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good singing tone, and what should be the thereof could give her at once a hundred disposition of the breath and the choice of young girls to be trained as teachers for vowels and syllables in vocalization in order the benefit of just such vocal schools here to obtain it. Flexibility, purity, pronunci. as she herself would like to see in Ger. ation, and many other topics, are also dis- many! cussed. All of this chapter is valuable, and much of it is new, since few have any idea how opposed to modern custom in all Men of the Time; a Dictionary of Contem. these particulars was the long and careful poraries, containing Biographical Notices and gradual drill of the old masters of song. of Eminent Characters of both Sexes. The fourth chapter is devoted to the æs- Seventh edition, revised and brought thetic view of the art of singing, and is as down to the Present Time. London and thoughtful, judicious, and penetrating as New York : George Routledge and Sons. the others. Some of the strong and novel points of the book may be summed up as THE men of our time, or the eminent follows:
characters of both sexes who happened to Ist. The voice has five independent modes be born in the kingdoms of Great Britain of action for singing, as the hand has five and Ireland, enjoy very important privifingers for playing; and each is to be culti- leges in this book, which is wrong in nothvated by and for itself, until the tones pro- ing so much as in being too generously duced by each mode equal, or nearly equal, named. For example, we infer from it that, in strength and fulness, the pure tones of while Mr. Leighton is a man of our time, all the other modes. 2d. The man's M. Couture has not the advantage of being voice is best trained by a man, and the wo- a contemporary; Miss Catharine Marsh, man's by a woman ; and no voice is to be who wrote “ English Hearts and English intrusted to any but thorough singing Hands,” is an eminent living character, but teacher. A mere instrumentalist or "nat. Mr. George P. Marsh is not; Westmacott ural singer” is not competent to teach this is a distinguished sculptor, but Mr. William art. 3d. That, instead of beginning prac- Story has not yet come to the editor's tice with inflated chest and a loud tone, at notice; the editor knows all about that first and for a long time no more breath eminent literary man, Mr. Shirley Brooks, than is used in speech should be employed; but he has never heard of Mr. James and the tone should be soft, quiet, and Parton. entirely without effort. 4th. That the in- Omissions like these, however, though telligent training of the voice may be, very noticeable, are not characteristic of the and best is, begun at five or ten years of book, which is one of the most difficult to age, as the growing organ is more suscep- make, and the most vulnerable to the faulttible of culture than the adult, and also be finder. It will serve a very good use, cause it takes years, instead of months, to which it might serve better ; but, remember. make a singer. 5th. That singers should ing that it is intended for another public not be trained with a tempered instrument than ours, and a public peculiarly inculike the piano. 6th. That indiscriminate rious concerning any greatness but its own, chorus-singing spoils the voice and the perhaps we ought rather to compliment the ear; and that singing should not, there- editor upon his success in discovering so fore, be taught in our public schools by many Continental and American celebrities persons who know of music nothing ex- among Men of the Time, than blame him cept the simple reading at sight, and of for not knowing them all. singing nothing at all ; but that there should be vocal schools, where children could be trained to read music and to sing with- Time and Tide, by Weare and Tyne. Twene out danger of injuring their voices be- ty-five Letters to a Workingman of Sunfore they have fairly possessed them. No derland on the Laws of Work. By JOHN one who has not taught our public school RUSKIN, LL. D. New York: John children to sing knows anything about the Wiley and Son. beautiful voices and sensitive musical organizations which abound among our little WHAT “Mr. Thomas Dixon, a working Americans. As the translator of the work cork-cutter of Sunderland,” understands says that Madam Seiler is now in this to be his duty, from the letters here adcountry, would that the educational powers dressed to him, or understands to be the duty of anybody, is not clear from such of whose defence fund Mr. Ruskin proclaims his replies as are printed in the Appendix ; that he gave a hundred pounds), and not nor are we sure that the reader will be after the manner of those commanded by much the wiser as to what Mr. Ruskin ex- General Sheridan in the Valley of the Shenpects than, for example, Mr. Ruskin himself. andoah. Mr. Ruskin says nothing directly The general desire of this dreamer, whose to this effect, but we suspect, from the genwords are still eloquent, though his mind eral tenor of his reasoning, that he intends is sorely be-Carlyled, is to a fairy despot. Mr. Johnson to be King of his Bezonians. ism, which shall sustain itself in the affec- There is not wanting much beauty of tions and consciences of its subjects by ev- thought, real aspiration, and downright ery kind of sumptuary law, and by statutes good sense amidst all this rubbish, and the aiming to repress all the vices and encour- reader has to struggle against an absurd age all the virtues. In this state every
tenderness for the nonsense, because it is one is to remain as nearly as can be in the taught by one who is thoroughly carnest rank to which he was born; there is to be and philanthropic in it. But at last he slavery, but not slave-trade, and the slaves has to regret that Mr. Ruskin turned aside are to understand that their work, being from painting buds and leaves, in order to manual, is base and degrading ; there are write these letters, and to wish that he had to be nobles dwelling on vast estates, - but gone to Switzerland to look after his health deriving no income from the lands, which and “the junctions of the molasse sandshall neither be sold nor hired, - and sala- stones and nagelfluh," and had not deried by the government, in order that they prived himself of the means to make the may keep bright the image of hereditary journey by subscribing one hundred pounds aristocracy; there is not to be co-operation, to the Eyre defence fund. We own, though, for that tends to prevent the accumulation that we would not like to have lost, even of private wealth by commerce, and to keep for the sake of Mr. Ruskin's general repupeople in the station out of which they tation hurt by this book, one of his notions ought not to rise; marriage is to be per- in political economy, namely, that civilizamitted by the state as a special reward of tion advances by the extinction of wants, merit, and the wicked are to go unwed; and not by the creation of them; and we there are to be priests and bishops to in- are very thankful for the severity with wbich quire diligently into the affairs of every both the success and failure of Doré are family that will stand it, and to write the treated. Also, what is said of the degraded biographies of their parishioners for public ugliness and vileness of modern theatrical inspection, - to be Scribes, in effect, rather spectacles and public entertainments could than Pharisees; there shall be soldiers to ill be spared in this country, where nothing act as a police in repressing crime and pro- succeeds like the success of the Japanese tecting the poor, after the manner of those jugglers, and undrapery, and the cancan, obeying Governor Eyre in Jamaica (to at all the chief playhouses.
A Magazine of Literature, Science, Art,
VOL. XXI. — JUNE, 1868. — NO. CXXVIII.
BEAUTY OF TREES.
'HE word “beauty” is generally freshment, recreation, and seclusion at
used to denote any quality in an ob- all seasons. We think of the delightful ject that produces agreeable sensations scenes and objects encompassed within through the medium of sight; and, if it, of the flowers it has borne or prowe carefully analyze our ideas of this tected in the spring, of the fruits it quality, we shall find them very obscure has showered into our paths in harvestand indefinite. The beauty of a tree, time, and of all the pleasant advantages for example, is of a very complex char- it affords. There is also an endless vaacter, and almost entirely subjective. riety in the forms and foliage of trees, Trees, for the most part, are wanting in and these differences have been at all that kind of beauty which we admire in times a favorite study for the painter a flower, their attractiveness being and the naturalist. derived chiefly from their influence on There are trees possessing little or the imagination, like that of the ruder none of this fitness for purposes of comworks of architecture. A tree with fort, that become agreeable objects by wide-spreading branches and a dense awaking pleasant emotions of an intelmass of foliage, elevated but moderately lectual sort. Such are many of the above the ground, however crooked, slender Willows, Poplars, and Birches, knotted, and gnarled its branches, and that suggest the qualities of grace and however wanting in general comeliness refinement, and are typical of some virof form, must always awaken those com- tue or affection of the mind. These plex emotions that produce a sensation trees have a sort of poetic beauty in of beauty. Our mental pleasure, in this our sight, being the material image of case, springs chiefly from its evident some agreeable metaphor. Thus Coleadaptedness to the purposes of cool ridge personifies the White Birch in shade in summer. It is moral beauty one of his poems, pronouncing it the derived from the suggestion of physical
“Most beautiful comfort. A wood, indeed, is haunted
Of forest-trees, the Lady of the woods." with all imaginable ideas of comfort, re
Thus the Weeping Willow is emble
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1868, by TICKNOR AND Fields, in the Clerk's Office
of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts. VOL. XXI. - NO. 128.
matical of sorrow, the Yew and Cypress Ruskin has ingeniously explained of melancholy, the Oak of fortitude, these effects. “Suppose,” he remarks, the Plane of grandeur ; while the Ce- " that three or four persons come in dar of Lebanon, rendered sacred by the sight of a group of Pine-trees, not havpeculiar mention of it in Holy Writ, is ing seen Pines for some time. One, invested with a romantic interest which perhaps an engineer, is struck by the adds effect to the nobleness of its di- manner in which their roots hold the mensions and stature. All this is moral ground, and sets himself to examine beauty derived from the suggestion of their fibres, in a few minutes retaining poetic images.
little more consciousness of the beauty It is with certain pleasing scenes in of trees than if he were a rope-maker the romance of travel that we associate untwisting the strands of a cable ; to the Palms of the tropics; and they have another, the sight of the trees calls up acquired singular attractions by ap- some happy association, and presently pearing frequently in paintings and en- he forgets them, and pursues the memogravings that represent the life and ries they summoned; a third is struck manners of the simple inhabitants of by certain groupings of their colors, warm climates. We see them, in pic- useful to him as an artist, which he protures, bending their fan-like heads ma- ceeds immediately to note for future jestically over the humble hut of the use with as little feeling as a cook setnegro, supplying him at once with milk, ting down the constituents of a newly bread, and fruit, and affording him the discovered dish; anda fourth, impressed luxury of their shade. They are typ- by the wild coiling of boughs and roots, ical of the beneficence of Nature, in will begin to change them in fancy into whose hands they are the instruments dragons and monsters, and lose his by which she supplies the wants of grasp of the scene in fantastic metaman before he has learned from reason morphosis; while, in the mind of the and experience the arts of civilized life. man who has the most power of con
The beauty of a tree, therefore, is templating the thing itself, all these perchiefly independent of anything in its ceptions and trains of idea are partially form and colors which we should call present, not distinctly, but in a mingled intrinsically beautiful. Though it some- and perfect harmony. He will not see times partakes largely of this character the colors of the tree as well as the when it is symmetrical in its form, or artist, nor its fibres as well as the engiwhen it is covered with flowers, in neer; he will not altogether share the other cases its beauty is of a moral or emotion of the sentimentalist, nor the relative sort. The Oak, one of the trance of the idealist; but fancy and most attractive of all trees, is, in an feeling and perception and imagination important sense, almost ugly, --- being will all obscurely meet and balance full of irregularities and contortions, and themselves in him.” without symmetry or grace. “It is allied The one last mentioned represents in our ideas with strength and fortitude, the greater number of sorsors of sensiand it is associated with a thousand tive minds; for these e otions and fanimages of rural life and pastoral scen- cies are not confined to those who are ery. Indeed, if we could always reason usually denominated "men of genius.” correctly from our experience, we should This supposed element of genius, which discover that a very small part of that causes one to see a thousand charms in complex quality which we denominate many a homely object of nature, is far beauty yields any organic pleasure to from being the exclusive gift of a few; the sight. It affects the mind as a sort I hardly ever knew a cultivated female of talisman, that calls up hosts of de- mind that was not possessed of it. lightful fantasies and associations, and Nature, who is a wise economist in agreeably exercises our intellectual and the midst of all her profusion, is never moral faculties.
lavish of the ingredients that excite physical pieasure. She has distributed evergreens are chiefly“conifers," which, the beauty of colors and forms very as we advance southward, become less sparingly among her works, but still conspicuous; giving place to the Holly, in sufficient proportions to render them the Magnolia, and the Evergreen Oak. agreeable. In like manner she has In the shape of the coniferous evermingled the ingredients of sweetness greens in general, as distinguished from and acidity in the fruits of her fields, to the deciduous trees, there is one retempt and satisfy, without cloying, the markable difference. The former inappetite. A larger proportion of sweet- variably send up a perpendicular shaft, ness in the fruits, or a larger proportion and, except the Cypress family, produce of beauty in the general scenery of the their branches somewhat horizontally earth, would cloy the palate in the one and in whorls, rising by regular stagings case and pall the sight in the other. one above another.
It is the gradThe greater part of what we call the ually decreasing lengths of the branches beauty of the material world is charm- in this series of whorls that causes the ing only to the mind or the imagina- pyramidal shape of the tree, the tion. Hence the remarkable fact, that branches becoming shorter and less uncultivated persons, except those few horizontal as they approach the sumwho are endowed with a poetic temper- mit. The formality and firmness in ament, are almost blind to it.
the shape of this class of trees causes Yet, while contending that the beauty them to be irreparably disfigured by of trees is chiefly of a relative charac- the loss of any of their important ter, serving, Ike a talisman, to call up branches. before the mind delightful themes or The deciduous trees, on the other images, in some cases picturesque, in hand, produce their branches, which other cases historical or romantic, or are in some cases mere subdivisions of interesting the affections by awakening the trunk, not in whorls, but irregularly, the remembrances of other years, – it and at different distances above the will still be admitted that trees, besides roots. This is observable in the Oak; all this, possess a due proportion of for, though it sends up a single shaft to visual beauty. Some species are re- its summit, its laterai branches are inmarkable for the regularity and ele- serted at all points, so that its central gance of the forms and arrangement of trunk can hardly be distinguished. This their branches ; some are luminous, at manner of growth is the cause of that certain seasons, with a gorgeous dra- want of formality in the outlines and pery of flowers ; some are invested shapes of the deciduous trees which is with perennial verdure; others change the crowning excellence of their forms. it in the autumn for a wreath of all If they lose one of their important imaginable hues, or become jewelled branches when in full vigor, they fill with fruits of purple, crimson, and gold, up the vacancy with a new growth, and illustrate, in their living charms, either by the extension of the adjoining the poetic fable of the Hesperides. branches, or by putting forth a new
Though it is not my intention to speak one, -- having the power, to a certain of trees as subjects of scientific re- extent, of healing their wounds and search, they cannot be treated perspic- supplying their losses. Besides all this, uously without some reference to syste- as a compensation for their general matic classification. We must observe want of symmetrical beauty, they admit them in groups, and study these as rep- of many imperfections of shape without resented by individuals. As a group, losing their attractions. the deciduous trees are the most beau- Writers on landscape - gardening tiful and the most valuable; and, in the whose imaginations seldom stray benorthern forest, all the hard-wooded yond the dressed grounds of a nobletrees and all the trees of the orchard man's estate, and whose "Nature" is a are of this description. The northern sort of queen-like personage, arrayed