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the breathless hush just before the first words of the opening hymn, the triumphal music of the processional. As we talked, it all came back to me, and I grieved in my heart for the music I had lost during the intervening years.

The next morning I was in church. Memories I had thought dead fifteen years awoke, and my soul was lifted into verdant places. The beauty of it all! After the service, carried by an enthusiastic impulse, I went forward and spoke to the organist, if for nothing else than to let him know how his music had exalted and quickened an otherwise unendurable morning. With quiet pride in the vast organ, he showed me its key desk, and as I looked at itthe church had cleared by now - he said, 'Why don't you play something?' Fingers trembling with excitement, I sat down and found in the rolling profundity of the organ as it responded to my faltering touch a sense of power that was almost incredible. To press that little key, with its featherlike resistance, and hear the beat of oceans, the voices of wind-swept forests, come forth and sweep through the chancel and nave of the church it was like being temporarily in charge of the universe.


I took the church programme with me when I left, and the next day I purchased one or two of the anthems listed thereon. As I clumsily picked them out on the piano I found a great curiosity creeping over me as to the extent of church music. How much was there of it? Who wrote it? Whence came its nobility, its alternate tranquillity and fire? Here were things that were worth finding out. A study of the church hymnal gave me a very faint picture of the army of musicians who have carried the torch of genius through the ages, and I determined to know

more of them. I had found my hobby at last, and in my jubilation cast about for some way to pursue it more closely. Traveling as I did, it would be impossible for me to follow any conventional study of ancient, mediæval, and modern church music, yet I felt that at least I might attempt some rude classification of the music I heard from Sunday to Sunday. So I started a scrapbook, and into it I pasted the programmes or orders of service from the various churches I attended, together with my written impression of each composition used. As new composers appeared in my book I would boldly and freely walk up to the organist of the church I happened to be in and ask him about them. To a man, the organists I spoke to were gracious, patient, and kindly. As my work took me over the country twice a year, I was soon talking to them a second time, then a third, a fourth, a tenth time. Some of them, as the years passed, became firm friends. Cities where Sunday had been a nightmare became cities where Sunday was a day to be looked forward to all during the week. Scarcely a week went by that I was not given an opportunity to play a church organ after service. All during this time, as I encountered interesting new anthems, I would buy them, seek out a secluded piano, and study them. I read music very slowly and, curiously enough, never improved in this respect; but, once read and learned, I never had need of the music again. When I say that it took me two hours and still does! to read the average eight-page anthem, one may see how admirably suited the practice was to filling in dull evenings and rainy Saturday afternoons. My reward was to play it on an organ the following Sunday.

As the scrapbook grew and my hobby assumed larger and larger proportions, there came an interest in the structure of the organ itself, its vast and intricate

mechanism. We are rather given to the use of superlatives in this country, but in the case of the American organ they are deservedly applied. The American organ is one of the great achievements of modern times. Its scientific design, its instantaneous action, its unfailing response, place it technically years ahead of its rivals overseas. But tone is another matter! The loving craftsmanship lavished on old-world instruments cannot be captured, studied, and laid out on a designer's drawing board. It is a creation of the spirit not to be gauged by the slide rule or reduced to the notebook by logarithms. Let us then, while saluting the American geniuses who have made our organ key desks as simple, clean-cut, and efficient as an automobile dashboard, turn and bow our heads before the master craftsmen who have succeeded in giving voice to all that is noble in life.

During a business trip to London some few years ago, Sir Frederick Bridge, organist for so many years at Westminster Abbey, summed this up for me in rather a humorous way. I had been given a letter to him from a mutual friend, — an English organist in New York, - and Sir Frederick was up in the organ loft, playing, as I strolled into Westminster to present it. After climbing some dark stairs, I found myself beside the strangest key desk I had ever seen: wires, 'trackers,' radiated from it in every direction, and I was in mortal terror of catching my toe and breaking something. The distinguished organist read the letter I tendered him, and, fixing me with his pleasant eyes, ordered me to sit down beside him and tell him all about American organs. He asked a great many questions about the electric action used so universally in our instruments; then, falling silent, he raised his musician's hand in a gesture that included the great pipes rising before us, the wires, the keyboard.

'My boy,' he said finally, 'you may trip on it, but it will be sixty years before you can match its tone!' As though to prove what he had said he turned and played 'Adeste, Fideles,' full organ, and I knew at last why the noblest of all hymns had been written. Simply destiny- that it might some day be played upon the Westminster Abbey organ.


It has been said that the diapason is the foundation of the organ. If this is true, and I sincerely believe it is, there is an organ in the Netherlands which ought to be included in every music-lover's itinerary. I have never seen it referred to and have often wondered why. A few days after my delightful interview with Sir Frederick Bridge, I was walking through the streets of Rotterdam, and, business concluded, was shaping my course toward the lofty nave of a cathedral I had seen during the morning. It proved to be the old Groote Kerk, with its fantastically whitewashed walls, its queerly refinished woodwork, and other heritages of a misguided militant Protestantism. As luck would have it, for I was leaving for Paris in an hour, the organist entered shortly after I did, and I was soon listening to such music as I had little dreamed of hearing that day. In my poor little opinion, there are no other diapasons in the world to compare with those in the Groote Kerk organ. Their golden fullness, their bountiful roundness and warmth of tone, are epic. One feels in them all the strength, vitality, all the ruggedness of the Dutch people — their infinite artistic integrity. The thought struck me, as I sat there listening to a Bach fugue, that organs, like architecture, express nationality. Canterbury, Southwark, Westminster one knows one is in England, for the

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organs express solidity, balance, forthrightness. Notre Dame, St.-Sulpice, Sacré-Cœur! These organs are as essentially French as the French tongueto our ears somewhat nasal, almost a bit strident. And our own organs, St. Thomas's, St. John's, and hosts of others, there is an astonishing number of splendid organs in this country, -blending everything, mechanically faultless, striving toward a composite perfection, are they not American?

Having mentioned some French organs, I cannot refrain from telling a humorous little episode that occurred in Paris. One bright May morning I set out from my hotel, resolved to hear as many fine organs as possible. I prefer to study them leisurely, of course, when I can, but this time my stay in Paris included only one Sunday and I wanted to make the most of it. Hailing a taxi, I was soon set down at the Madeleine. An incredible mass of people filled the building, and what with the incense, the heat, the many and various worshipers, I found the atmosphere rather overpowering, and left after the first chant. At the curb, I found the same cab I had used in coming to the church and, stepping into it, I directed the driver to take me to St.-Sulpice. I remained in this church about fifteen minutes, and as I came out I noticed my original taxicab, again unoccupied. With a grin I asked to be taken to Notre Dame. It seemed to me that the chauffeur looked at me strangely; certainly the shrug of his shoulders conveyed more than just an acknowledgment of my request. At Notre Dame I found a gorgeous service in progress. Some sort of military festival it was, with a battle flag at the head of each pew, at least three hundred white-robed singers in the choir, and perhaps a hundred and fifty prelates and church dignitaries in the chancel. The music was glorious, and, fascinated by the warmth

and color of it all, I stayed until the very end. Firmly astride of my hobby by this time, I decided to take in one more church before dinner. (Typically American, I know, but you must remember I get to Paris only once a year.) Naturally I had forgotten all about my cab driver, but lo! he was waiting, unengaged, as I reached the sidewalk. 'Sacré-Cœur,' I said bravely. He paused a moment before opening the cab door, and a smile of deep commiseration, a look of understanding sympathy, flashed over his face like the flicker of a curtain. 'Ah, monsieur,' he said softly, 'quelle pénitence!'

Perhaps this hobby organ music - has been a penance, in the sense that penances are supposed to induce peace. Certainly it has carried me far afield. I have learned to know the riverlike sweep of Guilmant, to recognize the insistent beauty of Widor, the vivid efflorescence of Ruebke, and to feel the exaltation of Barnby, Stainer, Buck, and Handel. Names like Franck, Bach, Tschaikowsky, or Boellman on a recital programme bring an electric prickle of anticipation. To me as a layman the study of church music has become an endless pilgrimage. It has its great moments can any experience in life equal the tranquil ecstasy of hearing Noble's 'Souls of the Righteous' sung at dusk in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine? The utter beauty of it caresses and makes whole again the heart torn and racked by separation from all one holds dear in life. "They are at peace,' sings the choir. 'Oh, fairest liberty!' And all things that harass and hurt seem small and meaningless. Is not loneliness a form of bondage? Can this be bondage- this opportunity of hearing the man-interpreted voice of God? No! It is liberty in its highest sense. "They are at peace.' Where there is peace, there can be no loneliness. Oh, fairest liberty!



IVAN KARASS, a private in the second squad of the first platoon, was, according to general opinion in his company, a queer man. But if any one of the soldiers were asked in what consisted Karass's peculiarities he would be at loss to state. And yet the company was right: Ivan Karass was queer.

For instance, he never talked, even when off duty. He always spent his free hours all by himself, either sitting paralyzed of all motion and vacant of all conscious life, or lying stretched on the ground and gazing for hours at the sky. What was going on in his mind no one knew, just as no one knew whether there was anything at all, and just as no one knew whether Karass was a thinker or merely a fool. From his behavior he might have been either, if only fools can have such sober, expressive faces, such clear, scrutinizing eyes, smiling now gently, now bitterly; now greeting you friendlily, now piercing you with a long, tormenting look.

Karass must have been forty. He was married and the father of half a dozen children, they said. From the first day of his life he had lived continually in a small village somewhere in the middle Ukrainian steppes; lived knowing nothing of the world, separated from it by great roadless spaces, by lack of common interests, by his own complete illiteracy, and by the illiteracy of his neighbors. From that drowsy and undisturbed existence, by the order of the invisible Tsar and his sinister


generals, he was taken away and transferred to perpetual crash and collision. However, Karass had quickly learned the soldier's duty and the ways of war. In fact, the ease with which he could grasp everything new and the quickness of his apprehension were matters of great astonishment to the rest of the men. The more so because of an extreme forgetfulness and a most amazing absent-mindedness which he displayed at times. During one of these spells, the soldiers knew without looking who was the man out of step, or who was the man whose head, appearing above the parapet, had attracted the enemy's fire. Too often it was Karass, and too often the poor devil was thrashed by sergeants, and even by commissioned officers sometimes. That punishment the soldiers watched in silence, tapping their foreheads significantly.

But at times their contempt for Ivan Karass would give place to a quite different feeling. This would happen when, coming out of his long silence, he would start to sing his songs.

He knew only three of them, three old melodious ballads. But each time he sang them with new variations in words, tune, and expression, as if they were songs entirely new. He sang sitting on the ground in his usual pose, his hands about his knees, his eyes closed, and swaying slightly to and fro. And all the men around him, forgetting his peculiarities, forgetting time and place, listened to Karass reverently.

Karass sang of their homes, of their villages surrounded by cherry orchards, of fields of swaying wheat, of clear streams flowing by, and of azure sky overhead. He sang of a hero-Cossack, of his exploits, of his black-eyed, white faced, tender-hearted girl, and of other girls, and of other Cossacks, and of Tatar unbelievers, their fierce enemy. He sang, and in many a soldier's eye large drops of tears would glitter. Even the sour top-sergeant, leaving his perpetual bookkeeping, would put his chin in the palms of his hands, would close his eyes, and, lost in reveries, would listen to Karass. And Karass would stop all of a sudden, just as suddenly as he had begun. But the silence which he had commanded would still continue a long time, and only gradually the soldiers would resume their interrupted occupations, whispering to each other: "There's a God's gift in that man.'

Thus, in a mixed atmosphere of admiration and contempt, lived Karass at the front for over a year, among thousands of men, yet all by himself. Then he found a friend.


It happened at daybreak late in the fall. That morning, as usual, a voluminous fusillade greeted the sun slowly mounting in the multicolored sky. A small rabbit, which somehow had found its way into No Man's Land, was racing back and forth, bewildered by the racket and spurred up by the sound of bullets whizzing about him. The soldiers from both sides, noticing the little fellow, were following it with the fire of their rifles. But luck was with the rabbit this time: it escaped what seemed an inevitable end by hurling itself into the flare of Karass's loophole at the very moment when Karass, who knew nothing about the

chase of the rabbit by the joined armies, was about to pull the trigger of his rifle. Instantly realizing, however, what had happened, Karass pushed his rifle aside, in no time enlarged the loophole by taking out one of the bags filled with earth, and took the shivering rabbit in his hands.

The fusillade continued. Karass gazed for a moment at the poor beast, then gently put it into the bosom of his shirt, repaired the loophole, and resumed firing. Meanwhile the rabbit, still trembling, had crawled around Karass and remained behind his back tightly pressing against him.

When the skirmish was over, Karass reached for the rabbit, pushed it through the loophole, and gave it a slight shove. The rabbit did not move. Karass gave it another shove, but with no more result. Not only did the rabbit show no intention of leaving the loophole, but it was stubbornly backing, trying to regain the trench. Karass watched it in silence. A shot banged somewhere close by. The rabbit doubled and darted through the hole into the trench. Karass again took the little fellow into his hands, lifted it to the level of his eyes, and smiled bitterly.

The rabbit was a beautiful little creature, barely a month old. Its gray, red-rimmed eyes were open wide; its nostrils and its graceful upper lip moved nervously, giving to the dainty muzzle an amusing expression. Karass put his hands up to his mouth and gently blew into the rabbit's face. The rabbit closed its eyes, threw back its ears, shook its head, and pressed closer into Karass's hands. Karass smiled again, but this time brightly and happily.

The sun was hanging already well above the forest-covered hills. The chill of the morning was changing into the exquisite warmth of an autumn day. A few pearly clouds were spread high in

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