In all of our Talks it has been evident from what we have said, that music is a beautiful art to us, even though we may have but little of it. But equally we have learned, that for ever so little we must prove ourselves worthy. We must honestly give something for all we get. This is the law, and the purpose of all our Talks is to learn it.
We have, likewise, learned that true music, out of the heart, may not at the first please us, but within it there is a great deal and we must seek it. The history of all who have faithfully studied the works of the great masters is, that for all the thought and time one spends in studying master works a great gain comes. On the other hand, everybody’s experience with common music is, that while it may please much at first and even captivate us, yet it soon tires us so that we can scarcely listen patiently to it.
Still a further lesson is, that working with many talents or with one is the same. Talents, one or many, are for increase and faithful development. Handel’s life was a determined struggle to make the most of his power. It should be ours.
LOVE FOR THE BEAUTIFUL.
“Every color, every variety of form,
has some purpose and
explanation.”—Sir John Lubbock.
Now, when we are almost at the end of the way we have traveled together, it will be natural to look back upon the road over which we have come. Not all of it will be visible, to be sure. We have forgotten this pleasant scene and that; others, however, remain fresh in our minds. And as the days pass and we think over our way there will now and again come to us a scene, a remembrance, so full of beauty and of pleasure that we shall feel rich in the possession of it.
To me there is nothing we have learned together greater in value, richer in truth and comfort than the thought that the beautiful in music and in art is at the same time the good. Even if a person is not at all times good, there is raised in him the feeling of it whenever he consciously looks upon a beautiful object. We see in this how wise it is for one to choose to have beautiful things, to surround others with them, to love them, and to place reverent hands upon them.
We can never make a mistake about gentle hands. Once a lady said to a boy:
“You should touch all things with the same delicacy that one should bestow upon a tender flower. It shows that deep within yourself you are at rest, that you make your hands go forward to a task carefully and with much thought. In the roughest games you play do not forget this; then your hands shall be filled with all the thought you have within yourself.”