at Stockholm during the festivities arranged for the
marriage of Jus sou the Crown Prince. During these
gaieties Mine. Christine Nilsson would appear in
opera one night, and 1 would sing in concert the
next at the Royal Theater.
Before the arrival ol the Crown Prince from his
wedding journey, the King showed me over the
palace, which had been specially decorated for the
reception of the youn« pair. Later, Mme. Nilsson
and myself were. invited to the court baß given in
their honor. Neither one of us had a court tram,
and we were at our wits' end to know what to do,
for we both wanted to g>. Every dressmaker in
Stockholm was busy night and day; it was t"<>
late to order our trains from Paris. " I will write
to the King about it,"- said Mine. Nilsson. And she
did. " Your Most Graci< >us Majesty," she said in her
letter, "Miss Thursby and 1 have no Haps to wear
to the Court ball. What shall we do?"
"Come without them. Oskar," was the answer
v.c got back the same day. And we appeared and
had a beautiful time.
An incident that occurred the day King Oscar
showed me through the palace displayed clearly his
kindness <>f heart. ':•.:..• of music,
and I spoke "f ins jf>e:ic ideas and acquaintance
"I learned all that I know from Berg, the teacher
of Jenny Lind, was his answer. After that I
could see that he was thinking of something, and
II wish you would go to see Berg;
:e is very old and lonely now."
So I went, and found him living at the top of a
house, and that he had not been out for fifteen years.
1 sang a lot of things to him, .songs that he had
taught Jenny Lind. When I was through the poor
old man wept and said, '"To think that a great artist
should come and sing to me, when I have heard 'i •
one for lifteen years!" When 1 spoke of the great
debt we owed him as the teacher of Jenny Lind, who
had given so much happiness, he answered with
modest gentleness, "N-. she got nothing from me;
she had everything within herself.".
NQuoa'i Chilly Reception
THOSE first appearances of Mme. Nilsson in Stock
holm weren't very bright; it was a case of a
prophet in his own country. The night alter she sang
m '"Faust," with a reception as cold as ice, I had a
tremendous success. But she was very generous;
she had seen ii ill from in >x, and after the concert
she said, " Yoi are a V""l to go back to Amerieai
when you are so well received here." But the at
titu'lenf the public changed toward her later, and
she came into her own.
A happy incident that touched me deeply was my
meeting with Prince Alexander i■: Hesse, a favorite
cousin of he Queen of England, whose father. I be
lieve, would have been heir to the ■,■••■: Den
mark, but for the fact of his blindness, which made
him ineligible, according to the constitution of the
country. Prince Alexander has inherited the afflic
tion] and is almost entirely blind. His great hap
piness is music, and he has composed some realh
beautiful songs set to the words of Kate Green iv •
and dedicated to the Queen of England.
One night in Paris, the day before I was to sail for
America, a recent autumn, returning late from an en
tertainment, I was told that a man had been waiting
for hours to see me. It proved to be Prince Alexan
der. He told me that as a boy at school in England
he had heard me sing at the' Crystal Palace The
memory of it, he said, had stayed "with him all those
years, and he insisted that I delay my sailing, that he
might entertain me at dinner.' My hostess whis
pered, " You must; it is a royal command." Finally
I agreed. During the dinner he would turn to me
and say, "To think that I am dining with the Miss
Thursby whom I heard is a boy! No voice has ever
touched me as yours did. I little thought I should
have the honor of meeting you."
Some have said that the reward of a singer is at
the end of her song or never. Longfellow knew bet
ter than that, when .he wrote "The Arrow and the
Song." The applause of the moment is all very
grateful, but the memory of the song that is left in
the hearts of friend- that it has raised up for us is
TRIALS OF ORCHID HUNTING
THE price ■ es paid for rare an I ne ■.
orchids ■ litant, but when the figures
;ire put b irdships endure. I
i • procure the plants they are seen to be reasonable
An official of the H >tanic Gardens at Washington
tells <>f the perseverance displayed by an agent for
Thisageni • is ent to Sew Guinea some years ago
to look for a dendr *bwm, then very rare For months
he dwelt among the natives, faring as 'hey fared, and
living under the most trying conditions But he
secured about four hundred of the coveted plants
and loaded them on a little schooner. Then, think
ing his mission accomplished, he hastened away with
his trophies. But on putting into a port in Dutch
New Guinea he had the misfortune to see his vessel
burned to the water's edge
He was ordered to go bade for more plants. He
SUNDAY MAGAZINE FOR JANUARY 27. 1907
the best of all, for that is the song without ending.
The tirst time that 1 saw the old Emperor William
was before my musical days, when 1 went abroad
with some Plymouth church people. The older
ones had gone on to Berlin and left another young
woman, her brother, a little boy, and myself on the
Rhine. Some one said that the Emperor was to be
i:: Wiesbaden, so we counted our pennies and set out
to see him. After a very frugal supper and break
fast at Coblenz, for our cash was limited, we took
the train. Standing about the door of our com
partment before the train started, in the way that
Americans soon learn to do to keep objectionable
people out, we saw a nice looking man searching
[or a seat. His face was so genial and kindly that
with one accord we decided, to let him in.
The l>oy began to chatter in very bad German,
but "ur new friend's was even worse. "Do you
speak English?" the boy asked.
"Of course I do; I am" an American," he answered.
It was Billy Florence, and when he heard what
we were trying to do he promised to help us to see
the Emperor. And n<"> man could have been kinder.
Lining us up in a row outside the kursaal, Mr.
Florence hovered over ti> until the Emperor ap
peared^ smiling and ruddy. Then Baden was in
its heyday as a fashionable resort, and the present
Emperor, as a slim l»~>y. was constantly seen in the
leafy promenades, in company with his sisters, one
of whom is now the Crown Princess of Greece.
Foresaw New York's Growth
MAURICE STRAK< '» it was a marvelous man
and always ahead of his time. He it was wh< >
proposed building an opera house at 4Dth-st., New
York, where the Metropolitan now stands, and at the
time people declared him crazy because of the idea •>£
putting a great place of amusement so far Up town.
But he saw the possibilities and the great future of
New York, and the very plans that he projected for
the building of that opera house, which were pub
lished at the time in The Graphic." werejadopted
when the Metropolitan was built, though no credit
has ever been given him for the inspiration.
When I was singing in Leipsic under his manage
ment, Mr. Strakosch heard Wagner for the first
time, and foresaw the great hold that his music was
He Intttt-a That I \k jl* Hi* Sister
■• ' 1; ' ; Ito h kveon the American pubbc. 1 1
all the members of the company then -.
there for a tour of the United States. The con
tracts were made out and he .sent word ol the
undertaking to his brother, Max Strafe
wrote Lack that American audiences would not
listen to Wagner. So the plan was abandoned.
It was the same with him m i
' >Un i a magnitW ent i • ■'.'
ot the orchids growing in a native burvii
among exposed bones and skull..
It was no easy matter to obtain permissi
c the plants, especially as some of the .skulls
had to be removed with them. However, at last the
natives consented, sending with the consignment a
little idol to watch over the spirits of the departed.
I his tune the orchids reached their destination.
Inferior varieties, which the agent had been per
mitted to gather in addition to the specimens desired
for the Government's garden, were sold in the open
market at prices ranging from twenty-six to one
hundred and forty-eight dollars each
Many such plants will grow in swamps, which the
natives themselves regard with dread as the home of
fever and mosquitoes To #> in search >>f the orchids
is often t.» face death. One agent, detained at
Panama, went to look for an orchid he had heard
He discovered by intuition what ; :"-3ers wjbH
please, ar.d the French were right when they called
him the Christopher Columbus of v 'ices." line.
Patti, whose teacher he was for seventeen years,
owes to him the debt of her great c ■er; Mrr.e.
Nilsson was drilled by him; and he h R*as who crs;
heard Mme. Melba, as a pupil of Mm.\ Marches, knex
the success in store for her. and engaged heron the
spot, Had it not been for his sudden ■: ■• ith, Maurice
Strakosch would have ;>een the one * • :v.:r"* race her.
He knew as much about music as ..-.- d:d abou: \
managing. There was a set of scales and -xercises
that he wrote that he called "The V vaiists' Tea
C> ►mmandments"; those he made me - ractise every
day, and I have never Sound anything like then.
They were the ones that he used "v. ; : ':-. Mmc, Patti,
and it was from him that she ar.d others who studied
with him learned the secret of how : > ; r-^erve tie
voice. • >ne instance of this was in practising very
high runs; he would always make me :_' thea&aa
octave lower. " But how do I know :': -.\ '. -vili have
the high notes when the time comes t •ir.g then:?"
I would ask him.
"You will have them, :<.v.d you ' :. have then
fresh, because you have saved them.' . li be his
answer. And he was right.
Both Costa and Benedict told me t; - Mr. 5:: a«
koscfa did all the rehearsing for Patci " -aye her
o 'ming to the opera h< 'use. He . ir:'i". ■ d her. in all her
operas, taught her. managed her, and :. er left her
until her marriage with the Marquis : • Caux^ta
which he was strongly opposed. reach be
tween them on this account was never .ciled.
His wife, who was Amalie Pat::, the ". rof 3tsa
Adelina, told me that when Mrr.e. I itti ?ang ia
Gounod's "Romeo and Julie:" .it the .r.\r.d Operi
i:: Paris, after his death, she s^* and ! •->s::e lis
tened tojthink that the beautiful ■ ■ ■ her hus«
band would never be credited to '. He taught
Mme. Patti every role in which she r. ■ isuccesa,
Those that she learned after their >epar.ttie>n v.ere
one and all unfortunate, and to thr . -' -^"S*
tr.e cadenzas that he wrote for her
An Inconvenient *T. Brother "
THE quaintest experience that ! under Md
Strakoscn's management was \ -:"■■■ As a
result of it I had to leave the t ■ ' •"-">: :-:"■' '"'-»
my rinal concert.
"A rather, Hi looking but ver\ -•.rrr.ir.ed cus
came to my hotel, and insisted that I ■■ is his sister,
who had gone to America year- b as a balk 1 :
dancer and had never been heard i •gain- ***
make matters more uncomfortably he produced
some photographs of her that really resembled, »*
He got the police to work on the" c .-.-. and they
seemed in such sympathy with his : ny that ws
concluded the wisest, thing to do wa - leave tows-
Bui the matter was actually brought up later «a
New York. I was away bom the v. wheattj
sister received a note to come to police tiea Iqtartet*
The American consul at Prague \\-. I ■- " "P *Ff
case. The photographs were broug Ottt agai-".
and she was questioned. Mr. Frer.,:.. • '.:■• wasttfß
Chief of Police, exclaimed before she was through
'Well, what kind of an American consults tfiS"
anyway, who doesn't know Miss Thursb> :
Years went by. I had sung ir. cor.eer 3 uj£***
Europe and America, and never once heard o' l J-
Gray, whose interest was associated with xtvt **S&Z
nings. < hi'- 1..- I got a church paper with the;.v»ri
"Come!" written on it in blue pencil andsgnea
Gray. The address given was an Old Mat« Won .
so I' trudged over to'the other er iof Broo^hr. A
little old man. bent with age. cam. into the r >■ •••■'
this Emma 1 " he asked. He ha-1 1^: 'ris :y. •"<??
through business misfortunes, but assure
had remained happy through it all: and :: <e\ « " - ■ lV
.seen a beautiful Christian character his was : -. n
" I have followed your whotocareef m the P?!*^
he said that morning- '" and have prayed tor .r-
hour that I might hear you sing.* i
It was a tender privilege to me to sing to tn oh
man all his familiar favorites, and when I . .,-ara
that he was dead I went over an t sang at ais v:. era!
'•Angels Ever Bright and F.ur." that he had I »wo
of. and was carried back from the swam; ■• to ;t*
The difficulties of the work are as great as t..*
dangers. One collector was known to wade up to BB
waist in mud for a fortnight, seeking a specßßj9
of which he had heard, and another lived among t-*
Indians of Brazil for nine months, peering through
the tangled jungle for a lost variety.
To obtain the orchids that grow' on trees, the col- .
lector must hire a certain area of woodland. with uj*|
right to fell the timber. As the natives cannot b«
trusted to climb the trees and gather the plants. t-«
wasteful plan of cutting down the trees is adopt**
and he gathers his specimens from the fallen trun**
The forest being often inland, the plants. **,
being collected, must be carried to river or sea "
one case they were carried for six weeks on :Q<* [>
backs from the mountains to a river, then '***2
in canoes, with twenty portages, and then conveys
over the ocean.
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