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DARTMOUTH COLLEGE,

April, 1841.

BY JOSEPH BARTLETT.

Published at the request of the Society.

BOSTON:

PRINTED BY CROCKER AND BREWSTER,

47, Washington Street.

1841.

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Music has a language wonderful in its power,

wide
in its extent. There are few in whom she does
not find an answering chord. Minds the most
savage and uncultivated, no less than the civilized
and refined, acknowledge her sway.

.
The human soul is not her only subject. She
has a charm for natures more wild and savage
than that of man. Her notes can quell the rage
of the serpent, and hold him by a fascination more
potent than his own. History has recorded an in-
stance of her power yet stranger. In the chron-
icles of the Kings of Israel, we read of a mighty
monarch who had subdued his earthly foes—of an
invisible enemy—one of the darkest and most ma-
lignant foes of the human race, haunting and vexing
his unquiet soul-we read too of a shepherd boy
whose harp exorcised the foul spirit.

The human voice is not her only instrument.
The order of beings below us, has been called the
mute creation, but they are not all mute; some of

whistorical

BURTON HIST. COLLECTION

TI

them utter sounds of the richest and most varied melody. The return of this spring was welcomed by other voices than ours.

Morning is hailed by aerial choirs. Voices welcome the rising sun, sweet as those which his first beams once drew from the statue of the fabled Memnon.

Such is the tendency even of inanimate nature to music, that it has been said that the mingled hum of her sounds and the distant murmur of a city, produce invariably the letter F in music.” And thus her shrillest and her gravest, her rudest and her gentlest, her meanest and her grandest sounds all join in a mighty unison. The experiment may be easily made. There are beautiful sea shells

“Of pearly hue
Within, and they that lustre have imbibed
In the Sun's palace porch; where, when unyoked,
His chariot-wheel stands midway in the wave.
Shake one, and it awakens; then apply
Its polished lips to your attentive ear,
And it remembers its august abodes
And murmurs as the ocean murmurs there."

To the wondering ear of childhood, those

“Sonorous cadences expressed Mysterious union with its native sea."

But philosophy says that those "murmurings within” are but echoes from a world without, that when the air is stillest, there are yet sounds floating in it unheard by us, which those "curious convolutions”

may

receive and return audibly to our A comparison of those shells with the tones of a musical instrument will show us that whatever be their varieties of form and size, whether their undulations are low and gentle, like the

ears.

Ποντίων κυμάτων
Ανήριθμον γέλασμα,

“The innum'rous smile of the ocean wave,"

or like its hoarser, deeper roll, F is the common key note of all those mimic waves.

While the sounds of nature are thus tending to a majestic unison, she has her deep harmony too, in which all things animate and inanimate unite.

Have you never listened to her concerts?

Go forth then to one of her cathedrals, a mighty forest. Let it be one of those bright days of autumn, when the first hue of death, far more beautiful than any color of life, is staining the deep foliage. All things around remind you of the Gothic temple, which, it is said, has been copied from this cathedral of nature. The grey elm and silver birch are rising in clustered columns. Groined arches spring on every side from the light and graceful pillars. The narrow and pointed Gothic windows are not wanting, and never has the light of day fallen more beautifully through the stained glass of "oriel windows,” than it now steals through the rich and varied hues of the autumnal foliage. High above all, numerous pines lift their dark and fantastic turrets.

And now hear the anthem which peals through the long aisles, and reverberates from the fretted

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