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IT was a severe test for
Johannsen, the German Prima Donna, to appear upon the very stage on which Medori
is achieving her triumphs. But her performance of Fidelio at the Academy was
admirable and effective. There could hardly be a wider difference than that of
the music of Norma or Ione and Fidelio. The Titanic passion and grandeur of
Beethoven contrasts with the elegiac tenderness of Bellini, like a thunder-cloud
with the soft cirrus vapors of a June evening; and it is some time before the
mind and ear that have been listening to the graceful, facile melody of the
Italian can adapt themselves to the rich and combined measures of the German.
Nor is it easy to comprehend at
once the music of Fidelio. It lacks the melodies which hand-organs seize and
boys whistle in the street. The voices are treated like instruments. The effect
is not produced by airs which are accompanied by the orchestra, but by the
combination of each, so that you applaud as if you heard a symphony. Yet the
profound feeling and power of the Fidelio music are such that you must hear and
hear again before its full force and significance are perceived. Johannsen is no
longer young, nor has she any special prestige with the public, but her thorough
comprehension of the character, her mastery of the music, and her conscientious
and skillful singing, must persuade every hearer that no injustice is done to
the great work.
That Beethoven had not the talent
which is called "lyrical" is as true as that Milton had not dramatic genius. The
symphony is the natural form of his musical expression, and the music of Fidelio
has all the characteristics of such a work. But it is not rash to say that,
while this is generally true, there is no scene in any opera superior as a
musical drama to the prison act in Fidelio.
Every sincere lover of music will
be grateful to Mr. Anchutz and Madame Johannsen for the ample hearing they have
given the public of a great work so seldom heard.
KINGLAKE'S CRIMEAN WAR.
No reader will fail to ponder the
"History of the Crimean War," by Kinglake, of which the two published volumes
have just been issued in one by the Harpers. A taste of its quality was
furnished in the April number of the Magazine by the publication of part of the
historian's estimate of Louis Napoleon, which has produced so great an
impression in Europe, and which recent circumstances have invested with peculiar
interest in America. The work is hailed as a remarkable contribution to
historical literature. The brilliant pictorial power of the author of "Eothen"
is displayed with great effect upon its pages, and we shall return to its
consideration when it shall have become familiar to our readers.
A YOUNG man now in Alexandria,
Egypt, who signs himself a Citizen of the United States of America, and who is a
subscriber to the Weekly, writes a letter of ardent sympathy with the national
cause, "I was born in Greece," he says. "I am fellow-countryman with
Themistocles, Leonidas, Miltiades, and many others; and fellow-citizen with
Washington, Adams, Jefferson (but not with the ruffian Jefferson Davis,
President of the Rebellion), Franklin, Fulton," etc. He adds that his father was
educated in America, at "the Mount Pleasant, from 1822 to 1836, and in several
other universities ....and he is now at Athens, because he was one of the
commanders of the revolution. But both he and myself are citizens of the noble
Addressing his letter to the
Editor of Harper's Weekly, Mr. Alexander C. Evangelides writes as follows:
"Every one who is a well-wisher
for the prosperity of our country desires to hear that the Federal arms obtain
the honor, of victory, and that the legions of the rebels are daily yielding
before the star-spangled immortal banner of the Union. Since it is accompanied
by justice, the frequent successes of the arms of the Union, it is to be hoped,
very soon will establish peace.
"It greatly distresses me, dear
Sir, to see that these persons, being our own countrymen, should be in the
wrong. They too are also brave—for Americans they could not be otherwise. As
often as I read the narrations of our battles, which so marvelously your elegant
pen describes, I see that every soldier is a hero, and I envy the fate of those
who fall in the field of honor crowned with the laurel.
"O! that the heroism of our
brothers, that is so sacrificed now on the altar of civil war, and the great
sums of money spent, serve shortly for the benefit of humanity; and may we soon
see the stars and stripes waving over the whole continent of America!
"I am convinced that the destiny
of America is to defend the liberties of all nations by the propagation of
Christianity. All the world owe to pray for the happiness of that glorious
land!—the land beneath whose brilliant sky were born those illustrious men who
rendered their own country glorious, and enrich the rest of the other world by
their wisdom—whose names are high above, adorning the heavens of America.
"Such prayers we here address to
God, we who are far away from our dear country, living in the midst of nations
who are still under slavery and barbarism.
"In Alexandria are many friends
of America, and their sympathies are all in favor of the Federals. As a proof of
it, is that Mr. 'William S. Thayer' is incomparably more beloved and more
respected than his predecessor, both for his own personal worth as well his
being a strict Federalist. So that we, the few Americans who reside in
Alexandria, account ourselves happy having such a representative of our noble
"ALEXANDRIA OF EGYPT, March 2,
PORTLAND BALL FOR THE SOLDIERS.
THE managers of a Grand Bal
Masque in Portland, for the benefit of sick and wounded soldiers, have honored
the Lounger with a card of invitation. He acknowledges it with pleasure, as
another indication of the interest which unites all loyal American citizens in
the prosecution of the war and in care for the soldiers who are fighting it.
Among them, as he has reason to know, there is but one feeling and one
country ought to conquer, and
that it shall conquer. If it was right to begin the war, of which they have no
doubt, it is right to continue it and to end it for the purpose for which it was
undertaken; and whatever resists that consummation must be swept away. This is
an old faith, and a very simple logic. But the faith is ineradicable, and the
The Portland ball is over; but we
will hope sincerely that its results will relieve, in many a worthy case, the
consequences of balls of a very different kind.
THE charming story of Mrs.
Gaskell's which has been appearing in the Weekly for some time past, called 'A
Dark Night's Wok," is just issued by the Harpers in a very legible and agreeable
form. The lovers of "Sylvia's Lovers" will recognize the same earnest tone, the
some vital interest, which mark all the stories of the friend and biographer of
A capital illustrated book for
boys is Edgar's "Sea Kings and Naval Heroes," issued by the same house. It tells
in the liveliest and most entertaining way the stories of Rollo, Sir Francis
Drake, Sir Walter Raleigh, Admiral Blake, Prince Rupert, Rodney, Nelson,
Collingwood, and many more; and at this time when every American boy is familiar
by everyday hearing with the honored names of other heroes, Dupont,
Worden, and the rest, this little book has a peculiar interest. There
are very few boys who will read with dry eyes Nelson's story ending with the
words that have an almost unparalleled pathos: "Now kiss me, Hardy."
The Country Parson has written
another of his chatty, pleasant books, the "Every Day Philosopher," published by
Ticknor & Co., who also issue a very neat library edition of John Stuart Mill's
"Essay on Liberty." It is a masterly treatise, which every one must read who
would know the views of so noble a thinker. His "Representative Government,"
published by the Harpers, is a later work of especial interest to us. His
suggestions upon the representation of minorities will not escape attention as a
forward movement in the Republican system.
Carleton believes in books that
will create a "sensation." Of this kind is Mrs. Edwin James's "Wanderings of a
Beauty," which owes its success to the name of the author, and to certain
personal portraitures. He also publishes the second series of Orpheus C. Kerr's
"Sketches," which, if as good as the first, are very ludicrous. The "Prisoner of
State" is a book which it is a pity any loyal man should have published, because
no loyal man could have written. It is intended to show under what a deplorable
despotism we are living, and succeeds in proving that no great nation at war was
ever so magnanimously tolerant of traitors, rebels, and pernicious citizens, as
this. It is a book without interest, without talent, with nothing noticeable but
feeble spite. "If I can't whip you, I can make mouths at your sister," is the
spirit of this performance.
WHEN I was a little child
(It seemeth long ago)
Our school-horse stood from
A half a mile or so.
It seemed a long, long journey
For little ones to take;
The burning sun above me,
And pebbles 'neath my feet.
But well do I remember
A large old granite rock,
Dividing that long distance,
Beside a sparkling brook.
"The half-way rock" we called it,
And seldom passed it by;
'Twas wide enough to found a
And taller some than I.
I loved to climb the lowest side,
To hear the waters rush,
And see the fishes playful glide
Below the alder-bush.
And after the long summer hours,
When tired of books and fun,
Oh, how I longed to reach that
And think 'twas half-way home!
I'm older now than I was then—
Can scarcely stop to rest,
Yet full half-way the path of
My weary feet have press'd.
"Threescore and ten the years of
And am I half-way home?
My soul! hast found a Rock of
As wearily ye roam?
Ah! I have found the Living Rock
A shelter from the heat,
A covert from earth's wildest
That on me fiercely beat.
And I love that pleasant symbol
That broad old granite rock,
That stands half-way from
Beside a sparkling brook.
HUMORS OF THE DAY.
AN Irishman on board a vessel,
when she was on the point of foundering, being desired to come on deck, as she
was going down, replied, that he had no wish to go on deck to "see himself
A TENANT WANTED.—To let, with
immediate possession, a ten-roomed house, situated in the vicinity of some
pyrotechnic mills. The house has been entirely rebuilt and beautifully decorated
Since the last explosion, when the tenant was ejected without notice.
A young lady, who affected toward
matrimony, wrote on a pane of glass some verses expressive of her determination
never to enter into the holy state. A gentleman, who doubted the lady's resolve,
"The fair whose vow these
scratchy lines betoken,
Wrote them on glass—she knew it
would be broken!"
A merchant at Berlin, having
failed to obtain the hand of an opera singer, purchased two dresses and sent
them to her to make her choice, saying he would call to know her decision.
Shortly, however, before the hour when he had intended to set out on this
errand, the merchant received from his beloved a billet-doux to the following
effect: "Of the dresses you have sent I like one quite as well as the other. I
will, in fact, keep both, so that you have no need to call at all!"
"You see, grandmamma, we
perforate an aperture in the apex, and a corresponding aperture in the base; and
by applying the egg to the lips, and forcibly inhaling the breath, the shell is
entirely discharged of its contents." "Bless my soul," cried the old lady, "what
wonderful improvements they do make! Now, in my younger days, we just made a
hole in each end and sucked."
The orator who carried away his
audience is affectionately and humanely requested to bring it back."
"Why, Sambo, how black you are!"
said a gentleman, the other day, to a negro waiter at a hotel: "how in the world
did you get so blacks?" "Why, look a-here, massa, the reason am dis—de day dis
chile was born there was as eclipse."
Marriage must be favorable to
longevity; an old maid never lives to be more than thirty.
In the reign of Henry VIII. there
was struck a small silver coin, of little value, called a dandy prat, "which,"
observes Bishop Fleetwood, "was the origin of the term dandy, applied to
worthless and contemptible persons."
A VULGAR ERROR CORRECTED.—The
absurd story about the Phenix grew out of the fact that Phenixes always roosted
in ash-trees, and hence when they took wing they were said to "rise from their
"Well, if this ain't mean! Here's
this feller been goin' about with this here yeller chain, and when I pulls it
out —there's no watch on the end of it. The conduct o' these here flashy clerks
is enough to break the heart of a poor fellow like me, as has to depend on his
trade tor a livin'."
Nosey.—A musician, whose nose had
become distinctly colored with the red wine he was wont to imbibe, said to his
little son one day at table, "You must eat bread, boy; bread makes your cheeks
red." The little fellow replied, "Father, what lots of bread you must have
"I say, Higgins," said a fellow
to that aspiring but as yet unappreciated tragedian, "I met a rich old gentleman
in the city, who declared he would give a hundred pounds to see you perform
'Hamlet.'" "You don't say so?" "Fact, I assure you; and, what's more, I'm
positively sure the old chap meant it." "By Jove, then, it's a bargain!" Higgins
cried; "I'll play it for my benefit. But who is he?" "Ah! to be sure, I didn't
tell you. Well, he's a blind man." Higgins never spoke to the wretch again.
When at sea you look out for
breakers; but on a railroad the breakers look out for you
A lady well advanced in
maidenhood at her marriage requested the choir to sing the hymn commencing,
"This is the way I long have
And mourned because I found it
Why is a cow's tail like a swan's
bosom?—Because it grows down.
The following witty and satirical
epitaph was proposed to be placed in Bath Cathedral:
"These walls, adorned with
Show how Bath wraters serve to
lay the dust."
Why are railways like
laundresses?—Because they have ironed all the country, and have occasionally
done a little mangling.
A merchant who died suddenly left
in his desk a letter written to one of his correspondents. His clerk, a son of
Erin, seeing it necessary to send the letter, wrote at the bottom: "Since
writing the above I have died."
A female begging impostor,
importuning a gentleman to give her a "copper," the benevolent gentleman said
she should have one, if she would only leave off begging and take in washing.
A country doctor announces that
he has changed his residence to the neighborhood of the church-yard, which he
hopes may prove a great convenience to his numerous patients.
In the olden times divines argued
on "How many angels can dance on the point of a needle?" An interesting inquiry
of a similar nature would be, "How many lawyers can stand on a point of law?"
A dancer once said to a Spartan,
"You can not stand on one leg so long as I can." "Perhaps not," said the
Spartan, "but any goose can."
An old toper, who had attended
the Polytechnic, where the learned professor caused several explosions to take
place from gases produced from water, said, "You don't catch me putting much
water in my liquor after this. I had no idea before that water was so dangerous,
though I never liked to take much of it."
The man who undertook to walk
against time has given up, but time is still going ahead.
What net is the most "likely to
catch a handsome but vain woman?—A coro-net.
Those who court disgrace are sure
not to be jilted.
DO YOU GIVE IT UP?
What ladies with a grace may
And when you dust looks well
What many a man who has a wife
Submits to for a quiet life.
Why should people who wish to
live a peaceable life never go to small evening dancing parties?
Because hops produce great
If Cupid insists upon coming to a
lady's door, how would she like him to come?
With a ring, but not without a
Found long ago, yet made to-day,
I'm most in use when people
What few would with to give away,
Nor any one desire to keep.
Why is a man who carries a watch
invariably too late for his appointments?
Because he is always behind time.
Where did Charles the First's
executioner dine, and what did he take?
He took a chop at the King's
FOR an account of the attack on
Charleston see page 269.
We learn from the
that the Union forces are being withdrawn from the peninsula, at Vicksburg, that
four transports have gone up the river filled with our troops, and that the
levee has been cut through by our forces and the water turned into our old
camping ground. A dispatch from Jackson, Mississippi, says that Admiral Farragut
is still above
Port Hudson with three vessels. The Government stores of the
rebels at Bayou Sara have been destroyed by the
flag-ship Hartford. The same
authority says that the "lower fleet"—part of Banks's expedition we presume—has
opened fire upon the batteries, but that they were out of range. The Petersburg
Express of the 8th indicates that some terrible preparations are being made by
the rebels to destroy Farragut's ships, the Hartford and Albatross.
THE "SWITZERLAND" REPAIRED.
The ram Switzerland has been
repaired of the injuries she received in passing the rebel batteries at
Vicksburg, and has been sent up the Red River.
CAPTURE OF RICHMOND.
General McClernand took
possession of the little town of Richmond, Mississippi, on the 30th ult., with a
small force, driving the rebel cavalry from the place after two hours' sharp
DEFEAT OF VAN DORN.
We have an official account of
the defeat of the rebel Van Dorn at Franklin, Tennessee, by General Granger's
forces. The rebels numbered 15,000, and lost three hundred in killed and
wounded. Our lots was only one hundred. General Stanley made a magnificent
charge with his cavalry, capturing a battery and several prisoners, whom,
however, he was unable to hold, owing to the nature of the country.
The reports front General Fosters
Washington, North Carolina, are not favorable. He appears to be
completely hemmed in by the enemy, and all efforts to reinforce him from Newbern
have, so far, been unsuccessful. The repulse of our fleet by the batteries on
Pamlico River, and the grounding of the Miami on the Swash while proceeding to
Washington, rendered the arrival of assistance impossible for the time. It seems
evident from all the movements of the rebel forces that the destruction of
General Foster's expedition is resolved upon. News from Richmond indicate that a
vast concentration of rebel forces has taken place between Petersburg and
Suffolk, while the bold movements of Generals Hill and Longstreet, in
threatening the latter place, points unquestionably to a settled intention on
the part of the rebels to prevent reinforcements from reaching General Foster.
REBEL ADVANCE ON SUFFOLK.
Letters from the Blackwater give
an account of the rebel advance upon
Suffolk, the capture of several of our
outposts, and the flight of the women and children. The object of this attack it
to prevent reinforcements from reaching General Foster in his perilous position
at Washington, N. C., and to cut off our forces at Suffolk from communication
with Norfolk, which latter place, no doubt, the rebels intend to invest.
Intelligence reached Fortress Monroe on the 13th that the enemy had retreated
four miles from Suffolk, and that the gun-boats sent to Foster's assistance had
succeeded in running the rebel batteries.
ANOTHER STEAMER LOST.
The armed transport George
Washington was destroyed by the rebels in Coosaw River, near Port Royal, on 8th
inst. She remained behind for special service under Colonel Hawley, who was
acting as post commandant at Hilton Head while the forces were away. General
Saxton, who was in command at Beaufort, sent for the Washington to make a
reconnoissance around the island. In company with the gun-boat Hale she went up
the Coosaw River, was attacked by a rebel battery, which sent a shot through her
magazine and blew her up. The crew were fired upon while attempting to escape,
and several of them killed and wounded.
BREAD RIOTS AT THE SOUTH.
There have already been five
bread riots in the South, all of which were instigated and participated in
principally by famishing women, who were goaded on by the cries of their
children for food, while husbands and fathers were in the rebel ranks. The first
of these took place on the 16th ult. at Atlanta, Georgia, where all entreaties
could not deter the it omen from their riotous intentions until their demands
were satisfied. The next occurred at Salisbury, North Carolina, on the 18th ult.,
where the rioters armed themselves, and by force succeeded in accomplishing
their purpose. The third was in the city of Richmond, where the operations of
the mob were not fully made public, owing to a combined understanding among the
Richmond paper, to suppress the details. The fourth took place at Raleigh, North
Carolina; and the fifth at Petersburg, Virginia.
LORD PALMERSTON, who has just
been installed as Lord Rector of the University of Glasgow, delivered two
speeches in that city—one to the students and the other to an assemblage made up
for the most part of working-men. He alluded briefly to the American war, and
defended the policy of the English Cabinet in maintaining what he continues to
term a strict neutrality toward the belligerents. He said that some Englishmen
supported the cause of the North, others that of the South; but "it was not
fitting or becoming that the British nation, as a nation, should take part in
that contest," although the contending parties "sued them like rivals who sue a
fair damsel" to do so.
THE SEIZURE OF THE "PETERHOFF."
The report of the seizure of the
British steamship Peterhoff, by order of Admiral Wilkes, United States Navy,
produced an excitement in England second in intensity only to that caused by the
news of the overhauling of the Trent. A remonstrance had been addressed to Earl
Russel on the subject. He stated that the matter had been referred to the law
officers of the crown for immediate consideration. On the Stock Exchange, on the
27th of March, the markets closed under considerable depression, owing to
reports of coming war difficulties with the United States in consequence of the
capture of the Peterhoff. In the House of Commons, on the same night, Mr. Layard
stated that as soon as the opinion of the crown lawyers was obtained the
Government would address such representations as they might think fit to the
Government of the United States.
The news from Poland is not
favorable to the success of the popular movement. The papers give details of the
defeat and surrender of Langiewicz. Although the English press consider the
Polish insurrection virtually at an end, yet the Revolutionary Committee appeals
to the Polish people to continue the struggle.
Langiewiez, the Polish leader, is
still confined in the fortress of Cracow. He applied for leave to retire to
England, but was refused. The latest reports say that the insurgent chiefs had
given up the contest with Russia as hopeless.
THE KING OF GREECE.
The National Assembly of Greece
has decreed Prince William George of Denmark King of Greece, under the name of
George the First. Prince George is the third child of Prince Christian of
Denmark, brother of the Princess of Wales, and nephew of the King of Denmark. He
was born on the 24th of December, 1845, and is a cadet in the Danish navy.