페이지 이미지

enchantment. It is airy, and wavering, and noiseless as a dream. You hear not the fall of a single footstep. All is in motion, and all is in deep stillness. Surely there could be desired no more perfect realization of fairy land than this. The French do these things well. They understand exactly what will delight in this luxurious centre of all the world, where thousands on thousands congregate for no other mortal end than mere amusement. The ballet is a work of art. It must be executed on a grand scale, and with nicest delicacy in all its minutest details, that it may please the artificial tastes which have been created to enjoy it. It is so executed, and every night is it witnessed by thousands thronging the immense theatre to the very roof.

The part of the young Scot was performed by an Italian named Guerra. He dances with vigor and extreme legerity. His elastic springs surprise you. His pirouettes astonish. Therein lies his genius. He twirls about swiftly and painfully long. Indeed, the wags of the theatre declare that Guerra would pirouette until doomsday, did not the Police close the house each night at twelve. He however discloses a conscious

He seems to know that he dances well. Like Madame Julia, his attitudes are continually saying, think of that.' It neutralizes half the effect of his fine motions.

But what is the denouement of the tale ? the Scot is in fairy land. There, strange to say, the sylph plays the coquette. She delights him with her motions, but


she vanishes away whenever he attempts to approach her. In these scenes is Taglioni again inimitable. It is as a sylph that she should always be seen. It is only thus that all her grace and lightness can shine out. It seems to be a character necessary for the success of one who, though upon the earth, seems, so far as motion is concerned, to be so little of the earth. The coquetry of Taglioni the sylph, is the only amiable coquetry I have ever seen. It enabled her to reveal some new capacities of her finely moulded form. It was soon however to be subdued. The Scot having sought out and requested the above-mentioned Madge, to give him a charm whereby he might secure the sylph, receives a crimson scarf. This he found occasion dexterously to fling around her. Embraced within its folds, her wings fall from her shoulders, and she falls dead to the earth. With the loss of her liberty has passed away her life. The Scot, of course, is inconsolable. Her sister sylphs now cluster around the lifeless form, enshroud it in a transparent veil, and while with it they slowly ascend heavenwards by the mysterious propulsion of their wings, the curtain drops. Thus ends the Sylphide; and you retire from it to your solitary chamber, doubtful, perchance, whether what you have for the last hour witnessed, be some pleasant vision of your slumbers or a substantial reality.





It is but three months since that I believed no people surpassed the English of London, in periodical reading. I was wrong. The Parisians leave them far, very far behind.

The Parisians, it is true, have not a superior number of periodical publications, but their periodicals have certainly an equal variety with those of the English metropolis, and they seem to me to be far more eagerly and widely sought after. What interest in this community is not represented through the press ? What intellectual want is not by it, in some degree or other, gratified ? What party in religion, or politics, or literature ; what profession, legal, medical, or scientific; what association for pleasure or for industry, does not find therein an adequate expression ? The Doctrinaire,friend of

Louis Philippe and of his present ministry, --speaks through the Moniteur, the Journal des Debats, the Paix, and the Charte of 1830. The Legitimatist, friend of the exiled dynasty, and consequently a foe to the last revolution with its accompaniments of Louis Philippe, all his ministers, and the charter, finds his feelings reflected in the France, the Quotidienne, the Gazette de France, the Mode, and the

[ocr errors]


Chiarivari. The Opposition,-adherents to the char. ter and the king, but hostile to the policy under which that charter is now administered,--hear their sentiments echoed through the Temps, the Courrier Français, the Messager, Phalange, and the Nouvelle Minerve; the Journal du Commerce, the Constitutionel, the Journal de Paris, the National of 1834, the Journal General de La France, and the Revue des deux Mondes. The Republicans, the Jeune Gens, foes alike of the old and new dynasties, see their hopes and opinions shadowed, faintly though they be, in the Journal du Peuple, the Siècle, and the Presse, the Bon Sens, and the Monde. The administration of justice is made known through six periodicals, at the head of which are the Gazette des Tribunaux, and the Journal Général des Tribunaux. Science reveals herself, weekly and monthly, through a like number of organs, among which may be found the Journal des Savans, the Institut, and the Echo du Monde Savant. The theatre has nine representatives, nearly every one of which is daily. Medicine has the Ga. zette des Hopitaux, the Gazette Medicale, and several reviews. There are four weekly periodicals,—the Magazin Universel, the Mosaïque, the Magazin Pittoresque, and the Museé des Familles,—whose object is to diffuse, and at a nearly equal price, the same kind of popular knowledge as that contained in the muchlauded Penny Magazine. Paris has six magazines, whose only business is with the colonial and maritime relations of France. Religion has four or five organs,

[ocr errors]

of which may be named the Revue Catholique, and the Archives du Christianisme. Agriculture has its Semeur, and Le Cultivateur. Music has her Menes. trel, and her Gazette de Musique. Fashion has her Gazette des Salons, and three or four other vehicles. The Miscellaneous,-the de certis rebus et quibusdam aliis,-has under the heads of philosophical, literary, industrial, educational, scientific, and artistical, at least fifty periodicals appearing weekly and semi-weekly, monthly and semi-monthly. The markets have their semi-weekly Echo des Halles. The Cours Authentique gives you regularly the state of the funds. The Gratis contains the daily sale of all movables and immovables in the great city; and here before me lies the Palamede, Journal Général des Echecs, whose only object is to present monthly, the actual condition of the game of chess in the general world, and likewise of its chief amateurs who daily congregate at the Café de la Regence, and at No. 89, Rue Richelieu, Paris.

What a giant engine is this of the Parisian press ! What heads does it not keep in perpetual cogitation ! What multitudes of hands does it not continually employ! What vast and various wants does it not labor, each moment to satisfy! I see at work a thousand minds, of the aged and the young, of all complexions in politics, of many shades in religion ; now in the sphere of art, now in that of literature and science, and now in that of government and social progress. I see these minds accumulating and combining facts,

« 이전계속 »