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REIGN OF CHARLES II. TO WILLIAM -III.
The moments ; for, each morn, his score was less !— Visions of vacant home yet brighter grew; When lo ! stern fate obscnr'd the blissful view: Droops his sick heart. And " Ah, dear fields^ (he cries)
" Ye bloom no more ! dear native fields, adieu !" " Home, charming home !" still plaintive Eclio sighs, And to his parting breath the dulcet murmur dies.
PolwheeVs Influence of Local Attachment, p. 57. ])r. Milner, in his History of Winchester, says, " We shall now conclude this account of the college, with inserting the famous song of Dulce Domum, which is publicly sung by the scholars and choristers, aided by a band of music, previously to the summer vacation. The existence of this song can only be traced up the distance of about a century [from the time at which he wrote], yet the real author of it, and the occasion of its composition, are already clouded with fables."
It has been justly remarked by J. P. Malcolm, in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1796, that the Sentiments of the words are rather those of a scholar looking forward with an early expectation of enjoying the delights of the home joys he describes, than of a boy who died of sorrow, chained to a post.
Dr. Hayes, and other authorities, attribute the composition of the music to John Beading, who was organist of Winchester College and of Winchester Cathedral,—of the College from 1681 to 1689,a and probably till 1695, in which year he is said to have died. Reading composed the music to the three Latin Graces, which are sung at the annual college elections,—the Ante cibum, Post cibum, and the Oratio, " Agimus tibi gratias, omnipotens Deus, pro fundatore nostro, Gulielmo de Wykeham," &c.
The printed copies of Dulce Domum also ascribe the music to " Johannes Reading," and " the poetry " to " Turner." b Such of these as I have seen are of comparatively late date—perhaps no one older than the latter part of the last century—but they were most probably reprints from earlier editions.
Dulce Domum is still sung at Winchester on the eve of the break-up-day. The collegians sing it first in the school-room, and have a band to play it. Afterwards they repeat it at intervals throughout the evening, before the assembled visitors, in the College mead or play-ground; and continue to sing
* The rolls of Winchester College give the date of first time at the Portuguese Ambassador's chapel, in South
Reading's appointment. These rolls are lists of the offi- Street, Park Lane, and he, supposing it to be peculiar to
cers-, prepared yearly. Those between 1689 and 1697 are the service in Portugal, introduced it at the Ancient
missing, but in the latter year Bishop was organist. This Concerts, giving it that title.
John Reading has sometimes been confounded with a b No scholar of the name of Turner is to be found on
later writer of the same name, who was organist of the Registers of the College in Reading's time, and but
St. lohn's, Hackney. Both composed anthems, but the one who had been a scholar was his cotemporary. This
Bhyraphical Dictionary of Musicians is incorrect, as to was Francis Turner, admitted in 1650, superannuated in
dat , when it states that tbelatter "published a collection 1655; who then proceeded to St. John's College, Cam-
of nthems of his own composition towards the end of bridge, became Prebendary of St. Paul's and Bishop of
the seventeenth century." The second John Reading's Ely,—one of the seven bishops who were brought to trial
"first essays" were A Book of New Songs, which must before the Court of King's Bench by James II. The
have been printed after 1708, because he describes him- Registers contain the names of all the scholars from the
sell, on the title page, as having been " educated in the very first. Before Francis Turner there were Edward
Oh. pel Royal, under the late Dr. John Blow," and Turner, in 1477, John Turner, in 1530, Edward Turner, in
Dr. Blow died in that year. Reading composed the well- 1851, and Edward Turner, In 1620; also, two Tumors, in
knewn "Adeste, fideles," commonly called "The Por- 1522 and 1529. The remoteness of these dates (the
tuguese Hymn." The accident by which it acquired the nearest being sixty years before Reading's appointment)
latt ;r name is thus related in Novello's Home Music: leads to the inference that Francis Turner, afterwards
Tht Duke of Leeds, who was a director of the Ancient Bishop of Ely, was the author, Concerts about 1785. heard the hvinn nerfnrmed for the