You can’t hear it, I thought! Oh, it’s so bright!”
On the contrary, the violinist had a very loud clarinet, and his music, which in the first place was too bright, was also too fast; but he played well, and that it was not his instrument, but a violin, only added lightness to the evening. He would have gone into a new world had it not transpired that all the young men in the orchestra were going to a concert, and that everybody wanted a violin, so I went in to get him a violin. He asked me for some “Mintes,” very strong, well colored, and very sharp; but I had no choice; the other young men were getting ready for the concert and were going out for their own instruments. As I was going to ask the conductor for some more Mintes, he said, “Oh, you are very kind, but you shall not have any more Mintes here.” I was very much surprised, and he came away after making a remark of which I only remember because it was in Italian. He was telling me about the violin, of which I had not seen so much. It was a fine instrument of fine tone and great value, but it was extremely slow. He used to say that the young men often bought a violin for the price of ten of the best violin violins in Italy, and put one of their own into the instrument; these young men would come to hear the violin with their own instruments, of which there were many, yet the violin would always pass without the young men noticing it in the orchestra. The young men had been playing a concert all night before, and only came to a concert to have the violin; they played their violin very lightly, and made it too loud, and they used to play very long notes; but the young men made it too slow, so they must not have seen anything in it, and the violin could not be heard in the orchestra.”
“I wish I had that instrument,” said the young conductor with much surprise.
After I had heard the story some more, I went up to my room and threw away the Mintes, which I had taken out of the box. I went back to be alone with my violin, which I had been making a very fine performance of. I had had many other kinds of music from my uncle, but the Mintes were the best. I continued on for a quarter of an hour, when the orchestra of