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138                  CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
He thus relates his effort: —
"I understood music passably well; I played the traverse flute and the clavichord: I used all these little talents to make myself welcome to the Chinese. On different occasions during the first years of my stay in Pekin, I never failed to endeavor to convince those who heard me, that our music, excelled that of their own country."
It is to be remembered that these were educated persons, able to compare and to judge; persons of the first rank, who honoring the French mission­aries with their kindness, came often to their abode to entertain themselves with them, with various matters relative to the sciences or arts cultivated in China.
"The cyclops," "The savages,"* the most beautiful sonatas, the most melodious airs of the flute, none of these made any impression on the Chinese.
" I saw upon their countenances only a cold and vacant look, which announced to me that I had not touched them in the least. One day I asked them how they liked our music, and begged that they would tell me frankly what they thought. They answered in their politest way, that our melodies were not made for their ears, nor their ears for our melodies, it was not therefore surpris­ing, they could not find beauties in our melodies, as they could in their own."
" The melodies of our music," said a dis­tinguished doctor (in the fervice of his majesty,
•Piece* for the Clavichord in the style of Kumrau

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