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Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 101, December 19, 1891   By:

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VOL. 101.

December 19, 1891.


[Illustration: King Cracker the Millionth, of the Bonbon Dynasty.]

The Baron's Assistants say that of the Christmas works published by Messrs. HUTCHINSON & CO. they can and do recommend The Children of Wilton Chase by L.J. MEAD, to which they accord their mead of praise, which likewise they bestow on FLORENCE MARRYAT's The Little Marine and the Japanese Lily , a book of adventures in the land of the Rising Sun, which will delight many rising sons for whom chiefly was this book intended. There are always "more ways than one," and so Where Two Ways Meet there is like to be a puzzle, solved in this instance by the authoress, SARAH DOUDNEY. Put down the books! Come to the festive board! Down (the right way of course) with the mince pie and plum pudding! Strange is it that the source of so much enjoyment, the very types of Christmas good cheer, should themselves be so "down in the mouth" as invariably are Mathew Mince pie and Peter Plum pudding at this festive season. And they being gone and cleared off, enter a gentleman bearing the unusual and remarkable name of SMITH familiarly welcomed as "TOM" of that ilk and then pop go the crackers! "But we must keep the secret," whisper the Baron's Assistants, and they strongly advise everyone not to peep into this boîte à surprise until Christmas Day itself. So, for SPARAGNAPANE's "charming confections, which," as the Baron's young lady clerks, BLYTHE and GAY, observe, "are in the very highest style of 'High Art'; and the same Mr. SPARE NA PAIN's Darkest Evening, and How to Get Out of It , will be tidings of comfort and joy to many a holiday making household."




Sorry, indeed, are all London lovers of music at the sudden departure from our midst and mist of Cavalleria Rusticana , the Rustic Cavalier. It is no comfort to us to be told that the Rustic Cavalier will go into the provinces and appeal to the country. His province at present should have been to remain in London, where, with nothing to speak of in the way of mise en scène , he that is, his composer, PIETRO MASCAGNI has made a decided hit. Wise was our Signor LAGO " al factotum " in producing this, and knowing, too, must he be in his use of Windsor soap to have so speedily "taken the cake." Nay more, did not HER GRACIOUS MAJESTY absolutely retain a Royal Box at the Shaftesbury up to the last night of the run of this one Act Opera? " Ah, bravo, Figaro, bravissimo! Fortunatissimo !" What a treat, too, to hear again the " Che faro ." which brought down the Curtain, and brought down the House, on this termination to GLUCK's Orfeo . Strong, indeed, must be the Cavalleria to be successful after the Che taro : but it was.

The Overture, the solo sung, by way of novelty, behind the Curtain, by TURIDDU, (what a name! like the commencement of a comic nonsensical chorus! TURIDDU ought to have been in love with Tulla Lieti and have behaved badly to Tralala. "But this is another story.") the choruses, and most of the concerted pieces are charming; and, above all, the intermezzo , which, were the piece in two Acts, would he the overture to the Second Act is simply so fascinating, that without a dissentient voice from a full house it was warmly and heartily encored, and would have been called for a third time had the judicious Signor ARDITI shown the slightest sign of conceding a supply to a fresh demand. None of the solos, except the one sung behind the Curtain, are particularly catching, or dramatically effective. Mlle. ELANDI, as Santuzza , acts and sings well; and Signor BERTINI, with a good voice, is about as stiff in action as a rustic Cavalier would naturally be; while Signor BROMBARA's Alfio the Mule driver is histrionically just about perfect. Of course it will not he long ere we hear it again, and under vastly improved conditions... Continue reading book >>

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