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Mechanical Music.—The Black Forest is fa­mous for these mechanical organs—orchestrions, as they are called—and in some instances they are brought to great perfection. There is a shop close to the exhibition, bearing the name of Lamy Sonne, full of clocks and singing-birds and orchestrions, where you may pass half an hour in a fairy-land of surprises and all kinds of mechanical music. One morning I went in with an old lady and gentleman—the lat­ter a grave dignitary of the church of England. "A very tiring place," said the old lady; "all up and down hill; the only fault I find with the Black
Forest. Couldn't they level it, my dear?"—to her husband—"or build viaducts or something? Or, at the very least, couldn't they organize pony chaises all over the country—like those, you know, that we found so useful at Bournemouth last year? "Take a chair, my love," said the old gentleman sympa­thetically, without committing himself to an opinion. And he placed one for her, while the young man in the shop (whose jolly, good-natured face and broad grin delighted one to behold) wound up the orches­trion. The old lady sat down somewhat heavily from sheer exhaustion, and immediately the chair struck
J. Blocklby.
up the lively air of "The Watch on the Rhine," with a decidedly martial influence upon its occupant. She sprang from her seat as if it had been a gridiron, and asked her husband reproachfully if he was amus­ing himself at her expense, and whether her age was not sufficient to secure her from practical joking. " Dear me!" cried he, in amazement, looking at the offending chair as though he expected it to walk a-way of its own accord. "What a musical nation these Black Foresters are! It's music everywhere ! The very chairs you sit down upon are full of it." At this moment the orchestrion struck up an operatic selec­tion, and the old lady recovered her amiability in
listening to a really fine instrument. I left them mar­veling at all the birds and boxes, and thinking each as it came more wonderful than the last.—Argosy. The influence of music on the young, the ignorant and depraved is not perhaps sufficiently regarded. Watch the crowd that collects around the street or­ganist. His first note is the signal for all hastily to assemble. The care-worn and furrowed cheek is at once lighted up with a pleasant smile. The beggar forgets his penury, the laborer his toil, the boy with sat­chel at his back, forgets the hour for school. The tear in the nursery is quickly followed by a bright and joy­ous smile, as Hi (Id v hastens with her charge to the door.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III