Page images

publie one distinguished artist on any heart and habit, which would have instrument whatever—not one first- made him eminent in perhaps any rate singer-not one popular com- other pursuit of the human faculties. poser. It has not produced a single of a performer who has been so lately

Of opera, a single sinfonia, a single con- before the public, and whose merits certo, known beyond its own walls. have been so amply discussed, it would We doubt if it has even produced a be superfluous to speak in detail. But, single song ever heard beyond its own by universal consent, Paganini has orchestra. In all this we desire most exhibited in his performance all the especially to avoid whatever may be qualities combined, which separately regarded as personal to the patrons or once gave fame. By a singular adap. conductors of the Institution. We are tation, his exterior perfectly coincides satisfied that, so far as the details are with his performance ; his tall gaunt concerned, their conduct is all that figure, his long fleshless fingers, bis could be expected. But we can have wild, eager, and wan visage, his thin no hesitation in saying, that, in a pub- grey locks falling over his shoulders, lic point of view, the Academy has and his singular smile, sometimes bitlimited its objects until the result is ter and convulsive, always strange, inefficiency. What has it done for make up an aspect which approaches that most important portion of public nearly to the spectral. When he music, the music of the church? What, comes on the stage, half crouching, for that most elegant portion, the mu- slowly creeping onward as if he found sic of the drama? What, for that most his withered limbs too weak to bear brilliant, the music of the harp, violin, him, and with his wild eye glancing and piano? What, for that most touch- by fits round the house, he looks not ing, sensitive, and influential, the mu- unlike some criminal escaped from the sie of song ; the popular air, the bal- dungeon where he had been worn lad, the simple yet powerful beauty down by long confinement, or a lunaof the national melody ? Those are tic who had just been released from his things which the Academy must begin chains. Of all earthly forms his is the to do, or the public will begin to en- least earthly. But it is when the first quire whether the same ends may not uproar of reception is stilled, when the be accomplished at less expense—whe- orchestra has played its part, and the ther our orchestras would not have solo is to begin, that Paganini exhithe same number of decent perform- bits his singularity and his power in ers, had the Academy never existed full view. He has hitherto held the and whether a remodelling of the violin hanging by his side ; he now whole, in the larger views, with a raises it up slowly, fixes his eye upon better construction of the plan, and it as a parent might look upon a fawith a more effective application to vourite child ; gives one of his ghastly the excitement of musical taste among smiles ; lets it down again, and glances the great body of the people, would round the audience, who sit in the not be a matter equally advantageous, profoundest silence looking at this expedient, and easy.

mystie pantomime, as if it were an esIn our remarks on the musical ge- sential part of the performance. He nius of Italy, we had said, that south then seizes it firmly, thrusts it close of the Alps lay the fount from which to his neck, gives a glance of triumph flowed periodically the whole re- on all sides, waves his bow high above freshment of the musical mind of Eu- the strings, dashes it on them with a rope. One of these periodic gushes wild crash, and with that single imhas burst out in our own day, and pulse lets out the whole torrent of harwith a power which has never been mony. rivalled by Italy herself. Paganini Peculiar as this picture may seem, has commenced a new era of the king it is only to those who have not heard of all instruments, uniting the most the great master. To those who have boundless mastery of the violin with it will appear tame. He is extravathe most vigorous conception. Auda- gant beyond all bounds ; yet his excious in his experiments on the capa- travagance is not affectation, it is city of his instrument, yet refined to scarcely more than the natural result the extreme of subtlety ; scientific, yet of a powerful passion acting on a nerwild to the verge of extravagance, he vous temperament, and naturalized by brings to music the enthusiasm of habits of lonely labour, by an all-engrossing imagination, and by a musical been highly panegyrized. Those are, sensibility which seems to vibrate his playing occasionally on a violin through every fibre of his frame. The with but the fourth string—his pizziwhole man is an instrument.

cato with the fingers of the left hand, It must, however, be acknowledged giving the instrument something of that his eccentricity in his latter per- the effect of the guitar--his use of the formances, sometimes injured his ex- harmonic tones, and his staccato. cellence. His mastery of the violin That these are all novelties, that they was so complete, that he often dared add to the general compass of the vio. too much ; and by attempting in his lin, and that they exhibit surprising frolic moods, and his frolics are fren- skill in the performer, we entirely alzies, to imitate things altogether below low. But excepting the staccato, the dignity of music, he offended his which is finished and elegant, we have audience. One of his favourite freaks not been able to feel their peculiar was the imitation of old women's value. That they may be the openvoices! He imitated birds, cats, and ing of future and wide triumphs to this wolves. We have heard him give va- beautiful and mysterious instrument, riations to the pretty air of the “ Car- we believe perfectly possible. But in nival de Venise,” the variations con- their present state they appear rather sisting of imitations of all the cracked tricks than triumphs, rather specimens trumpets, the drums, the fifes, the of individual dexterity than of instrusqueaking of the old women, the mental excellence. The artist's true screaming of the children, and the fame must depend on his appeal to the squabbles of Punch.

These were

soul. Paganini was born in Scura, follies. But when his better genius about 1784. He looks a hundred. resumed its influence he was unequal- A new candidate for praise has led, and probably will remain un- lately appeared among us in the perequalled for another generation. He son of Olé (Olous) Bull. Half his enjoyed one result which genius has name would entitle him to our hospitoo seldom enjoyed, extraordinary tality. He is a Norwegian, and unemolument. He is said to have made, propitious as the remote north may be during the single year of his residence conceived to the softer arts, Olé Bull in England, upwards of L.20,000. is the only artist of Europe who can His half share of the receipts of a sin- 'remind the world of Paganini. But gle concert at the King's Theatre was unlike the great Maestro, he is nearly said to amount to seven hundred gui- self-taught. His musical impulse came

Thus, in his hands, he estab- on him when he was about eight years lished the superiority of the violin as old. His family successively proposa means of production over all others, ed the Church and the Law ; he esand even over the human voice. Ca- poused the violin, and at twenty talani, in her days of renown, never resolved to trust to it and fortune. made so much by single performances. Some strange tales are told of his desPaganini has now gone to Italy, where titution. But all the histories of the he has purchased estates, and where, great musicians have a tinge of roif he is wise, he will continue and live

Ole Bull's was ultra-romanon his fame. If he is weak or avari. tic. He reached Paris in the period cious, he will return to England; of the cholera. All was terror and when his powers will have decayed, he silence. His purse was soon exhaustwill meet the reception of so many ed. One day, after a walk of misery, great performers, who have forgotten he found his trunk stolen from his mi. that time makes inroads on every serable lodging. His violin was gone thing ; he will receive pity where he with it! In a fit of despair he ran out once conquered applause; and like into the streets, wandered about for Mara, Giardini, Rode, and a host of three days, and finished his wanderothers, he will fly from the country, ings by throwing himself into the disheartened and disappointed, to hide Seine. Frenchmen always throw his head in some obscure corner of the themselves into the Seine, as we unContinent, where he will leave his derstand, for one or all of the three money to his housekeeper, his body to reasons :- that the Seine has seldom the monks, and die.

water enough in it to drown any body; The novelties which Paganini has that it is the most public point of the introduced into his performance have capital, and the suicide enjoys the




greatest number of spectators; and must wander, he will make nothing, that, let the worst befall, there is a net and will die a beggar. stretched across the river, if river it His performance is of a very high must be called, which may save the order, his tone good, and his execusuicide, if he can keep his head above tion remarkably pure, powerful, and water for a while, or at least secure finished. He delights in double stophis body for a spectacle in the Morgue ping, in playing rich chords, in which next morning. But we believe that he contrives to employ the whole four the poor Norwegian was not awake to strings at once, and in a singularly dethose advantages, and that he took the licate, rapid, and sparkling arpeggio. Seine for a bona fide place where the Altogether, he treads more closely on wretched might get rid of their wretch- Pagamini's heel than any violinist edness. He plunged in, but, fortun- whom we have ever heard. Still he ately, he was seen and rescued. Few is not Paganini. The imitator must men in their senses ever attempt to always be content to walk in the secommit suicide ; not even madmen at cond rank; and his imitation, though tempt it twice ; and Olé Bull, proba- the imitation of a man of talent, is so bly brought back to a wiser and more close, that if the eyes were shut it pious feeling of his duties by his pre- would be scarcely possible to detect servation, bethought him of trying his the difference. Paganini is the parenprofessional powers. He sold his last tage, and we must still pay superior shirt to hear Paganini,—a sale which honour to the head of the line. But probably affects a foreigner but little. Olé Bull will be no unfit inheritor of He heard, and resolved to rival him. the title and estate.

The concert season returned. He We recommend Mr Dubourg's very gave a concert, gained 1200 francs, pleasing and well-arranged volume to and felt himself on the road to for- all who take an interest, and who does tune. He now made a tour of Italy, not? in the violin. But we recomwas heard with pleasure ; and at the mend it for the still higher object, alSan Carlos at Naples with rapture; most the moral one, of pointing out to on one night he is said to have been men of ability in the arts the extreme encored nine times! From Italy, where delicacy with which they must someperformers learn their art, he return- times steer their course to competence ed to Paris, like all his predecessors, the necessity for common sense as for renown, and, like them, at length well as for consummate talent—the brought his matured talent to England hazard of ruin which attends disregard for money. He is now twenty-five of the smaller proprieties of life-the years old, if at that age his talent can hopes of the highest prosperity extinbe spoken of as matured. Determined guished by imprudence—and the wisin all things to rival the Gran Maes- dom, in all instances, of trusting to tro, he would condescend to nothing any thing rather than fortune. less than a series of concerts in the In his notices of the modern viovast enceinte of the Italian Opera linists, he has omitted the name of House. The audiences were nume- Yaniewicz, who, born in Poland, has rous, but the crowd belonged to Pa- lived for many years among us, and ganini. He has since performed with now resides with his family in Edingreat popularity at the musical festi- burgh. His style was that of the vals ; and if he shall overcome the ab- school of Viotti, the noblest of all the surd and childish restlessness which schools, but his execution, expression, has so often destroyed the hopes of and fire were all his own. Some of the most popular artists—can avoid his concertos are still unequalled, perhiring the Opera House—and can haps by Viotti himself ; and to the bring himself to avoid alternate flights student who desires to comprehend to Italy and the North Pole, he will the grandeur of the violin, they are make his fortune within the next ten invaluable. years. If he resolve otherwise, and


The Book of Baudoin, Baudouin, lieved, however, by the well-sustained or Baudoyn (for the name is spelt in individuality of the different knights, all these ways, and perhaps in half-a- the vaunting pride of Acquillan, the dozen more), is one of the most an- soldier of Parthia, and the firm coucient of the books of chivalry. The rage of Baudoin himself. We have hero of it is that Baldwin Earl of only given a translation of the first Flanders who disappeared in the Cru- thirty or forty pages; but from these sades, and who (or some impostor in the whole style and tenor of the book his name) returned to Europe many may be judged. The history of the years after his supposed death, and romance is soon told. It was written was hanged by his dutiful daughter, about a century after the date of the Jane. A curious story is told of this events related, that is, some time beincident in the “ Imposteurs Insignes,” fore the year 1300. The earliest a work published in 1683. All the printed edition is dated, Lion sur le inhabitants of Lille believed that the Rosne, 1478. A very imperfect copy Countess Jane was persuaded, after of this edition was sold for L.4. The the man's execution, that he was next is that of Chambery, in 1484. really her father, for, at the moment This sold for L.20, 10s. Another of of being turned off, he had said that Chambery in 1485 — one, without his daughter Jane had a secret mark date, printed at Lyons another, on her body, which was only known without date, printed at Paris ; this, to him, to his wife, and the nurse, and though very ill done, sold in 1829 for which could not possibly have been L.2, lls. 8d. divulged, the nurse having been dead But the copy followed in this rea long time ; and that immediately on print was bound up in the same vothis declaration, by reason of the na

lume with two other romances. That tural instinct of the sex to be flighty volume passed from the collection of and changeable, she was extremely a certain Baron de Drack of Ghent vexed at having made him die in that into that of the Capuchins of the same

But whether the incident be city. Those reverend gentlemen made true or false, it has furnished the sub- a present of it to their physician, the ject of several modern plays, so that late Dr Coetsem, at whose sale, in Jane is not much celebrated as an 1824, it was bought by Mr Heber for example of filial piety. The family L.19 sterling. When a portion of seems, indeed, to have been scarcely the books of that “ célèbre Biblioquite correct in other respects, as the phile” was sold at Ghent, in 1835, reader will perceive that Baudoin was Mr Crozet of Paris got possession of not very particular in his choice of a it at an expense of L.72, 12s.

and the younger daughter, Mar- The present editors, two literary guerite, “ loved not wisely, but too gentlemen of Ghent, have had the well.” The editors of this edition good taste to follow this latter copy indulge in great laudations of the implicitly. The only liberty they moral inculcated by the work. We have taken with it is in the punctuacannot say we perceive its value in tion, so that those who are curious in this respect, but, as a picture of the old French have here an opportunity state of manners, and the modes of of seeing it to perfection. thought and speech in the days of feasts and tournaments, we consider it unrivalled. It will be perceived that love plays a very secondary part in this romance. The author devotes all his skill to the description of jousts Here begins the book of Baudoyn, and battles, and certainly his attempts Earl of Flanders ; and of Ferrant, in that style are very successful. How Son of the King of Portugal, who vividly he brings before us the whole afterwards was Earl of Flanders. scene; and in what a cool, businesslike narrative he relates the breaking In the year one thousand one hunof heads and cutting of throats, re- dred and eighty there was in Flan




ders an Earl named Philip; of which And then the good King Philip agreed Earl were twelve other Earldoms to go and succour the noble Marquis held by homage, to wit, Holland, of Millan ; and also to vindicate the Zealand, Alos, Haynault, Tarache, law of our Lord Jesus Christ. Now, Cambresis, Vermendois, Noyon, Au- whilst the good King Philip was demarle, Boloigne, Amiens, Corbie, Ar- vising with his princes and barons thoys, and the Earldom of Guiennes, how they might first go and aid and -and these were subject to him-and succour the Marquis of Millan, another these made one good part of France ; messenger, who came from the counand, moreover, he was godson, and try of Gascoigne, did come before the bore the name of, Philip, at that time King, and told him how that John the King of France, who was right pru- Bad, at that time King of England, dent and loyal. And in the reign of was come upon the country of Gasthis King Philip was a Pagan from coigne with great multitudes of people, bevond sea named Caquedant, the and how that he destroyed and burned which came before Rome accompanied all the country--and he prayed the by twelve sons whom he had begotten; King, that for God's sake he would and had full three hundred thousand succour his good country of Gascoigne, men, who took the city of Rome by for otherwise it was in peril of being force, and killed the Pope, and the destroyed. Whereat the King marCardinals, and all the other clergy. velled much, and said, “ God of paraAnd they took and pillaged all the dise! now is the King of England false treasures of Rome, and burnt the great and perjured, for he has broken the city of Rome, and threw women and truces which we have made and sworn. children into the fire: And then went Par dieu! If I come he will repent of thither the Sarrazins and came to it. I thought to go and revenge the Rome, and entered into Tuscany and Pope, who has been killed ; and I into Lombardy, and burned and ra- thought no less to go and succour the vaged the country, and came before Marquis of Millan, whom the Pagans the city of Millan and besieged it. For have besieged—but now I know not Caquedant the Pagan, who, amongst what to do.” Then did the Earl of the others, was a giant, was much Flanders, who was at the court of the feared and honoured ; and his shield King, say to him, “ Sire, one ought was of fine gold, with a lion rampant to risk one's life for his country-and, for his device ; and this Pagan vaunt- my very dear Lord, you are my goded himself that he was the crowned father, and I bear your name, and king of all other kingdoms between therefore I pray that of your bounty the heaven and the earth.

you will grant me a boon. It is that 1

may go to succour the Marquis, and chase the Pagans, and revenge the holy apostolic see of Rome.”

“ GodHow the Marquis of Millan did son," said the King, “we will and send a Messenger to the King of France decree according to your request, and to give him aid.

give you our treasures.

And we

shall ourself go into Gascoigne against The Marquis of Millan feared much the English King, for thither our duty the Pagans and the Sarrazins when he calls us." saw himself thus besieged, because of the searcity of his provisions and corn; he was much grieved thereat, and sent a messenger to France to require How the Earl of Flanders went into and supplicate King Philip that he his own country of Flanders and sumwould come and help him against the moned all his people, and then how he Pagans. The messenger betook him- went to Millan. self to Paris, where he found King Philip, who was accompanied by a The Earl of Flanders took leave of great number of people, among whom the King, and went into Flanders and were three Dukes and ten Earls. And summoned all his men, and made his then the messenger of the Marquis of assemblage at Arram.

At his sumMillan saluted the King, and gave mons came the Earl Florent of Holhim the letters of the Marquis, and land, Gualtier of St Omer, the Earl related to him the destruction of Rome. of Zealand, the Earl of Bouloigne,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »