Crazy for Love and Music: also gin, money, food, politics and laundry
featuring Mad Songs by Henry Purcell with diary accounts from Bedlam
JULIANNE BAIRD, Soprano
Edward Mauger, Narrator
BE WELCOME THEN, GREAT SIR Henry Purcell (1659-1695)
My friend and I chatted away till we came in sight of a noble building
with mansard roofs. I told him that I conceived it to be the Lord
Mayors Palace. He smiled at my innocence and informed me that this was
Bedlam, a hospital for mad folks. In truth, said I, I think they were
mad that built so costly a College for such a crack-brain society. The
Hospital, was adorned at the entrance with admirable statues depicting
Melancholy and Raving Madness and surrounded by spacious walks.
We were admitted through an iron gate, within which sat a brawny
Cerberus, demanding a penny for his money-box.
For the penny we were promised not only a look at the inmates, but
a chance to tease them to our hearts content. Tipping the keeper,
insured an experienced guide to direct our attention to the most
interesting of thehuman curiosities.
The (stark) mad were kept nearly naked to save clothes (it was
cheap and they might destroy clothing) and slept on straw which was
easily cleared away.
We turned in through another iron barricade, where we heard such a
ranting, hollooing, singing, drumming of doors, and rattling of
chains, that I could think of nothing but Don Quevado's vision, where
the damned broke loose, and put Hell in an uproar.
MUSIC FOR A WHILE
The first lunatic we met ranging in the corridors caught hold of my
school-fellow's arm, and expressed himself after this manner: "Dost thou
know, friend, what thou art doing? Why, thou art talking to a madman, a
fiddling fellow, who has so many crotchets in his head that he cracked
his brains about his bass and trebles.
There is a peculiar String in the Harmony of Human Understanding and if
you can screw your own string up to the same pitch as that of other men,
then whenever you pluck your string, their strings will by a secret
necessary Sympathy, strike exactly at the same time Should you approach
men whose strings are tuned to a different pitch then instead of
subscribing to your Doctrine they will tie you fast, call you Mad and
feed you with Bread and Water.
NOT ALL MY TORMENTS
We then moved on till we found another remarkable figure peeping through
his wicket, eating bread and cheese, chewing his words with his vittles.
ALL that he spoke was in praise of bread and cheese. Bread was good with
cheese, and cheese was good with bread, and bread and cheese was good
together and abundance of such stuff . . . At last he counterfeits a
sneeze and shoots such a mouthful of bread and cheese amongst us that
every spectator has some share of his kindness, which made us quickly
retreat . . .
"But delusive ideas, sir, are the motives of the greatest part of
mankind, and a heated imagination of the power by which their actions
are incited: the world, in the eye of a philosopher, may be said to be a
large madhouse." "It is true "the passions of men are temporary
madhouses; and sometimes very fatal in their effects. They called me
mad, and I called them mad, and damn them, they outvoted me!"
LET THE DREADFUL ENGINES OF ETERNAL WILL
The Mad Washerwoman
We happened upon a number of active women busy at the washing tub
with somewhat fiery and redfaced countenance. Indeed our nerves and
those of the crowd were shaken by those eccentric launderesses for their
sudden impulse to break off from work and exhibit much violence of voice
Madwomen are assigned to laundry according to the nature of their
ailment: the delirious wash, the imbeciles carry linen to dry, the
melancholy iron, and the monomaniacs fold it and put it away.
In another wicket a naked citizen was holding forth with much vehemence
against Kingly government. I told him he deserved to be hanged for
talking of treason. "Now," "you're a fool; we madmen have as much
privilege of speaking our minds, within these walls, as an ignorant
dictator. Prithee come and live here, and you may say what you will,
and nobody will call you in question for it. Truth is persecuted
everywhere abroad, and flies hither for sanctuary. I can tell great men
such bold truths as they don't love to hear, without the danger of a
whipping post, and that you can't do.: For if ever you see a Madman
hanged for speaking the truth, or a Lawyer Whippd for Lying,--Ill be
bound to prove my cap a Wheel-Barrow -
But I charge you to keep this as a secret.--it would cost me my Life
should it be known I divulged it,--The World are all mad, and have
locked up in this place every sober, wise Man among them, and me with
the rest.--We pity the poor wild Madmen abroad, and would not change
BESS OF BEDLAM
The next person they came up to had scrawled a variety of figures on a
piece of slate. They consisted of different columns, on he top of which
were marked South-sea annuities, India-stock, and the like . . .THIS, is
a gentleman well known in Bank Street. He was once worth fifty thousand
pounds, and had actually agreed for the purchase of an estate in the
West, in order to realise his money; but he quarrelled with the
proprietor about the repairs of the garden wall, and so returned to
town, to follow his old trade of stock-jobbing a little longer; when an
unlucky fluctuation of stock, in which he was engaged to an immense
extent, reduced him at once to poverty and to madness.
I ATTEMPT FROM LOVE'S SICKNESS TO FLY IN VAIN
SWEETER THAN ROSES
The first whimsy-headed wretch of this lunatic family that we observed,
was a merry fellow in a straw cap, confined for the noble sin of
Then clapping his hand upon his head he swore by his crown of moonshine
that he would battle all the stars in the skies but he would have some
gin. In this interim came a gentleman with a red face to stare at him.
"No wonder," said his Aerial Majesty, "that claret is so scarce, look
there's a rogue carries more in his nose than I, that am Prince of the
Air, have had in my belly for a twelvemonth."
"If you are the Prince of the Air," said I, "why don't you command the
Man in the Moon to give you some?" To which he replied, "The Man in the
Moon's a sorry rascal; I sent to him for a dozen bottles but t'other
day, and he swore by his bush, his cellar had been dry this six months.
But I'll be even with the rogue. I expect a cloud laden with claret to
be sent me by the Sun every day, and if a spoonful of lees would save
him from choking, the old drunkard should not have a drop."
IF LOVE'S A SWEET PASSION, WHY DOES IT TORMENT?
Crazy for Love:
In a quarter of the house set apart for the insane of the weaker sex,
and separate from the rest stood one whose appearance had something of
superior dignity. Her face, though pale and wasted, was less squalid
than those of the others, and showed a dejection of that decent kind and
moved our pity unmixed with horror.
Narrator: Behold here a young lady born to ride in her coach and six. She
was beloved by a young gentleman, though by no means her match in
fortune: but love, Her father, it seems, would not hear of their
marriage, and threatened to turn her out of doors if ever she saw him
again. Upon this the young gentleman took a voyage to the West Indies,
hoping to better his fortune, and obtain her hand. He was scarce
landed, when he was caught a fever so common in the islands, and died in
a few days. This news soon reached his love, who was at that time
pressed by her inhuman father to marry a rich miserly fellow, old enough
to be her grandfather. Between her despair at the death of the one, and
her aversion to the other, the poor young lady was reduced to the
condition you see her in.
Singer: "My Billy is no more!"
"do you weep for my Billy? Blessings on your tears! I would weep too,
but my brain is dry; and it burns, oh how it burns!"
Narrator: Be comforted, young lady," said he, "your Billy is in
Singer: "Is he, indeed? and shall we meet again? and shall that
frightful man (pointing to the keeper) not be there? -- "I would not
have you weep: you are like my Billy; you are, believe me; just so he
looked when he gave me this ring; poor Billy! 'twas the last time we
ever met!-- I have almost forgotten to think of heaven: yet I pray
sometimes; when I can, I and sometimes I sing; when I am saddest, I
sing: -- You shall hear me -- hush!
Last updated October 26, 2001
Dialogue From Pride and Prejudice:
(Narrator) A scene from an evening party from Pride and Prejudice
Mrs. Lucas: (narrator) It will be her turn soon to be teased. I am going to open the instrument Eliza, and you know what follows.
Eliza: (JB) Mrs. Lucas, you are a very strange creature by way of a friend! Always wanting me to play and sing before anybody and everybody! If my vanity had taken a musical turn, you would have been invaluable, but as it is, I would rather not sit down before those who must be in the habit of hearing the very best performers.
Mrs. Lucas: (narrator) Do, please oblige us Eliza.
Eliza: (JB) Very well if it must be so, it must (glancing gravely at Mr. Darcy). There is a fine old saying, which everybody here of course is familiar with-"keep your breath to cool your porridge, and I shall keep mine to swell my song".
Oh had I Jubal's Lyre George Handel
Ask if Yon Damask Rose [1685-1759]
Myself I shall adore
Reading from Pride and Prejudice:
(Narrator) Eliza's performance was pleasing, though by no means capital. After a song or two, and before she could reply to the entreaties of several that she sing again, she was eagerly succeeded at the instrument by her sister Mary, who having, in consequence of being the only plain one in the family, worked hard for knowledge and accomplishments, was always impatient for display.
Mary had neither genius nor taste; and though vanity had given her application, it had given her likewise a pedantic air and conceited manner, which would have injured a higher degree of excellence than she reached. Elizabeth, easy and unaffected, had been listened to with much more pleasure, though not playing half so well; and Mary, at the end of a long concerto, was glad to purchase praise and gratitude by Scotch and Irish Airs...
Three Irish and Scottish Airs
Up in the Morning Early arr. Haydn
Will Ye Go To Flanders arr. Haydn
The White Cockade arr. Haydn
(Narrator) 19th century English society considered it undesirable for a gentlewoman to attain too much proficiency in the fine arts. To do so would imply the role of a lower class professional paid musician. In the following reading from Emma we get a glimpse of the social class implied by music. Emma, lacking neither wealth nor beauty, is well aware that she has not practiced the piano or singing well enough to be able to make a good showing when compared with Miss Jane Fairfax, of a lower social class.
A Reading from the novel Emma:
(Narrator) Emma knew the limitations of her own power too well to attempt more than she could perform with credit; she wanted neither taste nor spirit in the little things which are generally acceptable, and could not accompany her own voice well. One accompaniment to her song took her agreeably by surprise-a second, slightly but correctly taken by Frank Churchill. Her pardon was duly begged at the close of the song, and every thing usual followed. He was accused of having a delightful voice, and a perfect knowledge of music: which was properly denied; and that he knew nothing of the matter, and had no voice at all, roundly asserted. They sang together once more, and Emma would then resign her place to Miss Fairfax, whose performance both vocal and instrumental she never could attempt to conceal from herself, was infinitely superior to her own...
William Joseph Haydn
A ballad adapted in English words by T. Billington
(an arrangement of Allegro con brio from the Sonata in C ***Hob. XVI:35
Sonata in C, Hob. XVI:35 (1777-1779) Haydn
Allegro con brio
Dialogue from the novel Emma
Harriet: (narrator) Oh if I could play as well as you and Miss Faifax!
Emma: (JB) Don't class us together, Harriet. My playing is no more like her's than a lamp is like sunshine.
Harriet: Oh dear, I think you play the best of the two. I think you play quite as well as she does. I am sure I had much rather hear you. Everybody last night said how well you played..
Emma: Those who knew anything about it, must have
felt the difference. The truth is, Harriet that my playing is just good enough
to be praised but Jane Fairfax's is much beyond it.
Harriet: Well, I always shall think that you play quite as well as she does, or that if there is any difference nobody would ever find it out. Mr. Cole said how much taste you had; and Mr. Churchill talked a great deal about your taste, and that he valued taste much more than execution.
Emma: Ah! but Jane Fairfax has them both, Harriet.
Harriet: Are you sure? I saw she had execution, but I did not know she had any taste. Nobody talked about it. And I hate Italian singing-There is no understanding a word of it. Besides, if she does play so very well, you know it is no more than she is obliged to do, because she will have to teach.
The Sapling Oak Stephen Storace
Lamplighter Charles Dibdin
Reading from Persuasion:
(Narrator) By the late 18th century the British enthusiasm for Italian opera and Italian prima donnas had grown cold. Their enjoyment of music however, and their national pride prompted the British to perform Italian songs with English lyrics as the following description of a concert at Bath from Persuasion reveals.
(Narrator) A concert at Bath from Persuasion
Anne 's mind was in a most favorable state for the entertainment of the evening; it was just occupation enough; she had feeling for the tender, spirits for the gay, attention for the scientific, and patience for the wearisome; and had never liked a concert better, at least during the first act. Toward the close of it in the interval succeeding an Italian song she explained the words of the song to Mr. Elliot--They had a concert bill between them.
Anne: (JB) What alas shall Orpheus do? Whither go without his love? This is nearly the sense, or rather the meaning of the words, for certainly the sense of an Italian love-song must not be talked of, but it is as nearly the meaning I can give, for I do not pretend to understand the language. I am a very poor Italian scholar.
Mr. Elliot: (narrator) Yes, yes I see you are. I see you know nothing of the matter. You have only knowledge enough of the language, to translate at sight these inverted, transposed, curtailed Italian lines, into clear comprehensible, elegant English. You need not say any more of your ignorance. Here is complete proof.
Anne: I will not oppose such kind politeness, but
I should be sorry to be examined by a real proficient.
Mr. Elliot: I have not had the pleasure of visiting
in Camden-place so long, without knowing something of Miss Anne Elliot; and
I do regard her as one who is too modest, for the world in general to be aware
of half her accomplishments and too highly accomplished for modesty to be natural
in any other woman.
What alas shall Orpheus do (Che faro senza Euridice) Willibald Gluck [1714-1787]
The Soldier Tir'd Thomas Arne [1710-1778]
The Battle of Prague, a sonata for the piano forte
(c. 1788) Frantisek Kotzwara
(Narrator) In an era in which the wife was considered the property of her husband, the courting phase of a relationship was crucial. Austen's writing reveals that the way a man listened to a woman as she made music during the courtship might well indicate the way he would listen to her in other ways of marriage. Jane Austen, an avid musician and lifelong pianist, whose in this scene from Sense and Sensibility that a woman's accomplishments which made her more marriageable were often forgotten or neglected after the wedding.
Reading from Sense and Sensibility
(Narrator) A musical evening in Sense and Sensibility
(Narrator) In the evening, as Marianne was discovered to be musical, she was invited to play. The instrument was unlocked, everybody prepared to be charmed, and Marianne, who sang very well, at their request went through the chief of songs which Lady Middleton had brought into the family on her marriage, and which perhaps had lain ever since in the same position on the pianoforte; for her ladyship had celebrated that event by giving up music, although by her mother's account she played extremely well, and by her own was very fond of it.
Marianne's performance was highly applauded. Sir John was loud in his admiration at the end of every song, and as loud in his conversation with the others while every song lasted. Lady Middleton frequently called him to order, wondered how any one's attention could be diverted from music for a moment, and asked Marianne to sing a song which Marianne had just finished. Colonel Brandon alone, of all the party, heard her without being in raptures.
He paid her only the compliment of attention; and
she felt a respect for him on the occasion which the others had reasonably forfeited
by their shameless want of taste. His pleasure in music, though it amounted
not to that ecstatic delight which alone could sympathize with her own was estimable
when contrasted against the horrible insensibility of the others; and she was
reasonable enough to allow that a man of five-and-thirty might well have outlived
all acuteness of feeling and every exquisite power of enjoyment. She was perfectly
disposed to make every allowance for the Colonel's advanced state of life which
Four English Canzonettas (1794-1795) Haydn
She Never Told Her Love (Shakespeare)
The Mermaid's Song (Anne Hunter)
A Reading from Emma:
Frank Churchill: That will do. You have sung quite enough for one evening, now be quiet.
(Narrator) I beg of you another song, one more, of course we would not fatigue you on any account, but could you manage just one more song?
Pianist: I think you could manage this without effort; the first part is so very trifling. The strength of the song falls on the second part.
Frank Churchill That person who thinks of nothing but shewing off his own voice. This must not be.(To narrator) Miss Bates, are you mad, to let your niece sing herself hoarse in this manner? Go and interfere. (Pointing to the Audience) They have no mercy on her.
(Narrator) Here ceases the concert part of the evening.
Let us repair to the ballroom for dancing.
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