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the world, that is, the pit of the Bowery, by surprise. The orchestra were in amazement at his success; the serpent twined with envy; the big fiddle was mute! Yet he was only a comedian, and in the world's esteem not a first comedian. He had a soul above socks, and determined speedily to become a tragedian; and under the spread of the eagle's wings, an American tragedian. The genius heard his prayer; it was whispered in the orchestra; it was murmured in the pit; the manager smiled, and to confirm the justice of that supreme award, the consolidated wisdom of a select audience of the unwasbed' declared, amid the enthusiastic cracking of unnumbered half-pints of roasted pea-nuts, that our hero was a tragedian- an American tragedian; that he was born so, and could n't help it! He 'awoke the next morning, and found himself famous.' All at once, the con. tinent of America dwindled to one tenth of its natural size. It was too small for the 'American tragedian.' The great, the stupendous projects of his philanthropic mind could not be effected here. However impoverishing the loss to his country, she must submit to the sacrifice. His resolution and his portrait were taken, his biography written, and a ship of the largest size conveyed him to Eng. land. Here we might say something pathetic. We might discourse of those disinterested patriots who have been known
* To leave their country for their country's good ;'
but we dare not; or, as our hero himself would say, in that simple style of oratory which men of his modest demeanor affect, 'we will refrain from drawing from the tender breast of sympathy, through the clear bright eye of innocence, a single tear to moisten the immaculate cambric of our countrymen!'
His was no common object. England was blessed with his presence for no common purpose. What cared he, that the great bell of St. Paul's rang a merry peal to welcome him! What mattered it to his abstracted mind, that Parliament convened on the same day! Yet he could not be so insensible to the urgent requests which assailed him from the managers of every distinguished theatre in the United British Kingdom. Their attention was at least civil, and the great American tragedian condescended to enlighten the British nation on matters and things appertaining to the histrionic art, as practised in America. Thunders of applause! volcanoes of approbation! were matters of course; gold and silver universal as moonshine; the court of the great, cakes and gingerbread, common, common, Sir; cards of invitation to my Lord Tom, Count Dick, and the Duke Harry, plenty, plenty, Sir-plenty as blackberries.* These things were nothing to the American tragedian — it was a high, a sacred impulse, which brought him to England. While it was unaccomplished, his bosom's lord sat restless on its throne. One thought filled his mind - one thought beset him, sleeping or waking:
'One stern tyrannic thought, that made
All other thoughts its slave ;
Did that temptation crave -
The dead man in his grave.'
• It is not true, that LADY BLESSINGTON requested the great American tragedian to give her a lock of his hair!
(Perhaps not; but we can assure 'C.' that it is true, as we have had accidental occasion to know, since this article was in type, that, among others abroad, LORD DUDLEY Stuart is his friend and correspondent. - Eds. KNICKERBOCKER.)
He went. He pilgrimized the tomb of Shakspeare. Stratford was no longer "Stratford-upon-Avon,' but Stratford-upon-Stilts - stilts of ecstacy! The 'American tragedian' was among them!- and for what? To visit the tomb of their illustrious townsman ? Yes!- but not alone for that common, well-worn object, was he among them. The name of Shakspeare wanted re-gilding! Its early brightness age had dimmed; its lustre was departing. It wanted the revivifying touch, the magic brightening, of the eloquence of an American tragedian-a lusus nature of the wild woods - who imbibed the poetic spirit of Shakspeare with his first spoonful of pap, and had quaffed it in huge libations ever since. It wanted the mystic medicine of his eulogium, even as a lily wants a scrubbingbrush.
And it had it. The American tragedian did not hesitate to stake his immortality upon the truth of the assertion, that the man Shakspeare was no mean poet, while at the same time he wished his audience to remember, that be, his eulogist, was the great American tragedian. The good people of Stratford-upon-Avon, dismounting from their stilts, paid for his dinner, and the name of Shakspeare, purified and disrebed of its mantle of dust, will owe its future vitality to the revivifying breath of the American Roscius.
Having immortalized Shakspeare, the great American tragedian has returned, with a clear conscience, and the glorious satisfaction of a philanthropist, to the open arms of his countrymen. America rejoices in his return. He left her the Niobe of nations,' all tears, at his parting. His return is like the warm sun-light, drying up our dew of grief. 'Salre, salve dominas, Histrionis!'
Can I be spared a half page or so of the KNICKERBOCKER, to comment upon a great and growing evil among many fashionable theatre-goers? If the privilege be granted, I think I can demonstrate to your readers, that of all bores under the cope of heaven, your theatrical bore is bore the most tremendous. One goes to the play-house, in some sense, as he goes to church - to hear, and to be instructed or edified. At church, however, no one sits at your elbow, to punch you in the ribs, when a good thing is said, or a fine sentiment well expressed. No one bothers you with 'moral and sentimental potter,' in illustration of what the preacher may be saying. It is not so at the theatre. You shall there see the grossest violations of common decorum perpetrated, without a blush, or even a consciousness of impropriety. Well-dressed persons, who might otherwise pass for well-bred and rightthinking gentlemen, sitting near you, will edify you with a narration of what is going to happen upon the stage, and the sudden changes of scene and incident with which your are to be suprised.
•Where ignorance is bliss,
'T is folly to be wise ;'
and of all places and things, this is true of the play-house. Who then wants a herald at his side, to usher in the characters :- now a king, or a distressed lady, or some popular favorite — with 'Now comes in So-and-So,' or 'Here comes Suchan-One' - This is a great scene, wherein -'going on to narrate the whole plot, for the especial benefit of two or three boxes of impatient listeners ?
There is your amateur singer, too! Heaven preserve us from his kummings,
when a favorite opera or song is being performed! Surely, there are mistaken notions of propriety in this matter. I remember me of a musical bore of this description, whom I used frequently to encounter last winter, at the Park. His externals were those of a man in the best society; his garments were of unexceptionable texture, and evidently from the hands of a tasteful maker; his linen was white
-_'as the fanned snow,
That's bolted by the northeru blast twice o'er;' his hair was in the keeping of Palmeiri, and exhaled the delightful pomade de rose of that well-known artist; in short, to use the language of the servant in “The Man of Nerve,' 'He looked like a gen'leman, an' why didn't he act as sich ? His practice was, the moment a popular air was touched by the orchestra, to commence his amateur performance, in a disagreeable undertone; and in this way he would accompany all our distinguished vocalists, with an air of perfect indifference, as if he were not really exemplifying the height to which ill manners could be carried, by an apparently well-bred man. Not to trespass too much upon your pages, let me come to my moral. Tell no one at the theatre what he is to see next. You have no right to destroy, in this way, the interest either of a stranger or a friend. Keep your musical accompaniments to yourself, when eminent performers are regaling the audience with 'airs from heaven.' You are not paid for singing, and it is altogether too generous of you to throw away your efforts. Hear, yourself, and suffer others to do the same.
SALT WATER BATHING.–We are desirous of performing a good office for those of our readers whose pursuits, literary or professional, necessarily infer sedentary habits, in bestowing a few deserved enconiums upon the luxury of salt water bathing. Those who have traversed the sea-beach at Rockaway or Long Branch, when all the billows have gone over them,' can tell what a thrilling sense of enjoyment the surf imparts to the body as well as the spirits. But Rockaway and Long Branch, though not now difficult of access, are not open at all hours to the literary or professional citizen, or man of business, as are the New - York Salt Water Floating Baths, at anchor near the Battery. It is curious to watch the effect of bathing here, upon such as enter newly upon the practice.
You shall see a man, with the serpent of care apparently gnawing at his heart — the walking impersonation of 'HARD TIMES' - call for his towels, and vanish into one of the aisles, where the little dressing-offices look out upon the watery inclosure. Tarry a brief space, and mark that man when his bath is accomplished. How altered his aspect, as he ascends to the reading-room to adjust his hair, and look at the papers! A glow is on his cheek; the unpleasant figments of his brain are dissipated; and upon his countenance the dove of peace is visibly brooding.' His late exercise has awakened within him a new sense, and imparted a delightful stimulus to his mental faculties. With frequent sea-bathing, and due attention to potables and edibles, one may command good health, amid the fiercest fervors of the summer solstice. Doubtless, since the pressure' has been operative, many a prudent citizen has suspended being sick, from being unable to afford the charges of the physician or apothecary. Let him follow our counsels, and he may snap his fingers altogether at both these functionaries, as gentleman, in so far as he is concerned, whose occupation 's gone.
A New DRAMA. We have cursorily examined the manuscript sheets of 'Pocahontas, an Historical Drama, in Five Acts.' Pressing avocations have prevented an adequate consideration and notice of the play, in the present number: we shall refer to it again, however, in the number for July. In the mean time, as affording a fair specimen of the general execution of this dramatic effort, we extract the following from a scene between Powhatan, (Pocahontas's father,) Paspaho, and Namontac, an Indian who, as Smith's history informs us, accompanied Captain Newport on his return, after the first settlement, to England. The impression made upon a savage, by that 'wilderness of brick and mortar, London, is well imagined :
Num. I dwelt among them in their mighty village,
And men live there?
Pas. Have they squaws, and white papooses?
Pas. Well, that's the greatest marvel yet, of all.
What! woo a maiden
FLUSHING (the most beautiful of names) should be better known than it is to many of our city denizens. Whether by land or water, the distance is short, and the way pleasant exceedingly. By the former, you are rewarded by a succession of the most charming landscapes, with vistas opening into the verdant country, and backward views of the city and harbor, under an atmosphere softened and subdued by distance; by the latter, the varied scenery of the opening Sound is on either hand, and the cool airs from the water and flowery shores have a smack of Elysium. When the visitor arrives, he finds at the new 'Pavilion House,' every culinary luxury, served in the best style, with superior wines, and the most courteous attentions; while over against him, diffusing an aroma all around, and glowing with the hues of the rainbow, are the renowned gardens of the Messrs. Prince. Verily, the pressure should be harmless in the eyes of those who have had losses,' when the care-forgetting scenes of Flushing may be so easily commanded. Go there.
Mrs. Sophie M. Phillips.— In the recent demise of this young and accomplished lady, society has been deprived of a bright ornament, and our poetical literature of one of its most gifted votaries. The readers of this Magazine, who have perused many of her touching and beautiful effusions, will deeply lament the 'dimming of a shining star;' while to those who knew her as we did - the amiable qualities of her affectionate heart; the brilliancy of her intellect; the fullness of her joyous and innocent humor - as the affectionate daughter, and the fond, confiding wife — her loss must be regarded as indeed irreparable. Green be the turf above thee, daughter of genius - child of song! Tears will fall, and hearts will be melted, whenever Memory reverts to thy youth and loveliness, withered in their prime !
The following lines are taken from a poem written by Mrs. Phillips for the KNICKERBOCKER, a year or two since. Little did we think so soon to apply them to her own departure:
Be thy name whispered where the silver dew
With bright and freshening power.
At morning's hour.
Its silent mate beside ;
And therefore these should be
Meinories of thee!
Thy kindling thoughts and deep!
To banish sleep!
MECHANICS' MAGAZINE. — The numbers of the Mechanics' Magazine, from January last, have been laid on our table; and we are surprised, on a cursory examination, to find in their pages so great a variety of information in practical mechanics, and so valuable a fund of useful knowledge, for the mere general reader. Numerous wood engravings, making clear what cannot otherwise be described satisfactorily, are scattered through the numbers; and what would else be dry to most readers, is rendered attractive by a pleasing tact at illustration and example, on the part of the Editor. The Magazine is one of great value ; and we are pleased to learn that it has a wide and increasing circulation. It is published by Messrs. D. K. Minor and GEORGE C. SCHAEFFER, No. 30 Wall-street.
The same publishers are re-printing, in numbers, the 'Transactions of the Institution of Civil Engineers of Great-Britain,' a work of great celebrity and value, costing in England from eight to ten dollars, but afforded here at three dollars for one copy, or five dollars for two copies. It may be obtained through the mail.