By Thomas Henry Dyer
Read Online or Download A history of modern europe from the fall of constantinople. vol iii. 1576-1679. PDF
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Extra resources for A history of modern europe from the fall of constantinople. vol iii. 1576-1679.
And so it is with all other relations between the inner man and the outer world. A sombre mind longs for external darkness; the sorrowful man wishes to hide himself, and shuns both the object and the witnesses of his sorrow; the organ of light itself—his eye—grows dim and closes. But see how that eye lights up in joy, and how it sparkles and flashes in withering anger! As inertness and torpitude everywhere indicate the want of an inducement to progress, or that of a moving force, so our own limbs are paralyzed when the mind is seized with fright; our arms hang down in utter helplessness, and the pulse grows sluggish or even ceases altogether.
From that Hellenic Nomos, in which the clanging trumpet of brass imitated the gnashing of Python's teeth*, down to Bach, Haydn and Beethoven, musical composers have never ceased to paint with sounds, in spite of all the outcries of our testhetical critics, who will not permit such things in music, but insist that the " art of the soul" should only " touch the heart," or by its " play of forms" amuse the ear. It is likely to remain so (as I have already predicted in my essay on painting in musicf), as both the natural inclination of the artist and the purpose of his calling are diametrically opposed to the tendency of abstraction, and comprehend both the sensual and the spiritual existence of man.
Those senses by means of which he perceives and takes cognizance of the outer world, those powers which enable him to act from within upon that world, and the consciousness both of the impressions he receives from without and the powers that dwell within—these in their totality constitute the being we call man : that being, which, in the consciousness of its existence in the world, feels itself at the same time distinct from the world. His senses are the messengers whom the world around—that ocean full of light and colour and sound—full of contacts and influences—entices to come out; who, on their return, report to him what they have seen and heard and felt, and thus awaken in him the first conception of his individual existence, as distinct from the world around.