Page:Female Prose Writers of America.djvu/144

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LYDIA M. CHILD.

heart is to the head, what intuition is to argument, what insight is to policy, what religion is to philosophy, what holiness is to heroism, what moral influence is to power, what woman is to man—is music to the universe. Flexile, graceful, and free, it pervades all things, and is limited by none. It is not poetry, but the soul of poetry; it is not mathematics, but it is in numbers, like harmonious proportions in cast iron; it is not painting, but it shines through colours, and gives them their tone; it is not dancing, but it makes all gracefulness of motion; it is not architecture, but the stones take their places in harmony with its voice, and stand in “petrified music.” In the words of Bettina—“Every art is the body of music, which is the soul of every art; and so is music, too, the soul of love, which also answers not for its working; for it is the contact of divine with human.”

But I must return from this flight among the stars, to Ole Bulbul′s violin; and the distance between the two is not so great as it appears.

Some, who never like to admit that the greatest stands before them, say that Paganini played the Carnival of Venice better than his Norwegian rival. I know not. But if ever laughter ran along the chords of a musical instrument with a wilder joy, if ever tones quarrelled with more delightful dissonance, if ever violin frolicked with more capricious grace, than Ole Bulbul’s, in that fantastic whirl of melody, I envy the ears that heard it.




THE UMBRELLA GIRL.

In a city, which shall be nameless, there lived, long ago, a young girl, the only daughter of a widow. She came from the country, and was as ignorant of the dangers of a city, as the squirrels of her native fields. She had glossy black hair, gentle, beaming eyes, and “lips like wet coral.” Of course, she knew that she was beautiful; for when she was a child, strangers often stopped as she passed, and exclaimed, “How handsome she is!” And as she