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Title: Sketch of Handel and Beethoven - Two Lectures, Delivered in the Lecture Hall of the Wimbledon Village Club, on Monday Evening, Dec. 14, 1863; and Monday Evening, Jan. 11, 1864
Author: Ball, Thomas Hanly
Language: English
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   SKETCH OF

   HANDEL AND BEETHOVEN.

   Two Lectures,

   DELIVERED IN

   THE LECTURE HALL OF THE WIMBLEDON
   VILLAGE CLUB,

   ON MONDAY EVENING, DEC. 14, 1863; AND MONDAY EVENING,
   JAN. 11, 1864.

   BY THE
   REV. T. HANLY BALL, A.B.,

   CURATE AND LECTURER OF ST. MARY'S, WIMBLEDON.

   Published at the request and expense of a Parishioner.


   LONDON:
   CHARLES J. SKEET, 10, KING WILLIAM STREET,
   CHARING CROSS.
   1864.



DEDICATION.


   TO
   JOHN A. BEAUMONT ESQ.,
   WIMBLEDON PARK HOUSE.

MY DEAR MR. BEAUMONT,

Seneca has well said, "The three main points in the question of
benefits, are, first, a judicious choice in the object; secondly, in the
matter of our benevolence; and thirdly, in the manner of expressing it."

Of the first, it would not be becoming in me to speak; of the second,
you are the rightful judge; of the third, I beg leave thus publicly to
state, that not only in requesting permission to publish this lecture at
your own expense but _on many other occasions_, you have fully come up
to Seneca's idea of what a benefactor ought to be.

I shall not attempt describing what I hope you give me credit for;
_Furnius_ never gained so much upon _Augustus_ as by a speech, upon the
getting of his father's pardon for siding with _Anthony_, "THIS GRACE,"
says he, "IS THE ONLY INJURY THAT EVER CÆSAR DID ME; FOR IT HAS PUT ME
UPON A NECESSITY OF LIVING AND DYING UNGRATEFUL."

Allow me to dedicate the little volume to you, and believe me, ever to
remain,

Your obedient and faithful Servant,

                                                 T. HANLY BALL.

_Wimbledon, 12th February, 1864._



PREFACE.


A brief account of "The Wimbledon Village Club" will explain the origin
and object of the two following Lectures.

"The design of the Institution is to afford to the inhabitants, and more
especially the working and middle classes of Wimbledon and its vicinity,
opportunities of intellectual and moral improvement, and rational and
social enjoyment, through the medium of a Reading Room and Library,
Lectures and Classes."[A]

The Reading Room is supplied with Daily and Weekly Newspapers,
Periodicals, and Books.

The Library contains upwards of Six Hundred volumes, all which have
been presented to the Institution.

The Lectures are on various literary and scientific subjects.

To these have been recently added, _Readings_ and _Chat Meetings_.

_Readings_, are three short readings from some popular author, by
different readers, on the same evening.

"_Chat Meetings_ are simplifications of a soirée, or a conversazione.
They originated in the idea that many parishioners, having in their
homes interesting objects, the examination of which would afford
pleasure and instruction to their fellow-parishioners, would on certain
occasions gladly take these objects to a room appointed for the purpose,
and display and explain them."[B]

Mr. Toynbee, the _Fidus Achates_ of the Club, has, in his admirable
"Hints on the Formation of Local Museums," well said--"The Wimbledon
Club is admirably calculated to meet the wants of the working classes,
as regards their recreation and instruction. While it furnishes
amusement and instruction to all classes, it brings them together at its
various meetings in friendly intercourse; the management of the
Institution, and the organization of its several proceedings, afford a
valuable experience to the Committee, who portion among themselves their
respective work; and the preparation of the Lectures, &c., proves a
healthy mental stimulus to those intelligent inhabitants who desire to
take part in _one of the most delightful of duties, viz., the conveyance
to the minds of others an interest in those pleasing and
elevating subjects from which, happily their own minds derive
gratification_."--"Hints," pp. 8, 9.

Should these Lectures again interest any of the large and attentive
audiences with which they were honoured, I will consider myself
justified in having consented to their publication, and feel happy to be
the medium of imparting information, even on a secular subject, to those
whom it is my duty, and is my pleasure, to profit and please.

It is scarcely necessary for me to say, biographical lectures are
chiefly the result of reading and research;[C] I have, however, somewhat
fully expressed my opinions on the advantages of music, and very freely
on one or two cognate subjects, and others incidentally alluded to.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote A: "Rules and Regulations of the Wimbledon Village Club," p.
1.]

[Footnote B: "Hints on the Formation of Local Museums, by the Treasurer
of the Wimbledon Museum Committee," p. 27.]

[Footnote C: Works referred to, and extracted from, in the following
Lectures:--Besides those mentioned in the Lectures, the following works
are alluded to, or quoted;--Beattie's Essays; Burnet's History of Music;
Hogart's Musical History; Edwards's History of the Opera; The
Harmonicon; Schlegel's Life of Handel; Holmes' Life of Mozart;
Moschele's Life of Beethoven.]



A SKETCH OF HANDEL.

A Lecture.


Before I say of that great composer and extraordinary man whose life I
have undertaken to sketch, it will not be out of place, I hope, to make
a few remarks on the History and Utility of Music.


I.--THE HISTORY.

It has been well said by Latrobe, that--though the concise and
compressed character of the Mosaic history admits no data upon which to
found this supposition, yet we may readily conclude from the nature of
music, and the original perfection of the human powers, that the Garden
of Eden was no stranger to "singing and the voice of melody."

We read in Scripture that before the Fall, the state of our first
parents was a state of unmingled happiness. Now, it is the very nature
of joy to give utterance to its emotions. Happiness must have its
expression. And thus it may well be supposed that man in his primal
felicity would seek to express, by every conceivable mode, the love,
gratitude, and joy which absorbed every affection of his nature.

Now, the most natural, as well as powerful, medium for conveying those
feelings with which we are acquainted, is music. If then music be the
expression of joy, it cannot be supposed unknown to our first parents,
whose exultation was as intense as it was hallowed.

Milton says:--

                     "Neither various style,
   Nor holy rapture wanted they to praise
   Their Maker in fit strains, pronounced or sung
   Unmeditated, such prompt eloquence
   Flowed from their lips, in prose or numerous verse,
   More tuneable, than needed lute or harp
   To add more sweetness."

But soon the voice of unalloyed thanksgiving was silenced. Sin brought
with it sorrow; and, ever since, the Hallelujahs of the saints have been
strangely intermingled with the moanings of self-reproach, and the cries
of judicial sufferings. The heart, now become the seat of a tremendous
conflict between sin and holiness, lost its elasticity, and needed some
outward excitement to call forth its song of praise. Hence the invention
of instrumental music, which is assigned by Scripture to Jubal.

Longfellow says:--

   "When first in ancient time, from Jubal's tongue,
    The tuneful anthem filled the morning air,
    To sacred hymnings and Elysian song
    His music-breathing shell the minstrel woke--
    Devotion breathed aloud from every chord,
    The voice of praise was heard in every tone,
    And prayer and thanks to Him the Eternal One,
    To Him, that, with bright inspiration touched
    The high and gifted lyre of everlasting song,
    And warmed the soul with new vitality.

"To the element of air," says Bishop Horne, "God has given the power of
producing sounds; to the ear the capacity of receiving them; and to the
affections of the mind an aptness to be moved by them, when transmitted
through the body." The philosophy of the thing is too deep and wonderful
for us; we cannot attain to it! But such is the fact; with that we are
concerned, and that is enough for us to know.


II.--UTILITY.

Of the Utility of Music there can be no question.

Lycurgus, one of the wisest of all ancient legislators, gave great
encouragement to music.

Polybius, one of the most ancient historians ascribes the humanity of
the Arcadians to the influence of this art and the barbarity of their
neighbours the Cynethians to their neglect of it.

Quintilian, the great rhetorician, is very copious in the praise of
music; and extols it as an incentive to valour, as an instrument of
moral and intellectual discipline, as an auxiliary to science, as an
object of attention to the wisest men, and a source of comfort and an
assistant in labour even to the very meanest.

The heroes of ancient Greece were ambitious to excel in music. In armies
music has always been cultivated as a source of pleasure, a principle of
regular motion, and an incentive to valour and enthusiasm.

And there is this in music, that it is suited to please all the
varieties of the human mind. The illiterate and the learned, the
thoughtless and the giddy, the phlegmatic and the sanguine, all confess
themselves to be its votaries. It is a source of the purest mental
enjoyment, and may be obtained by all. It is suited to all classes, and
never ceases to please all.

Many of you, I am sure, are familiar with what Shakespeare says:--

   "Nought is so stockish, hard, and full of rage,
    But music for the time doth change his nature.
    The man that hath no music in himself,
    Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
    Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils;
    The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
    And his affections dark as Erebus:
    Let no such man be trusted."

You recollect, too, what Lord Byron has so pathetically sung:--

   "My soul is dark--oh! quickly string
      The harp I yet can brook to hear,
    And let thy gentle fingers fling
      Its melting murmurs o'er mine ear.

   "If in this heart a hope be dear,
      That sound shall charm it forth again;
    If in these eyes there lurk a tear,
      'T will flow, and cease to burn my brain.

   "But bid the strain be wild and deep,
      Nor let thy notes of joy be first,
    I tell thee, minstrel, I must weep,
      Or else this heavy heart will burst.

   "For it hath been by sorrow nursed,
      And ached in sleepless sorrow long;
    And now 't is doomed to know the worst,
      And break at once, or yield to song."

All, however, do not agree with Byron and Shakespeare. Charles Lamb
says:--

   "Some cry up Haydn, some Mozart,
    Just as the whim bites.--For my part,
    I do not care a farthing candle
    For either of them, or for Handel.
    Cannot a man live free and easy
    Without admiring Pergolesi?
    Or through the earth with comfort go,
    That never heard of Doctor Blow?
                       I hardly have;
    And yet I eat, and drink, and shave,
    Like other people, if you watch it,
    And know no more of stave or crotchet
    Than did the primitive Peruvians,
    Or those old ante queer diluvians,
    That lived in the unwash'd earth with Jubal,
    Before that dirty blacksmith, Tubal,
    By stroke on anvil, or by summ'at,
    Found out, to his great surprise, the gamut."

Witty essayist, your "Free Thoughts," like many other of your clever
writings, are erroneous. In all ages, and even by the least enlightened
of mankind, the efficacy of music has been acknowledged, and considered
as a genuine and natural source of delight. Now it awakens the latent
courage in the breast of the soldier, and now administers to the pensive
sorrow of the weeping mother. At one moment it inspires the soul with
sublime and hallowed awe, and at the next gives life to unbounded mirth.
It is suited to stimulate the feeling of devotion, and to increase the
boisterous pleasures of a village harvest-home. Wearied with the
oppression of the noon-day sun, and exhausted with labour, the
husbandman sits beneath the shade of his native oak, and sings the songs
he heard in infancy. The man of business, the man of letters, and the
statesman, wearied with the exertion of mind and burden of care, seek
relief round the family hearth, and forget awhile ambition and fears
under the influence of music. And the dejected emigrant sings the songs
of fatherland, whilst recollections, sad but sweet, arise and disappear.

   "In far-distant climes, when the tear gushes o'er
    For home, love, and friendship, that charm us no more,
    Oh! what on the exiles' dark sorrows can shine
    Like the rapture that flows at the songs of Lang-syne!

   "The music of Britain is sweet 'midst the scene;
    But, ah! could you hear it, when seas roll between!
    'Tis then, and then only, the soul can divine
    The music that dwells in the songs of Lang-syne.

   "The spirit, when torn from earth's objects of love,
    Loses all its regrets in the chorus above:
    So in exile we cannot but cease to repine,
    When it hallows with ecstacy songs of Lang-syne."

But I must allow music herself to prove her influence and assert her
sway.

                      (CAPRICE HONGROIS.)

              "Cease gentle sounds, nor kill me quite
               With such excess of sweet delight.
               Each trembling note invades my heart,
               And thrills through every vital part:
               A soft--a pleasing pain
               Pursues my heated blood through every vein.
               What--what does the enchantment mean?
               Now, wild with fierce desire,
               My breast is all on fire!
                 In softened raptures now I die!
               Can empty sound such joys impart?
               Can music thus transport the heart
                 With melting ecstacy!
               Oh! art divine! exalted blessing,
               Each celestial charm expressing--
               Kindest gift the heavens bestow,
               Sweetest food that mortals know!
               But give the charming magic o'er--
               My beating heart can bear no more!"

George Frederick Handel was born at Halle, in Lower Saxony, on the 24th
February, 1684. His father (who was a surgeon, and was sixty-three
years old when this child first saw the light) determined to make a
lawyer of him: but nature had resolved to make him a composer; and the
struggle between nature and the father commenced at the very cradle of
the future author of the "Messiah."

Scarcely had he begun to speak when he articulated musical sounds. The
doctor was terribly alarmed, when he discovered instincts which in his
eyes were of so low an order. He understood nothing of art, nor of the
noble part which artists sustain in the world. He saw in them nothing
but a sort of mountebank, who amuse the world in its idle moments.
Uneasy, and almost ashamed at the inclinations of his son, the father of
Handel opposed them by all possible means. He would not send him to any
of the public schools, because there not only grammar but the gamut
would be taught him--he would not permit him to be taken to any place,
of whatever description, where he could hear music--he forbade him the
slightest exercise of that nature and banished every kind of musical
instrument far from the house.

But he might as well have told the river that it was not to flow. Nature
surmounted every obstacle to her decree. The precautions taken to stifle
the instincts of the child served only to fortify by concentrating them.
He found means to procure a spinet, and to conceal it in a garret,
whither he went to play when all the household was asleep--without any
guidance finding out everything for himself, and merely by permitting
his little fingers to wander over the keyboard, he produced harmonic
combinations; and at _seven_ years of age he discovered that he knew how
to play upon the spinet.

The poor father soon discovered his mistake, and in the following
manner. He had, by a former marriage, a son who was valet to the Duke of
Saxe Weisenfield. He wished to go and visit him; and George, who was
then seven years old, and who was not acquainted with this brother,
begged of his father to take him with him. When this was refused he did
not insist, but watched for the moment when the coach set off, and
followed it on foot. The father saw him, stopped the coach and scolded
him; when the child, as if he did not hear the scolding, recommenced his
supplications to be allowed to take part in the journey, and at last
(thanks to that persistance which predicted the man of energy which he
eventually proved to be) his request was granted.

When they had arrived at the palace of the Duke, the boy stole off to
the organ in the chapel as soon as the service was concluded, and was
unable to resist the temptation of touching it. The Duke, not
recognizing the style of his organist, made inquiries; and when the
trembling little artist was brought before him he encouraged him, and
soon won his secret from him.

The Duke then addressed himself to the father, and represented to him
that it was a sort of crime against humanity to stifle so much genius
in its birth. The old doctor was greatly astonished, and had not much to
answer. The opinion of a sovereign prince must have had, moreover, a
great influence over the mind of a man who considered musicians
mountebanks. He permitted himself to be convinced, and promised, not
without some regret, to respect a vocation which manifested itself by
such unmistakeable signs. Handel was present, his eyes fastened upon his
powerful protector, without losing a word of the argument. Never did he
forget it, and for ever afterwards he regarded the Duke of
Saxe-Weisenfeld as his benefactor, for having given such good advice to
his father. On his return home his wishes were gratified, and he was
permitted to take lessons from Sackau, the organist of the cathedral at
Halle.

Sackau was an organist of the old school, learned and fond of his art.
He was not long in discovering what a pupil Fortune had sent him. He
began by carefully instructing him in general principles, and then laid
before him a vast collection of German and Italian music which he
possessed, and which they analyzed together. Sackau was every day more
and more astonished at his marvellous progress; and, as he loved wine
nearly as well as music, he often sent him to take his place at the
organ on Sundays, whenever he had a good _dejeuner_ to take part in. At
length, although he found him of great use, this worthy man confessed,
with excellent and admirable pride, that his pupil knew more than
himself, and advised that he should be sent to Berlin, where he might
strengthen himself by studying other models.

Handel was eleven years of age when he went to Berlin. There he passed
for a prodigy. The Elector, wishing to become the patron of so rare a
genius, manifested a disposition to attach him to himself, and to send
him to Italy to complete his musical education. But when the father was
consulted, he did not think it wise to enchain the future of his son to
the Court of Berlin, and he excused himself, saying that he was now an
old man, and that he wished to keep near him the only son who remained
to him; and, as in those days it was not prudent to oppose a prince on
his own land, Handel was brought back somewhat hastily to his native
town.

Handel's father died shortly after the return of his son from Berlin, in
1697, leaving him poor; and it became necessary to provide for his
_existence_ as well as his _renown_. Halle was too small to contain him.
He wished to visit Italy, but not having the means of such a journey, he
went to Hamburg in the month of July, 1703.

Soon after his arrival in Hamburg, the place of the organist of Lubeck
was offered for competition, upon the _retirement_ of the old incumbent.
Handel canvassed for the vacancy; but finding a rather singular
condition attached to the programme, which was _that the successor was
to marry the daughter of the retiring organist_, as this was not quite
agreeable to him, he returned to Hamburg as happy as he went. This
adventure, at the very outset of his career, appears all the more
original, when we remember that Handel never manifested any taste for
matrimony.

I shall not occupy your time by describing Handel's peregrinations
through Italy--whereever he went his fame preceded him. In 1709 he left
Italy, with an intent to settle in Germany. He came to Hanover. The
Elector George of Brunswick, afterwards George I. of England, was
delighted to receive such a man in his principality, and offered to
retain him as his chapel master, at a salary of 1800 ducats, about £300
a year.

Handel was not very desirous of occupying this post. For at the Court of
the elector he had already met some British noblemen who had pressed him
to visit England; and being persuaded by them to undertake that journey,
he did not wish to engage himself, except upon the condition of being
allowed to accomplish it. The condition was accepted and he set out at
the end of the year. Passing through Dusseldorf he could scarcely tear
himself away; for the Elector Palatine wished to keep him at any price.
Thence he went to Halle to embrace his mother, who was now blind; and
his good old master, Sackau. Afterwards he visited Holland and arrived
in London at the close of 1710.

Handel's first work in England was the Opera of Rinaldo, and this at
once established his reputation.

The Cavatina in the first act, "Cairo Sposa," was to be found, in 1711,
upon all the harpsichords of Great Britain, as a model of pathetic
grace. The march was adopted by the regiment of Life Guards, who played
it every day for forty years. Like the regiments themselves, marches
have their days and their strokes of fortune; and this one, after a long
and honourable existence, was subsequently pressed into the service of
the highway robbers. Twenty years later Pepusch made out of it the
Robber's chorus in the Beggar's Opera, "Let us take road." The
brilliant morceau in the second act, "Il tri Cerbero," was also set to
English words--"Let the waiter bring clean glasses," and was a long time
the most popular song at all merry-makings. But what shall be said of
"Lascia che io pianza?" Stradella's divine air of "I miei sospiri," has
nothing more moving, or more profoundly tender.

It has been asserted that in music the _beau ideal_ changes every thirty
years, but that is an ill-natured criticism. Certain forms of
accompaniment may grow out of fashion like the cut of a coat. But a fine
melody remains eternally beautiful and always agreeable to listen to.
The 100th Psalm of the middle ages is as magnificent to-day as it was
when nearly four centuries ago it came from the brain of its composer,
Franc.[D] "Laschia che io pianza" and "I miei sospiri" will be admirable
and admired to the very end of the world.

Handel's publisher was said to have gained £1,500 from the publication
of Rinaldo, which drew from Handel this complaint, "My Dear Sir, as it
is only right that we should be upon an equal footing, _you_ shall
_compose_ the next opera, and I will sell it." Publishers then, as now,
not only lived by the brains of others, but had the lion's share of the
profits.

Handel's success as an harpsichordist was equal to that which he enjoyed
as a composer. He very often played solos in the theatre, and at the
house of Thomas Britton.

Britton, the small coal merchant of Clerkenwell Green, deserves a
passing remark.

Thomas Britton belonged to that class of men whom persons of limited
views are accustomed to term _the lower orders_ of society, for he
gained his daily bread by crying small coal, which he carried about the
streets in a sack upon his shoulders. He lived near Clerkenwell Green, a
quarter of the town with which fashionable people were scarcely
acquainted before he made it illustrious.

How it came to pass that he learnt to play upon the _viola de gamba_ is
not known, but he played upon it, and he was so much of an artist, that
he grouped around him a number of amateurs who were happy to perform
concerted music under his direction.

Britton was the tenant of a stable which he divided horizontally by a
floor--on the ground floor was his coal shop. The upper story formed a
long and narrow room, and it was in this chamber that the first meetings
in the nature of private concerts took place in England, and
instrumental music was first played regularly. Here it was that from
1678 to 1714 (the period of his death), the itinerant small coal
merchant weekly entertained the intelligent world of London at his
musical soirées, always gratuitously. Among others, the Duchess of
Queensbury, one of the most celebrated beauties of the Court, was very
regular in her attendance.

Pepusch and Handel played the harpsichord and the organ there.

Hawkins mentions, as a proof of the great consideration which Britton
acquired, that he was called "_Sir_;" and many persons, unable to
believe that a man of that class and of such a business could arrive by
natural means to be called "Sir," took him for a magician, an atheist,
and a Jesuit.

In 1715, Handel had produced at the theatre in the Haymarket, a new
opera _Amadiji_. The _poem_ of Amadiji is signed, in right of his
authorship, by the new manager of the theatre James Heidegger, commonly
called the "_Swiss Count_." He was said to be the ugliest man of his
time; Lord Chesterfield wagered that it was impossible to discover a
human being so disgraced by nature. After having searched through the
town, a hideous old woman was found, and it was agreed that Heidegger
was handsomer. But as Heidegger was pluming himself upon his victory,
Chesterfield required that he should put on the old woman's bonnet.
Thus attired the Swiss Count appeared horribly ugly, and Chesterfield
was unanimously declared the winner, amid thunders of applause.

Heidegger, who made so light of a joke at his own expense, dedicated the
libretto of Amadis to the Earl of Burlington, at whose house, in
Piccadilly, the music had been composed by Handel. When the King asked
the Earl why he went so far to live, he replied that he was fond of
solitude, and that he was certain that he had found a place where no one
could come and build beside him. It is one hundred and forty seven years
since he said this. Piccadilly, where the house of this solitary lord is
to be found, is now, I need scarcely tell you, one of the most central
and fashionable parts of London.

In 1717, Handel paid a flying visit to his native town. When he returned
to London, in 1718, he found the Italian theatre closed, being unable to
support itself; but the chapel of the Duke of Chandos was in a
flourishing condition. The Duke of Chandos, formerly Paymaster-General
of Queen Anne's army, had built near the village of Edgeware a mansion
called Cannons.

In "A journey through England," by Miss Spence, this mansion is thus
described:--

"The palace of the Duke of Chandos was erected in the eighteenth
century. This magnificent structure with its decorations and furniture
cost £230,000. The pillars of the great hall were of marble, as were the
steps of the principal staircase, each step consisting of one piece
twenty-two feet long. The establishment of the household was not
inferior to the splendour of the habitation. Notwithstanding the three
successive shocks which his fortune received by his concern in the
African Company and the Mississippi and South Sea speculations in
1718-19-20, the Duke lived in splendour at Cannons till his death in
1744, rather as the presumptive heir to a diadem than as one of Her
Majesty's subjects. So extraordinary indeed, was his style of living,
that he was designated '_The Grand Duke_.'"

Among other objects of luxury this duke had a chapel furnished like the
churches of Italy. It was situate a short distance from the mansion, and
we are told that he went there with true Christian humility, "attended
by his Swiss Guards," ranged as the Yeoman of the Guard. Every Sunday
the road from London to Edgeware was thronged with carriages of the
members of the nobility and gentry, who went to pray to God with his
grace. Dr. Pepusch, one of the greatest musical celebrities of the time,
was the first chapel master; but the Duke of Chandos, who loved ever to
worship the Lord with the best of everything, made proposals to the
illustrious Handel, and persuaded him to take the place of Pepusch. The
Musical Biography tells us that "Dr. Pepusch fully acquiesced in the
opinion of Handel's superior merit, and retired from his eminent and
honourable situation without any expression whatever either of chagrin
or disappointment."

The wise labour for their own sakes, for their own satisfaction, and in
the midst of general indifference; but artists only work when they are
excited by public attention. The most fruitful have need of external
animation to become productive, and require immediate applause. Handel,
having an orchestra and singers at his disposal, with the guests of a
wealthy nobleman for audience, set himself passionately to work. It was
at Cannons that he wrote the two Te Deums and the twelve famous Anthems,
called the Chandos Anthems.

Of the splendid residence wherein the Duke of Chandos gave these
magnificent "feasts of reason and flow of soul," nothing is now left but
the chapel, which, as I said before, was constructed apart from the
mansion. It is now the parish church of Edgeware. The most interesting
relic is an organ, of moderate size, which stands behind the altar.
Upon this may be found a little brass plate, bearing this inscription:--

                --------------------------------------
                |                                    |
                |              HANDEL                |
                |     WAS ORGANIST OF THIS CHURCH    |
                |     FROM THE YEAR 1718 TO 1721,    |
                |           AND COMPOSED             |
                |       THE ORATORIO OF ESTHER       |
                |           ON THIS ORGAN            |
                --------------------------------------

The mansion was sold in 1750, three years after the Duke's death, for
eleven thousand pounds. (It had cost, you recollect, two hundred and
thirty thousand pounds.) Not a vestige of it is left; and, as the site
is now in a state of cultivation, Pope's prediction is realized:

   "Another age shall see the golden ear
    Imbrown the slope and nod on the parterre.
    Deep harvests bury all his pride has planned,
    And laughing Ceres reassume the land."

               _Essay_--"_Of the Use of Riches_."

The magnificent Duke himself is now almost forgotten. A marble statue,
which was erected to his memory in the crypt of the chapel, is now in
the last state of dilapidation. The wind whistles through the broken
windows of its funereal abode; and the plaster of the roof, detached
from its skeleton of laths, powders his enormous wig, and soils the
imperial robe that drapes his shoulders. But the spirit of the master of
Cannons may console itself; for in the verses of the poets are monuments
of infinitely greater durability than marble. And has not Pope sung:--

   "True, some are open, and to all men known;
    Others so very close, they're hid from none.
    (So darkness strikes the sense no less than light;)
    Thus gracious Chandos is beloved at sight."

               _Essay_--"_Of the Characters of Man_."

On either side of the statue stand two long figures, clothed, like it,
in Roman costume. These are the first two wives of the Duke. But he
married a third wife, who has not, however, been permitted to enter the
sanctuary.

The story of this third marriage is worth telling you.

One day the Duke being on a journey, he saw, at the door of an inn at
which the horses were changed, a groom beating a young servant girl with
a horse-whip. Taking pity on the poor girl, the Duke went to interpose
between them, when he was informed that the groom and the girl were
married. This being the case, nothing could be said; for the law of
England at that time permitted husbands to beat their wives to any
excess short of death. The groom, who had noticed the movement of the
Duke, came up and offered to sell him his wife, if he would buy her; and
in order to save her from further punishment he did so. But when the
bargain was concluded, the Duke did not know what to do with his new
acquisition, and so he sent her to school. Soon after this the Duchess
of Chandos died, and the Duke took it into his head that he would marry
his purchase--so that eventually the poor servant girl, whom a groom
had beaten by the road side before every passer by, became Duchess of
Chandos, and comported herself in her new rank with perfect dignity.

       *       *       *       *       *

But to return to Handel and to Cannons. One day, as he was going there,
he was overtaken by a shower in the midst of the village of Edgeware,
and took shelter in the house of one Powell, who was a blacksmith as
well as parish clerk of Whitchurch. After the usual salutations, Powell
fell to work again at his forge, singing an old song the while. By an
extraordinary phenomenon, the hammer, striking in time, drew from the
anvil two harmonic sounds, which, being in accord with the melody, made
a sort of continuous bass. Handel was struck by the incident, listened,
remembered the air and its strange accompaniment, and, when he returned
home, composed out of it a piece for the harpsichord. This is the piece
which has been published separately a thousand times under the title of
_The Harmonious Blacksmith_. After an existence of upwards of a hundred
and forty years, this piece is continually being reprinted, and it will
be reprinted so long as the human race is sensible to music. Judge for
yourselves, as it shall now be kindly played for you.


                    HARMONIOUS BLACKSMITH.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the "London Daily Post" of the 19th August, 1738, there is the
following paragraph:

"The entertainment at Vauxhall Gardens concluded with the Coronation
Anthems of Mr. Handel, to the great pleasure of the company, and amidst
a great concourse of people."

The Coronation Anthems here alluded to are those composed for the
coronation of George II. He was too fond of music to be satisfied at his
coronation with that of the court composer, whom an old law compelled
him to have attached to the household, so he requested Handel to give
his assistance, who wrote the four anthems which are called the
Coronation Anthems. These were performed at Westminster, during the
ceremony of the 11th October, 1727, after having been solemnly rehearsed
in the cathedral on the 6th, in the presence of a numerous assemblage.
This work forms one of the most solid foundations of its author's glory.
"Zadok the Priest" especially is an inspiration of prodigious
grandeur--the chorus, "God Save the King" (not the National Anthem), is
comparable in beauty to the "Hallelujah" chorus, in the "Messiah."

Most of you are familiar with these anthems; they are always performed
at the Annual Meeting of Charity Children in St. Paul's;[E] and who ever
tires of listening to them? Grand music has this advantage over all the
other productions of the artistic faculties of man, that people are
never tired of it. It is like daily bread, an aliment always new, always
wished for. The oftener you hear a fine piece of music, the greater
pleasure you take in hearing it again. It charms you in proportion as
you have familiarized yourself with it, therefore it is not to be feared
that people will be tired of listening to the Coronation Anthems of
Handel to the end of time.

I have given you a quotation from the principal daily paper of the
period we are now speaking of; allow me to give you another. In the
"Daily Post" of the 18th April, 1738, there is the following
announcement:--

"We are informed, from very good authority, that there is now nearly
finished a statue of the justly celebrated Mr. Handel, exquisitely done,
by the ingenious Mr. Roubilliac, of St. Martin's Lane Statuary, out of
one entire block of white marble, which is to be placed in a grand
_nich_, erected on purpose, in the great grove of Vauxhall Gardens (The
great grove at Vauxhall Gardens!--Sic transit gloria mundi), at the sole
expense of Mr. Tyers, undertaker of the entertainment there, who, in
consideration of the real merit of that inimitable master, thought it
proper that his effigy should preside there, where his harmony has so
often charmed even the greatest crowds into the profoundest calm and
most decent behaviour."

And in the following copy, that of the 2nd May, 1738, there is the
following:--

"Last night Vauxhall was opened, and there was a considerable appearance
of both sexes. The several pieces of music played on that occasion had
never been heard before in the gardens: the company expressed the
greatest satisfaction at the marble statue of Mr. Handel."

Some of you may have seen this marble statue in the great grove at
Vauxhall Gardens. I never have; but we may all see the self-same statue
any day, in the great room at Exeter Hall.

Apropos of a statue--England has shown great gratitude to
Handel--Handel, a _foreigner_--has she shown anything like equal
gratitude to as great, if not a greater genius, and that genius _her own
son_?

Who ever loved England more dearly than Shakespeare? His was not merely
the love of a son for his mother, but it was as tender as that of a
mother for her son. His works are full of delicious passages, in which
his patriotism becomes manifest. No corner of the globe has been sung by
native poets as England has by Shakespeare. Many of you, I dare say, are
familiar with that beautiful passage in "Richard II." He is describing
England, and he says--

   "This other Eden, demi-paradise,
    This fortress, built by Nature for herself,
    Against infection and the hand of War;
    This happy breed of men--this little earth;
    This precious stone set in the silver sea."

Yes, Shakespeare so loved his country, that he divined by intuition the
heart-anguish of those who have lost theirs. Romeo, when Friar Laurence
tells him that he is banished from Verona, cries:--

   "Ha! banishment? Be merciful; say _death_!
    For exile hath more terror in his look;
    Much more than death: do not say 'banishment.'

    _Friar._--Be patient, for the world is broad and wide.

    _Romeo._--There is no world outside Verona's walls!
    Hast thou no poison mixed
    To kill me? but 'banished!' 'banished!'
    O Friar! the damned use that word in hell!"

He who spoke thus was Shakespeare, and yet _his_ compatriots could not
find the means of erecting a statue to him! Even at the present day in
London, where you may find in every square a herd of dukes, to whom not
even bronze can give celebrity, Shakespeare is nowhere to be found. His
image remains shut up in Westminster Abbey, instead of being set upon a
column whose height should dominate over the metropolis, as his genius
dominates over the world.[F]

I must necessarily pass over much that is interesting in the life of
Handel: recollect I have undertaken to give you only a "sketch," not a
history. My sketch, however, would be incomplete did I overlook his
greatest production, or his visit to "that generous and polite nation,"
as he was pleased to call Ireland, for which nation his masterpiece was
composed, and in which it was first performed.

For a long time Handel had been wished for in Ireland. The Duke of
Devonshire, the Lord Lieutenant of the country at that period, had
directly invited him to pay a visit to the island, and the Irish
professed great admiration for him.

Almost all the musical societies of Dublin, which were composed of
amateurs, gave their entertainments for the furtherance of charitable
objects. Handel put himself into communication with the most important
of these, that "for the benefit and enlargement (freedom) of poor
distressed prisoners for debt," and promised to give an oratorio for its
benefit. For this society he composed the "Messiah," the masterpiece of
this great master. Whoever has listened to his music will admit that its
most distinctive character is the sublime. No one, without exception,
neither Beethoven nor Mozart, has ever risen nearer to the grandeur of
the ideal than Handel did, and he was never more sublime than in the
"Messiah;" and, remembering this, read the dates which are inscribed
with his own hand upon the manuscript:--

"Commenced 22nd August, 1741.

"End of 1st part, 28th August.

"End of 2nd, 6th September.

"End of 3rd, 12th September, 1741.

"Filled up on the 14th."

This Herculean work was therefore accomplished in twenty-three days; and
Handel was then fifty-six years old!

It is a strange phenomenon: when men of genius are to die YOUNG, they
complete their masterpieces at _once_. Mozart rendered up his soul at
thirty-nine; Raphael painted "The School of Athens" at twenty-five, and
"The Transfiguration" at thirty-seven; Paul Potter his "Bull" at
twenty-two; Rossini composed "The Barber of Sevile" when he was
twenty-three, "William Tell" at thirty-seven, and afterwards wrote no
more. If these men had lived longer, it would have been impossible for
them to surpass themselves.

Great artists, on the other hand, who are destined to have _long lives_
are _slow in production_, or rather they produce their best things in
the _decline of life_. Handel, _e.g._, composed his greatest works, "The
Funeral Anthem," "Israel," "The Messiah," "Samson," "The Dettingen Te
Deum," and "Judas Macabbeus," _after he was fifty-two_ years old. Gluck
had not composed one of his operas when he was fifty. Haydn was an old
man of sixty-five when he produced the "Creation." Murillo became
Murillo only at forty years of age. Poussin was seventy when he painted
"The Deluge," which is the most poetically great of all his noble
pictures. Michael Angelo counted more than sixty years when he encrusted
his incomparable fresco, "The Last Judgment," upon the walls of the
Sistine Chapel; and he was eighty-seven when he raised the cupola of St.
Peter's to the heavens. And our own Milton was sixty-three when he
wrote "Paradise Lost!"

But, to return--Handel set out on his journey and charitable mission,
4th August, 1741. It is to this journey Pope alludes in his "Dunciad:"--

   "But soon, ah! soon, rebellion will commence,
    If music meanly borrows aid from sense;
    Strong in new arms, lo! giant Handel stands,
    Like bold Briareus, with his hundred hands,
    To stir, to rouse, to shake the soul he comes,
    And Jove's own thunders follow Mars' drums."

He was stayed by contrary winds in the ancient and picturesque city of
Chester. Dr. Burney says, "I was at the public school in Chester, and
very well remember seeing him smoke a pipe over a dish of coffee at the
Exchange coffee house; and, being extremely curious to see so
extraordinary a man, I watched him narrowly as long as he remained in
Chester, where he stayed on account of the wind being unfavourable for
his embarking at Park Gate."

Wishing to employ this delay in trying over some pieces of his new
oratorio--the Messiah, he sought for some one who could read music at
sight, and a house painter named Janson was indicated to him as one of
the best musicians attached to the Cathedral. A meeting took place, but
poor Janson managed so badly, that the irascible composer became purple
with anger, and after swearing, as was his wont, in four or five
languages at a time, cried out, "You Schountrel! tit you not tell me dat
you could sing at soite?" "Yes sir," replied the good fellow, "but not
at _first sight_." Handel upon this burst out laughing, and the
rehearsal proceeded no further.

He arrived in Dublin on the 18th November, 1741. It was not till April
following, however, that the Messiah was for the first time heard. In
the Dublin papers of March 1742, the following advertisement appeared:--

"For the relief of the prisoners in the several gaols, and for the
support of Mercer's Hospital; on Monday, the 12th April, will be
performed at the Music Hall, in Fishamble-street, Mr. Handel's new grand
Oratorio called the _Messiah_."

The performance having taken place, the newspapers vied with each other
in commendation and praise. I give you an extract from one:--

"On Tuesday last, (the day I suppose was changed), Mr. Handel's sacred
grand Oratorio, the Messiah, was performed in the New Music Hall, in
Fishamble-street. The best judges allowed it to be the most finished
piece of music. Words are wanted to express the delight it afforded to
the admiring crowded audience. The sublime, the grand and the tender,
adapted to the most elevated, majestic, and moving words, conspired to
transport and charm the ravished heart and ear. It is but justice to Mr.
Handel, that the world should know, he generously gave the money arising
from this grand performance to be equally shared by the society for
relieving prisoners, the Charitable Infirmary, and Mercer's Hospital,
for which they will ever gratefully remember his name.

This is high encomium, but the audience paid him higher still. When the
chorus all struck up, "For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth," in the
Hallelujah, they were so transported that they all together started up
and remained standing till the chorus ended."

A few days after the performance of the Messiah, Handel waited on Lord
Kinnoul, with whom he was particularly acquainted. His Lordship, as was
natural, paid him some compliments on the noble _entertainment_ which he
had lately given in the town. "My Lord, said Handel, I should be sorry
if I _only entertained them_, I wish TO MAKE THEM BETTER."

The Messiah has remained the most popular of Oratorios. It is never
announced in anything like a fitting manner without attracting the
public. It invariably forms part of the programme at all the festivals,
and the day on which it is performed is always the most productive. The
Sacred Harmonic Societies particularly give it every year for the
benefit of distressed musicians. Truly does it deserve the touching
eulogy that "it has fed the hungry, clothed the naked, and fostered the
orphans."

But I must hasten to a conclusion. Before I conclude this sketch of
Handel, I must introduce you to one more of his Oratorios, "L'Allegro."

This magnificent composition has been eulogized by an eminent poet,--a
beautiful pigeon! and an old parson! I will briefly tell you the eulogy
of each, for brief is the eulogy itself.

The Poet having heard the oratorio performed, wrote thus:--

   "If e'er Arion's music calm'd the floods
    And Orpheus ever drew the dancing woods!
    Why do not British trees and forest throng
    To hear the sweeter notes of Handel's song?
    This does the falsehood of the fable prove--
    Or seas and woods when Handel harps would move."

THE PIGEON.--"Let me wander not unseen," is considered one of Handel's
finest inspirations. Hawkins says, "Of the air, the late Mr. John
Lockman relates the following story, assuring his reader, that himself
was an eye-witness to it," viz:--

"When at the house of Mr. Lee, a gentleman in Cheshire, whose daughter
was a very fine performer on the harpsichord, he saw a pigeon which,
whenever the young lady played this song, and _this only_, would fly
from an adjacent dove-house to the window in the parlour where she sat,
and listen to it with the most pleasing emotions, and the instant the
song was over would fly away to her dove-house."[G]

THE PARSON, old Dr. Delaney, F.T.C.D. once heard at the opera a lady[H]
sing this song. He was so captivated and excited that he could not
control himself, but standing up in front of his box exclaimed,

"Oh! woman, for this be all thy sins forgiven!"

Now I do not know whether there is a poet present, or a pigeon, but
there is an old parson; and although I shall not give my lady friend
absolution for the song, still I am sure she will merit approbation, and
receive applause.


                    "LET ME WANDER NOT UNSEEN."

                 _Words by Milton. Music by Handel._

       *       *       *       *       *

On the 21st January, 1751, Handel commenced "Jephtha," the last of his
works. It was not finished till the 30th August following. It is the
only work he ever took so long to complete. This can be easily accounted
for. During its progress his eyesight became impaired; by the last pages
of the MS. it appears only too plainly that his vision was no longer
clear when he traced them: yet sick as he was, the intrepid old man
arose once more when charity had need of him. He gave two performances
of the "Messiah" for the Foundling Hospital, one on the 18th April, the
other on the 16th May, 1751. The sum for the tickets delivered for the
18th April came to six hundred pounds; that for May, nine hundred and
twenty-five guineas. The "London Magazine" of that month says there were
eight hundred coaches and chairs. Handel presented this hospital with
the copyright of the "Messiah." The performances alone during Handel's
life time enriched the hospital with thousands of pounds.

Handel submitted three times to a painful operation, the last time in
1752, but without effect. Blind he became, and was to remain as his
mother had been in her old days.

Handel blind--Beethoven deaf!--Sad similitude!

This cruel misfortune afflicted him at first profoundly; but when he was
compelled to recognise that the evil was without a remedy, his manly
soul got the upper hand, he resigned himself to his fate, and resolved
to continue his oratorio performances.

"Samson," one of his favourite oratorios, was in the programme of the
season. In spite of all his moral energy, the author could not listen
untroubled to the pathetic air of the sightless Hercules of the Hebrews,
in which he gave utterance to his immense grief. "Total eclipse. No
sun--no moon!" Then it was that they saw the grand old man, who was
seated at the organ, grow pale and tremble; and when they led him
forward to the audience, which was applauding, many persons present were
so forcibly affected that they were moved even to tears.

And we may still be sharers in that emotion, as when we recall the
circumstances of that scene, and remember that the verses were composed
by Milton, who, you recollect, was himself blind.

   "Total eclipse! No sun!--no moon!
    All dark amidst the blaze of noon!
    Oh! glorious light! No cheering ray
    To glad my eyes with welcome day.
    Why thus deprived thy prime decree?
    Sun, moon, and stars are dark to me."

On the 6th April, 1759, the "Messiah" was performed for the last time
under the direction of the author.

After returning home from this performance, he went to bed, never to
rise again. Seized with a mortal exhaustion, and feeling that his last
hour was come, in the full plenitude of his reason, he gently rendered
up his soul to die, _on the Anniversary of the first performance of the
"Messiah_," Good Friday, 13th April, 1759, aged seventy-four years.

He was buried with all honour and respect in Westminster Abbey, the
Pantheon of Great Britain. His remains were placed in what is called
"the Poet's Corner," wherein lie buried Shakspere, Milton, Dryden,
Thompson, Sheridan, Gray. And he is in his place there; for who was ever
more of a poet than Handel?--who deserved better than he to enter the
Pantheon. They might have written upon his tomb the words which Antony
spoke when he beheld the body of Cæsar, "_This_ was a man."

Yes: this was a man who had done honour to music as much by the nobility
of his character as by the sublimity of his genius. He was one of the
too few artists who uphold the dignity of art to the highest possible
standard. He was the incarnation of honesty. The unswerving rigidity of
his conduct captivates even those who do not take him for a model. He
worked ceaselessly for the improvement of others without ever feeling
weary. He was virtuous and pure, proud and intrepid. His love of good
was as unconquerable as his will. He died at his post, working to the
last hour of his life. He has left behind him a luminous track and a
noble example.

A Handel, like a Homer or a Milton, a Shakspere or a Dante, is only once
given to a nation. No man need ever expect to rival the genius of
Handel, or approach his powers of expression; but all may emulate his
love for his fellow-man--his sympathy for the distressed--his desire to
promote the glory of his God. For these noble qualities I commend
Handel to your consideration; and for these I hold him forth this
evening as a man worthy of our imitation.

   "Lives of great men all remind us
      We can make our lives sublime,
    And departing leave behind us
      Footprints on the sands of time.

   "Footprints which perhaps another,
      Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
    A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
      Seeing, shall take heart again.

   "Then let us be up and doing,
      With a heart for any fate--
    Still achieving, still pursuing,
      Learn to labour and to wait."

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote D: See Note, p. 91.]

[Footnote E: See Note, p. 92.]

[Footnote F: See Note, p. 92.]

[Footnote G: See note, p. 93.]

[Footnote H: The lady was Mrs. Cibber.]



A SKETCH OF BEETHOVEN.

A Lecture.


                          (OVERTURE.)

              "Give me sweet music when I'm glad--
               Give me sweet music when I'm sad;
               For music softens every woe,
               And brightens every rapture's flow.

              "Oh! give me music! In my years
               Of childhood's hopes and childhood's fears,
               One sweetly-breathing vocal lay
               Could steal my griefs, my fears away.

              "Yes, music, come! Thou dying voice
               Of distant days--of far-past joys--
               Come, softly breathe into mine ear,
               And thine shall be the flowing tear!

              "Come in the strain I loved so well,
               And of the lip that breathed it tell.
               Oh! be the lingerings of thy lays
               The voice of those departed days!"

Association not only gives significancy to music, but contributes
greatly to heighten its agreeable effect. We have heard it performed,
some time or other, in an agreeable place, perhaps, or by an agreeable
person, or accompanied with words that describe agreeable ideas; or we
have heard it in our early years--a period of life which we seldom look
back upon without pleasure, and of which Bacon recommends the frequent
recollection, as an expedient to preserve health. Nor is it necessary
that musical compositions should have much intrinsic merit, or that they
should call up any distinct remembrance of the agreeable ideas
associated with them. There are seasons at which we are gratified with
very moderate excellence. In childhood every tune is delightful to a
musical ear: in our advanced years, an indifferent tune will please,
when set off by the amiable qualities of the performer, or by any other
agreeable circumstance. The flute of a shepherd, heard at a distance, on
a fine summer day, amidst beautiful scenery, will give rapture to the
wanderer, though the tune, the instrument, and the musician be such as
he could not endure in any other place. If a song, or piece of music,
should call up only a faint remembrance that we were happy the last time
we heard it, nothing more would be needful to make us listen to it again
with peculiar satisfaction.

Well has Cowper said--

   "There is in souls a sympathy with sounds;
    And as the mind is pitch'd, the ear is pleased
    With melting airs, or martial, brisk or grave,
    Some chord in unison with what we hear
    Is touched within us, and the heart replies.
    How soft the music of those village bells,
    Falling at intervals upon the ear
    In cadence sweet, now dying all away,
    Now pealing loud again, and louder still,
    Clear and sonorous, as the gale comes on!
    With easy force it opens all the cells
    Where mem'ry slept. Wherever I have heard
    A kindred melody, the scene recurs,
    And with it all its pleasures and its pains."

Of its influence very many anecdotes, I should rather say, _facts_ are
recorded.

Naturalists assert that animals and birds are sensible to the charms of
music--take one or two instances:--

An officer was confined in the Bastile; he begged the governor to permit
him the use of his lute, to soften by the harmonies of his instrument,
the rigours of his prison. At the end of a few days, this modern
Orpheus, playing on his lute, was greatly astonished to see frisking out
of their holes, great numbers of _mice_, and descending from their woven
habitations crowds of _spiders_, who formed a circle about him, while he
continued breathing his soul-subduing instrument. He was petrified with
astonishment. Having ceased to play, the assembly who did not come to
see him, but to hear his instrument, immediately broke up. As he had a
great dislike to spiders, it was two days before he ventured again to
touch his instrument. At length, having overcome, for the novelty of his
company, his dislike of them, he recommenced his concert, when the
assembly was by far more numerous than at first; and in the course of
further time, he found himself surrounded by a hundred _musical
amateurs_. Having thus succeeded in attracting this company, he
treacherously contrived to get rid of them at his will. For this purpose
he begged the keeper to give him a cat, which he put in a cage, and let
loose at the very instant when the little hairy people were most
enchanted by the Orphean skill he displayed.

Haydyn tells the following story:--

I went, with some other young people equally devoid of care, one day
during the extreme heat of summer, to seek for coolness and fresh air on
one of the lofty mountains, which surround the Lago Maggiore in
Lombardy. Having reached by daybreak the middle of the ascent, we
stopped to contemplate the Borromean isles, which were displayed under
our feet, in the middle of the lake, when we were surrounded by a large
flock of sheep, which were leaving the fold to go to their pasture.

One of our party, who was no bad performer on the flute, and who always
carried his instrument along with him, took it out of his pocket. "I am
going," said he, "to turn Corydon; let us see whether Virgil's sheep
will recognize their pastor." He began to play. The sheep and goats,
which were following one another towards the mountain, with their heads
hanging down, raised them at the first sound of the flute, and all with
a general and hasty movement turned to the side from whence the
agreeable noise proceeded. Gradually they flocked round the musician,
and listened with motionless attention. He ceased playing; still the
sheep did not stir. The shepherd with his staff, obliged those nearest
to him to move on; they obeyed; but no sooner did the fluter begin to
play, than his innocent audience again returned to him. The shepherd,
out of patience, pelted them with clods of earth; but not one would
move. The fluter played with additional skill. The shepherd fell into a
passion, whistled, scolded, and pelted the poor fleecy amateurs with
stones. Such as were hit by them began to march; but the others still
refused to stir.

Marville gives us the following curious account:--

Doubting the truth of those who say that the love of music is a natural
taste, especially the sound of instruments, and that beasts themselves
are touched by it; being one day in the country, I tried an experiment.

While a man was playing on the trump marine, I made my observations on a
_cat_, a _dog_, a _horse_, an _ass_, a _hind_, _cows_, _small birds_,
and a _cock and hens_, who were in a yard, under a window on which I was
leaning.

I did not perceive that the _cat_ was the least affected, and I even
judged by her air that she would have given all the instruments in the
world for a mouse, sleeping in the sun all the time.

The _horse_ stopped short from time to time before the window, raising
his head up now and then, as he was feeding on the grass.

The _dog_ continued for above an hour seated on his hind legs, looking
steadfastly at the player.

The _ass_ did not discover the least indication of his being touched,
eating his thistles peaceably.

The _hind_ lifted up her large, wide ears, and seemed very attentive.

The _cows_ slept a little, and after gazing, as though they had been
acquainted with us, went forward.

Some _little birds_, who were in an aviary, and others on the trees and
bushes, almost tore their little throats with singing.

But the _cock_, who minded only his hens, and the hens, who were solely
employed in scratching a neighbouring dunghill, did not show in any
manner that they took the least pleasure in hearing the trump marine.

One of the best descriptions of the influence of music I consider to be
Wordsworth's lines on the Blind Fiddler of Oxford Street. Many of you,
doubtless, are familiar with them; but for the information of those who
may not, I shall quote them.

   "An Orpheus! an Orpheus! Yes, faith may grow bold,
    And take to herself all the wonders of old.
    Near the stately Pantheon you'll meet with the same
    In the street that from Oxford hath borrowed its name.

   "His station is there, and he works on the crowd:
    He sways them with harmony merry and loud:
    He fills with his power all their hearts to the brim.
    Was aught ever heard like his fiddle and him?

   "What an eager assembly! what an empire is this!
    The weary have life, and the hungry have bliss;
    The mourner is cheered, and the anxious have rest;
    And the guilt-burthened soul is no longer opprest.

   "As the moon brightens round her the clouds of the night,
    So he, where he stands, is a centre of light;
    It gleams on the face there of dusk-browed Jack
    And the pale-visaged bakers, with basket on back.

   "That errand-bound 'prentice was passing in haste--
    What matter! he's caught--and his time runs to waste;
    The newsman is stopped, though he stops on the fret;
    And the half-breathless lamplighter he's in the net!

   "The porter sits down on the weight which he bore;
    The lass with her barrow wheels hither her store.
    If a thief could be here, he might pilfer at ease:
    She sees the musician--'tis all that she sees!

   "That tall man, a giant in bulk and in height,
    Not an inch of his body is free from delight.
    Can he keep himself still, if he would? Oh not he!
    The music stirs in him, like wind through a tree.

   "Mark that cripple, who leans on his crutch, like a tower
    That long has leaned forward, leans hour after hour!
    That mother, whose spirit in fetters is bound,
    While she dandles the babe in her arms to the sound.

   "Now coaches and chariots roar on like a stream;
    Here are twenty souls happy as souls in a dream;
    They are deaf to your murmurs--they care not for you,
    Nor what ye plying, nor what ye pursue!

   "He stands, backed by the wall--he abates not his din;
    His hat gives him vigour, with boons dropping in
    From the old and the young--from the poorest; and there--
    The one-pennied boy has his penny to spare!

   "Oh! blest are the hearers! and proud be the hand
    Of the pleasure it spreads through so thankful a band!
    I'm glad for him, blind as he is! All the while,
    If they speak 'tis to praise, and they praise with a smile."

But why should I occupy your time by quotations from celebrated poets or
prose writers, to prove the influence of music, when I have it in my
power to verify the saying of that eminent composer whose life I have
undertaken to sketch?

"The effect of music on a man should be to strike fire from his soul."

                     (SONATA PATHETIQUE.)

Ludwig Von Beethoven was born on the 17th December, 1770, at Bonn. His
father and grandfather were both musicians by profession. The former
occupied the situation of principal vocal tenor, and the latter that of
first bass singer in the chapel of the Elector of Cologne.

From the earliest age Beethoven evinced a disposition for music; or, in
other words, he learnt the language of music and his mother tongue both
at the same time; and as modulated sounds seldom fail to make a deep
impression on a young, fervid mind, when they are almost constantly
presented to it, as was the case in the present instance, he soon
acquired, and as speedily manifested, a taste for the art of which they
are the foundation.

His father began to instruct him when he was only in his fifth year. An
anecdote is told of his early performances, which corroborates what I
have already said on the influence of music. It is said that, whenever
little Ludwig was playing in his closet on the violin, a spider would
let itself down from the ceiling and alight upon the instrument. The
story, I am sorry, goes on to say that his mother one day, discovering
her son's companion, destroyed it, whereupon little Ludwig dashed his
violin to shatters.

At the early age of thirteen, Beethoven published at Mannheim, in his
own name, Variations on a March, Sonatas, and Songs. But at this time
his genius displayed itself more decidedly in musical improvisations.
His extempore fantasias are mentioned by Gerber, in his Lexicon, as
having excited the admiration of the most accomplished musicians of the
time.

The fame of his youthful genius attracted the attention of the Elector
of Cologne, who sent him at his own expense to Vienna, in character of
his Court organist, to study under the celebrated Haydyn, in order to
perfect himself in the art of composition.

Vienna was at this time (1792), the central point of every thing great
and sublime, that music had till then achieved on the soil of Germany.

Mozart, the source of all light in the region of harmony, whose
acquaintance Beethoven had made on his first visit to Vienna in 1786,
who when he heard Beethoven extemporize upon a theme that was given him,
exclaimed to those present, "This youth will some day make a noise in
the world"--Mozart, though he had been a year in his grave, yet lived
freshly in the memory of all who had a heart susceptible of his divine
revelations, as well as in Beethoven's. Gluck's spirit still hovered
around the inhabitants of the old city--F. Haydyn and many other
distinguished men in every art, and in every branch of human knowledge,
yet lived and worked together harmoniously. In short, no sooner had
Beethoven, then but twenty-two, looked around him in this favoured abode
of the Muses, and made a few acquaintances, than he said to himself,
"Here will I stay, and not return to Bonn even though the Elector should
cut off my pension."

Beethoven did not long enjoy the instructions of his master, for Haydyn
handed him over to the care and instructions of the learned
Allrechtsberger. It appears, that the character of Beethoven was marked
by great singularity from his earliest years. Both Haydyn and
Allrechtsberger, but particularly the latter, have recorded that he was
not willing to profit by good advice. Beethoven has himself been heard
to confess, that among other peculiarities which he prided himself on
displaying, when a young man, was that of refusing to acknowledge
himself as the pupil of Haydyn, at which this master took great offence.

The consequence of this self-confident spirit was, that at this period,
he made but little progress in composition, and was more ambitious to
become a brilliant performer. Hence by the periodicals of that day, he
is not allowed to possess the ability of composition; harshness of
modulation, melodies more singular than pleasing, and a constant
struggle to be original, are among the principal faults of which he was
accused. As to the latter charge it may be remarked, that it is the
besetting sin which has adhered to Beethoven through life; and who can
help wishing that with it, he had also possessed the power of spreading
the vice among his contemporaries, and of bequeathing it to his
successors. But if this indefatigable search after originality be a sin,
to what new and extraordinary effects, to what wonders, has it not given
birth? To whom so justly than to this author can these lines be
applied--

   "Great wits may sometimes gloriously offend,
    And rise to faults true critics dare not mend?"

Beethoven never defended himself against criticisms or attacks, he never
suffered them to have more than a superficial effect upon him. Not
indifferent to the opinions of the good, he took no notice of the
attacks of the malicious, and allowed them to go on unchecked, even when
they proceeded so far as to assign him a place, sometimes in one
madhouse, sometimes in another. "If it _amuses_ people to say or to
write such stuff concerning me, let them continue so to do as long as
they please."

(This may remind you of an anecdote of the Earl of Derby; being once
attacked in the House of Lords by the Duke of Argyle, the Earl in his
reply said, "A certain navvy, who happened to be married to a very
violent woman, a regular virago, was asked why he allowed his wife to
abuse him, or use such intemperate language. 'Poor creature,' said the
navvy, 'it amuses her, and does not hurt me.' So say I, the attack of
the noble duke may amuse him but cannot injure me.")

As in that classic period of musical activity, Beethoven was the sun
which all strove to approach, and rejoiced if they could but catch a
glance of his brilliant eyes, it was natural that he should converse
much with ladies, several of whom were always contending for his
affections at once, as it is well known, and he more than once found
himself like Hercules in a dilemma. Dr. Wegeler, in his life of
Beethoven says, "He was never without an attachment, and that mostly he
was very deeply smitten." This is quite true. How could any rational
person who is acquainted with Beethoven, or ever heard his compositions,
maintain the contrary. Whoever is capable of feeling how powerfully the
pure flame of love operates upon the imagination, more especially of the
sensitive and highly endowed artist, and how in all his productions it
goes before him like a light sent down from Heaven to guide him, will
take it for granted without any evidence that Beethoven was susceptible
of the purest love, and that he was conducted by it. What genius could
have composed the Fantasia in C, commonly called the "Moonlight or the
Moonshine Sonata," without such a passion? It was love, for Bettine, to
whom that imaginative composition is dedicated, (and to whom I shall
again have occasion to allude,) which inspired him while engaged upon
it. This piece will now be performed, and judge for yourselves whether
I have said too much in its praise:--

     [Fantasia in C., commonly called the "Moonlight Sonata," to
     designate this enthusiastic period of Beethoven's passion.]

In the year 1800, we find Beethoven engaged in the composition of his
"Christ on the Mount of Olives." He wrote this work during his summer
residence at Hetzendorf, a pleasant village, closely contiguous to the
gardens of the imperial palace of Shönbrunn, where he passed several
summers of his life in profound seclusion. A circumstance connected with
this great work, and of which Beethoven many years afterwards still
retained a lively recollection, was that he composed it in the thickest
part of the wood, in the park of Shönbrunn, seated between the two stems
of an oak, which shot out from the main trunk at the height of about two
feet from the ground.

About this period Beethoven endured much family annoyance and domestic
trouble. His brothers who had some years previously followed him to
Vienna, began to govern him and to make him suspicious of his sincerest
friends and adherents, from wrong notions or even from jealousy.
Surrounded by friends who loved and esteemed him--his fame already
established--with an ample income, he ought to have been completely
happy; and he certainly would have been but for an infirmity which began
to afflict him, and the persecution of his brothers. His misery both of
mind and body, I can best describe by reading a portion of his
extraordinary will, which he at this time executed, and having that song
sung which he at the same time composed, with special reference to the
torture he was undergoing.


_Extracts from Beethoven's Will._

"O ye who consider or declare me to be hostile, obstinate, or
misanthropic, what injustice ye do me! Ye know not the secret causes of
that which to you wears such an appearance. My heart and my mind were
from childhood prone to the tender feelings of affection. Nay, I was
always disposed even to perform great actions. Born, with a lively,
ardent disposition, susceptible to the diversions of society, I was
forced at an early age to renounce them and to pass my life in
seclusion. If I strove at any time to set myself above all this, O, how
cruelly was I driven back, by the doubly painful experience of my
defective hearing! And yet it was not possible for me to say to people,
'Speak louder, for I am deaf.' Ah! how could I proclaim the defect of a
sense, that I once possessed in the highest perfection, in a perfection
in which few of my colleagues possess or ever did possess it? Indeed, I
cannot. Forgive me then, if ye see me draw back when I would gladly
mingle among you.

"O God, thou lookest down upon my misery; thou knowest that it is
accompanied with love of my fellow creatures, and a disposition to do
good! O, men, when ye shall read this, think that ye have wronged me!

I go to meet death with joy; if he comes before I have had occasion to
develop all my professional abilities, he will come too soon for me, in
spite of my hard fate, and I should wish that he had delayed his
arrival. But even then I am content, for he will release me from a state
of endless suffering. Come when thou wilt, I shall meet thee with
firmness. Farewell."

   "There is a calm for those who weep;
    A rest for weary pilgrims found;
    And while the mouldering ashes sleep
      Low in the ground,
    The soul of origin divine,
    God's glorious image, freed from day,
    In Heaven's eternal sphere shall shine
      A star of day."

     [_In Questa Tomba Oscura._ Words by Göthe; Music by Beethoven.]

Let us proceed from grave to gay. I have already told you that Beethoven
was a man of ardent feeling, and passionately in love with a young lady,
Madame Von Arnim. I will read to you, one of his love letters, and I
recommend the style to all the unmarried I have the pleasure to
address:--

VIENNA, _August 11th, 1810_.

"DEAREST BETTINE,

"Never was a fairer spring than this year's; this I say and feel, too,
as in it I made your acquaintance. You must, indeed, have yourself seen,
that, in society, I was like a fish cast on the sand, that writhes, and
struggles, and cannot escape, until some benevolent Galatea helps back
again into the mighty sea; in very truth, I was fairly aground. Dearest
Bettine, unexpectedly I met you, and at a moment when chagrin had
completely overcome me; but, truly, your aspect put it to flight. I was
aware in an instant that you belong to a totally different world from
this absurd one, to which, even with the best wish to be tolerant, it is
impossible to open one's ears. I am myself a poor creature, and yet
complain of others! this you will, however, forgive, _with the kindly
heart that looks out from your eyes, and with the intelligence that
dwells in your ears_--at least, your ears know how to flatter when they
listen. Mine, alas! are a barrier through which I can have hardly any
friendly intercourse with mankind, else, perhaps, I might have acquired
a still more entire confidence in you. As it was, I could only
comprehend the full, expressive glance of your eyes, and this has so
moved me that I shall never forget it. Divine Bettine! dearest girl!
Art! who comprehends the meaning of this word? With whom may I speak of
this great divinity? how I love the recollections of the few days when
we used to chat with each other, or rather correspond. I have preserved
every one of the little scraps of paper on which your intelligent,
precious, most precious replies were given--thus, at least, may I thank
my worthless ears that the best portion of our fugitive discourse is
retained in writing.

"Since you went, I have had many uncomfortable hours, in which the power
to do anything is lost. After you had gone away, I rambled about for
some three hours in the Museum at Schönbrunn; but no good angel met me
there, to chide me into good humour, as an angel like you might have
done. Forgive, sweetest Bettine, this transition from the fundamental
key--but I must have such intervals to vent my feelings.

"And you have written of me to Göethe, have you not? saying that I would
fain pack up my head in a cask, where I should see nothing and hear
nothing of what passes in the world, since you, dearest angel, meet me
here no longer. But, surely I shall at least have a letter from you.
Hope supports me--she is, indeed, the nursing mother of half the world,
and she has been my close friend all my life long--what would have
become of me else? I send with this 'Knowest thou the land,' which I
have just composed, as a memorial of the time when I first became
acquainted with you."

This song will now be sung for you. The words are from the German of
Göthe.

     ("Knowest thou the land where the sweet citron blows.")

Beethoven's interviews with Bettine were not all wasted in rhapsodies of
love. In one of his conversations with this accomplished lady he thus
eloquently describes the power of poetry and the philosophy of music:--

     "Göthe's poems exercise a great sway over me, not only by their
     meaning but by their rhythm also. It is a language that urges me on
     to composition, that builds up its own lofty standard, containing
     in itself all the mysteries of harmony, so that I have but to
     follow up the radiations of that centre from which melodies evolve
     spontaneously. I pursue them eagerly, overtake them, then again see
     them flying before me, vanish in the multitude of my impressions,
     until I seize them anew with increased vigour no more to be parted
     from them. It is then that my transports give them every diversity
     of modulation: it is I who triumph over the first of these musical
     thoughts, and the shape I give it I call symphony. Yes, Bettina,
     _music is the link between intellectual and sensual life_.

     "Melody gives a sensible existence to poetry; for does not the
     meaning of a poem become embodied in melody? The mind would embrace
     all thoughts, both high and low, and embody them into one stream of
     sensations, all sprung from simple melody, and without the aid of
     its charms doomed to die in oblivion. This is the unity which lives
     in my symphonies--numberless streamlets meandering on, in endless
     variety of shape, but all diverging into one common bed. Thus it is
     I feel that there is an indefinite something, an eternal, an
     infinite to be attained; and although I look upon my works with a
     foretaste of success, yet I cannot help wishing, like a child, to
     begin my task anew, at the very moment that my thundering appeal to
     my hearers seems to have forced my musical creed upon them, and
     thus to have exhausted the insatiable cravings of my soul after my
     'beau ideal.'

     "Music alone ushers man into the portal of an intellectual world,
     ready to encompass _him_, but which _he_ may never encompass. That
     mind alone whose every thought is rhythm can embody music, can
     comprehend its mysteries, its divine inspirations, and can alone
     speak to the senses of its intellectual revelations. Although
     spirits may feed upon it as we do upon air, yet it may not nourish
     all mortal men; and those privileged few alone, who have drawn from
     its heavenly source, may aspire to hold spiritual converse with it.
     How few are these! for, like the thousands who marry for love, and
     who profess love, whilst love will single out but one amongst them,
     so also will thousands court Music, whilst she turns a deaf ear to
     all but the chosen few. She, too, like her sister arts, is based
     upon morality--_that fountain-head of genuine invention_! And would
     you know the true principle on which the arts _may_ be won? It is
     to bow to their immutable terms, to lay all passion and vexation of
     spirit prostrate at their feet, and to approach their divine
     presence with a mind so calm and so void of littleness as to be
     ready to receive the dictates of fantasy and the revelations of
     truth. Thus the art becomes a divinity, man approaches her with
     religious feelings, his inspirations are God's divine gifts, and
     his aim fixed by the same hand from above which helps him to attain
     it."

And he adds:--"We know not whence our knowledge is derived. The seeds
which lie dormant in us require the dew, the warmth, and the electricity
of the soil to spring up, to ripen into thought, and to break forth.
Music is the electrical soil in which the mind thrives, thinks, and
invents. Music herself teaches us harmony; for _one_ musical thought
bears upon the whole kindred of ideas, and each is linked to the other,
closely and indissolubly, by the ties of harmony."

Hearken to proof of the truth of this eloquent and beautiful description
of music.

                        (WALTZ.--Beethoven.)

The talents of a Haydyn and Mozart raised instrumental composition in
Germany to an astonishing elevation; and Beethoven may be said not only
to have maintained the art in that stupendous altitude, but even in some
respects to have brought it to a still higher degree of perfection.
"Haydyn," says Reichardt, "drew his quartets from the pure source of his
sweet and unsophisticated nature, his captivating simplicity and
cheerfulness. In these works he is still without an equal. Mozart's
mightier genius and richer imagination took a more extended range, and
embodied in several passages the most profound and sublime qualities of
his own mind. Moreover, he was much greater as a performer than Haydyn,
and as such expected more from instruments than the latter did. He also
allowed more merit to highly-wrought and complicated compositions, and
thus raised a gorgeous palace within Haydyn's fairy bower. Of this
palace Beethoven was an early inmate; and in order adequately to express
his own peculiar forms of style, he had no other means but to surmount
the edifice with that defying and colossal tower which no one will
probably presume to carry higher with impunity.

"If any man," says an able writer in the Quarterly, "can be said to
enjoy an almost universal admiration as composer, it is Beethoven--who,
disdaining to copy his predecessors in any, the most distant manner,
has, notwithstanding, by his energetic, bold, and uncommon style of
writing, carried away a prize from our modern Olympus."

Beethoven, like most great men, had many peculiarities.

In winter, well as in summer, it was his practice to rise at daybreak,
and immediately to sit down to his writing-table. There he would labour
till two or three o'clock, his usual dinnertime. Scarcely had the last
morsel been swallowed, when, if he had no more distant excursion in
view, he took his usual walk--that is to say, he ran in double quick
time, as if hunted by bailiffs, twice round the town--whether it
rained, or snowed, or hailed, or the thermometer stood an inch or two
below the freezing point--whether Boreas blew a chilling blast from the
Bohemian mountains, or whether the thunder roared, and forked lightnings
played, what signified it to the enthusiastic lover of his art, in whose
genial mind, perhaps, were budding, at that very moment, when the
elements were in fiercest conflict, the harmonious feelings of a balmy
spring.

The use of the bath was as much a necessity to Beethoven as to a
Turk--and he was in the habit of submitting himself to frequent
ablutions. When it happened that he did not walk out of doors to collect
his ideas, he would, not unfrequently, in a fit of the most complete
abstraction, go to his washhand basin, and pour several jugs of water
upon his hands, all the time humming and roaring. After dabbling in the
water till his clothes were wet through, he would pace up and down the
room with a vacant expression of countenance, and his eyes distended,
the singularity of his aspect being often increased by an unshaven
beard. Then he would seat himself at his table and write; and afterwards
get up again to the washhand basin and dabble and hum as before.
Ludicrous as were these scenes, no one dared venture to notice them, or
to disturb him while engaged in his inspiring ablutions, for these were
his moments of profoundest meditation.

Many anecdotes are told of him likewise.

The wife of an esteemed pianoforte player, residing in Vienna, was a
great admirer of Beethoven, and she earnestly wished to possess a lock
of his hair--her husband, anxious to gratify her, applied to a gentleman
who was very intimate with Beethoven, and who had rendered him some
service. Beethoven sent the lady a lock of hair cut from a _goat's
beard_--and Beethoven's own hair being very grey and harsh, there was no
reason to fear that the hoax would be very readily detected. The lady
was overjoyed at possessing this supposed memorial of her saint,
proudly showing it to all her acquaintance; but, when her happiness at
its height, some one who happened to know the secret, made her
acquainted with the deception that had been practised on her--the lady's
wrath who will attempt to describe?

Beethoven's name I have already told you was Ludwig Von Beethoven. In
some legal proceedings in which he was concerned, it was intimated by
the court that the word von, of Dutch origin, does not ennoble the
family to whose name it is prefixed--according to the laws of
Holland--that, in the province of the Rhine in which Beethoven was born,
it was held to be of no higher value--that, consequently, the halo of
nobility ought to be stripped from this Von in Austria also. Beethoven
was accordingly required to produce proofs of his nobility. "My
_nobility_! My _nobility_!" he exclaimed--"_Why, my nobility is here,
here!_"--clapping his forehead.

Right, Beethoven, brains are the highest nobility, if not the richest.
I love birth, and ancestry, when they are incentives to exertion not the
title deeds to sloth. Who would not prefer being the descendant of a
Stephenson, an Arkwright, or a Crompton, or any other of those great
architects of their own fortunes, and to feel some of their noble
energies, firing their blood to efforts of industry, than to be for ever
falling back on some legend or fiction of ancestry; and in the absence
of any _personal_ claim to greatness to be referring back and depending
on those great mistakes of our forefathers, when he who waded through
slaughter to a peerage was honoured _above_ those whose brains and whose
industry were the means of promoting the comfort of their fellow men.
Believe me, my young friends, the highest honour of earth, is the honour
of independence, and the highest nobility, _to be the Rodolph of your
own fortune, and a benefactor to mankind_.

Beethoven died 26th March, 1827, in the fifty-sixth year of his age.
Although his warmth of temper, extreme frankness and singularity of
manners, his little reserve in judging of people, and above all, that
deplorable calamity--the greatest which can befall a man of his
profession--his extreme deafness, seemed little calculated to endear him
to the true admirers of his genius. Still, notwithstanding his foibles,
which much more frequently belong to great than to ordinary men, his
character as a man and as a citizen ranked deservedly high. Although his
originality induced him to deviate from ordinary rules, in the little
affairs of common life, yet his high feeling of honour and right
produced a rectitude in his moral conduct, which ensured to him the
esteem of every honourable man.

   Beethoven--the master spirit of his age--
     Has passed away to his eternal rest,
   His name belongs to history's page,
     Enrolled with men the noblest and the best.

   We to whom it was not given to view
     His living lineaments with wond'ring eye,
   May in his tones behold him pictured true
     In breathing colours that can never die.

   For he could paint in tones of magic force
     The moody passions of the varying soul;
   Now winding round the heart with playful course;
     Now storming all the breast with wild control.

   Forthdrawing from his unexhausted store,
     'Twas his to bid the burden'd heart o'erflow,
   Infusing joys it never knew before,
     And melting it with soft luxuriant woe!

   He liveth! It is wrong to say he's dead--
     The sun, tho' smoking in the fading west,
   Again shall issue from his morning bed,
     Like a young giant vigorous from his rest.

   He lives! for that is truly living when
     Our fame is a bequest from mind to mind,
   His life is in the breathing hearts of men,
     Transmitted to the latest of his kind.



NOTES.


_Note on Page 19._

The earliest copy of the tune, as far as is known, stands in a Genevan
edition of a portion of the English Psalter, preserved as an article of
rare value in the library of St. Paul's Cathedral. The date of the
Psalter is 1561. The tune is therein given to Sternhold's version of the
Hundredth Psalm.

This fairly settles the _vexata questio_ as to the authorship of the
tune. There is no evidence that it originated with Luther, to whom it is
generally attributed--but there is evidence that it did originate with
Franc, of Geneva; and the only claim to originality is grounded on the
discovery of the sources from whence Franc derived the phrases of the
tune. Those phrases are so palpably Gregorian, that Franc's construction
of the tune can be regarded only a fragmentary compilation.

Considered, then, as Gregorian in its texture, "The Old Hundredth" is,
indeed, very old, much older than is commonly imagined. Its several
strains had been sung by Christian voices not only one thousand years
before Luther was born, but for centuries before the Papal system was
developed. Viewed in this light, the old tune assumes a new interest,
and its antique tones vibrate with freshened impulse.


_Note on Page 32._

In 1699 and the following years many schools were established under the
agency of the Christian Knowledge Society, in and about the metropolis;
and, in the year 1704, when the first meeting of the children educated
in these charity schools took place, in St. Andrew's Church, Holborn,
the number of children present amounted to no less than two thousand!

From that time to the present, the children of these schools assemble
yearly in some church of the metropolis, when a sermon, appropriate to
the occasion, is preached. In 1782, they first met in St. Paul's
Cathedral, where they have ever since assembled.


_Note on Page 36._

We may reasonably hope that something will now be done towards effecting
this object. Committees have been formed, and numerous meetings are
being held to consider the subject. As might be expected, many and
diverse tributes of respect are proposed, not the least sensible or
suitable that of our national _Thersites_. "It will be hard to find a
better site for the Memorial than in the Temple Garden, which is seen
from the river, and will be seen from the embankment."--PUNCH, _26th
December, 1863_.

_Note on Page 45._

A lady who heard this lecture has since told me an equally strange fact.
In her native parish there was an amateur choir, which assembled twice a
week in the parish church to practise. On the lobby of the gallery
wherein the choir assembled, there was a piano, to lead and accompany
the voices; as regularly as the piano was played, a _Robin Red
Breast_--an old tenant of the churchyard--would perch on the instrument,
and remain as long as the music continued. My informant was frequently
the performer and always had the pleasure of _Dicky's_ company.


THE END.


C. J. SKEET, 10, KING WILLIAM STREET, CHARING CROSS.





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