I was not long in finding out. A young Englishman resident in Berlin, and obviously deeply saturated with the German spirit, wrote to me to say that, in his opinion, Fried was the only man in Europe to fill the post that Dr Richter had vacated as conductor of the Hallé Concerts Society in Manchester. The letter arrived at a time when various musicians were being, as it were, “tried” as conductors of the Hallé Concerts, and my unknown correspondent was anxious that Fried should be invited to conduct one or two concerts. To this letter I sent a polite but non-committal reply. I knew Oskar Fried’s name just as I knew the names of a dozen pushing German conductors; but I knew no more. My persistent correspondent, to whom I will give the name of Purvis, wrote again, sending me a typewritten copy of a book he had written on his friend. It was a highfalutin document of idolatry. Fried was his idol, and Purvis gushed and gushed 151and gushed again. But the whole thing was done with truly Germanic thoroughness. I felt that I was being “got at,” and though I resented it, I was greatly amused. I led him on. I was anxious to see this gushing disciple, this seeming advertising agent, this, as it appeared to me, wholly Germanised Englishman. So I replied to him a second time, and one evening he called upon me. He was a boy of twenty-one with a beard, a manner that was intended to be ingratiating but was intolerably insolent, and a self-assurance truly Napoleonic. He tickled me hugely and, as I have more than a grain of malice in me, I opened out to him, flattered him heavily, and talked music with him. But, though he loved the flattery, he was level-headed enough to stick to his point—that I should do all in my power to secure for Oskar Fried the Hallé conductorship. And he ended the interview with the astonishing announcement that Fried had already been engaged by the Hallé Concerts Society to conduct two of their concerts.
The two ladies left the room, and Trixie looked
"I heard the Russians have been programmed—with hypnotic cramming and somno-briefing. Votbinnik had a nervous breakdown."
African savagery, and he was particularly desirous of finding a well-defined example of this relapse into barbarism. He started out with high hopes and a very considerable fund of information as to what he might expect to find and as to the places where he might hope to find it. Everywhere he went in his search, however, he found that he had arrived a few years too late. He found at every place he visited people who were glad to tell him the worst there was to be known about the coloured people; some were even kind enough to show what they thought was about the worst there was to be found among the Negroes in their particular part of the country. Still he was disappointed because he never found anything that approached the conditions he was looking for, and usually he was compelled to be contented with the statement, made to him by each one of his guides in turn, which ran something like this: "Conditions were not near as bad as they had been. A few years ago, if he had happened to have come that way, he would have been able to see things, and so forth; but now conditions were improving. However, if he wanted to see actual barbarism he should visit"—and then they usually named some distant part of the country with which he had not yet become acquainted.
Isilda hid her face again in his bosom, and burst into a shower of tears.
“Nonsinse” ses she blushing, “but—but I meen him anyhow. Well—well—do you know—I—I—I’m afrade he’s honting me” ses she.
providing himself with mounts must have been considerable. He was, of course, no longer regarded as in the first rank; indeed, in these later days, when the game has become an exact science, I hardly know to what use such a weighty body as his could be put. But in that far-off dawn of the sport his sureness and swiftness of stroke caused him to be still regarded as a useful back, besides being esteemed for the part he had taken in introducing and establishing the game.
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