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74 A CENTURY OF BALLADS
lett, that learned gentleman rather flippantly questioned him thus :—
" 'Sir, you say that the two melodies are the same but different. Now, what do you mean by that ?'
"To this Cooke promptly replied: 'I said that the notes in the two copies are alike, but with a different accent, the one being in common time and the other in six-eight time ; and consequently the position of the accent of the notes is different.'
" Sir James: 'What is musical accent?'
" Cooke: 'My terms are nine guineas a quarter, sir.
"SirJames: ' Never mind your terms here. I ask you what is musical accent? Can you see it?'
" Cooke: ' No, Sir James.'
'' Sir James: ' Can you feel it ? '
" Cooke: 'A musician can.' (Great laughter.)
" Sir James (very angry): ' Now, pray, sir, don't beat about the bush, but explain to his lordship and the jury, who are expected to know nothing about music, the meaning of what you call accent.'
"Cooke: 'Accent in music is a certain stress laid upon a particular note in the same manner as you would lay stress upon a given word for the purpose of being better understood. Thus if I were to say, " You are an ass," the accent rests