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the several rates of common time, and the terms adagio, largo, allegro, presto, tec. are also of very little avail, in ascertaining, with precision, the point the musician wifhes to discover. Every composer of musical airs would be of real service to the practitioner, if he would point out the absolute rate, at which his music is to be performed; this would be no difficult task; as he would only have to mention the length of a pendulum, which would make one complete vibration in the time, that part of a bar called a beat was performing. Thus, for instance, suppose I set a tune in triple time, and wish to have each bar performed in a second and a half, the character I must make use of is, A; for from this it might be concluded, that there were three beats in a bar, and each of these beats must be performed in the time a pendulum, ten inches long, made one vibration.

"To ex plain this method clearly, m uch more room is requisite; but this would not be a proper place for it: however, those who understand what improvement is intended, from this short account, will, I hopp, excuse me for exhorting them to use their beit endeavours to make it general."

Allow me just to add, that the method of adjusting the " tune" in military bands by pendulums, so as to make the music correspond with the different rates of marching, has been practised some years; a circumstance which renders it the more remarkable, independent of the suggestions of Dr. Gregory, Dr. Crotch, and others, that a mode of such easy and universal application, should not long ago have been adapted by all musical composers and performers. Vour's, &c. Jpnl8, 1809. T.myers,

To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine.


I BEG leave to offer a few remarks upon some of the late French bulletins, if it will suit you to insert them in your widely extended publication. It is not till of late that the French bulletins have come into contactwith our gazettes; mud if any dependence can be placed upon the authenticity of the Intter, the former must be full of the grossest falsehoods. The French official accounts have long been thought full of exaggeration of the losses and disasters of their enemies, while their own have been either concealed or greatly diminished, It has been

the policy of the French ruler to endeavour to persuade all Europe, by these means, that his troops are mvincihle, not only when they meet an equal number of their enemies, but even when they have to contend with double or treble their own forces. This was their boast ag .inst the Russians. But later and more authentic accounts have proved, that they overwhelmed the troops of Alexander, by bringing into the field a more numerouk army. The French ruler has pursued the same plan in his official account" of his unjust invasion of Spain, stating the Spanish forces to be three times the number of his own, though from Sir J. Mom e's letters to government, lately laid before 'be house of Commons, in which he could have no temptation to misrepresent facts, it appears that the Spanish army was inferior to the French in numbers, and even a great part of it, armed peasants. In such circumstances it is not wondeiful that the French should be victorious. To the French accounts of the defeat and losses of the British army in their retreat to Corunna. we may oppose the dispatches of our commanding officers, supposing the latter to be more probable, when there are such numbers in the army who could contradict them, if they were false, without exposing themselves to any such danger, as the French soldiers would, in such a case; for who in the French army dare affirm that any, or any part of the bulletins are false? They reason to think it would be death to them. It i9 not unlikely, however, that the bulletins receive considerable ci edit through Europe, in almost every particular; and therefore, if they can in any instance be disproved, it will so far weaken their pernicious effect. Some particulars in the French accounts of the retreat of our army, appear contradictory ; one account, for instance, says that the British army was reduced to 18,000 men, and an account of a latter date observes, that scarcely 21,000 men will get safe to their native shores. In these account.'- al i> said, that, in the retreat, two English generals were killed and tlnce ivpundtd; could this be concealed, if it wtre so, merely by the unissinn of theii the returns of kilh d and wounded. I bey further assert, that two Engl were found among the dead ui ol battle,one ufth< in a i General Hamilton; tins must be false. The) ftlrthei tl,.ic the t.'d.oOth,52d, in our army, were entirely destroyed. Afterwards, however, thtv admit that a fe* of them reached the ships; but Sm



did not amount to sixty men in cajch regiment. 1 lime thought that the number of the men belonging to those regiments, who have returned, might he iieaiIv ascertained by any inhabitant of the place where each of the^e regiments is quartered, and by inserting it in any of the put.he papers nmke the truth appear, and, I hope, disprove the statement of the French in these par. ticularj. In n paper of yesterday, it was mentioned, that a battalion of the Hid regiment was embarking for Portugal. If so; it docs not appear as if they were very much reduced.

The Mointeur, in its comments on our gamtts, contradicts Genual Hope, hy asserting that we did not take one French prisoner in the battle of Corunna: tlie falsehood of which is capable of proof, I presume, by our soldiers. In short, I wonder tiiat the accounts of the numbers of the army returned from Spain has not been produced, although moved for in parliament, and promised by the ministry at least two months since. General Stewart declared that our whole loss in Spain did not amount to 5000 men, and the French assert our loss to be 11,000; surely it would be wise in our ministry to disprove their latter statement, il it be in their power. I sincerely tape it is. Your's, &c.

April*, 1B09 E. N.

For the Monthly Map/nine. Hogbfss of the aussiAN Empire, during


THE public curiosity is not so capricious asitis usually represented. It u-ually follows in the direct line of public utility, nod of the proportion of that utility. W hotever is generally use/til, whatever adds to our stock of practical knowledL'e, will always be interesting, and will always interest us, in the exact proportion in wliich it is, or, may he useful.

Hence, indeed, originates the superior pleasure which has always been assigned to history. Historic-, says Quinctiliap, Ijuuuuo motto tcripta dflectut." But if history can thus delight us, by the representation of manners and events long passed, and therefore seen through the fog of nine, ii<»w much greater must be our pleasure in the perusal of cotemporniy events, in having those scenes and man. ncrs presented, as it were to our eyes, which are only severed from us by the Mere eveuoasmnce of locality,

These thoughts have been suggested by the course of my late reading, licing desirous of forming a comparative estimate of the progress of different nations within the last twenty years, I have naturally been led to consult the recent travels and tours, into those several countries. By the comparison of the accounts of each, by searching the one lo supply what is omitted in the other, I think { have been enabled to tonna tolerable estimate of the present state and condition of the principal kingdnmsin Kurope. The Flench writers, who have a name and system for every tiling, denominated these species ol outline, Tublenur. I will nor, however, say, that in two or three pages I shall exhibit a pictuie of the progress of the Russian empire, for the last twenty years, because the word will exceed the iliiiig; but by a collation and comparison, 1 have diawn an outline, which may he useful to others, as, in some points of reference, it has been to me.

That I may confine myself within some certain limits, I shall follow the method introduced in the French Tableau. But to relieve the dryness of mere statement, I shall not be so much a Frenchman, to be so perfectly enslaved by my method, as to pursue it, at whatever cose of disgust and weariness to the readers. Where the method assists me, I shall keep toil. Where it would destroy all variety without promoting perspicuity, I shall conceive myself at liberty to depart from it.

Arts—It is well known tluvt the empress Catherine was the protectress of all the arts propcily so called. If Peter the Great introduced into Russia whatever was necessary to the substance, of an empire; Catherine superadded whatever was wanting to its ornament. The Emperor Peter drew a bold outline, a masterly sketch; and then, passing as it were his canvas and his pencil to the Empress Catherine, she tilled it up, she ndded all the colour,th« shade, and the drape ry.

The Empress Catherine, howerrr, stood in the same relation to the linearts, as the Tzar Peter to the arts of necessity and common use. She was the founder of them, she found nothing, and left much: but, like all founders, she still left much to do. Even her long reign was not sufficient totally to erase and extinguish all the relics of barbarian taste, or rather of barbnriau want of taste. Thepajntcrs and poets hud still something of their ancient barbarism. The nobilirv,

iguuiant ignorant of rule, and not instructed by the comparison ot' model.*, judged only by their eye or car; mid lie was the best painter or tke best po< t, who rould attract the one or the other. The must fiund painting", and poems of the most monstrous images, were still in fashion in the Inst davsol Catherine, nt:d the walls uf her favorite palaces were inri'scrimiiwitelv covered with the tkif-d'srutm of the great masters, and with daubs which would scarcely be admitted on an English sign-post. Music was precisely in the tninc state. The Russian music is characterized by a simplicity which degeuelutc* into monotony, and by a srnicty, wbich,w(Miting distinctness and variety,is wore frequently noisy than musical, 'i »ic limpress Catherine endeavoured to improve it, by infusing the Italian melody. The Empress, howevevcr, here completely failed ; and tlmugli there were few things but what she could compass, at least in some degree, she left the Russian Music wliere she found it. The ear*of iMcRussianswoultrncither understand nor tolerate the science of the Italian npera? An Italian singer was received by the audience with much the same temper, as they would have received the pope; the direct countenance and even the presence \>i the court, was scarcely suilicicut to protect him from insult.

There is another minor art, if so that may be called, which is certainly an object of rule, in which the Russians had little excellence, previous lo the present reign. The Russians, though generally tin active race, and particularly the women, had not that natural distinction which is said to have characterized the ancient Creeks, and vt hich in no inconsiderable degree has descended to their posterity. They « ere not naturally dancert; their dancing was nothing but the irregular gaiety of a people of happy disposition. It consisted in nothing but st wild ability, a rapidity of motion, with no attention whatever to elegance or harmony. It was little to a Russian, whether he moved his arms or legs, if by such motion he could keep a kind of general time with a tune of about six notes. The savages of New Zealand dance on their liams, and the ancient Russian seemed to perform, as if he followed the palsy for his model.

Such was the condition of the arts of painting, sculpture, music, and dancing, at the decease of the Empress Catherine. Let ui see abat is their present state,

and through what interval they have passed.

Tnis information is only to he found in the accounts of recent travellers. Tlieie are two of those who at present occupy the public attention: Sir John Carr, in bis Northern '-'our; and Mr. Ker i'orler, . in Ins splendid work, the Travelling Sketches. The Northern Tour of Sir John Carr contains much valuable matter, and personal observation; and I read it with much avidity. The Travelling Sketches of Mr. Porter, arc infinitely beyo;id my praise; perhaps no book ran be produced winch, without the dryness or prolesseJ statistical research, contains a more full view and survey of the present state of manners, ails, and political economy of the iLiiSMnn empire. His pencil, moreover, comes in to the aid of his pen, and by their united results, not only the substance, but even the form of Russian life and manners, is before the eyes of the reader. Mr. Porter has made the public a gift, which I hope will not be the last.

"The Emperor Paul," says Mr. Ker Porter, "with the best intentions in the world, hot certainly with a strange way of pursuing them, was an avowed protector of the arts, and particularly of painting and sculpture. As an example ior all painters, lie issued an ucasr, by which it was ordered that all bridges, watch-houses, and imperial gates throughout the empire, should be painted in the gayest possible manner. Every thing was accordingly arrayed in red, and this colour in consequence become so much in fashion, as totally to destroy, and as it where overwhelm all genius. No picture would be looked at, in which all the figures were not arrayed in this colour," &c.

As the book of which I am speaking, is of very recent publication, I am afraid of being thought to do injustice to the able author, by availing myself too liberally of his information. But whoever wishes to obtain n perfect idea of the present state of the fine arts in Russia, will do well to consult the sixth letter of Mr. Porter, in which he gives an account of the present state of the Russian Institution for the Encouragement of Arts. For the sake of completing this, part of my subject, I must be permitted to avail myself of one extract further:—

— hane veniam petimusquedimusque vkui'im. Thii liberty; we must give and take.

" I can pronounce with any c< rtninty, as to ilie present state of the fine arts is, that sculpture and architecture have been nmcii advanced. They appear tr> me in a very promising state. The little [ have seen of painting, gives me a totally opposite impression. I have several times passed through the apHiimcnts of the Academy where the young men work, and, as no artist, have minutely examined their performances, but in none »f them could I discern the germs of the future painter. I sought to explain this to myself, ami found one very efficient cause in the had examples which • re ever before the eves, and which they copy as the standards of perfection. The walls, instead of being enriched with a few excellent paintings, are disgraced with myriads of vile riaubings. Whom are we to hiame for this? Certainly not flie imperial foundress or her successors. The invaluable saloons of the Hermitage, are ever open to the students of the Academy. There they may stray from morning till night, imbibing from the Sublime works of Michael Angelo, and Raphael, the very fountain of taste and improvement. These they neglect, or rather I should say, that the professors never introduce them to a glimpse of such great origirmls. Why, I cannot pi-ttcnd co tell you ; but so it is. aad thus, for want of the same plan, which prerails in the schools of sculpture and architecture, the whole of the expence lavished on that of painting is lit'.le Letter than absolutely wasted. When manifest vvajit of genius and bad instructions are united, nothing hut disappointment can be the result. Able teaching and industry may give respectable proficiency to the must mode rate capacities; and it isvvel! known,that had examples w ill Corrupt rind destroy the tincst tnlenrs."

Mr. Porter then proceeds to give judgment upon the productions of s:,itcary and architecture, of tho present Hussinn siriists. lie pays very Irgli compliments to Mr. Mi.-hinze, an c-'v»e, of the IVtersbur^h academy. This gentleman has produced, by Mr. Power's account, some admirable pieces of sculpture. One id' bis work, is a colossal ttr.tuc of John tt-e flaj t;st. Mr. Ker toiler gives a description of this, which is very favourable to the present state of •colptuic in Russia.

The churches and palnces of Petershoroli^ «uch us have been finished by ilie f>rtv»ut race of architects, ore equally proofs that architecture begins \o be

understood, as well as statuary. The in-_te of the Emperor Paul, indeed, finished a magnificent church ia biick, which his mother hud begun, and almost completed in marble; buijthe taste o( the monarch is so little in conformity with that of the in ton, that there is a general wish ihat this part of the church may he rebuilt. It is no inconsiderable Argument, that a nation will shindy be distinguished for eminence in an art, when it already shews itself to be possessed ol the primary principle of taste.

The music of a nation may be distributed into classes ; the popular music, the church-music, and the scientific? music of the theatre or opera. Jt bus been already said, that even to the et«l of the reign of Catherine, there was mi science in the Uussiaii music; that the opera was Rot tolerated, and that the popular music was uniform, and nicely not unmusical.

'1 he present state of Russian music, according to Mr. Porter'snccuui.t, is very much improved. The popular music of every country, that which characterize* their ar.cit lit songs and burthens, seldom varies in any considerable degree; it passes from father to son, ami is dear la the old, as Raving been remembered by them when young. But when a people, in the progress ot their civilization, come to hear music of a better taste, when their cars become gradually formed by the melodies of the theatre, and tlic science of the opera, even the popular music suite:s some change; if the oid tunc is pieservcd, it is set as it were with new graces. It lias thus happened iu' the Russian popular mn^ic. It lias bec:::ie improved, though, it still retain* something of its ancient character.

The church-music, always follows tbjo progress of the arts. In lf.u-.iia, therefort, the present church music is solemn, with nit niuiotouy, and grand without. Couf i.-ion.

Ti.e i.iuaie of the theatre, has equally i>iip,ri.vcd, and th,j Ku->',..ui dramatic hoard- may boast of singers, who are imlhiiii! behind those of London and Paris. Mr. Porter confirms these observations in every pag*. Tho reader, however, may prefer hearing him speak fur himstlf. We shall agtiin therefore avail ourselves of his aurh>iiry.

"The wind blew pc;roctlv for; and the people having h\!o to d >, ivc cave thrtn something to chxr tWir spirits. Onr present had the desired ciTect; ami they entcrtuined bath ther.istNcs and u*,

lb rough through the remainder of their voyage, by singing, with much simplicity nnd ease, several of their national airs. The strains are wild, and possess many pleasing arid melancholy passages, yet the whole bore a strong tone or" melancholy and abruptness. Such inoeed is the general character of these noil htm songs. I think that the monotony which dwells so long upon the ear, with one or two plaintive notes, is the cause of their deep melancholy impression. I have remarked this effect in old Scottish laments, and also in the wild dirges of the Irish peasantry.

With respect to the churchmusic, "there is something peculiarly impressive in the whole of the church service. In the boors we see a simple and devout ardour; they pray and cross themselves.with an earnestness which is peculiarly gratifying. It is impossible in seeing them, not to conceive the most favourable sentiments of them; for however ignorant they may he in other respects, when once they know the nature of the Almighty Being, and are sensible of standing in his omniscient presence, a salutary awe fills their mind, and integrity is the natural growth, as the corn is from the ground in which the seed is sown. The church-music is fine, lias much simplicity, and is all vocal. Those who chant are not seen, which gives a more charming effect to their voices. The most celebrated church in Petersburgh, for fine singing, is the Maltese chapel, and there it is of the most exquisite melody."

Mr. Porter likewise gives a similar description of the music of the opera and theatres; but it might be deemed unpardonable to give such length of extract. It will perhaps be thought that I have already availed myself too liberally of this gentleman's confirmatory observations. lint it must he remembered, that we live in days when authority goes farther than reasoning.

The Russians of the present day, equally excel in the dance. According to Mr! Porter, they fall not a whit behind the French, except that they have more personal modesty. This latter quality, indeed, as far as it respects any delicacy of per40nul display, is confined to the higher ranks; for a Russian woman of the lower order, acconbng to Mr. Ker Porter, has no idea that there is any part of her person, tvhicb it is required to keep from the v.e of her lover, or even of •(*tranger»

Manners.—The Russian manners have undergone a considerable change since the reign of Catherine. That Empress, by her encouragement o: foreigners, and particularly of Frenchmen, at her court, had introduced a politeness and refinement, which had totally eradicated all traces of the ancient Russian barbarity. Peter the Great attempted in vain to change some part of the national habits of his subjects, but Catherine succeeded. The point of distinction was, that Teter attempted it by edict; Catherine, by the gradual influence of example. The one wished to compel, the other seduced. Catherine, therefore, left her court and nation perfectly European; she formed them to pleasure, and through pleasure to refinement.

In any enquiry into the manners of the people, the suhject naturally distributes itself into four points; tho manners »f the court, of the nobility, of the middle class, and of the peasantry.

The present manners of the court of Russia, are perfectly those of every other court in Europe: whatever remained of the ancient barbarism, has worn away; and under the present emperor, the court of Petersburgh is nt once magnificent and refined. The accounts of Mr. Porter upon this head, must give every one a very high idea of the progressive civilization of Russian manners; so late as the last years of the Empress Catherine.the most avowed profligacy, theinost gross nnd open licentiousness disgraced acouit professing itself Christian; and the Empress herself, notwithstanding her French manners, was frequently in outrageous opposition against all the forms of civilized life and refined manners. Potemkin and ibe Orlovs, in the midst of their magnificence, had a brutality and a barbarism, which seemed only suitable to a nation just fresh from the woods. AW this has now passed away, and Petersburg!) has become what Paris was before the revolution.

The manners of the nobility who are not constantly appended to the court, have stillsoinething of their original character. "The nobles," says Mr. Porter, "deem no profession honourable, but arms. Tin- study of the aits nnd sciences is left to slaves, or at best to slaves made free. The Russian nobility," however.continues Mr P. "are characterized) by n noble frankness, which rem.mis one of the ancient barons ul Europe. They want nothing of tho more substantial social qualities; llicy arc huspitnble to a . tuovtrb,

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