Newspaper Page Text
Among the "Lays of the 311nuesIngers," is the follow
ng hymn to May, by Godfrey of Nyen, written In the
thirteenth con t ury :
“Up, up, let us greet
Tho season fa) SNVOUt,
For WilliOr le gone:
And the flow ors nro springing,
And little birds singing,
Their soft notes ringing,
And bright is the sun I
Whore all was drrst
In n snowy Nest,
There grass is growing,
With clew-drops glowing,
And flowers are seen
On beds so green.
"All down in the my°,
Sweet music floats;
As now loudly vying,
Now sAlly sighing,
The nightingale's plying
Her tuneful notes;
And joyous at Spring
It 'r ( . 011111:1111011}i sing.
Up. maidens. repair
To the meadows so far,
And (Inure Ai C. awn) ,
This merry Mity."
From the New York ()User% lir
Some Passages in the Life of Deacon
Wherein is shown the inconvenience of OT
haring the "Musical Ear."
Most of our renders remember Deacon Good
rum), soma passages from whose life, taken
from .The Ploughronn,' were published in the
ObservLr several years since. We have ofttn
been requested to reproduce 'theut, and do
so now at the instance of a valued friend and
correspondent. 'Re sageidessona which are
covered, but not concealed, under the abound
ing humor-sof the piece, are too many hnd too
good to be forgotten,
Deacon GoDdman was extensively known,
oat merely in his own parish, but through sev
eral miles of the surrounding country, for his
Amiable disposition, active benevolence, and
unquestioned piety. So thoroughly was the
Deacon's character established, that when the
people of the neighboring towns saw him pass
tug by, they would sny—'That man was right
!y .named, for if there ever was a good man,
kt:t . is one.' And from this there was no 'dis
senting Voice. Nay ; lam wrong in saying
that ; for there are some who never heer any
body praised without an interposing and qual
ifying 'but ;"Ile may be well enough on the
whole,' they will say 'but' &c., &c.; and then
they will go on end make him out anything
but n clever fellow.'
The qualifying 'tan.' must be interposed even
:n the case of Deacon Goodman. 'lie bad n
fault : He would sing in meeting. 'Cull you
that a fault ? saith the reader. Well then,
kind reader, - cull it a misfortune. 'But why a
I will tell thee. Nature has so forrned..us,
that some have the 'musical ear,' and others
not. Now this 'musical ear' has nothing to do
with real character, moral or intellectual; but
yet the persons who have not the 'musical ear'
ought never to sing ifi meeting. If they do,
they will be sure to annoy others, and make
tiemsevles ridiculous. Deacon Goodman had
not the 'musical car.' Whether it was the
'Messiah,' or the 'Creation,' or Jim Crow and
Coon, it was all the some to him, so far as
music wail concerned; it
.was just so much
singing. Whether the artist were Sivori, or
Ole Bull, or poor old John Cusco, it was just
so much fiddling. He had not the 'musical
ear,' and still less, if possible, the musical
voice ; but yet he would sing in meeting.—
And the•gentle and respectful remonstrances
of the choir leader were met with the unvaried
reply, .Singing is praying ; you might as well
ask. me not to pray ; I shall sing in meeting.
It in now ,proper for the Biographer to hint
at another trait in the good Deacon's charac
ter. He was rather 'set in his way ;' or in
other words, ho was dreadful obstinate in what
he thought a good onus's; and ho was gener
ally correct in appreolitting the merits of the
• We all know that (musical people are apt to
be sensitive and - sometimes a little capricious;
and who has ever known a theatrical Orches
tra, 'or. even a village choir, that had not a
regular 'blow up' at least once a year ? Be
yond all doubt, Deacon Goodman's singing
was a very serious grievance to the choir,' and
no small annoyance to the congregation. Yet
in consideration of his great merits he was in
dulgettt • mid his regular Sunday performances,
erten drew forth 'the' rtioark,Diat if music
~intirder, iv a sin, De4;eon Goodman would
have much to answer for. ti,ere is a
I (hit beyond which forhenr.nee is' no longer
irtoe. o;,ns ' 11;i I&L.11 1ro:6,
t o c.!.Ch 1;ow
• oin :11 wart r day,. attl thu
been assigned to the sweetest voice, and the
prettiest little girl iii the village. All who at
tended the rehearsals were perfectly delighted
with the solo as sung by 'little . Mary,' It was ;
very difficult. It was marked from beginning
to end 'Andantino,' 'Dolee,"Affetuoso" 'Cres
cendo,' Piano,"Pinnissimo,' with changing
keys, and flats and sharps; springing out from
unexpected places ; but she bad conquered it
ell. Three or four accomplithed singers who
had come from Boston, to pass Thanksgiving
the country,' and •-who attended the last re
hearsal; were in raptures with little Mary's
singing. They had heard Tedesco, and Bisca
ceiatiti, and 'Yet they any, for a couritrY'girl.
she is a prodigy.'
in'due time, Thankgiving.day arrived ; and
-1 • •
'while the 'second bell' was ringing news came
to the village that a very serious accident had
happened to the Universalist minister.
horse bad thrown him, either his leg or neck
was broken; ,the boy who 'broiiiht the news
bad, forgotten which.—'l hope it is not his
neck,' said the rich and charitable old church
'member. When Deacon Goodman beard that
remark, ho held up his blinds and exclaimed,
Now the Deacon dearly loved good preach.
ing, and the meeting house to him WftSll. 'house
of feasting.' But his religion was of a practi.
cal kind, and although he thought hut pre-
cions little of his good works, be took care to
good many of them, and was far from be•
lieving with Amsdorf, that 'good works are an
impediment to salvation.' go, said he to Mrs.
Goodman, 'do you go to the huge of feasting,
and,,gct all the good you can, and I will go to
the of mourning and do all I can.' And
away he went to see, and if possible; to relieve
the Universalist minister.
In the mean time the congregation aPsem
bled, and the worship proceeded in the usual
way. At length came the Anthem. It even
went beyond expectation. A long 'rest' im•
tnediately preceded the solo. It was no real
fur poor 'little Mary.' It was the most anx
ious minute she had ever passed. She arose
blushing and trembling. - Her agitation gave
tremor to her voice, , whielvadded to the pa_
the's of the music. It was beautiful.
Now, Deacon Goodman always made it a rule,
when an accident had detained him until after
worship had commenced to come in very,soft
ly. How different from the fashionable flour
ish! All were' intent on the solo.—None
heard, and but few saw Deacon Goodman .c.n.
ter his pew, and take up the sheet on which
the words of the anthem were printed.
Unlike that of many singers, the articula
tion of ' , little Mary' was perfect.-L-The Deacon
soon found the place; and to the astonishment
of the congregation, indignation, of the choir,
and the perfect horror of 'little Mary,' be
'struck in,' and accompanied her through the
whole solo. Accompany I 'Oft iu the stilly
night,' accompanied by Captain Bragg's Bat
tery would give some notion of it. Poor little
Mary was sick a fortnight. Why don't you
cut that old fellow's tongue off?' said one of
the Boston singers. 'What good would it do?'
said the choir lender, 'be would , howl through
his'nose.' They were el) very cross. As for
Deacon he looked around as innocent as a
lamb, and thought he had sung as well as any
Immediately after meeting, the choir leader
called on' the minister. 'Sir,' said he„ 'this
must stop. If Deacon Goodman sings again,
I do not.'
'Oh I know it,' said the minister. have
long felt the. difficulty; but what can we do?
Deacon Goodman is a most excellent main, and
his only faults are that ho is rather set in his
way and trill sing in meeting.'
'Rtit Deacon Goodman is a reasonable man,'
said the choir leader.
'On most occasions,' replied the minister.
'Do go and see him, air, for my mind is
made ur; if he sings in meeting, I do not.'
'Deacon Goodman,' said the minister, 'I
have come on a delicate errand ; I have come
to present the respectful request of the choir
that you would not sing in meeting.'
The Deacon was thtinderstruck ; but ho soon
recovered. , Singing is praying,' said be
'They might juseas well ask mo not to pray
I shall sing in meeting.' And on the ilea' Sun
day, sure enough he did : louder, and if possi
ble, more inharmonious than ever: The mon
singers looked daggers at Lim; the girls Lid
their smiles behind their music books.—Little
Mary v; as not there.
This shall stop,' said the choir leader. 'I
will go and see him myself.'
,'Deacon Goodman, we all most highly res•
pect you, as you must well know ; but you
hare not the musical ear nor the musical voice,
and' it is the earnest wish of the choir, and
many of the congregation, that yOu do not
gain sing in meetiag.'
Tho Deacon was again thunderstruck, but
soon recovered. ‘ .Singing is praying,' said he,
'and they may as well tel toe not to pray. I
in meeting.' ;
Thc: gnarl Peni•on'uns drenriftiry Fet inr his
u \Mit sgainsyLei, I.lkr
,tln! vo.no Ott ••
:I).it:ei(!cnt 1.1C.c1) er ihltva
dwelling, there, there was a wretched .hovel,
which imperfectly sheltered the wretched wife
and children of n still more wretched drunk
Onone - Of the most inclement , evenings of a
New England January, the / Deacon and his
family were cheerfully and Yuinkfully enjoy
ing a glorious hickory fire ; Mfrs. Goodman was
sewing for the family, and her daughters for
-the Mitisit nary society. Ills son Was reading
the Massachusetts Ploughman, and the good
`mon himself Wei - finishing off a sermon by a
distinguished divine of his own denomination
when bang went . the front door, and in came
his good neighbor and own beloved and res
pected minister. 'Why I I never!' said the
Den Con, 'what has brought you along such a
night as this ?' Now this minister bad his
peCulinrities is well as the Deacon. Among
others he was very close mouthed about his
own good deeds ; 'lle merely answered,
have been about my duty I hop& The foot
was he had been to visit, and to talk and pray
with a poor dying negro. 'Seems to me you
are rather crusty,' said the aelicoti,-.but I sup
pose you are half frozen, and so sit down and
thaw yourself out.' I thank you,' said the
minister, 'but I Merely called to tell you that
I have just left the scene of misery ; and I
want you to go there as early as you can in
the morning. On my way here aid - home I
passed that wretched hovel which all know so
well. I felt it my duty to stop and learn the
terrible uproar within. I found the wretch bea
ting his wife ; and her screams, and his hor
rid oaths mode my blood run cold. I knocked
the rascal down ; ('served him right,' said the
Deacon,) and think ho will be quiet until mor
ning; but de go as early as you can. 'Od
rabbit the varmint,' said Deacon Goodman,
'and od rabbit the eternal blasted rum shop.
That Was the nearest to sweafing that the dea
con was ever known to come.
'Put old ,ling in the wagon,' said ho to his.
son. Deacon don't go to. night said Mrs
Goodman, To wait till morning.' said his
daughters. 'Let me go,' said his son. Mind
}•our own business,' said the Deacon to all of
them, shall go to night. When it came to
that, they knew there was no more to bo snit].
Ile was dreadfully 'set in his way ' He took
a beg - and a bisket, and went wn into
the cellar. lie filled the hag with path•
toes. lie took a piece of pork from ono Isar
rel, and a piece of beef from another,lnd put
them in the basket. Ile went to the closet,
and took a brown loaf and a white one. Ile
went to the wood pile, and took nn armful of
wood, and told his son to take another.. All
was put in the wagon ; he not forgetting six
candles and a paper of matches. Deacon Good
man needed no secondary motive to chrlstian
duty ; yet no historical truth demands the con
cesson, that the wife of the poor drunkard
was his first love. She jilted him, or as we
Yankees say, 'gave him the mitten,' in favor
of the abject wretch who was now become
her tyrant. And this was the way he 'fed
fat the ancient gruclgo' ho owed her I The
truth is. Deacon Goodman knew nothing
about grudges ancient or modern. The Adam
would occasionally flare up, but ho always got
him under before run•dnvn.
- All was ready, and in fi,f n e•minutes the Dea
con was 'exposed to the peltings of the piti•
less storm. But what did be care for the
storm am going to visit the worse than
widow and itaberless.' Tho next thing ho
said was, 'Oh get out.' That lib meant for
the promptings of his own proud heart.
Misery, misery, indeed did ho find in that
most miserable dwelling The poor wretch
himself was dead drunk on the floor. The
poor pale woman was sobbing bet" very
heart out. Tho children wore clamorous, and
but few were the words of their clamor. 'I am
cold I am hungry—and that was all. The Dea
con trought in the wood; made up a fire; light
ed a candle nud emptied the bag and basket.
The poor pale woman went and sobbed
her thanks. 'Oh you varmint,' said the
Deacon, as he looked at the husband and fath
er; and booko a piece of bread for each of,
the children. The general commotion arroused
the poor wretch from his drunken stupor.—
Ile looked uP and recognised the Deacon. • '
'Hallo, old music,' said be, 'are you hero?
give us a stave, old nightingale. Sing as you
do in meeting. Sing and scare the rats away.'
'Why, what on earth does the critter mean ?'
said the Deacon. The poor, pale. grateful
woman smiled through her tears. She could
not help it. She had been a singer in her
better days ; she had also heard, the Deacon
I do not record these incidents merely be
cause they aro honorable to' Deacon Good
man, but because they are particularly con
nected iVithmy story. In this erraud of mei ,
cy the geed Deacon caught a very serious
cold ; it affected his threat. and his nose, and
even his NITS ; and gave to his voi::e a tone
mit unlike to that of the lowest note of a crack
ed bass•viol alternating with the shriek of a
claiionet pc;wercully hot un , ll , :iltrolt.rblown.--
On;4..rittirslay ctienior. t-:cahetj hia feet in hot
; d.:anke;q;l , ,ituiiy tini,;'Yyt to
Li be 1 an I§a - itt 1;e -fdt, 'Now
Itentlen: t4Aitl 111h10;I: tire -Ohio.
you?' Singing is praying—and —' ---. be I
dropped asleep ' And sure enough he did
'sing tomorrow,' and it surpassed all that had
gone before. 'This is the lust of it,',said the
choir leader, J have dene." In the nfternoon
the choir was vacant, some of the singers ab
sent and others scattered about in the pews.
The Minister read three verses of a psalm ;
and then observed, 'the choir being absent,
singing must necessarily be omitted.' But
Deacon Godman saw no such necessity. He
arose, sung the three verses himself ! He stop
ped six times to sneeze: and blew his nose
between the verses by Way Of,
• symphony !
The next day he was sick abed. A parish
meeting was hastily called, and a resolution
unanimously passed that, 'Whereas the solem
nity and decorum of public worship depend
much on the character of the music: resolved,
'that hereafter no person shall sing in meet
ing, in this parish without the approbation
of the choir !' ' Rather n stringent measure :
but what could they do? The minister called
on Deacon Goodman, and handed him the
resolution. Hi, rend it over three times. He
then calmly folded up the paper, and handed
it back to the minister. 'This is a free country
yet I hope. I shall sing in in meeting.' lie
Said those very words ! He was dreadfUlly,
set in his way.
___,Tben Deacon, said the Minister, 'I have a
most painful duty to'perform : I an instructed
to tell you, that your connection with the, so
ciety must cease.' The Deacon hero started
from his seat. Had the full moon split into
four pieces, and danced a quadrille in the
heaventi; Orion sitiging.;_ataltitil - Northern
Bear growling bass, he could not have been
more astounded. Ile was silent. Emotion
after emotion rolled over his heaving spirit,—
'At length tears came to his relief,' as they say
in Kovela. Ile spoke, but aluanst inarticulate
ly. 'I know lam a poor unworthy creature,
but I hope they will take the in somewhere.'
The Minister wept himself. How could he
help it? The Des ons cold was nearlycured;
and about an hour after the interview, ho was
seen mollntedon old Meg, beading due north.
Four miles in that direction lived the wcrthy
Minister of another parish. Tim Deacon found
him in his study, where also was his daughter
copying music. She was a proficient in the
art, and played the organ in her father's
church. Sho had heard of the Deacon's mu
sical troubles, and had also heard him sing.—
'Sir,' said he to the Minister, 'there has been
a little difficulty in our parish, which makes
me feel it my duty to .withdraw; and I have
come to ask the privilege of uniting with
yours.' (At this moment the young lady van
ished from the rotor.)
I much regret the difficulty in your parish,'
said the minister, 'and hope it will be amica
bly settled. But if you finally conclude to
,withdraw, we shall be most happy to receive
you ; and when it shall pleaSi: the Lord to
take good old Deacon Grimes to himself, (and
a very few days must now give him his dis
mission,) we shall expect you to sit in his seat.
After half an hour's pleasant conversation, the
Deacon arose to take his departure. At that
moment a boy came in and handed a billet to
the Minister. Ho glanced at the billet, and
'Deacon, sit down one moment,' said ho. Ile
road the billet, and after some hesitation, said,
'I have received a singular communication
from our choir leader ; he has somehow or
oiler beard of your intention to join our soci
ety; and has heard of it with great pleasure ;
but, ho adds that it is the earnest and unani
mous wish cf the choir that yo will not sing
en meeting.' Tho Deacon was gain electri
fied, but had got used to the s ock ; , SiTAing
is praying; and I,join no chur h wherelrcan
not sing in meeting,—good day, sir.' He was
very 'set in his way.'
Five miles Wile of his own dwelling, lived
the good pastor of another flock. The Dea
con found him sholling.corn in his crib. This
Minister although eminently pious, thought it
no hartn'to be a little waggish in a good cause
nod for a worthiobject. He also had heard
of the; . teacons musical troubles, - and shrewdly
. object of his
. visit 'Deacon
Goodman lam glad to see you,' said he, 'this
is not exactly ministerial labor, is it Y' 'I
of a different opinion,' said the Deacon, 'any
honest slid useful labor is ministrial labor;
I hate all Dandies—the Lord forgire me, I
don't like them ; andl,like a dandy minister
the least of any. You and I aro agreed there,'
said the Minister; 'come walk into the house
and see my wife; she says" she is in love
with you for your honesty and your odditieth'.
'I never; said the Dea.:on Abut I thank you.
I am in something of a hurry ;' and have a
ittle business which We can just as well settle
'There has helm a little' difficulty in our Par
islt, which !Italics me feel it my duty 'to with-,
draw, and I have come to ask the privulego of
joining yours.', At this the 11,overend gentle-,
man looketl•as if be was very much iturpVlseth
it 6:10 116,; 'well Deacon, though
an ill wind for thew ; itoMa rood C'fle
/1:1$ bin WI yet! hither. .IVe 'shall he tne'n
1 1 , 11\ t• p., iv 1 . 191 mtr
are all young and diffident, and each ono is
loth to take the lead. Wo hear that you sin g
the most difficult music and—'
'Why, mercy upon you,' said the Deacon'
I don't know one note from another I know
that singing is praying; and I sing in meeting
as I pray in meeting.'
'Excuse me, my friend,' replied the minister
•It is your modesty that now speaks; you do
understand music, you Must understand mu
sic ; or you could never sing Mozart with
proper expression ; and did not you sing that .
most beautiful solo, which is worthy of an an
gels oar and voice?' Now this was all Greek
to the Deacon, and like a sensible man as he
was, he always said nothing when he had
nothing to say. .'You say -truly,' continued
the Minister, 'that singing is praying.' Bu t ,
to those who know nothing of music, it is
praying in an unknown tongue, and I am isuro
you are not Papist enough to approve of Mat;
music is a language, and like other languages
must be learned before it can be spoken,—
When the deaf and dumb attempt to speak
our common language they make strange
noises, and still worse noises do we make when
without the musical ear or the musical voice,
we attempt to sing'
Thus sensibly did that good Minister speak.
The Deacon was a good deal 'struck up,'
though aet in 144 way, ite_was_not a fool-;—and -
only needed to be touched in the right place.
'lt never appeared tome in that light before,'
said the deacon thoughtfully.
'And yet, my friend, it is the true light,%:
said the Minister. 'And now, do let me give
you a word of advice ; 'Go borne, and tako
your sent on 'Sunday ; and never again at
tempt to sing in meeting. For if your heart
is right your ear is uatuned, and your voice ,
though kind, is any thing but t musical.' The
Deacon 'said nothing but thought the more,'
Ile mounted old Mag. The Angel, of reflec
t:on came down, and sat upon her mane, and
looked him full in the face. Reader, does that
teem incongruous ? Is the old mare's inane
an improper sent for nn Angel ? I ant afraid
you are proud. Who once rode on an Ass? -
The Deacon passed a point in the road
where on one side was a sturdy oak that had'
bhen blown over by a recent whirlwind, and
on the other, a flourishing willow, gracefully
bending before the passing breezo. 'Od rab
bit it,' said the Deacon to himself; it wits the
first word ho had spoken, 'to think that
should be such an_ obstinate old fool.'
Ho approached his own village. The rea
son for his errand abroad had been strongly
suspected, and they were all on the look out
for his return. There stood the choir leader.
'Welcome home, Deacon,'-said he, 'hope we
have not lost you yet.' Get out,' said the
Deacon, with a good natured but rather sheep
ish look ; and on he went. There stood the
minister, 'Welcome home`Dencon I hope we
have not lost you yet.' Get—;' he was
just going to say get out, but habitual rever
ence fur the Nlinister cut him short. He look
ed at the Minister, and the Minister looked at
him, and both burst into a fit of laughter.—
•The choir leader came up and took the Dea
con's hand, and joined in the Merriment. 'Od
rabbit you all,' said he ; and on he went. At
the front door and windows of his own house
were his wife and daughters, and two or three
of the singing of a titter.' They had
seen and heard his inter View with the NI -
tor and knew that all was well. 'Od rabit tho
whole bunch of you ;' said be, and went to put
old Meg in the stable.
Deacon Goodman took his ohl seat on Sun
day, but since that day's adventure, has never
sung in sneering, Once, and but once, did ho
attempt to raise a psalm on his own mivate
account. 'He was in his barn putting some
hay in hie cow's 'manger. Now. the neigh
bors were all ready to do n good turn for Dea
con Goodman ; and before he had &tailed the
first verse, two of them rushed in and asked
him if his cow was choked 1 Ile never sung a
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