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the-way, is soon to be removed to a part of the new Na. tional Gallery at Charing Cross, where you will see the collection of old masters recently exhibiting in Pall Mall. Then there is the Society of British Artists in the latter street, and two societies of painters, in water-colors; all of whose exhibitions are crowded with fashionables. They seem to pay special attention to this water-color department, and the present collections are really brilliant. · In books, sculpture, natural curiosities, etc., there is that im mense repository, the British Museum, freely open to all visiters. The Benevolent Society Anniversarics take place this month, at Exeter Hall; and there is always a great musical treat at St. Paul's for the charity children, and also for the sons of the clergy. Speaking of music, I was thriftless enough to go to Exeter Hall last evening, to the great musical festival, where six hundred performers, beside the organ and big drum, concerted together a 'concord of sweet sounds.' I wonder what a Connecticut singing-master, fortified with a pine pitch-pipe and a Musica Sacra,' would have said to it! The Dutchess of Kent and the Princess Victoria were to be there; and when they appeared in the front gallery seat, the whole audience rose, and gave them three cheers, which were, of course, graciously acknowledged' by their highnesses, with sundry bows. The princess is now seventeen, unnecessarily pretty, and dresses with a neatness and simplicity which would be a pattern for New-York belles. She appears to be intelligent, sensible, and unaffected, and is doubtless very thoroughly educated; they say she can speak nearly all
the languages of Europe. She is evidently the darling of the people, and, I hope, deservedly so; but she must be a very fine girl, if she can wear all her honors, and sip all the flattery which is paid to her, and yet not be spoiled. Her mother, the Dutchess, seemed to be a restless, bustling sort of person, and I set her down as being, at least, no more than a woman.
Among the distinguished vocalists of the day, HENRY PHILLIPS is pre-eminent. His voice is rich and highly cultivated, and he uses it in the best taste. He sings in Balfe's new opera, 'the Maid of Artois,' in which I had also the fortune to hear the celebrated MALIBRAN. Those who saw her when she visited New-York, some years since, would scarcely recognise the present brilliant tones, and great compass of her voice, so much has it improved and not only does she astonish and delight you by such sweet and thrilling strains of harmony as you never before listened to, but her manners and acting are equally extraordinary and fascinating. She is rather small and short in figure, and her face, though not handsome, is peculiarly expressive and intelligent. I saw her several times in this opera, and
* I had an opportunity also of seeing the Queen on a public occasio', when a full vocal company, and an immense audience joined in the national anthem 'God save the King.' The effect was quite inspiring-it made every body loyal, at least for the moment. Her Majesty is tall and slender, and about forty-five; she looks amiable, yet sufficiently dignified, and is generally popular with the people. I heard her spoken of as an excellent and exemplary woman.' The king, who is now old and feeble, seldom appears in public, but I had a glance at him the other day, as he was setting off with Her Majesty for Windsor, after the levee at St. James, escorted by the 'life guards' on horseback." He is a plain, good-natured looking old gentleman.
London: Noted Singers--Malibran.
also in La Somnambula,' and Bethooven's opera of Fidelio, which is her chef d'œuvre.*
The only female vocalist who is named in the same breath with Malibran, is JULIA GRISI, of the Italian Opera. Grisi is tall, very pretty and lady-like, sings sweetly, and is evidently a great favorite. Of the other Italian singers, the most noted are La Blache, a portly good-looking personage, with tremendously powerful lungs. Rubini, whose voice is a rich and flexible tenor; Tamburini; and Ivanhoff. The King's Theatre or opera-house, where they are engaged, is said to be (with the exception of La Scala at Milan, and San Carlo at Naples) the largest and most splendid in Europe. The interior presents an imposing spectacle. There are five tiers of boxes, all private, and uniformly decorated. None but the 'monied aristocracy' can afford the enormous expense of these boxes; and no person, lady or gentleman, is admitted except in full dress! Imagine the brilliant display of beauty and diamonds, on such an occasion as Grisi's benefit, when the royal family, and princes, dukes, dutchesses, ambassadors, honor the entertainment with their gracious presence.' Every thing in this aristocratic establishment is on a princely scale. I counted no less than fifty-three performers in the orchestra; and the scenery, ballets, etc., are in due proportion and excellence.
I have also had the rare treat of hearing BRAHAM, who
This was written but a few weeks before the death of the lamented artiste. No event which occurred while I was in England, created so much sensation and deep regret as this.
is now about sixty years of age, but still looks young, and sings as well as ever. Of Liston, (whose 'very name is the first act of a comedy and his face the other four,') Farren, Matthews, jr., Madame Vestris, Macready, Vandenhoff, and other holders of nature's mirror,' I might discourse extensively, but you shall be spared.
We have passed a leisure hour in finding out some of the antiquities and literary curiosities of the metropolis; such as Boar's Head Tavern, (Mrs. Quickly's,) where Falstaff, Poins, and 'Hal' called for their cups of sack. In Buckingham-street, near us, is the house where Peter the Great lodged, when in London. 43 Lombard-street was the residence of Jane Shore. In the Old Bailey, Jonathan Wild and Oliver Goldsmith lodged. Chapter Coffee-house, where Dr. Johnson and his coterie frequented, is yet the resort of penny-a-liners and newspaper-readers. In Bolt Court, Fleet-street, we saw the literary leviathan's residence, and we found also those of Byron, Blackstone, Cowley, Hogarth, Pope, Lord Bacon, Garrick, Gibbon, Handel, Hans Holbein, Hume, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Sir Thomas Lawrence, West, Sheridan, Sterne, Spenser, etc.
To-day I have visited the Tower and the House of Commons, The first is situated on the banks of the Thames, and is surrounded by a broad deep ditch, over which there is a draw bridge. The island thus formed, contains several acres, and is crowded with a motley pile of buildings, high and low, dwelling-houses and store-houses, palaces and huts, which almost entirely obscure the view of the Tower; and this itself is composed of three or
London: The Tower.
four distinct structures. At the gate there are always several 'warders,' in scarlet-laced habiliments, who make a business of conducting visiters to the curiosities, for the moderate fee of 2s. sterling, each person. I was first taken to 'Queen Elizabeth's armory,' where are many curious historical relics. I lifted the axe which struck off the head of poor Anne Boleyn, and despatched also him of Essex.' The hall is filled with specimens of armor, weapons, etc., of all sorts, which have been preserved from the days of Edward I., downward. The Train of Artillery' is in another building, and comprises a quantity of big guns, mortars, etc., which John Bull has at different times captured from his enemies. But the most curious and splendid sight is the New Horse Armory,' where are arranged, as if in battle array, effigies of all the kings and several nobles, in chronological order, from Edward I. to James II., in complete armor, and on horseback, thus showing the style of armor, etc., of the different periods at a glance. The horses are in spirited positions, and it seems as if you might really shake hands with bluff old Harry,' the gallant Richmond, as he appeared at Bosworth field, or my lord of Leicester, and so on.' There is an immense collection of curious affairs in this hall, arranged so as to present the most romantic and brilliant display imaginable. "The Small Armory' is a vast hall, three hundred and forty-five feet in length, and very high, filled to the very ceiling with stacks of muskets and pistols, closely piled, comprising two hundred thousand, and all kept brightened and flinted for immediate use. Melancholy reflection!