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mournful recollection, we can fancy that we behold the brave allies of Montrose,* marching to the aid of the royal cause, notwithstanding all the perfidy of Charles and his ministers, and remembering just enough of past sufferings to enhance the generosity of their present sacrifice. The plaintive melodies of Carolon takes us back to the times in which he lived, when our poor countrymen were driven to worship their God in caves, or to quit for ever the land of their birth, - like the bird that abandons the nest which human touch has violated. In many of these mournful songs we seem to hear the last farewell of the exile,f mingling regret for the ties which he leaves at home, with sanguine hopes of the high honours that await him abroad, such honours as were won on the field of Fontenoy, where the valour of Irish Catholics turned the fortune of the day, and extorted from George the Second that memorable exclamation, “ Cursed be the laws which deprive me of such subjects !”

* There are some gratifying accounts of the gallantry of these Irish auxiliaries in “The complete History of the Wars in Scotland under Montrose” (1660). See particularly, for the conduct of an Irishman at the battle of Aberdeen, chap. vi. p. 49; and for a tribute to the bravery of Colonel O'Kyan, chap. vii. 55. Clarendon owns that the Marquis of Montrose was indebted for much of his miraculous success to the small band of Irish heroes under Macdonnell.

† The associations of the Hindu music, though more obvious and defined, were far less touching and characteristic. They divided their songs according to the seasons of the year, by which (says Sir William Jones) “they were able to recall the memory of autumnal merriment, at the close of the harvest, or of separation and melancholy during the cold months,” etc. — Asiatic Transactions, vol. iii. on the Musical Modes of the Hindus. What the Abbé du Bos says of the symphonies of Lully, may be asserted, with much more probability, of our bold and impassioned airs:—“Elles auroient produit de ces effets, qui nous paroissent fabuleux dans le récit des anciens, si on les avoit fait entendre à des hommes d'un naturel aussi vif que les Athéniens.” Réflex. sur la Peinture, etc. tom. i. sect. 45.

Though much has been said of the antiquity of our music, it is certain that our finest and most popular airs are modern; and perhaps we may look no further than the last disgraceful century for the origin of most of those wild and melancholy strains, which were at once the offspring and solace of grief, and were applied to the mind as music was formerly to the body, “decantare loca dolentia.” Mr. Pinkerton is of opinion * that none of the Scotch popular airs are as old as the middle of the sixteenth century; and though musical antiquaries refer us, for some of our melodies, to so early a period as the fifth century, I am persuaded that there are few, of a civilized description (and by this I mean to exclude all the savage Ceanans, Cries,f etc.), which can claim quite so ancient a date as Mr. Pinkerton allows to the Scotch. But music is not the only subject upon

* Dissertation, prefixed to the 2d volume of his Scottish Ballads.

† Of which some genuine specimens may be found at the end of Mr. Walker's Work upon the Irish bards. Mr. Bunting has disfigured his last splendid volume by too many of these barbarous rhapsodies.

*

which our taste for antiquity has been rather unreasonably indulged; and, however heretical it may be to dissent from these romantic speculations, I cannot help thinking that it is possible to love our country very zealously, and to feel deeply interested in her honour and happiness, without believing that Irish was the language spoken in Paradise ;

that our ancestors were kind enough to take the trouble of polishing the Greeks,f or that Abaris, the Hyperborean, was a native of the North of Ireland. I

By some of these zealous antiquarians it has been imagined that the Irish were early acquainted with counter-point; $ and they endeavour to support this conjecture by a well-known passage in Giraldus, where he dilates, with such elaborate praise, upon the beauties of our national minstrelsy. But the terms of this eulogy are much too vague, too deficient in technical accuracy, to prove that even Giraldus himself knew any thing of the artifice of counter-point. There are many expressions in the Greek and Latin writers which might be cited, with much more plausibility, to prove that they understood the arrangement of music in parts; * and it is in general now conceded, I believe, by the learned, that, however grand and pathetic the melody of the ancients may have been, it was reserved for the ingenuity of modern Science to transmit the “light of Song” through the variegating prism of Harmony.

* See Advertisement to the Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Dublin.

† O'Halloran, vol. i. part iv. chap. vii. | Id. ib. chap. vi.

☆ It is also supposed, but with as little proof, that they understood the diésis, or enharmonic interval. — The Greeks seem to have formed their ears to this delicate gradation of sound; and, whatever difficulties or objections may lie in the way of its practical use, we must agree with Mersenne, (Préludes de l'Harmonie, quest. 7,) that the theory of Music would be imperfect without it. Even in practice, too, as Tosi, among others, very justly remarks, (Observations on Florid Song, chap. i. sect. 16,) there is no good performer on the violin who does not make a sensible difference between D sharp and E flat, though, from the imperfection of the instrument, they are the same notes upon the piano-forte. The effect of modulation by enharmonic transitions is also very striking and beautiful.

Indeed, the irregular scale of the early Irish (in which, as in the music of Scotland, the interval of the fourth was wanting,t) must have furnished but

* The words ποικιλια and ετεροφωνια, in a passage of Plato, and some expressions of Cicero in Fragment, lib. ii. de Republ., induced the Abbé Fraguier to maintain that the ancients had a knowledge of counter-point. M. Burette, however, has answered him, I think, satisfactorily. (Examen d'un Passage de Platon, in the 3d vol. of Histoire de l'Acad.) M. Huet is of opinion (Pensées Diverses), that what Cicero says of the music of the spheres, in his dream of Scipio, is sufficient to prove an acquaintance with harmony; but one of the strongest passages, which I recollect, in favour of this supposition, occurs in the Treatise (II epi Κοσμου) attributed to Aristotle – Μουσικη δε οξεις άμα και βαρεις, κ. τ. λ.

† Another lawless peculiarity of our music is the frequent occurrence of, what composers call, consecutive fifths; but this, I must say, is an irregularity which can hardly be avoided by persons not conversant with all the rules of composition. If I may venture, indeed, to cite my own wild attempts in this way, it is a fault which I find myself continually committing, and which has

wild and refractory subjects to the harmonist. It was only when the invention of Guido began to be known, and the powers of the harp were enlarged by additional strings, that our airs can be supposed to have assumed the sweet character which interests us at present; and while the Scotch persevered in the old mutilaton of the scale, † our music became by

even, at times, appeared so pleasing to my ear, that I have surrendered it to the critic with no small reluctance. May there not be a little pedan in adhering too rigidly to this rule? - I have been told that there are instances in Haydn, of an undisguised succession of fifths; and Mr. Shield, in his Introduction to Harmony, seems to intimate that Handel has been sometimes guilty of the same irregularity.

A singular oversight occurs in an Essay upon the Irish Harp, by Mr. Beauford, which is inserted in the Appendix to Walker's Historical Memoirs:-“ The Irish (says he) according to Bromton, in the reign of Henry II. had two kinds of Harps, “ Hibernici tamen in duobus musici generis instrumentis, quamvis præcipitem et velocem, suavem tamen et jucundum: the one greatly bold and quick, the other soft and pleasing.' How a man of Mr. Beauford's learning could so mistake the meaning, and mutilate the grammatical construction of this extract, is unaccountable. The following is the passage as I find it entire in Bromton; and it requires but little Latin to perceive the injustice which has been done to the words of the old Chronicler: “Et cum Scotia, hujus terræ filia, utatur lyrâ tympano et choro, ac Wallia ci. thara, tubis et choro Hibernici tamen in duobus musici generis instrumentis, quamvis præcipitem et velocem, suavem tamen et jucundam, crispatis modulis et intricatis notulis, efficiunt harinoniam.”— Hist. Anglic. Script. page 1075. I should not have thought this error worth remarking, but that the compiler of the Dissertation on the Harp, prefixed to Mr Bunting's last Work, has adopted it implicitly.

† The Scotch lay claim to some of our best airs, but there are

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