HARMONY in an UPROAR:

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A

LETTER

TO

F妖覧k H妖様, Esq;

M覧R of the O覧A-H覧E in the

HAY-MARKET,

FROM

Hurlothrumbo Johnson, Esq;

COMPOSER Extraordinary to all the THEATRES in

G覧T-B覧T覧N,

Excepting that of the HAY-MARKET.

IN WHICH

The RIGHTS and MERITS of both O覧S

are properly consider壇.

 

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覧湧eq; ut me miretur turba, laboro,

Contentus paucis Auditoribus;覧

覧湧ec pluribus impar.覧

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LONDON:

Printed for R. SMITH, in the Strand. 173<?>

[Price One Shilling.]

 

[2 ... 3]

 

[double line]

 

Wonderful SIR!

THE mounting Flames of my Ambition having long aspir壇 to the Honour of holding a small Conversation with you; but being sensible of the almost insuperable Difficulty of getting at you, I bethought me, a Paper Kite might best reach you, and soar to your Apartment, though seated in the highest Clouds; for all the World knows, I can top you, fly as high as you will.

But all preliminary Compliments, and introductory Paragraphs laid aside, let us fall to Business 覧 You must know then, Sir, that I have been told, and made to understand by your Betters, Sir, that of late you have been damn壇 Insolent, Audacious, Impudent and Saucy, and a thousand things else, Sir (that don稚 become you) worse than all that 覧

Do you see, Sir, 覧 as to Particulars, we scorn to descend to Particulars; 覧 for they are look壇 upon as great Secrets; 覧 for your Enemies are very wise, damn壇 cunning, and close; confounded close some of them, and terrible Head-pieces, i断aith; as you値l find to your Cost, before this Season is expir壇, though at the Expence of half their Estates.

Now, Sir, 覧 you must know I make a formal Demand to you in the Name of all the Muses and Mortals devoted to those divine Sublimities; Why this Discord? Why these stupendous Alarms in the Affairs [4] of Harmony? Why has Musick made so confounded a Noise, that the Great Guns upon the Rhine, and in Italy, affect not our Ears, deafned with an eternal Squawl or Chatter about Operas?

Last Night! O Gods, and Men! it was last Night! Was I awake? or did some infernal Phantom disturb my Brain, just lull壇 to Rest? Methought a Voice pierc壇 to the Marrow of my Back-Bone, and cry壇, Arise, Musick is at her last Gasp! 覧 I starting from my flocky Couch, reply壇, How! O Heaven! Musick a dying 覧 then die Angels, and Mortals! That Sound rous壇 all my Faculties to a divine Energy, and made every Artery a Hercules; at once transporting me to the twenty-fifth empyreal Region of the blue-mantled Sky; a thousand Years Journey further than Mahomet ever flew on his Prophet-bearing Ass.

But hush, my Soul, and be your self again; calmly descend to Earth, and deign to converse with its moving Clods: And first for thee, thou delightful musical Machine. Why hast thou dar壇 to rouse the roaring Lions, and wily Foxes of the British Nation; who, but for Pity, could tear thy very Being to Atoms in the hundredth Part of an Allegro Minnum; make Crotchets of thy Body, and Semiquavers of thy Soul; and with the powerful Breath of their Nostrils, blow thy Existence beneath the lowest Hell.

Go then, thou mistaken Mortal, prostrate thy self before these Grand Signiors; yield to their most unreasonable Demands; let them spurn and buffet thee: Talk not foolishly of Merit, Justice or Honour, and they may prove so gracious, as to let thee live, and starve; else thy Destruction痴 sworn; thy Foes [5] are as merciful as wise, and will not leave thee worth a Groat; the Mightiness and Wisdom of Man have vow壇 it.

You now perceive, that, like the Pythian Priestess, I have been inspir壇 at my lower Vent-hole, and have utter壇 mysterious Truths, Oracles and Wonders; which occasioned my breaking out into the following Rapture, in the Shakespearian or Hurlothrumbian Stile.

 

O Heav地-born Harmony! thou Daughter sure of Hell!

Thou tuneful Discord! 覧 beauteous Ugliness!

Why dost thou charm us into Madness thus?

That blindly groping round the darkned Globe,

We know not Day from Night, or if we live:

O save us from our selves; make poor Men rich;

Let great Men say, what 稚is they would be at?

Or touch their Heads, and tell 弾m what they want.

 

Then having eat two Pounds of Beef-Stake, and drank four Quarts of Mild and Stale, my Fury, Prophetick and Poetick, gently subsided into a proper Temper for a Judge, obstinate and drowsy; upon which I determin壇, that it was a Duty incumbent upon me, if possible, to make this Hurly-Burly up; but being convinced, that it is impossible for a Majority, especially of the Majores, to err; and that a single Minor must be very impar to such a many-headed Pluribus; I am humbly of the Opinion, before I hear you, that you are certainly in the wrong: But to shew my Impartiality, since I am declared Umpire in this weighty Cause, I solemnly cite you before my Tribunal; where, as my Cousin Rowley Powley very wittily observes, [6]

 

Major rerum nascitur ordo.

 

But I believe my wise Relation was so busy in burlesquing Milton, that he mistook the Quotation, and should have rather inserted that Line of the two hundredth Book of PlinyNatural History, where talking of the Difference of the musical Notes of Birds and Beasts, he says,

 

Major ferarum asinus nascitur turdo.

 

Which, in modern Translation, is as much as to say, that the Braying of an Ass makes a greater Noise than the Whistling of a Thrush.

But since you are called upon in this solemn manner, before an unbiass壇 Judge, and the most honourable, impartial, numerous Grand-Jury that ever appear壇 upon any Trial, I hope you値l behave like a Gentleman; own yourself guilty at once, and save us a great deal of Time and Trouble. But before you proceed to your Defence, consider who you have to do with; think of that, Sir, and tremble. Know, Mortal, that there are leagu壇 against you as many bl覧e, g覧n and r妖 R覧ns, as would serve to hang up you, your Singers, and your whole Orchestre, like so many dead Moles upon a Hedge-Row: mighty Men, and wise Men; some of them wise enough to be Justices of the Peace. Will not all this frighten you? --- Are you in your right Wits? --- Rat me, if I don稚 think you in as bad a Situation, as if a Whirl-wind, and an Earthquake, and a fiery Torrent from Mount AEtna, and as if 覧 but I must defer my Similes 稚ill next Page. 覧 [7]

Well, Sir! 覧 you need not give your self much pains about your Defence, I know all your Arguments, before I hear them. 覧 I am sensible you wou壇 have it believ壇 in your Favour, that you are no way to blame in the whole of this Affair; but that when S覧no had declar壇 he would leave England, you thought yourself oblig壇 in Honour, to proceed with your Contract, and provide for yourself elsewhere; that as for C覧oni, you had no Thoughts of her, no Hopes of her, nor no want of her, S覧da being in all respects infinitely Superior, in any Excellency requir壇 for a Stage; as for Singers in the under Parts, you had provided the best Sett we ever had yet; tho basely deserted by Mon覧na, after having sign壇 a formal Contract to serve you the whole of this Season; which you might still force him to do, were you not more afraid of W覧r-H覧ll, than ten thousand D覧rs, or ten thousand D覧ls. 覧 I know, you値l say, that as you were oblig壇 to carry on Operas this Winter, you imagin壇 you might be at Liberty to proceed in the Affair, in that Manner which wou壇 prove most to the Satisfaction of the unprejudic壇 Part of the Nobility and Gentry, and your own Interest and Honour. I know[,] you値l say, it was impossible for you to comply with the unreasonable and savage Proposals made to you; by which you were to give up all Contracts, Promises[,] nay risque your Fortune, to gratify fantastical Whims and unjust Picques. I know, you値l say, that if you were misled, or have judg壇 wrong at any Time in raising the Price of your Tickets, that you were sufficiently punish壇, without carrying the Resentment, arising thereupon, to such a length. I know, you値l say, Considering [8] that Entertainment in any light, it better merited so extravagant a Price, than any other Entertainment ever yet exhibited to this Nation, not excepting the most celebrated of the Bear-Garden. 覧 I know, you値l say, that if

Z覧nds, Sir, hold 覧 a little respite I beg of you 覧 oh! oh! 覧 you run on at such a Rate, I知 quite out of Breath 覧 following 覧 and can稚 come up to you 覧 But before you proceed 覧 let me answer this Troop of Assertions 覧 one by one 覧 or let me see 覧 to save the Publick some Time and Fatigue in canvassing Arguments on both Sides, I had better do it by the Lump; Therefore I do here solemnly declare upon the Honour of an Esquire, and the Word of a Gentleman, that all you assert, is false, 覧 utterly false, damnably false; and that you池e an impudent Liar, and a Scoundrel, and a Rascal; 覧 and so G--d conf---nd you, and rot you and yours to all Eternity[,] and ten times worse than all that; and if this Answer is not sufficient to convince you, and all the reasonable Part of this Town, that you池e positively in the Wrong, I have no more to say; for nothing can be more plain on my side.

In the same Manner, argue your Partizans at the Chocolate and Coffee-houses. 覧 Says a very Fine Gentleman to me t弛ther Day (whom Car覧ino I suppose has catch壇 by the Ears) 覧 So, Mr. Hurlothrumbo, I hear you池e a great Stickler for the Opera at L覧n痴-I-- F覧ds; a pretty Sett of Singers, truly! and for Composers, you out-do the World!Don稚 you think, says he, at this Time of Life, S--no could twang a Prayer finely thro the Nose in Petticoats at a Conventicle? Hah!or what think you, [9] says he, of Si覧ra Ce覧sti snuffling a Hymn there in Concert; or Madam B覧lli, with her unmeaning Voice, with as little Force in it as a Pair of Smith痴 Bellows with twenty holes in the Sides: Your Base, indeed, makes a humming Noise, and could roar to some 善urpose, if he had Songs proper for him; as for your S覧ra Fag覧tto, she indeed may with her Master be sent home to School again; and by the Time she is Fourscore, she値l prove a vast Addition to a Bonefire; or make a fine Duenna in a Spanish Opera.

Humph! says he, your Composers too have behav壇 notably, truly; 覧 your Porpoise, says he, may roul and rumble about as he pleases, and prelude to a Storm of his own raising; but you should let him know, that a bad Imitation always wants the Air and Spirit of an Original, and that there is a wide difference betwixt full Harmony, and making a Noise. 覧 I know, says he, your Expectations are very high, from the Performance of the King of Arragon; but that Trolly Colly Composer, says he, a stupid Cantata-Thrummer, must make a mighty poor Figure in an Opera; tho he was so nice last Winter, that he would not allow that Han覧l could Compose, or Sen覧no Sing: What Art he has us壇, to produce him now as the first Voice in Europe, I can稚 imagine, but you must not depend upon his Majesty too far, says he; for to my Knowledge, he has been engag壇 by a formal Deputation from the General Assembly of N覧th Br覧n, to new-set their Sc覧ch Psalms, and be Clerk to the High Kirk in Edinburgh, with a Salary of one hundred Pound Scots, per Ann. Not able longer to bear the taunting [10] Reproaches of this foul-mouth壇 Monkey-tail壇 Railer, in a Fury I rose from my Seat, whip壇 my Hand at once to my 覧 Pocket, threw two Pence on the Bar; look壇 over my Shoulder at him, as the Devil did over Lincoln--I--F--ds, and then in a Passion withdrew.

But these Transactions without Doors, are not to be regarded, nor shall they save your Bacon: Therefore proceed we now without more delay to your Trial. 覧 Cryer O yes? 覧 O yes? 覧 &c.

This is to give Notice, to all Directors of Operas, Masters of Play-houses, Patentees with Patents or without, Composers, Performers, or other Masters that neither Compose nor Perform, all Dancing-Masters, Exhibiters of Poppet-Shews, Presidents of Bear-Gardens, Rope-Dancers, but particularly all Judges of Musick and others --- That they now appear and produce their several Complaints against the Prisoner at the Bar, in order to bring him to speedy Justice.

Court. Frederick Handel, Hold up your Hand. Know you are here brought to answer to the several following high Crimes and Misdemeanors, committed upon the Wills and Understandings, and against the Peace of our Sovereign Lord the Mobility of Great-Britain, particularly this Metropolis: To which you shall make true and faithful Answer 覧 So help you Musick 覧 Swear him upon the two Operas of Ariadne, alias the Cuckoo and the Nightingale.

Imprimis, You are charg壇 with having bewitch壇 us for the Space of twenty Years past; nor do we know where your Inchantments will end, if a timely Stop is not put to them; they threatning us with an entire Destruction of Liberty, and an absolute Tyranny [11] in your Person, over the whole Territories of the Hay-Market.

Secondly, You have most insolently dar壇 to give us good Musick and sound Harmony, when we wanted and desir壇 bad; to the great Encouragement of your Opera痴, and the Ruin of our good Allies and Confederates, the Professors of bad Musick.

Thirdly, 覧 You have most feloniously and arrogantly assum壇 to yourself an uncontroul壇 Property of pleasing us, whether we would or no; and have often been so bold as to charm us, when we were positively resolv壇 to be out of Humour.

Besides these, we can, at convenient Time or Times, produce and prove five hundred and fifteen Articles of lesser Consequence, which may in the whole, at least, amount to accumulative Treason 覧 How say you, Sir, are you guilty of the said Charge or no?

Prisoner. 覧 Guilty of the whole Charge.

Court. 覧 We knew it must be so; Pshaw, pshaw, it could not be otherways But to shew our Indulgence for your so readily complying, and saving us the Trouble of producing our several Evidences; and to demonstrate to the World our Impartiality in the whole Progress of this Affair; before we proceed to pass Sentence upon so old and notorious an Offender, we give you leave to make a Speech, in which, if you behave prudently, it may occasion a Mitigation of the Rigour of the intended Sentence; but be sure your Speech be a wise one, or it will not pass Muster with us Aca幼ians.

Now set your self in Order, look mighty Grave and Wise; as wise as an Emperor in an Elbow-Chair; screw your Muscles into Form; so, now balance your [12] Hands, and see saw them up and down like an Orator 覧 tolerably well.

Clerk of the Court Frederick Handel, look full at the Court, and make three Bows.

Court. 覧 Sirrah 覧 Demme, we say 覧 Sirrah! what has your Stupidity to offer in your Defence, that Sentence of Annihilation should not be immediately pronounc壇 against you and your Tramontani of the Hay-Market, for daring to oppose our mighty Wills and Pleasures 覧 well said Us!

Pris. 覧 Most noble, Right honourable, and superlatively excellent

Court. 覧 Go on 覧 Scoundrel 覧

Pris. I am almost confounded at being thus arraign壇 before so August an Assembly of the wisest Heads of the Nation; and to appear as a Criminal, where tho I am guilty of the Charge, I am as innocent of any Crime, as ignorant of any real Accusation. Wherein have I offended?

Court. 覧 Why, you saucy Son of a B揺, do you pretend to impeach the Honour, Sense or Power of the Court? Wherein have you offended! unparalell壇 Audaciousness, when we have said you have offended. Scoundrel! you池e as impudent as a red hot Poker, which is enough to put any Face out of Countenance. But, Sirrah, if you are not guilty by Law, we値l prove it logically 覧 No Man is brought to this Bar, but who is guilty 覧 You are brought to this Bar 覧

Ergo 覧 Do you understand a Syllogysm, Rascal? 探is plain as a Dutchman痴 Backside by Day-light; no Man at the Old-Baily ever had a fairer Trial for his Life; away with him, Goaler, to the Condemn壇- [13] Hold, 覧 till the Warrant is sign壇 for his Execution.

Now, Sir, you may think this Usage very severe --- But to shew you upon what a weak Foundation you build your Pretences to support an Opera; I値l prove by Twenty-Five substantial Reasons, that you池e no Composer, nor know no more of Musick than you do of Algebra. You may look grave at this Assertion, but hear me, and confute me.

First then, Sir, -- Have you taken your Degrees? Boh! 覧 ha, ha, ha! Are you a Doctor, Sir? ha, ha! a fine Composer indeed, and not a Graduate; fie, fie, you might as well pretend to be a Judge, without having been ever call壇 to the Bar; or pretend to be a Bishop, and not a Christian. Why Doctor Pushpin and Doctor Blue laugh at you, and scorn to keep you Company; and they have vow壇 to me, that it is scarcely possible to imagine how much better they compos壇 after the Commencement Gown was thrown over their Shoulders than before; it was as if a musical 覧 had laid Hands upon them, and inspired them with the Enthusiasm of Harmony.

Secondly, Sir, 覧 I understand you have never read Euclid, are a declar壇 Foe to all the proper Modes, and Forms, and Tones of Musick, and scorn to be subservient to, or ty壇 up by Rules, or have your Genius cramp壇: Thou Goth and Vandal to just Sounds; we may as well place Nightingales and Canary-birds behind the Scenes, and take the wild Operas of Nature from them, as allow you to be a Composer: An ingenious Carpenter, with a Rule and Compass, will succed better in Composition, thou finish壇 Irregularity. [14]

Thirdly, Sir, 覧 I have heard it own壇 by some of your best Friends; that being one Sunday in a Country Church, you made a terrible Blunder in singing the Psalms, put out the Clerk and the whole Congregation, to the great Disturbance of the Parson and his Flock; nor did they recover the Confusion you threw them into, in a Month after; therefore I submit it to the proper Judges, if an Ignorant in a Country Psalm, can be allow壇 a Composer of Oratorio痴.

Fourthly, Sir, 覧 It has been objected to you, I believe with some Truth (for I never knew one Man take your Part in it) that you can no more Dance a Cheshire Horn-Pipe, than you can fly down a Rope from Paul痴 Church; a Composer, and not Dance a Cheshire-Round! Incredible! I have made it apparent to some Audiences, as numerous as Polite, that the Beauty of Composition, and the Force of a fine Genius, lay in Singing, Dancing, and Fidling at the same Time; nor will it now be contested, that Footing it well is as necessary to shew a Man痴 brightest Parts, as any Productions of his Head-piece.

But as for my fifth Reason, Sir, 覧 That indeed wou壇 be sufficient to convince the most Bigotted in your Favour, of your Incapacity in this Art; nor will it scarcely be believed, when I can demonstrate to the blind Understandings of your Admirers, that, by G妖, you have made such Musick, as never Man did before you, nor, I believe, never will be thought of again, when you池e gone.

My other twenty Reasons are full as strong as these, but my Printer says he can afford no more Reasons for Twelve-pence; but surely these may be allow壇 sufficient to the Reasonable; and tho you and your Friends have [15] Fronts of a Metal some Degrees harder than Corinthian Brass; yet how will them same metallick Countenances stare, when I shall assert, that to exhibit your Performances in the Perfection of your Art, it must be, not as a Composer, but a Conjurer; yes, Sir, a Conjurer, look as grum as you please; and the Whole of your Merit shall in proper Colours be shewn not to proceed from the Art of Musick, but the Black-Art.

It has in many Particulars been made manifest to the religious Part of your Audiences, that for these twenty Years past (as was well observed in your Trial) you have practis壇 Sorcery in this Kingdom upon his Majesty痴 Liege Subjects, and often bewitch壇 every Sense we have; there was not a Letter in one of your publick Bills, but had Magick in it; and if at any time a Squeak of one of your Fiddles, or the Tooting of a Pipe was heard, Hey bounce! we prick壇 up our Ears like so many wild Colts; away danc壇 the whole Town, Helter skelter, like a Rabble-Rout after a mad Bull; squeezing, and pressing, and shoving, and happy were they that could be squeez壇 to Death. You have rais壇 the Dead, and engag壇 all the Heroes, Antique or Modern, from Theseus to Orlando Furioso, to fight your Battles for you; you can call up Devils, and bring down Spirits, to inchant us; as if at any time another Composer civilly introduc壇 a Patient, Strolling, Pastoral Princess to instruct us, up starts one of your damn壇 Knight-Errand Alexanders or Julius Caesars, and most inhumanly frighted the poor Lady out of her Wits, and laid, at one Stroke, the Composer flat on his Back. There is no bearing such Usage in a Christian Country! nay, what is worse, and what I think should be taken Notice of by our pious reverend Be幼h of B覧ps, whenever you gave us a [16] Christian Hero, as Rinaldo or Amadis, you took care to bring in some damn壇 heathenish Wizard to play Pranks for them, and shew that you wholly work壇 by Witchcraft; nay, such an Ascendant had you got over us, that we cried up every where other Composers for the first Masters in the World, and would not allow you to produce one Bar of tolerable Musick; yet we never went near their Performances, and nolens volens were hurry壇 away by some of your infernal Agents, to crowd your Houses; and when we would have lock壇 up our Wives and Daughters from your Power, Presto pass, they whipp壇 through Key-Holes, or Chimney-Tops to you: If this is not being carried away by Inchantment, I can稚 tell what it is. If at any time the Magick of your Opera lost its Force, by being too often us壇, away went the D覧l and you to work in a Vizard, to hide your evil Designs, and then out comes an Oratorio, or a Serenata; and just as we had begun to recover our Senses, all of a sudden we run as mad as ever; and, hoity toity, away went we, like so many Witches on Broomsticks and Hobby-Horses, to the Prince of Darkness痴 Midnight Revels. If this is not downright Witchcraft, I never knew a Conjurer in my Life. But to put the Matter beyond all Dispute; Have you not this very Season imported from Italy an Arch-Fiend, one Care溶o, that will play the Devil with us before he quits us, and leagu壇 yourself to a notorious Witch, one Str妖a, that never lets us be quiet Night nor Day; and as if these were not sufficient to play Tricks with the whole Kingdom, you have brought over the whole Family of the Negri痴 to make Magicians, Sirens, Devils, and other Ministers of Darkness, to carry on your infernal Designs. But that ignorant, well-meaning Persons may no longer be [17] seduc壇 by you, or think that Musick is but a harmless Amusement, let them consider, that nothing was ever look壇 upon more proper to carry on Inchantments by than Harmony; it was always made use of by Antients and Moderns upon such Occasions, at all solemn Sacrifices, Invocations of Ghosts or Devils, calling up Spirits from the Earth, or down from the Air, Musick was held the only Lure to entice them; nay, Belzebub himself has a great Command that way, and constantly entertains his Votaries, at their Installations, Festivals, and Nocturnal Meetings, with Operas, Symphonies, Voluntaries, and Madrigals in the Air, and I fear, Sir, has but too often lent a helping Hand to you. But I hope this prudent Sub熔n at L -I-n-F妖s will put an End to your Charms, and knock off the Fetters we have so long wore; nor are we without Hopes, that thro you, Musick may receive such a home Thrust, as she may never recover (at least in England) again: And if the Statute for burning Witches and Wizards was in full Force, I know who should soon be whipp壇 into the Middle of a Bonfire of his own Works, and like a Swan die to some Tune.

But to come a little nearer to the Merits of the Cause, and give you a Wound where you think your self most secure: Your Party very confidently, and with an Air of Wisdom, give out, that you are all very much surpriz壇, that so weighty a Part of the Grand Leg葉ure should employ both their Time and Money so ill, as in setting up one O羊a-H耀e to ruin another, without ever giving the Appearance of a formal Reason for acting so; when their precious Hours, and vast Parts, might, at this critical Juncture, be of infinite Service to their Country; when we are almost at a Loss how to behave. [18]

Mighty pretty, truly how charmingly wise, and sententious! Notable Speech-makers indeed! How Murder will out! Does not this Objection alone make good all that we have been disputing about these three Hours? Is it not obvious that so many great M, mighty great M (who are so over-loaded with the Burthen of Publick Affairs, that all common Necessaries of Life are neglected to attend that Service) would ever have taken all this Trouble about so lousy and paultry a Fellow as you? Had not your Insolence arriv壇 to such an unparalell壇 Pitch of Audaciousness, that it quite threaten壇 the utter Ruin of the Nation, had they not timely stood in the Gap made in our Liberties and Properties by your Musick, the Torrent in another Year or two might have swept away God knows what But, like true Patriots, they interpos壇, and ventur壇 Lives and Fortunes to save us.

You may, if you please, very pertly ask, Pray how could all this be effected by so innocent an Entertainment as an O羊a? How, you D揚? How could it be sooner effected than by an O羊a? That Source of Expence, Luxury, Idleness, Sloth and Effeminacy, and all that; a damn壇 Set of Italian Squeakers and Fidlers: Nor indeed was there any other Method left to ruin your Opera, and demolish the Ascendant you had gain壇 over us, but by setting up another Source of Expence, Luxury, Idleness, Sloth, and Effeminacy, and all that; and wisely contriv壇 too, Sirrah, that you might not have the whole Plunder of a rich Nation to your self, but that some of our most noted Spirits for Sense and Patriotism might come in for a Share with you. For if one O羊a was thought so very burthensome, and gave such Room for just Complaints; [19] no way so proper to make us sensible of its Weight, and our Mistake, as setting up two.

Nor is it these mighty Men alone that would devour you; the whole musical World is united against you; the King of Arragon swears you want Softness; Signor Porpoise finds you deficient in Roughness; Mr. Honeycomb protests, that he cannot adapt one Air of your Composition either to his Eyes or Nose; and they are such Stuff as is only fit for the Throat of a Care溶i or a Stra預; Mr. Gaynote vows you produce no pretty thing, that is to say, pleasingly pretty, to tickle the Ladies; Dr. Pushpin affirms, you are no Mathematician; and Dr. Blue roundly asserts in all Companies, that you are quite void of Spirit and Invention: Nay, I can produce an Italian Nobleman, whose musical Judgment is universally allow壇 of (especially if his Spectacles are on) who has assur壇 me, that you know no more of Harmony, than he does of the Tricks of a Faro-Table, or a Bowling-Green. It is true, from his Dress and Situation of late, he may be look壇 upon to puff a little of our Side; but that is only by way of Amusement; for to shew his Impartiality, he has often condescended to give you Hints for your Improvement; and went so far as to invite you to eat a Tripe-soop and Fricassey of Sheep痴 Trotters, at Little Pontack痴 near St. Martin痴 Church, with him; when he had a Scheme to propose of infinite Advantage to you, without any Prospect to himself, but the Payment of his Dinners, and the Liberty of your Gallery, which your Ignorance and Obstinacy refused. As for that indefatigable Society, the Gropers into Antique Musick, and Hummers of Madrigals, they swoon at the Sight of any Piece [20] modern, particularly of your Composition, excepting the Performances of their venerable President, whose Works bear such vast Resemblance to the regular Gravity of the Ancients, that when dress壇 up in Cobwebs, and powder壇 with Dust, the Philarmonick Spiders could dwell on them, and in them, to Eternity[.]

But if my concise Method of reasoning, or happy Talent of convincing by Demonstration, have not been able to satisfy you, in order to make a compleat Conquest, I must attack you in your own Way, and draw a Cantata upon you; which is adapted to the Musick of an Ancestor of the King of Arragon痴, who had the Honour to be Madrigal-Composer to the Children of Queen Elizabeth痴 Scullery: The Words I translated in the Modern Taste, from the Original Italian of that incomparable Dramatick Poet, Signor Rowley-Powley.

 

L覧 J覧 T覧 Triumphant.

A CANTATA.

To the Tune of, Welcome Joan Saunderson, &c.

RECITATIVE.

Welcome sweet P覧ra to Britains Shore,

A--ne now adds to our Musical Store.

AIR.

O my sweet P覧ra!

探is a fine Opera;

We will play it then o弾r and o弾r,

And over again, Nights full Threescore,

探ill the whole World comes near us no more.

Da Capo. [21]

DUET.

This Opera will no farther go,

Hark ye, Sir Treasurer! why say you so?

It will not do; it ne弾r can do,

Without you get in Don F--di---do.

CHORUS.

He must come to, and he shall come to,

And he must come to, whether he will or no.

RECITATIVE.

Welcome sweet Arragon over the Main,

Is Don F--di---do safe landed from Spain?

AIR.

O my Dear Arragon,

This is a Paragon;

We will play it over again,

And over again, to free us from Pain;

All in the Tweedeldum, deedeldum Strain.

Da Capo.

DUET.

Alas! the poor Don no longer can go,

Then there is an end of all our fine Shew:

If this won稚 do, how shall we get Money?

Why! wait the Arrival of Madam Cuz溶i.

CHORUS.

She must come to, and she shall come to:

If she値l not come to, this never will do.

 

By this little Sketch, Sir, you find we are not at a Loss for Words, Sir, nor Musick, Sir, to equal any Thing of yours; and before this Season is out, we shall firk you up with an Or羊io, shall make your Hair stand [22] an end; and I am determin壇 (if nothing else will do) to be at the Expence of Books and Masters to get a Smattering of the Black-Art, that we may be able to play Conjurer against Conjurer, and Devil against Devil with you, to the End of the Chapter.

But now, Sir, that I have sung you a Song, give me leave to tell you a Tale; and perhaps before I have done with you, like my Betters, to shew my Breeding, I may chance to let a F葉 覧 But to my Story, 覧 You must know then, Sir, I once went to the World in the Moon; how I got there, is no Business of yours or mine at present 覧 but I fail壇 and fail壇 farther than I can tell, till I came to the World of the Moon: This I can assure you, I was neither fir壇 out of a Blunderbuss from hence, nor blown up by a Sky-rocket, nor flown away with by Woodcocks or Wild-geese, nor drawn up by the magnetick Force of a Mountain of Adamant in the Middle of the Country; but, in short, I came there My Profession and Merit were soon known, it not being possible to hide any extraordinary Genius from the penetrating Capacities of that Country, particularly in the Art of Musick, of which they affect, to the greatest Degree, to appear very fond and very knowing; but betwixt you and I, Sir (but be sure you keep it secret) the Majority of its Inhabitants have their Ears plac壇 so near their Backsides, that they frequently sit upon them.

However, the Brilliant Rays of my Talents in that Art, quickly enlighten壇 that opaque Globe so far, that I was immediately admitted into the good Graces of the Court, and principal Grandees; who were all ravished with the Novelty and Exquisiteness of my Compositions: In consequence of which I was declar壇 [23] principal Composer to their O---as; and shou壇 have enjoy壇 the same Station in the Court Chapels and Publick Temples, only that Place could not be conferr壇 upon a Foreigner: Yet upon all solemn Occasions, they were oblig壇 to have Recourse to me for their Religious Musick, tho their ordinary Services were all compos壇 and perform壇 by Blockheads that were Natives; they claiming from several Laws, a Right hereditary; to have the Places in their Temples supply壇 with Fools of their own Country. But People of Taste in general being more nice in the Affairs of any Amusement than those of Religion, cou壇 not bear that the Musick in their O---as should be so trifled with, and slabber壇 over by unskilful Composers, or Performers; therefore were at a prodigious Expence for Voices and Instruments from the Kingdom of the Sun, or other Countries in some of the fix壇 Stars.

No Merit can secure a Man from Envy, when eminent in any Profession; of course my Success rais壇 me many Rivals; the Moon-Calfs (who have a mortal Aversion to being too long pleas壇 with any Thing, and are only noted for Inconstancy) gave into their Projects, and form壇 strong Parties against me; which always appear壇 done more in Pique to me, than Love to them: But their Compositions prov壇 so contemptible, and in all Respects so inferior to mine, that when ever we contended, I carry壇 the Day, my Enemies still decreeing me the Prize, yet continuing my Enemies.

In this State for several Years I triumph壇 almost absolute in the Empire of Musick, nor ever disturb壇, but from some small Malecontents without Doors, who either wish壇 the total Ruin of Harmony, or were quite eat up with Spleen and Vapours, and did not know what [24] they wou壇 be at: I was prodigiously caress壇 at Court, the Royal Family (as in all other polite Arts and Sciences) being not only Lovers, but perfect Judges of Musick; but more particularly the divine Princess Urania, who condescended to be my Scholar, and made that Proficiency, as seem壇 almost miraculous to me her Master; nay, to that exquisite Degree, that the Amusement only carry壇 it to as great a Height in her, as in the most Ingenious, who made it their Profession: This Favour so far from diminishing, created me fresh Foes, who generally sprouted up from Stocks and Stones, like the new Race after Ovid痴 Deluge: Upon which the splenetick Tribe of fine Gentlemen and very fine Ladies, (quite out of Patience that I gave them no Musick they cou壇 find fault with) determin壇 to oppose my Scheme, and have an O預 of their own, where they were sure to have as much bad Musick, as their Hearts could desire: They listed Composers, who never dar壇 to shew their Heads in Moon-land as such, but under their Banners; and then taking into Pay some cast-off Performers, who had appear壇 in under Parts in my O預s, and some Strollers, who sung Ballads about the Streets, with an old noted Gelderino at their head (who was almost past his Business, and had besides a great Hole quite thro his Lungs, so that more of his Breath broke out downwards than upwards) with this Ragamuffin Troop they pretended to set up, against me, having hir壇 a large Booth for that purpose, where there had been formerly Poppet-shews, and Rope-dancing; they made a vast Subscription to carry on this grand Design, drawing in most of the young Fellows of their Acquaintance, by great Promises, and notorious Fal妖s, but who soon became sick of the [25] Project, and wou壇 have parted with their Billets at a very great Discount: The most Violent (and who headed their Party, were the D-c de Buffalo, the D-c de Trincalo, the M--qui Sansterre, C---te Spend-All, C--te Fathead, B溶 Saddog, and the Ch羊 Squatt: Nay, they went so far as to give out, that they received some Encouragement from Monseigneur, the K--g痴 eldest Son, who only laugh壇 at them in his Sleeve.

I had then in Pay a perfect Sett of Performers, particularly Angelo Carrioli, and Coeleste Vocale; the Unprejudic壇 were amaz壇 at the Vastness of their Judgment and Justice, as well as Beauty of their Execution. My Opponents were oblig壇 to make use of all their Interest and Industry, not only to get Company to their House, but to keep those who cou壇 not suffer their low Entertainments from coming to mine; nor did they spare entring into the most indirect Means to Ruin me; having not only decoy壇 a noted Performer from me, after having for a Term formally bound himself to serve me, but by some underhand Slight, they spirited away two very remarkable Monsters, the first Night of a new O---a, who had for a considerable Time been train壇 up to the Stage; but by good luck I had some more Monsters in another Den, tho not so expert at their Business.

They open壇 their Musical Droll the first Night to a crowded Audience, Numbers being drawn thither by Curiosity, and by the Boldness and Stupidity of the Attempt; their Success consisted in a full House that Night, but Applause no Night; their Company dropp壇 off at once, and then they had recourse to the most unfair and ungentleman-like Behaviour, that ever was known [26] upon such an Occasion, to make an Audience; even using F--ce rudely, to such as would not comply; and b擁ng or hiring others, to visit their House.

For some Time I play壇 gently with these charming Gudgeons, and, maugre all their pitiful Efforts, kept my Head above Water; but at last I came slap-dash upon them with a new O--a of my own Composition; which answer壇 to my Profit, and the Pleasure of the Town; their Weakness was made manifest, they were defeated, and I triumph壇. Indeed they made another small Push, in bringing upon the Stage one of the most execrable, low Entertainment that ever was heard; it was receiv壇 according to its Merit, which enhanc壇 the Value of mine the more.

I might now have ruled, undisturb壇, the whole Empire of Harmony in the Moon, it being reckon壇 the highest Presumption, or Rashness, to oppose me in a Dominion so lawfully gain壇, and so equitably supported.

But being fir壇 with a just Indignation at the unworthy Treatment I met with from a People I so long honour壇 and charm壇 with my Performances, and for whom I had incessantly labour壇 for above twenty Years, I resolv壇 to quit the Country: Accordingly, as soon as my Contract for that Season was expir壇, I hired a large Palanquin, and carry壇 off the principal of my Voices and Performers Instrumental to the Kingdom of the Sun; where I was caress壇 to the highest Degree, not oppress壇 by the Great, nor chagrin壇 by the impotent Attempts of any jealous Rival in the Art. There I remain壇 several Years, honour壇 and belov壇, loaded with Riches and Reputation; yet my kind Reception cou壇 never stifle my innate Love for my own Country; where being happily arriv壇, I hope to spend the [23 {sic}] Remainder of my Days in that Quiet of Mind and reasonable Enjoyment of Fortune, which none of my mean-spirited Opposers ever can taste.

Now, Sir, 覧 What think you of my Tale? or how like you my Jaunt to the World in the Moon? If in this small Sketch of some Part of my Life, you find any Rules for your future Conduct, in observing them, you may make me your Friend, and shew your self a wise Man.

But to return to the Subject of the former Part of my Letter; I think I have made it very plainly appear, that You or some Body else is damnably in the Wrong; and I believe most People will allow (even the most warm Partizans of both Sides of the Question) that it is absolutely necessary, for the better Entertainment of the Court, Nobility, and Gentry, to contrive some Method of gently blowing into the Air, one O---a-H---se, and all concern壇 in it.

As you have some Reason to dread this Proposal; yet you cannot plead Ignorance, or not having timely Warning given you by,

 

Wonderful SIR!

 

Yours, as you merit it,

 

From my Apartments in Moor-fields-Palace, Feb. 12, 1733.

 

Hurlothrumbo Johnson.

 

FINIS.[1]

 

 



[1] repr. The Miscellaneous Works of the late Dr. Arbuthnot, 2 vols. (Glasgow: James Carlile, 1751), 2:18-42; Chrysander, 2:339-54 (in German).