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| Evening Hymn ? Away, ye hypocrites! Go away, black men, don't
you come a-nigh us. You object to Sunday strains when the music is (From Dickens' " Household Words.")
out-door-when it affords a rational, cheerful, innocent amusement for THIs earth we live on is decidedly a very curious place, and people do | the tens of thousands of overworked humanity. the most extraordinary things upon it. " Whatever is, is right." of I do not consider myself to be altogether a heathen. I have no course - the number of feet in that line of the “ Essay of Man's is cer- sympathy for Fetish rites, or for any form of mumbo-jumboism, be tainly correct-but still I can't help doubting wbether it be quite right that interesting "ism” found at Eldad or little Bethel, or Saint Trunto hate our brothers and sisters quite as much as we do. It can't be pington's Cathedral, or on the west coast of Africa. I am not a pagan, exactly a proper thing to take that which does not belong to us, and a worshipper of Ahriman, a follower of Zoroaster, or a disciple of Tom cut the throats of legitimate proprietors because they object to our
Paine, yet I am constrained to confess that I can discern no difference proceedings; to believe (or say we believe), that some hundred millions
| at all between sacred and secular music that should render the performof our fellow creatures are bound headlong to perdition, because they
ance of the first permissible, and of the second obnoxious as impious, believe rather more or less than wa boliovo.
It may be nicht but it on the Sabbath day. Music may be grave or gay, lively or plaintive,
It may be right, but it doesn't look like it, to send two honest labourers to hard labour in a
but it is always sacred. It is an art. It's every phase our soften, villanous jail-to berd with Blueskin, Jack Rann, Bill Sykes, and Mat.
refine, subdue, charm, refresh, console, bumanize, elevate, improve. o'-the-Mint--for the microscopic crime of leaving hay-making to see a
When it is coarse and vulgar, it is not music at all, but sound prostireview; it oughtn't to be right that a Christian priest, consecrated to
consecrated to tuted. So would I have no bad music allowed either on Sundays or God's service for our soul's health, should, by virtue of his commission
week-days anywhere, but good music; what nice and conceited sciolist of J. P., bave the right to do a shameful and a cruel wrong. Let me
is to weigh the nice distinction between the sacred and profane-to tell only take one slender twig from one of the fascines with which we are
me which is lay and wbich is clerical music? The Dead March in Saul, perpetually fortirying our strongbold of assumed right or wrong-one
played in quick measure, is a gig; "Adeste Fideles " is as triumphant, splinter of the yule log of inconsistency-Music on Sundays.
joyous, brilliant, mirthful as the “ Happy, happy” duet in Acis and And, mind, I am tolerant-I am moderate; I am content to blink
Galatea. “My mother bids me bind my hair" is as plaintive as any the general Sun lay question-Sunday and bitters, or Sunday and sweet. |
air in any oratorio in existence-and so is "Auld Robin Gray. stuff. Meet me on this question :--Is secular music on Sundays right
“Sound the loud timbrel,” in its actual time, is almost a polka. Who or wrong; and are we inconsistent in our opinions and acts con
can call that tremendous deep burst of joy and praise--that chorus of cerning it ?
choruses, the “ Hallelujah " in the Messiah, to which we cold blooded, I maintain that music is always good; and better on our best of fleshy, phlegmatic Englishmen even award the tribute of standing up days, Sunday. I shall not be long in finding antagonists who will
uncovered whenever it is performed who can call tbe "Hallelajah maintain that Sunday music is wrong, dangerous, nay, damnable.
Chorus" sacred in the Sternhold and Hopkins sense of the word? Now, why should secular Sunday music be so dreadfully wicked?
Sacred it is, as the masterpiece of a great musician, but it is no sour or, again, admitting momentarily, that it might not be quite correct,
canticle, no nasal chant. It is a triumphant pean of happiness and why can't we be a little consistent in the application of strictures,
thankfulness; it is the voice of all humanity singing, not miserably, remembering that maxim so time-honoured (in the breach thereof),
not dolefully, not with a mouth whose lips are cracked with vinegar, that what is sauce for the goose is (or should be) sauce for the gander
and whose tongue saturated with gall, and whose teeth on edge with likewise. Did you never dwell, O ye denouncers of Sunday music, in a
bitter doctrine, and whose throat half-cboked with a starched Deck provincial garrison town? Did you never listen without wringing of
cloth, but with full, expansive lungs, with a heart beating with pleasure, hands, or hearing of breasts, or upturning of eyes, or quivering ac.
with nerves strung with strong reliance and cheerful faith, with a whole cents—but, on the contrary, with much genial pleasure and content
spirit loudly, jubilantly giving thanks for the sun, the seas, the helds, to the notes of the regimental brass-band coming home with the regi.
the seed-time, and the harvest, for the merciful present, the merciful to ment from church? Was not that music of a notoriously worldly, not
come. Old Rowland Hill was right in his generation when he declared to say frivolous, character, including marches, polkas, pot-pourris,
that he could not see why the devil should have all the good tunes to ochottisches, valses-d-deux-temps, many of which, by the self-same
himself, and followed his declaration by having the words in his hymemusicians, you heard performed only last night at the Shire-Hall Ball |
book set to the best secular tunes. But I will go further than Rowland or the Dowager Lady Larkheel's Assembly? And yet I never heard of
Hill. I cannot see why the devil should have any good tunes. Let as an association in a country town for putting down regimental waltzes
respect and cherish, ennoble and protect the art of music, and there on Sundays; and I decidedly never knew the poet's corner of
shall speedily be no barm in music, secular or sacred, on Sunday.. a country newspaper to be ornamented by such a brimstone bard
Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander. In the name of common as he who empties his penny phials of penny wrath upon the
sense, if the Star steam-packet is allowed to start every Sunday for wind instruments of Kensington Gardens. Tell me, are there
Gravesend with a brass band on board, that plays gaily all the way to not scores of watering-places-pious watering-places, the chosen
the suburban watering-place---if at Woolwich, towards seren o'clock, villegiature of serious old ladies with heavy balances at their bankers
you may hear the Artillery Band tuning up for the officers' mess-of evangelical young ladies, whose lives are passed (and admi.
why should the crowds who now wander purposeless about the streets rably, too), in a circle of tracts, good looks, fleecy hosiery, beef.tea,
and parks of London be deprived of a cheap, wholesome, and sensible rheumatism, and bed-ridden old ladies-of awakened bankers, possess
gratification? Which is best-to listen to the overture to Oberon in ing private proprietary chapels, and never-oh! never-running away with
Kensington Gardens, or to brood over a tap-room table, mattering out the casb-box-watering places where pet parsons are as plentiful as pet
the latest false or true news of the Turco-Russian war, or growling out lap-dogs, and every quack, and every ignoramus, and every crack-brained
the odds on the next Derby, or spelling out over a misanthrophic pipe enthusiast can thump his tub and think it is a pulpit-can blow his
the record of the late prize-fight? Which is best-to go to a Sunday penny tin trumpet and think it is the last trump? Yet in these same bed in pure weariness, or to stalk about street corners and lean against watering places I never heard of denunciations of the cavalry band, or,
posts till the public houses open, and gnash your teeth with impotent very frequently, the subscription band charming the air with sweet
abuse of the legislature when they close, or maunder over a pamphlet sounds on Sunday afternoons, on the pier or the parade, the common
on raw cotton in a deserted club-room-or to saunter on the green or the downs. To come nearer home, who bas not heard of the Sunday
grass beneath the green trees, surrounded by happy groups, gay colours, band playing upon the terrace of regal Windsor ? Was not that kiud voices, silver laughter, children spangling the sward like daisies, mundane* music patronised by the most immaculate, severely-virtuous
manhood m its prime, beauty in its flower, old age in reverent comof kings--the pattern family.man, George the Third-and who can err
placency-all kept together, not by strong excitement, not by frenzied who copios George the Third ? And to come nearer, nearest home,
declamation, not by fireworks, or jugglers' feats, or quacks' orations, see where yon palace stands—that unsightly but expensive lump of but by the simple, tender tie of a few musical chords, of a pretty tune architecture in eruption--that palace before which stand no unholy
or two played by a score of men in red coats? We might have the cabs (oh, wicked Place du Carrousel, that sufferest cabs, omnibuses,
grass and the trees, the children and the daisies, you say, without the citadines, Dame Blanches, and voitures bourgeoises !)-in that palace
music. If we need recreation, we might walk in the fields or the lanes, the sovereign necessarily dines every Sunday when in town. Do you
Yes : and I have seen a cow in a field, and she was chewing the cud, think Mr. Anderson and the private band play psalm-tunes while the
and a donkey in a by-lane, and he was munching thistles. If I Royal Family are at dinner, indulge the royal cars with the Old
wish to ruminate, to be alone, to be misanthropic and hate mankind, Hundredth between the courses, and usher in the entrées with the
I know where to walk : but if I wish to see my fellows around me pleasantly occupied (for what is happiness but delightful labour, and
doing good actions the most delightful labour of all !) and by some * Query, Sundane ?-PRINTER'S DEVIL.
harmless music pleased, and thereby rendering the best and sweetest
thanks to that Giver whom (as good Bishop Taylor phrases it) we in half-an-hour I rain." Again I entered the Gardens by & wrong cannot please unless we be infinitely pleased ourselves--then thither gate (there are so many gates), and wandered about for some timo will I go ; and thither, too, I went only two Sundays ago, into Ken disconsolately, finding myself at Bayswater when I wished myself at sington Gardens, where sixty thousand persons and not one pick| Knightsbridge, and catching a glimpse at the hideous Wellington pocket-apparent, at least), of every rank and grade in life, were col. statue at Hyde Park Corner through the trees, when the next vista I lected to hear the band play. I forgive Sir Benjamin Hall, much red expected was of the red bricks of William the Third's hideous but tape, past, present, and to come, for this one sensible concession of his. comfortable palace. Then I came across two children I didu't love,
The band playing in Kensington Gardens! Till within the last as I do most children, but looked upon, on the contrary, with an evil month this celebration, taking place during the summer months, eye and malevolent aspirations, for they were horrible children; they twice a week, was, with some few exceptions, an exclusively aristocratic squabbled one with the other, and threatened to tell of one another. amusement. Some ragged waifs and strays of bad or miserable | One of them ran between my legs, and another cut me across the ankles bumanity-some heaps of tatters that had souls inside, but very little with a whip-playfully, as he meant it, no doubt; fiendishly, as I corporeal life-were wont to come here and crouch upon the grass till thought. They were aided and abetted in all this by a morose nurse, routed by the park-keeper's cane, dully listening to the music, and wist who looked darkly at me, and wondered, mutteringly, “What people fully gazing round from time to time in search of eleemosynary pence. But thought of themselves.” I confess, as far as I was concerned, that i they seldom managed to elude the vigilance of the guardians even thought it unjust that people should be tripped up and cut across sufficiently to pass the gate. By times threadbare men, who did the ankles. Then I was sorely annoyed by a stern and forbidding not eat often, pacing the noble avenues in abstract thought, or entranced | man, who persisted in walking before me, who had no right to wear perusal of learned books, would come, accidentally, upon the aristocratic the boots he did they being aggressive, iron-heeled, and craunching throng ; but they would glance at their shabby clothes and sigh, and the gravel as he walked. He carried an umbrella as though it was a hie away quickly on the other side, frightened like unto a fawn leaping cartwhip; and I could not help fancying that his name must have out from a covert into some glade of Bushy Park, where a merry pic been something like Captaiu Prosser, formerly R.N., that he had been nic party is assembled, and betaking itself, startled, into the umbrage of governor of some jail, and that he was a hard man--fond of the crank. the oaks again. People dressed to attend the band playing at Kensing. Altogether, I became uneasy and dissatisfied; was almost concluding ton. Lines of empty carriages waited outside the gates, while their that my dinner had disagreed with me. possessors promenaded the gardens. Round the braying bandsmen were But I came upon the music platform at last, the Guards' band stand. gathered the great London dandies, the great London belles, the pearls | ing in a circle and blowing manfully, the adjacent refreshment-room, of aristocratic purity, and, I am afraid, some other pearls of beauty and the cbairs—the price of which had been judiciously reduced from sis. of price, but of more Cleopatran configuration, and whose Antonies pence to one penny; and, surrounding all, a compact, earnest, eager · found here a neutral ground whereon to vaunt their charms and posses crowd,* listening with pleased ears to the music. The fine gentlemen, sions. . Could the wiry little terrier in the sulky brougham by Victoria the beautiful ladies, the titled and bappy of the land, were there in great Gate have spoken, he would have told you when the lady in the long force-their empty carriages waited for them at the gate as in the old black ringlets, with so many diamonds, and with gold flowers on time, but the immense mass of those present were toilers – working people her veil, was gone--the coachman could speak, but would not-he was of every rank; nor is it necessary to draw any minute distinction discreet. The whole scene was a charmed circle of moustaches and between them, for the bank-clerk, the curate, the tradesman, have to tufts (the beard movement was not then), watch-chains, fillagree work quite as hard, and find it quite as difficult to make both endo card-cases, Brussels lace, moire-antique dresses, primrose kid gloves, meet, as the carpenter, the bricklayer, and the journeyman tailor. I vinaigrettes, auburn curls, semi-transparent bonnets, varnished boots, do not think I am called upon to descant at length upon the good and bouquets de mille fleurs. As for smoking, who would have dared behaviour, the quiet inoffensiveness of the vast assemblage here col. to think of smoking in Kensington's sacred garden, save, perhaps, lected; upon the absence of broils, or violence, or ribald talk. I am wicked Captain Rolster, of the Heavies, or the abandoned Lieutenant one of those that think that an English crowd is the best-behaved, Lilliecrop, of the Lancers ? They smoked-those incorrigible young quietest, best-humored crowd in Europe. I think so still, though men-but then it was at some distance from the ladies (whose points among those thousands in Kensington Gardens, at least a tithe formed and paces, by the way, they discussed not quite 80 respectfully, but part of that ominous well-dressed throng, whom, not many Sunday: with something of a sporting gusto); and there is a very difference, you back, I had heard yelling at the same noble and happy personage. they will allow, between a penny Pickwick and one of Hudson's regalias, at associated so comfortably with to-day; whom I had seen lashed to two-and-a-half guineas per pound.
frenzy by the pig-headed exhibition of a mis-directed police force, and Miraculously to say, the swells (50 unaffectedly may I be allowed to which frenzy, but for the oil thrown a few days afterwards upon the term' the upper classes) remain. They positively, by a charming con
waves, would have grown into a tempest, such as not all the trails of · descension and inexplicable affability, frequent the band playing, now | all the six-pounders in Woolwich arsenal, served by all the young that it takes place on Sundays; and, considering the lateness of the gentlernen who have not the least business to be in the House of Com. season, in no diminished numbers. But to this inner ring of perfumed mons, would have been able to quell. youths and jewelled dames, to these sons of proconsols, and daughters The same crowd ; the same Toms, and Dicks, and Harries; and see of prætors, and wives of ediles, there is now added another belt | what a little is required to keep them in good humour. A circular thicker, stronger, coarser, if you will like a “keeper" to a ring of refreshment room, with ices, ginger beer, and Banbury cakes ; some virgin gold)ā belt of workers, of peasants, mechanics, artizans, clerks, scores of garden chairs at a cheaper rate than usual, and a platform high middle-class, medium middle-class, and low middle-class men, who where my friends the red-jackets are operating upon ophicleide, come here, Sunday after Sunday, rejoicing at, and grateful for, the trombone, and kettle-drum-and this was all. I even remarked that boon (infinitesimally small as it is), who bring their wives and children, the tunes the musicians played were of the dreariest, most lachrymose, down to the baby at the breast, with them ; who listen patiently and cheer- | most penitential tunes that could be well heurd,-still secular music, fully to the music, and, wonder of wonders, do not endeavour to stone no doubt,--selections from popular operas, of course, but so long. the musicians, root up the plants, set fire to the grass, dash out the brains | winded and melancholy, that I could not help fancying that the band. of the children of the aristocracy against stones, rend the swells limb master himself was one of the priucipal objectors to Sunday music, from limb, sell the daughters of the prætors into slavery, dofile the
and had made a compromise with his conscience by providing the * graves of the ædileg' wives, smoke short pipes in the vicinity of the most mournful pieces in the regimental répertoire. A patient public band; fight among themselves, usurp the chairs by force and refuse to a placable monster-a good-natured rabble, this same English nation. pay for them, carve their names on the trunks of trees, gather flowors | Here they seemed quite satisfied, pleased, nay, grateful, for the from the Birchbroomiengig Busbiense, introduced seventeen hundred and | Lifeguards' band with their “Tunes that the Cow died of." seventy-three (as the label sayo), pelt the attendants of the refreshment They asked not (at least audibly) for more than this, with rooms with ginger-beer bottles, or purloin Mr. Gunter's cheesecakes and the permission of walking about under the trees, and of seeing : raspberry tarts! Who do none of these things, though certain sections
their children sporting on the grass. Yet, but two Sundays before I of thinkers and speakers, even of a moderate description, appear to
had seen another public, far away beyond the Straits of Dover-a · think that every Sunday crowd must necessarily commit acts of this patient public, too; good-natured, long-suffering, but not always quite · nature.
contented. For that public were provided, as special Sunday treats, My first Sunday afternoon in Kensington Gardens was not, perhaps, began under the most advantageous circumstances. Though the day! * The total number of persons who entered Kensington Gardens on was hot, it was lowering, and the sky seemed to say, “Put on your Sunday, August 19th, was sixty-one thousand four hundred and fifty. white ducks and book-muslins, and leave your umbrellas at home, but | eight.
military bands, not one or two, but half-a-dozen; a whole concert of But a truce to these incredible follies! No one doubts but drums; miles of picture galleries and museums and antiquities, and that envy is able to produce in the wretch whom it devours, palatial saloons to walk about in, free; and a Great Palace full of a state bordering upon imbecility. marvels of art and industry, for which the whole world had been ran- i Master of a position disputed with so much obstinacy, and now sacked, to be explored for four sous—twopence!
confident in his own strength, Spontini prepared to undertake On the whole, I should like our Sundays to be quiet, cheerful,
another composition in the antique style. He was about to take English, with a little more out-of-doorishness-a little more harmony-|
Electre, when the emperor gave him to understand that he should there, I have said it!--a little more sitting down at tables, or strolling
be pleased to have him take as a subject for his new work, the about grassy swards to hear good music. Don't stop short at Kensington Gardens, good Mr. Chief Commissioner. Don't stop short at
conquest of Mexico by Fernand Cortez. This order the composer the band of the Life Guards. Remember there are such places as
hastened to obey. Nevertheless the tragedy of Electre had Hyde Park, St. James's, the Green. Victoria, and Battersea Parks. One | deeply moved him: to set it to music was one of his most volunteer is worth a dozen pressed' men. Let the soldiers have their | cherished projects, and I have often heard him regret that he had afternoon holiday, if they choose one; or let them have extra pay, if abandoned it. that is what they desire. We won't object to the rate. But let us I believe, however, that the choice of the emperor was a great have bands of our own in our public gardens, to discourse sweet music piece of luck for the author of La Vestale, because it obliged him to us on Sunday afternoons and Sunday evenings. There will be far | a second time to abandon the antique, and seek scenes quite more brotherly love, and far less liquor, and far fewer night charges on as moving, though more varied and less solemn; to seek that Monday.
strange and charming colouring, that proud and tender expression, A little before six o'clock the musicians played “Partant pour la and that happy hardiness, which render the score of Cortez the Syrie,” and “God save the Queen :" then the crowd dispersed quietly.
worthy companion of its elder sister. The success of the new I saw not one policeman, and not one policeman was needed. The
opera was triumphal. From that day Spontini ruled, lord over wheezy, red-waistcoated park-keepers were quite sufficient to quell the
our first lyric stage, and could have exclaimed in the words of somewhat too exuberant animal spirits of the London boys, who are
his hero: to be found in every London crowd, making noises when they ought to
“Cette terre est à moi; je ne la qui plus." be silent, and clambering over railings where they have no business to be. Walking home, much elevated in spirits from the cheerful scene I I have often been asked which of the two operas of Spontini I had witnessed, and quite forgetting Captain Prosser and his boots, and preferred; and always found it impossible to reply to that the disagreeable children, I thought to myself—This is not much, but question. Cortez only resembles the Vestale in the fidelity and it is some relief for the toiling many.
constant beauty of its expression. As to the other qualities of
its style, they are entirely different from that of its sister. But SPONTINI.
the scene of the revolt of soldiers in Cortez is one of those (FROM THE FRENCH OF HECTOR BERLIOZ).
miracles almost impossible to find in the one thousand and one (Continued from page 674.)
operas written up to this time; a miracle which I fear can only THE Vestale could never have been performed, said they, with
be matched by the final of the second act of La Vestale. In the out the numerous corrections which learned men condescended
score of Cortez all is energetic and proud, passionate, brilliant to make to this hideous score, in order to render it executable,
and graceful; inspiration blazes and overflows, yet it yields to the etc., etc. Hence the laughable pretensions of many persons
direction of reason. All the characters are of an incontestable to the merit of having retouched, corrected, and purified this
truth. Amazily is tender and devoted ; Cortez, passionate and work of Spontini. I myself know of four composers who pass
impetuous, yet sometimes tender; Velasco, sombre, but noble in for having had a hand in it. When the success of La Vestale was his savage patriotism. We find, therefore, in great eagle swoops, well assured, irresistible and incontestable, they went farther :
and lightning flashes, sufficient to illumine a world. it was no longer a question of simple corrections, but of whole *
* parts of which each of the composers claimed to have composed One year after the appearance of Fernand Cortez, Spontini for it; one pretended to have made the duo of the second act; was chosen director of the Théâtre Italien. He collected an another the funeral march in the third, etc. It is singular that excellent troupe, and to him the Parisians are indebted for in all the duos and marches of these illustrious masters none are the pleasure of having witnessed, for the first time, the Don to be found possessing the style and lofty inspirations of those of Giovanni of Mozart. The parts were distributed as follows: La Vestale. Can these gentlemen have pushed their devotion so | Don Giovanni, Tacchinardi ; Leporello, Barilli ; Masetto, Porto; far as to present Spontini with their finest ideas ? Such an Ottavio, Crivelli; Donna Anna, Mad. Festa ; Zerlina, Mad. abnegation passes the limits of the sublime !-At last, according Barilli.' to the version long admitted into the musical limbo of France Nevertheless, notwithstanding the eminent services which and Italy, Spontini had no hand whatever in the composition of Spontini rendered to art during his direction of the Italian La Vestale. Spontini was not even capable of producing this opera, an intrigue, of which money was the nerve, soon obliged work, written in defiance of all good sense, corrected by every him to abandon it. Paër, moreover, director at the same time of one, so crude and confused, and upon which scholastic and the Court Opera, and little delighted at his rival's success upon academic anathemas had so long been turned loose ; he had the last stage of the Grand Opera, endeavoured to disparage bought it, already written, from a grocer, together with a mass him, called him renegade, by gallicizing his name Mr. Spontin, of waste paper; it was from the pen of a German composer, who and frequently caused him to fall into those snares which the had died of misery in Paris, and Spontini had only to set the Signor Astucio was so skilful in spreading. melodies of the unfortunate musician to the words of M. de Jouy, Now at liberty, Spontini wrote an opera di circonstance, and to add a few measures in order to link the scenes well entitled Pélage, ou le Roi de la Paix, long since forgotten; then, together. Such being the case, it must be confessed that he an opéra ballet, les Dieux Rivaux, in collaboration with Persuis arranged them most skilfully-one would swear that every Berton, and Kreutzer. At the revival of Les Danaides, Salieri, too note was written for the word to which it was united. M. Castil
old to quit Vienna, entrusted Spontini with directing the study Blaze himself never surpassed this. It was frequently asked in of his work, authorising him to make all changes and alterations vain, from what grocer Spontini had, sometime afterwards, which he might deem necessarySpontini merely retouched in purchased his score of Fernand Cortez, which we know not to be
his compatriot's score the finale of the air of Hypermnestre : totally devoid of merit; no one could ever find out. How many “ Par les larmes dont votre fille," by adding a coda full of persons there are to whom the address of this precious merchant
dramatic enthusiasm. But he composed several delicious dancing would have been invaluable, and who would have hastened airs, and a bucchanale which will ever remain a model of burning to provide themselves at his emporium. It must have been the same who sold to Gluck his score of Orphée, and to J.J. Rousseau
animation, and the type of the expression of sombre and dis
ordered joy. his Devin du village. (The authorship of both these works, of merit so disproportionate, has also been contested.)
To these various works succeed Olympie, à grand opera in three acts. Neither at its first appearance, nor at its revival in
1827, did it obtain the success which I think due to it. Different of Prussia, although he had renounced the fufilment of his causes concurred fortuitously to arrest its flight. Politics declared functions. Spontini was induced to seek repose and academic open war against it. The Abbé Grégoire was then in every leisure, first by the persecutions and hostilities heaped up mouth. There was thought to be discovered a premeditated against him at Berlin ; and afterwards by a strange disease intention of making allusion to this celebrated regicide in the of the ear, the cruel effects of which he suffered at intervals scene of Olympie, where Statira exclaims :
during a long space of time. During the periods of the “Je dénonce à la terre,
perturbation of an organ which he had exercised to such an Et vous à la colère,
extent, his sense of hearing was almost extinct; yet every L'assassin de son roi,"
isolated sound which he perceived seemed to him an accumula
tion of discord. Hence an absolute impossibility for him to
(To be continued.)
THE MARSEILLAISE AND ITS AUTHOR.
Lisle. He was there morning and evening, as a son, as a On his return from Prussia, he wrote for the court festivals, brother. One day, when only some slices of ham smoked upon an opera-ballet, entitled Nurmahal, the subject of which is the table, with a supply of camp bread, Diedrich said to De borrowed from Moore's Lalla Rookh. To this graceful score he Lisle, in sad serenity,“ Plenty is not found at our meals; but no added his terrible bacchanale of Les Danaides, having developed matter-enthusiasm is not wanting at our civic festivals, and and enriched it with a chorus. Afterward he re-wrote the last act our soldiers' hearts are full of courage. We have one more of Cortez. I saw in Berlin this new dénouement, which they did not bottle of Rhine wine in the cellar. Let us have it, and we will deign to receive at the opera in Paris, at the revival of Cortez, drink to liberty and the country. Strasbourg will soou have six or seven years later. It is magnificent, and much superior a patriotic fête, and De Lisle must draw from these last drops to that known in France. In 1825 Spontini produced in Berlin one of his hymns that will carry his own ardent feelings to the a fairy opera, Alcidor, which the enemies of the author ridiculed soul of the people.” The young ladies applauded the proposal. exceedingly, on account of its instrumental noise, said they, and They brought the wine, and continued to fill the glasses of also of an orchestra of anvils which he had made to accompany a Diedrich and the young officer until the bottle was empty. The chorus of blacksmiths. This opera is entirely unknown to me. night was cold. De Lisle's head and heart were warm. He I have been able, however, to indemnify myself by perusing the then found his way to his lodgings, entered his solitary chamber, score of Agnès de Hohenstaufen, which succeeded Alcidor twelve and sought for inspiration at one moment in the palpitation of years later. This subject, called the Romantic, was of a style his citizen heart, and at another by touching, as an artist, the entirely different from those employed by Spontini up to that keys of his instrument, and striking out alternately portions of time. He has introduced therein for the morceaux d'ensemble an air, and giving utterance to poetic thoughts. He did not some very curious and arduous combinations ; such, among himself know which came first ; it was impossible for him to others, as that of an orchestral storm, executed while five separate the poetry from the music, or the sentiment from the persons sing a quintet upon the stage, and while a chorus of words in which it was clothed. He sang altogether, and wrote nuns is heard in the distance, acconi panied by sounds imitating nothing. In this state of lofty inspiration he went to sleep with those of an organ. In this scene, the organ is imitated so as to his head upon the instrument. The chants of night came upon produce the most complete illusion, by a small number of wind | him in the morning, like the faint impressions of a dream. He instruments and bass-viols, placed behind the scenes. Now-&- wrote down the words, made the notes of the music, and ran to days, organs being found as frequently in the theatre as in Diedrich's. He found him in the garden digging water lettuces. the church, this imitation, interesting on account of the difficulty The wife of the patriot mayor was not yet up; Diedrich awoke overcome, seems useless.
her. They called together some friends who were, like themTo close the list of the productions of Spontini, I must mention selves, passionately fond of music, and able to execute the comhis Chant du peuple Prussien, and various compositions destined positions of De Lisle. One of the young ladies played, and for military bands.
Rouget sang. At the first stanza, the countenances of the The new king Frederick William IV. has preserved the company grew pale-at the second, tears flowed abundantly-at traditions of generosity and benevolence of his predecessors the last, a delirium of enthusiasm broke forth. Diedrich, his towards Spontini ; notwithstanding the unfortunate éclat of a wife, and the young officer, cast themselves in each other's arms. letter, doubtless imprudent, written by the artist, and which The hymn of the nation was found. Alas! it was destined to drew upon him a judgment and a condemnation. The king not become a hymn of terror. The unhappy Diedrich, a few months only pardoned him, but allowed Spontini to settle in France, afterwards, marched to the scaffold by the sounds of the notes when his nomination to the Institute obliged him to remain first uttered at his hearth, from the heart of his friend and there, and gave him an evident proof of his affection by permitting the voice of his wife. him to retain his title and salary of chapel-master to the court The new song, executed some days afterwards publicly at
et su 2011
Strasbourg, flew from town to town through all the orchestras. earliest opportunity. It was a very different matter with Marseilles adapted it, to be sung at the opening and adjourn- Messrs. Lucas and Blagrove-two of the oldest and staunchest ment of the clubs; hence it took the name of The Marseillaise members of the Old Philharmonic Society. The first-named, Hymn. The old mother of De Lisle, a royalist and a religious
more especially, has long been regarded as one of the pillars person, alarmed at the reverberation of her son's name, wrote to him: “ What is the meaning of this revolutionary hymn,
of the institution-more properly, the Redan or Malakoff, sung by hordes of robbers who pass all over France, with which
not to be overthrown but by an allied attack. What kind was our name is mixed up?" De Lisle himself, proscribed as a the attack, from what quarter directed, or under what alliance federalist, heard its re-echo upon his ears as a threat of death, carried out, which was able to demolish this strong and appaas he fled among the paths of Jura. “What is this called ? " rently irresistible barrier, we are not in a condition to explain. he inquired of his guide. « The Marssillaise," replied tho Neither can we surmise. No light work, however, we feel peasant. It was with difficulty that he escaped.
assured, could have produced so unexpected a result. To The Marseillaise was the liquid fire of the revolution. It distilled into the senses and the soul of the people the phrensy
assaults from weak forces, and bombardment by small arms, of battle. Its notes floated like an ensign dipped in warm
Mr. Lucas was directly proof. The cause of his resigning blood over a field of combat. Glory and crime, victory and was no trifling cause, and, when the truth shall be explained, death, seemed interwoven in its strains. It was the song of from all we know of Mr. Lucas, we are convinced, that patriotism, but it was the signal of fury. It accompanied war no other course was left open to him. Of Mr. Blagrove the riors to the field, and victims to the scaffold.
same-with a difference -may be averred. He has served
the Society long and well, and was one of its most strenuous TO CORRESPONDENTS.
supporters. We may conclude, without a fear of falling J. DE S., Higher Broughton, Manchester.-Our fair correspon
into error, that Mr. Blagrove had excellent cause for giving dent's request shall be attended to in due time.
up his directorship in the Old Philharmonic Society. J. W., Borough Road.-The gentleman's request ditto, ditto.
The successors to Messrs. Lucas, Blagrove, and Sterndale MASK.-Jenny Lind appeared only twice as Norma at Her Bennett in the directorate are Messrs. W. H. Holmes, Majesty's Theatre.
Clinton, and Calkin. The two last-named gentlemen have SQUAB PARTY.–Our Gloucester contributor, as he will perceive,
served before, the first is appointed for the first time. has been anticipated. Thanks, however, for the tender of his
Mr. W. H. Holmes is an admirable pianoforte player, a communication. L.-We cannot inform correspondent of HERR A. REICHARDT'S thorough musician, and an excellent composer. Moreover, "address on the Continent.” Herr Reichardt's address in London | he is a true artist, and, if in his power, would direct all his -where, we believe, he is at present to be found-is 36, Golden talents and energies to advance any cause in which he emsquare.
barked. Is it in Mr. W. H. Holmes's power to turn his UNIFORM.--No-Madame Gassier was first brought out in London talents and energies to account? If the Philharmonic
by Mr. Lumley, and appeared at her Majesty's Theatre in, we believe, 1847.
Society required a working man-one who could devote time and consideration to its affairs-it could easily have
found one better suited than that accomplished professor. THE MUSICAL WORLD. Unfortunately, besides being a pianoforte-player, musi
cian, and composer, Mr. W. H. Holmes is a teacher, LONDON, SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27th, 1855.
and in such universal request, that we know he considers it
a great treat, when he is enabled to attend one concert of the A CHANGE has come over the spirit of the Philharmonic Philharmonic in the season. Is such a man, we would ask Society-the Old. A general meeting of the members was -however eminent his talents, however high his position, summoned on Monday last, and was held at the Hanover- and who cannot even call his hours his own-fit to preside square Rooms. There was a full assembly. A great deal of over the destinies of an institution which demands the discussion took place, the particulars of which have not minutest care and thought on the part of those to whom the transpired- at least have not reached us. Everything was administration of its affairs is entrusted ? We cannot think conducted with closed doors. One result of the conference, | it, and we therefore look upon the election of Mr. W. H. however, found its way into broad daylight-the retirement Holmes as director of the Philharmonic, considering all from office of three of the directors. The three directors were things, no wise step of the members, and Mr. W.H. Holmes' Messrs. Sterndale Bennett, Lucas, and Blagrove--three impor- acceptation as a mere act of grace and courtesy.. tant and influential members. Great was the consternation of It is unnecessary to make any allusion to the election of the friends of the Society. The resignation of Mr. Sterndale Messrs. Clinton and Calkin. They are very old members, Bennett was hardly a matter of surprise. He allowed have plenty of spare time on their hands, and are well “ up" himself to be nominated a director, rather to please those in the traditions of the Society--a great recommendation for who eagerly solicited him to take the office on his shoulders, a director. In this light they are invaluable, and their than that he had any predilection to sustain the burthen. places could not well be supplied. Mr. Sterndale Bennett, it was well known, had no great Of Mr. Anderson—the presiding genius of the institution love or liking for the Society; nor, indeed, had he any --we hear nothing all this while. With inimitable tact and reason. Their scurvy treatment of him-or, at least, abne finesse, though taking part in all the changes and squabbles, gation of his talents and standing as a musician—when they at meetings general and special, he manages to withhold his refused to accept Miss Arabella Goddard's selection of one name from public report. A stormy debate may take of his concertos at one of their concerts—could not but have place, members may withdraw, directors be chosen, and the galled him, and diminished his feeling of sympathy-and particulars be blazoned abroad, but the name of Mr. Anderrespect, too—for the Society. It could, therefore, hardly son seldom or never is brought forward. Mr. Anderson is create astonishment in any mind, that Mr. Sterndale Ben- | the Rock of the Old Philharmonic Society, around and nett, who had accepted office with no good will, and under against which all the other members, as waves, buffet one such peculiar circumstances, should have withdrawn at the 1 another, and lash themselves ragingly to no purpose. The