Saunterings eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 306 pages of information about Saunterings.
lovely voice.  There is Herr Nachbar, a tenor, who has a future; Fraulein Stehle, a soprano, young and with an uncommon voice, who enjoys a large salary, and was the favorite until another soprano, the Malinger, came and turned the heads of king and opera habitues.  The resources of the Academy are, however, tolerably large; and the practice of pensioning for life the singers enables them to keep always a tolerable company.  This habit of pensioning officials, as well as musicians and poets, is very agreeable to the Germans.  A gentleman the other day, who expressed great surprise at the smallness of the salary of our President, said, that, of course, Andrew Johnson would receive a pension when he retired from office.  I could not explain to him how comical the idea was to me; but when I think of the American people pensioning Andrew Johnson,—­well, like the fictitious Yankee in “Mugby Junction,” “I laff, I du.”

There is some fashion, in a fudgy, quaint way, here in Munich; but it is not exhibited in dress for the opera.  People go—­and it is presumed the music is the attraction in ordinary apparel.  They save all their dress parade for the concerts; and the hall of the Odeon is as brilliant as provincial taste can make it in toilet.  The ladies also go to operas and concerts unattended by gentlemen, and are brought, and fetched away, by their servants.  There is a freedom and simplicity about this which I quite like; and, besides, it leaves their husbands and brothers at liberty to spend a congenial evening in the cafes, beer-gardens, and clubs.  But there is always a heavy fringe of young officers and gallants both at opera and concert, standing in the outside passages.  It is cheaper to stand, and one can hear quite as well, and see more.



At all events, saith the best authority, “pray that your flight be not in winter;” and it might have added, don’t go south if you desire warm weather.  In January, 1869, I had a little experience of hunting after genial skies; and I will give you the benefit of it in some free running notes on my journey from Munich to Naples.

It was the middle of January, at eleven o’clock at night, that we left Munich, on a mixed railway train, choosing that time, and the slowest of slow trains, that we might make the famous Brenner Pass by daylight.  It was no easy matter, at last, to pull up from the dear old city in which we had become so firmly planted, and to leave the German friends who made the place like home to us.  One gets to love Germany and the Germans as he does no other country and people in Europe.  There has been something so simple, honest, genuine, in our Munich life, that we look back to it with longing eyes from this land of fancy, of hand-organ music, and squalid splendor.  I presume the streets are yet half the day hid in a mountain fog; but I know the

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Saunterings from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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