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not overcome that experience. He saw the social externals of Georgian Leeds change under it entirely.

The musical aspirations of the whole people enabled the young ones to out-manæuvre their seniors in varying their entertainments. Music was insidiously made the chaperon of its less staid sister, Dancing. The public musical meetings in the winter season were standing institutions of annual recurrence ; and, as they could be made an admirable conduit to an improvised “hop,” were deftly used as such. On September 21, 1741, the subscribers to “the Musick Meeting at Leeds ” give notice that the opening for the winter season will be at the “ Royal Oak,” in Briggate, on Tuesday, 6th October next. The passage from grave to gay had been much more than half achieved when this notice became possible. There had previously been some irregularity as to time and place, which the meeting of October 23rd finally settled, “and it is agreed by the subscribers that the performance shall begin precisely at 6 o'clock in the evening.” This determination to take time by the forelock expresses its own meaning, which was that there would be vacant time between the end of the concert and midnight. With this point scored it may be truly remarked that the wit of woman passeth knowledge.

But the quiet little affair which might be thus stolen in after hours, with the assistance of one of the fiddlers, was not all that could be done ; so grand gatherings were arranged under the guise of “benefits.” Here is an announcement of one of them :

For the benefit of Mr. Parry, On Friday, 19th Feb., 1742, at the Assembly Room in Leeds, will be performed

A Concert of Instrumental Musick,
N.B. Mr. Parry performs on his new treble harp (which is the best and most
beautifullest instrument of the kind in England) several pieces of CORELLI's,
HANDEL'S, GERMINIANI'S, VIVALDI's and Hasse's, particularly a grand organ
Concerto of Mr. Handel's, accompanied with other instruments.

The whole will be interspersed with English and Scots airs.
Tickets to be had at the King's Arms at Two Shillings and sixpence each.

To begin at 6 O'clock.

After the Concert there will be a Ball. The remarkable features of this programme are not the surprising cheapness of the entertainment, but the quality of the music, and, from the occult side, the deft manner in which the young folk obtain their dearest pleasure by introducing a ball. It is a matter of some astonishment that Handel's music should have been produced in Leeds at that date, and without any reference whatever to metropolitan adoption and patronage. The fact possesses a meaning which the history of music in England cannot lose sight of. Handel first introduced his music into England in 1741, when it was rejected by metropolitan audiences. The musical writers say it first found favourable public recognition in Dublin in 1742 ; but in such statements they allude to metropolitan acceptation and have clearly overlooked the “rude north,” which, as the above date shows, surpassed them in critical taste, as they must also have done in execution, for the metropolis could not have improvised a chorus equal to the task. Having once obtained his footing hereabouts, Handel has since maintained the forepost of honour; and however remarkable it may appear, it is certain that in the middle of last century provincial choruses were rendering his best oratorios in the parish churches of remote country towns, such as Otley, Skipton, and Knaresborough; in each of which full renderings of the “Messiah ” were occasionally given at prices which could not have averaged "houses” of thirty pounds each.

The history and influence of Handel's music are well illustrated by the announcement of a performance in Leeds Parish Church in 1770 :

For the benefit of Mr. Crompton,

Organist of the Parish Church of Leeds,
On Thursday, the last day of May 1770, will be performed at

the Parish Church of Leeds,

THE MESSIAH, a sacred ORATORIO,
by a band of upwards of Seventy select performers.
And on Friday, the ist June, the Oratorio of

JUDAS MACCHABEUS. The Choruses will be accompanied with Trumpets, French Horns, Kettle. drums, Clarinetts, &c.

The whole will be conducted by Mr. Jobson. The Organ by Mr. Crompton. The Hautboys, Clarinetts, &c., by Mr. Tatnall, Mr. Perkins, Mr. Turner, Mr. Lincoln, and Mr. Muchman from London. The vocal parts by Miss Radcliffe, Mr. Neild, Mrs. Neild, Mr. Radcliffe, &c., from Hey Chapel. The rest of the performers from Wakefield, Halifax, Manchester, Sheffield, and other parts adjacent. The doors to be opened at nine, and the performance to begin at Ten O'clock in the forenoon. Tickets at 35., 25., and Is. each, to be had at the Old and New King's Arms,

Talbot, Golden Lyon, White Horse, in Boar Lane, &c. We learn from this that the unsurpassed brilliancy of the Leeds Musical Festival is not an accidental display of heaven-born talent, but owing to long-established music culture, not less than better native aptness which allowed choruses to be collected from the best of the singers of the whole of the West Riding, in no part of which it may be said Handel could not then be rendered. Puritanism and cloth-making had achieved that vocal end.

We have already seen that it was to music, even more than to the

décline of Puritanism, that the drama owed its domicile in the chief northern towns. The approach of Thespis was decidedly surreptitious in all the towns then struggling forward. The earliest Leeds theatrical advertisement which has occurred to the writer shows how cunningly the welcome Apollo was made to introduce the longdisdained Thespians :

On Tuesday, January 13th, 1767,

A CONCERT OF MUSIC,
At the Concert room, in the Rose and Crown yard,
And between the parts of the Concert will be

presented gratis a Comedy callid

THE CONSCIOUS LOVERS,

Written by Richard Steele,
To which will be added a new pantomime Entertainment call'd

THE WITCHES.
The whole to conclude with

A DANCE.

By the transparent artifice of setting forth the performance as a concert, and giving the dramatic elements gratis, moral objections which might otherwise have bristled up were overcome in a people notoriously keen of “getting plenty for their brass.” When greed and morality were artfully pitted against each other greed won, and since the first moment of its victory its opponent has never recovered the lost ground so far as matters Thespian are concerned. Tate Wilkinson, the great apostle of the Thespians, fastened the bonds of his order upon most of the northern towns. In Doncaster-horsey, racy, and very much more—he attended the races “ with his company" for many years before he could settle there ; it was not until 1776 that he opened the theatre, built for him by the Corporation, and described it as “ very pretty and elegant.” But when once established there, his footing may be regarded as monarchical. Mayors and aldermen patronised him ; earls and countesses fêted and amused him, while the ignoble ruck applauded and paid himand than this he could not wish to further go. In Leeds, at the moment when the town may have been most conscious of awakening piety, strangely enough he succeeded earlier. The year 1771 was marked in Leeds by three very important, yet strangely dissimilar, events—the opening of the General Infirmary, of the Theatre in Hunslet Lane, and of St. Peter's Wesleyan Chapel. In the progress of the three places there was, however, a marked difference. The Infirmary was at once the home of a celebrated School of Surgeons, and gave rank to all who could claim association with it; the early chapel was one of the favourite resting-places of John Wesley; first introduced his music into England in 1741, when it was rejected by metropolitan audiences. The musical writers say it first found favourable public recognition in Dublin in 1742 ; but in such statements they allude to metropolitan acceptation and have clearly overlooked the “rude north,” which, as the above date shows, surpassed them in critical taste, as they must also have done in execution, for the metropolis could not have improvised a chorus equal to the task. Having once obtained his footing hereabouts, Handel has since maintained the forepost of honour; and however remarkable it may appear, it is certain that in the middle of last century provincial choruses were rendering his best oratorios in the parish churches of remote country towns, such as Otley, Skipton, and Knaresborough; in each of which full renderings of the “Messiah" were occasionally given at prices which could not have averaged "houses” of thirty pounds each.

The history and influence of Handel's music are well illustrated by the announcement of a performance in Leeds Parish Church in 1770 :

For the benefit of Mr. Crompton,

Organist of the Parish Church of Leeds,
On Thursday, the last day of May 1770, will be performed at

the Parish Church of Leeds,

THE MESSIAH, a sacred ORATORIO,
by a band of upwards of Seventy select performers.
And on Friday, the ist June, the Oratorio of

JUDAS MACCHABEUS. The Choruses will be accompanied with Trumpets, French Horns, Kettle. drums, Clarinetts, &c.

The whole will be conducted by Mr. Jobson. The Organ by Mr. Crompton. The Hautboys, Clarinetts, &c., by Mr. Tatnall, Mr. Perkins, Mr. Turner, Mr. Lincoln, and Mr. Muchman from London. The vocal parts by Miss Radcliffe, Mr. Neild, Mrs. Neild, Mr. Radcliffe, &c., from Hey Chapel. The rest of the performers from Wakefield, Halifax, Manchester, Sheffield, and other parts adjacent. The doors to be opened at nine, and the performance to begin at Ten O'clock in the forenoon. Tickets at 35., 25., and Is. each, to be bad at the Old and New King's Arms,

Talbot, Golden Lyon, White Horse, in Boar Lane, &c. We learn from this that the unsurpassed brilliancy of the Leeds Musical Festival is not an accidental display of heaven-born talent, but owing to long-established music culture, not less than better native aptness which allowed choruses to be collected from the best of the singers of the whole of the West Riding, in no part of which it may be said Handel could not then be rendered. Puritanism and cloth-making bad achieved that vocal end.

We have already seen that it was to music, even more than to the

decline of Puritanism, that the drama owed its domicile in the chief northern towns. The approach of Thespis was decidedly surrepti. tious in all the towns then struggling forward. The earliest Leeds theatrical advertisement which has occurred to the writer shows how cunningly the welcome Apollo was made to introduce the longdisdained Thespians:

On Tuesday, January 13th, 1767,

A CONCERT OF MUSIC,
At the Concert room, in the Rose and Crown yard,
And between the parts of the Concert will be

presented gratis a Comedy callid

The Conscious LOVERS,

Written by Richard Steele,
To which will be added a new pantomime Entertainment called

THE WITCHES.
The whole to conclude with

A DANCE.

Bu the transparent artifice of setting forth the performance as a cert and giving the dramatic elements gratis, moral objections

ch might otherwise have bristled up were overcome in a people notoriously keen of "getting plenty for their brass." When greed and morality were artfully pitted against each other

be the first moment of its victory its opponent has never recovered the lost ground so far as matters Thespian are concerned. Tate

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