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band. The attention is awakened, the soul is land.* He says, that Handel, though originally roused up at his pieces : but distinct passion is sel- a German (as most certainly he was, and continued dom expressed. In this particular he has seldom so to. his last breath), yet adopted the English found success; he has been obliged, in order to manner. Yes, to be sure, just as much as Roexpress passion, to imitate words by sounds, bens the painter did. Your correspondent in the which, though it gives the pleasure which imitation course of his discoveries, tells us besides, that always produces, yet it fails of exciting those last- some of the best Scotch ballads, " The Broom of ing affections which it is in the power of sounds Cowdenknows,” for instance, are still ascribed to to produce. In a word, no man ever understood David Rizzio. This Rizzio must have been a harmony so well as he : but in melody he has been most original genius, or have possessed extraordiexceeded by several.
nary imitative powers, to have come, so advanced
• The objector will not have Handel's school to be calk an
English school, because he was a German. Handel, in a [The following OBJECTIONs to the preceding Es- great measure, found in England those cæntial differences
SAY having been addressed to Dr. SMOLLETT which characterize his music; we have already shown that (as Editor of the British Magazine, in which he had them not upon his arrival. Had Rubers come wer to it first appeared), that gentleman, with equal England but moderately skilled in his art; had he learned here
all his excellency in colouring and correctness of designing; candour and politeness, communicated the MS. had he left several scholars excellent in his manner behind to Dr. Goldsmith, who returned his answers him ; I shoåld not scruple to call the school erected by him to the objector in the notes annexed.-Edit.] the English school of painting. Not the country in wbicha
man is born, but his peculiar style either in painting it in PERMit me to object against some things ad- music—that constitutes him of this or that school. Thes vanced in the paper on the subject of The Dir-Champagne, who painted in the manner of the French schoed, FERENT SCHOOLS OF Music. The author of this is always placed among the painters of that school, though the
was born in Flanders, and should consequently, by the batt article seems too hasty in degrading the harmoni. or's rule, be placed among the Flemish painter Kneller in ous Purcel* from the head of the English school, placed in the German school, and Ostade in the Dutch, to erect in his room a foreigner (Handel), who has though born in the same city. Primatis, who may be traly not yet formed any school. The gentleman, said to have founded the Roman school, was born in Bohuena; when he comes to communicate his thoughts upon have been placed in the Lombard.
though, if his country was to determine his school, he should
There might several the different schools of painting, may as well place other instances be produced; but these, it is hoped, will be Rubens at the head of the English painters, bo-sufficient to prove that Handel, though a German, may be cause he left some monuments of his art in Eng- placed at the heal of the English school.
1 Handel was originally a German; but by a long continuance
in England, he might have been looked upon as naturalized to * Had the objector said melodious Purcel, it had testified at the country. I do not pretend to be a fine writer ; however, least a greater acquaintance with music, and Purcel's peculiar if the gentleman dislikes the expression (although he mus be excellence. Purcel in melody is frequently great: his song convince it is a common one), I wish it were mended. made in his last gicknes, called Rosy Bowery is a fine instance I said that they were ascribed to David Rizzio. That they of this: but in harmony he is far short of the meanest of our are, the objector need only look into Mr. Oswald's Collection modern composers, his fullest harmonies being exceedingly of Scotch lunes, and he will there find not only “The Broom simple. His Opera of Prince Arthur, the words of which of Cowdenknows,” but also “ 'The Black Eagle," and several were Dryden's, is reckoned his finest piece. But what is that other of the best Scotch tunes, ascribed to him. Though this in point of harmony, to what we every day hear froin modern might be a sulficient answer, yet I must be permitted to go masters? In short, with respect to genius, Purcel had a fine farther, to tell the objector the opinion of our best modern one; he greatly improved an art but little known in England musicians in this particular. It is the opinion of the melo before his time: for this he deserves our applause: but the pro- dious Geminiani, that we have in the dominions of great sent prevailing taste in music is very different from what he Britain no original music except the Irish; the Scotch and left it, and who was the improver since his time we shall se English being originally borrowed from the Italians. And by and by.
that his opinion in this respect is just for I would not be 1 Handel may be said as justly as any man, not Pergolese swayed merely by authorities) it is very reasonable to sup excepted, to have founded a new school of music. When he pose, first from the conformity between the Scotch and anfirst came into England his music was entirely Italian: he cient Italian music. They who compare the old French Var. composed for the Opera; and though even then his pieces devilles, brought from Italy by Rinuccini, with those pieces were liked, yet did they not meet with universal approbation. ascribed to David Rizzio, who was pretty nearly contempora. In those, he has too servilely imitated the modern vitiatod ry with him, will find a strong resemblance, notwithstanding Italian taste, by placing what foreigners call the point d'ar- the opposite characters of the two nations which have pregue too closely and injudiciously. But in his Oratorios he served those pieces. When I would have them compared, I is perfectly an original genius. In these, by steering between mean I would have their bases compared, by which the simi. the manners of lualy and England, he has struck out new litude may be most exactly seen. Secondly, it is reasonable harmonies and formed a species of music different from all from the ancient music of the Scotch, which is still preserved others. Le has left some excellent and eminent scholars, in the Highlands, and which bears no resemblance at all to particularly Worgan and Smith, who compose nearly in his the music of the low country. The Highland tunes are sung to manner: a manner as different from Purcel's as from that of Irish words, and flow entirely in the Irish manner. On the modem Italy, Consequently Handel may be placed at the other hand, the Lowland music is always sung to English head of the English school.
in life as he did, from Italy, and strike so far out ens to mako the best use of their time, for they of the common road of his own country's music. will soon, for all their present bloom, be stretched
A mere fiddler,* a shallow coxcomb, a giddy, in- under the table, like the dead body before them. solent, worthless fellow, to compose such pieces as Of all the bards this country ever produced, tho nothing but genuine sensibility of mind, and an last and the greatest was CAROLAN THE BLIND. exquisite feeling of those passions which animate He was at once a poet, a musician, a composer, only the finest souls, could dictate; and in a man- and sung his own verses to his harp. The originer too so extravagantly distant from that to which nal natives never mention his name without raphe had all his life been accustomed !-It is impos- ture: both his poetry and music they have by sible. He might indeed have had presumption heart; and even some of the English themselves, enough to add some flourishes to a few favourite who have been transplanted there, find his music airs, like a cobbler of old plays when he takes it extremely pleasing. A song beginning upon him to mend Shakspeare. So far he might
"O'Rourke's noble fare will ne'er be forgot," go; but farther it is impossible for any one to believe, that has but just ear enough to distinguish translated by Dean Swift, is of his composition ; between the Italian and Scotch music, and is dis- which, though perhaps by this means the best posed to consider the subject with the least degree known of his pieces, is yet by no means the most of attention.
deserving. His songs in general may be compared March 18, 1760.
to those of Pindar, as they have frequently the same flights of imagination; and are composed (1 do not say written, for he could not write) merely
to flatter some man of fortune upon some excelESSAY XX.
lence of the same kind. In these one man is There can be perhaps no greater entertainment praised for the excellence of his stable, as in Pinthan to compare the rude Celtic simplicity with
dar, another for his hospitality, a third for the modern refinement. Books, however, seem inca. beauty of his wife and children, and a fourth for pable of furnishing the parallel; and to be ac
the antiquity of his family. Whenever any of quainted with the ancient manners of our own an-bled at feasting or revelling, Carolan was generally
the original natives of distinction were assemcestors, we should endeavour to look for their remains in those countries, which being in some
there, where he was always ready with his harp measure retired from an intercourse with other na
to celebrate their praises. He seemed by nature tions, are still untinctured with foreign refinement,
formed for his profession ; for as he was born blind, language, or breeding.
so also he was possessed of a most astonishing The Irish will satisfy curiosity in this respect memory, and a facetious turn of thinking, which preferably to all other nations I have seen. They gave his entertainers infinite satisfaction. Being in several parts of that country still adhere to their once at the house of an Irish nobleman, where ancient language, dress, furniture, and supersti
there was a musician present who was eminent in tions; several customs exist among them, that still
the profession, Carolan immediately challenged him speak their original; and in some respects Cæsar's to a trial of skill. To carry the jest forward, his description of the ancient Britons is applicable to Lordship persuaded the musician to accept tho them.
challenge, and he accordingly played over on his Their barus, in particular, are still held in great
fiddle the fifth concerto of Vivaldi. Carolan, imveneration among them; those traditional heralds mediately taking his harp, played over the whole are invited to every funeral
, in order to fill up the piece after him, without missing a note, though he intervals of the bowl with their songs and harps.
never heard it before; which produced some sur : In these they rehearse the actions of the ancestors prise : but their astonishment increased, when he
assured them he could make a concerto in the of the deceased, bewail the bondage of their country under the English government, and generally
same taste himself, which he instantly composed; conclude with advising the young men and maid
and that with such spirit and elegance, that it may compare (for we have it still) with the finest com
positions of Italy. David Rizzio was neither a mere fiddler, nor a shallow
His death was not more remarkable than his coxcomb nor a worthless fellow, nor a stranger in Scotland. He had indeed been brought over from Piedmont, to be put
life. Homer was never more fond of a glass than at the head of a band of music, by King James V. one or the he; he would drink whole pints of usquebaugh, mor clogant princes of his time, an exquisite juugo of music, and, as he used to think, without any ill conseas well as of poetry, architecture, and all the fine arta. Rizzio, quence. His intemperance, however, in this reat the time of his death, had been above twenty years in Scotland: he was secretary to the Queen, and at the same spect, at length brought on an incurable disortime an agent from the Pope ; so that he could not be so ob- der, and when just at the point of death, he called scure as he has been represented.
for a cup of his beloved liquor. Those who were standing round him, surprised at the demand, en- remembered this place in its pristine beauty, I deavoured to persuade him to the contrary; but he could not help condoling with him on its present persisted, and, when the bowl was brought to him, ruinous situation. I spoke to him of the many attempted to drink, but could not; wherefore, giv- alterations which had been made, and all for the ing away the bowl, he observed with a smile, that worse; of the many shades which had been taken it would be hard if two such friends as he and the away, of the bowers that were destroyed by necup should part at least without kissing; and then glect, and the hedge-rows that were spoiled by clipexpired.
ping. The Genius with a sigh received my con. dolement, and assured me that he was equally a
martyr to ignorance and taste, to refinement and ESSAY XXI.
rusticity. Seeing me desirous of knowing farther,
he went on: Of all men who form gay illusions of distant "You see, in the place before you, the paternal happiness, perhaps a poet is the most sanguine. inheritance of a poet; and, to a man content with Such is the ardour of his hopes, that they often are little, fully sufficient for his subsistence: but a equal to actual enjoyment; and he feels more in strong imagination and a long acquaintance with expectance than actual fruition. I have often re- the rich are dangerous foes to contentment. Our garded a character of this kind with some degree poet, instead of sitting down to enjoy life, resolved of envy. A man possessed of such warm imagi- to prepare for its future enjoyment, and set about nation commands all nature, and arrogates posses- converting a place of profit into a scene of pleasions of which the owner has a blunter relish. sure. This he at first supposed could be accomWhile life continues, the alluring prospect lies be-plished at a small expense ; and he was willing for fore him: he travels in the pursuit with confidence, a while to stint his income, to have an opportunity and resigns it only with his last breath. of displaying his taste. The improvement in this
It is this happy confidence which gives life its manner went forward ; one beauty attained led him true relish, and keeps up our spirits amidst every to wish for some other ; but he still hoped that distress and disappointment. How much less every emendation would be the last. It was now would be done, if a man knew how little he can therefore found, that the improvement exceeded do! How wretched a creature would he be, if he the subsidy, that the place was grown too large and saw the end as well as the beginning of his pro too fine for the inhabitant. But that pride which jects! He would have nothing left but to sit down was once exhibited could not retire ; the garden in torpid despair, and exchange employment for was made for the owner, and though it was beactual calamity.
come unfit for him he could not willingly resign it I was led into this train of thinking upon lately to another. Thus the first idea of its beauties convisiting* the beautiful gardens of the late Mr. tributing to the happiness of his life was found unShenstone, who was himself a poet, and possessed faithful; so that, instead of looking within for satof that warm imagination, which made him ever isfaction, he began to think of having recourse to foremost in the pursuit of flying happiness. the praises of those who came to visit his improveCould he but have foreseen the end of all his ment. schemes, for whom he was improving, and what
“In consequence of this hope, which now took changes his designs were to undergo, he would possession of his mind, the gardens were opened have scarcely amused his innocent life with what to the visits of every stranger; and the country for several years employed him in a most harmless flocked round to walk, to criticise, to admire, and manner, and abridged his scanty fortune. As the to do mischief. He soon found, that the admirers progress of this improvement is a true picture of of his taste left by no means such strong marks sublunary vicissitude, I could not help calling up of their applause, as the envious did of their my imagination, which, while I walked pensively malignity. All the windows of his temples, and along, suggested the following reverie.
the walls of his retreats, were impressed with the As I was turning my back upon a beautiful characters of profaneness, ignorance, and obscenipiece of water enlivened with cascades and rock-ty; his hedges were broken, his statues and urns work, and entering a dark walk by which ran a defaced, and his lawns worn bare. It was now prattling brook, the Genius of the place appeared therefore necessary to shut up the gardens once before me, but more resembling the God of Time, more, and to deprive the public of that happiness, than him more peculiarly appointed to the care of which had before ceased to be his own. gardens. Instead of shears he bore a scythe; and
“In this situation the poet continued for a time he appeared rather with the implements of hus- in the character of a jealous lover, fond of the beaubandry, than those of a modern gardener. Having ty he keeps, but unable to supply the extravagance
of every demand. The garden by this time was • 1773
completely grown and finished; the marks of art were
covered up by the luxuriance of nature; the winding walks were grown dark; the brook assumed a
ESSAY XXII. natural sylvage; and the rocks were covered with
The theatre, like all other amusements, has its moss. Nothing now remained but to enjoy the beauties of the place, when the poor poet died, and
fashions and its prejudices; and when satiated with his garden was obliged to be sold for the benefit for improvement. For some years tragedy was
its excellence, mankind begin to mistake change of those who had contributed to its embellishment, the reigning entertainment; but of late it has en
“The beauties of the place had now for some time been celebrated as well in prose as in verse;
tirely given way to comedy, and our best efforts and all men of taste wished for so envied a spot
, tion. The pompous train, the swelling phrase,
are now exerted in these lighter kinds of composiwhere every urn was marked with the poet's pen- and the unnatural rant, are displaced for that cil, and every walk awakened genius and meditation. The first purchaser was one Mr. True
natural portrait of human folly and frailty, of penny, a button-maker, who was possessed of three which all are judges, because all have sat for the thousand pounds, and was willing also to be pos
picture. sessed of taste and genius.
But as in describing nature it is presented with “As the poet's ideas were for the natural wild-a double face, either of mirth or sadness, our modern ness of the landscape
, the button-maker's were for writers find themselves at a loss which chiefly to the more regular productions of art. He conceir- copy from; and it is now debated, whether the ed, perhaps, that as it is a beauty in a button to be exhibition of human distress is likely to afford the
mind more entertainment than that of human abof a regular pattern, so the same regularity ought
surdity? to obtain in a landscape. Be this as it will, he employed the shears to some purpose ; he clipped up of the frailties of the lower part of mankind, to dis
Comedy is defined by Aristotle to be a picture the hedges, cut down the gloomy walks, made vistas upon the stables and hog-sties, and showed his tinguish it from tragedy, which is an exhibition of
the misfortunes of the great. When comedy therefriends that a man of taste should always be doing.
fore ascends to produce the characters of princes or “The next candidate for taste and genius was a
generals upon the stage, it is out of its walk, since captain of a ship, who bought the garden because
low life and middle life are entirely its object. The the former possessor could find nothing more to mend; but unfortunately he had taste too. His principal question therefore is, whether in describtemples, and cage-work summer-houses. As the in other words, which deserves the preference—the great passion lay in building, in making Chinese ing low or middle life, an exhibition of its follies
be not preferable to a detail of its calamities? Or, place before had an appearance of retirement, and Inspired meditation, he gave it a more peopled air ; at present,* or the laughing and even low comedy,
weeping sentimental comedy so much in fashion every turning presented a cottage, or ice-house
, or which seems to have been last exhibited by Vana temple; the improvement was converted into a
brugh and Cibber? little city, and it only wanted inhabitants to give it
If we apply to authorities, all the great masters the air of a village in the East Indies. "In this manner, in less than ten years, the im- rule is, that as tragedy displays the calamities of
in the dramatic art have but one opinion. Their provement has gone through the hands of as many the great, so comedy should excite our laughter
, proprietors, who were all willing to have taste, and
by ridiculously exhibiting the follies of the lower to show their taste too. As the place had received its best finishing from the hand of the first possessor: critics, asserts
, that comedy will not admit of tragic
part of mankind. Boileau, one of the best modern so every innovator only lent a hand to do mischief.
distress: Those parts which were obscure, have been enrightened; those walks which led naturally, have Le comique, ennemi des soupirs et des pleurs, een twisted into serpentine windings. The colour N'admet point dans ses vers de tragiques douleurs. of the flowers of the field is not more various than
Nor is this rule without the strongest foundation the variety of tastes that have been employed here
, in nature, as the distresses of the mean by no and all in direct contradiction to the original aim of the first improver. Could the original possessor
means affect us so strongly as the calamities of the but revive, with what a sorrowful heart would he great. When tragedy exhibits to us some great
man fallen from his height, and struggling with look upon his favourite spot again! He would scarcely recollect a Dryad or a Wood-nymph of his
want and adversity, we feel his situation in the former acquaintance, and might perhaps find him- and our pity is increased in proportion to the height
same manner as we suppose he himself must feel, self as much a stranger in his own plantation as in the deserts of Siberia."
from which he fell. On the contrary, we do not and if they are delightful, they are good. Their so strongly sympathize with one born in humbler success, it will be said, is a mark of their meril
, circumstances, and encountering accidental dis- and it is only abridging our happiness to deny us tress: so that while we melt for Belisarius, we an inlet to amusement. scarcely give halfpence to the beggar who accosts These objections, however, are rather specious us in the street. The one has our pity; the other than solid. It is true, that amusement is a great our contempt. Distress, therefore, is the proper object of the theatre, and it will be allowed that object of tragedy, since the great excite our pity by these sentimental pieces do often amuse us; but their fall; but not equally so of comedy, since the the question is, whether the true comedy would not actors employed in it are originally so mean, that amuse us more? The question is, whether a chathey sink but little by their fall,
racter supported throughout a piece, with its ridiSince the first origin of the stage, tragedy and cule still attending, would not give us more delight comedy have run in distinct channels, and never
than this species of bastard tragedy, which only is till of late encroached upon the provinces of each applauded because it is new? other. Terence, who seems to have made the
A friend of mine, who was sitting unmoved at nearest approaches, always judiciously stops short one of the sentimental pieces, was asked how he
could be so indifferent? '“Why, truly," says he, before he comes to the downright pathetic; and yet
"as the hero is but a tradesman, it is indifferent to he is even reproached by Cæsar for wanting the vis comica. All the other comic writers of anti- me whether he be turned out of his counting-house quity aim only at rendering folly or vice ridiculous, on Fish-street Hill
, since he will still have enough but never exalt their characters into buskine left to open shop in St. Giles's.".
The other objection is as ill-grounded; for though pomp, or make what Voltaire humorously calls a tradesman's tragedy.
we should give these pieces another name, it will
not mend their efficacy. It will continue a kind Yet, notwithstanding this weight of authority and of mulish production, with all the defects of its opthe universal practice of former ages, a new species posite parents, and marked with sterility. If we of dramatic composition has been introduced under are permitted to make comedy weep, we have an the name of sentimental comedy, in which the vir- equal right to make tragedy laugh, and to set down tues of private life are exhibited, rather than the in blank verse the jests and repartees of all the atvices exposed; and the distresses rather than the tendants in a funeral procession. faults of mankind make our interest in the piece.
But there is one argument in favour of sentiThese comedies have had of late great success, per- mental comedy which will keep it on the stage in haps from their novelty, and also from their flatter-spite of all that can be said against it. It is of all ing every man in his favourite foible. In these others the most easily written. Those abilities plays almost all the characters are good, and ex- that can hammer out a novel, are fully sufficient ceedingly generous; they are lavish enough of their for the production of a sentimental comedy. It is tin money on the stage; and though they want only sufficient to raise the characters a little; to humour, have abundance of sentiment and feeling. deck out the hero with a riband, or give the heroine If they happen to have faults or foibles, the spec- a title; then to put an insipid dialogue, without tator is taught, not only to pardon, but to applaud character or humour, into their months, give them them, in consideration of the goodness of their mighty good hearts, very fine clothes, furnish a hearts; so that folly, instead of being ridiculed, is new set of scenes, make a pathetic scene or two, commended, and the com aims at touching our with a sprinkling of tender melancholy con passions without the power of being truly pathetic. tion through the whole, and there is no doubt but In this manner we are likely to lose one great all the ladies will cry, and all the gentlemen apsource of entertainment on the stage; for while the
plaud. comic poet is invading the province of the tragic
Humour at present seems to be departing from muse, he leaves her lovely sister quite neglected the stage, and it will soon happen that our comic Of this, however, he is no way solicitous, as he players will have nothing left for it but a fine coat measures his fame by his profits.
and a song. It depends upon the audience whether But it will be said, that the theatre is formed to they will actually drive those poor merry creatures amuse mankind, and that it matters little, if this from the stage, or sit at a play as gloomy as at the end be answered, by what means it is obtained. tabernacle. It is not easy to recover an art when If mankind find delight in weeping at comedy, it once lost; and it will be but a just punishment, would be cruel to abridge them in that or any other that when, by our being too fastidious, we have innocent pleasure. If those pieces are denied the banished humour from the stage, we should ourname of comedies, yet call them by any other name, selves be deprived of the art of laughing.