Obrazy na stronie

one of the best essays extant on the sub latives, and hang it round the managerial ject of health,-full of sound sense, pro neck upon this occasion. He has deserved fessional learning, and wise observations, well of the public by his energy, and care, has been retranslated, and published under and unremitting diligence in getting up the editorship of Erasmus Wilson. Hufe

the Prophet. It was the last great musicland was not only an excellent physician, al triumph in Europe; very much had but a discerning and upright man, under been said about it: the fame of Viardot standing completely what he undertook Garcia, as Fides, had crossed the sea ; it to write about, and writing about it with was known that Roger, promoted from simplicity, directness and taste.

the Opera Comique, had succeeded at Christ in History, by Robert Turn the Grand opera, upon the production BULL, D.D. Attempts to grasp and reduce of Le Prophète; that in fact he had to a divine scheme the wild outlines of his "created” the part of Jean, the Prophet tory are characteristic, and will be yet more King' Catharine Ilayes had sung Ah ! so, of modern philosophical culture. A mon fils ; and Jullien had played the theory of the whole story of man has be Coronation March; in fact, we could come one of the most legitimate and fas all talk more or less knowingly about cinating aims of thought, and promises Meyerbeer's last great opera. Nay, some (indeed has in part realized) rich results. of us had even been in Paris upon the Dr. Turnbull's book contains a Christo night it was brought out; had seen the logical Theory of Ilistory. IIe finds Christ excitement of that gay metropolis, the as an actual and also formal want in the mounted guards, the hurrying crowds; religious thinking and aspiration of the and sitting comfortably after dinner, at old world, -he finds this want partially the great corner window of the Maison realized, and the gift broadly promised in Dorée, had seen the long line of equipages and through a selected people, all the first rolling to the temple of the Muses. stage of man's experience, thus point It is painfully clear that we are not saying to, and preparing for an incarnation of ing how Le Prophèle was done at Niblo's. the Divine. He finds this accomplished But we have struck the key-note of an in the adventall need, in the grandest unavoidable criticism by what we have manner, met in Christ. From that pointalready said. This opera was the work to which all history had converged, it now of many years of a nervous care, and a radiates, and the whole future will be but

practical sagacity, unequalled in a comthe chronicle of the gradual passage, poser. Meyerbeer's fame in Paris, the through all obstacles, of the spirit of the scene of the triumph of Robert Le Diable, revealed God into the life of the nations. and Les Huguenots, was colossal. Jle had This scheme is, of course, not at all new, not produced any thing for many years, nor is it original in the manner of its except an operetta sung by Jenny Lind, treatment-the somewhat affected titles in Vienna. "As time passed, the prestige and some of the minor forins of thought of his two great operas constantly inexcepted. There is, too, a want of single


The public, which is a chameness of purpose--the author sometimes leon in Paris, by the rapidity of its using his subject as a thread to string his changes, could not help adding their imathoughts and reading upon as to the history ginations to their memorials and to their and proofs of religion in general. Still hopes. The success of Robert was concedthe book exhibits much learning in a very ed to be the greatest upon record. It was interesting direction,--and has much re sustained by Les Huguenots; and unavoidspectable thinking. Indeed, the author ably, a standard of expectation almost beseems to have aimed at a inost liberal self yond possible fulfilment existed in the culture, and has been willing to let in on his Parisian mind. For many months, the scheme all the latest-and highest thought. signs of preparation were discernible.

Then came the revolution, and threatened MUSIC.

to send the Muses after the Bourbons. Manager Maretzek has kept his pro But no sooner was peace partly assured, mise. He has given us Le Prophète with than the attention to the opera recomall the strength of his company and re menced; and finally it was produced with sources. Its production is the great oper all the force of the Grand opera, artistic, atic event of the year; and it can no long- scenic, instrumental, Terpsichorean, and er be said that our manager is of those whatsoever other force there may be in a who promise so superbly, that perform theatre. ance would be entirely inadequate to the · Le Prophète was composed with the expectation. It would be pleasant to magnificent resources of the Grand opera string a necklace of handsome super- constantly in view: great importance, and

essential importance, was attached to curtains are drawn in the previous act. them. For, whether consciously or not, We have all an idea of a cathedral, wheMeyerbeer's operas do not depenil solely ther we have seen one or not, and part of upon the musical interest and develop that idea is the conviction that the whole ment, but upon many accessories of the floor of such a building is not occupied by libretto, so to speak; upon the opportunity transverse railings or partitions of some of great scenie display ; in fact, upon an kind. And we know farther when proappeal to the eye as well as to the ear, in cessions enter such edifices they do not a degree not consonant with our idea of countermarch across what is intended to pure opera.

represent the great nare. “They manage The first and permanent impression of these things better in France.” An Le Prophète, at Niblo's, was therefore in immense stage-area; a high springing adequacy. It was evident that unusual series of columns; a thronging procession care had been taken, that money had been enters (and entered when we saw it) at spent, scenes painted, and choruses drill the front and moved back into the ed. We have seen enough of Mr. Maret church; the whole resulting in an impreszek's hard working in the preparation sion of a vast cathedral crowded with a of an opera to inter how much he must glittering multitude.--these were the have suflere and exercised during the re peculiarities of this act there. What shall hearsals of this work. We felt this all

we say of our procession ? When Shakethe time. We saw that he was doing his speare, says "alarum, enter an army,” the best ; that the company, excepting Stef action and interest of the play depend fanone, were never in better tune; and very little upon the fact, and three men in that if success could be achieved by dle buckram answer the purpose of suggestion. serving it, the opera would remunerate But Meyerbeer's alaruin and army is a the Manager both with honor and profit. distinct part of the play. It is an essential But success cannot be achieved upon that effect; and is fairly to be judged as such. condition. The performance was only a The same objection lies against this act, good attempt. It was a faint reminiscence which is true of the whole;-it was inadof the original thing in l'aris. It is equate. We do not use a harsher word, perfectly true that we had no right to because the evidence of good intention expect a rival of the Grand opera at was so plain. And yet to say that one of Niblo's ; but it is also perfectly true Meyerbeer's operas was inadequately that when you know the best, you done, is to go near condemning it. cannot devote much enthusiasm to the Or consider the skating ballet with the pretty good. If it is praise to say that it beautiful musie"; and the dancing in the was very good for New-York, or for Nib last act. Or had we better not consider lo's, or for the capital at command, then it but pass on? we say all that, for it is true. But with a It is pleasant to turn to the singing; stage not half large enough, with an or Salvi was never so resolutely good. To chestra ditto, and chorus ditto, with a bal witness his energy, his care, his conscience, let that is no ballet, and scenery which tended much to weaken our remembrance attempts all that it could not perform, of his infamous murder of Don Ottavio with every thing, except the singing, taken upon the same boards. lIe conceives his with great reservation, how can there be character admirably, and in his great much praise of that, which, to be perfect, scene, in the fourth act, where he makes requires stage, orchestra, chorus, ballet his mother disown him, he was at the and scenery of the finest kind ?

height of his power. So when he sings For instance, the fourth act is the cor his romanza in the second act there was onation in the Cathedral of Munster. The a purity, pathos, and breadth in his voice coronation march peals through the open and style which justly charmed the audiing of the act, while the procession enters ence, and drew down as hearty applause and occupies the edifice. This effect inust as we have ever heard in the theatre. be complete or it is ludicrous. Nothing is The exquisite morreau of the last act, the 80 difficult as a decent procession or crowd half-frenzied lyric, was rendered with a upon the stage. Now at Niblo's the low grace and melody that assured us of the columns suggest a vault, there is no sense artist's great power. There is a strain in of loftiness; and the space is entirely de- the air which recalls the conclusion of La stroyed by the rising series of railings ci darem from Don Giovanni. Altogether, directly across the Cathedral, from column we must consider Salvi's Jean as his to column, so that there is no more of the finest part. Our only quarrel would be plane of the stage exposed, and suitable with his costume, which is unnecessarily for the proper action, than when the tent unbandsomo when he is the inn-keeper.

The three Anabaptists, Marini, Rosi, experience after the curtain falls upon the and Vietti, were admirable. Their tali

scenery and the dancing girls,—Where? spectral figures gliding in, always at the The first Philharmonic Concert of the right moment, black messengers of fate, season took place in tho Metropolitan Hall. and prophetic of tragedy, are. of them It was, as usual, a great success. This orselves, one of those sombre effects which chestra is now so well trained to the perplease the melodramatic imagination of formance of the best music, that we could the composer. It was well suggested in wish their concerts were more frequent and the Tribune, that there is something akin at lower rates. Jullien has demonstrated to the three witches in Macbeth, in these that the"many headed” have cars for Mengrim apparitions. They moved and sang delssohn and Beethoven, as well as for the with great unanimity; and although there Prima Donna and Yankee Doodle. The is no very taking music attached to their Philharmonic in its high prices rather perrôle, they are closely listened to and ap petuates the tradition of the London Philplauded.

harmonic, a high rate and an exclusive auOf the ladies we would rather not speak, dience. Those are the Scylla and Charyband have, therefore, delayed so long, put dis upon which most of our operatic enting them in the rear of the gentlemen. terprises have failed. The truth is, that the musical rôle of Fides In the foreign musical gossip, there is is, in much of the opera, in the very really nothing to notice but the new worst part of Steffanone's voice. It sounds French singer, Mademoiselle Cabal, of husky and uncertain, and what is much whom IIector Berlioz speaks well. It is worse, it was shockingly out of tune, certainly time for a new singer ; but every whenever we heard her in the opera. fresh one is hailed in Paris with such Her acting in the great scene is very fine, stunning thunders of applause, that, at although the situation is much too pro this distance, we cannot hear the voice itlonged. Bertucca as Bertha was only self, and when the applause has subsided, tolerable. This lady is rarely forgetful so, also, we sadly discover, has the voice. enough of herself, and yet we will ascribe The London papers wonder, with a sncer, to a natural nervousness and sympathy that the advertisement for the leasing of with her husband's effort, the evident un the New-York Academy of Music, should certainty and inadequacy of her perform appear there, and inquire sullenly, “ Are ance. Yet she, too, did well in the duet. there no Yankees who can manage it ? ” The choruses were very good and exe Soft, gentle sirs! There are plenty; but crably bad. At one point we feared the it does not seem unwise when you have representation must pause, they were so

built a house for a particular purpose, to entirely astray. Each one was singing search the world for the very best person his own tune in his own key. But the to take care of it. It is our way. If a opening chorus was done firmly and with Frenchman, or German, or Italian, or even vigor.

an Englishman, can do better by the inAs for the music itself, we feel as we al terests of music in this country, than a ways feel about Meyerbeer. It is learned, native, let him manage the new operaand elaborate, and quaint, and grave, and house. If you prefer to close your operaskilful, and imposing, but it is destitute houses under the auspices of bold Britons, of melody and passion. The Coronation rather than keep them going under the diMarch is glittering and martial. Jean's rection of foreigners, do it by all means. romanza is a tender strain. Ah ! mon fils ! But why, as usual, expect us to suffer beis painfully artificial, and the grand aria cause you are sore? is not individual. It is such music as prodigious talent, unwearied industry, and

FINE ARTS. profound science can produce. But Powell's Painting of De Soto. We George Sand is the only person we have have received the following communicaever known to profess great enthusiasm tion from Mr. Powell in reference to his for it. In her Lettres d'un Voyageur, “great national painting,” which we very she speaks rapturously of the music of cheerfully publish, although it is giving Robert, which had then recently appeared. rather more of our space to the subject But George Sand's world is Paris, and than we can well afford, or we think it of her standards are Parisian. Where are sufficient importance to demand; but Mr. the haunting melodies; where are the Powell thinks we have not done him justice sweet and subtle harmonies afterward in our remarks on his painting, and we are vaguely remembered like the palaces we quite willing that the public who have not saw in the sunset ; where is that perma seen his picture, and who never may, should nent sense of an addition to life and human hear what he has to urge in its defence.

The national painting of Mr. Powell is from a subject selected by a committee of Congress. Drawings of various subjects were submitted, and the committee composed of Mr. Pierce of Maryland, John Y. Mason and Jefferson Davis of the Senate, and John Quincy Adams, Mr. Preston, of Virginia, and T. Butler King on the part of the blouse of Representatives: they unanimously agreed that the subject shoull be the Discovery of the Mississippi by De Soto. The commission was given to Mr. Powell by an almost unanimous rote of Congress-unanimously, by the Senate, and 198 out of 212 votes in the House. He is not a Western man, although considered a western artist from the fact that he receivel his first encouragement from the citizens of Cincinnati. He was born in New York, and has resided here since 1910. He studied with Henry Inman, and was his favorito pupil. In 1812 he went to Italy, and studied under the best masters for three years, when he returned to New-York, bringing with him several composition pictures, among which were “Salvator Rosa among the Brigands." and " Columbus before the Council at Salamanca "-—the latter painting was very much admirel, so much so, that among others, Washington Irving having examined it carefully, wrote a letter to the library cominittee of C ingress, greatly praising its artistic merits. The exhibition of this picture in the library of the Capitol, during the session of Congress, for 1549-19, secured the commission for the present painting

The sum of forty thousand dollars was originally appropriated by Congress for the purpose of procur. ing four historical pictures painted by native American artists, to fill the four vacant punels of the Rotundo of the Capitol. Chapman, Weir, Vanderlyn, and Inman received tiles commis-ions--Mr. Imman died before completing his subject on canvas: ho had receive the sun o'sis thousand dollars. In the contract with Mr. Powell, the sum of six thousand dollars was awarded in addition toile unevenled portion of the former appropriation of ten thousand dollars. The artist has already received eight thousand dollars, which sum he has expended in producing the work just finisheil. The resiilue is to be paid on the delivering of the work. Mr. Huntington, who was a pupil of Professor Morse', offered to completo the picture of Buone's Emigration to Kentucky, begun by human, for the sum of four thousand tollurs.

In rard to the historical accuracy of the painting by Mr. Powell we give quotations from Bancrott's 1 nited States Irvings Conquest of Florida, The Portuguese Relation (published in 1307), The Account of Luis Fernandez de Biedm: who wis present in the expedition of De Soto (published in 1911), and The llistory by Garcillasso de la Vega.

When De Soto returned to Spain from l'eru, and the design was published that an (pedition of exploration to Florida was definitely ti vec upon, then the most extravagant ideas were entertained. To use the language of Mr. Bincroit : "Yo sooner was the design of a new expedition published in Spain thun the wildest hope: Wero indulged. llow brilliant must be the prospect since even tho conqueror of

I'eru was willing to bazard his fortunes and tho greatness of his name! Adventurer's assembled as volunteers, many of them of noble birth and good ostates. Ilouses an'l vineyards, lands for tillage and rows of olive trees in the Ajarraite of Seville", woro sold, as in the times of the Crusades, to obtain tho means of military equipment. The port of San Lucar of Barameda was crowded with those who hastened to solicit permission to share in the enterprise. Even soldiers of Portugal desired to be enrolled for the servico. A muster was held. The Portugueso ap

Pere in the glittering array of burnished armor, and the (silians brilliant with hopes were very gallant witil silk pon silk."

Mr. Irving in his ('onquest of Florida, on the sim vjerit, remarks, " As De Soto was one day in the cutlery of his house at Seville, he saw a brilliant batch of cavaliers enter the court-piri, and hiustened to the top of the stairs to receive them. They were Poringileesya hiilals, le boy Inilres des l'asconcelos. Several of them bad serverd in the wars with the Moors on the African frontiers, and they had come to volunteer their services. De Soto joyfully ai'cepted their offer. 1inuter being called of all the troops, the Spaniards appeared in splendid and showy attire, with silken doubles and cassocks pinhel and embroidered. Toe Poringlese, on the contrary, came in soldier-like style in complete armor.

They arrived on the cost of Florida and disembarked in the year 13:39 Alter many months of wandering they learlier the Mavilla—now Mobile. Here they had a disastrois battle with the In-lians, and a fire that occurred at the time; destroyed "the curious collections De Sow hail me." In Marel, 1741, just previous to the discovery of the Vissippi, De Soto demanded of the clict of the Chickasaw's two bundred Indians to carry the buye of the company, at the same time tähing possession of their village. The demand was reusest, and in the darhness of a stormy night they were taulted by the infuriated suvages who set fire to the houses. The Spaniards were taken completely by surprise De Soto, "who always slept in his doublet and bone that he might be prepared for such emergencies; casped on his casque, drew on a surcoat of quilted cotton three fingers in thickness, the best setence iinst the arrows of the savages, and seizing buchler und lunce, mounted his horse and charged fearlessly into the midst of the enemy." It seems to be a misapprehension that De Soto and his followers lost all their clothing by this fire, from the quotations we have given. Some of them, however, did lose their wearing apparel, lives were lost, and horses and swine consumed. The skins of wild animals were afterwards used by those who had lost their clothing; and Irving, in his "('onquest of Florida," thus peaks of the manner in which the "will ivy" pappened to be used. Besides being unceasingly hrned by the enemy, they suffered bitterly from the cold, which was rigorous in the extreme, especially to men who had 10 pass erery night under :irms with searce any clothing. In this extremily, however, they were relieved by the ingenuity of one of the common solliers; he succeeded in making a matting, four fingers in thickness of a long kind of grass or dried iry, one halt' of which served as mattress and the other half was turned over as a blanket."

In about ten (lays after the fire at Chicaza, De Soto discovered the Mississippi River. Here again we quote the language of Mr. Bancroft.

"De Soto was the first of Europeans to behold the magnificent river which rolled its immense mass of waters through the splendid vegetation of a wide alluvial svil. The lapse of three centuries has not changed the character of the stream; it was then described as more than a mile broal, flowing with a strong current, and by the weight of its waters forcing a channel of great depth. Tho water was always muddy, trees and timber wero continually floating down the stream, The arrival of the strangers nwakencul curiosity and fear. A multitude of people from the western bank of the river, painted and guyly decorated with great plumes of white feathers, the warriors standing in rows with bows and arrows in their hands, the chieftains sitting under awnings as magnificent as their artless manu

facturers could weave, came rowing down the stream in a fleet of two hundred canoes, seeming to the admiring Spaniards 'like a fair army of galleys:' they brought gifts of fish and loaves made of the persimmon. At first they showed a desire to otřer resistance, but soon becoming conscious of their relative weakness, they ceased to defy an enemy they could not overcome, and suffered injury without attempting open retaliation."

From this quotation it is not to be inferred that De Soto and his followers were in a forlorn condition. They still retained sufficient martial array to intimidate the hostile savages by whom they were surrounded. They built bouts large enough to convey seventy or cighty men and five horses in cachi, across the river, which was described by Biedma as being a league in width. Mr. Irving thus speaks of a religious ceremony on the banks of the Mississippi. It seems that the cacique of the Indian tribe, accompanied by his principal subjects, came into the presence of De Soto, and said, "As you are superior to us in prowess, and surpass us in arms, we likewise bebelieve that your God is better than our god. These you behold before you are the chief warriors of my dominions. We supplicate you to pray to your God to send us rain, for our fields are parched for the want of water.” De Soto replied, that he would pray to the God of the universe to grant their request. Immediately he ordered his chief carpenter, named Francisco, to fell a pine tree, and construct it into a cross. “They formed of it a perfect cross, and erected it on a high hill on the bank of the river. The cacique walked beside the governor, and many of the warriors mingled with the Spaniards. Before them went a choir of priests and friars chanting the litany, whilst the soldiers responded." They formed a procession, and as they passed they knelt down before it whilst prayers were being offered up. It was estimated that from filteen to twenty thousand Indians witnessed the scene. The equipment of the Spaniards must have been almost perfect to inspire awo to so formidable an army of hostile savages.

Mr. Powell in his De Soto, has represented the Indians offering their gifts of corn, fish, and game, while in the right-hand corner of the painting is the erection of the cross as an incident connected with the event. De Soto himself rides a magnificent horse -& portrait of the battle horse of Abd-el-Kader. The artist was permitted access to the imperial stables at St. Cloud, by Louis Napoleon, and painted it from life. All the principal figures in the picture were painted from living models, and the costumes, arms, &c., were copied from those used in the uniddle of the sixteenth century by the Spaniards.

In regard to the fine horses, represented in the picture, the artist was compelled to use the best models by the historical account of them given in “Irving's Conquest of Florida," as will be seen by the following incident. On the arrival of De Soto at Cuba, on his way to Florida, “ he found a beautiful horse, richly caparisoned, waiting for him, and likewise & mule for Donna Isabella, which were furnished by a gentleman of the town" (Santiago). He was escorted to his lodgings by the burghers on horses and on foot, and all his ofllcers and men were hospitably ontertained by them, some being quartered in the town and others in their country houses. For several days it was one continued festival; at night there were balls and masquerades, by day tilting matches, ball Tights, contests of skill in horsemanship, running at the ring, and other amusements of a chivalrous nature. The young cavaliers of the camp vied with each other and with the youth of the city in the gallantry of their equipments, the elegance and novelty of their devices,

and the wit and ingenuity of their mottoes, What gave peculiar splendor to these entertainments was the beanty, spirit, and excellence of the horses. The great deinand for these noble animals for the conquests of Mexico and Peru, and other parts, rendered the raising of them one of the most profitablo sources of speculation in the islands. The island of Cuba was naturally favorable to them, and is great care and attention had been given to multiply and improve the breed, there was at this time an uncommon number, and of remarkably fine qualities. Many individuals hail from twenty to thirty horses in their stables, and some of the rich had twice that number on their estates.

The cavaliers of the army had spare:l no expense in furnishing themselves with the most superb and generous steeds for their intended expedition. Many individuals possessed three or four, capari-oned in the most costly manner, and the governor aided liberally with his purse such as bad not the means of equipping themselves in suitable style. Thus freshly and mag. nificently mounted and arrayed in their new dresses and burnished armor, the cavaliers made a brilliant display, and carried off' many of the prizes of gold and silver, and silks, and brocades, which were adjudged to those who distinguished themselves in these chivalrous games.

In these, no one carried off the prize more frequently than Nuño de Tubar, the lieutenant-general. lle was, as has been said, a cavalier of high and generous qualities, who had gained laurels in the conquest of Peru. IIe appeared on these occasions in sumptnous array, mounted on a snperb horse of silver gray, dappled, and was always noted for the gracefulnoss of his carriage, his noble demeanor, and his admirable address in his management of lance and steed.

At this time there was on a visit to the gorernor in the city of Santiago a cavalier upwarls of Afty years of age, named Vasco Porcalo de Veglicota. Ile was of a noble family and of a brave and galliarel disposition, having scen much hard fighting in the Indies, in Spain and Italy, and distinguished himself on varions occasions. IIe now resided in the town of Trinidad in Cuba, living opulently and luxuriously upon the wealth he had gained in the wars, honored for his exploits, loved for his social qualities, and extolled for his hearty hospitality.

This magnificent cavalier had come to Santiago with a pompous retinue, to pay his court to the governor, and witness the festivities and rejoicings. Ho passed some days in the city, and when he beheld tho array of gallant cavaliers and hardy soldiers assembled for the enterprise, the splendor of their equipınents, and the martial style in which they acquitted themselves in public; his military spirit again took firo, and forgetting his years, his past toils and troubles, and his present case and opulence, he volunteered bis services to De Soto to follow him in his anticipated career of conquest. IIe was magnificent in all bis appointments-camp, equipage, armor, and equipments; having caught the gay and braggart spirit of his youthful companions in arms. lle carried with him a great train of Spanish, Indian, and Negro servants, and a stud of thirty-six horses for his own use, while with the open-handed liberality, for wbich ho was noted, he gavo upwards of fifty horses as presents to various cavaliers of the army."

From these quotations we are led to believe that the followers of De Soto were the flower of Spanish chivalry.

The painting of Mr. Powell is in strict keeping with the spirit of that age. In regard to the anatomy of the figures; Robin of Paris, and other distinguished anatomists, have pronounced the anatomy of his

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