers known only to her cloistered mising to return shortly, which sisters, whose innocence or credu. she did after visiting Birmingham, lity would, in all probability, have Bath, and Clifton. From Shef- deemed them rather the work of field she proceeded to Notting- inspiration, than one of those unham, and from thence to London. attainable gifts, which nature beDuring this excursion she cleared stows on her own peculiar favoua' ove £6,000 over and above the rites. heavy expensés, which she must have necessarily incurred. After
LIFE OF LORD BYRON. some stay in the Metropolis she proceeded to the Continent, where she There is not, we feel assured, a met with her usual encouragement. single reader of this Work who does