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"The compositions of Clarke are not numerous, as an untimely and melancholy end was put to his existence, before his genius had been allowed time to expand.

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Early in life, he was so unfortunate as to conceive a violent and hopeless passion for a very beautiful lady of a rank far superior to his own; and his sufferings, under these circumstances, became at length so intolerable, that he resolved to terminate them by suicide. The late Mr. Samuel Wiely, one of the lay-vicars of St. Paul's, who was very intimate with him, related the following extraordinary story, which he had from his unfortunate friend himself. 'Being at the house of a friend in the country, he found himself so miserable, that he suddenly determined to return to London: his friend, observing in his behaviour great marks of dejection, furnished him with a horse, and a servant to attend him. In his way to town, a fit of melancholy and despair having seized him, he alighted, and, giving his horse to the servant, went into a field, in the corner of which there was a pond surrounded with trees, which pointed out to his choice two ways of getting rid of life but not being more inclined to one than the other, he left it to the determination of chance; and taking a piece of money out of his pocket and tossing it in the air, determined to abide by its decision; but the money falling on its edge in the clay, seemed to prohibit both these means of de

struction. His mind was too much disordered to receive comfort or take advantage of this delay; he therefore mounted his horse and rode to London, determined to find some other means of getting rid of life. And in July, 1707, not many weeks after his return, he shot himself in his own house in St. Paul's Church-yard. The late Mr. John Reading, Organist of St. Dunstan's church, a scholar of Dr. Blow, and master of Mr. Stanley, intimately acquainted with Clarke, happening to go by the door at the instant the pistol went off, upon entering the house, found his friend and fellow-student in the agonies of death."

Jeremiah Clarke has hitherto been deprived of the honour of having his name connected with that of Dryden, probably in consequence of the true date of ALEXANDER'S FEAST not being generally known. Though from the high rank which he held among his musical brethren, as a sweet and pathetick composer, he may be supposed to have done justice to some parts of this Ode, and from his own feelings also might be expected with peculiar felicity to have adapted musick to those passages of the poet, where the mighty master, after having successfully infused" soft pity," "smiled to see, that love was in the next degree;"-his powers appear to have sunk under the various and opposite musical expressions, which the hilarity, animation, pathos,

5 HIST. OF MUSICK, vol. iii. p. 596.

and sublimity of this incomparable Ode require :" for his composition on this occasion added so little

"Dr. Burney gives the following character of this elegant composer, which fully accounts for his having failed in those rapid, vehement, and impassioned, movements, that many passages of this sublime Ode require:

"The Anthems of this pathetick composer, which Dr. Boyce has printed, are not only more natural and pleasing than those of his master, Dr. Blow, but wholly free from licentious harmony and breach of rule. He is mild, placid, and seemingly incapable of violence of any kind. In his first anthem, (vol. ii.) which required cheerfulness and jubilation, he does not appear in his true character, which is tender and plaintive. The subject of the next is therefore better suited to the natural bias of his genius. There is indeed nothing in this anthem, which indicates a master of grand and sublime conceptions; but there is a clearness and accuracy in the score, and melancholy cast of melody and harmony suitable to the words, which are likewise well accented, that cannot fail to sooth and please every appetite for musick, which is not depraved.

"His full anthem Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem,' is extremely natural and agreeable, and as modern and graceful as the gravity of the choral service will, with propriety, allow. And in his verse anthem, the movements in triple time are as pathetick, and even elegant, as any musick of the same period, ecclesiastical or secular, that was produced either at home or on the continent. There is a very agreeable verse anthem of his composition in a Collection published by Walsh,- The Lord is my strength and my song,'-with more spirit in it than I thought he could muster. But the verse, O Lord, send us now prosperity,'--on a ground base, in Purcell's manner, is extremely pleasing and ingenious. Tenderness is,

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to his reputation, that it was never published. Sir Richard Steele, who, among various projects, was engaged, during the publication of the SPECTATOR, in the management of a publick concert in YorkBuildings, having requested Mr. Hughes to make some alterations in this piece, it was again set to musick by Steele's coadjutor in that undertaking,

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however, so much his characteristick, that he may well be called the musical Otway of his time."

Jeremiah Clarke composed the air, to which, with an odd, though accidental, relation to his unfortunate end, the song in the BEGGar's Opera is sung, which begins with the words " 'Tis woman, that seduces all mankind.". No other air of his is employed in that opera. In 1699, in conjunction with Daniel Purcell and Richard Leve ridge, the Singer, he composed the musick of the ISLAND PRINCESS, altered from Fletcher by Motteux, and exhibited as an opera in that year. And in the following year was published (London Gazette, No. 3563.)—The Second Book of the HARPSICHORD MASTER, containing Almands, Corants, Sarabands, Airs, Minuets, and Jigs, by Dr. Blow, Mr. Courteville, Mr. CLARKE, Mr. Crofts, &c. 7 On this occasion Sir Richard Steele wrote the fol lowing letter to Mr. Hughes:

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"Dear Sir,

[April

1711.]

Mr. Clayton and I desire you, as soon as you can conveniently, to alter this poem [ALEXANDER'S FEAST] for musick, preserving as many of Dryden's words and verses, as you can. It is to be performed by a voice well skilled in recitative; but you understand all these matters much better than

"Your affectionate humble servant,
"R. STEELE."

The principal alterations made by Hughes, are these

Thomas Clayton, a musical pretender, who had been some time in Italy, but brought with him

What in the original is entitled Chorus, he has made Air; and all that is not Air, is Recitative. The greatest change that he has made, is in the third stanza, the beginning of which he has thus altered:

RECITATIVE.

"The praise of Bacchus then the sweet musician sung, "Of Bacchus ever fair and ever young.

"Behold, he comes, the victor god!
"Flush'd with a purple grace,

"He shews his honest face,

“As when, by tygers drawn, o'er India's plains he rode ;
"While loud with conquest and with wine
"His jolly troop around him reel'd along,
" And taught the vocal skies to join
In this applauding song.

Duetto.

"Bacchus, ever gay and young, &c."

After the couplet,

"At length, with love and wine at once oppress'd, "The vanquish'd victor sunk upon her breast," the following Duet is introduced:

1.

2.

1.

2.

1. 2.

1.

2.

1. 2.

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"See a monarch falls before you,

"Chain'd in beauty's clasping arms!"

The other changes are chiefly verbal, and some of

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