Imágenes de páginas

désirs et des espérances rapproche en dépit de l'es. pace et du tems.

"Jusque-là, recevez, je vous prie, l'assurance de ma parfaite considération, avec laquelle j'ai l'honneur d'être,

Of the translations that have appeared of the Melodies in different languages, I shall here mention such as have come to my knowledge.

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"Votre très-humble servante,

Latin.-"Cantus Hibernici," Nicholas Lee Torre, London, 1835.

Italian. G. Flechia, Torino, 1836. Adele Custi, Milano, 1836.

French. - Madame Belloc, Paris, 1823.

Veimars, Paris, 1829.

Russian. Several detached Melodies, by the popular Russian poet Kozlof.

Polish. Selections, in the same manner, by Ni emcewich, Kosmian, and others.

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I have now exhausted not so much my own recollections, as the patience, I fear, of my readers on this subject. We are told of painters calling those last touches of the pencil which they give to some favourite picture the "ultima basia;" and with the same sort of affectionate feeling do I now take leave of the Irish Melodies, the only work of my pen,

as I very sincerely believe, whose fame (thanks to the sweet music in which it is embalmed) may boast a chance of prolonging its existence to a day much beyond our own.





WHILE the publisher of these Melodies very properly inscribes them to the Nobility and Gentry of Ireland in general, I have much pleasure in selecting one from that number, to whom my share of the Work is particularly dedicated. I know that, though your Ladyship has been so long absent from Ireland, you still continue to remember it well and warmly, that you have not suffered the attractions of English society to produce, like the taste of lotus, any forgetfulness of your own country, but that even the humble tribute which I offer derives its chief claim upon your interest and sympathy from the appeal which it makes to your patriotism. Indeed, absence, however fatal to some affections of the heart, rather tends to strengthen our love for the land where we were born; and Ireland is the country, of all others, which an exile from it must remember with most

enthusiasm. Those few darker and less amiable traits with which bigotry and misrule have stained her character, and which are too apt to disgust us upon a nearer intercourse, become at a distance softened, or altogether invisible. Nothing is remembered but her virtues and her misfortunes, the zeal with which she has always loved liberty, and the barbarous policy which has always withheld it from her,— the ease with which her generous spirit might be conciliated, and the cruel ingenuity which has been exerted to "wring her into undutifulness." *

It has been often remarked, and still oftener felt, that in our music is found the truest of all comments upon our history. The tone of defiance, succeeded by the languor of despondency, a burst of turbulence dying away into softness, — the sorrows of one moment lost in the levity of the next, - and all that romantic mixture of mirth and sadness, which is naturally produced by the efforts of a lively temperament to shake off, or forget, the wrongs which lie upon it. Such are the features of our history and character, which we find strongly and faithfully reflected in our music; and there are even many airs, which it is difficult to listen to, without recalling some period or event to which their expression seems applicable. Sometimes, for instance, when the strain is open and spirited, yet here and there shaded by a

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A phrase which occurs in a Letter from the Earl of Desmond io the Earl of Ormond, in Elizabeth's time. Scrinia Sacra, as quoted by Curry.

mournful recollection, we can fancy that we behold the brave allies of Montrose,* marching to the aid of the royal cause, notwithstanding all the perfidy of Charles and his ministers, and remembering just enough of past sufferings to enhance the generosity of their present sacrifice. The plaintive melodies of Carolon takes us back to the times in which he lived, when our poor countrymen were driven to worship their God in caves, or to quit for ever the land of their birth, like the bird that abandons the nest which human touch has violated. In many of these mournful songs we seem to hear the last farewell of the exile,† mingling regret for the ties which he

* There are some gratifying accounts of the gallantry of these Irish auxiliaries in "The complete History of the Wars in Scot land under Montrose" (1660). See particularly, for the conduct of an Irishman at the battle of Aberdeen, chap. vi. p. 49; and for a tribute to the bravery of Colonel O'Kyan, chap. vii. 55. Clarendon owns that the Marquis of Montrose was indebted for much of his miraculous success to the small band of Irish heroes under Macdonnell.

†The associations of the Hindu music, though more obvious and defined, were far less touching and characteristic. They divided their songs according to the seasons of the year, by which (says Sir William Jones) "they were able to recall the memory of autumnal merriment, at the close of the harvest, or of separation and melancholy during the cold months," etc.-. - Asiatic Transactions, vol. iii. on the Musical Modes of the Hindus. What the Abbé du Bos says of the symphonies of Lully, may be asserted, with much more probability, of our bold and impassioned airs:-"Elles auroient produit de ces effets, qui nous paroissent fabuleux dans le récit des anciens, si on les avoit fait entendre à des hommes d'un naturel aussi vif que les Athéniens."― Reflex. sur la Peinture, etc. tom. i. sect. 45.

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