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MOZART IN CHILDHOOD.
The walls sagged very much; it was with some difficulty that we kept from slipping out of the door level with the stairs, when the tower reeled over on our side. I wondered that we had the courage to complete the ascent. Towers had fallen before now; leaning towers are not expected to stand any longer than they choose to. The earth has sunk about the Pisa tower so that you go down several steps to get to the door on the ground floor. We were near the top; the roofs of the city lay far below us; we caught giddy glimpses of the world from the opening in the wall -the tempting doors that invited us to step into eternity without waiting for our turn. By this time the hollow of the tower looked like a monstrous tunnel. We were stumbling over the stone stairs in an unpleasantly suggestive manner when we came to the top chamber, where the great bells hang. Here we breathe more freely. The big bell, weighing six tons, hangs on the upper side of the tower, to windward,' as it were; the smaller bells take their chance on the down grade. This little fact relieved us, for we were still affected by the unsteadiness of the long spiral stairway. While we were looking off upon the country from the turrets above the bell-chamber, lo! all the bells began ringing right under our feet. The sensation was as if the tower were about to be shaken to pieces; every stone trembled perceptibly; the air was whistling about our ears. One man did it all. He sprang on to one of the bells, and set it swinging, then gaily on to another, and at last caught the big bell to windward, and got its thick tongue in motion; so he skipped lightly from one to the other, dodging the roaring monsters as they heaved about him. Escape was impossible while this concert was in progress."
MOZART IN CHILDHOOD.
MOZART, the famous composer, could sing tunes before he could talk, and compose music before he knew how to write. Musical strains ran in his mind before he put them on paper.
In the year 1761, any one looking into the sitting-room of the chapel-master of Saltzburg might have seen a little figure bent over a table busily scratching away with pen and ink. The childish hand hardly knew how to hold the pen, but hurried along with marks and dots and strange-looking characters, smeared with ink, and now and then blackened with a huge blot as the pen dashed from ink to paper with trembling eagerness. The door opened, and the chapel-master entered with a friend, but the little curly head did not stir.
"What are you doing, my son ?"
"I am composing a concerto for the harpsichord, papa; I have nearly finished the first part."
"Let me see.'"
No, please; I have not yet finished."
The father took the paper, however, and showed it to his friend. They both laughed heartily at the scrawl; but on looking more attentively, the chapel-master said, "See, it is really composed by rule; but it is too difficult; no one could play it."
"It must be well studied before it is played," said the boy. "See, this is the way it begins." And running to the harpsichord, he succeeded in playing enough of it to show what his idea was.
It was indeed a musical composition, correctly composed, but containing such great difficulties that an able musician would have found it impossible to execute it on the harpsichord.
THE TWO ANGELS.
GOD called the nearest angels who dwelt with Him above;
"Arise," He said, "my angels! a wail of woe and sin
My harps take up the mournful strain that from a lost world swells;
Fly downward to that under world, and on its souls of pain
Let Love drop like sunshine, and Pity tears like rain!"
ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
Anecdotes and Selections.
EMBLEMS OF CHRIST.-Cast thine eyes which way thou wilt, and thou shalt hardly look upon anything but Christ Jesus hath taken the name of that thing upon Himself. Is it day? and dost thou behold the sun? He is called the Sun of Righteousness. Or is it night? and dost thou behold the stars? He is called a Star, "There shall come a Star out of Jacob." Or is it the morning? and dost thou behold the morning star? He is called "the bright Morning Star." Or is it noon? and dost thou behold clear light all the world over? He is "that Light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world." Come nearer; if thou lookest upon the earth, and taketh a view of the creatures about thee, dost thou see the sheep? "As a sheep before her shearer is dumb." Or seest thou a lamb? "Behold the Lamb of God." Seest thou a shepherd watching over his flock? "I am the Good Shepherd.' Or seest thou a fountain, waters, rivers? He is a Fountain. Or seest thou a tree good for food, or a flower? He is "the Tree of Life," and "the Lily of the Valley, and the Rose of Sharon." Art thou adorning thyself, and taketh a view of thy garments? "Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ." Art thou eating meat, and taketh a view of what thou hast on thy table? He is the Bread of God; the true Bread from heaven; the Bread of Life.-Ambrose.
AFRAID OF CHRIST.-Is it not a shame that we are always afraid of Christ, whereas there never was, in heaven or earth, a more loving, familiar, or milder man in words and demeanour, especially towards poor, sorrowful, and tormented consciences? Hence the prophet Jeremiah prays, saying, “Oh! Lord, grant that we be not afraid of Thee." I expect more goodness from Kate, my wife, from Philip Melancthon, and from other friends, than from my sweet and blessed Saviour, Jesus Christ; and yet I know for certain that neither she, nor any person on earth, will or can suffer for me what He has suffered; why, then, should I be afraid of Him? This, my foolish weakness, grieves me very much. We plainly see in the gospel how mild and gentle He showed Himself toward His disciples; how kindly he passed over their weakness, their foolishness. He checked their unbelief, and, in all gentleness, admonished them. Moreover, the Scripture, which is most sure, says, "Well are all they that put their trust in Him." Fie on our unbelieving hearts that we should be afraid of this man, who is more loving, friendly, gentle and compassionate towards us than are our kindred, our brethren and sisters, than parents themselves are to their own children.-Martin Luther.
ANECDOTE OF LIVINGSTONE.-Before he went abroad as a missionary Livingstone was placed for a time under the tuition of the Rev. R. Cecil, of Ongar, in Essex. In the neighbouring village of Stanford Rivers, the minister of the Independent church, being suddenly taken ill, and unable to conduct his evening service, applied to Mr. Cecil, who
ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
at once sent over Livingstone. The young Scotchman soon surprised the congregation beyond measure, for, having taken his text, he became bewildered, and could not utter a word. Then, without attempting an apology, or making any remark whatever, he hastily descended from the pulpit, snatched up his hat, and made his way to Ongar, leaving the Stanford Rivers' people to think or say what they pleased. The old pastor for whom Livingstone came to officiate is still alive, and in telling the story makes it point a moral. The man who ran away from a congregation of Essex rustics, was the man who was afterwards not afraid of men or of lions. Modesty and partial failure often precede greatness; and missionary committees ought to be on their guard against saying too hastily, "That man is too bashful ever to make his way in the world.
ROMAN CATHOLIC OPINION OF LUTHER.-Prof. Schoen, of Vienna, spiritual director of the madhouse of that capital, has recently published a very curious work tending to prove that Martin Luther was mad. It is well known that the "great reformer," whilst still a very young man, received a terrible shock to his nerves from seeing a friend, who was walking by his side, struck dead by lightning. This event led him to become a monk; and it is not improbable that from it date the hallucinations and other singularities of his mind to which he was afterward subject. In a letter to Father Staupitz, his superior, he declares that the sight of a crucifix was sufficient to frighten him into a fit, and that he had entirely lost all confidence in God, although he pretended to possess it." His marriage with Catherine Bora, the ex-nun, was followed by words and acts on his part so utterly void of common sense as to point to insanity. Thus he asserts that "his marriage must have made the angels weep and the devils laugh," and yet he wrote a treatise in favour of the marriage of priests. He frequently prayed at the table to the devil, saying, "O holy Satan, pray for us. Take a rope in thy hand and go to Rome to thy servant the pope, whose idol thou art, and beat him with it." Who but a crazy person would have prayed thus? His vituperation, evil temper, bad language, and filthy talk, are well known, and are of so very gross and coarse a nature that nothing but insanity can explain them. The way in which he spoke of the Jews is a proof that he was mad, if there were no other. He advised people to pour burning lead and pitch on them, to destroy their books, and to let them die of starvation. He called them the sons of the devil. In short, a thousand instances can be brought forward to prove that Luther was not in his right mind, and Prof. Schoen has introduced them in his book with striking effect. He is, however, by no means the first writer who has endeavoured to proved that Luther was not sane.
MIDDLE LIFE. It is the solemn thought connected with middle life, that life's last business is begun in earnest; and it is then, midway between the cradle and the grave, that a man begins to marvel that he let the days of his youth go by so half-enjoyed. It is the pensive autumn feeling; it is the sensation of half-sadness that we experience when the longest day of the year is past, and every day that
ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
follows is shorter, and the light fainter, and the feeble shadows tell that nature is hastening with gigantic footsteps to her winter's grave. So does man look back upon his youth. When the first gray hairs become visible, when the unwelcome truth fastens itself upon the mind that a man is no longer going up hill, but down, and that the sun is already westerning, he looks back on things behind. When we were children we thought as children. But now there lies before us manhood with its earnest work, and then old age, and then the grave, and then home. This is a second youth for man, better and holier than his first, if he will look on, and not look back.-F. W. Robertson.
THE DIFFERENCE.-A French officer, a prisoner, on his parole, met with a Bible, and was so struck with its contents that he was convinced of the folly of scepticism and the truth of Christianity. When his
gay associates rallied him for taking so serious a turn, he said in his vindication, "I have done no better than my old schoolfellow, Bernadotte, who is become a Lutheran." "Yes, but he became so," they answered, "to obtain a crown." "My motive," said the officer, "is the same; we differ only as to place. The object of Bernadotte was to obtain a crown on earth, mine to obtain a crown in heaven."
DR. WHEwell.-The late Dr. Whewell was a living cyclopædia. On one occasion some of his companions formed a conspiracy to trap him. A number of them read up on Chinese music from articles in old reviews. Then, when they were ready, they fired off their recondite knowledge on the state of music in China. For a while Dr. Whewell remained silent, and the conspirators were happy in thinking they had caught the great chieftain at last. When, however, they had about emptied themselves of their curious lore, he remarked: "I was imperfectly, and to some extent incorrectly informed regarding Chinese music, when I wrote the articles from which you have drawn your information."
TAKING ALL FREELY.
A GOOD Kentucky lady, upon her return to the home of her youth, after an absence of many months, heard of the distressed condition of "Old Aunt Peggy," a negro woman who had belonged to the family. In the kindness of her heart she immediately made arrangements for her comfort, and started out in the rain to find her. When Mrs. B. entered the wretched hovel, Aunt Peggy, who was hovering over a little fire in an old rusty broken stove, exclaimed, "Dar, now! if dar ain't Mis' Mary!" After an exchange of hearty greetings, Mrs. B. said, “Oh dear! how have you lived in this condition?"
"Oh! de good Lord mi'te mindf'll 'bout me. Sometimes I has nothin' to eat, but den He takes my appetite 'way from me, so I doesn't crave nothin'; den I gets sleepy, en' I dreams mi'te pleas'nt. O, child, I takes it all freely !"
"Well, but, Aunt Peggy, you have not a dry spot in your shanty." "Well, honey, I knows dat; but it don't seem to gin me no cold; den, bless you! it don't rain eb'ry day."