|First Publication||1728/29 in Der getreue Music-Meister|
|Genre Categories||; ; ;|
|Work Title||Intrada mit 2 Violinen, ohne Bass|
|Composer||Telemann, Georg Philipp|
|Opus/Catalogue NumberOp./Cat. No.||TWV40:108|
|First Publication.||1728/29 in Der getreue Music-Meister|
|Average DurationAvg. Duration||8 minutes|
|Composer Time PeriodComp. Period||Baroque|
Excerpts from Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
Part One / Chapter Three
I was diverted with none so much as that of the Rope-Dancers, performed upon a Slender white Thread, extended about two Foot, and twelve Inches from the Ground. Upon which, I shall desire Liberty, with the Reader's Patience, to enlarge a little.
This Diversion is only practised by those Persons, who are Candidates for great Employments, and high Favour, at Court. They are trained in this Art from their Youth, and are not always of noble birth, or liberal Education. When a great Office is vacant, either by Death or Disgrace, (which often happens) five or six of the those Candidates petition the Emperor to entertain his Majesty and the court with a Dance on the Rope; and whoever jumps the highest without falling, succeeds in the Office. Very often the chief Ministers themselves are commanded to shew their Skill, and to convince the Emperor that they have not lost their Faculty. Flimnap, the Treasurer, is allowed to cut a Caper on the strait Rope, at least an Inch higher than any other Lord in the whole Empire. I have seen him do the Summer-set several times together, upon a Trencher fixed on the Rope, which is no thicker than a common Packthread in England. My Friend Reldresal, principal Secretary for private Affairs, is, in my Opinion, if I am not partial, the second after the Treasurer; the rest of the great Officers are much upon a Par.
These Diversions are often attended with fatal Accidents, whereof great Numbers are on Record. I myself have seen two or three Candidates break a Limb. But the Danger is much greater, when the Ministers themselves are commanded to shew their Dexterity: For, by contending to excel themselves and their Fellows, they strain so far, that there is hardly one of them who hath not received a Fall; and some of them two or three. I was assured, that a Year or two before my arrival, Flimnap would have infallibly broke his Neck, if one of the King's Cushions, that accidentally lay on the Ground, had not weakened the Force of his Fall.
Part Two / Chapter Six
I had learned in my Youth to play a little upon the Spinet; Glumdalclitch kept one in her Chamber, and a Master attended twice a Week to teach her: I call it a Spinet, because it somewhat resembled that Instrument, and was play'd upon in the same Manner. A Fancy came into my Head, that I would entertain the King and Queen with an English Tune upon this Instrument. But this appeared extremely difficult: For, the Spinet was near sixty Foot long, each Key being almost a Foot wide; so that, why my Arms extended, I could not reach to about five Keys; and to press them down required a good smart stroak with my Fist, which would be too great a Labour, and to no purpose. They Method I contrived was this. I prepared two round Sticks about the Bigness of common Cudgels; they were thicker at one End than the other and I covered the thicker End with a Piece of a Mouse Skin, that by rapping on them, I might neither Damage the Tops of the Keys, nor interrupt the Sound. Before the Spinet, a Bench was placed about four Foot below the Keyes, and I was put upon the Bench. I ran sideling upon it that way and this, as fast as I could, banging the proper Keyes with my two Sticks; and made a shift to play a Jigg to the great Satisfaction of both their Majesties: But it was the most violent Exercise I ever underwent, and yet I could not strike above sixteen Keys, nor, consequently, play the Bass and Treble together, as other Artists do; which was a great Disadvantage to my Performance.
Part Three / Chapter Two
Their Heads were all reclined to the Right, or the Left; one of their Eyes turned inward, and the other directly up to the Zenith. Their outward Garments were adorned with the Figures of Suns, Moons, and Stars, interwoven with those of Fiddles, Flutes, Harps, Trumpets, Guittars, Harpsichords, and many more Instruments of Musick, unknown to us in Europe. I observed here and there many in the Habit of Servants, with a blown Bladder fastned like a Flail to the End of a short Stick, which they carried in their Hands. In each Bladder was a small Quantity of dried Pease, or little Pebbles, (as I was afterwards informed). With these Bladders they now and then flapped the Mouths and Ears of those who stood near them, of which Practice I could not then conceive the Meaning. It seems, the Minds of these People are so taken up with intense Speculations, that they neither can speak, or attend to the Discourses of others without being rouzed by some external Taction upon the Organs of Speech and Hearing; for which Reason, those Persons who are able to afford it, always keep a Flapper, (the Original is Climenole) in their Family, as one of their Domesticks; nor ever walk abroad or make Visits without him.
Part Four / Chapter Three
The Word Houyhnhnms, in their Tongue, signifies a Horse; and in its Etymology, the Perfection of Nature. I told my Master, that I was at a Loss for Expression, but would improve as fast as I could; and hoped in a short time I should be able to tell him Wonders: He was pleased to direct his own Mare, his Colt and Fole, and the Servants of the Family to take all Opportunities of instructing me; and every Day for two or three Hours, he was at the same Pains himself: Several Horses and Mares of Quality in the Neighbourhood came often to our House, upon the Report spread of a wonderful Yahoo, that could speak like a Houyhnhnm, and seemed in his Words and Actions to discover some Glimmerings of Reason.