Abroad with the Jimmies eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 197 pages of information about Abroad with the Jimmies.
never raise any dust, but on a flank movement, a midnight sortie or an ambush, Bee could outgeneral Napoleon and Alexander and General Grant and every other man who has helped change the maps of the world.  Only by indication and past sad experience do I know what she is up to.  One thing to-day has given me a clue.  I have a necktie—­the only really saucy thing about the whole of my wardrobe, the only distinguishing smartness to my toilet—­upon which Bee has fixed her affection, and which she means to get away from me.  I don’t know how I came to buy it in the first place.  However, I sha’n’t have it long.  Bee is bargaining for it—­that means that we are going to Baden-Baden.  She is not openly bargaining, for that would let me know how much she wants it, but she has admired it pointedly.  She tied my veil on for me this morning, and even as I write, she is sewing a button on my glove.  Bee in the politest way possible is going to force me to give her that tie.  I wish she wouldn’t, for I really need it, but I must get all the wear I expect to have out of it in the next two days, for by the end of the week, if these attentions continue, that Charvet tie will belong to Bee.

Last night, as soon as we arrived and had our dinner, we went to the Orangerie.  This great park with myriads of walks is one of the most attractive things about Strasburg.  A very good band was playing a Sousa march as we came in and took our seats at one of the little tables.

But just here let me record something which has surprised me all during my travels in Europe; and that is the small amount of good music one hears outside of opera.  I have always imagined Germany to be distinguished equally by her music and her beer.  I have not been disappointed in the beer, for it is there by the tub, but as to the music, there is not in my opinion in the whole of Germany or Austria one such as Sousa’s, and as to men choruses, not one that I have heard, and I have followed them closely wherever I heard of their existence, is to be compared with any of our College Glee Clubs.  In my opinion the casual open-air music of Germany is another of the disappointments of Europe—­to be set down in the same category with the linden trees of Berlin and the trousers of the French Army.

German music seems to be too universally indulged in to be good.  It is performed with more earnestness than skill and the programme is gone through with with more fervour than taste.  The musicians of a typical German band dig through the evening’s numbers with the same dogged perseverance and perspiration that they would exercise in tunnelling through a mountain.  In this connection I am not speaking of any of the trained orchestras, but solely of the band music that one hears all through the Rhine land.  It is only tradition that Germans are the most musical people in the world, for in my opinion the rank and file of Germans have no ear for key.  That they listen well and perform earnestly is perfectly true.  That they respect music and give it proper attention is equally true, but that they know the difference between a number performed with no expression, with one or two instruments or voices, as the case may be, entirely out of pitch, and the same number correctly rendered, is impossible to believe by one who has watched them as carefully as I.

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Abroad with the Jimmies from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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