Favorite Songs and Hymns For School and Home, page: 0362

450 Of The World's Best Songs And Hymns, With Lyrics & Sheet music for voice & piano.

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" Speak Gently."—The following reminiscences of a popular song will interest those with whom it is a favorite: David Bates, the author of the poem '• Speak Gently," was a Philadelphia broker. He was styled by the board of brokers—it was their custom to nick­name each other—" Old Mortality." Prominent liter­ary men of the day frequented his office on Third street. None of his other numerous poems obtained the popularity of " Speak Gently." This was written on the spur of the moment, and was called out by a trivial circumstance. He was writing at his desk, and his wife was sewing in the same room, while his son and a little playmate were having a very spirited romp. The uproar they created greatly disturbed the good lady, and she requested them to be quieter. They sub­sided for a few moments, but soon there was as much commotion as before, and she reproved them again;
but the noise continued. Then she sprang to her feet, and, in no gentle tone, said, " I'll teach you to be quiet!" and both of the boys would have had their ears boxed, but they rushed very quickly for the door, and were out of sight before she could reach them. " Speak gently, wife—speak gendy," said Mr. Bates, and turning again to his desk, he took a fresh sheet of paper, and wrote the poem that bears this title. At the supper table that evening he handed it to his wife. She glanced at the title, and thinking it a second reproof, said she did not want to see it, and gave it back to him without reading it. The next day, at his office, one of his literary friends coming in, he showed it to him. " This is a good thing, Bates," said his friend; "you should have it published." And acting upon the suggestion, he sent it with a note to L. A. Godey, editor of Godeys Magazine, published
SCOTCH CRADLE-SONG.
Andantino.
Old Lullabv.
in Philadelphia. Within a few days he received a check from Mr. Godey for one hundred dollars, with a note complimenting the poem. Mr. Bates looked at the check with amazement, and exclaimed, " Well, this is the biggest one hundred dollars I ever saw!" He kept it locked up in his desk for some time, and would occasionally take it out and look at it. The poem has been translated into many languages, and is greatly admired by foreigners, especially by the cul­tured Brazilian Emperor. When Rev. J. C. Fletcher, the celebrated American missionary, was in Brazil, he visited Dora Pedro. During the call of the rever­end gendeman, the Emperor said, " I have something to show you, and shall be very glad if you can tell me the name of the author." He at once led the way into his private library, where one of the most prominent objects in the room was a large tablet reach-
ing from the floor to the ceiling, on which appeared the familiar poem " Speak Gently," in both the English and the Portuguese languages." "Do you know who wrote this?" asked Dom Pedro. "Yes,"replied Mr. Fletcher; "the writer was formerly a fellow-towns­man of mine, Mr. David Bates." "I consider it," said the Emperor, " the most beautiful poem of any language that I have ever read. I require all the members of my household to memorize it, and as far as possible, to follow its teachings." Upon Mr. Fletcher's return home, the Emperor sent by him a complimentary letter to the author, expressing his ap­preciation of the lines and his gratification at learning their authorship. This beautiful little poem, set to very appropriate music—an air from " Mantana," by Wallace—is found in the Franklin Square Song Collec­tion, No. 2, the vocal harmony arranged in four parts.
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