This, then, was the malady. I enquired why he had not joined his companions. He was tired, he said; tired of life in general, and of flute-playing in particular. Tired, moreover, of certain animals; and with a tiger-like spring he leapt out of bed.

The people he met were all friendly and kind, and enjoyed his flute-playing, giving him his food in return, and even a few pence. These pence the youth hoarded carefully till he had collected enough to buy a beautiful pair of pipes. Then he felt himself indeed on the high road to riches. Nowhere could pipes be found as fine as his, or played in so masterly a manner.

We spent three hours at the table and then proceeded to the third floor, where Sophie accompanied her mother's singing on the piano, and young Cornelis displayed his flute-playing talents. Mr. Steyne swore that he had never been present at such a pleasant party in his life, adding that pleasure was forbidden fruit in England on Sundays and holidays.

Under a management which could announce a Greek agon with flute-playing, choirs of dancers, tragedians, and athletes, and eventually convert it into a boxing-match; and in presence of a public which, as later poets complain, ran away en masse from the play, if there were pugilists, or rope-dancers, or even gladiators to be seen; poets such as the Roman composers were workers for hire and of inferior social position were obliged even perhaps against their own better judgment and their own better taste to accommodate themselves more or less to the prevailing frivolity and rudeness.

The first movement in his new progress was the lambing of his ewes, and sheep having been his speciality from his "youth, he wisely refrained from deputing the task of tending them at this season to a hireling or a novice. The wind continued to beat-about the corners of the hut, but the flute-playing ceased.

We spent three hours at the table and then proceeded to the third floor, where Sophie accompanied her mother's singing on the piano, and young Cornelis displayed his flute-playing talents. Mr. Steyne swore that he had never been present at such a pleasant party in his life, adding that pleasure was forbidden fruit in England on Sundays and holidays.

From the loudness of the sounds I judged this to be the room where the flute-playing was going on. The crackling of my footsteps on the thin soil did not disturb the performer, so I gathered a handful of earth and pitched it up against the pane. The flute stopped for a minute or so, but just as I was expecting to see the shutter open, went on again: this time the air was "Pretty Polly Oliver."

Among their everyday amusements were dancing, tossing the football, kite-flying, flute-playing, and singing traditional ballads; now, all punishable offences; though most of them have been so long in disuse that they are nearly forgotten.

The old bugbear of flute-playing followed him until his father's death, and then we hear no more of it. The history of this portion of his life is among the most entertaining passages of his biography.

Instead of emigrating to England, Benvenuto, after a quarrel with his father about the obnoxious flute-playing, sauntered out one morning toward the gate of S. Piero Gattolini. There he met a friend called Tasso, who had also quarrelled with his parents; and the two youths agreed, upon the moment, to set off for Rome. Both were nineteen years of age.