Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 2

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THE COMMONWEALTH.                                           415
Hist. Paint., ii.147) " the pleasures of the Court were carried on with much taste aid magnificence. Poetry, painting, music, and architecture, were all called in to make them rational amusements; and I have no doubt but the celebrated festivals of Louis XIV. were copied from the shows exhibited at Whitehall, in its time the most polite court in Europe. Ben Jonson was the laureate ; Inigo Jones the inventor of the decorations; Laniere and Eerabosco " [Dr. Campion, Dr. Giles, W. and H. Lawes, Simon Ives, Dr. Coleman, &c] " composed the symphonies; the King, the Queen, and the young nobility, danced in the interludes."
Oliver Cromwell was also a great lover of music, and " entertained the most skilful in that science in his pay and family." Heath compares him in his love for music to " wicked Saul, who, when the evil spirit was upon him, thought to lay and still him with those harmonious charms;" but he adds, that " generally hi; respected or at least pretended to love, all ingenious or eximious persons in any arts, whom he procured to be sent or brought to him." (Flagettum, p. 160, 4th edit., 1669). He engaged John Hingston, a celebrated musician of the time, who had been in the service of Charles, to instruct his daughters in music, arid gave him a pension of 100/. a year. Hingston gave concerts at his own house, at which Cromwell would often be present. At one of these, Sir Roger I/Estrange happened to be a performer, and Sir Roger not leaving the room upon Cromwell's coming into it, the Cavaliers gave him the name of Oliver's Fiddler. In a pamphlet entitled Truth and Loyalty vindicated, 4to., 1662, Sir Roger thus tells the story:
" Mr. Edward Bagshaw will have it that I frequently solicited a private conference with Oliver, and that I often brought my fiddle under my cloak to facilitate my entry. Surely this Edward Bagshaw has been pastor to aGravesend boat; he has the vein so right. A fiddle under my cloak? Truly my fiddle is a base viol, and that's somewhat a troublesome instrument under a cloak. 'Twaa a great oversight he did not tell my lord to what company (of fiddlers) I belonged. Concerning the story of the fiddle, this I suppose might be the rise of it. Being in St. James' Park, I heard an organ touched in a little low room of one Mr. Hickson's. I went in, and found a private company of some five or six persons. They desired me to take up a viol, and bear a part. I did so, and that a part, too, not much to advance the reputation of my cunning. By and by, without the least colour of a design or expectation, in comes Cromwell. Ht- found us playing, and, as I remember, so he left us."
Sir Roger never lost the name, for as late as 1683 a pamphlet was printed about him under the title of "The Loyal Observator; or Historical Memoirs of the Life and Actions of Roger the Fidler."
Anthony a Wood also tells a story of Cromwell's love of music. He says, '"A. W. had some acquaintance with James Quin, M.A., one of the senior students of Christ-Church, and had several times heard him sing with great admiration. His voice was a base, and he had a great command of it; 'twas very strong, and exceeding trouling. He had been turn'd out of his place by tho visitors, but being well acquainted with some great men of those times that loved music, they introduced him into the company of Oliver Cromwell the







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