TO ROBERT JEPHSON, ESQUIRE.

Naples, June 4th, 1793.

O JEPHSON, reflect how we're wondrously made ;
With millions of fibres the body's inlaid ;
These tremulous fibres in unison play,
To melody's pulse, while they dance to the lay ;
Yet the sounds most enchanting of harmony's thrum,
Are but vibrating air on the corporal drum.
So the magical tints that emblazon the skies,
Are but water and rays in Philosophers' eyes ;
Thus the frolic of Nature, our Sages to spite,
Makes Music from air, and the Rainbow from light ;
That primary source of each beautiful hue,
From which TITIAN and REYNOLDS their brilliancy drew.
Then Fancy's delusion le'ts never control,
'Tis the sunshine of life, and the trance of the soul :
Thro' each stage of sorrow, let love, and let wine,
Their aid to prolong the illusion combine.

Give me BURNEY's sweet style, give his Genius and Art,
That appeals to the judgement, yet touches the heart ;
And I'll tell you, why music cures frenzy and spleen : —
This delicate body's a curious machine ;
The nerves strung divinely, the whole surface border,
And while they play smoothly, the mind's in good order ;
But if harshly they're touch'd by a Dæmon's rough hand*,
The Soul no more governs the píneal gland ;
In her palace, the brain, no longer she's quiet,
Cerebrum, Cerebellum, like Democrats riot ;
And refract each idea, till merry, or sad,
Alma loses her reason,—in short she runs mad :
Then Music steps in, with her aid most divine,
Composes the tumult by melodies fine ;
Catches hold of the nerves most distracted and sullen,
Which this way, and that way, and all ways are pulling ;
And a unison gives, by a twang most pathetic,
To each turbulent nerve, till it feels sympathetic.

'Twas thus FARINELLIp delighted all Spain,
When madness he cur'd by his magical strain ;
At Del Campo's request, the support of the Art,
The Song I translate, (may it tickle his heart)
Which eas'd a sad King of his sorrow and care,
Made him dance a Fandango, and powder his hair.
Could I give the true pathos, all Britain would feel
The joy and allegiance of loyal Castile ;
While the Dons in grave jumps, proudly kick'd away spleen,
And pinch'd their Guitars to enrapture the Queen.
The musical notes to the tune of Gambado,
Were compos'd by the Bishop, and Nuns of Toledo.


WHEN Ferdinand, insanely grave
Would neither wash his hands nor shave,
   Nor Olio taste, nor Jelly ;
His royal Consort, sunk in grief,
When every Saint deny'd relief,
   Thus pray'd to Farinelli !

Sweet Farinelli, swell your throat,
And pour some soft bewitching note,
   My dear Italian Pug ;
Each frantic passion Song commands ;
Then squall, till FREDY scours his hands,
   And shaves, looks spruce and smug.

Hark ! Farinelli squeaks to please her ;
O Don Diego, snatch a razor
   From yonder golden case :
Diego runs, elate with hope,
Lathers his chaps with Castile soap,
   And trims his Sov'reign's face.

The King arose without a speck ;
BESS flung her arms around his neck,
   And prais'd his ruffl'd shirt ;
Again, in pomp and state he dines,
In royal robes superbly shines,
   Perfum'd, and free from dirt.

"The mighty Master smil'd to see,
"That love was in the next degree,"
   Then sung Eliza's charms ;
The King admir'd each new-born grace,
With rapture view'd her beauteous face ;
   And sunk into her arms.

Thus Farinelli's tuneful strain
Lull'd the wild tempest of his brain,
   No more his senses riot ;
So when the frantic Ocean raves,
A pint of oil will still the Waves,
   And all is calm and quiet .

Of David's Harp let Fidlers sing,
That coax'd a devil from Israel's King
   By Tweedle-dum and dee :
No string did Farinelli touch ;
He tun'd his pipe, and did as much
   By Tol-de-rol-de re !


O speed the soft note, and the dulcet air wing,
Till the beasts leap around, and the pretty birds singq ;
For their dear little ears are fastidiously nice ;
Thus a lute suits the organs of spiders and mice,
Who descend from their webs, and peep from their holes,
As the notes sweetly breath thro' their sensitive souls.
And Howel relatesr , (tho' Monboddo may carp)
How Hibernia's fierce wolves were so tun'd to the harp,
That rather than hear a Scotch Bagpiper play,
With horror they howl'd, and ran starving away.
And good Mr. Tatlow will truly declares,
How an anthem enraptur'd a brisk Cheshire hare ;
While near Mersey's smooth stream, at their ease stretch'd along,
Five rapturous tChoristers hymn'd David's song,
To a tune most divine, but he says not a word,
Whether it was the hundredth, or hundred and third ;—
But I'll search his Cantatas, and pore till I'm blind,
And think myself happy this ditty to find :
(On this critical point, if a word I might drop,
I should think they scream'd out, "Why ye Hills will ye hop ?")
And poor Puss alarm'd by their quavers and bounds,
'Midst the Choristers ran, as pursu'd by the hounds.

But now a most tragic adventure I sing,
That disturb'd the whole ABBEY in sight of the King.
Ah ! let us reflect, that our life's a mere riddle,
When Death shoots his darts from the bridge of a fiddle ;
For while the Drums beat and the Choristers bawl,
To HANDEL's bold notes in the Dead March of Saul,
Mr. v Burton grew squeamish, then drop'd in a swoon,
(The first man on record who died of a tune,)
He had just time to say before he was dead,
"Good people I'm shot thro' the heart and the head ;"
Celestial vibrations so rapture my brain,
That my fall is Angelic, chromatic my pain !

As for me, whose bold loyalty's still on the wing,
To save my dear Country, the Church, and the King ;
I hope the ALARMISTS the band will assemble,
And if the French land, they'll soon make them tremble.
When the trumpet sonorous, and fiddle strings sound
The Dead March of Saul, how they'll gasp on the ground ?
The knave Danton will fall, by what kill'd honest Burton,
And Robespierre too,—cry out P—py—s, and T—n.

Let us call to our aid Handel's bold imitations,
To arouse, and to stir up our torpid sensations ;
Hark ! he rattles his hail,—the windows to splinter,
Now he chills us in Summer, as if it was Winter ;
And Glaziers oft brib'd him to play the harsh strains,
Then crack went the casement, and smash went the panes :
Like wMoses in Egypt again let him rise,
And call out his locusts, and buzz with his flies !
This sacred Militia will aid us I hope,
To convert those vile Atheists who've thrown off the Pope ;
Then Britons strike home, no longer deplore,
We've Fiddles enough,—tho' no Musquets in store.

Proceed, gentle Muse, and with wisdom relate,
Why a tune's justly reckon'd a matter of State ;
From Sparta Timotheus was forc'd to retire,
For playing loose Airs on her maidenly lyre ;
Lest this innovation should raise up a storm,
And the Senate destroy, like a Bill of Reform.
Did'nt Socrates' treason all Athens surprise,
When Critias found out by his Reeves, and his Spies,
That the Sage had a dangerous project in hand,
By a Musical plot to convulse the whole Land ;
For scorning the advice of Xantippe his wife,
He practis'd the Lute, in his last stage of life** ;
When he heard that some Youths had attack'd a chaste Dame,
And by measures spondaic were chill'd into shame ;
Their nerves were relax'd, and by symphonies fit,
They fled from the Lady, like Joseph, or P--tt.
Then Critias determined the Traytor to kill,
For he dreaded his Art, and such dangerous skill.
—Isn't Muir†† justly exil'd to Botany Bay,
For expressing his joy at a riotous lay ?
But Mercy with Justice is so much at strife,
That he's banished for years, and not for his life.
—In Scotia 'twas treason in the First George's reign,
For a bagpipe to squeak, " let the King have his ain."
And a Lassie was hang'd, because Granam had taught her,
Fou brawly to lilt " Charley over the Water. "

Two Rebellions were rais'd by these lilts, we must own,
That menac'd with ruin the Prince on his throne ;
Nor could England ere rise to such grandeur and riches,
Till she caught the Scotch Pipers, and chain'd them in breeches !
And oft to brave Taffy King Ned turn'd his tail,
Nor o'er Wales could his iron-clad Russians prevail ;
Or eat up her leeks, and devour her rank goats,
Till the blood of her Bards from each precipice floats ;
Loose floated their beards;—and their wild streaming hair,
Blaz'd forth, like a Meteor, and troubled the air :
See on Conway's bold rocks, how they harp, and they dance,
"Give me hartshorn," crys Gloster, "I'm lost in a trance."
The King and his Chieftains perspir'd with dismay,
If you wish to know more, I refer you to GRAY.

Why from Scotland, or Wales, any proofs should I bring,
At St. James's and Wapping, we see the same thing ;
Go, hire a blind Fiddler, and dance thro' the town,
To the tune CA IRA, and you'll both be knock'd down ;
Or like the Jew GORDON, you'll perish in gaol,
If K———n object to your Jacobin bail ;
Could Fox and his Phalanx, our Music command,
They would tune a Banditti to plunder the land ;
By the Marsellois March, they would thicken their ranks,
And pilfer our Houses, and empty our Banks !
Then still let our Streets, and our Theatres ring,
"The Roast Beef of Old England, and God Save the King."
Inspir'd by these Ditties, let's boldly advance,
To hang the Convention, and Monarchise France ;
Another Campaign ! how these rascals we'll firk,
Take Strasbourg and Landau ! Toulon and Dunkirk !
While Austria and Prussia the Sans Culottes slaughter,
Let Kate give the knout to each wife, and each daughter.
Then Genoa storm, and the Polanders rob,
While she chants a Te Deum, we'll pay for the job.


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N O T E S.

* Baxter, (who was Tutor to the celebrated John Wilkes) in his very learned and ingenious Treatise on the Soul, ascribes Madness to the malignant influence of Dæmons.

p "The King of Spain being seized with a total dejection of spirits, which made him refuse to be shaved, and rendered him incapable of attending Council or transacting affairs of State, the Queen, who had in vain tried every common expedient that was likely to contribute to his recovery, determined that an experiment should be made of the effects of Music upon the King of her husband, who was extremely sensible of its charms. Upon the arrival of Farinelli, of whose extraordinary performances an account had been transmitted to Madrid from several parts of Europe, but particularly from Paris; her Majesty contrived, that there should be a Concert in a room adjoining to the King's apartment, in which this singer performed one of his most captivating songs. The King appeared at first surprised, then moved, and at the end of the second air, made the Virtuoso enter his apartment, loading him with compliments and caresses ; asking him how he could reward such talents, assuring him that he could refuse him nothing. Farinelli previously instructed, only begged that his Majesty would permit his attendants to shave and dress him, and that he would endeavour to appear in Council as usual. From this time, the King's disease gave way to medicine, and the singer had all the honour of the cure."

Burney's History of Music, Vol. IV, p. 412.

q "Sir John Hawkins, in his History of Music, tells us, that a Captain of the Regiment of Navarre, being confined in prison, requested the Governor to give him leave to send for his lute, to beguile the sad hours of captivity, which favour was granted him. After singing and playing some time, he was greatly astonished to see the mice come out of their holes, and the spiders dance from their webs, and form a circle round him : he stood motionless, and laying down his lute, these animals and insects retired to their lodgings."

Sketches of the Origin and Effects of Music, by the Rev. Mr. Eastcott, p. 87.

r "Sir Thomas Fairfax told me a pleasant tale of a Soldier in Ireland, who having got his passport to go for England, as he passed through the wood with his knapsack on his back, being weary, he set down under a tree, where he opened his knapsack upon his back, and fell to some victuals he had ; but on a sudden, he was surprised with two or three wolves, making a near approach to him ; he knew not what shift to make, but by taking a pair of Scotch bagpipes which he had, and as soon as he began to play upon them, the wolves ran all away, as if they had been scared out of their wits, whereupon the soldier said, a pox take you all, if I had known you loved music so well, you should have had it before dinner.

Howel's Familiar Letters, p. 169.

s "The following Anecdote was communicated some years since, by Mr. James Tatlow, of Wiegate, near Manchester, who had it from those who were witnesses of the fact: ——One Sunday evening, five Choristers were walking on the banks of the river Mersey, in Cheshire; after some time, they sat down on the grass and began to sing an anthem. The field in which they sat, was terminated at one extremity by a wood, out of which as they were singing, they observed a hare to pass with great swiftness towards the place where they were sitting, and to stop at about twenty yards distance from them. She appeared highly delighted with the music, often turning up the side of her head to listen with more facility. As soon as the harmonious sound was over, the hare returned slowly towards the wood ; when she had reached nearly the end of the field, they began the same piece again, at which the hare stopped, turned about, and came back swiftly again, to about the same distance as before, where she seemed to listen with rapture and delight, till they had finished the Anthem, when she returned again by a slow pace up the field, and entered the wood.——The harmony of the Choristers, no doubt, drew the hare from her seat in the wood."

Escott's Sketches on Music, p. 84.

t [There is in fact no note "t"; the reference is presumably to the note above.]

v "The following melancholy fact, being witnessed by a vast multitude of people, can want no farther confirmation to establish it. At the first grand performance in Commemoration of Handel, at Westminster Abbey, Mr. Burton, a celebrated Chorus singer, well known in the Musical World, was immediately upon the commencement of the Overture of Esther, so violently agitated, that after laying for some time in a fainting fit he expired. However, at intervals he was able to speak ; and but a few minutes before he drew his last breath declared, that it was the wonderful effects of the Music, which had operated so powerfully on him."

Eastcott's Sketches on Music, page 62.

w "HANDEL, in his Oratorio of Israel in Egypt, has imitated by notes, the buzzing of flies, the flight of locusts, and the leaping of frogs ; and has rattled down a hail-storm so wonderfully, that to the imagination of the greater part of those who attended the Abbeymeetings, it absolutely realised dreary Winter, whilst every thing in nature was invigorated by the warm rays of the genial Sun."

Eastcott's Sketches on Music, page 101.

Burney.

** Quinct. Lib. I. Cap. III.

†† Ca Ira. — Vide Muir's Trial.

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