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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 Ruexpress 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 called an English school, because he was a German. Handel, in a [The following OBJECTIONS to the preceding Es-great measure, found in England those essential 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 Rubens come over 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 should 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 which a man is born, but his peculiar style either in painting er in PERMIT me to object against some things ad-music-that constitutes him of this or that school. vanced in the paper on the subject of THE DIF-Champagne, who painted in the manner of the French school, is always placed among the painters of that school, though be FERENT SCHOOLS OF MUSIC. The author of this was born in Flanders, and should consequently, by the objectarticle seems too hasty in degrading the harmoni-or's rule, be placed among the Flemish painters, Kneller is 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 truly not yet formed any school. The gentleman, though, if his country was to determine his school, he should said to have founded the Roman school, was born in Bologna ; when he comes to communicate his thoughts upon have been placed in the Lombard. 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 head of the English school.
+ Handel was originally a German; but by a long continuance in England, he might have been looked upon as naturalized to the country. I do not pretend to be a fine writer; however, if the gentleman dislikes the expression (although he must bea convinced it is a common one), I wish it were mended.
I said that they were ascribed to David Rizzio. That they are, the objector need only look into Mr. Oswald's Collection of Scotch tunes, and he will there find not only "The Broom of Cowdenknows," but also "The Black Eagle," and several other of the best Scotch tunes, ascribed to him. Though this might be a sufficient answer, yet I must be permitted to go farther, to tell the objector the opinion of our best modern musicians in this particular. It is the opinion of the melo
Had the objector said melodious Purcel, it had testified at least a greater acquaintance with music, and Purcel's peculiar excellence. Purcel in melody is frequently great: his song made in his last sickness, called Rosy Bowers is a fine instance of this: but in harmony he is far short of the meanest of our modern composers, his fullest harmonies being exceedingly simple. His Opera of Prince Arthur, the words of which were Dryden's, is reckoned his finest piece. But what is that in point of harmony, to what we every day hear from modern masters? In short, with respect to genius, Purcel had a fine one; he greatly improved an art but little known in England before his time: for this he deserves our applause: but the pre-dious Geminiani, that we have in the dominions of great sent prevailing taste in music is very different from what he left it, and who was the improver since his time we shall see by and by.
Britain no original music except the Irish; the Scotch and English being originally borrowed from the Italians. And that his opinion in this respect is just (for I would not be ↑ Handel may be said as justly as any man, not Pergolese swayed merely by authorities,) it is very reasonable to supexcepted, 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 Vaucomposed 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 contemporaIn those, he has too servilely imitated the modern vitiated 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 the manners of Italy and England, he has struck out new harmonies and formed a species of music different from all others. He has left some excellent and eminent scholars, particularly Worgan and Smith, who compose nearly in his manner: a manner as different from Purcel's as from that of modern Italy, Consequently Handel may be placed at the head of the English school.
mean I would have their bases compared, by which the simi. litude may be most exactly seen. Secondly, it is reasonable from the ancient music of the Scotch, which is still preserved in the Highlands, and which bears no resemblance at all to the music of the low-country. The Highland tunes are sung to Irish words, and flow entirely in the Irish manner. On the other hand, the Lowland music is always sung to English
in life as he did, from Italy, and strike so far out ens to make 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, the 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 go; but farther it is impossible for any one to be
"O'Rourke's noble fare will ne'er be forgot,"
lieve, 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
deserving. His songs in general may be compared to those of Pindar, as they have frequently the same flights of imagination; and are composed (I do not say written, for he could not write) merely to flatter some man of fortune upon some excellence 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 the antiquity of his family. Whenever any of pable of furnishing the parallel; and to be acthe original natives of distinction were assemquainted with the ancient manners of our own an-bled at feasting or revelling, Carolan was generally cestors, we should endeavour to look for their rethere, where he was always ready with his harp mains in those countries, which being in some to celebrate their praises. He seemed by nature measure retired from an intercourse with other naformed for his profession; for as he was born blind, tions, are still untinctured with foreign refinement, so also he was possessed of a most astonishing language, or breeding. memory, and a facetious turn of thinking, which gave his entertainers infinite satisfaction. Being once at the house of an Irish nobleman, where there was a musician present who was eminent in the profession, Carolan immediately challenged him to a trial of skill. To carry the jest forward, his Lordship persuaded the musician to accept the challenge, and he accordingly played over on his fiddle the fifth concerto of Vivaldi. Carolan, im
The Irish will satisfy curiosity in this respect preferably to all other nations I have seen. They in several parts of that country still adhere to their ancient language, dress, furniture, and superstitions; several customs exist among them, that still speak their original; and in some respects Cæsar's description of the ancient Britons is applicable to them.
Their bards, in particular, are still held in great veneration among them; those traditional heralds are invited to every funeral, in order to fill up the intervals of the bowl with their songs and harps. In these they rehearse the actions of the ancestors of the deceased, bewail the bondage of their coun
try under the English government, and generally conclude with advising the young men and maid
David Rizzio was neither a mere fiddler, nor a shallow coxcomb, nor a worthless fellow, nor a stranger in Scotland.
mediately taking his harp, played over the whole piece after him, without missing a note, though he never heard it before; which produced some sur prise: but their astonishment increased, when he assured them he could make a concerto in the same taste himself, which he instantly composed; and that with such spirit and elegance, that it may compare (for we have it still) with the finest com. positions of Italy.
His death was not more remarkable than his
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 of the he; he would drink whole pints of usquebaugh, most elegant princes of his time, an exquisite judge of music, and, as he used to think, without any ill conseas well as of poetry, architecture, and all the fine arts. Rizzio, quence. His intemperance, however, in this reat the time of his death, had been above twenty years in spect, at length brought on an incurable disorScotland: he was secretary to the Queen, and at the same time 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 condolement, and assured me that he was equally a martyr to ignorance and taste, to refinement and 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 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 natural sylvage; and the rocks were covered with THE theatre, like all other amusements, has its moss. Nothing now remained but to enjoy the fashions and its prejudices; and when satiated with beauties of the place, when the poor poet died, and its excellence, mankind begin to mistake change his garden was obliged to be sold for the benefit for improvement. For some years tragedy was 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 tirely given way to comedy, and our best efforts time been celebrated as well in prose as in verse; are now exerted in these lighter kinds of composiand all men of taste wished for so envied a spot, tion. The pompous train, the swelling phrase, where 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 which all are judges, because all have sat for the penny, a button-maker, who was possessed of three picture. thousand pounds, and was willing also to be possessed of taste and genius.
But as in describing nature it is presented with "As the poet's ideas were for the natural wild- double face, either of mirth or sadness, our modern writers find themselves at a loss which chiefly to ness of the landscape, the button-maker's were for the more regular productions of art. He conceiv-copy from; and it is now debated, whether the exhibition of human distress is likely to afford the ed, perhaps, that as it is a beauty in a button to be 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 emComedy is defined by Aristotle to be a picture ployed the shears to some purpose; he clipped up of the frailties of the lower part of mankind, to disthe 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 describing low or middle life, an exhibition of its follies be not preferable to a detail of its calamities? Or, in other words, which deserves the preference-the weeping sentimental comedy so much in fashion at present, or the laughing and even low comedy, which seems to have been last exhibited by Vanbrugh and Cibber?
great passion lay in building, in making Chinese temples, and cage-work summer-houses. As the place before had an appearance of retirement, and inspired meditation, he gave it a more peopled air; every turning presented a cottage, or ice-house, or a temple; the improvement was converted into a little city, and it only wanted inhabitants to give it the air of a village in the East Indies.
If we apply to authorities, all the great masters in the dramatic art have but one opinion. Their "In this manner, in less than ten years, the im-rule is, that as tragedy displays the calamities of 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 to show their taste too. As the place had received by ridiculously exhibiting the follies of the lower part of mankind. Boileau, one of the best modern its best finishing from the hand of the first possessor, critics, asserts, that comedy will not admit of tragic so every innovator only lent a hand to do mischief. Those parts which were obscure, have been entightened; those walks which led naturally, have been twisted into serpentine windings. The colour of the flowers of the field is not more various than
the variety of tastes that have been employed here, and all in direct contradiction to the original aim of the first improver. Could the original possessor but revive, with what a sorrowful heart would he look upon his favourite spot again! He would scarcely recollect a Dryad or a Wood-nymph of his former acquaintance, and might perhaps find himself as much a stranger in his own plantation as in the deserts of Siberia."
Le comique, ennemi des soupirs et des pleurs,
Nor is this rule without the strongest foundation in nature, as the distresses of the mean by no means affect us so strongly as the calamities of the great. When tragedy exhibits to us some great man fallen from his height, and struggling with want and adversity, we feel his situation in the same manner as we suppose he himself must feel, and our pity is increased in proportion to the height
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 merit, 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 actors employed in it are originally so mean, that they sink but little by their fall.
the question is, whether the true comedy would not amuse us more? The question is, whether a character supported throughout a piece, with its ridicule still attending, would not give us more delight than this species of bastard tragedy, which only is applauded because it is new?
Since the first origin of the stage, tragedy and comedy have run in distinct channels, and never till of late encroached upon the provinces of each A friend of mine, who was sitting unmoved at other. Terence, who seems to have made the nearest approaches, always judiciously stops short one of the sentimental pieces, was asked how he before he comes to the downright pathetic; and yet could be so indifferent? "Why, truly," says he, "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 on Fish-street Hill, since he will still have enough quity aim only at rendering folly or vice ridiculous, but never exalt their characters into buskined left to open shop in St. Giles's." pomp, or make what Voltaire humorously calls a tradesman's tragedy.
The other objection is as ill-grounded; for though we should give these pieces another name, it will not mend their efficacy. It will continue a kind of mulish production, with all the defects of its opposite parents, and marked with sterility. If we are permitted to make comedy weep, we have an equal right to make tragedy laugh, and to set down in blank verse the jests and repartees of all the attendants in a funeral procession.
Yet, notwithstanding this weight of authority and the universal practice of former ages, a new species of dramatic composition has been introduced under the name of sentimental comedy, in which the virtues of private life are exhibited, rather than the vices exposed; and the distresses rather than the 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 mouths, 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 commended, and the comedy aims at touching our passions without the power of being truly pathetic. In this manner we are likely to lose one great source of entertainment on the stage; for while the comic poet is invading the province of the tragic muse, he leaves her lovely sister quite neglected. Of this, however, he is no way solicitous, as he measures his fame by his profits.
new set of scenes, make a pathetic scene or two, with a sprinkling of tender melancholy conversation through the whole, and there is no doubt but all the ladies will cry, and all the gentlemen applaud.
Humour at present seems to be departing from the stage, and it will soon happen that our comic players will have nothing left for it but a fine coat 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 picces 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.