Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

to the self-love of a singer, male or female, than a tumultuous and unanimous encore. The encores should of course be properly discriminated; but if they are so, the performer (unless prevented by indisposition, which is easily signified by a gesture or a look) complies with the call for repetition with quite as much pleasure as it is made. Beside the flattering distinction which it confers, an encore gives an opportunity of showing, by the introduction of tasteful variations, the full capacity, skill, and science of the singer. The beautiful Spanish ballad in the third scene of the second act, and the latter part, (zitti, zitti,) of the terzetto, being supposed by the audience less difficult to repeat, were rapturously encored ; and the calls were, in both instances, attended to with a readiness, which, while it relieved her admirers from the painful apprehension of having asked too much, greatly heightened the favour which they could not restrain themselves from asking. On the third night, Signorina Garcia substituted for the Spanish ballad, the favourite English air of “ Home, sweet home,” which, though far inferior to the other in mere melody, was sung with a purity of accent and perfection of tone that made up for the common-place baldness of the air. We should have been perfectly satisfied, if the first song had also been repeated, and we seriously recommend to our too considerate audience a little more confidence on such occasions. The solicitations of genuine admiration do not begin to be troublesome so soon as the timid lover or the diffident amateur are naturally inclined to suppose.

Among the innumerable fine points of Mademoiselle Garcia's singing, we beg leave to mention the following few. In the air of “ Una voce poco fa,” the beautiful divisions on the word Lindoro and cento trappole farò giocar; the graceful and expressive emphasis with which the words lo giurai, la vincerò, are accompanied, and the change of tone and manner at the word ma towards the conclusion of the air ; (we may observe, by the way, that Mlle Garcia's action and expression of the sentiment of this air are inimitably beautiful;) the recitative in the fifth scene; the effusion of girlish spite in the sixth scene, “ crepa di rabbia, &c."; the whole of the duet with Figaro; the words “grazie, grazie,” when Almaviva, as the drunken soldier, presents her his letter; Rosina's counterfeit complaint in the same scene, “Ecco quà, sempre un' istoria ;" the ebullition of vexation and impatience, “maledetto seccatore, &c." in the quintetto; the cry of surprise and anger when Basilio returns to repeat once more his eternal “buona sera”; the touching exclamation of mingled wonder, joy, and gratitude, “ah mio signore,” in the exquisite terzetto between Rosina, Almaviva, and Figaro; and

indeed, the musical execution of every part of the two last mentioned pezzi concertati.

In dwelling on the extraordinary endowments of this admirable singer, we have been insensibly drawn into an essay of unintended length, so that we must reserve the continuation of our paper for the future numbers of our Magazine.

The subscribers to the New York Review and Atheneum Magazine are informed that the Senior Editor of the Journal still continues to conduct it, in conjunction with his former Associate.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

THE

NEW-YORK REVIEW.

JANUARY, 1826.

ART. VII.-A Practical Treatise on Rail-Roads and Carriages,

showing the principles of estimating their strength, proportions, expense and annual produce, and the conditions which render them effective, economical and durable ; with the theory, effect and expense of sleam carriages, stationary engines, and gas machinery, illustrated by four engravings and numerous useful tables. By THOMAS TREDGOLD, Civil Engineer, Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, &c. NewYork, E. Bliss & E. White.

The subject of rail-roads has of late attracted an unusual degree of public attention in Great Britain, and has also become an object of discussion and interest in various parts of this country. It was therefore with much pleasure that we hailed the appearance of Tredgold's work in an American dress.

Of all public works, those which facilitate the means of internal commerce, and promote a rapid exchange, not only of commodities, but of information, and mental improvement, may be considered as marking in the most pointed manner, the state of civilization in the countries in which they are constructed.

It is only within a few years that the nations of Europe have reached an elevation in this respect, equal to that attained by the ancient Romans. To the works or remains of that

people, wonderful alike for its humble origin, its rapid progress, and its final extent of dominion, legislators and jurists, poets and philosophers, mechanics, mathematicians, and even divines, looked, up to the beginning of the last century, for the models and principles of their several professions ; and were humbly content to imitate, without ever hoping to emulate or equal their originals. This state of pupilage has at last ceased ; and although we

12

Vol. II.

may still venerate the literature of the ancient world, we have at length far surpassed them both in science and art.

In nothing was the wisdom of the Romans more remarkable, than in the construction of their public roads; and in this, perhaps alone of all the arts, are we still behind them. These roads, originally military ways, first furnished the means of con: quest, next maintained the subjection of the conquered countries, and finally became the source of wealth and civilization to the barbarous people submitted to their arms. Besides the Appian, Flaminian and Emilian ways in Italy, the provinces of Gaul and Spain, and even their distant dominion of Britain, were every where intersected by lasting and durable roads, that even to the present day attest the labours of the unwearied legionary. That grass never again grew where a Roman army had trod, is no figurative expression, for we may still trace their brown uncultivated vestiges through the moors of Scotland, the marshes of Flanders, and the sierras of Castile. A Roman citizen might pass from his residence within the walls of the eternal city, and crossing the Tiber on the Milvian bridge, proceed by Milan to Aquilcia on the extreme frontier of Italy, thence through Rhetia, Noricum, and Pannonia to Byzantium, traverse the whole breadth of Asia Minor, and after visiting Antioch and Tyre, enter Egypt and reach Alexandria ; he might then extend his journey to Carthage and the Pillars of Hercules, and crossing the Mediterranean, return by Spain, Gaul and Liguria to Rome ; performing, except where the sea intervened, his

whole journey of near nine thousand miles, upon roads that for perfection of construction, and cost of erection, have never been equalled. Indeed, the care and precautions taken to render these roads lasting, appear to us excessive, and far beyond the importance of even those that were most frequented. Those on which most labour was expended were in the neighbourhood of the metropolis itself. Of these, the Appian way, although more than two thousand years have elapsed since it was completed, still exists for the length of several miles in the neighbourhood of Fondi, in a state almost perfect ; not to mention many other places where considerable portions are found equally entire. The structure of these remains has been carefully examined, and will furnish us with an instance of the manner in which these great works were constructed. The upper surface is composed of great blocks of stone, extremely hard, and of a character that permitted it to be fashioned into irregular five and six sided polygons ; these are so well fitted to each other, that the edge of a knife can with difficulty be passed into the joints. They are bedded in a mass of mortar filled with

« ZurückWeiter »