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and lightning was attributed to the
malevolent agency of fiends. The bishops of
the church used to baptise bells, for the
purpose (as an old writer expressed it) of
" driving away divils and tempests; and
for this purpose did invite many rich god-
fathers, who were to touch the rope while
the bell was exorcised, and its name
invoked." Wynkyn de Worde presented the
matter in his Golden Legend in a somewhat
similar form: " It is said, that the evil
spirytes that ben in the region of th' ayre
doubte moche when they here the belles
ringen when it thondreth, and when grate
tempeste and rages of wether happen, to the
ende that the feinds and wycked spirytes
should ben abashed and flee, and cease of
the movynge of tempeste." Brand states
that at old St. Paul's the great bell was
rung during thunder-storms; and some of
the cits of those days were credited with a
belief, that when that bell rang, all the ale
in the city turned sour. At Geneva, just
before the days of Calvin, the bells of the
convents were rung to drive away spirits
and storms. Fuller would have nothing
to do with the theory; he denounced it,
because " The frequent firing of abbey
churches by lightning confuteth the proud
motto; for it appeareth that abbey steeples,
though quilted with bells almost cap-à-pie,
were not proof against the sword of God's
lightning." Times were when bells were
also rung during eclipses, to drive away
the malevolent fiend who was supposed to
hide the beautiful face of the sun or moon.

It was a very frequent custom to include
a rhymed enumeration of these and other
uses of church bells in the inscriptions
they bore. One English form, frequently
adopted, was this:

To call the folks to church in timeI chime.
When mirth and joy are on the wingI ring.
When from the body parts the soulI toll.

But more generally the thunder and lightning,
or the evil spirits, or both, were also
included:

Men's death I tell, by doleful knell;
Lightning and thunder, I break asunder;
On sabbath all, to church I call;
The sleepy head, I call from bed;
The winds so fierce, I do disperse;
Men's cruel rage, I do assuage.

They assumed a more compact and elegant
form, however, in some of the Latin mottoes,
such as the following:

Laudo Deum verum, Plebem voco, congrego Clerum,
Defunctos ploro, Pestum fugo, Festa decoro.

Or the following, in which the couplets of
words are to be read downwards:

Convoco  Signo  Noto  Compello  Concino  Ploro
      I             I          I            I               I            I
Armas     Dies  Horas   Fulgura      Festa    Eogos.

Or the following:

Funera plangoFulgura frangoSabbata pango
Excito Lentosdissipo Ventos –  paco Cruciitos.

There is one story of a bell in which
the protective agency is very positively
asserted. In Durham cathedral it was a
custom a few years ago (and perhaps still
is) for the surpliced choristers to ascend
the belfry-tower on the eve of Corpus
Christi, and sing the Te Deum, in celebration
of the following incident: In 1429 a fire
broke out in the cathedral, while the monks
were praying at midnight; it raged in the
tower for many hours, and yet the belfry
and the bells where almost wholly
uninjured. So recently as 1852 the Roman
Catholic church bells of Malta were ordered
by the bishop to be rung, as a means of
driving away a storm. On the other hand,
the ringers in a French belfry are said to
have been struck with lightning while ringing
during a storm.

The sound of a bell depends, of course,
on many different circumstances or conditions.
One of these is the metal of which
the bell is composed. The mixed metals
or alloys illustrate in an instructive way
the differences of quality which result from
differences in the proportion of ingredients.
Copper and tin produce the metal bronze;
in other proportions they yield speculum
metal, for making the brilliantly white
reflectors of telescopes; while in other
proportions, again, they furnish bell-metal.
The Chinese in their gongs and the
Europeans in their bells have seen reason to
employ pretty nearly the same kind of
metal. There is always much more copper
than tin; but every bell-founder has his
favourite recipe in this matter. Some
adopt simply four of copper to one of tin;
some thirty-two copper to nine of tin. Big
Ben has about twenty-two of copper to
seven of tin. Mr. Layard found at Nineveh
bells which had as much as ten parts
copper to one of tin. It is, therefore,
evident that no very great amount of
exactness is necessary in this matter. It is
considered, in a general way, that an extra
dose of tin improves the sound, but renders
the alloy more brittle; the founder, therefore,
establishes a balance of advantages
according to his judgment and experience.
When a large bell is annealed very slowly,
the sonorous quality of the mass is
improved.

Bell-metal, though the most general, is