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"I have feen the fun fet in the weft, and the fhades of night shut in the wide horizon: there was no colour, nor fhape, nor beauty, nor mufic; gloom ❝ and darknefs brooded around I looked,-the
"fun broke forth again from the east, and gilded the
mountain tops; the lark rose to meet him from her "low neft, and the fhades of darknefs fled away.
"I have feen the infect, being come to its full fize, "languish, and refuse to eat: It ipun itself a tomb, "and was fhrouded in the filken cone; it lay without "feet, or shape, or power to move. -I looked "again, it had burst its tomb; it was full of life, and "failed on coloured wings through the soft air; it rejoiced in its new being.
"Thus fhall it be with thee, O man! and fo fhall "thy life be renewed,
"Beauty fhall fpring up out of afhes, and life out is of the duft.
"A little while fhalt thou lie in the ground, as the de feed lieth in the bofom of the earth: But thou shalt "be raifed again; and if thou art good, thou shalt ne ver die any more.
"Mourn not therefore, child of immortality! for the spoiler, the cruel fpoiler, that laid waste the works of God, is fubdued! JESUS hath conquered death: Child of immortality! mourn no
To the Editor of the Bee.
On Herodotus the Hiftorian.
HISTORY is a fpecies of compofition, at the fame time the most popular and the moft dignified. To excel in it, requires imagination with all its fplendour, and judgment with all its knowledge; it therefore includes almost every denomination of readers; it particularly in
terests the poet, the philofopher, and the politician; and is also acceffible to the common herd of mankind, whọ are content with the amusement of general and fuperficial knowledge.
The actions of men, and if we may fo fpeak, the actions of nations, are the two great fubjects of hiftory; the one exhibiting human nature as it actually exifts, the other government, with all its political confequences. The first has been more attended to by the ancients, the last by the moderns.
Herodotus was the first of hiftorians; and therefore little acquantance with political eftablishments is to be. expected in his works: he lived in that ftate of fociety in which the love of the marvellous far exceeds that of philofophical truth, and in which the mind must be gratified with extraordinary events, and uncommon adventures, with what will roufe the imagination, and what will interest the heart. Incapable as yet ftrictly to difcern all the poffibilities of nature's operations; and unwilling to fubftitute general and abstract ideas, in place of thofe pleafing and wonderful tranfactions which take poffeffion of the mind, without, the labour of inquiry, or tedious investigation; indulging thefe incredible fictions, they often allow themfelves to be carried along with them through the courfe of ages, notwithstanding the counteracting tendency of reafon and nature.
In the writings however of Herodotus, we discover the first dawnings of hiftorical truth. He drew the attention of his countrymen from the remote regions of mythological obfcurity, in which their minds had been wholly involved, to more recent actions, and to scenes which had a greater coincidence with those with which they were converfant. He gradually taught them to contemplate human affairs with a more fober eye, by relating thofe revolutions in kingdoms, and thofe inci dents in life, which either their own experience could atteft, or which had no very diftant analogy to their experience.
In this ftate of fociety then, among a people so prone to fable as the Greeks, and with the romantic imagina tion of Herodotus, we are not to be furprised, though in his works, fome intermixture of legendary ftory fhould be found; on the contrary, it might have been expected, that he would have given way, in a greater degree, to the natural bias of his genius, and related with indifcriminate ardour every thing that would most readily please thofe for whom he wrote. Perhaps it was impoflible for any man in his circumstances, to fet him felf up against the common belief of the times, and difcredit more than what the limited philofophy of that age would countenance. Upon thefe principles, the objection of credulity which has been fo often made against Herodotus, may be much alleviated, if not wholly wiped off.
Herodotus prefents us with hiftory in its fimpleft form. He brings facts before us without any labour of felection, and yet with much propriety; and characters who act without feeming to have any affiftance from the historian. They appear in review as if upon the ftage; and act and speak in a manner which immediately commands attention. The dramatic form in which he writes, though not so comprehensive as the plan adopted by after hiftorians, is however more natural and more pleafing; it animates the whole, and we fee before us a picture of men and things fuch as they exift in nature. It is the first and most artless kind of narration, and is to be found in all early poets and hiftorians.
Herodotus poffeffes all the qualities which are requifite for historical compofition in an eminent degree. He gives a complete view of his fubject; he is copious, and at the fame time pure, perfpicuous and elegant; relates with a facility, with an unaffected grace and fimplicity, which never fail to charm and interest every reader; nothing rugged or obfcure, nothing embarraffed or laboured, is to be found in his writings. Upon whatever fubject he touches, he diffuses that luminoufnefs, and that fplendour, which is the best criterion of
original genius. We are never at a lofs to apprehend his meaning, or follow the train of incidents; every thing is fet in a full, a diftinct, and marked point of view. He is the reverfe of what is faid of Thucydides ; he delights to tell of what is agreeable and pleasant; he has more of the airinefs and gaiety of Anacreon, than of the ardent and ferious fenfibility of Tacitus.
A new and fimple Mode of Mufical Notation.
Ir to fimplify an art, be to improve it, I doubt not but the following very fimple mode of mufical notation, will be deemed a very effential improvement. It poffeffes all the precifion and accuracy of the mode of mufical notation now in ufe, with the additional recommendation of admitting of being compreffed into much fma ler compass, and of being afforded at a price greatly inferior to that which mufic can be fold for at present. By this method, a small pocket volume, that could be afforded for a few fhillings, might contain as much mufic, as can at present be contained in a bulky folio, which cofts feveral guineas.
The contrivance merits applaufe on account of its utility, rather than its ingenuity; it is, indeed, fo fimple, and fo obvious, that it only excites aftonishment it fhould not have been adopted long ago.
In mufical notation, two particulars must be feparately adverted to, viz. tone and time. By the mode of notation now in use, the tones are denoted by certain dots or marks being placed on or between lines drawn across the paper for that purpose, as every one knows. These tones, confidered as afcending or defcending, have been divided into octaves, each octave confifting of feven notes, denoted by the letters A B CDEFG, as in the following fcale of mufic.
GA B C DEFG|A B C D E F G | AB Ċ D
Thus we perceive, that even at prefent the notes confidered as to tone only, could be equally well denoted by the letters, which are the names of these notes, as by the notes themselves. One difficulty only occurs, viz. that the fame letters denote feveral different octaves above or below each other. Could this difficulty be removed, it is perfectly obvious that every thing refpecting tone might be marked with equal precifion by means of letters alone, as can now be done by the help of notes and different clefs, which is a troublesome contrivance, neceffarily reforted to for making the high and the low notes be equally fufceptible of being properly placed upon the five lines in a mufic book.
To diftinguish the different octaves from each other, nothing more is neceffary than to place certain differential marks upon the letters of each octave; and if these marks are very fimple and obvious, no difficulty can
The tenor clef is the medium between the high and low in mufic Let us then take the octave from A founded on the fecond string of the violin open, to A next above it on the tenor clef, as the medium, and let that octave being all times denoted by the letters fimply, without any differential marks at all, thus A B, &c. Let the next octave above it be marked by the fame fet of letters, which have each of them a fingle dot placed above the letter, as AB, &c. The next octave above that to have two dots on the upper part of the letters; the third three dots; and fo on till you arife to the top of the fcale. The defcending octaves fhould be marked in