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• « e at iriidiil ^ bt . ' l&pMrfc ^ p ^ natural philosfr ^ her is insiine enoiigh to'busy himself with the attempt to discover thb cause of ttrkbtion , thoiissttids are busy in the attempt to discover the came of life and the 8 since of ttiind ! Thte difference bhiracterizespositive and inetaphysical sciences . The one is content with a general fact , that ; ; attraction is directly as the mass d inversely as the square of the distance / this being sufficient for all scientific a urpO g eSj because enabling usi to predirfMih unerring certainty the results of that operation . The metaphysician or metaphysical physiologist , On the contrary , is ^ re occupied with gitessing . at the causes of life than in observing and . classifying vital phenomena with a view to detect their laws of operation . First he guesses * fc to be what he calls a , * vital principle ' - ^—a mysterious entity residing in the frame and capable of engendering phenomena . He then proceeds to guess at the nature or essence of this principle , and pronounces it ' electricity / or ' nervous fluid , ' ' chemical affinity / Thiis he heaps hypothesis upon hypothesis , and clouds the subject from his view . * _ : - ' ¦ :
" The closer we examine the present condition of the sciences , the mOre we shall be struck with the anarchy above indicated . We shall find One science in a . perfectly positive stage ( Physics ); another in the metaphysical stage ( Biology ) , a third in the STipernatural stage ( Sociology ) . Nor is this all . The same varieties will s be found to co-exist in the same individual mind . The same man who in physics may be said to have arrived at the positive stage , and recognises no other object of inquiry than the lotos of phenomena , will be found still a slave to the metaphysical stagein Biology , and endeavouring to detect the cause of life ; and so little emancipated from the supernatural stage in Sociology * that if y ou talk to him of the possibility of a science of history ; or a social science , he will laugh at you as a * theorizer / So vicious is our philosophical education ! So imperfect the conception of a scientific Method ! Well might Shelley exclaim —•
• How green is this grey world !' The present condition of sciehce > therefore , exhibits three Methods instead of oner hence the a narchy . To remedy the evil .. all differences must cease :, one Method must preside . Auguste Cpmte was the first to point Out the fact , and to suggest the cure ; arid it will render his name immortal . So long as the supernatural explanation of phenomena was universally accepted , so long was there unity of thought , fcecauseone ( general principlewas applied to all facts . The same may be said of the metaphysical stage ; though in a less degree , because it was never universally ac ^ p ted ; it was in idyance of the supernatural , but before it could attain universal recognitioni the positive stage had already begun . When the positive Method is universally accepted— --and the day we hope is not far distant , at least
among the elite of humanity—then shall we again have unity of thought , then shall we again have one general doctrine , powerful because general . Tj hat the positive Method is the only Method adapted to human capacity , the only one on which truth can be found , is easily proved : on it alone can prevision of phenomena depend . Prevision is the characteristic and the test of knowledge . If you can predict certain results , and they occur as you predicted , then are you assured that your lmowledge is correct . If the-wind blows according to the will of Boreas , we may , indeed ^ propitiate his favour , but we cannot calculate upon it . We can have ho certain knowledge whether the wind will blow or not . If , on the other hand , it is subject to laws , like everything else , once discover these laws , and men will predict concerning it as they predict concerning other matters . ' Even the
wind and rain / to use the language of one of our most authoritative writers ' which in cprilmon speech are the types of uncertainty and change , obey laws as fixed as those of the sun and moOn ; and already , as regards many parts of the earth , man can foretell them without fear of being deceived . He plans his voyages to suit the coming monsoons , and prepares against the floods of the rainy seasons . ' * If one other argument be needed , we would simply refer to the gradual and pro- * gressive improvement which has always taken place in every department of inquiry conducted upon the positive Method—and with a success in exact proportion to its rigorous employment of that Method—contrasted with the circular movement of Philosophy , which is just as far from a solution of any one of its problems as it was five thousand years ago ; the only truths that it can be said to have acquired are a few psychological truths , and these it owes to the positive Method !"
ROYAL ITALIAN OPERA . Of the Signor Galvairi , whose appearance as JElvino we announced last week , we have only to Say that he did not produce that degreee of sensation which his name maliciously indicated—that he may becomingly fill a secondary position , without being in the remotest sense capable of the first—at the Royal Italian Opera , we mean : that he sang tike a robust tenor , with by no means a robust voice , from his head and throat , rather than from his chest ; that his acting was cold , ungainly , and inexpressive ; that his method of pumping the voice was not pleasant to witness ; that his falsetto set one ' s teeth on edge j but that with all these drawbacks , Signor Gralvani was not unacceptable nor whollv unploasing ,
and in more than one phrase , ho surprised the most indulgent audience 1 I f n ? ^ * n * ° wkrm applause , and was even recalled at the conclusion pi the opera , with Castellan ; who never looked more pretty , and never was \ xr r vo * c e * •^• - < 4 # " # was faultlessly sung , and unaffectedly acted . Wo are not vet tired of the Sonnambula . ¦ luos day , however , may bo called the first" solemnity , " as the French soy , of a season that , even in the annals of the Royal Italian Opera , promises to bo unparalleled .. The public should be grateful for tho protion of
° - ° I Martiri : it is a " grand ppera" by a master , of whose works H 10 Public desires to know all ; it is a good opportunity for displaying JLamberlik and Honconi in parts not familiar to a London audionoo ; and at is magnificentl y mounted . It is not , however , a work to exalt Donizotti ' s JJf * a & r < m ( i ° P era ° . n tho VtMW pattern is not the highest kind art . An opera is a piece of music , illustrated by tho action and scenery ; the grand opera is a spectacle adorned with music ; which becomes loss the medium of the work of art , than one of its many adjuncts . J ; naependentl y of taking that wrong ground , Donizetti has worked it loo my . The vast spread of music attains a certain individuality , chiefly
by avoiding repetition of the attthor or jmitatidii of others , py hhbjiielp of some of thpse combinations , which Donizetti knows so well | ioF to dress up , of concerted piece , solo , and ensemble , the tw 6 last pacts ' , ' ibr which $ cribe ' s libretto has done so much , go with far more anima . tidrl ; and good scope is offered for the voices . . . : s The story needs not be told : it is the same with Corneille ' s JPolyeudfe . The hero , an Armenian subject of Rome , who turns Christian > is fbllpT ^ ea into his creed , through affection , by bis wife ; and he supers maxrfcyrdoiii with her . Tpamberlii : was Poliuto ; Madathe Julienne , the wife JPqidiiuz ; Marini > her father , and Governor of Armenia ; Roncodi , the Procon&ut , a lover whom Paulina has forsaken , supposing him to be dead , and witd
remains kind , considerate , and element . The reader , who has not been to the Royal Italian , sees how these voices groupe in the lyric tragedy . Some of the vocal situations are striking—such as a duet between Paulina and her husband ; Paulina ' s song of Uncontrollable joy at hearing of Severuss arrival , " Perche di stolto giubilo •; " the duet between the two jua the third act—^ highlycritical to Paulina ' s conjugal fidelity ; Poliv > t 6 * $ song of ^ defiance ^ and then the sequel generally . But it is as an opportunity for the voices that even the best of the music is best . Madame Julienne is an accomplished , dashing , and genial singer . Time has somewhat impaired the tissue of her voice ; but for special passages she has acquired force , and at the top of her register her voice comes out , bold , piercing , and energetic . Ronconi makes his part , dramatically the best ^ ^ in the Opera ^ a finished character—manly , powerful ,
tender , varied with the most delicate shades , but rising to the terrible in its disappointment and its rage . Dramaticall y ^ controversial martyrdom is not a favourable subject—Vivian would not often recommend ah impresario to borrow his libretti from the Christian fathers ; still less is the husband of a wife whose virtue and goodnature make her faithful in spite of her inclinations , a commanding subject for a hero ; and accordingly Tamberlik walk ? through his part in the earlier scenes with a sort of conscientious uphill dignity admirable to witness . But he is rewarded : as the plot thickens , as the tumult rises , as Grovernor , Proconsul , mob , and lions , roar for their prey , the voice comes forth in all the raging potency of tenor defiance : the voice lords it over the scene like the wind above the billows . As the piecet advances , these striking effects tell , and the curtaiii falls * as it has done to the climaxof the third act , to tumults of
enthusiastic applause . If you had left the . house at the end of tb . o second act , you -would probably have gone away yawning and discontented , with the belief that it was no doubt very grand , and uncommonly heavy . But from the "beginning of the third act to the niial scene of the ppera , it was one sustained triumph for the artists , and an ever increasing excitement for the audience . " W ~ e never remember , even in the reign of Jenny Iind , to haye seen an audience more thoroughly" carried away" than by Tamberlik's masterly performance in the Martiri . Never had this great singer , often , as he had charmed , thrilled , electrified his admirers—never had he before revealed the full glory of that voice , ranging in its power and skill from
the wayward pathos of a lute , to the clear vibration of a silver trumpet , sustained far out of the reach of ordinary voices , above that gigantic orchestra , above that mighty chorus ; sustained ; not simply bursting for a moment of heroic effort . And the fire , and rapture , and reckless prodigality of strength in that last great duett , when Poliuto has blest Paulina , and their emotion swells into the martyr's anthem of praise and thanksgiving ! The most worn out habitues were fairly taken by storm , and confessed to a " sensation ; " and as to the public , who came to hear , it was silence with held breath , and then a whirlwind of acclamations . What higher praise can we give to Madame Julienne than to say that she sang up to Tamberlik P
Had the audience not been deeply moved , they could not have calmly sat out the lion and the tiger in the last scene , who , unmistakeably human ( perhaps even Christian ) themselves , were waiting to make a meal off their brethren : there was such a double action in the walk , and the tails were so helpless ! On the second representation , the Pagan beasts were more sparingly suffered to peep out , and the reserve enhanced the final effect judiciously . If they were to appear only by attorney it would be best of all . Z -
CRUVELLI AS AN ACTRESS . Quotation is one of my incurable habits : a charming habit or an odious habit , as you will ; I do not defend , —I confess it . That the quotations are often in other languages than English , is a vice or virtue incident to my education ; but that they should lack an English interpretation is a fault for which there is no excuse ; and ( as I beg to assure my correspondents who on several occasions have mentioned it ) is a fault I very rarely commit . Let mo , once for all , saj that when there is no unmistakeable translation affixed , tho sense is given either in tho sentence which precedes , or in that which succeods tho quotation . Having eased my conscience , let mo now ask you whether you were at Her Majesty ' s on Saturday last to welcome Cruvelli , Lablacho , and Gardoni on their reappearance ; and if so , whethor you were not dolightod at the noble trumpet voice of the groat Lablacho—who , as the musical critics say , " interpreted" tho part of Oroveso " with his usual ability "—and with Gardoni ' s manifest improyoment in voice and mannerP Having settled those questions , and congratulated the management on tho crowded and enthusiastic state of tho house , lot us leave these matters , and endeavour to come to somo understanding about Cruvolli . I shall assume that you agree with tho brilliant critic of tho Times in estimating Cruvelh as another Malibran—an actress and singer of the highest genius . Cruvolli has a voice of undonioblp beauty , and immense compass ; but tho production of it is seriously affected by two faults—a tendency towards tho nasal , and a tendency to scream . So that on tho whole , while I cannot but admire tho brio , the dash , the power , and tho impotuosity of her singing , it never wholly gratifies * me , and I detect in it two same want of harmonious unity which makes me deny her claim to bo considorcd » a o > great actress ; and as acting is more within my onwoul
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Leader (1850-1860), April 24, 1852, page 401, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/l/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1932/page/21/