At the time when such puerility was disturbing this cradle of freedom and cacophony, Bach and Händel were at work in their contrapuntal webs, the Scarlattis, Corelli and Tartini and Porpora were alive. Peri, Josquin and Willaert and Lassus were dead, and the church had had its last mass from the most famous citizen of the town of Palestrina.
She died June 5, 1600, and on her tomb she is named, "la noble et vertueuse dame Regina de Lassin, veuve de feu Orland de Lassus." She had been a good wife to a good husband. The sadness of her latter years with her beloved and demented husband reminds one of the pathetic fate of Robert Schumann and his wife.
The second, which replaced the original spire in 1383, was one of the wonders of Paris, and fell a victim to fire in 1630. A third, erected by Louis XIII., was demolished in 1791, and in 1853 Lassus, Viollet le Duc's principal colleague in the restoration of the chapel, designed the graceful flèche we see to-day.
Within a few weeks after this unfortunate event, the rejected singer of the Sistine Chapel was created Chapel Master of Saint John Lateran, the splendid basilica, where the young Orlandus Lassus had so recently directed the music.
This incessant tension of soul made imperious demands for the distraction of repose; far from this, he redoubled his work till nature, worn out, refused to Lassus the aid she had lavished. His mental powers abandoned him abruptly. "Regina, one day when she returned, found him in a very precarious state; he had lost his mind and knew her no more.
Time does not exist for Don Perosi. When he courteously wished to praise French musicians, the first name he chose as if it were that of a contemporary was that of Josquin, and then that of Roland de Lassus, who seems to him so great and profound a musician that he admires him most of all. And Don Perosi's universality of style is a trait that is Catholic as well as Italian.
If Lassus deserved the name of the Netherlandish Orpheus, Henry Purcell deserved the name his "loveing wife Frances Purcell" gave him when she published after his death a collection of his songs under the name of "Orpheus Britannicus." The analogy holds good also in the devotion of these married couples, for Henry willed to Frances the whole of his property absolutely.
But he was born in either 1520 or 1530 at Mons in Hainault, and, according to the old Annales du Hainault, he changed his name from Roland de Lattre to Orland di Lassus because his father had been convicted of making spurious coin and, as a "false moneyer," had to wear a string of his evil utterances round his neck.
It adjourned with the familiar Spanish salutation which must have sounded ironical to the helpless De Lassus, "May God preserve you many years!" Were these pious professions farcical? Or were they the sincere utterances of men who, like the patriots of 1776, were driven by the march of events out of an attitude of traditional loyalty to the King into open defence of his authority?
One of the most remarkable characteristics of Sherlock Holmes was his power of throwing his brain out of action and switching all his thoughts on to lighter things whenever he had convinced himself that he could no longer work to advantage. I remember that during the whole of that memorable day he lost himself in a monograph which he had undertaken upon the Polyphonic Motets of Lassus.