« PrécédentContinuer »
scientious service. The book would have been bettered if it had entered less into details of personal history, many of which are extremely unimportant to the general reader; but this is a fault into which all biographers are apt to fall, and to which religious biographers seem especially prone, but which is certainly not specially conspicuous in the present work. It has been executed with great care, and affords a very true and impartial view of those whose history it relates. Harmonia : Containing Tunes original and selected, for the Psalms
and Hymns of Dr. Watts, the New Congregational Hymn Book, the New Selection of Hymns, and for Psalms and Hymns generally sung in both Churches and Chapels. Also an Index of the first line of every Psalm and Hymn in those books appropriate for Public Worship, with a suitable Tune for each. To which is added an Index of the first line of every Psalm and Hymn appropriate for Evening Family Worship. By John Elves. London:
Novello and Co. Among the new tune books which are being offered to the choice of our churches, the above claims separate notice, with a cordial recognition of the ability, skill, and care which its compiler has displayed. To some extent the work is a not unwelcome reaction from the excessive severity, and even coldness, which characterize much of our modern psalmody. Mr. Eives plainly thinks that cheerfulness is one element of praise; and accordingly wbile he has carefully excluded everything vulgar or ranting from his collection, he intersperses with graver strains many of those lively melodies which, to tell the truth, we were sorry to begin to miss from our popular compilations. « Is any merry ? let him sing psalms.” And if exuberantly glad, why should he not sing them to Ashley (with the chorus at the end) or even to Denmark?
The volume contains two hundred and twenty-six tunes, including a large number of original compositions. Mr. Eives has in no ordinary degree the gift of melody; and many of his tunes are fitted to become popular. One peculiar feature of the work is the frequency of double tunes, adapted to relieve the monotony arising from setting every verse of a long hymn to the self-same strain. We well remember the depressing effect of a sentence in the preface to Watts's Psalms and Hymns. " Do not," the good doctor wrote, “always confine yourself to six stanzas, but sing seven or eight rather than confound the sense, and abuse the hymn or psalm in solemn worship." True, there were qualifying clauses afterwards, as to the fitting speed of melodious utterance; but these were too often disregarded ; and illimitable was the perspective opened up to us by the “ seven or eight stanzas," L.M., all droned forth to one monotonous strain ! A “ double common metre," or a “double short," was quite a godsend to us then, though most rare. Mr. Eives has been kinder, and provides an abundant choice of such doubles for the lovers of long hymns. Then there are not a few of our sacred songs, in which the tune that well befits one verse is altogether unsuitable to another. Who, for example, would choose to sing the couplet,
Plunged in a gulf of dark despair
We wretched sinners lay, to the same music with that of the lines, in the same hymn,
Angels, assist our mighty joys,
Strike all your harps of gold ? Yet this is what most choirs expect us to do. The compiler of “ Harmonia ” has clearly seen this anomaly, and accordingly some of his most successful efforts have been in the composition of tunes for hymns marked by such transitions of sentiment, and requiring, for almost every stanza, a variation in the strain. We may instance “Gilead ” (No. 35), a three-verse melody, adapted to Watts's hymn,
Salvation, O the joyful sound ! The Index of First Lines, which occupies but a few pages at the end of the volume, is evidently the result of immense and discriminating labour. The editor's purpose has been to select the most appropriate tune in his collection for every psalm or hymn ordinarily likely to be sung in public worship. For this purpose he has taken three books as typical of all the rest-viz., Watts, of course; the New Congregational Hymn Book, and the Baptist New Selection. Then, striking out all which appear inappropriate for worship (a list, we confess, which we should have considerably increased), Mr. Eives has carefully chosen a tune or tunes for every one of the rest. We have in many instances tested the choice, and have always found it to have been carefully and judiciously made.
On the whole, we welcome Mr. Eives' volume very cordially, as a valuable help to all who study to sing with the heart and the understanding also. It should be added that the book is printed in full organ score, with interludes to many of the tunes. For use in the pew there are also two handy editions, one containing the tenor and bass (on the same stave), the other the soprano and contralto. In convenience and beauty of appearance “ Harmonia” is unsurpassed by any book of tunes that we know.
IVords Spelled in Two or More Ways by different Authors; with an
Attempt to Settle their Orthography. By ROBERT SULLIVAN,
LL.D. Dublin, 1867. Dr. SULLIVAN has given us a serviceable tenpenny manual on & puzzling, but not unimportant subject. Our observation leads us to conclude that spelling, even more than " reading and writing," comes “ by nature : " yet even nature may be improved, or made to work methodically; while some of the caprices of English orthography have before now brought to a stand those in whom the natural gift is most largely developed. In general, where etymology points the way, there can be little hesitatien. For instance, the double s in Arch.
bishop Whately's premiss is plainly right (præmissum), and in the diocess of the Times newspaper plainly wrong (dioi knois). There is no doubt, again, about such adjectives as confident, dependent; while if it be asked why we write attendant and confidant, the answer is that we take these substantives not directly from the Latin, but through the French. So we write purify and rarefy, because the French happens to have i and e respectively from similar Latin roots. About words bodily transferred from the classic languages there is even less doubt. What educated man, for instance, ever writes Sybil, Syren, or Sphynx ? Too many, we fear, who ought to know better, many who do know better. We have recently read two distinct leading articles in the Spectator newspaper with “Sphynx" from beginning to end. No doubt in some derivate words corruption has modified the spelling, and use has set its seal upon the change. So we are prepared to find mathematical books treating of the hypothenuse instead of “hypotenuse” (üroteivovou), although the latter is happily getting into wider use. But trance, offence, defence, are fixed, we fear, notwithstanding the late Archdeacon Hare and our American brethren. By the way, do the latter write “transe” as well as "offense, defense”? On their own principles they should do so, undoubtedly; as the word is from transire-a passing out of one state of consciousness into another. While speaking of the Americans, we must protest against their labor and honor. We have even seen Savior! The correct principle to apply to words of this class (barring exceptions that have crept in) is that the older nouns, adopted into our language through the French, retain the u, the later ones, taken directly from the Latin, omit it, as actor, captor, gladiator, victor, &c.
Are we again to represent the Latin æ æ (Greek al vi), by the vowel e or by the diphthongs ? The question here depends upon the thoroughness of incorporation into our language. When the word is naturalized it drops its alien form. Thus we write ether, edifice, economy, but pæan, ædile, æcumenical. This last word, when more fully recognized, will no doubt be spelt with simple e, as also esthetics. “Encyclopedia” is still open to either way, but “enigma" is fixed. So of many other words.
Take, further, the case of words beginning with en or in. Why do we say enclose but inquire? The answer given by Dr. Sullivan is, that the former comes to us through the French, the other direct from the Latin. Some of these words are spelt in two ways in dif. ferent connexions. [By the way, should we have written connections ?] Thus we act so as to ensure success, but we insure against loss by fire.
Several other words, we are reminded, in like manner, though originally identical, vary their significance with their spelling. Not to mention the variation between nouns and verbs, as practice, practise, we find, for instance, ton and tun, stationery and stationary. [" The Earl of Derby's great want," says Punch-borrowing a hint from Messrs. Parkins and Gotto's shop-window-"is a Stationary Cabinet.”] We speak of a chemist's prials, but of rials of wrath ; we sail with
canvas spread, but conduct the canvass at election time ;* we thresh corn, but Tom Brown thrashed the Rugby bully; a wreck is tossed under a gathering wrack of clouds; we may wave our handkerchief to a departing friend, but we waive a privilege; Tom Thumb is puny, but junior judges of the realm are puisné; a doctor prescribes a drachm of Epsom salts, but his patient prefers a dram of whiskey. We omit other words of the kind, in haste to correct our spelling of that pleasant but deleterious spirit last-named. Whisky, says Dr. Sullivan, is the correct form ; and sure an Irish gentleman ought to know.
Use and convenience have plainly very much to do with all this ; but etymological considerations ought to decide in all doubtful cases. Thus, in the last syllable of ecstacy the cis plainly wrong, while an x in the first would obscure the derivation. Cotemporary is an unsightly perversion, too current in contemporary literature; hairbrained ought to be harebrained, for all who have read “ Alice's” charming “Adventures in Wonderland” know how mad a hare can be! Ostler ought to be confined to Cockneys; and syloan shades should be silvan, as in the old English poets. By the way, there seems a strange tendency to use the y and = where they have no business. Of Sphynx, Syren, we have spoken; there is also the equally blundering syphon, while analyze, apprize, enterprize, frenzy, ought all to have s in the last syllable.
We were present once at a discussion as to whether "sanitary " or “sanatory" measures should be the term employed. This is not a question of spelling, but of words. Dr. Sullivan, however, notices the two adjectives, and very properly decides that sanitary applies to that which promotes health, sanatory to that which heals disease. “ Sanitary measures” prevent what " sanatory measures ” would otherwise be requisite to cure.
We have given but a taste of a very correct, useful, and amusing little book, which we heartily commend. For some anomalies no reason whatever can be assigned. Thus, why should anybody ever have written shew; why should resin be sometimes written, and always pronounced, rosin; who invented sate for sat; why did Lord Byron write redde for read (past tense); why do razorsellers, and they alone, announce a strap as a strop ? Such irregu. larities were perhaps accidental in their origin, and we have no Academy to correct them. It is singular that in one of the Prayerbook “Gospels"-and only there, so far as we know-the word penny is throughout spelt with one n. We refer to that of “Septuagesima Sunday:" “ They received every man a peny. Dr. Sullivan does not notice this; but there must be a reason for it, if any one could but find it out.
• Canras, used for straining, and sifting ; hence for searching after votes, and soliciting them.
CHRISTIAN SPECTATO R.
THE EXPEDIENT DEPARTURE.
BY THE REV. EDWARD WHITE.
It is expedient for you that I go away.-John xiv. JESUS at the last supper had broken it to his disciples that He was about to leave the world and go away into the unknown realms of heaven. The immediate effect was that sorrow filled their hearts; and it is easy to understand how this should so be. There are, even on our human level, some persons whose living presence seems to be like the pleasant daylight to all their friends-an ever-enlivening boon. For true and transparent goodness never wearies; it charms as long as it endures. Some such are the strong—who have fought for us, led us into battle, thought for us, brought the distant near, made the dark transparent, the entangled plain, who have given a new life to our understandings, a new impulse to our character and purpose, a new vigour to our principles, in whose rich life we seemed to live anew, who brought us into sympathy with other ages and elder worlds, and caused us to feel our younger brotherhood with all the saints; or who unfolded to us divine mysteries, and opened to us the scriptures, so that there flashed on our hearts from theirs the light of a supernatural revelation. And some such are the gentle and the meek-whose sweet influences were like those of the Pleiades, or the soft dews of the dawn; natures so finely strung that their souls resembled harps over which no breath of sorrow ever swept without producing sweetest harmonies of compassion; hearts so sincere that the very expression of their countenances solved your chief perplexities of religious thought,