Curiosities of Music - online book

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196                  CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
where (holes having been bored to receive it) it swiftly disappeared.*
This performance seemed to give the greatest delight to the Chinese part of the audience. The music attached to this spectacle, was as usual of the most deafening character.
Of the lower order of dances, such as tumbling, harlequinades, etc., the Chinese have a vast variety; even puppet shows (marionettes) are greatly used by them, and plays with simple plots, very skilfully given by their means. This is the story represent­ed at one of them;—An unfortunate princess is kept prisoner in a castle surrounded by dragons: to her comes a bold warrior, who after many combats with dragons, wild beasts and other horrible creations, succeeds in killing, vanquishing and dispersing them. He is recompensed by receiving the hand of the grateful princess, and the whole concludes with processions, tournaments and other festivities.!
As to the musical part of all these lesser perfor­mances, it is nearly always present, and ever of the peculiar style which has filled every traveller (so far as we know without exception), with utter distaste. The juggling performances, of which there are many, both public and private, are accompanied throughout with the above described orchestra. Feats of skill, performed by troupes of children are especially admired by the Chinese, and
• Banow'a lift of Macartney, t. 1, pp. 3414 'Ibid, p. 837.






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