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FOR. JANUARY, 1818.
07 113 THEATRE ROYAL, COVENT-GARDEN.
(WITH A PORTRAIT, ENGRAVED BY HENRY HETER, FROM AN ORIGINAL PAINTING
BI G. 3. HARLOWE, Esq.]
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. nce, few performers are more distin- ness on the part of the public to reward nished than the fair subject of this excellence. 'Perhaps, however, it will ief Memoir,-feware 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 apod the various duties of public exer. probation, and the bestowers of ap0, with the retired graces of domes. plause, bave mutually improved each propriety, and the fire-side virtues of other, so that the advance of taste, rate decorum.
science, and execution, have been reci. Che present is the age of British libe- procal. In these observations we allude ty; and there never was a period in more particularly to the elegant arts, history in which native talent has for, in severer studies and practice, Bri
with encouragement and patron- tain has loog been pre-eminent. Long equal to that of the existing era. has she improved the mental and aided t dative talent is worthy of such the corporeal powers of buman lifcur, there 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 3. yet is it still asserted, mogę improved than that of music.
If Italy, from climate and circum- and the former having more recently stance, has naturally a musical advan: fitted her for public appearance. It is tage over otber 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 prethem 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 keroines of the present day are of a public appearance in the metropolis, deportment and a conduct very dif- perhaps much to her advantage-hot 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 Miss 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 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, 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' cou. tune, but have also produced a de- certs, and afterwards perforined at the corum throughout the wbole bistrionic Pantheon, in tbe 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 debutunle, who was soon all the meretricious blaze of public re- after so much approved of by Gugli. port, even though little more can be elmi, the coinposer, that she would said of them than of any other feinale 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 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 pa 1794. Having early displayed a taste for the Metropolitan stnge was on the 25d music, she was early designed by her pae of September, 1813, when Arue's “ &r rents for that profession which
she now lazerices" was performed, for the puradorns; a design, perhaps furthered pose of bringing her forward in the in some degree by a family connexion, character of Mandane. 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, actour of Homer's birth.place, so several cording to the statemení published loy masters hive contended for the hovour 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 baving been her first tutor, lowed to be a difficult one, and which
indeed bad been seldorn attempted Stephens made ber appearance in a pew since Mrs. Billiogton bad quitted the character, that of Polly, in the “ Begdramatic walks, yet Miss Stephens ac- gars' Opera,” in which her perform. quitted herself to the entire satis. ance was simply graceful and unaffectfaction of an overflowing audience, and edly tender. completely established ber claiin as a We do not love to see an amiable girl Erst-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 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 speak. was voiversally heard in her favour; ing, yet perfectly suited to the gentleand it was most justly stated, that her ness of the characler, and what she exertions on her 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 swcetest boldoess ; wbilst in the next, by their sensibility. plaintire sweetness, they gained that as To particularize her excellencies in a boon #bich before they had demanded the songs of that popular opera, would as a tribale!
be but to repeat what must be perWith strict propriety was it also stated, sonaliy known to a great portion of that sbe displayed powers which have our readers; or 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 her, we may say, neture, she, at pleasure, took the that she displays, on all occasións, táaudience by storm, or wop them by lents both brilliant and captivating, softness. Such was the enthusiasm, singing and acting wiih graceful sinthat they found it scarcely possible plicity, whilst ber voice, on all occato withhold their applause until the sions, inanifests the richest and most close of a perse: 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 exhausted as scarcely to be able not only a worthy successor of Mre. to finish ber part.
Billington in the vocal department, but It was evident, iodeed, that Mid froin her caay expression, and diffideuce Stepbens suffered much from these of sensibility, has become equally vakindnesses: her constitution was luable as an actress ; for though timi. searcels fitted to uodergo the ordi: dity 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 embon point 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 ber a most valuable the disadvantage of ber personal ap- acquisition to the London stage, and pearance, wbich is of the middle sta- another proof that the highest profestore, and if not superlatively graceful, gioval eminence, even in a fernale, is yet possesses a portion of simple ele. not inconsintent with the inost refined gance highly interesting. Her voice manners and the purest virtue. Miss too, though powerful, is not snficiently Stephens' first original character was strong for great exertion : it is, hoe Pirs. Cornflower, in C. Dibdin's popu. erer, at the same time, exquisitely lar opera of " The farmer's Wise;" melodious, and enables her to present but this and her subsequent personificato the attentive eas, a most wonderful tion of Lury Bertram, in Terry's “ Gay variety of barmony, particularly in her díannering," in which is jötroduced chromatic cadences.
the beautiful melody of “ Rest thee Mandone was so much approved as to Babc !" by Whitaker, are too well be repealed several times, and it was known, and loo recent to require far. bot until the 22d of October that Miss ther uorice.
ERECTED IN ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL, DESIGNED AND EXECUTED.
BY JOHN FLAXMAN, Esq. R. A. (WITH AN ENGRAVING BY 8. RAWLE, FROM AN ORIGINAL DRAWING BY E. BURNEY.]
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 NEREIDS' DIRGE.
cords Britain's triumphs, and Bri followed it; and when the consumma-
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 rigbl of the hero is unparalleled in our history. Over every Britannia directing the young Seasea be hurled the naval thunders of his inan's attention to Lord NELSON as couotry; and the naval power of every the great exemplar for their emulation, kingdom subinilted to his prowess. while the British Lion is guarding the His life was a series of exploits, of shrine of Britain's Hero. Round the
pedestal are figures personifyiog theme of the greatest part of my ostate, and North Sea, the German Ocean, the I could not think of offering my adNile, and the Mediterranean, all themes dresses, when to-worrow might rank of bis triumphs, and wilnesses of his me as a beggar—so I left it to Provirenos; and within a frieze of laurel dence-resolving to steer by that pilot leares oa the cornice, are the words which not only protects those who de" NILE - COPENHAGEN-TRAFALGAR." pend on his counsels from the rock of The sceses of those achievements, destruction, but eventually guides there which, while they immortalized his 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 ber parture were general. I saw. (or was brow with laurels, which even the band willing to think so), something more of Time sball spare.
T. thau 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 Vol. LXXII. page 515.) welfare, asked me, “ if the occasioa TOTWITHSTANDING the enmity was so urgent as to require immediate
displayed by the Baronet in his absence, or if he could be of any ser. conduct iowards me for my well-meant vice?"-Without reserve, I cominuinterference, he was easily induced by nicated tbe whole circumstance, but the representation of Mr. Plausible, resisted every offer of bis assistance, till (unknown to me), to acknowledge his I knew they were pecessary. 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 chain- many pleasant evenings together-our pagre-bis, bowever, I postponed to a tastes were in a measure congenial, and more conveoient 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 ibat my presence would be of recent scenes of happiness, rendered me 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: whereia it was determined that I sbould lies of wit and pleasantry were suffered immediately return to the country, and to pass by unbeeded, or rewarded only » Mr. P.'bad nothing particular to by an inclination of the head, accomdetain bim, 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 saained, the recollection of the many ment of thought, till the sun cast his bappy bours I had speot with Mr. Man- expiring beams upon the overhanging Ding recarred 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 bourbood of which stood the family daughter !
maosion. The sight of it recalled my As I wandered to his house, to take a 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 kaown this declaration-but it was soon subject “ Law"-which he summod up decided -I knew the threatened suit, by coinparing it to the tree before us, abould it ever take place, would deprive observing, that it extended its veac.