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There is an erroneous statement in the last publication of "The Patrician," under the head of "Fragments of Family History," in regard to the Earldom of Berkeley.
It is there stated "that Berkeley Castle, and all the broad demesnes of the family, were bequeathed to the present Lord Fitzhardinge, by the will of the late Earl of Berkeley."
This is not the fact.
The whole of the London or Berkeley Square property remained, in conjunction with the family estates in Dorsetshire, attached to the Earldom of Berkeley, and consequently became the inheritance of the Hon. Thomas Moreton Fitzhardinge Berkeley, the present Earl de jure, who has not chosen to assume the family honours. This inheritance, he subsequently assigned, on attaining his majority, to the present Earl Fitzhardinge.
THE OPENING OF THE DRAMATIC SEASON.
THE Winter and its approach are now the time most propitious to the performance of the English drama. In the Spring and Summer the Italian Opera, at her Majesty's Theatre, absorbs every attention, and Shakspere's majestic echo is drowned in the enchanting melody of the land of song. Italy is, at this moment, silent for us, and Jenny Lind lives but in the recollection of her excellence and the hope of her return. The theatres which have recently re-opened are, those of the Haymarket, Sadler's Wells, and the Princess's. It is gratifying to see that at all these, the sound standard English drama forms the principal attraction. Shakspere and Sheridan are once more in the ascendant.
Farren, Mrs. Glover, Miss Faucet, and Mrs. Nisbett are at the Haymarket. "The School for Scandal" has been admirably acted there. Mr. Farren's son-Mr. Henry Farren-who now makes his first appearance on the stage, bears a strong resemblance to his father, and gives much promise of being a valuable acquisition to the Haymarket Theatre.
At the Princess's Theatre, Macready is performing " Macbeth ; " Miss Cushman is the Lady Macbeth. Mr. Macready's mode of enacting the "fiend of Scotland," is too well known to need comment. The great tragedian has his wonted eloquence and energy.
At Sadler's Wells "Macbeth" is also continually represented; but here so great an improvement has been made in the manner of its performance, that we cannot but pause to point out the advantages in the alteration. Of all the scenic novelties introduced by Mr. Phelps, this change in Macbeth does him the highest credit. The play, with the exception of some absolutely necessary omissions, is acted exactly as Shakspere wrote it. The usual musical interpolation is left out, and whatever may be said to the contrary, Mr. Phelps is perfectly right in this. It is quite against taste to engraft an opera upon a tragedy, or to mix up, except in mere Vaudevilles, the singing with the spoken drama. This, moreover, is particularly wrong in Macbeth, for the music decidedly mars that rapidity of action which forms one of the finest characteristics of the play. In the representation at Sadler's Wells, the tragedy passes with that quick variety of incident which is so eloquently described by M. Schlegel in the following passage :-"The tragedy of Macbeth' strides forward with amazing rapidity from the first catastrophe, (for Duncan's murder may be called a catastrophe) to the last. Thought and done,' is the general motto; for, as Macbeth says—
'The flighty purpose never is o'ertook,
In every feature we see a vigorous heroic age in the hardy North, which steels every nerve. The precise duration of the action cannot be ascertained-years, perhaps, according to the story; but we know that to the imagination the most crowded appears always the shortest. Here we can hardly conceive how so very much can be compressed into so narrow a space; not merely external events, the very innermost recesses of the
minds of the persons of the drama are laid open to us. It is as if the drags were taken from the wheels of time, and they rolled along without interruption in their descent. Nothing can equal the power of this picture in the excitation of horror. We need only allude to the circumstances attending the murder of Duncan; the daggers that hover before the eyes of Macbeth; the vision of Banquo at the feast; the madness of Lady Macbeth; what can we possibly say on the subject that will not rather weaken the impression? Such scenes stand alone, and are to be found only in this poet; otherwise the tragic muse might exchange her mask for the head of Medusa."
The restoration of some scenes which are usually left out, is another improvement, and shews that Shakspere is far more right than those who would amend him. The appearance of a comic porter immediately after the murder is committed, may at first seem odd, yet it is strictly true to nature; the thing might have just happened so, and this very junction of the ludicrous with the horrible adds to the terror of the scene. It is this feature in Shakspere's works which Victor Hugo terms the "sublime of the grotesque." The introduction of the slaughter of Lady Macduff and her son, increases still more the intended impression of this darksome drama.
Phelps plays Macbeth well and forcibly. Lady Macbeth is somewhat beyond the softer style of Miss Addison's acting, yet she imparts her genius to it. In fine, by this production of Macbeth, Sadler's Wells has made a marked advance towards the restoration of superior dramatic acting.
At the Marylebone Theatre Mrs. Warner progresses successfully with true Shaksperian spirit.
M. JULLIEN is always fortunate: he seems to possess some magical influence which never fails to command prosperity. He has opened Drury Lane with truly brilliant eclat. The house itself is magnificently decorated-fashion has favoured it; crowds have crammed it from roof to foundation; the music of his famous concerts has had, if possible, more than its usual excellence and charm. Koenig, Richardson, and Prospere are again in all their glory. M. Jullien's mystic baton has indeed raised up an attraction greater than any that has come into action since the departure of Jenny Lind, and the close of Her Majesty's Theatre. Are we to ascribe these continual triumphs to some wondrous spell on the part of the maestro, or merely to that combination of talent, taste, and energy which has an odd knack of usually attaining its ends despite of every difficulty.
THE LAND WE LIVE IN. 8vo.
London: Charles Knight.
THIS work unites amusement with instruction in a singular degree,― the very homeliness of the style lending it a fresh attraction, by being so much in character with the subject. Railways and steam enginesmighty agents as they are, and perhaps even poetical in themselves-are yet too much mixed up with the thoughts and habits of every-day life to be fit subjects for rhetorical displays.
Each of the numbers before us contains four divisions, and we shall now endeavour to give a general idea of each, so far as our brief limits will allow us.
The first is called the "Road and the Railway," and a most delightful article it is, a sort of vivid phantasmagoria, in which the past and the present are made to pass before us with brilliant rapidity. First we are shewn the ancient Roman roads in our island; then the rude attempts at what may be called the early modern times; then we travel somewhat more smoothly over the original turnpike roads, the ground continuing to grow firm under our feet, till we find it macadamized; and lastly, we are hurled along the rails at the rate of from twenty to forty miles an hour. Indeed we should call this division the Chronicle of Roads, but that we fear many readers might infer from such a title that it was grave at least, if not dull. Now, it is anything but dull; a romance could not be more amusing; and in truth, though real, it has much of the same character. When the writer brings us from Bath or York to London in a journey of many days, now sticking in mud and mire, and now passing over miles of uncultivated land, the vehicle a heavy lumbering waggonis not that romance? or when we see the squire on horseback, with his lady on a pillion behind him, rambling from their remote hall to the metropolis, and accompanied by a dozen followers-what is that but romance ?
The second division is called the "Sail and the Steamer; but though very pleasing, it does not exactly contain what might have been expected from the title. Little is said in it as to the steam-engine itself, either in regard to its history or construction; we seem rather to be brought back to what is understood in the general appellation of the work—“ The Land we Live In," for the author first gives an account of the Clyde and of the eastern ports, then dilates upon the Thames and its traffic, as it was and as it is, presenting many charming pictures, and concludes with Southampton and the western ports.
The third division gives a hasty and yet comprehensive glance at the British Museum-as comprehensive at least as was compatible with the limits of the work and the magnitude of the subject. With all its abuses, this is a glorious institution; and when the commission which has been appointed by Government to investigate the present state of things shall have concluded its labours, no doubt such reforms will be made as to render it an honour to the country.
The last division of this part presents us with Richmond,-a place yet more interesting from its associations than from its local attractions. It