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indulgence which belongs to an infir- through subtle variations that somemity rather than an error of the will, times aisguise the theme, sometimes we feel ashamed for the obstinate ob. fitfully reveal it, sometimes throw it tuseness of our country in regard to out tumultuously to the daylight,one and the most effective of the Fine these and ten thousand forms of self. Arts. It will be understood that we conflicting musical passion-what speak of music. In painting and in room could they find, what opening, sculpture it is now past disputing, that for utterance in so limited a field as if we are destined to inferiority at all, an air or song? A hunting-box, a it is an inferiority only to the Italians park-lodge, may have a forest grace and the ancient Greeks; an inferiority and the beauty of appropriateness; which, if it were even sure to be per. but what if a man should match such manent, we share with all the other a bauble against the Pantheon, or malicious nations around us. On that against the minsters of York and head we are safe. And in the most Strasburg ? A repartee may by acci. majestic of the Fine Arts, in poetry, we dent be practically effective: it has have a clear and vast pre-eminence as been known to crush a party-scheme, regards all nations; no nation but our and an oration of Cicero's, or of selves having equally succeeded in both Burke's, could have done no more : forms of the higher poetry, epic and but what judgment would match the tragic. Whilst of meditative or phi. two against each other as developments losophic poetry (Young's, Cowper's, of power ? Let him who finds the Wordsworth's,)—to say nothing of maximum of his musical gratification lyric-we may affirm what Quinc- in a song, be assured, by that one fact, tilian says justly of Roman satire - that his sensibility is rude and unde6 tota quidem nostra est." If, there. veloped. Yet exactly upon this level fore, in every mode of composition is the ordinary state of musical feeling through which the impassioned mind throughout Great Britain ; and the speaks, a nation has excelled its rivals, howling wilderness of the psalmody we cannot be allowed to suppose any in most parish churches of the land, general defect of sensibility as a cause countersigns the statement. There is, of obtuseness with regard to music. however, accumulated in London, So little, however, is the grandeur of more musical science than in any cathis divine art suspected amongst us pital of the world. This, gradually generally, that a man will write an diffused, will improve the feeling of essay deliberately for the purpose of the country. And, if it should fail to putting on record his own preference do so, in the worst case we have the of a song, to the most elaborate music satisfaction of knowing, through Jean of Mozart: he will glory in his shame; Jacques Rousseau, and by later eviand, though speaking in the character dences, that sink as we may below of one confessing to a weakness, will Italy and Germany in the sensibility evidently view himself in the light of to this divine art, we cannot go lower à candid man, laying bare a state of than France. Here, however, and in feeling which is natural and sound, this cherished obtuseness as to a pleaopposed to a class of false pretenders sure so important for human life, and who, whilst servile to rules of artists, at the head of the physico-intellectual in reality contradict their own musical pleasures, we find a second reason for instincts, and feel little or nothing of quarrelling with the civilisation of our what they profess. Strange that even country. At the summit of civilisation the analogy of other arts should not in other points, she is here yet unopen his eyes to the delusion he is en cultivated and savage. couraging! A song-an air-a tune, A third point is larger. Here (prothat is a short succession of notes re- perly speaking) our quarrel is co-exvolving rapidly upon itself, how could tensive with that general principle in that by possibility offer a field of com. England which tends in all things to pass sufficient for the development of set the matter above the manner, the great musical effects? The prepara substance above the external show; tion pregnant with the future, the re- a principle noble in itself, but inevi. mote correspondence, the questions, tably wrong wherever the manner as it were, which to a deep musical blends inseparably with the substance, sense are asked in one passage, and This general tendency operates in answered in another; the iteration and many ways: but our own immediate ingemination of a given effect, moving purpose is concerned with it only so
fir- through subtle variations that some. will, times aisguise the theme, sometimes
ob- fitfully reveal it, sometimes throw it to out tumultuously to the daylight,Fine these and ten thousand forms of self
we conflicting musical passion-what 1 in room could they find, what opening, that for utterance in so limited a field as
all, an air or song? A hunting-box, a ians park-lodge, may have a forest grace rity and the beauty of appropriateness ; per. but what if a man should match such Eher a bauble against the Pantheon, or that against the minsters of York and nost Strasburg ? A repartee may by acci. we dent be practically effective: it has e as been known to crush a party-scheme, ur- and an oration of Cicero's, or of both Burke's, could have done no more: and but what judgment would match the hi- two against each other as developments er's, of power ? Let him who finds the
of maximum of his musical gratification inc. in a song, be assured, by that one fact, re- that his sensibility is rude and undeere. veloped. Yet exactly upon this level ion is the ordinary state of musical feeling and throughout Great Britain ; and the als, howling wilderness of the psalmody ny in most parish churches of the land, use countersigns the statement. There is, sic. however, accumulated in London,
of more musical science than in any caus pital of the world. This, gradually an diffused, will improve the feeling of
of the country. And, if it should fail to nce do so, in the worst case we have the asic satisfaction of knowing, through Jean
far as it operates upon style. In no have relied upon the same country upon earth, were it possible matter—the facts, for instane to carry such a maxim into practical slave-trade—and one has turn effect, is it a more determinate ten- such good account by his dency of the national mind to value ments, by his modes of vivi the matter of a book not only as statements, by his arts of ill paramount to the manner, but even as by his science of connectic distinct from it, and as capable of a se- with human feeling, that h parate insulation. What first gave a his hearers in convulsions of shock to such a tendency must have whilst the other shall have u been the unwilling and mysterious tittle of the same matter with sense—that in some cases, the matter ing one scintillation of s and the manner were so inextricably without leaving behind on interwoven, as not to admit of this impression in the memory, ou coarse bisection. The one was em one murmur in the heart. bedded, entangled, and interfased In proportion, therefore through the other in a way which bade English people have been defiance to such gross mechanical two centuries and a quar separations. But the tendency to
since the latter decennium of view the two elements as in a separa. First's reign) under a const ble relation still predominates ; and, rience of popular eloquene as a consequence, the tendency to into all channels of social undervalue the accomplishment of must have had peculiar op style. Do we mean that the English, feel the effects of style. B as a literary nation, are practically is not to feel consciously. less sensible of the effects of a man is charmed by one c beautiful style ? Not at all. Nobody ascribes the effect to another can be insensible to these effects. a man is fascinated by the a And, upon a known fact of history, composition, who fancies tha viz., the exclusive cultivation of po. subject which has operated pular oratory in England throughout ly. And even for the s The 17th and 18th centuries, we might philosophers who keeps in presume a peculiar and exalted sense interpenetration of the sty of style amongst ourselves. Until matter, it would be as diffic the French Revolution, no nation of tribute the true proportion Christendom except England had any joint action, as, with regard practical experience of popular rheto- liest rays of the dawn, it w ric; any deliberative eloquence, for say how much of the beauty instance ; any forensic eloquence that heavenly light which chase was made public; any democratic elo- darkness—how much in th quence of the hustings; or any form lour which that light entang whatever of public rhetoric beyond Easily, therefore, it may that of the pulpit. Through two cen- pened, that, under the const turies at least, no nation could have and practical effects of styl been so constantly reminded of the may have failed to notice th powers for good and evil which belong the cause. And, besides th to style. Often it must have happen. ing forces which mislead the ed, to the mortification or joy of mul of the auditor in such a case titudes, that one man out of windy other disturbing forces whi nothings has constructed an over the practice of the speaker whelming appeal to the passions of his good rhetoric for the husti hearers, whilst another has thrown is bad for a book. Eve away the weightiest cause by his man highest forms of popular ner of treating it. Neither let it be the laws of style vary muc said, that this might not arise from general standard. In the s differences of style, but because the for the same reason in a r triumphant demagogue made use of it is a virtue to reiterate y fictions, and, therefore, that his tri. ing : tautology becomes a umph was still obtained by means of riation of the words, with a his matter, however hollow that mat. identity of the sense and ter might have proved upon investiga- the truth, is oftentimes a ne tion. That case, also, is a possible man who should content hi case ; but often enough two orators a single condensed enunc
ne; Jacques Rousseau, and by later evi-
of to this divine art, we cannot go lower
of quarrelling with the civilisation of our ven country. At the summit of civilisation not in other points, she is here yet unen cultivated and savage.
A third point is larger. Here (prore- perly speaking) our quarrel is co-exuld tensive with that general principle in omEngland which tends in all things to
of set the matter above the manner, the ura. substance above the external show;
a principle noble in itself, but inevi. ns, tably wrong wherever the manner cal blends inseparably with the substance. und This general tendency operates in und many ways: but our own immediate ing purpose is concerned with it only so
perplexed doctrine, would be a mad. habit of bearing these two great enman and a felo.de-se, as respected his gines daily worked for purposes inreliance upon that doctrine. Like teresting to themselves as citizens, and boys who are throwing the sun's rays sufficiently intelligible to command into the eyes of a mob by means of a their willing attention. The English mirror, you must shift your lights and amongst modern nations have had the vibrate your reflexions at every pos. same advantages, allowance being sible angle, if you would agitate the made for the much less intense con. popular mind extensively. Every centration of the audience. In the mode of iotellectual communication ancient republics it was always the has its 'separate strength and separate same city; and, therefore, the same weakness; its peculiar embarrass. audience, except in so far as it was ments, compensated by peculiar re- spread through many generations. sources. It is the advantage of a This has been otherwise in England ; book, that you can return to the past and yet, by newspaper reports, any page if any thing in the present de great effect in one assize town, or pends upon it. But, return being im- electoral town, has been propagated possible in the case of a spoken ha. to the rest of the empire, through rangue, where each sentence perishes the eighteenth and the present century. as it is born, both the speaker and the But all this, and the continual exemhearer become aware of a mutual inte. plification of style as a great agency rest in a much looser style, and a per. for democratic effect, have not availed petual dispensation from the severities to win a sufficient practical respect, in of abstract discussion. It is for the England, for the arts of composition benefit of both, that the weightier as essential to authorship. And the propositions should be detained before reason is, because, in the first place, the eye a good deal longer than the from the intertexture of style and mat. chastity of taste or the austerity of ter, from the impossibility that the one logic would tolerate in a book. Time should affect them otherwise than in must be given for the intellect to eddy connexion with the other, it has been about a truth, and to appropriate its natural for an audience to charge on bearings. There is a sort of previous the superior agent what often belonged lubrication, such as the boa constric to the lower. This in the first place; tor applies to any subject of digestion, and, secondly, because the modes of which is requisite to familiarize the style appropriate to popular eloquence mind with a startling or a complex being essentially different from those of novelty. And this is obtained for the written composition, any possible ex. intellect by varying the modes of pre- perience on the hustings, or in the senting it,—now putting it directly be. senate, would pro tanto tend rather to fore the eye, now obliqucly, now in disqualify the mind for appreciating an abstract shape, now in the concrete; the more chaste and more elaborate all which being the proper technical qualities of style fitted for books; and discipline for dealing with such cases, thus a rcal advantage of the English ought no longer to be viewed as a lie in one direction has been neutralized centious mode of style, but as the just by two causes in another. style in respect of those licentious Generally and ultimately, it is cercircumstances. And the true art for tain, that our British disregard or in. such popular display is—to contrive adequate appreciation of style, though the best forms for appearing to say a very lamentable fault, has had its something new, when in reality you origin in the manlinesss of the British are but echoing yourself; to break character; in the sincerity and direct. up massy chords into running vari. ness of the British taste; in the prins ations; and to mask, by slight differ- ciple of « esse quam videri," which ences in the manner, a virtual iden. might be taken as the key to much in tity in the substance.
our manner, much in the philosophy of We have been illustrating a twofold our lives; and finally, in that same neutralizing effect applied to the ad. love for the practical and the tangible vantages, otherwise enjoyed by the wbich has so memorably governed the English people, for appreciating the course of our higher speculations forms of style. What was it that made from Bacon to Newton. But, what. the populace of Athens and of Rome ever may have been the origin of this so sensible to the force of rhetoric and most faulty habit, whatever mixed to the magic of language? It was the causes now support it, beyond all
be a mad. habit of hearing these two great en. pected his gines daily worked for purposes inne. Like teresting to themselves as citizens, and sun's rays sufficiently intelligible to command neans of a their willing attention. The English lights and amongst modern pations have bad the every pos. same advantages, allowance being gitate the made for the much less intense con.
Every centration of the audience. In the nunication ancient republics it was always the id separate same city; and, therefore, the same embarrass. audience, except in so far as it was culiar re- spread through many generations. age of a This has been otherwise in England ; o the past and yet, by newspaper reports, any resent de- great effect in one assize town, or
being im- electoral town, has been propagated poken ha- to the rest of the empire, through e perishes the eighteenth and the present century. er and the But all this, and the continual exemutual inte. plification of style as a great agency and a per- for democratic effect, have not availed a severities to win a sufficient practical respect, in is for the England, for the arts of composition
weightier as essential to authorship. And the ned before reason is, because, in the first place, r than the from the intertexture of style and mat. usterity of ter, from the impossibility that the one ik. Time should affect them otherwise than in ect to eddy connexion with the other, it has been opriate its natural for an audience to charge on of previous the superior agent what often belonged a.constric. to the lower. This in the first place; digestion, and, secondly, because the modes of liarize the style appropriate to popular eloquence a complex being essentially different from those of ned for the written composition, any possible exJes of pre- perience on the hustings, or in the lirectly be- senate, would pro tanto tend rather to
question it is, that such a habit of dis- pass, that what was held regard or of slight regard applied to Rome in two separate ages all the arts of composition does exist great rhetoricians, and of in the most painful extent, and is de- tinople in an age long tected by a practised eye in every page may now be affirmed of Eng of almost every book that is published. idiom of our language, th
If you could look any where with a tongue, survives only amo right to expect continual illustrations women and children ; not, of what is good in the manifold quali- knows, amongst our women ties of style, it should reasonably be books—they are often painf amongst our professional authors; spicuous for all that disfigur but as a body, they are distinguished ship; but amongst well by the most absolute carelessness in women not professionally this respect. Whether in the choice literature. Cicero and Qu of words and idioms, or in the con- each for his own generation struction of their sentences, it is not something of the same prepossible to conceive the principle of to the noble matrons of Ro lazy indifference carried to a more re more than one writer of t volting extremity. Proof lies before empire has recorded of B you, spread out upon every page, that that in the nurseries of that no excess of awkwardness, or of in- found the last home for the olegance, or of unrhythmical cadence, the ancient Greek. No doul is so rated in the tariff of faults as to have been found also among balance, in the writer's estimate, the numerable mob of that haug trouble of remoulding a clause, of in- polis, but stained with corru terpolating a phrase, or even of strik. vulgar abbreviations. Or ing the pen through a superfluous it might lurk, assuredly it word. In our own experience it has amongst the noble, the offici happened, that we have known an courtiers ; else it was impos author so laudably fastidious in this such a master of affectation subtle art, as to have recast one chap- Choniates, for instance, sh ter of a series no less than seventeen found toleration. But the times; so difficult was the ideal or of this matter lies in a small model of excellence which he kept be why are the local names, fore his mind ; so indefatigable was his they have resulted from th labour for mounting to the level of good sense of a country, that ideal. Whereas, on the other the local truth, grave, and u hand, with regard to a large majority Simply because they are i of the writers now carrying forward tions of any active faculty the literature of the country from the passive depositions from a last generation to the next, the evi- pression upon the mind. dence is perpetual—not so much that other hand, wherever there they rest satisfied with their own ran- bitious principle set inn dom preconceptions of each clause or name-inventing, there it is s sentence, as that they never trouble mipate in something mon: themselves to form any such precon- fanciful. Women offend in ceptions. Whatever words tumble even more than men ; becau out under the blindest accidents of the sentiment or romance will or moment, those are the words re- the names they impose. Sa tained ; whatever sweep is impressed err in an opposite spirit: t1 by chance upon the motion of a period, affectation in their names, b that is the arrangement ratified. To too painful an effort after fancy that men thus determinately allusions to the gravities o careless as to the grosser elements of tive land — Big Wig Islan style would pause to survey distant Bishop and his Clerks :'01 proportions, or to adjust any more de- becomes a memento of real licate symmetries of good composition, but too casual and persona would be visionary. As to the links this lasting record of a nan of connexion, the transitions, and the Point Farewell, or Cape 1 many other functions of logic in good This fault applies to many writing, things are come to such a kee* names, and to many n
*" Yankee names."— Foreigners in America subject themselves to a perp
-y, now in disqualify the mind for appreciating
technical qualities of style fitted for books; and
licentious Generally and ultimately, it is cerrue art for tain, that our British disregard or in. o contrive adequate appreciation of style, though ing to say a very lamentable fault, has had its eality you origin in the manlinesss of the British
to break character ; in the sincerity and direct-
our manner, much in the philosophy of
southern and western states of North purity or simplicity of diction, if at America, where the earliest popula- any cost of either they can win a spetion has usually been of a less reli- cial attention to themselves ? Now, gious character; and, most of all, it the great body of women are under no applies to the names of the back set such unhappy bias. If they happen tlements. These people live under in- to move in polished circles, or have fluences the most opposite to those of received a tolerable education, they false refinement: coarse necessities, will speak their native language of elementary features of peril or em- necessity with truth and simplicity. barrassment, primary aspects of savage And supposing them not to be profesnature, compose the scenery of their sional writers, (as so small a proporthoughts; and these are reflected by tion can be, even in France or Engtheir names. Dismal Swamp express- land,) there is always something in the es a condition of unreclaimed nature, situation of women which secures a which must disappear with growing fidelity to the idiom. From the greate civilisation. Big Bone Lick tells a tale er excitability of females, and the of cruelty that cannot often be repeated. superior vivacity of their feelings, Buffaloes, like all cattle, derive medi- they will be liable to far more irritacinal benefit from salt; they come in tions from wounded sensibilities. It droves for a thousand miles to lick the is for such occasions chiefly that they masses of rock salt. The new settlers seek to be effective in their language. observing this, lie in ambush to sur Now, there is not in the world so prise them : twenty-five thousand certain a guarantee for pure idiomatic noble animals, in one instance, were diction, without tricks or affectation, massacred for their hides. In the follow a case of genuine excitement. ing year the usual crowds advanced; Real situations are always pledges of but the first who snuffed the tainted a real natural language. It is in air wheeled round, bellowed, and “re- counterfeit passion, in the mimical coiled” far into his native woods. situations of novels, or in poems that Meantime the large bones remain to are efforts of ingenuity, and no attest the extent of the merciless mas ebullitions of absolute unsimulated sacre. Here, as in all cases, there is feeling, that female writers endeavour a truth expressed; but again too to sustain their own jaded sensibility, casual and special. Besides that, or to reinforce the languishing interfrom contempt of elegance, or from est of their readers by extravagances defect of art, the names resemble the of language. No woman in this world, seafaring nomenclature in being too under a movement of resentment from rudely compounded.
a false accusation, or from jealousy, or As with the imposition of names, from confidence betrayed, ever was at 80 with the use of the existing lan- leisure to practise vagaries of caprice guage, most classes stand between in the management of her mother the pressure of two extremes--of tongue; strength of real feeling shuts coarseness, of carelessness, of imper- out all temptation to the affectation fect art, on the one hand, of spurious of false feeling. refinement and fantastic ambition Hence the purity of the female Byupon the other. Authors have always zantine Greek. Such caprices as they been a dangerous class for any lan- had took some other course, and found guage. Amongst the myriads who some other vent than through their are prompted to authorship by the mother tongue. Hence, also, the pucoarse love of reputation, or by the rity of female English. Would you nobler craving for sympathy, there desire at this day to read our noble will always be thousands seeking dig- language in its native beauty, pictutinctions through novelties of diction. resque from idiomatic propriety, racy Hopeless of any audience through in its phraseology, delicate yet sinewy mere weight of matter, they will turn in its composition-steal the mail for their last resource to such tricks bags, and break open all the letters in of innovation as they can bring to bear female handwriting. Three out of four upon language. What care they for will have been written by that class of terpretation by misapplying this term. “ Yankee,” in the American use, does not mean a citizen of the United States as opposed to a foreigner, but a citizen of the Northern New England States (Massachusetts, Connecticut, &c.) opposed to a Virginian, a Keotuckian, &c.