West Gallery Music Association
Home   About Us   What's New   Calendar   Quires   Articles   Publications   Resources   Pictures   Discussion Forum   Links


Whenever a club walked he'd play the clarinet in the band that marched before 'em as if he'd never touched anything but a clarinet all his life. And then, when they got to the church-door he'd throw down the clarinet, mount the gallery, snatch up the bass-viol, and rozum away as if he'd never played anything but a bass-viol. Folk would say - folk that knowed what a true stave was - "Surely, surely that's never the same man that I saw handling the clarinet so masterly by now!"

"I can mind it," said the furze cutter. "Twas a wonderful thing that one body could hold it all and never mix the fingering."

"There was Kingsbere church likewise," Fairway recommenced, as one opening a new vein of the same mine of interest.

"He used to walk over there of a Sunday afternoon to visit his old acquaintance Andrew Brown, the first clarinet there; a good man enough, but rather screechy in his music, if you can mind"

"And neighbour Yeobright would take Andrey's place for some part of the service, to let Andrey have a bit of a nap, as any friend would naturally do."

"As any friend would," said Grandfer Cantle, the other listeners expressing the same accord by the shorter way of nodding their heads. "No sooner was Andrey asleep and the first whiff of neighbour Yeobright's wind had got inside Andrey's clarinet than everyone in church feeled in a moment there was a great soul among 'em. All heads would turn, and they'd say "Ah, I thought 'twas he!" One Sunday I can well mind - a bass-viol day that time and Yeobright had brought his own. 'Twas the Hundred-and-thirty-third to "Lydia"; and when they'd come to "Ran down his beard and o'er his robes its costly moisture shed", neighbour Yeobright who had just warmed to his work, drove his bow into them strings that glorious grand that he e'en a'most sawed the bass-viol into two pieces. Every winder in church ratt1ed as if 'twere a thunderstorm. Old Pa'son Williams lifted his hands in his great holy surplice as natural as if he'd been in common clothes, and seemed to say to hisself "O for such a man in our parish!" But not a soul in Kingsbere could hold a candle to Yeobright".

"Was it quite safe when the winder shook," Christian enquired. He received no answer, all for the moment sitting rapt in admiration of the performance described.


Home page   |   Resources Index   |   Books Index   |   Recordings Index   |   Literary References