Southey, Robert, 1774-1843. / The doctor, &c.
Chapter XCIV. The author discovers certain musical correspondencies to these his lucubrations, pp. 213-214
THE DOCTOR. 213 CHAPTER XCIV. THE AUTHOR DISCOVERS CERTAIN MUSIC AL CORRESPONDENCIES TO THESE HIS LUCU- BRATIONS. And music mild I learn'd that tells Tune, time, and measure of the song. HIGGINSN. A TATTLE-DE-MOY, reader, was " a new- fashioned thing" in the year of our Lord 1676, " much like a Seraband, only it had in it more of conceit and of humour: and it might supply the place of a seraband at the end of a suit of lessons at any time." That simple-hearted, and therefore happy old man, Thomas Mace, invented it himself, be- cause he would be a little modish, he said; and he called it a Tattle-de-Moy, "because it tattles, and seems to speak those very words or syllables. Its humnour," said he, "1 is toyish, jocund, harmless and pleasant; and as if it were one playing with, or toss- ing, a ball up and down; yet it seems to have a very solemn countenance, and like unto one of a sober and innocent condition, or disposition; not antic, apish, or wild." If indeed the gift of prophecy were im- parted, or imputed to musicians, as it has sometimes been to poets, Thomas Mace might be thought to have unwittingly fore- shown certain characteristics of the unique opus which is now before the reader: so nearly has he described them, when instruct- ing his pupils how to give right and proper names to all lessons they might meet with. " There are, first, Preludes; then, second- ly, Fancies and Voluntaries; thirdly, Pa- vines; fourthly, Allmaines; fifthly, Airs; sixthly, Galliards; seventhly, Corantoes; eighthly, Serabands; ninthly, Tattle-de- Moys; tenthly, Chichonas; eleventhly, Toys or Jiggs; twelfthly, Common Tunes; and, lastly, Grounds, with Divisions upon them. "The Prelude is commonly a piece of confused, wild, shapeless kind of intricate play (as most use it), in which no perfect form, shape, or uniformity, can be per- ceived; but a random business, pottering and grooping, up and down, from one stop, or key, to another; and generally so per- formed, to make trial, whether the instru- ment be well in tune or not; by which doing, after they have completed their tuning, they will (if they be masters) fall into some kind of voluntary or fancical play more intelligible; which (if he be a master able) is a way whereby he may more fully and plainly show his excellency and ability, than by any other kind of undertaking; and has an unlimited and unbounded liberty, in which he may make use of the forms and shapes of all the rest." Here the quasi-prophetic lutanist may seem to have described the ante-initial chapters of this opus, and those other pieces which precede the beginning thereof, and resemble A lively prelude, fashioning the way In which the voice shall wander.* For though a censorious reader will pick out such expressions only as may be applied with a malign meaning; yet in what lhe may consider confused and shapeless, and call pottering and grooping, the competent ob- server will recognise the hand of a master, trying his instrument and tuning it; and then passing into a voluntary whereby he approves his skill, and foreshows the spirit of his performance. The Pavines, Master Mace tells us, are lessons of two, three, or four strains, very grave and solemn; full of art and pro- fundity, but seldom used in " these our light days," as in. many respects he might well call the days of King Charles the Second. Here he characterises our graver Chapters, which are in strains so deep, so soothing, and so solemn withal, that if such a Pavine had been played in the hall of the palace at Aix, when King Charlemagne asked the Archbishop to dance, the invitation could not have been deemed indecorous. Allmaines are very airy and lively, and generally in common or plain time. Airs differ from them only in being usually shorter, and of a more rapid and nimble * KEATS. - - - - - . _ 2131 I THE DOCTOR.
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