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bears testimony to the superiority not only of the English instruments, but the music written for them, over all others.
Now, how can we account for Music not keeping pace with her sis. ter Poetry? It is a question very difficult to answer. Perhaps the best way to resolve it is by repeating Pope's reproachful lines in his prologue to Cato :
“ Your scene precariously subsists too long
On French translation and Italian song,
DARE TO HAVE SENSE YOURSELVES!" Translation, particularly from an inferior language, is destructive of all native talent. Importation and adaptation also are enemies to the home growth of intellect and invention. And what else have we been dosed with for the last twenty years, or more ?-Nothing—if we ex. cept, in 'the dramatic line, Knowles, Bulwer, and a very few more ; but, after all, such exceptions, only “probant regulam.”
But, to return to music, the more immediate subject of these pages. Italian song has within a few years become such a fashionable importa. tion that very few home-bred musicians have dared to have sense themselves. The native growth, it is to be regretted, has been discouraged in the very quarters where it would most fondly look for support. Those who have written at all have abandoned their national style, (once the envy of our neighbours,) and contented themselves with
longum intervallum” imitations of a “manner of music " totally for. eign to their native land and sentiment. Let us define what true music is.-But, hold !
Definitions, say the mathematicians, are dangerous things. So they are generally, but most particularly with reference to the present sub. ject, Music.
“ What is one man's meat is another man's poison.” is an adage of such undoubted standing that he would be justly styled a caviller who attempted to deny it: yet locality possesses a wonderful power to reconcile every condiment, mental or otherwise, to the appe. tites of those resident in its “ whereabouts.” A Highlander cannot for the life of him find out the meaning of the Italian Opera : he sees no reason why a hero should make his exit from this “working.day world" like a swan, singing in death with all the muscular exertion for which a perfect state of bodily health is requisite ; or why a man should ac. quaint an audience that he was not able to speak a word, although, at the same time, he puts his lungs to an exercise far more difficult than if he delivered an oration as long and as tiresome as any member of parliament's! He prefers the “ pibroch of the north” to the mandolin of the south ; and thinks the bagpipes of every “ lilting chiel” worth all the fiddles ever played upon by Paganini! Yet this opinion has for its ground-work a love of music! What, it may be asked, would be the use of a “ definition” here? None whatever. The truth is, we find a music of some kind wherever we go ; but, as for seeking an abstract or standard excellence of the art, we might as well look for a permanent creed in religion or politics. Those countries which pos. sess few or no traditional airs have attained the highest perfection in what may be called scholastic ingenuity, or the science of making music unintelligible. The professors of this school think that there is nothing in or out of Nature which may not be represented or ex. pressed by the imitative powers of music! Hence we have storms, battles, earthquakes, murmurings of waters, singing of birds, hum. ming of bees, and a thousand other things introduced into the works
of these classical composers. There is nothing which they will not undertake to describe from Genesis down to the present time. The ludicrous lines of a satirical pastoral, written about a century ago, running thus
“What sound was that which dawn'd a bleating hue,
And blushed a sigh !”. would present no difficulty to their melo.graphic capabilities. There can be nothing more absurd than to attempt a description by music of anything which in itself bears no harmonious affinity to the “
6 con cord of sweet sounds." Music has no prototype ; it is coeval with the laws of nature, pervading her in her grandest moods; and, although Madame de Stael said there was a “glorious inutility” in it, a greater philosopher than the Baroness has asserted that
" The man who has not music in his soul
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils ;" thereby, it would appear, representing it as a Ilvevua 'ayror which pre. sided over the asperities of mortality, and sweetened away its crudities with the honey of its breath.
Now let us turn to the melodist, Dibdin, and see what he has done for the true art.
Charles Dibdin was born in Winchester, and was originally intended for the church : but his love of music prevailed over the spiritual call of his friends ; he preferred songs to sermons, and inculcated in them as pure doctrines of Christian charity and benevolence as may be found in the more orthodox productions of the pulpit. His musical know. ledge was very great: no man understood better the simple and graceful counterpoint of his day. His melodies abound with pathos and true English sentiment: witness his songs in the “Quaker," “ The Water. man,” and “ Lionel and Clarissa,” not to mention his twelve hundred songs, written for his own unassisted entertainments. In short, Dibdin was an honour to English minstrelsy, for he wrote, composed, and sang his own productions, with all the inspiration and enthusiasm of the bards of olden time. It has been the fashion to decry him for making Jack a puling, love-sick driveller ; but the government of his day thought otherwise, and gave him a pension, which he enjoyed until his zeal carried him too far in some people's eyes in the cause of unpromoted merit. However, “ Time, the avenger of the dead," as Byron beautifully says, has handed him down to us, hallowed by age: for the “ Lads of the Village,” and “Farewell, my trim-built wherry," are hailed by even modern corrupted ears with delight and enthusiasm still, and will continue to be received with pleasure as long as melody and sentiment hold a place in an English heart. He had two sons, Charles and Thomas, who in a great degree inherited their father's genius. The latter is still living, and though advanced in years, has all the fertile fancy and originality of his younger days. Dibdin, like Shakspeare, never attained a great reputation as an actor ; but, as it has been said “ that one subject only with one genius fits,” he achieved so much fame in his monologue capacity, exhibiting so many corus. cations of his own intellect and varied genius, that we can hardly re. gret to know he failed to express the brilliancy of the thoughts of others, * Take him for all in all, we ne'er shall look upon his like again!"
J. A. WADE
IN D E X
TO THE SECOND VOL U ME.
ing of the Mudfog Association for the
Buckingham, Duchess of, culogium on
Buller, Mr., poem of Walter Childc, by,
-Mr. jun., Anacreon made Easy
fcssion of, in France, 302.
tary Service by, 435. 570.
Cambridge “ Row,” in the year 1632,
Caroline, Queen of England, account of
on the coronation of George IV. 70.
ficcr's Lady, 435 ; the Two Mitchells, Nights at sea.
bed, 571 ; dcath of the Corporal, 572. Paper Money Lyrics.
Claqueur System, remarks on the, 651 ;
Clear-Starcher, the handsome, 369.
Coronation Miseries, or Reminiscences
of the Inauguration of George IV. 65.
Coronation, Mr. Barncy Maguire's ac..
count of the, 207.
the castle of Alles Schloss, 355 ; pas. Counterfeit Presentments of Two Bro.
performance of She Stoops to Con.
Cutpurse, the, a charade, 104.
521 ; Full Report of the second Meet Dead Clearing, the, 129.
De Lorny, M., deception practised upon, Gourmanderie, a chapter on, 228.
respecting Madame Molière,454 456. Grandpapa's Story—ihe Witches' Fro.
Griffone, a tale of the Peninsula, 74.
gales, by, 457.
representation of the coronation of the days of Queen Elizabeth, 362.
Hauteville, Marquis of, anecdote re-
specting him, 122.
Heather for me, the, 48.
Her Majesty's Portraits—the Great
sentation of the coronation of George Henry VIII., King, extract from an
order by him for the daily allowance
Hippsley, Mr., The Electrical Gentle-
ucation and treatment of females in Hoffman, C. F., the Inn of Wolfswald,
by, 49 ; the Dead Clearing, 129; à
306; the Missionary Bride, 330; the
by, 451 ; the Claqueur System, 391.
Holme, Mrs. Torre, Lines written in a
Ball-room by, 395; song of the Baya.
dere,413; Stanzas written in Autumn,
I met her in the Omnibus, No. VI., Nut-
megs for Nightingales, see Nutmegs.
Impromptu, by the Rev. Sydney Smith,
by, 373 ; Family Stories, 501.
Inn of Wolfswald, story of the, 49.
Irving, Washington, his popularity in
intermingling music at their banquets, rica, character of, 407.
Jane, Queen of the Two Sicilies, laws
management at his coronation, 72. Jefferson, Thomas, character of, 407.
lany about Love, by, 167.
ing 338; anecdotes of different jesters,
339 ; Klauss von Raustet, or Claus
Miller, 344, 345; Gonello, 553.
sentments of Two Brothers, by, 496. and climes, 339.