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native trades in Poland, cultivate the soil, given them by Alexander, emperor of Russia ; and live in the patriarchal manner of former ages.
Spenser seems to have taken great pleasure in painting this mode of life.
The time was once, in my first prime of years,
When pride of youth forth pricked my desire,
That I disdain'd amongst mine equal peers M argar To follow sheep and shepherd's base attire. monio For further fortune then I would inquire;
9 And leaving home, to royal court I sought, The just sidi 'w
Where I did sell myself for yearly hire,
After I had ten years myself excluded
baAnd this sweet peace, whose lack did then appear.
Though back returning to my sheep again, di DIRAON. I from thenceforth have learn'd to love more dear ben This lowly quiet life, which I inherit here. Sharon Statuimu ilishga
Faerie Queene, B. vi. Cant. ix. St. 24, 25. · In Spain the country has received great injury, not so much from the number of Merino flocks, as from the custom, which has prevailed for many centuries, of traversing every year the plains and mountains of the two Castiles, Biscay, and Arragon ; Leon, Estremadura, and Andalusia. In these peregrinations, they do so much injury, that in one province (Estremadura), there are only 200,000 inhabitants ; when it is capable of maintaining upwards of two millions. In 1778 there were seven flocks, which amounted in number to no less than 220,000 a. Of these, the Duke of Infantado had one flock, consisting of forty thousand; the six remaining flocks consisted of thirty thousand each ; belonging to the Countess of Campo Negretti; the Marquis Perales; the
• Dillon, Trav. Spain, p. 47, 4to. VOL. II.
Duke of Bejar; and the convents of Guadaloupe, Paular, and the Escurial. The mesta seems also to have obtained in ancient Italy; for the shepherds used to drive their flocks into Calabria in summer, and into Lucania in winter. This is what Horace probably alludes to, when he says that his sheep fed in agris longinquis a. In ancient Britain, too, the shepherds, called Ceangi, traversed the plains with their flocks and herds; and vestiges of them remain even to the present day.
The painter says, “ Open thine eyes, and I will delight thee ;” the philosopher, “ Attend, and I will instruct thee;” the musician, “ Listen, and I will subdue thee.” The passions of the soul, assuredly, are more obsequious to music than to any other art. This power to subdue has procured music, it must be confessed, too much attention in this age of heartless refinement. Young ladies play airs, as spiders spin cobwebs to catch flies. The flies are caught. But Crabbe shall tell us the result. “ Full well,” says he,
“Full well we know that many a favourite air,
That charms a party, fails to charm a pair :
Stalk'd careless, listless, up and down the room! Music gives an ambrosial character to every thing. But of all instruments the Æolian harp, for a time, gives the greatest play to the imagination of the poeto Nature operates upon
a Epist. viii. 1. 6.
• Baxter, Gloss. Britt. p. 75. c The Javanese have a tradition, that their first idea of music arose from the circumstance of some one of their ancestors having heard the air make a melodious sound, as it passed through a bamboo tube, which hung accidentally on a tree, and was induced to imitate it. Thus they fable that music came from Heaven. In some of the Australasian Islands they have a curious species of
this instrument invisibly; and the soul seems at one moment to be wafted to the empyrean; at another it is hushed into the melody of tranquillity ;-sounds become, as it were, embodied; and the soul almost visible.
It has been justly observed, that, of all relaxations for the poor, the most delightful would be that of music. This art it is, that gives such a charm to the winter evenings of the French and German peasantry. A taste of this kind it would be wise in masters and magistrates to encourage; since it would tend to soften the hearts of the poor, and civilise their manners. The German with his flute, the Frenchman with his violin, the Spaniard with his guitar, and the Italian with his mandolino, are far more graceful to the imagination, than whole groups of English boxers and wrestlers. One day, it may be hoped, English lands may be more equally divided ; small farmers again be known; the peasantry again smile ; have cottages, resembling those of Java a : and that each cottage may have a garden, a well, a few fruit-trees, three or four hives of bees, and a right of cutting fuel on heaths and commons. These, -added to the pleasure of hearing their children modulate b on some rustic instrument,-it would rejoice my heart to see, and please my soul to hear. Æolian instrument, formed of bamboo. Mons. Labillardière listened to one hanging vertically by the sea-shore. It elicited some fine cadences, intermixed with discordant notes. “ I cannot convey a better idea of this instrument,” says he “, “ than by comparing its notes to those of the Harmonica."
a Vid. Raffles' Hist. Java, i. p. 472. 6 Whatever a musician has to do is comprised in the simple word “ modulation."-Augustine de Music. lib. i. Macrobius sums up the beneficial effects of music in a single passage :-“ Dat somnos adimitque, nec non curas immitit at retrahit, iram suggerit, clementiam suadet. Corporumque quoque morbis medetur."-In Somn. Scipionis, lib. ii. c. 2.
c I presume to take the liberty of warning the gentry of this country to beware of the arguments employed by some superficial economists of the present day. In the whole history of human imperfection, throughout the entire body of political ignorance, and in all the works, ancient or modern, which have the smallest reference to the happiness of nations, there is no passage so entirely heartless, so completely offensive in a moral view, and so
* Voy. in Search of La Pérouse, by D’Entrecasteaux, vol. i. 349–350.
;' In some parts of North Wales the women used to assemble at each other's houses, or under some large tree, in summer, and spin their woollen yarn, having a harper to amuse and delight them a. The harp is still in frequent use in that diametrically opposite to the benevolent spirit of the Christian code, as the following canon. It is, in fact, one of the most atheistical and detestable doctrines ever broached : and it is a passage which Mr. Malthus ought immediately to cancel :-“A man, who is born into a world, already possessed, if he cannot get subsistence from his parents, on whom he has a just demand, and if the society do not want his labour, has no claim of right to the smallest portion of food ; and, in fact, has no business to be where he is. At Nature's mighty feast there is no vacant cover for him. She tells him to be gone, and will quickly execute her own orders, if he does not work upon the compassion of some of the guests. If these guests get up, and make room for him, the order and harmony of the feast are disturbed.”-If this system is to be adopted, adieu to all the comforts of the poor; and an equal adieu to all the respectability of the rich.
Since these remarks appeared, the whole passage has been cancelled : but, alas! the spirit of the precept spread far and wide ; and at length the LEPROSY crept into the two houses of Parliament, and produced the most heartless, ignominious, and disgusting act of legislation ever known in this country—the Poor-Law AMENDMENT BILL. There are still hopes, however, that some of its clauses may be moderated. April, 1837.
A ON THE DECLINE OF SERENADÍNG IN ITALY.-In former times, the practice was very general in Spain and Italy, among the great and high-born. A serenata, indeed, was held to be an essential part of gallantry; and the towns of the south, during the beautiful nights of summer, were kept musical from midnight to day-dawn by amorous cavaliers. As all knights had not good voices, many of them employed vocalists; but, during many ages, the proudest of them thought it not beneath them to take a part in the concert. One of the earliest serenaders we read of in Italy was, perhaps, the loftiest of them all. This was Manfredi, son of the Emperor Frederic the Second, who afterwards became king of Naples and Sicily, and whose misfortunes were made immortal by the genius of Dante.
According to Matteo Spinelli, a chronicler of the thirteenth century, this accomplished prince, before he succeeded to the cares of a crown, resided a good deal at the pleasant town of Barletta, on the shores of the Adriatic sea ; " and there it was his wont to stroll by night through the town, singing songs and ballads; and so he breathed the cool air, and with him there went two Sicilian musicians, who were great makers of ballads and romances."
We know not how it has happened, but the fact is obvious in Spain and Italy, that the practice, after a decline which commenced about the middle of the last century, has fallen into disuse, and out of fashion, with the upper classes, and is almost confined now to the lowest class.
At Venice, which used to take the lead, the chief serenaders now are barbers, and they rarely take the field.
country, though in South Wales it is almost unknown: and no traveller of taste but remembers with pleasure the national tunes, he has heard at the various inns, at which he has been entertained a.
In Naples, where the exquisite moonlight nights inspire love with music—its most natural voice if you hear a guitar in the streets, it is almost sure to be in the hands of an amorous coachman or sentimental barber. The style and execution of these minstrels rarely entitle them to a hearing; and, so far from meeting the respect paid in the olden times to serenaders, they are not unfrequently saluted from the windows and house-tops, in the same manner that Gil Blas was, when going to serenade Donna Mergelina" on lui coiffa d'une cassolette qui ne chatouillait point l'odorat."
At Rome, where the popular taste is better, very pretty sweet music is sometimes heard by night; and young mechanics and servants sing airs, regularly distributed into parts, with much feeling and ability. A modern traveller observes,—“Here the serenade is a compliment of gallantry by no means confined to the rich. It is customary for a lover, even of the lowest class, to haunt the dwelling of his mistress, chaunting a rondo, or roundelay, during the period of his courtship.” But, in truth, this accomplished writer might have said, that there, too, the compliment, instead of being monopolised by the rich, was almost confined to the poor. He only recollects the serenades of mechanics ; and during our different stays at Rome, we seldom, indeed, heard street-music by night from any other class. A Roman nobleman would no more think of tbrumming the guitar under his mistress's window in the Corso or the Piazzi di Spagna, than an English lord would of doing the like in Grosvenor-square.Anon.
• The British bards * sung the brave actions of their chiefs to the sound of the lyre ; and the Scythians t to those of the harp, which they are supposed to have invented. At the time of Archbishop Baldwin's itinerary through Wales, there was a harp in every house of respectability throughout the principality. The utmost hospitality prevailed; the dishes, plain and simple, were placed on mats; their platters were full of herbs; the family waited while the guests were served ; universal good-humour prevailed ; and the art of playing on the harp was preferred to all other descriptions of learning I. In the art of singing, these artless sons of nature seem to have had even a knowledge of counterpoint, for they sung in as many different parts as there were voices, which united in one consonance in organic melody &: a custom which prevailed at the same period in Britain, beyond the Humber.
Blackstone || informs us, that, in some manors, copyholders were bound to hedge the lord's grounds, to top his trees, and reap his corn ; in return for
* Ammian. Marcellinus, lib. xv. c. 9. Diod. Sic. v. 31.
+ Pelloutier, Hist. des Celtes, c. 9, p. 360, in notis. Girald. Camb. ii, 293. Hoare.
§ Giral. Camb. p. 320. || B. ii. c. 6.