The compleat gentleman fashioning him absolute in the most necessary & commendable qualities concerning minde or bodie that may be required in a noble gentleman. By Henry Peacham, Mr. of Arts sometime of Trinity Coll: in Cambridge.
Peacham, Henry, 1576?-1643?, Delaram, Francis, 1589 or 90-1627, engraver.


Of Musicke.

MVsicke a sister to Poetrie, next craueth your ac∣quaintance (if your Genius be so disposed.) I know there are many, who are adeo〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and of such disproportioned spirits, that they auoide her companie; as a great Cardinall in Rome, did Roses at their first com∣ming in, that to auoide their sent, he built him an house in the champaigne farre from any towne: or as with a Rose not long since, a great Ladies cheeke in England, their eares are readie to blister at the tendrest touch thereof. I dare not passe so rash a censure of these as Pindar doth, or the Italian, hauing fitted a prouerbe to the same ef∣fect, Whom God loues not, that man loues not Musicke: but I am verily perswaded, they are by nature very ill dispo∣sed, and of such a brutish stupiditie, that scarce any thing else that is good and sauoureth of vertue, is to be found in them. Neuer wise man (I thinke) questioned the law∣full vse hereof, since it is an immediate gift of heauen, bestowed on man, whereby to praise and magnifie his Creator; to solace him in the midst of so many sorrowes and cares, wherewith life is hourely beset:* and that by song, as by letters, the memorie of Doctrine, and the benefits of God might be for euer preserued (as we are taught by the Song of Moses, and those diuine Psalmes of the sweete singer of Israel, who with his* Psalterie so lowdly resounded the Mysteries and innumerable bene∣fits Page  97 of the Almightie Creator,) and the seruice of God aduanced, as we may finde in 2. Samuel 6. vers. 5. Psalme 33. 21. 43. and 4. 108. 3. and in sundrie other places of Scripture, which for breuitie I omit.

But, say our Sectaries, the seruice of God is nothing aduanced by singing and instruments, as we vse it in our Cathedrall Churches, that is, byAntiphonie, Restes, Re∣petitions, Varietis of Moodes and Proportions with the like.

For the first, that it is not contrary, but consonant to the word of God, so in singing to answer either: the practise of Mriam the Prophetese, and Sister of Mo∣ses, when she answered the men in her song, will approue; For repetition, nothing was more vsuall in the singing of the Leuites, and among the Psalmes of Dauid, the 136. is wholly compounded of those two most gracefull and 〈◊〉 figures of repetition, Symploce and Anaphora.

For Resting and Proportions, the nature of the Hebrew verse, as the meanest Hebrician knoweth, consisting ma∣ny times of vneuen feete, going sometime in this num∣ber, sometimes in that; one while (as S. Hierome saith) in the numbers of Sappho; another while of Alcaus, doth of neoessitie require it: and wherein doth our pra∣ctise of singing and playing with Instruments in his Maiesties Chappell, and our Cathedrall Churches, differ from the practise of Dauid; the Priests and Leuites.*Doe we not make one sound in praising and thanking God, with voyces and instruments of all sorts. D•••e (as S. Hierome saith) reboet laquear empli: the roofe of the Church ecchoeth againe, and which lest they should cauill at as a Iewish Ceremonie, we know to haue beene practised in the ancient puritie of the Church; but we returne where we left.

The Physitians will tell you, that the exercise of Mu∣sicke is a great lengthner of the life, by stirring and reui∣uing of the Spiris, holding a secret sympathy with them; Page  98 Besides, the exercise of singing, openeth the breast and pipes; it is an enemy to melancholy and deiection of the mind,* which S. Chrysostome truly calleth, The Deuils Bath. Yea, a curer of some diseases: in Apugli, in Italy, and therea bouts, it is most certaine, that those who are stung with the Taramula, are cured onely by Musicke. Beside, the aforesaid benefit of singing, it is a most rea∣dy helpe for a bad pronunciation, and distinct speaking, which I haue heard confirmed by many great Diuines: yea, I my selfe haue knowne many Children to haue bin holpen of their stammering in speech, onely by it.

Plato calleth it,*A diuine and heauenly practise, profita∣ble for the seeking out of that which is good and honest.

Homer saith, Musitians are worthy of Honor, and re∣gard of the whole world;* and we know, albit Lyurgu imposed most streight and sharpe Lawes vpon the Lace∣daemnins, yet he euer allowed them the exercise of Mu∣sicke.

Aristotle* auerreth Musicke to be the onely disposer of the mind to Vertue and Goodnesse; wherefore he rec∣koneth it among those foure principall exercises, where∣in he would haue children instructed.

Tulli saith, there consisteth in the practise of singing, and playing vpon Instruments, great knowledge, and the most excellent instruction of the mind: and for the effect it worketh in the mind, he termeth it, Stailem, Thesau∣rum,*qui moros instituit, componi{que}, ac motit rarum ardo∣res, &c. A lasting Treasure, which rectifieth and ordereth our manners, and allayeth the heate and furie of our an∣ger, &c.

I might runne into an infinite Sea of the praise and vse of so excellent an Art, but I onely shew it you with the finger, because I desire not that any Noble or Gen∣tleman should (saue his priuate recreation at leasurable houres) prooue a Master in the same, or neglect his more weightie imployments: though I auouch it a skill Page  99 worthy the knowledge and exercise of the greatest Prince.

King Henrie the eight could not onely sing his part sure, but of himselfe compose a Seruice of foure, fiue, and sixe parts; as Erasmus in a certaine Epistle,* testifieth of his owne knowledge.

The Duke of Venosa,* an Italian Prince, in like manner, of late yeares, hath giuen excellent proofe of his know∣ledge and loue to Musicke, hauing himselfe composed many rare songs, which I haue seene.

But aboue others, who carryeth away the Palme for excellency,* not onely in Musicke, but in whatsoeuer is to be wished in a braue Prince, is the yet liuing Maurice Landgraue of Hessen, of whose owne composition I haue seene eight or ten seuerall sets of Morets, and solemne Musicke, set purposely for his owne Chappell; where for the greater honour of some Festiuall, and many times for his recreation onely, he is his own Organist. Besides, he readily speaketh en or twelue seueral languages: he is so vniuersall a Scholler, that comming (as he doth often) to his Vniuersitie of Marpurge, what questions soeuer he meeteth with set vp, (as the manner is in the Germane and our Vniuersities) hee will Extempore, dispute an houre or two (euen in Bootes and Spurres) vpon them, with their best Professors. I passe ouer his rare skill in Chirurgeri, he being generally accounted the best Bone∣setter in the Country. Who haue seene his estate, his hos∣pitalitie, his rich furnished Armorie, his braue Stable of great Horses, his ••tesie to all strangers, being men of Qualitie and good parts, let them speake the rest.

But since the naturall inclination of some men, dri∣ueth them (as it were) perforce to the top of Excellen∣cie: examples of this kind are very rare, yea great per∣sonages many times are more violently carried, then might well stand with their Honours, and necessitie of their affaires: yet were it to these honest and commen∣dable Page  100 exercises sauouring of vertue, it were well: but many neglecting their duties and places, will addict themselues wholly to trifles, and the most ridiculous and childish practises.* As Eropus King of Macedonia, tooke pleasure only in making of Candles: Domitian, his recre∣ation was to catch & kill flyes, and could not be spoken with many times in so serious employment.*Polomans Philadelphus was an excellent Smith and a Basket maker. Alphonso Atestino Duke of Ferrara, delighted himselfe onely in turning and playing the Ioyner. Rodolph the late Emperour in setting of Stones, and making Watches. Which, and the like, much eclipse State and Maiestie, bringing familiaritie, and by consequence contempt with the meanest.

I desire no more in you then to sing your part sure, and at the first sight, withall, to play the same vpon your Violl, or the exercise of the Lute, priuately to your selfe.

To deliuer you my opinion, whom among other Au∣thors you should imitate and allow for the best, there be∣ing so many equally good, is somewhat difficult; yet as in the rest herein you shall haue my opinion.

For Mo•••s, and Musicke of pietie and deuotion, as well for the honour of our Nation, as the merit of the man, I preferre aboue all other our Phoenix, M. William Byrd,* whom in that kind, I know not whether any may equall. I am sure, none excell, euen by the iudgement of France and Italy, who are very sparing in the com∣mendation of strangers, in regard of that conceipt they hold of themselues. His Cantiones 〈◊〉, as also his Gra∣dualia, are meere Angelicall and Diuine; and being of himselfe naturally disposed to Grauitie and Pietie, his veine is not so much for light Madrigals of Canzonets, yet his Virginella, and some others in his first set, cannot be mended by the best Italian of them all.

For composition, I preferre next Ludouico de Victoria,* a most iudicious and a sweete Composer: after him Page  101Orlando di Lasso, a very rare and excellent Author, who liued some forty yeares since in the Court of the Duke of Baueir. He hath published as well in Latine as French many sets, his veine is graue and sweete: among his La∣tine Songs, his seuen poenitentiall Psalmes are the best, and that French Set of his wherein is Susanna vn jour. Vpon which Dittie many others haue since exercised their inuention.

For delicious Aire and sweete Inuention in Madrigals, Luca Mar••zio* excelleth all other whosoeuer, hauing published more Sets then any Authour else whosoeuer; and to say truth, hath not an ill Song, though sometime an ouer-sight (which might be the Printers fault) of two eights, or fifts escape him; as betweene the Tenor and Base in the last close, of, I must depart all haplesse: ending according to the nature of the Dittie most artificially, with a Minim rest. His first, second, and third parts of Thyrsis, Veggo dolca 〈◊〉 ben chi fa hoggi mio Sole Can∣tava, or sweete singing Amaryllie, are Songs, the Muses themselues might not haue beene ashamed to haue had composed. Of stature and complexion, hee was a little and blacke man: he was Organist in the Popes Chappell at Rome a good while, afterward hee went into Poland, being in displeasure with the Pope for ouermuch famili∣aritie with a kinswoman of his, (whom the Queene of Poland, sent for by Luca Marenzio afterward, she being one of the rarest women in Europe, for her voyce and the Lute:) but returning, he found the affection of the Pope so estranged from him, that hereupon hee tooke a con∣ceipt and died.

Alphouse Ferabosco the father, while he liued,* for iudg∣ment and depth of skill, (as also his sonne yet liuing) was inferior vnto none: what he did was most elaborate and profound, and pleasing enough in Aire, though Ma∣ster Thomas Morley censureth him otherwise. That of his, I saw my Ladie weeping, and the Nightingale (vpon Page  102 which Dittie Master Bird and he in a friendly aemulation, exercised their inuention) cannot be bettered for sweet∣nesse of Aire, or depth of iudgement.

I bring you now mine owne Master, Horatio Vecchi* of Modena; beside goodnesse of Aire most pleasing of all other for his conceipt and varietie, wherewith all his workes are singularly beautified, as well his Madri∣gals of fiue and sixe, as those his Canzonets, printed at Norimberge: wherein for tryall, sing his Viuo in fuoco amoroso Lucretia mia, where vpon I catenat more, with excellent iudgement, hee driueth a Crotchet thorough many Minims, causing it to resemble a chaine with the Linkes. Againe, in Sis potessi raccor'i mi Sospiri, the breaking of the word Sospiri with Crotchet & Crotchet, rest into sighes: and that, fa mi vn Canzon, &c. To make one sleepe at noone, with sundry other of like conceipt, and pleasant inuention.

Then that great Master,* and Master not long since of S. Markes Chappell in Venice; second to none, for a full, loftie, and sprightly veine, following none saue his owne humour: who while he liued, was one of the most free and braue companions of the world. His Poenitentiall Psalmes are excellently composed, and for pietie are his best.

Nor must I here forget our rare Countrey-man, Peter Phillips,* Organist to their Altezza's at Bruxels, now one of the greatest Masters of Musicke in Europe. He hath sent vs ouer many excellent Songs, as well Motets as Madrigals: he affecteth altogether the Italian veine.

There are many other Authors very excellent, as Bos∣chett,* and Clandie de Monte Verde, equall to any before named; Gimmoni Ferreti, Stephano Felis, Giulis Rinaldi, Phillipe de Monte, Andrea Gabrieli, Cyprian de Rore, Pal∣laui ceno, 〈◊〉, with others yet liuing; whose seue∣rall workes for me here to examine, would be ouer tedi∣ous and needlesse; and for me, please your owne eare and Page  103 fancie. Those whom I haue before mentioned, haue bene euer (within these thirtie or fortie yeares) held for the best.

I willingly, to auoide tediousnesse, forbeare to speake of the worth and excellency of the rest of our English Composers, Master Doctor Douland, Tho: Morley, M. Alphonso, M. Wilbie, M. Kirbie, M. Wilkes, Michael East, M. Bateson, M. Deering, with sundry others, inferior to none in the world (how much soeuer the Italian attri∣butes to himselfe) for depth of skill and richnesse of conceipt.

Infinite is the sweete varietie that the Theorique of Musicke exerciseth the mind withall, as the contempla∣tion of proportions, of Concords and Discords, diuer∣sitie of Moodes and Tones, infinitenesse of Inuention, &c. But I dare affirme, there is no one Science in the world, that so affecteth the free and generous spirit, with a more delightfull and in-offensiue recreation, or better disposeth the minde to what is commendable and ver∣tuous.

The Common-wealth of the Cynethenses in Arcadia,* falling from the delight they formerly had in Musicke, grew into seditious humours and ciuill warres, which Polybius tooke especially note of: and I suppose, heere∣upon it was ordained in Arcadia, that euery one should practise Musicke by the space of thirty yeares.

The ancient Gaules in like manner (whom Iulian* tear∣med barbarous) became most curteous and tractable by the practise of Musicke.

Yea, in my opinion, no Rhetoricke* more perswadeth, or hath greater power ouer the mind; nay, hath not Mu∣sicke her figures, the same which Rhetorique? What is a Reuert but her Antistrophe? her reports, but sweete Ana∣phora's? her counterchange of points, Antimetabole's? her passionate Aires but Prosopopoe's? with infinite other of the same nature.

Page  104How doth Musicke amaze vs, when assures of discords she maketh the sweetest Harmony? And who can shew vs the reason why two Basons, Bowles, Brasse pots, or the like of the same bignesse; the one being full, the o∣ther emptie,* shall, striken, be a iust Diapason in sound one to the either; or that there should bee such sympathy in sounds, that two Lutes of equall size being laid vpon a Table, and tuned Vnison, or alike in the Gamma, G sol re vt, or any other string; the one stricken, the other vn∣touched shall answer it?

But to conclude, if all Arts hold their esteeme and va∣lue according to their Effects, account this goodly Sci∣ence not among the number of those which Lucian pla∣ceth without the gates of Hell, as vaine and vnprofita∣ble: but of such which are 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the fountaines of our liues good and happinesse: since it is a principall meanes of glorifying our mercifull Creator, it heigthens our deuotion, it giues delight and ease to our trauailes, it expelleth sadnesse and heauinesse of Spirit, preserueth people in concord and amitie, allaieth fiercenesse and an∣ger; and lastly, is the best Phisicke for many melanchol∣ly diseases.