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Et c'est lui qui m'outrage et m'ose soupçonner!
Ah! de tous mes affronts c'est le plus grand pent-etre.
But Tancred is brought wounded to her presence, and in an instant her anger is forgotten. Rachel with heart rending eloquence, pours forth her whole affection, and agony: the very soul of a fond and despairing woman is in her voice:
Tancrede, cher amant, trop cruel et trop tendre,
(il la regarde).
C'est donc là le dernier que tu jettes sur elle !....
M. de Voltaire nearly ninety years ago produced the tragedy of Tancrède with the approval of a court and the applause of a people who would tolerate nought but the classic drama. Little could he have dreamt that, in another age, in a foreign land-the very territory of Shakespeare, the same play would fill a theatre to suffocation, a monarch and her noblesse forming a portion of the audience. Such a result is owing to that high order of genius, the attribute of Mlle. Rachel, which overcomes all prejudice of time or country.
Since her performance in Tancrède, Mlle. Rachel has agreeably surprised the public by appearing in comedy; her success has been equally striking. She played Celemene in the famous Misanthrope of Molière, a master-piece of wit and satire, from which Sheridan borrowed a great deal of his School for Scandal. Indeed, Lady Teazle has, in some points, a strong resemblance to the coquette Celemene.
In conclusion we would observe that Mlle. Rachel has been very ably supported by the other performers of the St. James's Theatre. Raphael Felix, Marius, and Mlle. Rabut are artists fully capable of appreciating, and expressing the fine verse of the great poets of France.
*** Among the English theatres now open, the Haymarket, the Princess's, and the Adelphi, of course take the lead. Mrs. Nisbett at the Haymarket, and Madame Vestris and Mathews at the Princess's are as excellent as ever. The new drama of " Title Deeds" at the Adelphi is eminently successful, and, in truth, fully deserves to be so.
THE BRITISH INSTITUTION, PALL Mall.
THE Collection of ancient masters contributed to this admirable institution, for 1817, is now open, and the display proves as interesting, and attractive as ever. It comprises sacred pictures, historical portraits, and landscapes, many of which are already known to fame throughout the world, and may be looked on with delight, again and again, for ever. Rembrandt, Rubens, Vandyke, Claude, Cuyp, Vander-Heyden, Reynolds and Lawrence are here in all their glory. Such paintings need no comment or description: they must be viewed.
HISTORICAL PRIZE PAINTINGS, Chinese Exhibition Room, Hyde Park Corner. THE BAPTISM OF CHRIST.
Two years ago a public offer was made in the following terms :--ONE THOUSAND POUNDS are hereby tendered to the Artist who shall produce the best OIL PAINTING of the BAPTISM OF CHRIST, by immersion in the river Jordan, to illustrate the statements made by the Evangelists:
MATTHEW iii. 13-17.
"Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptised of him."
"But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptised of thee, and comest thou to me?"
"And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him."
"And Jesus, when he was baptised went up straightway out of the water; and lo the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lightning upon him :"
"And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
MARK i. 9-11.
"And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptised of John in Jordan."
"And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:"
"And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased."
LUKE iii. 21 and 22.
"Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,"
"And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased."
And the following lines from the 1st Book of Milton's "Paradise Regained"
The Prophet do him reverence, on him rising Out of the water, heaven above the clouds Unfold her crystal door, &c.-Lines 79-85. Again, Line 288.
"As I rose out of the laving stream."
"It is required that the size of the work shall be not less than 12 feet by 12, nor greater than 15 feet by 12, and the two principal figures shall be at least as large as life; two years to be allowed for the completion and sending in of the pictures. The competition to be open to artists of all nations, and the £1000 to be paid to the successful Competitor, before the close of the Exhibition."
In consequence of this announcement, several paintings were forwarded to the Picture Gallery, (formerly the Chinese Exhibition Room) Hyde Park Corner, which was fitted up at great expense for the reception
This exhibition which is now closed, was visited by Prince Albert, the nobility, and numbers of the public.
We now refer to it, wishing to call attention to the painting which has actually won the prize. Before doing so, however, we cannot but express our satisfaction at a custom which has recently sprung up, and which has been most creditably fostered by the government; we mean the plan of offering prizes of large value to the competition of artists. Little can people imagine the immense good that is done by this. Real talent is often modest and retiring to its own depression and ruin. Unless some public encouragement be given-some impetus employed, it may never come forward. The mind that might conceive, and the hand that might perform a master piece, how frequently, alas! for want of a field to dare in, linger and perish in obscurity. The simple means of offering prizes will put an end to this evil at once. Honour to the spirited individuals who combine to do so! Through their aid, genius is unbound, and like the freed eagle, straightways soars into those lofty regions, the home of its aspirations.
The present instance exemplifies what we say. Many inferior paintings of course came to this exhibition at Hyde Park Corner, but the one that achieved the premium is a magnificent production. It is the work of Mr. John Wood. This gentleman had already been successful in having a picture of his chosen as the altar piece at Bermondsey Church -the beautiful painting of "the Ascension" now there-and, no doubt, encouraged by that, he put his whole soul in the present struggle, and we do not hesitate to say that he has done a work of surpassing excellence. The boldness of design, the depth and richness of tone and colour, the correctness of drawing both in the landscape and the figures, and the majestic aspect of the whole, mark Mr. Wood's Baptism of Christ as emanating from a brain profoundly impressed with knowledge and appreciation of the mighty masters of the mightiest school-the immortal painters of Italy. Much of the manner and the mind of Raphael Urban, and Sebastian del Piombo hang about this picture of the Baptism.
To convey some idea of the grandeur of the composition, and the extent of Mr. Wood's labours, we give the following detailed description of his painting.
The point of time chosen in his representation of Christ's Baptism is immediately after John has suffered Jesus to be immersed by him, just as he is uttering the words of administration. The Saviour of mankind is represented in an attitude most favourable for the ceremony, and most according with the practice said by travellers to be still observed at baptismal rites by Oriental Christians. On the right of St. John, immediately behind the Saviour, are groups representing Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus, Peter and Andrew; and the more youthful figure of St. John the Evangelist. On the left of St. John are St. Luke, St. James the minor, St. Simeon, St. Matthew, St. Thomas, St. Jude and Judas. In the foreground are figures of persons who have just been baptized, or who are preparing to be so; and in the background is seen a crowd of spectators.
This painting by Mr. Wood is, or at least was recently to be seen at his residence in Charlotte Street, Fitzroy Square. We sincerely trust that its ultimate public destination—the adornment of a metropolitan church, -may be effected as speedily as possible.
STORY OF THE BATTLE OF WATERLOO. By the REV. G. R. GLEIG, M.A. John Murray, Albemarle Street, 1847.
It was a happy idea of this well known and able writer, to throw into one small volume the actual events of the battle of Waterloo, so as to form a tale apart from the rest of history. In the ordinary perusal of the annals of the time, the reader becomes generally confused, and fatigued before he encounters the actual details necessarily somewhat lengthy of the fight at Waterloo; nor can a person easily himself detach that portion of the political narrative which relates to the battle alone. Here, however, the difficulty is admirably removed, for, in one small volume, almost at one view, we have the whole memorable event with every circumstance attached to it laid plainly before us. What really adds to the value of the book is the amazing clearness and simplirity of its style: a mere child might comprehend it. This is a boon of no small worth to civilians, when they would read about military matters, for, in general this portion of history, if at all elaborate, becomes unintelligible to any but the soldier. Mr. Gleig has indeed made a simple story of that legend of victory, which must ring in the ears, and warm the blood of generation after generation, until England is no
This account of the battle is so well knit together that it is rather difficult to separate any portion of it. The following extract may however be read with interest as describing, more minutely than usual, Napoleon's last day at Elba, prior to his alighting again, with the pride and rapidity of his own eagle, upon the land of France.
"His favourite sister Pauline, bringing other ladies in her train, paid him a visit. There was much hospitality, with great apparent politeness, at the palace; and much talk was held concerning the improvements which he meditated both in the form and size of his own residence and in the harbour and town. His guards also he frequently reviewed, and seemed to take as much pleasure in the exercise as if he had been passing a whole army before him. So passed the beginning of February, 1815, and on the 26th a grand entertainment was given at the palace. Sir Neil Campbell, the English resident in Elba, was not there, for he had gone in the only cruiser that observed the coast to Leghorn; but the representatives of Austria and Russia were present, and marked attention was paid to them. Napoleon walked through the several halls, saluting his guests; and then, leaving the ladies to do the rest, went about his own business. His guards, to the number of 1100, had been directed to parade near the quay at three in the afternoon. They stood under arms till half-past four, when Napoleon joined them; and he and they were all on board of ship by seven o'clock in the same evening. For this facility likewise of troubling Europe, the Allies had left him, that he had retained at his disposal, a flotilla more than sufficient to transport his troops to the Continent whenever the desire of doing so should become strong with him.
"How he bore himself during that brief voyage-commanding the respect of his followers by the calmness and self-possession of his manner-is a matter of history. He felt from the moment that his foot pressed the deck that the "die was cast ;" and when, on baffling winds arising, and the little fleet making imper