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ferred upon society at large will best be felt when we state the evils that accrued when a prohibition price was put upon good works. We find in 1844 that Mr. F. Hill, Inspector of Prisons for Scotland, in his eighth report says, after alluding to some highly moral books: "Unfortunately, the price of these books is so high as to exclude them from most prisons; and even in the larger prisons, it is not possible to have more than one or two copies." He also refers to a young man who was committed for taking part in a riot about wages, and who, after reading an article in "Chambers' Edinburgh Journal" on the duty of obedience to the laws, declared that if he had read that article a few months earlier he should not then have been in prison. The above extract powerfully proves the necessity of moderate prices for literary productions; and it is lamentable to think that for years the humbler classes, and those in whose moral correction the public are deeply interested, have been deprived of wholesome food for the mind.
Since writing the above we have seen a new work, which is a practical illustration of what we have contended for-the advantage of cheap books. "How we are Governed; or, The Crown, the Senate, and the Bench," is the title of a volume by Albany Fonblanque, jun., Esq., of the Middle Temple; which contains practical information that a few years ago would have been charged more than ten times the amount now asked. The work itself is a complete hand-book of the constitution, government, laws, and power of Great Britain; and is the production of a talented, painstaking man. Mr. Fonblanque comes before the public with new facts, new experiences, new ideas, new matter; he has collected the fruits of an extensive reading and deep research: the result has been a standard, useful volume, which will prove an inestimable benefit to every class of reader. That the courts of law, including every branch of that learned profession, from the County to the High Court of Parliament, should be ably treated by a rising barrister-at-law, does not surprise us; but when we find that the Church of England, the army and navy, Houses of Commons and Peers are equally well handled, we can have no hesitation in pronouncing the author as one of the most accomplished and useful writers of the day. The name of Albany Fonblanque has for years been associated with the best political essays that have appeared since those of Junius; and in many respects the late editor of the Examiner is superior as a writer to the "great unknown." Happy are we, then, to find that the mantle of the former has fallen upon a young relative, who, if we mistake not, will in due course of time not only attain celebrity at the bar, but take a high position in the literary ranks of our country.
PUBLIC AMUSEMENTS OF THE METROPOLIS.
Never, perhaps, was November ushered in with the same amount of prosperity to theatres as at the present. With no inconsiderable number of houses open, the business in nearly all instances is more than good — it being, indeed, excellent. In point of attraction, first comes the HAYMARKET, with Mr. and Mrs. Charles Mathews fresh from the land of stripes, gin-sling, and modest merit. Albeit the desire to see an old favourite, such as Mr. Mathews, once more is very general, still there can be no doubt that the nightly crush has in it somewhat of curiosity to behold his newly-wedded wife. Her appearance has completely
driven certain critics raving mad. To read their highly-wrought. panegyrics is like browsing on the poetical pasturage of by-gone fields of literature. Her beauty is extolled beyond the warmest imagination. Her figure is described as elegant, graceful, and dignified. Eulogium upon eulogium! Yet, for all, what is the plain truth-the dull, prosaic fact? The newcomer possesses vivacity, but to say her eye beams with intelligence is simply absurd. Indeed, the beauty of face, which has sent her rhapsodical admirers into ecstasies, resembles very much the style of loveliness encountered at Madame Tussaud's; and the figure, so entrancing to many, if it be not ungallant to relate, comes under the unpoetical description of dumpy. Her Lady Gay Spanker in "London Assurance" is not an exceedingly brilliant performance, at the same time it is in spirit and manner fully equal to that of many modern actresses. The Dazzle of Mr. Mathews in the comedy, and the Motley of the same actor in "He Would be an Actor," could not be played in the same clever, happy, and amusing manner by any one else. His visit to the United States, although it appears not to have lessened him in public favour, has most decidedly reduced him in weight; which, after all, may be considered an advantage than otherwise, for the characters he sustains. The engagement of Mr. and Mrs. Mathews, judging from its immense success, bids fair to be prolonged.
If modern comedy with its chief actors is thus worshipped in the Haymarket, the classic drama is not altogether friendless in Oxfordstreet. To make his farewell season remembered for the representation of all those revivals which have so distinguished the management of Mr. Charles Kean, the plan of resuscitation has been hit upon. The first of the series of Shakspeare's plays thus produced-"King Jolin"has been brought forward with all that correctness of taste, historic accuracy of costume, scenic embellishment, and general attention to details, so remarkable at the PRINCESS's. What is deficient in spectacular grandeur is more than made up for in the acting. The Constance of Mrs. Kean, the Prince Arthur of Miss Ellen Terry, the Hubert of Mr. Ryder, and the Falconbridge of Mr. Walter Lacy are the most prominent impersonations-the palm being due to Miss Ellen Terry, a more natural and finished piece of acting being seldom witnessed. Her scene in the fourth act is easy, simple, and most lifelike, without the slightest indication of stage tutoring. In the same scene the acting of Mr. Ryder is marked by a strong manly style and fine feeling. With all these advantages, a short reign, however, is to be accorded "King John," the note of preparation having already been. sounded for "Macbeth" to take the field.
To revert to the comic muse, the LYCEUM has just been closed by Mr. Falconer, who begins operations once more on Boxing-night with a valuable increase to the strength of his company; including, amongst others, Mr. and Mrs. Keeley and their newly-married daughter. The manager's own comedy ofExtremes" has, by its run, fully proved that a good comedy of the day is of itself a success. During the interval, M. Jullien will provide plenty in the shape of musical entertainment for the town. His concerts this year savour rather of the melancholy, the title being "Farewell Concerts." This is to be accounted for in the fact of the popular conductor being intent on a tour through nearly every country under the sun.
Music in a more extended sphere prospers mightily, DRURY LANE, under the management of Miss Louisa Pyne, and Mr. W. Harrison,
being nightly full. Indeed, at Christmas it is their intention to move to the larger salle of Covent Garden, where they will produce Mr. Balfe's new opera. In the meantime, his "Rose of Castile" is blooming away three nights a week, the other evenings being devoted to Flotow's "Martha," given by singers and orchestra with considerable, although not the same effect which attended its performance over the way. The opera is magnificently placed upon the stage, attention having manifestly been bestowed on the minutest particulars.
The taste of those who, rather than listen to the soothing strains of music, feel gratified by partaking of the horrible, is amply catered for at the OLYMPIC, where "The Red Vial" and its concomitants may be swallowed. It is pleasant to see in this instance the love for the morbid is anything but gratified, the drama of horrors being nothing less than a gigantic failure. Failure it is, although the managers, with an obstinacy worthy of a better cause-then it would be perseverancepersist in playing it rightly, to the terror of the children and cab-horses of Wych-street.
How very different the policy of a near neighbour! Miss Swanborough taking care that the STRAND shall be enlivened, and not horrified. Not only are the pieces of an amusing kind, but they are produced in rapid order, never for a moment allowing public taste to pall. This is management, and the satisfactory result is richly deserved. Amongst the novelties, the burlesque of "The Maid and the Magpie, or the Fatal Spoon," deserves to take high rank. It is seldom an entertainment of this description is made so thoroughly amusing. The allusions in it are well-timed and humorous; the dialogue is exceedingly brilliant; and the puns are of that infinite variety comprised in the excellent, pretty fair, and shockingly bad. The acting is specially good, particularly that of Miss Oliver, Miss Ternan, Miss M. Wilton, and Mr. Clark. A more pleasant quartet never contributed to the amusement of an audience, and it may be added that seldom were four characters better suited to their representatives.
Hippodramatic amusements have lately been increased by the reopening of ASTLEY's, where Mr. Cooke has not only redecorated his house, but he has also introduced several modifications, which in most cases meet with approval. Amongst the most prominent of these is the reduction of prices, a monetary reform held in high regard by the numerous, industrious, but not over-affluent citizens of Lambeth. Sir Walter Scott has been drawn upon to furnish the leading drama. Accordingly a spectacle built upon Old Mortality is now dazzling the eyes and astonishing the senses of all those who innocently supposed that they were already acquainted with the mighty magician's most potent works.
The arena in Leicester-square is to be in a day or two once more filled by the American stud of Messrs. Howes and Cushing, who, as managers, are determined that the Britishers shall have no feasible cause of complaint.
Not only are places of public amusement such as those spoken of now receiving their full share of support, but the POLYTECHNIC manages to secure attention. Science is made the leading feature now, many of the lectures being in every way calculated to instruct those whose avocations would not perhaps admit, even if their inclination did, of their attending remote congresses on Social Science.
STATE OF THE
ODDS, & c.
Mr. Starkey's hunters were sold at the same time. Fisherman had been previously disposed of.
Lord Glasgow gave Lord Derby 2,400 guineas and half the Grand Duke Michael Stakes for Toxophilite just previous to that race. Sir Joseph Hawley purchased Lord Nelson in the Second October meeting. Mr. Wentworth has sold Cheery Chap to Captain Reynard; Lord Portsmouth Olympias to Mr. Ten Broeck; and the latter Charleston, as a stallion, to Sir Joseph Hawley.
J. G. Dockeray, private trainer to Mr. T. L. Massaloff, of Moscow, has purchased the following blood stock for Russia: Brown yearling filly by The Confessor out of Cornucopia; chesnut filly by Harkaway out of Kitty-Cut-a-Dash; chesnnt yearling filly by Stockwell out of Plush; bay yearling colt by Daniel O'Rourke out of Sauter la Coupe's dam, for Mr. Massaloff; and Clara, 2 yrs., for Mr. Ford's stud at Moscow.
Count Batthyany, a most popular sportsman with all classes, has been elected a member of the Jockey Club.
Henry Wadlow, the trainer, is dead; and Death, of Ascot, has retired from business.
Mr. Robert Ridsdale, a prominent man on the turf some thirty years ago, died suddenly at Newmarket on the 23rd of October. He was the owner of St. Giles and Margrave, and at one period a confederate of Mr. Gully's. But fortune did not always smile so kindly on the Ridsdales.
The autumn edition of "Ruff's Guide" appeared early in the past month, made right up to Doncaster, with performances of the twoyear-olds, Derby lots, and an index as complete and handy as usual. In fact, there is no such ready reference to what is doing on the turf.
At the time we write there is nothing left, up to the form of a Derby first favourite. Seldom, indeed, has the race looked so open. The Promised Land was going back even before his defeat, and "good information," and such like authority, will now have plenty of scope. The placing of our table may be considerably disarranged even before the end of this Houghton week, as there is scarcely anything with character enough to withstand the latest impression.
(LATE MASTER Of the old berkshire.)
ENGRAVED BY J. B. HUNT, AFTER THE ORIGINAL PICTURE BY FRANCIS GRANT, ESQ., R.A.
ENGRAVED BY E. HACKER, FROM A PAINTING BY A, COOPER, R.A.
DIARY FOR DECEMBER.
The late Mr. H. Combe-Stud Mems.-The Flying DutchmanTwos and Threes-Sporting Prints and Books-" Hawthorn " on Grouse Protection-Coursing of the Month--Mr. Rarey's Lapland Tour-Ralph Holding, the Horse Tamer-Death of Young Leedham-Sundry Hound Books-Mr. Ferneley's Melton Studio-The Quorn, The Belvoir, and The Tedworth JAMES MORRELL, ESQ. (LATE MASTER OF THE OLD BERKSHIRE) 381
DAYS AND NIGHTS OF WILD-FOWL SHOOTING.
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HOUNDS AND HUNTING THE PAST AND THE PRESENT.-BY
CURRAGH SEPTEMBER MEETING--