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spected friend, Mr. Jonathan Phillips, and followed by the contributions of Mr. William Appleton, Mr. John E. Thayer, Mr. Peter C. Brooks, Mr. John C. Gray, and others both in and out of our ranks. The fund thus raised commenced for the purpose by Mr. Sears, and closed so handsomely by our venerable senior member, President Quincy, whom we are proud to count still among our most zealous co-operators, after more than sixty years of active service — furnished the means of securing for the society the sole and permanent possession of this most desirable building, on this old historical site, overhanging the graves of so many of the fathers and founders of our State and city, and endeared to us all by so many hallowed associations of remote and of recent history.
But I must not longer postpone the acknowledgment, which we all feel to be especially due from us this day, to the memory of that remarkable self-made man, who has made this society the chosen depositary and privileged guardian of the noble Library which it was the pride of his long life to accumulate, and upon the enjoyment of which we are now permitted to enter.
The room in which we are gathered is to be known henceforth as the DowSE LIBRARY of the Massachusetts Historical Society. It has been thus elegantly fitted up, under the direction of a committee of our own number, with the Rev. Dr. Chandler Robbins as its able and untiring head, and Dr. Nathaniel B. Shurtleff as his always efficient auxiliary. It has all been done, however, at the sole expense of Mr. Dowse's estate, and by the express authority of his executors, who have consulted his own wellunderstood views in the execution of this part of the honorable discretion committed to them. Here the precious volumes which he himself, in his life time, watched over so fondly, and consulted so frequently, have been arranged and are to be carefully classified — under the direction of our worthy Librarian, Dr. Lothrop - and from this apartment, which they will henceforth exclusively occupy, they are never, in any contingency which can be anticipated, to be removed. An original sketch of our distinguished associate, Mr. Everett, by Stuart, and a fine marble bust of Sir Walter Scott, by Chantrey -- which were the chosen ornaments of the Library while it was at Cambridge -- have also found their appropriate places in the same association here. Busts of Milton and Shakspeare, of Franklin and Washington, and of others whose writings or whose lives were especially dear to Mr. Dowse, are arranged upon the cases, — while, from the principal niche at the head of the room, the speaking portrait of the venerable donor himself, procured for the purpose by the order and at the expense of the society, looks benignantly down upon these cherished friends of his youth and of his age, from which he has so recently been called to part, and offers an accustomed and recognized welcome to all who worthily approach to enjoy their privileged companionship.
A nobler monument to such a man a nobler monument to any man
could not have been devised, nor one better calculated to secure for him an enviable and delightful remembrance, long after the costliest cenotaph or the most magnificent mausoleum would have crumbled into dust. To us, it is an invaluable treasure, and the name of THOMAS DOWSE will henceforth be inscribed upon our rolls and upon our hearts among our greatest and most honored benefactors.
I cannot receive the key which has just been handed to me, without recurring to the occasion, less than a year ago, when he himself presented to me a noble volume of "Purchas's Pilgrims," as the earnest of the donation which is this day so happily consummated. The volume is here, and will now resume its place in the series to which it belongs; but the hand which gave it is cold and motionless, and the ear to which I would again have addressed your acknowledgments, is beyond all reach of human utterance. I rejoice to perceive, however, that there is at least one of the witnesses to that transaction present with us on this occasion. And while I offer in your behalf and in my own, humble tribute of affectionate gratitude to the dead, I feel it to be but just to unite with it an expression of cordial thanks to the living, - by whom the wishes of Mr. Dowse and the welfare of our society have been so kindly and liberally consulted.
Mr. Dowse himself would, I am sure, have rejoiced to know, that the name of his chosen and devoted friend would be associated with his own, in the grateful remembrance and respect of all who shall now or hereafter enjoy the privileges of this charm
ing resort; and the name of George Livermore will be always so associated. The munificent provision which has been this moment announced, in the communication just delivered to me, as having been made by himself and his co-executor, Mr. Dale, for the permanent safe keeping and superintendence of the Library, calls especially for our renewed acknowledgments, and I tender to them both, in behalf of every member of the society, a sincere expression of our deep and heartfelt obligation.
It only remains for me, gentlemen, to remind you that our responsibilities increase proportionately with our opportunities and advantages; that many things remain to be desired and to be done to perfect other departments of our institution, and to render them worthy of what has thus been inaugurated ; and to assure you that, for myself, I shall most gladly co-operate, in every way in my power, with the excellent and efficient officers whom you have associated with me, in promoting the continued prosperity and welfare of a society, whose objects are at once so interesting and so important.
MUSIC IN NEW ENGLAND.
AN ADDRESS DELIVERED AT THE OPENING OF THE FIRST MUSICAL FESTIVAL IN
BOSTON, MAY 21, 1857.
I am here, ladies and gentlemen, at the request of my friend, Mr. Charles Francis Chickering, — the worthy successor of an honored father in the Presidency of the Handel and Haydn Society,
and by the invitation of the gentlemen associated with him in the government of that Institution, - of which it becomes me to remember most gratefully to-day, that, by their unmerited favor, I have myself enjoyed the privileges of an Honorary Member for nearly twenty years, - to inaugurate the Festival which is now about to commence, by some introductory words of commemoration and of welcome.
I am not unmindful of the difficulty of the service to which I have thus been called. I am deeply sensible how thin and meagre any single, unaccompanied human voice must sound, in this spacious Hall and to this expecting audience, when brought, even by anticipation, into such immediate contrast with the multitudinous choral and instrumental power and grandeur which may be seen arrayed behind me and around me, and which are presently to break upon us in a glorious flood of mingled harmony and light.*
More than one of the great Masters, whose genius is to be illustrated during the progress of this Festival, have found their highest powers tasked to the utmost, if I mistake not, in preparing an adequate and appropriate Overture, even for a single one of the great compositions to which they have owed their fame;
* Haydn's Creation, with its sublime opening chorus “Let there be Light," immediately followed the Address.
and some of them, I believe, have abandoned the effort altogether. How hopeless, then, is it for me to attempt to say any thing, which shall constitute a worthy prelude to all the magnificent Oratorios and Symphonies with which this Hall is now successively to resound! Well, well, may I recall the opening of that memorable musical competition, so forcibly depicted in the celebrated Ode on the Passions :
But I shall hardly succeed in rendering the formidable Solo which I have undertaken, either more easy to myself or more acceptable to others, by indulging too much in the fashionable tremolo of the hour; and I turn, therefore, without further preamble or apology, to a simple discharge of the service which I have promised to perform ; - not, indeed, altogether without notes, for that would be quite out of keeping with the occasion; but not without a due remembrance, I trust, of the apt and excellent wisdom of the ancient Son of Sirach : “ Speak, thou that art the elder, for it becometh thee, but with sound judgment; and hinder not the music. Pour not out words where there is a musician, and show not forth wisdom out of time. Let thy speech be short, comprehending much in few words.” *
It has sometimes been made a matter of reproach upon us New Englanders, my friends, that we are too ready to imitate the fashions, and even to ape the follies, of the Old World; and I think we must all admit that there have been periods in our history, when the charge was not altogether without foundation. We come to-day, however, to borrow a leaf out of the book of our brethren of Old England, which we need not be ashamed to copy, — which is eminently worthy of being copied, — and which I trust is destined to be reproduced, — in enlarged and improved editions, — frequently if not statedly, in the future history of this community.
* This intimation was fulfilled, in the delivery of the Address, by the omission of many passages which are included in the printed copy.