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menced his sermon. This address, in an unknown language, soon began to excite symptoms of impatience in the strangers; one of whom, stealing softly up the stairs of the pulpit, unobserved by the minister, startled him not a little by tapping him on the shoulder, in the midst of his harangue, and inyiting him as well as he could, by signs, accompanied with all sorts of grotesque gestures, to descend, and no longer interrupt the gratification which the organist afforded to himself and his companions.
It has ever been the solace and delight of men of genius, and there is no subject which is praised in more ardent expressions, or expatiated upon with more delight, by Homer, Shakspeare, Tasso, and Milton. It cheers the traveller as he pursues the journey of life, and produces a sweet oblivion of his fatigue. For a description of the powers of Music, recourse can best be had to the sister art, to which sound is so frequently indebted for the most pleasing alliance of sense; and perhaps it will not be found easy to produce a short description of its application to various situations of life, and different feelings of the heart, more beautiful and just, than the following lines from Warton's imitation of the Medea of Euripides :
Queen of every moving measure,
Smooth the brow of dumb despair. Let us then be grateful to the God of all love and mercy for the raptures that we enjoy from the impression of sounds pouring Music through our souls; and raise one general song of joy, to celebrate his praises, that shall ascend into heaven, where the blessed angels of light will join in the full chorus of pure and heavenly harmony. That Music was designed by the Deity to produce particular effects on man, might be shewn very satisfactorily; for who can doubt but
That heav'n is pleas'd, when this bright pow'r
HAYLEY. I cannot recollect the author of the following apostrophe to Music :
· Music, in its simplest form, must touch and gratify the human heart. The melody of nature, warbled from woods and groves, can never fail to attract and charm. The rudest peasant for a moment stops his toil, to listen to the clear note of the lark soaring over his head; and the country lass checks her own gay ballad, to smile with delight at the clear sweet warble of the sooty blackbird. More polished ramblers readily confess how much the charms of their morning walks, their noon-day rides, their evening strolls, are heightened by the full choir chaunted from the copse, or woody dingle, by the soft chirpings of the lonely robin, or the sweet song of the solitary nightingale, the warbler of the night.”
As the following lines, by Mrs. Darwall, on hearing a blackbird sing early in March, are not much known, I shall introduce them in this place :
Welcome, sweet harbinger of spring !
Thou softest warbler of the grove;
With strains of music, joy, and love.
To deck the hedge-row, shrub, or tree;
Yet is gay spring announc'd by thee.
Thy sooty fav’rite meets thine eye,
Regardless of the stormy sky.
Unmov'd, the chilling wintry blast,
Nor e'er forget the sunshine past.
. Most of the pleasurable diversions have a tendency, when pursued with ardour, not only to relax, but totally to enervate the mind. They indispose it for manly virtue, and introduce a tenderness of feeling ill suited to encounter the usual asperities of common life. But the study of Music, under due direction, while it sweetly soothes the sense of hearing, touches the soul, and elevates and refines its nature. Conducted by philosophy, it is able to infuse the noblest thoughts, to urge to the most animated action, to calm the ruffled spirits, and to eradicate every malignant propensity. Tyrtæus, the Spartan poet, by certain verses which he sung to the accompaniment of futes, so enflamed the courage of his countrymen, that they achieved a great victory over the Messenians, to whom they had submitted in several previous conflicts. Timotheus, with his flute, could move the passions of Alexander as he pleased ; inspiring him at one moment with the greatest fury, and soothing him the next into a state the most gentle and placid. Pythagoras instructed a woman, by the power of Music, to arrest the fury of a young man who came to set her house on fire; and his disciple, Empedocles, employed bis lyre with success to prevent another from murdering bis father, when the sword was unsheathed for that purpose. The fierceness of Achilles was allayed by playing on the harp, on which account Homer gives him nothing else out of the spoils of Eëtion. Damon, with the same instrument, quieted wild and drinking youths; and Asclepiades, in a similar manner, brought back seditious multitudes to temper and reason. Amid the invectives thrown out against the dissipated manners of the present age, its taste for Music deserves applause. Even as a source of sensual pleasure, it is one of the purest and most dignified; yet it should not be cultivated merely as a sensual pleasure, because that wbich titillates the ear is not always the best calculated to affect the heart. Simple Music, for which the present age seems to have little relish, is capable of producing the most powerful effects on the sentiments; and the neglect of it is the reason why
the mind is often so little interested in the most celebrated compositions.
# When Farinelli was at Venice, he was honoured with the most marked attention from the Emperor Charles VI.; but of all the favours he received from that monarch, he used to say that he valued none more than an admonition which he rea ceived from him on the style of his singing. His Imperial Majesty condescended to tell him one day, with great mildness and affability, that his singing was indeed supernatural ; that he neither moved nor stood like any other mortal; but " these gigantie strides, (continued his Majesty) these neverending notes and passages, only surprise, and it is now time for you to please you are too lavish of the gifts with which nature has endowed you;
wish to reach the heart, you must take a more plain and simple road." These few words wrought an entire change in Farinelli's manner of singing: from this time he mixed the pathetic with the spirited, the simple with the sublime; and by these means delighted as well as astonished every hearer. It was by the determined cultivation of the simple and natural embellishments of singing that Mrs. Billington attained a celebrity which has not yet been equalled ; and, although no one can listen to the almost supernatural warblings of Catalani without a feeling of astonishment, the generality of hearers will be found to prefer the native sweetness and delicacy of such singers as Miss Stephens and Mrs. Salmon."
These observations are adduced with a view to recommend the adoption of a taste for simple Music, among those who study it merely for the entertainment of a domestic circle. It appears to be more pleasing to the ear in its natural state, than the laboured and complicated productions of the professed modern musician ; and experience abundantly proves, that it powerfully affects the heart and the imagination. If then it were cherished by those numerous families, in which at the present time Music forms a constant diversion, its effect on the morals of the people at large would be truly important. It would elevate with piety, warm with generosity, and enlarge, ennoble, correct, and purify every affection. There is scarcely any sentiment which may not be excited, increased, diminished, or modified, by a piece of Music simple enough to be strongly expressive. It is indeed a matter of regret, that Music of this description should be superseded by a species of complicated harmony, ingenious indeed, in a high degree, yet possessing little claim to attention, except as an elegant amusement for a vacant hour. Music, at present, often forms a considerable part of female education and it is to be lamented that an accomplishment, which, when properly regulated, is most efficacious in filling the young mind with virtuous and generous sentiments, should form only an innocent pastime, and polite employment.
It is often urged as a reason for neglecting the study and performance of Music, that to excel in it, or to play in such a manner as not to offend a judge, requires a portion of time incompatible with an attention to more valuable acquirements. To arrive at this surprising expedition, this musical legerdemain, it is indeed necessary to do little else than scrape and pipe. But a comparatively moderate dexterity is sufficient to effect all the great purposes of Music, those of moving the passions in the cause of virtue, and of exciting sentiments of manly pleasure. Fortunately, the simple Music, which is to produce these desirable effects, is the most easily performed. Good poetry, and good Music, each of which is sepa. rately powerful, acquire, by a proper union, an irre. sistible force over the human heart. Friend of my youth, soother of every care,
That cross': its flow'ry path; Oh! may'st thou long
With all thy tenderest eloquence of song Beguile life's sorrow; from my bosom tear
Each stormy passion that its rest invades, Lull'd by thy strain, a sad remembrance steals
Into my thoughts, and for a moment fades Hope's fairy prospect from my longing sight;
For then my mind a mournful impulse feels To dwell on days, long lost, of past delight, When by my father's side I bent mine ear
To sweet instruction in thy winning art. And shall I check the sigh, suppress the tear That flows from filial love, and stills my throbbing heart.
for ever let me turn to thee Delightful power of harmony,