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For AUGUST 1821.

A New and Improved Series.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF ILLUSTRIOUS AND

DISTINGUISHED CHARACTERS.

Number One Hundred and Fiftystwo.

MADAME CATALANI.

When the undisputed superiority of culiar melody, that they yielded to the pertalent displayed by the English Stage first suasions of their friends not to suffer such prompted us to adorn our work with the astonishing talent to be buried in a cloister. portraits of those Females who confer so She was soon judged sufficiently qualified much honour on their professional life, we to take the first parts in serious Opera, even commenced, now about ten years ago, with in her native soil: the high reputation of a Portrait of the fair original whose present exquisite singers, long accustomed to stage exact resemblance graces this Number. || business, was even thus early not sufficient The lovely character of Italian beauty, the to obscure her extraordinary powers. The noble and commanding Roman features, fair debutante not only gave ample proofs of will be found but little altered from that rapidly obtaining the most brilliant celebrity period; and the alteration that time has | by the power and harmony of her cadences, produced, may be pronounced an improve- || but the Graces seemed to follow in her ment, the graceful person of Madame train; her every movement was accomCATALANI being somewhat more full than panied by elegance of carriage and deportat the time above mentioned.

ment, and she gaye fair promise of becoming This lady, whom we may well term an

also an excellent actress. enchanting syren, is a native of Italy, of Before the Royal Family of Portugal emithat land of harmony where music seems grated to the Brazils, the Opera House at to have established her empire: she was

Lisbon was remarkable for the superiority born in 1782 or 1783 : her parents were of of its Italian singers; and the writer of high respectability, and, it is said, had this sketch, who had there listened with dedestined their daughter to religious seclu- light to the ever graceful Grassini, had also sion; but in the execution of some divine the satisfaction of receiving the highest canticles, her voice was found of such pe- musical treat tiom the wonderful and scien. tific warblings of the young Signora Cata- | the character of Semiramide, to a crowded LANI. She resided five years in Lisbon, and auditory: and in order to give full scope to dedicated all her leisure hours in the im- her powers, Bianchi's original music was provement of her native talent, according superseded by a new composition of Portoto the best rules of music, under the gallo, which was best fitted to the display tuition of the celebrated Crescentini, a of her talents both native and acquired. singer of such extraordinary science, that Her success was complete, and the rehe was long regarded as a prodigy. iterated plaudits she received well earned.

Her last engagement at Lisbon was for Her fame hourly increased; but of fragile three thousand moidores annually, besides and delicate constitution, it was decidedly a benefit. She was a great favourite with unequal to the variableness of our wintry the Consort of the present King of Portugal, | climate; the public therefore were often then Princess of Brazil, who honoured disappointed by her frequent indisposition : Signora Catalani not only with her admira- she found our language also as rude as our tion but her personal friendship; and when atmosphere, and never could be brought to Signora Catalani quitted Lisbon for Madrid, pronounce it with any tolerable degree of the Princess gave her the most flattering | precision. recommendation to the then Queen of Madame CatalanI found herself justified Spain ; and she met with the most marked in the ideas she had formed of the genero distinction and attention from the Spanish || sity of the English. In 1808, she was Court; while, with the gentry, and sub- engaged to perform twice a week in serious ordinate classes, she was a decided fa

or comic operas, for five thousand two vourite.

hundred and fifty pounds, with two clear In Paris, to which city she went on her benefits; while Madame Dussek was to quitting Spain, she formed a matrimonial perform in serious opera, and to take the engagement with Monsieur Vallebraque. part of principal Buffa in the event of Under the name of Catalani she had, how- Madame Catalani being at any time so inever, acquired all her well merited fame: disposed as not to be able to perform. In that name had resounded through Europe, 1809 some difficulties arose concerning these and its renown had reached every quarter engagements; and Mr. Taylor, the then of the globe: she therefore still retained it, manager of the Opera House, offered her assuming only the title of Madame, in lieu six thousand pounds, with three benefits, of Signora.

payahle in two equal moieties in 1810 and England, the sure patroness of tran- 1811, for her performance for eighty nights scendent talent, anxious to reward merit, || in serious opera only; this she refused unand munificent in its encouragement of less her Brother should be engaged as first science, had long heard of the fame of violin: and here, however she might be Madame CATALANI: the Managers of our actuated by sisterly affection, we cannot but Italian Opera were anxious ro engage such | consider her blame-worthy, after the grcat a treasure, and at the same time to indulge value that the English set on her talents exthe scientific amateur, and gratify the clusively, and for which she had been so curiosity of an expectant public. At the munificently paid. latter end of the year 1806, this desirable Mr. Ilarris, on opening his new Theatre ohject was accomplished; and though the in Covent-garden, engaged Madame Catafirst yearly salary of Madame Catalant was lani; but could not fulfil this engagement only two thousand pounds, the half of what on account of the famous (). P. fracas. she obtained at Lisbon, she scrupled not to she afterwards assisted many Charitable accept it, relying on the generosity of the Institutions with her enchanting powers, English, when her merits should be suffi- | performed also at the University, Music ciently known.

Meetings, and at those of some of the great She made her first debut at the King's provincial towns of the three kingdoms. Theatre on the 13th of December 1806, in

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MATRIMONIAL ANECDOTE.

ANECDOTE CONCERNING CARDINAL WOLSEY. a rich habit for every day in the year, and

In the time of Henry VIII. every great she varied its form and decoration to three man kept a fool in his house, who was ge

hundred and sixty-five inventions of exnerally a very clever, witty person, but who, cursive fancy. A thick quarto volume was presuming on his title, was licensed to speak filled with a simple detail of the wardrobe his thoughts. Cardinal Wolsey was not appertaining to Elizabeth of Russia. This without one of these appendages to gran- | mania has not been confined to the fair deur, and one day, as he was about to give sex: when Dresden fell into the hands of a magnificent feast, wherein, according to

Prussia during the seven years' war, the the custom of those times, a prodigious Saxon Minister, Count Bruhl, afforded the quantity of butcher's meat was consumed, victors a spoil of eight hundred pair of his fool said to his Eminence, “ I wish, boots, which Frederic ordered should be with all my heart, that you was made Pope." distributed to his guards : twelve hundred

Why?” replied the Cardinal. “ Because,” wigs that had sate, in turn, upon the lofty said the buffoon, “St. Peter established brow of the statesman, were thrown in a Lent in order to profit his relations, who heap, upon the floor of a public store, to be were fishermen ; now you would abolish it sold; and it was whispered, that many hunto enrich your parents, who are butchers.

dred dozens of shirts, silk stockings, and laced cravats, with every species of mas

culine finery, had been sent to different A CLERGYMAN, who had in the lottery treasury!

marts, and converted into cash for the royal of matrimony drawn a share that proved to him worse than a blank, was just expe- ANECDOTE OF LOUIS XVIII, AND riencing a severe scolding from his Xantippe, when he was called upon to unite a pair in the blessed state of wedlock. The poor | the King at St. Cloud, was informed of the

General Rapp being on duty attending priest, actuated by his own feelings and experience, rather than by a sense of his

death of Buonaparte while he was breakcanonical duty, opened the book and began, General would not credit the intelligence;

fasting with his Majesty. At first the “ Man that is born of a woman hath but a short time to live, and is full of trouble," received official information of it the night

but on the King's assuring him that he had &c. repeating a part of the burial service. The astonished bridegroom exclaimed,

before, the General could not restrain his Sir

, Sir, you mistake, I came here to be tears, and audibly declared, that the death married, not buried.“Well!” replied the

of his former General, whose Aide-de

camp he had been for fifteen years, most Clergyman, “ if you insist on it, I am

sensibly affected him: “I am not an unobliged to marry you, but believe me, my grateful man,” said he, and immediately friend, you had better be buried."

retired home. The King, pleased with the faithful conduct of the General, sent for

him after mass, and kindly addressed him ELIZABETk of Russia resembled her name. in the following manner :

Rapp, I know sake and sister, Queen of England, in self-that the news I have received has been idolatry, and both lavished on their own very afflicting to you; it does honour to persons cvery adventitious aid to native your heart; and I love and esteem you the charms, Our Elizabeth was said to possess

more for it."

GENERAL RAPP.

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EXCESSIVE TONDNESS OF DRESS.

General Rapp replied with much emotion, and making his way to a place where he “I owe, Sire, every thing to Napoleon, saw a light, found several gentlemen over and more especially the esteem and kind- a jovial bowl. They laughed him out of ness I receive from your Majesty, and your his wrath, and summoning the landlord, august family.” The King, struck with satisfied the youth he had seen the body of the frankness and loyalty of the General, a seaman who died in the harbour that made his conduct known that very day to morning. The gentlemen invited him to his family and his ministers.

join their party, and having resumed his

garments, he sat with them until day-light ANECDOTE OF DOCTOR ANDERSON. permitted him to pursue his journey. SITTING once at table with the Marquis Twelve years subsequent to this adventure, of Wellesley, the Doctor had the boldness our son of Neptune lodged one night at an to tell his Lordship, that the fall of Seringa- Hotel in an inland country. He was scarcely patam was more owing to good luck than

recovered from the effects of a hot climate, good management. The Marquis replied, and though he travelled in his gig, was so that if he did not take care of his tongue, fatigued, that he hastened to bed, and dishe would hang him. “ That,” said the missed his servant from the chamber, with Doctor, “ would be very hard indeed, my orders not to be disturbed till nine in the Lord, after I have bestowed so much pains morning. Day had but faintly dawned when on the cultivation of hemp."

he was startled from sleep by heavy steps ;

and looking up, saw six tall fellows in black SINGULAR FATALITY.

passing through his apartment to a closet, A GENTLEMAN whose courage has been the door of which had quite escaped his tried amidst the roar of battle and the notice. In no placid mood he demanded jeopardy of shipwreck, relates the following how they Jared to intrude; and one of the incidents, humorously avowing, that oo peril number, with a civil bow, apologized, sayfrom winds and waves, and no encounter ing, he was an Undertaker, and the men with flesh and blood, horrified his mind half within the closet were his servants, carryso much as the chilling sensations created ing out a coffin, which contained the corpse by nocturnal proximity to the still, tranquil, of Mrs. R-, wife of General R-, of immoveable dead, When a very young

L- to be that day interred in the family man he was travelling alone, and at a late vault. They had been a week in their prohour put up at the Ion of a small sea-port gress from Bristol, where the lady expired, town. The host told him there was but and the Inn was crowded with relations of one vacant bed, in a garret-room; and he the family, who had come to pay the last was glad to take repose even there, afier a respects to her remains. Our traveller was long journey. When shewn to his apart- easily appeased so far as concerned the ment, he began to undress with eager Undertaker; but was enraged at the hostess. impatience to seek his pillow; but, while When he sent for her to vent his remonunbuttoning his vest, he cast his eyes strance, she said she hoped Mrs. Rấ- had around, and observed two doors that seemed not greatly disturbed his slumbers. He to enclose a bed, and, apprehending he soon discovered the good dame was tipsy, might have a companion against whom and left the house, muttering imprecations some precaution might be necessary in se- upon the fates, who seemed to have decuring his

purse,
he very softly opened one

creed that he should be haunted by the of the folding-doors. Every fluid in his dead, whether his auberge happened to frame was for a moment congealed, when be on the sea-coast, or the interior of a he beheld a corpse! He rushed down stairs, country.

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