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evil, to be remedied only by further and patient scrutiny into the causes, action, and effects, of diseases of the brain.
| given in the preceding pages all that has been
HE fourth volume of Mr. Bancroft's "Na- ing, and still less advanced naturally in the
Ttive Races of the Pacific States" is
devoted to Antiquities, and, besides presenting a detailed description of all material relics of the past discovered within the territory falling properly within the limits of his work, gives a general view of the corresponding remains in South America and the eastern portion of the United States. It is worthy of notice that here, for the first time, the pathway which Mr. Bancroft marked out for himself in the beginning leads him over ground that has been more or less thoroughly worked by his predecessors; and it is, perhaps, the best possible evidence, both of the value of his plan and of the excellence of its execution, that, in spite of the charm of personal experience and adventure possessed by the works of Stephens and Catherwood, Squier, Norman, Charnay, Waldeck, and others, this volume will at once be accepted as by far the best, the most complete, and the most trustworthy treatise on American antiquities that has ever been published. It is entitled to this position for two reasons, one of which will be mentioned further along in our notice; the other and most important is that it is encylopedic in scope, embodying the researches and observatioes, not of one traveler, but of five hundred, and combining in a single panoramic view the whole vast network of monumental relics left by the aborigines of our entire continent. These researches, moreover, are not given in a summary or condensed, and therefore incomplete, form, but are reproduced, so far as facts and results are concerned, in full; so that Mr. Bancroft's description of Copan, for instance, or Uxmal, or Chichen, or Palenque, is far more complete than that of any other writer whatever. It is also more trustworthy; for, by careful study and comparison of information drawn from all available sources, the witnesses mutually corroborating or correcting one another's statements, the author has probably arrived in each case practically at the truth. The task must have been most laborious; and we can well believe that, 66 though necessarily, to a great extent, a compilation, the volume is none the less the result of hard and long-continued study." But Mr. Bancroft does not exaggerate the value of his work to the student of archeology or ethnology when he comes to sum up results in one of the later chapters:
broad, new fields and forests of the Far West.
objects described, and with no attempt at
mere pictorial embellishment."
Our second reason for ascribing a preeminent value to this treatise on American antiquities is its conservative tone and the scrupulous consistency with which its author adheres to the recorded facts. Even if it had no other merit, Mr. Bancroft's work would be invaluable as an autidote to the wild guesses of speculative theorists which have hitherto almost monopolized American archaological discusion; and his habit of examining every thing by "the cold, white light of reason" gives us good reason to hope that in his forthcoming fifth volume-which is to deal with traditional and written archæology -we shall at last learn precisely how much and how little we actually know concerning those mysterious peoples whose civilizations preceded our own on the North American Continent.
A VERY charming story, which ought to have been noticed earlier, is "One Summer" (Boston: J. R. Osgood & Co.). Even the word "charming" hardly expresses with sufficient emphasis the pleasure we have taken in reading it; it is simply delightful, unique in method and manner, and with a peculiarly piquant flavor of humorous observation. The plot, indeed, is commonplace: a city young lady meets a city gentleman while summering in a New England village, with results dear to the heart of novel writers and readers. But here ends whatever of commonplaceness the story contains; the action is rapid and dra matic, the incidents fresh and appropriate and vividly narrated, and the character-drawing exceedingly good. The character-drawing is the strong point of the book, and marks it as a work of genuine promise; for, though the entire canvas is small-too small to admit of elaboration-the several dramatis personæ stand forth with the distinctness of individual portraits. Philip Ogden, for example, who acts the difficult part of hero, is of a type rare in fiction-a man who is a gentleman without being "knightly," and intelligent without being priggish. His début into the narrative occurs under rather awkward circumstances; but he advances steadily in the reader's estimation until before the close we are disposed to take his part even against that most perversely-fascinating of recent heroines, "Leigh" herself. Tom, too, and Hetty, the irrepressible young married couple, are cleverly drawn and amusing, though they rather tend to keep one's teeth on edge with the persistence and brilliancy of their repar
But little need be added to the foregoing description of the scope of the work; and Mr. Bancroft's literary methods and style have already been sufficiently indicated in our notices of previous volumes. One feature of the present volume which calls for special mention are the notes, which furnish a copious and continuous commentary on the text, scarcely less interesting, even to the general reader, than the text itself. These notes give full references to and quotations from all the authorities consulted, thus supplying a complete index to all that has been written on the subject. They contain, also, bibliographical notices and historical details of the discovery and successive explorations of each ruin, critical discussions on disputed points, hints as to the relative accuracy and trustworthiness of different authors, and other information of great interest and value. Of course no clear idea of architectural remains or other material relics could be conveyed without pictures; and accordingly the volume contains numerous illustrations, including a general map of the entire region, plans and charts, ground-plans and elevations of important edifices, and pictures of sculpture and other decorations, idols, imple-known in literature, and no one can deny his ments, ornaments, and hieroglyphics. "Of the cuts employed," says Mr. Bancroft,
many are the originals taken from the published works of explorers, particularly of Messrs. Stephens and Squier, with their permission. . . . Where such originals could not be obtained I have made accurate copies of drawings carefully selected from what I have deemed the best authorities, always with a view to give the clearest possible idea of the
The author's masterpiece, however, is the portrait of Jimmie Holbrook, familiarly known as "Gem." The Small Boy is not un
charms who has read Dickens's "Martin Chuzzlewit; " but in the person of "Gem" he receives his apotheosis. It is not possible that he should ever be made more purely and ut terly delightful. Before our acquaintance with "Gem" has ripened into what may be called intimacy, his very name on the printed page calls up a smile, half humorous, half tender; and, when the exigencies of the love making consign him to the sick-bed, the story
itself goes into comparative eclipse, and never quite recovers its original vigor.
It would be very easy to find faults in "One Summer faults of structure and faults of style. It is quite certain, for instance, that the author never met in real life persons quite so uniformly well-informed, ready-witted, and brilliant, as are all the socially-respectable (meaning the city) personages in her little drama; nor, on the other band, a family quite so outrageously crude as the Holbrooks. Our own observation is, that the young men and women of well-to-do New England farmer-families are, on the whole, quite as well educated and about as well informed as their brothers and sisters of the cities; and surely the young ladies of such families are cruelly libeled in the person of silly Jane M'ria. The style, too, is overloaded with, and almost smothered under, a superabundance of quotations. A very fair collection of "elegant extracts" might be culled from the by no means numerous pages of "One Summer" alone; and the reader has to keep his eye constantly upon the quotation-marks in order to know whether the author is speaking in her own proper person, or merely appropriating the words of another. There is the less excuse for this in the present case because the author's own natural style is exceptionally vivid, graceful, and expressive. These defects, however, as well as others that might be pointed out, are of small moment in comparison with those sterling qualities which we have already mentioned as belonging to the book, and with the genuine humor which pervades it like an atmosphere. This humor is of rare quality-delicate and yet hearty, and racy without being in the slightest degree vulgar. It speaks well, too, for the author's artistic sense that, wielding so seductive a literary instrument, she uses it with such temperance as in "One Summer."
WE find abundant evidence in "Eight Cousins; or, the Aunt-Hill" (Boston: Rob=erts Brothers), of one thing at least, and that is, that Miss Alcott's hand has lost nothing of its cunning. Nor does her rollicking viEvacity show sign of abatement. There is as much rushing, and running, and flying, and whooping, and yelling, and promiscuous riot and confusion, in the present work as in any of its predecessors; and we feel after finishing it rather as if we had been engaged in a prolonged romp than in the sober occupation of reading a book. The story is of a little orphan-girl of thirteen, who, by long confinement with an invalid father, and subsequent ly by the injudicious coddling of sundry aunts, had been brought to a condition in which she was nervous, depressed, morbid, with "no constitution," and, as Aunt Myra defined it, "plainly marked for the tomb." To her, at an opportune moment, returns her sailor uncle and guardian, one of those allaccomplished, all-wise persons often met with (in books), who can teach physiology, explain the structure of the eye, expound moral philosophy, beat the parson at practical theology, scale the porch by going hand over hand up one of the pillars, descend from the second story by the water-spout, ride like an
Indian, swim like a dolphin, and row like a man-o'-war's-man. This wonder resolved first to put strength into the girl's body; and his regimen was, early rising, fresh milk, a loose belt, easy shoes, running, rowing, swimming, riding, skating, and participation with her seven boy-cousins in all the innocent amusements of childhood. The end of the year finds her healthy and happy, expert in all the invigorating sports of youth, and receiving her first initiation, under the competent hands of Aunt Plenty, into the mysteries of those lost arts, cookery and house-keeping.
It might legitimately be complained of Miss Alcott's stories that they tend to stimulate that pert "" smartness and self-assertion which are perhaps the most offensive characteristics of American children; but they are so much more wholesome, natural, and artistic, than the stuff for which they are offered as a substitute, that it would be little less than ungrateful to insist upon their faults. We wonder, by-the-way, if Miss Alcott realizes the risk she runs in deviating from her own proper field of story-telling and "dropping into "criticism? She devotes a couple of pages of "Eight Cousins" to denouncing the methods of her co-workers, and disrespectfully characterizes certain well-known ornaments of current literature as "optical delusions." It is fortunate for her peace of mind, perhaps, that she has put the Atlantic between her and that din of warfare the first notes of which, as we understand, have already sounded.
in reading them we are transported to a land of lotus-eaters, where lover and beloved alike seem to dwell in a wan twilight of sentiment, and where the most fervid expressions do little more than suffuse the cheek
with a pale hectic." Our conception of love may be lacking in true poetical refinement, but we venture the assertion that, in spite of the labored intensity of expression, the paraphernalia of sighs, sobs, tears, and despair, there is not a couplet in the entire volume which expresses genuine passion-we had almost said genuine feeling of any kind. There is one quality of the book, however, for which Mr. Gilder deserves all the praise he is likely to get his verse is singularly graceful, flexible, and melodious, and some of the poems "make music as they flow." To adjust the balance of our criticism, we will quote one of these as an example of Mr. Gilder's work at its best:
66 ONCE ONLY.
"Once only, Love, can love's sweet song be sung; But once, Love, at our feet love's flower is flung; Once, Love, once only, Love, may we be young:
Say, shall we love, dear Love, or shall we hate! "Once only, Love, will burn the blood-red fire; But once awakeneth the wild desire; Love pleadeth long, but what if love should tire!
Now shall we love, dear Love, or shall we wait! "The day is short, the evening cometh fast; The time of choosing, Love, will soon be past; The outer darkness falleth, Love, at last:
Love, let us love ere it be late-too late!" The illustrations to the volume are chaste in design and beautifully engraved; and the peacock's feather in gilt on the front cover makes a novel and striking if somewhat garish decoration.
Ir may be the fault of our own obtuseness, but we confess that, after reading it carefully, and even re-reading portions of it, we are at a loss in regard to Mr. Gilder's "The New Day: A Poem in Songs and Sonnets" (New York: Scribner, Armstrong & Co.). The songs are there, and the sonnets are there; also the prelude, the interludes, and the after-song; but, with all these spurs to a lagging perception, we have been unable to discover that "continuous development always sprightly; they are, in fact, far clever
of a great emotion in the soul" which the poem is said to depict. There is a certain congruity, it is true, among the several parts, in that a single theme is common to nearly all the poems; but the only picture lodged in our imagination is that of a who at the very outset represents himself as suffering from an impersonal, hysterical sort of love, of which weeping, and sobbing, and sighing, and crying, are the principal ingredients, and who at the close is prostrate with precisely the same malady. The sonnets, in short, are, for the most part, simply vari
ations upon one emotional mood; and, if
they had been published without the mechanical division into parts, preludes, interludes,
etc., we doubt if any one would ever have
suspected that they had to do with "growth," or development," or fruition," of any kind.
If the defects of structure were the only ones, however, there would still remain much to praise; but, when we come to the separate poems, we are nearly as much puzzled as by the poem as a whole. The one theme with which all of them deal is passionate love; yet
AGNES MAODONELL, in an article in Manillan's Magazine on "The American Heroine," is more discriminating and just than critics on American matters in English periodicals usually are. She is surprised at some of the delineations of Miss Alcott and Mrs. Stowe, but, altogether, rather likes them. "Mrs. Stowe's and Miss Alcott's girls," the writer says,
er than their male friends. They are neither pert, nor fast, nor unfeminine, but they take the lead. These young women are truehearted, high-minded, and pure. The 'violet-like' bashfulness that hangs almost like a perfume upon the presence of Mrs. Gaskell's Mollies and Ruths, these New England horoines have not; but they are wholesomely truthful, very sprightly, charmingly at their ease. . . . The American novelists heroine as the passive though perhaps central have discarded the old artistic place of the figure in the drama, but place her in the rank of active agents in the scene; in their view her highest charm is no longer in her eyes of meek surrender,' and 'her constraining grace of rest,' but rather in her playful and shrewd supremacy over society."
room, it appears to great advantage. Opposite to it at the other end of the long apartment, is another animal picture, one of cattle, by Auguste Bonheur, a brother of Rosa. Many persons think that Auguste surpasses his sister in the natural and strong delineation of his subjects. Suffice it to say that this picture, though it has never, we believe, been publicly exhibited, is a very important work. The cattle-cows and oxen-are standing on a green meadow, over which the warm sunlight is playing. The sunlight also lights up the brindled and red and white flanks of the cattle, and gives a sleepy, afternoon haze to the peaceful scene. Another painting here is Gérôme's great gladiatorial contest, so well known by engravings and photographs. The scene, it will be remembered, is a Roman arena. Galleries filled with people embrace the upper half of the painting; and from the centre of the lower gallery are suspended the eagles and pennants of Rome. The most prominent figure in the scene is the heavily-made, half-naked gladiator. His head is incased in an immense gilded helmet, and his loins and the lower portion of his body glitter with armor of the same metal. On one arm he holds a gilt shield, and the rest of his person, excepting his feet, show his bare flesh, heavy with muscles and sinew. This gladiator is standing over the helpless but living form of his victim, a young man stretched out at his feet, and in the distance lie two or three other victims slain in the game. Seated at the front of the gallery are the emperor and the empress. Gérôme has taken the moment when, the victim being vanquished, the conqueror looks for a token whether he shall spare or take away his life. With his heavy torso, and above all in his big, queer - pointed, metal bonnet, this man seems like some hippopotamus or elephantine monster, the evil spawn of his evil era. Sword in band he gazes up at the crowd. The gallery is quite low above the arena, and his head is only a few feet below that of the emperor, whose cruel, sensual face can be distinctly seen in every feature. A great piece of historical representation, this painting of Gérôme's has also vast merit as a work of art.
Meissonier is represented in this collection by two very elaborate and costly masterpieces-such masterpieces as are never found in our public exhibitions, but only to be seen at the French exposition or in the studio of the artist. It is on that account the greater privilege that the public can occasionally look at, not what such an artist as Meissonier usually does, but what his works are at their very best. One of the pictures, in particular, represents some men on horseback, and the motion, the structure, and the hides of the horses, afford a whole world of experience for thought and study to a young artist. Alfred Stevens, of England, is known in America by one or two little paintings that were exhibited last spring at the Academy watercolor collection. Mr. Stewart has a very beautiful and elaborate oil-picture of his of two young women after a ball. Like English pictures which have been severely criticised as being romantic or sentimental representa
tions of life, this picture is a tender scene between the two women, where one, dark and beautiful, is consoled by her fairer companion, at whose knees she is reposing. A romantic incident evidently forms but a very small part of Mr. Stevens's design in this picture, and scarcely more important in his eyes is his delineation of "still-life," which is very fine in the colors and folds of beautiful yellow embroidered camel's hair, and in the jewels on the women's arms and hands. He has evidently enjoyed the development of the contours and action of these two figures, and the pleasing tints from the artificial light which plays upon the lines of their soft heads, and brings out the graceful forms of dress and figure.
WHILE autotypes and photographs of the more popular paintings and sculptures of Europe are to be met with in every shop, and, in fact, at nearly every picture-stand in street or railway-station, there is a large class of very beautiful subjects that are rarely seen here, except by "carbons" and photographs brought from Europe by private individuals. After looking at the queer old pictures by Francia, Cimabue, and Fra Angelico, or Perugino, people often return home, to find that the saints and angels of these artists linger in their hearts and memory long after famous Titians or Raphaels may have faded from their imagination. Their own portfolios furnish no examples of these masters, and in vain they search the picturestores to find reminders of the faces they had learned to love so well. "Assumptions" by Titian, and Madonnas by Raphael, are as frequent as pictures of Grant or views of Broadway, but scarcely anywhere can they find the faces which have stolen unawares upon their affections, and so unexpectedly have usurped the places of better-known pictures, copies of which they have brought home with them. Here or there, in private collection, we chance upon some long-remembered Da Vinci or Botticelli, but they are only scattered thinly, and so we, with a sigh, wait till we go to Europe once more, to correct the mistakes and omissions we have made.
During the last summer, among the choice collections of all sorts of articles which follow the gay world to the watering-places and popular resorts, a most complete and delight- | ful collection of carbon photographs, two or three thousand in number, appeared at Newport. Made by the famous photographer Braun, they had been brought to Newport by Williams & Everett, the popular picturedealers of Boston. An hour or a day was delightful to spend in looking at them, but the consciousness that at length there was one place in America where we could recall most of our old foreign impressions at will, gave us profound satisfaction. Here were Velasquez and Tintoretto, Fra Angelico and Greuze, side by side, and the pictures were of all sizes, from little autotypes of the drawings from the old masters in the Pitti Palace, three or four inches square, to magnificent sections of one or two figures only; from Raphael's cartoons at South Kensington, sections two or three feet high, or the head of a
saint from Perugino, half the size of life, where every mark of the brush and the manner of laying on the colors could be seen as clearly as in the original.
Within a year or two Williams & Ever. ett, recognizing the deficiency in the subjects of photographs brought to America, have made this particular branch a specialty, and within a short time a visit to their store in Boston revealed to us how fully they have supplied this need. One portion of their establishment is entirely devoted to this class of art, and here on the walls are hung large and magnificent carbons of the rarest subjects. Below these pictures of Michael Angelo, frescoes from the Sistine Chapel, his sculptures from the church of San Lorenzo, and the old frescoes of Fra Angelico and Giotto in the convent of San Marco at Flor. ence, are ranged in large wooden cases separately the works of the famous artists, some thousand in number. Here is a whole section devoted to Bellini, another to Cimabue, and another to Velasquez. Their pictures from Spain, Italy, and Germany, France and England, are collected here, and, sitting at the table at which visitors are freely allowed to examine these treasures, a feeling of em barras de richesse comes over one as he notes the rich shading which, to his recollection, recalls so much color in a Rembrandt from Amsterdam, or of a Velasquez from Madrid. The intellectual pleasure one derives from seeing the original paintings can nearly all be enjoyed in the perfect line and subtile shadow of these pictures; and, as a matter of study and knowledge, the excitement and delight that are felt in examining the originals in the galleries is greatly blurred by fatigue, bad lights, and the number of places one is obliged to visit from which to cull the objects of his choice. At Williams & Everett's precious collection, for so we must call it, a splendid figure from Raphael's cartoon of the "Beautiful Temple," at South Kensington, can be compared line for line with his "St. Michael and the Dragon" in the Salle Carrée of the Louvre-a comparison which has to be made otherwise between a memory and the reality. All the great pictures of Velasquez, too, with their stately mien, their solemn shadow and color, and, above all, their modeled, tender half- tints and light, here spread before the eye of the student, collected from nearly every gallery of Europe, a splendid "open sesame" to any. body who looks at them. Such a collection as this is indeed a valuable art-treasure to every one, and from it imperfect sets of wellclassified subjects can be filled out, or beautiful solitary pictures be selected.
Snedecor, in New York, has a partial collection of the same class of subjects, scattered carbons of great beauty, where single pictures of high value can be obtained, such as the superb carbon of the upper half of the figure of the Sistine Madonna. This carbon measures several feet square, and would be indeed a splendid addition to the walls of any house.
A VISIT to Mr. Winslow Homer's studio a few days ago showed us about twenty impor. tant studies as the result of his summer va
cation. Of these, eight are large paintings in oils, about thirty-eight by twenty-four inches. Looking over the pictures, the visitor finds that Mr. Homer has made great use of some half-dozen models which he has arranged and grouped in a variety of ways. Of these, two blond-haired sisters figure in one large sketch in a sort of gray shadow against a light background, looking as if they might be sisters in an artist's brain to Rose and Blanche of "The Wandering Jew," or they reminded us of the modest, fresh maidens in George H. Boughton's "English Meadow-Paths." One of them appears again in a very clear-toned water-color picture, dressed in a graceful, beruffled, fluffy summer costume, while they both form the main subject in a third sketch.
acteristic of salt marshes in the neighbor-
J. B. BRISTOL returned to his studio last
week, with an attractive collection of land-
Mr. Homer has been scarcely known at all as a painter of animals, but this summer he has added to his sketching furniture a shambling young white calf, and this calf figures prominently in several scenes. Mr. Homer's pictures are very popular, and his strong points have been often discussed both in print and in private circles, but, as he had not made any animals before, except those occupying very unimportant situations in some of his figure-pieces, they have never come under observation. We have admired the lively action of his school-boys playing "break the ring" as they ran around in a big circle outside their little country schoolhouse, and have praised his country beau, so awkwardly wriggling his feet and shoulders in "The Course of True Love" last spring in the Academy, but we think we never saw so much natural or lively action in one of his men or women as is displayed by this lean, long-legged calf. In one painting, and this a large and careful study, a colored boy, bigheaded, thin-armed, and ragged, stands in the shade of a tree, braced energetically back, with his feet set well apart, dragging by a rope this timid, struggling calf, who pulls back from him. The calf has shapeless, ill-knit legs, bony little shoulders, and a funny long tail, which contrasts in true calffashion with the lovely, soft form of its pretty head, with its gentle eyes and little round-picture illustrates a view among a cluster of
FRANK WALLER is at work upon an Egyptian subject from studies made during his visit to Cairo and up the Nile, last season. His latest
not a conventional study of an Egyptian desert, although back from the Nile. There is a screen of fresh, green foliage introduced in the middle ground near the old mosque, and the train of camels under the city walls lends a suggestion of life to the scene, which renders it very attractive. The work is carefully painted, and the coloring is exceedingly brilliant and harmonious. As the scene was studied under an afternoon-effect, it assumes considerable interest in connection with the
subtile distribution of sunlight, and the manner in which it is broken by the clearly-defined shadows of the tombs. Another pleasant Egyptian scene was drawn at a tradingvillage on the Nile, at a point about three hundred miles above Cairo. It is chiefly remarkable as a study of the famous Nileboats which, with their tall masts and quaint sails, are very picturesque objects.
THE London Athenæum is not pleased with the statue of Stonewall Jackson just erected at Richmond. It says: "We described Foley's statue of General 'Stonewall' Jackson when it was at the foundery in Chelsea, previous to being cast in bronze. Since then this figure has been cast. Of it, critically, we are bound to say that we wish it had been a better work of art; and we say this, not only for the reputation of the sculptor, but for the honor of the heroic general himself, as well as on account of the sympathy which has led many English admirers of Stonewall' to subscribe fuuds and present the statue to the State of Virginia."
THE Academy utters the following: "An exhibition of wood-engravings has been opened this summer at Berlin. The many new methods of reproduction now in vogue have, in some measure, replaced the old art of woodengraving, which has fallen of late years greatly into decline." This is a strange thing to say. "The new methods of reproduction" have met with very little success, and woodengraving, in England and the United States, at least, has not only maintained its own, but in spirit and graphic power has, if any thing, gained. German wood-engraving exhibits commonly vast labor, but lacks strength and effect.
In our description, recently, of the new Chickering Building in Fifth Avenue, we misstated its dimensions, which are eighty feet in width and one hundred and thirty-five feet in depth.
modern tombs outside the walls of the city
In another picture, nearly finished, which
stones and stucco in the foreground are in
Music and the Drama.
RITERS on music have had much to say from time to time on English opera preserving the distinctive characteristics of the people and the flavor of the language. The desirability of making it a natural growth, and not a mere foreign graft, is not to be questioned, but the difficulties in the way are many and hard to surmount. In a musical sense the genius of our language is dramatic and not lyric. English is rather a practical and energetic than a musical language, in spite of the fact that it contains a larger body of noble poetry than any other modern tongue, and that such masters of song as Shelley, Tennyson, and Swinburne, have · moulded its strong syllables into measures
for its beauty, has yet in it several charming and pathetic ballad-airs, and several of the quaint old Irish songs are interwoven with the main texture of the work very effectively. These give an admirable chance not only for the display of artistic singing, but for the development of that deep feeling and sympathy which always delight even the most cultivated audiences far more than the elaborate roulades and fioritures of Italian opera. The greatest singers have not disdained to put forth their best skill in rendering apparently simple music.
In the part of Fily O'Connor, by Miss Kel
of liquid beauty and sweetness. Like all languages of the more robust type, English has the capacity under the lift of strong emotion to become crystallized into the finest forms of ballad and lyric poetry. Both German and English, alike rugged and sinewy, are matchless in this respect. But the fitness of a language for musical setting is to be measured not by its exceptional phases, but by its average characteristics of sound and pronunciation. Not the force and beauty of the poetic words are so much to be considered as liquid ease and openness of vocal combination. Italian, by the beauty and sweetness of its sounds, is preëminently a musical lan-logg, there are several charming and pathetic guage. The current language of the street and mart can be sung as easily as the elaborate work of the lyric poet. All the action of Italian opera fits easily to music, and recitative becomes no less important than the airs and concerted pieces. The writer of English opera in attempting to follow this model meets stumbling-blocks not to be overcome, for no great poet, one capable of mastering the difficulties of the tongue, would be likely to become a mere librettist. Most of the English composers have recognized this difficulty, and therefore substituted dialogue for recitative. Music is set only to the more exalted lyric passages-to the more intense feeling and situation developed in the drama. What we know as English opera, therefore, is rather musical drama than opera, properly so called.
songs, which she sang with intelligence and effect, as she rarely fails to do. We can hardly pronounce her interpretation, however, to have brought out their full measure of feeling. Miss Kellogg's mastery of the ballad style, with its broad and simple sweetness, its "art which conceals art," is by no means to be compared with her command over the elaborate and pretentious forms of music. To this, however, one exception must be made in her singing of the song "C 'I'm alone, I'm alone," which was so charmingly given as to awaken the audience into an outburst of genuine delight and enthusiasm.
Mr. Castle's performance of the tenor rôle of Hardress Cregan was a clever piece of acting, but in a musical sense by no means praiseworthy. The delightful song of "Eily mavourneen," one of Sims Reeves's favorite concertpieces, was not given with any thing like the beauty, pathos, and power, possible to it, though the intrinsic excellence of the music called for a repetition. With the exception of Mr. Carleton, who sang and acted the rôle of Danny Mann with marked ability, the rest of the performance was simply bad.
Here criticism finds its first point of attack on the late performance of Sir Julius Benedict's opera of "The Lily of Killarney," as given at Booth's theatre by the Kellogg English Opera Company. As the composer designed the work, it contains but little recitative, the most of the drama being spoken dialogue as in the original "Colleen Bawn," on which it is based. Miss Kellogg, however, saw fit to change the composer's purpose, and had recitative written expressly for it. This action may be accounted for either because Miss Kellogg is conscious of her in-pidity, and precision, to which the performcapacity for speaking dialogue intelligently, or because the management aimed to give a fictitious novelty to an opera which had already been rendered by the Richings English Opera Troupe several years since.
But, whatever may be the reason, it is to be regretted that Benedict's opera was not given as originally intended. Recitative,
when as bald and bad as that written to order to improve the work of the English composer, needs very skilled and intelligent singing to make it tolerable. Miss Kellogg's company, for the most part, sang badly, and what might have been well done in dialogue was simply wretched as given in this tinkered edition of the opera.
"The Lily of Killarney" has the same story as Boucicault's well-known drama of "The Colleen Bawn," and preserves its salient characteristics with precision and effect. In able hands, therefore, its dramatic points might be made a very entertaining feature of the performance, which would partly condone poor singing. Adequate justice was bardly done either to the musical or dramatic possibilities of the work. The music of Benedict, though by no means remarkable
The opera of "The Lily of Killarney" has in it enough of bright and tuneful airs and concerted music to make it attractive if well done. The dramatic possibilities are more than usually effective, but need a vigor, ra
ance of Miss Kellogg's company did not by any means reach.
THE oratorio of "The Messiah " was given by the Centennial Choral Union, a new society recently organized, at Steinway Hall, to an immense audience, on the night of Wednesday the 20th ultimo. The organization of a good choral society has long been felt to be a great need in New York, and it has been a matter of wonder that, with so much good material at command, the attempts should have been so spasmodic and unsatisfactory. The performance of "The Messiah gave strong hope that the desideratum has at last been met, for we have rarely heard a more massive, precise, and vigorous rendition of the noble choruses of Händel's great work, even on the part of a society old in practice and experience. With the exception of some slight lack of balance on the part of the altos, the society seems nearly every thing that is desirable. The organizers of the society deserve high credit for the thorough manner in which they have done the work they have undertaken, and we may now look forward for some performances of oratorio
which shall satisfy musical taste, at least in the choral execution if not in the solos,
The great feature of the first public per. formance of the new oratorio society was the appearance of Mademoiselle Titiens in a department of music in which she has been heralded by English criticism as without a living equal. The singing of oratorio in a thoroughly satisfactory manner taxes the art of the singer to a greater extent than even grand opera. Faults of method and voice, which might be covered up by powerful acting, here stand out glaringly open to the public criticism. Faulty phrasing, imperfect intonation, uneven scales, become instantly prominent, for there are no glittering allurements to distract the attention. It is here that the greatest singers have won their laurels, if not in the opinion of the general public, most assuredly in the judgment of intelligent connoisseurs and musicians.
Mademoiselle Titiens was evidently suffering from a bad cold, but she sang like a great artist notwithstanding this drawback. She did not dare to attempt those effects in modulation which might have been expected, and at times her voice appeared considerably worn, aggravated, as it was, by hoarseness. But such broad, grand phras ing, such pure, crisp intonation, have not been heard in America since the days of Jenny Lind. The delivery of the notes, even in the runs and scales, was as round and dis tinct as the stroke of a bell. To these excellences Mademoiselle Titiens united a certain dramatic warmth and fire which we are not accustomed to associate with oratorio singing. The passion of the great actress could not be kept under, and gave a certain religious glow and fervor quite unique. In presence of these splendid qualities, it hardly becomes us to carp at defects of voice inseparable from one who has been a singer for so many years as Mademoiselle Titiens. It would be vain to deny that there are fresher voices. But there are few singers who would not be willing to barter the fortuitous advantages of youth for the grand art which has given Titiens a rank which in many re spects has no equal in Europe according to the standard of the most competent judges.
Miss Orasdil, the contralto, shared the honors of the evening with Titiens. A voice so solid, rich, and smooth, as to be in many respects phenomenal, rendered the contralto music with a fervor and sympathy that quite took the audience by storm, and hardly per mitted the singer to take her seat. It is to be doubted whether any contralto voice that has been heard for years in this country is quite her equal, as Miss Cary is rather a mezzo-soprano with contralto compass than a pure contralto. It is a pity that so noble an organ should be confined to the comparatively limited sphere of sacred music.
The tenor and barytone solos were badly done by Messrs. Wilkie and Thomas. The next oratorio, to be given on November 10th, will be that of "Elijah," when the tenor and barytone rôles will be differently assigned. Lovers of music will generally congratulate the Centennial Choral Union on their auspi cious beginning, and look forward to future performances with no little expectation.