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extended in its range of notes nearly two octaves; which has enabled two performers, upon the same instrument, to represent the full pieces in Mozart and Rossini's operas, with a completeness of effect hitherto unknown. Great skill is required to display, in these duets, the powers of the instrument, as well as the composition, and no arrangements stand higher in public estimation than those of Watts and Dia belli.
If the piano cannot show itself to advantage in a large room, amidst a crowd of instruments, it plays its part well in private, where it forms a lit'tle concert. It is the treasure of the harmonist
and the singer. How many evenings does it remove from ennui and dullness, and enliven with all the charms of melody!** If we would attempt the music of the drama, it is the point of unity. With a few practised voices, and congenial minds, we engage in the concerted pieces of Figaro and Don Giovanni, or in the captivating duets of Il Barbiere, Tancredi, La Gazza Ladra, and Semiramide.
The sounds which insects produce are numerous and curious. It is, probably, not generally known, • M. Castile Blaze.
that the noises which are supposed to proceed from their vocal organs, are actually made by rubbing their legs together, or by the motion of their wings.
If we reflect for a moment upon that humming sound, which we hear from a cloud of insects overhead, in a summer's evening, we cannot suppose it proceeds from the combined voices of beings, scarcely perceptible, but that the buzz is the result of a motion, given to the air by the dances of these diminutive creatures.
That keen observer, Mr. White of Selborne, says, 'I have often heard a sound like the humming of
bees, though not an insect is to be seen. You 'may hear it the whole common through, from the 'mossy dells to my avenue gate.'
Not undelightful is the ceaseless hum,
To him who musing walks at noon.* It was on a hot summer's day that Beethoven sat upon a stile in the environs of Vienna, and caught from nature those imitative sounds in the Pastoral Sinfony. How admirably do the violins, in that extraordinary composition, represent the soft fluttering stir of the insects—the hum in the noon-tide warmth of a summer's day!
If we watch the house-fly, we shall soon be convinced that he is destitute of voice, and that the
* The existence of these diminutive creatures, who only appear in the evening, is said by Reaumur to terminate before the dawn of day; though short, it is a life of incessant pleasure. By naturalists they are now classed as choral flies, who congregate in millions, for the pleasures of music and the dance.
noise proceeds from his wings; since, when at rest, he is always silent. This sound is invariably upon the note F in the first space:
To produce this sound, the wings must make three hundred and twenty vibrations in a second of time, or nearly twenty thousand if he continues on the wing for one minute.* The hum of the honey
* Children are naturally cruel; their first acts of torture are inflicted upon harmless flies, by pulling their legs and wings off, and spinning them for sport. Parents that suffer their children to commit such cruelties, harden their hearts to all the delicate feelings of pity and compassion, and brutalise their minds. The Athenian senate punished a boy for wantonly putting out the eyes of a bird; and in Finland, a boy was publicly whipped for destroying a dog, by pouring scalding water upon him. To a good master the dog is a grateful, constant, and affectionate friend; he will follow him from a palace to a dungeon. Cold and famine will not cool his attachment-will not tear him from you—though you are forsaken by the world, you will not be forsaken by him. If all the barbarous customs and practices still subsisting amongst us, were decreed to be illegal as they are sivful, we should not hear of so many shocking murders and acts of inhumanity.
There is one species of which all ranks, except the poor, stand accused. This is the horrid treatment of stage-coach horses, and travelling by post. How often do we see the trembling horse, panting for breath, come reeking into the inn-yard, and nearly expiring under the extreme exertion to which he has been driven! his sides bleeding with the spurs or lashes of the unfeeling post-boys! every tendon quivering with convulsive agony! in vain is he offered food,
his mouth is parched with thirst and dust-water is denied him, be'cause it would probably put an end to his existence, and he is preserved for future and constant torment!"* A righteous man,' saith • On Mercy to Animals, by Dr. Primatt, and Arthur Broome.
bee is the same; and the large humble-bee, the contra-basso of the tribe, performs the same note just an octave lower :
The drone of the cockchaffer, as he wheels by. you, ‘in drowsy hum,' sounds his corno di bassetto on F below the line:
Huber remarks that in every hive there are bees whose office it is to ventilate, and supply a current of air throughout the apartments; and this is effected by ranks of fanners, who, in all the passes, keep up a constant tremulous motion of their wings. If the ear is placed on the outside of the hive, you may distinguish the mezzo tones that emanate from this host of fanners, who shed a mellow music from their odorous wings, which, on listening, will be found to be in the key of F.
Solomon, “regardeth the feelings of his beast, but the wicked are cruel.'
It is a crime among the Gentoos to torture or injure an animal, and punishment is always inflicted. The lower orders in this country are cruel from mere insensibility. Butchers and drovers are an inhunian set, and the higher orders make no efforts to amend them.
Cowards are cruel; but the brave
Love mercy, and delight to save.—Gay.