The National Music of America - online book

The Sources & Factors Influential In Forming America's Music.

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The National Music of America. 79
from a letter written by Brissot de Warville,1 from Boston, in 1788 :
" You no longer meet here that Presbyterian aus­terity which interdicted all pleasures, even that of walking, which forbade travelling on Sunday, which persecuted men whose opinions were different from their own. The Bostonians unite simplicity of morals with that French politeness and delicacy of manners which render virtue more amiable. They are hos­pitable to strangers and obliging to friends; they are tender husbands, fond and almost idolatrous parents, and kind masters. Music, which their teachers for­merly proscribed as a diabolical art, begins to make part of their education. In some houses you hear the forte-piano. This art it is true is still in its infancy; but the young novices who exercise it are so gentle, so complaisant, and so modest, that the proud perfection of art gives no pleasure equal to what they afford."
'Jean Pierre Brissot, who assumed the name "De Warville," was a celebrated Girondist. He was born at Chartres, 1754. He became a prominent lawyer in Paris and wrote some important legal works. He was also a pamphleteer and journalist. His coming to America was in the interests of an abolition society which he founded in Paris, called " The Friends of the Blacks." He entered heart and soul into the spirit of our Revolution. Return­ing to France, he was tried with the Girondists (see ac­count of the " Marseillaise " in the next chapter) and died on the guillotine, with bravery and dignity, Oct. 31, 1793.
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