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at this day of great and deserved ce- experience. I know, indeed, no other lebrity, whose early history, distin, principle on which we can explain the guished by a wonderful prematurity fact, that the pleasure of melody, even of musical taste and skill, has fortun- to a person of simple and natural taste, ately been preserved by Dr Burney.* is greatly heightened by harmony, if At the age of only eighteen months, not too intricate and multifarious. Master Crotch shewed a decided pre- May not the pleasure which is thus ference for the pleasures of music, by occasioned, bear some analogy to that deserting his playthings, and even his derived from symmetry and proporfood, to listen to it; and when only tion in visible objects,-qualities, the two years old, and unable to speak, absence of which is quickly discerned, in order to induce his father, whose even by a common eye, in objects that skill in music seems to have been very are familiar to it? limited, to play his favourite tunes, In the usual acceptation of language, the child would touch the key-note on only an agreeable succession of sounds the organ, or, if that was not enough, is called melody, and only the co-erwould play two or three of the first istence of agreeable sounds harmony. notes of the air. At the age of two An ingenious speculation, however, years and three weeks, he had taught has been proposed by Dr Franklin, in himself to play the first part of God a letter to Lord Kames, by which he Save the King on the organ. In the would resolve all melody into harmony. course of a few days he made himself The hypothesis is founded on a quality master of the treble of the second part; ascertained to exist in our organs of and the day after attempted the bass, sense, viz, that they have the power of which he performed correctly, with retaining, for a time, any impression the exception of a single note. In amade by an external object; in conbout two months after this period, he sequence of which, in a series of sen. was able to play several passages from sations, any one impression becomes voluntaries, which had only once been intermingled with that which imme performed in his presence, by the or- diately precedes, and with that which ganist of the cathedral at Norwich. immediately follows it. This law of About the saine time, he was capable sensation, so far as it is applicable to of making a bass to any melody which the phenomena of vision, had not ehe had recently caught by his ear. At scaped the sagacity of Dr Franklin ; the age of only two years and a half, but it has since been more fully de he was able to distinguish, at a dis- veloped, and ingeniously illustrated, tance, and out of sight of the instru- by Dr Darwin, in his essay on Ocular ment, any note that was struck upon Spectra.* On looking long and atit, within halt a note, which, Dr Bur- tentively at a bright object, as the setney observes, is beyond the power of ting sun, and then shutting the eyes, many old and skilful performers. An- or excluding the light, an image, me other wonderfully premature attain- sembling in form the object that was ment was, his being able to transpose, contemplated, continues some time to into the most extraneous and difficult be visible. This appearance in the keys, whatever he played, and to con- eye Dr Darwin calls the ocular spectrive an extemporary bass to casy me- trum of the object. That a similar lodies, when performed by another power exists in the ear, is highly properson on the same instrument. From bable, since, as Dr Franklin observes, that time to the present he has con- " we are capable of retaining, for tinued to advance in reputation, and some moments, a perfect idea of the is now, I believe, considered as the pitch of a past sound, so as to commost scientific musician that Great pare it with the pitch of' a succeedBritain can boast.
ing sound. Thus, in tuning an inExamples of the same kind have strument, a good car can as easily occurred in Mozart, in the two Messrs determine that two strings are in uniWesley, and in a few other persons; son, by sounding them separately, as and they would almost warrant the by sounding them together. ''heir conclusion, that the ear has an in- disagreement,” he adds, « is also as stinctive power of discriminating har- easily, I believe I may say more easimony, independently of education or ly, and better distinguished when
• Philosophical Transactions, lxix.
* See Darwin's Zoononia.
sounded separately." This ability of own families, it is in danger of falling, comparing the pitch of a present to not perhaps as in ancient Rome, inthe pitch of a past tone, is, in common to the hands of slaves, but into those language, ascribed to the memory; but of professional performers only. It Dr Franklin distinctly expresses his has become paintul to the young and belief, that it depends on a property the diffident to incur the risk of disof the ear, similar to that which exists gusting that fastidiousness of taste, in the eye'; and on this principle he which cannot be gratified, unless difexplains the sense of harmony between ficulties of execution are overcome, present and past sounds, in which, ac- that may display the skill of the percording to his theory, much of the former, but can never touch the feel. pleasure of melody consists.
ings of the heart. If any proof were The gratification derived from the wanting of the superior charms of simmore complicated productions of har- ple music over harmony thus complimony, it can scarcely be doubted, is cated, it might be furnished by what to be explained on entirely different every person must have observed at principles from that which arises either public musical performances. At these, from the simple strains of melody, or intricate pieces of music are often lisfrom harmony, in which the express tened to with general languor and apsion of the melody predominates. Me- athy, till the introduction of a populody appears to be an universal lan- lar melody, harmonized with taste guage, addressing itself to the heart, and forbearance, awakens the dormant and powerfully exciting its affections feelings of every hearer, and calls forth and sympathies. But to enjoy the one universal expression of delight. more elaborate productions of har. This effect is sometimes produced by mony, a refinement of taste is neces- a melody new to the audience, and insary, attainable only by great cultiva. capable, therefore, of exciting the feeltion, and enhanced by a knowledge of ings, through the medium of establishthe principles of music as a science.' ed associations. I
The pleasure excited in a person thus There is one subject, connected accomplished, resembles that of a with the theory of the effects of mupainter, who, in examining a picture, sic, on which I should have hazarded is capable of discovering both faults a few remarks, if this paper had not and beauties, in design and in colour- already attained too great a length, ing, that escape the eye of a spectator, -I mean the moral influence of muwho may yet be deeply affected by the sic. Whether music has, or has general expression of the performance. not, a tendency favourable to virtue,
From this point begins the progress is an inquiry of considerable imporof luxurious refinement in music, by tance, and one, for the investigation which, whatever it may have gained of which we are not without some in the estimation of the adept has data. Examples have been collectbeen lost, and more than lost, by be- ed by writers on this subject, in reaving it of its natural charms. It which there appears to have been a has been found necessary to excite en- connexion between a national attachjoyment by the expedient of perpetual ment to music, and purity of national novelty, and by substituting surprise, character. Facts of this kind, howat the skill of the performer, for that ever, scarcely justify, to the full exsimple pleasure which has its origin tent, the inferences which have been in the best affections of our nature. drawn from them, not only because it Hence the ear has been palled with may reasonably be doubted whether the harmony, and our public performances taste for music has not been the conseof music have often been rendered irk- quence, rather than the cause of general some and disgusting, to all persons of refinement of manners and conduct, uncorrupted taste, by compositions but because national character is destitute of expression and character, founded on so many circumstances, and incapable of exciting emotion. that nothing is more difficult than to Another evil, arising from this sacri- distinguish between what has been fice of meaning to the display of skill, essential to its production, and what is, that music is every day becoming has been adventitious. Authority, an attainment of greater difficulty, therefore, which would at once deand that from being the enjoyment of cide the question in the affirmative, our social hours, in the bosoms of our must be received in this case with Vol. I.
great hesitation. It is perhaps taking to observe, so noted a family as the firmer ground, 'to argue from the Marshalls altogether omitted. I beg constitution of our nature, that what- leave to add, that your author will be ever is capable of exciting emotion considered either a very ignorant, or a may be applied to a moral purpose; very partial historian, by all the readers but it is for the moral influence and critics in the extensive districts of of siinple and expressive music only, Galloway and Ayrshire, if he persists that I feel disposed to prefer this in passing over in silence the distinclaim. Between great refinement of guished family of Billy Marshal, and musical taste, and purity of life and its numerous cadets. I cannot say that conduct, there appears unfortunately I, as an individual, owe any obligations to be no necessary union ; for we too to the late Billy Marshal; but, sir, I often find the former combined with am one of an old family in the sterthe most sensual and profligate habits. artry of Galloway, with whom Billy It would not be more unjust, however, was intimate for nearly a whole cento charge this accidental coincidence tury. He visited regalarly, twice supon music as a defect, than it would year, my great-grandfather, grandbe to impute to painting or to poetry, father, and father, and partook, I dare that those noble arts have been some- say, of their hospitality : but he made times employed in inflaming the most a grateful and ample return; for dulicentious passions. In minds early ring all the days of Billy's natural life, trained to the practice of what is esti- which the sequel will shew not to mable in conduct and in principle, there have been few, the washings could can be little doubt that cultivation of have been safely left out all night, taste sheds a favourable influence over without any thing, from a sheet or a the moral judgment, and gives birth tablecloth down to a dishclout, being to a delicacy of sentiment, which in any danger. During that long pe66 Aids and strengthens Virtue where it riod of time, there never was a goose, meets her,
turkey, duck, or hen, taken away, but And imitates her actions where she is not.”
what could have been clearly traced to W. H. the fox, the brock, or the fumart;
and I have heard an old female do
mestic of ours declare, that she had SOME ACCOUNT OF BILLY MARSHAL, known Billy Marshal and his gang, A GYPSEY CHIEF.
again and again, mend all the “kettles,
pans, and crackit pigs in the house, MR EDITOR,
and make twa or three dezen o' horn Among some instructive and many spoons into the bargain, and never tek very entertaining articles in your Ma- a farthin o' the laird's siller." I am gazine, I have been a good deal amused sorry that I cannot give you any very in reading your account of the gypsies, minute history of my hero: however, and more particularly of the gypsies I think it a duty I owe on account of of our own country. The race has my family, not to allow, as far as I certainly degenerated (if I may be can hinder it, the memory, and name, allowed to use the expression), and is of so old a friend and benefactor to fall in some risk of becoming extinct, into oblivion, when such people as the whether to the advantage of society Faas and Baileys, &c. are spoken of. or not I will leave to the profound to Where he was born I cannot tell. determine. In the mean time, I am Who were his descendants I cannot very well pleased that you have united tell ; I am sure he could not do it with the anonymous author of Guy himself, if he were living. It is known Mannering, in recording the existence, that they were prodigiously mumerous; the manners, and the customs, of this I dare say, numberless. For a great wonderful people.
part of his long life, he reigned with But, I have been, I assure you, sovereign sway over a numerous and in no sinall degree disappointed, when powerful gang of gypsey tinkers, who reading the names of the Faas, the took their range over Carrick in AyrBaileys, the Gordons, the Shaws, the shire, the Carrick mountains, and over Browns, the Keiths, the Kennedys, the stewartry and shire of Gallo the Ruthvens, the Youngs, the Taits, way; and now and then, by way of the Douglasses, the Blythes, the Al- improving themselves, and seeing more lans, and the Montgomeries, &c. of the world, they crossed at Donagh
adee, and visited the counties of Down urpation, he was placed at the head of and Derry. I am not very sure about that mighty people in the south west, giving you up Meg Merrilies quite so whom he governed with equal prudence easily; I have reason to think, she was and talent for the long space of eighty a Marshall, and not a Gordon: and we or ninety years. Some of his admirers folks in Galloway, think this attempt assert, that he was of royal ancestry, of the Borderers, to rob us of Meg and that he succeeded by the laws of Merrilies, no proof that they have be- hereditary succession ; but no regular come quite so religious and pious, as annals of Billy's house were kept, and your author would have us to believe, oral tradition and testimony weigh heabut rather that, with their religion and vily against this assertion. From any piety, they still retain some of their research I have been able to make, I ancient habits. We think, this attempt am strongly disposed to think, that, in to deprive us of Meg Merrilies, almost this crisis of his life, Billy Marshal as bad as that of the descendants of had been no better than Julius Cæsar, the barbarous Picts, now inhabiting Richard III., Oliver Cromwell, Hyder the banks of the Dee in Aberdeen Ally, or Napoleon Bonaparte: I do shire, who some years ago attempted not mean to say, that he waded through to run off with the beautiful lyric of as much blood as some of those, to Mary's Dream ; and which we were seat himself on a throne, or to grasp under the necessity of proving, in at the diadem and sceptre ; but it was one of the courts of Apollo, to be shrewdly suspected, that Billy Marthe effusion of Low's muse, on the shal had stained his character and his classic and romantic spot, situated at hands with human blood : His predethe conflux of the Dee and the Ken, cessor died very suddenly, it never was in the stewartry of Galloway. But to supposed by his own hand, and he was return from this digression to Billy buried as privately about the foot of Marshal I will tell you every thing Cairnsmuir, Craig Nelder, or the Corse more about him I know; hoping this of Slakes ; without the ceremony, or may catch the eye of some one who perhaps, more properly speaking, the knew him better, and who will tell benefit of a precognition being taken, you more
or an inquest held by a coroner's jury. Billy Marshal's account of himself During this long reign, he and his folwas this: he was born in or about the lowers were not outdone in their exyear 1666; but he might have been ploits, by any of the colonies of mistaken as to the exact year of his Kirk-Yetholm, Horncliff, Spital, or birth; however, the fact never was Lochmaben. The following anecdote doubted, of his having been a private will convey a pretty correct notion, of soldier in the army of King William, what kind of personage Billy was, in at the battle of the Boyne. It was the evening of his life; as for his early also well known, that he was a private days, I really know nothing more of in some of the British regiments, them than what I have already told. which served under the great Duke of The writer of this, in the month of Marlborough in Germany, about the May 1789, had returned to Galloway year 1705. But at this period, Billy's after a long absence : He soon learned, military career in the service of his that Billy Marshal, of whom he had country ended. About this time he heard so many tales in his childhood, went to his commanding officer, one was still in existence. Upon one occaof the M'Guffogs of Ruscoe, a very sion he went to Newton-Stewart, old family in Galloway, and asked him with the late Mr M‘Culloch of Barif he had any commands for his native holm and the late Mr Hannay of Barcountry: Being asked, if there was any galy, to dine with Mr Samuel M'Caul. opportunity, he replied, yes; he was Billy Marshal then lived at the hamgoing to Kelton hill fair, having for let or clachan of Polnure, a spot isome years made it a rule never to be beautifully situated on the burn or absent. His officer knowing his man, stream of that name: We called on thought it needless to take any very our old hero,-- he was at home, he strong measure to hinder him; and never denied himself, and soon apBilly was at Keltonhill accordingly. peared ; --he walked slowly, but firmly * Now Billy's destinies placed him towards the carriage, and asked Mr in a high sphere; it was about this Hannay, who was a warm friend of period, that, either electively, or by us- his, how he was ?-Mr Hapnay asked
if he knew who was in the carriage? our honours, wi' the lock siller we had he answered, that his eyes " had failed gi'en them.” I shook hands with him him a gule dale;" but added, that he for the last time, he then called himsaw his friend Barholm, and that he self above one hundred and twenty years could see a youth sitting betwixt them, of age ; he died about 1790. His great whom he did not know. I was intro- age never was disputed to the extent duced, and had a gracious shake of his of more than three or four years : hand. He told me I was setting out in The oldest people in the country allife, and admonished me, to “ tak care lowed the account to be correct.o' my han', and do naething to dis- The great-grandmother of the writer honor the gude stock o' folk that I of this article died at the advanced was come o';" he added, that I was the age of one hundred and four ; her age fourth generation of us he had been was correctly known; she said, that acquaint wi'. Each of us paid a small Wull Marshal was a man when she pecuniary tribute of respect,-1 at was a bit callant, (provincially, in tempted to add to mine, but Barholm Galloway, a very young girl. She told me, he had fully as much as had no doubt as to his being fifteen would be put to a good use. We were or sixteen years older than herself, returning the same way, betwixt ten and he survived her several years. and eleven at night, after spending a His long reign, if not glorious, was in pleasant day, and taking a cheerful the main fortunate for himself and glass with our friend Mr NI'Caul; we his people : Only one great calamity were descending the beautifully wood- befel him and them, during that long ed hills, above the picturesque Glen space of time in which he held the reins of Polnure,-my two companions were of government. It may have been alnapping,—the moon shone clear,-and ready suspected, that with Billy Marall nature was quiet, exccpting Pol- shal, ambition was a ruling passion; nure burn, and the dwelling of Billy and this bane of human fortune, had Marshal,—the postillion stopt, (in these stimulated in him a desire to extend parts the well-known, and well-liked his dominions, from the Brigg end of Johnny Whurk), and turning round Dumfries to the Newton of Ayr, at a with a voice which indicated terror, time when, he well knew, the Braes of he said, “ Gude guide us, there's folk Glen-Nap, and the Water of Doon, to singing psalms in the wud !” My be his western precinct : He reached companions awoke and listened,-Bar- the Newton of Ayr, which I believe is holm said, “ psalms, sure enough;" in Kyle ; but there he was opposed, but Bargaly said, “ the Deil a-bit o' and compelled to recross the river, them are psalms." We went on, and by a powerful body of tinkers from stopt again at the door of the old Argyle or Dumbarton : He said, in king: We then heard Billy go his bulletins, that they were supported through a great many stanzas of a by strong bodies of Irish sailors, and song, in such a way as convinced us Kyle colliers : Billy had no artillery, that his memory and voice had, at any but his cavalry and infantry suffered rate, not failed him; he was joined very severely. He was obliged to leave by a numerous and powerful chorus. a great part of his baggage, provisions, It is quite needless to be so minute, and camp equipuge, behind him ; conas to give any account of the song sisting of kettles, pots, pans, blankets, which Billy sung ; it will be enough crockery, horns, pigs, poultry, &c. to say, that my friend Barholm was A large proportion of shelties, asses, completely wrong, in supposing it to and mules, were driven into the water be a psalm ; it resembled in no par- and drowned ; which occasioned a ticular, psalm, paraphrase, or hymn. heavy loss, in creels, panniers, hamWe called him out again,-he appear. pers, tinkers' tools, and cookirg utened much brisker than he was in the sils; and although he was as well morning: we advised him to go to appointed, as to a medical staff, as bed; but he replied, that “ he didna such expeditions usually were, in adthink he wad be muckle in his bed dition to those who were missing, many that ni_ht,-they had to tak the coun- died of their wounds: However, on try in the morning (meaning, that reaching May bole with his broken and they were to begin a ramble over the dispirited troops, he was joined by a country), and that they “ were just faithful ally from the county of Down;
in a wee drap drink to the health of who, unlike other allies on such occa