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ing things. I used to think, when I was a child, that it was fairy music. If you have been used to early rising, you have not forgotten how the stillness of the night seems increased by the timid note of the first bird. It is the only time when I would lay a finger on the lip of nature, the deep hush is so very solemn. By and by, however, the birds are all up, and the peculiar holiness of the hour declines, but what a world of music does the sun shine on!-the deep lowing of the cattle blending in with the capricious warble of a thousand of God's happy creatures, and the stir of industry coming on the air like the under tones of a choir, and the voice of man, heard in the distance over all, like a singer among instruments, giving them meaning and language!

But if you would hear one of nature's most various and delicate harmonies, lie down in the edge of the wood when the evening breeze begins to stir, and listen to its coming. It touches, first, the silver foliage of the birch, and the slightly hung leaves, at its merest breath, will lift and rustle like a thousand tiny wings; and then it creeps up to the tall fir, and the fine tassels send out a sound like a low whisper; and as the oak feels its influence, the thick leaves stir heavily, and a deep tone comes sullenly out like the echo of a far off bassoon. They are all wind harps of different power; and, as the breeze strengthens and sweeps equally over them all, their united harmony has a wonderful grandeur and beauty.

There is a melancholy music in autumn. The leaves float sadly about with a look of peculiar desolation, waving capriciously in the wind, and falling with a just audible sound, that is a very sigh for its sadness. And then, when the breeze is fresher, though the early autumn months are mostly still, they are swept on with a cheerful rustle over the naked harvest fields, and about in the eddies of the blast; and though I have, sometimes, in the glow of exercise, felt my life securer in the triumph of the brave contest, yet, in the chill of evening, or when any sickness of mind or body was on me, the moaning of those withered leaves has pressed down my heart like a sorrow, and the cheerful fire, and the voices of my many sisters, might scarce remove it.

Then for the music of winter. I love to listen to the falling of the snow. It is an unobtrusive and sweet music. You may

temper your heart to the serenest mood, by its low murmur. It is that kind of music, that only obtrudes upon your ear when your thoughts come languidly. You need not hear it, if your mind is not idle. It realizes my dream of another world, where music is intuitive like a thought, and comes only when it is remembered.

And the frost too has a melodious "ministry." You will hear its crystals shoot in the dead of a clear night, as if the moon-beams were splintering like arrows on the ground; and you listen to it the more earnestly, that it is the going on of one of the most cunning and beautiful of nature's deep mysteries. I know nothing so wonderful as the shooting of a crystal. God has hidden its principle as yet from the inquisitive eye of the philosopher, and we must be content to gaze on its exquisite beauty, and listen, in mute wonder, to the noise of its invisible workmanship. It is too fine a knowledge for us. We shall comprehend it, when we know how the morning stars sang together.

You would hardly look for music in the dreariness of early winter. But, before the keener frosts set in, and while the warm winds are yet stealing back occasionally, like regrets of the departed summer, there will come a soft rain or a heavy mist, and when the north wind returns, there will be drops suspended like ear-ring jewels between the filaments of the cedar tassels, and in the feathery edges of the dark green hemlocks, and, if the clearing up is not followed by the heavy wind, they will all be frozen in their places like well set gems. The next morning, the warm sun comes out, and, by the middle of the calm, dazzling forenoon, they are all loosened from the close touch which sustained them, and they will drop at the lightest motion. If you go along upon the south side of the wood at that hour, you will hear music. The dry foliage of the summer's shedding is scattered over the ground, and the round, hard drops ring out clearly and distinctly, as they are shaken down with the stirring of the breeze. It is something like the running of deep and rapid water, only more fitful and merrier; but to one who goes out in nature with his heart open, it is a pleasant music, and, in contrast with the stern character of the season, delightful.




HITHERTO I have spoken only of the sounds of irrational and inanimate nature. A better than those, and the best music under heaven, is the music of the human voice. I doubt whether all voices are not capable of it, though there must be degrees in it, as in beauty. The tones of affection in all children are sweet, and we know not how much their unpleasantness in after life may be the effect of sin and coarseness, and the consequent habitual expression of discordant passions. But we do know that the voice of any human being becomes touching by distress, and that even on the coarse-minded and the low, religion and the higher passions of the world have sometimes so wrought, that their eloquence was like the strong passages of an organ.

I have been much about in the world, and with a boy's unrest, and a peculiar thirst for novel sensations, have mingled, for a time, in every walk of life; yet never have I known man or woman that was not utterly degraded, whose voice, under the influence of any strong feeling, did not deepen to a chord of grandeur, or soften to cadences to which a harp might have swept pleasantly. It is a perfect instrument as it comes from the hand of its Maker, and though its strings may relax with the atmosphere, or be injured by misuse and neglect, it is always capable of being re-strung to its compass, till its frame is shattered.

A sweet voice is indispensable to a woman. I do not think I can describe it. It can be, and sometimes is, cultivated. It is not inconsistent with great vivacity, but it is oftener the gift of the quiet and unobtrusive. Loudness or rapidity of utterance is incompatible with it. It is low, but not guttural; deliberate, but not slow. Every syllable is distinctly heard, but they follow each other like drops of water from a fountain. It is a glorious gift in woman. I should be won by it more than by beauty; more, even, than by talent, were it possible to separate them. But I never heard a deep, sweet voice from a weak woman. It is the organ of strong feeling, and of thoughts which have lain in the bosom till their sacredness almost hushes utterance.

I remember listening in the midst of a crowd, many years ago, to the voice of a girl, a mere child of sixteen summers, till I was bewildered. She was a pure, high-hearted, impassioned creature, without the least knowledge of the world, or of her peculiar gift; but her own thoughts had wrought upon her like the hush of a sanctuary, and she spoke low, as if with an unconscious awe. I could never trifle in her presence. My nonsense seemed out of place, and my practiced assurance forsook me utterly. She is changed now. She has been admired, and has found out her beauty, and the music of her tone is gone. She will recover it by and by, when the delirium of the world is over, and she begins to rely, once more, upon her own thoughts for company; but her extravagant spirits have broken over the thrilling timidity of childhood, and the charm is unwound.

The music of church bells has become a matter of poetry. Thomas Moore has sung "Those evening bells," in some of the most melodious of his elaborate stanzas. There is something exceedingly impressive in the breaking in of church bells on the stillness of the Sabbath. I doubt whether it is not

more so in the heart of a populous city, than anywhere else. The presence of any single, strong feeling, in the midst of a great people, has something of awfulness in it which exceeds even the impressiveness of nature's breathless Sabbath.

I know few things more imposing, than to walk the streets of a city, when the peal of the early bells is just beginning. The deserted pavements, the closed windows of places of business, the decent gravity of the solitary passenger, and, over all, the feeling in your own bosom, that the fear of God is brooding, like a great shadow, over the thousand human beings who are sitting still in their dwellings around you, were enough, if there were no other circumstances, to hush the heart into a religious fear. But when the bells peal out suddenly, with a summons to the temple of God, and their echoes roll on through the desolate streets, and are unanswered by the sound of any human voice, or the din of any human occupation, the effect has sometimes seemed to me far more solemn than the near thunder.

Far more beautiful, and, perhaps, quite as salutary as a religious influence, is the sound of a distant Sabbath bell in the country. It comes floating over the hills like the going abroad

of a spirit; and, as the leaves stir with its vibrations, and drops of dew tremble in the cups of the flowers, you could almost believe there was a Sabbath in nature, and that the dumb works of God rendered visible worship for his goodness. The effect of nature alone is purifying, and its thousand evidences of wisdom are too eloquent of their Maker, not to act as a continual lesson; but combined with the instilled piety of childhood, and the knowledge of the inviolable holiness of the time, the mellow cadences of a church bell give to the hush of the country Sabbath a holiness, to which only a desperate heart could be insensible.




Lorenzo and Jessica.

Lor. THE moon shines bright. In such a night as this,
When the sweet wind did gently kiss the trees,
And they did make no noise; in such a night,
Troilus, methinks, mounted the Trojan walls,
And sighed his soul toward the Grecian tents,
Where Cressid lay that night.

In such a night,
Did Thishe fearfully o'ertrip the dew;
And saw the lion's shadow ere himself,
And ran dismayed away.


In such a night,

Stood Dido, with a willow in her hand,

Upon the wild sea-bank, and waved her love

To come again to Carthage.


Medea gathered the enchanted herbs

That did renew old son.


In such a night,

In such a night,

Did Jessica steal from the wealthy Jew;

And with an unthrift love did run from Venice,
As far as Belmont.

In such a night,

Did young Lorenzo swear he loved her well;
Stealing her soul with many vows of faith,
And ne'er a true one.

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