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so, ibi omnis effusus labor. Neither was my third trial more fortunate. When every whipper-snapper gives himself airs, and thinks to set the world to a new tune, then the Habeas Corpus should be suspended, and the press vigorously restrained.” This is an evident begging of the question; and, as I am no beggar, I leave the matter to those that are. By the time I had gotten thus far, I was fully convinced that
“ Chi ben comincia ha il mezzo del opra;" and had already passed through most of those customary stages of mortified authorship, which find vent in such expressions as “ the deuce take the Greek;" “ the devil's in the Greek ;” “ I wish Plato and his Republic were -," &c. &c.; when in the moment of giving that energetic clench of the teeth which accompanies the act of rending the paper into fifty stripes, it fortunately occurred to me that the motto would look very well as it is. A translation is of no use to the learned, and the unlearned may mistake the type for a grotesque vignette, or liken it to the text of a sermon, which, on the authority of Sterne, I pronounce to be indifferent to the commentary, and which, since the catechistical days of my grandmother, no one thinks the most important part of the discourse : so, with your permission, Mr. Editor, we'll just let it stand by itself, and leave the interpretation to every man's own conscience.
“ To each his taste allow, Well said the dame, I ween, who kiss'd her cow.” Without further preamble then, you must know that it was a whim among the ancient philosophers, that there exists a secret connexion between the music of a nation, the character of the people, and the nature of their government. For a long time, I must own, that notwithstanding a great respect I entertain for whatever the ancients ever said or did, good, bad, or indifferent, this notion appeared to me one of those absurdities, of which philosophers were long ago said to have a monopoly (there never having yet been nonsense too gross to find its way into their writings); but a closer observation, and a more attentive reflection on the subject, have led me to conclude with Papilion in the play, “ Dat dere is more in dese tings den some men vill tink.”
Not to dwell upon such worn-out thread-bare remarks, as that none but primitive nations have national melodies, or that the Irish music is a mere type and abstract of the Irish disposition, it is sufficient to regard the common parlance of mankind ---an index, by the by, which is rarely consulted without advantage. Are not nations, when not engaged in open hostilities, (and only employed in undermining each other's commerce, and spying into, ihwarting, and undermining, each other's cabinet
measures,) technically considered as living in harmony? Are not all diplomatic affairs (notwithstanding the new-fangled terms of protocols and circulars) carried on by means of notes ? Are not ambassadors and plenipotentiaries bound to lay a base (bass) for their negotiations, and compelled to act according to the tenor of their instructions? Do not the belligerent powers, when tired of squandering the wealth and blood of the people, begin to approach each other by means of overtures ? In conformity with this last remark is the common observation, that the loss or gain of a great battle makes the high contracting parties change their tone.
In the interior management of national affairs, we find the oppositionists eternally exclaiming that ministers have brought matters to a pretty pitch, and endeavouring to make them sing small; while all propositions receive their character and qualification by their relation to the motive, and it is a sufficient objection to the most valuable reforms, that they do not suit the time.
But in all such speculations as the present there is nothing like an appeal to facts. The old legitimate government of France was perfectly well defined“ un despotisme temporé par des chansons ;” and the wisest ministers were the most aware of the necessity of watching the Parisian vaudevilles, those safetyvalves for giving vent to a nation's disquietudes. There is so much in this remark, that politicians of all classes are now pretty nearly agreed in assigning, as the chief cause of the revolution, that the monarchy was no longer worth an old song.
But if any one is still disposed to doubt the influence of music upon government, I would humbly beseech him to reflect upon the Ranz des Vaches, and remember the extraordinary elfects of “ ça ira” and the Marseillois hymn, which unsettled the strongest heads, and (like Dryden's music) had almost “ tuned the spheres." In England the powers of “God save the King" and of “ Rule Britannia" are well known; and in Ireland “ Patrick's Day in the Morning,” and “ Croppies lie down,” are either of them enough to breed a rebellion. These matters being duly considered, a deep politician or a curious philosopher
would find it difficult to determine whether, after all, England is most indebted for her naval superiority to the Howes, the St. Vincents, and the Nelsons, or to poor Charles Dibdin, the Tyrtæus of Portsmouth. In Spain we have recently seen great consequences proceed from * Gulp it down, dog;" and (to come back once more to France) “ Vive Henri quatre” followed so closely upon the battle of Waterloo, that a nice observer might be mistaken in determining which was cause or effect to the other.
I am not one of those unfair persons who would go to the
devil to serve an hypothesis, and ride their hobbies“ to their very chins, with whips across their mouths, scouring and scampering it away, like so many little party-coloured devils astride a mortgage.” I shall not, therefore, lay any stress upon the story of Amphion, as taken in a literal sense, though something like an argument might be raised out of the walls of Jericho; but I conclude that, even as a metaphorical expression, the former story is decidedly favourable to my opinion as illustrative of that proverbial truism--Concordia res parvæ crescunt, discordia maximæ dilabuntur. In the same spirit of candour, I am disposed to make a proper deduction for the Greek hero who said, that though he could not play upon the lyre, he could make a small state great; which seems, I allow, to indicate a less intimate connexion between the two arts than belongs to the present hypothesis. But I must at the same time be allowed to remark, that I do not see how a little music could have done the gentleman any harm ; and in my own private opinion there was “ something too much” Charlatanerie in the answer to do great credit to any opinion. Further, however, it must be admitted, in abatement of my theory, that Nero, who was “ a good stick at a scrape on the fiddle,” was a desperate bad king; and Farinelli himself, maugre his trills and his quavers, cut no great figure as minister to the king of Spain. With all these deductions, which I am free to admit with a liberality for which I am disposed to take no small credit, I consider my case as abundantly established. The reflecting reader will at once see the importance of the fact; and the light it throws upon
that often canvassed question of men or measures. Some of us are old enough to have seen many changes in the cabinet, while affairs have continued to be carried on to the same tune, a tune for which we have all been too deeply called upon to pay the piper ; whereas if the measures had been changed (vevoúvrai ai tporai), the “ old poleetical post-horses” (as Sir Archy calls them) might have served well enough to drag us out of the mire—but this, I own, is mere matter of opinion. I shall now, Sir, proceed to make a very few miscellaneous remarks, which arise as corollaries from the first proposition ; remarks which, while they illustrate the science of politics, will amply confirm the validity of the “ foregone conclusion.” And first we may observe, that the harmony of a government, like that of a concert, may be disturbed in two ways. Either the music itself may
be bad, as in anarchical or despotic states (where demagogues or tyrants follow each other with the unpleasant effect of consecutive fifths); or the music, being good, may be spoiled by bad performance : and this last may arise either from the incapacity of the minister to keep in with his band, his missing his time, being out in his count, or stopping too sharp or too flat, and so
throwing all the performers wrong; or he may be too fond of execution, indulging in tricks, and in long-winded capriccios and embroideries. For it is a fault common to ministers and musicians (which has the worst possible effect), to interlard with their own crude notions the works of their classical predecessors, which not only destroys unity, but alters in toto the character and expression of the original. I have thus heard my favourite authors in song and government so miserably transmogrified, that they were difficultly cognizable as the same. Thus a crude and undigested modulation may be palmed on the public for the works of a great master ; and the most radical changes effected under the notion of originality.
Success, in both arts, depends in a great measure upon the proper choice of instruments. A minister, in selecting his windinstruments for legislative assemblies, should take care that they have an agreeable quality of voice, are accurately set to the same pitch, and above all, are not too difficult to play upon. His trumpets should not have a braying cracked tone ; his fiddles should be fresh from the universities, and his horns, the best the city can afford. Much likewise depends upon the management of the crescendo and diminuendo, letting a subject gently die away when it does not hit the humour of the times, and straining the forte till it rivals that of the opera at Paris, when the house is willing to bear a chorus.
In composition (ministerial and musical) discords should neither be too frequent nor too few. Introduced apropos they are very useful, and produce an excellent effect. They should, however, be well prepared, and easily resolved: otherwise they give rise to sudden changes of key that may amount to a perfect revolution. There is nothing also more important to a good performance, either in music or government, than that each individual should be well adapted to the part he is to bear in the conduct of the piece, and should cultivate with assiduity his particular department. A finance minister may be termed the organ-blower of the nation, and should perfectly understand how to raise the wind. A commander-in-chief should be a good leader of the band ; but he will obtain little credit by the practice of fugues. A master of the ordnance, on the contrary, will be all the better for knowing something about canons. Foreign ministers must modulate into the most cramped and difficult keys with facility and grace. Lords of the admiralty should be ready to take any part that offers, and all should be able to follow in a round, with promptitude and facility.
It is a part of excellent policy to be never unprovided with a certain number of voices " inopes rerum nugaque canore,” which, when the subject lags, may fill a pause, and run an extempore cantabile of any required length without breaking down. Such instruments do good service, and make as much for the benefit of a minister as for any other public exhibitor.
I have much more to add in confirmation of this musical theory, but your readers will require a rest ; it is full time for me to come to a pause ; and that this conviction prove a bar to any further extension of my subject. In order, therefore, that I may end con spirito, and not weaken my composition with a feeble coda,
I hasten to subscribe myself,
NAPOLEON. NAPOLEON has at length terminated his Prometheus-like existence. The vulture that preyed upon his vitals has done its work, and nothing remains of him but an empty sound in the mouths of men. We are told that he died in his military garb, his field-marshal's uniform, and his boots, which he had ordered to be put on a short time previ. ous to his dissolution. There is something melancholy in these details, which, even when considered apart from so great a man, irresistibly attracts our sympathy. We dwell with intense curiosity on all that relates to our passage from this state of being to that « bourn from whence no traveller returns :" it is a subject that intimately and awfully concerns each one of us, and therefore every circumstance that can indicate the state of feeling at the terrible parting is carefully noted and preserved, and becomes perhaps the most interesting portion of the history of man.
In the present instance, the interest is increased tenfold, on beholding a man, who had been so uplifted above his fellows, that we might almost have imagined him beyond the shafts of fate, bowed down to that humiliating condition to which human nature is subjected in its process of re-union with mother earth. With what painful delight we contemplate the last futterings of such a spirit, and watch the expiring efforts of poor mortality, still clinging to earth, still labouring for the breath of posterity, and exhausting itself in efforts to fall with “ gracefulness at the last.” This attempt to brave the horrors of death is not quite in the spirit of Christianity which puts on the armour of faith ; it is not in the meekness of resignation, but reminds us rather of the Roman part, and is, upon the whole, in unison with the life and character of this extraordinary individual. Knowing the importance that is attached to this last hour of existence, the fondness with which we dwell upon all the minutiæ connected with this event, it is not to be wondered at that men who have lived for fame should study so to comport themselves at crisis as to ensure the plaudits of posterity.
Augustus Cæsar chose to die in a standing position, and was careful in arranging his person and dress for that occasion; and Seward Earl of Northumberland, when on the point of death, quitted his bed