Chapter 60622090

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Chapter NumberII
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article60622090
Full Date1890-01-01
Page Number14
Corrections0
Word Count3324
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleIllustrated Australian News and Musical Times
Trove TitleAn Anglican Requiem: A Christmas Story
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'?' ^; n CirAi'TERlI. * '.'.;:. -ti'i nt _ ..,Tho.iJoor.coinp.oser..sat.back. in an ensy .chair.fi arid began to ruminate over-his-day.'s experience. -'?% Itwas perfectly clear to himthat if any breath r- ?ofy'the glorious seii? wore presently in store for '?-?- him. it' would bo solely through the aid. of 'one ~ V' Tidman. Ho liad beeii told that his only fault '- was his earnestness. Then he thought of enr tain ' great ' composers whose career had been blightod.;.by a,, similar weaknes3.-5j._Ho ..took courage, and set .himself to':!his desk, in-6'rder.-.-, that he might- write the : carols that had 'been C ordered of him. Ho gotr to work at.tlieni immo- -.^ 'diatcly,' and in the' delight of ' creating 'sbme- 'thiiig new arid beautifulhe soon forgot all about''' '' his troubles. By the small hours of the morning ho had

succeeuea in producing throo carols, and com mencing a fourth ; but as this last one wus'nro ceeding he discovered that his firo had gone out; .-. and that he himself had caught a chill. ? . ? *^-- ~ ' ' The next morning 'he':felt:ivory 'illy ho, -how- '-?%' 'ever, „ con tri ved to .'oomplefe'^ his^.four.tli ..carol.'';;.':;;? ;? Knowing -that! he. w.ould-h'e..receivod..witli ill '?UM i grace, should he present h s manuscripts so \-'. soon, ho put them into his desk, and rejoiced. in the freedom 'which now permitted him to return to.his requiem. . , j. .. j ..,...;, , ..;-. ''This idea of 'composing an Anglican requiem . had originated in various contemplations. ^One - was, tliat thoro was no work of this kind in tho . repertoire at ^ the 'Anglican .iChuroh. -'?'A* second ~^.s*^ wasdiie to his belief ..thdta. very beautiful' mbr-s^ -. £ tuary . service could.ieasily..;be compiled from *r?:' ' -various -portions- of- Holy ~Writ,~and from tho- :—— burial service in tho Prayer Book. And he do signed to construct a work whioh would bo, in its ' complete form, acceptable as a contribution to the programme of somo provincial festival, while the integral portions of it would servo for .,- . ? cathedral and ahUrol) services:' ? ' ? ~^~. -.?? — 1+— -| ; A few nights after his ?' daylbf ;orise.ts of ~-\ea-Z''rul pair '. amougHt the publishers ho was.sittirig.'over.C,: -5 J liis desk, when a knook came at his;door. ? -There ?''?;?' -s entered an.oldnian, muoh stricken in years, but -.$.? '. still erect and unbrokdnV ? '''.'*.'-.?-*--?-''?— ' ; ' I am so glad you arcs 'cbirie, father,' said tho ] oomposer,swarmly. ?.' ??'. -^k- -'^- -. \ .' 'So amir glad tooomo to ybujjboy',' replied^ Tji the. old maii.' ,' How'is^yQur, child, 'the rdquiem,tk',*-p progressing?' .; ? „ ... ,,; ? ; ? ;. ? i:r;'J ? 'Slowly, but, I hope, surely.i' responded- the - -*? composer. 'But let me look at you. Good heavens! How ill and thin you look, boy ! ' oxolaimed tho aged gentleman. -.???.' 'My cough has been very bad, fathor,' re- ? tumed.th6.other,.',';but otherwisej am tolerably 4-'--i rights ? |r-__.:&ii ? ? '£ — -^V- ???- -- S)-~ % -A 7 ' Oil ! biVtyoii-are not; boy ! xDori't toll mov'/v ' you^aro-i'iglit, -witlryoiir plieoks' almost dis- / appearing, arid that bright, feVerish-look in'your . oyes ! -Wliatliave -ypu^beeu-.doing-.with yourT '* * self ?'asked'tlfo 'old man. \S ; 'Only.working,Jatlier,.yropliod.tho composor, ) who thus addressed. his.gueat. simply tluough . , r'espect for hia yenra. ? ? ? - -* ' 'Ayorkinij, workiiiR. workimr-!' bittorlv ox- ~ :

claimed tho visitor j 'and for nothing,' I^sup- ?' ?,'/. poye, as usual?' ? ' ? ' ? ? ' ^\ ^ ' : ' Tho publishers aro against mo, it is tru'o,' - answered thO'ihus1clan7-'15ut''i suppose tlioy will come round somo day.' 'Not until you degrado yourself by furnish ing them with somo popular- rubbish that will fill thoir money bags,' said the elder man. ' That I have inado up my mind never to.do,'. oxolaimod tho musician, firmly. ' tfuithful unto death, I loally believer-boy !J1'__^- _- said tlio voueruble man, in a vwcq of-mflnrte- - -*- commiaeration. _, f-f -? ^ ^ , , , „- V * , ^'1 hope efo,'-quiotly replied tho othoi. * 'I ' J liavo tried to fight the good flght, futlioi., I,1 have triod to kcoji tlio faith.s. Aa»d why. is it th'at ^ ,-' .- Boarcoly any but tuoio w|»o break tho faith rfc,' ?-**?*?-?

coivo rowards and wealth, and are enabled to live at case V' -:.--'''''';'~' ?'*£ .\ -; ;?;? -?''?? 'Ask me,, boy,' answered J.thevpltl man, full: of scornffor tho world and its'-vn.y8, '..why it is that daring, brazen -yiao often ipays, better , than,; the brayoat and 'most long/1 suffering virtue ?. But lot us talk of something happier.' C^J.'-' ;.,, It is unnecessary to state the. name, and con dition of tho old man, who has thus introduced himself to us aa the composer's friend. Suffice it to say, he was 'a. man who had devoted himself to the pursuit of scientific questions from his earliest youth. Ho had studied his favorite pursuits in all the principal scion tific establishments in Europe and America. Whon approaching middle age, he .was,. the . author of a strange in volition, the solution/of,' some advancod problem in mechanism, and ho spent years and immonso sums of.;» money in' jierfeoting it. In order to intent it, his fate carried .him into the jaws of the Circum locution office. Hero he found the oppor tunity of investing further capital to a large amount, but unfortunately without either interest or the possibility of over with drawing s,.the {''principal. For' several: years he was Regularly informed, in reply to his repeated inquiries) that his invention was 'under- con siderati6n,'''&c;Bbut this for'nvbf answer becom ing in the coutse of years monotonous, he gave tho matter up as a bad job, and put up with tho . loss of his invention, together with tho greater part of his fortune and almost all his lifu's energies, with tho best grace he could. One thing wan rathor hard to bear. He discovered that his invention had been pirated, and sold for a large sum to a foreign Government. '? . . r Tho old gentloifiarij' again' referred , to the requiem. 'Last time'\I came,' boy,' ;Baid ho,, 'you would not play me' one'bar.'bf-it ;:.biit you/. said you would if I came again in threo weeks. That time is now over, boy.' ' Well, father,' returned tho composer wearily, 'a good deal of it is sketched out, but I cannot give you much idea of what it will be like; a pianoforte i» a poor substitute for orohostra, voices and organ. ' Well, I will do the best I can, father.' 'That is well, boy.' Tho composer brought forth a heap- of manu script. As he commenced to put the 'lcavos in order, ho remarked, ' I think, father, it is best that I should first tell you a littlo about tho . dosign of this requiem.' ' I shall bo deeply interested, boy,' solemnly replied, the old .gentleman. ? , ^ ^Jl^o'yguJ^'pjn^omlier^fajt'liori'^tlien continued tho poor composer, '' who 'it 'is that speaks of ' tho sublime beauty of death ? ' I cannot at tho moment think who it was.' ' Noitlior 'canTlY bifttn'o mattor, the idea is one of deep'- ahd?calm*thought,' answered the veuerablo man witli profound feeling. . ' It is from that point of view that I havo approached it in my-- requiem,. ;fathor,' said tho younger man, 'with ia'i bright ? smilo of on thusiasm. ' Go on, boy,' said his friend. ' , J'Woll, father, I begin,' aiwwerod the musi-., ciaiij^his 'manuscript hold reverently before him ? on the table ; 'I bogin with the most touching, and comforting of all divine uttorances, ' I am the resurreotion and the life.'' ;. ??.. .? : % TlieJmusibiaiCsatdownjto the /pianoforte (the one' about' thVliirbofVIiich'1 ho'Syaa so', soon ;tb get into trouble) and played his flwfc number,, which was a chorus. Tho strain was ? one1 [of ? deop and profoundisoloinnity,-.f ull of a chastened ' joy and a conquered sorrow,* mi6b- as 'on'o ; feels when contemplating tho loss of one 'wo hayo' loved, a contemplation in which the thought of \ a heavenly - home, now tho possession' of '? the boloVe&jond, overcomes tho bitterness ?; of ;the grief which would perforce overwhelm us .when tho pang of separation first racked our hearts. ? „, ,.. ... ._ ' ' ?.'.'? At its conclusion } thoxomposer turned to his friend, wlibsb'head''was' buried in his hands. -After a short pauso the latter slightly iraiso.d his j head, and motioned him to go on. ,, ' ? Heiproceeilodjwith ithbnext movement. - This sotfbrth-'thb 'words ''I khow'that My Redeemer Liveth,' and was muoh in tho same mood of fueling as tho' former one, but relieved by entirely different treatment. ? . ? ' Ttiuso two numbora formed tho first division ? of tho work. The next one, and tho two fol lowing portions, constituted tho second division, and wore devoted to the expression of the pathos of death, the inevitable fate of man, tho unre lenting doom of tho body, to return to tho dust of ? which man is made. Tho first of tho three numbers announced: 'We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can oarry nothing out.' .This conoludediwith perhaps the - most sublimely '.touching1 utterance -that over; proceeded from human lips— a revelation of tho most .utterly simplo minded and submissivo faith. 'Tho Iiord gave, and tho Lord hath taken away ; biassed bo the name of , the ?Lord.' ? In setting those .words to musip, the aotn. poser had strirqk' rfjVein'jof purefgold; ' indeed tho' words had found in'his, heart itlieJmusioutaat ?, aiono was' worthy to bear them. Tho venerable guoat was sobbing audibly ; and tho composor on finishing tho strain wont and knelt boforo him, and gently took lite hands. VMa}, hiok bo'yr^'jsaid^tliorold man in low; tones j * V let -mov 'alone X or- at moment; my old lioart is ohastonod, and I would be quiet. Play -.me'- some. more. It will calm tho storm you havo'raisod.' ,.,.?. i. ' The ? composer returned to the instrument and played, and partially «ang tho two fol lowing numbors.. Those dealt with the same branoh of tho subject, commencing with A thousand ypar.s'-'inphy siglitv«ebut as; yaMtf} dny ''and pro'ceeding' through sovoral verses of the aamb J?snlm, up to tho words — xot is tlioir- strength -but' labor and sorrow, so soon passoth it away, and wo are gone,' and then tallowing with ' Man that is born of a woman hath buta short time to live ' tho composer had In His music. arrived at tho climax of grief and pas3ionato sorrow, in, a fmpinqnt subdued into .. iho/]mo^raivWr*ndrqomplotQl^ jbrokonrdowij: ' wibWisslbn aKtho^ittoraiioe, T,J«&tll° initial ot . lifc*WiVe^in?..daa.tti,.I- whoa jjiplbjoppod, and.Q askod tluVwrapVuli8tonorlfshb1*sliould playtho Dead March with which tho first half of tho roqiiiom concluded.

A nod from the. aged and silvered head con voyed' acquiescence. ?' f, '' .''','? The Dead March was played, ^i:'-. ,. Then fell a solemn silence on the two. -What . was passing in their two hearts no man can tell. Perhaps they- themselves scarcely realised. The ' visitor ;so old, yet so halo and strong, and the composer so young, yet so weak and frail ! Of what was each thinking ? They spoke not, but their souls were bound in a deep, wondrous sympathy. ,..' , . ? r . After awhile the old man raised bis head, and arose from his chair. Whilo filling his pipe, he at last addressed his companion. ' I cannot talk about it, boy,' said he ten derly. 'I have felt it, that is enough. It is wonderful, ;woriderful;! :.'But still, although it rips; me . upland crushes mo, I .wish to. hear ' ';moro.'f ;' ???'??'?????'???-?.?????'? ??????'?:?-.--. ??..-:'????-? 'I have no more to play to you, father,' replied the younger, ' but I will tell you my idea. Wo have got rid of all the dreadful part of death, now ; for the remainder, we come to the joy and hope of eternity. At first the joy is subdued, and we merely deal with the peace and \re3t that come to thoso who die in the Lord. .Then follows a 'long portion dealing with the triumph of death. swallowed up in victory, and ??' thanks to God which 'givetii us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 'Good!' said the aged man. 'Then there comes,' continued the com poser — 'you. know where it says ' — ' For as in. ? Adam all die ; even so in Christ shall all be made alive. ' And then, the Requiem finishes, father, if I havo strength to do it, with one grand outburst, ?? of triumphant, but- always chastened thankfulness, a sort; of amplified re petition of thoformer chorus, ?'?' 'But thanks be to God which^givoth us the, victory. through our Lord Josua Ohrist !' ' 'Amen!' devoutly murmured the old man. Chapter III. ~™~~ '~ ~~'~ ' AVhcn tho composer was loft alone that night ho applied himsolf to his composition with ro ncwed zoal and energy. He had played his music .to a sympathetic heart, .and had had the glory of witnessing the effect it had produced. Oh, ye gathered multitudes at a publio show, who manifest your approba tion of the' Divine Art by shouting, clapping your hands and stamping your foet ; know yo ! know that this popular form of din, though made by ton millions of you at the samo time, is -far less dear to tho true artist than* is one tear of sympathy from a soul that can feel. . ', Ho worked till lato in the morning,, when ho received the proofs of his four Christmas carols.;. One he liked best, tho first words of ?.which were : ?' Tlio mistlotoo and holly also ? Your dwellings now adorn. The red berrie m the prickly tre.0 Bloods bright for Christmas morn. ' Over this, he dwelt at the pianoforte for somo time. Several times during that day, after tho proofs had-, been sent back, ho recurred' to -it; ? sometimes playing it .over and at others hum-; ming'it to himself. r. ,- -..'?':' : In a -few, days moie ho had completed the en-, tire memoranda' for his ' great ? work. - ' And now 'came , a period of terrible strain and rigorous endeavor. This was the scoring of hia compo sition. ' .?'.'.?-.?.?;..:., ..'...-. *'''.' '.*'- ?:' j With an-onorgy nothing short ? of what des ' pprato necessity can call - up, lie worked night and 'day' for 'nearly.' a month. , The man' ;.of.. soienco : came to Bee him several times,- and noting the fearful ravages that this intense self-, devotion of the ? composor wan; causing in his health; he did all he .possibly- could to induce:, him 'to take some rest. But it was all in vain. 'I shall have rest when my ? Requiem is : finished, father,1' he invariably said.' '. . ;. ;', \; / It was Christmas ove.' And tho snow lay thick upon tho earth, bright and silvery, under tho tender lightof the moon. ^w: :-':..,' '-? * ;Thoro was a light hi tho window .of tKe . com posor's apartment as tho ancient ^inventor ap proached the house. On knocking, at tho door ho received no answer, and opening it,' ho per ceived- the composer lying on the sofa. Ap proaohing him, and taking his hand, he found he was unconsoious.' ' ' ' ? ? ' ? ' ' Hastily uncorking a bottle of wine ho brought to cheer his friend, lie promptly had poured some of it down the sick man's throat. This so far rovived him as to cause him to open his eyes.' ' ? ?'?-' ???-'??^'?-^ ?-?'-??' -??'- ?-?— '-^. ??--'. ??- ??? But he spoke not. Whon he attempted to do so ho. coughed violently, and blood came to his ?lips. ; .?,?;?.??:?? : au\ ' ;O 'i ';; ''-- :'??! ? His' aged friend was so alarmed that he imme diately wont in search of a doctor, but was un successful;. ho., tried a: second, and, a third, but none were at hand, so that he was compelled to be content with leaving an urgent message ask ing that tho medical man at whoso house he had called last should repair to tho musician's real- ; donoc the 'moment he returned home, is'',' . ; ;; ''' On.i'egaining' his frioiid's apartment he found him iii tho same condition — but another glass of wine again somowhnt revived him. Knowing that whot would plcnse tho invalid most would bo to refor to the Requiom, the old iinan quiotly;asked\how;it wa-sgotting,on. |- ;, \ Tho miisioinh siriilM faintly, and pointed to his desk. His friend at once stopped up to it, and discornotl at a glanco that tho last pago of tho full booio was finished .!. Ho returned to the sido of his friend. Tho latter had grown moro pale, and his oyos wero almost unearthly in thoir brightness. ^\VitlirO| tremendous effort tho composer at length managed to speak. 'I told, you, father,' he gasped feebly forth, ' that I should have rest whon my Requiom was finished.' ' ' '?' Tlie'bld man's- eyes filled with tears,' and his ' heart was too full for words. The musician had soarooly uttered this last romark whon a faint strain of choral music 'stole swootly Jon;;;tho air of, tho calm f, winter ' Opon^ tlfb wincjow, fatl|or,V,1 whispq'rpil tho-} sick niaij;6---''' W -^'H. ., J4*' Tlio older ouo promptly complied, and, distant aa the choir was, tlio two clearly caught tho

sound of the strain the younger one already . loved. '--?- r;.^. . :. v; .:.:'---' '??.?. ; ??-?-? The mistletoe and holly also ???:?.-., Your dwellings now adorn.. The rod- borrie in the prickly treo -- lilceds bright for Christmas morn. ' 'Mine, father !' whispered tho .sufferer, exultingly. 'How sweet and peaceful' if sounds !' Tho old man listened, and watched the counte nance of his friend with eager anxiety, counting the moments till the doctor should arrive. But no doctor came. ' Ho administered a little more wine, and tho invalid aeemod to regain momentary strength. He pointed to his desk, by the side of -which lay .a paper containing the words to whioh his Requiem had been composed, and signed to the old man to fetoh it. This being done, and the elder directing an inquiring look at the face of his friend, the com poser begged with a supremo effort that he would read it to him, with which the other at once prepared sadly to comply. But ere he commenced, the poor compoaor, whose, countenance boro an aspect of sublime peace,, stretched forth his feeble arms to his friend and drew the venerable face down to his own, saying,. '?-... ; ... :-' .. .- ' First kiss me father. ' The old man kissed him. on the forehead. Then ho began to read. - And one by one, the solemn, .- but tender messages of poaco fell upon the ear of tho com poser. 'I heard a voice' from Heaven, saying unto me, write, -from henceforth blessed are the dead - which die in the -Lord ; even so; saith the Spirit, for they; rest from their labors.' .' ?; - When the old man had got thus far, he turned his head to'glancc- at his friend. ? There, before him, lay the sublime beauty of death 1 He had lived but to finish his Requiem. And lite rest had truly come. . ???