Our next concert was to be in Monte Carlo, and I motored with my wife from 토토사이트 Marseilles along the Riviera, reaching Monte Carlo on the evening of May 17. The orchestra had already arrived by train and were to be found all over the town photographing points of interest, especially the beautiful statue erected to Hector Berlioz, which we were all glad to honor. Every orchestra musician adores this great master, who in his scores has done more than any other to develop new tone combinations in the symphonic orchestra since Beethoven and before Wagner.

A great many of our men naturally went to the Casino to behold the world-famous gambling tables, but if I ever had any worries about their squandering their earnings they quite disappeared. Many only watched at the outer edge, or else bet one chip very timidly. An aged harpy, who looked as though she had played at Monte Carlo since the time of Napoleon III and who kept a note-book of her losses and winnings and never bet less than a hundred francs at a time, took it upon herself to teach one of our talented young flute players how to play with one white chip. She kept him in a state of the most panting thrills, while she placed his bets for him.

The next morning I found a note from Jean de Reszke telling me that he, his wife, and Amhurst Webber would motor over from Nice for the concert, and asking my wife and me to lunch with him at the Grand Hotel de Paris, where we were staying. It was such a joy to see him again. We had not met since 1902, when he had been at the Metropolitan at the height of his fame and I had conducted many a glorious “Tristan” performance with him in the title rôle. Amhurst Webber, a highly talented English musician, had then been with him as pianist and I had helped him a little with his studies in composition and instrumentation. Mme. de Reszke I had never had the pleasure of meeting before. A great tragedy had come upon her, as their only son had been killed in the first year of the war. It was heart-breaking to see her, as her face told the story of her irreparable loss.

The concert in the afternoon took place in the exquisite little theatre at the Casino. It seats only about four hundred people and of course every seat was occupied. Jean de Reszke was in the fifth row of the parquet, and as I came to the “Prize Song” in the “Meistersinger” Overture, which he had sung so often and so ravishingly in New York, I could not help but turn around to look at him. He gave me an immediate smile, but the tears were running down his face.

At the close of the concert I was solemnly informed by the very polite little intendant of the theatre that M. Blanc, the principal owner of the Casino, the opera, the gambling tables, the Hotel de Paris, in fact everything which draws the hundred-franc notes from the grateful tourist, had expressed a desire to meet me and to thank me for the “concert exquis.” I was accordingly piloted to another part of the building, where, in an anteroom, five or six people were waiting as if in a doctor’s outer office, while flunkies in livery were silently walking around or delivering whispered messages to this or that man. One of these approached my little intendant with a message, who turned to me and, with a face radiant with pride, said: “Think of it! He will see us first before all the others!”

We followed the flunky into an inner room where I found a tired-looking, gray-mustached little man whom I had noticed sleeping in one of the boxes during about half an hour of the concert. He congratulated me on the “splendid concert and the exquisite playing of the orchestra,” and as I sat there I marvelled at it all. Here was a man whom we in America would call a gambling-house keeper, but he is certainly a king among them. He has provided his gambling tables with a setting so exquisite that words cannot describe it. Nature in her most charming mood, beautiful architecture, delightful music, exquisite cooking—all these so skilfully combined as to create an agreeable atmosphere for the thousands who come every year with full pockets and generally leave with empty ones. Incidentally he makes millions by thus cleverly pandering to the gambling instincts which are inherent in almost every man (and woman).

To me the most delightful feature of the concert, except of course the visit of Jean de Reszke, was a large audience of seventy-five who sat behind the scenes as there was no room for them in front. They were the orchestra of the Monte Carlo Opera, an excellent body of men who embraced us in true southern fashion between the parts and at the end of the concert.

The next morning I continued the trip by motor to Genoa. As there had been no strike of any kind in Monte Carlo I thought that our hoodoo had lifted, but, lo and behold, at Genoa we found only one old, gray-bearded portier at our hotel to greet us. All the waiters, porters, chambermaids, cooks, scullions, in fact everything that could strike in connection with a hotel, were on strike and the discomfort was considerable. We had looked forward with pleasurable anticipation to our first Italian dinner. We had dreamed of fritto misto, spaghetti, and of delicious Italian ices, but these dreams quickly vanished. There was not even a crust of bread to be obtained at the hotel. Finally we were furtively conducted through an alley into the back entrance of a little restaurant by way of the kitchen, and there we obtained some food, but of the simplest and poorest variety. The next morning a cup of wretched coffee and a piece of stale bread at the railroad station made our breakfast, but luckily for us a kind young American, Mr. Allan, called on us and whisked us off in his car to his house, where a delicious luncheon made us forget our deprivations of the night before.