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Music from the West.                   225
and most agreeably written book represents English music, it is therein represented as eminently eclectic.
I think we get from it the measure of ' Sir Roger de Coverley,' and a hornpipe tune—with that shuffle on the floor which is not dancing so much as getting over the ground; but I find among the English tunes nothing in the least equivalent to Welsh or Irish or Scotch melodies, as regards fresh­ness or strangeness, or the character which distin­guishes the little woman in the red cloak and hat from the Highlander in his kilt.
Let us see, if we can, if there be originating causes for this. A nation of shopkeepers, as we have been contemptuously called, we are still a nation of travellers, gentle and simple; and travellers who, while curious as to things abroad, are wondrously constant to our home notions. With all our good faith, there may be some pertinacity in us; some inaptitude to digest impressions alien to those of nature and education.
The author of ' Tremaine' called us ' slow to
move,' and this long after one Shakspeare had put
into the mouth of a certain Portia a character in
which there was more of Shakspeare's own intuition
than the perception of the Italian heiress of Belmont,

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