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called the labyrinth of the ear. This last hollow, excavated as it were in the solid bone, consists of a middle portion of irregular figure, and of different channels, which proceed from it in various directions, and, finally, return, with one exception to the same chamber. All these passages are lined by a membrane, on which the sentient extremity of the auditory nerve is expanded in different shapes; from these it is collected into one trunk and goes on to join a particular part of the brain, and thus completes the cominunication between the external agent and the sensorial organ.
QUESTIONS.—1. What is the organ of hearing in its simplest form? 2. What apparatus is connected with this in man? 3. Describe the tube and cavity beyond it. 4. What opening deserves particular attention ? 5. What is the use of it ? 6. What extends across the cavity? 7. Of what does the labyrinth consist ? 8. On what is the auditory nerve expanded ? and what does it join when collected into one trunk ?
Music is the art of combining tunable sounds in a manner agreeable to the ear. It is an expression of feeling, which, almost like verbal discourse, may be said to be a language, since it is the utterance of thought and emotion from heart to heart. But music has a voice, as independent of the mere arbitrary forms of speech, as the tears of gratitude, or the smiles of love, that may indeed, give eloquence to words, but require no words to render them eloquent. Though, when very strictly considered, even the pure and almost spiritual delight of music, may perhaps be counted only a pleasure of sense, yet it approaches, by so many striking analogies, to the nature of our intellectual enjoyments, that it may almost be said to belong to that class. In its relation to the general pleasures of common minds, it is not to be considered as a mere pastime or relaxation; it assumes a far higher character, and it may be said, at least, to be the intellectual luxury of those, who are incapable of any other luxury that deserves so honourable a name. And it is well, that there should be some such intermediate pleasure
of this sort, to withdraw for a while the dull and the sensual, from the grosser existence in which they may be sunk, and to give them some glimpses, at least, of a state of purer enjoyment, than that which is to be derived from the sordid gains, and sordid luxuries of common life. Of the influence, which music has upon the general character, when cultivated to great refinement, there are different opinions. But of its temporary influence, as a source of tranquillizing delight, there can be no doubt.
Who ne'er has felt her hand assuasive steal
eye looks heaven-ward, for from heaven she came.
PIERPONT. The phenomena of mụsic, in addition to their general interest, are truly worthy of our astonishment, from that striking diversity of organic power in the perception of melody and still more of harmony which they exhibit in different individuals, in whom all other circumstances are apparently the same. This diversity has often attracted the attention of philosophers, and has led even those who have no great tendency to speculation of any kind, to wonder at least, which is the first step of all philosophizing. In the present instance, however unfortunately, this first step is the only step which philosophers have been able to take. If the want of a musical ear had involved either a general defect of hearing, or a general slowness of discrimination in other cases of nice diversity, the wonder would not have been great. But those who are without ear for music perceive as readily as others the faintest whisper;—they distinguish like them, the faintest shades of difference in the
mere articulations of sound which constitute the var:eties of language, nor the articulations only, but the differences also of the mere tones of affection or displeasure, grief or gayety, which are so strikingly analogous to the varied expression of musical feeling ;-and their power of discrimination in every other case in which the judgment can be exercised is not less perfect.
That the ear may be improved by cultivation, or in other words, by nice attention to the differences of musical sound, every one knows; and if this attention can enable us, even in mature life, to distinguish sounds as different in themselves, which, but for the habitual attention, we should have regarded as the same, it may well be supposed that continued inattention, from earliest infancy, may render us insensible of musical relations still more obvious and precise, than those which we have thus only learned to distinguish ;-or, which is the same thing, that continued attention from infancy to slight musical differences of sound may render us capable of distinguishing tones as very dissimilar, the differences of which, however obvious at present, we should scarcely, but for such original attentive discrimination, have been able to detect.
Questions.-1. What is music? 2. What renders the phenomena of music worthy of astonishment? 3. What may be supposed to result from inattention to the differences of musical sounds ? 4. Attention ?
finer sorts are made of camels' hair, or sometimes of the down
of swans. The art of distributing lights and shades is called clair obscure,
or chiaro-scuro. The art of painting gives the most direct and expressive representation of objects; and it was, doubtless, for this reason employed by many nations, before the art of writing was invented, to communicate their thoughts, and to convey intelligence to distant places. The pencil may be said to write a universal language; for every one can instantly understand the meaning of a painter, provided he be faithful to
the rules of his art. His skill enables him to display the various scenes of nature at one view; and by his delineation of the striking'effects of passion, he instantaneously affects the soul of the spectator. Silent and uniform as is the address which a good picture makes to us, yet it penetrates so deeply into our affections, as to appear to exceed the powers of eloquence.
Painting is the most imitative of all the arts. It gives to us the very forms of those, whose works of genius, or of virtue, have commanded or won our admiration, and transmits them from age to age, as if not life merely, but immortality flowed in the colours of the artist's pencil; or, to speak of its still happier use, it preserves to us the lineaments of those whom we love, when separated from us either by distance or the tomb. How many of the feelings, which we should most regret to lose, would be lost but for this delightful art, -feelings that ennoble, by giving us the wish to imitate what was noble in the moral hero or sage, on whom we gaze, or that comfort us, by the imaginary presence of those whose affection is the only thing dearer to us, than even our admiration of hčr'oism and wisdom. The value of painting will, indeed, best be felt by those who have lost, by death, a parent or much-loved friend, and who feel that they should not have lost every thing, if some pictured memorial had still remained.
Paintings, in regard to their subjects, are called historical, landscape, or portrait; and in regard to the painters, they are divided into schools or countries; as the Italian, German, French, English, and other schools. Each of the schools has treated the practice of painting in its peculiar manner, and each with exquisite beauty and admirable effect. The great component parts of painting are, invention,
power of conceiving the materials proper to be introduced into a picture ; composition, or the power of arranging them; design, or the power of delineating them; the management of lights and shades; and the colouring. Invention consists principally in three things, the choice of a subject properly within the scope of the art; the seizure of the most striking and energetic moment of time for representation ; and the discovery and selection of such objects, and such probable incidental circumstances, as, combined together, nay best tend to develope the story, or augment the interest
of the piece. In this part of the art, there is a cartoon of Raphael, which furnishes an example of genius and sagacity. It represents the inhabitants of Lystra about to offer sacrifice to Paul and Barnabas. It was necessary to let us into the cause of all the motion and hurry before us; accordingly, the cripple, whom they had miraculously healed, appears in the crowd: observe the means which the painter has used to dintinguish this object, and of course to open the subject of his piece. His crutches, now useless, are thrown to the ground; his attitude is that of one accustomed to such support, and still doubtful of his limbs; the eagerness, the impetuosity, with which he solicits his benefactors to accept the honours destined for them, point out his gratitude and the occasion of it. During the time that he is thus busied, an elderly citizen of some consequence, by his appearance, draws near, and lifting up the corner of his vest, surveys with astonishment the limb newly restored; whilst a man of middle age and a youth, looking over the shoulder of the cripple, are intent on the same object. The wit of man could not devise means more certain of the end proposed ; such a chain of circumstances is equal to a narration.
In the cartoon of Paul preaching at Athens, the elevated situation, and energetic action of the apostle, instantly denote him the hero of the piece, whilst the attentive but astonished circle gathered around him, receive, as it were, light from him, their centre, and unequivocally declare him the resistless organ of divine truth.
QUESTIONS.-1. What are paintings in regard to their subjects ? 2. To the painters ? 3. What are the great component parts of painting? 4. In what three things does invention consist ? '5. What cartoon of Raphael is an example in this part of the art ? [Note. Engravings, taken originally from the cartoons of Raphael, are sometimes inserted in Bibles. That of Peter and John healing the cripple at the beautiful gate of the temple, and that of Paul preaching at Athens, are common.]