« ForrigeFortsæt »
and incorruptible magistrate; from his being associated with them, the bench had authority to command, and the people the willingness to obey.
"Dr. Langhorne wrote at his friend's suggestion 'The Country Justice,' and dedicated it to him. In this dedication he speaks of Burn as a man of 'true taste for the arts."' There is no doubt that Burn was a poet of no mean powers; some scraps of his poetry still existing attest it.
"In his pastoral charge he was equally meritorious; such was the uniform tenor of his way, that tradition in the parish still speaks of him as t' good auld Doctor. There is a well-authenticated anecdote told of Paley and Burn, which throws some light upon the characters of both. The former, while at Musgrave, Appleby, and Dalston, used often to ride over to Orton to see his friend and spend the day with him; a happy meeting no doubt! for with all the sobriety of thought and action, few men could bend with the facility and be more entertaining than these two men. Neither of them were wits in the modern acceptation of the word, but they both liked a joke. Paley used to say to him, 'Well, Doctor, when I come to see you I'm sure of three things; of finding you at home, a well-aired room, and no return-visit from you. At this time (during the last ten years of his life), Dr. Burn scarcely ever stirred from home, and lived in the kitchen, where Paley was sure of not only finding a well-aired room, but of seeing his own dinner cooked.
"Whether Dr. Burn ever did disappoint his friend by taking possession of his well-aired room does not appear; the revenge, had he taken it, would, we doubt not, have been equally sweet to both. In 1762 the University of Oxford conferred upon him the honorary degree of LL.D.
"In 1765 he was made Chancellor of the Diocese of Carlisle; and in 1766 the Corporation of Edinburgh presented him and his son with the freedom of the city.
"His first wife, as we have said, died in 1739; for some reason or other her name does not appear on the monument in Orton Church. Ann, his second wife, died in 1770. He died in 1785, leaving an only son, John Burn, already more than once named in this memoir.
"John Burn died in 1802, and from him is descended the present Richard Burn, Esq., of Orton Hall, and his sister, the Marchioness of Taubati."
This work is altogether highly creditable to Mr. Atkinson, and proves him fully entitled to rank beside those other gentle lawyers who have softened the asperity of their legal repute with a milder and no less intellectual fame.
The Secretary. A Novel in Three Volumes, by LIEUTENANT COLONEL HORT, Author of "The Horse Guards," "The White Charger," "Penelope Wedgebone," &c. J. and D. A. DARLING, 126, Bishopsgate Street, 1850.
The Man who eloped with his own Wife. By the same Author. With three coloured illustrations by ALFRED ASHLEY. J. and D. A. DARLING, 127, Bishopsgate Street, 1850.
The Secretary is a pleasant and interesting story, in which are combined much real and sterling feeling, with no little of that agreeable liveliness which so characterises the author in his other works. For example, who would mistake his style in the following description and incident?
"Wretched and broken-hearted as was Frederick Garston, on quitting the house where, for so many months, he had enjoyed almost uninterrupted felicity, the unhappy ex-secretary, quickening his pace, proceeded he neither knew nor heeded whither. So confused, at that moment, were his ideas, and so conflicting his thoughts, that it was impossible for him coolly to scan over the occurrences of the past hour, much less devise any plan of proceeding for his future guidance.
"The only relief he experienced, was in rapidity of movement, as though, by bodily exertion, he was enabled to deaden, or flee from the deep grievance which weighed so heavily on his mind; and how frequently have we all found it true, when bowed down by some unexpected and overwhelming calamity, as if impelled by a merciful instinct, and instead of sinking unresistingly beneath the blow, the bodily energies acquire additional strength, in proportion to the bewilderment of the mind; and the very circumstance of calling into play the animal exertions of the frame, affords time for the readjustment of that reason, which had nearly tottered on its throne.
"Stung with remorse for the folly of his conduct, yet unconscious of deserving the rigour with which his offence had been visited, he passed along the streets, undetermined where to direct his steps, yet resolved never more to cross the threshold, from whence he had been so ignominiously ejected.
"In this frame of mind, our hero sauntered on, until his progress was arrested by a dense crowd, in the midst of which he found himself, yet how, and by what means, he little knew, but most effectually it checked his onward way. Recalled, by this trifling circumstance, from the gloomy contemplation of his misery, to a survey of what was actually passing around, Garston discovered that he added, in his own person, to the many who are daily in the habit of congregating at, or about, that once emporium of stage-coaches, the White-Horse Cellar.
At the instant I write of, one of the thousand of those now-fast-disappearing conveyances was on the point of starting for its destination; the coachman was on the box, and even, with the aid of his less-exalted satellites, it was with difficulty the modern Jehu could restrain the fiery impetuosity of his greys; the guard was in the act of giving the finishing pull at the buckle of the huge strap, which secured the luggage on the roof; orange-boys, and knife-vendors thrust specimens of their calling in the faces of the passengers, while the dealers in political discussion, loudly announced the sum, which a perusal of their unsold journals claimed on the pockets of all liege subjects who cared to peruse them; in short, the coach was about to start; the ostlers had their hands on the wheeler's clothing; the huge rough voice issuing from underneath the many folds of a most enormous handkerchief, in which the face of the owner was immersed, had pronounced the talismanic words "all's right," when, actuated by some unaccountable impulse, our hero, as if awakening from a trance, exclaimed-" Any room, guard?"
"One outside sir,' replied the proprietor of the voluminous neckcloth. "Which side?' rejoined the inquirer.
"Near side, sir,' was the answer. 'Now, sir,' he continued, seeing Garston endeavouring to climb to the same altitude as himself, 'now, sir, put your foot there, sir-no time to lose-five minutes late as it is-any luggage
'None,' was the reply; and instantly Frederick Garston found himself whirled off at the rate of ten miles an hour, but in what direction, he never once thought of inquiring.
In his then state, anything was better than being left alone to brood over his sorrows; and the sight of the stage-coach when about to start, instantly suggested the idea, that to leave London for any place, no matter where, must be infinitely preferable to remaining stationary, where he must frequently be subjected to the humiliating insults of those who had known him in the days of his palmy grandeur.
"To him, what mattered it in which direction the horses' heads were turned? All places were alike-all were equally destitute of everything which could tend to soothe his anguished spirit; where could he look for aid and succour in the hour of his distress? and from what friendly bosom could he expect to derive the balm of consolation and hope? From none; and even before his first and best friend, who was now verging towards that resting-place, where all earthly toil ceases, even before him he hesitated to appear as he then was, discarded and apparently unworthy.
By degrees, as the rapidity with which they travelled left the smoky city far behind, and the exhilarating beauty of the country unavoidably delighted his senses, our hero found his spirits gradually assuming a more composed tone; and ere forty miles of the journey had passed over, he was enabled calmly to contemplate the position which, but one day before, he never coul have dreamed of being placed in.
"Where does the coach stop at?' was the first inquiry Garston made. "Ship, sir; we always put up at "the Ship,” replied the guard. "But I mean at what town?' pursued the inquirer.
"What town, sir?' repeated the locomotive guardian of the vehicle, in some surprise; what town sir?' and without further answer to the question propounded, he endeavoured so to swerve round his enormous body, as to obtain a better view of his questioner.
"Yes,' replied the other, mildly, 'can you tell me what town the coach stops at ?'
"Can I tell?' echoed the man of mufflers; 'why, as for that, sir, it would be something strange if I could not tell as much as that, at all events, seeing I've been on this 'ere Dover Road for the last five and twenty years.'
"Then Dover is our destination, I presume?' observed the other.
Why, course it is,' shouted the guard, waxing wroth at the supposition that his passenger was endeavouring to make a fool of him for the amusement of others; 'course it is-d'ye think the coach drives on to Calais?' and having uttered a most significant, though somewhat inelegant remark, indicative of his contempt for the understanding of any one who could presume to attempt turning him into ridicule, he resumed his original position, nor attempted further to interfere with our hero's cogitations.'
In "The Man who eloped with his own Wife —a strange title-the Colonel is in his full comic vein again, which seems never to flag or tire. Colonel Hort promises indeed to hold a very fair rank among our modern humourists and novelists.
The Pianista. London: 67, Paternoster Row.
THE Pianista is the name of a musical series appearing monthly, of which each number contains a pianoforte arrangement of the airs, choruses, ballet-music, and overture of some popular foreign opera. It differs advantageously from the "Fantasias on favourite airs," usually published by music-sellers in so far as it gives us the pianoforte arrangement imitated exactly from the full score, while the popular music-masters who usually sign the "Fantasias" show their ingenuity and absence of intelligence by altering accompaniments and distorting melodies according to their own want of taste. Moreover the Pianista possesses the merit of completeness; its numbers giving not only "favourite" airs, but all the music contained in any given opera with the
exception of the recitative, which without words and executed, instrumentally would prove rather insipid.
After shewing how this publication possesses the merit of excellence, we must notice that which has, no doubt, contributed far more to its popularity, viz., its cheapness. The Pianista gives us, for a couple of shillings, which is the price of each number, as much music as would, ordinarily, cost two guineas. The only sort of advantage which the ruinously priced music is stated by its patrons to possess over the other is that the notes are somewhat larger, and the paper a trifle thicker. Perhaps a very strict process of measuring and weighing would establish the truth of the, but certainly not the Intter part of this statement; it is sufficient however for us that in the work before ns the notes are quite large enough, and that the paper is thicker and quite superior in quality ample, besides which a great convenience results from a greater number of lines than usual being contained in each page, the performer being thus less frequently called upon to turn over the leaves. We would suggest for the better preservation of each part that it should be contained in a more substantial wrapper; in not attending to this, the proprietors seem to be undervaluing their own production.
In some cases (that of the Prophete for instance) it is impossible to give the whole of the opera in less than two numbers, but the price of this new and cheap form as compared with the old established and expensive one, is still in the proportion of shillings and guineas. Moreover there are very few if any "recognized" music-publishers in London where an entire pianoforte arrangement of this opera could be at this moment obtained even at the usual exorbitant prices. In an opera of the ordinary length-say Nabuco or Nino for instance-we have the overture and nineteen morceaux in one part: these, as may be judged from the number specified include every air, chorus, &c., in the opera. At certain periods when many operas have appeared consecutively, and no work of the kind is attracting very great attention among the London public, some classical instrumental piece, such as the "Pastoral Symphony" is given by way of intermezzo.
Among a tolerably extensive list of compositions already included in the Pianista will be found Mozart's Don Giovanni, and La Nozze de Figaro-Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night's Dream--Beethoven's Pastorale Symphony-Meyerbeer's three great Operas, Robert le Diable, Les Huguenots, and Le Prophète-Weber's Der Freischutz-Flotow's Stradella-Pacini's Sappho-Rossini's Otello, Cenerentola, Semiramide, La Gazza Ladra, La Donna del Lago, Il Barbiere de Seviglia, and the Stabat Mater-Bellini's Puritani, Norma, and La Sonnambula-Donizetti's Linda di Chamouni, Lucretia Borgia, La Favorita, L'Elisir d'Amore, Anna Bolena, La Figlia del Reggimento, Lucia di Lammermoor; and Don Pasquale-Verdi's Nino, and I Lombardi-Auber's Masaniello, Fra Diavolo, and Crown Diamonds-Boieldieu's La Dame Blanche-Herold's Zampa, and Adolphe Adams' beautiful ballet of Le Diable a Quatre. With the exception of five, each of the foregoing works is comprised in a single number, and thus can the compositions of the great classical masters and the entire music of popular operas be found for a trifling cost, on the humblest pianoforte or become as "familiar as HOUSEHOLD WORDS" in families living remote from the operatic hemisphere.
In addition to the pianoforte arrangements already enumerated, some few of the operas are given in other numbers with Italian and English, or French and English words, subjoined to the music. We find also the music and words of Wilson's Scotch and Henry Russell's popular songs— as well as numerous polkas, quadrilles, and waltzes by Strauss and Schubert, forming the contents of other parts of this extremely cheap and meritorious publication, nor must we omit especial mention of No. 53, which contains the twenty celebrated studies of Aloise Schmitt, for the pianoforte-one of the best and most approved series of exercises for learners ever written, and which is almost universally adopted all over the continent by teachers of any reputation.
The work is altogether elegantly got up. The arrangements from the scores are invariably clever, judicious, and skilful, and in most instances are the best that have been published. The conductors deserve the warmest praise for the great correctness with which it is printed. It appears to be absolutely without an error, and therefore must be separated from a great deal of low priced music, which however small the charge can never be considered cheap.
Davidson's Illustrated Libretto-Books. Davidson, Peter's Hill, Doctors Commons.
These "Illustrated Libretto-books" have been published gradually as the operas to which they belong have been produced at her Majesty's Theatre and the Royal Italian Opera. The books are printed in double columns, one of which gives the Italian, the other containing the English version; the word "illustration" is to be understood in a musical sense, the treble line of many of the principal melodies being given with the words. The translations seem to have been effected by different hands, and all we can say of them is that they are tolerably good, intolerably bad, and indifferent. However, many of them are much better, and none could be worse, than the libretti sold within the opera-houses, and the advantage of possessing the melody of many of the airs is considerable. We think the proprietors would find it profitable to extend the number of their "illustrations" to every air of importance; the utility of the upper line of only four or five airs (and those not always the principal ones) by some would be thought questionable, the benefit of having the singing part of all the important morceaux would be quite undeniable. To any person anxious to obtain a critical knowledge of an opera, the advantage of possessing in his box a copy of the very music which Viardot, Sontag, or Mario is executing on the stage must be obvious, while the facility of recalling to mind any particular melody or air heard at the opera, by referring to the book, gives these libretti a decided superiority over all others, and when generally known will, we think, altogether supersede the books hitherto sold at the opera houses. The operas already published in this series are―. -La Prophete; La Cenerentola; Norma; Masaniello; Semiramide; Il Barbiere de Seviglia; Lucia de Lammermoor, Lucretia Borgia, Linda de Chamouni, Der Freischutz; Don Giovanni; Otello; Don Pasquale, Medea; and La Favorita.