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better off if people never smiled and looked pleased at meeting unless they were really glad to see each other, and if all social gatherings were abandoned at which a majority of those present were inwardly bored. But with Art it is different. There is not the slightest reason why any human being should spend a single minute of his life in looking at a picture, or in listening to music, unless he either takes interest in it now, or expects by looking or listening to be enabled to take interest in it or something like it hereafter. In some cases the interest admits of wide varieties, and may be woven of many strands; it may have more direct relation to knowledge than to feeling; it may lie in suggestion and illustration rather than in form and colour ; it may be archæological and historical as well as ästhetic. But for most people it must needs be primarily the latter, whatever other elements be interfused. And there is one art in particular in which everything extraneous to the æsthetic element is lacking ; in which the past as such has no existence ; in which those who are dead

e speak to us indeed in clearest language, yet reveal to us dimly, if at all, what manner of men they were, and tell us nothing of how they lived in the world or how they conceived of it. Their revelation to us, so far as we have the key to it, is not of what was, but what is, is our life as much as their life, a now not a then, a renewal not a record : the temples they have made for us were

- built To Music, therefore never built at all, And therefore built for ever.'

Surely, then, it is just to this art that we should look for an exceptionally clear distinction between true and false popularity, between enjoyment and vogue ; here, if anywhere, might we hope to escape the blight of conventional admiration and pleasure done to order. Accordingly we look round and ask if it is so. And the answer is a mixed one. There is truly a sense in which Music is, of all the arts, the most literally and directly and clingingly popular, and the one whose popularity can be by far the most clearly and definitely evinced ; on the other hand, there is a sense in which Music is, of all the arts, the greatest sufferer from the rarity among us of Rousseau's inveterate habit of calling things enjoyable when, and not before, he found them so.

This latter sense has to do partly with peculiarities in the mere presentation of the art, and not belonging to its nature.

Music is (with the exception of a single branch of Poetry) the only great art in whose service performers as well as creators are enlisted, and it has the defect of its quality. Performance opens the door to vanity; and vanity is the paralysis of artistic achievement. That society-music should usually be a nuisance follows directly from the treatment of it as a means of personal display; and it is a solemn thought that the time draws near when perhaps half—not the wise half-of the virgins, now in the schoolroom, who have been taking up the violin' will be turned loose on the drawing-room. Nor can we regard as much more than society-music of another kind the stale vocal frippery which season after season sees expensively paraded on the alien stage of our national theatre. It is not, however, so much with


| More distressing than even the purely conventional presentation of what is joyless is the deliberate substitution of it for something better, on the blind assumption that it is what people prefer. I have known a great singer, advertised to sing Waft her, Angels, and able to do so in such a manner as would have steeped the very soul of all his hearers in beauty, jauntily defraud them of their spiritual rights, and substitute a triling ballad, on the ground that they were 'a popular audience. Of course they clapped, and only a minority knew what they had lost. So again, I was listening one Bank Holiday to a first-rate band in Regent's Park. The programme contained the names of several good overtures and good German dances, and far on in the second part the words Hallelujah Chorus. So warm was the appreciation of the audience, undamped even by pelting showers, that, though I knew the effect of this masterpiece to be a certainty, I could not forbear waiting to watch

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misfortunes of this sort as with peculiarities lying deep down in the nature of the art, that I want here to connect Rousseau's test; the more fitly inasmuch as it was à propos of the music of his own day that Rousseau himself, as it happens, set a signal example of its application.

Detachment from anything that has the pretension of a progressive artistic movement can never in itself be an enjoyable condition. Something seen ought, primâ facie, always to go for more than something not seen ; and failure to admire what seems widely admired must always tend in the direction of self-distrust. In such a case only a resolute escape from the buzz of the immediate present to the great principles and features which distinguish permanent from ephemeral work will restore the confident sense belonging to the wider viewthe sense of being after all on the side of the great battalions. The way of arriving at this wider view by applying these principles is what I want here to indicate. But though not a long or arduous, neither it. I might have known better. The programme was steadily adhered to till that point, and then some jigging piece of tuneless rubbish was substituted. Being there, I watched the faces lately so radiant, and the feet and umbrellas that had been so busy tapping time: not a gleam on any face, not a movement of any foot, and I am thankful to say on this occasion not a sound of applause at the end.

is it exactly an amusing way; and this is a bull which it will be well to take at once by the horns. To be at once sound and sparkling is rarely given to the wine of musical criticism ; and in separation, while the body of fact is specially dry, the bubbles of fancy are specially innutritious. We have, no doubt, a special and semi-technical literature of real value, whether in programme-analyses of particular works, not meant to retain their flavour in detachment from place and performance, or in permanent studies of particular composers; but in any more general and impersonal talk about this singular art, reality and common sense are terribly handicapped. Most students of the Oper und Drama must have admired, as in a dream, the earnest minuteness with which every sort of con. scious reference, theoretic and practical, is read into the past history of Opera and its public; the only point of view omitted being the true one which recognises in the genus opera-goer, through all its varieties, a wholesale indifference to theory, and a quite unpractical habit of enjoying what it


and enduring what it must. So on contemporary questions, one may encounter in the writings of Wagner and his school page after page of quite delightful reading, as long as one can abstract oneself from

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