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and Walter, repair, for the purpose of finding two maid-servants for the house work at home. They glance over the eager crowd of girls without seeing a face to their liking, until Lyonnel's eyes are arrested by Lady Henrietta, who, attired in peasant's array, waits with her companion to be chosen. The two young farmers, attracted more by the pretty faces than the domestic qualifications of the two damsels, who own they can neither “bake nor churn, nor light a fire,” engage them immediately, dance with them, and, as evening approaches, insist on their fulfilling their bargain, and going home with them. There arrived, they find that the pretended maids can perform none of the duties assigned to them. At length, they retire to rest, but not before Lyonnel, who has been deeply smitten by the graces of the high-born Henrietta, has found means to acquaint her with his passion, to which, though pride rebels, her heart in secret responds. When all is hushed in slumber, however, the two maids, exhorted by Sir Tristram, take their flight. Lyonnel and Walter, when discovering their loss, enlist, the former in despair, the latter to bear his friend company. The scene changes to the Court of Queen Elizabeth, who sallies forth with a goodly company of squires and dames, amongst whom are her maids of honour, to hunt in her royal park of Greenwich. After a brief interview between Lyonnel and Henrietta, in which she treats her humble lover with feigned scorn, the latter is instrumental in saving the Queen's life, menaced by the fiery spirit of her steed. The Queen, in reward for his royal gallantry, makes him her squire for the day, and thus he becomes spectator of a performance given to the Court of Orpheus and Eurydice, in which Henrietta takes the latter part. Lyonnel recognises his scornful mistress, cannot contain himself, rushes forward and throws himself at her feet: general confusion ensues, in the midst of which, Henrietta, finding an opportunity to speak to him apart, confesses her heart is touched by the honest yeoman's love, but begs him to spare her pride before the courtly throng assembled there. He is at length led off, and Elizabeth gains from her young protégée the avowal of her secret. After chiding her imprudent adventure, the Queen is, nevertheless, determined to assure the happiness of the man, whose good looks and gallantry had interested her before. She gives orders to the reluctant Sir Tristram that all should be arranged in Lyonnel's homestead, as on the day when the pretended servant girls had entered it, and arranges so, that when the young farmer mechanically rings the bell, obedient to his call, Henrietta and Alison appear. The sequel may be guessed. Lyonnel and Walter are made happy, and the curtain drops.
The plot of this opera is favourable to dramatic effect, and Mr. Balfe has employed the resources furnished with his wonted genius. It is impossible to be more spirited and effective than are the numerous comic portions of the opera. In the management of the choruses, Balfe has displayed the hands of a master. We may instance, especially, the scene of the statute fair, one of animation, liveliness, and real English mirth. In fact, there is a hearty, genuine humour and feeling about the whole composition which is peculiarly English. The chorus of soldiers and huntsmen, in the second act, wins vehement applause. The opening madrigal, sung by a chorus of female voices, is very much in the style of the old English compositions of this nature, and deserves popularity,
The ballad, “The Red Cross Knight,” sung by Miss Birch, has a
peculiar and quaint sweetness about it that gains on the ear, repeated, as it is often, throughout the opera. The duet between Lyonnel and Henrietta in the farmhouse—“I know not by what spell ”– follows. In this, the voices blended together produce a delightful effect.
The third act commences with an excellent comic solo of “ Sir Tristram," sung my Mr. Weiss, with an amusing chorus. Then follows the mimic performance of Orpheus and Eurydice, with the demon's chorus, and the invocation of Orpheus, sung by Miss Miran.
The duet between Orpheus and Eurydice, executed by Miss Birch and Miss Miran, is a pleasing composition ; the two voices combine at its conclusion with that agreeable effect of the union of soprano and contralto. The ballad, “ In that old chair," is the next piece of importance, and the opera concludes with a brilliant rondo, sung by Miss Birch. · Miss Birch made a triumphant debut, and will, we trust, have no occasion to regret having given up the Parisian stage for this. She is far more impassioned as a dramatic singer than ever she appeared in the concert-room. Her voice and execution are perfect. Miss Miran possesses a fine, powerful, pure-toned, though not as yet very extensive contralto voice, a good style, a pretty face, and a considerable portion of comic talent. Madame Weiss, who has been well known in concerts as Miss Barrett, has considerable strength of intonation. Throughout this opera, Reeves more than sustained the great reputation he so speedily made in the Lucia, and has proved that the simple ballad style of music is not less suited to him than the more ambitious but not more difficult Italian singing. His full, clear, manly, and expressive voice produces a sensation of pleasure, which his excellent taste, his perfect control, serve to maintain ; while his feeling and impassioned acting perfectly preserves the illusion of his part.
The libretto in some parts of this opera is pleasingly written ; for instance, the following words of the song so exquisitely sung by Reeves :
In this old chair my father sat,
In this my mother smiled;
And feel myself a child.
Joy, joy too bright to last;
Or memory paint the past ?
And here, alas ! when they were gone,
In Beauty's own array,
To cheer each grief away;
Too sweet, too pure to last.
Mem'ry, why paint the past ?
Those who are advocates for the employment of native performers will perceive that every singer in this opera is English. To us, however, it seems that success does not nor ought to belong to any particular country, but to real ability. M. Jullien has adopted the only proper means of making English singing prosperous-viz., the production of such talent as may vie with the beautiful voices of Italy.
THE FRENCH THEATRE.
The St. James's French Theatre has opened with its usual brilliancy and its usual fashionable success. This place, indeed, presents a perfect model of dramatic art. Acting, decoration, dresses, all is admirable. Some new performers of Parisian reputation have recently appeared. M. Montaland, Malle. Baptiste, and Malle. Ligier are great acquisitions. Chatelain plays the lovers extremely well; and, be it remembered, the lover—a being generally so little regarded, and so badly acted on the English stage-takes an important station in the French drama. The performances as yet have been pleasing short comedies and vaudevilles. One farcical production, “Une Fille Terrible,” was most amusing. It excited the broadest and loudest laughter, and yet throughout the ridiculous trifle there was nothing of coarseness or vulgarity. Malle. Ligier played the hoyden charmingly, and M. Tourillon, as her antique suitor, was surpassingly droll. This theatre is indeed one of great attraction, for it has a combination of the histrionic excellence of France, a country far away beyond all others in the number, the industry, and the perfection of its actors. The study of French performing must be infinitely useful to English players. Mr. Webster has lately proved this at the Haymarket Theatre, where his acting in a translation by himself, of “ Le Reveil du Lion,” made one really believe oneself present at a performance in Paris.
A tragic sketch, a species of drama unknown to the English stage, has been represented with great pathos and effect at the St. James's Theatre; The title of it was, “Le chef d'ouvre Inconnu ;” and the acting of M. Fechter and Malle. Baptiste, was replete with the finest feeling.
The Antigone of Sophocles, with the music of Mendelssohn, is announced at the French Theatre, and will doubtless prove a rich classic and musical treat: it promises to unite the very essence of dramatic per. fection with the costly seasoning of most exquisite harmony.
Pics The NINTH ; OR, The First Year of his PoNTIFICATE. By
COUNT C. A. De Goppes de LiANCOURT, of the Pontifical Academy of the Lincei, at Rome, and James A. MANNING, Esq., of the Inner Temple. T.C. Newby, 72, Mortimer-street, Cavendish-square.
This book is a very agreeable and interesting account of the life and opening Pontificate of the great and good man who now occupies the chair of St. Peter. In style, the work is elegantly and clearly written, and in matter it is so attractive, that it is almost impossible to take it up without proceeding through the whole of it. The information it affords as to the funeral, and especially as to the election of a Pope, considerably enhances the value of the production. The sitting of the Conclave, and its mode of choosing the new sovereign, is carefully detailed and explained. One singular portion of the ceremony is thus described :
“ One of the most curious scenes which occurs during the sitting of the Conclave, is the arrival of the Cardinal's dinners at the Palace of the Quirinal. Each dinner is brought in procession through the streets of Rome. The state carriage of the Caruinal takes the lead, followed by the officers of his palace, in their state liveries, more or less numerous according to the rank and fortune of his Eminence. These persons are followed by a gilt litter carried by two servants, which is magnificently ornamented, and bears a basket decorated with the arms of the Cardinal to whom it belongs, containing the dishes des. tined for his repast. The private carriages follow in this procession, which starts every day in the same manner, from the palace of each Cardinal Elector, to the great court of the Palace of Monte Cavello. On its arrival in the court, where a temporary hall is erected with planks, covered with tapestry, a Bishop, especially appointed for the service, proceeds to the inspection of the viands, carrying his investigation so far as to exainine into the bodies of the fowls, the insides of the fish, and the bottom of the vegetable dishes. This search, as that to which strangers are subjected from the Custom-bouse officers on the French frontiers, is instituted with the view of preventing any correspondence, or external influence in the deliberations of the Conclave. The object, bowever, is not always at'ained, for diplomacy sli les into every hole and corper. When this visit is finished, the Bishop delivers the dishes to the subaltern officer, who places them in one of the towers of the Conclave, whence they are drawn up by a machine, and received by the conclavists, who carry them to the different cells of their Cardinal masters."
The enthusiasm that reigned throughout Rome on the election of Pius IX., is related with graphic effect :
“The people of the Eternal City were, nevertheless, agitated by a thousand unpleasant conjectures and forebodings, for all these alarms, augmented by fear, could bave no other result than to plunge the city in stupor, when suddenly loud cries were heard from the Quirinal, re-echoed from the Vatican to the capitol. The Pope was elected! a few hours had sufficed to harmonize all opposing elements; the Sacred College, previously so divided, soon brought their deliberations to a close, all contention, opposing interesia, and party and political sentiments, blending, as it were, by a sort of miracle, into a rapid and unforeseen unanimity.
“The whole city now burst forth as on a day of festival and rejoicing, and rushed towards the square of Monte Cavello; this immense place was covered in an instant by an enthusiastic population, who made the air ring again with loud and joyous acclamations, with which they saluted the Aurora of a new reign.
“To behold this living mass of beings, black and variegated, and agitated like the waves of the sea in the hour of tempest, the flux and reflux of men of every age, of every condition,- the indiscriminate mixture of princes, and porters, beggars and bankers, youth and age; we might say, in the language of poetry, more than history, this human equality quitting the tomb in order to pass under the eye of God in the Valley of Jehosaphat,' was a truly marvellous sight. The excitement of the Romans was extreme, when a small stone detached itself from the walled-up window of the Conclave, and fell upon the balcony--the opening increased rapidly, and in a few minutes it was sufficiently large to permit the passage of the Cardinal Camerlengo, who appeared with a countenance beaming with joy. At this solemn moment, the breathless anxiety of the people was converted into thunders of applause, suppressed again immediately, as by enchantment, and the silence of the grave reigned around, while Camerlengo thus addressed the people :
"Romans, I announce to you great joy. We have a Pope—the most Eminent and most Reverend Giovanni Maria Mastai Ferretti, Bishop of Imola, of the Holy Church of Rome, who has assumed the name of Pius IX
“ Before he retired, the Cardinal Camerlengo threw a paper to the people containing, in Italian, the words he had pronounced in the language of
“ The enthusiasm spread like fire from one end of the city to the other, and vivas and acclamations rent the air from the Piazza del Popolo to the Quirinal and the Consulta. The name of Pius IX., pronounced by a hundred thousand voices, mingling with the sounds of the cannon, which roared from the Castle of St. Angelo, was a benediction worthy the great solemnity.
“Soon after, the whole of the Sacred College appeared at the balcony and the windows of the Quirinal, and were visibly affected by the enthusiasm of the people, whose manifestations of joy was a noble testimony to the unanimity which presided at the choice of the Conclave."
The birth, origin, armorial ensigns, and amiable disposition of the new Pope are gracefully put forth:
“ Giovanni Maria Mastai Ferretti was born at Sinigaglia, a small city in the marshes of Ancona, in the Papal dominions, on the 3rd of May, 1792, and is consequently now in his 56th year.
“ He was the younger son of the Count Mastai Ferretti of Sinigaglia. The only reference we shall now make to the genealogical, or rather the heraldic distinctions of the Mastai Ferretti Family, is as to the singularity of its armorial bearings, as connected with the supreme power to which Pius IX. has been raised in the Papal dominions, as Sovereign Pontiff, and the pretentions of the Holy See, of which he has become the head, with universal spiritual dominion. Here we may observe that the Roman Pontiffs bear their own family arms, the arms of Rome, the cross keys upon the banner or Gonfalon of the Holy See, being but accessories, which are generally placed behind the tiara or trinal Crown of Rome.
“ The arms of Mastai Ferretti are quarterly, 1st and 4th, azure a lion saliant crowned, or, his left paw resting on the globe, 2nd and 3rd, argent two fesses, or, according to English heraldry, two bars gules.
“It is not a little singular that the above quarterings, so indicative of dominion, should not have already struck those who seek to enhance the greatness of their hero, by auguries drawn from the most trivial incidents, for it cannot be denied that the coincidence is curious.
“ The sweetness of Giovanni Mastai Ferretti's disposition as a child, and the