29 FEBRUARY 1840, Page 10


THE visits of the Queen and Prince ALBERT to the two Great Houses have been the grand attraction of the week : shouts of loyal gratula- tion have been by far the loudest plaudits heard within their walls. BARNETT'S first and best opera, Tie Jlouniain Sylph, was the choice at Drury Lame on Wodnesday ; and KNOWLES'S play, Love, at Covent Garden last night. The representation of the play was as good as ever; but a better Donald and Eulin than FRASER and Mrs. ALBAN CROFT were required to give due effect to the opera. The eagerness for a sight of the Royal Bride and Bridegroom during the honeymoon, appears to have been excessive; and the lessees took advantage of the public curiosity in a most unjustifiable manner : indeed, their unscrupulous rapacity has been loudly complained of', and calls for severe reprobation. The letter of a correspondent, that we insert below, proves one ease among many hundreds against Covent Car- den.; and it is notorious that at Drury Lane also exorbitant prices were demanded and obtained for seats, in spite of the Lord Chamber- lain's interference. Such conduct is disgraceful. The Queen puts her- self to inconvenience to gratify the public, who have no other opportu- nity of being in the presence of Majesty: instead of persons being permitted, as in France under the old r&gime, to enter the Palace on certain days when the Court dines in public, the Sovereign collies in state to share in the amusements of the people. Is it to be tolerated in " her Majesty's servants " to hire out the condescension of their Royal Mistress by taxing popular curiosity ? It way be pleaded as an excuse, that lied places been taken at the usual prices, the boxes would have been monopolized by speculators who would have got their own price for the seats, and that it was only the people of the theatre obtaining an advantage instead of some others less entitled : but it WaS clearly the duty of managers either to have allowed places to be secured by bond fide applicants, or, if' this could not be done, to have let the boxes be open to the first comers, as the pit and galleries were. Mr. AlAFREADY did not raise the prices of ad- mission to Covent Garden on the occasion of the Queen's visit : why need his thriving successors have done so? The consequence ot' such extortion may be, RS our correspondent suggests, that the Queen will decline to visit the theatres publicly ; for it would be rather incon- sistent with the " dignity of the Crown " to suffer parties otherwise exclusively privileged to farm out their monopoly of the Royal pre- sence.

Mr. Jomv's opera, i17ubcl, or a Gypsy's Vengeance, was performed at Covent Garden lust Saturday, but has not appeared in the bills since. So signal a fbilure in the first attempt of the new management to prO• duce a new musical work is remarkable; especially as the trashy li- bretto was a cause of its ill success. We were not prepared for this after the intimation made at the commencement of the season, that no opera would be accepted which was not a good acting drama. The prompt withdrawal of it, however, shows a commendable deference to the good sense of the audience.

At Drury Lane, opera has been degraded into a prop to the failing attraction of tragedy : had Mary Stuart been made an afterpice to Der Freystliutz, it would have been a tutors seemly, though less efficacious arrangement. Mmamtnr's engagement expires next week ; and Miss Diumer, who has left Drury, is to be succeeded by hiss BONER. A domestic opera, called lulls, or Vise Village Bonze, is to be the next novelty here. The Olympic has this week opened a Ladies Club ; which, with Mrs. GLOVER for Chairwoman,. supported by Miss F1TZWALTER, and a charming set of fair. clubbists, promises to be a favourite lounge : yet the beauty of the wives does not need so very dense a foil as the ap-

pearance of their husbands presents. The plot of the piece is poor, and the idea is not well worked out ; but there are some smart hits in the

dialogue, and Mrs. Gcovutt's speech is capital. The " Xantippe Club" by no means justifies its name ; lhr the proceedings of the " Ladies Club" are more quiet and orderly than those of the men. A new burletta by PEAKE, called ,illy Anne is not Hy Home-which turns upon the chagrin of an old East Indian at the changes that have taken place during his long absence-is pleasant enough, though the subject is hardly made the most of: JONES plays Mr. Chili, the Nabob, cleverly; but he is too bland-he wants a little more cayenne- 6, Who peppers the highest is sure to please," in such a character as this.