(Born at Paris, October 9, i835;
died at Algiers, December i6, 1921)
AN ENEMY of Saint-Saëns—and Saint-Saëns made enemies by his barbed words—might have applied to him the lines of Juvenal:
Grammaticus, rhetor, geometres, pictor, aliptes,
Augur, Schoenobates, medicus, magus, omnia novit.
Graeculus esuriens in coelum, jusseris, ibit—1
for Saint-Saëns was not satisfied with the making of music or the career of a virtuoso. Organist, pianist, caricaturist, dabbler in science, enamored of mathematics and astronomy, amateur comedian, feuilletonist, critic, traveler, archæologist—he was a restless man.
He was of less than average height, thin, nervous, sick-faced; with great and exposed forehead, hair habitually short, beard frosted. His eyes were almost level with his face. His eagle-beak would have excited the admiration of Sir Charles Napier, who once exclaimed: "Give me a man with plenty of nose." Irritable,
"'Grammarian, painter, augur, rhetorician,
Rope-dancer, conjuror, fiddler, and physician,
All trades his own, your hungry Greekling counts;
And bid him mount the sky—the sky he mounts!"
Compare Dr. Johnson's lines:
All sciences the hungry Monsieur knows,
And bid him go to hell—to hell he goes!
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: Philip Hale's Boston Symphony Programme Notes:Historical, Critical, and Descriptive Comment on Music and Composers. Contributors: John N. Burk - Editor, Philip Hale - Author. Publisher: Doubleday, Doran. Place of publication: Garden City, NY. Publication year: 1935. Page number: 253.
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