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feeling-one may give utterance to grief, another to joy or to lighthearted gladness, one to gentle sorrow, another to wild wailing, one to dignified praise or to solemn adoration, another to triumphant rapture; neither do I mean to say that every piece is suitable for public or social worship; but I do mean to say that all combinations of musical tones are intrinsically as pure as the song of a bird or the murmuring of a stream, and if ever degraded by contiguity with vice, the dissolution of that contiguity alone is sufficient to effect their entire rescue. Many of the airs now sung to the verses of Burns and Moore were formerly the compulsory companions of filthy ballads ; but who can now detect in them any trace of such connection ? If Highland Mary and the Last Rose of Summer have rescued their respective tunes from trifling and vulgar associations so thoroughly that not a vestige thereof remains, what hinders the same tunes from being still further set apart to their still more proper place in the service of piety? We need sacred song expressive of every class of emotions, and for the manifold conditions of human existence. It does not follow if music is holy, that every air must be suitable for public worship; we need some for the family circle, in which many feelings are to be uttered that never properly occur in the great congregation. There are also times of private devotion, when a sweet soft tune, altogether unfit for an assembly, might be the most delightful medium of expression for the pious heart. And then, there are hours of social relaxation, when music, without departing from its holy sphere, can at once embody and enlarge the feelings of cheerfulness and harmless mirth. excellence and real personages, some event in either actual or imaginary life, by means of exhibiting the various actors in the principal stages of its progress.
Accordingly music is found to be one of the most valuable auxiliaries in the work of human civilization and refinement, preparing the heart for all else that is beautiful, opening up the avenues of pleasure in the other arts, inspiring a quicker sensibility to all the loveliness of nature, and consequently softening our feelings toward one another. Preceding, in its own rudest state, the earliest steps of civilization, in its work of improvement becoming itself more and more improved, meeting all the demands upon its productiveness and still creating more demand, its course has been eminently progressive. No other ancient art has gained so much in modern hands. Advancing and retrograding with the fluctuations of social melioration and decline, it has effected its highest achievements in these days of Christian culture. Notwithstanding the love of it, native to mankind in all ages and countries, and the high degree of excellence to which it was carried by the ancient Egyptians, Hebrew, and Greek, the great works of musical art are of modern production. The mighty masters of the lyre have flourished within the last three hundred years, and the greatest of them within the last
hundred and fifty. Music, in every age the minister of religion and promoter of social refinement, has received from the noblest religion and the highest refinement the most enlightened cultivation.
Dr. Burney's General Hist. of Music. Crotch's Lectures on Music. Gardiner's Music of Nature. Hawkin's General History of Music. Harmonics, or the Philosophy of Musical Sounds : By. Robert Smith. Arnott's Elements of Physics—Acoustics. De la Borde, Essai sur la Musique Ancienne et Moderne.
All these branches may take the garb of either verse or prose, which are distinguished by the former possessing a rhythmical arrangement of syllables in lines of symmetrical length, and sometimes rhyme.
Though oratory has been sustained and improved by the art of writing, and belongs to the same generic head, it is certainly of older date-arising, obviously, from the natural wish to highten and prolong some of the more stirring efforts of conversation. Properly, it is the art of oral persuasion ; but practically, it is spoken prose composition. A writer's whole language is confined to words; the orator adds thereto the powerful elements of tone, sympathetic emotion, and the whole expression of the human body.
What oratory is to prose, the histrionic art is to poetry. The actor is an artist, whose material is himself; body and mind alike are called into action, both to prepare and to execute. He appears as the bodily presence of a poet's thought. If it is remembered that only with the greatest effort do we comprehend the vast conceptions of a mind superior to our own, and that it is almost, if not altogether, impossible to rise to sympathy with feelings loftier or purer than we have experienced, the difficulty of the histrionic art will be immediately recognized—inasmuch as it calls not only for the appreciation of every variety of emotion, from the coarsest excitement of selfishness to the most