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selves extremely ill-treated, were they debarred the Indulgence of a piano-forte.
Whether this passion be indulged to excess-whether it be a musico-mania, or an innocent recreation, under the guidance of Reason and Discretion-it is not the business of this Publication to discuss.
The Author of the following Sheets is strongly impressed with the idea, that Music is not only a harmless amusement; but, if properly directed, capable of being eminently beneficial to his fair Countrywomen. In many instances, it may be the means of preventing that vacuity of mind, which is too frequently the parent of libertinism; of precluding the intrusion of idle and dangerous imaginations; and, more particularly among the Daughters of ease and opulence,
by occupying a considerable portion of time, may prove an antidote to the poison insidiously administered by the innumerable licentious Novels, which are hourly sapping the foundations of every moral and religious principle.
As practical Musicians, the British Female Dilettanti are universally acknowledged, not only to have rivalled, but to have surpassed, in their exquisite execution upon keyed Instruments, all their continental competi
TO THESE, it is presumed, that a concise, and, perhaps, entertaining History of a Science, in which they so eminently excel, may not be unacceptable.
ANECDOTES OF MUSIC,
London, Jan. 8th, 1813.
ON THE MUSIC OF THE ANCIENTS.
FROM your infancy, my dearest Caroline, your instruction has been my chief employment, your improvement the highest object of my ambition; and, if those moral and religious principles which I have endeavoured, from the earliest dawn of reason, to inculcate, maintain their influence on your future conduct, I shall feel abundantly rewarded for many years of labour and anxiety.
Your attention, however, has not been exclusively directed to subjects of everlasting importance; nor has the history of the world you live in, which in fact includes little more than a narrative of the vices and follies of mankind, entirely precluded the study of those trifling, yet fascinating accomplishments, which
are apparently considered as indispensable in the modern system of female education.
In acquiring the practical execution of music, you have of necessity sacrificed a very considerable portion of time, which might perhaps have been more profitably, but certainly not more agreeably employed.
The historical department of this charming science I shall take upon myself: you will thus be relieved from the toil of travelling through huge volumes, equally learned and uninteresting; in search of those amusing anecdotes, which are ever interwoven with the study of the liberal arts, and the refinements of polished society. In a word, you will thus obtain many subjects of blameless conversation, released from the fatigue of encountering the pedantry of speculation, and the dulness of criticism*.
The infancy of every art and science is involved in impenetrable obscurity, and the difficulties, absolutely
* Should any one of our fair readers doubt the truth of this assertion, she is requested to dip into any treatise on music that has ever been written; she will then learn to appreciate her obligations to those who would emancipate her from the drudgery of extracting a few grains of precious metal from the mighty mass of heterogeneous ore with which those mines of information usually abound.