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EUPHROSYNE, THE SCULPTOR'S BRIDE; being the story of Pygmalion, with a sequel. Norwich: Fletcher and Son.
Miss Agnes Rous Howell, the authoress, calls her work a Libretto in three acts, and doubtless when the music is composed to which her words shall be fitted, the designation will be an appropriate one enough. For the present all we have to consider is the book of the words, and of this let us at once say that it is a very creditable production indeed, and one which will favourably compare with, we will say, seven out of nine of the libretti we know. Euphrosyne, as the classical reader is aware, is one of the Charites, of whom Hesiod mentions three, the other two being Aglaia and Thalia. It was with these (Sostratus gives the names as Pasithea, Cale, and Euphrosyne) Aphrodyte once disputed the palm of beauty, changing Teiresias, who awarded it to Cale, into an old woman, Cale, in return, doing all she could to mitigate his lot by giving him a beautiful head of hair. In Miss Howell's story Euphrosyne is Pygmalion's statue, whom (or should we have said which ?) Urania animates, but whom Atropos turns again to marble, Zeus almost simultaneously doing the same thing by Pygmalion, in answer to the somewhat singular prayer indicated in the prophecy :
Made one in tender bliss, we soon shall dwell,
True love, however, conquers fate-which, for artistic reasons, we are almost sorry for-and so prior to a final apotheosis Euphrosyne and her sculptor lover are re-animated by Zeus, both being shortly afterwards taken up into the empyrean. There are some really clever touches in the work. What, for instance, can be more natural than this question of Euphrosyne's on her first taste of life from the marble, and the reply to her dazed query of the, we fear, rather earthly-minded, god-contemning Clité : Euphrosyne. May I speak, Pygmalion?
Clité [laughing and mimicking]. May I speak, Pygmalion? Did ever mortal hear such a question from a woman's tongue? "May I speak?" Of course thou mayest: we long to hear thy voice.
Or this again between Pygmalion and his marble bride?
Euphrosyne. Almost I could declare that I have known thee for a far longer space than this my life has been upon the earth.
Pygmalion. Why dost thou think so, sweet?
Euphrosyne. In the strange state of icy-cold that you call marble I (or do I dream?) oft felt warm lips touch mine; sweet words, soft spoken, seemed to reach my ear; hot tears bedewed my feet.
Pygmalion [excitedly]. They did; they were thy lover's.
Euphrosyne. They were not half so sweet as are thy words, thy kisses, now I am-I am.
Duly set to music and acted we shall have a further word to say about the present effort.
LITTLE DAISY. Same authoress. London: Griffith, Farran, Okeden, and Welsh, St. Paul's Churchyard.
This is as good a thing in its way as any Ballad of Babylon of them all, with which productions it will almost inevitably force a comparison. Old Madge-they used to call her "Plucky Madge' down to Taverham Mill' is at eighty-eight telling her story to a younger and higher born woman. And a touching enough story it is. For "fifty years and two" she has been the childless wife of labourer Will. At her husband's request she somewhat reluctantly consents to adopt an orphan, the daughter of his niece Jin. 66 Daisy," as they prettily call her, is duly put to school, where she takes fever. Of this she dies, her foster-father following her, broken-hearted, while Madge is yet in the deepest bitterness of grief for the lost little
Gone from his cross, old woman, gone to his Daisy flower,
Praying for words from lips which would never speak again,
Ah! my Will! God's hand fell heavy on that dark, that woeful day. Madge, however, takes to heart the terrible death-lesson, and resignedly waits :
"In sure and certain hope,' that's what's writ on my old man's stone,
The poem is brimful of admirable writing, strong and tender, pathetic and bitter by turns, befitting the mood and the tense of narrator and narration. Miss Howell will, we trust, let us have much more work of this kind. For the information of our readers we may add that the lady is the daughter of Canon Howell, the rector of Drayton, Norwich, and that a poem from her pen will appear in the l'ebruary number of the National Magazine.
LITERATURE, ART, AND ARCHEOLOGY OF THE MONTH.
Messrs. Hodder and Stoughton have just published a translation from the pen of the Rev. D. Charles Edwards, M.A., of a work on "The Doctrine of the Atonement" by the translator's father, Dr. Edwards, Bala College.
The death is announced, at New York, in the sixty-fourth year of his age, of Mr. John E. Owen, the popular American comedian. Mr. Owen was born of Welsh parentage in Liverpool in 1823. When a mere boy he went with his parents to the United States. He made his first appearance on the stage at the National Theatre, Philadelphia, Charlotte Cushman being the "leading lady" in the company. After playing some years in Philadelphia and Baltimore, he became a leading member of John Brougham's company at the Lyceum (afterwards Wallack's) in New York, where he played with success several of his famous "character" parts. He was afterwards successively lessee of the Charles Street Theatre, Baltimore, and the Varieties Theatre, New Orleans; and of late years had mostly appeared at Wallack's house in Broadway, New York. During this period he made occasional visits to England, performing in London and the provinces, where his celebrated impersonations of Solomon Shingle and John Unit were regarded as admirable specimens of American comedy. His last appearances in England were at the Adelphi, in London, where he immediately preceded the first appearance of another famous American actor, Joseph Jefferson, "Rip Van Winkle," during the summer season at that house in 1865.
The Drych has some reason to believe that the next New York eisteddfod will be entirely choral, a movement of which it doubts the wisdom, seeing that so many local circumstances would militate against its success.
The agitation set on foot by the Society for the Utilization of the Welsh Language has already borne fruit, for at the annual examination of the Board Schools at Bargoed, twenty scholars, of whom only five speak Welsh habitually, were
presented for examination in Welsh. The schedule which has just been received shows that fourteen of them satisfied Her Majesty's Sub-Inspector (Mr. D. Isaac Davies, B.Sc.) This is, we believe, the first instance in which Welsh has been taken as a specific subject; and, when we consider that the scholars have had no assistance from text-books, the results must be deemed most encouraging. The examination was a written one, and the following are specimens of the questions set :—
1. (a) Give the plural of the following words :-Bardd, estron, bryn, and efe. (b) Give the feminine of ewythr, gwas, dyn, and tarw du.
2. (a) Give the future indicative of bod, and the corresponding English tense. (b) Give the four degrees of comparison of call, trwm, bach, and cyfoethog.
3. Translate the following sentences into English:-(a) A ydyw y fuwch fawr yn yr ardd? (b) Byddwch yn ferched da. (c) Yr oedd ef yno ddoe. (d) A oes gwallt gwyn ar ben hen wr yn wastad? Point out the parts of speech in the last
4. Translate the following sentences into Welsh :-(a) How do you do? (b) The wicked boy is now far from his father's house. (c) Cardiff is a big town. (d) The soldier was here yesterday.
At the annual inspection of the Cwmfelin Board School, Bedlinog, seventeen scholars were presented for examination in Welsh, and all passed. The result is highly satisfactory, and fully justifies the action of the school board authorities in introducing Welsh as a specific subject.
The death is announced of Dr. Arthur Wynn Williams, at the age of sixty-seven. Dr. Williams was admitted a member of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1843. He took the degree of M.D. at St. Andrew's in 1847. He was a fellow of the Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society, and held for some time the post of physician to the Carnarvonshire and Anglesey Infirmary. After practising at Carnarvon he removed to London. He was a frequent contributor of professional and scientific papers to the medical journals. He was also the author of "King Arthur's Well, a Chalybeate Spring at Llanddeinionen, in Carnarvonshire, with Directions for its Use;" and of a work of a more important character--namely, "A Description of British and Druidical Remains in the neighbourhood of Carnarvon."
Mr. C. G. Leland, in a paper on "The Original Gypsies and their Language," read before the recent Orientalist Congress at Vienna, called attention to an ancient language yet surviving in Britain, known as "Shelta," amongst others who spoke it being an Irish half-blood gypsy tinker, who had also a command of Irish, Gaelic, and Welsh.
A remarkable discovery has just been made by some workmen on the estate of the Duke of Westminster, at Halkyn.
In order to carry out some repairs near the Rhosemor, it was found necessary to cut down a fine sycamore tree, about six feet in circumference, which grew in the fence. In felling the tree the men struck against a hard substance, which proved to be a cannon ball, ten pounds weight, which was embedded in a cavity right in the heart of the tree. The ball must have been in its position for a number of years, and have been shot there when the tree was young, for there were no indications on the bark to show that it had been disturbed or injured. It may be of some interest to add that the discovery was made not far distant from the old ramparts of Foel Gaer. The cannon ball is now in the possession of Mr. George Hughes, Old Hall, agent to the Duke of Westminster.
At the sale of the effects of the late Mr. Joseph Maas, the English tenor, on Wednesday, November 17th, an eight day clock, once belonging to Izaak Walton, was sold for sixty-seven and a half guineas. The case of the clock was a handsome one of antique inlaid workmanship, and was made in 1641 by John Roberts, of Ruabon, for the author of The Compleat Angler.
The October number of the Cambrian (Cincinnati) contains an excellent Welsh translation of the Hon. Mrs. Norton's " Song of the Peasant Wife," from the pen of (if we mistake not) an old Aberdarian, Mr. Rhys Etna Jones.
We have to thank Mr. Henry Blackwell, 207, East 12th Street, New York, for a nicely printed copy of the proceedings at the annual dinner of the St. David's Benevolent Society of New York, held March 1st this year. Mr. Blackwell, we see, is one of the secretaries of this excellent institution. Enclosed in Mr. Blackwell's parcel was a judiciously selected catalogue of a collection of books relating to Wales which he has on sale. Sets of the National Magazine, we are glad to find, command good prices in the empire city.
Our young friend the Cambrian, a Welsh American monthly, has recently changed hands, the new proprietor being the Rev. J. C. Evans, Remsen, Oneida County, N.Y., its founder, the Rev. D. I. Jones, retiring. In future it will be issued from the offices of the Drych, at Utica, N. Y., an arrangement which we cannot help thinking to be an exceedingly wise one. We wish the magazine under its new management every possible suc
Mr. H. Mark Anthony, the painter, who died on Dec. 2, was of Welsh extraction. In his eighth year his parents settled at Cowbridge. Some of his paintings were Welsh landscapes.