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Spirit to work upon, the more susceptive of Divine grace, and more faithful messenger to convey truth to the understanding.” And he cites his personal experience-experto crede-in favour of this view.
Anatomizing melancholy, old Burton adds to the instance of David that of Elisha, who when he was troubled by importunate kings, called for a minstrel, “and when he played, the hand of the Lord came upon him.” Of course the erudite anatomist heaps up corroborative instances of all kinds and ages, mythological, classical, mediæval ; and he quotes many of those obscure and obsolete authorities whom it has been the cheap policy of many a bookmaker to cite from Burton's thesaurus second-hand.
Spenser opens a canto of his “Faerie Queene” with a tribute to the powers of minstrelsy as exercised by Orpheus,—
“Or such as that celestial psalmist was,
That when the wicked fiend his lord tormented,
The outrage of his furious fit relented.” Or again, to quote a parallel passage from a later poet of the didactic school, whom, perhaps simply because he (Dr. Armstrong) was didactic, some people think as essentially prosy as Spenser is on all sides allowed to be quintessentially poetical :
“Such was the bard, whose heavenly strains of old
Appeased the fiend of melancholy Saul.” Buretti declares music to have the power of so affecting the whole nervous system as to give sensible ease in a large variety of disorders, and in some cases a radical cure, Particularly he instances sciatica as capable of being relieved by this agency. Theophrastus is mentioned by Pliny as recommending it for the hip gout; and there are references on record by old Cato and Varro to the same effect. Æsculapius figures in Pindar as healing acute disorders with soothing songs.
"Music exalts each joy, allays each grief,
Expels diseases, softens every pain,
Subdues the rage of poison and of plague :
One power of Physic, Melody, and Song." Over Luther, as Sir James Stephen has remarked, there brooded a constitutional melancholy, sometimes engendering sadness, but more often giving birth to dreams so wild that, if vivified by the imagination of Dante, they might have passed into visions as awful and majestic as those of the “ Inferno." Various were the spells to which Luther had recourse, to cast out the demons that haunted him; and of these remedial agencies the most potent perhaps was music. “He had ascertained and taught that the spirit of darkness abhors sweet sounds not less than light itself; for music (he says), while it chases away the evil suggestions, effectually baffles the wiles of the tempter. His lute, and hand, and voice, accompanying his own solemn melodies, were therefore raised to repel the vehement aggressions of the enemy of mankind.”
A story is told of Farinelli, the famous singer, being sent for express to Madrid, to try the effect of his magical voice on the king of Spain, who was then buried in the profoundest melancholy-proof against every appeal to exertion, living without signs of life in a darkened chamber, the unresisting prey of dejection beyond relief. But relief came with Farinelli. The vocalist was desired by the physicians to sing in an outer room, which for a day or two he did, without any apparent effect upon the royal patient. But at length it was noticed that the king seemed partially roused from his stupor, and became an evident listener; next day tears were seen starting from his eyes; the day after he ordered the door of his chamber to be left open; and at last “ the perturbed spirit entirely left our modern Saul, and the medicinal voice of Farinelli effected what no other medicine could.” Well known in modern verse is the poet's picture of a despairing sufferer, whom nought avails to move until
"At last a slave bethought her of a harp :
The harper came, and tuned his instrument ;
Then to the wall she turned as if to warp
. . . And in a gushing stream
Nor be forgotten the impressive instance of Schiller's Wallenstein, in his hour of darkness, tranquillised by Thekla's voice and lute :
“Come here, my girl. Seat thee by me,
That beats his black wings close above my head.” William Godwin makes his savage Tyrell amenable to well warbled melody. Readers of Scott will remember how a frenzied Highlander is soothed into self restraint by the minstrelsy of Annot Lyle. Goethe makes the first bar of an air by Gretchen suffice to lull the sorrows of young Werter, who protests that “instantly the gloom and madness which hang over me are dispersed, and I breathe freely again.” Another Charlotte-our English Richardson's—is less successful in her manipulation of medicinal melody, when essaying to subdue an angry spirit by the spells of song : “I go to my harpsichord ; music enrages him. He is worse than Saul ; for Saul could be gloomily pleased with the music even of the man he hated," But this is antedating Saul's aversion ; in those days Saul loved David greatly.
Dr. Croly, in an eloquent paragraph of his elaborate eastern romance, records how carefully music, " of all pleasures the most intellectual, that glorious painting to the ear, that rich mastery of the gloomier emotions of our nature,” was studied by the Jewish priesthood, and with a skill that influenced the habits of the country. “How often," exclaims Salathiel, “have my fiercest perturbations sunk, at the sounds that once filled the breezes of Judæa! How often, when my brain was burning, and the blood ran through my veins like molten brass, have I been softened down to painless tears by the chorus from our hills, the mellow harmony of harp and horn, blending with the voices of the youths and maidens of Israel !”.
It is characteristic, as Herr Kohl observes, of music-loving Bohemia, that in the lunatic asylum of its capital, music should be considered one of the chief aids and appliances for the improvement of the patients. In addition to the garden concerts, in which all assist who can, there is chamber music-quartets, trios, etc.,—every morning and evening in the wards; and a musical director takes high rank in the official staff of the establishment.
Elizabeth Charlotte of Orleans, mother of the Regent, describes in one of her letters a Madame de Persillie, well born and well bred, but a dangerous lunatic; who however, if you could but slip a guitar into her hand when the fury-fit came on, would become calm again as soon as she began to play. “I pity her greatly," writes the good-natured duchess (whose homely German nature never became properly assimilated to the French court); "she was very fond of me, and used to address me as Mon aimable ; but whenever she came to see me I always had a guitar quite ready for her.” It was but common prudence to be thus prepared for the worst; and when the worst came to the worst, then a guitar was best.
Schleiermacher exclaims in one of his letters, “Surely, if there was any good in Saul's innermost soul it must have been an adagio that exorcised the evil spirit.” The evil spirit in question is introduced by name, Malzah, in a recent Canadian drama, and is made to avow the accomplished fact of exorcism in the following strain :
"Music, music hath its sway :
From off Saul's heart, where coiled I lay,"
Mr. Browning's “Paracelsus"-distant as the kinship between the two poems may be in other respects :
“ My heart ! they loose my heart, those simple words ;
Its darkness passes, which nought else could touch ;
Which glideth out to music sweet and low.” Again and again in Shakspeare is the remedial agency of music resorted to by afflicted royalty. At one time it is Queen Katharine, fading and heartsore, who bids one of her women cease working, and sing
“Take thy lute, wench ; my soul grows sad with troubles ;
Sing, and disperse them if thou canst.” And the singer's theme is how “in sweet music is such art, killing care and grief at heart.” At another time it is dying Harry IV., who prays his attendants, as they bear him to an inner room
“Let there be no noise made, my gentle friends!
Will whisper music to my weary spirit.” And once more, we have Lear's physician prescribing music for the safer awakening of the distraught old man from that long sleep which was only not his last.
FREE FROM RIGHTEOUSNESS.
ROMANS vi. 20. I N being, and so long as they continued, slaves of sin (dolllou T rñs åpaprlas), the recipients of St. Paul's epistle to the Romans are forcibly described by him as having been, ipso facto, free from righteousness (éleúdepou rûn dikalogúvn). But what fruit had they in the freedom of which they were now ashamed?
* Gently soothing.