BY MARY A. BETTS.
"THE violin is the violet," says the Chevalier Seraphael in that most imaginative and fantastic of musical novels, "Charles Auchester."How came the fancy to the writer's brain? Was it because the violet, with its trembling blue petal and its evanescent fragrance, reminds one of the woods, the mingling harmonies of brook and bird-voice, of wind-swept trees and restless wind? Or, was it because to the artist the violet was the most perfect of flowers and the violin of instruments?
An instrument it certainly is of torture and delight. How we have all groaned at the melancholy squeaks of a poor fiddle in the street! With what a rapture have we followed the violins in the orchestra, as their penetrating and aerial tones completed for us the harmonic pictures or the wordless songs! And in the hands of a genius whose thoughtful brain and ardent heart have comprehended and mastered its powers, what a magical shell is this crooked, stringed, sonorous thing of wood!
The brain and heart of a true violinist came into the world one summer-day in the city of Nantes, France. This beautiful old Huguenot city was then the residence of Salvator Urso, a musician from Palermo, Sicily, and his Portuguese wife, whose maiden name was Emilio Girouard. Signor Urso was an organist and flutist of rare merit, educated thoroughly