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I. A Lover of Music Henry van Dyke

Section IV.

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The round clock ticked louder and louder. A level ray from the setting sun--red gold--came in through the dusty window, and lay across the clasped hands on the bed. A white-throated sparrow, the first of the season, on his way to the woods beyond the St. Lawrence, whistled so clearly and tenderly that it seemed as if he were repeating to these two gray-haired exiles the name of their homeland. "sweet--sweet--Canada, Canada, Canada!" But there was a sweeter sound than that in the quiet room.

It was the sound of the prayer which begins, in every language spoken by men, with the name of that Unseen One who rules over life's chances, and pities its discords, and tunes it back again into harmony. Yes, this prayer of the little children who are only learning how to play the first notes of life's music, turns to the great Master musician who knows it all and who loves to bring a melody out of every instrument that He has made; and it seems to lay the soul in His hands to play upon as He will, while it calls Him, OUR FATHER!

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Some day, perhaps, you will go to the busy place where Bytown used to be; and if you do, you must take the street by the river to the white wooden church of St. Jacques. It stands on the very spot where there was once a cabin with a curved roof. There is a gilt cross on the top of the church. The door is usually open, and the interior is quite gay with vases of china and brass, and paper flowers of many colours; but if you go through to the sacristy at the rear, you will see a brown violin hanging on the wall.

Pere Baptiste, if he is there, will take it down and show it to you. He calls it a remarkable instrument--one of the best, of the most sweet.

But he will not let any one play upon it. He says it is a relic.

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The Ruling Passion
Henry van Dyke

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