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BLOWING ONE'S OWN TRUMPET. There is a fine old Spanish Proverb which con- tains, as all proverbs do, a whole world of wisdom in a few words. Haz buena farina y no toques bocina "-Make good flour without blowing a trumpet-be content to know that the work you do is good and to the purpose, without calling all the world to witness your astounding feat. No man knows the day and hour when the lioness brings forth the whelp which is to become the uncrowned King of beasts, but the homely and domestic Dorking sends forth the news far and wide to all the farmsteads within hearing dis- tance, that she has laid the egg which is to be eaten to-morrow morning for little Missy's break- fast. The forest trees grow silently. We do not hear the roots as they travel underground, lapping the rich juices of the earth as they go—nor the rising of the sap, filling with rich succulence the woody veins which the long winter's sleep has left dry and empty. When the new bud forms we do not hear the parent stem boast it fertile forces -when the catkins wave their yellow tassels, or the scented blotsoms send windborne messages to the butterflies and bees, we have no shrill cackle as when the Dorking lays her egg. Nature makes her flour without blowing a trumpet to announce her industry. She is content that things shall be, without proclaiming them in tones, legitimate enough for the warnings of destruction-the deep menaces of wrath-but not needed for the herald- ing of beauty. She gives its sweetness to the flower, its colour to the fruit, its grateful shade and noble stature to the tree, and there she leaves them. For the rest, their own use and fragrance and delight are their best heralds and of blare and noisy publicity she takes no account. So once it used to be in society, before the extreme of restlessness and desire for notoriety had set in, as now. Great things have been done whereof the authors, never blatant nor self seek- ing are now not known even by name. But the thing remains, and the nameless architect of that cathedral—this palace-where all men flock to worship and admire, is greater in his anonymity than are certain well-known doers of small deeds, those whose names are preserved, and whose work is forgotten. When the history of this time comes to be written one characteristic will be—the universal practice of publicity—the incessant noise produced by each man and woman and child blowing his or her trumpet. Nothing can be done now-a-days which does not find its way into the press. So far from the left hand not knowing what the right doeth, the whole body, from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot, is called to witness the bestowal of alms, the creation of work, the friendly handshake here, the threatening forefinger there. Privacy in the old sense no longer exists, and the world must ahare in what was formerly sacred to the family alone. No half-educated girl has a few idle hours on her hands and a commendable desire to employ them, but the results are given to the public. She has written a book wherein there is not an original observation, not a life-like character, no fruit of experience because there has been no experience to bear fruit, and whereof the diction has as little style as accuracy, as little artistic beauty as grammatical exactness. In manuscript, and for the delectation of her brothers and sisters and the fond half-fearful congratulations of her parents, terribly afraid that they have hatched a swan among their ducklings-as a home glory and a domestic monu- ment the thing is charming-like the clever diaries written by oult great grandmothers and kept as precious heirlooms by their descendants, but without any thought of printer or publisher. But this kind of restricted fame would have no charms for the modern maid. What she does the world must have. Her ungrammatical prose-her halting poetry, lame in its feet and broken backed in its method-her water colours where her cows have three legs and her thistles are as large as her alder bushes—her music where the science of the art is conspicuous by its absence, and the art is of a piece with a Doric shaft and Corinthian capital a-top—all this she must publish, thinking she is giving the world the fruits of genius- genius a little uncultivated perhaps, a little in the roughs but all the more valuable because of the wild-fruit flavour it has retained, and the honour- able mark of Self made impressed on it. And then the trumpet is blown and the proud family fling the notes abroad and friends are in a manner put to the question and made to answer to their embarrassment after having had to read, to see, to listen to their torture and the whole home life is centred on that more than shaky production which the world receives with good-natured oblivion, but which to the family stands as a monument of renown, marking them out as among the illustrious Few. What is true of artistic productions is true also of philanthropic doings, and of society and its pleasures. That national benefits should have national recognition no one will deny. Nor will any question the right of report in the matter of superb functions and supreme entertainments. But that every petty little benefit to a remote country school should be spoken of as a thing for which the benefactor deserves public praise-that a gift of a hundred shillings should ensure as many printed words of encomium—this we venture to think is a mistake due to the excited desire for publicity characteristic of the present day. Also we demur to the microscopic reports of private entertainments, which again is a novelty in these trumpet-blowing days. The description of the dresses of certain ladies is carried to a wearisome excess, and Mrs A. in black and crimson-Lady B. in cream and old- gold—Miss C. in white and blue-Miss D. in green and gold" -are we not more than sated with paragraphs like these ? Is not the catalogue of millinery lengthened out into folly and drained dry of all vitality ? Who but herself cares that Mn A. was in black and crimson and not in grey and pink 1 What woman of any calibre of mind you please, would give the traditional brass farthing to know that Lady B. wore cream and old-gold t She might have gone in crushed strawberry, or dead rose leaves, or Nile water, or mignonette, or heliotrope, or any other shade arm colour that it pleases the dyers to dye, the drapers to buy, the milliners to make up, and the public to adopt and the wide world of womanhood would have been just as easy in its I mind, as now when it knows that the mixture was of cream and old-gold. Which moreover tells the lower half of the brilliant sphere I absolutely nothing. If shapes and patterns could be given gratis, perhaps that might fire some ambitious breast with emulative desire. But the mere mention of a ball or a garden party, given by such and such a leader of fashion, where such and such companion leaders of fashion disported themselves, and wore this com- bination of colours or that-this mere mention does no good whatever-unless we call it a good to minister to the diseased vanity and love of publicity characteristic of the time, and the as diseased love of personalities and gossip. This cataloguing of personalities, whether in dresa or deeds, is more often pushed to extremes thankept within reasonable bounds. It invadesthe most sacred sanctities of home, ^ind throws to the winds all the finer fringes of personal modesties as so much chaff not worth preserving. Wherever the reporter can effect an entrance, he worms himself in; and the trumpet is handed to him, charged like the phonograph with such laudatory strains as it is desired the wide universe shall know. For we have delegated this trumpet blowing, according to the plan oi the division of labour which has become a modern art. We have our aide-de-camps and lieutenants—our executants and perfectors-the carriers out of our own designs and the trimmers of our cruder sketches. We make the ahinning silver pellets of self praise which they then shoot through the columns of the press. We have the kudos resulting from the thing we have done and caused to be published—they the praise from the manipulation of the material. Meantime, the world is fed on husks, which, however, it does not disdain. Thus all people concerned are satisfied, and if those husks prove but barren living-no one forces the devourers thereof to dip their faces into the trough and eat. Less noisy than these louder and wider trumpet blowers by proxy, are those who content themselves with the little circle immediately about them, and who find sufficient scope for their ambition in the narrower sphere of personal friendship. These blow their own trumpets with as much persistence if less effect than that noiser kind. You never meet certain people without their telling you something that redounds to their honour and makes for their praise. They have done this, or said that which deserves a Sapphic ode, if all things had their due deserts but they know the sweet allegory of the violet, and they make you understand that public praise is the last thing they desire. Some tell you boldly of their good deeds. They stand four square to the world-full in the light of the sun, and they think that others should have the benefit of their prowess. They blow their trumpets with a masterful who's afraid 1 kind of note and the noise they make wakens the echoes till they ring again. Not the horn of Oberon himself was fuller of significance than is the resonant trumpet of these self-crowned kings of virtuous deeds and the echoes never die for they are always kept alive by active repetition. And some there be who tell you more snyiy, wun hints, inferences, insinuations—more by allusion and suggestion than plainly and boldly like these others. They speak as if from behind a veil. Their manner suggests a blush their words are as if shamefaced and abashed. They deprecate your praise and make light of their good deeds but they make you fully understand how they have rescued drowning sinners and protected feeble fighters, and kept the strong from oppressing the weak and helped the weak to help themselves. They are not proud of what they have done, but they tell you in a certain kind of self-defence, or in a yet more impersonal spirit of regard for truth, no matter on whose side lies the lustre. They make you understand that if their trumpet had to bellow forth harsh notes of discordant self-reproach—of penitential sobbings for evil done and sorrow caused-they would tell it all the same. It is the truth of things for which they are solicitous; that the truth makes for their renown is an accident, not integral to the question. If you do not feel and understand all this, then are you a dullard not worth much con- sidering, and the trumpet is suddenly shifted for ears more receptive and less obtuse. Some blow their own trumpets through their friends, their children, their family. What their friends think of them and do for them, set forth under the heading of extraneous sweetness and generosity, stands sponsor for their worth, when you come to think of it, and reckon up cause and effect. Good people do not waste their love and tenderness on the unworthy. When men and women, whose approbation is as a certificate of merit, praise and endorse you, as these friends of yours praise and endorse you, that certificate of merit may be taken as signed and sealed and published to the world. The more you laud them the more you laud yourself in that they love and believe in you. In contradistinction to the spirit which builds a reputation for Self on the ruins of the repute of others, this manner of trumpet-blowing rises higher in the scale of moral melody the purer and more splendid the metal of the instrument. Those grand silver trumpets, which once used to fill St. Peter's with such a flood of majestic harmony, are as tin compared to the glory of these used by the crafty manipulators of superior stalking horses and that majestic music is but the squeak of Punch's panpipes when heard side by side with the music poured forth through the merits of friends. So with the children who have developed into geniuses or leaders so with the family which has given great names to the world. So in short with every circumstance that touches human nature and society at any point -for all that is, or ever has been, can be pressed into the service of the trumpet blower when he wishes to sound his own praises, and set forth in stately chords his surpassing merits. And this vice is eminently the vice of the present day-the day of unrest and feverish disinclination to live in the quiet shadow of home rather than in the blazing glare of publicity. This trumpet blowing, now in one form, and now in another, is emphat- ically one of the signs of the times. It will pass, as all other things have passed in their order and we shall go back some day to a quieter and stiller and more intrinsically modest order of- things-like some dear ones we know of-there where the west wind blows from off the Atlantic, and the lilies bloom still and pure and stately and fragrant in the quiet garden. These and such as these are content to be and to do without boast and without the vulgar applause of many. The love of the few and the respect of all who know them-the mild radiance of their lives, shedding goodness and beauty in their own spheres—this is the sum of their desire for notoriety. They have no trumpets to blow- neither has the lark hidden in the sky, yet showering down its melody-neither have those lilies, shining like silver in the sun, yet scattering unbeholden the exquisite fragrance of their being. In a time of universal trumpet blowing to come upon silent, quiet reality- to come upon beauty unrecorded in the daily papers —love that brings no golden gain— merit that has no public market-what happiness what refreshment! It reconciles us to all the rest to think that such lovely lives are still to be found —that although so much pinchbeck exists we have yet nuggets of pure gold; and, with universal trumpet blowing elsewhere, here at least is the sweet melody of hidden, soft, and sacred music.-The Queen.


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