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many of those who composed them were admitted to a gratification (which they valued more highly) at his lordship's social board. What very much recommended these entertainments, and rendered them peculiarly grateful to all visitants, were the perfect regularity and decorum very scrupulously preserved throughout. .
Among other qualifications for which the Earl of Sandwich was eminently distinguished, his love for music deserves to be particularly mentioned. It may'with truth be asserted, that though he set up no pretensions to reputation, either as a theorist, or as a performer, yet very few persons have ever existed to whom the cause of sound and sublime harmony has been so much indebted. Without being a bigot to any particular style of music, and capable of receiving pleasure from all, yet his natural discernment enabled him instantly to distinguish real excellence from mere ostentation and trick ; and his good sense never suffered him to encourage a sacrifice of the head to the hand.
It was his custom when he was in the country, to devote one evening in the week to music, which was chiefly of the vocal kind, occasionally improved by the aid of a few instruments, the best that could be collected in the neighbourhood. Twice in the year (at Christmas and at the Cambridge commencement) he used to avail himself of the assistance of a few academical friends, by which means he was enabled to furnish out a tolerable concerto. On these occasions he sometimes introduced a selection from the music in Macbeth and the Tempest with good effect. From such a small beginning did his active genius, by methods peculiarly his own, in the short space of about a year and a half, contrive to assemble, principally from the towns and villages in the neighbourhood, an orchestra of between sixty and seventy performers, disciplined with
the most rigid exactness, and equal to the execution of the most difficult of Handel's oratorios. The entertainment now began to assume a more magni. ficent appearance. The performances, which were rendered complete by the addition of a few principal hands from London, were extended throughout the week. Their reputation began to excite general curiosity. Most of the principal families in the neighbourhood resorted with eagerness to so splendid a celebrity; and Hinchingbrook became a scent of hospitality worthy of our best times.' I do not believe there ever was an instance, either before or since, of six oratorios being performed for six successive nights by the same band.* In other places the performers stand in need of a little intera mission and rest : but here nothing of this kind was ever hinted at in the slightest degree. Indeed the bodily fatigue suffered by the greater part of the band used to be a subject of mirth among themselves; and the accounts of it would hardly be believed, if many person's still living could not bear testimony to their truth. Every oratorio which was performed in the evening was rehearsed throughout in the morning. After dinner catches and glees went round with a spirit and effect never
* About this time Randale, of Catharine-street, in the Strand, was engaged in publishing several of the oratorios in score ; and whenever any made its appearance that was not much known, it was of course put into a state of preparation for the next 'meeting : by which means one or two of the sub. limest of Handel's works were brought into notice, which had been in danger of falling into oblivion for want of being heard ; and one of them in par. ticular became the favourite performance of the Würa, in preference even to the Messiah. jo ?
felt before, till every body was suinmoned by a sig. nal to the opening of the performance. , This al, ways lasted till supper was on the table ; after which catches and glees were renewed with the same hilarity as in the earlier part of the day; and the principal singers generally retired to rest after a laborious exertion for about twelve hours. His lordship constantly animated the whole by his own personal assistance, keeping every body in the best order and in the best humour ; submitting himself at the same tiine to the discipline of the orchestra with the most scrupulous obedience.
These meetings were continued for several years with unrivalled splendor and festivity. But the situation of public affairs at length calling his lordship's entire attention to the great department over which he then presided with so much honor to himself and advantage to the nation, it became impossible for him to devote so much time to the entertainment of his friends in the country as would have been necessary for carrying on the perforin. ances with their usual perfection—they were therefore discontinued; but the memory of them is still cherished with enthusiasm by all who ever had the happiness of assisting at them, and will expire only with life itself.
As a proof that his lordship's zeal for his favour. ite art was not diminished by the discharge of his public duties, he soon afterwards took a leading part in laying the foundation of the Concert of Ancient Music, which was framed, as nearly as circumstances would admit, after the model of the Hinchingbrook meeting. And it is but justice to bis memory to acknowledge, that the celebrated performances at Westminster-Abbey owe much of their splendor, and the order with which they were conducted, to the unremitted exertions of his inde. fatigable mind whose powers on this, as well as on other occasions, seemed to enlarge themselves in proportion to the magnitude and difficulty of the enterprises in which he was engaged.
The Enigmas of last month's number answered by
several correspondents, as under:
6. Ball. 3. Bank.
7. Bull. * 4. Buck.
ENIGMAS FOR SOLUTION,
ENIGMA, BY H. V. SELWYN.
8. My name by all countries, all stations is known, From the king on his throne, to the rude village
clown. The soldier without me to battle ne'er goes ; And much I'm admir'd by belles and beaux ; Without my assistance the eagle ne'er flies, Nor the lark quits her nest to bail the sun-rise ; The ladies' attendant myself I profess, By all I am known to assist much their dress : Such pleasures I give, and such ease from me flows, That without me they ne'er can taste soft repose ; , For lightuess my name quite an adage is grown, As plain will appear, when to view it is shewn.
* The poetry to this solution, by T. B. has not sufficient merit for a place in the Monthly Vi. sitori
My presence indicated;
My station oft is seated.
I am no bird, yet oft have wings to spread ;
Thus far my class—now for my end and use : I'll say 'tis good, tho' subject to abuse. Have ye not heard of Jonah and the whale, How, when it boisterous blew, to sooth the gale, They launch'd him from the ship into the deep; How the great fish did in his belly keep The sinner safe, as undigested food, Three days and nights, and all for men's best