Curiosities of Music - online book

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108                  CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
lather the reverse of it; a venting of the emotions caused by the grandeur of the spectacle.
That he had implicit belief in his musical pow­ers, there can be no manner of doubt,for he had thoughts of possibly using it as a profession; it had been foretold that the time should come when he would be forsaken by all; on which he replied to the soothsayer "an artist can gain his liveli­hood in any country."
In Greece at the public games, the musical contests were still an important feature,* and the cities where they were celebrated, hearing of Nero's vanity in music, sent envoys to him with several golden crowns, as tribute to his abilities in the art; Nero was gratified beyond measure, and said that the Greeks had the only proper appreciation of music. He gave a sumpt­uous supper to the envoys, after which they begged that they might be permitted to hear that divine voice; Nero, nothing loth, consented, and as might be expected the Greeks went into ecstasies of applause. This determined Nero to make a musical tour through Greece, and attend the sacred games there.
He started on his journey with a vast retinue, among which were the entire force of claquers. Arriving in Greece he ordered the games which did not fall in that year, to be celebrated out of course, and also, contrary to all precedent, estab­lished musical contests at the Olympic games,
•See chapter on Qui< of Greece.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III