14 OCTOBER 1876, Page 3

There was a refreshing episode in the Church Congress on

-Monday, caused by the hearty enthusiasm of Mr. C. A. W. Troyte, President of the Devonshire Guild of Ringers, who came .out with a paper of panegyric on the art of Church bell-ringing, and especially on the delights of "change-ringing," as distin- guished from "common round-ringing," that made quite an oasis in the desert of conventional earnestness and official piety. "It was," imagined Mr. Troyte, "the wielding of these masses of metal and making them send forth, in tune and time, over many miles of town or country, the music so dear and so touching to many an English ear, and the knowing that to do this well was exercising so many of the good qualities God had given them, which made them devoted to this beautiful art." "Many of his hearers were probably not aware of the gulf which separated what was called ordinary round-ringing and change-ringing." We confess it is a gulf as foreign to our conception as the Gulf of Bothnia. "Any man, however dull his intellect, could learn to do what was called round-ringing. Change-ringing was different. He was a keen sportsman, but for the encouragement of would-be change- ringers, he might say that some of his happiest and most exciting momenta had been in the church-tower. Let it be only under- stood that eight or ten men assembled in the tower, and that their object was to ring a peal, by more or less difficult methods, consisting of 5,000 changes, at the rate of about 24 a minute, and probably lasting over three hours." The hair-breadth escapes from failure were described by Mr. Troyte much as the hero of " Old Mortality "might have described his escape from Balfour of Burley's lair. Effort, steadiness, science, courage, nerve, were all exercised in full in bell-ringing ; and as for the pleasures of success, they appear to compare with those of a great violinist in charming music out of his favourite instrument. If all this be true, why not have public contests in change-ringing,—by which whole parishes would gain, gratuitously and without huddling into a close room, the delights of a concert on a greater stage.