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Observations >a tic London Cries- 3°*T
I do farther certify, that in all the You will be apt to imagine the a
* above papers and registers, there is bove is only caricature; but I must
* not ai.y note of St Anthony of bad request you to give me credit when I
* behaviour or irregularity, committed assure you, I have mentioned no
* by him, nor of his having ever been tiling but literal and sober matter of
* flopged, imprisoned, or any way pu- fact; neither is any business, either 'niflied by his officers, while private here or in Spain, treated with more
* in the regiment: That, during the gravity and ieriousnefs; nor is it at
* whole time he has been a captain, all surprising, if they act, as I have
* now near a hundred years, ho has every reason to believe they do, di
* constantly done his duty v/ith the bonne soi. The opinion Ib prevalent
* greatest! alacrity, at the head of his in England, and which is supported « company, upon all occasions, in peace by many grave polemic authors of a
* and war, and as such has been seen certain way of thinking, (who, besote
* by his soldiers, times Without num- they write, ought in common prudence
* ber, as they are all ready to testify; to be better informed) is evidently
* and in every other respect has always false; I mean, when they assert, that
* behaved like a gentleman and an of- the clergy in Catholic countries know 'fleer: and on ail the above-mention- better things, and keep the people in
* ed accounts, I hold him most wor- ignorance, only to have them the more
* thy and deserving of the rank of Ag- in their power; at least I will answer
* gregate-Major to our regiment, and for it, that the greatest part of the*
* of every other honour, grace, or clergy of Spain and here, are upright
* favour, her Majesty (hall be graci- in their intentions, and think they are
* ously pleased to bestow upon him. discharging the duties of their office,
* In testimony whereof, I have hereto and, if mistaken, are the first dupes
* signed my name, this 25th day of in these countries; in which cafe, it
* March, of the year of our Lord is not surprising that they lead astray
* Jesus Christ, 1777. the people committed to their care. (Z.. S.) • Magalhaens Homem.'
A Letter, containing Observations on the London Cries.
I AM sorry to observe, that since the days of the Spectator, no attempt has been made to reduce the London Cries to some order—They still remain in a most unmusical confusion, for want os some person to superintend them, and to deliver out to the people their proper cries in score, that they may not injure our ears as they do at present, by their horrid screaming. This is much to the reproach of an age so musically inclined as the present, and I wi(h to rouze in the public an attention to a subject which they must daily hear on both sides of their bead. .
The great errors which have crept into our system of Cries, are principally these; the same music is often applied t,o different words—and, secondly, we have often a great many words set to music, so improper, that the " sound is not an echo to the fense" —not to speak of a great deal of music by the first mistresses of the Billingsgate academy, to which there are no words at all, aud vice versa, a great quantity of words without music, as any one may be convinced of, by listening to the cries of the venders offish.
1 have said, that the same music ia oftcnapplied to different words—There
is a man under my window at this moment, who cries potatoes to the selfsame tune that I remember when cherries were in season—,ind it was but yesterday a woman invited the public to purchase shrimps, to a tune which has invariably been applied to -watercod—as xospinnage and muffins, I have heard them so often chaunted in D, that I defy any man to know which is which.
Matches, too, have been transposed to the key of perritvinkles, and the cadence which mould fall upon rare is now placed upon smelts and mackarel, One could scarcely sup|>osc such absurdities in London, at a time when every barber's bey whistles Italian operas, and even the footmen belonging to the Nobility give you -water parted —at the box-doors—There is another instance just occurred in radshes— Every body knows that the bravura part is on the words t-wenty a penny, but they swell these notes, anelshake wpon radisbis.-vxQAs life, Sjr, we have no ears, else we could not hear suph barbarous transpositions, which must be done by people totally unacquainted with the gamut. You may think lightly of this matter. Sir, but my family shall starve ere I will buy potatoes in she treble cliff, or allow them to eat a sallad that has been cried in fiatu
Soot, be! I will still allow to be in fit; the situation of our chimneys justifies this ; but certainly dust ought to be an octave lower, although it is notorious, that the unmusical rascals frequently go as high as G, and that withput my shake. Is it not clear, that dust mould be siSakcd?
Of neater-cresses, I must own the fry has a most pleasing melancholy, which I would not part witji for the flippant triple tune in which we are solicited to purchase cabbage plants—In sallad, the repetition has a good effect —Finesallad, and fine Young sallad, with a (hake on the last syllable of sallad, is according to the true principles of music, as jt cuds isl an apogiatura.
H-A Cross-Buns—although they occur but once a-year, arc cried to a tune which has nothing of that majesty which mould accompany sacred music —There is a flux upon hot which destroys the effect; and, indeed, gives the whole a very irreverent found — AV-iU C'-etfi, I have to observe, rus not been set to music, and is therefore usually sung as a second panto radishes, but the concords are not always perfect—Ducts are larely well performed, when there is no other accompaniments than the wheels of a barrow
As I would not wish to insinuate that all our cries are objectionable, I must allow that ground-ivy is one of the most excellent pieces of music we have—I question much ifever Handel composed, or Mara fung, any thing like it. What renders it more beautiful is, that it is a rondeau, a very pleasing and popular species of air—The repetition of the word ground-ivy, both before and after the Come buy my—has a very fine effect; or, as the critics would fay, it is impressive and brilliant. But, while I allow the merit of this very natural and popular composition, what shall I fay to cucumbers? The original tune is entirely forgotten, and a fort of Irish lilt is substituted for the original. But although I object to this tune by itself, I am persuaded that those who admire the sublime thunder of a chorus will be highly gratified by a chorus of cucumber-, women in a narrow street.—I have often listened to it, when it took, my attention from every thing else.
Fresh salmon is, objectionable both on account of the words and the music.— The music was originally part of tht celebrated water piece, but they have mangled it so, that the composer himself could not recognize the original air.—Besides some use the word dainty, and some delicate to the fame notes, which occasions an unpleasant semiquaver. Indeed, in genoral, the words Jcjjcate might be as veil left out.
Little or nothing of the bravura has —This is a musical age, and our great
been attempted in our cries, if we ex- improvements have attracted the notice
cq>t the ro/yfii/ys; green peas is a and the company of foreigners, and it
very sine instance of this species of com- much becomes us to reform the preltnt
position j I know of nothing in any of barbarous system of cries—We can
our 0:>enis which goes beyond it; it hear a concert, Sir, but now and then j
is to be regretted seas don't last ail the year.
But to go over all the cries, Sir, in one k-tter is not possible, else I could easily prove that we are as much degenerated in this kind of music, as we arc improved in every other—the barrel-organ men have,debauched our silh and garden-stuff women ; for indeed h:i v can a woman, b: she ever so good a siager,listen to their play-house-tunes, and whip her ass along at the fame time? It cannot be done, Sir; people than tney at present perserve—These who have nice ears, are easiest distur- I lhallue happy to submit to any Com'bed by sounds; and how can one give mittee of Musical Cognoscenti, that the elegant melody of Winsdor beans, may he appointed—If not, I lhall print and listen at the fame time to God save them by subscription, at half a guinea the King. the sett. J. C. jun. to be heard of at
I hope, Sir, the sew hints I have the 'Change, Billingsgate, or the mar« here offered will not be disagreeable, ket Covent-Garden, any morning.
the cries assail ©urears >.t a'.J the hours of the day. I am, Sir, your's,
Joel Collier, j an.
P. S. If any scheme is set on foot for the valuable purposes I mention; I beg farther to intimate, that I have lately composed a let of appropriate airs for each article, from loot at leven in the morning, to hot gingerbread at ten at night—also a set of tunei for the watchmen in much better time
Authentic Relation os the heroic Magnanimity with which the Bramin Rajah Nunducomar suffered. Written by Mr Macraby (the Sheriff) who attended him.
EARING that some persons
* ducomar would make an address to 'the people at his execution, I have
* committed to writing the following 'minutes of what palled both on that 'occasion, and also upon my paying him 'a visit in prison the preceding even■ ing, while both are fresh in my re'membrance.
* Fr;day evening, the 4th of Au
* gust, upon my entering his apartment
* in the jail, he arose and saluted me
* in his usual manner: after we were
* both seated, he spoke with great ease, 'and such seeming unconcern, that 1
* really doubted whether he was sen
* Sble of his approaching fate. I
* therefore bid the interpreter inform
him, that I was come to shew himthis last mark os respect, and to assure him, that every attention should be given the next morning which could afford him comfort on so melancholy an occasion ; that I was deeply concerned that the duties of my office made me of necessity a party in it; but that I would attend to the last to see that every desire he had should be gratified ; that his own palanquin and his own servants should attend him, and that such of his friends, who I understood were to be present, should be protected. He replied, that he was obliged to me for this visit, that he thanked me for all my favours, and intreated me to continue it to his family; that fate was
'n A to be resisted, and pot his singer 't> his sorehead—« God's will must "be done.' He desired I would pre'sent his respects ard compliments to 'the General, Colonel Monson, ar.d •* Mr Francis, and pray for their pre'tection of Puija Gourdafs ; that they
would please to look upon him now 'as the head of the Eramir.s. His
composure was wonderful; not a
* sigh escaped him; nor the smallest :' alteration of voice or countenance, ;* tho' I understood he had not many •" hours before taken a solemn and af
'fectionate leave of his son in-law
, .* Roy Radichum. I found myself so
* much second to him in firmness, 'that I could stay no longer. Going 'down stairs, the jailor informed me, .' that since the departure of his friends, •* he had been writing notes, and.look'ing at accounts, in his usual way. 'I began now to apprehend, that he -' had taken his resolution, and fully .' expected that he would be found
'dead in the morning; but on Satur'day the 5th, at seven, I was infor'med that every thing was in rcadi'ness at the jail for the execution. I
* came there about half an hour past \* seven. The howlings and lamenta
« tionsofthe poor.wretched people, who 'were taking their last leave of him, .* are not to be described, 1 have hard'ly recovered the first shock, while I « write this, above three hours after'wards. As soon as he heard I was 'arrived, he came down into the yard,
* and joined me in the jailor's apart
* ment. There was no lingering a'bout him; no affected delay. He 4 came chearfully into the room, made 'the usual Salaam, but would not sit ■' till I took a chair near him. See
* ing somebody, I forgot who, look at 4 a watch, he got up, and said he was 'ready, and immediately turning to
* three Bramins, who were to attend
* and take care of his body, he embra
* ced them all closely; but without
* the least mark of melancholy or de'preilion on his part, while they were
in agonies of grief and despair* 1 then looked at my own watch, ic'.d him the hour I bad mentioned in not arrived, that it wanted above a quarter of eight, but that I should wait his own time, and that I would not rife from my feat without a motion from him. Upon its being recommended to him, that at the pltce of execution he would give some signal when he had done with this world, he laid he would speak. We sat about a quarter of an hour longer, duiing which he addressed hin> seli" more than once to me ;—mentioned Rajah Gourdafs, the General, Colonel Monson and Mr Francis, but without any seeming anxiety: The rest of the time, I believe, he passed in prayer; his lips aid tongue moving, and his beads hinging upon his hand. He then looked to me and arose, spoke to sorse of the servants of the jail, telling them, that any thing he .night hive omitted, Rajah Gourdafs would take care of; then walked chearfullv to the gate, and seated himself in his Palanquin, looking around him with perfect unconcern. As the Deputy Sheriff and I followed, we could make no observation upon his deportment, till we all arrived at the place of execution. The croud there was very great; but not the kafi appearance of a riot. The Raja fa: in his Palanquin upon the bearers shoulders, and looked around at first with some attention. I did not observe the smallest discomposure in his countenance or manner at the sight of the gallows, ot any of the ceremonies passing about it. He asked for the Bramins, who were not cone up, and shewed some earnestness, as if he apprehended the execution might take place before their arrival. I took that opportunity of assuring him, I will wait his own time, * it was early in the day, and there was no hurry,' the Bramins soon after, appearing, I offered to remove Use • cJEccr?,
• officers, thinking that he might have 'something to say in private, but he 1 made a motion not to do it, and said,
* he had only a few words to remind : them of what he had said concerning '• Rajah Gourdass, and the care of his : Zenana. He spoke to me, and de1 sired that the men might be taken : care of, as they were to take charge
of his body, which he desired repeatedly might not be touched by any of the by-standers; but he seemed not in the least alarmed or discomposed at the crowd around him—There was some delay in the necessary preparations, and from the aukwardness of the people, he was no way desirous of protracting the business, but repeatedly told me he was ready. Upon my asking him, if he had any more friends he wished to fee, he answered he had many, but this was not a place nor an occasion to look for them. Did he apprehend their might be any present, who could not get up for the crowd? He mentioned one, whose name was called ; but he immediately said, • it was of no con'sequence,probablyhe had not come.' He then desired me to to remember him to General Clavering, Colonel Monson, and Mr Francis, and looked with the greatest composure. When he was not engaged in conversation, he lay back in the palanquin, moving his lips and tongue as before. I then caused him to be alkcd about the signal he was to make, which could not be done by speaking, on account of the noise of the' crowd. He said he would make a' motion with his hand, and when it' was represented to him, that it would' be necessary for his hands to be tied,' in order to prevent any involuntary' motion, and I recommended his ma'' king a motion with his foot, he said' he would. Nothing now remained' except the last paiuful ceremony. I <
'ordered his palanquin to be brought
■ close under the gallows, but he chose 'to walk, which he did more erect • than I have generally seen him. At 'the soot of the steps, which lead to 'the stage,he put his hand j behind him 'to be tied with a handkerchief, look'ing around at the fame time with 'the utmost unconcern. Some diffi'culties arising about the cloth which 1 should be tied over his face, he told
1 the people, that it must not be done 'by one of us. I presented to him, : a subaltern Sepoy officer, who is a 'Bramin, and came forward with his ; handkerchief in his hand, but the ; Rajah pointed to a servant of his own, who was lying prostrate at his
■ feet, and beckoned him to doit. He had some weakness in his feet,which added to the confinement of his hands, made him mount the step$ with difficulty. But hefhewednotthe least reluctance, scrambling rather forward to get op. He then stood erect on the stage, while I examined his countenance as ttedfastly as I could till the cloth covered it, to fee if I could observe the smallest sympton of fear or alarm, but there was not a trace of it. My own spirits funk, and I ftept into my palanquin, but before I was well seated, he had given the signal, and the stage was removed. I could observe, when I was a little recovered, that his arms lay back m the fame position, in which I saw them first tied, nor could I perceive any contortion of that side of his mouth and face which were visible. In a word, his steadiness, composure, and resolution throughout the whole of this melancholy transaction, were equal to any examples of fortitude I have ever read or heard of. The body was taken down after hanging the usual time, and delivered to the Bramins for burntRg.''