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we have just cited, avec leur fierté accoutumée, et les Italiens . ne peuvent exécuter la notre; Donc, notre musique vaut mieux 5

que la leur ; Ils ne voient pas, qu'ils dévoient tirer une consé

quence toute contraire, et dire, Donc, les Italiens ont une lodie, et nous n'en avons point.'

From this digression, which has been longer than we anticipated, we return to our musicians of the latter end of the last century. We shall say a few words as to the music of our own country, before entering upon that of Germany.

Among musical countries, England makes, we fear, but a sorry figure;—so small is the number of her indigenous composers, compared with the hosts from Italy or Germany, that she can scarcely boast of having a music of her own. She may exult in the Metrical Psalmodies of Thomas Sternhold and John Hopkins, -or in such divine compositions of Maister William Bird,' and · Maister Giles Farnabie,' or the Carman's Whis. tle, '* and Jhon cum kiss me now,' which are preserved in that rare and curious collection, called Queen Elizabeth's Virginal Book,-or she may glory in the laboured pieces of that rare professor, “ Maister John Bull, Doctor of Musicke,' whose compositions are so difficult of execution, that they were impracticable even to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, although a first-rate performer upon the virginals,-and, after all, the music may not be one whit better than what Thomas Mace quaintly designates as “ whining, yelling, toling, screeking, short-squareeven ayres. But a species of dramatic composition was now getting into favour in England, which was the means of bringing music into fashion, and calling forth the powers of the few original and good composers this island has to boast of, During the reigns of James, and Charles the I., a favourite amusement at court, and also at the houses of the nobility, was the representation of short musical interludes, called Masques. These were performed with the most splendid decorations, and the parts usually acted by the nobles themselves. Henrietta, Charles's Queen, was particularly partial to these entertainments, and frequently took the principal character herself, Ben Jonson was in general the writer of these Masques; and Harry Lawes, who is more likely to be immortalized by Milton's Sonnet than his own airs, was the composer of the music. In

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* We have had the pleasure to hear the · Carman's Whistle.' It is composed by Bird, and was the favourite tune of Queen Elizabeth. It has more air than the other execrable compositions in her Majesty's Virginal Book; and more resembles a French Quadrille, than any modern tune we can compare it to.

1634, the Mask of Comus, which was set by him, was acted at Ludlow Castle. The compositions of Lawes, particularly the songs in Comus, are highly spoken of by the writers of that period as ' excellent melodies and delightful to hear.' Perhaps we have degenerated from the good old times; but any music of Lawes which we have ever heard, seemed to have as little air or melody, as the tunes played by pokers and tongs to make bees hive. But there is one composer who lived soon after this time, and was in his prime in the beginning of Charles II.'s reign,—whose music has never, in our opinion, been equalled by that of any Englishman before or since we allude to Matthew Locke. Every one who has heard his songs in Macbeth, or in the Tempest, must have felt their wild beauty and originality ;-it is unaccountable that he has had so few imitators; -perhaps his works were not fully appreciated by musical persons of his own time ;--for there is no taste so variable as that for music. What delights us now, may perhaps be execrable to the ears of the connoscenti of 2020;--but still we cannot but think it a proof of the superior excellence of Locke's composition, that it is almost the only genuine English music which is now-a-days thought worth listening to. Purcell and Arne have, undoubtedly, produced very beautiful music-particularly that in Comus, which Arne re-set in 1738—the melodies of Lawes being, by that time, discovered to be intolerable; but, generally speaking, they, as well as Arnold, copied from the Italian school; so that their compositions have not that originality and raciness which characterize those of Locke.

The long residence of Handel in England, was perhaps the most conduciye to correcting and forming the musical taste of that country.' His operas were the first that had been eminently successful; and tended, more than any thing else, to introduce a taste for that species of composition, which afterwards led to the establishment of the Italian Opera in London. This grow, ing, affection for music of foreign growth, was mych ridiculed and abused by the periodical writers of that day ;---particularly in the Spectator, where Addison laughs at the absurd custom of introducing Italian actors into the opera, who sung their parts in their own language; while the inferior characters, which were filled by Englishmen, performed theirs in their native tongue. Hangiel "showed his surprising genius fer music

* No. 18. A ludicrous description of the decorations and machinery used then, for the first time, in the Opera, such as introducing singing birds, real cascades, &c. is given in No. 5. But in all his hostility to the Italian Opera, we must take into account, that


torio was over? • Oh! no,' said he, they are now singing 6 away; but I thought it best to retire, lest I should disturb the • king in his privacies.' Handel would often joke upon the emptiness of the house, which he said would make de moosic sound all de petter.' During the latter years of his life, he was afficted with blindness; but still continued to superintend the performances of his Oratorios. But it must have been a melancholy sight to see him led to the organ, and afterwards, in front of the audience, to make his accustomed obeisance. It was observed, that with many parts of his own music he was unusually agitated :-more particularly with that affecting air in Sampson,

• Total eclipse, -no sun—no moon,-' which so peculiarly applied to his own situation. He died on Good Friday, 1759; and had, for many days before his death, expressed a wish to his physician, Dr Warren, that he might breathe his last on that day. Twenty-five years after, being exactly a century from his birth, that splendid musical festival which commemorated his genius and memory, took place in Westminster Abbey. It consisted of selections from his works, which were performed by a band of 563 instrumental, and 514 vocal performers. These were stationed at the west end of the broad aisle; the Court, and the rest of the audience, to the amount of nearly four thousand persons, were accommodated at the east end, and in galleries arranged along the body of the aisle. A striking proof of the great excellence of the performers is, that there never was more than one general rehearsal for each day's performance:—this appears truly wonderful, when we recollect that vast numbers of the band, both vocal and instrumental, had never performed together before, many being amateurs, who volunteered their services. The whole money received amounted to twelve thousand eight hundred and fifty pounds,-a prodigious sum, and showing, perhaps better than any thing else, the eagerness with which people from all quarters flocked to this splendid exhibition of musical talent, to do honour to the memory of abilities so superior to the common standard of human excellence.

It remains only to consider the Music of Germany,- for the details of which, we must refer to the Lives of Haydn and Mozart';-all that is connected with the music being contained in the history of the two great composers of that country. It was our first intention to have entered into an analysis of the work in question; but we have already sufficiently tried the patience of our readers, and shall not exhaust it, by extending this article any further.

We can most satisfactorily turn them over to the book itself; which is a translation of Letters written from

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