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These letters produced an answer more cruel and insulting than the former epistle. The accusations it contained were so serious, and the language in which they were worded was so gross, that the apothecary was resolved to bring an action against the party for defamation of character, and advised Posthumus to do the same.
Posthumus not only declined doing so himself, but succeeded, by alleging the sufferings of the parents at their sudden and great loss, in excuse for their unwarranted severity, in inducing the apothecary to lay aside all thoughts of bringing the action he meditated. He laid the correspondence before the trustees of the school, who not only exonerated him from all blame, but applauded him for the course which he had pursued.
Mrs. Lauderly was still very ill, and Posthumus took care that she should not even suspect that her conduct had been called in question. Mary, however, who had received a couple of guineas " for doing what her mistress ought to have done,” could not resist telling of her good luck, and talking of the horrid stories that were circulated in the town and neighbourhood. As such stories seldom lose any thing when repeated, Mary left her mistress with the pleasing impression on her mind, that the little world of Riverhead believed her to be a cruel, hardhearted woman, and a murderess of one of the children entrusted to her care.
The result was an increase of fever, and an aggravation of all the worst symptoms of her case. It was doubtful, indeed, whether she would survive the blow. Mary was sorry for the mischief she had done, and being afraid she should be turned out of her situation for her folly, wisely resigned it, and then proclaimed to the world that, “ Her missus was sich a woman it was impossible to live with her."
Posthumus, while thus agreeably situated, received several notices from the parents of his pupils, that they should remove their sons at the end of the quarter, and place them where a little attention and kindness would be shown to them in case they should be unwell, and where the mistress of the establishment would not be too proud and hard-hearted to visit the sick-room of a dying child.
He received, in short, so many insults, and heard so many exaggerated accounts of his neglect and cruelty, that he was resolved to resign a situation that had become hateful to him. He did so; and although the trustees and many of his friends did all they could to induce him to remain, he left Riverhead, and took a curacy in the parish in which Mrs. Wrightly's school was situated.
There his wife, after lingering some months, died, and left him a heart-broken, but uncomplaining mourner.
In his grief he received many kindnesses from his parishioners; but from none did he receive greater or more valuable favours than from the poor widow, Mrs. Wrightly. When, therefore, that lady had built and endowed her almshouses, and found it necessary to have a resident chaplain, is it to be wondered at that she selected for the office a man whose sorrows had made a deep impression on her heart, and whose unaffected piety and purity of mind were so well known to her ? Mutual esteem and respect for each other's character led to an union of the hands of those whose hearts had long been joined together. Under these circumstances it was that Mrs. Wrightly became Mrs. Lau. derly.
MUSIC FOR THE BILLION!
A LECTURE DELIVERED
BY POLYPHEMUS POLYPIPE, PROFESSOR OF THE
If “ifs and ans were pots and pans," what a brilliant world this would be. But, "ifs and ans” are not “ pots and pans,” therefore this is not a brilliant world.
QUOD ERAT DEMONSTRANDUM! And why is this not a brilliant world? Because my lecture has not hitherto enlightened it. This lecture, gentlemen, which a barrel-organ of great eminence has declared to be an “out-an'-out'affair-probably, because it is delivered in an Inn.
But it is,'perhaps, well for you that such has hitherto been the casethat you have not been, until now, subject to the dominant influence of such an unapproachable galaxy of mental astralization—that you have not been burnt up to a cinder by such a blaze of talent. However, Allah Akbar !–God is great and Mahomet is his prophet! Lost sheep, though you doubtless are, your mutton is not as yet reduced to hashes.
I seek not to influence your minds by mighty anticipations. I despise such a course. I treat it with the same contempt that I treated the vile insinuations of those base-minded individuals-individuals I call them—who have accused me of participation in the late incendiary attempts upon the Thames. Gentlemen, I never did set the Thames on fire; and I can patriotically put my hand upon my heart, and honestly declare that I never will! I have written to the Home Secretary to assure him of this fact.
Modesty-often, alas ! carried to a painful degree is one of the distinguished attributes of the profession to which I have the honour to belong. This god-like adjunct will prevent my dilating, at this moment, on my own many excellences. Oh, gentlemen, if you only knew one half of them, they would make you (sneeze).
(“ Our reporter" did not catch the exact word uttered by the learned gentleman ; but as the professor sneezed—why shouldn't the perfect tense of this verb be sroze, as well as freeze-froze? though some writers give the perfect of the verb freeze, as friz; e. g. "First it blew, then it snew (much better than snowed), and then it friz horrid" -but, as we were about to observe, when interrupted by our little ore thographical exodus, the professor sneezed, or snoze, just at this point of his lecture; and “our reporter” booked it in the same way he had been in the habit of giving the (cheers) (hears) (cries of Oh! Oh! No! no !) &c., in similar cases. The learned gentleman ended by saying, that he would now commence.)
Once upon a time there existed a set of men called Phonaskoi, of whom mention is thus made in the “ Dictionnaire de Musique.”
“The ancients," says that work, “and especially the Romans, had a custom—when they appeared in public as singers or as orators-of
having near them a person whose business it was to signal whenever they pitched their voice too high, or whenever it became indistinct, or was losing its clearness. This human voice-barometer was called a
Phonask. It is well known that the Emperor Nero never spoke or sang in public without his melody-meter at his elbow, who had orders, if on any occasion, the usual signal-a nudge, or pinch, or some such manipulating process should fail in correcting the error, to(what do you think now)—to unceremoniously stop the mouth of the autocrat of the Romans with a wet towel!!!"
And a capital way, too, gentlemen. It's only a pity that the wet towel tribe exist no longer. How invaluable would they be at amateur concerts (I always feel an all-over-ish-ness whenever I pronounce those two words), at soirées musicales (two more horrid words), Houses of Commons and debating societies in general. Did I say they existed no longer ? They still live! The Phonaskoi of the present day are as rife as in the days of old-they are the wet blankets of society!
(Here the professor expressed a fervent hope that no genilemanas was a gentleman”-had come there with any wet towels in his pocket, or any malignant intentions in his mind. Upon which the whole assembly rose “ as one man,” and disclaimed-upon their individual and collective honour-any idea of phonascally burking the learned lecturer. The professor's fears were calmed, and he proceeded to them)
DEFINITION OF MUSIC! OR, WHAT MUSIC IS, AND WHAT IT isn't.
Aristotle tells us that “music is an ineffable art, the key to which the Gods have reserved to themselves.” Fortunately for our sublunary pleasure, the said key was not one of “Bramah's patent;" since, we have had in our time and before it, a few adventurous individuals who, not having the wholesome fear of an Olympian Central Criminal Court before their eyes, have burglariously picked the lock, and distributed a little of the harmonic property of their godships among mankind. Haydn, Mozart-cum multis latronibus aliis——to wit.
According to Jean Jacques Rousseau, “ music is the art of combining sounds in a manner pleasing to the ear. But whose ear? Does the assassin who is scratching horrid discords out of a miserable violin (doing violins to one's feelings) in a " second-pair back,” next room to an innocent and peaceable citizen who never injured him or his'n-call that music? He pleads J. J. Rousseau in his defence, says it's pleasing to his ear : ergo, it is music! Well, gentlemen, the argument is very strong.
Another author informs us that “music is the speaking of the sensitive mind, as speech is the language of the intellectual soul.” Very sublime! Only one fault about it—the author should have defined his definition.
M. Hector Berlioz says, that “it is the art of moving by sounds, men endued with intelligence; and, by a special organization, using that intelligence as an auxiliary of speech." A slight powdering over with a sort of rhetorical Scotch snuff, about this also. • The style of some writers resembles a bright light placed between the eye and
April.-Vol. LXVII. NO. CCLxvIII.
the thing to be looked at. The light shows itself and hides the object.”
My own opinion is, that music is an art-not exactly an “art-union," for their is little union in it as a profession—but an art, invented by a merciful Providence, to put bread (and hard bread it is) into the mouths of an unfortunate set of animals like myself, who would be fit for nothing else; and that those are indubitably the cleverest of the lot who pocket the most coppers.
And now that I've told you what music is, I'll tell you what it isn't. It isn't, nowadays, a profession to live by, for any man who has got a corporeal organization, or a digestive structure, above that of the Living Skeleton or Bernard Cavanagh! That's one thing that it isn't. Music is not-listen, young ladies-an unsparing and unmeaning use of apoggiaturas, of trills, and turns, and twinings,-sending your voice grating up, heaven knows where, till every body wonders where it has gone to, and whether it will get back in a week or a fortnight, or whether it'll ever get back at all; and whether it would be bad manners to leave before it does come back, and if so, what is one to do for victuals all that time. Music does not consist in running round and round the notes, like an echo spinning up the spiral staircase of the Monument. Young ladies, I'll tell you one thing that music isn't-it isn't meant to be made a corkscrew of! Young gentlemen-the sumphing out of “Lovely Night,” “ All is Lost,” or any other of the “much admired airs,” which matrimonially designing mammas assure you that you are so “up” in, and which you sing so beautifully-out of tune, out of time, and with an audience out of patience, is not music -it is an infliction. I shall say no more to you at present, as I intend speaking more fully, “ touching your soul's welfare,” when I come to the subject of amateurs.
There are a great many other things that music is not. The miauling on the pantiles does not exactly come under the definition of Rousseau, as“ pleasing to the ear.” The squall of one's little “ olive branch," the voice of a scold (oh, happy deaf Dean Swift), and the knell of departing coin, as it rings mournfully upon your ear, ere it is consigned to that tomb of all the Capulets-a creditor's pocket, are among some of the items of what music is not! That I may not fatigue you, I will proceed to speak of
ITS EARLY PROFESSORS !
Adam was, in all probability,, the first man who tried his hand at singing. Indeed, a learned German Professor, Vogler, gravely proves that it could not have been otherwise. “It is evident,” says he, " that the sighing of the breeze among the trees, the rippling of the brooks, the melody of the little birds, the plaintive note of the nightingale, and the merry chirp of the cock-robin, must all have taught our common progenitor his first lesson in music; and as
ch gave forth its treble twee-twee, or progressively bass-er burr, the incipient thought of a diatonic scale must have been engendered.”
Adam's barytone must have been very effective in this universal concert !
No, no, Abbé Vogler. From a brighter source sprang Adam's harmony. Why should he learn from bird or beast what myriads of glory-shrouded seraphims were ever pouring in upon his inmost soul? Had he need of other instructor in the divine art, when the angels at Heaven's gate were singing hymns of eternal praise-making earth vocal with harmony and with songs of undying sweetness ?
Jubal is said to have been the first who struck a lyre. There have been so many liars to strike since those days, that we have not now Jubals enough to do the duty.
Among the Jews, from the most primitive era, music and dancing formed a part of religious worship. Singing the Lord's praise, and “praising his Name in the dance,” are equally enjoined by the psalmist (psalm 149); and David danced before the ark when it was returned to him after a long absence. In the books of Exodus, Samuel, Judges, and the Psalms, there are many passages that prove that dancing and music were in use as a means of expressing public or private joy. Solomon, the son of David, as Josephus relates, on the occasion of the opening of the Temple, gave a concert composed of forty thousand barps, as many shawms, a hundred thousand silver trumpets, and two hundred thousand singers: altogether, FOUR HUNDRED and EIGHTY THOUSAND musicians !!! These were ANCIENT Concerts! Beat that, my royal and noble directors.
The Greeks, who were of a more romantic turn, and more easily excited, had music and dances at an earlier period than the Romans, whose disposition was rather of the phlegmatic and deliberate order. The former, originally, gave a very wide sense to the term “ music.” They applied the word not only to the art of exciting any of the senses by means of sound, but to poetry, dancing, rhetoric, grammar, philosophy, and to all those arts and sciences which the Romans comprisedi under the designation of the “humanities.” (So says Lichtenthal).
Fancy a “musician" (according to the above definition), hopping from a philosophical disquisition to a caper, froin the corn-laws to the cornet-a-piston, from the baton of the field-marshal to the baton du directeur, blowing up a flotilla, and blowing first Aute at a Musard concert with the same breath. Nowadays, alas! we“ sutors” of the profession find it quite difficult enough to get “ usque crepidam” without trying to go "ultra."
USES AND POWER OF THE ART.
We read that Amphion built superb palaces and entire cities by the simple sound of his lyre-and not at all improbable! Have we not our modern Amphions ?—to wit—Signor Amphion Rubini, Signor Amphion Paganini, et signor-es priores: which means, lots of other signors before them! Orpheus
With his lute made trees,
Bow themselves when he did sing.