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Newspaper Page Text
MUSIC HATH CHARMS
By Philip Harrison.
(Copyright by W. G. Chapman.)
Sometimes a poet is born (they are
not made) in an unpromising place.
But then, everybody knows that.
There is hardly a father but has look
ed upon the cherubic countenance of
his heir and hoped devoutly that the
"I Don't Object to Your Playing the
deadly, unpractical gift of the muse
has not been visited upon him.
At least, hardly a farmer father in
Middleboro. It is essentially a farm
ing community. The banker and the
parson, the storekeeper and the liv
ery man have their proper recogni
tion, of course; but Middleboro has
no use for poetry.
However, Henry Milton was not
a poet; he was born a musician. And
that was worse. For poetry, unhal
lowed as it is, was known by reputa
tion to Middleboro, and a young fel
low with such an unfortunate name
as Milton might have been expected
'o succumb, but music
"See here, Hen," said his father, "I
don't object to your playing the old
pianner. I guess that's what pianners
is meant for, though I don't seem to
-.ee as you gets much tune out of it.
But you've got to get down to work,
my boy. Pianners ain't work, unless
you makes 'em. Now, it is to be the
tarm or Mr, Sutphen's insurance
It was the scandal of the town; a
hulking lad of twenty, home long
ago from the high school, spending
his days at the piano composing airs.
"And there's no tune to them,"
wailed his father. "I heerd the fel
low who wrote 'The Star Spangled
Banner' got a heap of money outen
it. But who's going to print that
rubbish Hen's writing?"
In the eyes of the good citizens of
Middleboro, the profession of music
was associated with a barrel organ, a
dark, Italian face, and a monkey.
"Never mind, Harry, dear. I believe
in you," said pretty Lucy Rollins.
"They don't understand. But I know
you are going to become a great com
poser, and some day Middleboro will
be proud of you."
The end of it all was that Henry
Milton packed his grip one morning
and took his departure for the me
tropolis, with the evil predictions of
all Middleboro ringing in his ears.
But there was sweeter music than
that, sweeter even than the melodies
which came to him night and day.
Lucy had promised to be bis wife
when he had achieved success.
Of the boy's struggles in New York
nothing need be set down. Lucy wait
ed three years, four, five. Occasion
ally, in the first part of the long wait,
a letter came, full of promise. Then
the letters ceased. New York had
swallowed up the boy, as she swal
lows many others.
"I reckon that Hen Milton went to
the bad long ago," said the insur
ance agent, remembering sundry er-
Irors of omission and commission,