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A PERSIAN GARDEN-PARTY.
BY A GUEST,
discomfort, seven big fires were kept up. I was conducted into the presence
my Such a strong cold wind was, however, hostess; and, after a grand ceremony of blowing, that we were glad to be inside, bowing and endless flowery speeches, we hot and stifling though it was. Before all sat down on very soft cushions, emdawn some of the more wakeful members broidered with gold thread (such a thing of the household began to pray aloud, the as a chair was not to be seen). After a prayer consisting of a curious jamble of little conversation, a cloth was spread on fragments out of some of the genealogical the carpets, and dishes, containing all the chapters of the Bible done into the Ara. varieties of sweets for which the country coonah tongue. Following this there was is famous, were arranged in long rows. a lengthy discourse by the lady of the I may mention rhubarb was cut in thin dirty dress, which, however, she had dis. slices and eaten with salt quite raw. carded for the more simple national cos- Melon-seeds, salted, were also very plentume of an apron of beads. We left tiful, and pistachio nuts were strewn over Mănão-potāb-pooh, with little regret, at most dishes. Several sorts of sherbet, as early an hour as we could conveniently with lumps of snow, were handed round, get away.
and, at intervals, the kalian, or water-pipe, MONTAGU FLINT, F.R.G.S. made its appearance, and the ladies took
frequent draws at it. The guests having eaten as many of the sweets as they felt
inclined, carefully tied up some more in a From Tinsley's Magazine.
small cloth, ready for eating from time to time. We then entered into a very lively conversation, chiefly consisting in my an
swering the numerous questions as to my I HAD been invited by the wife of the dress, the cost of it, the way my husband chief banker of Shiraz to spend a day with treated me, what money I had, etc. One her and a party of ladies at a village about elderly lady advised me when I wanted a five miles from the city.
new dress to wait until my husband came On the day fixed I 'left the town soon in for his dinner, and then to ask for it. after sunrise, and, attended by two ser. If not granted, to scream and cry, until vants, rode through one of its ruined the hungry man gave permission. This is, gates; the way under it was lined with I believe, what many of them do, but I sleeping soldiers, who raised their heads fancy it has not always the desired effect. to have a look at a Feringhee woman, They questioned me very closely as to who is still an object of curiosity. Hav- the mode of punishment adopted by husing crossed the bed of a river now quite bands to their wives; they, most of them, dry, we rode for three miles between high had had very intimate relations with a mud walls, over which could be seen the stick, and hardly believed my denial that gorgeous scarlet flowers of the pomegran- my case was not so. Another lady exate, of which acres are grown in this part. pressed great surprise at my being able We constantly, met droves of donkeys to read and write Persian. She wondered laden with rhubarb for the market; this what use it could possibly be to a woman, grows wild on the neighboring hills. It as the payment of a small sum to a scribe was now very hot, and I was not sorry to would get a letter far better written. I see a small door in one of the walls, at said, “ But suppose you should want to which a crowd of servants were waiting, write something you did not wish every who at once pressed forward apparently one to hear about ? ” This she thought to assist, but I fancy in reality to satisfy was not likely, as everything is openly their curiosity. I was now taken through discussed before servants, and by them a large compound, with the usual tank and carried to the bazaars. The entrance of trees in the centre, round the walls of a Jew and his son playing on the guitar which were tied about thirty white don- interrupted our chat, and we listened for keys; these were the steeds of the guests, an hour to some of the odes of Hafiz, and are of considerable value, often cost- after which a collection was made, and ing as much as a good horse. On leav- the liberality or stinginess of each freely ing the compound, a black servant came commented upon. We were informed forward and gave me a large bouquet of that breakfast would be ready in half an roses, very tastefully arranged. I was hour. now joined by the confidential women of I will here give a description of my the hostess, and taken to a room to change hostess and her dress. She wore a bright. my habit for a cool dress. This done, I red satin skirt, richly embroidered with gold lace; it was very full and short, ing eaten plentifully, stood up and thanked barely reaching to her knees; a loose the hostess, who led the way into a large jacket of blue velvet, also much trimmed cool room, with a tank in the centre ;
this time with silver lace; the sleeves cushions were laid about, and then all were made of Cashmere shawl, buttoned soon composed themselves for their siesby about twenty small steel buttons. She ta, and for two hours everything was wore several necklaces, most of them very quiet. On waking up, rose-water was again massive, and studded with fine turquoises. brought, and a brown powder, which the On her head she wore a white shawl, with ladies dusted over their hands and faces. a band of jewels round her forehead, and We then went to another room, where we at one side a large pearl star. She had found a band of musicians, who played in on both arms at least a dozen bracelets
a very monotonous way for some time; some handsome ones, some only bands of it seemed to give great satisfaction to colored glass. Her feet were covered most of those present, who clapped their with coarse white socks; her shoes green hands and screamed for more. A collecleather, with scarlet heels. Some of the tion was again made for the performers. ladies wore bright-red trousers reaching Servants entered with trays of cherries, to the ankle; but this was quite the ex- plums, and nuts : the hostess gave a porception. They wore a long veil reaching tion to each guest, the more favored ones from head to foot, generally made of some getting about double. A walk in the smart print or muslin. I'ought to men- garden was then proposed; all the veils tion that every lady wore a small leather were put on for fear of meeting any one, case round her neck, containing some and we went out into a very fine garden earth from Mecca and verses from the full of fruit-trees, water running between Koran. The faces of my hostess and each row: the shade and coolness were friends were much decorated, the eye- very grateful. After a time out here, one brows broadened and carried quite across is at no loss to wonder why the Persians the nose. Some had small designs tat- are so fond of trees and water. tooed on the cheeks. The hair is very The garden must have been about forty long and thick, generally dyed red; it is acres in extent; half was planted with worn plaited, in many thin tails, twisted vines. The hostess gathered several with gold thread. The hands are well- grapes and gave them to me, very small shaped, but nails and palms are stained a and sour; I passed them on, and they dark red.
were soon eaten. Unripe fruit is much Soon after noon breakfast was an- liked, and eaten generally with salt. nounced. Two slaves brought a silver We returned to the house for tea, which jug containing rose-water, which was served boiling hot in cups like a poured over our hands ; we then sat down doll's, with tiny spoons. The tea was at a cloth, spread as usual on the floor. very sweet and made with rose-water. Large dishes of rice, boiled to perfection, No'milk was to be had. Half an hour fowls and meat cooked in every manner later excellent ices were brought; and possible; all dishes highly colored with the clever way in which the ladies ate saffron, and very much flavored with them with their fingers excited no small mint; fruit with mutton, dates with eggs, surprise in my mind. There was a stream everything very greasy; large flat cakes running in front of the room, and one lady of bread which served for plates. The suggested that they should all adjourn to guests plunged their hands into the rice, the side of it and sit with their feet in the tore a piece of meat off where they liked, water. This was accordingly done. I and ate very much and very fast. My had many pressing invitations to remove knife and fork were much approved of, my boots and do the same, which I deas keeping one's hands clean. Several clined. Now the talking was fast and tried to use them, but as they had a very loud; every sort of trick was played on indefinite notion of the use of the knife, 1 their neighbors by those near them ; snow was not surprised to see one lip bleeding. was thrown about — not made into a ball, My hostess tore off all the choicest bits, but in a loose mass. I showed them how and piled them on my plate, sweets and to make a ball, which greatly pleased meats all at once. We had sherbet-and-them. They improved on my pattern by water passed round in wooden bowls. I putting green plums in the centre. At was not invited to drink with them, but a this game they played for some time; glass bowl, holding about a quart, was then the duties of the toilette appeared to put before me, containing most excellent have a claiin on them, and from every sherbet made of limes. Every one, hav- pocket appeared a small mirror, pots and
papers containing powders and unguents made for the support of those whose duty for the beautifying of their faces. The it was to attend to the celebration of the contemplation of their charms when worship of praise in that place. There is freshly touched up afforded them the a goodly list of honored and honorable greatest satisfaction. I made a remark names of musicians who in later years as to the length of one lady's hair. In a have earned a place in history. All these minute every head was uncovered, in things point to the conclusion that the order that I might judge of the merits of metropolitan cathedral has been from the each one. Some was very long and fine, oldest time an "encourager of the goodly but all of the uniform color.
and gentle art of musick."* Several children now made their en- of the character of the music used in trance - quaint little things, terribly shy the period before the Reformation, of the at the sight of a white face. It was hard manner of singing, and other matters, work to persuade them to take sweets and none but the scantiest records have fruit from me. They are taught great re- reached us. There are, it is true, many spect, never eating or sitting down before particulars connected with the music or their parents until told to do so. They its performance which are interesting, but are generally very smartly dressed in satin they are so chiefly from an antiquarian and velvet. I never have seen them play- point of view. However tempting it may ing as English children do. They sit be to give extracts from the venerable listening to everything that is said, and, records, it is proposed to refrain from all if possible, pulling flowers to pieces; this, allusion to that part of the subject at by the way, is a very favorite amusement present, further than to say that whatever of Persians of all ages. As it was now value music possessed as an aid to devonearly sunset, and I was quite ready to tion seemed to be fully held in view. As leave my friends, who, though full of hos time grew on, and men's views suffered a pitable wishes were a little tiring, I went change, the character of the music beto my hostess, and, in the best Persian came altered, the composers and performI could muster, made my salaams and ers were something more than nameless thanks for the pleasures of the day. items in the choir, those belonging to St. Great grief was expressed at my leaving, Paul's receiving due respect and admiraand they all showed a desire to embrace tion for their skill. me most affectionately. This I managed The history of music in St. Paul's be. to evade, and my hands were heartily comes more important as our knowledge shaken and showers of rose-leaves thrown concerning it becomes more definite. În
Two large bouquets of roses the wholesale confiscation and destrucwere given me. One young girl sug- tion of property belonging to cathedrals gested that one was for my husband. A and monasteries in the reign of King small party ventured, with their veils Henry VIII., St. Paul's suffered. Choirclosely drawn round their faces, to come singing was forbidden, the organ silenced into the compound and see my horse. and ordered to be removed, the books They did not think him superior to their were seized and carried away or publicly donkeys, and the plain saddle and bridle burned. were much disparaged. They have a In St. Paul's the work of the commisgreat deal of silver about their trappings. sioners for the removal of images was At last I managed to say my final fare done quietly, without irreverence, but, it well, and rode cff. It was very cool and may not be doubted, with much sorrow. pleasant; the sun setting behind the In other places, “not only images but mountains tinted the whole landscape wood-lofts, relics, sepulchres, books, banwith a red-and-gold color never seen in ners, copes, vestments, altar-cloths, were England. I rode quickly, to Shiraz, on in divers places committed to the fire, the whole much amused with my first ex. and that with much shouting, and apperience of life among the Persian ladies. plause of the vulgar sort, as if it had
been the sacking of some hostile city.” For these reasons it is difficult to be able, at this distance of time, to tell anything with certainty concerning the character
of the music done in St. Paul's in the old MUSIC IN ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL. THERE are many references to the mu
. Whatever difference of opinion there may be as to sic found in ancient documents relating to worsamount cevther kind of music suitable to public
worship, all (silent St. Paul's. There was ample provision ested in this subject from its historical bearings.
From The Leisure Hour,
building. We know a little of the matter sive were an interchange of words to be at this period. We know the names made to the notes. This, however, is not of some of the musicians then and a peculiarity confined to that particular during the latter part of Queen Eliza- date. beth's reign from the few scattered rem- The composers certainly made the ennants of their musical compositions left deavor to introduce befitting expression, to us. The removal of those things in and although instances of this necessary and about the cathedral, with which the union are rare, and sometimes only acci. people were wont to associate certain dental, there is sufficient evidence of the superstitious virtues, inspired feelings of attempt. It was not until later that disa different kind. Contempt took the tinct efforts were made by composers to place of reverence as Puritanism became impart a special character to music inparamount. Up to this date all reference tended for use in the church. Various to the music in St. Paul's was of a gen- reasons. have been given to prove the eral. character. Now we begin to be motives in the minds of the writers; afforded particular glimpses not only of some affecting to show that a desire to the nature of the music sung, but also foster the principles and practices of the into the life, character, and works of Puritans may be traced in the constructhose who took part in it. Musical tion of the music; that in the anthems pieces were multiplied by the printing the composers sought to preserve a press. One of the first books containing certain amount of that character which settings of the canticles was published is said to belong to it, and at the same by John Day, 1560. “Imprinted at Lon- time made concessions to the popular don, over Aldersgate, beneath St. Mar- taste by the introduction of such hartyn's.” It contains the music in four-part monies and phrases as would remind the harmony, and the names of the com- hearers of the psalm tunes which, in posers - some of whom were connected many churches, were sung“Geneva wise,” with St. Paul's are also given : Caus- “men, women, and children all singing ton, Johnson, Oakland, Shepard, Tav. together." While this practice of psalmerner, and Tallis.
singing was adopted in many churches, Thomas Tusser, a former chorister of and became in time strongly established, St. Paul's, and the author of “ Five Hun- it does not appear that congregational dred Pointes of Good Husbandrie," tells singing in St. Paul's was ever encourus in his life a few incidents by which aged. The psalms were sung by the we learn how chorister-boys were treated people at Paul's Cross, but not in the in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, both at building, the dean strongly opposing any Wallingford and at St. Paul's, under Red- interference with the wonted custom withford, the organist, and from other writers in. The idlers and those who thronged of the period a great many facts might the great aisles of the old church took be quoted which would be in some sort only a passing interest in the musical interesting. The music used in the cathe- service. The cathedral authorities condral acquired a new character. The cerned themselves chiefly with the enjoy. pre-eminent position occupied by the ment of their revenues, and made no musicians at the time served to impart a attempt to attract the people to services value to the compositions of the period, of prayer and praise. The daily offices both sacred and secular. The madrigals were duly and punctually celebrated. produced by the English musicians of The composers, for the most part, wrote Elizabeth's reign are acknowledged to be music to suit particular voices, and, by equal, if not superior, to those of any this means, gratified both performer and other more vaunted musical people. The listeners. It is said that, by "accident excellence of this secular music is also rather than by deliberate design, they to be found in the music intended for the produced works which are now counted service of the Church. At this time there among the masterpieces of their kind." was only little, if any, difference between In the very disregard of old rules, and in the character of “sacred or prophane” the indulgence of novel harmonies, they music. The limited number of progress opened a new field for further explorasions then allowed in harmony produced tion. This "licentiousness," as it was a similarity — not to say a monotony – called, not unfrequently gave rise to the of style. At this distance of time it is display of “ the vilest taste in music, both difficult to tell by the construction of the as regards the compositions themselves, music alone whether the madrigals or the and the singers who periormed them.” anthems would not be equally expres- This “bitter reckoning" seems to be
prompted by the spirit of the old Puritan order of things arose, as soon as the new writers, who inveigh against those who, cathedral was ready for use, the musical “ tossing the psalms from one side to the part of the daily service was resumed other," did not encourage the “people's upon lines similar to those which guided joining with one voice in a plain tune." its conduct in the early part of the reign
In spite of misunderstanding, wilful or of the first Charles, with a few additions other, St. Paul's remained steadily and and improvements, and perhaps a few quietly working on in its accustomed omissions. The re-opening of the cathegroove, adding to and preserving the lega- dral on December 2nd, 1697, thirty-one cies of musical compositions written for years after the fire, and twenty-two after the service of the Church. Not unmindful the first stone was laid, was celebrated by of the claims the sister cathedrals had to a a magnificent service, in which, for the share in the inheritance, she took the bold first time, the choirs of the Chapel Royal, step of encouraging the printing of copies of Windsor, and Westminster united to of some of her musical treasures.
give praise to God. The service was also This was the first printed collection of a national thanksgiving for the peace of music for the service. It was made by Ryswick. It was not until nine years John Barnard, minor canon of St. Paul's, later that the cathedral was finally finished, in 1641. So well was it used, or abused, but frequent services upon a scale hiththroughout the land, that no perfect copy erto unattempted were celebrated from of it is known to exist.
time to time in commemoration of victoThe first collection of words of anthems ries and other national advantages. There was also made by another minor canon, are prints extant depicting the visits of the Rev. James Clifford, some twenty Queen Anne to the cathedral, in some of years later, “ Divine Services and An- which may be seen the choir-singers thems usually sung in the Cathedrals and greater in number than those employed Collegiate Choires in the Church of En- in the ordinary service, together with a gland. London, 1663."
band of instrumentalists in the organ loft. In the interval between the publication For these services the musicians of of the two books St. Paul's suffered many the time furnished music which even now changes. The nave was turned into a is heard in one cathedral or another cavalry barracks for the soldiers of the throughout the length and breadth of the Parliament; the choir, bricked off from land. By degrees the cathedral was used the rest of the church, was made a “preach- for other ceremonies than those of thanksing place,” the entrance to which was by giving for peace, or to commemorate the a window broken down into a door at the success of the queen's arms against the north-east angle of the church, close be- enemy abroad. At these services as large hind the old Paul's Cross. Dr. Cornelius a choir as could be conveniently gathered, Burgess," the anti-dean," as he was together with a body of instrumentalists called, had an assignment of four hundred and the organ, united to bring due honor pounds “by the year” out of the revenues to the occasion. The traditions thus esas a reward for his sermons, which were tablished were religiously observed for a too often made up of invective against long time after. deans, chapters, and singing-men, against At the festival of the Sons of the Clergy whom he seems to have had a great en from the year 1709 to about the year 1842, mity. The Corinthian portico, designed a full band and choir was heard annually by Inigo Jones, at the western end, was in the cathedral; the band was supplied leased to a man who called it "Paul's in the latter half of the period above Change,” and let it out in small shops to named by the Royal Society of Musicians, haberdashers, glovers, milliners, and other every member of that body being bound petty tradesmen.
to be present or to find a substitute. The Scenes of riot both within and without choir was generally composed of the memthe cathedral disturbed the serenity of the bers of the best London choirs, with a place, and were only suppressed by a stern little assistance from the cathedrals and authority. It was at one time actually colleges within a radius of sixty miles of froposed to sell the church to the Jews the metropolis. For the accommodation that they might make it a central syna- of the chorus and band, a raised platform gogue, so little interest was there in St. was built under the organ at the entrance Paul's as a Christian place of worship to the choir. This was the custom so This may only have been one of Oliver | long as the organ remained in that place, Croniwell's grim jokes.
even after the services of the band were After the Restoration, and when a new | discontinued and a larger body of voices