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consider the praise bestowed upon one 'turn its very defects, its broken and as a deduction from the ample measure rugged dissonance to advantage, more of another's reputation ? why should especially in those turbulent and tu. the laurels placed upon the brows of multous convulsions of the soul which a new actor be regarded as a plunder may be supposed to pass the boundafrom the wreath with which those of a ries of speech and absorb its powers mighty rival have so long and so de- in the violence of conflicting emotions. servedly been encircled ?
Mr. Kean is said to possess an in The prejudice which exalts a fa- tellect, acute and dextrous, with a vourite into faultlessness is scarcely prompt and ardent imagination.less injurious and surely not less ab- Minds of this class arc often accomsurd than that which allows no merit panied with an indolence which disto an object of dislike ; through the poses them rather to await the necessity dangers of both these popular tributes of immediate and occasional exertions, to extraordinary talents it must be ad- than voluntarily to employ themselves mitted that Mr. Kean has borne him- in the mental labour that requires the self gallantly; and is well entitled to perseverance of connected prosecution; be recorded (whatever the intrinsic and thus the energies of Mr. Kean's value of such a fame may be) as one intellect will perhaps be found to de. of the most successful in the list of velope themselves more frequently by eminent English tragedians.
sudden flashes and sparkling points in The person of Mr. Kean is con- parts of a performance than by a considerably below the ordinary height, sistent and steadily sustained delineabut muscular and actively formed.- tion of the whole. His feelings, too, His countenance is handsome, intelli- appear of that deep and sensitive nagent, and capable of strong expression, ture which may still further conduce long and oval with an Italian cast of to give this character to his performe character in the features, the complex- ances, for such feelings readily indulge ion pale, the forehead clear and broad, in the calms of inaction, and are chiefly the eyes large, dark and particularly alive to the mortal agitations of those brilliant, quick in their motion and elementary passions only which conintense in their power, and his phy- found and swallow up the minor dissiognomy has been remarked as alto- tinctions of individual character, and gether possessing that kind of inde- , reduce all human beings to one great scribable interest about it, which never' and general similitude. If other perfails to attract and fascinate the atten- formances, therefore may have exhibittion of the spectator. His voice has ed from beginning to end the presera been generally noticed as the qualifica- vation of a consonant and tion in which he is most defective, but unbroken propriety, a more perfect
this is only true as far as regards its and continued distinctness of identity, i power and its compass, pushed beyond none perhaps ever equalled those of
its limits, it becomes harsh, hoarse, Mr. Rean, in the beauty and the and totally madequate to the great de- grandeur of isolated passages. In inands of loud and impassioned utter- momentary & incontrollable influences ance, but within its compass its qua- of strong feeling, in the sudden and lity of tone is sweet and pleasing,' sweeping explosions," the torrent, modukting through the level discourse tempest, and whirlwind," of our masof affection, tenderness and melancholy ter passions, the collective voice of with much beauty and clearness of public opinion seems to acknowledge enunciation. , And so skilful is Mr. his unrivalled superiority, so that if Kean's management of this defective other tragedians may surpass him in organ, that lie, frequently contrives to what may be termed the epic character
of his art, it may be allowed that no and a river not deep enough to drown one was ever a more tremendous actor a rat ; in bronzed pillars, and faces of in the epigrammatic power of his bronze; in Sunday finery, and Satureffects.
day filth; in grim mustachios a la The late Mr. Whitbread whose militaire, and gay ear-rings a la femme abilities, character and station in the in shoe-blacks as polished as they are country gave no ordinary value to polishing, and fish-women as fanciful his praise, after paying some just com- as a fine lady, and fat as a porpoise. pliments to the merits of Mr. Kemble What a contrast does Paris offer to and to the memory of Mr. Garrick, London —show seems to have presidsaid—“ In judging of Mr. Kean we ed in the building of one, comfort in must look to him as he is not the that of the other. The houses of the copyist of
any other not the pupil of Parisians are much loftier and statelier a school—but an actor who found all than ours; but then “every man's his resourses in nature—who delincat- house is not his castle," and there is a ed his passions only from the expres- tenant for every floor, nay, perhaps for sions that the soul gives to the voice every room.
In London the comfort and features of man—not from the of private society was never before images that have before him been re- equalled in any stage of the social propresented on the stage.-It is from gress; in Paris the French
escape the wonderful truth, energy and force their comfortless brick floors, naked with which he strikes out and presents walls, and fireless hearths, to seek ento the eye this natural working of the joyment without. The Boulevards, in human frame, that he excites the emo- point of momentary amusement, are tions and engages the sympathy of unrivalled; but Paris, as far as regards his spectators and auditors. It is to continued gratification, posesses nohim, that after a hundred and thirty- thing that is capable of vying with our five nights of continued loss and dis- squares. You
walk in London appointment, the subscribers are in- for miles on an excellent pavement, debted for the success of the season, equal to the floor of a Frenchman's and that the public are indebted for drawing-room; but there is nothing the high treat which they received by ostentatious in all this. The wonders the variety of characters which he of London are concealed almost enrepresented."
tirely from the eye; the countless means by which water and light, the
two greatest wants in a populous city, PARIS-A SKETCH
are circulated through all the veins of Thou wonderful city! shrine of the metropolis, are unseen, and scaiceluxury, emporium of amusement, tem-ly thought of. The new street in ple of pleasure, and microcosm of the London is indeed a magnificent dance world! how and where shall I begin, of architectural beauties; but this is thy picture ? how describe the indes- an exception ; while Paris in every cribable ?-A Pencil dipped in the quarter presents the coup-de-æil of 'a colours of the Rainbow would vainly new Babylon. attempt to sketch thy' ever-shifting We can conceive nothing grander complexion, and mercurial humours; in the most far-famed cities of ancient thy unfixable caprices, and intermina- times, than the view from the Pont ble contrarieties; in splendid houses and de Louis Quirze ; particularly when dirty lanes ; in a toe-torturing pave- looking accross the river to the Cham. ment beneath, and a hat-spoiling bre des Deputes, backed by the water-spout above ; in quays capacious gorgeous dome of the Hospital des enough for the commerce of the world, Invalides
The golden palace, tempic, grave of war.' resolving to run the gauntlet of the Nor can we readily believe that Rome, Boulevards, and sce all that is to be “ in her most high and paliny state, seen, one thinks of the speech of poor possesed a condensed assemblage of Damien, when first fastened to the more magnificent objects than are to rack---" Ce sera une journee forte !" be met with in a walk from the Borde. One is fairly thumb-screwed, picketed, wards Italiens, down the Nde de la and pressed to death, by the eagerness Prit,through the Place l'endome, to of the Parisian desire to please. ' A the Plcce Louis Quinze, and so on to: Savoyard torments with his eternal the river, proceeding along the Quni to thrumming, or a fiizeur twists the the Tuilleries and the Louvra. The most wry hair into pliant corkscrews, Tuilleries gardens, it is true, are small-, or a griínacier tortures “the human in comparison with our Kensington face divine" into monstrasitics of uggardens ; but there they have the su- liness, which would have petrified the perior advantage of being near at hand. , Gorgons. Next stands a conjuror It must at the same tiine be allowed, with all his tools of trade spread out that they are laid out m very bad taste. before him, and farther on, a female The trees seem as if they were ranged professor, who engages to perform any for a country dance or a cotillion.-given operation on your poodle. Here Each orange has a partner ; every pop- a fruit-seller, with fruit which might har and limo tree shakes his head at a tempt Eve to a second perdition ; and Tektion, and “half the terrace juist , thote the “brown marchande," with reflects the other." The bronzes are a wed handkerchief round her head, crowded upon a wall, as if it were a scarcely redder than her sun-burnt skin, broker's shop; the ground is patched arranges her gaudy tray of all the with diamonds, quadrants, circles, and Circean mysteries that restore or creorals, like a lady's inlaid werk box; ate beauty, rouges and essences, false and the fountains struggle and spirt in eyes, false teeth, false ringlets, false all manner of antic dribblings. How- noses. The line of cxhibitants seems ever, it cannot be denied that ingenuity “to stretch out to the crack of doom," has done its utmost, in a small compast, and the intervals of the interminable to amuse 'and accommodate the peo- series, are filled up with every species ple. The same objection, as to bad of - “ all monstrous and prodigious taste, does not apply to the stately things :" beggar bards and beggar foravenues of the Boulevards. Nothing tune-tellers, merry andrews, and tragic i London is calculated to vie with its actors as merry, dancing children and triple arcade, broad as Portland Place, dancing dogs, white mice, learned shaded during a course of seven miles monkeys, and militant Canary birds. by lofty and luxuriant elms, and flank- It is not surprising, therefore, that ed by an unintermitted succession of Paris
, considered merely as a place of palaces, flower gardens, fountains, and gaiety and recreation, should comma d I theatres. The only bad taste discern- che preference of strangers. All kinds
able, is not in the scene, but in the of luxuries and sensual pleasures are dramatis persona. Indeed the spec- not only in the highest state of refine*tators themselves are a part of the ment, but easily procurable. The spectacle, and none more so than the comparative smallness of Paris is at
beaux, who, with deterinined anxiety, tended with the same superiority as a • for the repose of their legs and arms, small theatre has over a large ane; the
contrive to ocupy three chairs at a spectacle is compressed into a smaller time. All' besides is in ' restless compass, and the dulcid vitia of the fratiortz tlie tension of excitement is place are more available. In Paris lept up almost id torture, and while there no sulphurous clouds of smoke ta
hide the “ deep blue” beautiful sky, of the genius of every people, through all
its eras- and whatever men have thought oppress the lungs, and sicken the
and whatever men have done, were at petite ; and (important fact) a half
length discovered to be found in Books. sovereign in Paris will go as far or
Men of letters occupy an intermediate farther than a whole sovereign in station between authors and readers ; with London. In this case the half is more curiosity of knowledge and more greater than the whole, as Cicero said multiplied tastes, and by those precious of a colossal bust of his diminutive son their lives, more completely furnilied with
collections which they are forming during in-law. 'With 'rare felicity of com- the means than are possessed by the mulbination, the physical and moral taste titude who read, and the few who write
. may be gratified at the same time.- The studies of an author are usualls re
stricted to particular subjects; his tastes Sensual pleasure even condescends so
are tinctured by their colouring, and his far as to woo economy. The gastro- mind is always shaping itself to them.nome of miserly habits or deficient purse An author's works for his solitary pride, finds himself attacked on his weakside, and often mark the boundaries of his emand the enjoyments of gourmandize, pire ; while half his life wears away in the though at the highest some of scien- slow maturity of composition; and still
the ambition of authorship torments its tific refinement, may be cheaply as well victim alike in disappointment or in pos
as extravagantly gratified. You may session. : dine (par exemple) in a superb sa
But the solitude of the man of letters is · lon of the Palais Royal, equal to the soothed by the surrounding objeets of his Clarendon, and beservedl off plate, with passion;
he possesses them, and they posess
kim. His volumes in triple rows on their soup, three dishes au choix, bread a shelves ; his portfolios, those moveable discretion, a pint of claret, and dessert galleries of pictures and sketches; his rich for 2 shillings English money. * ** medaillier of coins and gems, that library
without books; some favourite sculptures
and paintings, on which his eye lingers as THE MAN OF LETTERS.
they catch a magical light; and some an
tiquities of all nations, here and there, Among the members of the republic of about his house ; these are his furniture ! literature there is a class to whom may be Every thing about him is so endeared to appropriately assigned the title of Men of lijm by habit, and many higher associations, LETTERS.
that even to quit his collections for a short The man of letters, whose habits and time becomes a real suffering. Ile lives whose whole life so closely resembles those where he will die ; often his library and of an author, can only be distinguished by his chamber are contiguous, and this the simple circumstance, that the man of “ Parva, sed apta,” this contracted space, letters is not an author.
has often marked the boundary of the exYet he whose sole occupation through istence of the opulent owner. life is literature, who is always acquiring His invisible days flow on in this visiónand never producing, appears as ridiculous ary world of literature and art; all the as the architect who never raised an edifice, knowledge, and all the tastes, which genius or the statuary who refrains from sculpture. has ever created are transplanted into his His pursuits are reproached with terminat- cabinet; there they flourish together in an ing in an epicurean selfishness, and amidst atmosphere of their own. But tranquility his incessant avocations he himself is con- is essential to his existence; for though his sidered as a particular sort of idler. occupations are interrupted without incon
This race of literary characters, as they venience, and resumed without effort, yct now exist, could not have appeared till the if the realities of life, with all their unquiet press had poured its influence; in the de- thoughts are suffered to enter into his ideal gree that the nations of Europe became world, they will be felt as if something literary, was that philosopbical curiosity were flung with violence among the trees kindled, which induced some to devote where the birds are singing,--all would their fortunes and their days, and to expe- | instantly disperse ! rience some of the purest of human enjoy- Such is that life of self-oblivion of the ments, in preserving and familiarising man of letters, for which so many have vo. themselves with “ the monuments of va- luntarily relinquished a public station or mushed minds,” that indestructible history their rank in Society; neglecting even fors es tune and health. Of the plansyres of the ing through life those magnificent collec man of letters it may be said, they combine tions which often bear the names of their tiyse opposite sources of enjoyment ob founders from the gratitude of a following sorted in the hunter and the angler. Of age; Venice, Horence, and Copenhagen, a greit hunter it was said, that he did not Oxford and London, attest the existence, live but hented; and the man of letters, in of their labours. Our Bodleys and our liis perpetual researches, feels the like beat, Harleys, our Cottons and our Sloanes, our and the joy of discovery, in his own chase; Cracherodes and our Townleys, were (our while in the deep calm of his spirits, such Spencers our Staffords and our Roscoes is the sweetness of bis uninterrupted hours, are) of this race! In the perpetuity of . like those of the angler, that oxie may say their own studies, they felt as if they were of him whut Colonel Venables, an enthu- extending human longevity, by throwing siastie angler, declared of his favourite an unbroken light of knowledge into the pursuit, “ many have cast off other recrea- next age. Each of these public works, for • tions and onel raced this; but I never knew such they become, was the project and the any angler wholly cast off, though occa- execution of a solitary man of letters dur. sions might interrupt, their affections to ing half a century, the generous enthusitheir beloved recreation."
asin which inspired their intrepid labours; But “ men of the world," as they are so the difficulties overcome; the voluntary emphatically distinguisfied, imagine that a privations of what the world calls its plea: man so lifeless in the world" must be sures and its honours, would form an in
one of the dwud in it, and, with mistaken teresting history not yet written; their due, wit, wonld inscribe over the sepulchre of yet undischarged. his library, “ here lies the body of our Living more with books than with men, friend.” If the man of letters has volun- the ran of letters is more tolerant of opintarily quitted their “ world," at least he ions than they are among themselves, nor bas past into another, where he enjoys a are his views of human affairs contracted sense of existence through a long succes- to the day, as those who in the heat and sion of ages, and where Tiine, who destroys hurry of life can act only on expedients, all things for others, for him only preserves and not on principles; who deem themand discovers. This world is liest described selves politicians because they are not by one who has lingered among its inspi- moralists; to whom the centuries behind rations. “We are watted into other times have conveyed no results, and who cannot and strange lands, connecting us by a sad see how the present time is always full of but exalting relationship with the great the future; as Leibnitz has expressed a events and great minds which have passed profound reflection. “Every thing," says away. Our studies at once cherish and the lively Burnet, “ must be brought to controul the imagination, by leading it the nature of tinder or gunpowder, ready over an unbounded range of the noblest for a spark to set it on fire," before they scenes in the overawing coinpany of de discover it. The man of letters is accused parted wisdom and genius."
of a cold indifference to the interests which If the man of letters is less dependent on divide society. In truth, he knows their others for the very perception of his own miserable beginnings and their certain terexistence, his solitude is not that of a do- minations; he is therefore rarely observed sert, but of the most cultivated humanity; as the head, or the rump, of a party. for all there terids to keep alive those con- Antiquity presents such a man of letters centrated feclings which cannot be indulg- in Atticus, who regreated from a political ed with security, or even without ridicule, to a literary life ; had his letters accompain general society. Like the Lucullus of nied those of Cicero they would have illusof Plutarch, he would not only live among trated the ideal character of a man of letters. thie votaries of literature, but would live But the sage Atticus rejected a popular for them; he throws open his library, his celebrity for a passion not less powerful, gallery, and his cabinet, to all the Grecians, yielding up his whole spul to study. CiSuch are the men who father neglected cero, with all his devotion to literature, was genius, or awaken its infancy by the per- still agitated by another kind of glory, and petual legacy of the “ Prizes" of Litera- the most perfect author in Rome imagined ture and Science ; who project those be- that he was enlirging his honours by the nevolent, institutions, where they have intrigues of the consulship. He has dispoured out the philanthropy of their hearts tinctly marked the character of the man of in that world which they appear to have letters in the person of his friend Atticus, forsaken. If Europe is literary, to whom and has expressed his respect, although he does she owe this, more than to these men could not content himself with its imitation. of letters? To their noble passion of amass- “ I know the greatness and ingenuousnc