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70 The National Music of America.
latter said of him, that when they sang side by side, he (Rev. Dr. Pierce) could not hear his own voice, which was no still, small voice, either.1
Billings was deformed in person, blind in one eye, one leg shorter than the other, untidy in dress and person, and a tremendous snuff-taker, carrying his tobacco around with him in his coat, the pocket of which was purposely made of leather. Many loved to play practical jokes upon him, even while his music was accepted with enthusiasm on every hand (possibly because it always had a spice of patriotism in it, a much prized quality at the time of the Revolution), and we read of some playful boys tying a couple of cats by the tails to the sign over his music store in Boston ; one can imagine his feelings at coming out and finding the caterwauling animals suspended under the proud legend, "Billings' Music."
1 Gould, " History of Church Music in America," p. 46.