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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 2,859 pages of information about The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3.
some Gentlemen of the Universities to learn to sing, in order to qualify themselves for the Stage; but this Objection soon vanished, when the Projector informed us that the Greeks were at present the only Musicians in the Turkish Empire, and that it would be very easy for our Factory at Smyrna to furnish us every Year with a Colony of Musicians, by the Opportunity of the Turkey Fleet; besides, says he, if we want any single Voice for any lower Part in the Opera, Lawrence can learn to speak Greek, as well as he does Italian, in a Fortnight’s time.

The Projector having thus settled Matters, to the good liking of all that heard him, he left his Seat at the Table, and planted himself before the Fire, where I had unluckily taken my Stand for the Convenience of over-hearing what he said.  Whether he had observed me to be more attentive than ordinary, I cannot tell, but he had not stood by me above a Quarter of a Minute, but he turned short upon me on a sudden, and catching me by a Button of my Coat, attacked me very abruptly after the following manner.

Besides, Sir, I have heard of a very extraordinary Genius for Musick that lives in Switzerland, who has so strong a Spring in his Fingers, that he can make the Board of an Organ sound like a Drum, and if I could but procure a Subscription of about Ten Thousand Pound every Winter, I would undertake to fetch him over, and oblige him by Articles to set every thing that should be sung upon the English Stage.

After this he looked full in my Face, expecting I would make an Answer, when by good Luck, a Gentleman that had entered the Coffee-house since the Projector applied himself to me, hearing him talk of his Swiss Compositions, cry’d out with a kind of Laugh,

Is our Musick then to receive further Improvements from Switzerland! [8]

This alarmed the Projector, who immediately let go my Button, and turned about to answer him.  I took the Opportunity of the Diversion, which seemed to be made in favour of me, and laying down my Penny upon the Bar, retired with some Precipitation.

C.

[Footnote 1:  An advertisement of Mrs. Salmon’s wax-work in the ‘Tatler’ for Nov. 30, 1710, specifies among other attractions the Turkish Seraglio in wax-work, the Fatal Sisters that spin, reel, and cut the thread of man’s life, ’an Old Woman flying from Time, who shakes his head and hour-glass with sorrow at seeing age so unwilling to die.  Nothing but life can exceed the motions of the heads, hands, eyes, &c., of these figures, &c.’]

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