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FRANKLIN-SQUARE
Education.— When a boy I was very fond of mu­se, and am so now ; and it so happened that I had the opportunity of hearing much good music. Among other things I had abundant opportunities of hearing that great old master, Sebastian Bach. I remember perfectly well—though I knew nothing about music then, and, I may add, know nothing whatever about it now—the intense satisfaction and delight which I had in listening by the hour together to Bach's fugues. It is a pleasure which remains with me, I am glad to think, but of late years I have tried to find out the why and wherefore, and it has often occurred to me that the pleasure in musical compositions of this kind is essen­tially of the same nature as that which is derived from pursuits which are commonly regarded as purely intel-
SONG COLLECTION.                                      2y
lectual. I mean that ihe source of pleasure is exactly the same as in most of my problems in morphology— that you have the theme in one of the old master's works followed out in all its endless variations, always appearing and always remindingyou of unity in variety. So in painting; what is called truth to nature is the intellectual element coming in, and truth to nature de­pends entirely upon the intellectual culture of the per­son to whom art is addressed. If you are in Austra­lia, you may get the credit for being a good artist—I mean among the natives—if you can draw a kangaroo after a fashion. But among men of higher civilization the intellectual knowledge we possess brings its criti cism into our appreciation of works of art, and we are obliged to satisfy it as well as the mere sense of beauty
COME, OH, COME WITH ME.
Italian Melody.
in color and in outline. And so the higherthe culture and information of those whom art addresses, the more exact and precise must be what we call its " truth to nature." If we turn to literature the same thing is true, and you find works of literature which may be said to be pure art. A little song of Shakespeare or at Goethe is pure art, although its intellectual content mav be nothing. A series of pictures is made to pass before your minds by the meaning of words, and the effect is a melody of ideas. And if you will let me for a moment speak of the very highest forms of litera­ture, do we not regard them as highest simply because the more we know the truer they seem, and the more competent we are to appreciate beauty the more beau­tiful they are ? Xo man ever understands Shakespeare
until he is old, though the youngest may admire him; the reason being that he satisfies the artistic instinct of the youngest and harmonizes with the ripest and rich­est experience of the oldest. It is not a question whether one order of study or another should pre­dominate, but rather of what topics of education you shall select, combining all the needful elements in such due proportion as to give the greatest amount of food and support and encouragement to those faculties which enable us to appreciate truth, and to profit by those sources of innocent happiness which are open to us, and at the same time to avoid that which is bad and coarse and ugly, and to keep clear of the multitude of pitfalls and dangers which beset those who break through the natural or moral laws.— T/tos. II. Huxhy.







E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III