Abbildungen der Seite

beauty, but he had likewise acquired, with almost un- an occasion when the experiment was continued too paralleled rapidity, wealth and honours which might long, he became furious, and died in convulsions. Inanihave satisfied his utmost cupidity and ambition.

mate objects are likewise moved, in some mysterious Just before the demise of Louis XV., he had been way, by sound. Glasses, mirrors, china, are said to created by that monarch Marquis de Létorières and vibrate and break at certain notes of the flute, or of the D’Olbreuse. He was also appointed Mestre de camp of human voice ; and some pipes of the organ make the cavalry, Commander of the united orders of Saint La- windows, walls, and pillars of a cathedral shake. zarus and N. D. du Mont Carmel, Grand Sénéchal The most powerful effect of music, however, is due to d'Aunis, &c. &c. He had, moreover, become the pro- its adjuncts and associations. The call which accom. prietor of millions of francs. But his titles perished panies the heaving of the lead is extremely simple; but with him ; his wealth was swallowed up by creditors when heard at midnight on the sea, it is indescribably and lawyers; and the princess, whose favour had solemn. The bell of a village church is laden with proved so fatal to him, before the expiration of many beautiful and touching recollections. A melody famiyears, had wedded into the ducal House of Cobourg. liar to us in childhood, is for ever after linked' in our

Thus brief and evanescent was the brilliant career imagination with the things and persons most dear to of this fascinating Parisian.

our memory:

The • Ranz des Vaches' is little more

than a signal played by a shepherd on a cow's horn; MUSIC AS A BRANCH OF EDUCATION. have but slight effect upon the ear, if their associations

and “Erin go bragh,' and 'Lochaber no more,' would The Chinese tell us that the heart, after trying in vain did not touch the heart. Still, the air being born of the to express its emotions, first by words, and then by sighs, feeling, must be adapted for its expression; and hence bursts at length into song. This is not only poetical, but the simplicity of national songs as music, and their likewise philosophically true. Music undoubtedly is, in powerful influence upon the affections. “If we exaits elements, a natural means of expressing feelings, and mine,' says Dr Mainzer, 'all those melodies which have even ideas—in short, a kind of language. Yet, while produced extraordinary effects upon individuals, upon springing essentially from inherent powers of the mind, multitudes or nations, and thus have acquired historical it quickly becomes an art, and one capable of exercising importance, we shall find that their power is not deno small influence over human beings. As an art, it rived from science or artistical combination, but is ranks with rhetoric and painting, and it is thus identi- founded in truth, nature, and simplicity. These are fied with civilising and refining agencies. It is never the great engines of influence in musical composition theless remarkable that, in certain stages of society, and performance. It is a power more frequently found these processes are baulked of their true purpose and in melodies of popular and instinctive origin than in effect. Artists become enervated as they advance ; works of art; or, if met with in the latter, it is because musicians, poets, painters, sink into idleness and dissi- those same qualities are predominant. In the scienpation ; and their divine art, through the weakness of its tific and difficult, the musician, the composer, as well as professors, falls into reprobation or contempt. This is the performer, will be admired; but it is by his simplest not confined to our country. In China, India, Persia, the strains that he will captivate and subdue his hearer, very same revolution has occurred that we have ourselves that he will reach his deeper affections. Whenever we witnessed in northern Europe. In England and Scot find a melody in the mouth of a whole nation, whenever land, the resulting prejudice appears to have continued an air is heard that produces strong feelings of exciteafter the cause has given way before the general ad- ment or despondency, we may be certain that it stands vancement of civilisation ; but in the latter country, it away from the refinements of art, and is powerful in its is strengthened by the sectarianism which was engen- effects in proportion to its simplicity.' dered amid the struggles of the Reformation, and which To this he adds the association of the two sister arts; retains to this day a portion of the old iconoclastic spirit. poetry giving vigour and distinctness to the language Here all kinds of music but psalm tunes are regarded of music. What music wanted in thought, it received by considerable class of the people with dne if from the poet ; what to poetry was unattainable in feelnot suspicion ; and the art has consequently sunk into ing, charm, and transport, the musician supplied in his a state of degradation not known at a much earlier turn.' This association was constant among the anperiod of our history. A change, however, appears now cients, whose earlier bards were likewise musicians and to be in progress ; and it begins where it ought-among singers. The later bards and scalds, the troubadours the young; who will grow up, it is to be supposed, not and minstrels, likewise united the two arts ; and 'sacred worse Christians for having imbibed in their early years were those songs,' as Herder says, “in which the a taste for music, and a feeling of its beauty and power. people learnt the history, the traditions, and, with In Edinburgh, many hundred children, under the direc-them, the language and manners of their nation!' tion of Dr Mainzer, are daily familiarised with the cho. This appears to be everywhere characteristic of a partiral strains of the best masters of the art; and these chil. cular stage of society; and our ingenious author would dren will operate like so many ducts, spreading the holy be interested to read in Colonel Tod's · Annals of influence of music throughout the whole bosom of society. Rajasthan,' that the Rajhpoot chiefs of the present day

We are led into this train of reflection by a work learn, like the European lords of the middle ages, the just published by the gentleman whose name we have deeds and genealogies of their ancestors from the songs mentioned, and which we think is deserving of the of their family bards. In the middle ages, the British attention of our readers. It is an examination of the islands were more especially celebrated for the harp; merits of music as a branch of education, and contains and seven hundred years ago, Scotland is described by an interesting sketch of the history of the art.*

Geraldus the Cambrian as the fountain of the art.' Dr Mainzer repeats various stories of the effect of We have no room to follow Dr Mainzer in the curious musical sounds, such as that of the lady known by erudition with which he has adorned his subject. He Rousseau, who could not hear any kind of music with shows clearly the connection of music with education, out involuntary and convulsive laughter. This, how both classical and popular; and combats successfully ever, was probably owing to nothing more than a mor- the notion, that its cultivation has no native soil in bid condition of the nerves; such as made Mozart, when the British islands.' As for the vulgar objection to the a violent blast of a trumpet struck upon his delicate art on account of the dissoluteness of some of its proear, fall senseless to the ground. The effect on animals fessors, he expends far too much trouble on so paltry a is popularly known; although we may mention the dog subject. It is sufficient to say that he attributes the referred to in the Musical Gazette of Leipsic, who was low character of musicians to the fact of their being so much excited by a composition in E major, that on mere musicians--that is to say, to their deficiency in

general education. On the usual musical education of * Music and Education. By Dr Mainzer. Longmans, London. young ladies he is especially severe. • To study music

is to them nothing but to learn to play the piano. You considers the fittest period for this education of the may have talent, or you may have none, you must learn faculties, when all the organs of the voice are soft and it, under penalty of being taxed with having received flexible, and when the ear receives and conveys sound but an indifferent education. In what, then, consists with facility. The earliest age—that of six or seven this study of the piano? In sitting so many hours years—is the most appropriate for learning to sing ; daily before the instrument, having the fingers curved, voice and ear, so obedient to external impressions, are and stretched, and trained ; and after having thus rapidly developed and improved, defects corrected, and passed, in the most tedious and thoughtless of all musical capabilities awakened. Experience of many studies, the most precious and invaluable hours of life, years, and observation of every-day's occurrence, have what knowledge has been acquired ? Have they become taught us that a considerable proportion of the numemusicians for their pains?_Has the science of music rous children with whom we have met could at first been revealed to them? Have they learned to under- neither sound a single note, nor distinguish one from stand, to judge, to analyse a musical composition in its another ; yet all, without exception, have acquired ear technical construction and poetical essence ? Or have and voice, and some of them have even become superior they learned to produce, after their own impulse, a in both to their apparently more gifted companions; in musical thought, to develop it, and, in a momentaneous others, the very weak or indifferent voices have in a inspiration, to make the heart speak in joyful or plain- short time become pleasing, strong, clear, and extended. tive strains, according to their mood of mind ? Nothing Children from five to six years of age, some of them of the kind. A few have learned to play a sonata, per unacquainted with the letters of the alphabet, have haps a concerto ; a greater number have reached varia- learnt to read music, to a considerable extent, in unison tions, but by far the greatest majority only quadrilles ! and parts, and to sing, with astonishing precision, imi. This playing of quadrilles, this training of the fingers, tations and fugues of Hiller, Rink, Fuchs, Teleman, mothers complacently call accomplishment, a refined and other great masters. So thoroughly acquainted education; and musicians who look with contempt have they become with the pitch of sound, that, withupon musical study and musical works of this descrip- out the least hesitation, they name the notes of which tion, can they be surprised when the art to which they melodious phrases are composed, as soon as sung or have devoted themselves is not appreciated, not under- played; and it is remarkable that in this exercise the stood? What can we expect, when its whole destiny youngest, and those who had at first to contend with the is left in the hands of matrons of boarding-schools, who greatest difficulties, appeared the most acute and ready.' generally are clear-sighted enough to make it an im- Some children, destitute of ear, acquire the faculty in portant item of their business, withdraw the lion's part a few days, while others take weeks or months. from what is due to the teacher, but are ignorant of its If the time is allowed to pass proper for forming an very alphabet.' Parents, however, share with the matrons ear, calling forth a voice, and inspiring a love for music, the reprobation of our enthusiast; and he declares to the teacher's difficulties are surmountable only by zeal, the former that it will be impossible to change so de- perseverance, and natural talent in the pupil. “Through. grading a system, unless they themselves show a better out life, the difference between a musician from infancy, understanding and a higher appreciation of the art. At and one from more mature age, will be visible at a present, we are in our musical infancy, with variations, glance. The latter may possess musical knowledge and songs, duets, and trios dinning for ever in our ears. taste; the former will possess both, with deeper musi

What sacrifices, what hours, what precious years are cal feeling, more power, and greater certainty of judgwasted in the acquisition and practice of a kind of com- ment. In the one, music will be an acquirement; in position, which, in reality, belongs only to what we the other, a feeling, a new sense interwoven with the might call the musical infirmities and excrescences! constitution, a second nature. With children, the Such compositions are the productions of musical mer- teacher has a power of creation ; with adults, he is chants, written for the market, and calculated upon the dependent on circumstances ; he educates in the one ignorance of the customers. The distance of such a case, in the other he has to amend the defects of educamusician to a Palestrina, a Handel, a Mozart, can only tion. It is likewise dangerous to the health to strain be measured by that from an ignis fatuus to one of the the voice of an adult unaccustomed to the exertion; luminaries of the ether above us. In them is spirit, but besides this physical difficulty, there is the still enthusiasm, and poetry. Whoever approaches the sphere more formidable one arising from the mechanical habits in which they breathe, feels himself elevated, and upon of mind induced by the soulless drudgery of the piano. the wings of genius carried away into other zones, other Here the pupils do not learn music, but mechanical climes, more congenial with the spiritual, the immortal brilliance. They do not feel or understand what they

There he lives with a Raphael, a Schiller, a play any more than a musical snuff-box, and yet for Mozart, in the regions of the ideal; and tastes, in those this barren accomplishment they sacrifice the best years moments of light and purity, joys which the world can of their life. With them, the principal object of the neither grant nor take away, which no recollection can teacher must be to draw the attention to the more either darken or efface.' But how can the great choral poetical part of music; to explain the variety of form, and orchestral compositions-ranking with historical the difference of character and style, and the consequent works in painting, and temples and cathedrals in archi- expression in the performance of solo compositions. tecture-be brought within our reach? The elements, Thus he may still succeed in imparting, as far as pracit is answered, for raising music from its lowest to its ticable, a thorough knowledge of its theory and practice, highest station are around us, in every school, and every and at the same time cultivate the taste and judgment institution ; and if we only make use of these elements, that are so indispensable for understanding and enjoywe might be able to say with Zelter, 'our chorus is now ing works of art.' nothing less than a vast organ, which I can set a-playing But to the poorer classes music is of far greater im. or stop with one movement of my hand, and can make portance than to any other, as an elevating and noble it, like a telegraph, denote and express great thoughts; substitute for grosser pleasures ; since dissipation in an organ, every pipe of which is a rational voluntary such classes arises commonly, as has been stated before agent, and which may realise our highest conception. parliament, from the want of rational enjoyments, and Our choir is a school, whose end is wisdom, whose especially from the intellectual destitution of the female means poetry, harmony, and song.'

part of the population. This brings us to the most practically important part The musical education, Dr Mainzer thinks, should of the volume—the consideration of vocal music. That commence in infant schools, where children should learn the exercise of the voice in singing is conducive to little melodies, in poetry and music, and sing only by health, no one now doubts ; but our author asserts that it heart. In schools of children, again, from seven to developes and cultivates the sense of hearing, and thus twelve years of age, ‘singing at sight must become as produces, so to speak, a musical ear. Childhood he general as reading the mother tongue.' When this is



the case, the style of music will grow with the child till it reaches that which gives it its lofty destiny

THE ROBIN REDBREASTS' CHORUS. domestic or family music. In a country where [There is an old English belief, that when a sick person is about dramatic works have so long and so exclusively occu- to depart, a chorus of Robin Redbreasts raise their plaintive songs pied the field, it is difficult to make it understood what near the house of death.] family, what domestic music is. In the expectation | The summer sweets had passed away, with many a heart-throb that this style of composition would soon find poets sore, and musicians, we might mention as such, the smaller For warning voices said that she would ne'er sce summer more;

But still I hoped--'gainst hope itself-and at the autumn tide, pieces of Handel and Mozart, the psalms of Marcello;

With joy I marked returning strength, while watching by her side. or, should we name the work of a more modern master, those beautiful duets of Rinck, called, in the English But dreary winter and his blasts came with redoubled gloom, translation, “The Sabbath Eve.” In the character of

With trembling hands the Christmas boughs I hung around the these simple musical dialogues, of which the English For gone the warmth of autumn days-her life was on the wane: poet has unfortunately too much contracted the thought, Those Christmas boughs at Candlemas I took not down again !* is our idea of one kind of family music best personified. One day a Robin Redbreast came unto the casement near, They have that sublime cast, that lofty tone and sen- She loved its soft and plaintive note, which few unmoved can hear; timent, which mark this kind of music as the most But on each sad successive day this redbreast ceased not bringing cheering, the most elevating. Who once has been a

Other Robins, till a chorus full and rich was singing, witness of the magic charm thrown over a family by Then, then I knew that death was nigh, and slowly stalking on; the true and expressive interpretation of such simple I gazed with speechless agony on our beloved one; compositions; who has seen what a little paradise rises, We tried to soothe each parting pang of nature's last decay.

No tearful eye, no fluttering mien, such sorrow durst betrayas by enchantment, out of the few inspired strains of the poet-musician, will ever forget what an endless The blessed Sabbath morning came, the last she ever sas; ocean rolls its waves between the every-day composi- Amid the distant silver chime of Sunday bells sweet ringing

And I had read of Jesus' love, of God's eternal law, tions, and works, such as we understand them, and as

Amid a chorus rich and full of Robin Redbreasts singing ! we would fain see them domesticated under every roof, The grass waves high, the fields are green, which skirt the churchat every fireside?'

yard side, But Dr Mainzer does not dogmatise as to schools and Where charnel vaults with massive walls their slumbering inmates methods. “Teach! teach !' that is his cry. Let the hide; labourers work as they please; give full scope to com

The ancient trees cast shadows broad, the sparkling waters leap, petition ; encourage talent; and throw wide open the

And still the Redbreast sings around her long and dreamless sleep. gates of instruction. • The educational and family

C. A. M. W. music, scarcely known as yet by name, will, in the midst of an ocean, in all its various changes and tem- * Evergreens hung about on Christmas eve, ought to be taken pests, stand in its simplicity, purity, and grandeur down on the 20 February-Candlemas-day-according to old usage. like a rock, and bear unshaken the sway of all the surrounding tides of style and fashion. There will be

AN EXEMPLARY LANDED PROPRIETOR, a music which appears neither upon the stage nor the The following account of the improvement and thorough market-place, neither in concerts nor drawing-rooms, change of character of the estate of Bogbain, near Tain, but which modestly enlivens the school and the cottage, lately appeared in the Ross-shire · Advertiser;' and shows and helps to instruct the people, to embellish the hour what vast changes for the better may be made on waste lands of toil and that of rest. Thus music will again be by the application of capital guided by enterprise and skill. looked at with reverence. In churches she will fill, When the proprietor, Mr Kennedy, purchased Bogbain in like a stream, the hearts of the multitude; she will

1836, it might be said to be almost in a state of nature. again appear as the minstrel and the harp of old in our

The yield of corn that year amounted to five small stacks, dwelling; be our guardian angel, a heavenly messenger,

while this year we counted in the corn-yard nearly 100 our teacher, friend, and comforter ; and from her deepest stack of hay. There are 80 acres under turnips, 25 of

large stacks of wheat, barley, and oats, besides an immense dejection, from a state of servitude, corruption, and

which are Swedish, and each acre of the latter will, it is degeneracy, rise, a new Phønix out of ashes, higher and expected, produce from 35 to 40 tons. The arable land is higher to a glorious apotheosis.'

now subdivided, and enclosed with thriving hedges and Such is our author's finale ; and in closing the volume, wire fences into parks of from 28 to 30 acres each-all in we feel that, during its perusal, we have been drawn one beautiful sheet-comprising about 340 acres, trenched into the vortex of its amiable enthusiasm. The work is 22 inches deep, all tile-drained 15 feet asunder. The main dedicated to the members of the Educational Institute drains are built with stone, with covers of freestone 3 inches of Scotland; but we hope its circulation will go far be- thick. A large space of from 40 to 50 acres, which formerly yond even that extensive body, and that, as a treatise in

was a lake of from 5 to 8 feet deep, is now the most fertile troductory to family music, it will become a family book. and productive spot on the estate. The canals (one of

which is 4000 yards long, and from 5 to 9 feet deep) carry the whole water off the property, are covered so far as the

arable land extends, and afterwards merge through the An occasional change of air may be said to be almost emptied in the romantic Loch Oigh. The soil of Bogbain

plantations, which are also all thorough drained, and are necessary to the perfect wellbeing of every man. The workman must leave his workshop, the student his library, and

is of a fine sharp loam and clayey nature, with a southern the lawyer liis office, or sooner or later his health will pay part not being above 80 feet above the level of the sea.

exposure, well sheltered, and mostly level, the highest the penalty; and this, no matter how great his temperance There are no public roads passing through the estate, exin eating and drinking-no matter how vigorously and regularly he uses his limbs—no matter how open, and dry, cept the approach to the residence. The farm-steadings and free from sources of impurity may be the air of the erected by the proprietor. The trenching, draining, roads,

are of the first class, the greater part of which have been place in which he is employed. In the slighter cases of and fencing at Bogbain, with other improvements, have impaired health, the sleeping in the suburbs of the town in which the life is chiefly spent, or even the spending a

cost Mr Kennedy upwards of L.16,000, who, till lately (when few hours of detached days in some accessible rural dis the improvements were so far completed), annually eanfice to restore the healthy balance of the bodily functions, wood, fir, and larch. There is a regular nursery, in which trict, at a few miles' distance from the dwelling, may suf ployed from 100 to 150 labourers. 'l'he plantations on the

estate extended from 350 to 400 acres, consisting of hardand maintain the bodily machine in a fit state for its

are reared all sorts of forest trees. duties; or in cases of somewhat more urgency, or of somewhat more aggravated character, a more decided change of

Published by W. & R. CHAMBERS, High Street, Edinburgh. Also air, for even a few days, once or twice a-year, inay suflice

sold by D. CHAMBERS, 99 Miller Street, Glasgow; W. 8. ORX, to adjust or restore the due economy of the system.- 147 Strand, London; and J. M'GLASHAN, 21 D'Olier Street, Roberison on Diet and Regimen.

Dublin.-Printed by W. and R. CHAMBERS, Edinburgh.






No. 227. New SERIES.

SATURDAY, MAY 6, 1848.

Price 1 d.

[ocr errors]

abundant instances of this, particularly in firms of YOUTH AND AGE.

long standing. A young man of good abilities, full Human life is a series of developments, and at each new of vigour, becomes, for instance, by right of birth, a period some new power is unfolded; new experiences junior partner in an old-established business, and are likewise added: by which means not only are old deems his fortune made. But in a few years, the conprejudices frequently corrected, but the errors of our cern, to the surprise of all, sinks and perishes. The former conduct exposed, condemned, and punished. surprise is the greater, because, in the world's estiDuring the earlier epochs of our existence, we are in- mation, the house was always considered particularly pelled by dim instincts with such impetuosity as per safe. It meddled not with modern speculations, it mits small opportunity for reflection--a time, however, relied on an exceedingly old connection, it did no busiat length arrives when the man comes to a pause, and ness that it was not sure of-yet it failed. In fact, reverts his contemplation on the path which he has so though it risked no losses, it achieved no gains; and far traversed. How much, in the haste of the transit, has thus in the end suffered more than it would have done been overlooked and neglected—how much injured and from bad debts or mistaken speculations. Meanwhile defaced—how many mistakes have been committed - let us imagine, or rather simply state-for we record how many wrongs inflicted and suffered! Then follows facts-the position of the junior in the firm. What was the usual exclamation—If my time were to come over it? Anything more distressing could scarcely be conagain, how differently would I have acted! But ah! it ceived. From the first he was powerless. He found is too late now!' And so the man commences again an established method—a system of routine to which his swift career, hurrying afresh onward, and still he was compelled to adhere. Of an enlightened underonward, pursued by remorse and fear, until he reaches standing, and an enterprising spirit, he at first attempted the goal—the grave.

innovation, and aimed at those sources of profit of Meditating these facts, we are sometimes tempted to which more youthful firms availed themselves; but was believe, that if the prudence of age could be added to met so uniformly by the fixed habits and rooted prejuthe impulse of youth, a great advantage might be dices of the older partners, that at length he succumbed gained for the individual. But a difficulty exists to necessity, and fell himself, for the sake of peace, into against blending them in one and the same person. the customary channels. Had he commenced business Happy, however, is the man who benefits by the on his own account—thrown himself entirely on his own dear-bought experience of his elders; who, duly in- energies and resources, and been at once inspired by fluenced by the example of those who are not only hope, and controlled by prudence, he would in all proaged, but also good and wise, has learned, without suf- bability have achieved brilliant success. fering, what to avoid, and what to pursue. The coun- Youth is proverbially rash, but the aged may show kel of a sage mentor in a parent, grandfather, or great- an equally dangerous rashness in holding doggedly to uncle, cannot fail of being advantageous in many im- old and worn-out notions. Accustomed to venerate portant respects; but on the other hand, there are what has existed for generations without challenge, many counterbalancing disadvantages : the young are the older class of persons are prone to oppose the enterprising—the old prefer safety to victory, peace to slightest attempt at modification, and they suffer acanxiety. In advising youth, old persons accordingly cordingly. Many a warning, in the course of events, regard rather the dangers to be escaped than the object is received ; yet age is obstinate, and persists in the to be attained. This, in the way of caution, may, old course--not because it is right, but because it is must be well; but if it amounts to coercion, even in old. The association of ideas, sympathy, determinathe slightest degree, it cannot fail to have evil conse- tion of character, a sense of pride, while it recognises quences. If, instead of persuading or guiding the judg- the peril, and other like motives, induce age to disrement, it should substitute a control upon the volition of gard the symptoms, and inspire it with courage to the young, it will fatally preclude action, stopping it endure martyrdom, rather than incur the shame of a at its very source. We have not, in such a case, submission to change. Thus the inveterate controvercombination, but mere displacement: young impulse is sialist will not confess a proven truth though convinced ; altogether put aside, and antique prudence takes exclu falsely apprehending as a defeat what, if candidly acsive possession.

knowledged, would be really a triumph, he wins a The caution of age should be used for the regulation, ruinous conquest, and wears a counterfeit laurel. Can not for the annihilation, of the impulsive instincts of we take up a newspaper without being made conscious the ardent and juvenile. Another danger, too, arises. of the hideous train of disasters which have ensued in Antique prudence may be obsolete prudence; circum- various European countries from a rash and unphilostances may so have changed, as to make it the reverse sophic persistency in what ought to have been long of prudence at all. The world of commerce affords since modified and accommodated to the spirit of the


age? The energies of France, outgrowing the routine itself: some glimpses of the vision may surely survive of old dynasties, require a new electoral system : being in memory. Once more,' exclaims Byron, 'who would refused, the nation indignantly dissolves the partnership not be a boy?' To‘carry the feelings of childhood into between her and the sovereign. Such are the evils the powers of manhood is,' says Coleridge, the prerowhich flow from the substitution of the merely regu- is not one so exclusively that all men may not share in

gative of genius. And what a prerogative it is! Yet it lative for the dynamic forces themselves.

it, each in his degree. We would warn, therefore, the The last illustration presents the topic under a graver man of middle age from becoming the victim of fixed aspect than it was our intention to have considered. habits and acquired routine, to the exclusion of new Thus drawn, however, to the subject, we cannot refrain impulses, and the pleasure that constantly attends them. from remarking how often we hear that said with pride Every day is a new day, every hour a new hour: the regarding institutions and systems, which, rightly re

world is always becoming new, and creation is renewed garded, should be otherwise spoken of. Thus long has every moment, so that nature is still in travail with stood this system without one iota of change_here, as

fresh generations. Nothing, if we rightly consider it,

is really old—not even age itself. To insist on guiding we stood centuries ago, do we yet stand—what was ourselves by the prejudices of yesterday, is merely to thought and professed then, is still thought and pro- resist the progress of growth. Judgment, in its matu. fessed. Change has often been called for, but never rity, has nothing to dread from concession to increased granted ; so that here, at least, we have one monument knowledge. Its tendency is to deliberate - to move of the past that has never bent to the inconstant wind of slowly-to stand still; and it indeed needs the agitation human caprice. If such a thing really exist in the world of new ideas, interests, and opinions, to preserve it in a -which is gravely to be doubted—assuredly this is a

healthy state of life and action. An old man of our questionable boast. The minds of masses of men being of new impressions, as others are anxious to reject

acquaintance, who as solicitously sought the instruction liable to a continual, though it may be slow and imper- them, declared to us that, as his understanding became ceptible change, it is impossible for any institution to more and more illuminated, he felt as if he was growing go on unchangingly, without falling out of relation with younger every day: it was, moreover, evident to all that the world. Its vital is changed for a nominal existence; his intellect, owing to the freedom with which he had and so far from deriving strength from its antiquity, it permitted it still to operate, was constantly to the last derives weakness and danger. Institutions of this kind receiving fresh development and expansion. Happy may be flattered, up to the last day of their existence, young mind! His are at once the security of discretion

the man thus united to an aged body, who yet owns a with the external homage which they have been accustomed to receive, and ere four-and-twenty hours pass, tone, and that vivified-and both coexisting in beauty,

and the rapture of imagination—this sobered in its they may be trampled on as noxious weeds, or quietly like light and shade in the picture of a great master. consigned to universal forgetfulness. Such catastrophes are clearly traceable to the error of setting up persis

THE CORAL-FISHERS OF TORRE DEL GRECO. tency as the law of the world, the real law being change. Man continually changes, and everything that would wish to live with him must consent to change too: his eyes open. I believe I learned it in my youth from

I am a man who has the rare faculty of walking with everything must partake of his eternal rejuvenescence, a little story entitled • Eyes or no Eyes. The author's or take the consequences of becoming too old.

name has escaped my memory; but that matters little, It is the instinct and tendency of youth to transcend since the influence of his or her writings has rested the limits of its actual experience. It presumes, assumes, there ever since, probably influencing my character to idealises, colours from its own rich heart the outlines a degree of which I am myself unconscious. After all, and forms of things, and anticipates results with a pro- looking beneath the surface of things, I peer into a

is not this an author's best immortality? Thus always phetic power that sometimes induces their realisation, man's face for his character; examine his general mien but more frequently clothes the distant prospect with for his fortunes or occupation; amuse myself in the those enchantments which Hope pictures as belonging most incongruously-mingled crowd by framing little to the future. Youth is the season of aëreal castle- fanciful histories for each member of it; and pry into building-—of countless projects — of boundless aspira- life and its curiosities something after the fashion of a tions--of infinite possibilities. But a period of limita- geologist. At times I turn up only rugged stones, but tion at length arrives—of aims more and more positive, now and then a precious jewe!, thanking Heaven which objects more definite, an arena more contracted, and sent me among the rocks and crannies of life—a moral

geologist. labours more special. The man has become the class

Following my usual fantasy-I can hardly call it a man-the cosmopolite, or the patriot-the general lover, pursuit- I stood on the shore at Torre del Greco one or an attached husband and father—the acquaintance bright morning in March, when the tramontana* had of all, or the friend of a few—the wanderer of the clubs, crept into its cave,' and the beautiful Bay of Naples or the domestic man, whom nothing can tempt from his lay, all peace and sunshine, beneath the cloudless Italian chimney-corner on a winter's evening. Much has been sky. I was watching a little fleet of boats that seemed gained, but evidently much has been lost. While the about to depart; they were just trying their sails, after difficulty of blending in one individuality the advantages ping into their native element. I was stranger enough

the manner of a flock of young goslings, when first dipof both conditions is freely acknowledged to be great, in the land to wonder why so many fishing-boats were we are far from holding it to be insuperable. There is making sail at once, and asked the question of a lazy much needless waste of wealth, much extravagance of sunburnt lad, half sailor half beggar, who lolled beside anticipation, much borrowing on the credit of the future, me. much excess of all kinds, on which it would be well * Santa bergine! does not the signor know? The that youth should be timeously admonished. With all coral-fishery begins to-day; these are the boats ; the the regulations of experience, however, it is equal

fishermen are just coming down from Torre.' importance, individually, and for social wellbeing, that all dressed in their best, and fluttering with ribbons,

How gay they look !' I said, as a troop of mariners, the middle-aged and old should cultivate as far as

came down to the beach. Most of them were youngi possible youthful feelings. Let not 'the glory and the freshness of the dream' of youth depart with the dream

* A stormy periodical wind.

[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »