18 JUNE 1948, Page 14

More Country Sounds Sitting amid that debris during a lull

in the storms, I was enjoying 4 the Sunday morning silence, and the little sounds that emphasised it. First, the bell-music at eleven o'clock from the village three miles away ; a peal of eight. That sound is for me the very soul of England's history. It carries, too, the childhood of each generation, with all the warmth, mystery, love and awe. And the overtone is one of that deep-stained melancholy which hangs above all human consciousness, echoes of " old, unhappy, far-off things," and the recollection that " we are born in others' pain, and perish in our own."

When the bells stopped, I heard the steady flicker, a tiny, rustling and clicking, of spiders' feet. Looking around me, I saw the spinners, hundreds of them, rushing about like ants among the chestnut shavings. They must have been holding a general election, thus to congregate with such earnestness. Or maybe the silk market was in danger. What a catalogue of charms one could make of these miniature country sounds! Only this morning I stood admiring the herbaceous borders adjoining the cherry orchard. There stood the city of pink spites, undamaged by the storms because of the shelter from the back wing of the house. - Suddenly .4 I heard a trombone-boom, and instantly saw a bumble bee emerge back- wards from the finger of a fox-glove. Half-out, he lingered, perhaps to enjoy his own music, the particular boxy drone as of a muted saxophone, made by his wings vibrating within the horn of the flower.