« VorigeDoorgaan »
His soul works on while he sleeps 'neath the grass.
His wasted lamp-the lamp wasted not in vain,
Nor trace them through the darkness; let the hand,
A forthright plough and make his furrow broad,
Like seeds that seem but lost upon the wind.
And this of the Pastoral :
Rhexergon tore down the boughs, while Harpax slew
With cross legs, underwood, dry turf and ferns,
Down came the Monads from the sun-brown hills,
And Sida, ivory-limbed and crowned with flowers.
High swelled the orgie; and the roasting bulk
Mid the loud-crackling boughs that sprawled in flame.
The wine ran wastefully, and o'er the ears
Of the tall jars that stood too near the fire,
ART. XXVI.-Sphor's celebrated Violin School, translated from the original German. By JOHN BISHOP.
SPHOR'S work has a European reputation, being pronounced by competent judges to be the best of its kind. It furnishes besides a remarkable proof of the ardent enthusiasm with which he regards the violin, its wondrous instrumentality and capability. He begins with the first rudiments and gradually advances to the highest refinement that violin-playing can reach, so far as this can be taught in a book. The author has exemplified what he declares to be the true aim of a player on the instrument, by his own untiring industry, and laborious study. "Success can only reward him," he says, "who unites to the requisite natural endowment unwearied assiduity. Above all, the student must endeavour to acquire the free polish of art.' A few sentences more may be quoted; and these shall be taken from the third section of the work, being on the manner or style of performance.
"The fine style of performance is, in truth, a capability of discerning the true character of the piece performed, of seizing its predominant features and characteristic expression, and displaying those in execution. The mechanical powers of execution must be first acquired, but these are but the means to an end good taste must watch over and direct their application, and the soul of the performer must speak in his instrument."
"The reason why the public favour has been very much of late transferred from violin concertos to sinfonias, may be accounted for from the degenerate character of the former. Too many solo-players select such compositions as are calculated only to astonish their hearers, or are unable to resist the vanity of performing what they call their own compositions, but which are frequently gleanings from such as they have been accustomed to practice. That the public, after having acquired a taste for the beauties of a clasical sinfonia, should turn with disgust from such exhibitions, will excite no wonder."
SPHOR'S manner with his band is that of a friend to friends, or a father to his children. They love as well as venerate him. In this spirit, which so truly indicates the single-heartedness and warmth of his character, as well as his high-minded love of his art, the valedictory address is written.
"As I must now leave the pupil's further improvement to his own exertions, I venture to offer him a few words of parting counsel.
"My dear young fellow-artist, you have now overcome the chief difficulties in your progress up the steep ascent of art. As you advance further, new and greater enjoyments await you. Delay not--slumber not-be bold, be diligent. If once you stand still, the next step will be backwards. You have chosen the most difficult of all instruments; upon which you can only make progress, or indeed retain what you have already acquired, by daily practice.
"Aim at all times at what is noble and elevated in art, and disdain quackery of every kind. He who aims only at pleasing the multitude, will but accomplish his own degradation-he will sink lower and lower at every step. Have a due regard to the sort of music which you play; seek out the finest and best of every kind; study it diligently, and be sure of improvement. Acquire also, and as a first essential, a knowledge of harmony and exercise yourself in composition; since, even if you have not the gift of invention and have not the power to distinguish yourself as an original writer, a wellgrounded study of the theory of composition will be found not only useful but necessary if you aspire to the office of leader or conductor of an orchestra. "Lastly, should you obtain high eminence in your profession, let me ask of you, when standing on the elevation you have reached, sometimes to direct your kindly thoughts to him who has in this work endeavoured to smooth and facilitate your ascent."
It only remains to speak of the present translation; which has been executed by Mr. BISHOP with great skill, fidelity, and techuical correctness; and we commend it to all students of the violin, as the most complete, unmutilated, and accurate translated edition of the work, with which we are acquainted.
ART.XXVII.--The Papal and Hierarchial System compared with the Religion of the New Testament.
THE great object of assault in this volume is the Papal system, the Pope being held to be the real Anti-Christ. But Episcopay does not fare much better; nor indeed does any church communion or sect escape the author's attacks, which are, however, used solely against systems, free from personalities. Every system is treated according to the claims it advances to authority, the writer maintaining that the Bible is the church to every man, and he who possesses it the priest. The arguments are from Scripture, although many will pause ere they agree with the author in his interpretations. A more zealous and plain spoken writer need not be sought for. He has ability, education, and force of expression. But then if every one were as warm and as uncompromising as he, why there would even be a more violent controversy than has ever yet troubled the Christian world.
ART. XXVIII.-Counting-House Manual and Introduotion to Business. By Calculator.
THE long title page informs us that this Manual is " an outline of Practical Book-keeping. Merchants, manufacturers, and wholesale and retail dealers, are instructed in the correct principles of ascertaining a true state of their affairs, and exact income from trade at all times; also simple rules for calculating interest and discounts for any given time at any rate per cent, and for the proper divisions of profits and losses in partnerships." Such is a fair account of this plain and practical publication. Its method is simple and the directions pertinent, while the dialogue form in which the examples are given, not only keeps up the attention by means of a conversational sort of vivacity, but serves by repetition to impress the instructions intended to be conveyed.
ART. I.-Medical History of the Expedition to the Niger, during the years 1841-2; comprising an Account of the Fever which led to its abrupt termination. By JAMES ORMISTON M'WILLIAM, M. D., Surgeon of H. M. S. Albert, and Senior Medical Officer of the Expedition. With Plates. Churchill.
DR. WILLIAMS accompanied the Expedition to the Niger, from its leaving England till the return of the Albert to Fernando Po; having continued in the pestilential river to the last, and fulfilling sundry important offices besides those of a professional kind, when nearly every white on board was completely prostrated by the fever. It is proper to mention that he volunteered his medical services immediately on his return from the western coast of Africa, where he had acted as surgeon in the Scout.
The volume consists of several parts that may be separately considered. First, we have a short account of the voyage, containing notices of the scenery of the Niger, of the conduct and character of the native chiefs, together with some of those incidents that might be looked for in a book of travels intended for the perusal of the general reader. Still, this part of the work does not go minutely into particulars, being meant to be explicit only so far as to put you in possession of those circumstances of position and climate which could produce and modify disease. It is probable indeed that a popular narrative of the voyage will be given by some other person. Secondly, we have an elaborate treatise on the Niger fever, and a history of the cases that came under the notice of Dr. M'William, so far as he was enabled to record. And lastly comes a class of miscellaneous matters, the principal of these giving us the results of the scientific observations, and an account of Dr. Reid's system of ventilation with the view of guarding against the deadly malaria. Much ingenuity was displayed for this purpose; the air collected in the wind-sails being conducted into a chamber where its floating poisons were supposed to be extinguished by a superior poison.
VOL. II. (1843.) No. iv.