He picked his words carefully, stopped awkwardly in the middle of a sentence, and extricated himself with a quip which made everybody laugh. They began to eat. Hassler took four or five musicians aside.
Never, perhaps, did two souls, so much alike, find each other in the great ocean of humanity which flowed forth, in disobedience to the will of God, from its source in the Garden of Eden. Before very long the two musicians could not live without each other. Confidences were exchanged, and in a week's time they were like brothers.
* "Didon," differing widely from the other operas of Piccini, was modeled after the new operatic principles of Gluck, and was a magnificent homage on the part of his old rival to the genius of the German. Indeed, although the adherents of the two musicians waged so fierce a conflict, they themselves were full of respect and admiration for each other.
Do you know what happened to me lately? One day since I began to attend private committees at the King's, while crossing the oiel-de-boeuf, I heard one of the musicians of the chapel say so loud that I lost not a single word, 'A Queen who does her duty will remain in her apartment to knit. I said within myself, 'Poor wretch, thou art right; but thou knowest not my situation; I yield to necessity and my evil destiny."
Again, to be able to sit down at elegant writing-tables and use up a quire of fine notepaper and a packet of envelopes to match, if we chose, how is all this managed? The concerts awaken a feeling of even intenser bewilderment. Not so much as a penny are we allowed to pay for a programme, to say nothing of the trained musicians. Where is the compensation of such liberality?
He has kindly let my friend understand that his youngest daughter might be received as a chambermaid to his wife, being informed that she has a good education. All the four daughters are good musicians, good drawers, and very able with their needles. By their talents they supported their parents and themselves during their emigration in Germany; but here these are of but little use or advantage.
I got up to put my threat into execution, when my eye was attracted by the musicians. There was a coarse, stout, sun-burned Irish woman, with an immense straw hat flapping over her freckled face, tied with a gaudy ribbon under her three chins, singing, "I'd be a butterfly!"
On the contrary: she held mistakenly or not that Germany had been the victim of secret diplomacy, had been encircled by a ring fence of enemies, refused the economic guarantees she required, and the colonial expansion she desired. Minna disliked the Slavs, did not believe in them, save as musicians, singers, painters, dancers, and actors.
Diana had been reading Stories of the Great Composers, and now she knew the hearts of the musicians she could enter more fully into the meaning of their music.
She went to the hedge and watched the musicians, who were the last to go, until they passed from sight: little black toilsome figures, carrying grotesque black boxes.