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antiquarian has just resurrected for why this should be. The neglect of the

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Mch. 8- Discharged cook.

Mch. 22-Engaged servant. Apr. 1-Discharged servant. And so on, to monotonous infinity. Luckily he did not often have to dine at home.

Yet he remained faithful to his earlier friends of Bonn, to Count Waldstein; and only death ended his regard for Leonora, widow of Stephan von Breuning, and for her children. Of his brother Carl's son of the same name, the less said the better. The boy's mother seems to have had no discernible virtues, and the boy ran true to maternal form. He contracted debts for his uncle to pay, and, having been rewarded by adoption, went so far as to commit forgery and to attempt suicide.

And, having endured these things, and enjoyed a great many more, and incidentally having celebrated the downfall of the once-worshiped Napoleon with the composition of a Battle Symphony, hugely successful but admittedly eine Dummheit, - Ludwig van Beethoven died, at Vienna, March 26, 1827, 'during a great thunderstorm.' That is all one needs to know about the man in order to enjoy the Pastoral Symphony, the sonata known as 'Adieux, Absence, and Return,' or anything else he ever wrote. Try reading Dante, or Vergil, or any great user of words with a similar stock of outside information!

But, after all, the question is not whether we understand Beethoven, but whether we still thrill to him. And the answer, I think, is that the average audience cares very little for his songs, very little more for his pianoforte sonatas, but positively delights in his symphonies and reveres the great Mass in D.

I confess that I do not quite know

songs may be accounted for by the rivalry of Schumann, by the extraordinary demands they make upon the vocalist, by in the case of 'Adelaide' a certain old-fashioned loveliness which is not yet quite oldfashioned enough not to seem quaint. The sonatas would certainly get more votes if the average pianist would occasionally deign to play one written before 1816, when the third and 'difficult' period begins. But they scorn even the second period, and as to anything below Opus 50- it simply never occurs to their minds. But the fact is, Beethoven is not effective as a technical bravura stunt, even when adequate virtuosity is called into play. And as to the real master pianists, who carry the whole series in their repertoires, there are only three or four of them in the world; and the audiences in the great capitals, who alone frequently listen to them, still marvel more at the excellence of the performances than at the music, and are usually handicapped by having to congregate in excessively large halls.

The Mass in D holds a place by itself, and being sacred as to text is difficult to judge as to its purely musical appeal. Societies capable of struggling through Bach's Saint Matthew Passion could give it very acceptably, and then we should hear it oftener. It is not so difficult. I have heard it rendered, with more piety than perfection, but still very effectively, by the regular choir of St. Stephen's in Vienna, assisted only by an orchestra of amateurs.

But it is the symphonies alone – and with these I include the concertos

which have actually come into their own and taken their places among the popular music of the day. Certainly the popularity of the orchestra itself has had something to do with this. Even the most mediocre of

conductors realizes that he must interpret as well as execute. So it was singularly appropriate that the Beethoven centennial should be inaugurated by the performance of all the immortal nine at a series of concerts at La Scala, in Milan, under the baton of Arturo Toscanini, last October. Since the 'Nerone' of two years ago, the claim of Milan to be the musical centre of the world has not been successfully challenged, and the centre of Milan, of course, is Toscanini.

'Whenever I find myself about to conduct this work,' he said, just before his stick fell to summon forth the opening 'shuddering fifths' of the Ninth from the strings, 'I feel as if I stood facing a great mountain which no man yet has scaled.'

And then he proceeded to scale it. And if there were any passages not entirely satisfactory it was because the deaf old master occasionally wrote that which cannot be sung, or even sounded upon any instrument as yet invented by man.

What those La Scala performances proved was that our Wagners, our Schönbergs, our Stravinskis, our new psychology, and our jazz have done nothing to estrange us from Beethoven. Here was Italy, where music began, giving the finishing touch to that same music made doubly great by foreign hands. The result not only charmed; it was new. These accents were as fresh as flowers. At last the true rhythm was born, not the rhythm of wretched beats imprisoned between bars, but a pulse, innate in the music itself. Adaptability, zoölogists tell us, is the secret of survival, and Beethoven adapts himself to almost any kind of

treatment. Aside from a performance once given of the Fifth Symphony by the old Chicago Orchestra, I never heard one of his compositions completely destroyed. It seems to be equally difficult to exhaust him.

The last Mozart Festival at Salzburg showed a certain tepidity of enthusiasm even in music-conserving Austria. Chopin fades. Not even the Wagnerian drug is quite so potent as it used to be. But those scores blotted with corrections and emendations emendations in which Franz Schubert could see no improvement over the first draft - have thus far proved too hard a morsel for time to gnaw. Beethoven is not only still alive; he has yet to come fully into his stature. And the modern drift of taste toward the eighteenth century is sure still further to favor him, to render more palpable those traces of formalism to be noticed in his earlier works. We shall probably not go so far as to accept that juvenile Beethoven symphony which Henry Hadley once introduced to an American public, but pianists who have learned from Scarlatti how to use their fingers as well as their arms may yet evoke for us the almost forgotten charm of the Waldstein Sonata. On the other hand, the increased resources which are being put into the hands of musical organizations everywhere ensure an increasing frequency in the adequate performance of the later works.

So the Beethoven luck still holds, and every year makes clearer that, of all the musical geniuses that have flourished since the songs of the ancient Greeks were lost, these three are to endure Palestrina, Johann Sebastian Bach, and Beethoven.



THE seed of the desire to see Shropshire was planted by the lyric called 'The First of May' that clear minor melody, never more wistful than through the major ring of the close.

The orchards half the way

From home to Ludlow fair
Flowered on the first of May
In Mays when I was there;
And seen from stile or turning
The plume of smoke would show
Where fires were burning
That went out long ago.

The plum broke forth in green,
The pear stood high and snowed,
My friends and I between

Would take the Ludlow road; Dressed to the nines and drinking

And light in heart and limb,

And each chap thinking

The fair was held for him.

Between the trees in flower

New friends at fairtime tread The way where Ludlow tower

Stands planted on the dead. Our thoughts, a long while after, They think, our words they say; Theirs now the laughter,

The fair, the first of May.

Ay, yonder lads are yet

The fools that we were then; For oh, the sons we get

Are still the sons of men.

The sumless tale of sorrow

Is all unrolled in vain:

May comes to-morrow

And Ludlow fair again.

Everyone knows the risk of seeking out a place around which a glamour has been thrown by verse. It is all


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too likely that along a macadamized Tewkesbury Road motor cars will be whizzing; that over 'dark Tintagil by the Cornish sea' will be scurrying a raucous company for whom a char-àbancs waits. It is a dangerous thing a guidebook a handful of lyrics into which a poet has put, living, the sunshine and the flowers and the hills of a shire that he loves; and the peril is the greater when the very names of hill and river and town hold an unreasonable charm. Clee Hill, the Wrekin, Wenlock Edge; the Teme, the Corve; 'Clunton and Clunbury, Clungunford and Clun'how could these be matched by the reality? A dangerous thing and profane, perhaps. Yet I went to Shropshire.

It was by no means all because of the delicate chiming of "The First of May.' For there are those other lyrics of Shropshire that flower on the grim background of Mr. Housman's pessimism as the valerian flowers bright and beautiful and sad on the rugged walls of Ludlow castle. And indeed is there an Englishman alive who equals Mr. Housman as the poet of nostalgia? Mr. Masefield's 'West Wind,' it is true, aches and cries; but it also flutes a little, almost in the Irish manner. Mr. Housman's lyrics of homesickness are all ache. They have the simplicity of emotion itself; they have the very minimum of decoration, and a matchless brevity.

'Tis time, I think, by Wenlock Town
The golden broom should blow;
The hawthorn sprinkled up and down
Should charge the land with snow.

Spring will not wait the loiterer's time
Who keeps so long away;

So others wear the broom and climb
The hedgerows heaped with may.

Oh tarnish late on Wenlock Edge,
Gold that I never see;
Lie long, high snowdrifts in the hedge
That will not shower on me.

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Hawthorn and broom were over when we headed for Shropshire; and as our train left London in the most depressing of rains, in the heart of at least one of us the one who had held out resolutely, not to say obstinately, for a week or two in Ludlow there was a heavy qualm of apprehension. For while English rain may softly veil some of the traveler's most charming pictures of English landscape (I myself remember my first English, or, to be quite accurate, Scotch, robin singing with treble soft' in a beech copse at Ardlui in a hearty, chuckling downpour; and a sunset of unearthly beauty, a pale gold and pale mauve sunset, seen from Land's End through a thin shower), this late July rain was of the kind that dulls landscape and zest alike. But just beyond Shrewsbury the rain stopped, and the window began to frame pictures. Fresh greenness lay around us; cottage gardens were gay. We were slipping into

The country for easy livers,
The quietest under the sun.

And as high hills began to spring up on the left and the right, we saw ahead an evening rainbow laid across the valley.

The quaint Ludlow that met us at the door of the little railroad station was not recognizably the Ludlow of the Shropshire Lad; the horse-drawn bus was not, nor the long street that climbed from 'the bottom of the

town,' nor the rare old Feathers Hotel, with its half-timbered walls, its gabled projections, and its leaded windows; nor even the extraordinarily mellow chimes that played, somewhere very near, "The Bluebells of Scotland' as we ate our Severn salmon in the low-ceiled dining room with its priceless carving. It was on the next morning, a breezy, sunny morning, that I found the Shropshire of the poems the Shropshire I was to keep.

I had walked to 'the bottom of the town' and taken at random a road that wound and mounted, bordered by hedges, toward rolling hills. Where the hedgerow was broken by a stile, I stopped to look back and downand there indeed, across the meadows, stood the tower which to many a generation of farm lads has been the sign that they were drawing near to Ludlow fair. Beautiful and tall it sprang up; for while the slope of the town is such that from some points of view the church seems to settle low, and that at the Feathers Hotel, for example, the chimes seem to wander. casually and companionably in at the door, from a distance the tower rises dominant. I was to learn the beauty of coming back at twilight from Much Wenlock or from Craven Arms and seeing the castle ruins and the tower lifting solemnly into the violet-gray haze of the evening.

Ludlow castle does not, I think, figure in Mr. Housman's poems. But it is certain that the Shropshire Lad loved the River Teme; and where is there a more charming reach of the Teme than the one that lies below the castle walls, to the west? Is it better to look down from the window frame in the west wall that bounds a narrow picture of the stream winding between its willows down the green valley, or to drift under those banks where meadowsweet grows and dabchicks dive and

clatter and large Hereford cows snuffle and stare at the navigator, and to look up at the great walls looming almost overhead? Of this I am certain: that nowhere on earth has a bit of small change more purchasing power than here on the Teme. I forget whether it is sixpence or a shilling that one pays for a very glut of boating. This part of the river is not navigable for more than a mile, between a courteously firm sign above and a weir below; and one may row upstream and drift down, row up and drift down, with green willows and green banks to right and left, and green water under, and store up for a permanent possession pictures of the castle in the sky and Ludlow tower across the meadows.

It is good, too, to stand on the high tower of the castle keep; best of all, perhaps, on such a morning as the one I most remember of many mornings spent in the castle ruins a day of sunshine and fleet cloud, with a strong, pure wind blowing out of Wales. 'Smoke stood up from Ludlow,' its plumes flying all one way; the reddish roofs of the town seemed to glow; above them Ludlow tower rose up near and friendly, yet not so near but that half the noon chimes were caught and swept away on the flaws of the wind; and the quarries on Clee Hill sprang out in that indescribable color, neither orange nor gold nor strong yellow, with which they meet certain slants of sunshine. Far, far down, below the steep drop of the castle hill, the little Teme slipped twinkling over the weir, and, backed by the high green slope and the great beeches of Whitcliff Park, ran curving to the fine old Ludford bridge with its three graduated arches. At the foot of the tower lay, outside the castle wall and across the dry moat, the wide spaces of the tiltyard, empty of everything but sunshine and silence; inside, that most lovable ruin, its broken walls

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darkened here and there, in squares and bars, by their own shadows. And it was down here, not on the windy top of the tower, that one tasted best the true flavor of Ludlow castlethe strong sense of its past, and the quiet present beauty that washes over it. Here one might see the shell of the finely proportioned hall where Comus had its première, and might wonder, fruitlessly, at which door the 'rout of monsters' rushed in, and where and how Sabrina rose; or might look up to - not through, for stairs and flooring are gone the high windows from which Prince Arthur must have looked down on the Teme before he died; or might mount the winding steps, leading now to nothing but space, up and down which the Little Princes may have run, shouting, in the days when their hearts were still light. Here, too, the sunshine lay warm; the tufts of valerian stirred in the crevices of the stone; jackdaws dropped their queer notes, so throaty yet so ringing, from the topmost walls, and now and then showed their capable little profiles in silhouette against the sky; and goats cropped the grass in the courtyard, or stood contemplative in doorway or window frame of the wonderful little round chapel. By whose authority, or perhaps by what hereditary right, these pensioners dwell in Ludlow castle, I never learned; but their decorative effect was certainly great. Their angular bodies, so dignified yet so nimble, and their glances, aloof yet ribald, had the accentuating value that a gargoyle has in the midst of solemn beauty. There was one of themin appearance the oldest - who late in the afternoon used to lie along a ledge where church dignitaries must once have sat; his beard up, his horns back, his eyelids drooped - a picture of rather cynical inscrutability and repose. But to establish any social

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