That indignation which we profess to feel at deceit absolute, is indeed only at deceit malicious. We resent calumny, hypocrisy, and treachery, because they harm us, not because they are untrue.
That indignation which we profess to feel at deceit absolute, is indeed only at deceit malicious. We resent calumny, hypocrisy, and treachery, because they harm us, not because they are untrue.
When the gnats dance at evening, Scribbling on the air, sparring sparely, Scrambling their crazy lexicon, Shuffling their dumb cabala, Under leaf shadow. Leaves only leaves, Between them and the broad swipes of the sun. Leaves muffling the dusty stabs of the late sun From their frail eyes and crepuscular temperaments
Writing on their, rubbing out everything they write, Jerking their letters into knots, into tangles, Everybody else’s yoyo. Immense magnets fighting around a centre. Not writing and not fighting but singing, that the cycles of this Universe are no matter that they are not afraid of the sun, that the one sun is too near it blasts their song, which is of all the suns That they are their own sun Their own brimming over At large in the nothing Their wings blurring the blaze
That they are the nails In the dancing hands and feet of the gnat-god that they her the wind suffering Through the grass And the evening tree suffering The wind bowing with long cat-gut cries And the long roads of dust, Dancing in the wind, The wind’s dance, the death-dance, entering the mountain. And the cow dung villages huddling to dust, But not the gnats, their agility Has outleaped that threshold And hangs them a little above the claws of the grass,
In the glove shadows of the sycamore A dance never to be altered A dance giving their bodies to be burned And their mummy faces will never be used Their little bearded faces Weaving and bobbing on the nothing Shaken in the air, shaken, shaken And their feet dangling like the feet of victims O little Hasids Ridden to death by your own bodies Riding your bodies to death. You are the angels of the only heaven!
And God is an Almighty Gnat!
You are the greatest of all the galaxies! My hands fly in the air, they are follies. My tongue hangs up in the leaves. My thoughts have crept into crannies, Your dancing, Your dancing Rolls my staring skull slowly away into outer space.”
I Planted Trees by Richard St Barbe Baker, Lutterworth Press 1944; Forests and the Ancients
…….The wood knoweth no breach in all its beauty; holy fragrance resteth there throughout the land; ne’er shall it be changed to all eternity, until He who first created it shall end His ancient work of former days.
The Phoenix Anglo-Saxon (eight century).
...Modern man has bartered his forest inheritance for beer, meat and wheat. That is putting it crudely, and some hard thinking may be required before the truth of this comes home to the average person, who may find it difficult to believe that the forest was the earliest home of man. It provided both food and shelter. Its wild animals developed the hunter, first providing means of subsistence and then, exhilaration and recreation. The mast, the fruit of the oak, beech and other forest trees in the openings of the forest and the protected pasture, gave the forest its value for the herdsman, and only later with the development of settled communities and more elaborate conditions of life did the wood product come to be considered its main contribution towards civilization. Through the ages it has always influenced the soil, climate and water conditions.
Yes, the forest was indeed the cradle of mankind, and yet man has been ruthless in his destruction of it. Civilizations arose as they exploited their forests and vanished with their destruction. As agriculture developed, the need for farmland overshadowed the usefulness of the forest as a means of providing meat, simple food and shelter. As his appetite increased, he kept tame animals in flocks and herds from which he could take whenever he thought he needed it. Soon he become lazy and lost the art of living by his bow, so he cleared more fresh areas of forest and made fields and pastures upon which to fatten his flocks and herds. The simple forest diet of herbs and gourds gave place to wheat and other cultivated grain, for which he needed still more virgin land from the forest. Lastly, not content with honey, he cleared more land still to grow sugar cane and beet.
As the forest was cleared away by scanty populations, waste was the rule, until necessity arose demanding greater care in its exploitation and a more rational distribution of farm and forest areas, when finally there came the need for the intentional reproduction of wood as a crop. There are but scanty records of the beginning of man’s acquaintance with trees.
Primitive man saw the resemblance between his life and the life of trees. His needs and necessities being what they were, it is not surprising that one of his first cults should have been that of the tree.
The mysteries of growth, the seasonal change in the green world around him and the age-long life of trees led him to regard them as supernatural, or as symbols of immortality.
The trees called forth veneration, and tree worship is found among the very earliest traces of religion, as, for example, on the engraved cylinders of Chaldaea, some of which date back to 4000 BC. It was mo mere crude tree worship, for even at that early stage it had undergone a process of idealisation. In a bilingual hymn of Arcadian origin, which is probably one of the most ancient specimens of literature in existence, a mystical tree is described as the “abode of the gods.” In Babylonia the sacred tree was closely associated with Istar, the Divine Mother, whose cult was introduced into Chaldaea from Eridu, the city that flourished on the shores of the Persian Gulf about 3640 BC. Among the Canaanites every altar had a sacred tree beside it, and when the Israelites established local sanctuaries they set up their altar under a green tree and planted beside it as its indispensable companion the Ashera, which was either a living tree of a tree-like post.
In the early strivings of the mind of primitive man to account for the scheme of creation, the tree quite rightly took a foremost place, and the sky and its clouds and illuminations became likened to an enormous cosmogonic tree, of which the fruits were sun, moon and stars. Many races of the earth evolved their own conception of a world tree, vast as the world itself. They looked upon this tree as the cradle of their being, and it bore different names among different nations and possessed different attributes. The world Tree of the Indian paradise was the mandara, very similar in its attributes was the World Tree of Buddha, the Tree of Wisdom, of Perfection and of Holiness. The old Tree of the Iranians or Persians was the naoma tree, bearing an immortalizing and life-giving juice. There was, too, the Tree of Eden - the Tree of Knowledge.
The patriarchs of the Bible went into the woods to worship God, and in the oak grove at Mamre we are told that Abraham entertained God Himself. We also learn that the Patriarch raised an altar to Jehovah near a grove of terebinths, oaks, in the Valley of Hebron.
Divine revelations were often associated with trees. Moses received his call through the burning bush; a very arresting sight was this thorn with its startlingly red leaves. Aaron carried a rod of the almond tree. The Psalmist was inspired by trees and revered them as a manifestation of Jehovah.
The trees of the Lord are full of sap, the Cedar of Lebanon which He hath planted…..Lord, how manifold are Thy works.
In wisdom Thou hast made them all; the earth is full of Thy riches.
In wisdom Thou hast made them all; the earth is full of Thy riches.
The prophet Isaiah says:
For ye shall go out with joy and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree; and instead of the briar shall come up the myrtle tree; and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.
Christ Himself likened His kingdom unto a seed which grew to be the greatest on earth. In His hour of mental anguish, He went among the olive trees of Mount Olivet, and in the words of the American Sidney Lanier that musician and poet who wrote in his “Ballad of the Trees and the Master”:
Into the woods my Master went,
Clean forsent, forspent………………
But the Olives were not blind to Him,
The little grey leaves were kind to Him:
The thorn-tree had a mind to Him
When into the woods He came.
Rabbinical tradition is that the tree of the Cross, or the tree of Adam, was adopted by the Mohammedans, the account to the Koran differing but little from the Bible story. Among the tribes of Siberia legend tells that the beginning of the world a tree was born without branches. God caused nine branches to spring, at the foot of which were born nine men, the predestined ancestors of the nine human races. The tradition of the World Tree can be traced in the Mohammedan belief that paradise is situated in the seventh heaven, in the center of it stands the immortal tree called tooba, which is so large that a man mounted on the fleetest horse could not ride round its branches in a hundred years, but whose boughs are laden with delicious fruit of a size and taste unknown to mortals. The rivers of paradise take their rise from the tree, flowing some with water, some with mild, some with honey, while others are blessed. It was by a lotus tree that Mohammed gained his inspiration. It was under a pippala tree, Fiscus religiosa, that Gautama achieved perfect knowledge. This is the bo tree, or tree of Buddha, and it is said when his mother, Maya, felt her time was at hand she retired to the lumbini garden, and there, standing and holding on to the branch of a bo tree or, as some say, a sal tree, she gave birth to the future prophet. The name bo is that by which this tree is known in Ceylon, from bodhi, which means “wisdom,” personified in the tree, the Tree of Knowledge.
Our own poets are inspired by trees, from Chaucer who wrote “The verie essence, and, as it were, springeheade and origine of all musicke is the verie pleasaunte sound which the trees of the forest do make when they growe,” down to our modern poets of whom I regard Montro as outstanding:
How beautifully they grow,
Crowding the brink of silence everywhere,
With branches dipping low
To smile toward us or to stroke our faces
Above their stiles and lanes and watery places.
Or Thomas Hood:
I remember, I remember,
The for trees dark and high;
I used to think their slender tops
Were close against the sky:
It was a childish ignorance,
But now ‘tis little joy
To know I’m farther off from heav’n
Than when I was a boy.
Surely these lines record the passing by the individual through the same experience through which the race has passed; which made Wordsworth long even for a creed outworn, if only he could feel Nature more akin to him. In our approach to the study of trees and forestry we do well to consider their poetry, for is there not something inherent in all of us that responds to it? Deep in our hearts we feel that it is part of our heritage, and our poets have expressed man’s eternal search for truth.
Flower in the crannied wall,
I pluck you out of the crannies,
I hold you here, root and all, in my hand,
Little flower- but if I could understand
What you are, root and all, and all in all,
I should know what God and man is.
If that applies to Tennyson’s little flower, how much more does it apply to a tree. The mystery of renewal, the mystery of the seasons, the promise of spring.
It was among the trees in the beautiful Garden of the Rizwan that Baha’u’llah announced himself as “Him whom God shall Manifest” and , addressing all humanity, Baha’u’llah said, “Ye are the fruits of one tree and the leaves of one branch. All the nations, peoples and tongues are the branches leaves, blossoms and fruits of his great tree of humanity.
While we have many references to trees among the ancients in the writings of the poets and historians, these are generally too brief to give us a clear picture of the progress of forest history. But we do know that the countries which were occupied and known to the ancients were well-wooded. Palestine was not always bare of trees, neither was Sinai a desert. The mountains of Lebanon were covered with extensive forests, but as far back as the eleventh century before Christ forests of Asia Minor and Greece, especially in the neighbourhood of thriving cities, had vanished to meet the need for timber. There was a continual drain upon the forest fo Mount Lebanon. The wood for the temple at Tyre and Sidon came from Lebanon in 465 B.C.
Artaxerxes I attempted to regulate the cutting, but by 333BC Alexander the Great found that the timber, at least on the south slope, was exhausted. The destruction by axe and fire of the great forests of Sherin, Carmel and Bashan is the theme of the prophet Isaiah in 590 BC and the Jewish wars is depicted by the historian Josephus.
According to Diodorus Siculus, about 100BC the southern provinces of Spain were densely wooded, but a hundred years before, when the Romans took possession , a great forest fire, starting through the Pyrenees, ran over the country, exposing deposits of silver ore which brought
A large influx of miners, which was the cause of the reckless de-afforestation of the country.
When the forests of the Mediterranean countries became decimated as a result of colonization, or exploitation, fire or other abuses, supplies of wood could still be secured by water from distant parts and the lignarii , or wood merchants, of Italy drew their supplies from as far-distant places as India by way of Alexandria. We learn that they went for ash to Asia Minor, for cedar to Cilicia. There was a regular wood market in Rome, where firewood was sold by the pound in Cicero’s time at about three shillings for a man’s load, approximately two hundred pounds. They knew how to carry big loads in those days.
In ancient times, unlike the present day, when forests along hostile frontiers are cleared for protection, forests were regarded as a barrier and defence against outsiders, or a hiding place in case of need, so in early times we find frontier forests, or, as Germans call them, Grenzmarken,
designated for such purpose and set aside to serve as bulwark against attacks from invaders. There were sacred groves among the Greeks and Romans as well as among the Pagans. During Joshua successful campaign in Palestine there must have been considerable forest destruction. The Israelites were enjoined to eradicate the sacred groves in the promised land with axe and fire, and this they did most thoroughly, to the determent of the land, which soon ceased to flow with milk and honey. The Hittites and the Amorites, the forest dwellers and the natural protectors of the forest, were ruthlessly driven from the forest fastnesses, and gradually the man with the plough and the hoe upset the balance of nature. Later the Levites, with their priestly shrewdness, took upon themselves the role of forest protectors and instituted a form of arboriculture in the Feast of the Trees, and from a form the time that they entered the Holy Land the Jewish nation has celebrated this annually.
As in Palestine, so among the Indian Brahmins, Ethiopians and the Egyptians as well as among the Greeks and Romans, sacred forest lands were reserved by the priests and religious leaders. In the Orient kings were the undisputed owners of all un-appropriated public forests. Such was the case with the Indian and Brahmin princes.
While the first Roman kings had their forest tombs, which were distributed among the people, after their expulsion with the extension of Christendom, the holy trees and groves became the property of the Emperors, who sometimes preserved them or enacted laws for their protection. This is the cutting and selling of Cypress and other trees in the holy grove near Antioch and of the persicon of walnut trees in Egypt which had been deemed holy under the Pharaohs. If cut without permission, a penalty of five pounds in gold was enacted.
It was found in Attica as well as in Rome that the state could not satisfactorily carry out any business. Forestry was no exception, and so state forests returned out under a system of time or perpetual rent. The tenants, after exploiting the timber, sublet the denuded lands as pasture except where coppice could be utilised with profit. The Greeks had their hyloroi, or forest guards, and, amasing for those early days, Theophrastus, a pupil of Aristotle and Plato, produced the first work on plant history and wood technology, a most important branch of forestry.
The Romans were poor foresters, and paid but little attention to their woods or forestry, but we must allow that nursery practice was well known to Cato. Among the ancients there were those who possessed more silvercultural knowledge than they are usually credited today, and there is little doubt that some of their knowledge and practice found entrance among the German tribes who came into contact with the Romans during the fourteenth century. Thence they, in the course of centuries have developed silvercultural systems which became intensively applied and from which they have developed the reputation for forestry which they hold today...
Fringed with half-charred wood and silky ash
The fire had died and lay in silver wreath
While I, curled snugly in my blanket bed
Had dreamed beside the crooning Lethe
The sea’s cold breath, idly heaving on the tide,
At last swept inland in swift attack
And welty brushed my cheek and stirred the yew
That darkly spread its ragged skirts across my back,
Somewhere on the Down a sheepbell tolled
While, close at hand, like pebbles drop’t on glass,
A clam’rous blackbird raised his voice
And straightway plunged upon the dew-sheened grass,
Slinking thicket folk
Swished last-years leaves with padded grace,
Sinuous as the swathing mist,
Hunting and hunted in the primal way
Jewelling with blood dawn’s amethyst
I turned and let my lucid eyes ascend the ponderous hump that held the skies
And, even as I looked, from Bignor’s ancient crown
A flaming pennant streamed - and overhead
A seagull, whitely gliding to the fields,
Dipped and easterwardly careened.
Nature in Downland, 1900: page 14
…Jefferies was much in my mind just now because by chance I happened to be writing this introductory chapter in the last house he inhabited, and where he died, in the small village of Goring, between the sea and the West Sussex downs.
A strange, I had almost said mysterious, adventure befell me as I came hither. On a cloudy melancholy day in September I came in search of this cottage, walking to the church by a narrow lane with a low trim wall- like hedge on either side, my thoughts were of Jefferies, who had doubtless often walked here too, feeling the icy hand on him of one that walked invisible at his side. My mind was full of sadness, when, hearing the crunching of gravel beneath other feet than my own, I suddenly looked up, and behold, there before me stood the man himself, back on earth in the guise of a tramp! It was a most extraordinary coincidence that at such a moment I should have come face to face with this poor outcast and wanderer who had the Jefferies countenance as I knew it from portraits and descriptions. It was the long thoughtful suffering face, long straight nose, flowing brown beard, and rather large full blue eyes. I was startled at the expression, the unmistakable stamp of a misery that was anguish and near to despair and insanity. He passed me, then paused, and after a moment or two, said hesitatingly, “Can you spare a penny?” I gave him something without looking at his face again, and went on my way sorry that I had met him, fo I knew that those miserable eyes would continue to haunt me.
Here, sitting in the room that was his – the author of the strange Story - the morning sun filling it with brightest light, the sounds he listened to coming in at the open window – the intermittent whispering of the foliage and the deeper continuous whisper of the near sea, and cries and calls of so many birds that come and go in the garden, each “deep in his day’s employ” - I cannot but think of him and lament again that he was prematurely torn away from this living green world he worshipped…
Nature in Downland
WH Hudson: page 178
…On such a day of silence and desolation a remembrance of late summer has come back suddenly like a lightning-flash to my mind, with such startling vividness as to affect me powerfully. A vision of the vanished insect life that a little while ago covered these green flowering hills. I moved and had my being amid that life as in a golden mist spread over the earth; my ears were full of the noise of innumerable fine small voices blending into one voice; wheresoever I looked their minute swift-moving bodies appeared as thin dark lines on the air and over the green surface. Forms so infinitely varied, yet so wonderfully fashioned, each aglow with its complete separate life, and all in harmony with all life and all nature, responsive in a million secret springs to each and every external influence; so well balanced in their numerous parts and perfect in their equipment, so intense in their lives as to seem fitted to endure forever. And now in so short a time, in a single day and night as it seems, it is all over, the feast and fairy-dance of life; the myriads of shining gem-like bodies turned to dead dust, the countless multitude of brilliant little individual souls dissipated into thin air and blown whithersoever the wind blows!
The first and inevitable effect of such a thought, when the tremendous tragedy of t he passing year is brought unexpectedly and vividly before the mind, compressed into a moment of time, is a profound melancholy, as of a black shadow of apprehension coming over the soul. But it is like a shadow on the earth on a day of flying cloud and broken sunshine that is quickly gone. That teeming life of yesterday has indeed vanished from our sight for ever; it is nothing now, and its place will know it no more; but extinction came not on it before the seeds of the life that is to be were sown – small and abundant as the rust-coloured seed of the mullein, that looked like inorganic dust, and was shaken out of its dead cups by the blast and scattered upon the ground. Or smaller still, like the infinitesimal particles enclosed within the round case of the dead fungus of the downs – the devil’s snuff-box of the peasant - which, when trodden upon, or broken by a blow of a stick, sends out a dense purple or deep yellow vapour, which floats away in the wind and vanishes. The still earth is full of it. Out of the matted roots of the turf and from the grey soil beneath, innumerable forms of life resembling those that have vanished will spring to light – creatures of a thousand beautiful shapes, lit with brilliant colour, intense in their little lives, for ever moving in a passionate, swift, fantastic dance.
And we shall see it all again, and in seeing renew the old familiar pleasure. For these innumerable little lives quickly pass while ours endure. Furthermore the brief life which they have is but one, and though their senses be brilliant they see not beyond their small horizons. To us the Past and the Future are open, like measureless countries of diversified aspect, lying beyond our horizon; yet we may see them and are free to range over them at will. It may even happen that the autumnal spectacle of the cessation of life on the earth, nature’s yearly tragedy, brought thus suddenly and sharply before the mind’s eye, may cause us to realise for the first time what this freedom of the mind really means. It multiplies our years and makes them so many that it is a practical immortality. A vivid consciousness of it, coming thus suddenly, puts the soul in a proud temper, and we all at once begin to abhor the sickly teachings of those who see in nature’s mutations, in cloud and wind and rain and the fall of the leaf, and the going out of ephemeral life, nothing but mournful messages, dreary symbols, reminders of our mortality. It is a false, debilitating doctrine which they preach and sing; an ancient fable, a tale of a bogie invented a thousand years ago to frighten unruly children and make them good. We are rather of the Psalmist’s virile mind, when he said that those who had compassed him round, and had come to him like bees, were extinct as the fire under the thorns; and then triumphantly cried, “I shall not die, but live!”
Let us imagine a god, or immortal being of some kind, in a reverie, seated on some great hill – Cabburn, or Firle, or Cissbury – seeing as in a vision the “insect tribes of human kind” that have dwelt upon these green downs since the coming of man – Saxon, and Dane, and Roman, and Briton, and the earlier races that were slain by the Celt, and the earlier still, and others and still others farther back in time. All the events of long thousands of years, all the thousands of “generations of deciduous men,” called back and seen passing in procession before that clear cold immortal mind. Dark and pale races, speaking strange tongues; love and hate and all passions, heard and seen in music and laughter and cries, and agitated speech, and faces ashen white and burning red, and wide fixed eyes; tumults and wars upon wars, the shock of furious battle, the shouts of victory that frightened nature. And thereafter peace; toil and rest, and day and night; a young mother sitting on the summit of some high hill, looking out upon the vast range, the illimitable green world, the distant grey and silver sea, all the world sleeping in a peaceful sunshine and no cloud on all the sky; a young mother fondling her firstborn and laughing in pure gladness of heart. And then the fading out of earth of that golden sunshine, and the grey chill evening of fear and flight; men drunk with blood, still thirsting for blood, their mouths frothing, their eyes ablaze, streaming over the hills, untiring as wolves on the track of the fugitives. The slayers in their turn are slain by death; in long quiet years there is a slow recovery of lost good, increase of people, and little children with shrill glad voices playing merry games in all the hollow hills, and staining their lips purple with blackberries as in the old forgotten years. And once more strife, and all natural calamities – cold, and fever, and wasting famine; people with white skeleton faces sitting in rows on the hill-side, like those who sit by the river waiting for the slow ferryman to ferry them over, one by one. Slain by men or by some natural agency, still they pass and pass, and are succeeded by others – other tribes, other races, speaking a new language, but swayed by the same passion, and war still succeeds war. Then peace again, the lasting peace that causes all sweet and gentle feelings, all virtues, all graces, to flourish – the peace that is like a secret, unfelt malady which is slowly consuming a beautiful woman’s life. And after long quiet, the battle-cry, the strange men with the old wolfish hunger and fury in their faces, the heavens darkened again with the smoke of cruel fires; and after the storm, quiet again, the old silence and desolation, wild-flowers blooming everywhere on the graves of a dead, forgotten people.
We can imagine that even he, albeit immortal, recalling and seeing again that immeasurable procession of human forms – the long long series of events and the millions of passionate, strenuous lives that have ceased to be - all compressed into a few moments of time, would feel his mind darkened with a sudden great shadow of sorrow. But the shadow would quickly pass; and his immortality would again be to him like the sun shining in a blue sky that is without a cloud.
Nature in Downland
WH Hudson , 1900: page 124
…And after all a dream may be a man’s best possession; though it be but of an immeasurably remote future – a time when these tentative growths, called art, and valued as the highest good attainable – the bright consummate flower of intellect – shall have withered, and, like the tendrils no longer needed, dropped forgotten from the human plant.
Nature in Downland
WH Hudson, 1900: page 122
…That music comes to us naturally, that it is an instinct, nobody will deny; it is only music as an art and an end in itself, cultivated in the highest degree for its own sake alone, and taken out of its relation with life, that I am compelled to regard as a mere by-product of the mind, a beautiful excrescence, which is of no importance to the race, and without which most of us are just as rich and happy in our lives.
This question does not concern us. Music in another wider sense is, like beauty, everywhere – the elemental music if winds and of waters, of
The lisp of leaves and the ripple of rain,
And the music of bird voices. For just as the bird, as Ruskin says, is the cloud concentrated, its aerial form perfected and vivified with life; so, too, in the songs and calls and cries of the winged people do we listen to the diffused elemental music of nature concentrated and changed to clear penetrative sound. Listen to the concealed reed-warbler, quietly singing all day long to himself among the reeds and rushes: it is a series of liquid sounds, the gurgling and chiming of lapping water on the shallow pebbled bed of a stream. The beautiful inflected cry of the playing pewit is a mysterious lonely sound, as of some wild half-human being blowing in a hollow reed he had made. Listen again to a band of small shore birds – stints, dotterels, knots, and dunlins – conversing together as they run about on the level sands, or dropping bright twittering notes as they fly swiftly past: it is like the vibrating crystal chiming sounds of a handful of pebbles thrown upon and bounding and glissading musically over a wide sheet of ice.
From these small sounds and the smaller still of insect life, to the greater sounds of bird and mammal - the noise of the herring and black-backed gulls drifting leisurely by at a vast height above the earth, and ever and anon bursting out in a great chorus of laugh-like cries, as if the clouds had laughed; the innumerable tremulous bleatings of a driven flock; the percussive bark of the shepherd’s dog, and the lowing of kine in some far-off valley. They are all musical, are in a sense music. And, best of all, there is the human voice. Even a musical artist, in spite of an artist’s prejudice, an old English composer, has said that speech, the sweet music of it, is infinitely more to us than song and the sound of all our musical instruments… The people of the downs have in my experience the nicest voices in speaking. And here as in other places you will occasionally find a voice of the purest, most beautiful quality. I would go more miles to hear a voice of that description speaking simple words, than I would go yards to listen to the most wonderful vocal flights of the greatest diva on earth. Not that the mere pleasure to the sense would not be vastly greater in the latter case; but in the other the voice, though but of a peasant saying some simple thing, would also say something to the mind, and would live and re-live in the mind, to be heard again and often, even after years; and with other similar voices it would serve to nourish and keep alive a dream.