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fpiritlefs, compared to what an artist of genius i brows out, when un. der the power of any ardoni emotion. It is recorded of Lulli, that, once when his imagination was all on fire with some verses descrip. tive of terrible ideas, which he had been reading in a French tragedy, he ran to his harpsichord, and fruck off such a combination of sounds, that the company felt their hair stand on end wiih horror,
" Let us therefore suppose it proved, or, if you please, take it for granted, that different sentiments in the mind of the musician will give different and peculiar exprellions to his music;--and, upon this principle, it will not, perhaps, be impoffible to account for fume of the phenomena of a national ear." · It is on this principle our author proceeds to account for the Scotch taste for music, and the peculiar style of their fongs. On this licad he differs, also, from the general notion.
" It is a common opinion, that these fonys were composed by David Rizzio, a musician froın Italy, the unfortunate favourite of a very unfortunate queen. But this must be a mistake. The tyle of ibe Scotch mulic was fixed before his time; for many of the best of these tunes are ascribed by tradition to a more remote period. And it is not to be supposed, that he, a foreigner, and in the latter part of his life a mau of buliness, could have acquired or invented a style of mubcal composition so different in every respect from that to which he had been accustomed in his own country. Melody is so much the characteristic of the Scotch tunes, that I doubt whether even bafles were fet to them before the present century; whereas, in the days of Rizzin, Harmony was the fashionable study of the Italian composers. Palcitina himself, who flourithed about two hundred and fifty years ago, and who has obrained the high title of Father of Harmopy, is by a great mater* ranked with those who ncglećied air, and were too closely attached to counterpoint; and at the time when Rizzio was a student in the art, Palestina's muít have been the favolirite music in Italy, ---- Besides, though the style of the old Scotch meindy has been well imitated by Mr. Oswald, and some oiher natives, I do not find that any foreigner has ever caught the true spirit of it. Geminiani, a great and original genius in this art, and a profefied adınirer of the Scotch fongs, (some of which he published with accompaniments,) used to say, that he had blotted many a quire of paper, to no purpose, in attempting to comcuta second ftrain to that fine liule air which in Scotland is known by the name of The broom of Cozudenkuceus. To all which we may ad', that Tafoni, the auihor of La Secchia rapita, speaks of his music as well esteemed by the Italians of his time, and ascribes the intension of it to James King of Scotland :---which a foreigner might ca urally do, as all the Scotch kings of thar name, particularly the first, third, fourih, and fifth, were killed both in mulic and poetry.
“ But though I admit Tatloni's tefimony as a proof, that the Scotch music is more ancient than Rizzio, I do not think hi: righe so wbat he says of its inventor. Nor can I acquicsce in the opinion • Vol. V, 1
* Avison on Musical Expression, pas: 49, 51.
of of those who give the honour of this invention to the monks of Melrose. I rather believe, that it took its rise among men who were real shepherds, and who actually felt the sentimenrs and affections, whereof it is so very expressive. Rizzio inay have been one of the firit, perhaps, who made a collection of these songs ; or he may have played them with more delicate touches than the Scotch mufi. cians of that tiine; or perhaps corrected the extravagance of certain passages ; - for one is struck with the regularity of fome, as well as amused with the wildness of others:—and in all or any of ihose cases, it might be said with truth, that the Scotch music is under obliga, tions to him :-but that this ityle of pastoral melody, so unlike the Italian, and in every respect fo peculiar, ihould have been established or invented by him, is incredible; nay, (if it were worth while to aflert any thing so positively on such a subject, we might even say impossible. ." The acknowledged and unequalled excellence of the Italian music, is one of those phenomena of a National Talle, that may in part be accounted for. Let us recollect some particulars of the his. tory of that period, when this imusic began to recommend it felf to general notice,
"Leo the Tenth, and fome of his immediate predecessors, had many great vices, and some virtues ; and we at this day feel the good effects of both : for Providence has been pleased, in this instance, as in many others, to bring good out of evil, and to accoinplish the most glorious purposes by means that feemed to have an oppofite tendency, · The profufion, and other more scandalous qualities of Leo, were instrumental in hastening forward the Reformation: to bis liberality and love of art we owe the finest pi&tures, the fineft musical compositions, and some of the finest poems in the world,
“ The fixteenth century does indeed great honour to Italian genius, The ambition of Alexander the Sixth, and Julius the Second, had raised the Papal power to ligher eminence, and seriled it on a firmer foundation, than had been known before their time. Leo, there. fore, had leisure to indulge his love of luxury and of art; and the Italians, under his admioistration, to cultivate the arts and sciences, which many other favourable events conspired to promote, Printing had been lately found out: the taking of Conftantinople by the Turks had made a dispertion of the learned, many nf whom took refuge in Italy : Leo found, in the treasures accumulated by Julius the Second, and in the ample revenues of the pontificate, the means both of generality and of debauchery: and when the Pope, and the houses of Medici and Montefeltro, had ret the example, it became the fashion all over Italy, to parronise genius, and encourage learning. The first efforts of a literary spirit appeared in tranflaring the Greek authors into Latin ; a tongue which every scholar was am, bicious to acquire, and in which many elegant compositions, both verse and profe, were produced about this time in Italy. Fracastorius, Sanazarius, Vida, distinguifhed themselves in Latin poetry ; Bembo, Casa, Manutius, Sigonius, in Latin prose. But genius seldom dirp!ays itself to advantage in a foreign tongue, The cultivation of the
Talcan Toscan language, since the time of Petrarcha, who flourished one hundred and fifty years before the period we speak of, had been too much neglected; but was nos resumed with the moit defirable fuc* eels; particularly by Taffo and Ariosto, who carried the Italian poetry to its highest perfection.
" The other fine arts were no. less fortunate in the hands of Rao' phael and Palestina. What Homerwas in poetry, these authors were in painting and music. Their works are still regarded as stan: dards of good caite, and models for imitation : and though improvement may no doubt have been made lince their time, in some infea rior branches of their respective arts, particularly in what regards delicacy of manner; it may with reason be doubied, whether in grandeur of design, and strength of invention, they have as yet beer excelled or equalled. Greece owed much of her literary glory to the merit of her ancient authors. They at once fixed the fashion in the several kinds of writing, and they happened to fix it on the immoveable basis of fimplicity and nature. Had prot the Italian music in its infant state fallen into the hands of a great genius like Palera tina, it would not have arrived at maturity so foon. A long succes. lion of inferior compesers, might have made discoveries in the art, but could not have raised it above mediocrity: and such people are not of influence enough to render a new art refpeciable in the eyes, either of the learned, or of the vulgar. But Palestina made his art an object of admiration, not only to his own country, but to a great part of Europe. In England he was studied and imitated by Tallis, in the reign of Henry the Eighth. All good judges were satisfieds that this system of harmony was founded on right principles; and that, though it might perhaps be improved, nothing in the art could be a real improvement, which was contradictory to it.
“ In the age of Leo, a genius like Palestina must have been dir. tinguished, even though the art he professed had gratified no iinportant principle of the human mind; but as his art gratified the relia gious principle, he could not fail, in those days, and among Italians, to meet with the highest encouragement. In fact, music lince that time has been cultivated in Italy with the utmost attention and fuccefs. Scarlatti, Corelli, Geminiani, Martini, Marcello, were all men of extraordinary abilities; and any one of them, in the circumstances of Palestina, might perhaps have been as eininent as he. Need we wonder, then, at the unequalled excellence of the Italian music?
“But other causes have contributed to this effect. Nobody who understands the language of modern Italy, will deny, that the natives have a peculiar delicacy of perception in regard to vocal found. This delicacy appears in the sweetness of their verse, in the cadence of their profe, and even in the formation and inflexion of their words. Whether it be owing to the climate, or to the influence of the other arts; whether it be derived from their Gothic ancestors, or from their more remote forefathers of ancient Rome; whether it be the
effect of weakness or of soundness in the vocal and auditory organs .- of the people, this national niceness of ear must be cousidered as one Saule of the melody both of their speech and of their inulic. They C %.
are mistaken who think thic Italiau an effeminace language. Soft it is, indeed, and of easy modulation, but susceptible withal of the utmott dignity of found, as well as of elegant arrangement and nervous phraícology. In history and oratory, it may boast of many excellent models: and its poetry is far fuperior to that of every other modern nation, except the English. And if it be true, that all mu. fic is originally fong, the most poetical nation would feern to have the faireit chance to become the moit musical. The Italian tongue, in strength and variety of harmony, is not superior, and perhaps not equal, to the English ; bui, abounding more in vowels and liquid sounds, and being therefore more easily articulared, is filter for ine purposes of mulic: and it deserves our nosice, that poctical numbers were brought to perfe&tion in Italy two hundred years sooner than in any other country of modern Europe."
We are persuaded Dr. Beattie here speaks from what he knows the English language capable of being applied to, rather than from what it generally has been. He must be sensible that nothing can be more execrable than the English verses (as they are called) of late years set to music,-if words were properly chofen, it were not impossible to thew, that even English poetry tight be set to music with as much advantage as the stalian, But this choice of words is not to be made by kdlers, harprichord thrummers, and mere musical composers. It were to be wifned, that a poct of Dr. Beattie's taste for musical expresfion would give an example of the kind. At the same time, we cannot help exprening our hopes, while we cease with extreme reluctance from farther quotation, that the public will be soon favoured with an edition of these annexed Essays, in an octavo form, for the use of those who possess the Essay on Truth in that size; in order that such as, with ourselves, do not altogether relish Dr. Beattie's Dr. Reid's common-sense, may be happily convinced that he potentes every other kind of sense, notwithstanding he be too ruined for the plain result of the fimple understanding of mere rational beings.
Dialogues Moraux et iimusants, en Anglois et François, pour l'lis
firu&ion de la jeunefle : Or, Moral and entertaining Dialogues, 'in English and French, for the Improvement of Mouth. By Madnine Fauqucs De Vaucluse. 12m0. 2. vols. 6s. Dilly,
The ingenious author of these Dialogues proferes that fic composed fonctimes in English and sometimes in French : tranfacing from each as literally as elegance would permit. To do her justice in both, we must confess we cannot always
decide decide between the original and the tranflation; which we take to be the greatest compliment that can be paid her.
In respect to the sentiment and composition, they are in general as unexceptionable as the file; the profefled view of the writer being to guard youth against the dangers of the pasions ; with which view she has properly joined examples to precepts, in conformity to the observation of the poet,
Example moves where precept fails,
And sermons are less read than tales. · The first volume contains, besides a dedication and introduction, a dialogue on Curiosity; in which the allegory of Psyche is placed in a new light. -On Envy; exemplified in the story of two unfortunate lovers.--On Vanity; displayed in the fingular education of Sefoftris.-On Love; illustrated by the marriage and amours of Mark Anthony. - We Mall select from this volume a specimen of the French part of the work in the introductory colloquy to the dialogue on curiosity. “SUR LA CURIOSITE
E AUCIS. JE suis charmée de remarquer dans les veux de toute la compagnie une ardeur femblable à celle que j'éprouve pour l'amusement qui nous a éé promis, et j'espére qu' Ailée cessera de nous tenir en fufpens; et confidcrera que, tandis que pour jouir de notre impatience elle continue à fe taire, nous pourrions bien nous emparer de son priviléye de piéident en entamant nous même la conversation.
ASTREE. Vos propres paroles font la meilleure des introductions à un entrerien sur la curiosite; car elles prouvent ainsi que j'allois l'avancer, que Ja curiosité est la prédominante, comme la piémiére passion du gerre humain, et que le fage, plus encore que le fot, est gouverné par elle.
PHILEMON. Et la gouverne quelques fois, j'espére.
ASTRE E. C'en là justement ce qui est en question. La curiosité etant une paflion qui nous est donnée pour notre conversation et notre inftruction, ne sauroit être qu'une bonne chose de soi mêine, mais, qui perver:ie devient, ainsi que les autres dons de la nature, un mal réul, et confequemment mérite ou nos éloges ou notre censure. Rejette. • tons-nous donc le bienfait comme trop dangereux? En il tel généralement et sans remede? Discutons ces deux points; mais auparavant que Janus nous dise fon sentiment puis qu'aïant proposé ce sujet d'entretien, il eit, fans doute, préparé pour la défense et pour l'ace taque.
JANUS. je me déclare-franchement le champion de la curiosité; et confi