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.
"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
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.