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the confidant of all his cares and joys, to find lying upon it the purse which Hermann had held in his hand on entering the room. The purse had these words attached to it on a piece of paper : Hermann, butcher, Street of St Etienne, to the greatest composer of Germany.' Haydn was equally surprised and delighted at the delicacy which had prompted the manner of bestowing this gift. But calling his domestic, the composer ordered him to be ready in an hour to take back the purse, with the desired music, to the house of the butcher. Being then left alone, he proceeded to the composition of the minuet.

Often had Haydn written at the command of kings, but he had seldom felt himself so inspired as when throwing on paper the musical ideas destined to grace the nuptials of the butcher's daughter. The air which he produced was fresh and lively, and smacked of the rural simplicity of the composer's native scenes. But ere the piece was quite finished, the soothing ecstacy of spirit, under the influence of which the musician laboured, was dispelled by the entrance of his wife. Her presence put to flight the familiar genius of his art, and discord took place of the harmony that had floated for a time around him.

What is this that your servant Franz tells me?' said Madame Haydn, with an accent indicative of a latent storm; 'you are about to send away a sum which you have justly acquired, being given to you for work to be done.'

My dear," said Haydn gently, do not fret at this. Be more just. Is a miserable little minuet worth a heavy purse of florins? It would be robbery almost to take it.'

Always the same !' cried Madame Haydn ; 'you will never be worth a copper coin, and your fine generosity will bring you to'

The Temple of Fame !' interposed Haydn with a smile. The hospital, rather-you weak, simple creature!'

Come now, my dear,' said Haydn,' speak no more on this trifling matter, but leave me to finish the piece. I have promised, and you know I never break my word. There I am religiously faithful ; and to you, my dear Elizabeth'

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Madame Haydn, ill tempered as she was, sometimes could not resist the tender pleading of her husband, whose ill health made him often an object of pity, and who had preserved for her, as has been said, all the affection of a lover, in spite of her usage of him. But on this occasion she was determined to stick to her point; and, accordingly, she coldly repulsed his conciliatory advances, and reiterated her demand that he should keep the purse of Hermann. The composer would not yield to this, and reading his determination in his usually gentle features, Madame Haydn became but the more enraged, and proceeded to measures by which she might at least punish her husband's contumacy, if she could not gain her point about the purse.

The cabinet of Haydn, like those of many other great men, was a place not distinguished for order. The composer, indeed, loved to have his scraps all lying loosely about him, blotted with the magic symbols which were to afford a fund of melody to posterity for ever and ever. His cabinet was, in fact, a scene of great confusion, and Madame Haydn knew well hat one sure way to put her husband almost beside himself, was to attempt to put things into a different condition. In this tender point she now attacked him. Seizing a broom, the sceptre with which she governed her household, she began to sweep the room into order. The first consequence of this step was, that a cloud of dust was raised, which brought on her poor husband a severe cough, and compelled him momentarily to fly the apartment. Profiting by his absence, she swept together the manuscripts which lay on the table and on the floor-in short, here and there and everywhere ; and one little scrap, reckless of what it might contain, she tossed into the fire. Alas! it was the new minuet for the wedding of Hermann's little girl !

Haydn entered the room immediately afterwards, and, attracted by the blaze, looked at the fire, where he on the instant recognised his yet unfinished minuet, just expiring in the flames. A giddiness seized him; he uttered a cry of anguish, and fell upon the sofa. His wife waited only till she saw him recover, and then, conscious that slie lad inflicted sufficient punishment, fled to her own region of the household.

Haydn was in great distress about the lost minuet. He could not re-write it from memory, and the hoor was advancing at which he had promised to send it. The scene just related had made him ill, and had incapacitated him for a new effort, even had there been time for it. Under these circumstances, he bethought him of some minuets which he had sent to his publisher shortly before, and despatched his servant to bring these back to him. Luckily they had not yet been published, and the manuscripts were got. Haydn then selected the best, and partly remembering the late piece, gavo this one some new and perfecting touches, and then sent off the remo. delled minuet to Hermann, along with the purse of florins. After this, Haydn was a little more at ease.

The minuet sent to the butcher, though perhaps not quite equal to the burned one, was yet a charming composition, being at once lively, elegant, and original. Hermanu, on receiving the precious manuscript, embraced it with delight, and immediately gave it to a copyist to have the parts separately set down. The butcher's intended sonin-law, who was really a musical amateur of no mean skill, had got some performers of ability engaged for the wedding, and these he assembled on the evening that the minuet was brought home, and had it played most delightfully. But it was at the wedding assemblage that Hermann's triumph reached its height. There the minuet excited the most rapturous applause.

• It is Haydn's !' cried the jolly butcher in a perfect transport; “it was for me--for me, his countryman-that he composed this wonderful minuet!'

• Haydn for ever!' cried the guests.

• Let us go on the instant and thank him for the honour he has done us,' said the son-in-law.

'I have thought of this already, my son,' replied Hermann ; 'and, what is more, have prepared a surprise for my countryman. I left him a purse before, but he has sent it back. Since he won't take my money, I will be quits with him in another way-I will pay him in my coin.

• That will be bringing back the golden age, when all was done by exchanges,' said one of the guests. Monsieur Haydn has given you a minuet, and you are going to give hin'

• An ox !' cried the stout old butcher,' and a living one, too! And what a size he is ! The show ox in the market the other day was a calf to him. He is here, in my stable, all ready to be presented !'

To the stable !--to the stable!' exclaimed all the guests simultaneously, seizing their hats, from which floated favours of all hues. They went to the stable, and there beheld a most magnificent ox, with his long curling horns adorned with party-coloured ribbons, and with his white skin as clean as if he had been cut out of Parian marble. The whole wedding-party, men and women, were now assembled by Hermann, and arranged by him in procession order, with the ox at the head. They marched thus towards the house of Haydn, the musicians all the while performing the minuet of the great composer. The hour was not a very late one, but Haydu had gone to bed. The noise of the music and the party entering his court awoke him. He was at first annoyed somewhat at having his rest disturbed, but when he recognised his own minuet, Jis surprise was extreme. He was sure it was his minuet, but there was an additional bass accompaniment that astonished him, falling as it did on his ear at irregular intervals. This was, in fact, the ox, which took upon itself to help out the music by an occasional low, like the grumbling of a tempestuous ocean.

Having thrown on him his dressing-gown, and taken'a lamp in his hand, Haydn appeared at one of the windows, and was received with shouts by the marriage assemblage below. The composer thanked Hermann warmly for his attention in paying this visit ; but when the jolly butcher pointed to the superb ox, and begged his acceptance of it as a token of gratitude and esteem, the musician was at first so tickled with the idea of the thing, that he burst

into a hearty laugh, in which he was instantly joined by the merry crowd beneath. Fearing to offend Hermann, however, Haydn checked himself, and accepted the present with many thanks. He then descended into the court, found a stall for the animal, kissed the bride, and retired again, loaded with bouquets in showers from the wedding-guests.

All the while the serenade was going on, and the people of the neighbourhood were so charmed with the minuet, that every window had half-a-dozen night-caps projected from it, at the risk of death to the owners from the night-air.

But the fame of the minuet did not rest here. The story soon spread over all Vienna, and every one wished to have the piece; so that, in reality, this trifle produced an accession of fortune and fame to the great composer. The minuet received and still retains the name of the Ox's Minuet. Under that title it will be found in every catalogue of Haydn's works. As to the animal itself, the living proof of Hermann's gratitude, the composer, after keeping it for a time, to enjoy the pleasing thoughts called up by the sight of it, gave it to the hospital, that it might have a worthy end in doing good to the poor. This was a thought worthy of the generous and single-hearted composer, but it was one, it is said, very displeasing to Madame Haydn. She did not long survive this event. Her good husband lamented her, but there can be no doubt that her departure left his latter days in peace.

END OF VOL. XVIII.

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