« AnteriorContinuar »
A vicar-choral of Litchfield, had a fine contr'alto voice, and was, perhaps, the greatest singer of his day. His tone was clear and powerful, and of such extraordinary compass, that he could perform the parts of either alto, tenor, or bass. He was a man of a refined taste and cultivated understanding, and the valued friend of Miss Seward :* enjoying the
* In a letter to the Rev. R. Fellows, Miss Seward thus pours out her feelings upon the death of her companion and friend. "O, sir ! the peace, the gladness, the energy of my heart and spirit have sunk in a dark gulph, never more to rise again to light and to cheer the "blank remainder of my existence. On the fatal second of this month, • Mr. Saville, the dearest friend I had on earth, passed from apparent
health and even gay vivacity, to the silence and ghastliness of death. “Yes, the pure, intelligent, and amiable spirit, fed ; never more to society of a literary circle at Litchfield, he but seldom visited the metropolis, and escaped that vortex of glee singing, * which would have deprived his animate the graceful form and expressive countenance, which age could not wither, many as were the years he had known. He was "dressing to attend a concert, whither his dearest friends had preceded
him; when a sudden attack of impeded respiration came on, and in ·less than twenty minutes, his dear and inestimable life passed away. « Thus, in that short, unwarned period, was a friendship of thirty-seven 'years struck from my soul, and with it, all that soothed, all that glad*dened, its perceptions. O! he was the last left friend of my youth ;
remembrance of all I had loved and lost leaned on his inutual recol·lection and tender sympathy. His intelligent smile was the sunshine
of my temperate board; the emanations of his naturally endowed • mind, cultured and illuminated by a just taste for literature and all the fine arts, threw their useful and cheering light on my intellectual
pursuits. Gleams of cheerfulness seem at intervals to return when I 'am conversing with intelligent people, but those gleams only faintly
play on the surface of my mind; a deep sense of desolation has its dwelling in my heart. “I can no longer talk with Saville, or find his 'steps in my mansion and my bowers ;" whatever delighted my ear, my
eye, and my understanding, bis society was the vivifying soul. The (sublime and curtained rocks, on which I this moment gaze, bave í echoed his harmonious voice in Arne's beautiful hunting song, “ With hounds and with horns I'll waken the day;" with what spirit, what gaiety, did he pour that strain amid the echoing mountains!'
Ah! now for comfort whither shall I go?
No more his soothing voice my sorrow cheers!
'Tis meet I should mourn ;
* This species of music was very fashionable at the Vocal concerts established by Harrison and Bartleman, and was sung so extremely solto voce, that it was aptly termed whispering. Mrs. Billington's splendid powers were reduced to the office of taking a part in the harmonized ballad, “O Nanny, will thou gang with me, for the sake of