Графични страници
PDF файл

more-what effects his death may pro- one island to another, they were driven duce, remains to be seen.

out of their course by a gale of wind; On the 1st of January, 1817, a low and imagining themselves to leeward woody island, about three miles in of their own island, they kept plying length, was discovered, and named to windward ; and after a navigation New-Year's Island, it lies in 10° 8' of eight months against the N. E. 27" north lat., and in 1890 4' west monsoon, reached Aur, having suplong. from Greenwich. The surf pre- ported themselves chiefly by fishing. vented the boats from landing, but an Kadu, one of these islanders, requestanimated traffic was carried on with ed leave to go with the Russians, which the natives, who came off in canoes. was granted.

On the 4th of January, a group of They now returned to the northcoral islands, connected by a reef, was ward ; and after passing several of the discovered, and named after Count groups with which that part of the Romanzoff ; an opening was obser- Pacific is so thickly studded, and the ved in the reef, through which the Cornwallis Islands, they encountered a Rurick passed. The bason within was gale of wind on the 13th of April, and as smooth as a mill-pond, and here Lieutenant Kotzebue unfortunately Lieutenant Kotzebue remained till the received a contusion on the breast, ha 7th of February, maintaining a friend- ving been driven against a corner by a ly intercourse with the natives, who sea which broke on board of the vesare represented as a mild, timid race, sel. with much cheerfulness and vivacity; On the 24th April, they reached their bones are as delicate as women, Oonalashka, where they remained to reand their hands and feet uncommonly fit till the 29th of June. They then small; they are tatooed, and in their proceeded to the Islands of St Lawgeneral appearance resemble the other rence, but here the effects of the cliislanders in the Pacific.

mate on the health of the commander The whole group, consisting of a forced them to return. ring of coral isles, is about thirty-five " At twelve o'clock at night, when we miles in length; and in process of time were about to anchor at the northern prowill form one large island, with a la- montory, we perceived, to our terror, firm goon in the centrema species of island ice, which

extended as far as the eye could of very frequent occurrence in these the whole surface of the ocean. My melan

see to N.E., and then to the N., covering seas ;—the largest of the group, is choly situation, which had daily grown named Otdia, and is situated in lat. worse since we had left Oonalashka, recei99, 28' 9" N. and in long. 1890, 43' ved here the last blow. The cold air so af46" W. The neighbouring seas are fected my lungs, that I lost my breath, filled with similar groups-a chart of and at last spasms in the chest, faintings, which is given, from information col- and spitting of blood ensued." I now for lected from a native, and which pro- the first time perceived that my situation ved, as far as Lieutenant Kotzebue had was worse than I would hitherto believe ; the means of ascertaining, to be re- that I could not remain near the ice. It

and the physician seriously declared to me markably correct. They sailed on the 7th February; than once I resolved to brave death, and

cost me a long and severe contest; more and after passing a similar group, called Eregup, anchored at Kawen, an- reflected that we had a difficult voyage to

accomplish my undertaking ; but when I other of these groups, on the 11th; our own country still before us, and per. and at Aur, a third cluster of islets, haps the preservation of the Rurick, and within ten miles of Kawen, on the the lives of my companions depended on 23d of the same month. In one of the mine, I then felt that I must suppress my canoes they remarked two savages who ambition. The only thing which supportwere tatooed differently from the rest, ed me in this contest, was the conscientious and spoke a different language; their assurance of having strictly fulfilled my history was curious, and proves how duty. I signified to the crew, in writing, easily the islands of the Pacific may Oonalashka. The moment I signed the

my ill health obliged me to return to have been peopled by the Malay race, paper was the most painful in my life, for even against the trade winds. They with this stroke of the pen, I gave up the were natives of the Carolipas, which ardent and long-cherished wish of my lie at least 1500 miles to the westward heart.” of Aur. In passing in a canoe from On their return to Oonalashka they received the following account of the it. The island is said to increase in height origin of a Volcanic Island :

and extent to this day. A very sensible " In the year 1790, on the 7th of May, Russian who was there, told me, that it is M. Kriukof had arrived on the northern two miles and a half in circumference, and point of the island of Oomnack, at a small was three hundred and fifty feet high: for distance to the east of Oonalashka, with se- three miles around, the sea is strewn veral hunters, who had selected it as a re

with stones. He found the island warm treat after a fatiguing excursion. They from the middle to the summit, and the intended to continue their voyage to Oona- smoke which ascended from the crater aplashka in their large baydares the next day, peared to him to have an agreeable smell. but were prevented by a violeat storm from Some hundred fathoms to the north of this the N.W., accompanied with rain. This island is a rocky pillar of considerable storm lasted till the 8th ; upon which the height, mentioned by Cook: he took it, at weather became fine, and they saw to the

a distance, to be a ship under sail. Our N. several miles from land, á column of Russian navigator, Saritschef, has seen this smoke ascending from the sea ; towards pillar, which has kept its place since time evening they observed under the smoke immemorial. Experience has however now something black, which rose but a little taught us that it is connected under water above the surface of the water. During with the island of Oonemack.” the night, fire ascended into the air near After refitting at Oonalashka, the the spot, and sometimes so violent, and to Rurick proceeded to the Sandwich such a height, that on their island, which Islands, where the Russians had anwas ten miles distant, every thing could be other interview with Tamaahmaah; distinctly seen by its light. An earthquake and from thence returned to the Roshook their island, and a frightful noise manzoff, or Radack Islands, and again echoed from the mountains in the S.* The entered the Bason. They were receipoor hunters were in deadly anxiety; the ceived with joy by their friends, and and they every moment expected to perish. their companion "Kadu wisely deterAt the rising of the sun the quaking of the mined to remain upon the islands, and earth ceased, the fire visibly decreased, parted from them here. and they now plainly saw an island of the On their return, they touched at the form of a pointed black cap. When Ladrone Islands and the Cape of Good Kriukof visited the island of Oomnack, a Hope, and anchored in the Neva, bemonth after, he found the new island, fore the Palace of Count Romanzoff, which, during that time, had continued to on the 3d August, 1818. emit fire considerably higher. After that The translation is carelessly executime it threw out less fire, but more smoke: ted, and evidently by a person ignoit had increased in height and circumference, and often changed its form. For four rant of nautical affairs. If the very reyears no more smoke was seer, and in the spectable publishers of the work caneighth year, (1894,) the hunters resolved to

not find naval men to translate voyvisit it, as they observed that many sea-lions ages, they ought at least to submit resorted to it. The water round the island their translation to the inspection of was found warm, and the island itself so hot competent judges, previous to publicain many places that they could not tread on tion.

All the Aleutian islands are of volcanic origin, and seem to be the production of a dreadful revolution; nothing is seen but high conical mountains, of which many exceed the Peak of Teneriffe in height: formerly they threw out fire, and some of them still continue to do so.



" I say silver sound, because Musicians sound for silver."

Romeo and Juliet.


Mr North,

laws upon which it is naturally foundWERE you ever at a Concert? If ed. To come however to the point. you ever were, the lines of your ex- Music may be briefly defined to be pressive physiognomy must have been the Poetry of Sound. It seems to be “ worth the marking.” As you ob- agreed on all hands, that its province served the nimble bows of the music and end is to express poetically, by cians dance, and quiver, and bound, means of inarticulate sound, certain upon the tortured strings—the con- passions and feelings incident to huceit of the player—the affectation of the man nature. This is involved both amateur-the nonchalance and lassic in the practice and phraseology of all tude of the fashionable lounger—the musical people. From the earliest men with pale stone faces, looking half times, the lover has interested his asleep, like busts—the ladies atten, mistress, and the general excited his tive by starts, and then, ever and troops, by means of music and song ; anon, relapsing into chit-chat; until and composers have, from time immevainly trusting for impunity to the morial, affixed to their compositions, noise of a tutti,” in some pitiless words and expressions of direction, overture, they are at once betrayed, by which imply that the pieces to be some sudden pause of a bar, which the played either have, or pretend to have, composer (God knows why-he can- some connexion with the feelings of not tell himself) has interposed at so the auditor. We have as many marinconvenient a juncture. As you ga- ginal hints as in a German tragedy, zed upon all these things, Mr North, and much to the same purpose, and I suspect your countenance must have generally quite as much needed. Now discovered some distinguishing signs of if a tune is to be “ amoroso, lurking scepticism as to the merits of “maestoso,” or agitato," or passo strange a scene. Do not be alarm- torale," or“ spiritoso,”-in plain Enged—the matter is between ourselves. lish, if musical sound is to express Far be it from me to attempt to se- sentiment or passion, it can only do duce you into putting your imprimatur so in one of these two ways. Either upon any set of unfashionableopinions. the notes singly, or in some known That is not your way-still one can- combinations, must, as words are, be not help thinking, that had doubts understood to be arbitrary signs of the and difficulties not been sticking like a things to be expressed by them ;-or remora to the bottom of your under- else they must express passions and standing, you would ere this have put feelings by copying so nearly, that forth an unanswerable exposition of the likeness may be recognized, those the sublimities of modern music.- sounds which nature has appropriated You must own it is strange, that the to the expression of those passions and admirers and cultivators of modern feelings. The first of these modes* science have not invented any thing has never, I believe, been contended like a consistent theory of musical for. Arbitrary significations have ina expression--nay, that the vague ideas deed been attempted, by fanciful indiof most writers on music, with relation viduals, to be affixed to the peculiarito its expression, embody the very ties of the tones of different musical principles, which in their full extent instruments; but these fancies have are most inimical to modern practice. not been generally received. To the Nor will it be less odd, if musical rea- notes or divisions of notes of the musoners, as well as composers, have just sical scale, however, meanings of this admitted into their works meaning sort have been never attributed. Crotenough to shew their abuse of those chets and quavers have never been in

• Vide Musical Queries, &c. Vol. V. pp. 399, 556, 694. VOL. XI.

8 X

vested with the powers of letters; nei- rises and falls of passion must do ther have they been made to stand for Thus we have storm-pieces for the whole words, like the characters of the piano-forte, in which the latter keys Chinese alphabet. It should seem are rumbled into a sort of thunder, then, that if melody is expressive at and the higher “ tipped” to resemble all, it must be so by imitation--and drops of rain or hail." We have shrill by imitation of that which is sufficiente fac-similes of the whistling of birds, ly familiar to the minds of men in ge- and battles, in which the great-drum neral, to render likely a general re- is thumped for cannon, and the kettlecognition of the resemblance. That drum rattled in the manner of the peculiar intonations of voice, in the galloping of horses; but to what do expression of certain passions and feel all these peculiarities amount? Why, ings, are common not only to whole to a proof that a piano-forte can rumnations, but, with some varieties, to ble something like distant thunder, mankind in general, is a fact that ex. and “ drip, drip," as Mr Coleridge perience teaches. It is observable too, would say, like “ water-drops :” that that of all others the people whose lan- an octave-flute is not very unlike the guage has least variety of natural in- whistle of a bird, and the percussion tonation, have been least successful in of a double-drum nearly as bad as the music-I mean the French. The tones “report of a culverin." They delias well as the looks of love, jealousy, neate no passion, nor can they excite anger, revenge, joy, or despair, need any, excepting indirectly, and by only to be exhibited by the actor, to chance. The curiosity they gratify is be at once felt and known. Tones, in trifling, and it can only be once gratifact, are of as great consequence as fied. One reason certainly, why comwords, in as much as by varying them, positions of this sort must please a a sentence of praise may be turned in certain class of hearers, is their artful to one of irony, love into ridicule, and complicated mechanism,- but and rage into humour. It is by a re- more of this by and by. ference, then, to these well-known in- Harmony is, or ought to be, the tonations of passion, that the meaning handmaid of melody. It cannot be of a combination of musical sounds is denied, however, that it includes in itto be ascertained. But the imitation self the power of pleasureable exciteis not a servile one. The musician, ment. For proof of the existence of like the poet, is to preserve a rhyth- this excitement, we may appeal to mical regularity; he is to conform to facts. The sound of an Xolian harp, certain laws and limitations; and, for instance, is pleasing mcrely from above all, to impart a poetical height- the chords. The order in which they ening to his euphonic delineations, are produced is the work of chance. without overstepping the modesty of The excitement would seem to be dinature. He is to marry the poetical rect, and to act strongly upon the to the natural in sound, neither divid- nerves as a stimulus. Indeed, sounds ing the substance nor confounding the produced simultaneously, for the most persons; a delicate task, and one which part, act strongly upon the nerves. exalts the original musician into a poet. The excitement caused by discords, He is a bard who expresses himself in however, is disagreeable, and with some musical instead of articulate sounds; persons so violently efficient as to in and, to read his compositions, we must duce that nervous affection, called learn to sing or play, or else have them “ teeth on edge.” In Mozart, when a read to us by those who can.

child, it produced convulsions. That It is this poetical imitation of the chord and discord are only varieties of natural tones of passion, which is the nervous vibration, seems pretty evic origin and essence of musical expresa dent in the fact, that those who are sion. Other imitations have indeed incapable of pleasure from the one, are been introduced into modern compo- also nearly, in a like degree, insensible sition; but they do not deserve the of pain from the other. The excitaname of expression, and are of a na- tion from harmony, has likewise, in ture totally dissimilar. They, in fact, some instances, been known to have depend, for the most part, upon the brought on fainting and stupor, with peculiar tone of the instrument em- persons of an irritable temperament. ployed, and not upon abstract resem- From all this, it appears to follow blance, as the poetical imitation of the then, that the pleasure arising from harmony, be it as intense as it will, is the improved arrangement of harmoa bodily rather than a mental pleasure. nies, and of the passion for that arIt is a Wram taken by the car, only rangement, which had then been the exhilaration is transient like that spread, chiefly by the ministers of reof the nitrous oxide. It does not act ligion, over all Europe. Yet so little through the intellect, but goes directo have the minds of the poets, who conly to the nervous system. We must ceived those melodies, condescended be allowed, therefore, to conclude, to invest themselves in the trammels that the pleasure of harmony is infe- of science, that of those exquisite rerior in its nature to that of melody; mains, there are few which do not and that melody ought not to be sa- violate some of the rules of composicrified to it, nor put

beneath it, as has tion, and scarcely any which, without long been the case. The invention of injury to the melody, admit of a mocounterpoint has so far been the bane derately full or scientific accompaniof melody. The mathematical has ment. Be this, however, as it may, over-run the poetical. The mechani- it is clear enough that the number of cal has overlaid the intellectual. Nor the individuals who lived either by is this to be wondered at. The thing the composition or performance of is capable both of explanation and ex- those airs, could not have been great, cuse.

and in all likelihood was small. The It is asserted somewhere by Rous- whole of the known music about that seau, no mean judge of such matters, period would, perhaps, not equal in that the musical world may be divid. bulk the thousandth part of the comed into three classes, Those who are position of the last ten years; and capable of feeling the intellectual part probably not one of the composers was of music, who are generally men with the author of as many of those impesomething of a poetical temperament, rishable melodies as would fill a moand no very correct ear for harmony; dern folio second page. The religious -Those who have an car for harmony, music of the ages prior to the invenand a taste for harmonious arrange- tion of counterpoint, would seem to ment, but whose feelings are not ex« have been very deficient. It was necited by expressive melody, and who cessarily simple; and where all pasare, for the most part, men deficient in sions save that of devotion were for imagination; and lastly, Those who bidden, melody naturally became eiunite these two qualifications-a class, ther monotonous or unimpassioned ; at says Rousseau, rather rare. In this last, probably both. judgment of the celebrated citizen of In this state of things, counterpoint Geneva, I must own that my limited and the phrenzy for complete hara observation, as far as it goes, strongly mony, which to this hour is only subinclines me toconcur. Now, if this idea siding, effected a radical and total be founded in truth, the consequent change. A new order of men, that is changes in the world of music are of to say, Rousseau's second class, became, natural occurronce: nor is it easy to from their numbers, and from the endconceive how they could have been less variety of which the description materially different.

of music they cultivated is susceptiBefore the discovery of counterpoint ble, the Lords of the Ascendant. The and of the present accurate system of power of employing a multiplicity of musical notation, the science® (if sci- voices and of instruments in chapels ence it could be called) of music was and cathedrals, was immediately turnlimited to the composition and repeti, ed to account. The church was omtion of a few simple airs. The har- nipotent; and the “ Maestro di Camonies, when harmony was attempte pella” was only another name for the ed, were mean and monotonous, and best musician in the place. The exthe composer or performer possessed pressive but simple airs of the obscure little means and less inclination to im- bards, who in all countries have comprove this branch of his art. Indeed, posed what is called “ national meif the date of many of the finest old lody,” were at once buried under an airs be as moilern as some contend, avalanche of motets, canons, masses, the indifference of the bards who coina requiems, anthems, hymns, psalms, posed them, to harmonious accompa- and choruses. To these were quickniment, is almost incredible. They ly added fugues, symphonies, sonamust of necessity have been aware of tas, duetts, quartetts, quintetts, and all

« ПредишнаНапред »