Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Large Bells English monastery bell heard in Italy

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      Clochard
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      I recently came across a charming account of an Englishman reminded of home by the sound of an English monastery bell he heard in Italy. It comes from a speech given to the Classical Association in 1925 by Stanley Balwin (1867 – 1947), a Conservative Prime Minister in the UK on three occasions in the 1920s and 30s. It reads:

      « I remember many years ago standing on the terrace of a beautiful villa near Florence. It was a September evening and the valley below was transfigured in the long horizontal rays of the declining sun. And then I heard a bell, such a bell as never was on land or sea, a bell whose every vibration found an echo in my innermost heart. I said to my hostess, ‘that is the most beautiful I have ever heard’.’ Yes,’ she replied, ‘it is an English bell.’ And so it was. For generations its sound had gone out over English fields, giving the hours of work and prayer to English folk from the tower of an English abbey, and then came the Reformation, and some wise Italian bought the bell whose work at home was done and sent it to the Valley of the Arno, where after four centuries it stirred the heart of a wandering Englishman and made him sick for home. »

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