Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

And I think it is highly probable, that the compound pipe, or Syrinx of the Roman shepherds, was the original of, or gave birth to, the bagpipe amongst the Britons. I am the more inclined to this opinion, as the bagpipe continues to be the favourite music of the country people in Great Britain, and particularly in Scotland, to this day:

I am, Sir, yours, &c. Feb. 16, 1754.

SYLVIUS.

MR. URBAN,

[ocr errors]

I can readily agree with Sylvius, that the Syrinx might give occasion to the bagpipe, by leading the way to its invention; for it was certainly very natural, both for ease in playing, and for the saving of breath, and even for the health and safety of the performer's lungs, to contrive a method of conveying wind to the several pipes by means of bellows. This was so obvious, and at the same time so useful, that the ancients, I think, could not well miss it. And from thence afterwards gradually arose that capital instrument, the organ. But I doubt the bagpipe, though it be unquestionably an old instrument, since in the opinion of Sal. nasius it is alluded to in these verses,

Copa syrisca caput Graia redimita mitella,

Crispum sub crotalo docta movere latus,
Ebria famosa saltat lasciva tabella,

Ad cubitum raucos excutiens calamos,

yet did not rise so high in antiquity as these Virgilian shep-
herds, and consequently that the Syrinx was not played by
them, like a bagpipe, whatever it might be in the after
times. Nay, I think it may be proved to demonstration,
that they used their mouths in performing on this instru-
ment, for Corydon in the 2d Eclogue, immediately after
speaking of the invention of the Syrinx by Pan, and the per-
formances of that god,

Mecum una in silvis imitabere Pana canendo.
Pan primus calamos cera conjungere pluris

Instituit : Pan curat ovis, oviumque magistros, subjoins,

Nec te pæniteat calamo trivisse labellum,

.

.

where Dryden gives,

Nor scorn the pipe,---,&c. which afford's indeed the sense or import of the passage,

but does hy no means satisfy the learned antiquary, who is expressly taught in this place that the Syrinx was played with the mouth; it may therefore be rather translated,

· Then blush not thou with reeds to wear tlaylip. To all which I beg leave to add, that Polyphemus's pipa was a Syrinx, and is described as such by Ovid, Metamorph. xiii. 784. and he was wont to carry it hung to his neck by string; for so Virgil, speaking of this monster, says,

Et sola voluptas,
Solamenque mali : de collo fistula pendet.

Æn. iji. 660. where Dryden has it,

His pond'rous whistle from his neck descends. I suppose he means depends; but however this be, this way of wearing the pipe is entirely inconsistent, with the method of carrying a bagpipe, which I really believe was not invented so early, at least was not played on, either by the Sicilian, the Arcadian, or the Maronian shepherds; but to crown all, there is a figure in Montfaucon, B. iii. p. 271. playing on the Syrinx, and he evidently puts it to buis mouth. But though I do not concur with Sylvius in his opinion, I am obliged to him nevertheless for his attempt to explain this matter, as indeed I shall be to any gentleman that will give us his thoughts on the difficulty I proposed,

Yours, &c. March 25, 1754.

PAUL GEMISEGE. 1753, Suppl. 1754, Feb. and April.

IX. On the Eikon Basilikė.

MR. URBAN, THE gentleman who writes his thoughts upon that odů Greek verse in the title page of Eikon Basilike,

Το Xει και ηδικησεν την πολιν εδε το Καππα, encourages any one who does not approve his solution to exhibit one more natural and rational. Such a one I think may be found in a translation more literal, “Christ did no wrong to the city, or state, neither did Charles."

To shew how natural a sense this is, let it only be observed that one of the reproaches cast upon our Saviour, was, that he was an enemy to the civil interests of his country. “If we let him alone all men will believe on him, and the Rómans shall come and take away both our place and nation. John xi. 48, If thou let this man go, thou art not Cæsar's friend. John xix. 12.” So it was alledged against Charles First, that his intention was to govern without parliament, to make orders of council equally obligatory with statute laws, to raise money without the help of parliaments by loans, writs for ship money, and other illegal methods. Now, says his advocate in this line, " as the censure of our Saviour was unjust, so was that of the king." And it may be remarked in confirmation of my opinion, that since the restoration many have taken pains to draw a parallel between them, in the righteousness of their cause, the malignity of their ene, mies, and their own meekness and patience.

Let me be permitted to add upon this occasion, that, in the year 1686, when the Earl of Anglesey's books were selling by auction, this book presented itself among others; the bidders being cold, the company had time to turn over the leaves; and there they found a declaration under his lordship's own hand, that King Charles the Second and the Duke of York, both assured him that it was not of the king's own compiling, but made by Dr. Gauden, Bishop of Exon. This made a noise ; and Dr. Walker being questioned about it, as known to be very intimate with Gauden, he owned that the bishop had imparted to him the plan in the beginning,

and several chapters actually composed; and that he, on

the other hand, had disapproved the imposing in such a manner on the public. If any doubt yet remains with the reader, I am to add that one North, a merchant of London,

of good credit, married the bishop's son's lady's sister, and after young Gauden's death his papers came into North's hand, being his brother-in-law. There he found one packet relating entirely to Eikon Basilikè, containing among other things, original letters, and a narrative written by Dr. Gauden's own wife. Shall I add by way of confirmation, that if I remember right (for I have not the book by me) bishop Burnet, in the History of his Life and Times, tells us, that as he had once an occasion to quote Eikon Basilikè, when in conference with King Charles the Second, and the Duke of York, they both declared that their father never wrote that book, but that it was written by Gauden, whom they rewarded with a bishoprick.

a man

I am, your's, &c. Somerset, March 5, 1754.

P.

N. B. The reader is referred to Toland's and Richardson's life of Milton, and Bayle's General Dictionary.

(We have published the foregoing letter principally because it has contracted into a very small space, the whole force of whatever can be produced to prove that the Eikon Basilike, was not written by King Charles I. As the question has been lately reviyed: we vish that some of our correspondents would contract the arguments, on the other side, into the same compass.]

MR. URBAN, I HAVE endeavoured to answer your correspondent who signs P. within the compass you prescribed, and am, Sir, Yours, &c.

X.

As there can be no connection between the sense of the Greek line prefixed to the Eikon Basilikè, and the authenticity of that piece, I shall only insert Dr. South's opinion of the parallels which have been drawn between Christ and King Charles, and hastily condemned, not as indecent only, but blasphenous. “Is it blasphemy to compare the king to Christ in that respect, in which Christ was made like hin? or can he be like us in all things, and we not like him? Certainly there was something in that providence which so long ago appointed the chapter of our Saviour's passion to be read on the day of the king's; and, I am sure, the resem blance is so near, that had he lived before him, he might have been a type of him."

To the declaration signed by Lord Anglesey, that Charles II. and the Duke of York assured him the Eikon Basilikè was not the king's, may be opposed, the public testimony of both Charles II. and James II. to the contrary, under the great seal in their patent to Mr. Royston, for printing all the works of Charles I. and this surely deserves greater credit than a private memorandum unattested, purporting it to be written with a view that it could not answer. I assert this, says Lord Anglesey, to undeceive others : but if his intention had been to undeceive others, why did he leave his declaration in the privacy of his study, on a single leaf that might be obliterated or torn out; where indeed it was known to exist but by accident, the slow sale of the book affording time to the company to turn over the leaves ? why did he not authenticate his declaration by proper witnesses, and publish it to the world, or leave it in some trusty hand, with a charge to publish it at some more convenient season?

As to Gauden's pretensions to this book, they are easily to be accounted for, supposing them to be ill founded. After the death of Dr. Bryan Duppa, bishop of Winchester, Gauden, presuming on the favour of some persons at court, solicited, with great eagerness, for the vacant see, though he had openly abjured the

whole episcopal order, and was said to have advised King Charles II. by letter, to suppress it in Scotland : to strengthen his claim to this favour, he is said to have whispered among his friends, and attempted, without witness or credit, to persuade the king, and his brother, the Duke of York, that their father was obliged to him for the credit which he derived from the Eikon Basilikè. But this was fifteen years after the death of Charles I. nor was any person then living, who could give evidence concerning the book. It is, however, urged, that Dr. Walker, at the

age and 40 years after the king's death, appeared in defence of this fiction; but must Walker's evidence, in favour of Gauden, be deemed indisputable, as the letter writer insinuates, merely because Gauden was his preceptor, and afterwards his intimate? this surely is rather a reason why it ought to be suspected. Besides Walker's evidence is defective, and in some instances scarce consistent, for though he says Dr. Gauden shewed him the plan, and several chapters actually composed, yet he does not say that they were in the doctor's hand; and he afterwards expresses himself doubtfully, whether he read any part of the manuscript, or only saw it with the title of the chapters, though surely, if Gauden shewed him some part actually composed, as his own work, he could

of 70,

« FöregåendeFortsätt »