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breast, and I longed for the dark wa- As he concluded, he covered his
THE IDLER'S EPISTLE TO JOHN CLARE.
So loth, friend John, to quit the town?
Have left thee there ;
To rural air.
For such as thou;
But think'st not now.
On many a tree,
John Clare! for thee.
With birds and flowers ;
Than brooks and bowers. .
What lurks below:
The cheek's heart-glow.
Of phrase or rhyme;
Who lives through time.
Or Dyer's tone ;
Is still unknown.
Namely, Watchmen : authority, Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
ue and cry
Some grievously suspect thee, Clare ! They want to know thy form of prayer ; Thou dost not cant, and so they stare
And smell free-thinking ; They bid thee of the devil beware,
And vote thee sinking. With smile sedate and patient eye Thou mark'st the creedmen pass thee by, To rave and raise a
Against each other:
In man a brother.
Its powers away;
Some distant day. And, John ! though you may mildly scoff, That curst confounded church-yard cough Gives pretty plain advice, be off!
While yet you can ; It is not time yet, John! to doff
Your outward man. Drugs?-Can the balm of Gilead yield Health like the cowslip-yellowed field ? Come sail down Avon and be healed,
Thou cockney Clare !
Sun, sea, and air.
For 'faith I'll own
To match the town.
With easy strain ?
At Herbert's vein ?
With roaring glee, That tells the heart is in a glow,
The spirit free? Or does the Opium-eater quell Thy wondering sprite with placid spell ? Still does
But, Clare! the birds will soon be flown ; Our Cambridge wit resumes his gown; Our English Petrarch trundles down
To Devon's valley; Why, when the Mag is out of town,
The table-talk of London still
Of season'd mirth;
Six feet in earth.
On treeless fen;
My man of men !
Dilate thy gaze;
For future lays.
Pallet on thumb;
John Clare is come.
The quiet smile,
Once in a way;
An IDLER. + The lady's name is Guppy; but the rhyme was inexorable, and said Gupp. She is immortalized by the invention of a machine to keep muffins hot over the lid of the tea-urn.
ELEMENTS OF VOCAL SCIENCE.
There is an increasing predilec- serve it for our inconstancy. In the tion for music in this country, but music of the present day, there is no our actual improvement in the sci- one style that can in justice be called ence does not seem proportionate. English. Most of our composers With us, every style has been tried, seem to set about their work with as and after all we have not been able much apathy as a puppet-maker to fix upon one, and adopt it for our would evince in the manufacturing own. Each has, in its turn, been of a doll. They make, as it were, abandoned the instant its novelty had musical figures: taking Mozart for worn off, and its characters were be- the body-Cimarosa and Paisiello for ginning to be understood. We have the arms—Guglielmo for the headpaid rakish court to an infinite num- and clapping on Weber and Boieldieu, ber, and are jilted at last. We are awkwardly enough to be sure, for not harmoniously married, but re- they are not at all in proportion, main musical bachelors, and we de- either in size or muscular strength,
Elements of Vocal Science; being a Philosophical Inquiry into some of the Principles of Singing. By Richard Mackenzie Bacon. London: Baldwin, 1824.
to form the legs; whilst Rossini is that we, now feeble, should be strong, the piece of wire underneath, which When mated with this advocate of song. has only to be pulled by Mr. Bishop or Mr. Any-body-else, and the au- It has often struck us, that a work tomaton moves his limbs, shakes his like the Elements of Vocal Science was head knowingly, walks up stairs into much wanted (we will not press the the drawing rooms of the great, and favourite and long-established desidetakes his seat beside the harp or ratum into the service), and right piano-forte. The music of the pre- glad are we to find that it has been sent day is essentially a mixture of supplied from so good a source. foreign spirits. It is not among the There are, doubtless, many who, on “ British Compounds. We have, perusing Mr. Bacon's book, will exhowever, occasionally heard passages claim : " Is the man dreaming ? from the music of different compo- Would he compare vocal or instrusers so well fitted into each other, mental science to painting? Would that we have really been puzzled to he really make it a relative, however know where Guglielmo ends and distant, of poetry?” We answer Rossini begins, and vice versa. We fearlessly—ri Yes!” He would do should not quarrel with our compo- more—nay, he has done more. He sers for gathering exotic musical pro- is not satisfied with distant relationductions, and stringing them toge- ship :-he has no idea of a “countryther like cherries, if they would only cousin music. “ Sister or nocharge gardener's price; but we think thing!” is his motto, and we agree that five shillings for a bunch of with him. Let every man, who has stolen fruit is rather exorbitant. By a heart that feels, and a mind that the bye, we are glad to find that, in values music, recall the delight it has one case at least, we get the upper afforded him—and we doubt not but hand of the law, or else we ourselves that more than half the world will might have been indicted as receivers become proselytes to Mr. Bacon's opiat divers times of sundry pieces of nion. music, knowing them to be stolen. In the first letter “On the FormaBut to come to the point. The sci- tion of an English School of Singing," ence of music has had many assail- (where the Messiah of Handel, and ants, and many able defenders; but the Creation of Haydn, are prettily we doubt whether any preceding considered as the “ Paradise Lost, writer has put its “ best leg fore- and the “ Seasons” of music) he reward” so ingeniously and, we will marks: say, so justly, as the author of the work before us. He sits down to For a long period English music, proconvince his reader by fair argument perly so called, has almost disappeared. and sound reasoning, that his fa- At this time it would be difficult to describe vourite science is deserving of more the compositions of our countrymen. For attention than has generally been although the simple grandeur, the pure and conceded to it. He is determined to
nervous cast of sentiment which appear to divest it of its street-playing associa- me to constitute the original characteristics tions, and to tear the vagabond coat tion, are not absolutely obliterated, they
of English writing and of English execufrom its back. He has made
his mind to strip it of its “last dying and delightful facility of Italian art. I
are lapsing fast into the fascinating langour speech” attributes, and he has fully cannot help thinking we are arrived at a succeeded. We consider, judging pitch of acquirement that enables us to by the present production, that Mr. compare and class the materials we have Bacon is eminently qualified to write been so long amassing. We ought at least on the theme which he has chosen. to begin the work of arrangement, to supTo superior musical and literary port by our natural strength the delicacy of knowledge he joins a love of his sub- our exoticelegance, and to diversify and adorn ject, which tends almost as much as
with the collected graces of foreign study, his argument to convince us that he the severer virtues of native growth. We is right. He throws down his gaunt- Italy, who is now alluring our musicians
have no other defence against the arts of let to the vituperators, and woe be into an alliance which can hardly fail to to them who shall take it up. He terminate in the extinction of the name of does not need our assistance, or we English music, and in our annexation to would follow him to the field, and the musical conquests of that country, attle on his side. Assured
which enslaves, as her Capua did the army of the Carthaginian, by voluptuous confined to one pursuit. I would thereinsinuation.(P.23, 24.)
fore here only recommend the student to He then says:
fix his first attention on the great style, to My distinct and definite object is the and pure a taste as possible, for if nature
study principles, and to form as correct preservation of the strength and majesty should have denied him those powers which of our national musical character. As the basis of a school of our own, novelty
is he will descend to any subordinate station,
are necessary to maintain the highest rank, not more necessary merely as novelty and with advantages not commonly enjoyed by as food for the delicate and changeful ap- those with whom he is to contend; while petite of the public, than for the introduc
on the contrary, if he be too much emtion of new passages and new modes of expression, which mark the progress of ployed in the practice of the mechanical invention and of taste. It is come to a parts of the art, he will become attached
by habit to inferior excellences, and can plain and simple alternative. We must either adopt the style and the manner of tion of the accomplishments that are the
never elevate his mind to the contemplaItaly and Germany, both in composition most truly desirable of attainment.—(P.51, and in execution, or we must be governed
52.) by laws of our own.-(P. 40, 41.)
We pass over the three letters These observations may be true that follow on the Vocal Music of the enough, but we question whether Church, the Concert, and the Theait is not rather too late in the day tre (which are very ably written) to think of being “ governed by our and proceed to give a specimen from own laws” in music. The wanton letter the 6th, on the Vocal Music of Muse of Italy dances over the grave the Chamber. It gives us a fasciof English song, and few appear in- nating, but assuredly not overdrawn dignant at the one, or seem to sympa- picture of one of the best delights of thize with the other. For our own 6. Home, sweet Home.” After speakparts, we consider that Rossini hasing of the public exercise of singing, given the final blow to our national the author thus proceeds: taste, and many of our composers
It is, however, in the absolute or in the (and among them, Bishop, who is worthy of better employment) have vocal art is capable, if not of the most
comparative privacy of the Chamber, that for some time past been giving us grand, forceful, and sublime effects, yet nothing but feeble imitations of a
of the most pleasing, most pervading, and feeble original-Rossini. Their com- most homefelt gratifications. Its power of positions are like the last wom-out penetration is commensurate with the fine impressions from an originally imper- temper and delicacy of the instrument em. fect plate. Rossini is the bleak of ployed. It is here, and here only, that music, he skims along the surface, music receives its utmost polish, and is but goes not to the depths of har- heightened by the praise and participation mony. He has grace--but little of those whom respect, friendship, esteem, energy :-a flow of ideas with but and love incite us to please. In public we confined variety of expression :-- 0C- ficent combinations of various art, and at the
admire and we are astonished at the magnicasional feeling, but no sublimity: facility to which a life of labour, devoted He is not to be mentioned with
to the attainment of execution, at length Mozart. Rossini seems to flirt with ascends ; but in private, if we contract and Polyhymnia. Mozart, on the con- concentrate our notions of the powers of trary, is overhead and ears in love the art, we combine them with the affecwith her. Rossini kisses her hand- tions. There can be no stronger proof of Mozart presses her to his bosom. this fact, than that those to whom it would Rossini is content with her words- be almost annihilation to witness the perMozart drinks in her sighs.
formance of a daughter, a sister, or a misFrom letter the 2d, “ On Style tress in public, admitting that they possess and Manner,” we extract with plea- limited exhibition of the same faculties in
the finest powers, do yet derive from the sure the following salutary and ex
the chamber, the highest possible intelleccellent advice:
tual enjoyment. The truth is, that our Experience shews us that scarce any one associations are in this respect boundless in singer, of whatever eminence, has risen to their empire over us, and not the least of the top of his art in more than one style. them is the conviction which we experience, Indeed there are causes which render the that the expression of particular passions possession of a diversity of talents almost and sentiments is connected with personal impossible. Like judgment and wit, the habits and recollections. These we appro powers which constitute the one destroy the priate. But we cannot bear that there other. The mind must be directed and should become the objects of indiscrimi