hommes suffisamment instruits, le plus grand nombre s'accordera, pour l'ordinaire, sur le jugement des morceaux, et sur l'ordre de préférence qui leur convient. Demandez à chacun raison de son jugement, il y a des choses sur lesquelles ils la rendront d'un avis presque unanime; ces choses sont celles qui se trouvent soumises aux règles; et ce jugement commun est alors celui de l'artiste ou du connoisseur.'

Beyond this collective taste there is, Rousseau remarks, an individual taste, founded on instinct rather than on reasoning, and belonging to the homme de goût proper. Where these men of taste differ, the only way is to count the votes and abide by the verdict of the majority. Voilà donc ce qui doit décider de la préférence entre la musique françoise et l'italienne,' he winds up triumphantly. This, it must be remembered, was written ten years before Glück had become the champion of French music, and had entirely changed the views of the best French critics, including Rousseau's own.

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The excellence of Rousseau's Dictionnaire' becomes most apparent when we compare it with a similar attempt made in this country towards the close of the century. Dr. Thomas Busby, the author of 'A Complete Dictionary of Music,' published in 1786, was a man of great industry and no doubt of excellent intentions, who wrote numerous books on the theory of music and similar matters. The aim of his dictionary is indeed of the most ambitious kind; but its grandiloquent promises are sadly at variance with the appearance of the little volume in duodecimo, still more with the unsatisfactory way in which the most important subjects are treated. For instance, all that Dr. Busby knows of barcarolles' is that they are certain songs composed by the Venetian gondoliers, and sung by them in their boats. The style of these airs is simple and natural, like the manners of the people who produce them.' In Mr. Grove's Dictionary the article on 'barcarole' fills over half a column, and contains, besides an account of its origin, and its rhythmical and melodic character, a list of the chief instances in which composers have made use of the gondoliers' song. It is true that these latter belong one and all to modern music, Mendelssohn being the most prominent representative of the barcarole in its artistic stage; but Auber, Schubert, Chopin, and Sterndale Bennett, have also written beautiful barcaroles.

Of the efforts of German scholarship and thoroughness, to which some of the most valuable compendiums of musical knowledge are due, it would be impossible to give a complete list. The first amongst these appears to have been Walthern's 'Alte und neue musikalische Bibliothek, oder Musikalisches Lexikon,' published early in the last century at Weimar. The best among technical dictionaries is Arrey von Dommer's revised edition of Koch's 'Lexicon' (Heidelberg, 1865). The first biographical dictionary of musicians also appears to have been of German origin, being Gerber's Historisch-biographisches Lexicon der Tonkünstler' (Leipzig, 1790-92, 2 vols.), followed twenty years later by the Dictionnaire historique des Musiciens' of Choron and Fazolle (Paris 1810-11). But by far the most important work of this class is Fétis's Biographie Universelle des Musiciens,' already alluded to. Of

Mendel's 'Conversations-Lexikon,' combining the technical and the biographical elements, mention has also been made.

In conclusion, we think Mr. Grove has exercised a wise discretion in omitting from his valuable Dictionary a whole class of subjects, the nature of which is indicated by the following paragraph of the Preface:

The limits of the work have necessarily excluded disquisitions on acoustics, anatomy, mechanics, and other branches of science connected with the main subject, which, though highly important, are not absolutely requisite in a book concerned with practical music.'

It has of late become the custom to speak of a 'science of music,' and composers and virtuosi are often sternly reproved for being unacquainted with the scientific basis of their art. They may plead in excuse that the number of vibrations by which a tone is produced is a matter of total indifference to those who can string such tones together into a melody, or play them on the violin or the flute. Neither is the intonation of a singer improved by his minute knowledge of the larynx and its anatomical qualities. Moreover, the experiments with 'pure fifths,' and other attempts at meddling with our system of tuning the pianoforte, have hitherto led, and will probably always lead, to miserable failures. It may indeed be broadly stated, that the discoveries of Helmholtz and other scientific men, valuable and excellent though they undoubtedly are, have never been of the slightest use to the practical musician. The story is told of a scientific man who wrote a piece of music on strictly mathematical principles. It was a model of symmetry, and everything that could be desired from a scientific point of view, but extremely dull and uninteresting. On the other hand, there is no evidence that Bach or Mozart knew anything whatever of the physical laws of their art. The two things are different, and ought not to be mixed up together. There is a science of acoustics, and an art of music.-Quarterly Review.


English opinion concerning France, our neighbour and rival, was formerly full of hostile prejudice, and is still, in general, quite sufficiently disposed to severity. But from time to time France or things French become for the solid English public the object of what our neighbours call an engouement-an infatuated interest. Such an engouement Wordsworth witnessed in 1802, after the Peace of Amiens, and it disturbed his philosophic mind greatly. Every one was rushing to Paris; every one was in admiration of the First Consul.

Lords, lawyers, statesmen, squires of low degree,
Men known and men unknown, sick, lame, and blind,
Post forward all like creatures of one kind,

With first-fruit offerings crowd to bend the knee,

In France, before the new-born majesty.

All measure, all dignity, all real intelligence of the situation, so Wordsworth complained, were lost under the charm of the new attraction.

'Tis ever thus. Ye men of prostrate mind,

A seemly reverence may be paid to power;
But that's a loyal virtue, never sown

In haste, nor springing with a transient shower.

When truth, when sense, when liberty were flown,

What hardship had it been to wait an hour?
Shame on you, feeble heads, to slavery prone!

One or two moralists there may still be found, who comment in a like spirit of impatience upon the extraordinary attraction exercised by the French company of actors which has just left us. The rush of 'lords, lawyers, statesmen, squires of low degree, men known and men unknown,' of those acquainted with the French language perfectly, of those acquainted with it a little, and of those not acquainted with it at all, to the performances at the Gaiety Theatre, the universal occupation with the performances and performers, the length and solemnity with which the newspapers chronicled and discussed them, the seriousness with which the whole repertory of the company was taken, the passion for certain pieces and for certain actors, the great ladies who by the acting of Mdlle. Sarah Bernhardt were revealed to themselves, and who could not resist the desire of telling her so,-all this has moved, I say, a surviving and aged moralist here and there amongst us to exclaim: Shame on you, feeble heads, to slavery prone!' The English public, according to these cynics, were exhibiting themselves as men of prostrate mind, who pay to power a reverence anything but seemly; we were conducting ourselves with just that absence of tact, measure, and correct perception, with all that slowness to see when one is making oneself ridiculous, which belongs to the people of our English race.

The sense of measure is certainly not one of Nature's gifts to her English children; but then we all of us fail in it, we have all of us yielded to infatuation at some moment of our lives, we are all in the same boat, and one of us has no right to laugh at the other. I am sure I have not. I remember how in my youth, after a first sight of the divine Rachel at the Edinburgh Theatre, in the part of Hermione, I followed her to Paris, and for two months never missed one of her representations. I will not cast a stone at the London public for running eagerly after the charming company of actors which has just left us, or at the great ladies who are seeking for soul, and have found it in Mdlle, Sarah Bernhardt. I will not quarrel with our newspapers for their un remitting attention to these French performances, their copious criticism of them; particularly when the criticism is so interesting and so

good as that which the Times and the Daily News and the Pall Mall Gazette have given us. Copious, indeed-why should not our newspapers be copious on the French play when they are copious on the Clewer case, and the Mackonochie case, and so many other matters besides, a great deal less important and interesting, all of them, than the Maison de Molière?

So I am not going to join the cynics, and to find fault with the engouement, the infatuation, shown by the English public in its passion for the French plays and players. A passion of this kind may be salutary if we will learn the lessons for us with which it is charged. Unfortunately, few people who feel a passion think of learning anything from it. A man feels a passion, he passes through it, and then he goes his way and straightway forgets, as the Apostle says, what manner of man he was. Above all, this is apt to happen with us English, who have, as an eminent German professor is good enough to tell us, 'so much genius, so little method.' The much genius hurries us into infatuations; the little method prevents our learning the right and wholesome lesson from them. Let us join, then, devoutly and with contrition, in the prayer of the German professor's great countryman, Goethe, a prayer which is more needful, one may surely say, for us than for him: 'God help us, and enlighten us for the future; that we may not stand in our own way so much, but may have clear notions of the consequences of things!"

To get a clear notion of the consequences which do in reason follow from what we have been seeing and admiring at the Gaiety Theatre, to get a clear notion of them, and frankly to draw them, is the object which I propose to myself here. I am not going to criticise one by one the French actors and actresses who have been giving us so much pleasure. For a foreigner this must always be a task, as it seems to me, of much peril; perilous or not, it has been abundantly attempted, and to attempt it yet again, now that the performances are over and the performers gone back to Paris, would be neither timely nor interesting. One remark I will make, a remark suggested by the inevitable comparison of Mdlle. Sarah Bernhardt with Rachel. One talks vaguely of genius, but I had never till now comprehended how much of Rachel's superiority was purely in intellectual power, how eminently this power counts in the actor's art as in all art, how just is the instinct which led the Greeks to mark with a high and severe stamp the Muses. Temperament and quick intelligence, passion, nervous mobility, grace, smile, voice, charm, poetry-Mdlle. Sarah Bernhardt has them all; one watches her with pleasure, with admiration, and yet not without a secret disquietude. Something is wanting, or, at least, not present in sufficient force; something which alone can secure and fix her administration of all the charming gifts which she has, can alone keep them fresh, keep them sincere, save them from perils by caprice, perils by mannerism: that something is high intellectual power. It was here that Rachel was so great; she began, one says to oneself as one recalls her image and dwells upon itshe began almost where Mdlle, Sarah Bernhardt ends.

But I return to my object-the lessons to be learnt by us from the immense attraction which the French company has exercised, the consequences to be drawn from it. Certainly we have something to learn from it, and something to unlearn. What have we to unlearn? Are we to unlearn our old estimate of French poetry and drama? For every lover of poetry and of the drama, this is a very interesting question. In the great and serious kinds of poetry, we used to think that the French genius, admirable as in so many other ways it is, showed radical weakness. But there is a new generation growing up amongst us -and to this young and stirring generation who of us would not gladly belong, even at the price of having to catch some of its allusions and to pass through them?-a new generation which takes French poetry and drama as seriously as Greek, and for which M. Victor Hugo is a great poet of the race and lineage of Shakspeare.

M. Victor Hugo is a great romance-writer. There are people who are disposed to class all imaginative producers together, and to call them all by the name of poet. Then a great romance-writer will be a great poet. Above all are the French inclined to give this wide extension to the name poet, and the inclination is very characteristic of them. It betrays that very defect which we have mentioned, the inadequacy of their genius in the higher regions of poetry. If they were more at home in those regions, they would feel the essential difference between imaginative production in verse and imaginative production in prose too strongly to be ever inclined to call both by the common name of poetry. They would perceive, with us, that M. Victor Hugo, for instance, or Sir Walter Scott, may be a great romance-writer, and may yet be by no means a great poet.

Poetry is simply the most delightful and perfect form of utterance that human words can reach. Its rhythm and measure, elevated to a regularity, certainty, and force very different from that of the rhythm and measure which can pervade prose, are a part of its perfection. The more of genius that a nation has for high poetry, the more will the rhythm and measure which its poetical utterance adopts be distinguished by adequacy and beauty. That is why M. Henry Cochin's remark on Shakspeare, which I have elsewhere quoted, is so good: Shakspeare is not only,' says M. Henry Cochin, the king of the realm of thought, he is also the king of poetic rhythm and style. Shakspeare has succeeded in giving us the most varied, the most harmonious verse which has ever sounded upon the human ear since the verse of the Greeks.' Let us have a line or two of Shakspeare's verse before us, just to supply the mind with a standard of reference in the discussion of this matter; we may take the lines from him almost at random.

Five hundred poor I have in yearly pay,
Who twice a day their wither'd hands hold up
Toward heaven, to pardon blood; and I have built
Two chantries, where the sad and solemn priests
Sing still for Richard's soul.

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