As the celebrated soprano began to sing, little Johnnie became greatly exercised over the gesticulations of the orchestra conductor.
"What's that man shaking his stick at her for?" he demanded indignantly.
"Sh-h! He's not shaking his stick at her."
But Johnny was not convinced.
"Then what in thunder's she hollering for?"
A visiting clergyman was occupying a pulpit in St. Louis one Sunday when it was the turn of the bass to sing a solo, which he did very badly, to the annoyance of the preacher, a lover of music. When the singer fell back in his seat, red of face and exhausted, the clergyman arose, placed his hands on the unopened Bible, deliberately surveyed the faces of the congregation, and announced the text:
"And the wind ceased and there was a great calm."
It wasn't the text he had chosen, but it fitted his sermon as well as the occasion.
One cold, wet, and windy night he came upon a negro shivering in the doorway of an Atlanta store. Wondering what the darky could be doing, standing on a cold, wet night in such a draughty position, the proprietor of the shop said:
"Jim, what are you doing here?"
"'Sense me, sir," said Jim, "but I'm gwine to sing bass tomorrow mornin' at church, an' I am tryin' to ketch a cold."—Howard Morse.
"The man who sings all day at work is a happy man."
"Yes, but how about the man who works and has to listen to him?" Miss Jeanette Gilder was one of the ardent enthusiasts at the debut of Tetrazzini. After the first act she rushed to the back of the house to greet one of her friends. "Don't you think she is a wonder?" she asked excitedly.
"She is a great singer unquestionably," responded her more phlegmatic friend, "but the registers of her voice are not so even as, for instance, Melba's."
"Oh, bother Melba," said Miss Gilder. "Tetrazzini gives infinitely more heat from her registers."
At a certain Scottish dinner it was found that every one had contributed to the evening's entertainment but a certain Doctor MacDonald.
"Come, come, Doctor MacDonald," said the chairman, "we cannot let you escape."
The doctor protested that he could not sing.
"My voice is altogether unmusical, and resembles the sound caused by the act of rubbing a brick along the panels of a door."
The company attributed this to the doctor's modesty. Good singers, he was reminded, always needed a lot of pressing.
"Very well," said the doctor, "if you can stand it I will sing."
Long before he had finished his audience was uneasy.
There was a painful silence as the doctor sat down, broken at length by the voice of a braw Scot at the end of the table.
"Mon," he exclaimed, "your singin's no up to much, but your veracity's just awful. You're richt aboot that brick."
She smiles, my darling smiles, and all
The world is filled with light;
She laughs—'tis like the bird's sweet call,
In meadows fair and bright.
She weeps—the world is cold and gray,
Rain-clouds shut out the view;
She sings—I softly steal away
And wait till she gets through.
God sent his singers upon earth
With songs of gladness and of mirth,
That they might touch the hearts of men,
And bring them back to heaven again.—Longfellow.