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that this organ has a history of its own, which has recently been given in a pretty little book,' a copy of which we have had the opportunity of seeing. Many members of the Middle Temple also have a pecuniary interest in the instrument, inasmuch as they have paid on their call £2 for “organ and lucidaries.” We never saw a lucidary, so far as we are aware ; but others may have done so. How the proper proportion of this item was laid out on the organ we are equally ignorant. In the interesting little volume above referred to, which is entitled “A few Notes on the Temple Organ,” the ancient history of this instrument is detailed, with curious and fresh matter collected by the writer. “Father Smith," as he is called in England, was the builder. His name was, in truth, Bernhardt Schmidt; and he came over to England from Germany with his nephews, Gerard and Bernhardt (or Christian), in the reign of King Charles II. The organ in Whitehall Chapel was his first undertaking in England. Pepys, in July, 1660, entered in his diary the following note :
“8th (Lord's Day).—To Whitehall Chapel, where I got in with ease by going before the Lord Chancellor with Mr. Kipps. Here I heard very good musique, the first time that ever I remember to have heard the organs, and singing men in surplices, in my
life.” Schmidt soon gained great fame and much employment. Westminster Abbey, St. Margaret's, and many other churches, were enriched with organs from his hand. One stop of Smith’s has often sufficed to give a reputation to an instrument. The beauty and sweetness of his tone has been always unrivalled. But Father Smith (we must accept the Anglicism) had his mechanical defects; and the action, packing, and general arrangement was bad even for his own day, and now would not be tolerated. Even his pipes were, externally, ill-finished. When he was remon
1 A Few Notes on the Temple Organ, 1869. Printed at the Private Press of Duncairn.
Pepys is right in using the plural ; for what is commonly called "an organ,” generally consists of a combination of a great organ, a choir orgau, a swell organ, and pedal orgad.
strated with in respect of the latter incompleteness, he is reported to have replied, “I do not care if ze pipe looks like von teufel ; I shall make him schpeak like von engel.”1 Smith's great rivals were Harris, and his son Renatus Harris; and this led to the “battle of the organs” at the Temple, of which the following is the amusing account now presented to us :
About the end of the reign of King Charles II., the societies of the Temple, being determined to have erected in their church an organ as complete as possible, had been in treaty with Smith for that purpose, when Harris was introduced to their notice; and both of these eminent artists were backed by the recommendation of such an equal number of powerful friends and celebrated organists, that the Benchers were unable to determine among themselves which to employ. They therefore (as appears by an, order in the books of the Temple, dated February, 1682) proposed, that if each of these excellent artists would set up an organ in one of the halls belonging to either of the Societies, they would have erected in their church that which, in the greatest number of excellencies, deserved the preference.' Smith and Harris agreeing to this proposal, a committee, composed of Masters of the Bench of both Societies, was appointed in May, 1683, to decide upon the instrument to be retained for the use of the Temple Church ; and, in about a year or fourteen months after, each competitor, with the utmost exertion of his abilities, had an instrument ready for trial. When Harris had completed his instrument, he presented a petition to the Benchers of the Inner Temple, stating that his organ was ready for trial, and praying that he might be permitted to set it up in the church on the south side of the communion table. An order was accordingly made by the Benchers, granting the permission he sought. This petition of Harris is dated 26th May, 1684; and thereby the date of the completion of his instrument is established. It is almost certain that Smith's organ was ready previous to the above date, and that for some reason (possibly to avoid the necessity of re-voicing if he should be the successful competitor) he had
A Few Remarks, &c., p. 8.
obtained leave to place it in the church, which suggested to Harris the propriety of adopting the same expedient.
“Dr. Tudway, who was living at that period, and was intimately acquainted with both the organ-makers, says that Dr. Blow and Mr. Purcell, then in their prime, performed on Father Smith's organ on appointed days, and displayed its excellence; and, until the other was heard, every one believed that this must be chosen.
“Harris employed M. Draghi, organist to Queen Catharine, a very eminent master, to touch his organ, which brought it into favour; and such was the excellence of the instruments, that to decide which deserved the preference puzzled the committee appointed for that purpose, who did not come to any determination, or make any report upon the subject; and in consequence the
battle of the organs' was commenced, and the two rival organbuilders continued thus vieing with each other for near a twelvemonth, At length Harris challenged Father Smith to make additional reed-stops within a given time; these were the Voxhumana, Cremorne, the double Courtel, or double Bassoon, and some others. The stops, which were newly invented, or at least new to English ears, gave great delight to the crowds who attended the trials; and the imitations were so exact and pleasing on both sides, that it was difficult to determine who had best succeeded.
“ The contention now became tedious and disagreeable, at least to the Benchers of the Middle Temple, who first made choice of Smith's organ, as appears by the following interesting extract from the books of that society :
“June 2, 1685.—The Masters of the Bench at this Parliament, taking into their consideration the tedious competicion betweene the two organ-makers, about their fitting an organ to the Temple Church, and having in severall termes, and at severall times, compared both the organs now standing in the said church, as they have played severall Sundays one after the other, and as they have lately played the same Sunday together alternately at the same service. Now, at the suite of severall masters of the barr, and students of this society, pressing to have a speedy de
terinination of the said controversie ; and in justice to the said workemen, as well as for the freeing themselves from any complaints concerning the same, doe unanimously in full parliamt resolve and declare the organ in the said church, made by Bernard Smith, to bee, in their judgments, both for sweetnes and fulness of sound (besides ye extraordinary stopps, quarter notes, and other rarityes therein), beyond comparison preferrable before the other of the said organs made by Harris, and that the same is more ornamentall and substantiall, and, both for depthe of sound and strengthe, fitter for the use of the said church; and, therefore, upon account of the excellency and perfection of the said organ made by Smith, and for that hee was the workeman first treated with, and employed by, the Treors of both societyes for the providing his organ; and for that the organ made by the said Harris is discernably too low and too weake for the said church, their Ma'ppes see not any cause of further delay, or need of any referrence to musicions or others to determine the difference; but doe, for their parts, unanimously make choise of the said organ made by Smith, for the use of these societyes; and Mr. Treor is desired to acquainte the Treor and Masters of the Bench of the Inner Temple with this declaration of their judgments, with all respect desiring their concurrence herein.'
“New difficulties now arose, which greatly interfered with the speedy determination of the controversy. The Benchers of the Inner Temple, upon consideration of the above declaration, sent to them by their brethren of the Middle Temple, did not concur in the course therein suggested ; but on the 22nd June, 1685, made an order, in which, after expressing their dissatisfaction that such a resolution and determination should be made by the Benchers of the Middle Temple, in a matter which equally concerned both houses, without a conference being first had with them, they declared
“That it is high time, and appears to be absolutely necessary, that impartiall judges (and such as are the best judges of musick) be forth with nominated by both houses, to determine the controversie betweene the two organ-makers, whose instrument is the
best, which this society are ready to doe; and desire their Mastershippes of the Middle Temple to join with them therein, in order to the speedy putting an end to so troublesome a difference
and appointed a committee of five members of their body, with instructions that they-or any three of them doe, at a conference, deliver the answer above-mentioned ; and they are hereby impowered to enter into a treaty with the like number of the Masters of the Bench of the Middle Temple, in order to the speedy settling this affair.'
“The committee thus appointed appear to have entered upon their duties immediately, and to have fully considered the subject of the organs, not only with respect to the appointment of the impartial judges, but also the respective prices and number of pipes in each instrument; for, two days afterwards, an answer was sent from the Middle Temple, from which the following extracts are taken :
666 June 24th, 1685. The Masters of the Bench of the Middle Temple now say S
•• 1. That they cannot imagine how the masters of the Inner Temple can pretend any ill usage or disrespect offered towards them, either tending to a breach of correspondence, or common civility, by the Act of Parliament of the Middle Temple of the second of this instant June; for that the masters of the Middle Temple thereby, only on their own parts, with the concurrence of the barristers and students, declare their judgments and choice of Smith's organ, (not imposing but requesting) the concurrence of the Inner Temple therein, with all respect.
662. As to the matter of having the two organs referred to the judgment of impartiall musicions, there yet appears not any difference betweene the two societyes concerning the same; the masters of the bench of the Inner Temple having not as yet, in Parliament, declared their judgments and choice of the other organ, which if in their judgments they shall think fit to doe, whereby a difference shall appear betweene the two societyes, then their said mastershippes believe the society of the Middle