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From the Easy Chair, series 3
written by "Curtis, George William, 1824-1892"
...rdonable sin, and are peremptorily answered by the elect: "No, but rub-a-dub-dub and tumti-id-dity are not music"—and as the concert proceeds it is surely a striking spectacle. The great hall, rather dimmer than ever because of the consciousness of daylight outside, is full of people, gathered in the afternoon not only from the city, but from all the environs within twenty miles, and they sit as attentive and absorbed as a class of students at an interesting lecture. If, in such a concert, melody is not the unpardonable sin, whispering is. Woe betide the whisperer at a Harvard Musical. It were better for him, or even her, that the money for the ticket had been expended at the minstrels or the museum. You might as well be a forger, a swindler, a perjurer, or a burglar in ordinary life as to be a whisperer at a Harvard Musical. Yes, you might as well "speak right out in meetin'" itself as whisper here. Such a disciplined audience, so quiet, so attentive, so susceptible to the slightest sigh of the oboe or wail of the violin, is a marvellous spectacle. They are hearing the finest and much of the freshest music in the world. They are not exactly sympathetic; perhaps the character of the music does not permit it. They applaud calmly—as it were, with reservations. It really seems sometimes as though they approve the music rather than enjoy it. But the Easy Chair reflects with pride that the organizer of these concerts, if such a word may be used, and certainly with no exclusion of the co-operation which alone makes such concerts possible, is a Brook-Farmer; and it complacently smiles upon the great multitude as unconscious pupils of that Arcadian influence. And, indeed, in other days in this same city of Boston, in the halcyon days of the "Academy" concerts at the old Odeon, or still more ancient Boston Theatre, many of the Brook-Farmers were present in the flesh. Those were the days—or, rather, the nights—when Beeth...

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