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(WITH A PORTRAIT, ENGRAVED BY HENRY METER, FROM AN ORIGINAL PAINTING
BT G. 2. HARLOWE, ESQ.]
patron- that the deficiency of former patron age, and public favour, offers any age was more owing to a want of genius adequate criterion of professional excel. and of practice, than to any unwillinglence, few performers are more distin ness on the part of the public to reward guished than the fair subject of this excellence. Perhaps, bowever, it will brief Memoir,- few are more deservedly be i carer the truth to acknowledge that popular from their superiority of talent, improvement has taken place on both Land few, if any, with a purer feeling, sides ; and tbat the candidates for apblend the various duties of public exer- probation, and the bestowers of aption, with the retired graces of domes. plause, bave mutually improved each tic propriety, and the fire-side virtucs of other, so that the advance of taste, private decorum.
science, and execution, bave been reciThe present is the age of British libe- procal.' In these observations we allude rality; and there never was a period in more particularly to the elegant arts; oor bistory in which native talent bas for, in severer studies and practice, Brimet with encourageinent and patron- tain has long been pre-eminent. Long age equal to that of the existing era. has sbe improved the mental and aided That nalive talept is worthy of such the corporeal powers of human lifefavour, there are few bardý enough she now adorns it !-and in the ornato dens; and that the encouragement mental department of human existence, is adequate to those claims, will perhaps there is, perhaps, no branch of science also be admitted ; yet is it still asserted, more improved than that of music.
If Italy, from climate and circum- and the former having more recently stance, bas naturally a musical advan- fitted her for public appearance. 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 bis can adopt similar advantages, and make lessons were given with a view to prethem her own;– from every clime we pare her for public appearance ; to cull every sweet, and the rose, the lily, which were added the 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 berself, as she can certainly whose reseinblance embellishes our pre- speak as well as sing. sent Number, much biographical anec. Her modest timidity geoms, howdote 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—but ferent from the greater part of those she was for soine years, as we underwho were considered as the ornaments sland, 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 comparalively dis. andiences under the appellation of Miss regarded. Of a more recent date we Youvg, not venturing to appear with may indeed bail the stage not only her own name, until she could do it as the picture of human life, but in with credit to herself and her anxious some measure as its improver, parti. friends. Her exertions were not, how. cularly since the virtues displayed by ever, confined to the country, as we its 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' contune, but have also produced a de- certs, and 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, in 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 hobourable than to the youthfuldebutunie, who was soon all the meretricious blaze of public re. after so much approved of by Guglj. port, even though little more can be elini, the composer, that she would said of them than of any other femalein have been chosen first singer at the donuestic life. In the present case, in Opera House, in the absence of Cataparticular, we have littie more to say, lani, had not her timidity, with reihan that Miss Stephens is the daughter spect to a proficiency in the Italian, of a highly respectable tradesman in induced her to decline an engagement, the viciuity of Grosvenor-square, where at once so flattering and so lucrative. she was born on the 18th of September, Miss Stephens's first appearance on 1794. Having early displayed a taste for the Metropolitan stage wiis on the 232 music, she was early designed by her pa. of September, 1813, when Arne's “ Are reuts for that profession which she now laxerxes" was performed, for the puradorns; a design, perhaps furthered pose of bringing ber forward in the in some degree by a family connexion, character of Mandane. This was anas we have been irforined, with some nounced as her “ first appearance oa of the most respectable individuals of any stage ;" an assertion for wbich she the Drury-lane establishment.
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 statement published by masters have 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. Walsh. aud Laoza appear to have the best claims, The character is universally althe latter having been her first tutor, lowed to be a difficult one, and which
indeed had been seldom attempted Stephens made her appearance in a new since - Mrs. Billington had quitted the character, that of Polly, in the “ Bogdramatic walks, yet Miss Stephens ac gars' Opera," in which her performquitted herself to the entire satis. ance was simply graceful and unaffectfaction of an overflowing audience, and edly tender. completely established her claim 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 few rivals even amongst the oldest of displaying the grentest 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 universally heard in her favour; ing, yet perfectly suited to the gentleand it was most justly stated, that her ness of the character, and what she exertions on ber first performance, one wanted in force was completely made moment commanded attention, and up by distinctness 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 that as To particularize her excellencies in a boon which before they had demanded the songs of that popular opera, would as a tribute !
be but to repeat what must be per. With strict propriety was it also stated, Aonally known to a great portion of that she displayed powers which have our readers; por is it necessary to enuseldom 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 have never heard ber, we may say, Dature, she, at pleasure, took the that she displays, on all occasions, taaudience by storm, or won them by lents both brilliant and captivating, softness. Such was the enthusiasm, singing and acting with graceful simthat they found it scarcely possible plicity, whilst her voice, on all occato withhold their applause until the sions, manifests the richest and most close of a verse; every song was affecting powers. of Miss Stephens's regularly encored, but ibree having quality of voice, we have heard no been thus sung, the fair debutunle was equal for many years ; she is, indeed, so exhausted as scarcely to be able not only a worthy successor of Mrs. to finish ber part.
Billington in the vocal department, but It was evident, indeed, that Miss from her easy expression, and diffideuce Stephens suffered much from these of sensibility, has become equally vakindnesses: her constitution luable as an actress ; for though timi. scarcely filled to undergo the ordi: dily did not permit her to exert bersary fatigue of her profession, and self at first, yet she has since evidently though she was rather embonpoint at acquired such power and force, accomher first appearance, yet she afterwards panied by such a considerable portion became much thinner, though not to of ease, as to render her a most valuable the disadvantage of her personal ap- acquisition to the London stage, and pearance, which is of the middle sta
another proof that the highest profesa iure, and if not superlatively graceful, sional eminence, even in a female, is yet possesses a portiou of simple ele. not inconsistent with the inost relined gasce bigbly interesting. Hier voice manners and the purest virtue. Miss too, though powerful, is not sufficiently Stephens' first original character was stroog for great exerlion : it is, howe Dirs. Cornflower, in C. Dibdin's popu. erer, at the same time, exquisitely lar opera of “ The farmer's IVije;" melodious, and enables her to present but this and her subsequent personifica. to the attentive ear, a most wonderful tion of Lucy Bertram, in Terry's “ Guy variety of harmony, particularly in ker Mannering,” in which is introduced chromatic cadences.
the beautiful melody of “ Rest thee Mandane was so much approved as to Babc !” by Wbitaker, are too well be repeated several times, and it was known, and too recent to require farbot until the 22d of October that Miss ther notice.
ERECTED IN ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL, DESIGNED AND EXECUTED
BY JOHN FLAXMAN, Esq. R. A.
Warrior Chief! in arms no more
Britain's hearts and hopes inspiring;
In a blaze of light expiring.
Time thy laurels ne'er shall sever;
Nelson's name shall live for ever!
The NER EIDS' DIRGE.
tain's renown, there is one name, which, tion of his glory was complete, -when
dressed in the pelisse received from the To the gifted Nelson was allotted, Grand Signior, leaning on an avchor. by Providence, a career of splevdour Beneath on the righi of the hero is unparalleled in our history. Over every Britannia directing the young Seasea he hurled the naval thunders of his man's allention to Lord NELSON country; and the naval power of every the great exemplar for their emulation, kingdom submitted to his prowess. while the Britisb Lion is guarding the His life was a series of exploits, of shrine of Britain's Hero. Round the
pedestal are figures personifying the me of the greatest part of my estate, 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 his triumphs, and witnesses of his me as a beggar-30 I left it to Provirenown; and within a frieze of laurel dence-resolving to steer by that pilot leaves on the cornice, are the words which not only protects those who de* NILE –COPENHAGEN-TRAPALGAR." peod on his counsels from the rock of The scenes of those achievements, destruction, but eventually guides thcna which, while they im ortalized his own into the harbour of peace. mrme, added a new radiance to the halo The expressions of sorrow at my deof Britain's Glory, and enwreathed her parture were general. I saw, (or was brow with laurels, wbich even the band willing to think so), something more of Time shall 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. (Continued from Vol. LXXII. page 515.) welfare, asked me, if the occasion
study, and with a kind concern for my TOTWITHSTANDING the enmity was so urgent as to require immediate
conduct towards me for my well-meant vice?"-Without reserve, 1 commuinterfereuce, he was easily induced by nicated the whole circumstance, but the representation of Mr. Plausible, resisted every offer of his assistance, till (unknown to me), to acknowledge his I knew they were necessary. I proerror, and beg that all past grievancesmised 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 witbout stoppiog to ascertain, whether convinced of their regard for me, and I was actiog agreeably to the laws of more than half certain of my success honour, accepted it. The results there. with Miss Manning, when forlune should fore was a mutual expression of good- enable me to propose my suit. will; and a pressing in vilation 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 pagne-this, however, I postponed to a tastes were in a measure congenial, and more convenient opportunity, fearing our esteem mutual --but the expectaJest it might also extinguish the spark tion of a speedy return threw a slight of amity which had just resuscitated, veil of hope over our regret, and couland widen the breach so newly covered. soled us for the temporary absence. My attention was now turned to cir The
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 jouruey; and with the recollection of intimated that my presence would be of recent scenes of happiness, rendered me service. I accordingly held a consult so inattentiv to the conversation of tion with Mr. Plausible on the subject, Mr. Plausible, that his voluminous sal. wherein it was determined that I should lies of wit and pleasantry were suffered immediately return to the country, and to pass by unheeded, or rewarded only as Mr. P. bad nothing particular to by an inclination of the head, accom: detain him, he proposed to accom- panied with an interjectional “ aye" or pany me.
* no,” or some such interesting mono. During the short interval that re- syllable. I continued a moving monumained, the recollection of the many ment of thought, till the sun cast his happy hours I had spent with Mr. Manexpiring beams upon the overhanging ning recurred with double force, and I branches of a stupendous oak situate at now found what I before had only sus. the entrance of the village, in the neighpected, viz. that I was in love with his bourhood of which stood the family daughter!
mansion. The sight of it recalled ins As I wandered to his house, to take a wanderiog thoughts, and enabled me last farewell, a condict arose in my to hear the concluding sentence of a breast, as to the propriety of making dissertation on Mr. Plausible's favourite koown this declaration-but it was sous subject “ Law"-which he summod up decided I knew the threatened suit, by comparing it to the tree before us, should it ever take place, would deprive observing, that it extended its vene.