Зображення сторінки

The effects of music among the ancients, MUSICAL ANECDOTES. are said to have been almost miraculous. The celebrated ode of Dryden has made

A GRAND MOVEMENT. every one acquainted with the magic power A musical instrument-maker of Bremen of Timotheus over the emotions of the

was on the point of failure, and his creditors human heart. And all, who have read watched him so close, that he could not any thing of ancient history, must have re

get a pin's worth carried away. He bemarked the wonderful effects attributed to thought himself of a singular stratagem for the musical instrument in the hand of a deceiving his watchmen. He got together master.

about a hundred and fifty musicians, his Among a hundred other stories, which friends, in the shop, and set them all playevince the power of music, is the fol- ing with the different instruments there, lowing:

the overture of the “ Gazza Ladra." As it Pythagoras was once likely to be trou

was night, at each movement of the orchesbled at his lecture, by a company of tra, he contrived to throw some article of young men, inflamed with wine, and petu- furniture from the back window, and the lant with the natural insulence of youthful fall was so managed, that, from the noise levity. The philosopher wished to repress of the instruments, no one perceived it. their turbulence; but forbore to address

At last, to finish the affair so happily bethem in the language of philosophy, which

gun, at the end of the concert, each musithey would either not have attended to, or

cian went out with his instrument. The have treated with derision. He said no

artist went out last, and locked the shopthing; but ordered the musician to play a door, leaving nothing to his creditors but ą grave majestic tune, of the Doric style. bust of Ramus. The effect was powerful and instantaneous. The young men were brought to their sober

AN ACCOMPANIMENT. senses, were ashamed of their wanton behaviour, and with one accord tore off the that of the count de Castel Maria, one of

The most singular spit in the world is chaplets of flowers with which they had the most opulent lords of Treviso. This decorated their temples in the hour of convivial gaiety. They listened to the philo- roasts at once, and plays twenty-four tunes,

spit turns one bundred and thirty different sopher. Their hearts were opened to in- and whatever it plays, corresponds to a struction by music, and the powerful im

certain degree of cooking, which is perpression being well timed, produced in fectly understood by the cook. Thus, a them a permanent reformation. How desirable is it to revive the music lent at the 12th air; a fowl à la Flamande,

leg of mutton à l'Anglaise, will be excelof Pythagoras! How concise a method of philosophizing to the purpose! What would be difficult, perhaps, to carry farther

will be juicy at the 18th, and so on. It sermon or moral lecture would have pro- the love of music and gormandizing. * duced a similar effect so suddenly?

But nothing of this kind was ever produced by the most successful efforts of

BEETHOVEN. modern music. Let us suppose a case somewhat similar to the preceding. Let Ludwig von Beethoven was born in 1770 us imagine a number of intoxicated rakes at Baun, where his father was then tenor entering the theatre with a professed inten- singer in the chapel of the elector of Cotion to cause a riot. Such a case has often logne. At an unusually early age he was 'been real. The music in the orchestra has able to perform that first of all works for done all that it could do to sooth the grow- forming a finished player on the organ or ing rage; but it was as impotent and con- the piano-forte, the preludes and fugues of temptible as a pistol against a battery. It Sebastian Bach, called “, Le Clavecin bien would be a fine thing for the proprietors, tempéré.” At this time he displayed equal if a tune or two could save the benches, progress in composition ; for, in the same and the fiddlers preclude the carpenters. year, he published variations to a march, But Timotheus and the Doric strains are sonatas, and songs, all for the piano-forte. no more ; yet, surely, in so general a study In 1792, he was sent by the elector to of music it might be expected that some- Vienna, as court-organist, to study the thing of their perfection might be revived.* theory of music under the celebrated - J.

Haydn, who, on leaving Vienna for London

[blocks in formation]

two years after, intrusted his pupil to the princes Lobkowitz and Kinsky, induced care of the learned Albrechtsberger. He him to alter this resolution. In expressions was then more distinguished for his per- at once the most favourable and delicate, formance than his composition. Judging these princes had a document drawn up, by the criticisms of his early works, harsh. by which they settled on Beethoven an anness of modulation, melodies more singular nuity of 4000 florins, with no other condi. than pleasing, and an evident struggle tion, than that so long as he derives the to be original, were among the principal benefit of it, he must reside at Vienna, or faults of which he was accused. Severe as in some other part of the Austrian domithese critics were on him as a composer, nions ; but he cannot travel into foreign they were lavish in their praises of him as countries, unless with the consent of his a player. In their opinion, no one could patrons. Vienna has thus become the place equal him in spirit and brilliancy of exe- of his abode during the principal part of cution; and noihing more was wanting to his life. Although he had a great wish to perfect his performance, than more preci- see foreign countries, particularly England, sion and distinctness of touch. His greatest he has never applied for leave of absence power consisted in extemporary perform- to the archduke Rudolph, who is now his ance, and in the art of varying any given only patron, the princes Lobkowitz and theme without the least premeditation. In Kinsky being dead. It has, however, been this he approached nearest to Mozart, and doubted whether his presence would add, has never had a rival since.

either here or any where else, to his celeThe precarious situation of the court of brity. His warmth of temper, extreme Cologne during the war, and the death of frankness, and singularity of manners, the elector in 1801, in whom the art of (which he is little able to rule according to music lost one of its most zealous patrons, the prescribed forms of society,) his little induced Beethoven to choose Vienna as his reserve in judging of people, and above permanent residence. As original and in- all, his great deafness, seem little calcudependent in his general way of thinking, lated to endear his person to the true adas in his musical productions, a decided mirers of his genius. Notwithstanding enemy to flattery, an utter stranger to every these foibles, which more frequently belong thing dishonourable, he disdained to court to great than to ordinary men, his characa the favour of any one, however wealthy or ter, as a man and as a citizen, ranks dehigh in rank. He has consequently resided servedly high. There is a rectitude in his nearly thirty years in that splendid metro- moral conduct, which ensures to him the polis, in open hostility with many; and in esteem of every honourable person. friendship with only a few, whom the ad- Beethoven's works are universally acmiration of his great genius will not allow knowledged to be, for the greater part, to take offence, either at the singularity of productions of the highest order. In the his manner, or the candour with which he loftier strains of composition, he has attaingives his honest opinions. Till very lately, ed so eminent a rank, that it is difficult to he had hardly any other emolument than say who excels him. In many of his orwhat his compositions produced him, and chestral symphonies, overtures, quartettos consequently he was too often in circum- for the violin, concertos, trios, and sonatas stances very unworthy of such a great for the piano-forte, he may be placed withgenius.

out the slightest presumption by the side In Austria, the native composers have of Haydn and Mozart. His overture to experienced a neglect similar to that which the “ Men of Prometheus," and his pianoFrederick the Great displayed to the literati forte concerto in C minor, Op. 37, would of Prussia. Salieri, the Italian, has all the alone be sufficient to immortalize him. honours and emoluments of principal maes. They will ever be heard with delight after tro di capella to their majesties; whereas any overture or concerto, even of Mozart. the inimitable Beethoven relies entirely on A list of his works is copied from that very his own strength, without the smallest por- excellent periodical work, the “ Harmonition of imperial munificence. It must have con," into the “ Biographical Dictionary been a consideration like this, together with of Musicians,” from whence the present the increase of difficulties, that determined notice of Beethoven is derived. him, in 1809, to accept an offer from the The talents of a Haydn and Mozart new Westphalian court of Jerome Buona- raised instrumental composition in Gerparte, of the situation of maestro di capella. many to an astonishing elevation; and Fortunately, for the honour of Vienna and Beethoven may be said not only to have of Austria, the archduke Rudolph, and the maintained the art in that stupendous alti, tude, but even in some respects to have struments one after the other join in the brought it to still higher perfection. Rei- stringed chorus; and when (as Maister chardt, in his letters from Vienna, says, Mace would say) that vast concording Haydn drew his quartets from the pure unity' of the whole band comes “ thundersource of his sweet and unsophisticated' ing in,' we perceive with what admirable nature, his captivating simplicity and skill the orchestra are brought together, and cheerfulness; in these works he is still afterwards, to the latter part of the piece, without an equal. Mozart's mightier genius continue our admiration of the scientific and richer imagination took a more extend- manner in which the parts are worked up. ed range, and embodied in several passages The conclusion leaves us in regret.” the most profound and sublime qualities of In Beethoven's “ Mount of Olives,” the his own mind. Moreover, he was much introductory symphony is considered to be greater as a performer than Haydn, and as so affecting and appropriate as to be equal, such, expected more from instruments than if not superior, to Haydn's introduction, or the latter did. He also allowed more representation of “ Chaos” in the “ Creamerit to highly wrought and complicated tion.” The whole is a striking instance of compositions, and thus raised a gorgeous his originality of invention. With respect palace within Haydn's fairy bower. Of to his energetic manner, nearly the whole this palace Beethoven was an early inmate ; of his works abound with specimens of this and in order adequately to express his own description of beauty. Yet, however, in the peculiar forms of style, he had no other midst of his energy, variety, and abstrusemeans but to surmount the editice with that ness, ideas may soinetimes be discovered defying and colossal tower, which no one which create enthusiasm solely from their will probably presume to carry higher with simplicity. Of this description is the wellimpunity."

known passage in his “ Battle Sinfonia," “ If any man,” says the Quarterly Musi- where the one fifer is supposed to be heard cal Review, “ can be said to enjoy an attempting to rally the disordered ranks of almost universal admiration as a composer, the French army, by playing their national it is Beethoven ; who, disdaining to copy air of“ Malbrouk,” which he performs in a his predecessors in any, the most distant, minor key, from his own presumed thirst manner, has, notwithstanding, by his ener

and fatigue. getic, bold, and uncommon style of writing, It is said that Beethoven does not write carried away the prize from our modern down a single note of his compositions till Olympus. His peculiar beauties inay be he has mentally completed them, and that enumerated as follows : originality of in- he holds his own earlier compositions in vention uncommon passages - a very contempt. He usually passes the summer at energetic manner-imitative passages al- the pleasant village of Baden, about twelve most innumerable--and abstruse scientific miles from Vienna. He is very deaf, but can modulation. The first of these peculiarities, hear without the assistance of any machine, no sincere lover of music who has heard when addressed loudly and distinctly. His any of his symphonies will refuse to admit; principal amusement in the country is takand it is principally to this prominent fea- ing long walks in the most romantic parts ture in all his works that the fame he has

of the vicinity; these excursions he someacquired is owing. There is something in times extends even through the night. ** the first movements of all his overtures and symphonies, which, to the bearer, conveys a clear impression that the piece is not

ANNE DE MONTMORENCY. similar to any he ever heard before by other composers. The frequent employment of of the sanguinary character of this condiscords unresolved with a full harmony, stable of France some idea may be formed the apparent sombre cast of expression by by the specimen which Brantome has given a continual richness and depth of the bass,

of his favourite orders." Go! Let me see the evident preparation for some beautiful those rascals stabbed or shot directly! allegro or vivace movement; all these con- Hang me that fellow on yonder tree! Hack spire to raise the author in our estimation, me to pieces those scoundrels this moment, and to keep onr attention alive. Yet, when who dared to defend that church against he does lead us to the quick, it is not upon the king's forces ! Set fire to that village, a light, unmeaving, or dance-like passage, d'ye hear! Burn me all the country for a that he chooses to work; conscious of his mile round this spot!" resources, he gives an excellent subject, gradually rising into importance as the in,

* Biographical Dict. of Musicians.

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]

Fac-simile of a French Assignat for Ten Sous,


To the Editor.

He was a pleasant specimen of a French

man- 1-lighi, kind-hearted, and extremely Dear sir,-Perhaps you may esteem the enthusiastic; but his enthusiasm was enclosed as a curiosity worthy of a place equally bestowed on the most important or in the Table Book. It is a genuine speci- the most trivial occasion. I have seen him men of the assignats used in lieu of money rise from his seat, stretch his clasped hands during the French revolution. I believe out at full length, and utter with rapturous there are very few now to be had. It was ecstasy through his clenched teeth, “ Ah given to me by a French gentleman, whose Dieu ! que c'étoit beau !" when perhaps the father (a native of Normandy) had lost con- subject of his eulogy was the extraordinary siderable sums by them. He had unfor- leap of some rope-dancer, or the exaggetunately converted most of his property rated shout of some opera-singer, whose into assignats, as a precaution during ihose greatest recommendation was, that she postimes, which, although eventually of so sessed “ une voix à enlever le toit." He much benefit to the French nation, were so had a habit of telling immensely long stodistressing while they lasted. But when ries, and always forgot that you had heard the use of coin was resumed, he found his him relate them often and often before. He intention frustrated, and himself deprived used to tack his sentences together by an of all his fortune.

awful “ alors,” which was the sure sign of This gentleman had been the means of his being in the humour (although by the assisting the duke and duchess of Chartres by he never was otherwise) for telling one in their escape to England, after having of his pet anecdotes, or, more properly, concealed them for some time in his own interminable narratives, for such he made house. They left him with reiterated assur- them by his peculiar tact at spinning them ances of liberal recompense and future out. He had three special favourites ;—the patronage, should they ever be so fortunate one above related of aristocratic ingratias to return to their native country :— they tude ;-another about Bu parte's going did return—but their Norman benefactor incognito every morning, while he was at was forgotten he never heard any thing Boulogne sur Mer, to drink new milk at more of them.-" Telle est la récompense the cottage of an old woman, with whom de loyanté !" was the concluding remark he used to take snuff, and talk quite famiof his son, who related the story to me. liarly ;-—and the last and best-beloved, an


dear sir,

account of his own good fortune in having seeds of the vicious kind may shoot forth once actually spoken with the emperor Na- in the mind, they are carefully watched and poleon Buonaparte himself! He had been nipped in the bud, that they may never an officer on board one of the ships belong- blossom into action. ing to the flotille destined for the invasion Having stated the accounts between moof England, and almost adored Buonaparte rality and trade, I shall leave the reader to as a sort of God. He was perhaps as draw the balance, and only ask, “ Whether affectionate-hearted a human being as could the people in trade are more corrupt than possibly exist, and I never heard him speak those out?" If the curious reader will lend bitterly against any one, excepting Mes- an attentive ear to a pair of farmers in the sieurs les Clergés.

market, bartering for a cow, he will find as I have digressed considerably, but the much dissimulation as at St. James's, or at assignat is merely a matter of curiosity to any other saint's, but couched in more look at, and does not admit of much com- homely phrase. The man of well-bred ment.

deceit is “ infinitely your friend-it would I

give him immense pleasure to serve you !" Your respectful admirer, while the man in the frock “ Will be June 28, 1827.

M, H. if he tells you a word of a lie!"

Having occasion for a horse, in 1759, I

mentioned it to an acquaintance, and inBUYING AND SELLING. formed him of the uses the animal was A merchant shall hardly keep himself from doing would exactly suit; which he showed in

wanted for; he assured me he had one that and from

the stable, and held the candle pretty high, As a nail sticketh fast between the joinings of the

stones ; sa doth sin stick close between buying and “for fear of affecting the straw.” I told selling.

Ecclesiasticus. him it was needless to examine him, for I It has been observed in the House of should rely upon his word, being conscious Commons, “ That commerce tends to cor- he was too much my friend to deceive me; rupt the morals of a people.” If we exa- I therefore bargained, and caused him to mine the expression, we shall find it true, be sent home. But by the light of the sun in a certain degree.

which next morning illumined the heavens, Perhaps every tradesman can furnish out I perceived the horse was“ greased" on all numberless instances of small deceit. His fours. I therefore, in gentle terms, upconduct is marked with a littleness, which braided my friend with duplicity, when he though allowed by general consent, is not replied with some warmth, “I would cheat strictly just. A person with whom I have my own brother in a horse.” Had this long been connected in business, asked if honourable friend stood a chance of selling I had dealt with his relation whom he had me a horse once a week, his own interest brought up, and who had lately entered would have prevented himfrom deceiving me. into commercial life. I answered in the A man enters into business with a view affirmative. He replied, “ He is a very of acquiring a fortune-a laudable motive ! honest fellow.” I told him I saw all the That property which arises from honest infinesse of a tradesman about him. “Oh, dustry is an honour to its owner; the rerejoined my friend, a man has a right to pose of his age, the reward of a life of say all he can in favour of his own goods." attention; but great as the advantage

Nor is the seller alone culpable. The seems, yet, being of a private nature, it is buyer takes an equal share in the deception. one of the least in the mercantile walk. Though neither of them speak their senti. For the intercourse occasioned by traffic ments, they well understand each other, gives a man a view of the world, and of Whilst a treaty is agitating, the buyer pro- himself; removes the narrow limits that nounces against the article; but when confine his judgment, expands the mind, finished, the seller whispers to his friend, opens his understanding, removes his pre“ It is well sold,” and the buyer smiles at judices, and polishes his manners. Civility the bargain. The commercial track is a and humanity are ever the companions of line of minute deceits.

trade; the man of business is the man of But, on the other hand, it does not seem liberal sentiment: if he be not the philosopossible for a man in trade to pass this pher of nature he is the friend of his counIine, without wrecking his reputation; try. A barbarous and commercial people which, if once broken, can never be made is a contradiction.* whole. The character of a tradesman is valuable; it is his all; therefore, whatever

* Hutton's History of Birmingham.

« НазадПродовжити »