Kilvert 2

The schoolmaster is learning to play the violin. He produced the instrument and began to play upon it. It had a broken string, and there was something wrong with all the rest, and the noise it made ‘fairly raked my bowels’, as old Cord used to say… The schoolmaster however did not appear to notice that anything was wrong. His wife held the book up before him. ‘Glory be to Jesus’, sang the schoolmaster, loudly and cheerfully sawing away at the cracked and broken strings, while the violin screeched and shrieked and groaned and actually seemed to writhe and struggle in his arms like a wild animal in agony. There was something so utterly incongruous about the words and the noise, the heart-rending bowel-raking uproar and screams of the tormented violin, that I smiled. I could not help it. Shriek, shriek, scream, groan, yell, howled the violin, as if a spirit in torment were writhing imprisoned within it, and still the schoolmaster sawed away vigorously and sung amid the wailing, screeching uproar, ‘Glory be to Jesus’ in a loud and cheerful voice. It was the most ludicrous thing. I never was so hard put to it not to laugh aloud.


About ramblesofawriter

Writer, thinker, tea drinker.
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