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study of a new science, called Anthropology, or the general science of man. This science the Author divides into different branches. I. Anthropology, properly so called, considers man as a species gloriously distinguished above all others. 2. Ethnology respects man as divided into different communities or nations, occupied in providing for their wants, and in gratifying their tastes. 3. Noology and Boulology, which regard man as an intelligent and moral agent. 4. Gloffokgy considers him as endowed with speech, and explains whatsoever regards language. 5. Mythology explains the errors and extravagances of his religious opinions.
Such are the contents of the first part of this performance. In the second, M. Chavannes having explained the absurdity of the present mode of education, proceeds to the establishing of principles for a new method, more easy, expeditious, and useful.
* The mind,' he observes, * is, like the body, so constituted, as to increase in force by degrees; and the fame means ought therefore to be employed for our intellectual, that are used for our physical improvement. To the latter, three circumstances are deemed necessary. 1. Nourishment, salutary, and proportional to our constitution and present degree of strength. 2. Moderate exercise, which, instead of exhausting, increases both our strength and activity. 3. The habit of performing, with ease and promptitude, different movements necessary to the purposes of life, without distortion, and without danger.' From the application of these principles the Author infers, that in the education of children, we ought to teach them facts rather than inferences, and 'employ them about sensible and particular ideas, before we present them with those that are general and abstract. A second rule, not less important, is, that we ought never to teach them what they are not qualified to learn; nor make them pronounce words of which they are not in a situation to comprehend the meaning; nor advance their knowledge in language but in proportion to the progress of their knowledge in things. Hence it follows, that their first education ought to be entirely confined to their mother-tongue.'
In illustrating these rules, M. Chavannes observes, ' that as soon as children begin to distinguish objects, and to articulate sounds, they ought to be (hewn the objects most capable of interesting them, and to be left at full liberty with regard to the found by which they express these objects, as well as their sensations and desires: as yet^Nature is their best guide, and must direct their fancy in the choice of signs; but when they have advanced to some degree of familiarity with language, and become capable of understanding and imitating the discourse of others, it is time to substitute, instead of their infantine dialect, the words of their mother-tongue, and to bestow much pains in
teaching teaching them to pronounce it properly. They will scarcely be able to express themselves intelligibly, and to extend their vocabulary to all that belongs to common life, before the age of fix or seven, which is the proper time for beginning to read. When we reflect on the various combinations necessary for the formation of speech, and consider the difficulties attending our progress in this art, it seems extraordinary that children should acquire it in so short a time. But our surprize ceases when we reflect, that in this first and most necessary art, nature is their principal guide; and that whatever is done naturally is done easily, how complicated soever it may be, especially when the necessity of doing it is urgent and palpable. It is quite otherwise with the art of reading, of which children perceive not the necessity, though they feel most sensibly its irksomeness and its difficulties. Yet these difficulties proceed from two causes, which might easily be removed: the first, that children are taught to read, before they can speak with any propriety, and have familiarized themselves with the words necessary in common life; the second, that in teaching them this art, we employ a multitude of operations, not more tedious than useless, and exercise them on a number of words which they do not comprehend, and which, perhaps, they may never have occasion to use. But let this method be reversed; let them be first taught to speak distinctly, and let such books only be put into their hands as they can readily understand, and it will be found that they will learn reading without aversion, without trouble, and with little waste of time.'
We cannot follow M. Chavannes through the long detail into which he enters concerning the different branches of education. He appears to be well acquainted with the authors on this subject, both ancient and moJern. In many particulars his opinions nearly coincide with those of his countryman Rousseau *, whose system, often singular, sometimes txtravaganf, yec for the most part founded on some principles of truth, M. Chavannes seems to have reduced to what is reasonable and practicable. £.#..*.
Le Rcvo'uzioni del Teatro Mu/icak halia.no. Revolutions of the Italian Opera, or musical Drama, from its Invention to the present Times. By Stefano Arteaga. zdEdit. 3 Vols. 8vo. Rome. 1785.
THE first edition of this work was published at Bologna, 1783, in one volume; but it is now so changed and aug
* The Swiss do not acknowledge the Genevese for their countrymen; but they appear in that light to strangers, who have not leisure to attend to minute provincial distinctions.
App. Rev. Vol. LXXVII. P p mented, merited, as to have the appearance of a new production. Beside addititions to former chapters, the Author has now swelled his work with seven entire new and long chapters, concerning the most essential parts of his subject.
As this is an elaborate performance, written with spirit and enthusiasm, and has been much read in Italy, we fliall, at some suture time, present our musical Readers with the result of a deliberate examination of the Author's principles, and the abilities he has manifested in support of them. At present, we can only exhibit a table of the contents of each chapter of the several volumes; by which it will appear, that the subjects discussed are curious, and well selected.
Preliminary Discourse. Chap. I. Analytic essay on the nature of musical dramas. Specific difference between them and other kinds of dramatic compositions. Constituent laws derived from the union of poetry, music, and perspective. Chap. II. Enquiry into the aptitude or fitness of the Italian language, for music, deduced from its formation and mechanism. Political causes of its superiority over other languages, for musical purposes. Chap. IIL Loss of ancient music. Origin of church music in Italy. Pretended discoveries of Guido and John de Muris. Theatrical representations of barbarous ages. Parallel between them, and those of the Greeks. Progress of Counterpoint. Chap. IV. Origin of secular music. Foreigners employed Italy to cultivate it. Its first union with the Italian language, or vulgar tongue. Musical intermezzi, or interludes. Sketch of the melodramma. Chap. V. Defects of Italian music about the end of the 15th century, and means proposed for its melioration. State of Italian poetry. Musical drama invented at Florence. First serious opera. Airs, chorus, decorations. First comic opera, its character. Chap. VI. Reflections on the marvellous. Its origin, history, and propagation in Europe. Cause of its union with music and lyric poetry. Chap. VII. Rapid progress of the musical drama in Italy, and other parts of Europe. Operas in France, England, Germany, Spain, and Russia. Chap. VIII. State of perspective, of scenery, and lyric poetry, to the end of the last century. Vol. II.
Chap. IX. Golden age of music in Italy. Progress of melody. Eminent Italian composers. Celebrated schools of singing and playing upon instruments. Their character. Chap. X. Improvement of dramatic lyric poetry. Quinaut in France the precursor of its. improvement. Celebrated poets anterior to Metastasio. Improvement in scenery and decoration. Chap. XI. Æra of Metastasio. His improvements in poetry and the Italian language. Reflections on his manner of treating the passion of love; His defects. Whether he has brought the musical drama to the utmost perfection possible. Chap. XII. Present decline of the Italian opera. Its general cause. Parallel between the music of the ancients and moderns. Reasons for the perfection of the ancient, and intrinsic inconvenience of our musical system. Chap. XIII. Particular causes of the present degeneracy of the opera. First cause. Want of philosophy in composers. Defects in their compositions. Reflections on the modern use of instrumental music. Examination of recitative, and air.
Chap. XIV. Second cause of degeneracy. Vanity and ignorance of singers. Analysis of modern melody. Reflections on popular judgment, and the variety of musical taste. Chap. XV. Third cause. The almost total ruin of lyric poetry. Character of the most celebrated dramatic Ivric poets since Metastasio. State of the comic opera. Chap. XVI. Discussion of pantomime dancing, in application to the theatre. Whether it should be retained or banished from the opera. Chap. XVII. and last. Attempts at reforming the musical drama. Translation of a letter to the Comte de Caylus by the Abbe Arnaud, in 1754, on the subject of dramatic music. Reply to a criticism on this work, inserted in the Encjclopedie-Journal of Bologna.
Such are the contents of these volumes 5 in which, though there are many admirable reflections, yet, as they are written with the spirit and prejudices of a man of letters, who understands and feels the beauties of poetry more than those of music; and as the Author's historical information is sometimes defective and erroneous, the work seems to furnish frequent and interesting opportunities for discussion, and musical criticism. _ - fk
Art. VIII. Collection des meillturs Owvragts Francois, composes far des Femmes; i. e. The Works of celebrated Frenchwomen: Selected by Mademoiselle de Keralio. 8vo. 3 voh. Paris, 17S6.
THIS Work may be considered as a repository for the female literature of France. It is to be comprised in 36 volumes, of which three only are published. These contain the lives of Heloise, of Christina of Pifano *, and of Marguerite de Valets, Queen of Navarre j together with their letters, histories,
* This Lady was born in the fourteenth century. Toward the close of it she became a writer, and composed several visions and allegories. Tbey who are acquainted with the writings of Bun\an, may form a tolerable idea of her manner. Sometimes, however, ihe is much superior to him. Hehise and Marguerite dt VaUis are sufficiently known.
Pp 2 .and and poems *. Extracts from the writings of other learned Ladies are next intended to be given j after which it is purposed to print the entire productions of Mademoiselle de Montpenfier, Madame de Villars, Madame de Sevigne, Madame and Mademoiselle Defhoulieres, &c. &c. &c.
Mademoiselle de Keralio confines herself almost wholly to the literary history of Frenchwomen. She has given a short narrative of the most considerable among them, with specimens of their several works. Many of these specimens are taken from MSS. in the library of the King of France, and are valuable not only on account of their antiquity, but, frequently, from their intrinsic merit. She very sensibly observes in her preface, and by way of apology for the present publication, that though the history of French literature .has been given by several able writers f, it is yet much too voluminous for the generality of readers, and particularly women; many of whom, for whatever reason, consider books as calculated rather for amusement than for study, and who, consequently, seldom enter on the perusal of the larger and more elaborate works. She farther remarks with respect to the present undertaking, that it has been engaged in, not only for the use of the before-mentioned persons, but from a desire of perpetuating the names of the several Frenchwomen who have dipped themselves in ink, and whose productions, she thinks, will shew to what an eminence the sex is capable of attaining, when they devote themselves to the noblest of all pursuits, * the culture and improvement of the mind.'
It is now acknowledged (fays (he, with becoming enthusiasm) that study is no way incompatible with the female character, but that, on the contrary, it awakens the liveliest emotions, and nxes the happiest propensities in the breast: that it inclines the woman of sensibility to a love of solitude and retirement, the state, according to our Authoress, which is immediate and proper to her sex: and that even to those who are engaged in the actual commerce of the world, a knowledge of books, provided they make not a particular display of it, will render them, however powerful their charms, additionally amiable in the eyes of all men; in fine, that it will give to them that modesty, and agree
• To these are added some poetical pieces of Francis the First, King of France. They are selected more for the purpose of shewing the ilate of literature among the French, in the sixteenth century, than for any particular excellence in point of writing: though it must, at the same time, be acknowledged, that many of them breathe a tenderness and delicacy of expression which could scarcely be expected in a warlike King, and in an age in which the progress to civilization and refinement was but slow.
f Of which number are Boyle, Niceron, Cbauffepiei, Felihitn, &C &C to whom MadIlc de K. acknowledges her obligations.