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Our object is not a musical critique, nor indeed a , of a strange catastrophe to rouse the slumbering elemen'a criticism of any kind at all, but simply an analysis and of goodness in the subjects of Ahab. The night cl exposition of the thoughts pervading the whole com- suffering is only beginning; and these emotions are position. We shall not, of course, attempt to vindicate expressed in the chorus— “Yet doth the Lord scei such performances from the objections advanced by some not." The nice perception of that mingled good and serious persons, but take for granted their accordance evil which so constantly complicates the workings on with ancient christian custom,' and their uses when society, has been exhibited by Mendelssohn in the case properly conducted.
of gloomy anticipations with hopes of distant good, with The first part of the “ Elijah " opens in a somewhat which this chorus closes in the words,—" His nervios remarkable manner by a prophetic recitative, in which on thousands fall," occurs the prediction of the three years' fumine by the Thus great painters ever portray men; making this, prophet. The solemn brevity of the announcement not all demon, nor all angel, but a strange admixture of came with a peculiar emphasis to the assembled the two, so that the terrible and the beautiful are often : thousands, who had so recently joined in a fast and immediate contact; as in a thunder-storm the lichilin supplication against a threatened famine in the year flashes over soft and peaceful valleys, whence the 1847. All secined to connect the eventful epoch in the ' fumes of a thousand wild flowers rise. The oratorio 1# land of Israel, more than two thousand five hundred leads the audience first to view Elijah, in his soins years ago, with something in the condition of Europe by the brook Cherith, where, within sight of trooh'a. now. No prediction from the mouth of a prophet bas Jerusalem, he gazed in deep thoughtfulness on foretold calamity for us; but the wisest of England's slow ripple of the waters as they descended to the sons were very recently engaged in reading the signs of Jordan. But soon the river sinks in its channel, .. the past and coming harvest with many forebodings. , the brook becomes a parched-up hollow. The prope To such the chorus,—"The harvest now is over, the then departs to Zarephath; where, far from the Le summer day's are gone," came as a remembrancer of the polis, he may mcditate on the glories of the pe emotions with which sucre head's lately looked on Ire transmit to an unknown widow of Asher's tribe, land and other parts of the British isles. These thoughts drous gifts from God. From the silent Jordan to to were doubtless also suggested to the Queen and Prince melancholy sounding sca the grares are opened; bo: by the mournful opening of the Oratorio, and must have one lone house of Zarephath the powers of the int reminded them of the late national fast, in which , world are revealed in miracles, like those of olden 17 monarch, nobles, burghers, and peasants bad joined. Such startling contrasts between the vastness of nation
At this point the Oratorio bas but opened the subject; woe, and the happiness of one faroured circle of bine the prediction of the famine has startled the land of no music will ever fully exhibit; but all that a sports Judah, and a nation is presented deprecating the and high toned art could effect was done by Vendelen threatened intietion. But the calamity begins to work; in this portion of his composition, to develop the pe and a hundred bright rills which gusled down Judea's natural grandeur of the subject, mountains, rippled by the gnarled roots of ancient cedars. The performance now begins to concentrate its puren on the slopes of Lebanon, and shed their soft beauty over on the great event which once struck a whole per valleys consecrated by memorials of a holy past,- are all with awe, and through long ages displayed the boat dried up, and desolation is placing her sombre mark on ness of the avenger to the startled eyes of idares once happy villages. This condition of the land is Elijah is brought before us uttering that sabine brought before the audience by recitative chorus, lenye to the priests of Baal, which is norr, even to beginning with “ The deeps afford no water, and the imagination of the purely intellectual man, a deri rivers are exhausted." The composition now advances | ment of such moral grandeur as beauns upon the car into the narrative, and hints with solemn words and only at intervals of a thousand years. We are ** sugrestire music, another element in the condition of customed to discourse on the power of truth, as suffering Israel. Our attention is called from physical chaunt forth our “Magna est veritas, et prerala.." to spiritual evils: from the melancholy and woe-stricken with all this we are strangers to great contests 23 cities, in the streets of which the laughing music of know little of the granite-like endurance required: childhood's roice is heard no more, to the gloomy grores i acumulating dangers. Elijah calmls sumons where stand in ominous splendour the altars of Baal, priests of Baal to a trial of their mission before the and the priests of the host of hearen. The planets shed own altars. The bold confidence of the prope their soft light from their far-off paths on those dark gazing upon the woods and mountains of Caround waving trees, and the moonbeams gild, with a pale uiters in the musical harmonies of the oratoriet splendour, the horns of those foliage-veiled altars: but voke your forest gods and mountain deities,”-propas thence rises the plague which now orenhadows the land. us for the strains of alternate grandeur and be The sin of idolatry has degraded the people, and called | which speak alike to ears and hearts. Then follow down upon the tribes remedial punishments. This fact magnificent chorus in which the priests of Baal 33* is suggested by Mendelssohn in the recitative opening presented invoking the object of their widest. with “Ye people rend your hearts, forsake your idols“ superstition. The words “ Hear, n:ighty Goi; BThe composer has not, however, left the audience to answer us?" are giren with a power which attestats suppose that a whole people have lost their ancient poser's perfect conception of the fiene spirit of a faith, and forgotten the marvels of their early history: ticism in those doomed hierophants of an imaginstit and, therefore, the voice of gentle hope is heart breathing. The saered irony, with which Elijah attente sreetiy in the soft beauty of the air, “ li with all your call the maddened idolaters to a feeling tha: a b hearts ve truly seek me." Like & roice from the trusted in was false, is nobly developed in the me 2.52 watching angels does the promise noat along orer those * Call him louder, for he is a God." We see the er to polluted grores of Baal, the incense of which seems to priests, who had risked their power in one daring * rise like a pestilential smoke towanis heaven. But tempt to confront Elijah, whirling in fanatic unit these gleans of hope on the horizon, like summer light around the altar, cutting their bodies, and caring: in the west when night is deepening, are not sufficient intervals into the tranquil sky for the appearance to dispel the horrors which rest on Israel's prince and fire: we hear their wild outeries to the G O people; the sin is not yet passed away, and, there | power of the air, as with diminishing hope thet a fore, the calamity spreads We actoriingly next hear the mountains echo with “Hear and answer, Bu the melanchols forebodings of these Jews who saw both Vark hor the scorner derideth us." But the isa . the depth of the national degradation, and the necessity of the idolaters is over, and the hush of decrepe.
hele il The pablicerhibition of werd narratives ean be traced for thon now suspends the breath of the Lost groepe a period of nearly alcea huudreu pears in the Christian Cursh. the steeps of Carmel, as the hearen-comm scoop
phet, with the calmness of celestial power, approaches / enemies, and almost despairing of the triumph of the altar. The quiet grandeur of such a spectacle is truth, utters his mournful soliloquy in the desert. The impressively suggested by the recitative, in which the idea now suggested by the oratorio is this, “ Elijah is acertor of eternal truth to a fallen people is supposed left to the solitude of the wilderness, man has deserted to summon the congregated tribes of his nation to wit- the prophet, and Israel is even yet willing to restore ness the fall of the avenging fire, now about to anni- the prostrate altars of Baal.” But the apostle of truth is hilate the haughty insolence of a pagan priesthood. not alone, the air around utters sounds of life, and reThe power of the scene is increased at this moment veals unnumbered spiritual intelligences; the souls of by the quartett representing the gentle voices of angels, ancient prophets and of patriarchs unite with that other the soft musical whispers of the seraphim floating host of unknown beings, called angels in human speech, through the still air, and suggesting lofty thoughts of to support the prophet. The beautiful trio, “ Lift thine that sympathy which the invisible spirits take in the eyes to the mountains whence cometh help,” shed a soft history of earth.
influence over the audience, and enriched the imaginaThe subject now changes, and a bold strain of choraltion with a gently flowing stream of celestial images. Izusic brings before us the descending fires, the triumph This part is well placed in the oratorio, for it precedes of the prophet, and of all who had stood in such the journey of forty days to Mount Horeb, and thus perilous times near the storm-beaten banner of the shows the source whence Elijah derived his supernatural truth. A series of recitatives, airs, and choruses pro- strength. To realize this portion of the composition, it long the grandeur of the decisive victory just obtained is essential to carry our minds far back, through all the over the powers of paganism, the arrogant priests of tumults and changes of many ages, to a period when wbich perish by the indignation of a people whose un- supernaturalism existed visibly before men, and miraderstandings and imaginations had been long fast cles were constantly revealing the mighty powers now bound in the miseries of darkness and superstition. resting behind the machinery of general laws. This
We must not be drawn from the narrative of the mysterious condition of the ancient earth, at least in oratorio by speculations or reasonings on the destruc- Judea, is repeatedly forced upon the attention in the tion of Baal's prophets, whose total ruin might be “Elijah," where the spirits of a higher abode are supposed proved absolutely necessary for the highest interests, to be brought into constant communication with man. not only of Israel but of the world. We cannot how. Upheld by such influences the prophet passes to Horeb, ever refrain from once more surveying these marvellous the grand supernaturalism of which is suggested by the erents as developed in the music of Mendelssohn. chorus, “ Behold, God the Lord passed by, and a mighty
We have here no space for criticism on the technical ex- wind rent the mountains round--and the earth was cellencies of the composition, our object being rather to shaken; but yet the Lord was not in the earthquake. develop the idea of the oratorio, than exemplify its | And after the earthquake there came a fire, and yet the artistic merits. All must have been impressed by the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire there came rare felicity with which the composer illustrated the a still small voice; and in that still small voice onward great and diverse events which on that memorable day came the Lord.” The elemental cominotion, and the struck with terror or amazement the heart of a nation. sublime quietude succeeding, whilst the mysterious The despairing agony of the false priests; the sublime voice speaks, present a contrast of solemn grandeur confidence of Elijah; and the sympathy of the glorious and heart-subduing stillness. The majesty of the orawho tabernacle round the world, are all displayed to the torio rises to the full height of the sublime, as we reimagination of the hearer, who is for a time en- / member that such events did really happen at a certain dowed by such music with a species of supernatural hour of a certain day in Mount Horeb; when, after the vision, by which he pierces the mists of ages, and be Arabian wilds had heard the roar of the rushing bolds the distant Israelitish people of a thousand ages tempest, that voice broke on the ears of a man resting past.
in the entrance of a small cave, with covered face and The first part closes with the miraculous fall of rain prostrate form. The quartett, “Holy, holy, holy is the which descends on the parched dales, where no lilies of Lord,” appropriately follows such a manifestation of the valley have of late appeared, and sounds most musical super-mundane power ; after which losty recitatives, amid the myriad leaves of Carmel's groves. The gather airs, and choruses, proclaim the triumph of the heavens, ing of the clouds, the heaving of the sea, and the com- | and the joy of earth. motion of the heavens, rush upon the ear in the nicely Mendelssohn then images the final event in Elijah's adapted music; whilst the five hundred chorus singers earthly history, his translation from earth, which the sustain the imagination of each hearer in the “ Thanks words of a powerful chorus assist our imagination to be to God! he heareth the thirsty land! The waters contemplate as the ascending prophet disappears gather," &c. This scene ends in a grand strain of mag. | veiled in brightness. As this closed Elijah's ministry, nificent beauty, disclosing the fallen altars and dis- so does the illustrative chorus terminate the true action graced temples of Baal, whilst the true and the faithful of the oratorio. The concluding airs, recitatives, and Bons of Israel stand exalted amongst the repenting choruses, do but form a graceful close to the sacred crowd.
cpic, and serve to prolong, in gentle re-echoes, the imThe second part opens with gloomy forebodings, and pression already produced. remonstrances with the powers of evil, which still rule One decided merit in the composition is its harmony the palaces of Israel. The mighty signs from heaven with the spirit and meaning of Elijah's actual history; have not bowed the heart of Ahab, and already the | whilst much that must be imagined to have accomdesire of revenge has fired the vindictive monarch, who panied such events is suggested with that lofty ideality mourns over the absent rites of Moloch, and the ruined appropriate to such a theme. To say that all the worship of Baal. A recitative and chorus, in which the grandeur surrounding the ministry of Elijah is brought wretched Jezebel and her flatterers join in execrating out by Mendelssohn, would be too high praise for Elijah, illustrate the perils of the prophet. This part will human skill to merit; for, on every side of such great recall to the classical scholar the structure of the ancient facts, numberless images of the sublime float, which Greek chorus, in which some speaker utters his thoughts chide all the efforts of the intellect to give them a to a chorus as the representatives of the nation, and distinct and picture-like form. But it may be safely these again in responsive strains re-echo the dark sayings aflirmed that the composer has aimed high, and of the speaker. Thus the chorus in the Elijah sympa generally succeeded in attaining his object; and higher thize with the pagan queen, and utter, in the words praise cannot be given to Handel or Haydn, with “Woe to him, he shall perish," the full concentration whom Mendelssohn may justly hope to stand, in the of the malice with which the demons regard the spirits | temple which shall be raised by coming ages to the of the blessed. Elijah retires from the fury of his | memory of genius.
[In Original Poetry, the Name, real or assumed, of the Author, | And with my breath disperse the clouds, and bid the tempest cene, is printed in Small Capitals under the title; in Selections, it is And hold the hurricane that sweeps, and change thy start to printed in Italics at the end.]
peace! But, no, alas! it cannot be; time's curtain now must fall,
Death comes to end this chequered scene, and spread thy far
BY CHARLES HAINS GUNN,
No. II.—THE PATRIARCH. spring,
W. BRAILSFORD. When lope paints prospects lovely, and when, trembling on the
NINETY years have passed and gone, wing, The soul pursues her mystic flight, through many a dreary maze;
Ninety years have fled,
Since the balmy sun first shone Or led, as by a ineteor false—a bright, delusive blaze!
On that aged head. Keenly the heart will feel the wound, by cherished hopes
Still he lingers near the spot undone!-
Where his kinsmen lie, How quickly clouds will gather o'er the glory of the sun!
As he would not be forgot Thus ’twas with thee ;--thou didst not look on hopes as passing
In their company. shades ;
“One, two, three,” he counts each grave Anticipation often culls the flower that soonest fades !
As he totters by, When doating on futurity, so beautiful and fair,
Seeming he would like to crave Thou didst not think thyself a prey--thy foe was in his lair!
Something cre he die. When future bliss enwrapt thy soul, how little didst thou deem
“One, two, three-aye, there, beneath Thy happiness a phantom, and thy bliss a passing dream!
Where those blossoms fall,
Let me be alone with death, How calm the ocean, hushed the wind! when o'er the crisped
Sweet flowers over all." ware Thy little barque skimmed gallantly-to bear thee to thy grave!
As a withered oak doth stand At length, at length, the angry blast of hurricane swept o'er,
When its glories fade, And here thou art, a wreck, compared to what thou wert before !
Waiting for the woodman's hand, llow distant from thy heart the thought, that so serene a forin
In some forest glade; Should ere be roughened by the wind, or maddened by the storm!
All around his branches sere,
Howling in wild glee, He digs in vain for happiness, who digs in earth's gross mincs,
Wanton winds come trooping near, Who grasps at tinselled gaudes, forgets “ All is not gold that
Tet unmoved is he: shines ! ”
So thie busy urchins come Mysterious dream ! it is not here bliss is allowed to dwell,
With their merry words ; Its shadow proves its utmost charm-deception's in the spell!
Some to call the old man home, Sorrow may cast an angel's shade, we grasp, but grasp in vain,
Some like mocking birds; For unsubstantial joys precede substantial grief and pain!
In a mimic state they go
Slowls on his path: Yes, such is life; but cease to weep, although thy heart must feel
Much tliey marvel he should show The rankling of the barbed shaft, the lancing of the steel.
Neither fear nor wrath. Fair flowers of bliss which deck our path, how soon thcy cease to bloom!
But he heeds them not, his heart And summer bright is quickly chased by winter's dreary gloom;
Dwells upon the past; And oft, alas! one hour will blast the hopes of many years,
He hath memories apart Though buds may promise blooming joys, they often blossom
That he hopes will last cares!
Till the grave hath closed o'er,
With its shadows din, As children at the mountain's base will often gaze on high,
And he hears the sound no more And fondly derm the skies thus pierced, hide llcaren from the eye,
Of the Sabbath hymn. And climb its steep in hopes to find upon its hidden height
Sinks the sun in golden state That blissful place, but find it still as distant from their sight,
Slowly in the west, Thus didst thou innocently gaze, and climb life's giddy steep ;
And the linnet seeks her mate Thy bliss was all delusion !--thou art left alone to weep!
In their leafy nest. The garland's withered on thy brow, and from thy cheek is flown
The bell in solemn tone is rungThe roseate beauty of thy youth ;-unknowing and unknown
Doth the old man hear?
Knows he not that warning tongue
Flath a neaning drear ?
Page thee dead!
The Children in the Wood, Sketch of the Traditions of (with Illustration by Cor
Germany, (continued..." The wild caprice of traitor man oft blasts the bloom of youth,
bould) ........................... 1 Oft momentary smiles repay fond woman's love and truth: Account of the Great Floods
Don't be Afraid, (concluded Coiled in the honied bower lies luid the viper, -- neath a smile at Dresden, in the Year Mendelssohn's " Elijal"... 1 May lurk the foul design of man--the garb of many a wile!
1845, (concluded)............ Frank Fairlegh; or, Old
POETRY: Though thou didst drink ambrosial drink, yet in the self-same cup
Companions in New A Sketch from Life....*** The poisonous aconite was mixed, and thou didst drink it up!
Scenes, Chap. II.-Mr.
Village Lyrics, No. II.
Frampton's Introduction Oh, were I but an angel, and from Ilearen could bring thee bliss,
12 to a Royal Tiger ............
PRINTED by RICHARD CLA), of Park Terrace, Iligbbury, in the
St. Mary, Islington, at his Printing Odlice, Nos i aad res ** For blighted hopes of future bliss are stamped upon thy brow, in the Parish of St. Nicholas Olave, in the City of Lorder, And spectres of false joys deride and mock thy bitter woe!
St. Sepulchre, in the City of London.-Saturday, June 19, 1887.
by THOMAS BOWDIEN SHARPE, of No, 15. Skinner Struri, in te larva
GREAT EVENTS FROM LITTLE CAUSES. too familiar to need quotation in detail. The found.
ing of Carthage by Dido, is a kindred event; for the In wandering through the "highways and byeways”
cunning colonist, to escape the cruelty of her brother of history, how curious it is to seek out the springs
Pygmalion, put her goods and chattels on board ships which set the world in motion, and to read how the and sailed in quest of a new settlement; having landal most trivial circumstances have occasioned the subver on the African coast, Dido is said to have bought from sion of empires, and erected new ones in their stead ;
the natives as much ground as she could encome. in a word, how the most important events frequently
with a bull's skin. In this transiction she evinice
both ingenuity and mathematical skill, for she not only came to pass from very inconsiderable causes. A few
cut the skin into very small thongs, but, after joining instances, “'though at random strung," may be in
them, laid them in the form of a circle, a figure which teresting
encloses the largest space by the smallest bounding The story of Semiramis shall be our first instance. line. On that ground she built Carthage, one of the How this beautiful heroine, by her charms and her most celebrated cities of antiquity. The latter part of valour, won the heart and crown of Ninus, King of this account has been disputed, but it has often been Assyria, history doth tell. Enamoured of his bride, quoted as authentic history. one unlucky morning, he resolved on the pleasure of 'The fall of Lucretia was the cause of the expolin seeing all Asia subject to the will of one who had pos- of the kings from Rome, and the change of the session of his heart : he, therefore, gave her absolute monarchy into a republic; and the licentious pasie authority for the space of one day, and ordered all his of one of the Decemviri, (Appius Claudius,) led to the subjects to execute the commands of Semiramis. A abolition of the Decemvirate, as is told in the touching wise and prudent woman would, doubtless, have made story of Virginius and his daughter, use of this frolic to tell Ninus of his faults; not so, The conspiracy of Catiline was defeated through the however, Semiramis; she consulted her ambition and disgust of Fulvia with her lover, Curtius, when he cos!! her cruelty, for as soon as Ninus had placed this no longer heap presents upon her. Curtius, who was power in her hands, she employed it in causing him one of the conspirators, had “in moments of con to be assassinated. The traitors whom she employed for dence,” told the plot to Fulvia, who spread it abroad this vile purpose, reported that the king had given up it soon reached the ears of Cicero, who discovered it is? the reins of the empire to his wife, because he found his the Senate: Catiline fled from Rome, and took a end approaching; this the people believed, and readily arms; he was pursued ; overtaken; a battle ensued, in acknowledged Semiramis as their sovereign. How she which he was killed, and thus Rome was saved by the used her newly-acquired power by building the city of betrayal of a woman's Secret, from one of the mos Babylon, employing two millions of men; how she powerful combinations ever formed for the overbs extended the Assyrian empire by levelling mountains, of the Roman state. The ugliness of another Furia turning the course of rivers, and building vast cities ; was the cause of a civil war between Anthony a and how she failed in her attempted conquest of India, Octavius ; for Octavius rejecting the suit of Fulvia, an! and was, in consequence, privately put to death by her declaring that her ugliness terrified him more than son Ninias, history doth narrate; we have told enough death, the indignant woman led the Roman soldiers to prove how a little cause produced a great effect. against him, and set the two Triumviri fighting.
Agesilaus, when in the flush of conquest, was one day ! Titus Antoninus was raised to the throne of the suddenly seized with the cramp in his left leg, which Cæsars through his affection for his father. The es caused him great pain. “Men thinking that it had peror Adrian one day saw Titus leading the infirm ok been but blood which filled the vein, a physician being man to the Senate; he instantly adopted him, and afic there, opened a vein under the ancle of his foot, but the death of Adrian, Titus ascended the imperial that there came such abundance of blood that they could Commodus, another emperor, of a very different not staunch it, so that he swooned often, and was in stanıp, was killed through a child playing with a paper danger of present death. In fine, a way was found to which he had found in the emperor's chamber; L. stop it, and they carried him to Lacedæmon; where he little boy had been reared in the palace, had followed lay sick a long time, so that he was past going to the Commodus into his apartment, and staying there at: wars any more, and thus Lacedæmon lost her hero. his departure, took up the paper, and went out of dean
“In most naval fights," says Sir Thomas Browne, playing with it as he walked through the street: tik “some notable advantage, error, or unexpected occur child was met by a woman, who, taking the documes' rence hath determined the victory. The great fleet of out of his hand, found it to be the sentence for her on Xerxes was overthrown by the disadvantage of a narrow death, as well as some other persons; they together plain for battle. In the encounter of Diulius, the saved their own lives by first poisoning, and tha Roman, with the Carthaginian fleet, a new invention of strangling the imperial tyrant. the iron corvi, (beaks to the ships, made a decision Belisarius, one of the greatest captains in bistars, of the battle on the Roman side. The unexpected after having conquered the Persians, and sub falling off of the galleys of Cleopatra lost the battle of Africa and Italy, was deprived of all his honours and Actium. Even in the battle of Lepanto, if Caracoza dignities for having very properly reproached ti had given the Turks orders not to narrow on account worthless wife. She being a confiante of the empre, of the number of the Christian galleys, they had in all persuaded the latter to get up a charge of revolt agan probability, declined the adventure of a battle; and Belisarius, and then instigated Justinian to con*** even when they came to fight the unknown force, an the soldier's estate and goods, and degrade him. “Besme advantage of the eight Venetian galliasses gave the Belisarius's disgrace," says the account, somentar main stroke unto the victory.”
naïvely, “every person thought it an honour to be in Archimedes, we know, set fire to the ships of Marcelo his company; but, after his misfortune, none dared 12 lus at a considerable distance, by burning-glasses ; speak to him, compassionate him, or even mention bis and this philosopher, who had offered to move the name. True friends are rarely met with among the world with a lever, was taken off in a very unseemly manner; for he was killed by a soldier who knew him Placidia, the mother of Valentinian III., Emperor of not, while intent upon some geometrical figures, which the West, brought up her daughter, Honoris, he had drawn won the sand.
severely, that the young princess, who was a forward Rome, in its foundation by the twin-brothers, Romu-, vixen, to get rid of the maternal restraint, wrote: lus and Remus, saved from the torrent of the Tiber: letter to Attila, King of the Huns, offering him her and the preservation of the capitol by the cuckling of hand, and as a pledge of her faith, sent him half & in geese, are examples of great effects from little causes, Attila, who only wanted a pretext for ravaging the