Curiosities of Music - online book

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160                  CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
ft piece of silk a counterfeit letter from the dear defunct giving various pretended reasons as to why she could not return personally to the royal lover; this letter is given by the sorcerer to a tow, who is then led by him to the emperor to whom he confesses that some involuntary crime has, for the present, interrupted his inter­course and influence with the immortal beings, but that in the stomach of the cow he has perceived something; Vouti commands that the animal be opened on the spot, and the silken message is discovered; the magician is already enjoying his triumph when it is perceived that the characters of the communication are in his own handwriting. He is at once condemned to death, and the emperor thenceforth renounces magicians, immortal elixirs, etc., etc.*
It is well known that the Chinese often give, on the stage, a representation of the life of the hero of the play from early infancy (sometimes even from birthj to death, and these representations last weeks in their performance; every action being done deliberately; for example, if a per­former smokes a pipe, he does not give a whiff or two and then go on with the action, but calmlj and placidly smokes it out to the last puff.
Fairy spectacles, the Chinese also possess, in which Genii appear and disappear, as well as birds and beasts endowed with the power of speech. Their farces are of a much broader tharacter, and often in these, the clownish, awk
•l« ragoMna. da*. Chinoii T. 1. p. 303






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