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than your new favorite. Though I must own, that neither the one or the other are, by any means, perfect timists; yet, in this respect, Mrs. Vincent has certainly the advantage, and is seldom guilty of blunders, which the other, through haste, want of skill, or of time, sometimes commits. I have but one thing more to say in favor of Mrs. Vincent, which is, that she would certainly appear to greater advantage were the music she sings more nicely adapted to her voice. Every judicious composer sets his musio to the voice of the performer ; that which this singer chooses seems, in general, taken by herself at a venture, or composed for her, without a perfect knowledge of her excellences. The lower part of her voice has a much finer body than the upper, which is rather too small, and has somewhat too much of the German-flute tone in it. Though she has great command, yet her transitions are not perfectly graceful; the music therefore adapted to her, and in which she would certainly charm, should be composod of notes not reaching extremely high, and not with difficult transitions. The music composed for Miss Brent, on the contrary, is set with perfect taste, and with a thorough knowledge of her forte. That pretty song of Liberty, in particular, both in delicacy and accompaniment, is far beyond the songs of Mrs. Vincent."
Influenced by this, most of the company were going to declare in favor of Mrs. Vincent, when the other gentleman gave his opinion as follows : “ I allow the justice of almost all that has been advanced, but I am of opinion Miss Brent* is far superior. It is true her voice is by no means so clear as Mrs. Vincent's, Dor have I ever heard any singer equal that lady in this particular; yet still Miss Brent has much the best voice of the two; for it is at once capable of a greater swell, and has a greater body of tone. These two perfections are alone sufficient to give her the
(For this lady, afterwards Mrs. Pinto, Goldsmith wrote two songs. See rol. iv.]
preference; but there is another in which she excels almost every singer, I mean that of her voice's being perfectly in tune. I cannot tell whether it be in reality so; but it would seem, by the exact tunefulness of her voice, that she had not been entirely taught to sing from the harpsichord; for such as are wholly taught by that instrument, though they may be sufficiently in tune with any instrument, yet by learning only to chime with a chord, which from the nature of this instrument is not quite perfect, they seldom arrive to that tunefulness which reaches the heart; and hence we see natural singers frequently more pleasing than those who are taught.. The lady I refer to seems to possess all that native sweetness of voice, at the same time that she has acquired by art the perfect manner of flattening those notes, which upon the voice and every natural instrument, as the trumpet and horn, are naturally too sharp. Her shake, though not perfect (as it is in general too quick) is however much superior to the other's, who is very faulty in this respect. Though she may sometimes feel too much, yet it must be owned that this is preferable to a total vacancy of sensibility, which is the other's case. Let us add to this, that the music we bave now heard her sing is preferable to that sung by Mrs. Vincent; and I fancy, upon the whole, we shall find she affords the highest entertainment. I am sensible that both have faults, which neither of us have mentioned; and one among the rest is in the execution of those holding notes of which they both seem so fond. They seem to think that all the art in this respect lies in beginning one of those tedious notes very soft, and then swelling it as loud as possible in the middle, then falling off, and so forth. These should never be continued without that softening which is taken from the tone below; which on the voice is capable of becoming every moment more distinct, till it at last falls naturally into the shake, which should not be of very long continuance neither. But I fear I tire the company: I shall only observe, that the public are greatly obliged to both for one of its most innocent and highest amusements."
Just as he had finished we were called away to hear the concluding song, which gave me such pleasure, I could not avoid concluding, that she who sung last always sung best.
A TRUE HISTORY FOR THE LADIES.
In the flowery paths of novel and romance, we are taught to consider love as a blessing that will last for life : it is exalted above its merits; and by teaching the young and unexperienced to expect more from it than it can give, by being disappointed of their expectations, they do not receive from it even those advantages it has to bestow.
Love between the sexes should be regarded as an inlet to friendship, nor should the most beautiful of either hope to continue the passion a month beyond the wedding-day. Marriage strips love of all its finery; and if friendship does not appear to supply its place, there is then an end of matrimonial felicity
But this love and friendship, by being too violent, often destroy themselves. A wife, by expecting too much of her husband's company, or he, on the other hand, desiring too much tenderness from her, only impair that union of heart which both endeavor to cement. Perhaps they who expect least are often paid with most of the pleasures of a married state ; as some accidentally happen to fall upon agreeable parties, but seldom find
* [The persons mentioned in this story were relatives of Goldsmith's uncle Contarine by the female side ; though some of the circumstances may be exegztrated -See Life, ch. ii.]
them so, if appointed long beforehand : those bonds which unite the married couple may be tied too closely, which is perhaps a worse inconvenience than if they had not been tied at all.
To illustrate this, let me be permitted to relate a real story that happened near Chester some years ago; which will more clearly display the inconveniences arising from too high a regard on each side, than any remarks of mine upon this occasion.
Thomas and James Chaloner were brothers residing near Chester; they were both possessed of small but independent fortunes, and nearly at the same time intended to improve those fortunes by matrimony. Thomas, the elder, paid his addresses to a young lady of great beauty and family in the neighborhood, and she received his professions with mutual passion ; her father, however, attempted to interrupt the match from mercenary motives, as he was sensible of the inequality of Mr. Thomas Chaloner's fortune to that he intended for his daughter. The young lovers were too much enamored of each other to attend to the dissuasive voice of avarice upon this occasion; and, contrary to the inclinations of all their friends, were privately married, promising themselves an endless source of felicity in each other's possession.
In the mean time, Mr. James Chaloner also was married; but without any of those circumstances of stolen happiness or forbidden endearment. His wife was chosen from that rank of life immediately beneath his own; she was a farmer's daughter, had a little money, and a hearty blessing from her father. She was neither very handsome, nor extremely sensible; and their amours would by no means have served as the subject of romance.
Both brothers had not long been married, when a lawsuit called them over to Ireland; and, unwilling to leave their wives behind, they all embarked from Parkgate on their passage to Dublin. They had not been at sea an hour when a violent storm arose; the ship was old, and the mariners but few: she was therefore driven at the mercy of the waves, and at length approached a rocky shore, where nothing but instant death was expected, especially to those who could not swim. In this terrible situation the captain desired the passengers to prepare for death, as the ship could not hold it a quarter of an hour longer; but at the same time encouraged those who were skilled in swimming to save themselves as well as they could.
Thomas, who, as we have already observed, had married for love, now showed the whole extent of his passion. Clasping his lovely bride in his arms, he cried out that he disdained to live without her; that as they had lived with the utmost passion, so he was resolved to die with it; and no entreaties could prevail upon him to attempt saving his life, though even his wife joined in the request It was very different between the prudent James and his
spouse: “ My dear,” said he, “ I would live with you if I could; but my death can give you no satisfaction: as it is impossible for me to save you, I must endeavor to save myself:” so saying, he plunged into the sea, and had the good fortune to swim on shore.
The danger, however, was not so great as the captain had represented it; the ship held together longer than had been expected, and a calm immediately succeeding, the whole crew were safely landed, and the joyful couple, who had discovered such tenderness, had now an opportunity of reflecting upon the greatDess of each other's love.
I wish the story had ended here ; but truth demands the rest should be related. For a week or two the enamored couple enjoyed happiness without alloy; but soon, as they expected too much from each other, both began to retrench their mutual liberty. First, slight jealousies, proceeding from too much love, brought on complaints, complaints produced coolness, and this was carried at last into sullen silence. From thence it proceeded