One of the maids brought a string of sausages sizzling hot from the pan and deftly snipped off as many as were called for upon each of our plates. We drank our beer from steins so heavy that each one took both hands. A person with a mouth of the rosebud variety would have found it exceedingly difficult to obtain any of the beer, the stein presenting such unassailable fortifications.
It was too hot when we were there to appreciate to the full this delicious old spot, but on a winter evening, after the theatre, which closes about ten o’clock, think what a delightful thing it would be, O ye Bohemian Americans, with fashionable wives who insist upon the Waldorf or Sherry’s after the theatre, to go instead to the Bratwurst-Glocklein! There you smoke at your ease, put your elbows on the table and dream dreams of your student days when the dinner coat vexed not your peaceful spirit.
Owing to our late arrival and the enormous crowd of people at Bayreuth, we found it expedient to remain in Nuremberg and go up to Bayreuth for the opera. The day of our performance of “Parsifal” was one of the hottest of the year. Not even Philadelphia can boast of heat more consolidated and unswerving than that of North Germany on this particular day.
We put on muslin dresses and carried fans and smelling salts, and Jimmie had to use force to make us carry wraps for the return. The journey, lovely in itself, was rendered hideous to us by the heat, but when we arrived at Bayreuth the babel of English voices was so delightfully homelike, American clothes on American women were so good to see, and Bayreuth itself was so picturesque, that we forgot the heat and drove to the opera-house full of delight.
I am sorry that it is fashionable to like Wagner, for I really should like to explain the feelings of perfect delight which tingled in my blood as I realised that I was in the home of German opera—in the city where the master musician lived and wrote, and where his widow and son still maintain their unswerving faithfulness toward his glorious music. I am a little sensitive, too, about admitting that I like Carlyle and Browning. I suppose this is because I have belonged to a Browning and Carlyle club, where I have heard some of the most idiotic women it was ever my privilege to encounter, express glib sentiments concerning these masters, which in me lay too deep for utterance. It is something like the occasional horror which overpowers me when I think that perhaps I am doomed to go to heaven. If certain people here on earth upon whom I have lavished my valuable hatred are going there, heaven is the last place I should want to inhabit. So with Wagner.