Here was another surprise.
I had attended that very opera, in the person of my agent,
and had made close and accurate observations. So I
"Why, madam, MY experience warrants me in stating
that that tenor's voice is not a voice at all,
but only a shriek - the shriek of a hyena."
"That is very true," she said; "he cannot sing now;
it is already many years that he has lost his voice,
but in other times he sang, yes, divinely! So whenever
he comes now, you shall see, yes, that the theater
will not hold the people. JAWOHL BEI GOTT! his voice
is WUNDERSCHOEN in that past time."
I said she was discovering to me a kindly trait in the
Germans which was worth emulating. I said that over
the water we were not quite so generous; that with us,
when a singer had lost his voice and a jumper had lost
his legs, these parties ceased to draw.