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BY FREDERIKA BREMER.
There was once a poor and plain little girl, élèves of the theatre, several persons were dwelling in a little room, in Stockholm, the struck by the spirit and life with which a very capital of Sweden. She was a poor little girl young élève acted the part of a beggar girl in indeed then; she was lonely and neglected, and the play. Lovers of genial nature were charmed, would have been very unhappy, deprived of the pedants almost frightened. It was our poor kindness and care so necessary to a child, if it little girl, who had made her first appearance, had not been for a peculiar gift. The little now about fourteen years of age, frolicsome girl had a fine voice, and in her loneliness, in and full of fun as a child. trouble or in sorrow, she consoled herself by A few years still later, a young debutante singing. In fact, she sung to all she did; at was to sing for the first time before the public her work, at her play, running or resting, she in Weber's Freischütz. At the rehearsal prealways sang.
ceding the representation of the evening, she The woman who had her in care went out to sang in a manner which made the members of work during the day, and used to lock in the the orchestra once, as by common accord, lay little girl, who had nothing to enliven her soli- | down their instruments to clap their hands in tude but the company of a cat. The little girl rapturous applause. It was our poor, plain played with her cat, and sang. Once she sat little girl here again, who now had grown up by the open window and stroked her cat and, and was to appear before the public in the rôle sang, when a lady passed by. She heard the of Agatha. I saw her at the evening represenvoice, and looked up and saw the little singer. tation. She was then in the prime of youth, She asked the child several questions, went fresh, bright and serene as a morning in May, away, and came back several days later, fol- perfect in form—her hands and arms peculiarly lowed by an old music-master, whose name was graceful--and lovely in her whole appearance Crelius. He tried the little girl's musical ear through the expression of her countenance, and and voice, and was astonished. He took her to the noble simplicity and calmness of her manthe director of the Royal Opera at Stockholm, ners. In fact she was charming. We saw not then a Count Puhe, whose truly generous and an actress, but a young girl full of natural gekind heart was concealed by a rough speech niality and grace. She seemed to move, speak, and a morbid temper. Crelius introduced his and sing without effort or art. All was nature little pupil to the Count, and asked him to en- and harmony. Her song was distinguished gage her as “élève” for the opera. “ You ask especially by its purity, and the power of soul a foolish thing!" said the Count gruflly, look- which seemed to swell her tones. Her “mezzo ing disdainfully down on the poor little girl. voce” was delightful. In the night scene “What shall we do with that ugly thing? See where Agatha, seeing her lover come, breathes what feet she has! And then her face! She out her joy in a rapturous song, our young will never be presentable. No, we cannot take singer, on turning from the window, at the her! Away with her!”
back of the theatre to the spectators again, The music-master insisted, almost indig- was pale for joy. And in that pale joyousness nantly. “Well,” exclaimed he at last, “ if you she sang with a burst of outflowing love and will not take her, poor as I am, I will take her life that called forth not the mirth but the tears myself, and have her educated for the scene; of the auditors. then such another ear as she has for music is From that time she was the declared favourite not to be found in the world."
of the Swedish public, whose musical taste and The Count relented. The little girl was at knowledge are said to be surpassed nowhere. last admitted into the school for élèves at the And year after year she continued so, though opera, and with some difficulty a simple gown after a time, her voice, being overstrained, lost of black bombasin was procured for her. The somewhat of its fresh ss, and the public, being care of her musical education was left to an satiated, no more crowded the house when she able master, Mr. Albert Berg, director of the was singing. Still, at that time, she could be song-school of the opera.
heard singing and playing more delightfully Some years later, at a comedy given by the than ever in Pamina (in Zauberflöte) or in Anna
Bolena, though the opera was almost deserted. | smiles, waving her handkerchief to her friends (It was then late in the spring, and the beau- and countrymen on the shore. tiful weather called the people out to nature's It was she again,-our poor, plain, neglected plays.) She evidently sang for the pleasure of little girl of former days—who now came back in
triumph to her fatherland. But no more poor, By that time she went to take lessons of no more plain, no more neglected. She had Garcia, in Paris, and so give the finishing touch become rich; she had become celebrated; and to her musical education. There she acquired she had in her slender person the power to that warble in which she is said to have been charm and inspire multitudes. equalled by no singer, and which could be com
Some days later, we read in the papers of pared only to that of the soaring and warbling Stockholm, an address to the public written lark, if the lark had a soul.
by the beloved singer, stating with noble sim
plicity that, “as she once more had the happiAnd then the young girl went abroad and
ness to be in her native land, she would be sang on foreign shores and to foreign peoples. glad to sing again to her countrymen, and that She charmed Denmark, she charmed Germany, the income of the operas in which she was this she charmed England. She was caressed and
season to appear, would be devoted to raise a courted everywhere, even to adulation. At the fund for a school where élèves for the theatre courts of kings, at the houses of the great and would be educated to virtue and knowledge." noble, she was feasted as one of the grandees The intelligence was received as it deserved, of nature and art. She was covered with lau- and of course the opera house was crowded rels and jewels. But friends wrote of her, every time the beloved singer sang there. The “ In the midst of these splendours she only first time she again appeared in the “Sonnamthinks of her Sweden, and yearns for her friends bula” (one of her favourite rôles), the public, and her people.”
after the curtain was dropped, called her back One dusky October night, crowds of people with great enthusiasm, and received her, when (the most part, by their dress, seeming to be- she appeared, with a roar of “hurrahs.” In long to the upper classes of society) thronged the midst of the burst of applause a clear, meon the shore of the Baltic-harbour at Stock- lodious warbling was heard. The hurrahs holm. All looked toward the sea. There was were hushed instantly. And we saw the lovely a rumour of expectance and pleasure. Hours singer standing with her arms slightly extended, passed away and the crowds still gathered and somewhat bowing forward, graceful as a bird waited and looked out eagerly toward the sea. on its branch, warbling, warbling as no bird At length a brilliant rocket rose joyfully, far ever did, from note to note—and on every one out at the entrance of the harbour and was a clear, strong, soaring warble—until she fell greeted by a general buzz on the shore. There into the rétournelle of her last song, and again she comes! there she is !” A large steamer sang that joyful and touching strain: “No now came thundering on, making its triumphant thought can conceive how I feel at my heart." way through the flocks of ships and boats lying She has now accomplished the good work to in the harbour, towards the shore of the which her latest songs in Sweden have been “Skeppsbro.” Flashing rockets marked its devoted, and she is again to leave her native way in the dark as it advanced. The crowds land to sing to a far remote people. She is on the shore pressed forward as if to meet it. expected this year in the United States of Now the leviathan of the waters was heard America, and her arrival is welcomed with a thundering nearer and nearer, now it relented, general feeling of joy. All have heard of her now again pushed on, foaming and splashing, whose history we have now slightly shadowed now it lay still. And there, on the front of the out;—the expected guest, the poor little girl, deck, was seen by the light of lamps and rock- of former days, the celebrated singer of nowets, a pale, graceful young woman, with eyes a-days, the genial child of Nature and Art is, brilliant with tears, and lips radiant with | JENNY LIND!
Till even in remembering I must sing:
BY MRS. C. M. KIRKLAND.
A FABULOUS mist has so long enveloped the of a Nestorian monk, to whose acquaintance he character and pretensions of the great Arabian was introduced by his uncle, in the course of a prophet and conqueror, that the familiar and journey across the desert from Mecca to Syria, vraisemblable view given of him by Mr. Irving* and who was anxious to convert him to Chrisreads like an historical novel, in which, while tianity. The effect of his teachings upon a the leading incidents are founded on fact, the mind already stored with Arabian legends and filling up is pure fiction. But we are assured | poetic traditions, may be discerned in the that, while the taking grace of the narrative is Koran, and in the traditional sentiments of Mato be credited to Mr. Irving, the facts are homet. drawn from the best sources, and particularly At sixteen, arms rather than religion seem from the volumes of the Arab historian Abul- to have formed his occupation, and he acted as feda, found in the convent of St. Isidro, at armour-bearer to his uncle, in one of the wars Madrid. In addition to these we have the le- of his tribe. After this he went as agent or gends and traditions connected with the Pro-factor in caravan journeys, ever adding to his phet's name in the whole circle of oriental knowledge of affairs, and increasing his insight literature-a wide field, and one which Mr. into the characters of men. These journeys Irving's taste has led him to explore with due led him also to fairs, or public meetings whose diligence. A very readable book is the result, object was not purely one of traffic, but also of from which we shall make a slight sketch of poetic competition between rival tribes. At the principal features of Mahomet's life and these fairs were recited the poetic legends of character.
Arabia, especially those which have a religious Tradition surrounds the birth of the Prophet bearing; and in all there was instruction for a of Islam with those portents and wonders with noble and aspiring mind like that of the young which superstition loves to dignify the objects merchant. of its reverence. Heaven and earth trembled That he did become noted for a wisdom unuas he came into the world; the Tigris burst its sual at his time of life is proved by his having banks and flooded the adjacent country, while been selected, through the recommendation of Lake Sawa forsook its bed. The sacred fire of a young man with whom he had become acZoroaster, eternally tended by the Magi and quainted during these carayan journeys, to watched by hosts of devoted Ghebers, was settle the affairs of a rich widow of Mecca, suddenly extinguished, and all the idols of the whose husband, a merchant of extensive conchildren of men fell to the earth. An astrolo-nexions, had left his business matters in some ger cast the nativity of the new-born, and pre- confusion. This lady, whose name was Kadidicted that he would establish a new faith jah, employed Mahomet, at double wages, to among men. Wonders accompanied him through conduct a caravan to Syria, and so well was the period of infancy, if his foster-mother is to she satisfied with his ability and integrity on be believed. Angels watched his footsteps in this occasion, that she even doubled the stipuchildhood, and, to prepare him for his destined lated price, and afterwards made use of his ministry, wrung out of his heart the black services on several similar expeditions. and bitter drops of original sin inherited from
Kadijah was forty years of age, and is called our forefather Adam,” and replaced them by by historians “a prudent woman;" but the faith, knowledge, and prophetic light, impress- good qualities of her youthful agent seem to ing at the same time the seal of his commission have awakened in her mature bosom a feeling in a bodily mark between his shoulders, which, which is not always sure to result, whether in however, to unbelieving eyes wore always the young or old, in that kind of circumspection appearance of a large mole.
which the world agrees to call prudence. It Undenied by either faithful or unbeliever is, cleared her sight at least in one direction, nevertheless, the fact that Mahomet early however, for it is recorded that being at the evinced an intelligence beyond his years. At hour of noon with her damsels on the terraced twelve years of age he attracted the attention roof of her house, watching the approach of a
caravan commanded by the handsome young * Mahomet and his Successors, by Washington Irving. agent, she exclaimed—“ Behold the beloved of New York; Geo. P. Putnam.
Allah, who sends two angels to watch over