"DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NÜRNBERG."
ONCE upon a time--if I were disposed to be circumstantial I would say in the early summer of the year of our Lord 1560, for it was the year of Hans Sachs's widowerhood -- Veit Pogner, desiring to honor the craft of the master-singers in Nuremberg, to whose guild he belonged, offered a rare prize as the reward of the victor in a singing contest to be held on St. John's Day. Pogner was a rich silversmith who had travelled much, who had loved the arts of song and song-making, and whose pride had been hurt by the discovery that the gentry and nobility of the German nation affected to despise the humble burgher for his too great devotion to money-getting, unmindful of the fact, which Pogner knew full well, that what there was of art-love and devotion and talent was possessed and encouraged by the common people. It was for this reason that he resolved to stimulate a supreme effort in the form of art which most interested him, and the prize which he offered was nothing less than his only child Eva in marriage, with all his great wealth as a dowry. But Eva, dutiful in the