Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,359 pages of information about Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete.

In the end, however, the latter triumphed; and Cocorico deserved its fate in spite of the actors.  Mrs. Grattan played the chief character with much tact and cleverness, singing the vaudevilles charmingly—­a most difficult task, we should say, on account of the adapter, in putting English words to French music, having ignorantly mis-accentuated a large majority of them.  Miss Terrey infused into a simple country girl a degree of character which shews that she has not yet fallen into the vampire-trap of too many young performers—­stage conventionalism, and that she copies from Nature.  It is unfortunate for both these clever actresses that they have been thrust into a piece, which not even their talents could save from partial ——­, but it is a naughty word, and Mrs. Judy has grown very strict.  The piece wants cur-tailment; which, if previously applied, will increase the interest, and make it, perhaps, an endurable dramatic

[Illustration:  FRENCH “TAIL”—­WITH CUTS.]

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The conductor of these concerts has not a single requisite for his office—­he is several degrees less personable than M. Jullien—­he does not even wear moustaches! and to suppose that a man can beat time properly without them is ridiculous.  He looks a great deal more like a modest, respectable grocer, than a man of genius; for he neither turns up his eyes nor his cuffs, and has the indecency to appear without white gloves!  His manners, too, are an insult to the lovers of the thunder and lightning school of music; he neither conducts himself, nor his band, with the least grace or eclat.  He does not spread out both arms like a goose that wants to fly, while hushing down a diminuendo; nor gesticulate like a madman during the fortes; in short, he only gives out the time in passages where the players threaten unsteadiness; and as that is very seldom, those amateurs who pay their money only for the pleasure of seeing the baton flourished about, are defrauded of half their amusement.  M. Musard takes them in—­for it must be evident, even to them, that what we have said is true, and that he possesses scarcely a qualification for the office he holds—­if we make one trifling exception (hardly worth mentioning)—­for he is nothing more than, merely, a first-rate musician.  With this single accomplishment, it is like his impudence to try and foist himself upon the Cockney dilettanti after M. Jullien, who possessed every other requisite for a conductor but a knowledge of the science; which is, after all, a paltry acquirement, and purely mechanical.

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