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It happens that we are not left quite in the dark even on the question as to how far port duties were considered to fall within the purview of the Petition by legal authorities of that time. When Hampden's case was tried, Sir Robert Berkley defined a 'tax ' as a tenth,' a 'fifteenth,' or a 'subsidy,' and said that ship-money did not fall within the meaning of any of the terms used in the ancient statutes or in the Petition of Right* Chief Justice Finch, speaking on the same side, said that the Petition was intended merely as a law against loans. On the other hand, Sir George Croke, who gave judgment in favour of Hampden, contended that the king was restrained by statute law from levying money by prerogative for defence of the realm ; and he finally came to the Petition of Right, which is,' he said, 'a full and perfect statute, show‘ing in this point the liberty of the kingdom, prayed and • allowed, which was not done without advice of the Judges, • whereof I was one, whose opinions were then demanded and • resolved, that the same did not give any new liberty, but • declared what the liberty of the subject was in this amongst others, that they should not be compelled to contribute to any tax, tallage, aid, or other the like charge not set by * Parliament.' Clearly, Croke interpreted the Petition to be a revival of all the old statutes, and had the case come before him and he been of the same mind and heart as when he
gave this judgment, he must have allowed that the levy of port duties had been rendered illegal as well as the imposition of ship-money without consent of Parliament. “I do conclude, • he says, in another report of his judgment, that no charge can
be imposed upon the Commons without their consent in Par• liament. We that are judges must go according to the in• tention and meaning of those laws. The meaning of the laws ' in this kind was that no manner of charge, aid or tax should • be laid upon the subject but by consent in Parliament. The 'judges are to expound them according to their intention.' I
We believe that Croke truly expounded the Petition of Right according to the intention of the Commons. It is another question whether Finch and Berkley truly expounded it according to the intention of the king. With all deference to Mr. Gardiner, we cannot help thinking that in this instance, in his endeavour to do justice to Charles, he has failed to place before his readers a true representation of the standpoint of the Commons.
State Trials, iii. 1095.
† Ibid. 1237.
Art. V.--1. Richard Wagner and the Music of the Future : History and Æsthetics. By FRANZ HUEFFER. London :
1874. 2. The Music of the Future: a Letter to M. Frederick Villot.
By RICHARD WAGNER. Translated from the original
German by E. DANNREUTHER. London : 1873. 3. History of Music from the Christian Era to the present Time ;
in the form of Lectures. By FREDERICK Louis RITTER,
Professor of Music at Vassar College. London: 1876. 4. Rienzi, der Letzte der Tribunen: grosse Tragedie Oper in
5 Acten. Von RICHARD WAGNER. Dresden. 5. Tannhaüser: a Romantic Opera in Three Acts.
Richard WAGNER. Edited and translated into English by
NATALIA MACFARREN. P. F. score. London. 6. Lohengrin : a Romantic Opera in Three Acts. Ву
Richard WAGNER. Edited by BERTHOLD Tours, and translated into English by Natalia MACFARREN. P. F.
score. London. 7. Der Ring des Nibelungen: ein Bühnenfestspiel für drei
Tage und einen Vorabend (viz. : Der Rheingold--Die Walküre, Siegfried-Götterdämmerung): im Vertrauen auf den deutschen Geist entworfen und zum Ruhme seines erhabenen Wohlthüters des Königs Ludwig II. von Bayern vollendet Von RICHARD WAGNER. Vollständige Partitur.
Mainz, Brüssel, Paris, London, und Leipzig. 8. Tristan und Isolde : Oper in 3 Acten. Von RICHARD WAGNER. Vollständiger Klavierauszug von Hans von
Bülow. Leipzig. THE The history of Art-using the word in its widest sense—is
in the main the history of certain epochs of creative energy, manifested now in one, now in another form or medium of expression, each of which has proved the birth-period of some one of the Fine Arts,' or at least the occasion of its highest typical development. Such were the periods when the Greek artist embodied his ideal in sculpture which has formed the highest model of excellence for all aftertime; when architecture arose as the expression of the religious aspiration of the mediæval mind; when painting became the great power and pride of the Italian life of the Renaissance. Such epochs are usually of comparatively short duration ; nor can they, as far as all past analogy teaches, be arbitrarily initiated, prolonged, or revived. The circumstances which led to the employment, at a given period, of a special medium of expression may be partly traced, but the creative impulse itself is beyond the reach of analysis. We can hardly assign any definite reason for the display at one time of such prodigality and power in some special branch of artistic creation, while a succeeding age of perhaps greater intellectual culture can produce with the same means nothing bearing the impress of originality or inspiration ; but it would almost seem as if the discovery of a new and untried medium of expression were itself the most powerful stimulus to artistic creation, while after its development up to a certain point that stimulus ceases to operate, and a period of decay and stagnation inevitably follows. The art productions of such a period are permanent possessions -Ktýuata és åsi—but the power of reproducing their like is not bequeathed with them; and the subsequent continuation or revival of the same form of art is always, by comparison, tentative in process, uncertain in aim; the result of selfconscious effort and critical method, in place of the undoubting, uncontrollable impulse of the season of original creation.
Thus, of all the forms of art practised in the present day, there is but one which is the result of an impulse and feeling peculiar to the modern period, and having no reference to precedents of a former age. Music is the offspring of the latest springtide of creative energy, which has reached its height, we may almost say, within the experience of men of the present generation. It is true that in a certain sense the pedigree of the art may be traced further back than such an observation would suggest. Without counting the echoes of popular or of religious song which reach our ears faintly from more remote periods, we have the solemn interwoven harmonies of the school of Palestrina, and the part songs and madrigals which gave a sober gaiety to the festivities of old English homes, But music has run a new and great career since Milton invoked the • Sphere-born harmonious sisters, Voice 6 and Verse.' Not to speak of the extension of their combined triumphs in Oratorio and (with certain limitations to be hereafter considered) in Opera, it has been long since discovered that the younger sister was not dependent on the elder—that music had her own language and her own utterances apart from poetry, and had strength and resources for pursuing her own independent course. Commencing with forms of composition appealing rather to the reason than the fancy of the listener—with expositions of the logical elaboration of themes according to a prescribed form and in direct reference to a scientific basis-instrumental music has gradually invaded the realms of sentiment and imagination, has extended and amplified her forms of expression, and called to her aid new resources in the tone-colouring afforded by the timbre of her various organs of speech, till in the Symphony, as developed by Beethoven, we have some of the deepest and most intense expressions of poetic feeling which have ever stirred the hearts of mankind. After such a triumph an anticlimax was inevitable; and though we can by no means say that the poetic fire has been quenched—though new and genuine voices have spoken to us since then, if not with the same deep pathos, yet in tones which have the touch of original geniuswe cannot expect but that music, following the analogy of all previous forms of art-creation, should have its winter, too, of pale misfeature;' nor can we shut our eyes to the signs that we are passing from the great period of spontaneous musical art into the literary and self-conscious phase which usually marks the decline of an art; the period of weighing and criticising, defining principles and aims, which has never hitherto been largely indulged in until the minds of men, set free from their absorbing interest in the production of great works, have been at leisure to regard their art as a subject for speculation ard theorising. If, however, we find the present crisis in musical art characterised by this peculiarity, that these very critics themselves proclaim the decease of music in regard to its hitherto accepted forms, while they point to a composer who promises to give renewed and even higher life to the art by leading its streams into a new channel ; if this musical prophet bases his claims not only on critical writings displaying, in spite of some bigotry and one-sidedness, a distinct and in some respects a consistent theory, but upon compositions of the most ambitious character in regard to scale and elaboration; if these compositions have found acceptance with a considerable and apparently increasing public; such a claim certainly merits serious and impartial consideration from all who are interested in the art, more especially at a juncture when the subject seems, for the time at any rate, to have laid hold of the public mind in this country to an extent which a few years since would certainly not have been anticipated.
It is not very easy for English critics on Wagner to obey the usual recommendation from the Bench to the jury, and to dismiss from their minds all they have previously heard ' in regard to the case. The composer was for many years heard of in this country only as a kind of impracticable musical madman. We learned incidentally how Herr Wagner had determined to extinguish operatic stars' and put down melody; how he was his own poet; how he kept a king to pay for the performance of his operas. Peripatetic English critics who had sat through performances of operas on the new system, brought home pathetic accounts of the manner in which they had been wearied-insulted’ was the word used in one case-by combinations of sound without tune, offered to their unwilling ears as music.' An engagement to act as conductor of the London Philharmonic Society, which it was supposed might receive some fresh impetus from what was certainly regarded as a sensational appointment, at one time brought Herr Wagner temporarily into direct relation with the musical world of England. The connexion was short; the Society and their conductor mutually failed to appreciate each other, and the latter shook the English dust from his shoes without having done anything to convince the insular Philistine of his claim to be regarded as the great musical light of the day. It is only during the last two or three years that, owing mainly to the exertions of the composer's allies among what may be termed the Anglo-German musical colony in this country, it has been admitted that there is at least more method in Wagner's madness than had been supposed, and that at all events, whether right or wrong, he and his friends are determined that he should be heard. In spite of the violent and almost rabid partisanship of the latter, however (which has made almost as many enemies as friends to the cause), we should probably have waited a good many seasons longer for an opportunity of hearing any one of his works in England, but for the conviction, occurring as it would seem simultaneously to the managers of our two great theatrical establishments, that Wagner could be made to ‘pay;' a consideration which of course operated like magic, and we had the spectacle of two rival · houses ' each playing Danaë to the golden shower, and crowds struggling for places to hear what a few years before would have been scouted as an absurdity. It is not our purpose here specially to review Lohengrin,' which thus became the fashionable excitement of the last operatic season. We are concerned rather with the general principle and tendency of Herr Wagner's theory and practice in the art, of which the work in question is hardly a typical development, and which infers a more radical and extended bouleversement of orthodox notions on music than was suspected, probably, by the majority of the thousands who went to hear what they regarded as merely a new form of opera.