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Cited before the Sacred College to answer for his absence, Zingarelli admitted without shame or compunction that he had given a holiday to his choristers—that he had locked up the music of the Te Deum—that he had purposely absented himself from his post !-He knew nothing about the King of the Romans—not he !- he acknowledged no king but Cæsar.—He was Chapel-master of St. Peter's, to sing to the praise nd glory of God, and not to the praise and glory of Napoleon !
To read these words now, makes little impression, for Waterloo has been fought, and St. Helena inflicted; and after being precipitated to the dust by Wellington, the early greatness and authority of Napoleon is “like the baseless fabric of a vision.” But when the King of Rome was born to him, Napoleon Bonaparte was the most powerful potentate of modern times; and few, even of antiquity, instituted such complete autocracy. It was something, therefore, to fling a challenge in his teeth, and call him out in the face of Europe. No wonder that the cheeks of their eminences glowed with horror and indignation as they listened, even to the hue of the scarlet hats of cardinalship.
A report was of course duly forwarded to Paris of the recalcitrancy of the Chapel-master, and the shame and confusion to which it had given rise. "Nor was so much as a water-carrier in Rome surprised when, at the close of three weeks, an order arrived to forward the offending musician to Paris, a close prisoner. According to the strict letter of his instructions, the prefect was entitled to throw him into a poJice-van, and deliver him from station to station, till he reached the French capital. But if Fouché did not know better, Monsieur de Tournon did! Aware of the Quixotic character with which he had to deal, and as certain Zingarelli would proceed as straight to Paris if left on parole, as Regulus to Carthage, he advised him to step into the diligence, that he might answer for himself to the infuriated emperor ; and for the future, dismiss his crotchets from his hand, and stick to his quavers.
Arrived in Paris, Zingarelli took up his quarters, with cool self-possession, in the house of his friend and brother musician, Grétry, signifying to Fouché that he had the honour to wait his orders; and every day did Grétry expect to see the gendarmes arrive at his door to possess themselves of the person of the culprit.
For a whole week, however, not the slightest notice was taken. But on the eighth day ar es the almoner of Cardinal Fesch, with a purse containing three ihousand francs in gold (1201.) for the travelling ex. penses of Zingarelli, and a courteous request that he will enjoy freely the various amusements of the capital.
Two months afterwards an equally courteous desire is intimated through the same channel, that he will devote his leisure to a composition of a mass for the chapel royal ; and so Zingarelli, whose animosities were becoming a little subdued by the influence of the Parisian atmosphere, and the sight of the arts of peace flourishing-in spite of his own and European warfare—as they had never done in France since the time of Louis le Grand, or in Italy since the days of the Medici, sat so earnestly to work, that in six days his composition was achieved.
This nass was executed on the 12th of January, 1812, at the royal chapel of the Tuileries; and at the close of the performance, five
thousand francs, or two hundred guineas, were placed in the hands of the defeated enemy.
But this did not suffice. At that period the Concerts Spirituels were in their glory; and it was the custom to celebrate the festival of Easter with sacred music at the Palace of the Elysée, in a style rivalling the former renowned perfection of the Abbaye de Longchamps. Zingarelli was accordingly commissioned to compose new music for five verses of the Stabat Mater; and when Good Friday arrived, an orchestra, in which, amongst others, figured Crescentini, Nourrit, Laës, and Madame Brancher, made its appearance at the Elysée in presence of their Imperial Majesties, to do honour to the new chef-d'œuvre.
The effect was miraculous, and rapturous was the applause of that discerning and most brilliant court. The verse beginning “ Vidit suum dulcem natum," had been assigned to Crescentini, who, in honour of so august an assembly, chose to accompany himself on the organ; and so exquisite was his performance, so admirable the accord between the harmonious tones of the instrument and voice of the sublime musician, that every breath was suspended while he sang.
A signal given by the emperor that the verse should be repeated, was bailed with general thankfulness.
Another liberal gratuity was now forwarded to Zingarelli, accompanied by an intimation that whenever he felt disposed to resume his duties at Rome, his passport and travelling expenses were at his disposal !
Now we appeal to the unbiassed opinion of the reader, whether, among the numberless enemies whom Napoleon honoured with a drubbing, he ever achieved a more complete victory than over the author of * Romeo e Giulietta !".
Zingarelli, indeed, when bantered on the subject of his forced march to Paris, used to exclaim, to the day of his death, “ All the same, I did not give way. I was never asked to acknowledge the King of Rome; and the Te Deum was never sung!”.
But no one more truly lamented the downfal of the princely patron of the arts by whom he had been so nobly forced into a pacification ; and though he refused a triumphal song to the birth of a King of the Romans, he poured orth his notes of sadness, unbidden, for the untimely death of the Duc de Reichstadt.
The greatest joy of the veteran composer, was to witness the growing triumphs of Bellini! But he could never assign any exact identity to that ill-fated young man. While others spoke of the director of the Conservatorio as the “master of Bellini"-he persisted in believing that the indulgence of Europe was chiefly directed towards the author of " Pirata” and “ Norma,” as “the pupil of — Zingarelli !"
AIX-LES-BAINS AND ITS NEIGHBOURHOOD.
A WEEK'S RAMBLE.
BY MRS. TROLLOPE.
La Suisse et la Savoie sont deux sæurs jumelles qui se tiennent et se resemblent, filles de la nature qui les a dotée d'attraits égaux-cependant, de tous les coins de l'Europe les curieux viennent continuellement en Suisse par légions tandis qu'ils ne font que traverser la Savoie si elle se trouve sur leur chemin.
L'ITALIE PITTORESQUE. Having enjoyed a few days given to old Chambéry-which one of its veracious chroniclers gravely describes as owing its name to the accident of Noah's Ark having rested, when the waters subsided, upon the point which forms the bold summit of its neighbour Nivolet, whence Cham descended to the plain, and founded the city which still bears his name-having greatly enjoyed a few days in this venerable little capital, we started early on a bright September morning for Aix-les-Bains. The drive is beautiful, and so is the hotel to which it took us, and so was the breakfast, and the flowers that entered with it, and so was the broad terrace beneath our windows, decorated with the loveliest flowering shrubs in stately boxes, reminding one of the royal orangeries of Versailles ; pomegranate, oliander, azalia, cape jessamine, and flowering myrtle, all in perfection, and displaying their delicate beauty under the shelter of the giant mountains, that at no great distance formed their back-ground in most lovely and effective contrast.
Every body who goes to Aix-les-Bains ought, as I think, to betake himself" forthwith to l'Hôtel de la Poste, provided, that is to say, that he can secure rooms looking upon the garden at Guillaud's third hotel. From these windows the combination formed by the craggy termination of the Mont du Chat, and of the richly-cultivated upland beneath, produces one of the most striking pictures imaginable. As usual, we were early in setting out, and as the pretty drive was but a short one, we were early too at our beautiful breakfast - table. Numberless wreaths of semi - transparent clouds still hung upon the mountain's side, seeming, from point to point, to be suspended in festoons by the jutting crags that pierced the bristling mass in all directions. The sun tinted those drapery clouds here and there with something of a rainbow colouring, but so fleetingly, that almost before we could exclaim to each other, “ How beautiful!" the brightness was past. Vines festooned from tree to tree in every conceivable variety of graceful curve, divided the foreground with groves of acacias and tufted chesnuts ; and I remarked one fine catalpa among them, with a lingering bunch or two of blossoms remaining among its broad foliage. It was, in truth, one of those heaven-blessed holiday spots, which it is impossible to look upon without a feeling of pious gratitude for having been permitted to do so ; and the consciousness of its remoteness from one's ordinary home, adds not a little to this grateful feeling of triumphant joy, at not having lived and died without getting there.
The fulness of my contentment upon this occasion would, I think, have been quite perfect, had it not been for the recollection of sundry dear ones who would have enjoyed it all as keenly as myself and my companion, but whom I can scarcely hope will ever make their way thither. And yet to those who journey from England to Italy by the Mont Cenis, nothing can be much more easy of access.
But I am often astonished at the, to me, preternatural feeling of difficulty which many, with whom I converse, seem to experience at the idea of doing, or seeing any thing that would take them a few miles away from the grande route. I often fancy that they must have within them something of that quality of matter which, when it is once propelled, gives it so strong a propensity to go forward in a straight line, that nothing less than a planetful of attraction can conquer it; or else it must be such a devoted attachment to the “ go ahead” system as would render every deviation from the direct onward course a positive evil.
Our lingering breakfast ended, and all arrangements made for our accommodation as long as the “ Eaux d'Aix" continued to be our headquarters, we set out as usual to explore ; and to say the honest truth, there is not very much in the town or immediate vicinity of Aix to justify a very ardent recommendation of it, to those who seek to fix themselves at a“ watering place" in the intention of being enchanted hourly by the scenery which every lazy half-hour's stroll shall bring before their eyes. Baden Baden, Ems, or the Baths of Lucca, may do better for such ; but to all who will submit to the trouble of either riding or walking for a mile or two in pursuit of their scenery, Aix-les-Bains offers as great attraction as any place I have ever visited. Of the medicinal qualities of its baths, I know nothing, and very little of its social gaieties, for the “ season" was well-nigh over when we got there. There was still, however, a party of about twenty at the table-d'hôte, many of whom were evidently invalids, and one fine-grown, tall young Englishman, had lost the use of his legs ; which may lead us to suppose that an ancient rhyme, which I have seen quoted, as applicable to the “ Douche” of Aix, may truiy describe its qualities,
Puis par cette eau son corp décrépite,
En jeune gars, frais, gracieux, et droit. The company talked of balls and belles that had passed away, and of pic-nics that still seemed to be going on among the loiterers that were left. The room in which we dined was a good one, and the dinner excellent, and I was told that the salle de bal was elegant and commodious. So much for the accommodations of Aix as a watering place. The efforts made at all places of summer rendezvous to render them attractive, are so very nearly the same everywhere, that it is not necessary to enter more minutely into particulars; but what is not the same everywhere, namely, the never-ending variety of lovely landscape, by which indulgent nature loves to enchant all those of her children who have eyes to see, and hearts to feel her munificence-of
this, as displayed in the neighbourhood of these baths, it may not be lost time to speak, as every hint, faithfully given, which may increase the traveller's power of judiciously choosing his pied à terre for summer enjoyment, is worth giving, and worth receiving.
The first thing I would remark in favour of Aix-les-Bains is, that notwithstanding the grand and savage wildness, and solemn solitude of many of the scenes in its neighbourhood, it is as well furnished with all the comforts of life as Brighton or Cheltenham; and the next, perhaps more important still, is that, despite its remoteness, it is within the most perfectly convenient reach of all the numerous host of travellers who intend to pass the winter in Italy, but who wish not to approach it too nearly till the first favours of its bright sunimer are on the
One day, then, having been given to Aix, its hot springs, its cool gardens, et cetera, the next was devoted to the Lake of Bourget, and the celebrated Monastery and Mausoleum of Hautecombe. Were this Lake of Bourget at about one-quarter of its actual distance from Aix, the attractions of this remote bathing-place would certainly be very greatly increased, for then one of the loveliest lake-scenes that nature ever produced, would be within reach of its visiters, without putting them to any disagreeable exertion of strength. But as it is, I am fain to confess that the walk, or the donkey-ride from the town to the lake, is much too long to permit such frequent returns to the enchanting shores of Bourget, as all sojourners at Aix would desire. The road, however, is perfectly level, and some part of it sheltered from the sun by an avenue of trees; but these consolations are not sufficient to compensate for the dust, the loss of time, and the fatigue which this long and uninteresting mile and a half of high-road inflicts upon those who would wish never to lose sight of Bourget while remaining in its neighbourhood. But, though on foot, we reached the lake at last, and having gazed upon it very deliberately for some minutes, both my companion and myself ventured to pronounce that it might well bear to be put in competition with any, and every lake we had seen elsewhere, and which truly are not a few. The seven or eight thousand feet of the Walzmann mountain, which rises with a perpendicular frontage of solid rock from the dark-green waters of the Konigsee, unquestionably give a grandeur to the Austrian lake, which the Savoy one has not; but this feature, though a most noble one, is not wished for, or wanted at the Lake of Bourget. Though still on the unsunny side of the Alps, the brightness of the climate we were approaching made itself both to be felt and seen ; and though no thrilling majestic mass of rock threw its deep shade over the waters, we were in no humour to lament the want of it, but condescended to be perfectly well pleased by the Claude-like reflection of the Claude-like sky instead. In short, while standing on the shore of Lake Bourget, waiting for the boat that was to take us across it to the Abbey of Hautecombe, though we studiously recalled to memory every other lake we had ever seen, we both agreed that we had not the very slightest wish to have any other objects before our eyes than those which we were at that moment gazing on. Yet at that moment we had by no means seen what was most beautiful in the Lake of Bourget, for it is not till you are well launched upon its bosom, and able to look round upon the magnificent frame of moun