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Funny Anecdotes

藝人軼事

Richard Wagner and Dumas

 

Of the score of greatest composers, perhaps none was more eccentric than that founder of the modern German operatic school, Richard Wagner. The caller who was
unaware of one of his peculiarities might suffer a mild shock ; for on entering the room where his visitor was seated Wagner would throw the door wide open before
him, as if it were fit that his approach should be heralded like that of a king, and he would stand for a moment on the threshold, a curious mediaeval figure in a frame.
The mystified visitor, rising from his seat, would behold a man richly clad in a costume of velvet and satin, like those of the early Tudor period, and wearing a bonnet such as are seen in portraits of Henry VI, and his three successors. Buffon used to put on lace ruffles and cuffs when he wrote, and Wagner had his composing
costume that of a Meistersinger or rather several costumes, for he would vary his attire not only according to his own moods, but according to the faces of people
who came to see him.

Alexander Dumas, calling upon him made some goodhumored remark about his own ignorance of music which he had once defined as ' the most expensive of noises '; but his pleasantries were listened to with such a smileless stolidity that he went home in a huff, and wrote his contemptuous protest against 'Wagnerian din inspired by the riot of cats scampering in the dark about an ironmonger's shop.'

On the day before this protest was printed Wagner returned Dumas' visit, and was kept waiting for half an hour in an anteroom. Then the author of the "Three Guardsmen " marched in, superbly attired in a plumed helmet, a cork life belt
and a flowered dressing gown. "Excuse me for appearing in my working dress," he said majestically. "Half my ideas are lodged in this helmet and the other half in a pair of jack-boots which I put on to compose love cenes." Snubs of this sort of which Wagner encountered many rankled deep in his mind and made him say that
the French were Vandals, whereas, in truth, their quarrel was not so much with his music as with him personally and with his uncivil followers.

 

 

Dumas
Dumas

瓦格納和大仲馬

 

德國大作曲家瓦格納為人傲慢,喜歡擺架子。慕名去拜訪他的人,多半掃興而歸。他們必須在客廳久等,而當瓦格納出來時,一群僕人前呼後擁,儼然是位國王。然後再細細打量來客,說話慢條斯理,穿著又怪異,常常弄得來客莫名其妙。最後,他才解釋一番,自己是如何之忙,穿這身衣服是為了培養作曲時的靈感。

 

一日,大仲馬去拜訪他,受到同樣的冷遇。大仲馬立即告辭,憤憤然而歸。後來瓦格納到大仲馬家回訪。大仲馬也讓他在客廳等了半小時,然後穿著插滿鮮花的睡衣,頭戴羽毛盔,頸子上還套了隻軟木救生圈出來見客。

 

大仲馬一見瓦格納,便說:「先生,請原諒我穿著工作服。」又搖頭晃腦說:「我現在腦子一半在帽子裡,另一半在長統靴裡,我準備穿著它去設計一個愛情故事。」