DANCING has been termed " the poetry of motion ;" but the modern specimens of this poetry are mere conceits, where the art is the only
virtue, and that consists of rules and difficulties ; and to overcome the
one and conform to the other, constitute the triumph of skill. TAG- morn' s dancing was principally remarkable for the perfect ease and ap- parent composure with which she achieved her tours de force ; the grace and elegance which she lent to the artificial attitudes ; the extent of her bound, the altitude of her vaulting, and the leaf-like lightness of her pirouette. These accomplishments rendered her a divinity in the eyes of the corps de ballet, and a theme for fashion to descant upon with Inane rapture. But if, instead of striving to render agreeable the min- cing manoeuvres and affected postures of French opera.dancing, she had employed her extraordinary acquirements in the art saltatory, to give us the wild leap of the Bacchante, the fawn-like bound of the wood-nymph, and the airy grace of sylphid movements, we should have loved and admired her where we only applauded and wondered. Had she been en- thusiastic instead of being merely composed, poets would have sung the praises of her genius, where fops only pronounced herexquisite. M.CIIALON, who produced a short time ago a sketch of TAGLIONi resting on one toe, en- couraged by the success of that popular print, has put forth six sketches on a smaller scale, and more slight in their execution, of the most striking attitudes of the fair dansease, in her principal parts—such as La Bayadere, Fiore, La Napolitaine, La Tyrolienne, La Naiade, and as herself in the act of obeisance. We like this attitude and that of Flora the best ; the kneeling position in the Naiad (a Naiad in a full muslin frock with coral ornaments) is not graceful, and is rendered more sprawling by the arrangement of her dress : but none of the attitudes strike us as beautiful, though there is a certain prettiness of artifice, which, when we get reconciled to the sophistications of style, pleases, or at any rate attracts.
The sketches are very clever and tasteful ; the style, artificial like the subject, is better than the drawing, which, however, is sufficiently good for the purpose. The feet, seen in profile, appear singularly unna- tural, from the circumstance of their having little indication of form be- yond the mere outline. The lithographic drawings are by Mr. LANE, in his usual delicate and masterly manlier : he has faithfully preserved the characteristics of Mr. CRALON'S style. These prints are likely to be so much admired in the fashionable circles, that our cold and qualified praise may be dispensed with : we confess that their charms are too arti- ficial for our taste.
We had almost forgot to mention that some fanciful and appropriate verses by Mr. W. F. N. BAYLEY accompany the plates.
Nu. Marston, who has presented us with such a rich and superb va- riety of colours and fashion in costumes, in his series of " Fancy Ball- Dresses," has also put forth the first number of a set of plates illustrative of the New Costume of the Officers of the Army. There is a stiffness and monotony in military costume, that almost overcomes the gaiety of the scarlet coat and the gorgeousness of its decorations. These prints combine something of the picturesque with the accuracy of regulation- orders and the style of the army-tailor. The first plate is a portrait of the Sailor King, on horseback, in a Field-Marshal's uniform. Plates II., III., and IV., are tall and well-limbed Adonises of the Coldstream, Grenadier, and Life Guards ; French-antique figures, and "marvellous proper men." We wish there had been in each plate a group of officers in different uniforms, instead of a solitary individual stuck up like a pattern. Suck an arrangement would have added greatly to the pictorial beauty of the work. The drawings are very clever, and the prints are brilliantly coloured. There- is a certain neatness and plainness of ap. pearance in the present uniforms, which are not so profusely adorned with gold fringe and tassels as before. Plasters of gold lace are as cheap in point of taste as they are. costly in material expense, and we are glad to see thi m left to the state liveries of the band and the footmen. It is rather singular, by the way, and a striking instance of what inconsis- tencies custom reconciles us to, that the tagged shoulder.knot, which is the lackey's badge of servitude, should also be the mark of distinction of a superior officer, and worn with as much pride as the other is with impudence. We suppose that the knights of the shoulder-knot recon- cile themselves to their livery, by considering it only a uniform worn at. another's charge. In this sense, many uniforms are liveries ; as
" Many a coat is many an officer."
Iv was only the other day that we heard of the new volcanic island. that has lately appeared off the coast of Sicily, and behold we have a lithographic portrait of the crater, vomiting smoke and cinders. It is. from a sketch by a naval officer, and is very well lithographed. A very ingenious illusion of perspective has been put forth in the. shape of a vertical view of the interior of the shaft of the Thames Tun- nel, showing the descent for foot passengers, being a design for the completion of this part of the works. The spectator is supposed to look down perpendicularly through an aperture in the centre of the conical. roof, and by loaking directly on to the print, through a tube or a small hole cut in a piece of card-board held at a little distance above the print,. the flat surface soon assumes the appearance of depth and distance ; and you see a circular gallery lighted by windows round the sides, and de- scending fligh ts of steps leading to the Tunnel, the lights of which, an a coach and a horseman passing along it, become dimly visible. It is a highly ingenious production, and very neatly lithographed. The archi- tect who has made the design is Mr. B. DIXIE, who, we remember, published, some time ago, a perspective view of the Tunnel itself. A new portrait of the King, by a Mr. R. D. CooxE, lithographed in a bold style by Mr. WILKIN, has just appeared. It is a most energetic- profile, and what is generally termed " a staring likeness." The expression is characteristic, but overcharged. Another lithographic print of the Procession by Water on the Open- ing of the New London Bridge, by Mr. CALVERT, comes rather late in the day. It is of a larger size, but not very different in its style and general appearance from several which we noticed before : it ranks with the best of them.
H. B.'s last is an amusing idea, called "A Half-crown-ation ;" which represents the King and Queen in a hackney chariot, No. 1831, and the Lord Chancellor on the box with the jarvey (who should have been Earl Grey); the Dukes of Cumberland and Sussex being in a hired cab. be fore, and the official personages bringing up the rear in an omnibus ;. while Lords Grey and Durham, with a peeress or two i n pattens, are trudg- ing it on foot through the mud. H. B. has also embodied Mr. Hunt's notions of making the Princess Victoria Bishop of Derry. She is represented in a cauliflower wig and lawn sleeves, seated in a stall. It would be a great saving of time and trouble, and be the means of putting before the House in a clear and definite iorm, propositions which, owing to the very confused manner in which they are set forth, are often imperfectly understood and appreciated, if H. B. were employed to put into a graphic shape the sub- stance of the motions and speeches of some honourable members. What could he more concise and expressive, for instance, than this sketch of the little Princess-Bishop ? and even Lord Londonderry's description of a cheap coronation procession, does not greatly surpass the Half- crown-ation of H. B. The artist (masked) might take his seat beside Mr. Gurney at the table, and make his short-hand sketches in crayons; and the "Parliamentary Debates" of next day would, instead of close continuo of type that make the eyes ache, present a series of amusing pictures—it might not be safe to call them " caricatures."