excerpt from 'Letter from Anna Seward to Mrs T––––, 10 September 1793' pp. 311–312 (272 words)

excerpt from 'Letter from Anna Seward to Mrs T––––, 10 September 1793' pp. 311–312 (272 words)

part of

Letter from Anna Seward to Mrs T––––, 10 September 1793

original language

urn:iso:std:iso:639:ed-3:eng

in pages

311–312

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text excerpt

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On my return home I passed through York, and heard choral service in the noblest cathedral in the world; at least in my estimation, who prefer, in religious edifices, the Gothic to the Grecian style of architecture. The curious luxuriance of the chiseled ornaments in the noble choir, and in those magnificent aisles; their fair proportion; their majestic amplitude; the chastised, the glooming, the awful light, shed through their “storied windows,” afforded the utmost gratification to my eye, and almost annihilated, on my imagination, the spruce elegance of our dear new-tricked cathedral, and its obtrusive lights: but if sight perceived the undoing superiority of York Minster, my ear acknowledged the yet more transcendent harmonic advantages of the Gothic boast of Lichfield. The organ of York Minster is a box of whistles in comparison, and the scrannel tones, and squalid garb of its singing-men, are, indeed, most unworthy of that matchless choir. Nor can it be otherwise, till the disgraceful scantiness of their salary shall be augmented. Nor less unworthy of the solemn scene was the miserable reading of the clergyman who officiated. More than ever was I charmed, last Sunday, at this cathedral, with the rich flood of harmony poured by our full-voiced choir. It gave us that fine anthem, the Dedication of the Temple, in a noble style indeed. Mr Saville’s voice was never more clear and full, nor did one discordant note in the other two who joined him, abate the exquisite beauty and grandeur of that composition. Our noble organ, now soft as the gale of summer, now loud as its thunder, completed the effect.

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excerpt from 'Letter from Anna Seward to Mrs T––––, 10 September 1793' pp. 311–312 (272 words)

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