Though very fond of stories and an excellent raconteur himself, Rubinstein was rather taciturn. Once, it is reported, a Scotch friend of his, whom he liked very much, went home with him one night after a concert at Glasgow. Both gentleman sat down to tea and cigarettes, and as midnight struck they had not yet exchanged a word. Finally the guest risked a bold and novel query, "Do you like Beethoven?" Rubinstein emptied his cup and said softly, "Beethoven good." Half an hour later came another question, "And how do you like Wagner?" To which Rubinstein, throwing away a cigarette, "Wagner — not good." Having exhausted his stock of inquisitiveness, the Scotch friend of the Russian pianist got up to bid his host a pleasant rest. "Stay yet, my friend," said Rubinstein. "I like your conversation very much." And both remained still drinking tea and smoking cigarettes in profound silence until 3 a. m. struck, when they wished one another good night and parted. — San Francisco Argonaut.
John Wesley remembered the names of many hundreds of the members of his societies and was rarely at fault when addressed by any one whom he had met before.
Chestnuts were sold on the streets of ancient Rome at 20 for 1 cent.
Friday, July 25, 2008