The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 3,418 pages of information about The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3.

I shall add no more to what I have here offer’d, than that Musick, Architecture, and Painting, as well as Poetry, and Oratory, are to deduce their Laws and Rules from the general Sense and Taste of Mankind, and not from the Principles of those Arts themselves; or, in other Words, the Taste is not to conform to the Art, but the Art to the Taste.  Music is not design’d to please only Chromatick Ears, but all that are capable ef distinguishing harsh from disagreeable Notes.  A Man of an ordinary Ear is a Judge whether a Passion is express’d in proper Sounds, and whether the Melody of those Sounds be more or less pleasing. [7]


[Footnote 1:  that]

[Footnote 2:  only asking]

[Footnote 3:  Henry Purcell died of consumption in 1695, aged 37.

‘He was,’ says Mr. Hullah, in his Lectures on the History of Modern Music, ’the first Englishman to demonstrate the possibility of a national opera.  No Englishman of the last century succeeded in following Purcell’s lead into this domain of art; none, indeed, would seem to have understood in what his excellence consisted, or how his success was attained.  His dramatic music exhibits the same qualities which had already made the success of Lulli. ...  For some years after Purcell’s death his compositions, of whatever kind, were the chief, if not the only, music heard in England.  His reign might have lasted longer, but for the advent of a musician who, though not perhaps more highly gifted, had enjoyed immeasurably greater opportunities of cultivating his gifts,’

Handel, who had also the advantage of being born thirty years later.]

[Footnote 4:  John Baptist Lulli, a Florentine, died in 1687, aged 53.  In his youth he was an under-scullion in the kitchen of Madame de Montpensier, niece to Louis XIV.  The discovery of his musical genius led to his becoming the King’s Superintendent of Music, and one of the most influential composers that has ever lived.  He composed the occasional music for Moliere’s comedies, besides about twenty lyric tragedies; which succeeded beyond all others in France, not only because of his dramatic genius, which enabled him to give to the persons of these operas a musical language fitted to their characters and expressive of the situations in which they were placed; but also, says Mr. Hullah, because

  ’Lulli being the first modern composer who caught the French ear, was
  the means, to a great extent, of forming the modern French taste.’

His operas kept the stage for more than a century.]

[Footnote 5:  that he]

[Footnote 6:  not]

* * * * *

No. 30. [1] Wednesday, April 4, 1711.  Steele.

      ’Si, Mimnermus uti censet, sine amore Focisque
      Nil est Jucundum; vivas in amore Jocisque.’


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The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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