Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

Smith, my worthy friend and patient, has often told me what follows, viz. That your father came to him with the words and music, desiring him to correct the bass, which Mr. Smith told him was not proper; and at your father's request he wrote down another in correct harmony."--Mr. Smith, to whom I read your letter this day, the 13th of June, repeated the same again. His advanced age and present infirmity render him incapable of writing or desiring to be written to; but, on his authority, I pledge myself for the truth. Should this information prove in the least advantageous to yourself, it will afford the most sincere satisfaction and pleasure to,

SIR, Your most obedient servant, Bath, June, 13th, 1795.

W. HARINGTON.

Pa S.

P. S. My curiosity was often raised to enquire after the author before Mr. Smith related the above, and I was often misinformed. Mr. Smith says he understood your father intended this air as part of a birth-day ode, or somewhat of that kind; however this might be, no Laureat nor composer has furnished the world with any production more complimentary or more popular, which must ever be the

consequence of concise elegance and natural simplicity.

This Mr. John Smith was friend and assistant to Mr. Handel many years.

Surely the foregoing letter wears the complexion of truth, and yet, either

from

[ocr errors]

from envy or rigid scepticism, it has been held out by many as a matter of doubt, without one feasible authority or circumstancial argument that could render it so.

Convinced of the infallibility of Dr. Harington's letter, I concluded on giving it a place here, referring the reader to the materialand provident aid the song

had often yielded to the King and state in every critical situation ; when lurking sedition had caused loud and dangerous murmurs to be daily heard in every house and every street,

, threatening defiance to the sword of Justice and her wise established laws, spurning at Majesty on his road to meet his mob-insulted senate, or annoying him in his public pleasures ; yet, has the wavering subject been

often

often called back to his original duty to his King, and the harsh and clamorous voice of anarchy lulled into a calm, by this divine, this popular, and national hymn.

Reflecting on its utility, and convinced of its having been written by my father, I thought there could be no harm in endeavouring, through some medium or other, to make myself known at Windsor as son of the author of “God save Great George our King;" and as great families create great wants, it is natural to wish for some little relief; accordingly I was advised to beg the interference of a gentleman residing in the purlieus of the Castle, and who is for ever seen bowing and scraping in the King's walks, that he would be kind enough to explain this mat

ter

ter rightly to the Sovereign, thinking it was not improbable but that some consideration might have taken place, and some little compliment bestowed on the offspring of one“ who had done the state some service;" but, alas! no sooner did I move the business with the greatest humility to this demi-Canon, but he opened his copious mouth as wide as a four-and-twenty pounder, bursting as loudly upon me as the largest piece of ordnance, with his chin cocked up like the lit, tle centre figure, with his cauliflower wig, in Bunbury's country club, exclaiming, “ Sir, I do not see, because your

father wrote the song of “ God save the King, that the King “ is under any obligation to his son.' I could have said, had he not been in his own house, that private as well

[blocks in formation]
« ÎnapoiContinuați »