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pose admirably; the image is beautiful in itself, well adapted to illustrate the thought, and sufficiently suggested by the mere use of the words ‘sliding toward her ocean. More than this offends our modern sense; but if we concede to the florid taste of the preacher's age that he was justified in expanding his beautiful metaphor into a simile, we must still protest against the introduction of another figure within it; the words 'fiscus,' exchequer,' prince,'tribute,' 'audit,' though quite of the kind which even Milton himself might have used upon fit occasion, must surely be felt as jarring notes here. In a word, the passage suffers, like many others, from Taylor's unpruned exuberance; he is not content to suggest an image, he must give it in detail ; he gives us so fully the work of his own imagination that he leaves nothing for ours, which is always a mistake in art. He wanted, in a far greater degree than Shakspeare, the art to blot,' and few men needed it more.
The following comparison, illustrating the blessing of God's chastisements, which seems to us nearly perfect in all its parts, is besides worthy of note from the fact that Southey transferred it entire to · Thalaba':
• I have known a luxuriant vine swell into irregular twigs and bold excrescences, and spend itself in leaves and little rings, and afford but trifling clusters to the wine-press, and a faint return to his heart which longed to be refreshed with a full vintage; but when the Lord of the vineyard had caused the dressers to cut the wilder plant and make it bleed, it grew temperate in its vain expense of useless leaves, and knotted into fair and juicy branches, and made account of the loss of blood by return of fruit. Here is Southey's version :
* Repine not, O my son, the old man replied,
And bold excrescences,
Wasting the sap and strength
It is interesting to compare the use of the same figure by another great master of imagination, Walter Scott. Murmurer that thou art,” said Morton, in the enthusiasm of his reverie, “why chafe with the rocks that stop thy course for a moment? There is a sea to receive thee in its bosom, and there is an eternity for man, when his fretful and hasty course through the vale of time shall be ceased and over. What thy petty fumings are to the deep and vast billows of a shoreless ncean, are our cares, hopes, fears, joys, and sorrows to the objects which must occupy us through the awful and boundless succession of ages." -- Old Mortality.'
That should have given forth fruit.
But when I pruned the plant,
The hand that wisely wounded it.' * The laureate, who fully acknowledged his appropriation of the image, altered as little as possible what he himself called Taylor's ‘unimprovable' language; yet the whole passage has in Southey a heaviness which it has not in Taylor : Taylor was, in truth, much the better poet of the two.
Such beauties as those which we have quoted meet us everywhere in Taylor's sermons and practical works: his fancy always glows; yet it must needs be confessed that his superabundant illustrations, especially those which are drawn from books, very much detract from the impression of earnestness which a sermon ought to produce. They give to his discourses the appearance of &midelęels, or show-speeches, rather than of the didactic and persuasive oratory which ought to characterize the utterances of a Christian preacher. After making all possible allowance for the florid and learned style of the seventeenth century, we cannot but feel that the preacher is rather amusing than persuading or instructing us when, inveighing against luxury, he tells us that there are “in the shades below no numbering of healths by the numeral letters of Philenium's name, no fat mullets, no oysters of Lucrinus, no Lesbian or Chian wines,' and bids us now enjoy the delicacies of nature, and feel the descending wines distilled through the limbeck of thy tongue and larynx, and seek the delicious juices of fishes, the marrow of the laborious ox, the tender lard of Apulian swine, and the condited bellies of the scarus,' and speaks of desiring to have the wealth of Susa, or garments stained with the blood of the Tyrian fish, or to feed like Philoxenus, or to have tables loaden like the boards of Vitellius. It is not to much purpose that he tells an English congregation, speaking of the somewhat more delicate food which is necessary for the mental activity of the student, that 'neither will the pulse and the leeks, Lavinian sausages and the Cisalpine suckets or gobbets of condited bull's flesh, minister such delicate spirits to the thinking man.' in a very remarkable description of the Last Judgment, there shall come together, he says, 'all kingdoms of all ages, all the armies that ever mustered, all the world that Augustus Cæsar taxed, all those hundreds of millions that were slain in all the Roman wars, from Numa's time till Italy was broken into principalities and small exarchates.' * It seems to us a perversity to spoil a striking passage with those principalities and small exarchates:' they add nothing to the picture; on the contrary, they draw off the attention from the thronging multitudes to the curious nicety of the describer. And such instances as these are not isolated; we can hardly read a discourse without finding its solemnity marred here and there by illustrations which remind us rather too forcibly of the ingenuity and learning of the preacher.
* «Thalaba,' Book viï. st. 17.
millions * 'Christ's Advent,' Serm. I. s. 1. He was fond of these .exarchates.' In the * Holy Dying' (ch. i. sec. iv. s. 4) he speaks of the ants dividing their little molehills into rinces and exarchates. Here, however, the big word contrasts well with the little subject; we feel the ants' assumption of dignity.
The truth is, we are afraid we must needs confess it, that Taylor's 'linked sweetness long drawn out' tends here and there to mawkishness: the banquet of sweets is too much for us; we long for plain wholesome fare. And this tendency is very much increased by the preacher's singular want of humour. We may perhaps do him injustice: his face might perhaps have suggested his perception of the ludicrous side of some passages in his sermons, if we could have seen him deliver them; but whatever the subject, he never smiles at us from the printed page. In the peroration of the Holy Dying,' where he is dissuading us from excessive grief at the death of friends, he does not seem to perceive the exquisite incongruity of that choice story from Petronius about the Ephesian widow who was so remarkably consoled, though he tells it in a manner not unworthy of Boccaccio. He illustrates the folly of a rash marriage by the following apologue:
• The stags in the Greek Epigram, whose knees were clogged with frozen snow upon the mountains, came down to the brooks of the valleys, hoping to thaw their joints with the waters of the stream ; but there the frost overtook them, and bound them fast in ice, till the found herdsmen took them in their stranger snare.
It is the unhappy chance of many men, finding many inconveniences upon the mountains of single life, they descend into the valleys of marriage to refresh their troubles; and there they enter into fetters, and are bound to sorrow by the cords of a man's or woman's peevishness.'
His manner betrays here no sense of drollery; and yet his audience must have been made of sterner stuff than we are if they did not smile at this quaint description of the unfortunate case of those who rush from the ills of celibacy to others that they know not of.'
Yet this want of humour was not incompatible with a great power of sarcasm; in the · Dissuasive from Popery,' in particular, he directs against certain practices of the Roman Church and its various orders a sarcastic irony not unworthy to be compared witla Pascal's. And if in his stately solemnity Taylor sometimes indulges in overmuch amplification, he shows himself nevertheless, upon occasion, a master of terse, vigorous, vernacular phraseology. His controversial treatises are not written in the florid style of his sermons; in truth, nothing is more remarkable than the instinctive tact with which he adapts the style to the subject, though, no doubt, his strain is always pitched in a key somewhat too high for modern ears. Nor does his exuberant fancy preclude the exercise of remarkable keenness and subtlety. Mr. Hallam thought that Taylor could never have made a great lawyer. We are by no means of his opinion. The author of the Ductor Dubitantium' might surely have been a great equity lawyer; and both his excellencies and his defects fitted him for the profession of an advocate. For he is always rather rhetorician than philosopher; he does not reason up to conclusions; he takes a proposition and defends it by ingenious arguments; and he shows great skill in discovering and attacking the weak points in his opponent's case. When we add to these qualifications his power of 'getting up' a subject and of finding apt language and ready illustration, we surely have before us the very ideal of a successful candidate for the highest honours of the bar. But we believe that a genuine vocation brought Taylor into the ranks of the priesthood; he could not have borne to waste his splendid powers on fines and recoveries, or in making the worse appear the better reason; his arguments may sometimes be rather specious than sound, but they are always employed in favour of what he believed to be just, and true, and noble.
His great defect is a certain want of masculine firmness and vigour; his intellect and fancy are dominant over his will. Hence, we sometimes desiderate a greater force of rough moral indignation; he disapproves rather than condemns; he rather shows the ugliness of evil than dashes it from him as a twining monster; perhaps he hardly knew it nearly enough to be really moved to loathe its deformity. Where Milton would thunder and South would spurn, Taylor deprecates. But, apart from this cardinal defect, how noble is his character! He is unstained, so far as we know, by any suspicion of intrigue or meanness; his personal sweetness and attractiveness seem to have been as manifest as Shakspeare's; we can well imagine the gentler spirits of a disturbed time joyfully adopting him as a 'ghostly father.' long, probably, as Englishmen retain a taste for elevated thought, pure aspiration, and quaint imagery clothed in rich and ornate diction, so long will Šeremy Taylor retain his high place in our literature.
use to man
ART. V.-1. Die Lehre der Tonempfindungen als physiologische
Grundlage für die Theorie der Musik. Von H. Helmholtz, Professor der Physiologie an der Universität zu Heidelberg.
Brunswick, 1865. 2. Histoire générale de la Musique. Tomes I. II. Par F. J.
Fétis. Paris, 1869. 3. Philosophie de la Musique. Par Charles Beauquier. Paris, 1866. 4. History of Modern Music. By John Hullah. London, 1862. 5. A Course of Lectures on the Transition Period of Musical History. By John Hullah. 1865. CEITHER the enjoyment nor the capacity of producing
musical notes are faculties of the least direct in reference to his ordinary habits of life.' So says Mr. Darwin ;* and yet, a little further on, we read :-'I conclude that musical notes and rhythm were first acquired by the male or female progenitor of mankind for the sake of charming the opposite sex.' We may leave the reader to reconcile these two ingenious statements, the last of which seems to be in contradiction to the first. To charm the opposite sex' is surely now, as it has ever been, one of the most ordinary habits' of man, and we ought to admit that if the capacity of producing musical notes' is calculated to help him in this arduous undertaking, then this 'capacity' is of some *direct use' to him. That music has a great many
other it is our object on the present occasion to prove: meanwhile, we have quoted the above statements, not because they appear to be in one respect contradictory, but because in them we have the latest scientific testimony concerning the uselessness and the usefulness of music.
The origin of Vocal music has been the subject of much conjecture. Whether we think, with Mr. Darwin, that music was developed from cadences used to charm the opposite sex and expressive of strong emotion; or, with Mr. Herbert Spencer, that music was developed from the cadences of emotional speech whether speech preceded music, or music preceded speech—is of little importance to our present inquiry ; in either the Singing Art would have to be traced to one and the same root, viz. the vocal expression of emotion through sound. The famous hairy creature with a tail and pointed ears may have been the first distinguished vocalist, for aught we know—at all events, we are not in a position to dispute the fact.
The origin of Instrumental music is not far to seek. We need hardly quarrel with the mythic account. Very likely, the
* • Descent of Mar,' vcl. ii. p. 253. Vol. 131.-No. 261.