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The theory of the vibrations of bodies supported on one extremity, has always been found to be of considerable difficulty: the rod appears to divide itself into several separately vibrating portions, independent of the general vibration ctf the body. It has been attempted to explain these appearances upon the Epicurean hypothesis, that sonorous bodies, when in vibration, emit particles of a peculiar nature, which, falling upon the ear, like light upon the eye, produce the phenomenon of sound. A revival of this opinion, which has slumbered for so many ages, has been lately attempted in France, by M. Azais; he imagines that every body which is capable of producing a musical sound, is constantly the centre of rays of sound, which it emits on every side: these Taysare formed of vibrating particles, projected from the internal parts of the elastic body. Thus a body is sonorous when all, or nearly all, the globules which it emits are isochronous, or begin and finish their vibrations together. When these vibrations are confused and unequal, the body from which they emanate produces only noise. Upon this theory percussion does not produce the sound of elastic bodies, it only serves to render the emission of vibrating molecules more abundant: for this reason, the force of percussion only influences the intensity of the sound; it does no determine either its nature or its

elevation. We shall refer those who wish to investigate farther into a theory which, although ingeniously supported, appears to be complicated, and to possess few advantages in the explanation of acoustic phenomena over that usually adopted, to the first volume of " Cours de Philosophic Generale," by M. Azais.

THE OPERA.

We are happy to learn on good authority that all the complicated differences which have delayed the arrangements for opening this theatre are at length amicably concluded. The treaty of peace, it is said, was finally ratified on Saturday, between the noble and distinguished persons who formed the Opera Committee and the lessees of the last season on the one part, and Mr. Ebers on the other, by which the latter gentleman comes into uninterrupted possession. The Chancery suit against Mr. Ebers is withdrawn, and great exertions will immediately be made to commence the season, which, it is determined, shall be conducted on a scale of great liberality. Several performers of the highest repute, both for the opera and ballet, are already engaged. Mr. Ebers, contemplating the issue, is also in treaty with some of the most attractive performers of the foreign theatres.;•

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While the town is amusing itself with the pantomimic representation of the old legend of the Dragon of Wantley, we shall present our readers with a sketch of the spot, or rather the entrance of the Dragon's Cave, at Whem Cliffe, near Wortley Hall, in Yorkshire. A more favourable subject for the pencil can hardly be imagined, and notwithstanding the ardour of pursuit which distinguishes the present age after every thing which belongs to the picturesque, we do not remember to have seen before the present sketch a drawing or print of this interesting scene, which bursts upon the sight as you turn near the lodge; to the right of which a broken gate brings you to the Dragon's Cave, ample and gloomy: the excavation of this recess in the rocks appears to be a natural production. At the farthest end, towards the top of the cave, are two apertures, which have been compared to the eyes of the monster glaring from above on the affrighted intruder. But whether contemplated as the dark abode of some ferocious beast, the haunt of banditti, or the cell of a recluse, its character is full of those qualities that furnish most completely the romantic in art; and instead of a "lodge in some vast wilderness," such as was suggested by the sensitive and melancholy mind of Cowper as a retreat from the world, its cares, and its crimes, this spot appears far better calculated to soothe and calm a perturbed spirit. But the days of the hermit have passed away with those of chivalry, and it is the busy mart and the

crowded city that the neglected and forlorn may apostrophize in the language of the poet, "This, this, is solitude I

The surrounding scenery of this picturesque spot is perfectly in accordance with the subject of the sketch. In the immediate vicinity of the cave, gigantic oaks appear growing out of the solid rocks, and from the cliffs above throw their "fantastic roots" in the shape' of such wild and uncouth grandeur as totally to set at naught the improver's art. From this delightful and romantic place, opposite, and on the right, may be seen an extent of prospect, overlooking a valley, at the bottom of which runs the river Dun, and from its margin rise hills richly interspersed with rock and foliage. Indeed, the whole of this neighbourhood is replete with every variety of the picturesque, and associated as it is with the old satirical ballad, the names of sir Edward and lady Mary Wortley Montagu, and the novel of Ivanhoe, it is hardly necessary to apologize for introducing this spot to the notice of the curious, who may chance to visit its vicinity. We cannot tell whether any alteration has jbeen effected since the time our sketch was taken/which is some little time since: the hand of time may have operated, but that is always in favour of the picturesque.

COX v. KEAN.

His late Majesty, in one of his gracious speeches to parliament, lamented the prevalence of disease among the horned cattle; but the royal language had no allusion to the aldermen of London. Bad as the times were, in many respects, the city magistrates did not then figure at Horn Fair. They looked after their wives as well as over their ledgers, and the most skilful actors were not able to make their heads ache. The affair of Kean and Mrs. Cox,in one view of it, is encouraging to the whole corps dramatioue; but in another, not quite so cheering. The ease with which the representations of Othello won the favours of his civic Desdemona, will naturally induce the players to turn their eyes towards Bow church; but the result of the late trial will as naturally have a counteracting tendency. Nevertheless, the whole corporation are not a little disturbed; and eveTy member of it instinctively claps his hand to his forehead. There is not a ward or precinct that does not feel queer on the occasion, nor a single common-council-man, or even liveryman, who is not troubled with stranje dreams. It is expected that a common-hall will be called, to] take into consideration the new course of histrionic gallantry, and the consequent alarming condition of the eastern portion of the metropolis. Some of the principal city ladies, determined to watch the motions of their lords, and not to resign any of their ancient privileges, are forming themselves into a kind of privy-council, of which Mr.

Kean, colonel K , or Mr. Whatmore,

is to be elected permanent secretary. Mrs. Cox does not care whether the actor, the soldier, or the clerk, is appointed to this honour, so it falls on one of them; but the generality of the female denizens object to such an election, as more calculated to increase than diminish the apprehension that has been excited among the cornutes, from Temple-bar to Tower-hill: and it is supposed, that should the ladies be such enemies to their own dearest interests, as to elect one of those gentlemen to the secretaryship, the corporation will beseech the lord mayor to yield his supremacy pro tempore, and permit alderman Cox to preside at the proposed common-hall. How far this perturbed and perplexing state of things may affect the present feelings of the Coxes and the Keans, male and female, or those of the colonel or the clerk, we know not; but at both the national theatres the acutest sensations have been awakened, especially among the ladies: who insist upon it, that the tragedian, great as he is, might have selected from the boards a female as worthy of his delicate epistles, as the consort of the proudest alderman living: and Miss Foote declares, that had he fixed on a theatrical, instead of a commercial heroine, for his private

amusement, (married or unmarried,)' she should have admired his taste as much as his morality, and would not hav» -grudged one of her own three thousand, towards covering the dilapidations of his purse,though she could not.Testore those of his reputation. However, a general green-room meeting, of the females of both houses, is, we understand, speedily to be called, in order to determine what is most proper to be done on this important and provoking occasion; and in compliment to his magnanimous intrepidity, in bringing Mr. Kean again before the public, so immediately after his unfortunate denouement, the Drury-lane manager is to be solicited to take the chair!

3&tbufo ana analgate.

THE SPIRIT OF THE AGE: OR, CONTEMPORARY PORTRAITS. LONDOn, pp. 424.

Mr. Hazlit—who of course is the author of the work before us—is a very clever writer, a bold and original thinker; but he is not the best qualified to portray his contemporaries. He has mingled too much in the strife to judge impartially of the combatants. For a long time he has been in the hottest of the fray, giving and receiving hard knocks on all sides:—he is an uncompromising politician; and maintains stoutly divers opinions on other matters, which tend to bias his decisions, as they bias the decisions of others in judging of himself. We have another objection to his assuming the office of Rhadamanthus. Though Mr. Hazlit is considered the best possible of portrait painters, we doubt whether he always paints to the life. That he brings out striking figures we admit, but are they correct likenesses! We think sometimes he draws more from his own imagination than the subject before him, and lays on his colours, and adjusts his proportions, more for the sake of effect, than to produce a just copy from nature. He seizes a single feature, and thence constructs his statue—often an extremely picturesque and extraordinary one, but frequently no more like the original, than Hyperion to a Satyr : — and we are sure Messieurs Bentham, Scott, Wordsworth, and the rest, must be greatly amused in seeing themselves pictured forth in the lively tapestry-representations of our author. We will endeavour to illustrate these strictures by hastily glancing through the volume, which comprises characteristic sketches of twenty-two of our most distinguished living writers.

The first, and probably the best in the cabinet, is the sketch of Mr. Bentham, whose personal and intellectual endow

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ments seem nicely discriminated, and justly appreciated. Mr. Bentham has the usual faults of a recluse; he knows little of the world, and entirely mistakes the application and importance of its own dogmas. He may rely, that calculations of utility will never sway the general conduct of mankind; and that passion, prejudice, and the affections, will usually form, without any nice balance of the good and evil resulting, the most general stimulants to human action. Mr. Bentham has lived for the last forty years in a house in Westminster,overlooking the park, like an anchoret in his cell, reducing law to a system, and man to a machine. He scarcely ever goesjout, and sees very little company. He talks a great [deal, and listens to nothing but facts. The following is Mr. Hazlit's description of this singular individual:

".There is something not altogether dissimilar between Mr. Bentham's appearance, and the portraits of Milton; the same silvery tone, a few dishevelled hairs, apeevish.yet puritanical expression ; an irritable temperament, concealed by habit and discipline. In modern times, he is something between Franklin and Charles Fox, with the comfortable double-chin and sleek, thriving look of the one, and the quivering lip, restless eye, and marked acuteness of trie other. His eye is quick and lively; but it glances not from object to object, but from thought to thought. He is evidently a man occupied with a train of some fine, inward associations. He regards the people about him no more than the flies of summer. He meditates the coming age. He lives and sees only what suits his purpose, or some 'foregone conclusion ;' looks out for facts and occurrences, in order to put them into his logical machinery, and grind them into the dust and {iowder of some subtle theory, as the miller ooks out for grist to his mill ! Add to this physiognomical sketch, the minor parts of costume, the open shirt-collar, the singlebreasted coat, the old-fashioned half-boots, and ribbed-stockings; and you will find in Mr. Bentham's general appearance a singular mixture of boyish simplicity and of the venerableness of age."

Mr. Bentham has no great fondness for poetry, though he admires Hogarth's prints, and, after the fatigue of study, relieves his mind by playing on an organ, or turns wooden utensils on a lathe for exercise. We pass on to Coleridge and Irving, in both of whom we think our author exemplifies the eccentricities to which we have adverted, and expatiates on the mere coinage of his own brain. With respect to the former, we can discern in him nothing mysterious, notwithstanding the fanciful

and Ossianic description of Mr. Hazlit. Coleridge evidently labours under a morbid sensibility; he is a mere intellectual epicure, who gloats over his own dreams and imaginings, and whose whole mental compound may be resolved into those fervid and fantastic elements which were formerly employed in manufacturing the novels of [the Minerva press. Irving obviously possesses a mind of a superior order; his views of religion, and its influence on society, are original; he has the enthusiasm of genius: such being the case, it is quite absurd to trace any considerable portion of his popularity to the merely adventitious circumstances of his Herculean shape or obliquity of vision.

We are sorry to see Mr. Hazlit in« dulge in an ill-natured and envious vituperation of sir Walter Scott. We care nothing about the politics of the great northern novelist—they are matters for the newspapers—but we feel a sincere admiration for him who has given a " second edition of human nature," and whose works have been a source of entertainment to myriads. They have contributed to something better than mere amusement; they have promoted a cheerful and social spirit in society, and counteracted, in some degree, the heartless indifference arising out of sceptical and metaphysical philosophy.

Mr. Campbell is sketched in just, but flattering, colours; and his Pegasus likened to a "beautiful manege horse, full of life and spirit in itself, and subject "to the complete control of the rider." We are not among the admirers of Mr. Crabbe's muse; his description of the pleasures of humble life, in our opinion, are as remote from truth and nature as some of the satirical caricatures of Swift of the opposite extreme of town licentiousness. Sir James Mackintosh is said to be by education and habit " a college man," and one of the ablest and most accomplished men of the age, both as a writer, a speaker, and a converser. Of Mr. Wordsworth it is said his " genius is a pure emanation of the Spirit of the Age." What could induce Mr. Hazlit to stick the author of the Essay on Population in his descriptive gallery we cannot imagine—unless as a peg, on which to hang some of his own recondite speculations. He might as well attempt to describe Salisbury plain, as the mind of a political economist, which affords not a single feature for the artist, —nothing picturesque—neither hill nor dale, but one unbroken level, of which all the varieties and undulations may be expressed in a monosyllable.

Mr. Gifford is described as one who has no pretensions to be thought a man of science, of taste,"" or even} of general knowledge. He is a critic of the last age, when the different editions of an author, or the dates of his performances, •were all that occupied the inquiries of a profound scholar; and the spirit of the writer, or the beauties of his style, were left to shift for themselves, or exercise the fancy of the reader. In judging of an author, if an enemy, the first thing he thinks of is to charge him with bad grammar—he scans jhis "sentences instead of weighing his sense; or if it is a friend, the highest "compliment he conceives it. possible to pay him is, that his thoughts and expressions are moulded on some hackneyed model. His standard of ideal perfectionis what'he himself now is, a person of mediocre . literary attainment: his utmost. contempt is shown by reducing any one to what he himself once was—a person withouUthe ordinary advantages of education and learning!

Next follow Mr. Jeffrey; lord Eldon, Southey, . sir. Francis Burdett, Moore, Leigh Hunt, Lamb, and others, on whom we have no room at present to offer any observations. There is also a portrait of Byron, but we prefer on that subject a rambling article which appeared some months ago in the London Magazine;— one describes the man, the other is a mere coup de theatre.

MUSICAL NOVELTIES.

Fantasia and Variations for the Pianoforte, on the celebrated Jager Chor., from Weber's Opera, Der Freischiitz. By F. Kalkbrenner.—5*.

Thk genius of Kalkbrenner blends well with that of Weber. Both are brilliant, and both are eccentric. In the variations subjoined to the Jager C/ior., we find the cast and spirit of the subject matter faithfully adhered to, and much of that startling vividity and flashing wildness, which have so materially contributed to draw the public attention to the composer of the music of Der Freischiitz. The passages included in the adscititious matter of this publication, have the merit of being imitative of the motivo on which thev are founded, without being too slavishly limited to what, as variations, they necessarily have a sensible relation. All dilatations of a chosen theme should be as a veil of gauze thrown over a figure, the form of which it is not to conceal or disguise, but to ornament and recommend. No slight praise is it to Mr. Kalkbrenner, that in the present instance, he has fully effected this purpose. j

Divertimento for the Piano-forte. Composed by G. E. Griffin.—3s. 6d.

With the tasteful and animated pianoforte compositions of Mr. Griffin, we have often been very agreeably entertained, as well as with his masterly style of manual execution. The present composition (in A flat major) comprises two movements, —a Larghetto, in triple time of three crotchets in a bar, and an Allegro, in common time-of two crotchets in;'a bar. The introduction is elaborate and wellstudied, and the succeeding and principal portion of the composition manifests much of that vigour and freedom of idea, displayed in Mr. G.'s previous publications. Were we to say, that as far as regards the executive feature of some of the passages, there is a little flirtation and affectation of volatility of finger, we should abide by the truth; but then it would scarcely be just not to add, that the velocity of the transitions never wholly carry away the composer's judgment, nor leave doubtful his general mastery in this province of instrumental composition.

.ffint 3rtt.

* Sir Thomas Lawrence has justexecuted a fine head of lady Beresford. The expression is very beautiful, and is enhanced by the head being turned to one side. The figure, which is drawn in, resembles in action the celebrated Thais of sir Joshua Reynolds. Mrs. Hope has also sat to sir' Thomas, and forms a pleasing portrait. A whole length is also nearly finished [of lord Rolles, in his robes.

A son of Mr. Lambton, a boy about twelve years of age, forms one of the finest pictures [that sir Thomas has yet painted. It is a whole length, in a contemplative attitude, resting his head upon his hand, and raising his eyes. He is dressed entirely in yellow velvet. The head of a child of lady Murray is admirable for its expression. It has that look so often observed in childhood, and for which the Collina of Reynolds is noted.

A picture scarcely inferior to the celebrated one of lady Blessington, is the portrait of lady Walscot, just painted. The expression of the countenance is most lovely, and her action truly graceful. She is playing upon a guitar.

David Hume, to induce a young Iady, who was very fond of reading novels, to read history, told her that there was no great difference between them, in point of falsehood, one being in general almost a* true as the other. _.

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