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after all, we think, anything but sound. The ments. The girl, who is the object of a brutal public will not long tolerate an inferior melo- attempt at assassination, is allowed to enter the drama merely on account of some one or more jaws of destruction, but plenty of time is given remarkable scene or scenes it contains. That her murderer to consummate his plans, since we are right in this conjecture is proved by the the rescue, which everybody knows is at hand, result of the production of two new melo-dramas is so purposelessly tardy in its movements. The at the Princess's, both written by the famous defect and shortcomings of the whole of the dramatist Mr. D. Boucicault. The new pieces noted quarry-scene produce anti-climaxes and entitled “Paul Lafarge” and “A Dark Night's blunderings of the true Irish type; and as the Work" produced at this theatre early in the “Peep o' Day" drama is likely to have another last month, and still continuing to be performed, lease of popularity, we have thought it worth are, notwithstanding the celebrity of the hand while to point them out. that has fashioned them, little better than the At the moment when the town was suffering coarsest melo-drama, even of the old school. the loss of a good tragedian in Mr. Barry Both dramas are avowed translations or adap- Sullivan, a "compensating balance" was protations from the French; and one, if not both vided by an energetic manager who has recently pieces bas been adapted to the stage more than opened the lost and degraded Astley's theatre. once before. Howe the present manager of Mr. E. T. Smith has, by a most praiseworthy the Princess's, Mr. B. Webster, has taken care effort, re-habilitated Astley's as it stood in its to furnish the pieces with scenic accessories of better days; and we now see there a respectable the newest and best description; consequently corps dramatique efficiently supporting Mr. the poverty of the literature is hidden by the Phelps in the high and poetical drama. Shak gloss of the covering. But there is something speare's great plays are perhaps hardly horsey better still to support “ Paul Lafarge” and “A enough for the home of “Mazeppa”-at least Dark Night's Work ;" namely: the presence in those in which Mr. Phelps has been recently both of Mr. G. Belmore, a comedian of much acting bis great parts, such as Othello," the humour and general talent. The company now “Midsummer Night's Dream," &c.; but it is at the Princess's is new, but it has been well- remarkable that Shakspeare has succeeded at selected; for instance, Mesers. W. Rignold, | Astley's. On the same night of playing a Vollaire, and Crellin; and Mesdames R. Shaksperian part, Mr. Phelps has also resumed Leclercq, E. Barnett, L. Grey, and Lethiere. giving his fine portraitures of the King o' Scots, It is unnecessary to detail the plots of the and Trapbois (the Miser), Mr. Phelps while fulpieces in which these excellent performers filling his present engagement will appear as appear; suffice it to say that common as the Sir Pertinax Mac Sycophant, Di. Cantwell, materials are on which they work, they give to Bottom (the Weaver), and most likely Sir John the several characters they represent the Falstaf. advantage of the most intelligent interpretation. A weekly contemporary, in recording the now So good indeed is the present company bere pronouneed success of Mr. Tom Taylor's histhat we hope to see the artists in some piece torical play, “ 'Twixt Axe and Crown,” at the more worthy their undoubted talents; and Queen's theatre, observes that it betokens a doubtless the desideratum will ere long be revival of pristine vigour in a metropolitan supplied by so experienced a manager as our public. “Two months ago it would have been old friend Mr. Ben Webster.
confidently predicted that a piece so utterly out After a successful revival--that of the of the fashion that has of late prevailed must powerful Irish melo-drama of the "Peep o' fall through, as a matter of course, especially Day”-the theatre Royal Drury Lane closes with the drag of blank verse upon its moveits long season on April 2nd. Mr. Falconer's ment. However, the story of Queen Mary and well-known Lyceum "success" the “ Peep o' her sister is not only tolerated, but proves Day," was exceedingly well supported by the powerfully attractive ; and the audience, de. Drury Lane company. The striking incidents lighted with the strong situations, are attentive and situations had the advantage of able stage to those elucidatory dialogues which, accordmanagement in Mr. E. Stirling's superintending to modern notions, are necessarily slow.' ence of the production of the piece; and hence As for Mrs. Rousby, her almost perfect reprenothing was lost in the due rendering of the sentation of the difficult and responsible chagreat quarry-scene especially. Mr. Reynolds racter of the Princess Elizabeth is one of the played with energy and a good deal of pictu- most brilliant histrionic achievements of the resque force the typical Irish character of Barney. season." Mr. M Intyre's Black Mullins is a good piece A new drama, the author of which is Mr. of melo-dramatic acting. The almost farcical H.J.Byron, has been produced at the AdelPHI, because excessively overlaid stage directions with success. It is entitled (a la boutique) under which the rustic Irish heroine is chased “The Prompter's Box.” We have not yet wit. about by her murderer in the dreadful quarry, nessed a representation, but hope to do so in are modified somewhat by Mr. M'Intyre's time for a notice of the novelty in our next careful acting in that scene. By the way, we feuilleton. noticed that sensational as the terrorism of As semi-theatrical topics, we advert to the this scene is intended to be, it is curiously in- retirement of Mr. Charles Dickens from the prtistic and incomplete in its categorical arrange-reading-desk and platform, and the contem
plated departure for the provinces of Mr. Bellew, UNDER THE SHADOW OF THE with his histrionically illustrated readings of
PYRAMIDS. “Hamlet” and “Macbeth.” Our favourite i novelist declared, in his brief address to the audience at the close of his reading at St. SCENE.—In the parlour after tea. Present, Mr. James's Hall, on March the 15th, that he and Mrs. CARTER and DR. ROOSEVELT, late of “ vanished now for evermore from the garish Cairo. lights of a public stage.” Mr. Dickens has begun to publish a new serial, and, as he told Dr. R. Well, Madam Carter, what have you his friends at St. James's Hall, he was prepared been doing while my energies have been deto offer them a new "series of readings" in a voted to playing the “Hoadji of the Nile?". I different form; namely, such as they might hope you have continued your painting studies. enter upon in their own houses, under cover of Mrs. C. Yes, doctor Here is a portfolio I the bright green wrappers which would enclose have just filled-sketches of the deities of the the "Mystery of Edwin Drood." The retire ancient mythologies. These are the represenment from the reading-desk of Mr. Charles tatives of those who reigned in Egypt. I have Dickens, and the withdrawal from London of been unable to find distinct descriptions of Mr. Bellew with his " Hamlet” and “Macbeth,” many of them, and hope you will aid me to inmay have the effect of consigning this overdone crease this portion of my collection. This one and egotistical style of entertainment to at any of the Goddess Neith is my favourite. rate partial oblivion. There will remain still Dr. R. Yes, this is the veritable Neith whom amongst us a score probably of “readers" and Ruskin describes. "The shape of a woman, "monologists,” but not one (if we except Mr. very beautiful,and with a strength of deep calm W. S. Woodin as a monologist) of any sub- in her blue eyes. She was robed to the feet stantially meritorious qualities.
with a white robe, and above that, to her E. H. MALCOLM. knees, by the cloud which I had seen across
but all the golden ripples of it had become plumes, so that it had changed into two
bright wings like those of a vulture, which M U S I C.
wrapped round her to her knees. She had a
weaver's shuttle hanging over her shoulder, by The operatic season of 1870 is likely to be the thread of it, and in her left hand arrows, unusually brilliant and attractive. Both Covent tipped with fire.” I have often wondered wheGarden and Drury Lane theatres will this year ther that description is purely imaginary, for I be devoted to Italian Opera. The engagements have never been able to find any authority that .or Covent Garden are Titiens, Liebhart, and the Egyptians worshipped her in that form. Adelina Patti. The prima donna assoluto has Mr. O. I admire that sketch of Neith exceshad to travel through fire and water in carrying sively. How beautiful are those cloud-like out her intention to duly fulfil her London draperies and waving plumes, compared with engagement. Madame Patti it appears has i that beetle-headed monster, or this hideous miraculou escaped being burnt to death, in a i Scaribæus! Tell us something about this fire which broke out in a railway saloon-carriage, “bonnie” goddess, as the Ettrick Shepherd while she was travelling with her husband from would say, Roosevelt. To what deity of the Russia, on her way to England. Madame Patti Grecian mythology does she correspond? She herself was the first to discover that the adjoin- is beautiful as Venus, but far more god-like. I ing saloon to ber own sleeping compartment would trust a woman with such eyes, "the was filled with smoke and flame, and by giving strength of deep calm," through eternity. timely alarm, the fire was extinguished before it Mrs. C. Was Neith worshipped among
the had time to spread. But in regarding Madame chief gods ? Patti's personal misfortune, we are keeping our Dr. R. Yes; you remember that Minerva readers from the rest of the opera news. We was said to have sprung into life, full armed, notice that in the programme of the Covent from Jupiter's brain ? Neith, also, is repreGarden Opera, the name of the evergreen sented as self-existent, and therefore was Mario occurs, and the present is announced as thought entitled to all the honours of divinity. his last season previous to his final retirement. She presided over the city of Lais, and among De Murska, Volpini, Monbelli, and the Russian the seven great annual festivals of the Egyptdebutante Malle. Levtzky; Trebelli-Bettini willians, was one in ter honour. be the contralto; tenors, Mongeni and Bettini;
Mrs. C. Ruskin does not clothe her in baritones, Faure and Santley. Mdlles. Reboux armour, as the Greek poets represented their At Drury Lane the prima donna
will be Nilsson, goddess. Did the Egyptians have a holy and Morensi also form part of Mr. Wood's com
horror of women who left their sphere-of pany. It must be admitted that this is a for- bread and button holes ? midable
array of talent, which it would be diffi. Dr. R. The Athenian goddess seems to have cult for any manager to surpass, Arditi will í bad a twofold character, with which her two oonduct at Drury Lane,
names corresponded. She is Minerva when E. H. M. protecting wisdom and the arts, and Pallas
when breathing courage and fire into the
breasts of her warrior devotees. Neith is the , your hair and plait it in narrow braids which Minerva of the Nile. And surely, Madam, you hang down behind. You array yourself in fine will allow that a robe of clouds and plumes is linen and broidery, and I am afraid I shall far more beautiful than the cumbersome armour frighten your husband if I tell him of the gold, of Pallas. As to the opinions of the Egyptians and silver, and jewels you adorn yourself upon the “Woman Question,” we can hardly withal. Bracelets of serpents and asps, and the form any estimate, so different was their whole holy scarabæus, rings and ear-rings of all social system from our own. The population imaginable shapes ; Mediterranean shells, the was divided into classes, which, though not flower of the lotus, or waving papyrus, a slender having the distinctness and absolute individu- palm-leaf, grapes, bells, the sacred cat, or ality of the Hindoo castes, were yet sufficiently Phath’s hideous head; made of all precious marked in their character and divisions to re-things ; necklaces of lapis lazuli, with hanging press the intellect and ambition of the masses, ornaments of every shape that the cunning at least. A man was not compelled by law to artificers of Memphis can invent. You deck follow. bis father's profession, but he was by your feet with sandals of gilt and painted public opinion and custom. The only idea of leather, or, perhaps, with the cool papyrus manhood which naturally presented itself to slipper. Perhaps you go upon the housetop the boy was to occupy bis father's place, and I and have a chat with your neighbour, but no, think we may reasonably conclude that the I think you will wait till the cool of evening for future offered no other vision to the maiden that. Maybe Charmecis will go fishing this than the picture of her mother. Women were pleasant morning, and as you see him coming not, however, placed in an inferior station, nei- you prepare a bouquet of the favourite lotus to ther confined to harems, nor treated as slaves. Offer him on his arrival. Then you accompany The sculpturers seem to prove that a man had him to the papyrus boat and watch the sport. but one wise, and that she was treated by her As the boat anders among the rushes, you husband in the most affectionate and honour- sometimes grasp at them to steady it, and you able manner. Daughters of the royal families applaud heartily when a skilful throw of the had all the privaleges of sons; the throne was double spear captures two of the finny tribe. often filled by queens who perhaps showed as It is evident that the ancient Charmecis has all much executive ability as the Virgin Queen of the love for music that distinguishes the modern England—and the sepulchres of the queens Carter, for his wife entertains him after the were but little, if any, inferior to those of the fatigue of the mornings' sport, with hairs Pharaohs. There were holy women, too, who on the harp, while other members of the held the office of priestess, or, at least, acted family accompany her on the lyre and guitar. in that capacity on certain occasions. Place Afterwards you beat him at a game of chess, yourself in such a situation, Mrs. Carter, and the rest of the day is passed perhaps at a and if you remember all the elegancies and dinner party, at a friend's, or in entertaining luxuries of life these ancient people enjoyed two company at home. In this case your guests or three thousand years before our era, you will admire your elegant furniture of foreign wood, not find it a very unbearable position, even com- your glass vases of many colours, and rare and pared with our modern civilization.
elegant ornaments. The gentlemen note each Mrs. C. It is too great a stretch
of imagination other's wigs, their shape and size (for all are to think of myself as Queen Pharaohnis or
close shaven), while the ladies compare their Madame Potaphar, but suppose we let these ear-rings and give various opinions upon the superfluous ages fade away into a dream, and relative merits of khol and antimony for darkentake up our life as an Egyptian family. Then ing the eyes. Soon the servants bring in the what would plain Mrs. Carter, neither queen sumptuous dinner, and the guests do full justice nor priestess, be doing ?
to the meats and vegetables (you ate onions
there), and pastries, and you may be sure the Dr. R. I presume, madam, that you could wines are not neglected." I hope, however, that answer that question better than I, for the life none of your friends will emulate the lady whose of an ancient Egyptian lady was not 80 very acquaintance I made in one of the ancient different from that of our modern fair ones. paintings, who is represented as giving to the One thing, however, you are no longer Mrs. earth the superfluous wine which she had found Carter, but the wife of Charmecis, with some too lempting, while one attendant supports her euphonious name like Lida or Amunta. You and another brings a basin to her. During the rise in the morning and perform your toilet with dinner, and after it, your guests are entertained the aid of a mirror of polished metal, whose by a band of musicians, while dancers and handle is in the form of some monster, to buffoons add to their amusement. You end heighten by contrast the beauty of the reflected the day by ascending to the house-top to enjoy features. You lengthen your eyebrows with the delicious moonlight, such as no other land kohl, and paint a dark rin around your eyes can boast, and gaze away into the west where to make them look languishing, and you tint the Great Desert's sand seems to roll in golden your fingers with the rose-coloured henneh (you billows. Your bed is of elegant shape, and as need not look so indignant at my revelations, you rest your head upon the alabaster pillow and you have brought it upon yourself; besides, it offer your last prayer to the Sun that he will is aļl true). Then your maids oil and perfume lighten you through other happy days, let me hope that gentle sleep will soon embrace you | Joseph's brethren sought refuge. In those and all evil dreams flee far away.
remote days the Egyptians enjoyed many of Mrs. C. How delightful! Charmecis, we the refinements of civilization, and we may must go sometime to visit the scenes of our trace in the history of the Exodus of the Jews, ancient splendour. But, doctor, you have the influence of the art and culture they had mentioned some things that I thought were left behind. Egypt had taught them how to modern inventions; glass vases, for instance. make the sacred statue of Apis long before they
Dr. R. The ancient Egyptians were, without erected the golden calf in the wilderness, but doubt, acquainted with the art of glass making. afterwards they used the knowledge they had I have seen paintings on the tombs representing acquired they had acquired in a worthier glass blowers and others of bottles half full of service. When “the wise-hearted women did wine, where its red colour is represented as spin with their hands and brought that which visible through the clear glass. In one of the they had spun, both of blue, and of purple, and tombs a glass bead was found bearing the of scarlet, and of fine linen,” they were king's name. If I remember rightly it was that honouring their God with those talents and that of Thothenes III., the Pharaoh of the Exodus. skill which had at first been employed in the It seems to be also evident that they carried the service of their heathen mistresses ; and we may manufacture of coloured glass to a perfection be sure that God had used the proud Egyptian wbich has not yet been attained by modern workmen as instruments in teaching Bezaleel artists. Some specimens of their workmanship and Aholiab “in wisdom and in understanding, have received the highest commendation. One and in knowledge, and in all manner of workpiece of glass was found in which the colours manship; and to devise curious works to work were arranged to form the figure of a bird some- in gold and in silver, and in brass, and in the what resembling a duck, and in this the different cutting of stones to set them, and in carving of colours continued through the entire thickness, work to make any manner of cunning work-to 80 that if a horizontal section of any depth was work all mander of work of the engraver and of made, the figure would still remain perfect. the cunning workman, of the embroiderer and The microscope shows that the whole of this of the weaver." Some specimens of the ancient specimen is formed of minute cylinders of linen are perfectly wonderful! Their fineness different colours, welded or fused together with and evenness are equal to that of our finest a precision and accuracy which workmen of cambric. You can imagine what excellence our day try in rain to emulate. You can they had attained in this manufacture when I imagine what progress they had made in art tell you that in one specimen 140 threads were when they were able to manufacture these counted in a square inch, and in another 180. microscopic cylinders of various colours, and Mrs. C. I have been reading that work of then fuse them together into any shape.
Madame de Staëls where she argues upon the Mr. C. I presume they used glass windows world's improvement, and declares that it is then ?
yearly progressing toward perfection. I thought Dr. R. No, I think not. The advantage of it a very fine idea; but I am afraid that if one having a window of glass is simply to keep out of those old mummies should be reanimated the air while it lets in the light, and is peculiarly and contemplate Madame's vision of Perfectia necessity of northern countries. In Egypt, bility, he would be ready to smile at her where comfort absolutely demands a shelter enthusiasm. from the sun's parching rays, and where even Mr. C. As Lord Jeffrey says in his critique : if its direct beams are excluded, the very light “Her speculations would probably carry somereflected from the white hills and glowing thing of ridicule with them if propounded upon sands, is most intolerable,' the necessity was the ruins of Thebes or Babylon.” However, exactly the reverse to admit the air while keep that is a mooted question. ing the light out. “Necessity is the mother of Mrs. C. You have referred to Apis how invention,” you know, and the lack of this strange that such intelligent people should necessity was, in my opinion, the only reason have worshipped animals. Don't you think so? for the lack of the invention. They were Mr. C. Vot stranger than that, as it is said, certainly far enough advanced to have made it.
so many of our contemporaries, even among our At a very early period they made successful own countrymen, worship relics, pictures, and imitations of the amethyst, emerald, and other images. precious stones, and quite a large proportion Dr. R. My dear sir, your words contain the of their foreign commerce was in these spurious true explanation of the phenomenon. The gems. The Egyptians excelled in other depart- ancient priests of Egypt, in presenting the truths ments of manufacture. You remember that of religion to the people, made the same mistake Ezekiel, in speaking of the wealth and splendour which has been made more recently. They of Tyre, says, “Fine linen with embroidered worshipped a supreme God, and then bis work from Egypt was that which thou spreadest personified attributes, as I have said before, forth to be thy sail;" this was written, how. They, perhaps, worshipped personifications of ever, in Egypt's later day, 588 B.C. The the forces of nature, or these may have been only Egypt of which I have been speaking is that the heroes of the philosophers' dreams. How ancient land which Abraham visited, and where ever, these abstract ideas, these invisible powers which they, the educated priests and philosophers, I called by such high titles as these-"Ever. could comprehend and worship, they believed to living, lords of diadems, watchers of Egypt, be beyond the conception of the unlearned chastisers of the foreigners, golden hawks, masses; and therefore, in conveying their greatest of the powerful kings of the upper and doctrines to them and instructing them in the lower country, defenders of the truth, beloved mysteries of religion, they tried to make it less of Phath, appoved of the Sun, beloved of doctrinal and less mysterious. For this end Truth,” and who were often styled, " Sons of they symbolized these powers and attributes, Amun-Ri,” but never his brethren or equals. the life-giving or generating by the sun, and Among these heroic names stand those of Se. others in the same manner; and burdened their sostris the Great, Rameses III., and, earliest of mythology with various animals, which, from all, Menes, who was reverenced as the founder some real or fancied characteristie, were con- of that great empire. It is a peculiar circumsidered appropriate emblems of the gods. stance, and one that illustrates the social system These animals were merely sacred animals, and I have before spoken of, that all their heroes I have no doubt that the distinction between the were kings, or, in Egyptian vernacular, Phaanimals which were only sacred and the gods raohs. There were of course illustrious men who were divine, was at the beginning studiously both among the soldiers and priests, who did observed. In the course of time the popular not belong to the royal family, but whose tombs mind confused them as might have been display almost royal wealth and taste. All the expected, and this stratagem of the priests power and distinction of these persons, however, resulted in the foolish and degrading worship was derived from the king and tributary to him, of the beasts that perish. I have an idea that and their noblest titles were those that belonged the Egyptians' peculiar veneration for the to them as members of Pharaoh's household. crocodile originated in the same manner. Some The universal affection for the royal family and portions of the country which the Nile did not faithfulness to it were also remarkable. It is said irrigate were watered by canals filled by conduct that during the erection of one of those immense ing to them the waters of the great river. To structures that the Pharaohs took so much impress upon the people the necessity for keep- pride in, when the time came for raising an ing these canals free from all obstructions and obelisk, that the king was very anxious it should always filled, they were taught to reverence the be correctly placed, and fearing lest some accrocodile as sacred, and to keep their canals in cident should befall it he caused the prince, a condition fit for his abode. I think it very bis heir, to be bound to the apex, knowing that evident that such was the origin of the the workman would spare no pains or exertion respect paid to that hideous monster. So well to insure the safety of the kingly youth. did the people learn the lesson thus set them Another proof of the great respect paid to them that, after the death of a crocodile, its body was is found in the fact that in the paintings and embalmed and preserved. The crocodile-pits, sculptures the king is represented as of colossal those chambers of horror, of which so many stature, while all near him, whether enemies or stories have been told, were the receptacles of attendants, seem dwarfed and insignificant. these crocodile mummies, and rank among the These, too, are the kings who " built desolate greatest wonders of Egypt. The entrance, places for themselves.” Royal in their lives, in which must have existed in the old days, cannot their works, in their monuments, they were also now be found; and the way by which the ex- royal in their tombs—the Pyramids—the won. plorer penetrates into their mysteries is uncom- ders of the world. fortable and even horrible in the extreme. He Mr. C. It is certain, then, that they were crawls through low passages, and gropes in built for sepulchres ? dark caverns where the air is foul and stifling, Dr. R. Yes, there is now no doubt that these becoming denser and more fetid as he goes on gigantic monuments were intended for the until the candle can hardly burn, and the intense tombs of their kingly architects. Ab, madam, heat forces the perspiration from every pore. you shudder at such a choice of resting-place. When the pit is reached, it reveals hundreds They do, indeed, seem repelling to all love or and thousands of these hideous mummies piled sympathy; they are in truth“ desolate places," upon each other with exactness and regularity, cold and unlovely, and yet to me there is a the interstices between the large bodies being grandeur in this very desolation and loneliness. filled up with those of the young crocodiles, It was like those calm old monarchs to look whom pallida Mors had stricken ere they had forward through the ages and provide for their basked out half their days in the Nilotic'mud. undisturbed repose during all their changes; to The mummies of wolves and ibises were also cherish and protect the art that would bid their preserved. While speaking of the mythology bodies defy decay and keep their noble features of Egypt, there is one peculiarity to which I and stately forms from change or dissolutions would call your attention. Unlike most of the and then to bring those huge granite blocks ancient nations, they never deified their heroes. and build massive tombs, in whose deep bosom There were several names upon their list of the hungry beasts and shifting sand could not kings, which were honoured and revered among disturb them, and in whose dim recess they them, whose owners had displayed all the cha- might wait for life again, racteristics of conquering heroes, and who were Mrs. C. Yes, it seems grand, but yet it is