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that the present forms of society, which grew out of other circumstances, must be broken up and remoulded, though the wildest imagination may fail to picture what shape it will finally assume. In the meanwhile we have only to comfort ourselves with the old maxim, that "every thing is for the best."
This charming girl is fond of dancing;
She'll clasp no other hand than mine.
I run at once to her dear side, Not merely down the steps escorting, But her sweet footsteps homeward guide. How sweetly, gently, then conversing,
We pass the moonlit hours away, Our hearts grow one in fond affection
Love warming all we think and say.
No dove is softer than this maiden,
Her eyes are bright and full of courage,
THE OPERA STILL AT ITS ZENITH.
HER Majesty's Theatre continues the centre of attraction to the whole fashion of London: the excitement created by the surpassing merit of Jenny Lind has no wise abated, and every night of her performance the house is invaded by a multitude--by a perfect mass of admirers. Never did singer before make impression like this. The name, and the fame of Jenny Lind form the topic of conversation universally, unceasingly. Each new character she impersonates is another triumph: each repetition adds fresh laurels to that crown of harmony which now belongs to her alone. "La Figlia del Reggimento," La Sonnambula," 'Norma," are repeated again and again amid enthusiasm and delight. So complete is the excellence of Jenny Lind, as the heroine in each of these operas, that it becomes impossible to give the preference to any one of them. "Norma," considering the difficulty she had to contend with, is perhaps the greatest wonder she has achieved. The first night of her acting Norma was distinguished by a state visit from the Queen. It was a glorious occasion for her Majesty's Theatre. The aspect of the house was magnificent. The Royal box, surmounted by a crown, was hung with crimson velvet, fringed with gold; the decorations extended to the boxes on the right and left, which held the ladies and gentlemen of the suite. Two yeomen, according to ancient custom, stood on the stage in front of the regal presence. Her Majesty and Prince Albert, who was dressed in full uniform, arrived exactly at eight o'clock, which was the signal for the commencement of the national anthem. The brilliant assemblage in the boxes, the richness of the dresses, the abundance of jewelз worn by the fair visitors, produced a superb spectacle when the whole company rose. Nor was the enthusiasm less than the splendour. Acclamations were uttered on all sides, and handkerchiefs were waved in all directions at the end of the anthem.
The peculiarity in Mademoiselle Jenny Lind's Norma is, that she makes the fiercer features of the character less prominent than her predecessors, but the portions that illustrate the tender affections much more so. Norma may be interpreted two ways. The jealous rage into which she breaks when she discovers that Adalgisa is the object of Pollio's love, the frenzy which tempts her to kill her children, may be so brought forward that the feminine nature is almost forgotten, and still a very fine impressive performance may be the result. But Norma, in spite of her violence, is a tender mother and an affectionate daughter; her last wish before death is to be reconciled to her father, and obtain his promise to protect her children. These are the peculiarities which Jenny Lind seizes, and hence the great delicacy of her reading. She gives the Celtic priestess a deep impress of mournfulness, she makes one think rather of the pain she is forced to endure than of the implacable resentment she harbours. Nothing could be more deeply sorrowful than the "Qual cor tradisti" in the finale,—it is the perfection of intense reproach. The by-play throughout is most refined,‚—a by-play all illustrative of the softer treatment of the character.
It is of course unnecessary to descant on the singing of Jenny Lind in Norma, for that is perfection past description. Her voice in "Casta Diva" "Deh! con te" "Si fino" falls upon enraptured ears,
like the sweet south That breathes upon a bank of violets Stealing and giving odour.
With regard to the "Figlia del Reggimento," the graceful walk so military, and withal so feminine-the completely natural air, make Jenny Lind's "Maria" one of the most charming exhibitions that can be conceived.
The Swedish airs which Mademoiselle Lind first sung in private at Buckingham Palace, and then introduced in public, exhibit her in a new light. The melodies themselves are of a singular character, constantly awakening the reminiscence of other national airs, and as constantly causing the reminiscence to fade away. Now they seem to touch the old English ballad, and now to border on Swiss peculiarism. Simplicity is not their character. istic; they are marked by difficult intervals-the key is suddenly changed, and they have less of the tune form than most compositions of the popular class. The melancholy and the joyous strangely intermix, the pathetic and the coquetish balance each other, so that one scarcely knows which predominates. But the charm is not so much in the airs as in Mademoiselle Jenny Lind's manner of singing them. This is distinguished by exquisite naweté. She sports heedlessly with the melody, and thus gives it the effect of playful spontaneousness. A sort of winning light-heartedness continually displays itself, and produces the effect of true exhiliration.
The Ballet department of her Majesty's Theatre is now eminently filled: there are Carlotta Grisi, and Rosati, and Cerito, the three appearing night after night. At any other time their combined attraction would have been all in all sufficient, but now, though they are as perfect as ever; though in opera, too the glorious tones of Lablache reverberate in their full pomp, and the sweet notes of Gardoni speak in exquisite melody, yet thought or talk is but of Jenny Lind-of Jenny Lind alone, the unrivalled, the unapproachable. That worthy and quaint old poet Geoffrey Chaucer tells us, in a ballad, how he forsook his bed to listen to the nightingale, and how enraptured he was :
I heard in the next bush beside
That with her clere voice she made ring
All London seems now to follow the bard's example. the sole consideration is the ecstasy produced by the nightingale of London.
Repose is forgotten clere voice of the
THE FRENCH THEATRE.
Monsieur Bouffé, one of the greatest actors of France is now performing at the St. James's Theatre. His Gamin de Paris, his Michel Perrin, and his miser in "La Fille de l'Avare" display talent of the very highest order. Wit and pathos, recklessness and hard-heartedness-virtue and vice are alike vividly, powerfully true, with this admirable comedian. There is also here a Mademoiselle Duverger, an actress of the lively school, who might be equally put forward as a model of excellence in her pleasant, and fascinating department of the histrionic art. The greatest value of the St. James's Theatre is that it produces in rapid and rich succession, upon one stage, actors and actresses who, even in Paris, can be only seen by going to a dozen different theatres. We have here the very cream of the drama of France. An announcement states that the season is to conclude with the appearance of Rachel—that bøghtest of all Gallia's constellations.
VOL. IV NO XV.
MEMOIRS OF VISCOUNTESS SUNDON, MISTRESS OF THE ROBES TO QUEEN CAROLINE, CONSORT OF GEORGE II.; including letters from the most celebrated persons of her time: now first published from the originals, by MRS. THOMPSON, author of "The Life of the Duchess of Marlborough," "Memoirs of the Court of Henry VIII." In two volumes. Henry Colburn, Great Marlborough Street, 1847.
THIS is a very valuable addition to the able historical memoirs already published by Mrs. Thompson. Among the past Queens consort or regnant of England, few rank higher than Caroline wife of George II. To her wise influence, and active administration, the house of Hanover owes not a little its permanent establishment on the throne of this country: her sagacity protected the new dynasty from its enemies, and her amiability first made it agreeable to the people. Indeed, from the accession of her well disposed but lethargic husband, to the period of her own death, the government was more or less continually confided to her controul. The history of such a princess must therefore prove of more than common interest, and especially so, when given in the memoirs of a person so closely attached to her person and fortunes as her favourite, the Viscountess Sundon is known to have been. But we had better refer to Mrs. Thompson's own account of this book in her preface it runs as follows:
"The materials of this work are supplied, chiefly, from a Collection of Autograph Letters addressed to CHARLOTTE CLAYTON, VISCOUNTESS SUNDON. This Lady was attached to the Court of our first Hanoverian Sovereign, being Lady of the Bedchamber, and eventually Mistress of the Robes, to Caroline, Princess of Wales, afterwards Queen-Consort of George the Second. Lady Sundon, long before her husband's elevation to the Peerage, and whilst she retained the appellation by which she is mentioned in much of the correspondence of the day-that of Mrs. Clayton-attained such a degree of influence over her Royal Mistress, as perhaps had hardly ever been enjoyed by any female favourite since the days of Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough. It is not surprising, therefore, that the Letters given in the present Work should contain applications from individuals of every rank and profession. Nor where the higher orders among her own sex backward in soliciting her aid, or in courting-but seldom without a selfish motive-her regard."
Mrs. Thompson thus describes Queen Caroline.
"From her earliest connexion with the Hanoverian family, Caroline had been resolved to govern the Prince to whom she was affianced, in an ill assorted union, with a gentle but firm hand. Independently of her powerful understanding, her personal advantages tended to ensure this object. She was, at the time of her marriage, extremely handsome; and, even after the ravages of the small-pox, which occurred shortly afterwards, retained a countenance replete with animation, exhibiting, at will, either mildness or majesty; and her penetrating eyes,' observes one who had often gazed upon her, expressed whatever she had a mind they should.' Her voice was melodious, her hands were beautifully formed, and her actions were graceful.