Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/430

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414
SONGHOI—SONNET

the strangest attitudes and run in circles till the turf is worn bare. The peacock in pride spreads his train so as to show how nearly akin are the majestic and the ludicrous. The bower-bird, not content with its own splendour, builds an arcade, decked with bright feathers and shining shells, through and around which he paces with his gay companions. The larks and pipits never deliver their song so well as when seeking the upper air. Rooks rise one after the other to a great height and, turning on their back, wantonly precipitate themselves many yards towards the ground, while the solemn raven does not scorn a similar feat, and, with the tenderest of croaks, glides supinely alongside or in front of his mate.”

The following may be cited as the principal treatises on the subject, besides Barrington's paper quoted above: J. Blackwall, Mem. Litt. Phil. Soc, Manchester (1824), pp. 289–323; also in Froriep's Notizen (1825), col. 292–298; F. Savart, Mémoir sur la voix des oiseaux, Froriep's Notizen (1826), col. 1–10; C. L. Brehm, Naumannia (1855), pp. 54–59, 96–101, 181–195; and Journ. f. Ornith. (1855, pp. 348–351: 1856, pp. 250–255); C. Gloger, Journ. f. Ornith. (1859), pp. 439–459; J. E. Harting, Birds of Middlesex (London, 1866), where the notes of many of the common English birds are musically expressed; J. A. Allen, Bull. Comp. Zool. Harvard (1871), ii. 166–450; L. Paolucci, Il Canto degli uccelli (Milan, 1878), and Milano soc. ital. anti. 20 (1877), pp. 125–247; C. L. Hett, A Dictionary of Bird Notes (Brigg, 1898) ; C. A. Witchell, Bird-Song and its Scientific Teaching (Gloucester, 1892); F. S. Mathews, Field Book of Wild Birds and their Music (New York, 1904). See also W. Warde Fowler, A Year With the Birds (1886).  (H. F. G.) 


SONGHOI, Sonrhay, Surhai, &c, a great negroid race inhabiting a large tract of country on both banks of the middle Niger. They formed a distinct state from the 8th to the 16th century, being at one period masters of Template:EB1911link (q.v.) and the most powerful nation in the western Sudan. The origin of this people, who are said still to number some two millions, though their national independence is lost, has been a source of much dispute. Heinrich Barth, who has given the fullest account of them, reckoned them as aborigines of the Niger valley; but he also tried to connect them with the Egyptians. The people themselves declare their original home to have been to the eastward, but it seems unlikely that they or their culture are to be connected at all with the Nile valley. According to the Tarik & Sudan, a 17th century history of the Sudan written by Abderrahman Sadi of Timbuktu, the first king of the Songhoi was called Dialliaraan (Arabic Dia min al Jemen, "he is come from Yemen") , and the account given in this Arabic manuscript leaves little doubt that he was an Arab adventurer who, as has been frequently the case, became chief of a negro people and led them westward. The Songhoi emigration must have begun towards the middle of the 7th century, for Jenne, their chief city, was founded one hundred and fifty years after the Hejira (about a.d. 765), and it represents the extreme western point in their progress. From a hundred to a hundred and twenty years would be about the time which must be allowed for the years of wandering and those of settlement and occupation in the Songhoi countries. In the north they have mixed with the Ruma "Moors," and in the south with the Fula. The Songhoi, then, are probably Sudanese negroes much mixed with Berber and even Arab blood, who settled among and crossed with the natives of the Niger valley, over whom they long ruled.

In their physique they bear out this theory. Although often as black as the typical West African, their faces are frequently more refined than those of pure negroes. The nose of the Songhoi is straight and long, pointed rather than flat; the lips are comparatively thin, and in profile and jaw "projection they are easily distinguishable from the well-known nigritic type. They are tall, well-made and slim. In character, too, they are a contrast to the merry light-heartedness of the true negro. Barth says that of all races he met in negroland they were the most morose, unfriendly and churlish. The Songhoi language, which, owing to its widespread use, is, with Hausa, called Kalam al Sudan ("language of the Sudan") by the Arabs, is often known as Kissur. According to Friedrich Muller it resembles in structure none of the neighbouring tongues, though its vocabulary shows Arab influence. Keane states that the language "has not the remotest connexion with any form of speech known to have been at any time current in the Nile valley."

See Heinrich Barth, Travels and Discoveries in Northern and Central Africa (1857–1858); A. H. Keane, Man Past and Present (Cambridge, 1899); Brix Forster in Globus, lxxi. 193; Felix Dubois, Timbuctoo the Mysterious (1897); Lady Lugard, A Tropical Dependency (1905).

SONNEBERG, a town of Germany, in the duchy of Saxe-Meiningen, situated in a narrow valley of the Thuringian forest, 13 m. by rail N.E. of Coburg. Pop. (1905), 15,003. It is famous for its manufacture of toys; its other industries are the making of glass and porcelain articles, electrical works and breweries. The town possesses a fine Gothic church, and a hydropathic establishment.


SONNENTHAL, ADOLF VON (1834–1909), Austrian actor, was born at Jewish parentage in Budapest on the 21st of December 1834. Though brought up in penury and apprenticed to a working tailor, he yet cultivated the histrionic art, and was fortunate in receiving the support of a co-religionist, the actor Bogumil Dawison, who trained him for the stage. He made his first appearance at Temesvar in 1851, and after engagements at Hermannstadt and Graz came in the winter of 1855–1856 to Königsberg in Prussia, where his first performance was so successful that he was engaged by Heinrich Laube for the Burgtheater in Vienna, making his first appearance as Mortimer in Schiller's Maria Stuart. Under Laube's careful tuition he developed within three years into an actor of the first order, excelling both in tragedy and comedy; and in 1882, after 25 years of brilliant service at the Court Theatre, he was given a patent of nobility. In 1884 he became manager-in-chief of the theatre; and in 1887–1888 acted as artistic adviser. He visited the United States in 1885, and again in 1889 and 1902, achieving great success. His chief parts were Nathan in Lessing's Nathan der Weise, Wallenstein and Der Meister von Palmyra.


SONNET (Ital. Sonetto, dim. of Suono, Fr. Sonnet). The sonnet in the literature of modern Europe is a brief poetic form of fourteen rhymed verses, ranged according to prescription. Although in a language like the English it does no doubt require considerable ingenuity to construct a satisfactory sonnet of octave and sestet running upon four rhymes, this ingenuity is only a means to an end, the end being properly that a single wave of emotion, when emotion is either too deeply charged with thought, or too much adulterated with fancy, to pass spon- taneously into the movements of pure lyric, shall be embodied in a single metrical flow and return. Whether any given sonnet be composed like that of Pier delle Vigne (of two quatrains with rhymes running a, b, a, b, a, b, a, b, and of two tercets with rhymes running, c, d, e, c, d, e), or whether the verses be arranged (on the authority of Shakespeare and Drayton) in three quatrains of alternate rhymes clinched by a couplet, or, as in the sonnet of Petrarch, in an octave of two rhymes and a sestet of either two or three rhymes—in each case the peculiar pleasure which the ear derives from the sonnet as a metrical form lies in the number and arrangement of the verses being prescribed, and distinctly recognizable as being prescribed. That the impulse to select for the rendering of single phases of feeling or reflection a certain recognized form is born of a natural and universal instinct is perhaps evidenced by the fact that, even when a metrical arrangement discloses no structural law demanding a prescriptive number and arrangement of verses, the poet will nevertheless, in certain moods, choose to restrict himself to a prescribed number and arrangement, as in the cases of the Italian stomello, the Welsh triban, and the beautiful rhymeless short ode of Japanese poetry. And perhaps, if we probed the matter deeply, we should find that the recognized prescription of form gives a sense of oneness that nothing else save the refrain can give to a poem which, being at once too long for a stanza in a series and too short to have the self-sustaining power of the more extended kinds of poetic art, suffers by suggesting to the ear a sense of the fragmentary and the inchoate. It is not then merely the number of the verses, it is also their arrangement as to rhymes—an arrangement leading the ear to expect