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31. 183. tympany: i.e. no healthy normal growth, but a dropsical expansion. The meaning is exactly illustrated by what Macaulay says of Dryden's own plays in his Essay on Dryden : "The swelling diction of Eschylus and Isaiah resembles that of Almanzor and Maximin no more than the tumidity of a muscle resembles the tumidity of a boil. The former is symptomatic of health and strength, the latter of debility and disease.”
184. Comp. Chaucer's "tonne-gret."
185. [How do you read this line?]
[kilderkin. Quote other instances of this diminutival termination. What other dim. termns. are there in English?]
191. [What does dyes mean here?]
193. keen Iambicks: that is, satirical poetry such as Archilochus wrote, "proprio iambo." See Hor. Ars Poet. 79; Arist. Poet. iv. 9: "Hence also the Iambic verse is now so called, because in this metre they used to Iambize [i.e. satirize] each other."
mild Anagram. See Spect. Nos. 58 and 60, where these lines are quoted, and chronograms and “bouts rimez" also are discussed; but anagrams and acrostics were much older than Addison supposed. See also Disraeli's Curiosities of Literature, on Literary Follies :"-" I shall not dwell on the wits who composed verses in the forms of hearts, wings, altars, and true-love knots; or, as Ben Jonson describes their grotesque shapes,
'A pair of scissors and a comb in verse.'
Tom Nash, who loved to push the ludicrous to its extreme, in his amusing invective against the classical Gabriel Harvey, tells us that 'he had writ verses in all kinds: in form of a pair of gloves, a pair of spectacles, and a pair of pot-hooks,' &c." See Puttenham's Arte of English Poesie, pp. 104-25 of the English Reprints Edition; where the critic speaks of poems in the shape of "lozanges," " "spindles," 'spheres," eggs," &c. &c.
32. 201. Bruce and Longville, in the Virtuoso, make Sir Formal Trifle disappear through a trap-door in the midst of his speechifying.
A SONG FOR ST. CECILIA'S DAY.
THIS SOng was written for the festival of St. Cecilia, 1687. The celebration of that festival by lovers of music was commenced (or revived, if, as is probable, it was kept in some sort before the Reformation) in 1683, in which year Purcell "set" the song that was written for the occasion. In 1684 Oldham wrote the anniversary song, in 1685 Nahum Tate; in the following year the festival was not observed; in 1687 Dryden wrote the song given in the text. He wrote another, his Alexander's Feast, ten years afterwards. Pope wrote in 1708.
It is not clear how St. Cecilia came to be regarded as the patron saint of music. In her legend, as told in the Legenda Aurea (written towards the close of the thirteenth century), almost literally translated by Chaucer in his Secounde Nonnes Tale, she is not so spoken of. All that is said there of music is that "Cantantibus organis illa in corde suo soli Domino cantabat," &c.; or in Chaucer's words, 12,062-5, ed. Wright:
"And whil the organs made melodie,
To God alloon in herte thus sang sche:
Of course, however, the Latin words might be translated, "while her organs were sounding ;" that is, "" while she was playing." The legend goes on to say, that this " mayden bright Cecilie I was under the immediate and present protection of an angel. In this passage of her
story may perhaps be seen the beginning of the tradition referred to in Alexander's Feast, and so exquisitely painted by Raphael and others, that "she drew an angel down ;" but in the old story not her sweet playing, but her spotless purity, brought the angel near her, not to listen, but to be a "heavenly guard." He is seen by her husband too, when he becomes a Christian:
"Valirian goth home and fint Cecilie
Withinne his chambre with an aungel stonde.
He gaf that oon, and after can he take
She and he are said to have suffered martyrdom in the year 220. All, then, that the legend certainly shows to the purpose is, that St. Cecilia was one over whom music had great influence -that it inspired in her high religious emotion. It may show further that she was herself a skilful musician. The fame of her deep passion for sacred music, and possibly of her skill in it, might well at a later time give countenance, if it did not give rise, to the tradition that she invented the grand instrument of Church music.
As for this said instrument, its early history is obscure. "Some derive its origin from the bagpipe; others, with more probability, from an instrument of the Greeks, though a very imperfect one-the water-organ-as it is known that the first organs used in Italy came thither from the Greek empire. It is said that Pope Vitellianus (died 671) caused organs to be set up in some Roman churches in the seventh century. Organs were at first portable. The organs now in use are considered an invention of the Germans, but respecting the time of this invention opinions differ. . . . It is certain that the use of organs was not common before the fourteenth century." (Pop. Cycl.) That the name is Greek is a strong confirmation of its Greek origin. "The only incident of religious history," runs a paragraph in Chambers' Book of Days (i. 495), " connected with the 10th of April that is noticed in a French work resembling the present, is the introduction, by King Pepin of France, of an organ into the church of St. Corneille at Compiègne in the year 787."
32. 1. This was an opinion said to have been held by Pythagoras. "We find running through the entire Pythagorean system the idea that order or harmony of relation is the regulating principle of the whole universe." (Smith's larger Biog. Myth. Dict.) It was not only “the regulating," but in the first instance the creative principle; it brought into union opposing elements, "jarring atoms." The music of the spheres was a Pythagorean notion. See Milton's Hymn Nat. 125.
[What does heavenly mean here ?]
2. frame. This was a favourite word with poets about the close of the seventeenth century. See "vocal frame," in Alexander's Feast; a shining frame" in Addison's
"The spacious firmament on high," &c.
began from, &c. So Alexander's Feast, 25:
Comp. Virgil's "a Jove principium" (Ecl. iii. 60); Theocritus' èx Aιòç apxŵμeoða (Id. xvii. 1,
4. Comp. Ovid's picture of Chaos :
"Rudis indigestaque moles,
Nec quidquam, nisi pondus iners, congestaque eodem
See the whole passage in his Metam. i. 5-20. See also Paradise Lost, ii. 890-916.
32. 5. heave her head. See L'Allegro, 145. Miltonic words and phrases are very common in Dryden's writings. Pope, too, has this phrase, Dunciad, ii. 256:
"Roused by the light, old Dulness heav'd the head."
[In what sense do we use heave now?]
6. [What is the force of The here?]
voice = words uttered by the voice. So frequently vox, in Latin, as in Horace's nescit vox missa reverti." (Ars Poet. 390.)
[Fully explain the construction of the phrase ye more than dead.]
8. See Paradise Lost, ii. 898.
14. the notes: i.e. of the first seven notes of the octave.
15. the diapason. "Diapason denotes a chord which includes all tones; it is the same with what we call an eight or an octave; because there are but seven tones or notes, and then the eight is the same again with the first." (Har. apud Johnson.) Diapason = (i) dià πaowv (χορδῶν συμφωνία). One of Aristotle's Problemata is : “ διά τι ἡ διὰ πασῶν συμφωνία ᾄδεται póvn; See musica in Smith's larger Dict. Antiq. Comp. Crashaw:
"Many a sweet rise, many as sweet a fall,
and Milton's At a Solemn Music, where he would that we on earth should "answer" the melodies of heaven,
"As once we did, till disproportion'd sin
Jarr'd against Nature's chime, and with harsh din
To their great lord, whose love their motion swayed
closing. See Hymn Nat. 100. So Herbert:
"Sweet spring, full of sweet days and roses;
And all must die."
[How would you parse full here ?]
16. Collins in the beginning of his Ode describes how, when Music was yet young,
"The Passions oft, to hear her shell,
Throng'd around her magic cell,
Exulting, trembling, raging, fainting," &c.
till at last each one determined to try his own skill. Comp. Midsummer Night's Dream, II. i. 150, the well-known line,
"Music hath charms to sooth a savage breast'
(it occurs in the beginning of Congreve's Mourning Bride); &c. &c. Porphyry states of Pythagoras: Κατεκήλει δὲ ῥυθμοῖς καὶ μέλεσι καὶ ἐπῳδαῖς τὰ ψυχικὰ πάθη καὶ τὰ σωματικά.
quell is strictly but the older form of kill.
17. Jubal. See Genesis iv. 21.
shell. This somewhat affected name for a lyre found great favour with our poets from Dryden to the close of the last century. It is of course a Classicism; comp. testudo, χέλυς.
the chorded shell. See Homer's (so assigned) Hymn to Mercury, 25-65. 21. [What part of speech is less here ?]
33. 25. Comp. Virg. Æn. ix. 501:
"At tuba terribilem sonitum procul ære canoro
with which Servius compares Ennius'
"At tuba terribili sonitu tara tantara dixit."
See Shakspere's Richard II. I. iii. 134:
"With boisterous untuned drums,
28. [What does mortal mean here? See Trench's Select Glossary, s. v. Comp.:
"Come, thou mortal wretch."
(Antony and Cleopatra, V. i. 63.)]
alarms. See note, Prothal. 158.
33. Chaucer says of his Squire :
Syngynge he was or flowtynge all the day."
The "floyte" is mentioned in the House of Fame. See Chappell's Popular Music of the Olden Time, i. 33-6.
34. [What does dying mean? Comp. Twelfth Night, I. i.4.
discovers simply uncovers. So Merchant of Venice, II. vii. 1:
"Go draw aside the curtain, and discover
Comp. disrobe, dispeople, dismantle, &c. [In what sense do we use the word discover?] 35. [How does the sense of hopeless here differ from that in Shakspere's Richard II. I. iii. 152, "The hopeless word of 'never to return""? Quote parallels.] 35. "The lute was once the most popular instrument in Europe, although now rarely to be seen except represented in old pictures. It has been superseded by the guitar," &c. (See Chappell's Popular Music of the Olden Time, i. 102-3.) See Shakspere, passim; Drummond's Sonnet To his Sister (in the Golden Treasury); Paradise Lost, v. 151; Com. 478; Ode on the Passion:
"Me softer airs befit, and softer strings
Of lute or violl still more apt for mournful things."
Sonnet XV. Pope follows Dryden in his
"In a sadly pleasing strain
Let the warbling lute complain."
37. violins. Violin (= violino) is a dim. of viol, as violoncello of violin. The voilin completely replaced the viol in the reign of Charles II. See Chappell's Pop. Mus. ii. 467 -9. 41. dame. Comp. Milton's Paradise Lost, ix. 612 :—
"Sovran of creatures, universal dame."
So often in Shakspere.
44. organs. See Milton's Paradise Lost, i. 708, vii. 596; Shakspere's Tempest, III. iii. 98, "the thunder-that deep and dreadful organ-pipe." The older English poets gene
rally speak of organs, or a pair (= set) of organs: that is, the word organ denotes but a single pipe. Thus Sandys:
Praise with timbrels, organs, flutes;
See Chappell's Pop. Mus. i. 49, &c. Father Schmidt and other famous organ-builders flourished in the latter half of the seventeenth century. The organ in the Temple Church, London, was built by Schmidt in Charles II.'s time.
33. 47. The audacity of this line may be regarded as a sign of the times, which were not reverent nor humble-minded. See Dryden's Ode to the Memory of Mrs. Anne Killegrew, passim. Comp. Absal. and Achit. Part I. 831, of the Duke of Ormond's son:
"Snatched in manhood's prime By unequal fates and Providence's crime."
"They now assist the choir Of angels, who their songs admire."
48. Orpheus. See Shakspere's Two Gentlemen of Verona, III. ii. 78-81; Henry VIII. III. i. 3, &c.; Hor. Od. I. xii. 7-12, &c.
50. Sequacious. Comp. Sid. Carm. xvi. 3: “Quæ [chelys] saxa sequacia flectens.” Comp. Ovid's "saxa sequentia," Met. xi. 2.
52. [What is meant by vocal breath?]
53. Comp. Alex. Feast, 170.
straight. See L'Allegro, 69.
34. 55. See note on l. 1, and on Hymn Nat. 125.
60. Comp. Shakspere's Tempest, IV. i. 151–6.
destroy the harmony, i.e. the vivifying principle, of.
SEE INTRODUCTION TO "SONG FOR ST. CECILIA'S DAY.'
THIS song was written in 1697, in a single night, according to St John, afterwards Lord Bolingbroke. He states that Dryden said to him when he called upon him one morning: "I have been up all night: my musical friends made me promise to write them an Ode for their Feast of St. Cecilia, and I was so struck with the subject which occurred to me that I could not leave it till I had completed it; here it is, finished at one sitting."
"It was at
34. 1. 'Twas at, &c. There is here a sort of rhetorical ellipse. He means, the royal feast that what follows happened," or, "The scene of the subject of our Ode was the hall of the royal feast;" but he boldly omits the explanatory clause. In the well-known words, "We met, 'twas in a crowd," the explanatory clause, in fact, precedes; but it is often omitted altogether, as here, especially in the beginning of a tale or poem. Comp. Moore's "'Tis the last rose of summer.
[What does for mean here? What other meanings has it?]
[When was Persia "won"? See Hist. Greece.]
7. At a Greek banquet the guests were garlanded with roses and myrtle leaves.
9. Thais. See Smith's larger Biog. and Mythol. Dict. Athenæus is our chief informant about her. According to him, she was after Alexander's death married to Ptolemy Lagi. She was as famous for her wit as her beauty. "Her name is best known from the story of her having stimulated the Conqueror (Alexander), during a great festival at Persepolis, to set fire to the palace of the Persian kings; but this anecdote, immortalized as it has been by Dryden's