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sea to fetch her, jumped overboard, and just as they were beginning to be seriously alarmed at his long disappearance he rose with his mistress from the water. This story is not deficient in that which all such stories should have to be perfectly delightful,—a fortunate conclusion. The party remained at the Fijis till the oppressor died, and then returned to Vavaoo, where they enjoyed a long and happy life: This is related as an authentic tradition.
LESSON XCV. Anecdotes of Mozart.-SCRAP BOOK. The most celebrated of Mozart's Italian operas is Dori Juan, of which the overture was composed under very remarkable circumstances. Mozart was much addicted to trifling amusement, and was accustomed to indulge himself in that too common attendant upon superior talent, procrastination. The general rehearsal of this opera had taken place, and the evening before the first performance had arrived, but not a note of the overture was written.
At about eleven at night, Mozart came home, and desired his wife to make him some punch, and to stay with him to keep him awake. Accordingly, when he began to write, she began to tell him fairy tales and odd stories, which made him laugh, and by the very exertion preserved him from sleep. The punch, however, made him so drowsy, that he could only write while his wife was talking, and dropped asleep as soon as she ceased.
He was at last so fatigued by these unnatural efforts, that he persuaded his wife to suffer him to sleep for an hour. He slept, however, for two hours, and at five o'clock in the morning, she awakened him. He had appointed his music copiers to come at seven, and when they arrived, the overture was finished. It was played without a rehearsal, and was justly applauded as a brilliant and grand composition. We ought at the same time to say, that some very sagacious critics have discovered the passages in the composition where Mozart dropt asleep, and those where he was suddenly awakened.
The bodily frame of Mozart was tender and exquisitely sensible; ill health soon overtook him, and brought with it a melancholy, approaching to despondency. A very short time before his death, which took place when he was only thirty-six, he composed that celebrated requiem, which, by an extraordinary presentiment of his approaching dissolution, he considered as written for his own funeral.
One day, when he was plunged in a profound reverie, he heard a carriage stop at his door. A stranger was announced, who requested to speak with him. A person was introduced, handsomely dressed, of dignified and impressive manners. “ I have been commissioned, Sir, by a man of considerable importance, to call upon you.”_“Who is he?" interrupted Mozart. *« He does not wish to be known.”. “ Well, what does he want ?” “ He has just lost a person whom he tenderly loved, and whose memory will be eternally dear to him. He is desirous of annually commemorating this mournful event by a solemn service, for which he requests you to compose a requiem.”
Mozart was forcibly struck by this discourse, by the grave manner in which it was uttered, and by the air of mystery in which the whole was involved. He engaged to write the, requiem. The stranger continued, “ Employ all your genius on th's work; it is destined for a connoisseur."- -“ So much the better.”—“ What time do you require ?"_" A month.”— “Very well; in a month's time I shall return—what price do you set on your work ?"_"A hundred ducats.*_The stranger counted them on the table, and disappeared,
Mozart remained lost in thought for some time; he then suddenly called for pen, ink and paper, and, in spite of his wife's entreaties, began to write. This
composition continued several days; he wrote day and night, with an ardor which seemed continually to increase; but his constitution, already in a state of great debility, was unable to support this enthusiasm; one morning he fell senseless, and was obliged to suspend his work. Two or three days after, when his wife sought to divert his mind from the gloomy presages which occupied it, he said to her abruptly, “ It is certain that I am writing this requiem for myself; it will serve for my funeral service.” Nothing could remove this impression from his mind.
As he went on, he felt his strength diminish from day to day, and the score advancing slowly. The month which he had fixed being expired, the stranger again made his appearance. "I have found it impossible,” said Mozart, “ to keep my word.” “Do not give yourself any uneasiness,' replied the stranger; "what further time do you require ?"
_" Another month : the work has interested me more than I expected, and I have extended it much beyond what I at first designed.”—“ In that case, it is but just to increase the premium ; here are fifty ducats more.”—“Sir,” said Mozart
, with increasing astonishment, “ who then are you ?”—“ That is nothing to the purpose ; in a month's time I shall return."
Mozart immediately called one of his servants, and ordered him to follow this extraordinary personage, and find out who he was; but the man failed from want of skill, and returned without being able to trace him.
Poor Mozart was then persuaded that he was no ordinary being; that he had a connexion with the other world, and was sent to announce to him his approaching end.—He applied himself with the more ardor to his requiem, which he regarded as the most durable monument of his genius. While thus employed, he was seized with the most alarming fainting fits, but the work was at length completed before the expiration of the month. At the time appointed, the stranger returned, but Mozart was no more.
His career was as brilliant as it was short. He died before he had completed his thirty-sixth year; but in this short space of time he had acquired a name which will never perish, so long as feeling hearts are to be found
Death and burial of a child at sea.—SCRAP Book.
My boy refused his food, forgot to play,
Ah! many a sad and sleepless night I passed,
At length my boy seemed better, and I slept-
child ? Eager I snatched him from his swinging bed; His limbs were stiff-he moved not-he was dead!
Oh! let me weep!-whạt mother would not weep, To see her child committed to the deep?
No mournful flowers, by weeping fondness laid, Nor pink, nor rose, drooped, on his breast displayed, Nor half-blown daisy, in his little hand :Wide was the field around, but 'twas not land. Enamored death, with sweetly pensive grace, Was awful beauty to his silent face. No more his sad eye looked me into tears ! Closed was that eye beneath his pale, cold brow; And on his calm lips, which had lost their glow, But which, though pale, seemed half unclosed to speak, Loitered a smile, like moonlight on the snow.
I gazed upon him still—not wild with fears-
At last my sisters, with humane constraint,
Character of Mr. James Watt.t Death is still busy in our high places:- and it is with great pain that we find ourselves called upon, so soon after the loss of Mr. Playfair, to record the decease of another of our illustrious countrymen,-and one to whom mankind has been still more largely indebted. Mr. James Watt, the great improver of the steam-engine, died on the 25th of April, at "his seat of Heathfield, near Birmingham, in the 84th year of his age.
This name fortunately needs no commemoration of ours; for he that bore it survived to see it crowned with undisputed and unenvied honors; and many generations will probably pass away before it shall “have gathered all its fame."
We have said that Mr. Watt was the great improver of the steam-engine; but, in truth, as to all that is admirable in its structure, or vast in its utility, he should rather be described as its inventor. It was by his inventions that its action was regulated so as to make it capable of being applied to the finest and most delicate manufac
* Pron. strow.
+ The above beautiful tribute to the memory of the great inventor of the steam-engine is abridged by McDiarmid from an article which appeared in the "Scotsman” newspaper, and which was ascribed to Francis Jeffrey, Esq.