Графични страници
PDF файл

Improvements fuggefied.

7 mụcc would now, perhaps, have a single air began with deep mclan, been free from some blemishes which choly, and ended to the tune of seeminveterate and incurable. A phy- Green Sleeves. To secure the emosician who should apply all his atten. luments of fuccefs, therefore, they tion to extirpate a wart on the finger found it neceffary to foift in fome of his patient, while he overlooked bravura songs of their own writing, some growing malady in the lungs in a Itile as different from that of or the ltomach, would acquire little Gluck, as the Paradise Lost from fame for skill or fidelity. Whether Triftram Shandy, from a neglect of this kind, or from Indeed there are several reforwhat caule, I know. not,--the taste mations wanting to the perfection of of the English for the Italian Opera this entertainment as a dramatic has becu miferably warped and vi- fpectacle, of which few hopes, and tiated. Indeed they seem hardly to these very faint, can be admitted, consider it as a dramatic entertain- One, for example, is the banihineot ment at all but only as a more e. of Castrati who no fuoner appear legant concert, Two or three songs on the stage, with their " childila cf à profcribed form and character treble, piping and whistling in their are listened to :-if these are hap- fonnd,” than all delusion of reality is pily executed, all is well: the rest loft. All the songs and recitatives may be any thing; the richest har- of the male characters might be mony of Handel, or a solo on the written in the bass or' t'enor chtis, Jew's harp. Here is an inseparable fo as to be within the compass of bar set up against all improveinent. masculine voices. In choruscs, the The composers know it well; and soprano parts might be given to wofuch of them as depend for sublift- men, or the orchestre, Another is, ance on public applause, comply ac- the abolishment of the dance, conlicordingly, debate their best talents, dered as distinct from the action. and prostitute the finest powers of If there must be dancing, let it be their art to split the ears of these wrought into the body ot the piece; groundlings in taste. It is not long then it will lave a chance of mean. since a stile of theatrical music, in ing something to the purpose, which maliy respects new, was struck out at present it cannot be accused of. by the Chevalier Gluck, with a free. But the grand defideratum, is a dom becoming a man of indepen. clofer communication between the dent fortune, and cleffical tafte. His ideas of the composer and the poet. piece, of which the airs were almost While a musician makes a rondeau as simple as Scots fongs, yet with of words, which have nothing proaccompanyments as learned as the per for taking that form, while hc profoundest skill in harmony could iets all his inftrumental parts in an afford, was received on the Conti, uproar, to accompany the soft ac;... nent with infinițe applanse. It was cents of love and pity--wliile le also brought on at London, by Bach gives a dozen bars to one fyllable, and Vento. But these gentlemen, and these filled with passages which knowing their ground, foresaw no cannot be executed without a wry thing less than the terrible prospect face; it is vain to look for 'any elof damnation. For their piece fect truly dramatic. Those things was only beautiful and pathetic ; may be tolerated in a concert-room;. —there was nothing to elevate in a theatre they are insufferable, and surprise; not a single voice was for the application of music to words, turned into a hautbois or fiddle; not I have never seen a better rule, and


perhaps a better rule could not be “ leniter, canit : totaque arte conframed than that of Quintilian :- « sentit cum eorum quæ dicuntur “ Et voce, et modulatione, grandia “ affectibus.” “ elate, jucunda dulciter, moderata


Fortrait of Sir WILLIAM JONES*.


IN , , an

{on which the idle watte in diffi- exact delineation of the most compation, and the diligent employ in plicated part of the Athenian laws; elementary studies, distinguished by but for verses, which echo thé lanthat elegant conviviality which too guage, as well as the sentiments, of frequently proves the bane of its Sophocles, Theocritus, and Menanpofleffor, the Author of the Orien- der. To him who might have been tal Commentaries assumed the triple supposed to consult the pages of Ci. character of a Linguist, a Poet, and cero, as the models only of legal ara Critic. With powers too vigorous gument, or popular declamation, we and comprehensive to be shackled by owe the perusál of such Latin prose the vulgar trammels of education, as Tully might have read without he commenced his literary career disgust; and of Latin poetry, which where veterans of no common re- breathes the spirit of the best wriputation have been content to finish ters of the best age of Rome. He theirs. To an intuitive perception who was more professionally em; of the sublime and beautiful, and an ployed in discussing the legal mode imagination at once bold and luxu- of suppressing riots, and the laws of riant, he added, what Mr Pope his native country on the subject of thought incompatible with these fa- bailments, cultivated the Oriental culties, the distinguishing judgment languages, not only to illustrate the of Aristotle, and a memory quick Mahometan laws of succession to the and tenacious as that of Seneca, or property of intestates, but to deveCarneades. Nothing less than the lope the grammatical construction of union of these powers in the same the Perlian language, and to woo mind could have produced such preg. the Asiatic Muses from the spicy nancy of thought, and such elegance groves of Arabia to the more chilly and facility of compofition, in lan- climate of Britain. Let it be reguages so difficult and dissimilar. Yet membered also, that the man of this fancy, this elegance, and this fa- whom all this, and much more might cility, did Sir W. Jones possess, in be faid, is now only in the bloom of fpite of his early destination to a manhood; possessed of integrity unprofeflion, of which even the pre- impeached, and of manners the most paratory exercises exhaust the mid- attracting : in his judicial capacity, night lamp of the most persevering the glory of the British name in In1tudent. To the pen, whose more dia ; and, as a scholar, still indefatiserious business it was to collect the gable in those pursuits, which rencases, and note the precedents of an der him at once the patron and exEnglish court of judicature, we are ample of the poet, the philosopher, indebted, not only for a speech of and the critic.

Account Monthly Review.


Account of Thunder-form in Scotland; with some Meteorological Observa

In a Letter from Patrick Brydone, Esq. F. R. S. to Sir Joseph Banks, Bart. P. R, S, I

SIR, {coldstream, Dec. 2521736. appearance of either thunder or I to .

account of the thunder-storm, to be got ready, and was just going which I remember to have men- to mount, when a servant came runtioned to you in con

onversation, and ning in to tell me, that á man and of which you wished to be more two horses had been struck dead by particularly informed. I do not the thunder, at a small distance from know whether you will think it the house. I immediately set ont, worthy of the attention of the So- and arrived on the spot in less than ciety, but you will be pleased to half an hour after the accident. make whatever use of it you think The horses were still yoked to the proper. It is copied, with some ad, cart, and lying in the lame position ditions, from the journal which I in which they had been struck down; usually keep in the country, and but the body of the young man had which was wrote down immediately been already carried off by his coin after the event.

panion, who foon returned to ihe. Tuesday, the 19th of July 1785place ; and, with less agitation than was a fine soft morning (thermome. I expected, described to me how ter, at ten, 68°;) about eleven, every thing had pafled. clouds began to form in the south- They were both servants to Mr east, and between twelve and one Turnbull, a tenant of the Earl of there were several flashes of light. Home, and were returning home ning, followed by rolling claps of with two carts loaded with coals. thunder, at a considerable distance. James Lauder, a strong young man, I was sitting in my study at an open of twenty-four years of age, had window, in the second story, ob- the charge of the first cart, and serving the progress of the storm; was sitting on the fore-part of it. when Tome ladies, who were in the They had crossed the Tweed a few drawing-room below, alarmed by minutes before, at a deep ford, and the lightning, came up to me. I had almost gained the highest part was making them observe, by a stop of an afcent, about 65 or wo feet watch, the time which the found above the bed of the river. They tock to reach us (which was genes were conversing about the thunder, rally from 25 to 30 feconds, and which they heard at a distance, and assuring them the storm was at fo exprefling a wish that it might be great a distance that there could be accompanied by a fall of rain, as no fort of danger, when we were the only means of saving the crop, suddenly alarmed by a loud report, after so long and so fevere drouglit. for which we were not prepared by At that instant he was stunned by a any preceding flash: it reiembled loud report, and saw his companion, the firing of several mutkets, fo his horses arid cart, fall to the ground. close together, that the ear coula He immediately ran to his atlistance, hardly separate the sounds ; and but found him quite dead. His faces was followed by no rumbling noise he said, was of a livid colour, his like the other claps.

cloathes were torn to pieces, and The clouds immediately began to he had a strong imell of burning Vol. VI. N° 31.


He * Phil. Trans. Part I. for 1787.

[ocr errors]


He iinmediately emptied his own motion had succeeded the fall, but cart, and carried home Lauder's . every principle of life seems to have body to his friends ; fo that I liad been extinguished in an instant. not an opportunity of examining it: The hair was much finged over the but Mr Bell, Minister of Colditream, greatest part of their bodies; but a gentleman of the most perfect was most perceptible on the belly candour and veracity, told me, that and legs. Their eyes were already he had been sent for, to announce become dull and opake, and looked the fatal event to the young man's like the eyes of an animal which parents, and had examined the bo- had been long dead. The joints dy; that he found the skin of the were all supple; and I could not right thigh much burnt and shrivel perceive that any of the bones were led, and many marks of the same either softened or diffolved, as it kind over the whole body ; but has been alledged sometimes hapo none on the legs, which he imputed pens to animals killed by lightning. to their hanging over the fore-part The left'fhaft of the cart was brokof the cart at the time of the ex. en ; and I observed, that splinters plofion, and not being in contact had been thrown off in many places, with any part of it. His cloaths, particularly where the timber of the and particularly his shirt, was very cart was connected by nails, or much torn, and emitted a strong cramps of iron. Many pieces of finell of burning, The body was the coal were likewise thrown out buried two days after, without have to a considerable distance all round ing discovered any symptoms of pu- the cart; and some of them, which trefaction.

I have preferved, have the appear. Lauder's companion shewed me ance of coal which had lain some the distance between the two carts, time on a fire. I likewise gathered which was exactly marked; for his up the fragments of Lauder's hat, horses had turned round at the time which had been torn to innumerable of the explofion, and broke their small pieces; some of which I shali harness: I found it about twenty- inclose for your inspection, as well four yards, and Lauder's cart was a as part of his hair, which I found few feet higher on the bank, but strongly united to some of the fraghad not yet reached the summit. ments which had composed the He told me, he was likewife sitting crown of the hat * About four on the the fore-part of his cart, and feet and a half behind each wheel had Lauder, his cart and horses, full of the cart, I observed an odd apin view, when they fell to the pearance in the ground; a circular ground; that he perceived no flash, hole, of about twenty inches in dianor appearance of fire, and was sen- meter, the center of which was ex. sible of no fhock, nor uncommon actly in the tract of each' wheel. sensation.

The earth was torn up, as if by vi. I now examined the cart, and the olent blows of a pick-axe, and the spot around it, as exactly as I could. small stones and dust were fcat. The horses were black, and of a tered on each side of the road, strong make ; they had fallen on The tracks of the wheels were the left fide, and their legs had strongly marked in the duft, both made a deep impression in the dust, behind and before these holes which, on our lifting them up, fhew. but were completely obliterated for ed the exact form of each leg ; fo upwards of a foot and a half on that no kind of struggle or convulsive these spots. This led me to suspect, Account of a Thunder Storm in Scotland in 1786. IT. that the force which had formed horses, and this might perhaps be them must likewise have acted the reason why the hair on these strongly upon the wheels; and, on parts was much more burnt than on examination, I found evident marks the rest of their bodies : However, of fusion on each of them, which I the two horfes had already walked now shewed to many people who over this electrical mine, without had affembled around us. The having produced any effect; and, surface of the iron, to the length of had not the cart followed them, about three inches, and the whole might have escaped without hurt, breadth of the wheel, had become I examined all their shoes, but could of a blueith colour, had entirely lost not perceive the least mark on any its polish and smoothness, and had of them, nor was the earth broken the appearance of drops incomplete. where they had trodden. But the ly formed on its furface ; these were cart was deeply laden, and the of a roundith form, and had a fenli- wheels had penetrated much farther ble projection. I fufpected that the into the ground. great heat which had been commu- The, equilibrium between the nicated to the iron might probably earth and the atmosphere feems at have burnt the wood of the wheels, this instant to have been completely but this I did not find to be the case, restored, for no fartlier appearance To ascertain whether these marks of thunder or lightning was obserwere occasioned by the explosion ved within our hemisphere; the which had torn up the ground, we clouds dilpelled, and the air resumed pushed back the cart on the same the most perfect tranquillity: but tracts which it had described on the how this yait quantity of electric road, and found that the marks of matter could be discharged from the fusion answered exactly to the cen- one element into the other, without ter of each of the holes ; and that, exhibiting any appearance of fire, I at the instant of the explosion, the shall not pretend to examine. iron of the wheels had been sunk fact, however, appears certain ; deep in the dust. They had made and when I was mentioning it as a almost half a revolution after the singular one, a gentleman told me, explofion, which might be occafion- that the shepherd of St Cuthbert's ed by the falling down of the horses, farm, on the opposite bank of the which pulled the cart a little for- Tweed, had been an eye-witness of ward. Ou examining the opposite the event, and gave a different acpart of the wheels, or that part count of it. I immediately went which was at the greatest distance to the farm, found the fhepherd, from the earth,, no mark of any and made him conduct me to the kind was observable. The broken spot from whence he had observed earth ftill emitted a smell fomething it, and desired him to give me an like that of ether. The ground account of what had happened. He was remarkably dry, and of a gra- was looking, he said, at the two velly foil.

that These were exhibited to the Society. C. Bu

carts going up the bank, when he It would appear that this great was stunned by a loud report, and explosion had, in an instant, per- at the fame instant saw the first of vaded every substance connected the carts fall to the ground, and cbwit the cart, the wheels of which ferved that the man and horses lay had probably conducted it from the still, as if dead. I aiked him if he ground. They had been complete. had observed any lightning? He ly wetted but a few minutes before, said, he faw no lighting, nor apo as well as the legs and bellies of the pearance of fire whatever, but ob.



B 2

« ПредишнаНапред »