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Amplius lava me ab iniquitate meâ !
MARY! I see the penitential tears
JAMES A. MORRIS.
him.” Sir Robert Naunton, in his Fragmenta Regalia, says of him, “Sir Fulke Grevile, since Lord Brooke, had no mean place in her (Elizabeth's) favour, neither did he hold it for a short term, for, if I be not deceived, he had the longest lease, and the smoothest time, without rub, of any of her favourites. He came to the court in his youth and prime, for that is the time or never. He was a brave gentleman, and honourably descended from Willoughby, Lord Brooke, and admiral to Henry the Seventh. Neither illiterate, for he was, as he would often profess, a friend to Sir Philip Sidney; and there are of his, now extant, some fragments of his poems, and of those times, which do interest him in the Muses, and which show the Queen's election had ever a noble conduct, and it motions more of virtue and judgment than of fancy. I find that he neither sought nor obtained any great place or preferment in court during all the time of his attendance, neither did he need it, for he came thither backed with a plentiful fortune, which, as himself was wont to say,' was the better held together by a single life,' wherein he lived and died, a constant courtier of the ladies." He was also a favourite with James the First, who, on his coronation, made him a Knight of the Bath, and afterwards, in 1620, created him a peer. He had previously filled several high offices in the state, having been James's under treasurer, and chancellor of the exchequer, and a member of the privy council. Such was his love for letters, that in the beginning of the reign of Charles the First, of whose privy council he was also a member, he founded a history lecture in Cambridge University, and endowed it with a salary to the professor of 1001. a-year. As this instance may partly testify, Lord Brooke was a munificent patron of literature, and his liberality and beneficence are frequently celebrated in the dedications and laudatory sonnets of the poets and writers of that day, by many of whom also was his tragical death unfeignedly lamented.
THE ITALIAN OPERA.—The winter season at her Majesty's Theatre closed on the 11th of April. Such a designation of a series of performances lasting only six weeks, and extending into the spring, may hardly sound as appropriate or well chosen. It is nevertheless intelligible; at least it is so to Italian ears, as distinguished from the spring in its theatrical meaning-that is, the season which commences on Easterday at Naples, and on Easter Monday throughout the greater part of Italy, not belonging to the kingdom of the Two Sicilies. We must now look at what has been done during this short time. Torquato Tasso has been followed by La Somnambula and Beatrice di Tenda; the latter performed only twice, although the second performance had more than sufficiently raised it in public estimation to render a third performance not only desirable, but imperatively necessary. Beatrice di Tenda is the latest opera of Bellini (as far as relates to the period of its production), except I Puritani. An opinion prevails in this country that it is one of Bellini's earlier works; an opinion resting on very slight foundation, and contrary to probability. In the present cast of this opera, Coletti and Persiani deserve special notice. The former acted and sung with energy, and entered fully into the spirit of the character of Filippo Visconti, a reckless and unprincipled tyrant, unscrupulous in the commission of crimes, however atrocious, and fearless in justifying them as acts of policy--as acts of justice. Beatrice, the victim of an odious conspiracy, the object of persecution, the accused of treachery, of infidelity, of treason, the tortured, and at length sentenced to execution, found an admirable interpreter in Madame Persiani.
The duet in the first act, in the garden scene, gives ample scope for displaying the united excellence of these distinguished artists. In the passage, “ Quì di ribelli sudditi soffri le mire audace,” Coletti is bold and vigorous. In the reply to this monstrous charge of aiding and abetting insurrection, expressed in the words, “ Questi d'amanti popoli voti e lamenti sono," &c., Persiani charmingly illustrates the plaintiveness of the composition. In some passages of this opera, such as when Beatrice indignantly refuses to listen any longer to the addresses of Orombello, she even imparted to the character some masculine touches, which would have called down the most unequivocal applause from the original Beatrice, Giuditta Pasta, had she been present as a spectator. This distinguished composition, remarkable for the finale of the first act, and, indeed for the almost unvarying excellence of the second, was powerfully supported as far as rested with Persiani and Coletti. Next to these, Mademoiselle De Varny deserves notice as a very able representative of the duke's mistress and accomplice, Agnese di Maino. She is a good actress and a finished singer. The only fault to notice in her, is a contortion of the mouth, unpleasantly visible when she exerts herself strongly, though not so glaring as in Pisaroni, in whom it became positive deformity. She is a valuable acquisition to her Majesty's Theatre, and we trust that we shall see her ably seconding Grisi in Anna Bolena later in the season, in the character of Giovanna Seymour. Of Ricciardi we must speak thus much favourably. His Orombello is well conceived; and if his physical frame could realise the conceptions of his highly cultivated mind, it would deserve the most unequivocal praise. The introduction of an air by Mercadante (for Mademoiselle De Varny) in the second act, and the omission of the scene between Agnese and Orombello, preceding the first appearance of Beatrice in the first act, on the second performance, should, perhaps, be noticed, before we take leave of Beatrice di Tenda. Of the latter, we trust we shall see the restoration, whenever Rubini is destined to appear as Orombello. On Saturday, April the 14th, La Somnambula was very unwisely preferred to Beatrice di Tenda. All revivals of La Somnambula in this country are inexpedient in the absence of Rubini, who has stamped the character of Elvino as his own, to the exclusion of those who can compete with him in other characters, and even of those who can excel him in a limited