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occasion at his house, and, curiously tunes for the piano and cornet-à-piston. enough, a regrettable event occurred to It is possible that Meyerbeer may have me also. Some ladies present impor- been of some small use to Wagner at tuned me to play. I was not unwilling, first, but Wagner will not hear of him. but I did not quite care for the manner Mendelssohn had the same antipathy." in which I was pressed, and I declined ; Now I saw another opportunity : "I indeed, I believe I left the house rather have often wondered, in reading Menabruptly. Well, it was a time when I delssohn's letters," I said, " why his alwas playing a good deal in the various lusions to you are so bries and so few ; capitals of Europe, and much more fuss here and there, we read that you were was being made with me than was per- of the company, that the evening was haps necessary ; and then, you know, delightful, and that you or Chopin I was much younger, and I dare say act- played ; and Mendelssohn seems to have ed hastily ; but I have always regretted little more to say, though in his allusions it.”
to many of his great contemporaries he He spoke very little of his extraordi- is often explicit and detailed enough." nary successes when at his zenith, which “Ah! well,” said Liszt, Mendelscan only be compared to the sensation sohn's letters have been, to some exproduced by Paganini. But he spoke tent, what is called arranged and selectwith pride of having received the cele- ed for publication. There is a good brated kiss of Beethoven. “Ay,” he deal which it was not advisable to print, said, “ when I was a very young man, or that couldn't be printed ; and then and in public, too, it was difficult to get there was something between me and the great man to go and hear rising Mendelssohn: I am sure I don't quite talent ; but my father got Schindler to know what; but at one time a certain induce Beethoven to come and hear me coolness sprang up between us; it was, —and he embraced me before the whole however, much more between our fol. company.” A similar event occurred lowers than between us. Mendelssohn to Joachim, who, when a boy, received did not get on with the French : at the public embrace of Mendelssohn after Paris, for instance, and with reason playing a fugue of Bach's.
there ; then at Berlin and Leipsic too Liszt spoke in the highest terms of he had his difficulties with the musical Herr Richter, at the same time regret authorities, some of whom were certainly ting that the Wagner Festivals at the my friends. The first time I saw MenAlbert Hall had not been financially delssohn was at Berlin ; I called in the more successful.
morning, about twelve o'clock; he was Having been accused in America and charming, full of life and vigor, and reelsewhere of misrepresenting the rela- ceived me joyously. Madame Mendelstions between Wagner and Meyerbeer, sohn pressed me to stay to lunch, and, and knowing that Wagner will never meaning to go, I still stayed on talking mention Meyerbeer's name, nor allow and playing, till suddenly it was six any one to speak of him in his presence, o'clock, and then he said, “Now you I asked Liszt whether it was true that must stay and dine.' So I stayed, and Meyerbeer had introduced Wagner to left about nine o'clock, after a delightM. Joly in Paris, with a view to bring- ful day ; then the next time we met, we ing out his Flying Dutchman, knowing had some words about Meyerbeer, whom all the time that M. Joly was on the Mendelssohn could not endure, and I point of bankruptcy. "Well," said spoke rather hotly. I dare say I was in Liszt, “ that is probably true. No one the wrong, but somehow, from that is exactly to blame, if a young unknown time, we ceased to be quite so cordial, man fails to arrive at once at the Grand and we did not meet very often ; but Opera de Paris ; getting up a work there there was no rupture or quarrel between is a question of many months and thou- us, none ever; our partisans quarrelled ; sands of pounds. Wagner's libretto but between us personally there was was bought for a small sum, his music never any real animosity. And then discarded, and he was practically turned quite late in his career, a year before he adrift. Afterward he was notoriously died, Mendelssohn did a very graceful forced to live by arranging Italian opera little thing. He brought me a Ms. of
Beethoven, a chorus copied in Beetho. very carefully a watering-pot, he added, ven's hand out of Mozart's Don Juan ; "Some reputations take a good deal of he knew it was the kind of thing I should judicious watering. I could mention value very highly, and he bade me keep some who had the good fortune to marry it for his sake. Well, I was travelling people who watered them beautifully in about-I gave it with other things into the newspapers. It makes some differmy mother's keeping, and I suppose it ence, you know. I don't say that you was shown about, and some one stole it ; can create a reputation without talent ; at any rate, it disappeared; but I always but the humbug' is too often at top, like to remember it, because it proved and the 'talent' at the bottom; and in that, notwithstanding the serious differ- England you are miserably taken in by ences which had arisen between our foreigners. It is your own fault ; but schools and methods before his death, the way mediocre foreign talent has been personally he felt kindly toward me over and over again 'pushed in England down to the last."
--especially bad singers-is simply scanThe conversation turning on Heine- dalous." “Of course I knew Heine. He was one How interesting it would be to read of those original eccentrics whom it is the memoirs and criticisms of Liszt difficult to class : his reputation was a upon music and musicians for the last célébrité d'auberge. Yes, he alluded to fifty years ! No one living, perhaps, me in some of his prose works not un- with the exception of Professor Ella, kindly. I had the misfortune (mala- has such a rich store of musical experidresse) to set one of his songs to music.' ence and incident to fall back upon.
' How few good poems there are suit- “I have often wished," I said, able for music !"
you had written more of your recollecYes, and how little good music !" tions of those great musicians, artists, Of Paganini he said, "No one who and poets, with whom you have been has not heard him can form the least connected.” I alluded to his charming idea of his playing. The fourth-string Life of Chopin. “Ah!" he said abperformances, the tunes in harmonics, ruptly, “Chopin had no life, properly and the arpeggios used as he used them, speaking ; his was an exclusive, selfwere then all new to the public and the centred personality. He lived inwardly players too ; they sat staring at him —he was silent and reserved, never said open-mouthed. Every one can play his much, and people were often deceived
but the same impression can about him, and he never undeceived never again be made."
them. People talk of the 'style' of Of Bottesini, the double bass soloist, Chopin, the touch' of Chopin, and of he said, “ He is the only great player of playing like Chopin. When he played my time whom I have never heard.” himself, he played admirably well, and
Liszt was very humorous upon vamped- especially his own compositions ; but up reputations, and the airs and graces he was supposed to have formed which musicians give themselves. school of Chopinites, who had the Tra
“After a bit, in England at least, you dition-and you heard that Mr. This, must be dignified '--that is a good and Madame That-they alone could word; the English like a dignified play like Chopin-he had formed them professor !' and he drew himself up --people danced round them, and they like a very Pecksniff, put on a look of affected to have the true Chopin secret. solemn and dictatorial gravity, lifting Yes, * he said, “it was absurd enough ; both hands sideways as it were to keep and Chopin looked on, and said nothoff all common intruders.
ing; he was very diplomatic-he never Speaking of Bülow and of Kubinstein, troubled himself to stop this cant, and he said, They are two men who stand to this day there may be those who play quite apart from all the rest ; still, the 'like Chopin '—who have received the general level of pianoforte-playing has sacred 'Tradition.' C'était comme immensely risen within the last twentycela du commencement, ce n'était pas years. There is, however, a good deal l'école, c'était plutôt l'église de Choof humbug' about some professional pin!'" The last words were pronounced reputations ;” and pretending to hold in a solemn tone, and with a look of
mock gravity indescribably humorous. sciousness of a slowly awakening sleepAs he rose from table, Liszt said, “You er, and again the interlude, the blown spoke of my sketch of Chopin-1 have rain of double pearls—until once more just brought out a new edition of it at the heavenly dream is resumed. I drew Leipsic.” We went into the library and my chair gently nearer, I almost held he gave me a handsome quarto volume my breath, not to miss a note. There of 312 pages, printed in French on fine was a strange concentrated anticipation paper. “ Take it," he said ; "you will about Liszt's playing, unlike anything I find some forty pages more than in the had ever heard- not for a moment could edition you have read.” I opened the the ear cease listening ; each note seemvolume, and on the frontispiece found ed prophetic of the next, each yielded in that Liszt had written aslant.
importance to the next : one felt that in Au révérend Hugh Reginald Ha- the soul of the player the whole nocturne weis, affectueux souvenir de la Villa existed from the beginning—as one and d'Este.
indivisible, like a poem in the heart of a November 17,
poet. The playing of the bars had to "'80.
be gone through seriatim ; but there “F. LISZT."
were glimpses of a higher state of intui
tion, in which one could read thoughts I had conceived, ever since I had without words, and possess the soul of studied the life and works of Chopin, music, without the intervention of bars the greatest desire to hear him played and keys and strings ; all the mere eleby Liszt ; indeed, the number of those ments seemed to fade, nothing but perstill living who have had this privilege ception remained. Sense of time vanmust be very limited. I ventured to say, ished ; all was as it were realized in a “Chopin always maintained that you moment, that moment the Present-the were the most perfect exponent of his eternal Present-no Past, no Future. works. I cannot say how grateful I Yet I could not help noticing each incishould be to hear, were it only a fugitive dent; the perfect effortless independpassage of Chopin's touched by your ence of the fingers, mere obedient minhand.” “With all the pleasure in the isters of the master's thought ; the comworld," replied the immortal pianist ; plete trance of the player-living in the and again I sat down by the grand ideal world, and reducing the world of piano, and humming to him a phrase of matter about him to the flimsiest of op. 37, I begged that it might be that. unreal shadows ; and I had time to no
I will play that, and another after it.” tice the unconscious habits of the mas(The second was op. 48.)
ter, which have already passed into hisIt is useless for me to attempt a de- toric mannerisms in his disciples, like scription of a performance every phrase Cardinal Newman's stooping gait, or of which will be implanted in my mem- Victor Emmanuel's toss of the head. So ory and on my heart, as long as I live. I noted the first finger and thumb drawn
Again, in that room, with its long together to emphasize a note, or the bright window opening out into the sum- fingers doubled up, or lifted in a pemer-land, we sat in deep shadow-in culiar maner, with a gentle sweep in the perfect seclusion ; not a sound, but the middle of a phrase-things in which magic notes falling at first like a soft those are determined to be like the masshower of pearls or liquid drops from a ter who can be like him in nothing else ; fountain-blown spray falling hither and also the peculiar repercussion resonance, thither, and changing into rainbow tints since reduced to something like a sciin its passage, as the harmonic progres- ence by Rubinstein, and the caressing sion kept changing, and tossing the fu- touch, which seems to draw the soul of gitive fragments of melody with which the piano out of it almost before the that exquisite nocturne opens, until it finger reaches the key-board. When settles into the calm, happy dream, Liszt passed silently to op. 48, he arwhich seems to rock the listener to sleep rived at some stiff bravura passages, with the deep and perfect benison of in- which called forth his old vigor. Yet effable rest; then out of the dream, here all was perfect ; not a note slurred through a few bars, like the uneasy con- over or missed ; the old thunder woke beneath his outstretched hands; the duce the magician of the pianoforte to spirits of the vasty deep were as obedi- play in public again, notwithstanding ent as ever to their master's call. With his marvellous retention of execution the last chord, he rose abruptly ; ab- and nervous energy, it is to be hoped ruptly we came out of the dim enchant- that he may still be induced to visit Enged land of dreams; the common light land, where his name has already beof day was once more around me. come a tradition like that of Malibran “Now
you must be off !” he exclaimed ; (to whom he always said he owed so indeed, I had barely time to catch my much), or Paganini, with whom he has tram for Rome ; “but,” he added, “I been popularly classed. And now that have something I wish you to take to his orchestral works are getting hold of Bache and Dannreuther;" and he took the musical world here, and that every out three bronze medals, giving me the season pianoforte recitals rest for their third to keep ; the design was by a Ro- main sensations on his unique composiman artist of great merit. On one side tions, we cannot doubt what sort of rewas Liszt's own profile, on the other a ception he would meet with in London, star - crowned Fame holding a palm- could he be persuaded to come over and branch.
conduct, or even superintend, one of Before I left, I asked Liszt if I might his orchestral preludes. But Liszt hates give some account in print of the de- the sea ; indeed, I am told that he oblightful day I had spent in his company, jects even to going over the suspension so that the hearts of his many friends bridge at Florence. I ventured to say and admirers in England might be glad- to him, “ In England we have heard of dened by some account of him.
Liszt, but already he is a kind of mythus. “Whatever you will,” he good- ‘His legend,' as M. Renan would say, naturedly replied ; “write what you like, 'has begun to form.' People are beand let me see it when it appears. ginning to ask, Was there indeed ever
Liszt changes his residence three times such a person ? Come over and prove every year : from Rome to Weimar, to us that he still exists." But he only from Weimar to Pesth, and at Pesth he shook his head. “I am too old; I canis usually occupied in bringing out or not come to England." conducting some of his works. Al- Will he come ?-Belgravia Magazine. though probably nothing will ever in
A PERSIAN APOLOGUE.
(T0 E. H. P.)
BY AUSTIN DOBSON,
MELEK the Sultán, tired and wan,
Beside the fountain lingered near
Old Yusuf, cross and hard to please ;
Slim is Butheina-slim is she
“Nay," quoth the other, teeth between,
Lean, if you will-I call her lean."
Sweet is Butheina-sweet as wine,
And, be the song of Ghouls or Gods,
SOME FACTS ABOUT FISHES.
BY W. S. DALLAS, F.L.S.
Recent researches, and especially which occupies the aperture. Besides those explorations of the deep sea which these the inner surface of the funnelhave been systematically carried on of shaped cavity has numerous conical late years, have brought to light numer- teeth, which are really the horny coverous interesting facts in relation to ings of so many small papillæ ; and fishes. Some phenomena previously al- these are of use to the animals when attogether unsuspected have come to our taching themselves by suction to other knowledge, while others have been objects. In fact, they adhere by their shown to be of far more general occur mouths to the stones at the bottom of rence than has hitherto been supposed. the streams which they frequent, and In the present article we propose to call thus, without much bodily exertion, attention to one or two prominent points they resist the action of the current brought out by late investigations. (from this habit the generic name of the
Anything like a true metamorphosis is Lampreys, Petromyzon, or Stone-sucker, of very rare occurrence among fishes. is derived) ; but they also avail themIndeed, the only change which can, to a selves of their power of adhesion for a certain extent, be compared with the less peaceful purpose, attaching themmetamorphosis of the Batrachia, is pre- selves in this way to the bodies of other sented by the Lampreys; and even in fishes, whose flesh they then consume by them the change from what we must call means of their larger teeth attached to the larval condition to that of the adult, the jaws and tongue. In this perfect is by no means so great as that from condition, so far as their habits are the tadpole to the perfect frog or newt known, the Lampreys must be regarded The lampreys, as most people are as decidedly predatory fishes. aware, are eel-shaped, scaleless fishes of The streams inhabited by Lampreys very low organization, destitute of pair- are found to harbor another fish of very ed fins, having on the head a pair of similar form, which, from its habit of eyes and a single nasal aperture, and on concealing itself in the sand of the boteach side behind the head seven aper- tom, has long been known as the Sandtures belonging to an equal number of pride (Pride being a local name for the branchial sacs. The mouth, which is small river lamprey), and, under the situated quite at the anterior end of the generic name of Ammocætes, regarded as animal, is formed by a shallow, circular a distinct form of the Lamprey family. cavity, at the bottom of which the actual In general form it is like a lamprey ; it opening is situated, having a peculiar is equally destitute of paired fins, and horny tooth above and another below it, has also seven branchial apertures on and a similar armature upon the tongue each side near the head ; but the eyes