It always had a prince, no doubt, but he was engaged by formal contract without much attention being paid to hereditary rights, and he was merely leader of the troops, while all the political power remained in the hands of the civil officials and the Vetche, a popular assembly which was called together in the market-place, as occasion required, by the tolling of the great bell.
Where the orchestra shows that Parsifal is becoming half-conscious of his quest while Kundry is beguiling him with memories of his mother, - and also during the two changes of scene to the Hall of the Grail, where the orchestra mingles the agony of Amfortas and the sorrow of the knights with the tolling of the great bells, - the polyphony is almost as dramatic as in Tristan; while the prelude and the Charfreitagszauber are among the clearest examples of the sublime since Beethoven.
On the 4th of September 1665 Pepys writes an interesting letter to Lady Carteret from Woolwich: " I have stayed in the city till above 7400 died in one week, and of them about 6000 of the plague, and little noise heard day or night but tolling of bells."
The custom of tolling the curfew still prevails in Okehampton.
Thick, but drawn down to an extremely thin edge, and filling the cavern with tones like tolling bells when struck heavily by the hand.
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