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ascended the throne. Handel received a royal | Amidst all his disappointments one drop of comcommand to write the four coronation anthems. fort fell to his share at this time, in the expressed These were performed during the ceremony in approbation of the public for his beautiful compoWestminster Abbey.
sition of “ Esther." The words being in English The latent foe to Handel—which we have pleased the multitude. This success induced him already named that is to say, the daily increasing to bring out other works in the same style, and immorality, gained ground against him. As a there seemed to be a slight chance of his retrieving consequence of that immorality, dramatic repre- his fortune, but, unhappily, the impoverished state sentations of an objectionable nature began to be of the funds of the theatre compelled him to first tolerated, and then sought after.
resort to a measure which gave great umbrage to The public taste, marred by these pernicious the public. draughts, could no longer relish a purer style. The To meet the enormous expenses attending the public appetite had become diseased, and refused production of so many new operas, he was obliged wholesome food, craving the stimulus of evil to actually to advance the prices of admission, by inexcite its palate. This could not be found in creasing the number of boxes, while the pit was Handel's works. In every age, caterers for sin suppressed; and this circumstance excited the abound; so in that day dramatic writers of the public indignation against him. order in request sprang up; while actors and This unfortunate alteration in the price of actresses were found willing adjuncts to the ad admission became the signal of revolt; it was vancement of the growing ill.
looked on as an innovation. Libel after libel The “Beggar's Opera" and immorality were at was now hurled at him. Those who from other a premium !-Handel and his music at a dis- causes hated him, cast their stones of malice count.
on him. His proud imperious temper chafed at The Royal Academy of Music, which had never this injustice-this mean cruelty. He gave thrust been in a very flourishing condition, now fell into for thrust ; carried on the war which had been a state of hopeless bankruptcy. The corruption begun, and would have died rather than have of the general taste was such, that all chance of humbled himself by conciliation. preventing this bankruptcy, through the patronage At length his enemies obtained an open cause of of the public, ceased ; and the sbareholders and quarrel with him. The withdrawal of a favourite members of the Academy saw themselves reduced singer from the stage gave great offence-they deto the stern but painful necessity of closing their manded his return. Handel boldly and resolutely theatre, and winding up the whole affair. They refused to comply with the request—a general did so in June, 1728.
outbreak was the consequence; a party was We can imagine the indignation and grief of formed against him, and a rival opera house Handel on thus seeing his hobby destroyed. All opened. This state of things continued until 1734, his time, thought, energy, expended in vain. True in which year his partnership with Heidegger to his love-his music-he determined to make ceased. one more effort in her behalf.
He had now a fair excuse for retiring from The proceeds of his musical compositions had public life, and living on his pensions, which, as we brought him in a considerable sum, and he was have already stated, brought him in £600 per now worth about £10,000. This, he considered, annum; but this did not please him, he was not a would justify him, in entering on a speculation, man to be driven out of the field by injustice and which, in the state of society at that time, seemed oppression. One more struggle he would have, if scarcely to warrant a hope of success. The it cost him life and fortune. Acting on this speculation he contemplated was that of entering resolve, he took the theatre in Lincoln’s-inn-fields, into partnership with Heidegger, the proprietor and alone entered on the contest with those who of the Haymarket theatre, for the term of three seemed bent on his ruin. Then, every engine years, and conjointly with him, bringing out which the hatred of man could invent, was emItalian operas. On completing this arrangement, ployed against the unfortunate Handel-calumny, be went to Italy, engaged a company, returned to falsehood, and satire, were all brought to bear upon London, and opened the theatre with a new opera him, and compel bim to a retreat ; but he would called “Lothario," on the 2nd of December, 1729. not give way. "Parthenope,” another new opera, was brought The theatre in Lincoln’s-inn-fields not suiting out immediately after. Neither of these succeeded. bim, he next took Covent Garden ,which he opened Handel considered that their failure might be with the opera of “ Pastor Fido," in 1734. To traced to the want of one super-excellent singer ; please the publie, he engaged a French danseuse: therefore he sent to Italy for a vocalist of emi- and this proceeding one would imagine must have nence named Senesino, and secured his services at been strangely in opposition to his general taste. a salary of fourteen hundred guineas.
The expedient served him for a time; her perThe presence of Senesino, however, could not formance suited the prevailing spirit of the age. revive the drooping spirit of song. Opera after But Madameoiselle Sallé (this danseuse) could not opera failed, and Handel became a disheartened remain long in England—the following year she and impoverished man; still he held to his purpose. I returned to France.
On the removal of this votary of Terpsichore, friends, to induce bim to go for a short time to Handel again sought to purify the public taste by Aix-la-Chapelle. He remained there about six giving it Dryden's "Ode on Alexander's Feast,” weeks, and then, being convalescent, returned to set to music. Dryden's poem! Handel's music! London. Surely that ought to bave succeeded.
Again in the metropolis, all rest for him was listened to, played some twelve or fourteen times, over: he began to work as unceasingly and vigorand then the fickle-minded public would hear it no ously as ever. longer. This appears to have been the last With a feverish anxiety to pay his debts, be glimpse of success which Handel enjoyed at that allowed himself no respite; and although he was period of his life. When “ Alexander's Ode” still doomed to disappointment, still fated to see ceased to interest, he tried opera after opera, each each of his compositions rejected by the public, one, however, sang but the requiem of its pre- he was not deterred from beginning and comdecessor.
pleting others. Every night, depressed and anxious, he repaired He wrote rapidly--perhaps too rapidly; for at to the theatre, hoping that the faithless heart of this time of his life, he seems to have undertaken the public might turn to him again. He hoped more than he could accomplish. Feeble in body, in vain, and at length defeated, but not humbled, distressed in mind, he taxed his constitution too he was obliged to give up the contest. The whole severely; and an attack of mental debility was the of his £10,000 was gone, and the autumn of 1737 consequence. Recovered from this, he went on saw him a ruined man,-crushed by a party composing again, and completed the opera of which had risen to a multitude, and destroyed “Faramond," in seventeen days. Then he rehim.
ceived a command from the King to write the His enemies did not escape unburt. Samson- funeral anthem for Queen Caroline, who died on like, they buried themselves under the ruins which November 20, 1737. He obeyed the order, and they dragged on him. The expenses of their an- finished the anthem in five days—a surprising feat tagonistic theatre had been enormous; and in the when we know that it contained no less than year wbich chronicled the fall of Handel, they eighty pages of printing. closed their house, having sustained through it a "Faramond" was produced at the Haymarket loss of £12,000.
in 1738, and proved another failure. "Alexander We have not yet mentioned Handel's more popular Severus and Xerxes,” wliich appeared immediately works. The Messiah,” for instance, with “ Israel after, shared the same fate. Almost wild with in Egypt,” and “Jephtha." These were composed anxiety-maddened with defeat-every hope fail. at a later period of his life, when grief and misery ing, poor Handel felt something like despair had tried him—when the buoyancy of youth had creeping over him. fled, and the sad realities of life had made him feel At this time, yielding to the entreaties of his their weight.
friends, he consented to make one more appeal to Poor Handel! Persecuted in his life—appre. the public, and, by giving a concert for his own ciated in his death. His fate, both a sermon and benefit, afford them an opportunity of answering a lesson, an example and a warning for his sur-that appeal, and helping him out of his difficulties. vivors.
He carried his intention into effect, and for a The struggle which Handel had undergone left wonder succeeded. The concert was well sup him a depressed and miserable man, ruined in ported; and he cleared a very fair sum. fortune, shaken in mind, and with a load of debts It is gratifying to mention one friend who held pressing on him ; for, on winding up the affairs of firmly to Handel all the time: that friend was no the theatre, the expenses proved to be so heavy, less a person than the King, George the Second that the remainder of Handel's £10,000 was in- He was a passionate admirer of the musician, and sufficient to meet the demands of the creditors. had moreover a great esteem for him as a man, To an honourable and independent man this was and that esteem could never be destroyed by any very galling.
He combated the difficulties which adverse private feeling or deteriorating public beset him, and bore up against his calamities as opinion. long as he could; but at last his physical strength In 1738, the Italian Opera was again found to giving way, ill-health was added to his other mis. be a losing concern, and, in consequence, closed; fortunes. An attack of paralysis, by stretching so Handel devoted his time to the composition of him on a bed of sickness, destroyed the solace of oratorios. his life-labour, and forced on him—what to his “Israel in Egypt” was begun and completed in mind then must have been horrible—a life of in- twenty-seven days. activity.
This is perhaps his most powerful work, disChange of air and scene was now absolutely playing great force of mind, and continuity of necessary for him; but so unwilling was he to purpose in carrying out his idea. He seems to quit the scene of his musical career, so loath to have identified himself with his subject; to have leave the sphere which gave him the only means become in feeling one of the children of bondage ; of retrieving his losses, that it required the earnest to have groaned with them in their sorrows; reand repeated representations and entreaties of his joiced with them in their deliverance; to bave
DIVORCE AND MATRIMONIAL CAUSES BIT.L.
been imbued with a mighty spirit of enthusiasm of Egypt, he may have unconsciously conveyed to in their cause.
certain passages, the images which were floating A scientific criticism of this great work would ' 'rough his brain, connected with the petty debe out of place here. To musicians alone ails of the work; and thus only can we account it could be interesting, and they are already for those passages which, from fancied resemacquainted with all that can be said on the sub- blances to the above named entomological project. A few words, however, as to the general ceedings, have been included in the category of construction of the oratorio may not be unac- descriptive music." ceptable. “Israel in Egypt," then, as the title im. The "Israel in Egypt" is a grand conception plies, contains an episode in the history of the grandly carried out, a magnificent embodiment of Israelites, during the last years of their sojourn in a magnificent subject; and yet it failed to please Egypt. The opening chorus announces the fact of a the degenerate audience of the day. new king having arisen who knew not Joseph, and Fate seemed in determined hostility to Handel; who set over them (the Israelites) task-masters, to do what he might, she would not treat him aflict them with burthens.
kindly. This is simply an introduction to the following In 1739, we again find him at the Lincoln's parts, where Israel's woes are first depicted with Inn theatre ;-a drowning man, catching at a deep pathos, and their deliverance sung with start- straw.
His representations there began with Dryden's We cannot agree with those persons who single “Ode to St. Cecilia.” But “St. Cecilia" seems out as points of excellence, in this masterpiece of to have done him no good, the patroness of music art, certain passages which they are pleased to could extend no patronage to him; and the termi. style "descriptive music,” and which they assert nation of that season saw him still further out of were written with the intention of being such. pocket. After giving one more benefit, he made We cannot believe that Handel, while engaged on up his mind to quit England. Handel was no the grand ideas pourtrayed in his work, would longer young. Fifty-five years had passed over bave designedly sat down, and, bidding his genius his head, the greater part of them spent in hard fold her soaring pinions, have commanded her to mental labour ;-mental labour, unrelieved—unemploy her powers in imitating the evolutions of requited by that public sympathy and approbation the insect world, the croaking and hopping of which it merited. frogs, the flutter and buzzing of a fly's wing. Impressed with a vivid picture of the plagues
(To be continued.)
DIVORCE AND MATRIMONIAL CAUSES BILL.
For twelve or thirteen years now past, efforts have the law favours that mode of celebration; but the been made to improve the state of the English law essential point with our law is publicity. of marriage, its duties, and its rights. That law The complete separation between the civil and differs essentially from the Scotch law, and at every ecclesiastical courts in Scotland allows a greater point with a prejudice to the weak, but without latitude - and thereby greater propriety-here, reason for the variance. The inconvenience of this than the commingling of the two jurisdictions perconflict is apparent in the fact that persons might mits in England. The civil law here provides live, consistently with the law of Scotland, within merely for its own business; but in England, noScotland, who would be liable to the pains and body can clearly tell where the civil jurisdiction penalties of the criminal law, if they crossed the commences, or where the ecclesiastical terminates. Eden or the Tweed. The anomaly is increased by The English people should clear away this interthe fact that natives of England might reside in meddling of secular authorities in ecclesiastical Scotland unmarried, who would be re-married by business, and of ecclesiastical parties in their secutaking a five minutes' walk over the border. The larities. cause of this difference is traceable to the character The legislation of both countries is extremely of the Reformation in the two countries. The imperfect upon the rights of women who have Church of Rome regards marriage as a sacrament. married unfortunately. The particular causes which The Reformation in England included no more than warrant a complete separation in either country the literal meaning of the word. It was revolution are those which not very many females will allege, in Scotland. The legislation of this country makes even through their attornies in court. The bill marriage easy, and looks upon it as a civil contract, sent down by the Peers to the Commons in the above, around, and over which the parties may, if present session of Parliament stops prosecutions they please, place the element of religion. In for these offences by the husband, and treats them, almost every case it is a religious ceremony, and in some measure, as wrongs done to society. They
will be punishable, if the act pass, by fine or is made to say something concerning the act of imprisonment. The bill is confined to England, endowing bis future wife with all his worldly in the first instance; but being a great improve. goods, and perhaps he may believe it; but onement on the existing practice of civil actions for hall of the more acute and more astute bridedamages, it will, we trust, be copied into the Scotch grooms know well enough that they are merely law.
endowing themselves with all that the lady mag, At present, in England, the wife cannot be a could, and should have ; all that she has earned party to the action which may be instituted by her or may ever earn-all that she possesses or may husband against an alleged paramour. The result ever posses, unless the attorney has got before the is curiously illustrated in a case-Evans v. Evans clergyman and rectified this blunder by a marriage -before the Ecclesiastical Court. The husband settlement, for which the poor can never pay. obtained, some years since, damages against a Mr. There is, or was, we think, also something said Robinson, in civil action, for criminal conversation. in the English form of marriage, respecting worThe wise could not be a party in that cause. When, shipping the wife, or the wife to be, which was however, Mr. Evans adopted the next step towards only very ridiculous, and did no more harm than a dissolution of the marriage; in the Ecclesiastical any other “white falsehood." Court; he was compelled to make Mrs. Evans a The justice of the case requires a universal party to the cause ; and it is lost. The judge marriage settlement, securing the wife's earnings held that the evidence adduced before the jury or property from any responsibilities except those was bad, and perfectly met by counter evidence. of a domestic character, which she may be proThree years since, one person lost five hundred perly expected to superintend; and shielding her pounds, and another pocketed the sum, in one of in the management of her own affairs, except $0 our courts, while the wife of the latter lost her far as she may authorise her husband to transact character, although she was not permitted to take them on her account. one step in self defence; and now a higher court This arrangement would be deemed very ontfinds the whole proceeding worthless. It is time rageous by gentlemen in search of fortunes, but it to terminate the possibility of this terrible injustice, would be quite palateable to other gentlemen who, and the new bill will accomplish that object. like Dr. Syntax, only go into the world in search
The Peers have made several excellent amend- of a wife. An attorney arranges all these matters ments upon the draft of the bill submitted to them. according to law, for those who can afford to pay They have placed both classes upon an equality, in him, and pay stamps, and as these preliminaries spite of Dr. Johnson's morality-which has been are attended to generally by wealthy people, we so often quoted to support evil laws. According to see no reason why the poor should not have the the present law, a husband may prosecute a divorce same advantage by general enactment. successfully from his wife, for conduct in which he Some inconvenience would be experienced, permay persevere with impunity. This stupid ine- haps, if a husband were held responsible for his quality has been struck out of the new bill, and wife's debts, and a wife were allowed to speculate, any right conferred upon the husband has been without her husband's consent, even with her own extended to the wife.
money, in shares or stocks. This difficulty requires The former law professed to treat poor and rich some provision, and one could be easily made for alike. Any person could obtain a private Act of the investment of the money or property of marParliament, who had evidence to support the claim ried women in certain funds, unless in those cases --and money to pay for the bill and its prelimina- where the consent of their husbands was obtained ries. The business might have been done by men to their employment in a different way. The of moderate charges for three to four thousand cases contemplated are those of persons between pounds. Persons who had not the money to spare whom no difference of importance has ever gecould obtain redress in formá pauperis. The ex- curred, or is likely ever to occur, and the protremely poor, and the extremely wealthy, therefore, vision sought would be perfectly just from the day were guarded by the law; but the numerous classes that it became perfectly public; while, at present, with incomes varying from one hundred to one individuals obtain credit often upon the underthousand pounds per annum-who could not, and standing that they have married respectably—that who would uot, prosecute in formá pauperis-were is to say, have married ten thousand pounds closed out of court. “The law of England is alike until it turns out, when some portion of the ten open to rich and poor,” said somebody to Horne thousand is wanted, that the money was prudently Tooke. " True,” replied the political vit, "and put out of the husband's reach under trust, or in so is the London Tavern.” The new bill will not some other way, and the credit has been founded obviate this evil altogether, but the expense of upon nothing. Complaints may be made against proceedings under it will be much smaller than by the private arrangement system, but there could the present processes.
be none against a public, regular, steady, unswerkThe old matrimonial forms of England, like ing rule. some other old forms, require amendment. They The discussions on matrimonial settlements im evince the tendency of the human mind to mis. port an air of banking, bullion, and parchment into take a farce for a solemnity. A young gentleman courtships," which is very disagreeable. A chill
must be thrown over a young female not acquainted | as the wealthy classes. Many persons live a life intimately with commercial and monetary life, when of misery rather than expose their sorrows to the she is told by hard men of the world, with grooved world, for whom the law makes no provision, ex. faces, that she is going to marry a person who cept that of fastening the morally dead to the will very probably go to the dogs, in a mercantile morally living. It is not necessary that a female sense, and that she may be left penniless in the who has married unhappily should be prevented world if her husband in prospective be allowed to from educating lier children, or even supporting manage her affairs. An announcement of that berself by her own earnings, because she is incharacter must resemble a shower-bath of twenty capable of passing through the ordeal of a court, to feet, and a hundred gallons power, in December ; escape ex vinculo matrimonii. All that is required and requires cautious management, wbich might for such cases, is the power to appropriate her be as well averted by a general rule.
earnings or her property to a praiseworthy purRespectable families, in the pecuniary sense, pose. generally provide against contingencies, but nine- On the established principle, that example is tenths of all marriages are not preceded by settle- stronger than precept, we shall state a case; one ments. The artizans, or working men, never of many under our own observation, as an example think such documents necessary in their families, of the ev arising out of a singular nission and and it is well that, as they could not afford them, deficiency, in the provisions of the new bill. The so they have no ambition for their possession. omission is this. While the case of the wife who This is the largest class in society, and furnishes is deserted by her husband is amply provided for only on that account the largest number of cases that of the woman who, by his conduct, has been in which some legislative remedy is required. The compelled to leave her home, and who thus in fact records of police courts show the existence of “deserts” him, is not even touched on. No promany husbands from whose rapacity their wives tection to her person or property is afforded, she should have some protection for their earnings. ) is indeed left in the same position, as if the preAfter a person has been sentenced to six months sent bill had not been introduced. Now in the with hard labour, for cruelty to his wife, security latter case, the wife is if possible in greater need should also be afforded that he will not sweep of protection than in the former, and for the away all the results of her six months' hard labour following reasons. out of prison, in six days after his release, not Where the husband is the deserting party, the through her credulity, but by virtue of the law circumstances of the case are generally sufficiently that bad condemned him. The drunken and notorious, to enlist the feelings of the public on sturdy wife-beater having compensated the law, behalf of the injured wife ; while on the contrary, by the starvation of his family for his last offence, where the wife leaves her home, those aggressions returns in the authority and power that the law on the part of the husband, which banished her, affords him, to sweep away the little retail shop, are usually known only to herself, or to a very the laundry, or the mangle, with which his wife en- limited number of friends. She goes forth to the deavours to find bread and clothes for the children world under very different circumstances; and whom he should support. In all these notorious society is often opposed to her proceedings, in and public cases, a remedy should be devised ignorance of her reasons. easily, and is an equally notorious want.
Again : In the former case, the wife at any We do not allege that the original cause of the rate retains her home, the external shelter, todisgraceful scenes narrated at police courts, is gether with the custody of her children, and proalways of the masculine gender, or that all the bably some portion if not the whole of ber prowomen who get into these difficulties are deserving perty. In the latter, she is homeless, her husband persons; but those who have gained a different may step in, claim her means, and take all her character will not honestly set up a home for property, of whatever nature or character it may themselves, and the addition to the law which we be, simply because by “pot deserting her," he propose would be of no service to them.
The vast majority-a very great majority-- True, his brutality may have separated them as perhaps nine-tenths or nineteen-twentieths of the effectually as if he had left her ; but, by driving homes in this country are happy in a passable way. her from his house, instead of leaving it himself, Hard and severe toil may wear down the romance he not only secures the shelter of his own roof, of life in some instances, but divorces, or even but completely evades the law. For such an evil, “ the .
A much to the worse in all our social arrangements moral principles, held the situation of housemaid —our moral and religious feelings.
to a lady, who respecting the worth of her humble Still the cases of cruelty and oppression which dependant, acted as a mother rather than a miscome before the public are few, when compared tress to her. This servant in an unlucky hour with the number of equally bad or worse cases fell in love. It was a great pity, but she did it, that are never known publicly, and examples of and, as a natural consequence, she married the perthis kind occur as frequently among the operative son to whom she was attached. Her earnings,
escapes the law.