To the GODDESS of DISCORD.
i have been sagacious enough of late, to discover that some evil-minded persons have insinuated to your highness, that I am utterly unmindful of your Ladyship’s importance; and that my time, as well as my talents, was wholly taken up in paying my divoto to your most implacable enemy and strenuous opposer, viz. the Goddess of Concord; which representation is as false as it is ill-natured; for your Ladyship may believe me without hesitation, when I assure you on the word of an honest man, that knowing your Ladyship to be of a very captious disposition, I have always been very careful of trespassing on your grounds for fear of incuring your displeasure, so far as to excite you to take vengeance (which is well known to be your darling attribute.)
I have likewise been informed, that some of my most implacable enemies are some of your Majesty’s privy-council; and that your Majesty’s Secretary at war, viz. Lord Jargon, was about to send some of your other Lords in waiting, viz. Lord second, Lord 7th, Lord 9th, alias Lord 2d, junior, with some others, to beat a tattoo upon the drum of my ear, with so great a number of contra-vibrations, without the intervention of a single coincidence, and with so much Forte as to dislocate my auditory; upon which information I called a court of Harmony, the result of which was, to repel force by force; and we had even proceeded so far as to order Lord Consonance, our Secretary at peace, to furnish our life-guard with an infinite number of coincidences, without the intervention of one contra-vibration; and although we have the majority on our side, yet we held it in scorn to take any advantage from our numbers, therefore we had selected an equal number of those who had attained unto the first three, viz. Lord Unison, Lord Diapente, Lord Octave, alias Lord Unison, jun’r, and for their Aid-de camps, we had chosen two twin brothers, viz. Major and Minor Trio, together with Major Sixth, &c. We had proceeded thus far, when in turning over a very antient history, I met with the following passage, viz. “by wise council thou shalt make thy war, and in multitude of councellors there is safety” Upon reading this passage I was resolved to enlarge the council, therefore we made choice of king Solomon, the son of David (but as he nor his father was never known to traverse your territories I suppose you have no knowledge of them). The result of our second council was to lay aside this enterprize and proceed in a very different manner; for by consulting this great councellor, we were convinced “that wisdom is better than weapons of war.”
Therefore it was resolved, that I singly should begin the attack in the common form of dedications, and besiege you with flattery, & if that should fail, as we have brib’d over a number of your nobility, we are determined to turn their force against you, and then we assure ourselves of success; but perhaps I trespass on your patience in this ambiguous preamble: know then dread Sovereign, that I have composed the following piece out of such materials as your kingdom is made up of, and without vanity, I believe you will readily grant that it is the best piece that ever was composed: this I chearfully offer at your shrine; and I must take the liberty to tell your Majesty that I expect this one piece will fully compensate for my former delinquency and remissness to you ward; and that you will not be so unreasonable as to insist on another oblation from me, neither through time nor eternity; and let me tell you, that in this offering I followed the example of our native indians, who sacrifice to the angry God much oftner than to the good-natured one; not from a principle of love, but of fear; for although you could never excite my love, you have frequently caused me to fear and tremble; and I solemnly declare, that I dread your extempore speeches more than I do the threats and menaces of all the crowned heads in Europe; and now madam, after this candid and honest confession, I must insist on your signing the following receipt, which for your honor and my security, I shall always carry about me.
received of the Author, a piece of Jargon,26 it being the best piece ever composed, in full of all accounts from the beginning of time, to and through the endless ages of eternity. I say received by me, Goddess of Discord.
given from our inharmonical Cavern, in the land of Chaos; from the year of our existence, (which began at Adam’s fall) Five Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty Two.
DEMON DREAD, Speaker.
Haman Horror, Secretary.
And now Madam Crossgrain, after informing you that this receipt shall be my discharge, I shall be so condescending as to acquaint your uglyship, that I take great pleasure in subscribing myself your most inveterate, most implacable, most irreconcilable enemy,
In order to do this piece ample justice, the concert must be made of vocal and instrumental music. Let it be performed in the following manner, viz. Let an Ass bray the bass, let the fileing of a saw carry the Tenor, let a hog who is extream hungry squeel the counter, and let a cart-wheel, which is heavy loaded, and that has been long without grease, squeek the treble; and if the concert should appear to be too feeble you may add the cracking of a crow, the howling of a dog, the sqalling of a cat; and what would grace the concert yet more, would be the rubbing of a wet finger upon a window glass. This last mentioned instrument no sooner salutes the drum of the ear, but it instantly conveys the sensation to the teeth; and if all these in conjunction should not reach the cause, you may add this most inharmonical of all sounds, “Pay me that thou owest.”
An Encomium on Music.27
perhaps some of my graver Readers may conclude, I am possessed with a Musical Enthusiasm, if I insist too much upon the marvelous.—That I am a Musical Enthusiast I readily grant, and I think it is impossible for any of it’s true Votaries to be otherwise; for when we consider the many wonderful effects which music has upon the animal spirits, and upon the nervous system, we are ready to cry out in a fit of Enthusiasm!—Great art thou o music! and with thee there is no competitor: Thy powers by far transcend the powers of physic, and the reception of thee is far more grateful than the nauseous drugs of the Apothecary; thou art as early as the creation; for when the foundation of the earth was laid, the morning stars sang together, and shouted for joy;28 Thou wast found in the mouths of the children of Israel, after their miraculous deliverance from the adamantine king of Egypt;29 Thou wast ever present with the Royal Psalmest, who for his uprightness was called the man after God’s own heart: Thou wast present at the dedication of that glorious house, built by King Solomon, when the glory of God filled the whole House;30 Thou wast the only weapon found in the hands and in the mouths of King Jehosaphat and the men of Judah, when the children of Ammon, Moab, and Mount-Seir fled from before them, destroying each other:31 Thou wast with Paul and Silas, when the prison doors were marvelously opened, by a great earth-quake:32 Thou wast invoked by the angelic host to celebr[a]te the birth of our saviour; for scarce was the glad tidings revealed to the wondering Shepherds, but glory to God, peace on earth, and good will towards men, was chanted by the joyful messengers.33
“O how shall men forbear to sing,
“When earth with Angel’s Notes do ring.”
But what adds still more to thy dignity, thou wast present with our Savior and his Disciples at the supper:34 In fine thou art ever known to accompany good men at all times, and in all ages. But we would not avail ourselves of the heathenish or ficticious accounts of Orpheus, whose music is said to animate the inanimate creation; but we will confine ourselves to well authenticated facts: For by thy aid King David was impowered to drive away the evil spirit from Saul:35 Thou art able to extract the poison from the venomous bite of the Tarantula, which baffles the skill of the Physician: Thou canst remove pain, and restore rest to the weary: Thou canst make stammering people pronounce distinctly, and without hesitation:36 Thou canst convert cowardise into Heroism, and inspire the pusilanimous with true magnanimity: Thou art celestial and thy birth divine; to what shall I liken thee? Thou canst not be described by Hieroglyphicks, for they are but types and shadows; whereas thou art in thyself an essential good: To what shall I liken thee? O Extatic! I have found a simile:—Thou art like pure Love, and true friendship. But alas! The purest earthly love is imbittered with groundless jealousy, and the truest friendship is tainted with unjust suspicions. But in Heaven there is pure love without alloy, and true friendship without dissimulation: Therefore thou art like Heaven and Heaven is like Thee.