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eo fired liim with brave thoughts that he wrote "Tlic Bard" while the music was fresh in his soul. Woe is me I who can
Elay this harp nowadays? This one looks ursting with music. "I would give a few pounds to hear ' Sweet Richard' played on it." But I ransacked Wales five years ago, and not one public harper did I find could play the triple harp. Yet their greatest airs were all composed for it, and are half lost without it.
Then there are Italian spinets, one of which ought to interest the ladies; for it has nineteen hundred and twenty eight precious stones outside it, and very little music inside. There is Handel's harpsichord. He had more harpsichords than Cromwell skulls. But this time there really is a tidy pedigree made out. There are two much finer double harpsichords with stops and swell, one of them made by Joseph Kirkman and lent by his descendants. I heard this harpsichord played by Mr. Sullivan and the learned Sir. Engel; and it is a great and beautiful instrument full of sweetness and tenderness, yet not deficient in grandeur: and sings to the heart. It ought never to have been .allowed to die. There was room in the world for the pianoforte and the harpsichord too; each can do things the other cauaot.
It seems at first sight strange and sad that so many stringed instruments should have been invented in modern Europe, and framed with go much skill and taste, only to die away, when so poor a thing as the guitar survives. They were not killed, as some people fancy, by our four-stringed instruments, for they ran parallel with these for centuries. Some of them no doubt deserved to die; the mandolins, and little citterns, for not making noise enough in such a world as this, and the lute and viola di Bardone for being always out of tune.'
I read that a contemporary of Hnndel said, "If a luteuist lives to eighty he must have been sixty years tuning;" and another, writing to lutenists, gave them this warning, " You shall do well ever when you lay it by to put it into a bed that is constantly used." So mankind rose against these invalid instruments and put them to bed once for all.
But I hope that true lovers of music, both male and female, will inspect the harpsichord, the viola d'araore, and the viola da gamba with candid eyes, and give them a trial. Pot these two last at their lowest, they must be superior to the guitar, since they have more tone, and arpeggios can be played on them with the hand and suddenly the chords swept with the bow — a rare musical effect for any single instrument to produce. The larger viola of the two coul 1 also be fitted with the sympathetic wire strings; the finger-boards of both could be fretted, and I apprehend the bridge of each could be arched a little. Ladies could play the viola d'amore gracefully. Indeed, a Mrs. Ottey played the viola da gamba publicly in 1720, and a Miss Ford in 1701; tcste viro doctissimo Carolo Engel. Meyerbeer t'tought well of the Tiola d'amore, for he wrote a part for it in " Les Huguenots." The late Prince Consort had music of the sixteenth century performed on various ancient instruments such as are now on show. On that oceation a viola da gamba — that figures in this very exhibition — was played by Mr. Hatton —who, I hope, is alive to play it again — and was much admired. The deceased Prince had many ideas before his age, and I think your readers will appreciate what he did for music in 1315, when in 1872 they have examined this noble collection with the attention it deserves.
The FiBEwEEn. —The cpilobium, or fireweed, a species of cotton plnnt, springs up spontaneously on evergreen binds that have been burnt over. Hundreds of acres of this plant are to be seen in the north woods of New York. It ia perennial, grows to the height of four to six feet, the stem being one fourth of an inch in diameter, and, some two feet from the top, putting out n dozen to twenty branches, each bearing from fifteen to twenty pods, that, in August, open and display- a white fibre like that ia the boll of the cotton plant. The seeds are very Binall and numerous, but do not require ginning
to separate them from the fibre. The plants grow close together on poor or rich soil, and in any climate from forty degrees north to the Arctic Circle. Its southern limit of growth is the northern limit of cotton, and is very similar to cotton. Mr. Miller, of Utica, made candle and lamp wicks of it, and ropes that proved as strong as cotton ropes of the same size. Carded and spun, it made excellent yarn, from which a stocking was knit. Its fibre makes the finest of paper, being almost equal to silk for this p'lrpose. Public Opinion.
1. THE BELIEF IN IMMoRTALITY, . - - . Contemporary Review, . . 67 2. THE MAID or SKER. Part XXII., - - . Blackwood's JMagazine, . . 84 3. A BILLET AT CARRIGAHINCH, - - - . Dark Blue, - - - . 98 4. GAMBLING SUPERsTITIons, . - - - . Cornhill JMagazine, . - ... 105 5. A LookING—GLAss FoE CHRISTIANs, ... . . Dublin University Magazine, . 114 6. A TRUE LovER, . - - - - - . St. James' JMagazine, - . 117 7. FRANCE, - - - - - - - . Saturday Review, . - . 121 8. PETER THE GREAT, - - - - - . Saturday Review, . - . 123 9. ThorbecKE, - - - - - - . Spectator, . - - - . 125 PO ET R Y. WALTER Scott AND BURNs, . - . 66 [PARsons's Song FoE SEPTEMBER, . . 66 REsPITE, - - - - - . 66; ULFwa's PLAYING, - - - . 66
MISCELLANY, . - - - - - - - - - . . 83, 97, 127, 128
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WALTER SCOTT AND BURNS.
I Do not think the following verses have ever been published; they were given to me many years ago by a son of Sir Walter Scott's valued friend, Mr. Robert Shortrede, of Jeduurgli, with the following account of the circumstances under which they were written : —
Mr. Shortrede went one day into his sittingrooin, where Sir Walter was waiting for him, and found Sir Walter with a volume of Burns in his hand, reading the letter which contained the famous lines of Bruce's address to bis men before Bannockburn. As he closed the volume, Sir Walter said: "I always thought that the opening of those beautiful lines, as you read them by themselves, was too abrupt, and that if Burns had not sent them in a letter to a friend, he would have introduce'! them with some sort of description of the scene, or of the circumstances under which they were spoken."
Mr. Shortrede at first questioned the soundness of this criticism, but after some discussion, asked what kind of introduction his friend would have? Sir Walter rejoined, "Why, something of this kind," —and taking a pencil, wrote on the fly-leaf of the volume of Burns the following lines : —
"By Bannockburn proud Edward lay;
To show them which were best.
His soldiers thus addrest: —
"' Scots wha hae wi' Wallace bled,' &o."
H. Babtle Q. Freke. Hacmlllan'e Magazine.
"O qiii me eelldls In vullibua Hteml.
0 For some mighty shade,
Far from the city's cry. With music of the twinkling sister leaves. Where light with shade a generous beauty weaves
Between me and the sky:
That gentle sleep hath made:
And find things lovely near;
While on the charmed ear The cuckoo's note is falling, or the cry
Of happy curlews wheeling in the sky,
As seabirds meet the foam
Above their tossing home:
After its reverie,
Aiding, to watch the glee
Steady and full and deep.
Though soundly laid to sleep;) Sure, though remote; straight from the life of God:
Beyond all words to feel
Ood's purposes all weal, His love, like sunlight pure, surrounding all. Dublin University Mag. H. P.
PARSONS'S SONG FOR SEPTEMBER.
September strews the woodland o'er
With many a brilliant color;
Why should our hearts be duller?
Sad thoughts and sunny weather, — Ah me ! this glory and this grief
Agree not well together.
This is the parting season — this
The time when friends are flying, And lovers now with many a kiss
Their long farewells are sighing. Why is earth so gaily dressed?
This pomp that autumn beareth A funeral seems, where every guest
A bridal garment weareth.
She struck her golden harp — the sound
Through the woods and hills was ringing, And the wild beasts springing all around
Listen'd, and stopp'd their springing. She struck the golden harp again;
So sweet were the sounds it utter'd; But when the grey falcon heard the strain.
On the branch his wings he flutter'd. Her third stroke on the golden harp
Was sweeter still, and stronger, And in the lake the swimming carp,
Entranced, could swim no longer. The field broke into fragrant flower
When the gold harp play'd the Rune — Th" enchanting notes the knight o'erpower: He spurs his steed — is gone! Tr Sir John Bowriug. Norse Ballad.
From The Contemporary Eeview. THE BELIEF IN IMMORTALITY:
AX ESSAY IS TUB COMPARATIVE HISTOET OP REIJQIODS THODOHT.
The immortality of the soul, though a primary, can hardly be considered a primitive religious belief. It involves conceptions at once too abstract and positive to be intelligible to primitive man, and what he cannot conceive he cannot believe.
The belief in & life after death has, indeed, been coeval, or nearly so, with religion, but this differs from the belief in immortality as a Natural or Physical Polytheism differs from a Spiritual or Monotheistic faith. The belief grows up to satisfy a slowly evolved but deeply seated need of man, and marks a development in his religion almost equal to a revolution, or the creation of a new faith. The human mind then passes out of the mythical or creative into the metaphysical or deductive stage, and religion ceases to be a simple worship expressive of a people's instincts and impulses, and becomes a faith, shaping its institutions and manners, laws and literature, thoughts and hopes.
A religion never assumes or exercises its full authority, -never awakens or satisfies the highest hopes of man, until it can command obedience here, and reward it with everlasting happiness hereafter. And this neither implies nor rests on any religious Utilitarianism, in Leigh Hunt's phrase, ozAer-worldliness, but on the simple fact that the immortal nature of man demands a religion which can evoke and satisfy his aspirations after immortality.
It is not the design of this essay to discuss the question of Immortality either •with or against our Modern Philosophies. Such a discussion would be in a great measure superfluous. Determine the fundamental conception or principle of any philosophy, and its relation to the belief in question is ascertained. But the discussion of a secondary or inferential position is useless, while the primary is untouched. Scepticism can simply, with Hume, deny that there are any grounds to
warrant the belief.* Materialism, resolving thought into a movement of matter, can only regard death as the destruction of the individual, and prefer everlasting annihilation to everlasting life.f Positivism, allowing spirit no place in its system, denies immortality to man, but confers it on humanity.^ Pantheism can grant no immortality to the individual, but promises to him either, as a mode of the divine thought or essence, cternity,§ or an im-; mortality which is realized by becoming in the midst of the finite one with the infinite and being in every moment eternal,|| or a return from relative to absolute being through the knowledge that identifies subject and object-lf Theism in all its forms, can as little dispense with the immortality of man as with the personality of God. Both are as necessary to pure Deism as to orthodox Christianity — were, indeed, the articles in the creed of the older English Deism, by which it stood, with which it fell, when, in its exhausted old age, it had to confront at home the scepticism of Hume, abroad the full-grown sensualism of France and the highborn Transcendentalism of Germany."*
• Philosophical Works, vol. It. pp. 647, ff. (Ed. 1854).
t Buctmer, Kraft and Stoff, p. 212. Of course there was an older and less consistent materialism represented by Dr. Priestley, which tried to maintain itself alongside a belief In a future state of rewards and punishments. But it Is now efiete; its positions were too untenable to please these thorough'gning days. ,
t Mill's Comte and Positivism, pp. 135,152.
J Spinoza, Ethlces, Part V., Prop, xxiil. See also Van der Llnde, Spinoza, Seine Lehre u. deren erste Nachwirkung in Holland, pp. 50 and 75.
D Schlelermacher, Keden uber Holiglon, Werke 1. p. 264, (ed. 1848). Schelling, Philosophic u. Religion, pp. 71, ff.
H Caro. 1'Idee de Dlen, pp. 370, ft. Hegel express ed himself very rarely and cautiously concerning the immortality of the soul, though he said very decisively, when charged by Schubart with denying it, that in his philosophy the spirit was raised above all the categories which comprehended decay, destruction, and death (Erdmann, Gesch. der 1'hllos.. II. p. 650). The negative principles which lay in the Hegelian philosophy were held long In the background, but appeared distinctly enough In Klchter's Lehre von den Letzen Olngen (1883), and his Neue Unsterblichkeitglehre (1833). Feuerbach's immortality of historical remembrance nnd Schopenhauer's Nihilism were, so far as our belief Is concerned, coarser and more positive In their negations.
»• Erdmann remarks (Gesch. der Phllos., II. p. 650), with special reference to Flchte, In the first pe
Philosophy did not create the belief in immortality, and acknowledges or denies its validity, just as it is or is not involved in its own fundamental principles. Speculative thought has said all that it can say against the belief, and it still lives; has said, too, all that it can say for it, and it has not died. The old arguments, metaphysical, ethical, teleological, have been exhausted, advanced, answered, confirmed repelled in almost every possible form, and now thought must turn from the high road of abstract speculation, and study human belief as expressed in human religion. Religion, or rather its philosophic theology, may now become a science as purely inductive as any of the physical sciences. The now possible analysis of the faiths of the world, if accompanied by a searching analysis of the faculties of the mind, will hand over to thought our primary and necessary religious ideas, which, as ultimate religious truths, constitute in their synthesis the foundation of the universal and ideal religion of man.
On this ground, not as a dogma of religion, or a doctrine of philosophy, but as a specifically human property* involved in the very nature of man, evolved in the evolution of that nature, the belief in immortality needs to be discussed. How does it arise and why 'I What is its earliest form? What the law or principle of its evolution? What are the final forms it assumes? Why one rather than another? The materials for this discussion are, in one respect, ample enough. Scholars have supplied us with exhaustive and accurate expositions of the several cultured religions, ancient and modern, and
rind of his philosophic thought, that the Immortality of man was for the eighteenth century the dogma par excellence. It wa* so because philosophy was then pre-eminently Thelstlc. From the rise of English Deism In Lord Herbert of Cherbury, to Rousseau In France, and Kant and Leasing In Germany, theUtlc thinkers as a rule held the Immortality of man to be ns necessary to a religion as the being of God. Kant reverses the argument of Warburton, and maintains the Legation of Moses to be an-dlvine. bccau.se without the doctrine of Immortality (Kellg Innerh. d. Grenzen d. bios. Vernunft, Werke, vl., 301, Hartensteln's Ed.) For Lesslng's views, see Die Krzlcli. d, Menschengesch §j 22, It See also Wolfenbut. Frag. VIertes.
* Dr. Theodor Waltz, Anthropologle der NaturTolker, 1.325.
sowtth the means of comparing their earlier and simpler, with their later and more complex, elements, and this comparison may help us to discover the principle of their growth, or th e reason of their specific development. Then the several faiths can be compared with each other, and what is accidental and what essential in each, may thus be determined. Ethnographers, too, like the late Dr. Theodor Waitz, Mr.: Tylor, and Sir John Lubbock,* have collected an immense mass of information aa to the beliefs of savage and primitive peo- , pies. But each of these authors is so absorbed in the search after superficial re-; semblances as often to miss fundamental differences, and the very comprehensiveness which they aim at, forces them to overlook the course of genetic development in the cultured religions-! Now, it may perhaps throw some light upon the growth of religious thought in general, the formation of the cultured religions in particular, and the progress of a people in civilization, if we can trace, though but in outline, the origin and evolution of the belief in immortality among two kindred but very different peoples, the Hindus and the Greeks. On this point their religions, while starting from a common goal, reach the point of sharpest contrast, and so can be most instructively studied.
ii. THE ORIGIN AND EVOLUTION OF THK BELIEF.
Perhaps it maybe necessary to glance here at the origin of the Belief. Death as annihilation is a notion as little intelligible to a primitive or undeveloped mind as immortality. A child cannot understand death as loss of being, cannot imagine the dead as otherwise than still alive. It thinks of them as existing somewhere, aa doing something; and neither the lifeless
• Tin' views of these ethnographers on our present subject will be found, Anthropologle der NaturVolker. I. 325,11.191 ft*.; 411 ff., and very frequently; Primitive Culture, chapp. xii. xiiL: Origin of Civilization, 138 ff.
t Mr. Tylor admits that the early Aryans did not believe In transmigration (Prim. Cult., II. «), and his theory of the origin of the belief (pp. 14.15) cortain•- cannot apply to the Hindus. The men of the Vedlc age had been long out of that savage stage of thought to which alone Mr. Tylor's theory la applicable.