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them to take a part in the concert. One of the earliest serenaders we read of in Italy was perhaps the loftiest of them all. This was Manfredi, son of the Emperor Frederic the Second, who afterwards became King of Naples and Sicily, and whose misfortunes were made immortal by the genius of Dante.
According to Matteo Spinelli, a chronicler of the thirteenth century, this accomplished prince, before he succeeded to the cares of a crown, resided a good deal at the pleasant town of Barletta, on the shores of the Adriatic sea; “ and there it was his wont to stroll by night through the town, singing songs and ballads, and so he breathed the cool air, and with him there went two Sicilian musicians who were great makers of ballads and romances.”
We know not how it has happened, but the fact is obvious in Spain and Italy, that the practice, after a decline which commenced about the middle of the last century, has fallen into disuse and out of fashion with the upper classes, and is almost confined now to the lowest class.
At Venice, which used to take the lead, the chief serenaders now are barbers, and they rarely take the field, whilst
“Tasso's echoes are no more, And silent rows the songless gondolier.” In Naples, where the exquisite moonlight nights inspire love with music, its most natural voice, if you hear a guitar in the streets, it is almost sure to be in the hands * “Spesso la notte esciva per Barletta cantando strambotti e canof an amorous coachman or sentimental barber. The style and execution of these minstrels rarely entitle them to a hearing; and, so far from meeting the respect paid in the olden time to serenaders, they are not unfrequently saluted from windows and house-tops in the same manner that Gil Blas was when going to serenade Donna Mergelina, “on lui coiffa d’une cassolette qui ne chatouillait point l'odorat.” Le Sage, in making his hero learn to play the guitar of an old serving-man as soon as he becomes a barber, would be perfectly in point and character now a-days. The barbers of Naples use an instrument called a mandolina much more commonly than the guitar, which they call (we know not why) la chitarra Francese. The mandolina is smaller than the guitar; its strings are of wire and not of gut ; and they are played upon, not by the fingers, but by a piece of wood or a quill. The notes of the instrument are sharp, tinkling, and disagreeable; and, though the taste of the upper classes is excellent, the popular music of the Neapolitans has little to recommend it. At Rome, where the popular taste is better, very pretty street music is sometimes heard by night, and young mechanics and servants sing airs regularly distributed into parts with much feeling and ability. A modern traveller observes: “Here the serenade is a compliment of gallantry by no means confined to the rich. It is customary for a lover, even of the lowest class, to haunt the dwelling of his mistress, chanting a rondo, or roundelay, during the period of his courtship.” But, in
zoni, ediva pigliando lo fresco, e con esso ivano due musici Siciliani cheerano grandi romanzieri.”
truth, this accomplished, writer might have said that there too the compliment, instead of being monopolized by the rich, was almost confined to the poor. He only recollects the serenades of mechanics, and during our own different stays at Rome we seldom indeed heard streetmusic by night from any other class. A Roman nobleman would no more think of thrumming the guitar under his mistress's window in the Corso or the Piazza di Spagna, than an English lord would of doing the like in Grosvenor-square.
LXIV. COMMON USE OF PLATE IN THE TIME OF HENRY WIII.
A writeR in the early part of the sixteenth century tells us that in his time, in the reign of Henry the Eighth, the luxury of the table had descended even to citizens, and that there were few whose tables were not daily provided with spoons, cups, and a saltcellar of silver. Those of a higher sphere affected a greater profusion of plate; but the quantity accumulated by Cardinal Wolsey, though the precious metals are now so copious, still continues to excite our surprise. At Hampton Court, where he feasted the French ambassadors and their splendid retinue in 1528, two cupboards, extending across the banquet chambers, were piled to the top with plate and illuminated; yet, without encroaching on these ostentatious repositories, a profuse service remained for the table. Two hundred and eighty beds were provided for the guests; every chamber had a bason and ewer of silver, beside other utensils,
Lxv. WAXEN FIGURES OF SOME OF THE KINGS OF FRANCE.
MR. Cole of Milton, upon his visit to the Abbey of St. Denis, near Paris, Nov. 22, 1765, says, in his Diary: “Mr. Walpole had been informed by M. Mariette, that in this treasury were several wax figures of some of the later kings of France, and asked one of the monks for leave to see them, as they were not commonly shown or much known. Accordingly, in four cupboards, above those in which the jewels, crosses, busts, and curiosities were kept, were eight ragged figures of so many monarchs of this country to Louis the Thirteenth, which must be very like, as their faces were taken off in wax immediately after their decease. The monk told us, that the great Louis the Fourteenth's face was so excessively wrinkled that it was impossible to take one off from him.”
LXVI. CABRIOLETS AND OMNIBUSSES.
CABRIOLETs were introduced into London May 1st, 1820, and their number increased in the June following. The first were painted uniformly of a chocolate colour. In the latter part of 1823 their number was again increased, and gigs and other vehicles began to be substituted for them; and they became of all colours. Sideseats for the drivers were now universally adopted; an arrangement not made in the Paris cabriolets, from which the introduction of ours was derived.
Omnibusses.—These vehicles, as well as the street cabriolets, were borrowed from the French. In 1829 there were many of them driving about the streets and environs of Paris, where they were distinguished by different names, according to their colour, construction, or the fancy of the owners. There were the “Ecossaises,” painted of a tartan pattern; “Les Dames Blanches,” which were nearly white all over; “Les Tricycles,” that went upon three wheels, &c. &c.
In 1830 they were introduced in London, and at first only ran on the New Road from Paddington to the