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One scene of the mist on the mountains by moonlight was so real, that an old gentleman near us begged his daughter to put her handkerchief to her mouth, and take care of her cough. We never saw any thing half so real, except a few November evenings in London, about six years ago. THE ENGLish opera hOUSE.
We are not subdued to the notice of a French melo-drama at this little theatre; nor to a critique upon a gorgeous parody of a Scotch novel; but we have something better, far better than either. We cannot close our observations on the theatres, without noticing a very ingenious, delightful, and intellectual produc
tion, consisting of a course of lectures, delivered by Mr. Bartley, on the Structure of the Universe. The beautiful, the extremely beautiful representations of the heavenly bodies exceed all that we could have conceived to be achievable. The lectures are clearly and forcibly written, and delivered by Mr. Bartley in a way that all clergymen would do well to imitate. The theatre was, indeed, but poorly attended on the evening we visited it; but we are quite sure that it would be crowded every evening in Lent, if it were known how admirable these lectures are, not only in language and delivery, but also in scenic illustration.
LITERARY AND SCIENTIFIC INTELLIGENCE, &c.
Erhibition of Drawings, Sohosquare—We have not often experienced more real gratification, than has been afforded us in the course of the last month, by an hour's lounge among the drawings now exhibiting at No. 9, Soho-square. Mr. Cooke has contrived to blend in one small but rich collection, the highest names of ancient and modern art. Raffaelle, Michael Angelo, Corregio, Claude, Rembrandt, Rubens, Reynolds, Gainsborough, Lawrence, Girtin, Turner, Stothard, Dewint, &c. We should find it rather difficult to explain how it happens, that we feel even more gratification in the inspection of a great master's sketches, than in a fulldressed visit to his finished works. In the last instance, a more laborious effort of mind is required : before we can form a correct judgment, we must enter into something like a regular and systematic estimate of the power and proper range of the pencil; but when we sit down in front of the first slight tracings of the master's hand, we seem to be put in possession of the workings of his mind,-its first ideas, -its progressive mutations and connections: we sit down with him in his study, and hear him communicate the unvarnished secrets of his art, and the rich resources of his genius. A short time since, we were turning over the hints and scraps of an artist's port-folio, and we felt some surprize at the innumerable felicities scattered through the earlier indications of many of his most popular paintings, but which had altogether evaporated in the refined and elaborated transfer of the same ideas to his canvas. And we have reason to believe, that the same disadvantageous comparison might often be made between the first rude, bold, fearless sketch of a poet's creation, and the polished transcript, which, with tremour and hesitation, he puts forth to the world. In one instance, we know this to be the fact, and that what was, originally, a noble and animated effusion of feeling and genius, was not given to the press until it
had been tamed down to a mere en
amelled copy of its former energy and grandeur. Something of all this passed through our minds, while we
were contemplating the fine relics of the old school, which adorm the middle room of Mr. Cooke's exhibition. We have not, of course, room to enumerate the Lions of the collection, and we shall leave them to roar for themselves; but there were some of the less conspicuous works which pleased us much. There was a specimen of rich and bold handling, by Aldegrever; a piece or two of good free sketching, by Mompert; a o but spirited group of fir-trees, by Vandyke ; a queer but clever river view, by Breughel ; a fine scene in the Garden of Olives, by Julio: and a noble affair of Hercules and the Nemean Lion, by Rembrandt. In the modern part, there is a fine series from Turner, with all his excellences, and some of his affectation. An early drawing of Westminster Bridge, tasty, but feeble, gives no indication of his present power; but there are some beautiful specimens of his Southern Coast drawings, and there is a small view of Vesuvius, magnificently conceived and executed—the tornado of flame and fiery sleet rushing from the volcano's mouth is admirably expressed. We were gratified by the design, at least, of Mr. Gandy's noble, but crowded and over-coloured, architectural inventions; we were delighted with some exquisite drawings, by Sir Thomas Lawrence; and to keep up this pretty sort of climax, we were fascinated by Stothard's beautiful tinted sketches from the Spectator. Varley's Landscape is cold, hard, and mechanical. We greeted with much pleasure our old acquaintance, the ‘Connoisseur in his Study,' by Stehanoff; but we were not long deayed by Mr. Martin's laboured designs from the Ode to the Passions: Mr. Ward's Heron receiving the attack of the Hawk' was worth them all put together. On the whole, we received so much gratification, that we shall assuredly pay Mr. Cooke a second visit.
English Poets.--An elegant edition of the British Poets, in 100 Volumes, royal 19mo. is on the eve of being published. It includes our most celebrated Poets, from Chaucer and Spenser, down to Burns and Cowper, together with the standard Trans. lations from the Classics. Great care has been taken to rectify numerous errors which had crept into the text of preceding collections. The Life of each Author is prefixed to his Works. As far as they extend, the Lives written by Dr. Johnson are adopted; the remainder of the Biographical Memoirs, fifty in number, are original compositions, The edition is embellished by proof impressions of nearly two hundred masterly engravings. Lord Byron and Sir W. Scott.—A comparative estimate of the respective merits of these two eminent poets has recently appeared in a German Journal, preceded by some remarks on the state of our national poetry at the period immediately F.'s their appearance on the literary orizon. Fine i. feeling, it is asserted, was totally dormant in England during the 18th Century. Originality and genius displayed themselves in works of humour and the Comic Epopee, in the Drama, which could boast of the facetiousness and humour of Foote, the wit and vivacity of Sheridan,—and in the Parliamentary elouence of Pitt, Fox, and Burke, but not in e inspirations of the Muse. The Nineteenth Century has distinguished itself from its predecessor by the production of two genuine poets allied only in power, in almost every other respect entirely dissimilar, The antithesis is, indeed, sufficiently striking: in Byron, the poet himself is always apparent; his peculiar trains of thought, his reflections, his own individual character are every where prominent. In Scott, on the contrary, the poet himself completely disappears, while his character and the events in which they are involved stand out in relief, not only visible, but prominent and tangible. In Byron, we meet with only one character, though variously arrayed. In the compositions of his rival, the characters are most diverse and multifarious. In this estimate, the writer takes into account the Scotch Novels, which he assigns, seemingly as a mere matter of course, to Sir Walter. In Byron there is but little action ; in him all is declamation, reflection, or sudden, animated description: in Scott, events crowd upon each other; he seldom pauses for mere reflection. Byron describes his actors in a minute and masterly style, but still always describes: Scott, on the contrary, makes his nages describe themselves, by exhibiting them in all the animation of reality. In Byron's poems we discover the workings of a powerful fancy, the starts of an inspired mind; yet are his productions but fragments and sketches: while Scott possesses symmetry, continuity, integrity. But if the manner of the one be so dissimilar from that of the other, their spirit is still more so. The one exhibits the world as one great prison, as a cavern
of death where all is gloomy, cheerless, and appalling the other displays some redeeming points even in the most depraved natures; his views of life are rather consolatory than sombre. Lastly, Byron avoids, even in his poems, every object that may remind him of his “ Fatherland’; unlike his own Foscari, his affections are not knit to his home, to the soil which gave him birth : he is anything but a patriotic poet, in whatever sense we take the epithet. To Scott, on the contrary, his “Fatherland,” seems as a holy sanctuary, on whose altars he deposits with filial reverence the fruits of his genius and his affection.
Polish Journals.—The productions of the periodical press in Poland are at present very numerous. There are now no fewer than twenty-four Journals of various descriptions; some political, others devoted to subjects of literature or science. Of these, twelve are published at Warsaw, viz. – 1. Pamietnik Warsawski (the Warsaw Journal) which appears monthly, notices subjects belonging to science and art. It is edited by M. F. Bentkowski, Professor of History.—2. Izys Polska (the Polish Isis) or Journal of Science, contains accounts of new discoveries, and intelligence relative to the arts, manufactures, and trade: like the preceding it is published monthly with plates; and is edited by M. Korwin.—3. Sylvanus, a quarterly publication, relative to planting and agricultural pursuits.-4. The Sybil, edited by M. Gerzymala, is a national Journal, devoted to the literature, history, and politics of Poland, and to whatever is collaterally connected with these subjects. A number, consisting of three or four sheets, appears every fortnight.—5. Dekada Polska (the Polish Decade) so called because published every tenth day, confines itself to the notice of the more important political events. 6, 7, and 8. The Warsaw Courier, the Warsaw Correspondent, and the Warsaw Gazette, are all political papers. The following are of a more literary and miscellaneous nature.—9. Wamba; this work relates more particularly to the fine arts, and their various dependencies. It is edited by M. M. Dimochowski and Lisiecki, and is published weekly.—10. Momus, is a professedly entertaining Miscellany, conducted by Zolkowsky, a celebrated comic actor, and contains amusing anecdotes, epigrams, jeux d'esprit, &c.—11. Sygodwik Muzycgny, (the Musical Journal) is published weekly in a quarto form; it is edited by Kurpinski.—12. Gazeta Literacka (the Literary Gazette) is also a weekly publication of a single quarto sheet. This work notices both Polish and Foreign literature, and frequently contains articles displaying much information and considerable learning.
ABSTRACT OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC OCCURRENCES.
THERE is no foreign news of any description to record this month. The Greeks, the Persians, and the Turks, still continue skirmishing with various success; and notwithstanding the ever varying rumours to the contrary, the differences between the Porte and Russia have as yet assumed no definite shape whatever. In Spain, the Cortes have recognized the independence of the South American colonies, and have nobly made the odious offence of trafficking in slaves, high treason. In France the Chambers have been constantly occupied in discussions upon the laws affecting the press, which have at length been carried to the full extent of Ultra ambition. Several amendments were proposed in the course of the discussions, which were uniformly rejected by a large majority. One only, acknowledging the inviolability of the sale of national domains, and guaranteeing their tranquil possession, was permitted to remain. During this contest, the Liberaux adopted a new mode of warfare. Finding that they were uniformly frustrated by organized majorities, they came to the determination of not going through the form of a vote at all; and accordingly, after having delivered their sentiments, when the question came to be put, they unanimously rose and left the chamber. Previous to their departure, however, they gave their reasons in terms sufficiently expressive, as the following sentences, taken from their principal speakers, will clearly show. M. B. Constant—“We protest in the face of France, of which we are the representatives.” M. o: We will not be accomplices in the destruction of our liberties.” M. de Grammont—“ Proceed as you think right—there is no longer a chamber.” M. de la Fayette—“ We protest, and we appeal from this proceeding to the energy of the French people.” This, it must be admitted, is at all events, ominous language, particu
larly when used within the very Temple of Legislation. In such a spirit, however, have these odious enactments passed, that there may be now said to exist no press in France, except that created by the breath of the minister. Such is the only atmosphere in which public opinion can evaporate. There may be danger, however, in its too great condensation. This political determination of the cote gauche may be new in France, but it has been resorted to more than once in this country. Our readers may recollect the secession of Mr. Fox and the Whig party, in the year, we think, 1793, an example which was followed in Ireland by the same party, headed by Mr. Grattan. Here the experiment failed; and after a short time these great men found, that the expression of their dissent was better, however fruitless, than the despair of silence. In France, however, at this peculiar juncture, it is difficult to say, whether or not the policy is a wise one. Insurrections are hinted at, in various places; and, according to the state of the jourmals, perhaps even a hint on such a subject is more than could have been expected. A serious conspiracy has been discovered at Nantes, where an attempt had been made to corrupt the 13th regiment of the line— some officers have been arrested, and several others have absconded. We should much distrust, in the event of any popular commotion, the fidelity of the French army. . The meeting of parliament, which took place on the 5th of February, for the dispatch of business, promises to add some new features of interest to our domestic report. The king opened the session in person. The doors of the House of Lords opened about twelve o'clock, and very soon afterwards the benches exhibited a brilliant display of Peers and Peeresses. At two his Majesty entered the house, preceded by the great officers of state, and after the House of Commons had been summoned, he
My Lords and Gentlemen,
I have the satisfaction to inform you, that I continue to receive from Foreign Powers the strongest assurances of their friendly disposition towards this country. —It is impossible for me not to feel deeply interested in any event that may have a tendency to disturb the peace of Europe. My endeavours have, therefore, been directed, in conjunction with my Allies, to the settlement of the differences which have unfortunately arisen between the Court of St. Petersburgh and the Ottoman Porte ; and I have reason to entertain hopes that these differences will be satisfactorily adjusted.—In my late visit to Ireland, I derived the most sincere gratification from the loyalty and attachment manifested by all classes of my subjects.-With this impression, it must be matter of the deepest concern to me, that a spirit of outrage, which has led to daring and systematic violations of the law, has arisen, and still prevails in some parts of that country. —I am determined to use all the means in my power for the protection of the persons and property of my loyal and peaceable subjects. And it will be for your immediate consideration, whether the existing laws are sufficient for this purpose.—Notwithstanding this serious interruption of public tranquillity, I have the satisfaction of believing that my presence in Ireland has been productive of very beneficial effects, and all descriptions of my people may confidently, rely upon the just and equal administration of the laws, and upon my paternal solicitude for their welfare.
Gentlemen of the House of Commons, It is very gratifying to me to be able to inform you, that during the last year the Revenue has exceeded that of the preceding, and appears to be in a course of progressive improvement.—I have directed the estimates of the current year to be laid before you. They have been framed with every attention to economy which the circumstances of the country will permit; and it will be satisfactory to you to learn, that I have been able to make a large reduction in our Annual Expenditure, particularly in our Naval and Military Establishments. My Lords and Gentlemen,
I have the greatest pleasure in acquainting you, that a considerable improvement has taken place in the course of the last year, in the Commerce and Manufactures of the United Kingdom, and that I can now state them to be, in their important branches, in a very flourishing condition.—I must at the same time deeply regret the depressed state of the Agricultural Interest.—The condition of an interest, so cssentially connected with the prosperity of the country, will, of course, attract your early attention ; and I have the fullest reliance on
your wisdom in the consideration of this important subject.—I am persuaded that, in whatever measures you may adopt, you will bear constantly in mind that, in the maintenance of our public credit, all the best interests of this Kingdom are equally involved; and that it is by a steady adherence to that principle that we have attained, and can alone expect to preserve, our high station amongst the nations of the world.
After the delivery of this speech, the King took his departure from the house. The address, which was moved in the House of Lords by Lord Roden, and seconded by Lord Walsingham, was agreed to with but little debate, and without any division. In the House of Commons, however, two amendments were proposed; one by Sir Francis Burdett, to postpone, till the Friday following, the consideration of the address, which was lost by a majority of 128. The second, and the much more important amendment, was proposed by Mr. Hume, which “returned to the King the grateful acknowledgments of the house for the reductions already made ; represented the excessive distress of the land owners and occupiers, and the classes connected with them ; expressed an opinion that excessive taxation was the main cause of such distress, and prayed for such immediate reductions in the expenditure, from the highest to the lowest department, as should relieve the nation from a large portion of the taxes.” This amendment also caused a division, upon which the numbers appeared to be, in its favour, 89—against it, 171—leaving a majority of 82.
Dispatches upon the state of Ireland, transmitted to ministers by the Marquis Wellesley, were subsequently laid upon the table of both houses. They include the actual situation of that country for almost the entire month of January, being the time of his Excellency's Vice Government up to the period of the sitting of parliament. During this interval, the discontent and disturbances had much increased. The maximum of men in arms, as mentioned in the first dispatch, only amounts to 200, and the hostile force specified in the last, is rated at 2,000 ! The mischief, of course, was propor