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The Bhagavad Gita

Anonymous


The Story of Doctor Dolittle

Hugh Lofting


Shakti and Shakta

John Woodroffe


Novalis Including Hymns to the Night

Novalis, George MacDonald, Thomas Carlyle


Letters of Samuel Wesley to Mr. Jacobs, organist of Surrey Chapel, relating to the introduction into this country of the works of John Sebastian Bach (Now first published.)

by Samuel Wesley

Excerpt:

I must also tell you another Piece of News;— namely that this imperfect and incorrect volume, this valuable and inestimable Gift of Sebastian's dutiful Son, happens to contain only the 24 first Preludes and Fugues; all written in the Soprano Clef (to make them more easily understood, I suppose), and the Preludes so miserably mangled and mutilated that had I not met them in such a collection as that of the learned and highly illuminated Doctor Burney, I verily believe that I should have exclaimed, "An Enemy hath done this." I should have at once concluded that such a manuscript could have been made only by him who was determined to disgrace instead of promote the cause of correct Harmony.

Ever since I had the privilege of so great a triumph (for I can call it nought else) over the Doctor's Prejudice, he has evinced the most cordial veneration for our Sacred Musician, and when I told him that I was in Possession of 24 more such precious Relicks, he was all aghast in finding that there could be any Productions of such a Nature which he had not seen: this again is another proof of his having hastily judged, and also how remiss the Germans must have been not to have made him better acquainted with the Works of their transcendant Countryman.

I am told by the Eev. Mr. Picart (one of the Canons of Hereford Cathedral) that Seb. B. has written Pieces for three Organs, and innumerable others, which are not sent to England purely from the contempt which the Germans entertain of the general state of Music in this Country, and which unfavourable sentiment I am sorry to say has but too much foundation on the Truth.

You see that there are others who have as much cause to apologize for the length of Letters as you, if apology were at all necessary among Friends; but yours which I this Day received has given me so much real satisfaction, as I fully trust that you are determined to defend the cause of Truth and Sebastian (for they are one) against all the frivolous objections of Ignorance, and the transparent Cavils of Envy, that I safely rely upon you as one of my right hand men against all the prejudiced Handelians. It has been said that Comparisons are odious; but without Comparison, where is Discrimination? and without Discrimination, how are we to attain a just judgment? Let ns always weigh fairly as far as human Powers will allow, and endeavour to divest ourselves of the Propensity which leads us either to idolize or execrate whatever we have been unfortunately habituated so to do without previous and due examination.

I feel great gratification in having been accessory to your study of Sebastian: I knew that you had only to know him to love and adore him and I sincerely assure you that in meeting so true an Enthusiast in so good a Cause (and depend on it that nothing very good or very great is done without enthusiasm), I experience a warmth of Heart which only enthusiasts know or can value.

That our Friendship may long continue, either with or without enthusiasm (tho' I think a spice of it even there no bad thing), believe me, is the very cordial wish of, Dear Sir,

Yours very faithfully,

LETTER II.

To Mk. Jacobs,

Charlotte Street, Black Friars Road.
October 17th, 1808.

My Dear Sir,—We are going on swimmingly. Mr. Horn (the Music Master to the Princesses) is furthering the cause of our grand Hero with might and main. He had arranged 12 of the Fugues for 4 Instruments before I had the pleasure of his Acquaintance, and was longing to find some spirited enthusiast like himself to co-operate in bringing the Musical World to Reason and Common Sense, and to extort a Confession of the true State of the Case against the Prepossession, Prejudice, Envy, and Ignorance of all Anti-Bachists.


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