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orders, by whom the Opera is chiefly supported. Her personal agrémens and her accomplishments are, as we have remarked, of the most prepossessing kind, while they are unaccompanied with that deeper mystery of intellect, genius, which, in the severe drama, is an over-match for the spirit of lightsome pleasure, and represses it into an untoward mood of seriousness. Thus we feel in our gay circles of crowded loges. It is a bore to be awed into prolonged sympathy with the tragic vein—to have the cold chain of silence, as Moore calls it, hung round us long. The quintessence of choice entertainments is that which in general just piques our attention, and occasionally administers a pleasant, passing electric shock of emotion, but which is no serious obstruction to our chatterings and flirtings, and the regular transaction of our dear little social nothings. We do not want to study human nature in melancholy, or to be over familiar with the workings of broken hearts. Real woe is desperately ennuieuse, and its almost real imitation is nearly as intolerable ; but a pretty picture of the thing, which does not quite rivet one's eyes, is no disagreeable distraction, no contemptible stimulant. Our tragedians must not, in fact, petrify us with a Gorgon mask, but select from their repertory of properties one with something of an agreeable grimness. The like rule applies to music; compositions too profound, too German, are beside the purposes of easy gratification. Your monstrous complex scores would require a score of ears to watch their ingenious variety and their wonderful untwisting of all the “links that tie the hidden soul of harmony." This is equivalent to, and as vulgar as the solution of an arithmetical puzzle. Let then our Opera be simple in its combinations, lively and expressive in its subjects, so that its meaning may be on the surface, and comprehended without an effort. So that, in fact, it may penetrate straightway from our ears to our hearts, and give us no trouble in the way of attention or study. To such an Opera, and such alone, we say,
“ These delights, if thou wilt give,
With thee we'll condescend to live.” Thus we believe would sing, or say, nine-tenths of our Opera frequenters. There is in both music and acting a perfect analogy with literature. Each may be so elevated, so epic as very quickly to exhaust minds which are not habituated to strenuous intellectual exercise. A few pages of Milton, or of Beethoven, or of Mozart, suffice at a time, for the majority of our generation. The music of the school of Rossini is the delightful medium between these great masters and the ballad-maker. It abounds in elegance and light expression; in buffo, it is refined ; in passion, vivid and picturesque. Grisi is admirably adapted to show it off to the best advantage - Pasta is too much for it; her genius confined to it is like the acorn in the china vase. A strong proof that Grisi is deemed the bright excellence of this taste and temper of the times in Opera may be found in the circumstance, that she not only suppressed any general wish for the presence of Pasta during the late season, but any anticipation of her future return to us. The star threatens to eclipse the great luminary from which it “in its golden urn drew light.” To us, and we may possibly be singular, this seems the most melancholy of consummations, and we pray to all Olympus that it may not come to pass, for zealously as we admire her, who may be called the spoiled child of fortune, we have not yet learned to believe that she is the foremost lady of the histrionic world, and we would presume to address her with the lines of Metastasio
Mi sembri ancora bella,
Che paragon non ha.
Sept.- VOL. XLV. NO. CLXXVII.
STANZAS ADDRESSED TO MISS LANDON, AND SUGGESTED BY HER STANZAS ON THE DEATH OF MRS. HEMANS."
Thou bay-crown'd living one-who o'er
The bay-crown'd dead art bowing,
Thy human shadow throwing;
The wail and music wedding-
Tears not of their shedding:
Whose silentness is sweeter;
For whom such tears are meeter;
To brighten where thou treadest,
Albeit “ Bring flowers," thou saidest.
A type of human seeming;
Upon her dust undreaming:
Shall look upon it solely;
With eyes more bright and holy.
Her part in life was mourning :
For anguish of the burning?
The tripod, for th' afflated
Through which it shone dilated ?
Cold hand her brow was wreathing:
Which breath'd in all her breathing,-
Abstractions high and moving,
And love, if not the loving.
The Saviour she descrieth,
That on His bosom lieth.
O'er all her garments flowing,
She will not mourn in knowing.
And when thy dust decayeth,
What now for her it sayeth,-
Her silver song was ringing,
Were softer than her singing."
THE LINE OF BEAUTY; OR, LES NOCES DE NOSE.
AN ENTIRELY ORIGINAL TALE.
DEDICATED TO R. LISTON, ESQ., SURGEON, &c, The presumption of calling a tale“ entirely original," and the folly of showing, even in the four words of its title, that you are not prepared to write it in your native language-thus, in four words, more than following the vicious habit of the worst authors—is, I confess, much against me. But I love to grapple with difficulties ; and I trust, before I have done, to prove satisfactorily that my Nose is quite original, no matter for the tongue which, being an inferior organ, attempts to tell its story.
Ned Redmund was almost a universal genius—that is, he knew a little of everything, and in our days a very little serves. As a politician, he was accordingly vehement; as a critic, dictatorial; as a companion, loquacious and noisy ;-in fact, had it not been for his possession of great talents, he would have been not only disagreeable but unbearable. I ought, however, to add that he also enjoyed a considerable independent income-some fifteen hundred or two thousand pounds a-year; and, though he loved himself well enough, was moderate in his expenses, and lived within compass. Such an individual is unexceptionable in the world, and in a world like London, where half the population of his class subsist in clubs, such a phenomenon as an unembarrassed member is looked up to with proper deference, and courted with due civilities. But Mr. Redmund—for it was only behind his back, or in his presence by a few familiars of tolerably good fortune or intolerable impudence, that he was called Ned—valued himself above all his other qualifications on being a connoisseur in the fine arts: this was his hobby, and he was wont to descant on it freely and largely. The opening of an exhibition was the opening of a new sluice in his over-fluent declamation ; a chef-d'œuvre from the Continent made him master of your time for as many hours as it could have taken to paint the picture. Then he had, as he told you, peculiar ideas on the subject. There was but one line which could appeal to his taste and judgment; and all out of that line he considered to be error and abomination. This line was the Line of Beauty; but before I enter more upon it, I ought shortly to describe my hero.
By shortly I mean appropriately; for Ned was one of your physically small men. In height he was above five feet,-he stated from five feet four to five feet five in his stocking-soles, as if his stockingsoles could have added four inches to his actual stature. His limbs were stout, in proportion to his upper works, which were, indeed, of the slimmest, and his corporeal frame pyramidal; so that it was wittily said of him, “ His legs would do for any body, and any legs would do for his body.” Between his shoulders was set the pedestal of a longish neck, which was surmounted by the head that contained all his sapience
“ His dome of thought, the palace of his soul.” Of the shape of bis skull Mr. De Ville spoke favourably: it had, he said, many fine organs, and, the best of all, the organ of acquisitiveness,
which led the owner to give the artist an order for a cast. But the countenance was not handsome: almost all the very young ladies declared it to be positively and disgracefully ugly; those of more mature age, as well as their mammas, thought that though it might be plain, there was a good deal of intelligence and expression in it when lighted up. Now, how it could be called plain was to me a mystery; for it was pitted, seamed, and carved by small-pox; and the lighting up must have been difficult, seeing that it was unusually dark—that blackness of complexion which approaches to dirty; whilst the eyes were pinky orbs, concealed behind the promontory of an ace of clubs nose. His forehead was low; but, by eradicating the hair on its superior range, he conceived it to be of Byronian amplitude for intellect, and imposing grace for general effect.
Such was Ned Redmund at full length; and as he was always welldressed, you may depend upon it the portrait was often viewed with smiles of approval, even by some of the sex ; which smiles Ned returned, as regularly as the harrowing irregularity of his teeth allowed.
I have all my life been puzzled to account for the origin of tastes. Sometimes I have attributed the whole visible phenomena to affectation; but there are certainly some exceptions to that rule, -such as the taste for collections of halters in which criminals have been hanged, bits of the polished bones or tanned skins of murderers, and other rare objects, which it must be really gratifying to contemplate, for their own sakes, in abundance and in solitude. Again, I have considered the proposition that we generally like opposites; but have found it true only to a limited extent. Little prigs of mannikins will marry giantesses, and colossal fellows pair with pigmy maidens, or, indeed, with bits of widows, if otherwise well endowed. The fat take to the thin, and the thin cleave unto the fat. Lame people are almost invariably fond of travelling, and the purblind of sight-seeing. The stone-blind are reckoned the clearest judges of colours, and those who look farthest are destitute of feeling. Upon the whole, I am inclined to attribute Ned Redmund's predilection for beauty to a modification of this principle : Beauty was his antagonist force; and though continually repelled by it, he was also continually attracted.
În everything connected with the arts, Ned insisted on his Line as a sine quâ non. A martyrdom was his abhorrence; the soidisant picturesque of old horses or decayed donkeys was detestable ; an old woman, however painted, found no favour with him ; ruins of any kind were very so-so ; battle pieces were confusion; skittle-grounds and nine-pins abominably low; history, trash! A few landscapes, on the contrary, were pleasing; fruit and flower pieces, rich; allegorical subjects, occasionally delightful; the poriraits of lovely females, in appropriate costumes, charming ; but it was with the pure nude that he was ravished into extatics. The Greek in architecture and sculpture, and the Titianesque in painting, were his themes ; Venuses, sleeping or waking, were his dreams by night and his talk by day; nymphs, if not spoilt by draperies, were not despised ; and his elegant bed-room was a model of luxury and refinement in its profusion of pieces of this description. Precious pieces of Cipriani, Cosway, and Straehling, scarcely ever seen by the public eye, were here religiously or irreligiously preserved ; and Ned, in his night
cap, surrounded by all these emanations of pearly tints and natural flesh-colour, was a sort of Paris on Ida, with a multiplication of goddesses, altogether unique.
In the midst of these enjoyments had Ned reached the age of ten years beyond that period when, as the poet writes, “ man suspects himself a fool,” without any suspicion of the sort having ever crossed his mind. So far from it, he had, it may be acknowledged, become a trifle more self-conceited ; insomuch that many of his particular friends did not scruple to call him a vain coxcomb; while the more charitable and intimate could not help saying that in many things he was a silly blockhead. Of these painful confessions, however, Ned, with all his acquirements, was utterly ignorant; and continued to associate with the parties in all the bliss which ignorance bestows.
At this period, it was a lovely day in the month of May, that Ned, having made his toilet, ambled forth for a stroll in the park. The trees were green, and the sky was blue, and our hero was in a most complacent and amiable disposition. He had just turned from the statue of Wellington-Castor, commonly called the Green Man, when he observed a female figure of extraordinary grace walking gently on the path before him. Ned was struck at once, and wounded by a Parthian shot from behind, for, as yet, he had only seen the back of his enemy. But then the Line of Beauty, how perfect! The well-poised head, the fine fall of the shoulders, the swell tapering to a waist of elegant proportions and not the slimness of a wasp, the renewal of the swell below with a roundness that might have driven Hogarth mad; the easy motion of the limbs, the ankle fleshed into a form of desperate temptation, equally remote from the heel of elephant or the spur of lark, and the foot itself an epigram, so neat, so pointed, so captivating—the ensemble was irresistible. Redmund hurried on for a front view; he passed, he turned, and had not his eyes been pinky, as I have stated, he would have thrown his whole soul into one broad stare. But though nature forbade this, he saw enough to complete his subjugation. There was nothing amiss before nor behind. The same scale of excellent moulding prevailed ; and the froth-born Venus never displayed such a union of plumpness and symmetry. Our hero was bewildered; and instead of his usual Il mio tesore in tanto, began humming one of the commonest of songs
“Her 'prentice han' she tried on man,
And then she made the lasses, O!" To crown the whole, he at length obtained a full vision of the fair one's face; and oh, if he was in raptures with her person, what was he when he beheld her countenance! It was all he had fancied in his pictorial dreams. Oval, animated, the eyes dark and bright,—and the nose, but the nose requires a distinct paragraph.
The nose of the lovely incognita took its rise between a pair of eyebrows, as the poet celebrates, nec totidem junctus nec bene disjunctus, which I translate
“ Not wholly joined, nor yet just quite apart”and descended in a straight line towards the upper lip; neither too short nor too long, neither cocked up impertinently, nor drooping disagreeably; neither pinched in avariciously, nor dilating passionately, but correct, proper, significant, a true medium, an incontrovertible