On the evening PUNCH was present, the usual dose of quadrilles and waltzes was administered, with an admixture from the dull scores of Beethoven. Disgusted as we were at the humbug of performing the works of this master without blue-fire, and an artificial storm in the flies, yet—may we confess it?—we were nearly as much charmed by the “Andante” from his Symphonia in A, as if the lights had been put out to give it effect. We blush for our taste, but thank our stars (Jullien included) that we have the courage to own the soft impeachment in the face of an enlightened Concert d’Ete patronising public. In sober truth, we were ravished! The pianos of this movement were so exquisitely kept, the ensemble of them was so complete, the wind instruments were blown so exactly in tune, so evenly in tone, that the whole passion of that touching andante seemed to be felt by the entire band, which went as one instrument. The subject—breaking in as it does, when least expected, and worked about through nearly every part of the score, so as to produce the most delicious effects—was played with equal delicacy and feeling by every performer who had to take it up; while the under-current of accompaniment was made to blend with it with a masterly command and unanimity of tone, that we cannot remember to have heard equalled.
Of course, this piece, though it enchanted the musical part of the audience, disgusted the promenaders, and was received but coldly. This, however, was made up for when the drumming, smashing, and brass-blurting of the overture to “Zampa” was noised forth: this was encored with ecstacies, and so were some of the quadrilles. Happy musical taste! Beethoven’s septour, arranged as a set of quadrilles, is a desecration unworthy of Musard. For this piece of bad taste he ought to be condemned to arrange the sailor’s hornpipe, as
[Illustration: A SLOW MOVEMENT IN C (SEA).]
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THE WAR WITH CHINA.
The celebrated pranks of the “Bull in the China Shop” are likely to be repeated on a grand scale—the part of the Bull being undertaken, on this occasion, by the illustrious John who is at the head of the family.
The Emperor, when the last advices left, was discussing a chop, surrounded by all his ministers. The chop, which was dished up with a good deal of Chinese sauce, was ultimately forwarded to Elliot. The custom of sending chops to an enemy is founded on the idea, that the fact of there being a bone to pick cannot be conveyed with more delicacy than “by wrapping it up,” as it is commonly termed, as politely as possible.
Our readers will be surprised to hear that the Chinese have attacked our forces with junk, from which it has been supposed that our brave tars have been pitched into with large pieces of salt beef, while the English commanders have been pelted with chops; but this is an error. The thing called junk is not the article of that name used in the Royal Navy, but a gimcrack attempt at a vessel, built principally of that sort of material, something between wood and paper, of which we in this country manufacture hat-boxes.