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CHINESE THEATRE AND DANCES.        179
Engel, who quotes the above plot, well says* u how interesting would it be to the student ol national music, to possess an exact notation of the music belonging to this scene '(the empress complaints)' and to ascertain in what manner the intense emotions and vehement passions represent­ed are expressed in the Chinese musical composi­tions."
The above plot is curious in its Shakespearian resemblance, and seems to be a drama of the superior order, for Lord Macartney was shown the highest and best side of Chinese life and art; the comedies of the people are less refined and of broader touches. We give as companion piece to the above, a comedy plot which is a favorite one with Chinese authors as well as the public.
The emperor Vouti, having lost one of his wives, whom he tenderly loved, had recourse to a celebrated magician, who assured him that his spouse was not deau as supposed, for she had bought of him the elixir of immortality; she still existed, but lived chiefly in the moon from whence the magician promised he could cause her to descend as often as desired. The emperor caused to be erected, under the superintendence of the magician, a very high tower, to facilitate her descent; he also often assisted at the incanta­tions of the wizard, but as the fair immortal did not respond, the imposter, fearing the angei of his royal master, invented a new stratagem to avert this unpleasant conclusion. He wrote upon
* Musical Mytlu and Facu, rol. 2, p. 168






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