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Amongst the never-ending argu- original moral qualities that have ments for thankfulness in the privilege moulded such a manner. of a British birth-arguments more so. Great faults, therefore, may grow lemn even than numerous, and telling out of great virtues in excess. And more when weighed than when counted, this consideration should make us pondere quàm numero,—three aspects cautious even towards an enemy; there are of our national character much more when approaching so holy which trouble the uniformity of our a question as the merits of our maternal feelings. A good son even in such a land. Else, and supposing that a case, is not at liberty to describe him strange nation had been concerned in self as “ ashamed.” Some gentler our judgment, we should declare our. word must be found to express the selves mortified and humiliated by three character of his distress. And, what. expressions of the British character, ever grounds of blame may appear too public to have escaped the notice of against his venerated mother, it is one Europe. First, we writhe with shame of his filial duties to suppose-either when we hear of semi-delirious lords that the blame applies but partially, and ladies, sometimes theatrically cosor, if it should seem painfully univer. tumed in caftans and turbans, pro. sal, that it is one of those excesses to claiming to the whole world as the which energetic natures are liable law of their households that all nathrough the very strength of their con- tions and languages are free to enter stitutional characteristics. Such things their gates, with one sole exception do happen. It is certain, for instance, directed against their British compathat to the deep sincerity of British triots; that is to say, abjuring by sound nature, and to that shyness or principle of trumpet that land through which of reserve which is inseparable from only they themselves have risen into self-respect, must be traced philosophie consideration ; spurning those for cally the churlishness and unsocial countrymen-" without whom," (as bearing for which, at one time, we M. Gourville had the boldness to tell were so angrily arraigned by the Charles II.,) « without whom, by smooth south of Europe. That facile G- Sir, you yourself are nothing." obsequiousness, which attracts the in. We all know who they are that have considerate in Belgians, Frenchimen, done this thing : we may know, if we and Italians, is too generally a mixed enquire, how many conceited coxproduct from impudence and insince. combs are at this moment acting upon rity. Want of principle and want of that precedent; in which, we scruple moral sensibility compose the original not to avow, is contained a fund of fundus of southern manners: and the satire, more crying than any which natural product, in a specious hollow. Juvenal found in the worst days of ness of demeanour, has been afterwards Rome. And we may ask calmlypropagated by imitation through in- would not death, judicial death, have numerable people, who may have par. visited such an act amongst the an. taken less deeply, or not at all, in the cient republics ?-Next, but with that
NO. CCXCVII, VOL. XLVIII.
indulgence which belongs to an infir- through subtle variations that somemity rather than an error of the will, times aisguise the theme, sometimes we feel ashamed for the obstinate ob. fitfully reveal it, sometimes throw it tuseness of our country in regard to out tumultuously to the daylight, one and the most effective of the Fine these and ten thousand forms of selfArts. It will be understood that we conflicting musical passion-what speak of music. In painting and in room could they find, what opening, sculpture it is now past disputing, that for utterance in so limited a field as if we are destined to inferiority at all, an air or song? A hunting.box, a it is an inferiority only to the Italians park-lodge, may have a forest grace and the ancient Greeks; an inferiority and the beauty of appropriateness ; which, if it were even sure to be per. but what if a man should match such manent, we share with all the other a bauble against the Pantheon, or malicious nations around us. On that against the minsters of York and head we are safe. And in the most Strasburg ? A repartee may by acci. majestic of the Fine Arts, in poetry, we dent be practically effective: it has have a clear and vast pre-eminence as been known to crush a party-scheme, regards all nations; no nation but our and an oration of Cicero's, or of selves having equally succeeded in both Burke's, could have done no more : forms of the higher poetry, epic and but what judgment would match the tragic. Whilst of meditative or phi. two against each other as developments losopbic poetry (Young's, Cowper's, of power ? Let him who finds the Wordsworth's, to say nothing of maximum of his musical gratification lyric-we may affirm what Quinc. in a song, be assured, by that one fact, tilian says justly of Roman satire that his sensibility is rude and unde“ tota quidem nostra est." If, there. veloped. Yet exactly upon this level fore, in every mode of composition is the ordinary state of musical feeling through which the impassioned mind throughout Great Britain ; and the speaks, a nation has excelled its rivals, howling wilderness of the psalmody we cannot be allowed to suppose any in most parish churches of the land, general defect of sensibility as a cause countersigns the statement. There is, of obtuseness with regard to music. however, accumulated in London, So little, however, is the grandeur of more musical science than in any cathis divine art suspected amongst uspital of the world. This, gradually generally, that a man will write an diffused, will improve the feeling of essay deliberately for the purpose of the country. And, if it should fail to putting on record his own preference do so, in the worst case we have the of a song, to the most elaborate music satisfaction of knowing, through Jean of Mozart: he will glory in his shame; Jacques Rousseau, and by later evi. and, though speaking in the character dences, that sink as we may below of one confessing to a weakness, will Italy and Germany in the sensibility evidently view himself in the light of to this divine art, we cannot go lower à candid man, laying bare a state of than France. Here, however, and in feeling which is natural and sound, this cherished obtuseness as to a plea. opposed to a class of false pretenders sure so important for human life, and who, whilst servile to rules of artists, at the head of the physico-intellectual in reality contradict their own musical pleasures, we find a second reason for instincts, and feel little or nothing of quarrelling with the civilisation of our what they profess. Strange that even country. At the summit of civilisation the analogy of other arts should not in other points, she is here yet unopen his eyes to the delusion he is en cultivated and savage. couraging! A song-an air-a tune, A third point is larger. Here (prothat is a short succession of notes re. perly speaking) our quarrel is co-exvolving rapidly upon itself, how could tensive with that general principle in that by possibility offer a field of com. England which tends in all things to pass sufficient for the development of set the matter above the manner, the great musical effects? The prepara substance above the external show; tion pregnant with the future, the re- a principle noble in itself, but inevi. mote correspondence, the questions, tably wrong wherever the manner as it were, which to a deep musical blends inseparably with the substance. sense are asked in one passage, and This general tendency operates in answered in another; the iteration and many ways: but our own immediate ingemination of a given effect, moving purpose is concerned with it only so