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six inches, was cast in the time of Charles III. of Spain, and Captain Mundy says was certainly the most beautiful specimen of workmanship he had ever beheld. The sultan, his boasted army, and all the inhabitants had fled, not a native was to be found in the capital, and as the full moon rose over the desolate buildings, she showed the white tents of the marines encamped on the heights in strong relief against the dark jungle beyond, and at the same time threw her rays over a city which, having flourished 500 years under Mohammedan rule, now fell before the arms Christian
power. The expedition into the interior in pursuit of the sultan, was full of danger, novelty, and interest. We have already given some account of it. The results were of the most pacific and promising character. On the departure of the admiral, the command of the Borneo squadron devolved on Captain Mundy as senior officer, and active hostilities were carried on against the pirates who infest the coasts. After the destruction of the Illanun town of Pandassan, another village of pirates, who would give no promise of amendment, was destroyed, and this was followed up by the capture of the notorious Hajji Saman's position. It was not, however, till after a second exeursion to Brunè, and a second hostile visit to the coast, that the incorrigible Illanuns were finally driven from the north-west coast of Borneo.
Having upon a third visit to Brunè, and after prolonged and warm discussions with the sultan, obtained his signature to the treaty for the cession of Labuan, Captain Mundy sailed to that island to take formal possession, and go through the usual ceremonies observed on such occasions. The deaths of Captain Gordon and of Mr. Airey, which took place during the stay of the Iris at this important station, do not speak so favourably of its climate as we might wish. Admiral Inglefield, who has visited the island since Mr. Brooke's return to England, appears also to be of opinion that the first step ought to be the clearing and draining of the marshes. Nor do the pirates appear to have finally disappeared from the coast with the dispersion of the Illanuns. The Nemesis, stationed at Labuan since its cession, has been attacked by a fleet of socalled Balanini pirates, who were only repulsed after a very severe engagement, in which it would appear that there was a wondrous expenditure of ammunition without producing the effect which might have been anticipated, or that ought to have been calculated upon. In other respects, every new report asserts the immense importance of this new station in the Eastern seas. Its position is most advantageous; it possesses fine timber, a rich virgin soil, good water, and abundant coal. Two hundred men were at the time of the latest intelligence employed in working a seam of this latter valuable mineral, which already supplies the steamers on the station. At the same time, at Sarawak, preparations were already in progress for the erection of the native school-house, and for the reception of those zealous ministers of religion and of education, whom a philanthropic nation has sent out to the benighted Dyaks. May Heaven speed their labour of love!
THE OPERA. ATTILA, King of the Huns, overran nearly the whole of Europe ; he knocked down cities, and he caused a ploughshare to pass over their foundations, and the “ Nibelungen-lied” still exists as an echo of his achievements. What fortification could keep out Attila ?
We think we could have contrived a defence. We would have planted, at dievrs fitting points, like so many Martello towers, a number of little Opera-houses, each occupied by a London garrison, and then we are sure that the cart of Attila would have inspired no more terror than the cart of Manon Lescaut. No, good Attila, nations tremble before thee, but not Opera audiences--storks flew away from besieged towns to manifest the distress of your enemies—here the public will fly from you
instead not in terror, Hunnic monarch, not in terror, but for the very tangible and prosaic reason that it does not love you.
N.B.-A theatrical public is like a Parthian-it fights by retreating. Many years ago--goodness knows how many—we used to amuse ourselves by turning over an edition of Lavater, in three or four volumes, quarto; and we dwelt, influenced by a fascinating horror, on the physiognomy of Attila. It was an evil satyr-like sort of face, scarcely human, and a pair of horns, which good old Lavater himself called ridiculous, stuck out from the forehead. We hated Attila from that time. We had no very clear notion of his enormities ; but he was voted execrable at once.
And yet are we sure that you were so very bad, old Attila ? Was there not a destiny which wrote its law in your heart, and which you could not resist, and which smothered some kindly feelings within your nature ? The whole civilised world was plunged deep into corruption, and you bore the awful name of the “Scourge of God," and felt that it was your mission to whip it into despair, if not into annihilation.
Do not, oh little man, that likest thy comfortable fireside, and the beverage which thou drinkest after dinner, whether it be noble Bor. deaux or plebeian grog-thou that thinkest the summit of all excellence is attained, when the smoke of thy cigar forms curves that roll on in defiance of the minutest analysis of the profoundest geometer—do not, little man, sit in judgment on characters like that of Attila, estimating, according to Cocker, the number of lives that he sacrificed, and blessing the benignant fates that no more lives have been lost by thy hand than those of the few, very few, perch and dace, which by accident stumbled on thy hook at the Hornsey Sluice-house, when with considerable difficulty thou hadst obtained thy small holiday. Then, little man, on that occasion, the large green can, tinted with green, was a fearful irony on the smallness of its contents.
There are certain men, into whom the world-spirit rushes with tumultuous force, so that their own individuality is as nought before its impulse. They must go on-on-on, and when they look within them to consult their most internal self, they find no self is there, other than the self of the universe. Yea, the immutable laws, which govern the fortunes of men, are written in little on the souls of these chosen ones, inexplicable to others, inexplicable to themselves. Their mission comes to them not as a revelation, but as a hidden impetus, and they must dash along their course like Göthe, when Kronos was his postillion.
The conquests of Attila, where are they ? We may as well ask for the possession of whirlwinds. His mission was to destroy, and he fulfilled it --he married a young wife, and that destroyed him. Probably Attila was the original of Sir Peter Teazle.
If you walk into a sort of bazaar in the Strand, called the “ Magic Cave,” you will see certain revolving boxes, called “wheels of fortune, the ministering priestesses of which are young damsels with very bright eyes, and ringlets curling excessively. If you are a man of a desperate speculative character you will venture sixpence on a “wheel of fortune," and you will probably win a tooth-brush, or a little china extinguisher, in the shape of a nun or some other feminine. Should you, good reader, win the latter, think of Attila, and of the way in which he was extinguished.
Now, Giuseppi Verdi, we have always treated you with kindnessyou can't deny it-we have seen you run down pretty lustily, but we have not joined in the cry-we have given you credit for a certain amount of dramatic feeling, and for a power in dealing with stage
Some of those choruses in “Nino” are very effective things. Your contra-puntal knowledge is not great, good Joseph, and you rush to unison as much for safety as for effect, but still you are very well for want of a better. Don't be gammoned into the belief that you have founded a new school, for you have done nothing of the kind. Your illustrious namesake, Joseph Miller, was patriarch of all the jokes in the world, but not every Joseph can be a patriarch. How excellent is Coletti in this
“ Nino.” What vigorous declamation, and yet how nicely is all kept within due bounds. Coletti is a firm, forcible, passionate singer ; he can boil up with rage, like the water that cooked the limbs of Pelops, he can allow himself to be bent down by despair, like an Edipus under the weight of undesigned crimes, and yet he never loses himself; we have the sound, steady, self-possessed artist throughout.
“ Attila” will not do, though Mr. Lumley—the most princely of managers-has done every thing for “ Attila."
By-the-bye, the extensive and transient conquests of Attila bring to mind the equally extensive and equally transient conquests of the Mongols. That refined people had a plan of exterminating prisoners which was at once horrible and convivial. First the Mongols placed the prisoners on the ground with their faces downwards, next they placed a broad platform on the prisoners, and lastly, they placed themselves on the platform aud held a sumptuous banquet. Need we describe what the poor prisoners felt on the occasion, how hard an extra squeeze fell to their share when the health of Zingis-Khan was proposed, and enthusiastic feet stamped with ultra force upon the platform. Horrible, most horrible !
But now suppose some benign genius had stepped from the clouds, and told the prisoners that he would grant them any moderate request, what favour would they have desired ?
If they had been reasonable, and not particular about their chronology, they would have asked this:
“Let not these rude Mongols,-these savages,—whom, when infants, their mothers have trained to dash out the brains of other infants, - let not these savages trample us to death with their clumsy feet, but there is one Mademoiselle Rosati
, let her dance upon the platform instead; the light foot will do us no injury, or if it does, we shall suffer willingly, when we know that our agonies beneath are productive of so much beauty and grace above."
We were among your earliest admirers, Caroline Rosati, and we predicted well of you, when some heads were shaking with doubt. Therefore, do we exult-not unselfishly—at yourincreasing triumphs. That admirable finish of execution,—that intelligence which peeps out so furtively from those little dark eyes,—are they not certain prognostics of success? If ever the ladder that leads to the Temple of Fame was ascended by Terpsichorean feet, immortality will be yours, my,—we mean our Caroline Rosati.
THE THEATRES IN PARIS SINCE THE REVOLUTION.
BY CHARLES HERVEY, ESQ.
“Un Jeune Homme Pressé” — Mademoiselle Scriwaneck-"Don Giovanni,"
Madame Castellan Coletti—Variétés, Mademoiselle Page-"Le Marquis de Lauzun,” Déjazet—“Les Filles de la Liberté,” Mademoiselle Desirée.
The revolution has been a sad blow to the theatres in this once lovely metropolis, people in general having no longer either the wish or the means to frequent them. They are of course far better attended than English playhouses would be under similar circumstances, the spectacle being considered, by the majority of Frenchmen, as almost a necessary of life, and never having been wholly deserted even in the worst days of the cholera (when a brazier of lighted charcoal was placed in the centre of the pit to keep off infection), or of the Reign of Terror ; but, nevertheless, the receipts of the most flourishing and popular houses have been reduced to a very low ebb. Many respectable people dislike forming part of a public by whom the “ Marseillaise," and the “Chant du Départ" are regularly called for night after night, and by whom, also, every clap-trap allusion to the actual state of things is applauded to the echo. Not ten days ago the treasurer of the Théâtre Français (or Théâtre de la Republique, as it is now called), counting' over his receipts on the rising of the curtain, discovered that they amounted to twelve francs, the remainder of the audience being composed of National Guards and the pupils of the different écoles admitted gratis, and politely thanked for their company into the bargain. Rachel
, however, has succeeded as yet in drawing good houses, not so much on account of her acting as of her singing, or rather declaiming the “ Marseillaise," a tour de force on her part, which has excited universal enthusiasm. Luckily for Corneille, Molière, and Racine, they can afford to bide their time ; at present nothing goes down but Rouget de l'Isle.
The opera has changed both its name and its habitués; it is no longer Académie Royale de Musique, but Théâtre de la Nation, and the avantscène, once tenanted by royalty, is now constantly occupied by pupils of the Ecole Polytechnique and St. Cyr. On the re-opening this theatre, Adeline Plunkett danced the Tarantella in “ La Muette," wearing a broad tricolour sash, with a bow on one side, almost as large as her pretty self.
Whenever Carlotta dances in “Griseldi" the audience is tolerably numerous, but when the “ Favorite," or any other opera is given, even though it be backed by patriotic airs, sung by Alizard and Barroilhet, the result is a “ beggarly account of empty boxes.” By the way, it is rumoured (I hope incorrectly) that the subvention hitherto accorded by government to the principal theatres may possibly be withdrawn; in that case the managers, Messrs. Duponchel and Roqueplan en tête, will have no alternative but to shut up shop or be ruined.
Even the Palais Royal (I cannot make up my mind to call it Théâtre de la Montensier) is comparatively ill-attended, notwithstanding the production of two new pieces, and the revival of a third. One of these novelties is rich in the extreme, and made my sides ache with laughter during the forty or fifty minutes which elapse between the rise and fall of the curtain. Fancy Ravel knocking up Sainville at two o'clock in the morning, for the express purpose of asking the hand of his daughter in marriage, the said daughter being already promised to Alcide Tousez, asleep in the next room. Fancy Sainville's stare of horror at being woke out of his first nap by an utter stranger, and at hearing Ravel (whose only description of himself is, that he is un jeune homme pressé, and that he comes from Bordeaux) affirm that he has hired and furnished the apartment immediately above that of his intended father-in-law, and has moreover ordered the trousseau. Fancy Alcide Tousez coming on, rubbing his sleepy eyes, his voice ten times more enrouée than usual, and his slightly, unsymmetrical figure encased in a nondescript costume de carnaval; fancy his despair on hearing from Sainville (who, being a glovemaker, has been propitiated by Ravel's ordering of him 40,000 pair at one franc a piece) that he can hope no longer to be his son-in-law! Fancy Ravel's discovering after all, by a peep through the key-hole that the incognita he is in love with is not Sainville's daughter, but his niece, it being thereby evident that four people may be made happy instead of two; then season this slight but amusing plot with jokes and calembourgs of every description, and enliven it by the excellent acting of the abovenamed glorious trio, and (if your imagination, my worthy readers, is as vivid as I take it to be) you will have a faint idea of “Un Jeune Homme Pressé."
One of the best actresses of this theatre, Mademoiselle Scriwaneck, has, since the revolution, taken. French leave of her manager and started for England. For this escapade she will probably have to pay a fine of 50,000 francs, that is, supposing the engagement mutually agreed on by her and M. Dormeuil to be still binding. What has been the cause of this flight I know not; possibly the fair artiste may have imagined one of the natural consequences of a revolution to be the election of a “Deésse de la Raison,” and may not have wished, doubtless cut of consideration for those less pretty than herself, to be a candidate. If this be the case, Mademoiselle Scriwaneck is more of a coquette than I thought her.
I went the other evening to hear “Don Giovanni,” at the Salle Ventadour, and was much pleased with Madame Castellan's Zerlina. The fair cantatrice not only sang but looked remarkably well, having selected a very pretty and elegant costume ; she only wants a little more confidence as an actress to become a general favourite. As for Coletti, he is, if possible, colder and more disgracieux than ever. This singer is excellent in many characters, but really, for his own sake, he ought to eschew such parts as Don Giovanni, for which he is any thing but physically qualified. The representative of the amorous Don should at all events look like a gentleman, and not like one of those ungainly masqueraders who swell out the cortège of the Beuf Gras. Fornasari, though almost every note he sang was out of tune, contrived to throw a dash of spirit and gallantry into the part, whereas Coletti is an icicle, which all the passion of Donna Anna, all the jealous fire of Elvira, and all the coquetry of pretty Zerlina are unable to thaw.
Mademoiselle Page, who once ventured to compete with Madame Doche for the palm of beauty at the Vaudeville, and whose signal defeat was followed by her departure for St. Petersburg, has lately returned