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opera-house or common hotel, for the benefit con
t of some squalling Italian, when hundreds of utter strangers, upon the strength of their guinea tickets, stare me out of countenance in my own abode, hustling, elbowing, and pinioning me up into a corner where I can see and hear nothing, or compelling me to take my stand half way down stairs with a cold wind blowing up my back, and some gaping vulgarian treading upon my toes in front. This I hold to be so degrading as well as offensive a proceeding, that I should never submit to be a personal witness of the outrage, but for certain considerations which I hardly know how to mention to "ears polite.” Suffice it to say, that I find it necessary to look as well as listen upon these occasions, for among my visitants I have had amateurs of other things than music; gentlemen, who have learned the new art of fingering, without the assistance of the chiroplast ; shrewd conveyancers, who can make a transfer from a chimney-piece to a pocket in a demi-semiquaver. I accuse nobody-the whole six hundred at my last invasion were, doubtless, “all honourable men,” though I had not the honour of knowing them ; and the phenomena I am about to relate, are unquestionably attributable to the music. We know what magical effects it produced among
Orpheus and old Amphion play'd
Strange tunes to entertain our sires,
But then we know they had their Lyres.
I firmly believe that the walls of Thebes bu themselves to the tune of “ The Freemasons' March and that tigers and kids, lambs and lions, raised themselves upon their hind legs and waltzed lovingly together, when Orpheus sang to Chiron ; for I have witnessed enchantments in my own house not a whit less miraculous. A small antique Apollo, that stood upon a bracket in my drawing-room, although he had but one leg, hopped clean away, probably imagining, from the concord of sweet sounds, that he was regaining his favourite Parnassus. By what arrangement of muscles Mercury could ply the wings attached to his cap, I could never comprehend ; but it is obvious that he possesses the power, for a little bronze image of that god has flown away from my. chimney-piece. This, however, may be the pious abduction of some one who recognised his appropriate deity, and so bore him off in triumph. A beautiful skipping nymph has jumped from my writing-table, and eloped from the paternal roof. If the gentleman with whom she has taken refuge will return her to her disconsolate owner, he may retain the rope for his own use. Philip the Fifth of Spain fell once into such a fit of low spirits, that for several months he refused to be shaved, until the soothing sweetness of Farinelli's strains induced him to submit his chin to the razor with great cheerfulness and resolution. Well, I had a large medal of this monarch in his bearded state, which must have recognised, in some of my Italian warblers, such approximation to Farinelli's notes, that
it has rolled itself away for the purpose, probably, of undergoing another capillary excision. Inquiries have been made at the barbers' and perfumers' shops in the neighbourhood, which, from their number of blocks and heads without brains, ought to know ymething of musical matters, but I can gain 10 tidings of the fugitive. An Egyptian Scarabæus in blue onyx, animated by some lively tune, not only crept from under a glass case, but crawled fairly out of my hall-door at the last concert. Should any of my musical visitants have been mounted on its back, like Arion on his dolphin, and an accident have occurred from their crossing the street amid the rush of carriages, I sincerely hope the poor beetle has escaped unhurt. That a Parisian shepherdess in bisquit should take French leave of my mantelpiece, is perhaps natural, and may be attributed to love of home rather than of music; nor is it wonderful that a gold box with Thieves vinegar should abscond, for the present possessor establishes his claim to the perfume by keeping its case :--but I cannot comprehend how a verd-antique pitcher with one ear, and that one hermetically sealed, should be so fascinated as to run off with one of my melodists, and thus deprive me at once of my “friend and pitcher;" nor why so apparently phlegmatic and discreet an inmate as a silver candlestick, should become a “Fanatico per la Musica,” and walk off to encounter more melting strains than those to which it was nightly subjected in the performance of its duty.
My wife remarks with great originality and shrewd
ness, that things cannot go without hands.“ Not even harpsichords," I replied ; “ and yet they are constantly going.” However, I am a recognised amateur, and of course bound to like music, whatever effects it produces ; though I confess I should be better pleased if every visitant were compelled to give a concert in return, by which arrangement our moveables might justify their name, and after performing the tour of our circle, return to their original quarters. At all events I am an inveterate amateur, and therefore I exclaim con amore, and with infinite bitterness-Hail to that bewitching art, which lightens our bosoms as well as our brackets, eases us of our cares and candlesticks, imperceptibly steals away our vexations and valuables, and clears at the same moment our minds and our mantelpieces !
The Poet and the Alchymist.
AUTHORS of modern date are wealthy fellows ;
'Tis but to snip his locks they follow
Now the golden-hair'd Apollo.-
The rhimes and noyels which cajole us,
But from the waters of Pactolus.
Before this golden age of writers,
A Grub-street Garreteer existed,
Of odes and poems to be twisted
All ticketed from A to Izzard;
The rogue was lean as any lizard. Like a ropemaker's were his ways,
For still one line upon another
He spun, and like his hempen brother, Kept going backwards all his days. Hard by his attic lived a Chymist,
Or Alchymist, who had a mighty
Faith in the Elixir Vitæ; And though unflatter'd by the dimmest Glimpses of success, kept groping And grubbing in his dark vocation,
Stupidly hoping To find the art of changing metals, And guineas coin from pans and kettles,
By mystery of transmutation. Our starving Poet took occasion
To seek this conjuror's abode ;
Not with encomiastic ode, Or laudatory dedication, But with an offer to impart, For twenty pounds, the secret art, Which should procure, without the pain
Of metals, chymistry, and fire, What he so long had sought in vain,
And gratify his heart's desire.