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and the murmuring shell on the mantel-piece, and the Angora cat on the hearth, told him strange stories of adventure by land and sea, while the winter fairies and the summer fairies, the fairies of the water-fall and glen, of oak-tree, laurel, and fir, disclosed their mysteries for his entertainment. On Christmas-day Job was res cued; and, on his hinting to his grandfather the sights he had seen and the stories he had heard, that practical person told him he had been dreaming. Job, however, would not accept this explanation; and no more will the little folks, whom these "Catskill Fairies" are sure to delight.
The book is beautifully printed and bound, and Mr. Fredericks's illustrations are fully as pleasing as the text. If the modern taste for art has extended to fairy-land, Queen Puff will surely appoint him courtartist.
THE Combination of sound scientific instruction with an exciting and plausible story not an easy one, and we cannot say that Mr. Trowbridge has been entirely successful in his attempt to make it in "The Young Surveyor" (Boston: J. R. Osgood & Co.). There is plenty of instruction in it, no doubt, lucidly and ingeniously put, and the story is highly interesting; but the two re mingled without being mixed, and we are fraid most boys will skip the explanations | of Jack's surveying achievements in their agerness to reach his encounters with old Peakslow, his adventures with Radcliff, and is gradual reformation of the Betterson Joys. They cannot read even these portions of the story, however, without acquiring at east a modicum of useful knowledge; and he tone of the book, which, after all, is the nost important point, is thoroughly wholeome and invigorating. Sensible boys will ave little reason to complain as long as they ave the opportunity, now and then, to add uch a book to their collection of wellhumbed literary treasures.
There are many illustrations in the volme, and most of them are good, but the arst's vignette of "Lord Betterson" is an bsurdly inappropriate travesty of Mr. Trowridge's portrait of that backwoods "aristo
MR. JOHNSON concludes his "Little Clascs" with a volume of "Authors," containg biographical sketches of all the authors presented in the series. As there are more an a hundred and fifty of these, the sketchare necessarily very brief, and little is atmpted in the way of criticism. Addison serves in the opening paper of the Spectar that " a reader seldom peruses a book ith pleasure till he knows whether the writof it be a black or a fair man, of a mild choleric disposition, married or a bacher, with other particulars of the like nature at conduce very much to the right underanding of an author;" and it is to the rnishing of such particulars, with others a chronological and bibliographical charter, that Mr. Johnson chiefly addresses mself. The sketches are fairly good of eir kind, and will prove serviceable to such
as have no cyclopædia or biographical dictionary at hand. A valuable feature of the volume is the general index to the entire series.
THE second volume of the new edition of Hawthorne's works (Boston: J. R. Osgood & Co.) contains "The House of the Seven Gables," one of the most fascinating romances ever written. We have already spoken of the exquisite style in which this edition is published, but each additional volume affords a new pleasure to the eye. Nothing could exceed its neatness, daintiness, and convenience.
THE witty Charles Monselet - one of the men who know best how to say nothing quite agreeably-has just brought out in Paris his "Années de Gaité," a book certified to be full of fun and of good spirits. It is a collection of fanciful stories, in which, notwithstanding all that is funciful, Parisian existence is sketched from the life; not serious Parisian life, indeed, but such as we see on the Boulevard and in the Bois. Certain of the morsels which compose it contain ideas which would do well on the stage. The Débats cites onea little story, "The Sorrows of a Borrower". in which one gentleman constitutes himself lend him a few hundred pounds, and the wouldguardian of another, who on the morrow is to be borrower goes so far as to fight a duel with some one who had cause of quarrel with the lender, lest the lender himself should, by death, be incapacitated from lending.
THE London Athenæum is pleased to commend Miss Alcott's "Eight Cousins" highly. It says that Miss Alcott's stories are thoroughly healthy and full of racy fun and humor, and ends its criticism as follows: "Although there are seven boy cousins, one or two of whom are quite men in their own eyes, and although there is a lovely, fascinating little girl, who grows up to be a charming young lady, there is not one breath of precocious sentiment, and the frank, healthy, cousinly element is not disturbed by a single hint of love or lovers to come hereafter, and this we take to be an example which might be followed with great advantage in many of our own stories for the young, which are neither more nor less than diminutive and diluted novels."
A WRITER in Temple Bar assails the poetry of the present era in a very truculent if not discriminating fashion. He If we rid oursays: selves of a certain glamour which its usually high coloring sheds around its performances, and of a certain amount of unhealthy sympathy with it which a contemporary can hardly resist, we shall find that, substantially, the poetry of the Romantic School, the poetry which essentially breathes the air and expresses the feelings of the nineteenth century, is thin, hazy, unsubstantial, deficient in good sense as well as in definiteness, wanting in sobriety and measured judgment, too fine by half in its dress, morbid, unsatisfactory, and inadequate. It does not satisfy. It excites; at least it excites us. But whether it will excite a future generation is another question. It is ornate, excessive in adornment, outrageous in expression, forced, odd, quaint, spasmodic, and sometimes positively epileptic. It is wanting in backbone, or rather indulges in those painful explosions and contortions which accompany certain forms of spinal disease. It is very glowing, but it gives no light. It dazzles, but does not illuminate. It cannot be said of it, as Cicero says of the true orator,
'Clarescit urendo.' It does not brighten as it burns. It seeks to run through the gamut of the universe, but it has not yet discovered a concord. It is a perfect Chinese concert of sounds. Shelley is its most pronounced type, and by far its greatest ornament; and ninetenths of Shelley's poetry is a diseased wail and a shapeless cry that does not reach the gods, and does not benefit man."
THE Saturday Review characterizes the literature of spiritualism very plainly and pointedly. It says: "The chief thing that must strike any rational mind on taking up the literature of what is called 'spiritism' is its intense and irredeemable dreariness. Weary, flat, stale, and unprofitable as the courses of this world may have been pronounced, none but the veriest lunatic would think to better himself by flying to one the course of which is likely to be such as the mediums have to tell us of. Any thing more stupid than the doings, more vapid than the talk, more pointless than the whole life which goes on in the so-called world of spirits, it is not in the power of man to conceive. No wonder that the heroes in the Elysian Fields had rather, as they told Telemachus, serve as the veriest bondsmen in the world of daylight and the earth than reign over the shades, if the unearthly abode of the blessed corresponded in the slightest degree with the melancholy blank which seems to make up 'mediumistic' existence at its best. Universal and unmitigated imbecility certainly seems to be the state to which what are put forward as the higher class of spirits' are one and all reduced. As for the lower orders, the wickedness of their old Adam finds vent in pranks and mystifications too childishly inane to be accused of serious mischief. We never heard, at least, of any thing worse than pulling unbelievers' beards in the dark, or hitting them over the head with a banjo."
A NEW drama in London, by Messrs. Palgrave Simpson and Herman Merivale, entitled "All for Her," must be of a rather composite order, according to the Athenæum. The central figure, it tells us, is taken, by permission and with acknowledgment, from Dickens; the sacrifice, which forms the main interest, recalls the "Esmond" of Thackeray; the treatment of the subject is in the manner of the elder Dumas; and the hero, remade, or at least redressed, seems at the outset compounded of equal portions of Don Cæsar de Bazan and Le Neveu du Rameau. These approximations, however, which can scarcely, except in one instance, be called resemblances, scarcely detract from the originality of a work which is nobly planned and fairly executed. There is freshness of motive enough to set against any amount of unconscious imitation, and the interest begotten during the progress of the story is equally novel and powerful.
DR. ELZE, in his new book on Shakespeare, may be said to have added something to the probability of Shakespeare's having visited Italy. It is indeed difficult to believe that the poet never himself saw those fair blue skies, beneath which so many of his creations move as beneath their native and proper canopy. The very air of Italy seems blowing through many of his scenes. And does any non-Italian work transport us into the bright, starclear South like the last act of "The Merchant of Venice?"
"M. C.," in the London Pictorial Worldasserted to be Mortimer Collins-declares Jo
aquin Miller, Artemus Ward, and Julian Hawthorne-American writers who went to London to use their pens-to be not only not "firstclass men," but that "Tupper is equal to all three of them"!!!
IX pictures, by Gérôme, Alma-Tadema, Meissonier, Zamacoïs, Vibert, and Jules Breton, have been on exhibition at Goupil's. These pictures were painted some ten or twelve years ago, and are very interesting examples of the work of artists some of whom did not then by any means enjoy the world-wide reputation they have since justly acquired. It is instructive to look at their work and see in some the half-formed manner that has since developed completely, and in others to note the change of aim that has crept into the purpose of the painter. In neither of these early works is there the same freedom of handling or precision of color which now marks the works of the same artists; and the change in these respects is an encouraging indication for all younger students that improvement constantly goes on where painters earnestly work with the hands and think out difficulties with the imagination.
The painting by Alma-Tadema is called "Teaching Young Gauls the Manly Arts," and represents two handsome boys (young princes eight or ten years old) in a stately apartment, surrounded by officers of the court, including priests in long, yellow robes, and their mother, a royal woman, who sits somewhat apart attended by her maids. From the composed, self-reliant faces of the young boys, and their level brows and solid features, we should have taken them for the Asiatics or Egyptians Alma-Tadema has since so often represented, were it not for their fair skins and yellow hair. One boy has just flung his little weapon, resembling a small battle-axe, at a target at the end of the room, where it sticks in the wall close to the bull's-eye. This child is now standing still as a statue, while his brother takes his turn at the sport. While Alma-Tadema did not paint so well when this picture was made as he now does, there may be seen in it the same love of composed and statuesque forms and groupings that now marks his pictures; but experience has taught him that Greek or Egyptian types are more in consonance with the lofty composure he loves than those which are less beautiful in line and more nervous in action. It is very interesting to trace technically in this picture the indications of an instinct for color which has more recently unfolded in the strange, subtile lights and shades which dominate his paintings, and now show masses of rich hues put upon the canvas so evenly and with such unerring precision. In the picture of the young Gauls we perceive that Alma-Tadema loved color when he made the massed forms of yellow drapery hanging from the shoulders of the priests; but it was color he had not learned to manage well, and the edges of it are uncertain and dirty, while the shadows do not repeat the hue which shows in the light. This artist has lost somewhat his
love of carefully-anatomized drawing in the last ten years, even if he ever had it, which we much doubt, for examples are extremely rare of painters with so positive an instinct for tones of color and the aesthetic sphere of their subjects as Alma-Tadema is possessed of, who care much for the unimaginative and realistic development of particulars. It is said of Corot that he gives the sentiment of a landscape. As truly may we apply this thought to Alma-Tadema that he gives the sentiment of an historical period or the genius of a race-the sentiment as he conceives it, which may or may not be the true conception-and Mr. Ruskin thinks it is not -but it is at any rate a very definite and positive one.
When Alma-Tadema painted his two young Gauls he was somewhat in the position of a student, and his own individuality was less developed than now, in consequence of which we see more clearly here than in any picture we remember by him, that he studied hard when he painted the stalwart legs and carefully-articulated knees of his young barbarians. They are very minutely delineated, and attract the eye more particularly than any other point in the picture. But now, from all his late paintings, we know he does not care for this department of a picture, which Gérôme, on the other hand, has most potently in his thought; his mind has run toward statuesque composition clothed with strange and harmonious tones of color. Disraeli, in "Contarini Fleming," describes the growth of a poet's mind, but no biography of an artist so representative and individual as Alma-Tadema can so well show the progress of his thoughts and his skill as pictures made by him at different stages.
Meissonier now depicts; for in those days Meissonier evidently cared very much for his subjects, and, as he did not know so well how to make them good, he threw more of his own thought into them than he now does, when long habit has taught him to the breadth of a hair what sized pencil to use for the exquisite veining of a hand, and the precise shade of blue with which to mark the shadows about the eyelids, or the sunk thinness of the temples. Of old these minutiæ were much less precise and more coarse than now, but still they were positive enough to indicate whither the genius of the artist tended.
The other pictures are less significant than the two we have described. Jules Breton has always apparently had the same habits of color, and his group of women in the gray twilight show the same innocent type of French peasantry as in his pictures of today. In this painting of "The Day's Work over," a woman pure as a nun, and as strongly built as a horse, sits nursing a large, healthy infant, while another child, vigorous and brawny, is stretched out on a hay-cock beside its mother. Two or three more women are grouped about, simply painted and well made, and in the distance their frame cottage appears through the gloaming in the damp evening haze. This painting is quite a large one, but we do not recollect to have seen a picture by Breton that contained so many figures in it, and these figures too are grouped to make a pleasant composi tion, each of them being as thoroughly drawn and as expressive as if it formed the cen tre of interest in the picture. Zamacois seems to us to have changed less than either of the artists named, and, though his pict ures have less color than in some of his works of a later day, the lady mixing drink for an old brown monk, in her handsome dress and with her two gorgeous male companions, might have been found in one of bis paintings of last year.
FREDERICK A. BRIDGMAN'S Salon picture, entitled "The Nubian Fortune-Teller-Inte rior of a Harem," is now on exhibition in Brooklyn. The scene represents a Moorish interior or apartment, with a lofty, bracketed ceiling, and side-walls richly colored and or
Meissonier's little painting has great value from somewhat the same cause as the one by Alma-Tadema. In Meissonier's case, however, the motive ever appears to have been to depict, with the most minute realism, each quality in any object from a man to his shoestring, and to render with absolute fidelity every particular line and shade of color that went to its composition. An analytic, not a synthetic, painter, it is not the general sentiment of a scene or a condition of life that saturates his intelligence, but the brilliant sparkle of a multiplicity of facts. This pict-namented with arabesque-work. The sides ure was painted several years ago, and since it was executed the same change and technical progress may be observed in it as in that of the "Young Gauls" by Alma-Tadema. Then as now, Meissonier evidently considered it a duty to use no more canvas than was absolutely necessary for the expression of his ideas, and so we see here a small cabinet picture with a man in it, as minute and as detailed as in the painter's works of last year. But in the nicety with which these details are rendered, time and practice have made a great improvement. In the picture at Goupil's there is the evidence of a freshness of feeling, which has since died out of work that has become somewhat hackneyed, though now more thorough than ever. This fresh interest is shown in the vivacity of the expression of the man's face-an expression more positive and perhaps exaggerated than
of the room are furnished with luxuriant divans, and the centre of the tessellated pare ment is sunken, where a small fountain plays. On the right, a tawny Arab reclines upon a divan, and his favorite wife is seated on a rug at his feet, and has her arm thrown lov. ingly around a little child. At the right hand of this group a dark-skinned Nubian woman is seated on the pavement, and is ap parently telling the fortunes of those around her in pantomime as well as in words.
Behind this weird figure of the Nubian woman there are scattered figures, some of which are standing and others reclining upon the divans and upon the pavement. The background is in the form of a deep alcore. It has a large, latticed window, in shadow, which scarcely affects the soft light in the recess. The strongest light in the apartment is concentrated on the foreground group, and
the effect is very striking, not only in connection with the figures, but also with the delicate tracery shown upon the walls. Just behind the Arab the wall is of a deep-blue tone, and its color is emphasized by a warm brown tint introduced on the right, where there are a number of niches holding vases and other bousehold ornaments. Upon the cornices of the doors and windows, and resting on brackets, are numerous objects of the potter's art; and other evidences of a somewhat rude and uncultivated art-taste are also apparent in the apartment. There is a great variety of colors and textures shown in the costumes, and the arrangement is harmonious. The drawing is excellent. The interest of the picture is concentrated in the foreground group. This concentration of interest around the Nubian woman is one of the most artistic features in the composition; it is not disturbed by the brilliancy of the wall-colors, the enervated figures of the women in the background, or the gorgeous accessories of costume and rich architectural detail. At first sight, such is the repose of the scene, one fails to comprehend its extraordinary beauty. This feeling, however, is soon dispelled, and the picture at once asserts its force and power as a lasting expression of the beautiful, and as such we have no doubt it will be accepted by lovers of art.
MAURICE F. H. DE HAAS is at present engaged upon a large canvas representing the clearing away of a storm at West Hampton, on the ocean-shore of Long Island. There is a brig stranded in the breakers; and a pile of merchandise on the beach, covered with anvas, indicates that the crew, aided by wreckers, have been engaged in taking out her cargo. There is a large number of figres forming scattered groups on the beach, ind the brig's deck is yet held by the crew. The sky is covered with drifting stormlouds, and the effect of the wind can almost be heard, so realistic is the treatment, as it ways the vessel's spars and whistles through he rigging. The force of the wind is also hown on the water, and, as the huge rollers break, it catches the white-caps, and sends The foam swirling in showers over the strandd vessel and land ward. In the drawing of he wave-forms and the doomed brig there is uch to admire; but to the student the most ubtile point of interest in the picture is the fainting of the long, conchoidal form of the each-line, and the atmospheric effect peculr to it after a rain-storm, and when the sunght is struggling through the clouds. These eatures of the work are handled with great readth and freedom.
HERR WACHTEL has scarcely awakened ess interest in his present visit to New York han he did on his first appearance in this ountry, but his qualities as a singer are probbly now measured with more discriminaon and accuracy. Wachtel has indisputaly many faults. He is a heretic as to the anons of the Italian school of vocalization, dmitted to be the most perfect extant. ften, in spite of his magnificent voice, his ones are uncertain, and sometimes rough. le does not hesitate in the high notes, writ
ten to be sung mezza voce, to use the hybrid tone known as falsetto. This fault would endanger a hiss in an Italian or London theatre, where the musical public is educated to the point of dilettanteism, and the main measure of merit is extreme finish and purity of vocal style. It is difficult to tell whether this lack of ability in modulation be attributable to a defect in the organ, or want of skill in the use of the voice. Be that as it may, the effect is often unpleasant, and a just subject for criticism. Again, Wachtel takes strange liberties at times with his score, not only adding embellishments ad libitum (a caprice shared by most great singers), but perverting the music itself. He seems to consider himself an autocrat for whose convenience the purpose of the composer must be bent and moulded without mercy. A similar vanity is not unseldom witnessed, but in the case of Herr Wachtel it is carried to an extraordinary degree. These are all very grave faults, and critics do well to stamp them as such.
Despite these defects, Wachtel is a marvelous singer. The secret of his power is that his voice and style are full of virile, solid strength, and the magnetism of that strength is wellnigh irresistible. One unconsciously associates with the tenor voice something inconsistent with masculine vigor. But, while possessing a voice of great compass and mellowness, Wachtel is unmistakably manly and strong in the quality and style of his singing. It is not merely in the tempestuous rush of his high notes when he sings forte passages, but ingrained in the quality of his vocal timbre, even when he sings falsetto or head-notes. It is this characteristic that stamps his individuality as an artist, and deservedly fastens the admiration of the public. The ability to sing the upper C with the full natural voice is, of course, a gift which always excites enthusiasm among a people so fond of sensations as Americans. Some have unwisely concluded that this is Wachtel's principal claim on public interest, and that without it he would take but little rank. This gift of compass, not often needed in the opera, though uncommon, is by no means a great phenomenon. Campanini, who was here two years ago, sang a splendid chest C. Mongini, who died in Italy last year, used to walk down the whole depth of the Covent Garden stage in London, pealing it forth with a sustained trumpet-force. Rubini, a great tenor of the last generation, not only emulated the feat, but sang four notes higher so artistically that the most delicate ear could not tell where the head-production of voice was substituted for that from the chest.
But Wachtel's compass is not his greatest claim upon our admiration, for the ut de poitrine rather captivates the mass than the cultivated listener. His style has so much dignity, breadth, and force throughout, that, if necessary, we could dispense with an ad captandum power. The ordinary ear may be exceptionally pleased with a rendering of the "De' Quella Pira " in "Trovatore," which he sings an octave above the written score; but the cultured lover of high art will take even more delight in the magnificent dash and humor of "The Whip-Song" in "The Postillion," or the splendid passion and despair
shown in the great duet in the last act of "The Huguenots." Here the genius of the singer comes out unmistakably.
In listening to Herr Wachtel as an interpreter of music, one irresistibly recurs to that class of art-associations growing out of the thought of Gluck, Weber, Beethoven, and Wagner, as composers of music. There is nothing feminine, soft, and luxuriant, in the moral atmosphere of such art, but every thing that is sturdy and invigorating. It breathes of the mountain and pine-forest, not of the plain and orange-grove. Surely, to belong to this fellowship in music is loftier and better than to be merely rounded, and moulded, and polished, in accordance with the fastidious requirements of musical dilettanteism, which sometimes threatens to eat like a dry-rot into all that is truest and most inspiring in music. For our part, the pleasure to be derived from this kind of excellence seems far more worthy of preference than that growing out of mere finish of method and liquid sweetness of voice.
Wachtel the actor has the merits of Wachtel the singer. There are fire, freedom, and breadth, in his dramatic manner; he fills the stage by his mingled dignity and passion. The union of power in singing and acting is rare. It gives Wachtel a stamp as an artist which even his great defects can hardly tarnish, and establishes him as one of the most remarkable musical artists of the age.
THE last British Quarterly Review has a very sweeping criticism of Mr. Holman Hunt's "Shadow of Death." It denounces the figure of Christ as simply imbecile, expressing neither energy of body nor of mind: "The lower limbs are muscular, and yet the pose and movement are so feeble and devoid of will as to suggest paralysis. The slender arms are not in action, but are spreading heedlessly in space, without intention or control. The face is equally devoid of energy, intelligence, and human sympathy. Never were mental weakness and the absolute deficiency of moral power more ably shown. Fallen humanity could have little hope from such a delicate and dainty personage. The forty days and forty nights of wandering in the wilderness, and the effective power of will and limb experienced by the money-changers, are entirely inconsistent with this feeble presence. This, then, is not the Christ. The eyes of all would never have been fastened on an aspect such as this. Here is no possibility of any Saviour of the world. No one would put his trust in such a paragon of imbecility. The whole figure is the very opposite of the historic Christ. The Saviour could have been no pretty weakling; but, as a man destined to sorrow, he would be firm of countenance, with majesty, and power, and gentleness, united in his aspect. His eyes would not be soft and weak, and full of selfcomplacency, but bright, beaming with active sympathy for human nature, and capable of insight into power as well as into weakness. His mouth and lips, 'taught by the wisdom of his heart,' would be finely moulded for the utterance of 'gracious words' or of most bitter scorn. His frame and constitution must have been exceptionally strong, and his arms muscular, for he was known as an efficient workman, not a make-believe." Severe as this criticism is, it seems to us scarcely beyond the facts. The picture seemed to us to illustrate nothing more than its utter failure to
present an ideal of Christ such as the world could accept. The Review goes on to condemn the prominence of the accessories as wholly false to right principles of art, and which, instead of being "realism," as has been said, destroy genuine reality in the painting: "It must be evident that the pictorial prominence and the importance given to the tools destroy reality. No one in presence of humanity and life would, were his mind at ease, have casual instruments of handicraft impressed so strongly on his mind that their strict portraiture should be essential to the memory and recognition of the scene. All these details do not produce artistic realism; they are only curiosities, pictorial toys, which rank in art with little models of mechanical contrivances that charm small children. They are an object-lesson, or a diagram, with no ideal or imaginative art. But art, when truly realistic, is not abjectly mechanical. The imagination is employed to regulate the scene, to give each object its due relative importance, and to bring some character and sentiment into the picture. But this shadow-picture has no character or sentiment at all. Some petty babyish contrivances make it understood that there is something meant by all the show. Without these aids, the idea that these two inconsistent figures are the Christ and Mary is the last that would occur to the spectator's mind."
A COMMITTEE of selection for the art-exhibition at the Centennial will, we learn, visit the different cities in order to prevent the needless transportation to Philadelphia of works of art not up to the standard of admission. A United States vessel, by direction of the Secretary of the Navy, will call at Southampton, Havre, Bremen, and Leghoru, next spring, in order to collect and transport to the exhibition the works of American artists resident in Europe. The exhibition will include, in addition to the works of contemporary artists, representative productions of the past century of American art-those, for instance, of Stuart, Copley, Trumbull, West, Allston, Sully, Neagle, Elliot, Kensett, Cole.
GENERAL DI CESNOLA, American consul at Cyprus, has made, we learn from the Academy, an interesting discovery at Episkopi, the ancient Curium, where, in opening an old grave near the port of Limassol, he has found various articles of highly wrought metal. Among these there is a golden sceptre, a golden necklace of great beauty, and a couple of gold bracelets inscribed in characters which appear to be ancient Cyprian. It is understood that General di Cesnola intends to send the whole of his valuable "find" to America.
THE mutilated "St. Anthony" of Murillo having been successfully restored to its old position in the church at Seville, great re joicings ensued. The portion containing the figure of the saint which had been cut out by the audacious thieves, but was fortunately recovered, has been most skillfully replaced, so that the damage, it is said, shows very little.
less melodious than the last-as witness "Les Georgiennes" and others of that ilk. But "Madame l'Archiduc," last year, and "La Boulangère à des Ecus," of this (the first actual hit," by-the-way, of the present theatrical season in Paris), show no falling off either in gayety, entrain, fertility of invention, or freshness of melody. "La Boulangère " is, moreover, for Offenbach, an excursion into a new domain. It is not an opéra-bouffe, but partakes more of the characteristics of a comic opera, one that recalls the good old times at the Opéra Comique when that institution was in its palmy days, and did not disdain operas with a spice of fun in their librettos and of frolic in their melodies.
The plot soars boldly into the region of the historic drama. For background we have a conspiracy under the Regency-a conspiracy of which Madame la Duchesse du Maine is the prime instigator, and in which her hair-dresser Bernadille has somehow got mixed up the conspiracy of "M. de Cellamare;" and to hear Dupuis, who personates Bernadille, pronounce these words, which he does on all occasions, is worth about three times the price of admission. Of course, the conspiracy fails, and the police get after poor Bernadille, who takes refuge with his lady-love, a little tavern-hostess named Toinon. He is on the point of being discovered there, when Margot, the rich bakeress, who has made a large fortune by speculating under the auspices of M. Law, comes by in her sedan-chair, preceded by a magnificent Swiss, gorgeous beyond measure in satin and gold-lace and plumes. She disguises Bernadille in the attire of this splendid menial, and carries him off in triumph to her bakery, where he assumes the long, loose shirt and floury functions of a baker. Margot falls in love with her protégé, but he, being summoned to choose between her love and that of Toinon, decides in favor of the latter, and the enraged Boulangère at once denounces him to the police, relenting, womanlike, and imploring vainly for his release as soon as he is fairly in their clutches. The last act is taken up with his prison-adventures and efforts to escape. Margot bribes his guards, and Toinon at last brings his pardon en règle, whereupon he announces his intention of espousing Toinon, and Margot gives her hand to her faithful Swiss. On this fabric, ingeniously woven by MM. Meilhac and Halévy, Offenbach has embroidered some of the freshest and brightest flowers of his melodious fancy. He understands his own capabilities and the sources of his popularity too well to abandon wholly his own peculiar style, the strongly-accentuated rhythms and marked melodies which characterize his music. But he has abandoned in this work the field of exaggeration and burlesque for the fairer and more graceful path of a not unrefined gayety. The partition fairly sparkles with mirthful melodies that will be on every lip and every piano and inside of every barrel-organ in Paris before the world is a month older. After one hearing it would be impossible to give a detailed account of the important pieces; suffice it, therefore, to mention a charming duet between Toinon and Margot (Paola Marié and Aimée), the finale to the first act, and an exceedingly comic song, sung by Léonce and Berthelier as the two police-agents-the song of "The Millers and the Cabmen"-which has achieved an immediate and immense popularity. Dupuis is simply delightful as Bernadille, the conspiring coiffeur. Paola Marié is an exquisite little Toinon, and Mademoiselle Aimée a sparkling and captivating Boulangère, while Léonce and Pradeau, Berthelier and Baron, lend impor
tance to comparatively unimportant roles, and contribute largely to the general success. The costumes are fresh and handsome, those of Mademoiselle Aimée in particular being extremely elegant and costly. And, à propos of Aimée, the following bon-mot has been attributed to Mademoiselle Schneider, who, as may be remembered, was to have created the part of La Boulangère, but gave it up because the rôle assigned to Paola Marié was not sufficiently insignificant. She announced her intention of being present at the first representation.
"What!" said the person to whom she spoke, "do you mean to forgive M. Bertrand who has treated you so badly?"
"Mon cher," made answer La Grande-Duchesse, "I cannot go against Scripture-il lui sera beaucoup pardonné parce qu'il a Aimée!”
Of course, one specimen of French wit recalls another, and here is the reply made by Francisque Sarcey, the celebrated dramatic critic of the Temps, to an impertinent young fellow who indulged in some joking remarks respecting the large size of the great critic's
There seems to be a mania among Parisian celebrities for tumbling down and bumping their fertile brains just now. First we heard of Gounod's fall down-stairs, then a wellknown Parisian organist tried the same experiment, and now M. Octave Feuillet has come near putting an end to himself in a similar manner. He was staying at the country-seat of a friend not far from Paris, when, the cords of his window-curtains becoming entangled one day, he undertook to disengage them, piled two or three pieces of furniture together, and climbed on the top of the whole to effect his purpose. Unfortunately, he made a misstep, and dowu came the whole superstructure and the brilliant author as well, striking his head in his descent against a corner of the marble mantel-piece. He was thoroughly stunned and considerably bruised, but escaped without serious injury. Hence an occa sion for another bon-mot. His host said, on hearing of his accident: "As you never have any chutes in public, my dear friend, you were probably desirous of trying one in private, to see what it was like." Now, chute, in Parisian parlance, means a theatrical failure as well as a fall, so that the gentleman made the accident the occasion of a neat little compliment to the invariably successful dramatist.
Rossi's Hamlet drew orowded houses at the Salle Veutadour all last week. He plays King Lear to-night, for the first time. It is said to be his greatest character. I am told that Ambroise Thomas was strolling through the lobby of the Grand Opera-House one evening when he heard two gentlemen, who were strangers to him, discussing the merits of "Hamlet." Naturally supposing that they were talking of his opera, he paused a moment, only to hear one of them remark, vehemently: "And to think that there exists a man conceited enough and foolish enough to imagine that he could set the world's dramatic chef-d'œuvre to a series of tunes!" Whereupon M. Thomas departed more swiftly than he had come.
Rossi was present at the fourth representstion of "La Boulangère." He laughed hearti ly at all the jokes, applauded all the good points in the acting, rumpled up his hair the wrong way, got into a great state of hilarious enthusiasm, and, in fine, enjoyed the per formance with the naive, hearty enjoyment of a boy. He is a splendid-looking man of the
stage, just in the prime of life, a very son of Anak for height and breadth of chest, with -blue eyes, chestnut hair just dashed with gray, a complexion fair and fresh-colored as that of a girl, and small, well-formed hands and feet.
The second series of the "Actes et Paroles" of Victor Hugo, entitled "Pendant l'Exil-1851-1870," is to be published on the 28th of this month, as well as a second edition of the first series ("Avant l'Exil"), with various additions and corrections. Michel Lévy is the publisher thereof, as well as of the "Dianas and Venuses" of M. Arsène Houssaye, which work turns out to be, not a naughty novel, as its title might indicate, but a dissertation on those two feminine types, Diana and Venus, in the art of the old masters. J. Baudry has issued "Remains of National Art it Belgium and Holland," by J. Collinet, illustrated with forty plates. Victor Bouton, of No. 11 Rue de l'Escalier, Brussels, and No. 16 Rue St.-Martin, Paris, has just put forth the prospectus of a work which will have great attractions for the amateurs of the heraldic art and the lovers of fine illustrated works as well. It is a reproduction in facsimile of the "Wapenboeck" of Getre, herald-at-arms, preserved in the Royal Library at Brussels. This precious manuscript dates from the fourteenth century, and "contains the names and armorial bearings of the Christian princes, both spiritual and secular, followed by their feudatories, according to the constitution of Europe, and especially that of he German Empire, in conformity with the Edict of 1356, called the Golden Bull, precedad by heraldic poetry." The description which the enthusiastic publisher gives of this remarkable reproduction is entirely too long o quote entire. Suffice it to say that there are to be two hundred plates carefully colored by hand, and that the whole work will be issued in a series of fifty numbers at forty ranes (eight dollars) each. Only forty-eight opies are to be offered to the trade, and the whole issue is not to exceed sixty-one copies. There is a chance for some of the wealthy nd aspiring book-collectors on our shores. Among other works to be issued in numbers, he "Tour de France," a national publication, s announced; it is to comprise descriptions nd illustrations of the sites, views, monunents, peasantry, etc., of France. It will omprise two volumes a year, divided into weekly parts. The first part will contain "La lité de Limes," by Alexandre Dumas.
acroix & Co. are to commence in November he publication in numbers of an illustrated dition of Michelet's "History of France." Dentu has just issued "Le Colonel Chamerlain," a new novel by Hector Malot, and lso "Le Roman de Beatrix," by an unknown uthor, Robert Halt. The Librairie de l'Eauorte has lately published two series of ten tchings each, by Henry Guerard, illustrating, ne "Les Châtiments" of Victor Hugo, and he other that author's "Napoléon le Petit." The theatrical season has fairly opened, and we are deluged with novelties at the rate fthree or four first representations per week. Besides "La Boulangère," which I ave just noticed, we have had, during the ast week, "Le Panache," by M. Gondinet,
affairs of his department, he finds that it contains an extinct volcano. "Just like these provincials," he exclaims, "they had a volcano, and they let it go out!" The other two pieces were failures, and immediate and decisive ones at that. Yet the "Baron de Valjoli" was, it is said, received at the Comédie Française, and was only yielded to the Gymnase with deep regret. It was well cast and well played, and was, moreover, soundly hissed. The plot, which turns on the efforts of a father and son to ruin a little strolling player, and which ends by the marriage of the son to the young girl in question, was considered disgusting, as indeed it was. The Gymnase seems to have gotten into a run of illluck lately, scarcely inferior to that which pursued all the efforts of the Vaudeville last season. It has lost from its company Blanche Pierson, Alice Lody, the great beauty Mademoiselle Angelo, and the elegant comedian Andrieu; and, of all the plays that were produced there last season, there was not one that achieved more than a half success. And now
it leads off its season of 1875-76 with a total failure. "La Filleule du Roi," the music of which is by M. Vogel, turns out to be very poor. The Renaissance must rest on its laurels till the production of Lecocq's new operetta of "The Little Bride." A grand dramatic enterprise, having for its aim the encouragement of the highest form of dramatic writing in France, has been started by M. Laforêt, the theatrical critic of La Liberte. The new organization will take possession of the Salle Ventadour, and will play on alternate nights with Rossi, who only performs three nights a week. Among the new plays promised are "Madame de Maintenon," by François Coppée; "Les Mères Ennemies," by Catulle Mendés; and possibly a new one-act piece in verse entitled "Le Glaive," by no less a personage than Victor Hugo himself. Nearly thirty-three years have elapsed since the great poet last gave a new drama to the French stage, "Les Burgraves," produced at the Comédie Française early in 1843, being the work in question. It is whispered that Victor Hugo is arranging his "Cromwell " for the stage, with a view of having Rossi enact the principal part. In its present form "Cromwell" fills a good-sized volume, and never was presented on any stage, notwithstanding the assertion of the Athenæum, in its number of October 23d, that "Cromwell' was the play which over forty years ago inaugurated the romantic drama."
M. Henri Houssaye, the son of M. Arsène Houssaye, is to espouse to-morrow a young Californian belle, Miss Ritter, at the church of St.-Philippe du Roule. The young lady is said to be a very beautiful blonde. Readers of the Tribune may perhaps recall the romantic story, as set forth by M. Arsène Houssaye | in the pages of that journal about a year ago, of his son's betrothal to a lovely Italian princoss-a love-affair quite à la mode américaine
love at first sight and all the rest of it. Is the bridegroom of to-morrow the late fiancé of the Italian princess, or only his brother? Who can tell us? LUCY H. HOOPER.
his argument still in mind, our readers may find it of interest to learn of some of the signs by which the presence of cranial weakness, or rather unsoundness, may be determined. These we find given in an extended review of Dr. Wynter's recent work, entitled the "Borderlands of Insanity," from which we condense as follows: It not unfrequently happens that unsoundness of brain is known or recognized only by the possessor, who often finds himself at war with certain promptings which seem leading him to act against his own positive convictions of right and duty. As illustrative of this phase of insanity, the following letter from a patient to his adviser is given: "I am not conscious of the decay or suspension of any of the powers of the mind. I am as well as ever I was to attend to my business. My family suppose me in health, yet the horrors of a mad-house are staring me in the face. I am a martyr to a species of persecution from within which is becoming' intolerable. I am urged to say the most shocking blasphemies. Thank God that I have been able to resist, but I often think I must yield at last and be forever disgraced and ruined." In this instance, we have an exaggerated case brought forward to illustrate what may not be an unusual experience; should it be recognized by any reader, let him take comfort in the fact that the chief danger lies in the present condition, and that, so far as insanity prevails, it is that of the present to be controlled rather than any more serious development to be feared. The famous Bishop Butler is said to have been engaged in such a conflict all his life.
A less serious though equally discomforting phase of this weakness is that which induces us to act or speak in inappropriate or uncalled for ways, as when Charles Lamb burst out laughing at a funeral. Allied to this are the two failings now classified as diseases under the names "kleptomania" and "dipsomania," evidence of which is shown by an uncontrollable desire for the property of others, and for the gratification of a passion for drink.
With the acts of kleptomaniacs we are all familiar, and it is said that victims of dipsomania have been known to drink shoe-blacking, turpentine, and hair-wash. Sometimes, we are told, these two forms of mania are seen coexistent in the same person under very odd circumstances, as of one man who, when drunk, always stole Bibles, another spades, and a third who invariably purloined a tub. Of a more general and prevalent character are such signs of mental disorder as the following: an undue exaltation of the senses, as of the patient who could hear the least sound in a distant part of the house, or tell the hour by his watch at a distance at which he could not ordinarily see the hands. Still more common are such symptoms as loss of memory, deterioration in handwriting, the use of wrong words in conversation which Mr. Grant White calls "heterophemy"—and the failure to remember certain numbers, or particular letters, or the termination of words of which the initial letter is well known. If the writer be justified in classing these peculiarities as among the symptoms of mental unsoundness, the reader will not find it hard to admit his own weakness, and the plea for "universal insanity" will
the Palais Royal; "Le Baron do Valjoli" Science, Invention, Discovery. command a more willing acceptance.
st the Gymnase, and "La Filleule du Roi"
t the Renaissance. The first-named is very musing, and was a great success. It treats f the absurdities of a would-be politician, tho fancies that he has been made a prefect. One of the bon-mots of this character (deightfully personated by Geffroy) has already ecome proverbial. When studying up the
Advancing still further, we are given many interesting and very curious examples of special peculiarities. Thus, in a case of yellow fever, the patient, a master of three languages, spoke with a different tongue at different stages of the attack. As one instance, from many in which the sufferer from brain-lesion after a long period of forgetfulness took up the recol