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We scarcely believed our eyes when we read,
some days since, the following police report:—

"MARLBOROUGH-STREET.—Two boys, named
Campbell, dressed as Highland pipers, and each
provided with a pair of bagpipes, were charged
with having refused to quit Suffolk-street, where
they were playing, when requested to do so.

"A clerk to Mr. Garratt, an inhabitant, said,
about 11 o'clock the boys put their pipes at work,
and kept up such a concert of groaning and
screeching with them, that his employer gave him
directions to tell them to remove. Witness did
so, and the boys refusing to comply with the
request, a constable was employed, and they were
brought to this court.

"The boys said they were the sons of a Scotch
piper. They got their living by playing on the
bagpipes, and they had been employed by a lady
who liked bagpipe harmony, to play before the
door of the hotel in Suffolk-street, where she was
staying.

"MR. HARDWICK told the boys they must not
adopt such a mode of getting their own living as
would hinder other people from getting theirs.
It would be impossible for professional men or
tradesmen to carry on their daily avocations in the
hearing of such a din of discordant sounds as
would be caused by a couple of pairs of Scotch
bagpipes. To the street musical abominations of
the Italian boys had recently been added that of
Scotch bagpipers,—a kind of concert sufficient to
drive invalids and ordinary people crazy. The
street musicians must be told that the law obliged
them to go away whenever they were told to do
so by any housekeeper in streets where they were
playing. For the present offence he would inflict
a fine of one shilling only, which should be made
twenty shillings on the next occasion."

Mr. Hardwick did the best he could. If
he could have transported the patroness of
bagpipes for life to Staffa or to the lesser
Cumbraes, the justice of the case would have
been fully met. But, as we have before
complained, the law, as applicable to nuisance-
noises, is exceedingly defective.

Do we wish to banish all music from the
busy haunts of men? By no means. Good
music is sometimes emitted from our
pavementsthe kerb sends forth here and there,
and now and then, sounds not unworthy of
the best appointed orchestra. Where these
superior street performers received their
musical education it is not our business to
inquire; but their arrangements of some of the
most popular opera music, show that their
training has been strictly professional.
Quintette, Sestette, and Septette bands of
brass and string are occasionally heard in the
open street, whose performances show that
the pieces have been regularly scored and
rigidly rehearsed. "Tune, time, and distance"
are excellently kept; the pianos and fortes
are admirably colouredthere is no vamping
of basses; no "fudging" of difficult passages.
We look upon such players as musical
missionaries who purvey the best music from
the opera houses and from the saloons of
the nobility to the general public, to the
improvement of its musical taste. But where
even these choice pavé professionists have us
at a disadvantage is in their discoursing their
excellent music at precisely the times when
we do not want the sounds of the charmer,
charm he never so wisely. The habitant of
the "quiet neighbourhood," fond as he is of
Casta Diva or the Rosen Waltz, would rather
not be indulged with them just as he is
commencing to study a complicated brief,
or while he is computing the draft of a
difficult survey. When he wants music he likes
to go to it; he never wants it to come to him.

Upon this premise we propose, for the
benefit of the world at large, a sweeping
street-music reform; and any enterprising
member of Parliament is quite welcome to
the draft of a bill on the subject, with which
we now conclude:—

The bill should be entitled,

"An Act for the better Preservation of the
Public Peace by the better Regulation of some
certain kinds of Street Music, and by the
utter Abolition of certain other kinds of
Street Music."

The first proviso should give authority to
certain competent musicians, and bands of
musicians, to play at certain appointed places
at certain appointed hours of the day, and
under certain regulations.

That the places appointed shall be, in
summer, the Parks and Public Gardens in
and around London; and in winter certain
covered spaces, to be set apart and appointed
by the proper authorities.

That the performers shall have no other
remuneration than the contributions of their
listeners, which will be naturally regulated by
the pleasure they give, consequently, by their
proficiency.

That no unauthorised grinder of organs,
music-mills, or hurdy-gurdies; no blower
of bagpipes, Pan's-pipes, horns, cornopeans,
trombones, trumpets, clarionets, or bassoons;
no scraper of fiddles or violoncellos; no
scratchers of harps or guitars; no beaters of
drums, dulcimers or tamborines,—be allowed
to disturb the public thoroughfares, under
pain of various penalties, to be afterwards
agreed and settled on; whereof the lightest
shall be imprisonment and hard labour for
no less a period than ten days (for, say illicit
flutes, hautboys, or Pan's-pipes), and the
heaviestonly applicable to bagpipes
transportation for life beyond the Border.

Vivat Regina !

Now ready, Price 5s. 6d., neatly Bound in Cloth,
THE FIRST VOLUME
OF
HOUSEHOLD WORDS.

Publishing Monthly, Price 2d., Stamped, 3d.
THE HOUSEHOLD NARRATIVE
OF
CURRENT EVENTS.

This Monthly Supplement of Household Words, containing
a history of the previous month, is issued regularly with the
Magazines.

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