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historical mind in all the grandeur of the author's own times. Let us rememits proportions, and before his devout ber it, too, as no slight proof of his mind in all the energy of its mysterious qualifications, that he wrote annals, and suggestions?
not a history. The time for history was Connecticut was not alone, then, in not yet come, for the connection of moulding the future annalist of the New events was not yet seen. But the naWorld. Massachusetts' share comes tion wished to know, year by year, how next; and, after an interval of five it bad grown up from colonies to States; years, we find him right under the to know more familiarly the names and shadow of Harvard, as pastor of the acts of its great men. And he told First Congregationalist church at Cam- them, and told them so fully, that it bridge. He found Greek in high honor may well be doubted whether the work under President Willard, who, loving can ever be done again in this form. mathematics and astronomy as well as The history is not yet written, but the he loved Homer and Demosthenes, annals are. He has bridged over the could see no reason why literature and chasm which separates us from Columscience should not live together in bus and the Cabots and the Mayflower. harmonious appreciation. What Future annalists may reëdit, may fill up change from the semi-exile of Midway! the inevitable gaps which the publicaBy-and-by the great Unitarian move- tion of new and fuller documents has ment begins its brilliant career, impos- revealed; they may, and must, continue ing new tasks and involving severe trials bim; but if they are wise, they will befor the son of orthodox Yale. But he gin where he left off, and not waste their believed that it was not without a di- time in trying to do over again what rect purpose that Christ said, “In my he has done so thoroughly and so well. Father's house are many mansions,” and How clearly he saw the grandeur of held bravely and firmly and charitably his subject ! “A New World has been the course which his conscience enjoined. discovered, which has been receiving
Another and one of the bitterest of inhabitants from the Old more than life's sorrows had befallen him. His three hundred years. A new empire wife died, and, although time brought has arisen, which has been a theatre of its consolations, the tears that he shed great actions and stupendous events. at her grave left, as such tears always That remarkable discovery, those events do, traces that are never effaced. Mys- and actions, can now be accurately asterious wings hovered over him when certained, without recourse to such lehe stood .once more before the altar. gends as have darkened and disfigured There could be no present or future for the early annals of most nations." This him now, in which the past had not its is surely a very dignified exposition of part. And thus the years glided away, his subject. neither too swiftly nor too slowly, but And for his method. "It has been maturing precious fruit both for his uniformly my aim to trace facts, as much here and his hereafter.
as possible, to their source. Original The “ Annals” had been written and authorities, therefore, when they could published, and accepted as authority. be obtained, have always had preferHis name had become permanently as- ence.” You fcel that this is true; and sociated with American history. Men how unconscious he seems all the while quoted him with confidence in the ac- of the wide range of research and readcuracy of his statements and the dili- ing that he really claims for himself. gence with which he had studied his As he conceives it, it is the historian's facts. Let us remember, too, that this duty, and he makes no boast of doing is the first authoritative work from an his duty. Dwell for a moment on the American pen which covered the whole next sentence, and see with what exquifield of American history, beginning site simplicity he apologizes for his with Columbus and coming down to learning-a healthy example, not always followed by his successors.
“ Some au
every port; and — hardest task and thors of this character wrote in foreign greatest triumph of all—her Irving and languages; and this circumstance may her Cooper were printed and read and be an apology for the occasional intro- admired in England. Trumbull was duction of passages that will not be still living, but McFingal, though not generally understood.
The nu- forgotten, was little known. The“Conmerous references may have the appear- quest of Canaan” had passed into the ance of superfluity, perhaps of ostenta- domain of literary curiosities, as a book tion.” No; not in you, sincere and to be known by its title-page, and found single-hearted man! “Professions of now and then on the shelves of some impartiality,” he continues, "are of lit- curious collector. The “ Vision of Cotle significance. Although not con- lumbus " had expanded into the “Coscious of having recorded one fact lumbiad," and come forth in classic without such evidence as was satisfac- quarto; but, although brilliant with gilt tory to my own mind, or of having sup- and adorned with elaborate engravings, pressed one which appeared to come it slept quietly by the side of its sister within the limits of my design, yet I do epic. “Manibus date papavera plenis.” not flatter myself with the bope of ex- A new poetry had arisen. Bryant had emption from error."
written the Thanatopsis; Percival, the Errors will, indeed, creep in, despite first number of Clio; Longfellow his the historian's care and love of truth; earlier poems in the United States Litebut you, at least, will not hesitate to rary Gagette ; Willis his Scripture scenes; accept the correction as a kind office, Dana both prose and verse, and too litand the corrector as a friend. “ It is tle of both. But, in his own field, the but just, however, to observe, that, had faithful annalist was still alone, I possessed the requisite intelligence, Nine more years were granted him, more names of cminence would have some of them years of pleasant labor in been introduced, more ancient settle- his favorite pursuits. New laborers ments noticed, and the States in the had come, meanwhile, to join him in it. Federal Union more proportionally re- Pitkins had published his “Civil Hisspected. For any omissions, or other tory of the United States.” Bancroft's faults wbich have not this apology, the first volume had come to awaken exextent of the undertaking may obtain pectations that have never been fulfilled. some indulgence."
Sparks was laying deep and sure foundaThese lines were written on the 10th tions for the “ History of the Revoluof October, 1805. Twenty-three years tion." But, all the while, the value of afterwards, he wrote the preface to his the “Annals” grew more apparent, as enlarged edition, and told how the the work of an earnest, laborious life, " additions, which have been made to bearing witness throughout to the sound the libraries in Cambridge and Boston judgment, the sincere love of truth, the within the last twenty years, have fur- liberality of mind, and the unostentanished me with new sources of histori- tious learning of its author. cal information, and with facilities for And thus, having finished his apmaking use of them.”
pointed task, honored, respected, beWhile he was thus continuing his life- loved, and full of years, he laid him work with the same ardor with which calmly down at the touch of disease; he had begun it, what changes were go- and just as the bell which, through more ing on around him! The population than a quarter of a century, had sumof the country had risen from a little moned him weekly to the pulpit, was below four millions to nearly thirteen. sending forth its Sabbath morning call, New territories had been formed out of the
that had so often looked down forests, and new States out of territo- from that pulpit with the tender yearnries. The flag of the Union was to be ings of Christian love and the calm refound on every sea, her commerce in liance of Christian faith, closed forever. MUSIC IN NATURE.
Go forth, under the oper sky, and list
Inorganic nature produces only noises To Nature's teachings.
-no musical sounds. The rolling thunMusic is sometimes called the daugh- der, the fury of the tempest, the rustling ter of heavenly spheres; but if that is of leaves in a forest, the pleasant prattle her true home, then men must have of a mountain brook, and the mighty come from very different spheres, for in roar of the ocean-all these are nothing none of the arts do we meet with a more than a mass of confused noises. greater variety of tastes. Chinese sing. It is only occasionally that mere acciing sounds to our ear like heart-rending dent lends to these sounds a musical squealing ; and a Persian ambassador, character. Such were the utterances of not so very long ago, listened with de- the Memnon statue at the rising of the light to the tuning of instruments in the sun, and such are the sounds heard in orchestra of the great opera at Paris, the famous Fingal Cave on the island but lost his enthusiasm as soon as the of Staffa. The rear of this cave is overture began, and left the house dis- dark, and perfectly cut off from the gusted with the discordant noises. outer world, while prismatic pillars of
Nature does not guide us, for the basalt form something which resembles sounds she produces differ mainly in
Upon penetrating to the the greater or lesser regularity with farthest end of the cave, a wide openwhich they are repeated. The patter- ing is seen almost on a level with the ing of rain-drops on the roof is a spas- surface of the water, from which harmodic explosion of short dissonant monious sounds are heard whenever notes; in the purling of a brook and the waves wash over the edge, and the rustling of leaves, the transitions water falls into the abyss beyond. It are softer and less sudden, while the is this circumstance which has given the howling of the wind presents sounds grotto in Welsh the name of Llaimhwhich change continually, rising and binn, or Cave of Music. sinking gradually, but without regular- In like manner, the winds of heaven ity or rhythm. Hence the difference may be forced to utter harmonious between mere noise and a sound. If we sounds by offering them a so-called let a piece of wood fall on the ground, Æolian harp, invented by Athanasius we hear a noise ; but if we drop seven Kircher. The instrument consists simsmall pieces of equal size, but different ply of a wooden frame, with a thin thickness, in the same manner, we hear sounding-board, and an arbitrary numdistinctly a regular scale, although each ber of catgut strings stretched over two sound by itself does not produce a mu- bridges near the small end. If this sical impression. The so-called straw- wind-harp, as it is often called, is placed fiddle, consisting of wooden staves in such a manner before a half-open which are struck with cork hammers, window, or in an opening of a turret, does not sound unpleasantly. The Chithat the current of air strikes it sidenese even string small pebbles on wires, ways, it sends forth a great variety of and strike them in a prescribed order harmonious notes in several octaves. with a small mallet; the music is sweet The telegraph-wires of our day proenough to please even fastidious ears. duce, for like reasons, a humming noise, In our orchestras also there are instru- which is not always unmusical; but ments the soleuse of which is the marking here electricity is said to lend its powerof time by rhythmical noises ; such are ful aid. the cymbals, castanets, and kettle-drums, The animal world abounds, on the
contrary, in countless noises, from the library. Much of what is said has no coarse and repulsive grunt to the exqui- better foundation than the author's fansite music of accomplished songsters. cy; but it cannot be denied that certain Many animals, it is well known, learn individuals seem to have received from to imitate human speech, but there re- nature a keener ear for nature's sounds, mains always this difference between the and a power of making themselves unspeech of man and that of animals, that derstood by animals, which are denied the voice of the former is free and at to the majority of men. Jules Richard his command, while the latter cry and tells us of an humble official in a pubhowl and sing as a matter of necessity. lic hospital, who claimed to be able to No animal utters a sound without being converse with cats, dogs, and especially forced to do so by some affection, be it monkeys. The narrator received an inlove or wrath or suffering. Even when vitation from him to accompany him to birds hear a harp or a flute, and then the Jardin des Plantes, and followed begin to vie with their sounds, it is him to the barrier around the famous only because their imagination has been Monkey-house. The old man uttered a so violently excited that they cannot most extraordinary sound, deep down remain silent any longer. It has been in his throat, and immediately four said, that the same rule might apply to monkeys sat down in front of him; he many a garrulous person, who cannot spoke again, and three more came; he keep his mouth shut; but the resem- repeated the same sounds, and at last blance is only on the surface.
the whole population of the colossal On the other hand, it cannot be de- cage sat in long rows before the strange nied that most animals speak very in- Then he addressed them soberly telligibly for each other. The warning and solemnly; the brutes crossed their cluck of the hen, the absurd gobbling hands on their knees, laughed, gesticaof the wild turkey, the bell of the deer lated, and-answered. When the old -all these voices are well understood by man at last made a motion to go away, those for whom they are intended. It is the monkeys became evidently alarmed, true, they only convey sentiments, and and, upon his leaving the open space not ideas, but in this they resemble the before the house, real cries of anguish utterances of very young children. The were heard. The animals climbed up storks of Europe assemble on convenient on the wires and poles, and looked after meadows, range themselves in large half- their friend from their vantage-ground circles, and listen to speeches delivered as long as he could be seen. by their elders, or hold solemn council Other animals have given concerts with each other. Awoodpecker laughs al- very much against their will, it must be most like a man; the mocking-bird lite- added. An old chronicle furnishes an rally mocks other animals by parodying account of one given at Brussels, in their voices; and the cock of the barn- 1549, on the Sunday after Ascension, in yard converses with his hens, like a sul- honor of a miracle-working image of tan in his harem. “We learn polite the Virgin. A man, dressed as a bear, ness from the cock," says the Talmud, played on an organ; the organ consist“ for he caresses his little wife, and tries ed of twenty cats. They were confined to win her affections. What does he in separate cells, while their tails bad say to her, do you think? He says: strings fastened to them, which were *I'll buy you a dress long enough to twisted around the keys of the organ. trail on the ground.' And then he Whenever the bear struck the latter, adds, shaking his head, May my comb some of the tails were pulled, and their drop off if I do not buy it when I have owners at once began to squeal piteousthe money!'"
ly. Young pigs were in like manner The various voices of animals have forced to squeak for the pleasure of a been discussed, till the books written French monarch in his sickness. In on the subject would form a respectable Antwerp the custom prevailed formerly,
on St. Domergus' Day, to tie a host of and copied the false notes of its master small birds with their feet to the branch- so faithfully, that he excited invariably es of a large tree which was placed in the inexhaustible laughter of all who the chapel of the saint. During divine knew the bird and its owner. No man service, children were made to dance could ever have been able to sing so around and to try to catch the birds, admirably false. which, of course, produced an atrocious Birds which have a thick, rounded noise; but the good people believed tongue, like the jay, the pie, and the they afforded the saint a most delight. raven, learn to speak more or less disful enjoyment. Another instance of tinctly; while birds with cloven tongues strange tastes in music is found in the learn more easily to whistle. famous work of the Jesuit Kircher, which American mocking-bird surpasses them he calls his "Musurgie.” He describes all; he sings and speaks not only with the Ai of South America, and speaks equal facility, but imitates all noises, enthusiastically of its voice, which, he from the flute-like song of the nightsays, consists of six beautiful clear notes ingale to the rumbling of a heavilyin regular cadence. When the Span- laden cart on the pavement of a street, iards first came to America, they thought and even gesticulates at the time, as if there were people living in those forests he knew what he was doing. The who practised singing at night. “If nightingale is the queen of European music had been invented in America,” birds; her song is unsurpassed in real he adds, “I should not hesitate to de beauty and sweetness of sound, and, clare that it had originated with the withal, so loud that it reaches as far as marvellous song of this animal.” The the human voice. Pliny tells us that reverend father has a number of such the sons of the Emperor Claudius owned pleasant surprises in his book. Thus several nightingales who spoke Greek he insists upon a perfect correspondence and Latin, but they cannot have been between the voice and the character of the birds which bear that name now, a man. Powerful bass voices, he says, for they are not known to learn to speak belong, according to Aristotle, to asses in our day. Next to the nightingale, only, since the ass has such a voice, and the skylark is most highly praised in is impudent and disagreeable. Men Europe, and deserves the popular eswhose voices begin low and then rise teem in which it is held, not only for high, are angry and melancholy, like ox- the beauty and exuberant cheerfulness en; while a high voice, without strength, of its song, but also for the rare persebetrays a womanish disposition. For- verance with which it síngs almost untunately, he admits that the voice may interruptedly from early Spring to late be trained, and the character thus be in Autumn. The skylark sings only in improved.
the clear, blue ether; the higher it Among animals, birds are most libe- mounts, the greater efforts the brave rally endowed by nature in point of little fellow makes to be heard, and voice. Parrots, it is well known, imi- finally it seems determined to verify the tate the human voice to perfection, but poet's words, they repeat every thing they hear, and
Hark! hark! the lark at heaven's gate sings the stories about their superior intelligence are all more or less fabulous. A for its song is still audible when the French sea-captain, who loved music tiny bird has long since vanished from without being able to distinguish cor- sight. Hence, also, the pretty though rect or false notes, had a parrot, who fanciful imitation of the song by the sang after him the refrain of an old French author, Du Bartas, who says' drinking song,
La gentille alouette, avec son tirelire,
Tirelire, relire et tirelirant, tire
Vers la voûte du ciel ; puis son vol en ce lieu
Vire et semble vous dire : adieu, adieu, adieu !