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an insight into the heart of man, reveals to us the feelings and predilections of different races on the globe, and affords us a clue to the natural affinity which exists between different families of men. Again, a collection must prove interesting in a historical point of view. Scholars will find among old instruments specimens which were in common use in England at the time of queen Elizabeth, and which are not unfrequently mentioned in the literature of that period. In many instances the passages in which allusion is made to them can hardly be understood, if we are unacquainted with the shape and construction of the instruments. Furthermore, these relics of bygone times bring before our eyes the manners and customs of our forefathers, and assist us in understanding them correctly.
It will be seen that the modification which our orchestra has undergone, in the course of scarcely more than a century, is great indeed. Most of the instruments which were.highly popular about a hundred years ago have either fallen into disuse or are now so much altered that they may almost be considered as new inventions. Among Asiatic nations, on the other hand, we meet with several instruments which have retained unchanged through many centuries their old construction and outward appearance. At South Kensington may be seen instruments still in use in Egypt and western Asia, precisely like specimens represented on monuments dating from a period of three thousand years ago. By a reference to the eastern instruments of the present time we obtain tnerei'ore a key for investigating the earlier Egyptian and Assyrian representations of musical performances ; and, likewise, for appreciating more exactly the biblical records respecting the music of the Hebrews. Perhaps these evidences will convey to some inquirers a less high opinion than they have hitherto entertained, regarding the musical accomplishments of the Hebrew bands in the solemn processions of king David or in Solomon's temple; but the opinion will be all the nearer to the truth.
There is another point of interest about such collections, and