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MUSIC.

And in his brain,

Which is as dry as the remaining biscuit
After a voyage,-he hath strange places crammed
With observation, the which he vents
In mangled forms.'

WE E are not about to write an elaborate dissertation on the science of music, or to inflict upon the reader an imaginative or fabulous history of the rise and progress of the art; we shall not attempt to prove that it had its origin among the reeds of the Nile, or that the honor of its invention is to be accredited to any heathen god or goddess, nor yet that it is to be attributed to any fortuitous circumstance whatever. We believe that, like the gift of speech, it is a natural consequence resulting from an organic construction, wisely and purposely adapted to such an end.

It will be found, upon a careful analysis of the human voice, that a resemblance exists between intonation in speech and in song, from which it may be inferred, that its extension and various inflections in the one, would naturally suggest and lead into the other. And as man not only possesses the ability, but has an inclination to express emotions by vocal sounds, we see no reason why he should be so restricted in the use of his powers, as not to pass from the tones of the speaking voice to the impassioned notes of song, whenever, by the peculiarity or intensity of his emotions, a transition to a more expressive mode should be required.

Sounds thus produced, become the audible signs of real emotions, and on this principle, expression in music is based. It will readily be perceived, therefore, that some classes of general emotions may be thus expressed, but that particular passions and feelings-such, for instance, as love or hatred-cannot be expressed by sounds, without the aid of words. Poetry, therefore, is joined to music, to enlarge the sphere of its operations, by becoming its interpreter. On this account, vocal is superior to instrumental music. It has a wider range of application, and exerts a more direct influence upon sentiment and passion. It is only, however, when both are judiciously combined, that the full force and effect of musical sounds can be appreciated.

From the partiality which is universally manifested for this art, and its acknowledged influence upon society, it is worthy of consideration, whe-ther it may not be cultivated in a manner, and to an extent, better calculated to ensure beneficial results.

Music has for its object mental gratification, and is a fruitful source of innocent pleasure and rational enjoyment; yet it may be made the vehicle of sentiments, and administer to indulgences, which thereby assume a more specious and alluring form, and thus become more pernicious to society. There is evidently, at the present period, an increasing attention to this fascinating art; and it becomes important, from the considerations above named, that it should be so directed as to aid in the advancement of those interests which elevate and refine the character of a community.

In the study of other branches of science it is deemed important that

elementary principles should be well understood, and it is admitted that system, and industrious application, are the only means by which useful knowledge can be acquired. Far different, we apprehend, from this, is the sentiment generally entertained, and the course pursued, with respect to music. We estimate it only as an accomplishment, and not for its intrinsic value; and the study and practice are pursued without system. It is true, there are honorable exceptions-but it cannot be denied that teachers, pupils, and professors in general, are justly chargeable with these faults.

It is easy to feed the flame of individual or national vanity, and to pride ourselves upon our taste for the fine arts-to talk of our scientific knowledge and rapid advances. But to weigh these specious postulates in the balance of unerring truth, might prove quite another thing; and if the result should not accord with our present notions of excellence, yet it might serve to give a right direction to future efforts.

Let us, then, with this view, propose the following queries: What is the standard of American taste in music? How deeply have we explored the science? What approaches have been made towards forming a nationality of character in the art? Is it to American executants that we proffer a liberal patronage, as the substantial incentive to a vigorous and successful effort, and is it to them that we accord the meed of undisputed praise?

We shall not presume to give formal answers to these interrogatories, but commend them to the consideration of those lovers and patrons of the art, who are desirous that its cultivation should proceed in such a manner, that the pleasures and benefits which it is capable of affording, may be fully realized.

By the cultivation of the fine arts, the circle of our enjoyments becomes enlarged. It is desirable therefore, that a taste for music should be cultivated in our country: and also, that it should be directed by American feeling. For this purpose, the works of the most celebrated masters, both of ancient and modern times, without distinction of name or birth-place, should be selected and studied as models, or helps, by which to form a chaste and correct taste, which shall partake of that elevated character and lofty aim, which scorns a servile imitation.

At present, we are Italians,-we are Germans,-we are English,-we are any thing, but Americans. We listen almost whole nights to performances of which we know comparatively nothing, either of the music or the words; yet we fail not at regular intervals, to applaud with an enthusiasm which should indicate a perfect knowledge of both. Whether such demonstrations of approbation are creditable to our taste in the art, or not, they are in strict accordance with the mandates of the tyrant Fashion. She is not to be restricted in her exactions-and woe to the man who yields not his implicit obedience!

From the frequent announcements of sacred concerts and oratorial performances, it might be inferred that this department of the art had reached its ultimatum;-if, however, we should be sceptical on this point, an evening's attendance at the concert-room would dissipate all doubt.

There is yet another, though less pretending branch, equally deserving

of attention; and although last in the order of our enumeration, is nevertheless first in importance. It is scarcely necessary to say, that we allude to church music.

In secular music, liberal encouragement has enlisted eminent talent in its service; and the perfection to which the several departments have attained, is highly creditable to the taste, science, and skill with which they have been prosecuted;-and although we duly appreciate whatever is useful in those branches, we cannot but regret that so much of physical and intellectual endowment should have been driven away, and less beneficially employed, through the parsimony of the Christian church.

Religion, in its exercise and propagation, finds in music an attractive and co-operating influence, which has, as it were, identified it with itself. Thus employed, music is made the means of exciting emotions the most pure; and becomes the vehicle of expression for feelings the most reverential, and sentiments the most exalted, of which the soul is capable.

It might have been expected, that an auxiliary so powerful would have found efficient advocates among those whose peculiar office it is to watch over the interests of religion; and that its cultivation would have been conducted upon such principles as to secure its most effectual aid. How very far from this is the fact, those can best tell, who, with musical sensibilities, find themselves constrained to endure whatever is defective in melody and harmony and the quality and intonation of the voice, as well as those other concomitants of bad taste which arise from ignorance and pedantry;—such as an affected pronunciation-false accentindistinct articulation, and a disregard of appropriate emphasis, by which language is mutilated, and sense destroyed. Joined to all this, the accompanying instrument is often clamorous for ascendency, and not unfrequently breaks out into modulations the most strange and incongruous, by which the whole is made to approach the ridiculous.

That we do not over-estimate the effects and influences of music, will be made apparent by reflecting upon the various ways in which it meets the ear, from animate and inanimate nature. Destroy that curious mechanism in the throat of the songster in the grove-let the brute creation become dumb, and no sound escape them-let the winds be hushed to a breathless calm-let the thunders be still, and no hum of the insect be heard-let the waters of the cataract descend to their deep abyss, noiseless as the grave-let the voices of speech and of song break no more upon the ear, and where is the man who could endure such a profound and awful stillness !·

Constituted as we are, such a state of existence would be miserable in the extreme. Deprived of a resort to music, man would lose many of his purest enjoyments here, and perhaps be disqualified for entering fully upon those of a future state. Songs and halleluiahs are spoken of in sacred Scripture, as constituting the highest felicities of the eternal world. Cherubim and seraphim continually cry, HOLY! and the lofty angels, who strike their harps in heaven, form a celestial choir, who respond AMEN to the acclamations of praise, that ascend up forever and ever, from the redeemed of the earth to the throne of the MOST HIGH!

G.

EXCERPTA

FROM THE COMMON PLACE BOOK OF A SEPTUAGENARIAN.

NUMBER FIVE.

XXXIV.

A SAFE

CATECHISM.

6

IN the debtor's apartment, in Dublin jail, about fifty years since, an excommunicated priest was detained, who married all that came to him who had wherewith to pay the fees. He was familiarly known by the title of The Couple-beggar.' He proposed three questions to all applicants, to which they were expected to answer in the affirmative-or, to speak more correctly, which he answered himself: You are come to be married?-and to be sure you are: You have got your father's and mother's consent?—and to be sure you have.'-The third question, and the most important to the interrogator, was :-'You have got money to pay the priest?'' and,'-holding out his hand,-to be sure you have. This was the sine qua non !

XXXV.

A POIGNANT REBUKE.

"

NEVER was there a more just and pointed rebuke, than was given to a married lady, who, in company with a strange gentleman, behaved in so very equivocal a manner, that he was induced to take some unbecoming liberties with her. Sir,' says she, do you know who I am? I am the wife of Mr. Madam,' says he, I really beg your pardon:-I mistook you. But permit me to say, you ought to seem what you ARE―or to be what you SEEM.'

6

9

6

XXXVI.

LOVE OF CRUELTY.

THE circumstance lately recorded in a London paper, of a nefarious ruffian having stabbed three ladies, and wounded them most dangerously, reminds us of the atrocious band, who, about the beginning of the last century, called themselves Mohawks, and used to sally out at night, and stab and maim men, and indecently expose women, indiscriminately. It was a long time before they were finally suppressed. And about forty or fifty years since, there was such a miscreant in London, with the same diabolical propensity, who amused himself in the horrid practice of maiming women. He was styled, and most justly, 'The monster.' A fellow of the name of Renwick was arrested, and tried; and though it was the general opinion that he was the villain, yet the evidence was not sufficiently strong against him, so that he escaped-but was regarded as 'an acquitted felon.'

XXXVII.

A WONDERFUL HISTORICAL DISCOVERY!

IT has been generally, indeed almost universally, believed, that Christopher Colon, or Columbus, was a Genoese. This is proved to be an error, by very high authority. It appears he was a discontented Englishman,' who first offered his services to his prince; and these being rejected, he offered them to the Queen Isabella, of Spain! But, lest any sceptical reader should doubt the correctness of what I have asserted, I annex my authority- Molloy de Jure Maritimo; London, 1722 :' Nor ought alone the praises of those great monarchs, whose mighty care had always been to preserve the reputation of their empire in their maritime preparations, to be remembered; also those of our inhabitants, who have always been as industrious to follow the encouragement of those princes, under whom they flourished; and who, with no less glory and timely application in traffic, did constantly follow the examples of those of Genoa, Portugal, Spaniards, Castilians, and Venetians, whose fame, in matters of commerce, ought to be enrolled in letters of gold, since the ages to come, as well as present, have been doubly obliged to their memory; the third of which, making use of a discontented native of this isle-the famous Columbus!-who, prompted by that genius which naturally follows a native wise man, discovered a new world, in which expedition he fathomed unknown paths, and detected the Antilles, Cuba, and Jamaica, etc., and the Terra firma of the American shore.'.. His service being first offered to his prince, and refused, he was soon after entertained, purely on the faith of that noble princess, Isabella of Spain.'-pps. Ix and x, Introduction.

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NATIONAL VANITY IN PERFECTION.

LORD ROSCOMMON published an Art of Poetry,' in which he speaks of the feebleness of the French language, with a degree of hyperbole seldom exceeded:

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INTENSE FRATERNAL AFFECTION.

A HIGHLANDER, whose brother died in this country-I believe, but am not certain, he fell during the Revolutionary war,-crossed the Atlan

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