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PERSONAL ANECDOTES, Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 68, 20 March 1909
A REPARTEE OF BISHOP. BROOKS, Philip Brooks was once going abroad, and a friend rallied him about discovering a new religion and bringing "it back with him. "You bad better be careful,' Bishop; it might be difficult to get' a new religion through the Customs House." "I think not," observed Brooks. "Any religion popular enough to import would haver no duties attached to it. Tliis. recalls tl:e charming reply made by Mr. Longfellow to a nervous man called Longwprth, who was introduced to him, and cpuld think of nothing hetter to say than that their names were much alike. ( "Yes," replied the poet, "but you know worth' makes the man—the want of it the 'fellow."
HOW HE GOT THE VIOLIN,
M, Ysaye, the great violinist, owns as hjs niost cherished possession a Guarnenus violm dated 1742, and the way in Which he came into possession of''it is as original as his manner of telling the story." *= "The Guarnerius was bought in Paris by a pupil of mine, a charming young woman. I envied her. the violin, and fate gave it to mc. I teach this pupili and by-and-bye I meet her sister, a most lovely young woman, with whom I fall in love straightway, and marry. ' "Soon I go to my Bister.-in-law, who was my pupil, and say to her- ' " 'It is time you stop fo.oling with violin. You will never learn how tp play, it.' I take the liberty of a big brother, but she do not like it for long time. At last she succumbed tq my 6s : perience and wisdom, and she stops playing. Then I say, grari-iloque-ritly: " T will take the Guarnerius, 1742.' I take it, and that is how the violin came into the possession of Ysaye."
Lord Alverstone, the Lord Chief Justice, who gave some valuable hints on athletics in the course of a"very interesting lecture which he delivered recently, is as famous as a raconteur as lie is as a sportsman. One of his best stories concerns a little loan which he once made to a needy friend. He lent the latter a sovereign, and then bet another friend that he would one day get his money back. The second friend was very doubtful, however, and took the bet with alacrity. Some time afterwards Lord Alverstone met the latter gentleman, who sarcastically inquired: "Well, have you received the money from poor R yet?" "No,'' replied his lordship, « and I shall not press him, for I have received a letter from him. which is wo.rth' the money " The letter read as follows: "As the date has arrived when th a £i has to be repaid, please find a postal order for that amount, for I'm hanged if I can.—Yours etc." '
A MARK OE GENIUS.
At the recent sale of the superb and priceless Stanford White collection, Miss Elsie de Wolf, the actress, told a not inappropriate architect story. "A gentleman stopped an architect on the street," she began. " 'Good morning, Mr Blank,' the architect said. 'Are you thinking of building again?' " 'No,' said the other; <I stopped you to inquire if you could take my son into your office as an apprentice. With training I think hp would some day prove a magnificent architect.' "'He has shown some talent, has he' said the architect, a trifle glumly, for he was disappointed at not getting* another contract- , "'Talent! Genius, sir; positive 1 genius 1 * • ■*"» • . ■ " 'What has he done ?' " 'He designed a garden for our Christmas tree.' " 'WeJI, what is there remarkable about it I" said the architect impatiently. "■Why, sir,' said the other, "ie designed that garden for 12/ and it cost j £6!'"
PAINTING WAGNER'S PORTRAIT.
Lecturing at the Royal Institution, Sir Hubert yon Herkomer told his audience ''how I painted Wagner without a sitting.' l Wagner in, 1877 was introducing his music'to English audiences, and he permitted the young artist lo be with him at his house, see him clay by day, and watch him. When Wagner was asked when he intended to sit, he replied, "He sees mc all the time." T*iat went on for a month. Then the artist declared he w°uld paint Wagner without a sitting. He started one Friday on the portrait, worked at it all day at white heat, slept badly all night, and worked again all day Saturday. By the evening it was finished, and tlie next day. he took the portrait, glazed and framed, to Wagner. Then came a change over the great musician. "Witchcraft!" he exclaimed. He was delighted and said, "He liked to look like that." ".He embraced mc," added Sir Hubert, "and then he kissed mc, and was for ever after a full-hearted admirer of my work."
AN ABSENT-MINDED PLAYWRIGHT.
M. Rostand, the Parisian playwright, ;is rather absent-mindec, and an amusing story is told in this connection. One day the dramatist went into a barber's shop to be shaved, and in the midst of the operation he was suddenly seized with an inspiration, and snatched up a piece of paper on the marble slab before him, and began to write. "Excuse mc, monsieur," said the barber, "but I am very pressed for time. "Are you? Then so am I!" exclaimed Rostand, and out he went with his shave unfinished. Presently the whole shop was turned upside down to find the list of celebrated customers upon whom the barber and his assistants were to calj. But it w"s not to be found, for Rostand had taken it away with him,' with an unfinished masterpiece ou the back. Figaro jumped into a cub as soon as he realised this, and drove tx> the poet's Paris house, but the great man was out; and, although the unfortunate hairdresser remembered a few of the Customers with whom he had appointments, he could not be certain of at least ten. When the smart ladies who waited in vain to have their coiffures dressed heard tbe truth of tbe matter they one and all vowed vengeance on the unconscious Rostand, for, they said, although be may have acted in the Interests of art, what is art compared with a beautiful toilette 2
PERSONAL ANECDOTES, Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 68, 20 March 1909
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