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almost epicene character of Cherubino, the amorous boy-page with the timidity and bashfulness of a woman. In a character of such marked and unusual type, he was, of course, rather more indebted to the poet's original conception than in the case of the more ordinary types, but even thus the music of Cherubino's part is a remarkable instance of subtlety of expression; and Jahn throws an additional light on this by his mention of the treatment of the part of Polidoro in La Finta Semplice, written at the age of twelve: "The naïve emotion of a youth who is as yet unconscious of the strength of his own passion, is so naturally and heartily expressed, that we may well ask how the boy had acquired such a degree of psychological insight." The dignity and elevation of feeling, again, with which Mozart invests the love music of a high-minded lady, of a Donna Anna or a Countess, is not less remarkable in its way; and the truth and reality of Mozart's pathos, as exhibited through such characters, has been commented on by John Stuart Mill, who contrasts the feeling expressed in the Countess's airs in Figaro, the genuine outpouring of the heart in solitude, with what he terms the "garrulous pathos" of Rossini, a pathos which is manifestly conscious of the listeners, and acts to them. The new form which the treatment of the orchestra in opera took in his hands cannot be better put than in Jahn's own words :
"It (the orchestra) is no longer a mere adjunct to the vocal parts, but takes its share in the effective working of the whole, filling out details which the vocal parts leave imperfect, and obeying not so much the requirements of the vocalist as the conditions of artistic perfection. This altered relationship required an altered organization; each component part of the orchestra must have a distinct existence, so that each, according to its place and kind, might contribute to the general effect. The single example of the treatment of the basses will serve to make this clear. Hitherto the basses had served merely as the foundation of the melody, indispensable indeed, but often clumsy and insignificant; but here, without losing their character as the groundwork of harmonic elaboration, they have an independent movement; they serve not only to support the superincumbent mass, but their quickening power sets in motion and gives the impulse to its formation."
All that need be added to this is, that Mozart, alone among operatic composers, has been able to preserve precisely the balance between the vocal and the orchestral portion of the work; to weave the orchestra into the whole design, and give individual expression to various instruments, without hampering and over-weighting the singers. Even in Beethoven's one exquisite opera the balance is sometimes lost, the singers too much enmeshed in the elaborations of the accompaniment; and in much of recent German opera the balance is so entirely lost that the result is really an orchestral composition, with explanatory comments by the singers.
The strong sense of character, and power of musically defining it, which has been referred to and illustrated in Mozart's operas, should in
itself be sufficient to refute the idea which some critics of to-day seem to entertain, that he was essentially a superior class of music-maker, producing by a happy instinct, rather then by intellectual effort. The nian Mozart, it must be confessed, does not represent, apart from his art, a very high ideal of life; nor does the strong light of Jahn's biography benefit his memory much in this respect, save in so far as it justifies us in regarding him as a beautiful nature spoiled by untoward circumstances, acting upon some inherent weaknesses of character. In youth he was far more serious and self-respecting than in his later life; but Grimm characterizes him, during his stay in Paris, in a letter to the elder Mozart, as "zu treuherzig, peu actif, trop aisé à attraper, trop peu occupé des moyens qui peuvent conduire à la fortune," and Grimm's penetration is sadly justified by the records of the composer's later life the tale of improvidence and carelessness about money, resulting in constant grinding embarrassment; of thoughtless expenditure on the whim of the moment, ill counterbalanced by equally thoughtless expectations of something turning up, or schemes for attaining that end; of the swindles perpetrated upon him by worthless companions, who were pardoned and taken into good fellowship again out of mere easy-hearted good-nature, reckless of consequences; of wine and billiards employed as the refuge from anxiety. It is a pathetic picture, but hardly a heroic one. In regard to general culture and breadth of view, Mozart's mind was evidently but of a very ordinary type, as may readily be concluded from the total absence of any reference to the higher class of literature in his correspondence; from the tone of puerile spite in which he chronicles the death of Voltaire, "the arch-heretic; " the mingled superstition and naïveté with which he defends himself against the charge of having not fasted with full orthodoxy in Lent, somewhat in the spirit of Mrs. Quickly (" What's a joint of mutton or two in a whole Lent?"); from his fondness for rings, chains, and finery, which led to his once being actually taken for a liveried servant in some one's palace; and from the fact that he could descend to make a boon companion of such a vulgar "rip" as Schikaneder, the manager for whom he wrote Die Zauberflöte, when the theatre was in low water, and who rewarded his illadvised good-nature by swindling him of all that he should have made by the opera. His weaknesses were mostly amiable, and the man was lovable through them all, and was loved by many; but he was not a hero, either intellectually or morally, outside of his art. Let so much be conceded; does this fact materially affect the importance of his place as a composer? If we concluded so, we should in consistency have to lurch the garland from some of the most brilliant names in literature and art. Nor do the school of critics, who now affect to slight Mozart, profess to do so on this ground. They charge him with want of earnestness in his art, with
having no definite aim, or, as I once saw the charge more distinctly formulated in print, with a thoughtless habit of taking a beautiful melody, and elaborating it solely with the view of displaying its beauty, with no ulterior aim. Is this then so ignoble a task? We have Filippo Lippi's answer
"If you get simple beauty and nought else,
an answer the weight and significance of which are apt to be sadly overlooked in these days of self-conscious theorising upon the morale of art. But the further answer on the part of Mozart might be this: that inasmuch as his special power consisted in the utterance of feeling through musical form, we have no right to demand that he should also have uttered that feeling through other channels, literary or moral, not congenial to his genius; that in the face of the unquestionable evidence, in his lyric dramas, of the existence in him of a feeling based upon the elemental facts of human nature and human pathos, we have no right to deny the existence of such a basis in his purely instrumental works, merely because he did not formulate in words what he could better express in music, the very raison d'étre of which is that it expresses what words cannot express; and furthermore, that the mere development of perfect musical form, proportion, and detail is in itself an intellectual exercise of the highest interest, leading to a result the contemplation of which forms an intellectual pleasure of the purest and most abstract nature, which, just because it is abstract, is incapable of rigorous or logical definition, but is not the less genuine on that account. And in the days when, as Sterndale Bennett said, " music was young," it was the proper object of a composer to perfect its form, to experiment upon its resources of design, to master its technical difficulties; just as in the younger days of painting the mere effort to work out effects and handling not previously mastered was one of the main objects of the most gifted painters, and was a sufficient and ennobling aim in itself. The "Warum?" which Wagner has so persistently put, and which is a question naturally intruding itself upon the practitioners of an art which has past its prime and is falling into its sere and yellow leaf, could have no place in the early and formative epoch of the same art. It seems to have been Mozart's peculiar mission to exhibit the perfect balance of form and design in his own art. In lyric drama he has done this more completely than any one since his time has succeeded in doing it. In one important and very popular branch of instrumental music, that of which the keyboard is the medium, he has been far surpassed, because he never thoroughly emancipated himself from the old clavier or harpsichord style. which was in vogue in his youth, never fully appreciated the new
and different powers of the modern pianoforte, which was only coming into general use in the latter part of his musical career. In the higher forms of instrumental music, the quartet and the symphony, he achieved a perfection of finish in regard to form, expression, and relation of means to the end, which has never been surpassed, and not often equalled even by Beethoven. He gave to music of this class a higher and more serious tone than it had ever exhibited before. Of one section of his instrumental movements, the minuets, Jahn remarks very truly, 'Haydn's minuets are the product of a laughter-loving national life; Mozart's give the tone of good society," the distinction of character which, as before observed, belongs also to the music of his heroines in opera; and the same kind of comparative elevation of tone belongs to the best of his instrumental music generally, in comparison with what had preceded it. When we come to compare the emotional expression of his music with that of his greatest successor, then indeed we are conscious of a comparative limitation in his powers; but we must also perceive that so passionate a stress of feeling as is poured out in the works of Beethoven, even could the poetic motive for it have existed in Mozart's day, would have torn asunder the delicate and finished framework of Mozart's exquisitely constructed forms. The greatest intensity of expression is perhaps incompatible with the greatest perfection of form; but while recognising in Mozart the musician who gave us the most balanced and complete musical art, we must, while recognising also his limitation in regard to emotional intensity, remember that he had lived but a short life, that his latest work, the Requiem (taking those portions which are unquestionably his), evinces deeper and more serious feeling than any of his previous compositions, and that we can hardly estimate what he might have done with twenty years' longer life, under favourable circumstances. As it is, he has left enough to justify Rossini's characterization of him, as "the only musician who had as much knowledge as genius, and as much genius as knowledge."
H. H. STATHAM.
OUR COLONIAL POLICY.
THERE are at the present moment several circumstances of our Colonial Empire, well worthy of attention. In regard to Australasia, upon a question of annexation of territory, it seems probable that the will of Australasian Englishmen has prevailed over the expressed will of her Majesty's Government; in regard to South Africa, a Government most adverse, in accordance with the many declarations of its members, to any addition to our dominion, and, as the idea is, extension of our responsibilities, has within the past year practically added to our dominion a large part of Zululand, and abstains, only at the cost of standing an idle yet troubled spectator of the bloodshed and ferocious anarchy encouraged by its abstention, from adding the remaining part. In relation to another region of South Africa, Bechuanaland, the refusal to establish a British protectorate is maintained only at a similar cost, rendered more painful by the lurid light of broken faith. In Basutoland her Majesty's Ministers have taken the burden of direct administration off the shoulders of the Cape Government and have placed it upon their own. Movements of annexation such as these made by a party who are opposed on principle to all annexation-particularly the annexation of a part of Zululand, a scheme so vehemently denounced not long ago by the very politicians who have now adopted it-call naturally for an examination of the conditions that have given birth to so strange a metamorphosis of opinion.
It is but lately that the worship of an entity termed individual freedom was a leading doctrine with our Government. The highest object of political action, we used to be told, was the vindication of the liberty of every man to do as he chose, subject only to the liberty of other men, the rights and duties of society.1 Many people found it difficult to understand how the undefined liberty of every one subject to the undefined liberty of every one else was a very clear definition of an aim, or meant anything at all capable of supplying a guide to action. But the creed had its votaries, many and powerful and not silent; and while at their bidding we have been watching this idol with the jewel of individual freedom in its forehead, hoping to enjoy some manifestation of its promised power, some comfortable enlargement of the liberty of every member of the community, lo! we find ourselves beset from behind by a Factory Act, and an Employers' Liability Act, and an Irish Land Act, and
(1) "The principle vindicated is that of individual liberty, so far and so far only as it is consistent with the paramount rights and duties of society."-Mr. G. Brodrick, Fortnightly Review, February, 1876, in an article on " Liberalism."
VOL. XXXV. N.S.