than from necessity, that the prophets so frequently, rapt into future times,' consider them as present, or even past, and relate them with all the certitude of history. Instances of this abound in Scripture, and none is perhaps more beautiful and striking than the 53d chapter of Isaiah.

It is true, indeed, that the sacred writers frequently employ the contrary idiom, and use the future for the past', which seems not so easy to be accounted for’, In many places the tenses are used promiscuously, and interchangeably, in the same or in succeeding verses; in which case, perhaps, both ought to be rendered into English by the present, for which I suppose them generally to be used; being designed to collect the actions or events, either past or future, more immediately under the observer's eye; and thus rendered, would, I conceive, acquire additional elegance and beauty.

1 Deut. iv. 42. Psal. Ixxx. 9. &c.

2 Grammarians have endeavoured to get over these diffiCulties by ascribing a kind of magic influence to the particle vau () which has the power, they say, according as it is pointed, to convert preters into futures, and vice versa. Some give it a sort of magnetic virtue, by which they suppose it can operate at a distance ; so that if you can find this vau within two or three verses it may suffice. Others go farther, and supposing this vau to be often omitted, allow you to understand, or supply one. So that in short, wherever you may suppose an enallege of tenses, you have only to find a vau prefix; or, if you cannot find, you may supply one, and the work is done. Every one must see the futility of these rules, and their tendency to perplex translators.

3 Examine for instance, Deut. xxxii. 10--20; Ps. lxxviii. 36-41, in the original.



LET us now enquire into the primitive method of reciting poetry. Poetry, being in a peculiar manner the language of contemplation and devo. tion, appears naturally to require and assume a higher tone, and sublimer expression, than mere prose. It is said that the celebrated president Edwards, who was fond of retirement and soli, tary contemplation, used when alone in the woods of North America, to chaunt forth his meditations; and it was probably the case with the first generations. Milton reckons devotional melody among the employments of our first parents, in their state of innocence.

Their oraisons each morning duly paid
• In various style ; for neįther various style,

Nor holy rapture, wanted they to praise
. Their Maker in fit strains pronounc'd, or sung
• Unmeditated ; such prompt eloquence,
« Flow'd from their lips, in prose, or nuni'rous verse,
• More tunable than needed lute or harp
• To add more sweetness 1.'

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Dr. Blair assumes it as a principle”, “ that the pronunciation of the earliest languages was accompanied with more gesticulation, and with more and greater inflexions of voice than we now

1. Par. Lost, book v,

2 Lect, VI. *

used; there was more action in it; and it was more upon a crying or singing tonc.'

The union of poetry and music among the Hebrew prophets, is evident from their commonly prophesying with instruments of music?; and that even when they do not appear capable of performing themselves, as was probably the case of Eli, sha, who called for a minstrel to play before him, when he invoked the prophetic spirit”;

In the earliest ages of the Greeks, we find the same union of poetry and music: their bards, in imitation of the Hebrew prophets, being both poets and musicians, and (which is worthy of peculiar remark) universally claiming a degree and kind of inspiration, either from the gods, or from the muses : whence St. Paul. in accommodation to their own style, calls the Greek poets, their prophets :--- As certain of their own prophets have * said,' referring, as is supposed, to Aratus and Cleanthes.

These Greek prophets, poets, or musicians, it appears originally delivered their compositions in a kind of extemporaneous melody, accompanied upon the lyre. So did in particular, Hesiod and Homer; and the latter in describing Demodocus (probably intended as a portrait of himself) says,

i So the learned Mr. Blackwell supposes that, at first, mankind uttered their words in a much higher note than we * do now; occasioned by their falling upon them under • some passion, fear, wonder, or pain. Hence Avderv signi; şfied at first simply to speak, which now, with a small va

riation, vòlv, signifies to sing.' Enq. into the Life of Ho. mer, p. 38.

2 1 Sam. x. 2-12. xix. 20–24. 3 2 Kings ii. 15.

4 Acts xvii. 28.

• The bard advancing meditates the lay :'

And supposing him to be under a divine influence, adds,

Taught by the gods to please, when high he sings • The vocal lay, responsive to the stringsl.'

It should even seem that in those early times, nothing but poetry was sung ? and poetry in no other way recited; whence to recite and sing became synonimous in poetic language, and so continue to the present day. Dr. BLAIR thinks that even the declamation of the Greek and Roman orators, as well as the pronunciation of their stageactors, approached to the nature of a recitative ' in music, and was capable of being marked in notes, and supported with instruments 3.'

This inseparable union of poetry and music was preserved in many nations till within these few ages; and is in some, even to this very day. The Druidical and Celtic, German, Gaélic, British, Caledonian, and Hibernian bards and minstrels, are all famous in the page of history. Mr. STEWARD, an eminent traveller4, mentions a vestige of extemporaneous verses and singing with instru

\ Odys. book viii. 2 Burney's Hist. of Music, vol. I. p. 281, and note (c) 312. Stilling fleet's Orig. Sac. book I. ch. iv. sect. 1 ; and Rousseau's Dict. de Mus. in Opera.

3 Lect. vi. vol. I.
* Harris's Philological Enquiries, p. 286.

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mental accompaniment, as a kind of elegant amusement among the modern Athenians, of which he was an eye and ear witness. The Barcarolles (or extemporaneous ballads) of the gondoliers, or watermen of Venice, are famous all over Italy; not only among the vulgar, but even among the most celebrated masters. And ROUSSEAU tells us, there is nothing more common in that country, than to see two extemporary musicians challenge, attack each other, and form alternate couplets on the same air, with a vivacity of dialogue, melody, and accompaniment, incredible but' to an eye, witness,

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Of the merits of the Hebrew music, musical writers have indeed formed very low estimates, and spoken with much contempt.

• To speak freely on this matter (says Sir J. HAWKINS) ' whatever advantages this people might derive

from the instructions of an inspired law-giver, * and the occasional interpositions of the Almighty,

it no where appears that their attainments in li'terature were great, or that they excelled in any of those arts that attend the refinement of human

With respect to their music, there is but too much reason to suppose it was VERY BARBAROUS.'


As to literature, where shall we find histori. ans, poets, or philosophers, equal to Moses, Isaiah, and Solomon ? But with respect to their MUSIC, I beg leave to transcribe, with some variation,

Rouss. Dict. de Musique, in Barcorelles and Improvisare,

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