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Why is it that the choir of a country congrega- which it had no fitness, would swell above all tion is always, or often, the source of discord ? the rest so as to make such dire music as no Every one who knows the internal polity of gentle ears could endure without grievous pain, these societies, has met with the singular fact causing strong temptations to feel wrong even that the singing is the most difficult subject to in church. When therefore the reformers heard be managed with harmony, yet a matter that, that Deacon Small proposed to drill the choir one would think, should never make any trou- into harmony, they thought of hanging up their ble, much less be a cause of quarrels and di- own harps; for the deacon's instructions could visions. Yet true it is, and in making these re- manifestiy avail nothing but to make bad worse. cords I must introduce the reader to
They therefore held another consultation, and
deterinined to submit the matter to the congreOUR SINGING SCHOOLS,
gation, in full meeting, and make a desperate and let him into some secrets which may be both effort to bring about a change. entertaining and profitable. You will therefore Accordingly, when the people assembled for understand that the singing had become about as the annual “ letting of the pews,” the matter bad as it could be and retain the name. Deacon was introduced with great caution, and it was Small-a very large man, who could sing no- proposed, after much discussion, to send to Conthing but bass, and that very badly—had sung necticut (where else should they send), for a tenor and led the singing for ten years, until singing master. Deacon Small was roused. forbearance ceased to be a virtue, and some of He could see no necessity for such a sudden and the congregation, whose nerves were not made expensive measure ; he knew as much about of steel wire, began seriously to talk of doing singing as any of them, though he said it himsomething to improve the music. The deacon self, and he knew that they had as good singing said that for his part he should be glad to do as they could expect, and if they wanted any anything reasonable, and he had sometimes better they mustn't go off to hire anybody to thought the singing would be better if the young come there and teach them a new set of tunes, folks would come together once a month or so, to go away when they were about half learnt and practise the tunes with him; he would and carry all the singing away with him But give his time for nothing, and perhaps something the reformers carried the day, and next Sabbath, might be done.
the choir, taking in dudgeon what they chose But this was not the thing. The deacon's to consider an affront put upon them and their singing was as bad as the choir's; in fact worse ; leader, took their seats in the body of the church for what he lacked in skill and taste he made below, leaving the front seats of the gallery up in volume; and his voice, in a part for empty. The pastor saw at a glance the state