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Drury Lane company; but Col. Greville's name was omitted, that gentleman, owing to some differences between him and Mr. Arnold, having retired from the concern.
1812. (52 Geo. III.)-On the 13th of May Mr. Arnold received a letter from Mr. John Calvert (then secretary to the Lord Chamberlain), informing him that the renewal of his license“ must be considered uncertain."
N.B. - The license, nevertheless, was renewed for three years afterwards.
The new theatre, Drury Lane, opened, under the management of Mr. Arnold.
During the last three years Mr. Arnold had played, under his own yearly license, for only four months, owing to the arrangement with the Drury
During the three succeeding years, Mr. Arnold kept his house open only for the same limited period, in order to bestow his undivided attention to the establishment whose management he had thus undertaken.
1815. (55 Geo. III.)-In September, Mr. Arnold, having retired from the management of Drury Lane, publicly announced his intention to erect a new theatre, and to open the same early in the ensuing summer; and, accordingly, the old theatre was taken down.
The “ patentees" of the winter theatres petitioned the Prince Regent against the renewal of Mr. Arnold's license.
1816. (56 Geo. III.)-On March the 16th, Mr. Arnold received an official notice from the Marquis of Hertford, then Lord Chamberlain, virtually prohibiting him from opening his new theatre (which he had avowed his intention of doing upon the 15th of April) under his then unexpired license, which would not terminate till the 13th of June.
On the 22d of May a license was granted to Mr. Arnold “ to have performed at the Lyceum English operas," &c. (as theretofore), “ from the 5th day of June next to the 5th day of October following," (a period of four months instead of the whole year.)
A similar license was continued yearly till 1823 (4 Geo. IV.), when it was varied, so as to exclude “ any species of entertainment whatever, without application being first made to the Lord Chamberlain's Office, specifying the nature of such entertainment, and a license being granted for the same;" and this same license was granted up to the period of the destruction of the English Opera House by fire.
1830. (10 Geo. IV.)-On the morning of the 16th of February the Lyceum, or English Opera House, was destroyed by fire.
The English Opera company played at the Adelphi Theatre. 1831. (1. Will. IV.)— Petition presented to the King by Mr. Arnold, (also a similar one by Mr. Morris, of the Haymarket,) for an extension of license. Counter petitions by the proprietors of Covent Garden and Drury Jane against such extension. The rights and claims of all parties fully discussed by bis Majesty's commands before the Lord Chancellor, assisted by the Vice Chancellor, the Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, and Sir James Park.
Licenses of the English Opera and Haymarket extended to six months. 1833. Same Licenses further extended to eight months.
“ Union of the Houses."-Drury Lane and Covent Garden opening both under one lessee, and with one company.
T. J. A.
MY TRAVELLING ACQUAINTANCE.
BY THE AUTHOR OF
HIGH-WAYS AND BY-WAYS."
No. II.—THE PHILOSOPHER OF THE ODENWALD.
All that is impressive in the natural aspect of forest scenery, or in the associations which fancy mixes with it, is combined in the mountainous and wood-covered district called the Odenwald. Those who care for derivations may here find wherewithal to puzzle themselves. The most likely is that connected with the god Odin, in whose honour this forest was probably named; and its wild grandeur suits well with the remote sublimity of this origin.
The Odenwald forms a district of from thirty to forty miles extent in every direction. It is bounded on the westward by the main chain of hills called the Bergstrasse chain; on the east and south by the rivers Mein and Neckar; on the north by the plains of Hesse. It is intersected by several lateral ridges, as well as by many small rivers, in all its parts, and in most it is wooded beyond what may be imagined by those who have seen only insulated forests, however celebrated. Nothing can be more picturesque than the scattered villages and ruined castles; or more pastoral than the occasional valleys and patches of hill side, which have been snatched from the primitive luxuriance of forest savageness. But as far as the eye can reach from many points of view, the whole tract of country is covered with masses of trees, in all their profuse varieties of green, embodying the beautiful of nature with the mysterious of romance.
The forests which abound in the small states of Germany are carefully preserved, not from love of their natural charms, or reverence for their romantic attributions, but because they are chiefly domain lands, and a source of considerable profit to each individual prince. Those which, in a great measure, cover the Odenwald are unusually grand, and it is imposible to conceive anything more solemn than their depths of interminable verdure. Among the fine diversities of scenery which abound on every path, not the least striking are the masses of red almond-stone, and the huge blocks of granite which lie singly in the fields, or rise in abrupt and rugged battlements from the valleys through which the little rivers foam along. But every evidence of minor beauty is lost in admiration of the main feature of the scene.
After tracing the windings of the Neckar for three leagues up the exquisite valley to which it gives its name, from Heidelberg to Hirschorn, I struck off to the left, following the course of one of those small streams which flow into the river. A broad road, in a highly-cultivated vale, with market-carts and market-people, were not the objects I sought in visiting the Odenwald: so I was not long in abandoning the chaussée for one of the hanging woods which shadowed the rivulet on the right hand; and I quickly found myself on the summit of the lateral chain of hills which separated the vale I left behind from a whole territory of forest.
It was the very meridian of summer and of the day. The heavens were brilliantly blue, except where the rolling masses of clouds sailed on, as though self-impelled, for no breeze was felt by which their course might be directed ;-no living thing caught my sight;- no sound struck on my ear. It was the very intensity of solitude ; —not that proclaimed by the paradoxical sport of genius to exist only in
“ The haunt and hum of men-" but that which the great poet denied to be such, while none more than he could have been sensible to the deep reality.
Yes, this is solitude-when feeling and thought are still,—when passion sleeps, and selfishness is in its shroud,—when the agitations of life are as a disremembered dream, and the social world exists no more for the rapt mind, —when all the turmoil of our nature seems extinct, and we stand single, silent, and unmoved, as though a monument of man's likeness were placed amidst nature's desolation.
Would that I might oftener enjoy those moments, when humanity is sublimed into forgetfulness, and the mind blends like an atom with crcation’s vastness, without the torturing anxieties which beset its peopled ways! But such occasions rarely present themselves; and even when they do, some self-engendered thought, or some external excitement, soon comes to break the elemental stillness into which we seem dissolved.
While I stood, and gazed, and sunk into such a trance as this, my eye was caught by an object moving, but not advancing, at a short distance below me, but rendered indistinct by the intervening branches of birch-wood. My first hope was that some stag or wild boar was moving in its lair; and, starting from my reverie, I felt a sportsman's throb of pleasure, all unworthy of the solemn fellowship I had been mixing in. I cocked my gun, cautiously roused my dog, who slept at my foot, and, with a warning token to him, slowly crept downwards, holding in my breath, and steadily fixing my eye on the point towards which I moved. In momentary expectation of the animal's bounding away, I was prepared to discharge one of my barrels at least on the first spring; and, with the weapon raised to my shoulder, I dropt on one knee. The rustling of the leaves on which I came down roused what had nearly been my prey; but, ere I could pull the trigger, I was saved from a whole life of regret, by the loud utterance of the following words :-“ Mercy! mercy! spare my life: do not shoot me. Oh, spare me, and you shall have everything I possess in the world. For the love of heaven, don't shoot me !"
And simultaneously with this burst of entreaty, which I give literally, for it was spoken in plain English, and well-bred accent, the figure of a man revealed itself to me, rushing frantically a few
me, and then falling flat and facewards on the ground.
I could not restrain a loud laugh. The sight of fear without danger is irresistibly ludicrous to the looker on, nor does it excite much sympathy even when it has a cause.
“Oh, the cold blooded monster!" exclaimed my self-condemned victim to himself, as he thought; and he then broke forth into an incoherent continuance of his supplication, in imperfect German, which his returning presence of mind told him was more likely than his mothertongue to be intelligible to a freebooter of the Odenwald. I confess that I was cruel enough to enjoy his suspense. But perhaps the strangeness of his manner and appearance may excuse me a little. He was middleaged, bald, and barefooted. He wore a coarse short coat of green camlet, with innumerable pockets, and a pair of rough and loose-hanging trousers ; an umbrella and spade were slung at his back; a fishing-rod dangled before; a straw basket was hanging at one side; a leathern belt with hatchet, hammer, pincers, and chisels girded his waist; and a broad-brimmed straw hat of the commonest kind, together with a wellpacked, large, hairy knapsack, lay beside him.
“ Who and what art thou, then ?” asked I, gruffly, in such German as it required a more than ordinary dose of alarm to prevent his at once detecting for little better than English.
“I am a foreigner,” replied he, without renturing to look up; “a born Briton, but a hearty lover of the German character. A man of science,-a poor man of science, rery poor, I assure you ;-a mineralogist, geologist, and natural philosopher.” '“What dost thou here?” growled I, smothering an uprising laugh.
“ I am searching for snakes and scorpions, specimens of basalt, and a vein of schistus. So you see, my worthy Sir*, what an innocent and harmless person I am, ---and poor withal, beyond anything you can imagine ;—but if you will only spare my life, all I possess on earth shall be yours. Pray be merciful to me!" continued he, venturing to throw an upward look, encouraged perhaps by the irrepressible fit of giggling, which burst through every impediment offered by my hands and handkerchief.
“ Snakes and scorpions, basalt and schistus,” exclaimed I, at length, with a regular English horse-laugh, which does one good in proportion to its rarity : “and what, my good Sir, can induce you to follow such preposterous pursuits, at the risk of being shot for a stag, or worried for a wild boar ?"
While I spoke, the philosopher sprang upon his feet, and in the extravagance of extasy at his certainty of safety, he rushed forward to embrace me; but failing in the attempt, he laughed, jumped, and played such antics of delight as never were witnessed in wood or wold since the night when the witches in “ Faust” danced their mad round of revelry.
“Bless my soul! How pleasant it is to be more frightened than hurt,” exclaimed he at length. Really I took you for a robber. I beg your pardon,—but it was very suspicious to see you stealing down on me, with your gun levelled at my head. How very odd it is! Well, one really meets Englishmen in such out-of-the-way places, and doing such odd things! Upon my life it's quite funny."
And to prove that he felt as he spoke, he laughed still heartier than at first, rubbed his hands together, and wiped the tears from his eyes.
“ Lord bless me!” he said again; “ I really shall die;—it's a capital joke. I must put it in my journal : it is really the strangest adventure I ever met with. Sir, I am extremely happy in the pleasure of making your acquaintance,- your name, if you please ?"
With these words, he pulled a green-covered portfolio from an inside pocket, and taking a pen from an inkhorn which was pendant from a button-hole of his coat, he prepared to enter my name in his diary.
* His expression was Hochwohlgeborner Herrn, literally " highly well-born gen. tleman."
“ Oh, never mind my name,” said I, “ that would altogether spoil the adventure. It is much more mysterious to leave a blank.”
" True, true; upon my life you are right : the thing is quite delightful as it stands; pray do me the favour not to let your name slip out in our conversation. This adventure will tell admirably in my geological, mineralogical, and philosophical tour ;-it will enliven it amazingly. How very lucky it was you did not shoot me! How odd to be taken for a boar! Ha, ha, ha!”
Not very odd neither, thought I, for I began to perceive clearly that he was one of the species. But I, nevertheless, thought him well suited for my purposes; and I resolved to cherish him, as long as he was so.
“ You seem at home in these wild districts," said I.
“ Why, yes, indeed; I may say I am at home,—that is to say, as far as previous study makes one acquainted with a place one was never in before.” “ This, then, is your first visit to the Odenwald ?”
Exactly,—though not exactly neither, for I have many a time seen it in fancy; do you understand ?' And I flatter myself I know it much better than many who have lived in it all their lives.”
“ You have, no doubt, acquired your knowledge by maps and guidebooks?”
“ Not at all! These are very vulgar methods, I assure you." “ From the inhabitants, eh?"
“By no means: the peasants are wonderfully ignorant of geology, —the only true method by which one may know a country. But I am particularly acquainted with the primitive formations of all the mountains of the Berg-strasse, (the Roman strata montana,) as well as of those lateral ranges which run in parallel lines with them. Therefore, no one, I may say, can know the country better.”
“ Then pray tell me the distance to Erbach, for I am bound for that
“ That I really do not know. I do not profess any common acquaintanceship with towns or villages; but if you can tell me its bearings with the Felsen-meer*, or the Riesensäule †, or the isolated granite block called the Giant's Altar,—the chief things worth knowing in the Odenwald, --I shall very soon be able to trace the way by examining a little the various strata of these hills, which will infallibly guide us.
“ That I think would be rather a tedious proceeding, and not necessary now, as I happen to know that Erbach lies to the north of the Neckar, and the position of the sun is as sure a guide as the layers of earth or stone which you propose digging for. So pray put up your spade,” with which he had begun to poke into the ground.
“Whatever you pleasc: I shall be very happy to accommodate myself to your plans, and glad to be your companion for the day.”
Why, as to that,” said I, somewhat alarmed at his proposal, “I have no exact plans; and as our pursuits are rather dissimilar, I think we had better not enter into so close an alliance: but I shall be glad if we may walk together for an hour or two."
“ That's precisely what I should like," replied my complaisant acquaintance; and bundling up his various instruments, and buckling on
• The Sea of Rocks.
† The Giants' Column.