A Tramp Abroad By Mark Twain






































































































 -   I said I had been
to the opera in Hanover, once, and in Mannheim once,
and in Munich (through my - Page 68
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I Said I Had Been To The Opera In Hanover, Once, And In Mannheim Once, And In Munich (Through My Authorized Agent) Once, And This Large Experience Had Nearly Persuaded Me That The Germans PREFERRED Singers Who Couldn't Sing.

This was not such a very extravagant speech, either, for that burly Mannheim tenor's praises had been the talk of all Heidelberg for a week before his performance took place - yet his voice was like the distressing noise which a nail makes when you screech it across a window-pane.

I said so to Heidelberg friends the next day, and they said, in the calmest and simplest way, that that was very true, but that in earlier times his voice HAD been wonderfully fine. And the tenor in Hanover was just another example of this sort. The English-speaking German gentleman who went with me to the opera there was brimming with enthusiasm over that tenor. He said:

"ACH GOTT! a great man! You shall see him. He is so celebrate in all Germany - and he has a pension, yes, from the government. He not obliged to sing now, only twice every year; but if he not sing twice each year they take him his pension away."

Very well, we went. When the renowned old tenor appeared, I got a nudge and an excited whisper:

"Now you see him!"

But the "celebrate" was an astonishing disappointment to me. If he had been behind a screen I should have supposed they were performing a surgical operation on him. I looked at my friend - to my great surprise he seemed intoxicated with pleasure, his eyes were dancing with eager delight.

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