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EUROPEAN MAGAZINE,

AND

LONDON REVIEW,

FOR JANUARY, 1818.

MEMOIR OF

MISS STEPHENS,

Or TIE THEATRE ROYAL, COVENT-GARDEN, (WITH A PORTRAIT, ENGRAVED BY HENRY HETER, FROM AN ORIGINAL PAINTING

BI G. 1. HARLOWE, ESQ.]

Music the fiercest grief can charm,
And Fate's severest rage disarm:
Music can soften paio to ease,
And make despair and madness please :
Of Orpheus now no more let Poets tell,

To bright Cecilia greater power is given
His numbers raised a shade from Hell,
Her's lift the soul to Heaven !

PoPE.
F the enthusiasm of public patron. that the deficiency of former patrona

age, and public favour, offers any age was more owing to a want of genius dequate criterion of professional excel- and of practice, thau to any unwilling, ace, few performers are more distin- ness on the part of the public to reward uisbed than the fair subject of this excellence. "Perhaps, however, it will rief Memoir,-few are more deservedly be nearer the truth to acknowledge that -pular from their superiority of talent, improvement bas taken place on both and few, if any, with a purer feeling, sides ; and that the candidates for apeod the various duties of public exer- probation, and the bestowers of ap. on, with the retired graces of domes plause, bare mutually improved each e propriety, and the fire-side virtues of other, so that the advance of taste, ivate decorum.

scieace, and execution, have been reci. The preseot is the age of British libe- procal.' In these observations we allude ity; and there never was a period in more particularly to the elegant arts; history in which oative talent has for, in severer studies and practice, Bri

with encouragement aod patron. tain has loog been pre-eminent. Long equal to that of the existing era. has she improved the mental and aided at pative talent is worthy of such the corporeal powers of buman lifeour, ibere are few hardy enough she now adorns it !--and in the ornaens; and that the encouragement mental department of human existence,

quate to those claims, will perhaps there is, perhaps, no branch of science , be admitted ;- yet is it still asserted, pogg improved tban that of music.

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If Italy, from climate and circum- and the former having more recently stance, has naturally a musical advan. fitted her for public appearaace. It is tage over other countries, still we see said that Lanza was her instructor for that British genius and perseverance five years, during which period his can adopt similar advantages, and make lessons were given with a view to pre. them her own;- from every clime we pare her for public appearance ; to cull every sweet, and the rose, the lily, which were added tbe abilities of Mr. and the nightingale, bloom and warble Wright, in elocution ; an advantage of as in their native groves.

which Miss Stephens seems fully to have of the youthful candidate for fame, availed herself, as she can certainly whose resemblance embellishes our pre. speak as well as sing. sent Number, much biographical anec. Her modest timidity seems, how. dote cannot be expected; the dramatic ever, to have kept her some time from heroines of the present day are of a public appearance in the metropolis, deportment and a conduct very dif- perhaps much to her advantage-hut ferent from the greater part of those she was for some years, as we under. who were considered as the ornaments stand, engaged in the exercise of her of preceding generations, when noto- profession at Bath, Bristol, Tunbridge, riety was the surest passport to ap: and other fashionable places of summer plause, and excellence, either personal resort, where she charmed admiring or professional, was comparatively dis- audiences under the appellation of Miso regarded. Of a more recent date we Young, not venturing w appear with may indeed bail the stage not only her own name, until she could do it as ihe picture of human life, but in with credit to herself and her anxious some measure as its improver, parti friends. Her exertions were not, howcularly since the virtues displayed by ever, confined to the country, as we ils professors have not only elevated understand that she appeared in the them to the summits of rank and for- Metropolis as a singer, at Ladies' coutune, but have also produced a de certs, aod afterwards performed at the corum throughout the whole bistrionic Pantheon, in the Italian opera ; where, world, of which the value could for. in a duet with Madam Bertinotti, ia merly only be computed from its de the “ Marriage of Figaro," she was ficiency.

invariably encored ; and which, as M. The consequence, however, is, that Lanza informs us, was the only piece the events in dramatic biography are encored upon those occasions. A mark considerably diminished, though in this of applause, perhaps, particularly due respect silence is more bonourable than to the youthful debulanle, who was soon all the meretricious blaze of public re after so much approved of by Gugliport, even though little more can be elmi, the composer, that she would said of them than of any other female in have been chosen first singer at the domestic life. In the present case, in Opera House, in the absence of Cataparticular, we have little more to say, lani, had not her timidity, with reihan that Miss Stephens is the daughter spect to a proficiency in the Italiau, of a highly respectable tradesman in induced her to decline an engagerneut the vicivity of Grosvenor-square, where at once so flattering and so lucrative. she was born on the 18th of September, Miss Stephens's first appearance pa 1794. Having early displayed a taste for the Metropolitan stage was on the 230 music, she was early designed by her pae, of September, 1813, when Arue's“ br. rents for that profession which she now lazeriges” was performed, for the pure adorns ; a design, perhaps furthered pose of bringing her forward in the in some degree by a family connexion, character of Mandune. This was anas we have been informed, with some nounced as her “ first appearance on of the most respectable individuals of any stage ;” an assertion for which she the Drury-lane establishinent.

could not be considered accountable, As seven cities contended for the ho- though still not strictly correct, acnour of Homer's birth.place, so several cording to the statenjeni published by masters h: ve contended for the honour M. Lanza ; and she was also stated, in of being Miss Stephens's instructor :-- the paragraphs of the day, to be the with respect to those, Messrs. Walsh pupil of Mr. Walsb. and Lanza appear to have the best claims, The character is universally al. the latter having been her first tutor, lowed to be a difficult one, and which

indeed had been seldom attempted Stephens made ber appearance in a pew since Mrs. Billington had quitted the character, that of Polly, in the “ Begdramatic walks, yet Miss Stephens ac. gars' Opera,” in which her performquitted herself to the entire satis ance was simply graceful and upaffectfaction of an overflowing audience, and edly tender. completely established her claiin as a We do not love to see an amiable girl first-rate singer, and that too with but in such a part, though it is one capable very festivals even amongst the oldest of displaying the greatest powers. On favourites of the public.

this occasion Miss Stephens's tones, as lo a moment the voice of criticism if from indisposition, were low in speakwas doiversally heard in her favour; ing, yet perfectly suited to the gentleand it was most justly stated, that ber ness of the character, and what she exertions on her first performance, one wanted in force was completely made moment commanded attention, and up by distioctness of intonation, and by exacted applause, by their energy and all the judicious variety of the sweetest boldoess; wbilst in the next, by their sensibility. plaintive sweetness, they gained ihat as To particularize her excellencies in a boon wbich before they had demanded the songs of that popular opera, would as a tribute !

be but to repeat what must be perWith strict propriety was it also stated, sonally known to a great portion of that she displayed powers which have our readers; yor is it necessary to enne seldom been equalled, and can hardly merate all the characters in which she be surpassed ; so that blending the has since appeared : to those, indeed, graces of science with the charms of who bave never heard her, we may say, peture, she, at pleasure, took the that she displays, on all occasións, taaudience by storm, or won them by lents both brilliant and captivating, softness. Such was the enthusiasm, singing and acting wiih graceful simthat tbey found it scarcely possible plicity, whilst her voice, on all occato withhold their applause until the sions, inanifests the richest and most close of a verse; every soog was affecting powers. of Miss Stephens's regularly encored, but three having quality of voice, we have heard no been tbus sung, tbe fair debutante was equal for many years ; she is, indeed, so erbausted as scarcely to be able not only a worthy successor of Mre. to ficish ber part.

Billington in the vocal department, but It was evident, jodeed, that Miss froin her cary expression, and diffideuce Stepbeds suffered much from these of sensibility, has become equally vakindnesses: her constitution luable as an actress ; for though timi. scarcels fitted to undergo the ordi. dily did not permit her to exert her. nary fatigue of her profession, and self at first, yet she has since evidently though she was ratber embonpoint at acquired such power and force, accomher first appearance, yet sbe afterwards panied by such a considerable portion became much thinner, though not to of ease, as lo render her a most valuable the disadvantage of ber personal ap- acquisition to the London stage, and pearaace, wbich is of the middle sta. another proof that the highest profes. tare, and if not superlatively graceful, gioval eminence, even in a feinale, is yet possesses a portion of simple ele- not inconsiytent with the inost refined gance highly interesting. Her voice manners and the purest virtue. Miss too, though powerful, is not snfficiently Stephens' first original character was strong for great exertion: it is, how Mrs. Cornflower, in C. Dibdin's popuever, at the same time, exquisitely lar opera of " The Farmer's IVite;" Delodious, and enables her to present but this and her subsequent personificato the attentive ear, a most wonderful tion of Lury Bertram, in Terry's “ Gay variety of barmony, particularly in her díannering,” in which is introduced chromatic cadences.

the beautiful melody of " Reet thee Mandone was so much approved as to Babc !" by Whitaker, are too well be repealed several times, and it was kuown, and too reccnt to require far. pot until the 22d of October that Miss ther notice.

C.

was

FRONTISPIECE.

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MONUMENT TO THE MEMORY OF ADMIRAL LORD VISCOUNT NELSON,

ERECTED IN ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL, DESIGNED AND EXECUTED

BY JOHN FLAXMAN, Esq. R. A. *[WITH AN ENGRAVING BY 8. RAWLE, PROM AN ORIGINAL DRAWING BY E. BURNEY. }

Warrior Chief! in arms no more

Britain's hearts and hopes inspiring;
Near Trafalgar's trophied shore,

In ablaze of light expiring.-
Conqueror on the stormy wave,

Time thy laurels pe'er shall sever;
Shrined in Memory's hallow'd grave,

Nelson's name shall live for ever!
Victor Chief!--existence o'er,
Lightoings trace thy deeds of yore, -
Fame records in blazon'd story,
Nelson's death, and Nelson's glory!

THE NEREIDS' Dirge.
Idols Beitrines triumphs, and Brit Foliovedit; vand when the consummas
tain's renown, there is one name, which, tion of his glory was completc, --when
more than any other, will descend to his death sealed the proudest naval
the future ages of an unborn posterity coniict that the world's annals have
in all the splendours of its original recorded,- the entire pavies of two na-
glory, and in all the freshness of its tions were the trophies of his last vic-
primeval fame, that name is Nelson. tory, and he died as he had lived, -
Succeeding generations will venerate unequalled! A mourning sovereign,
his memory with the same enthusiasm, and a weeping people decreed the rites
with which his cotemporaries reverence of public sepulture to his remains, and
it now; and the burst of ardour, and the honours of a public monument to
the glow of heroism, and the impulse bis memory. This monument is at
of achievement, -those sacred legacies length completed, and deeply do we
bequeathed by liis victorious death, participate in those feelings, with which
will be awakened anew in the bosom of his countrymen will view this last me-
his countrymeu, with every fresh re morial of his deeds, and of his fame. It
cital of his deeds, while patriotic re is erected near the entrance to the choir
membrance, and patriotic feeling are in St. Paul's Cathedral, and has been des
left among us. His name will exist, sigaed and executed by JOHN FLAXMAX,
the watchword of battle, and the spell Esq. R. A. As the work of an artist,
of victory,—The recollection of his in every respect so celebrated, and
faine will be an incitement to future raised to the memory of an Hero so
glory, and the einulation of his re. beloved, and so lamented, the public
nowa will be a stimulus to future have looked forward with some con-
triumph. Thus will bis memory still siderable anxiety to its completion,
guard' bis beloved Britain; and though and not without some considerable
his perishable, frame is wouldering impatience at its delay. To the Sculp-
amidst the corruptions of inortality, tor's fame it now adds one other trophy
though the band that pointed out the of his art, and to the Warrior's achieve-
path to conquest is, for ever motion. megts it adds one other memorial, if
less, and the beart that throbbed for indeed any memorial were needed of
England's welfare is, for ever cold, bim, of whom the empire is one vast
yet will the emagation of his spirit live monument.
uachanging and unchanged; the guide, This Tribute of national gratitude
the example, and the glory of all suc represents tbe Statue of Lord Nelson
ceeding ages.

dressed in the pelisse received from the To the gifted Nelson was allotted, Grand Signior, leaning on an anchor. by Providence, a career of splendour Beneath on the rigbt of the hero is unparalleled in our history. Over every Britannia directing the young Sea. sea be hurled the naval thunders of his man's attention to Lord Nelson as country; and the naval power of every the great exemplar for their emulation, kingdom submitted to his prowess. while the British Livo is guarding the His life was a series of exploits, of sbrine of Britain's Uco. Round the

pedestal are figures personifyiog the me of the greatest part of

my ostate, and North Sea, the German Ocean, the I could not think of offering my ad. Nile, and the Mediterranean, all themes dresses, when to-morrow might rank of bis triumphs, and witnesses of his me as a beggar-30 I left it to Provirenown; and within a frieze of laurel dence-resolviog to steer by that pilot leaves on the cornice, are the words which not only protects those who de" NILE -COPENHAGEN-TRAPALGAR." pend on bis counsels from the rock of The sceaes of those achievements, destruction, but eventually guides theru which, while they immortalized bis own into the barbour of peace. name, added a new radiance to the balo The expressions of sorrow at my deof Britain's Glory, and en wreathed berparture were general. I saw, (or was brow with laurels, which even the band willing to think so), something more of Time sball spare.

T. than common in the agitation of Eliza.

Mr. Manning himself, surprised at my

sudden determination, took me into his HISTORY OF PETER PLIANT.

study, and with a kind concern for my (Continued from Pol. LXXII. page 515.) welfare, asked me, "if the occasion N TOTWITHSTANDING the enmity was so urgent as to require immediate

displayed by the Baronet in his absence, or if he could be of any serconduct towards me for my well-meant vice !"-Without reserve, 1 commuinterference, he was easily induced by nicated the whole circumstance, but the representation of Mr. Plausible, resisted every offer of his assistance, till (unkaowa to me), to acknowledge his I knew they were necessary. I proerror, and beg that all past grievances mised however, in the event of proving might be buried in oblivion ;- I was a unsuccessful, to make my first applilittle surprised at this concession, but cation to him, and left the house, fully without stopping to ascertain, whether convinced of their regard for me, and I was acting agreeably to the laws of more than half certain of my success honour, accepted it. The results there- with Miss Manoing, when forlune should fore was a mutual expression of good- enable me to propose my suit. will; and a pressing invitation from the Nor were my aunt and cousins less Baronet to drown the remembrance of sorry for my departure - we had spent our quarrel in a bottle of his best cham- many pleasant evenings together-our pague-tbis, bowever, I postponed to a tastes were in a measure congenial, and more conreoient opportunity, fearing our esteem mutual -- but the cxpectalest it might also extinguish the spark tion of a speedy return threw a sligit of amity wbich had just resuscitated, veil of hope over our regret, and conand widen the breach so newly covered. soled us for the teniporary absence.

My attention was now turned to cir The gay visions of hope, mingled with cumstances of a more serious nature, the wavering phantoms of uncertainty, for all search after the lost documents occupied my imagination during the had proved fruitless, Mr. Somers bad journey; and with the recollection of intimated that my presence would be of recent scenes of happiness, rendered mo service. I accordingly held a consulta.. so inattentive to the conversation of tion with Mr. Plausible on the subject, Mr. Plausible, that his voluminous sał: whereio it was determined that I should lies of wit and pleasantry were suffered immediately return to the country, and to pass by uabeeded, or rewarded only as Mr. P. bad nothing particular to by an inclination of the head, accomdetain him, be proposed to accom- panied with an interjcctional “ aye" or pany me.

** no," or some such interesting monoDuring the short interval that re- syllable. I continued a moving monu raained, the recollection of the many ment of thought, till the sun cast his bappy bours I had spent with Mr. Manexpiring beams upon the overbanging Ding recarred with double force, and I branches of a stupendous oak situate at: DOW found what I before had only sus. the entrance of the village, in the neigh. pected, viz. that I was in love with his bourhood of which stood the family daughter!

maosion. The sight of it recalled my As I wandered to his house, to takea wandering thoughts, and enabled me last farewell, a confict arose in my to hear the concluding sentence of a breast, as to the propriety of making dissertation on Mr. Plausible's favourite kao a this declaration-but it was soon , subject Law"--which he summed up decided -I knew the threatened suit, by cuinparing it to the tree before us, should it ever take place, would deprive observing, that it extended its vence

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