英日対訳:T.ビーチャム自叙伝A Mingled Chime第37章(2/2) 英国の法制度/「片腕」の死/ハレ管弦楽団








In no quarter is this disdain and ignorance of music and the part it plays in the life and estimation of other peoples so profound as among the otherwise worthy men who adorn the judicial benches of our Law Courts. That they administer the law, when they happen to know it, with scrupulous rectitude and clearsighted ability is not to be denied. But in England very few persons do know the law, including all solicitors, who can rarely advise their clients on any question of importance without rushing off to  obtain the opinion of Counsel. This opinion is not based upon any fixed code approved by either the legislature or a college of lawyers after the fashion of the Pandects of Justinian or the Code Napoleon, but upon the latest decision of some individual judge, usually made on the spur of the moment. This is admirable from the standpoint of the fraternity itself, for the law becomes an obscurity and mystery like the climate or fortune telling. The consequence is that no man knows where he is, sometimes not even the judges, for in recent years quite a few of them have demonstrated their incapacity to draw up their own wills correctly. It is less satisfactory to the laity, for if there is one thing in a well-ordered society that ought to be as clear as day and free from the least ambiguity, it should be the legal position of every man and his possessions vis-a-vis the state and his neighbor. Unfortunately the learned practitioners of the craft have not yet realized that the dubiety and uncertainty surrounding it have tended to bring them into almost as much contempt and ridicule as the modern politician; and the old time respect and esteem for the judiciary has not been increased by the deplorable garrulity of that portion of it which never loses a chance of airing its views and exposing its intellectual limitations at the expense of those who are seeking from them  only the administration of justice.  




Years ago I heard a judge of notorious indiscretion declare his inability to trust the word of a witness on the ground that he was a Roman Catholic. I am no member of that community and I was very young at the time; but I still recall vividly the shocked astonishment I felt at hearing from an occupant of the Bench an insult leveled at a large number of His Majesty’s subjects throughout the Empire, not to speak of something like two hundred millions of the same creed in Europe. In another instance during a matrimonial case, a woman who conducted a business independently and with high success was branded as a worthless person. I have not the same respect for money as the ethereally-minded Ruskin, who somewhere described it as character. But it did seem to me that any one who on her own could run a concern which made a large annual profit and employed a substantial number of people could not be wholly without qualities of one sort or another. Anyway the question involved was a purely moral one on which no lavvyer is any better fitted or more entitled to have and express judgment than any of the other twenty million adult citizens of the kingdom.  




I have not been able myself to escape this offensive tendency. Quite early in the course of our Chancery proceedings it was disclosed that I had spent a considerable amount of money in the cause of music, and the wise judge's instant comment was, “What is the good of that?” It was nothing to his childhke intelligence that through the use of this sum, wisely or unwisely, a goodly part of the war time music of the country had been kept alive. Had the objects of my outlay been a group of racing stables, a shooting box, and a steam yacht, things in his eyes that were the proper indulgence of the manly Englishman, he would probably have expressed his approval. But music never.  




On a later occasion, another legal luminary in the course of a hearing heard my counsel refer to the musical profession, whereupon he interpolated this stupendous comment: “What’s that? You don’t call music a profession, do you?” A third instance where a young man I knew happened to be a party to a suit and it was mentioned that he was studying to be a musician, the arbiter of equity raised his eyebrows, shifted his wig, and snorted, ‘Why doesn’t he go into some honest trade?”  




Of course these pathetic revelations of mental singularity and oafish manners, which in most other countries would procure the early retirement of their authors, are hailed with delight by that section of the press and public which still clings to the conviction that knocking little balls into holes or hitting other little balls about a green field is almost the only acceptable evidence of virility in a great nation. And so the disabilities of continued immaturity and arrested mental development handicap fatally a large mass of my countrymen, and while this anachronistic condition remains, there will be no return to that commanding position we once occupied in the esteem of others. For over twenty years I made a point of reading the reports of annual congresses and other junketings of the Labor party, and I cannot recall one occasion when the subject of the higher education of the people was brought forward for discussion. The time of the meetings was taken up with infantile complaints about one alleged grievance or another, fulminations against this system or that, and declarations of faith in some ology or other unshared by the mass of their fellow countrymen. Not a word about the most vital business of all, the mental advancement and spiritual enlightenment of the classes whom they professed to represent, and no wonder an intellectual darkness hangs over the land when the better part of man is treated as something of little account. Blazoned on the entrance to half our public buildings should be the admonitory verse from the Epistle to the Corinthians, which begins with the words: ‘'When I was a child I spake as a child.”  




The autumn and winter seasons of opera in London were both given at Covent Garden and separated by one or two months at Manchester. For the first of these the main additions to our repertoire, which now included some fifty operas, were Parsifal, Khovantschina, and Die Meistersinger, all in English, of which I conducted only the last. The decline in health of my able and devoted manager, Donald Baylis, had thrown upon me much of his administrative work and, combined with the necessity of giving more of my time to private business, was reducing materially my public appearances as conductor everywhere. Baylis had been with me since 1910 and had started his career as a correspondence clerk in my father's office at St. Helens, being about twenty-five at the time. During my first season he acted as manager of the chorus, later on as sub-manager of the company, and in 1913 I placed him in full charge of all my musical undertakings. His education was of the smallest, and his outward appearance about as far from the conventional notion of a theater director, a suave and smiling creature in a top hat and frock coat, as could be imagined. But he had an uncanny insight into public psychology, an industry and ingenuity that were continually arousing my astonishment and admiration, and a fanatical devotion to the house of Beecham that won and held my affection. Many was the tight corner from which he rescued one or other of my war time ventures at the eleventh hour, and his early death in the spring of 1920 was as great a loss to me as that of my equally resourceful and adroit lawyer, who about the same time was smitten with an illness that removed him from the sphere of active work.  




I notified the various concert organizations with which I had been connected since 1914 of my inability to continue my association with them, and in the case of the Halle Society counselled the appointment of a permanent conductor who would be willing to settle in the town. During the war the orchestra had been kept together with great difficulty, losing one member or another every month, and had thus taken on a shape almost as impermanent as that of Proteus himself. What it needed badly was the control of a resident musician who would give all his time to the rebuilding of its badly shattered constitution, and the committee, accepting my advice, appointed Hamilton Harty, who occupied the post until 1933. So far as these institutions were concerned, my work was done: they had weathered the storm, safely reached land again, and could pursue their old courses without further aid from me.  





Sir Hamilton Harty conducts The Halle Orchestra in 'Capriccio Espagnole,' recorded in the Free Trade Hall, Manchester, on 11 February 1929.