The Days Before Yesterday eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 246 pages of information about The Days Before Yesterday.

With the exception of one friendly visit to the Ducros, I have never seen pleasant Nyons again.  Of late years I have often meditated a pilgrimage to that sunny little cup in the Dauphine hills, but have hesitated owing to one of the sad penalties advancing years bring with them; every single one of my friends, man or woman, must have passed away long since.  I can see Nyons, with its encircling fringe of blue hills, just as vividly, perhaps, with my inner eyes as I could if it lay actually before me, and now I can still people it with the noisy, gesticulating inhabitants whom I knew and liked so much.

I may add that in Southern French style Nyons is pronounced “Nyonsse,” just as Carpentras is termed “Carpentrasse.”

CHAPTER VI

Brunswick—­Its beauty—­High level of culture—­The Brunswick Theatre—­Its excellence—­Gas vs. electricity—­Primitive theatre toilets—­Operatic stars in private life—­Some operas unknown in London—­Dramatic incidents in them—­Levasseur’s parody of “Robert”—­Some curious details about operas—­Two fiery old Pan-Germans—­Influence of the teaching profession on modern Germany—­ The “French and English Clubs”—­A meeting of the “English Club”—­ Some reflections about English reluctance to learn foreign tongues —­Mental attitude of non-Prussians in 1875—­Concerning various beers—­A German sportsman—­The silent, quinine-loving youth—­The Harz Mountains—­A “Kettle-drive” for hares—­Dialects of German—­ The odious “Kaffee-Klatsch”—­Universal gossip—­Hamburg’s overpowering hospitality—­Hamburg’s attitude towards Britain—­The city itself—­Trip to British Heligoland—­The island—­Some peculiarities—­Migrating birds—­Sir Fitzhardinge Maxse—­Lady Maxse—­The Heligoland Theatre—­Winter in Heligoland.

Brunswick had been selected for me as a suitable spot in which to learn German, and to Brunswick I accordingly went.  As I was then eighteen years old, I did not care to go to a regular tutor’s, but wished to live in a German family, where I was convinced I could pick up the language in far shorter time.  I was exceedingly fortunate in this respect.  A well-to-do Managing Director of some jute-spinning mills had recently built himself a large house.  Mr. Spiegelberg found not only that his new house was unnecessarily big for his family, but he also discovered that it had cost him a great deal more than he had anticipated.  He was quite willing, therefore, to enter into an arrangement for our mutual benefit.

Brunswick is one of the most beautiful old towns in Europe, Its narrow, winding streets are (or, perhaps, were) lined with fifteenth and sixteenth century timbered houses, each storey projecting some two feet further over the street than the one immediately below it, and these wooden house-fronts were one mass of the most beautiful and elaborate carving.  Imagine Staples Inn in Holborn double its present height, and with every structural detail chiselled with patient

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The Days Before Yesterday from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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