Page images
PDF
EPUB

been genteelly provided for in some of- In Thort, the Satire of this piece was so fice suitable to his inclination and abili- striking, so apparent, and so perfetly ties.-Instead of which, in 1727, he adapted to the taste of all degrees of was offered the place of gentleman- people, that is even for that season ulher to one of the youngest princesses; overthrew the Italian opera, that Dagon an office which, as he looked on it as of the nobility and gentry, which had rather an indignity to a man, whose ta- so long seduced them to idolatry; and lents might have been so much better which Dennis, by the labours and outemployed, he thought proper to refuse, cries of a whole life, and many other and some pretty warm remonftrances writers, by the force of reason and were made on the occasion by his fincere reflection, had in vain endeavoured to friends and zealous patrons the duke and drive from the throne of public tafte. dutchess of Queensberry, which termi- -- Yet the Herculean exploit did this nated in those two noble personages little piece at once bring to its complewithdrawing from court in disguft

. tion, and for some time recalled the Mr. Gay's dependencies on the pro- devotion of the town from an adoration mises of the great, and the disappoint- of mere found and Thew, to the admiments he met with, he has figuratively ration of, and relish for true satire and described in his fable of the Hare with sound understanding. many Friends. However, the very ex The profits of this piece was so very traordinary success he met with from great, both to the author and Mr. Rich, public encouragement made an ample the manager, that it gave rise to a quibamends, both with respect to satisfa&ti- ble, which became frequent in the on and emoluments,

for those private mouths of many, viz. That it had made disappointments. --For, in the sea. Rich gay, and Gay rich; and I have son of 1727-8, appeared his Beggar's heard it asserted, that the author's own Opera, the vait success of which was advantages from it were not lefs than not only unprecedented, but almost in- two thousand pounds.-lo consequence credible.--It had an uninterrupted run of this success, Mr. Gay was induced in London of fixty-three Nights in the to write a second part to it, which he first season, and was renewed in the entitled Polly...But the disguft fubfiftenfuing one with equal approbation. ing between him and the court, together It spread into all the great towns of En with the misrepresentations made of gland; was played in many places to the him, as having been the author of some thirtieth and fortieth time, and at Bath disaffected libels, and seditious pamph2nd Bristol fifty; made its progress into lets, a charge which, however, he Wales, Scotland and Ireland, in which warmly disavows in his preface to this lalt place it was acted for twenty-four opera, a prohibition and suppression of {ucceffive nights, and lait of all it was it was sent from the lord chamberlain, performed at Minorca.-Nor was the at the very time when every thing was tame of it confined to the reading and in readiness for the rehearsal of it.representation alone, for the card-table This disappointment, however, was far and drawing room shared with the from being a loss to the author, for, as theatre and closet in this respect; the it was afterwards confessed, even by his Ladies carried about the favourite songs very best friends, to be in every respect of it engraven on their fan mounts, infinitely inferior to the first part, it is and screens and other pieces of furni- more than probable, that it might have ture, were decorated with the same.- failed of that great success in the reMiss Fenton, who acted Polly, tho' till presentation which Mr. Gay might prothen perfectly obscure, became all at mise himself from it ; whereas, the propnce the idol of the town; her pictures fits arising from the publication of it were engraven and sold in great numbers; afterwards in quarto, in consequence of her life, written; books of letters and a very large subscription, which this verses to her published ; and pamphlets appearance of persecution, added to made of even her very sayings and the author's great personal interest projotts; nay, the herself received to a cured for him, were at least adequate Itation, in consequence of which she, to what could have accrued to him from before her death, attained the highest a moderate run, had it been represents rank a female subject can acquire, ed. This was the last dramatic piece

of Mr

II.

considerable Temporary, and fomeihine aceto

Mr. Gay's that made it's appearance self on patronage, than fecure to himduring his life ; his opera of Achilles, self an independent competency by the and the comedy of the Distreft Wife, means pointed out to him ; so that, after being both brought on the stage after having undergone many vicissitudes of his death.-What other works he ex- fortune, and being for some time chiefly ecuted in the dramatic way will be seen supported by the liberality of the Duke in the ensuing lift.-Their titles are as and Duchess of Queensberry, be died at follow.

their house in Burlington Gardens, on 1. Achilles, an Opera. 2. Beggar's December, 1732.—He was interred in Opera. 3. Captives, a Tragedy. 4. Westminster-Abbey, and a monument Dione, a Paltoral. 5. Diftreft Wife, erected to his memory, at the expence a Comedy. 6. Mohocks, a Farce. 7. of his aforementioned noble benefactors, No Fools like Wits, a Comedy. 8. with an inscription expressive of their Polly, an Opera. 9. Three Hours af- regards and his own deierts, and an epiter Marriage, a Farce. 10. What taph in verse by Mr. Pope; but, as d'ye call it, a Tragi-Comic Pastoral- both of them are still in exiftence, and Farce. Wife of Bath, a Co- free of access to every one, it would be medy.

impertinent to repeat either of them in Besides these, Mr. Gay wrote many this place. very valuable pieces in verse, among which his Trivia, or the Art of walk. Inoculation for the Meases recommended. ing the Streets of London, tho' I be

Leigh, June 18, 1774. lieve his first poetical attempt, is far

Summa sequor veftigia rerum. from being the least

are and is what recommended him to the

of esteem and friendship of Mr. Pope; kin too, as originally proceeding, acbut, as among his dramatic works, his cording to the learned, from the same Beggar's Opera did at firit, and perhaps foil and air, viz. The climate and ever will, itand as an unrivall’d master- country of Æthiopia ; thence, in propiece; so, among his poetical works his cess of time, they were by traffic conFables hold the fame rank of estimati- veyed to Ægypt, and from thence to on: the latter having been almof. as Arabia ; whence the Arabians or Sauniversally read, as the former was re racens by their quick and extensive conpresented, and both equally admired. quests in the seventh century communiIt would therefore be superfuous here cated them to other nations, which at to add any thing farther to theie self- last spread all over the globe. reared monuments of his fame as a What favours this opinion is, that poet.-As a man, he appears to have neither the more ancient Greek, nor yet been morally amiable.--His disposition Latin physicians, in all their writings, was sweet and affable, his temper gene- take the least notice of them, which it Tous, and his conversation agreeable was impossible for them to miss mentiand entertaining.--He had indeed one oning had they appear.d in the age they foible, too frequently incident to men lived, and wrote in. of

great literary abilities, and which To have the measles fafely, by presubjected him at times to inconveniences, venting their bad effects, or proving which otherwise he needed not to have mortal, it would be highly proper even experienced, viz. an excess of indo- to inoculate them, as well as the smalllence, without any knowledge of oeco pox ; for although they prove not so nomy; so that, tho' his emoluments were, commonly fatal as the other, yet they at some periods of his life, very con are generally attended with most troufiderable, he was at others greatly blesome fymptoms that leave fad diforItraiteued in his circumstances; nor could ders for life, if they prove not mortal, he prevail on himself to follow the which they often do: besides, a few advice of his friend Dean Swift, whom years ago we had a melancholy account we find in many of his letters endea- of the next heir to a great house dying vouring to persuade him to the purcha- by the measles, though even grown to sing of an annuity, as a reserve for the man's estate ; and the many thousands, exigencies that might attend on old age. that yearly die of this disease in the na--Mr. Gay chofe rather to throw him- tion, prove the great need of some ex

traordinary

traordinary method of prevention: where- ix. 1733, of their Philosophical Tranfore, I do ti:us earneliiy recommend to factions, too long to transcribe ; but the the public this most safe and salutary substance thereof was as briefily follows: practice of inoculation of the mealles, a little before Christmas, the small-pox, as well as of the small-pox; being con- especially of the confiux kird, were fident by so easy a method many a life dangerous at Haverfordwest. Towards may be preserved from the fatal effects spring the measles became more epideof a moit malignant sort, that in some mical than the other. Some of the subcertain epidemical seasons rage mortally. jects, who had been visited but a little

To give every one their due, the before with the small-pox, and upon learned Dr. Francis Hunie, an eminent recovery had their bodies purged, yet physician at Edinburgh, was the first died of the violent cough which attendperson who fortunately found out this ed, and succeeded the measles, that afnew method of inoculating for the terwards seized them. measles; and that, if I mistake not, But the principal point was this, five about twenty years ago : and at Edin- children, from three years of age to burgh, several of the profession have eight, were inoculated for the smallfollowed his laudable exaınple.

pox; but what was extraordinary, inThe practice, as that of inoculating îtead of the small-pox appearing, as the small-pox, is not yet observed in expected, on the eight or ninth day, England ; which for the general good the measles came out in their room, and of the public I sincerely wish it was. with a cough too, as is common : then

But it may naturally be queried, as the feveris disorder abated till the elethe measles produce no pullules, whence venth or twelfth day, when they became can infectious matter be taken to inocu- feverish afresi; and, towards the fourlate others with, in order to produce the teenth day, the small-pox took their measles. I answer, the method of con- course, a small distinct fort, with little veying the infection is as easy in one or no secondary fever. cale as in the other. It is only by dip In thort, there needs no stronger arguping a little bit of lint, or cotton, in the ment to prevail for putting in practice fear that hangs in the greater angle of the inoculation of the measles, as much the eye, about the crisis, and laying it as that of the small-pox, than the acover a small scratch-like incision of the count of the thousands who annually cuticle in the upper-arm, securing it on. die thereof, in our bills of mortality,

This so easy and simple operation (it in and about London only. it deserves that name) will effectually,

J. COOK. but safely produce the measles in a most nild manner and degree, that will need the following Account of the last Revel neither doctor or nurse to attend them. belit in any of the Inns of Court This often melancholy epidemical

(taken from the Notes, and never bedisease should be communicated to young

fore Published) is too curious for us to subjects especially as foon as it makes omit, as it may probably be the last its appearance in a place, by which both of the Kind. It was held in the Innerdeath, and the latting ill effects thereof, Temple, in bonour of Mr. Talbot, may be easily prevented.

when he took leave of that House, of As our beit physical knowledge is the

wbich be was a Bencher, on having result of experiments and observation,

the Great Seal delivered to him,

N lar piece of information concerning the Chancellor came into the Innerabove-said infectious disorders.

Temple hall, about two of the clock, preThe late reverend Evans Davis, fome ceded by the Master of the revels (Mr. time pastor of the dissenting congrega- Wollaston) and followed by the Master tion at Rochford, in this hundred, a of the Temple (Dr. Sherlock) then Bp. truly venerate divine, an excellent fcho- of Bangor, and by the Judges and Serlar, and extraordinary Christia sent jeants who had been members of that from Pembrokeshire to Dr. Eames, who house. There was a very elegant dincommunicated it to the Royal Society ner provided for them and the Lord the following case, and which was in- Chancellor's officers ; but the Barristers serted in Vol. xxxvi. No. 429. Art, and students of the house had no other

dinner

[ocr errors]

dinner got for them than what is usual parliament-chamber, and stayed about on all grand days; but each mess had aa quarter of an hour, while the hall fialk of claret, besides the common was putting in order ; then they went allowance of port and lack. Fourteen into the hall, and danced a few mistudents waited at the Bench-table, nuets. Country-dances began about among whom was Mr. Talbot, the Lord ten, and at twelve a very fine collation Chancellor's eldest son; and by their was provided for the whole company; means any sort of provison was easily from which they returned to dancing, obtained from the upper table by those which they continued as long as they at the rest. A large gallery was built pleased ; and the whole day's enterover the screen, and was filled with tainment was generally thought to be ladies, who came, for the most part, a very genteelly and liberally conducted. Considerable time before the dinner be- The Prince of Wales honoured the gan: and the music was placed in the performance with his company part of nall, and played all dinner-time. the time; he came into the music-gal

As soon as dinner was ended, the lery incog. about the middle of the play began, which was Love for Love, play, and went away as soon as the with the farce of The Devil to pay: farce of walking round the coal fire The actors who performed in them, all was over. came from the Haymarket in chairs, ready dressed; and, as it was said, re

Curious Experiments and Observations fused any gratuity for their trouble,

on the Singing of Birds. By the Hon. looking upon the honour of distinguith

Daines Barrington, Vice President of ing themselves on this occasion as sufr

the Royal Society. ficient. After the play, the Lord Chancel

As the experiments and observations lor, Master of the Temple, Judges; Society relate to the singing of birds, and Benchers, retired into their parlia- which is a subject that hath never bement-chamber, and in about halt an fore been scientifically treated of *, it hour afterwards came into the hall may not be improper to prefix an explaagain, and a large ring was formed nation of some uncommon terms, which round the fire place (but no fire nor I Mall be obliged to use, as well as embers were on it);, then the Master of others, which I have been under a necesthe Revels, who went first, took the fity of coining. Lord-Chancellor by the right-hand ; To chirp, is the first found which a and he, with his left, took Mr. J. young bird utters, as a cry for food, and Page, who, joined to the other Judges, is different in all nestlings, if accurately, Serjeants, and Benchers present, danced, attended to ; so that the hearer may or rather walked, round about tbe coal- diftinguish of what species the birds are, fire *, according to the old ceremony, though the next may hang out of his three times ; during which they were fight and reach. ; aided in the figure of the dance by Mr. This cry is, as might be expected, George Cooke, the Prothonotary, then very weak and querulous; it is dropped upwards of 90: and all the time of entirely as the bird grows stronger, nor the dance the ancient song, accompanied is afterwards intermixed with its song, with music, was sung by one Toby. Af- the chirp of a nightingale (for example) ton, dressed in a bar-gown, whose being hoarse and disagreeable. father had been formerly Master of the To this definition of the chirp, I must Plea-Office in the King's-Bench. add, that it consists of a single sound, When this was over, the ladies came

Ν Ο Τ E, down from the gallery, went into the * Kircher, indeed, in his Musurgia, Ν Ο Τ Ε.

hath given us some few. pafsages in the * This dance is meant to be taken fong of the nightingale, as well as the off in the dance in the Rehearsal: these call of a quail and cuckow, which he revels have also been ridiculed by Dr. hath engraved in musical characters : Donne in his Satires, Prior in his Álma, These initances, however, only prove, and Pope in bis Dunciad :

that some birds have in their song, note The Judge to dance his brother which correspond with the intervals oi Şerjeant calls."

our common scale of the musical octave.

repeated at very short intervals, and perhaps, in the following lines of Statius : that it is common to nestlings of both sexes.

Nunc volucrum novi The call of a bird, is that found “ Queftus, inexpertumque carmen, which it is able to make when about a Quod tacita ftatuere bruma." month old; it is, in most instances,

Stat. Sylv. L. iv. Ecl. s. (which I happen to recollect) a repeti A young bird commonly continues to tion of one and the same note, is retain- record for ten or eleven months, when he ed by the bird as long as it lives, and is able to execute every part of his song, is common, generally, to both the cock which afterwards continues fixed, and is and hen t.

scarcely ever altered. The next stage for the notes of a When the bird is thus become perfect bird, is termed by the bird-catchers, re in his lesson, he is said to fing his song cording ; which word is probably deriv- round, or in all its varieties of passages, ed from a musical instrument, formerly which he connects together, and executes used in England, called a recorder I. without a pause.

This attempt in the neftling to fing I would therefore define a bird's may be compared to the imperfect en- song to be a succession of three or deavour in a child to babble. I have more different notes, which are continuknown instances of birds beginning to re- ed without interruption during the fame cord when they were not a month old. interval with a musical bar of four

This first essay does not seem to have crotchets in an adagio movement, or the least rudiments of the future fong; whilft a pendulum swings four seconds. but as the bird grows older and stronger, By the first requisite in this definition, one may begin to perceive what the neft- I mean to exclude the call of the cucling is aiming at.

kow, or clucking of a hen, as they conWhilst the scholar is thus endeavour. fift of only two notes; whilft the short ing to form a song, when he is once sure bursts of linging birds contending with of a passage, he commonly raises his each other, (called jerks by the birdtone, which he drops again when he is catchers) are equally diftinguished from not equal to what he is attempting ; just what I term song, by their not continuas a singer raises his voice, when he not ing for four seconds. only recollects certain parts of a tune As the notes of a cuckow and hen, with precision, but knows that he can therefore, though they exceed what I execute them.

have defined the call of a bird to be, do What the nestling is not thus thorough- not amount to its song, I will, for this ly master of, he hurries over, lowering reason, take the liberty of terming such his tone, as if he did not wish to be a succession of two notes as we hear in heard, and could not yet satisfy himself. these birds, the varicd call.

I have never happened to meet with a Having thus settled the meaning of passage in any writer which seems to re certain words, which I shall be obliged late this stage of singing in a bird, except to make use of, I shall now proceed to Ν ο Τ Ε.

ftate some general principles with re+ For want of terms to distinguish the gard to the linging of birds, which seem notes of birds, Bellon japplies the verb to result from the experiments I have chantent, or fing, to the goose and crane, been making for several years, and unas well as the nightingale. Plusieurs der a great variety of circumstances. “ oiseaux chantent la nuit, comme eft Notes in birds are no more innate, l'oye. la grue, et le rossignol.” Bel- than language is in man, and depend lon's Hift. of Birds, p. 5o.

entirely upon the mafter under which I It seems to have been a species of they are bred, as far as their own orAute, and was probably used to teach gans will enable them to imitate the young birds to pipe tunes.

founds which they have frequent opporLord Bacon describes this instrument tunities of hearing. to have been it, to have had a lef Most of the experiments I have made fer and greater bore, both above and on this subject have been made with below, to have required very little cock linnets; which were fledged, and breath from the blower, and to have nearly able to leave their neft, on aehad what he calls a fipple, or stopper. count not only of this bird's docility, See his second Century of Experiments, and great powers of imitation, but be

« PreviousContinue »