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Mistaken and Deceived.

It is most pitiable to see some one who has spent perhaps fifteen years in studying the technic of an instrument coming before the public with well-developed mechanics and nothing else. And what is quite as sad is the fact that such persons always find so- called friends to encourage them in their life-error. These friends are not always so ignorant nor so infatuated as they appear to be. Often they perceive quite as plainly as the most disinterested critic the short-comings of the would-be musicians, but they have not the courage to speak of them. Reader, how many friends have you who are willing to brave your temporary displeasure by telling you that in some matter which seems vitally dear to your heart you are making a mistake? If you are a man, you many possibly have one such friend. If you have two, you are rich, indeed. If you are a woman, the chances are that you have not even the one.

 
Now, suppose you had a burning desire to be a pianist, and you had begun to study to that end. Of course, with the desire would come untiring industry, and with that industry would be sure to come in time agile fingers and strong wrists. How many friends, do you think, would have the courage, in spite of these things, to say to you: "You have no talent for the piano"? On the other hand, would not scores of acquaintances tell you that you played wonderfully and that you had a great future before you? And when you appeared in public and the professional critics, in the discharge of that duty which often makes them hate themselves and their calling, threw cold water on your efforts, would not those same friends come and tell you that it was all because you had not bribed the critics?—W. J. Henderson, in the New York Times.

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