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present?--three old women, absolute view is presented to us of the hero. objects of mockery and laughter to the There is no relief in the character, it is audience! Nay, this seems, in some scarcely Shaksperian, for it is unmixed degree, to be now their legitimate pur- evil. . All the darker shades are deeppose ; for it is not unfrequently the ened, and brought prominently forward : case, that when the spectators are more and the lighter and more agreeable tints decorous than usual, some of the witches, sedulously excluded from the picture. by a grotesque action or ridiculous into- We have the “hunchback,” the “botnation, appeal to them for the custo- tled spider,” the subtle tyrant, the hymary tribute-a hearty laugh! But it pocrite, and the murderer, at full length; is not always the actors who are in fault, but we miss the lively animated Richard, There is one thing which has always the blunt, quick-witted soldier, the acespecially moved my admiration. It is complished courtier, the "princely Glos. the marvellous small provocative to ter,” such as he is to be found in Shakslaughter which people require when peare. We miss all his bitter, though congregated together in large bodies, pleasant and not altogether unmerited and

when it is quite clear they should do gibes and jeers at King Edward, his any earthly thing rather than laugh. wife, and her relations Here, for instance, where the most so

"We speak no treason, man; we say, the king lemn attention and breathless anxiety is wise and virtuous ; and his noble queen should pervade the house

Well struck in years, fair, and not jealous :

We say that Shore's wife hath a pretty foot, 1st Witch.-Look what I have !

A cherry lip, 2nd Witch.-Show me ! show me!

A bonny eye, a passing pleasing tongue ; 3rd Witch.-Here I have a pilot's thumb

And the queen's kindred are made gentlefolks: Wreck'd' as he did homeward

How say you, sir; can you deny all this?” 2nd Witch,-A drum! a drum ! Macbeth doth and twenty other similar passages, and

we lose that respect for him which, Upon this hint, if it be a favourite actor maugre his bad qualities, his energy, his that is expected, a universal uproar or fiery courage, his constancy, generalship, row commences, which lasts until Mac- and intellectual superiority to those beth comes swaggering and bowing down around him, extort from us, through the the stage. If it be not any great or three parts of Henry the Sixth. Durnovel favourite that personates the hero, ing the long and bloody wars of the the scene proceeds in the following lively roses, he is almost the only prominent

character who is not at the same time as 3rd Witch.-The weird sisters, hand in hand,

weak as wicked. Posters of the sea and land,

But of all the acting plays, King Thas do go about, about,

Lear undoubtedly suffers most. Sins of Thrice to thine.

omission and commission are here too Here the first witch, as a part of the numerous to be pointed out. There is a incantation, bows or nods her head radical unfitness too, in the exposure of thrice, and a general smile instantly the infirmity and imbecility of the aged 'suffuses the faces of a majority of those monarch through five long acts, that it present, in boxes, pit, and gallery, which is scarcely possible for genius, even of indisputably proves that nodding the the highest order, to overcome.

The head thrice is essentially and exquisitely pity produced by an exhibition of physicomic. 'The second witch continues cal decay for any lengthened period, is " and thrice to thine," suiting the action nearly allied to contempt; and to the word, upon which a general titter tempt is by no means the feeling with

But when the third witch, in which either the mental or bodily obedience to the line, “ and thrice again weakness of Lear ought to be reto make up nine,” nods thrice more, the garded. In the closet, we think of great merriment of the audience can no him with natural reverence, «а longer be contained, and “ Peace! the poor, despised, weak, and infirm old charm's wound up,” is uttered amid a man,” “fourscore and upwards;" on the roar of laughter.“ By day and night, stage, the repulsive infirmities attendant but this is wondrous strange!" Certes, on this condition,-shaking, coughing, it would be a merry treat for Voltaire, tottering; or worse than that, the awkthe blasphemer of Shakspeare, to see ward imitations of them by the actor, many parts of Macbeth acted.

who is constantly obtruding them on us On the stage, in the garbled selection to shew his knowledge of, and attention designated Richard III. how much do to, the part, repel our sympathies. we miss, or rather, what a one-sided Besides, the madness of Lear is too

manner :

con

ensues.

as

subtle and refined, almost too sacred, for that he has judgment to see his interest the stage. The superhuman touches of lies the other way, and shrewdness to pathos and passion are too exquisitely give such keen and bitter counsel as this fine and delicate for the atmosphere of a for the desertion of fallen greatness theatre. We get too deeply interested “Let go thy hold when a great wheel to endure the thought that it is but runs down a hill, lest it break thy neck counterfeit “well-painted passion” we with following it; but the great one that are looking on; and, in the excited state goes up the hill, let him draw thee after. of our feelings, applause becomes imper. When a wise man gives thee better tinence, and the other noises of a play- counsel, give me mine again. I would house loathsome. Whenever other wri. have none but knaves follow it, since a ters for the stage have failed, it has been fool gives it." He seems too, to have a from lack of means—from an inability quicker insight than any around, as to to conceive or express what the passion “how the world wags;" for when Kent or situation required ; but Shakspeare asks, has done more than succeed; in the

“ How chance the king comes with so small a exercise of his immortal powers, he has

train ?" at times, risen to a pitch that has ren

he chides his dullness of perception by dered it impossible for mortals of more limited faculties, even in their happiest the stocks for asking that question, thou

answering, “An' thou hadst been put in moments of inspiration, to give other hadst well deserved it." In the last than a poor and imperfect illustration of bis meaning. Of all his characters,

extremity, when the poor monarch is this is most conspicuous in Lear. In fury of the elements, we still hear of

“ unhousel'd,” and exposed to all the these latter days, no man, save Kean,

poor Motleyhas succeeded in giving even a faint idea of the crazed monarch ; all other attempts Gent.None but the Fool; who labours to

Kent.-But who is with him? have been little better than pitiable. I

outjest do not say this dictatorially. There are His heartfelt injuries. many, I doubt not, better qualified to

What a picture is presented to the imajudge than myself, who think differently: gination by these few words — “none I quarrel with no man's opinion, but but the fool” of fallen greatness on the elaim the right of expressing and retain.

one hand, and unswerving fidelity on ing my own. Those who are much in the other. It is gratifying to know that the habit of attending the theatre, get this affection is at least reciprocated ; inured to dramatic butchery of all sorts, for Lear, even after his “ wits begin to and can sit and see, even with a smile on

tnrn,” exclaims their countenance, Othello, Richard,

« Poor fool and knave! I have one part in my Hamlet, Macbeth, and other of their

heart acquaintance, savagely slaughtered;" That's sorry yet for thee !" but even the most seared and case-har

But we might pursue this subject to dened play.goer must feel that an ill

“ the Crack, of doom ;” or at least, to judged attempt in Lear is little better speak more prosaically and sensibly, we than profanation. I am by no means contending that and unreasonable length. The gist of

might continue it to a most tiresome Lear should never be played, but have what we have been endeavouring to only been endeavouring to point out some

show, is,- not that Shakspeare should of the difficulties and disadvantages at.

be played less, but that he should be tendant thereon : yet I had almost forgotten the principal drawback.

read more; to point out to those who

On the stage, the Fool , (so called) the best and him for the most part through the me

are contented to become acquainted with wisest, if not the wittiest, of Shaks, dium of the stage, how much they lose peare's fools, is altogether omitted. All

by such a procedure; and to prove that his pithy sayings—his scraps of doggerel,

some of his plays, from their high and with a deep meaning in them his shrewd commentaries on the folly of the peculiar nature, are fitted for the closet king, and the ingratitude of his daugh- backs upon the pleasure of seeing him

alone; and to expose a few of the draw. gone “ at one fell swoop.” We miss him sadly, for he is not only the acted, occasioned by the carelessness or most sensible, but best hearted of fools; incapability of those who have the charge

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of dramatic entertainments. and there is something peculiarly touching in his unflinching adherence to the fortunes of his master, at the same time

ters--all

WILLIAM COX.

bones

cences.

OLD SONGS,

quavers, semi-quavers, and other subtler

divisions, if there be any, I am as ignoMark it, Cesario, it is old and plain;

rant of them as the ass that crops his The spinsters and the knitters in the sun,

thistle off the common, and brays in And the free maids that weave their thread with

whatsoever note nature prompts him. Do use to chaunt it. --Shakspeare.

But what of that ! Music is not alto.

gether a mechanical science; and there I like an old song.

It is the freshest

are profounder sympathies in the heart piece of antiquity in existence; and is, of man than the orchestra think of. moreover, liable to no selfish individual There is no more nauseous animal in appropriation. It was born far back in existence than your musical coxcomb, the traditionary times, so that its paren- who has all the terms and technicalities tage is somewhat equivocal ; yet its re- of the art at his longue's end, without putation suffers not on that account, and the glimmering of an idea concerning it comes down to us associated with all the human passions, the deep feelings, kinds of fond and endearing, reminis- and the keen and delicate perception of

It melted or gladdened the the beautiful, on which that art is hearts of our forefathers, and has since founded. Proportionably to be admired foated around the green earth, finding is the man who, after spending years in a welcome in every place humanized by a study and research, and successfully ray of fancy or feeling, from “throne to fathoming and mastering all difficulties, cottage hearth.” It has trembled on the never dreams of considering his laborilips of past and forgotten beauty; and ously-acquired knowledge as more than has served, in countless wooings, as the merely an accessory, not a principal, in appropriate medium for the first fearful the delightful science he has made his breathings of affection. The youthful study. The former are, as a naturalist maiden has broken the silence with it in would express it, “in theatres and at many a lovely, lonely dell ; and the concerts-common;" the latter is of a shepherd has chanted it on the still hill. species scarce all over the world. side. The rude sailor has filled up the There may be loftier flights—a higher pauses of his watch by whistling it to the species of fame, than that attained or shrill winds and sullen waters ; and it aimed at by the song-writer ; but there has bowed the head, brought the tear to is no one to whom honour is more gladly the eye, and recalted home, and home rendered by the mass of mortals. His thoughts, to the mind of many a wan- claims come into notice, for the most derer on a distant shore. It has been part, in a genial season-when friends heard in the solitudes of nature, and at are met, and the glass and sentiment the crowded, festive board. It has re- and sung go round ;

when gladness freshed the worn-out heart of the world swells the heart, fancy tickles the brain, ling, and awakened “ thoughts that do and mirth and good-humour sparkle from often lie too deep for tears,” in the minds the eye ;-when Bacchus has almost of the moody and contemplative. It has closed up criticism's venomous optics, been a source of consolation and joy to and laid hyper-criticism quietly under those who have passed away ; it comes the table ;-when the fine-strung nerves unexhausted to us; and it will glide are exquisitely alive to all pleasurable gently down the stream of time, cheering sensations ;-then it is that divine music, and soothing as it goes, from generation wedded to still diviner poesy, can, in an unto generation, till utilitarianism be- instant, comes universal, and music and poetry

« bid the warm tear start, fade into a dimly remembered dream.

Or the smile light the cheek; ” Yet a true-bred, moth-eaten antiquary would sacrifice it, if he could, for a cop. and then it is that the memories of the per coin fifty years its senior!

masters of song are pledgsd with a ferIf any musical man expect, from the vour that the ethical or epic poet may title to this, a learned article, he will be despise, but can never either expect or egregiously disappointed. I have no hope for, from the partiality of his cooler pretensions to treat this subject scienti- admirers. Next to Shakspeare there is fically, being, indeed, admirably quali- no one whose memory is more fondly fied, in this age of confessions, as far as treasured than that of Burns. Indepenwant of knowledge goes, to write the dently of being intensely loved and re

confessions of an unmusical man." vered wherever a Scottish accent is heard, As regards flats and sharps, I am truly social societies are formed in every coun. little better than a natural; and as for try in which his language is known, to

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keep that memory fresh and green. lancholy. It is, perhaps, too fine a disAnd he well deserves it. Perhaps his tinction to draw, but of the serious songs are the best ever written. He has melodies of the three nations, perhaps not the polish, the refinement, the exu. the English airs are most characterized berance of imagery, or the sparkling by mournful sadness—those of Scotland fancy of Moore, but be excels him in by pathos and tenderness and those of humour and pathos. They are, how- Ireland by a wild, wailing melancholy, ever, both glorious fellows; and it must of an almost indescribable character. be a narrow heart that cannot find room But words are poor expositors in such for admiration of more than one. If cases.

Let any one play a few airs from the lyrics of Burns do not, as yet, each, and they will probably furnish him strictly come under the designation of at once with the distinction here. at“old songs,” they at least will do so, tempted to be drawn. I would humfor they have the germ of immortality bly suggest “ Coolin,” or “ Silent, oh within them. It is almost impossible Moyle," as the strongest instances I can to dream of the time when “ Auld Lang think of on the part of Ireland. The Syne” will not be sung. He had his English, it is said, have no national faults (I am no Scotchman), and in melody, and perhaps this is true of that turning over his pages, besides occasional portion of the country from Dover to coarseness and bad taste, you sometimes the borders; but long prior to the premeet with a verse, that, “ not to speak sence of the Normans, who changed the it profanely," bears a striking resem- manners and injured the pithiness of the blance to utter nonsense; for instance, language of the natives, the British had (though what could be expected from melodies marked by great simplicity and ords to such a tune—“ Robin Adair !") sweetness. Who does not remember

the beautiful song, “ Down in a shady walk,

“ Ayr hyd y nos," Doves cooing were,

familiarly known as “ Poor Mary Ann ?" I mark'd the cruel hawk

-then there is that fine air, “ Of a Canght in a snare:

noble race was Shenkin," and many So kind may fortune be, Such make his destiny !

others, which may be found in Parry's He who would injare thee,

Welsh Melodies, These are still to be Phillis the fair!

met with in many a quiet and seques. But if your admiration of the poet begin tered glen amid the fastnesses of Wales, to falter for a moment, perhaps the very

where the harp of the Druids took sanca next page " brings you to “ Highland tuary, and where the poetry and melody Mary.” « Ae fond kiss and then we

of that mysterious sect are still preserved. sever, “ A man's a man for a that,” It is no wonder that at the inpouring of “ Mary Morrison," or, that song with the heterogeneous and mercenary Norout a name, commencing

man flood, the pure native melodies be

came corrupted, and were nearly swept “ Here's a health to ane I lo'e dear, Here's a health to ane I lo'e dear;

away; yet, notwithstanding, the splenThou art sweet as the smile when fond lovers did church music of the English excites meet,

the deep admiration of Europe ; and And soft as their parting tear-Jessy !"

their glees and madrigals have never Burns has done for Scottish song what been excelled. Purcell, Locke, JackScott has done for Scottish history- son, and Arne, have written many made it known and renowned in every charming melodies : but to come nearer portion of the globe ; and had “auld to the present day, if I may venture an Scotland” never produced any other opinion, I would say that justice has names of note, these two are amply suf- scarcely been done to Shield, a sound, ficient to honour and glorify her through manly composer, who has left a number all time.

of things behind him which really and What are generally known by the truly deserve to live and flourish amid name of “ Irish songs,"—the “ Paddy the mass of musical compositions that, Whackmeracks,” and “ Barny Bralla- fungus-like, hourly spring into existgans

of the pot-house and the play- ence, and as rapidly decay. house, bear ten times less resemblance Thorn,” “ Let Fame sound the Trumto the genuine melodies of the “ green pet,” “ Old Towler," Heaving the isle,” than even the majority of regular Lead,” “ Ere round the huge Oak,” stage Irishmen do to the existing natives. and a number of others, if they cannot Both are merely broad English carica- justly lay claim to any great degree of tures. The soul of Irish music, beyond imaginative beauty, have at least an that of all other national music," is me- infusion of genuine melody-a body,

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ay, and a soul, that will long preserve ink, and paper, and composes a satire in them from oblivion,

which the moral or corporeal excellenShakspeare's songs, for the most part, cies of his antagonist are properly celehave been fortunate in being married tơ brated, and recites it in his house and good music; some of them almost better about his immediate neighbourhood, unthan they deserve. Whether in ridicule til his domestics and neighbours are or not of the song writers of. bis time, acquainted with each line and period. he certainly made tvo libéral a use of He then publicly challenges his rival to the "

heigh hos” and “ ninny nonnys.” a keen encounter of their wits at some Next to Ariel's pretty, fancy, “Where place and time designated, when and the bee sucks, there lurk I,” the one with where he cliants his invective with a the most freedom and lyrical beauty is, drum accompaniment, his family and to my taste, « Under the Greenwood acquaintance swelling the "chorus

, and Tree,”

But it'loses half its effect' when joining in the most pungent"and biting transplanted from the forest of Arden; paragraphs. He hurls: all sorts of epi.

amid long grams and iambicks against him, and coats, cravats, decanter's, and sung in a modern couette. endeavours to enlist the laughers on his Neither does it assimilate better with side. When he is out of breath, the boisterous 'mirth'

. and whiskey punch. other party commerces, and tries to turn Yet it is an ill-used song, even on the the laugh against the ehallenger; his stage. . It is too operatically given. partizans are zealous in applauding his Your Amiens is generally (like the ma- sallies, and encouraging him by their jority of male music-mongers) a stiff. shouts ; while either has got any thing limbed · piece of . humanity, who to say, the contest continues, and he who, understands singing, and little else; he by the majority of votes, has had the best generally takes his station about four of the wordy war, is declared to have feet from the foot-lamps, and there, with received satisfaction for his wounded elongated physiognomy, and one arm honour, and to have turned the tables protruded towards the pit, goes through upon his opponent.” his work with most clock-like precision. To parody a beautiful simile, it is ; sic breathing from a wooden block;" all We consider that there is a deal of which is very unlike the free-hearted good sense in this amoibæan mode of warlord whom we imagine, throwing him- fare, and shall hereafter set down the self at the root of some antique oak, inhabitants of Greenland as among those and, in a fine, mellow' voice, trolling sagacious individuals who " understand forth, until the old forest rang again, his satire.” We are not apprised whether most joyous invitation. But this may there are any newspapers established in be amended when, amid the other these cold and frozen regions; if there astonishing improvements of the times, be, their editors must have a glorious time leading vocalists shall be endowed with of it, as every witty sally would be necesjoints and ideas. Next to this, I like sarily appreciated, no good thing can ever the one now invariably put into the fall to the ground, and what Mrs. Malamouth of Rosalind, and christened the prop calls“ ironing” inust flourish es. “Cuckoo Song.”

ceedingly. “ When daisies pied, and violets blue.” But your stage Rosalind is generally the revərse of Amiens—an arch, vivacious lass, who imparts due effect to the conspicuous as the scene of some singu

The city of Charleroi has been made mixture of natural images and domestic lar wagers. Monsieur S. staked a conideas suggested by the saucy words of siderable sum that he would ride ten

leagues on horseback before a snail could WILLIAM COX.

crawl ten inches over' a marble table

sprinkled with 'powdered sugar. The NOTES OF A READER.

same gentleman made another bet with

one of his friends, that he could remain NEW METHOD OF DUELLING.

the longest up to the neck in the river “ The inhabitants of Greenland in set- Sambre. After he had been six hours tling their personal quarrels, never think in the water, Monsieur S. sent for bis of resorting to the sword or pistol, but nightcap, as it was his intention to readopt quite a different mode of satisfac- main there all night, upon which bis tion. The injured party takes his pen, rival gave up the contest.

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ABSURD WAGERS.

the song.

LONDON: Published by Effingham Wilson, Junior, 16, King William Street, London Bridge.

Where communications for the Editor (post-paid) will be received.

(Printed by Manning and Smithson, lvy-lane,]

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