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even in America, a man should reflect twice, before, in this instance, he acts rashly once.

But what can we say for gentlemen who, with elegant houses and equipages-with a train of servants, and the opulence necessary to this style of living—with cultivated minds and polished manners, still live in celibacy: what shall we say of them, even with the mildest spirit, but that they mistake equally their duty, and their happiness.

It is true they have high examples to countenance them: most of the Royal Dukes are bachelors, but so many reasons of policy enter into the alliances of men of their rank, that we cannot wonder that they are not forward to connect themselves with those to whom, it may be, they are drawn by no attraction of the heart, and whose language, even, may be the shibboleth of a foreign tongue.

No.-XXIX. LONDON.

American refugees--American family-Family accommodations

in London—The Opera--An amusement of the great--Nature of an Opera-Absurdity of Italian Operas before an English audience.

In one way and another, a stranger will frequently find out his countrymen, and the strength of the tie of country is never fully felt, till one is placed in a foreign land. It is wonderful how, under such circumstances, all those prejudices which grow out of sect, party, and local feeling vanish, and are succeeded by more generous impulses. Since I came to London I have become acquainted with

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a venerable American, one of the few remaining of that class of men, who in America are known by the name of refugees. Among them were men of the first respectability and worth, who, conscientiously differing from their countrymen, either as to the principle of our resistance against this country, or our ability to sustain it, against such immense odds, (most of them however hesitated on the latter ground,) withdrew from their own country and took refuge in Britain, or in some of her still loyal colonies. Of this description I believe this old gentleman to have been. He was from Connecticut, was conversant with our family for two generations, before our time, and exhibited a fair specimen of that dignified description of men-the natural aristocracy of the country, who, formerly in New England, effected more in preserving the best interests of society, than can now be done by the naked force of law unaided by personal influence. This gentleman has some consequence here, as appeared from his being a governor of the Foundling Hospital, which I visited under his auspices; and, in a considerable circle of friends assembled at his own house, he maintained his own dignity, by wearing through the evening a cocked hat, although seated in his drawing room.

I have dined to-day, at the Caledonian Hotel, in the Adelphi buildings, with a very enlightened and polished American family, in which all the sympathies of country were again powerfully awakened, and much interesting discussion took place concerning England and America. This family, consisting of gentlemen, ladies and children, enjoyed in the Adelphi buildings, all the quiet and comfort of home without its cares. Large, elegant apartments, handsomely furnished, were exclusively appropriated to

this family, and in them their table was served, without any connection with the rest of the house. This is an example of the comfort which may be attained in Londou for every description of persons, but the price is of course proportionate.

THE OPERA.

At half past seven o'clock in the evening, I went with an acquaintance to the opera, which is in Ilay-marketstreet. You will recollect the amusing remarks of Addison on the subject of this opera, which was established in his time, that is, in the reign of Queen Anne, in 1705.

I had never seen any thing of the kind before, and I believe there is no opera in America. No place in the United Kingdoms is so much resorted to by people of rank and fashion, and in none is more expense in dress exhibited than here, and the prices for admission are much higher than at the other theatres. The opera is therefore in a great measure avoided by the lower, and even by the middle classes of society, and given up to the fashionable world. To

go into the boxes, or even into the pit without being in full dress, would be regarded as a high indecorum, and you will remember, that, in this country, full dress always implies un chapeau bras, that is, an enormous cocked hat, which folds in a manner perfectly flat, so as to be carried beneath the arm, when it is not on the head, (whence its French name of a hat for the arm) or even to be laid on the seat beneath the owner, or dangled in his fingers, by way of pastime or relief, from the awkward embarrassment of not knowing what to do with the hands.

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I shall not enter into a particular account of the entertainments of the opera. I feel strongly disposed to despatch the subject in one sentence, by saying that the opera is the most insipid, unintelligible, and stupid of all things that I have ever seen pass under the name of amusement. Notwithstanding this, it is the favourite amusement of the fashionable world, and the reason probably is, not because they are enraptured by Italian music and French dancing, but because the expensiveness of the opera makes it almost exclusively the amusement of the great, and probably because a frequent attendance there implies a knowledge of the Italian language, and thus may raise a suspicion of having travelled in Italy, a country which once furnished the world with heroes and conquerors, but now with singers and fiddlers; not Italy as it was when the Roman Eagle carried terror through the world, but Italy as it is now, frivolous and corrupt.

The opera-house is a vast and magnificent theatre, and its scenery and decorations are in the first style of elegance, expense and beauty. It has five or six tiers of boxes, a fact which will give you some idea of its height, and would hold many thousands of spectators. Without presuming to give a definition of an opera,

Í may safely say, that the one which I saw was an Italian drama, which was not spoken, like a common play, but sung by the actors and actresses, who are accompanied by appropriate instrumental music from the orchestra. seems to differ in no other respect from a common drama, for it is exhibited on a stage, with correspondent scenery, dresses, and action. Pantomimes and dancing seem to be appendages, and serve as interludes and conclusions.

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Now the humour of the thing is, that an English audience, not one in ten of whom can distinguish Italian from low Dutch, sit here five or six hours, to hear these performers sing an Italian drama, of which most of them comprehend not one sentence. They may, indeed, if they choose, give two shillings for the play with an English translation, which is sold at the door, but, then they must study it all the time of the performance, by which means they loose the action and scenery, and are still so much disturbed by what is going on that they can form no distinct comprehension of the plot of the play, even with the book before them. Like Goldsmith going in his youth to teach the Dutch Euglish, they must first procure the Hollanders to teach them Dutch. I remained and heard this Italian drama through, and although it was tedious and unintelligible, I must still do the performers and myself the justice to say that I did obtain one idea from the representation. It was manifest from their gestures fierce and mad demeanour,” that love was the main spring in the plot. This potent drug seems to be an indispensable ingredient in most theatrical compounds; without it they would not go down. In this instance, however, it did not as usual effervesce with bloodshed and murder.

The great things aimed at in the opera are the highest attainments of music, particularly vocal, and the most finished elegance of dancing. The music is such as can be ucderstood and relished only by amateurs, and the feats of the dancers, although wonderfully agile and elegant, are very extravagant, and those of the females very indecent. Minute description of dress and dancing as I saw them at the opera would compel a modest eye to turn

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