Without boasting, I think I may say I am not afraid
to stand before a modern French duelist, but as long
as I keep in my right mind I will never consent to stand
behind one again.
[What the Beautiful Maiden Said]
One day we took the train and went down to Mannheim
to see "King Lear" played in German. It was a mistake.
We sat in our seats three whole hours and never understood
anything but the thunder and lightning; and even that
was reversed to suit German ideas, for the thunder came
first and the lightning followed after.
The behavior of the audience was perfect. There were
no rustlings, or whisperings, or other little disturbances;
each act was listened to in silence, and the applauding
was done after the curtain was down. The doors opened at
half past four, the play began promptly at half past five,
and within two minutes afterward all who were coming were
in their seats, and quiet reigned. A German gentleman
in the train had said that a Shakespearian play was an
appreciated treat in Germany and that we should find the
house filled. It was true; all the six tiers were filled,
and remained so to the end - which suggested that it is
not only balcony people who like Shakespeare in Germany,
but those of the pit and gallery, too.
Another time, we went to Mannheim and attended a shivaree
- otherwise an opera - the one called "Lohengrin." The
banging and slamming and booming and crashing were
something beyond belief.