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looʻmight have been turned. He contended that no square of common infantry can ever stand a real charge of cavalry, made with room enough, and at a real gallop; and quoted in proof of his opinion, his own charge on the Russians, who stood as
much like mere wooden posts as any troops can do.' But he allowed it to be very possible to arm a corps of foot Lancers whom no cavalry could overpower.
The history of Murat's desperate-almost frantic-descent upon Naples is well known; but why he who had been King of the country a few short months before, should not now, though defeated, be treated as a prisoner of war, no man can tell. He was brought to a mock trial, as a traitor to a Government whose title he denied, and to whom he owed no allegiance. But the orders for the proceeding, prove that the trial was a mere farce. We question if any thing so shameless ever was practised even by the Neapolitan tyrants. The orders for the court assembling are given by our author, in his second volume, and they are two; first, that the military commission sball assemble, to be named by the minister of war; and, second, that the con• demned' (that is, the prisoner not yet arraigned, but whose condemnation is assumed as certain), shall only be allowed half
an hour for prayers'! The court was composed of officers, all of whom had received from Murat their rank in the army; they could only have lost that rank, and undergone three months'arrest, had they refused to murder their benefactor; yet did these execrable men at once assemble and condemn him to be shot, as the orders of the King imported,-a sentence immediately carried into execution, and submitted to by him with his habitual constancy. The following is the touching letter which he wrote to his wife the moment he was informed of a commission having been appointed to try him :
MY DEAR CAROLINE, -—My last hour is come; in a few brief moments I shall have ceased to live, and thou have a husband.
Oh! never forget your tender husband, - die innocent. My life has never been sullied by any act of injustice. Adieu, my Achilles ! --adieu, my Letizia! -adieu, my Lucien !-adieu, my Louisa !--show yourselves to the world worthy of me. I leave you without kingdom,—without fortune; amidst numerous enemies. Be united and superior to misfortune. Think of what ye are, not of what ye have been, and God will bless your meekness. Do not reproach my memory. Believe, that the greatest anguish which I feel in this extremity of life, is to die at a distance from you beloved family. Accept my paternal benediction; receive my embraces and my tears. Have always present the memory of your unhappy father, The most interesting part of these volumes, in a general view, is probably the portion relating to Murat, his personal fortunes, and the improvements, numerous and salutary, which his wise and vigorous administration, all soldier though he was, introduced into the kingdom of Naples. The legitimate sovereigns of Europe seldom appear to less advantage than when their reign happens to be interrupted, and their places taken by some upstart chief. As a worse specimen of legitimacy was nowhere to be found than in the two Sicilies, the contrast with Murat's popular government was marked and striking, in proportion to the badness of that which it for a time replaced.
• JOACHIM.' Pizzo, 13th October, 1815.'
But we should be doing Colonel Maceroni great injustice if we let it be supposed that the other parts of his volumes are devoid of great interest, although their subject may not always be equally important. Whether he relates his own adventures or describes their scenes, or comments upon other men and their proceedings, or speculates upon passing events, he is ever lively and entertaining --often instructive. Some portion of his second volume is devoted to an account of his inventions; which, especially his steam-carriage, are of a very high degree of merit, and evince both an original genius for mechanical contrivances, and that perseverance which characterises the man.
Upon the whole, this work may most safely be recommended to the attention of the reading public, and stated to deserve their patronage and regard.
ART. VINI.--Ancient Scotish Melodies, from a Manuscript of
the Reign of King Jumes VI. With an Introductory - Enquiry, illustrative of the History of the Music of Scotland. By WILLIAM DAUNEY, Esq. F.S.A. Scot. Edinburgh: 41o. 1838.
I 't is the characteristie, and we suppose the weakness, of each
successive age, to consider itself, with reference to its predecessors, as wisest, virtuousest, discreetest, best.' In this comfortable opinion of its superiority, our own is probably not deficient. Still it is fortunate that if we are disposed to estimate our own merits at their full value, our self-complacency has not led us to treat with neglect or contempt the labour of our predecessors; and particularly the earlier efforts of literature, and the first forms in which the rude conceptions of the arts have been embodied. The century which preceded our own was not content with the establishment of its own superiority, without denouncing the labours of most of those who had gone before, and certainly of all preceding the sixteenth century, as little better than barbarism;- totally unworthy either of being collected or commented on. It acted upon the principle of the Turkish tyrants
" To secure their reign,
Our own age, on the contrary, has all along had a strong sympathy with the dawnings of art, and the first rude efforts of stèuggling poetry; not unnatural, indeed, considering bow much our own tastes have been modified by such influences ; and that a species of consanguinity has been thus created between ourselves and our intellectual brethren of earlier times, since something of the same blood flows in our veins. This sympathy and respect has evinced itself in a warm interest in the past;in a reverential (some may say superstitious) gathering together of all its scattered fragments of song, its floating traditions, the traces of its manners and customs, pastimes, festivals, and religious rites,-in the republication of those rude shows and religious mysteries which marked the very infancy of our drama, or of the wild, unequal, daring, incongruous plays which followed,—and in the careful preservation of the early monuments of art, particularly architectural;—that being,
in truth, the only form in which art can be said to have shown itself in Great Britain before the sixteenth century.
The publication of the present volume, containing by far the oldest collection of Scotish melodies which has yet appeared, accompanied by a preliminary dissertation on Scotish music, of great learning and research, and the general attention which it has excited, is another proof of the same interest and the same curiosity as to the tastes and feelings of our ancestors, which dictated the republication of our earlier romances and ballads, and the work of our older dramatists. We do not mean to say
that any musical work is calculated to throw the same clear light on manners and natural character, which is afforded by the publication of the rude memorials of popular feeling as embodied in song. Not but that we are persuaded there is a close correspondence and harmony between national music, and national disposition. It would be singular if the sounds with which a country most abounds should not reproduce themselves in its music. It would be equally so, if the scenery and the climate, which so powerfully affect our associations, and by which, undoubtedly, a grave or lively character is in some measure impressed upon a national genius, should not be traced in those musical sounds which are the most natural channels through which we vent our emotions of gaiety or gloom. There appears to us, then, to be nothing fanciful in supposing, that the Swiss music derives its peculiarities from the mountain echoes among which it had been produced ; and vividly reflects the hardy and elastic temperament of a people at once pastoral and warlike ;--that the ripple of smooth canals, the undulation of the Adriatic, and the prolonged, melancholy, and monotonous cry of the boatmen, may have given their character to the Venetian Barcaroles ;-that in the light and dancing measures of France, pleasing and lively, but without deep feeling, we may trace something of the animal gaiety and levity of the country which gave them birth ;-or that the plaintive and gloomy air of the northern nations, have a natural connexion with that more thoughtful and brooding turn of mind, which an in-door
existence,' or a sombre landscape and uncertain climate without, have a tendency to create. We are rather deficient, we believe, in genuine war-whoops, and still more in authentic scalping airs ; but we have little reason to doubt that, when Lieutenant Lesmahago's friend, Ensign Murphy, was brought to the stake by the Miami Indians, the music incidental to the piece would have made one's hair stand on end; and, in like manner, that if the musical arrangements for the ‘Interrupted Sacrifice' in the case of Friday had been completed, that interesting negro would have been
VOL. LXIX. NO. CXXXIX.
roasted to the accompaniment of an appalling tune. Two or three specimens of savage music which are known to exist, are wonderfully in harmony with the wild ferocious character of the nations in which they have their origin : 'were ne'er pro* phetic sounds so full of woe. They are strains such as would scatter wild dismay among the ranks of hostile tribes, or form a fit accompaniment to the dismal dance around the furnace blue.' Nay, surther, we are persuaded that not only is something of national character always impressed on music; but that the music of each age has its peculiarities essentially connected with the general state of the social condition; and therefore likely to render it upsuited to the tastes and habitudes of others. And in that view, without entering on the contested question of the wonders effected by ancient music, we think there is the less reason to regret its total disappearance; since, in all probability, it would have possessed little with which we could sympathize, and a modern audience would probably have had as little relish for a concert, as for a feast after the manner of the ancients.
But while we firmly believe in this harmony between national music and national character, we admit that it is not of that sort which would enable an observer to draw inferences from one to the other, with much security or satisfaction. Even from a nation's poetry, it is hard to gather with accuracy its character at any given period ; and still less could we pretend to draw conclusions from any thing so much less determinate, as the representative of ideas, as its music. It is not, therefore, in this point of view that the airs which have been resuscitated in this present volume are interesting; their main importance, certainly, is derived from their value either as musical compositions, or as illustrating the progress of Scotch music. Yet we may notice in passing, that some light is occasionally thrown on manners and history by the mere titles (generally the first line) of the airs which have been thus republished. We see, in particular, evident traces of the closeness of our connexion with France, in the dancing tunes, all apparently French, which it contains ;-sarabands, almanes, volts, galliards, currands, brangils, and many more;-from which it appears that our Scotch nobles of the days of the Jameses, borrowed their fashions in such matters, as their successors have continued to do, from the great original of the dance and arbiter of the elegancies of the day, the Court at Paris.
It so happens, loo, that the initial line of the tune often in a manner tells its story; furnishes a hint on which the imagination may work, and tempts the mind to fill up the picture.