Page images

Of the Powers and Progress of Music.


defined to be an aukward use of music , he theatre, and to that emulation and speech

:hich it has a tendency to excite, as It may perhaps be said that music

well in composers as in performers ; owes much of its late improvements to but who will pretend to say what di

rection the studies of the most eininent the composer, but without approaching to war musicians of late years would have ta-, we call a cune or air; so that it is but a kind ken, had they been left to themselves; of improved elocution.” Preface to Mr it being most certain that every one of Hugbes's Cantatas in Vol I. of bis Poems.

that character has tv2 talles, the one Upon these feveral pillages it may be remarked, that in the expresion of the paffions, for himself, and the other for the pubnature doch noc offer musical sounds to the lic? Purcell has given a plain indicahuman ear : for though the narural tones of tion of his own, in a declaration that grief and joy, the iwo partions which are moa

the gravity and seriousness of the Ita-, effe&tually expressed by music, approach tomuLical precision more than any other, yet still

lian music were by him thought wora they are inconcinnuus and unmusical. Far-thy of imitation *. ther, that the founds of the voice in speech are The studies of Stradella, Scarlatti, inmusical is aflerted by lord Bacon in the folo and Bononcini, for their own delight, Jowing palage.“ Ali sounds, are either mu. sical lounds, wbich we call tones, whereunto

were not songs or airs calculated to there may be an harm ny, which founds are

aitonish the hearers with the tricks of ever eau I as singing, the sounds of Aringed the finger, but cantatas and duets, in and wind instruments, the ringing of bells, &c. which the fweetness of the melody and or immusical founds, which are ever unequal; harmony were united, so as to leave a ings, all vo ces of beasts and birds

, except they lasting impression on the mind. be Enging birds, all percussions of stones, The fame may be said of Mr. Hanwood, parchment, skins, as in drums, and in- del, who, to go no farther, has given a faite others." Nat. Hift. ceri II. fe&t. 101. specimen of the style hc moft affected,

The conclusion from these premises must be in a volume of lesions for the harplithat mulcd sounds do not imitate common speech ; and therefore that recitative can in no chord, with which no one will say degree be said to be an improvement of elocution that any modern compositions of the

Buit admirtiog the contrary to be the case, ( kind can stand in competition. and that the sounds of speech were equally musical wih those employed in recitative, the tice of an illustrious personage, as hap,

Thefe, as they are made for the pracinfections of the voice are too minute to fall in with the division of the scale ..... and of py, in an exquisite taste and refined this opinion is Monf. Duclos-who denies a judgment as a fine hand may be fuppcm poflibilny of a noration for speech.

fed to be, were in fact compofitions Upon the whole, the bcauties of the recita

amore, In other instances this tive style in mufic conlist not in the power of imitating the tcb«s, much less the various in.

great musician compounded the matflexions of the voice in speech, but in the va

ter with the public, alternately purFieties of accept and melody, which follow suing the suggeitions of his fancy, and from its not being subject to metrical laws. gratifying a taste, which he held in Jo thort, what has been laid and inlisted on

contempt t. .. may be app:ied to recitative, viz, thar its mimeric pow-15 are very inconsiderable, and

Who. that whatever charms it poflefles are absolute and inherent.

* It is worth remarking, that the port!,

who • Thefe observations of St. Evremond re

of all writers, seem molt replible of the effica: spect the mufcal tragedy; but the Italians

cy of inulie, appear uniformiy to coplider it as have also a musical comedy called a Burlesta, an intellectual, and consequentiy various plea; which has been lately in roduced into England. fore, engaging not only be attention ot the and given rise to the distinction in the adver

ear, but the power and faculty of the fout. tisements for the subscription of Grit, fecond, To this end, and not for the purpose of om &c. tes ous man or woman. This entertain

ci'ing mirth, it is in 'numbciless inftaness promint affords additional proof how little muớc.

duced by Shakespeare, and among the posms is luch, is able to fupport itself; in the fragic of Miltoa in one entitled " a Solemn Mulic. opera it borrows aid from the tumidirý of the † An intimate friend of Mr. Hindel, lookpoetry; in the comic, from the powers of ri.

ng over the score of an opera'newly composed dicele, to which music has not ihe least re

'y him, observed of some of the fungs,' hat they were excellent :." You may. thiok lap



la ion.

Whoever is curious to know what are immutable, and independent on that taste could be, to which fo great time or place, the precepts of moraa master as Mr. Handel was compelled lity and axioms in phylics for instance; occasionally to conform, in prejudice there never was fince the creation a to his own, will find it to have been no time when there did not exist an irreother than that which is common to 'concilable difference between truth every promiscuous auditory, with whom and falfhood; or when two things, it is a notion that the right, and as fome each equal to the same third, were may think, the ability to judge, to unequal one to the other; or to carry applaud and condemn, is purchased by the argument farther, when consonance the price of admittance; a taste that and dissonance were not as effentively leads all who poffefs it to prefer light distinguished from each other, both in and trivial airs, and such as are easily

their ratios and by their effects, as they retained in memory, to the finest har are at this day; or wben certain inmony and modulations, and to be betterchanges of colours, or forms and ter pleased with the licentious excelles arrangements of bodies were less of a singer, than the true and just in- pleasing to the eye than the same are tonation of the sweetest and most pa now ; from whence it mould seem, chetic melodies, adorned with all the that there are some subjects on which graces and elegancies that art can fing this principle of mutation does not gest. Such critics as these, in their operate : and to speak of music alone, judgment of inftrumental performance, that, to justify the love of that novelty, uriformly determine in favour of what which seems capable of recommending ever is most difficult in the execution, almoit any production, some other and, like the spectators of a rope-dan- reasons must be resorted to than those cer, are never more delighted than above. when they see the artist is in such a fitu But declining all farther research ation as to render it doubtful whether into the reason or causes of this prinhe shall incur or efcape disgrace. ciple, let us attend to its effects, and

To such a propensity as this, the thefe are visible in the almost total gratifications whereof are of neceflity, ignorance which prevails of the merits but momentary, leaving no impression of most of the many excellent artists, upon the mind, we may refer the ar- who flourished in the ages preceding dent thirst of novelty in inufic, and that our own : of Tye, of Redford, Shepalmost general reprobation of whatever herd, Douland, Weelks, Wilbye, is old, against the sense of the poet;

Est, Bateson, Hilton, and Brewer, we is Now, good Cesario, but that piece of song, these men composed volumes, which

know little more than their names; That old and antique long we had last night, Methought it did relieve my paffion much;

are now dispersed and irretrievably More than 'light airs, and recollected terms loft, yet did their compositions suge Of those most brisk and giddy-paced times.'' gest those ideas of the power and effiTWELFTH-NIGHT, AB II. Scene IV.


of mulic, and those descriptions But to account for it is in no small of its manifold charms that occur in degree difficult. To justify it, it is the verses of our best poets.

To fay faid, there is a natural viciffitude in thåt there and the compositions of things, and that it were vain to expect, their successors Blow, Purcell, Humthat music should be permanent in a phry, Wise, "Weldon, and others, were world where charige seems to predo- admired merely because they were minate.

neir, is begging a question that will But it may here be observed, that be bef decided by a comparison, there are certain lasts of 'nature'that which some of the greatest among the

profeffors of the art at this day would Lays Mr. Handel, « bor it is not to them, but

Thrink from. tor there, turning to others of a vulgar call, that I trust for the fuccess of the op.a."

(To be continued.)



[ocr errors]

Solution of an Enigmatical Mountain. 233 SOLUTION of the ENIGMATICAL | weak and delicate, exult under the MOUNTAIN, Page 39.

burden, and choose to carry the fright

ful, hideous mountain, that nods horTo ebe EDITOR of the LADY's Maror on all below. Prepofterous folly!

Unparalleled absurdity! They make a SIR,

jeft of themselves; they disfigure naHave been musing a considerable ture, and instead of heightening their

time where this wonderful moun charms by fuch foolish accomplishmin can be fituated, described by a ments, actually draw the mark over correspondent in your Magazine for them, and at once eclipse and deform January last, till at length reflecting thein. on the mountainous head-dresses of the I wish the ladies, would divest themladies, with the parts adjacent, I found, felves of that useleis, burdensome, disto my great aftonifhment, there was gufting load, that ridiculous, encumsome analogy between them. Confi- bring, oftentatious parade which they dering the matter again, and finding it heap upon their heads. I am sure such answer in every particular, I was fully a change in their dress would add. convinced that my solution was indif- greatly to their health, their welfare, putable. Pleased I was that I had and reputation, and I do not think discovered so strange, so remarkable a they would ever have cause to regret mountain ; glad was I to take a lei- it. Every time I reffect on the ladies, surely survey of all the various scenes I commiserate their deplorable situaexhibited there. Again and again, tion, and am surprised they should fill with peculiar pleasure, I read over the continue to groan, Atlas-like, under description, compared and recompared the ponderous mountain, In earnest it with the original, and was struck to then, Mr. Editor, I am in pain for the find it correspond so exactly, was hap- lovely creatures, and am always solicitpy to see it so accurately taken off. -- ing them to ease themselves of their burApplause, great applause is due to dens ; but alas ! I solicit in vain. My Henrietta D--1, the author of this advice is rejected with abhorrence. My piece, who has undertaken to describe counsel (though good in itself) is enthis extraordinary mountain, as it must tirely loft upon them, and daily I have be acknowledged, by every impartial the mortification to see what I plead judge, to be executed in a very cu against gain greater reputation, and rious, ingenious, and entertaining man more and more commended. Notner.

withstanding this ill success, I will Ia regard, however, to this tremen- ftill remonstrate, nor will I cease redous eminence, there is one thing, Imonstrating, Mr. Editor, till I see the think, unnoticed by Henrietta D-5, ladies appear, like human creatures, viz. the prodigious change, the inces with decency and decorum-till I see fant alteration this mountain under the tremendous mountain dissolving, goes. Almc't every day there is some or at least sinking, and wearing a less little difference in its aspect, and after formidable aspect. every view (for I often take a survey

I am, Sir, of it) in my opinion it is more terri

Your obedient servant, fying, more formidable. When I have taken a survey of the rocky cavern

Markei-Lavington, Wilts. J. L-G. bending over the sea, the huge promontory on the steep and dizzy precipice, I have been struck with a panick, and

To the EDITOR of the LADY's Mao have felt an impression of awe. No.

GAZINE. less have I been Itruck at the huge, c

Make no doubt but many of your

[ocr errors]

of the fair sex, who though naturally


are unable to account for the reason Hh


B toc.

of that frequent and beautiful phæno- | Chrift, &c. those exhibitions acquired menon called a rainbow ; I should, the general name of Mysteries. At first therefore, be glad if any of your phi- they were, probably, a kind of dumb lofophical correspondents would grati-shows, intermingled, it may be, with fy me, as well as many others, with a a few short speeches ; at length, they solution of the cause of it, in a future grew into a regular series of connected publication of your Magazine. dialogues, formally divided into ad: I am, Sir,

and scenes. Specimens of these in Your's, &c.

their most improved state (being at bet

but poor artless compositions) may be Woodford, Efex. CHARLOTTE H-D.

seen among Doddley's old plays,

and in Osborne's Harleyan Miscel. How

they were exhibited in their moft fimTo the Editor of the Lady's Maple form, we may learn from an antient GAZINE

novel, (often quoted by our old dra. SIR,

matic paets *) intitled " A merrye jei EING in company last night with of a man that was called Howlssation turning upon matters of litera- the Dutch language, in which he is ture, the following questions, among named Ulenspiegle."--Howleglass. a variety of others, were propofed to whose waggish tricks are the subject of the ladies, which very much puzzled this book, after many adventures, the whole company:

comes to live with a priest, who makes Query I. Was the finny tribe, and him his parith-clerk. This priettis other inhabitants of the waters, de- described as keeping a lemak, or constroyed with the rest of the animals at cubine, who had but one eye, to whom the general delnge or not?

Howleglass owed a grudge for reveal. · II. Whether the planets, and other ing his rogueries to his master. The luminous bodies, are habitable worlde, Itory thus proceeds" And then in as many authors of reputation have the meane season, while Howleglass was lately afterted ?

paryshe clarke, at Eafter they fhould I should be glad to see these curious play the Resurrection of our Lorde queries discussed by some of your cor and for becaus. then the men were not respondents, in your useful and enter- larned, nor could not read, the prica taining Magazine.

toke his leman, and put her in the AMELIA. grave for an aungell; and this seeibe

Howleglass, toke to him iij of the fin

plett persons that were in the towse OBSERVATIONS or the OLD ENGLISH that played the iij Maries; and a DRAMATIC Pieces called Myste person (i. e. parson or rector) playe

Christe, with a banner in his handRIES. By Dr. Percy.

Then saide Howleglass to the syrup is well known that dramatic po- persons, “ When the aungel alice of Europe, owes its origin, or at least person's leman with one iye." Th its revival, to those religious shows, it fortuned that the tyme was co which in the dark ages were usually that they must playe, and the aung exhibited on the more folemn festivals. asked them whom they fought, At those times they were wont to re then fayd they, as Howleglafs

. 2 present, in the churches, the lives and miracles of the saints, or some of the more important stories of scripture ;

. See Ben Jonson's Poetastcs, AA HI.

IV. and his masque of the Fortunate Res and as the most mysterious subjects + Howleglass is faid, in the preface were frequently chosen, such as the In- have died in MccccL, at thc end of piraation, Passion, and Resurrection of book in Mocchi

I fay


Obfervations on Dramatic Pieces called Mysleries. showed, and learned them afore, and much as historical poems do from epic; then answered they, “ We seke the as the Pharsalia does from the Æneid. priett's leman with one iye."--And What might contribute to make drathen the prieste might heare that he matic poetry take this túrn was, that was mocked. And when the priestes soon after the mysteries ceased to be leman heard that, she arose out of the exhibited, there was published a large grave, and would have smyten with collection of poetical narratives, called her lift Howleglass upon the cheke, The Mirrour of Magiftrates, wherein a but the missed him, and smote one of great number of the most eminent chathe symple persons that played one of racters in English history are drawn the ïj Maries, and he gave her ano- relating their own misfortunes. This ther; and then toke she him by the book was populari

, and of a dramatic heare (hair]; and that seeing his wyfe, caft, and therefore, as an elegant writer came running haftely to smite the has well observed, might have its in. prieftes leman; and then the priette Auence in producing historic plays. seeing this, cafte down hys baner, and Thefe narratives probably furnished went to helpe hys woman, so that the the fubjects, and the antient mysteries one gave the other fore itrokes, and suggeited the plan. made great noyfe in the churche. And That our old writers confidered histhen Howleglass seeing them lying to-torical plays somewhat distinct from gether by the eares in the bodi of the tragedy and comedy, appears from churche, went his way out of the vil. numberless passages in their works. lage, and came no more there." “ Of late days (says Stow) instead of

As the old mysteries frequently re those ftage-playes, have been used coquired the representation of some alle medies, tragedies, interludes, and hisgorical perfonage, such as Death, Sin, tories, both true and fained.” Survey Charity, Faith, and the like, by de of London. grees the rude poets of those unletter. Beaumont and Fletcher, in the proed ages began to form complete dra. logue to the Captain, say, matic pieces, consisting entirely of fuch “ This is not comedy, personifications. These are entitled

“ Nor tragedy, Meal Plays or Moralities. The mys « Nor history." teries were very inartificial, represent Polonius, in Hamlet, commends the ing the scripture stories fimply, accord- actors, as the best in the world, “ eiing to the letter. But the moralities ther for tragedie, comedie, historie, are not devoid of invention; they exhi- paftorall, &c."--And Shakespeare's bit outlines of the dramatic art ; they friends, Heminge and Condell, in the contain something of a fable or plot, first folio edition of his plays, in 1623, and even attempt to delineate charac have not only entitled their book, fers and manners.

" Mr. William Shakespeare's ComeThe old myfteries, which ceased to dies, Hiftories, and Tragedies,” but be acted after the reformation, seem to in their table of contents have arhave given rise to a third species of ranged them under those three several stage exhibition, which, though now heads, placing in the class of histories, confounded with tragedy and comedy, King John, Richard II. Henry IV. were by our firft dramatic writers two parts, Henry V. Henry VI. three confidered as quite distinct from them parts, Richard III. and Henry VIII. both: these were historical plays or This distinction deserves the attenNittories, a species of dramatic writing tion of the critics ; for if it be the first skich refembled the old mysteries, in canon of sound criticism to examine representing a series of historical events any work prescribed for his obferfimply, in the order of time in which vance, then we ought not to try bey happened, withont any regard to Shakespeare's histories by the general be three great unities. These pieces laws of tragedy or comedy. Whether em to differ from tragedy, just as the rule itself h: vicious or nof, is an.

H h 2


« PreviousContinue »