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the fact, that real genius not unfrequently exhibits itself in freaks of eccentricity. Psalms 133, 136, 137, 148, and some others of Mr. Cruse's writing, are admirable in their construction, but in order to notice other portions of the work, we must abstain from commenting upon them.
In the harmonization of the melodies of various nations, Mr. Cruse has evinced much judgment and taste, and while he has carefully preserved the individual character of these melodies, he has contributed to their interest by a skilful diversification of the harmony, where admissible, on any repetition of their peculiar strains.
The East-Indian and Chinese melodies are exceedingly beautiful, as also the Moorish and Hindostanee, and we have every reason to regard them as authentic specimens. The East-Indian melodies are performed by the negroes with their peculiar beat, which consists of two bass notes, octaves to each other, commencing on the weak part of the measure. A peculiarity is discoverable in the Chinese melody, that no interval of half-tone occurs, which is said to be a characteristic of all Chinese melodies. Some of these choice melodies (though their general introduction for religious purposes may, in consequence of their remarkable peculiarities, meet with objections in the fastidious) will be found useful to suit peculiar metres, and in their present adaptation prove highly interesting in the chamber, and if sung with the four voices, be rendered pleasingly effective.
In the specimens of successive church writers (the name of each composition being that of its author), we find the collection enriched with many originals, among which we would mention those of Mr. Novello, Dr. Hodges, Edward Viner, Kello, J. Pye, and Addison, are very excellent: the contribution of Mr. Turle is a fine example of cathedral writing ; in the fourth strain the consecutive changes of harmony upon the same note in the melody have a fine effect; this composition is strongly tinctured with the style of the venerable Gregarian melodies. Sheerness and Kingsbridge are beautiful ancient melodies, and are harmonized in Mr. Cruse's best style.
We must not pass over the specimen of W. Ross (a pupil of Mr. Cruse) without expressing our admiration at the sweetness of its strains and the uniform beauty of its composition, not forgetting an original hymn, entitled “ Jesu,” written by Elizabeth Fox, which is in the highest degree beautiful, and breathes that pure devotional spirit evidently characteristic of its fair authorities. Mr. Cruse's music is happily united to the words ; the preliminary and concluding symphonies are elegant, and the ad libitum notes at the end of the lines, serving as little connecting links to the chain of richlywrought harmony, are the suggestions of refined taste.
Although the unisonous style is so commonly adopted by congregations, it needs scarcely be said, that the real beauties of Psalmody cannot be presented without the four distinct parts. In the endeavour to effect the reformation so desirable in this, not the least essential, portion of the Service, some few difficulties may naturally be expected to arise, and though in a mixed assembly it may be unreasonable to look for refinement from a host of voices singing, en masse, the same melody, still a very material change for the better can easily be made, and those who take a lively interest in the welfare of our Church, and are desirous for the healthy improvement of her music, will not hesitate to avail themselves of the valuable suggestions offered in Mr. Cruse's work. Why should I leave the valley.” Canzonet, by J. P. BARRATT. Dean,
the subject, whilst, as a contrapuntist, Mr. Eames has shown that he possesses abilities very far from mediocre. We must not either omit to notice the poetry, which is of a description to put the trash now generally set to music to the blush. We extract a verse for the amusement of our readers, and at the same time strongly recommend the piece itself to their attention.
“ O haste to me with joy to tell,
That he has ceased to roam,
We noticed in an early number of our Magazine a very excellent little work by Mr. Richard CHAMBERS, entitled the “ Spelling-Book of Utility,” in which we particularly directed the reader's attention to the woodcuts illustrating the remarks on Natural History. The proprietor having very politely offered us the use of one of those woodcuts, we hesitated not a moment in accepting it, as we are sure our subscribers will consider with us, that nothing can be more beautiful, or, which is more to the purpose, correct, than the sketch of the bumming-bird which is now before them. Of these cuts there are no less than fourteen, each of which has a slight description beneath, conveying in simple terms all that is requisite should be known respecting them by the youthful student. Of the merits of the work, as a school-book, we have before spoken, and we need only now add, that the moderate price at which it is published places it within the reaeh of all.
We regret much that we have been compelled, from circumstances over which we have had no control, to omit the notices of several books and pieces of music sent us for review, as also the notices of literary societies. We shall, however, make the amende honorable, and do full justice to them in our next.-Ed. N. L. M.
PAGE AND SONS, PRINTERS, BLACKFRÍARS ROAD.
New London Magazine.
ON NATURAL MAGIC.
The term Natural Magic is applied to all those phenomena which, on a first view, would appear to be caused by supernatural agency, but which, nevertheless, can be satisfactorily traced to natural causes. In ancient times, when the gloom of ignorance and superstition pervaded the whole world and shackled the minds of men with their galling and degrading fetters, all those curious phenomena, the causes of which, at that time, were hidden by an apparently impenetrable veil, were at once classed under the common name of magic, and ascribed to supernatural agency; and thus the air, the earth, and the waters were, by the glowing imaginations of men, peopled with innumerable beings who were supposed to be the authors directors of these phenomena, To prove the truth of this fact we need only refer to the histories of the various nations and times, and of the manners and customs of the people. Thus, for instance, if we look at the Heathen Mythology, we shall find how much both the Greeks and Romans entertained the doctrine have mentioned. We shall find that they possessed Deities who ruled over the heavens, the earth, and the sea
-who governed storms and tempests, lightning, and thunder ; there were others who held dominion over winds and hurricanes, indeed, over every vicissitude of the atmosphere. Grove and glen, mountain and moorland, rivers and fountains, all had their presiding Deities. It would be a tedious and unnecessary task to trace this superstitious creed in the various nations of ancient and modern times, and we will, therefore, content ourselves by making a few remarks on the superstition of our own country. What the Gods of the Heatlien Mythology were to the Greeks and Romans, the elves and fairies were to us; and, although the belief in their agency is fast passing away, yet it may be safely affirmed that even now in the distant corners of the
NO. V.VOL. I.
kingdom there can be found some who still have faith in this superstition. Be this, however, as it may, we think there are none who will attempt to deny, but that our forefathers gave implicit credence to supernatural agency; that in fact they believed that there were
“Elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes and grove,” who by their power could
By their so potent. art.”
" We see
We are their parents and original.”
stake for sorcery, is now comprehended by almost every one who
But it may be asked, and perhaps with some show of reason,
The subject of natural magic is one of great extent, as well as of deep interest. In its widest range it embraces the history of the governments and the superstitions of ancient times—of the means by which they maintained their influence over the human mind ; of the assistance they derived from the arts and sciences, and from a knowledge of the powers and phenomena of nature. When the tyrants of antiquity were unable or unwilling to found their sovereignty on the affections and interests of their people, they sought to entrench themselves in the strong holds of supernatural influence, and to rule with the delegated authority of Heaven. The prince, the priest, and the sage were leagued in a dark conspiracy to deceive and enslave their species : and man, who refused his submission to a being like himself, became the obedient slave of a spiritual despotism, and willingly bound himself in chains when they seemed forged by the Gods.
This system of imposture was greatly favoured by the ignorance of these early ages. The human mind is at all times fond of the marvellous, and the credulity of the individual may be often measured by his own attachment to the truth. When knowledge
the property of only one caste, it was by no means difficult to employ it in the subjugation of the great mass of society. An acquaintance with the motion of the heavenly bodies, and the variations in the state of the atmosphere, enabled its possessor to predict astronomical and meteorological phenomena with a frequency and an accuracy which could not fail to invest him with a divine character. The power of bringing down fire from the heavens, even at times when the electric influence was itself in a state of repose, could be regarded only as a gift from heaven. The
power of rendering the human body iņsensible to fire was an irresistible instrument of imposture ; and in the combinations of chemistry and the influence of drugs and embrocations on the human frame, the ancient physicians found their most available
The best method of considering this most important and interesting subject, and the one we shall use in the following articles, will be as follows: