part, we accufe theirs of being ca- pricious and barbarous*. I had much rather believe that one or the other were millaken. than be reduced to the necefiity of faying, that, in a country where arts and fcvtences in general are arrived to an high degree of perfeftion, that of mulic is as yet unknown. Thejeafl partial among us 1~ contented themfelves with laying, that, both theltalian and French mufic were good, in their kind, and in their own language: but, befides that other nations did not fubfcribe to this ccmparilon, it liill remained to determine which of the two languages was the belt a- dapted to mulic in itlelf. This is a gueition which was much agitated 1n France, but will never be fo elfewhere; a queltion which can only be decided by an ear that is perfeftly neuter, and which, of courfe, becomes daily more diffi- cultof (olution in the only country where the objeét 0F it can be pro- blematical. [have made fome ex~ periments on this (object, which every one may repvat after me, and which appear to ferve as a folution


of it, at lealt, with regard to me- ltdy; to which alone the whole difpute is in a manner reducible.

I took fome of the molt celebra. ted airs in both kinds of mufic; and divelling the one of its trills and perpetual cadences; the other of the under notes, which the com- pofitor does not take the trouble to write, but leaves to thejudgment of the fingerl. l {olfa’d them exactly by note, without any ornament, and withoutaddinganythingtothe fenfe or connefiion of the phrafe. I vtill not tell you the efieét which the refult ofthis cornparifon had on my own mind, becaufe I ought to exhibit my reafons, and not to impolie my authorityt 1 will only

ive you an account of the method i took to determine, f0 that, if you think it a good one, you may take the fame to convince your,- felf. I mull caution you, however, that this experiment requires more precautions than may at firlt ap- pear neceffary. i

The firfi and moltdiflicult ofall, is to be impartial and equitable in your choice and judgment. The fecond is, that in order to make

the Italian exLibiting fomething more agreeable to nature, prefently difgufled ns with the other, and made us perceive it to be as heavy, flat, and infipid, as

it is m f-él.

i‘ It feezns thefe reproaches are much lell violent lince the Italian mulic hath

been heard among us.

Thus it is that this admirable mulic need only fhew

itfelf what it is, to juliify itfeh‘ againf’: every thing that is advanced againlt it. 1- ivlany perlbns condemn the total exclulion which the coimoiiieurs in mulic

give, without helitation, to the French mufic. Thefe conciliating mod tarators‘ would ha-re no e\ clulive tattle; juli: as if the love of what is good mutt necelliarily work iome regard for vtlrtt is had.

I This meth-"itl was very much in favour of the French mufic; for the under notes in the Italian are no lets effential to the melody, than thofe which are written down. The point is let's what is written, than what ought to be fung: and indeed this trtanner of writing notes ought to pafs for a kind of abbreviation, whereas the cadences and trills in the French muiic are requifite, if you will, to the tatlc, but are by no means elfential to the melody : they are a kind of paint, which fen/es to hide its deformity; without removing it, and which ferves Ofllf to render it the more ridiculous to the ears of good judges. ' h_

l ‘- * r ' i 18