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though the wild sweet tones of the Irish harp were still occasionally heard in the pauses of the Messiah and of the elegant Armida, still, taste, improving with the developement of the art, soon rendered the Italian and German schools of music the exclusive study in Ireland ; and they excited an enthusiasm which well belonged to a people who, in all their wretchedness and degradation, had found in music a vehicle for their feelings and their passions, for their deep-seated indignation, and their long-meditated revenge. St. Bridget now hid her diminished head in her " cell of the oak* ;' while St. Cecilia saw more tapers lighted at her shrine in the Irish capital than ever illumined her dusky chapel in the Trastevere at Rome. Music halls were built for public concerts; and musical societies, assuming the importance and dignities of corporate bodies, were formed out of the amateur † and professional talent of the country; while the conciliating genius of harmony, refusing that “to a party which was meant for mankind,” devoted its divine powers to smoothing political austerities, reknitting the social affections, and promoting the first of all human virtues-charity. I Oh! surely this was the true purpose for which the Divinity breathed into the soul of man that fine susceptibility to the mystic charm of harmony, which lulls the harsher passions, and substitutes the excitement of delicious sensations for the bitter feelings and harassing emotions which the cross purposes of life call hourly into existence. Who now in Ireland but may look back with regret to the philharmonic societies “of other times," from the magic of whose strains a shelter rose for the wretched, and in whose bands men of all parties blended the “concord of sweet sounds." Who that in the present day has witnessed in the capital of Ireland, the different and dark purposes to which music and musical society have been perverted, but must lament that the sweetest of the arts should have been pressed into the service of civil dissension -should have fulfilled the purposes of party intrigue, and gratified the malice of a narrow-souled faction. Who but must shudder to perceive its influence directed to rousing the irritable fibre, and stirring up the bile of political malady; to exciting by its musical cheers" the passions of the powerful few against the suffering many, and fomenting by its choicest harmonies the discord of social disunion and the dissonance of party hatred. Spirits of Handel and of Arne, of Calcott and of Mozart, how little did ye dream in your philosophy that your Heaveninspired strains should serve as the war-whoop of faction, the death-song of domestic peace, and national confraternity!!
where, with his friend Dubourg, the first violin of his age, he was received with rapture. His first public exhibition in Dublin was the Messiah, wbich he performed for the benefit of the city prisons. Whoever bad the happiness of knowing the late Richard Kirwan, the Irish philosopher, may judge of the enthusiasm of the travelled Irish gentlemen for Italian music, and the vogue which Piccini obtained through their means.
* St. Bridget was accustomed to pray under the shade of an oak, a circumstance which has given its name to an Irish county, Cil doire, the cell of the oak (Kildare.)
+ “ Concerts were the favourite amusement in the houses of the nobility and gentry, and musical societies were formed in all the great towns."-Memoirs of Irish Bards.
1 The Philharmonic Society gave up its subscriptions towards building the hospital in Townsend-street, 1753.
THE SWEDISH MINER.*
She gazed in her night of age
Of her old life's pilgrimagem.
Though fifty long years were gone,
Since they talk'd in the moonlight alone
While none knew the fate of his youth;
With the dream of their plighted truth ;
Save the power of breathing her name,
And the vigour and grace of his frame;
That form she had loved so well ;
What alone with young years must dwell-
The thrilling kiss from the heart's overflow.
As he that recall'd them now
It still warm'd her own old brow-
Since for her he could never be
Of a first love's jealousy :
And thought of her youthful priine;
Back to the ancient time;
The body of a young Swedish miner was lately discovered in one of the mines of Dalecarlia, freshi and in a state of perfect preservation, from the action of the mineral waters in which it had been immersed. No one could recognize the body save an old woman, who knew it to be that of her lover :-he had perished fifty years before!
SKETCIIES OF INDIA.NO. I.
Those who have been acquainted with the British possessions and native states of India, for the last twenty or thirty years, must have remarked a change which has been gradually taking place in the appearance, and what may be termed the moral costume, of these countries; since they have become more pervious to and familiarized with the sight of European travellers. An air of magic, a feeling of romance hung in days of yore over every part of this land of promise; a spell framed of novelty and magnificence fascinated every adventurer that touched its strand, and prepared him for scenes of wonder, luxury, and riches ; nor was his expectation disappointed. Whatever the price he might pay in loss of time or health, pleasures courted his acceptance, and an almost ideal state of luxury and grandeur opened on his view, calculated to revive in his mind, if not to realize, the wonders of those Arabian tales that delighted his boyhood.
The perfect contrast which every thing that meets the eye of an European when he lands in India affords to all he has left behind him, even in these later days, transports him quite to another world; and how much greater must the effect have been in former times, when little or nothing savouring of Europe was to be seen in any part of that country. '“ As far as the East is from the West," so opposite is the appearance of the natives and their soil, their complexion, dress, language, manners, character; their climate, sky, vegetation, yea, even the very odours and perfumes that float upon the air, to every thing a native of the British isles can have seen in the country he has quitted. The crowds of natives that hover around him when he lands, with their dark bodies in a state of almost primitive nakedness, offering a strong and strange contrast to their pure white and almost feminine garments ; their respect, and offers of service; the novel appearance of the streets through which he passes ; the rich fruits offered in profusion to his acceptance, more grateful and inviting from the intense heat of the climate ; the spacious apartments to which, when he finds a home, he becomes introduced, with the various inventions of necessity or luxury for rendering this heat supportable; the palanquins, horses, carriages that await his call, all so different from any thing he can have seen before, seldom fail powerfully to excite the imagination of the new corner.
But if this be the case upon his landing in a part of the country deeply tinctured with European manners, how greatly will this excitement be increased if his fate lead him into the interior and to the court of a Native prince. There any thing connected with Europe is lost sight of, and eastern manners and eastern pomp assume its place : the Natives, unchecked by the control of their conquerors, exhibit their inherent taste for luxury and show; numerous and glittering cavalcades, rich costumes, elephants, camels, and horses magnificently caparisoned, with multitudes of attendants gaily attired in all the pride of their various official badges, silver sticks, spears, and arms of all descriptions, flit along and dazzle the eye at every turning; crowded and rich bazaars, with the endless variety of scenery and incident they afford, attract the gaze in passing through the streets, and the increase of glitter and show, of noise and bustle, is striking beyond description. But, besides all this, there is a tone peculiar to such places difficult to describe, de
pending greatly upon the intercourse with Native society which a residence in such situations must involve; upon the continually associating with, and entering to a certain degree familiarly into the domestic habits of those who differ so widely from every thing hitherto known in manners and character, even in the most trivial acts of life ; upon the novel and peculiar appearance of all that surrounds one, the dresses, the furniture, the architecture; the nature of the conversation turning upon subjects and adventures quite peculiar to the country and its customs ; of the occupations and amusements, the shows, nautches, feasts, the very ceremonies attendant upon each act of the day, even the perfumes and flowers, and the thousand little nothings, which, though almost imperceptible themselves, are like the condiments of life, and give it its peculiar flavour. It is under the influence of all this, and the enjoyments which such places afford, that an European grows fascinated with India, and particularly with the courts of her Native princes, till, custom becoming a second nature, he loves and would pine for want of what at first only dazzled and amused him. It is in the loss of this tone, in the decay of this kind of intercourse, of this Asiatic costume of society, that the change to which I allude consists. In the wide range of our Indian dominions nothing of the sort now can be found; the courts of all the Indian princes these include, have changed into quiet and monotonous civil stations, where the object is to introduce European, and discard Native habits.
Perhaps were the loss of ancient feelings only in question, this change, though surely to be regretted, would be of comparatively small importance; but the consequences of such a line of conduct, it is to be feared, go further : so far from entertaining a wish to conciliate the conquered, and thereby to lighten their chains, and dispose them to become contented and peaceable subjects, it might be thought that the policy of the conquerors of India was the very reverse, and had in view to op press and even annihilate every family of rank within their dominions ; and the consequence is, that there are now few noble Mahometan families to be met with of easy fortunes who are not borne down by depressing circumstances which crush their native energy.
It is contrary to the usage of the Company's government, indeed contrary to the nature of its constitution, to employ any Native, let his rank or respectability be what it may, in an office yielding a salary of more than three or four hundred rupees per month : this is a consideration too small to tempt individuals of good family, or at least far too small to keep those honest that accept such offices. Native families of rank are thus debarred from a great source of respectable provision for their younger branches; and labouring under very considerable disabilities of different descriptions besides, let their property be wbat it may, they must in time decay and fall into want; for the elder branch is forced to support the rest, seeing that they have no means of supporting themselves; at his death a subdivision, and too often a scramble for the property, ensues ; and all is thus gradually frittered away. It is, indeed, melancholy to see the descendants of noble old Moghul or Palace families, whose ancestors came into India with the Ghaurees, the Lodis, the Timoors of old, sunk into such obscurity and poverty, that they are forced to sell piecemeal the property they have preserved from the wreck of their fortunes, to furnish their wives and children with bread.
But do the individuals of the service endeavour to alleviate the sufferings which the policy of their government inflicts? Seldom indeed can it be said that this is the case. How rare is it to witness the least attempt upon
part of any servant of the Company to associate with Natives of whatever rank? Little intercourse indeed is maintained between the European and Native society of India, and what little there is, is restricted to a few occasional and very formal visits ; there is no cordiality on the European side, no disposition to attract or bring forward the Natives ; and yet I cannot doubt, from what I have observed, that had the policy of government been different, had it pointed to a greater encouragement of the higher Natives, we might have seen a considerable and respectable body of that description greatly more attached to government than they now can be, in pleasant and even familiar habits with their rulers, and, in all probability, a far greater portion of good morals and the blessings we profess so earnestly to bestow upon the East, spread over our Indian empire. It will be evident to those who are acquainted with the country in question, that in what has been observed above I have alluded principally to the Mahomedan states of India; few of the Hindoo principalities have for a long time past been in any condition to uphold their original dignity, except the Mahratta powers, whose characteristic is plainness of style almost to affectation : nor under circumstances the most favourable would their religious prejudices suffer Hindoos to entertain with Europeans an intercourse so intimate as might subsist between the latter and Mahomedans.
Until lately there were still a few of the Mahomedan courts of India that continued to display much of genuine Indian pomp and characteristic magnificence, where the costume and tone, above alluded to, might be observed in its ancient purity; and among those in the upper provinces, Lucnow, the residence of the Nawaub Vizier of Oude, and Delhi, the ancient seat of the Great Moghul's court, were most remarkable for that peculiarity. Delhi indeed has for a long time been much
poorer and more forlorn than the former ; but its palaces, its monuments, its gigantic ruins, the venerable traces of antiquity and the historical associations attached to every spot in and around that once noble city, gave an interest which all the splendour and riches of its more modern rival could never excite.
Delhi has now passed into that state which has been the fate of all other British acquisitions in India ; it has become a civil station, occu. pied by commissioners and collectors of the Company, with the usual proportion of Sepoys and their officers; and, of the numerous families of old nobles that still clung to the ruin of that throne which had been a shadow and protection to their forefathers, hardly one appears to remain ; while the old king, an honourable prisoner in the palace of his ancestors, maintains with the few attendants that adhere to his fallen state, the pageant of a court in those halls where but a century ago an European durst not have attempted to appear.
Lucnow, by a compromise fortunate for its possessor, has distanced the evil day; he still retains his state, his liberty, and his wealth, if not his power; and although the British influence, which so powerfully acted in the destinies of this state, with the strong bias of some of its rulers for every thing English, has introduced here a tinge of European