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the poetry and music of Italy than duced; but, although Guadagni and the languid manner of his prede- Frasi sang in them, they failed one cessor, Festing. A dramatic com- after another. poser named Ciampi came almost Dr. Croza, finding that the dark immediately after Giardini's arrival. cloud which had obscured the opeHis works were indifferent, and full ratic atmosphere for four years of commonplace passages. During would not disperse, determined to the season nothing of any import- rid himself of his responsibilities in ance was produced, nor were there & very summary manner. April 7, any singers of distinction, with the 1750, he took a personal benefit, exception of Guadagni and Signora and then ran away, leaving the perFrasi-and the former was still formers and innumerable tradesyoung, and to a great extent un- people and others largely in debt. finished, while the latter was not He disappeared altogether; and an held in much estimation. At the advertisement was inserted in the beginning of the next season, No- 'Daily Advertiser,' May 15, signed vember, 1749, there was a schism at by Henry Gibbs, a tea merchant in the theatre, and the composer, with Covent Garden, offering a reward of the principal singers, quarrelled thirty pounds to any one who would with Dr. Croza, quitted his esta- secure his person. This event put blishment in a huff, and erected an end to operas of all kinds for their standard at the Little Theatre some time. in the Haymarket, where they per- Among fashionable musical enterformed a new comic opera, set by tainments then in vogue was the Ciampi, called “Il Negligente,' nine Ridotto, first introduced in 1722. times. Dr. Croza, with his remain- It consisted of a selection of songsing staff, brought out a burletta
sung chiefly by Senesino, Baldassari, at the end of January—'Madama Salvai, and Mrs. Anastasia RobinCiana,' composed by Latilla in 1744 On the conclusion of the confor Venice, where it had achieved a cert, the performers on the stage brilliant success; but here it was so joined the company in the pit by frigidly received that it did not sur- means of the bridge that connected vive the second night. Almost all the two, which was the signal for the comic operas of that period, the commencement of a ball: this when transplanted from Italy to the terminated the amusements of the colder clime of England, failed. evening.
Ranelagh Gardens at Dr. Burney ascribes the reason to Chelsea were built and opened for
our natural aversion to being told musical performances in 1742. They what we should admire;' but it is were the original speculation of Mr. more probably to be found in the
Lacy, joint patentee with Garrick in simple cause that the light, local Drury Lane Theatre. They were fun of one country is not to be prettily planned, and extended down understood or appreciated by the to the Thames; a superb orchestra, natives of another, as is proved by from which concerts of vocal and the almost utter impossibility of instrumental music were given, was conveying a just idea of the jokes erected in the centre of a capacious and good sayings of a foreign na- rotunda, with boxes for refreshment tion; for when translated or ex- in the interior, in which part of the plained they are either given in a company sat, while the rest promedifferent form or lose their zest. naded in full dress before them. Several other pieces were pro
E. C. C.
NOTES DRAWN ON THE AVON BANK FOR GENERAL
CIRCULATION. HEN these pages first meet the descended at a rattling good speed.
public eye, the festivities The Inspectors of the Board of with which it is intended to celebrate Trade not having discovered this the completion of three hundred tramway, the occurrence or non-ocyears from the birth of Shakespeare currence of accidents was left chiefly will be at their height. Thousands to the goodness of Providence. of visitors will-if the inhabitants of When we came to the foot of the Stratford be not grievously disap- incline the guard applied his break pointed-have poured into that quiet as tightly as he could, we all, to the town, intent on demonstrating their best of our individual capacities, held reverence for the memory of our on to our seats, and if we had taken national pout by all manner of loud firm hold we thus managed to avoid talking, by earnest eating and drink- being pitched off head-foremost. ing, by play-acting, music, and danc- When the carriage came to a stand, ing-in short, by availing them- the horse dismounted and drew us selves of all those means of making along as before. There was a tunnel merry and enjoying themselves
approaching which the which are being carefully provided, driver was kind enough to suggest after the fashion in which from time that such of the outside passengers immemorial the English people as thought it likely they would have have worshipped the objects of their any further use for their brains adoration, burning grateful incense should duck their heads as low as always in the proportion of one to possible, and carry their hats in the idol and two to themselves. their hands, And thus, following
But of all those who by road or chiefly the course of the river Stour, rail, afoot or mounted, will thus go we wound very pleasantly through pilgrimaging to the poet's land, it is shady lanes where the high hedgenot probable that any one will reach rows, forming a grateful screen from Stratford by the mode of transit the hot sun, could be reached by the which first conveyed me there; for hand on either side. Or we ran Stratford at that time had no rail- along the public highway, not sepaway, or at least if it had one the rated from it by any fence, stopping people of Stratford refused to admit now and then to take up or set the fact, or to call it anything but a down a wayfarer or to refresh our tramway. And by this tram from thirsty selves with beer. At what the village of Moreton-in-Marsh, pace we went, or whether that pace some fifteen miles away, the present would be most approximately calcuwriter first made his way to the lated in miles to the hour, or hours Shakespearian shrine. His recollec- to the mile, we hardly know. It tions of that ride are a curious com- was all so very pleasant, and seemed bination of the impressions made by to last so long, -we are of opinion travelling by coach and travelling that, except on the break-neck inby rail. The journey was performed clines, no great despatch was either outside an ordinary railway carriage sought after or obtained, and it which had been adapted to the would generally have been quite necessities of horse-traction. It safe to get down and walk a little. was fitted with box for driver, and There was always pleasant matter seats beside him for passengers. for speculation, too, as to what Attached to the carriage in front was county we were in at that particular a platform, on which the sagacious moment. For, starting in Glouceshorse (the only locomotive used on tershire, we found ourselves prethe Stratford and Moreton Railway) sently in Worcestershire, forthwith mounted when it had drawn our in Warwickshire, then for another carriage to the top of an incline, thus breathing space in Worcestershire, escaping being tripped up as we anon again in Gloucestershire, back
into Worcestershire, thence once tremely like those of other English more into Gloucestershire, until at towns;- nay, that it is blessed even last the graceful spire of Stratford with a mayor and corporation, with rising before us, we trundled across a local board of health, a vestry, a the beautiful Avon, and ended our tax-gatherer, a bellman, a policeman, journey in Warwickshire,-the shires a pair of stocks,—with all, in short, in these parts being intermixed very that marks an advanced stage of singularly, and we having in our civilized society and stamps the short journey made no less than town a substantial prosaic fact, with seven changes of this kind. Since no more of myth about it than there then we have visited Stratford many is about Hackney or Brentford. scores of times, having, in fact, come But over and above all this we to be almost a townsman of that venture to predict there will be the place, but never again have we 'old feeling stronger than ever that journeyed, or shall we journey there Stratford is not the name of a place 80 pleasantly. The tramway, it is but the alias of a man. All that the true, still exists, and is worthy the visitor sees around him,-all that he attention of all archæologists; but hears, — all that he reads, — all passengers to Stratford no longer that is done will have relation pass over its ancient, perilous rails.
less directly to this It exists only as a superseded idea.
He will observe how the Its modest glories have paled before people of this little town have exthose of the modern and quite un- erted themselves to erect an elegant interesting railways which have pavilion to seat five thousand people, pierced Stratford from the north and -have built it surely with credit to from the south.
the town and to the local architects, So that our visitor does reach - have abandoned all other pursuits Stratford, however, it matters but for the sake of celebrating with the little in what way. We take it for greater honour, according to their granted that he, coming amongst us lights and to the degrees of wisdom as a stranger at this special time, with which they are blessed, this has in reality but one idea connected great national festival. Behind this with the place he is visiting. With fact, and serving as an effective backhim 'Stratford-upon-Avon' is not ground to bring all into bolder relief, so much a topographical name as a he will remember that Stratford, personal one. To him Stratford and viewed in relation to this festivity, is Shakespeare are convertible terms, as the centre, not of England only, not they are to nineteen-twentieths of even of Europe only, but we may the people who read books. All say without magniloquence, of the that we know of Shakespeare the man whole world. That in all the is so dim and shadowy that after we busiest cities of England there are have put together all the items of gatherings more or less enthusiastic knowledge which the research of in celebration of this tercentenary centuries has been able to amass, we day ;—that in Germany, in France, seem to have got but one great cen- in America, in far-off India ;-wheretral fact by which to hold firmly,- ever the English language is read that it was here, namely, here in this or spoken, companies of men are very town, that Shakespeare lived, assembled, proud to call themselves and wrote, and died. And it is countrymen of Shakespeare;-proud, certain that all who go to Stratford not his countrymen, of their power with this one fixed idea wille be to read his words,-and that in all likely to depart with it more firmly these places, and amongst all these rooted than ever. They will, it is men, there is a disposition to turn true, have realized to themselves that and look in one direction, and that, Stratford is demonstrably something as the Moslem turn and bow towards more than a name;—that it is an Mecca, these are saying from time actual place still existent on the face to time how they wish they could of the earth, with latitude and longi- look in upon the doings at Stratford. tude of its own;-a real English town And if the stranger be of a sanmade up of streets and houses ex- guine, enthusiastic disposition he all your
may persuade himself that here at for a week,- you will see his room last he has come upon an intellectual on the other side the passage, - you Utopia, where he has found a pro- will see a fire-poker on which is enphet who has honour amongst his graved “Geoffrey Crayon's sceptre,” own people, and a people who -you will see old William the rightly appreciate and glory in the waiter, who will tell you all about it.' distinction that attaches to their And then he withdraws to the other home. Let him attemper these beau- side of the passage, and the convertiful ideas, however, before he leaves. sation reverts to the subject of crops They are too pleasing to be enjoyed or cattle. Nay, here are even those without some alloy. "We people of amongst us who speak irreverently Stratford-upon-Avon are not, as a of the coming celebrations. •Well, rule, more effusive or sentimental Mr. B-,' we said but yesterday, than you people of 'Stratford-atte- 'and what do you think of all these Bowe.' We pass the birthplace preparations; taken itself without so much as looking up tickets ?' And Mr. B-~'s reply was at it. When we meetover our glass one which we fear will move Engand our pipe our talk is of heifers land to indignation-Tom-foolery,' and teggs, of the price of beans and he said, “a lot of tom-foolery.' But oats, of the prospect of a railway of course Mr. B---- is in a minority, being made through the neighbour though hardly, we believe, in a miing parishes, of anything, in short, nority of one. rather than of Shakespeare. From Nor, indeed, are all the strangers the Forest of Arden, from Wilmcote, who look in upon us, strangers who from Snitterfield, from Welford come thinking of Shakespeare only. (where there is to this day an actual Frequently there are cheap trips to may-pole still to be seen), from Stratford. Such a one, on Easter drunken Bidford,' from 'haunted Monday just now passed, brought us Hilbro', from dancing Marston,' we from Birmingham and Staffordshire jog to market at Stratford, never about a thousand people. Of these thinking that these classic but little over a hundred visited the names. Charlcote, with its fine old house in which Shakespeare was born, house, with its river flowing tran- and only about half a hundred went quilly as it flowed three hundred to look at his tomb. It should be years ago, with its park (scene, as is explained, however, that there were so persistently and agreeably be- unusual counter-attractions. It haplieved, of the apotheosis of poaching) pened that on this particular day the -with all its associations, is no basins of the canal were empty and ground of romance to us. It is a number of workmen were engaged merely the seat of Squire Lucy, who clearing them of mud. To watch so drove past just now, and whose mare interesting an operation from two to we thought was going a little stiff three hundred of the visitors stood on the off leg,—who is not at all on the wharves for hours. They ashamed to bear the name and to be rewarded with vociferous applause of the family of him who has with the lucky captor of any eel or other one consent been identified as the fish which had not succeeded in justice who is best known by a burying itself. They were not dename evidently not given him on terred even by the pelting rain from account of his wisdom. When the supporting with their presence these tourist joins us at our market dinner industrious labours and researches. we know him at once. And when he It is quite possible, therefore, that if attempts to turn the conversation the basins had not happened to into a Shakespearian channel his require mudding, or if there had been failure is often signal. 'Known to fewer little fishes for the boys to Americans as Washington Irving's hunt, more of the visitors might hotel,' he will say, reading the head- have found time for Shakespeare. line of our host's hotel bill. And During the tercentenary festivals it then he asks us how it comes to be is not likely that similar distractions so known. We tell him · Because will arise. Visitors will be free to Washington Irving once stayed here surrender themselves to the more
legitimate attractions of the town [This is especially worthy the atand its neighbourhood. In the in- tention of youthful poets, as it will tervals of banqueting, theatricals, show them what is precisely the and concerts, they will pay due ob- proper ' attitude of inspiration,' and lations at the local shrines, and make the position which it is right to aspatient pilgrimages from scene to sume when idolizing'a bust.] Lest they should not be
*Jones's Phusiglyptic Museum, Bull provided with a suitable guide-book,
Lane. we make quotations from the ‘Visitors' Guide to Stratford-upon- A cursory visit may be made to Avon,' as it appears week by week this person, who is a connoisseur, in our local newspaper, “The Strat- and a self-taught carver of grotesque ford-upon-Avon Chronicle;'—for we figures of the creation, made from are to this day a literary people, nature's curious roots and branches, and support two weekly papers
and contains also, portraits of many here. The principal points of at
eminent men.' traction are described as follows:- [One cannot but feel the most proShakespearian Relics at Mrs. James's,
found respect for any gentleman corner of High Street,
who keeps a phusiglyptic museum,
' who is a connoisseur, and contains · Visitors are invited by the pro- also, portraits of many eminent men.' prietor to inspect the curious and
We are astonished that the editor invaluable relics of the immortal should speak of him as this person.' Shakespeare, removed from his
We commend Mr. Jones to the imbirthplace in 1820, where they had
mediate attention of the committee been shown for a century previously, of the National Portrait Gallery.] including a plaster representation in relievo of the Battle between David
The Falcon Tavern, opposite the
Guild Chapel. and Goliah, together with the First Visitors' Book, commencing in 1812, *Mentioned by Dr. Drake, in his to the present period, including auto- “ Noontide Leisures," as having been graphs of George IV., William IV., kept, in Shakespeare's time, by one Duke of Wellington, Lord Byron, Julius Shaw; also, in Ireland's Louis Philippe, Sir Walter Scott, "Avon," Brewer's "Warwickshire," Hogg, Kean Washington Irving, and and other works. In the smokeother eminent individuals.'
room, where there is no doubt the [It is not on the face of it quite
immortal bard has oft been heard to clear in what way a 'plaster repre
say "Shall I not take mine ease in sentation of the Battle between David
mine inn ?" is the wainscoting from and Goliah,' or even an autograph
New Place.' of the above-named 'first gentle
[It is not pleasant to learn that man,' are 'curious and invaluable Shakespeare was in the habit of relics of the immortal Shakespeare,'
spouting his own works at a publicnor how many of these autographs
house; but no doubt the editor could have been shown for a cen
speaks with authority. We must tury previously' to 1820. But no
be content to take our great men as doubt this will be all explained at
we find them.] the corner of High Street.]
The Birthplace of Shakespeare, Henley * Shakespeare's Hall, corner of Chapel
* This national property has reHere may be seen an admirable cently undergone considerable imfull-length painting, by Wilson, of provement, both in the house and Shakespeare in the attitude of in- the garden that surrounds it. The spiration; the one by Gainsborough, garden in which the house stands is of Garrick reclining gracefully upon laid out, and planted with trees and a pedestal, idolizing the poet's bust. shrubs, all of which have a ShakeBoth these paintings were presented spearian association, by being seby Garrick and his wife o the cor- lected from those mentioned by the poration.
dramatist in his works.'