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countenance separately, and saw not on one a frown of ill humour or a shade of sorrow. Here then at least, I whispered to myself, is the use of music not perverted. Some child beloved has completed another of her early years, and the hearts of those who love her are glad and grateful.
Strains of moral feeling, perhaps of cheerful piety, are going forth from hearts as yet untainted with the follies and the fashions of the world; from lips that no unholy jest, no thoughtless impiety, as yet has stained. The music began: the air was plaintive. If it had not the sublimity of our best sacred music, it was feeling, chaste, and beautiful. I descended quickly from the mound, and placed myself near enough to the window indistinctly to catch the words. But my dreams of grateful devotion and moral purity, how were they dissipated, when the first words of a French song | distinguished were an impassioned address to the heathen god of love; and going on with a great deal about the fatal sisters, and other objects of a pagan's worship! My pleasure was passed; but curiosity retained me on the spot, and I waited patiently another and another song. The second was Italian, the sweetest language of music, and the most perverted. The best I could hope here, was that performers and audience were alike ignorant of the nonsense, not to say indelicacy, of the words they were singing. At last I distinguished the accents of our native tongue, and something of a better hope revived; for now the young performers at least must know the meaning of their words. I heard the name of God-the Christian's God! and listened with redoubled earnestness: though, in truth, there seemed something of profanation in the mixture; but, alas! it was more in accordance than I thought. That sacred
name was used but as an expression of earnestness on subjects with which the thought of Him could not possibly combine. How I wished I were at that moment where I could have seen whether a blush did not suffuse the cheeks of the singer, as she uttered a name she could not be accustomed to profane! Or can it be, that the lips of innocence may sing without thought, or feeling, words they dare not speaksentiments they would blush to feel-breathe out a mockery of prayer under cover of a foreign language, and make sport of names, at the mention of which, angels in heaven bow their heads with reverence?
The best that can be said is, that they think no wrong; and, in the enjoyment of the music, give no heed to the meaning of the words: but that is not the less a danger, to which we are insensible; and custom has
far indeed to do its work of mischief, if words of folly and impiety can pass our lips without exciting our attention. Again my
mind recurred to what music might be to what it ought to be. Its powerful influence on our hearts—its titness to excite and to express the best and finest feelings of our nature-above all, its peculiar suitability to speak the feelings of a grateful heart, at peace with God and with itself. I listened no more that night.
NOTE. Christian parents cannot consider the influence which songs and music have on the present feelings and the future character of their children, or they surely would not suffer one of the best of heaven's gifts to be so strangely perverted. The sentiment of these songs, so soon committed to memory and associated with some pleasing tune, so strongly impressed upon the mind, will, in all probability, go with them through life, and be remembered long after other subjects shall have been forgotten. In our country we are beginning, in some small degree, to feel the importance of
this subject: and many of the most popular, chaste, and pleasing airs and melodies, have been adapted to songs of a moral and instructive, if not of a decidedly religious character.
We are indebted to music for many of the purest and most refined pleasures we enjoy. It may inspire with feelings of devotion ; raise the thoughts above the trifles and tumults of this lower world, soothe our cares, and make us forget our sorrows. It may awaken sentiments of honour and glory, or fill the soul with enthusiasm and madness. That wise man understood human nature well, who said, “Let me only make the songs for the people and I care but little who shall make their laws.” Who is ignorant of the influence of the Marsaill's Hymn over the armies of France; or the charm of the Highlander's song, or the wild music of the mountains to the dwellers of the Alps ?
When the captive Israelites sat by the rivers of Babylon; wept, when they remembered Zion; and hung their harps upon the willows; they could endure any suffering; submit to the most degrading slavery; but they could not sing the Lord's song in a strange land.
I saw the leaves gliding down a brook-
“THREESCORE years and ten,” thought I to myself, as I walked, one rainy morning, as a sailor walks the quarter-deck, up and down a short alcove, extending before the windows of a modern house. It was one of those days in June in which our summer hopes take umbrage at what we call unseasonable weather, though no season was ever known to pass without them. Unlike the rapid and delightful showers of warmer days, suddenly succeeding to the sunshine, when the parched vegetables and arid earth seize with avidity and imbibe the moisture ere it becomes unpleasant to our feelings, there had fallen a drizzling rain throughout the night; the saturated soil returned to the atmosphere the humidity it could no longer absorb, and there it hung in chilling thickness between rain and fog. The birds did not sing; and the flowers did not open, for the cold drop was on their cheek, and no sunbeam was there to expand them. Nature itself wore the garb of sadness; and man's too dependent spirits were ready to assume it: those at least that were not so happy as to find means of forgetting it. Such was the case with my unfortunate self.
I had descended to the breakfast-room at the usual hour, but no one appeared—I looked for a book, but found none but an almanac. The books were kept in the library, beyond all dispute their proper place, had I not been in a humour to think otherwise. The house was too hot, and the external air was too cold; and I was fain to betake myself to that last resource of the absolutely idle, a mechanical movement of the body up and down a given space. And from the alcove where I walked, I heard the ticking of the time-piece: and as I passed the window I saw the hands advance; every time I had returned they had gone a little further. 6. Threescore years and ten,” said I to myself, “ and a third or fourth of it is nature's claim for indispensable repose;
many a day consumed on the bed of sickness; and many a year by the infirmities of age; and some part of all necessarily sacrificed to the recruiting of the health by exercise. And what do we with the rest? Nothing answered me but the ticking of the clock, of which the hands were traversing between eight and nine. They had nearly met at the latter hour when the party began to assemble within: and each one commenced, for aught I could discover, the functions of the day: for neither their appearance nor their remarks gave any intimation that they had been previously employed. One, indeed, declared the weather made her so idle she had scarcely found strength to dress herself: another confessed he had passed an additional hour in bed, because the day promised him so little to do up. One by one, as they dropped in, the seats at the breakfast-table filled; and as a single newspaper
all the apparent means of mental occupation, I anticipated some interesting conversation.
I waited and I watched. One ran the point of