Needless to say, in all the speeches the theme of the war was constantly played upon by 토토검증사이트 the French orators—how much France owed to our intervention and to the bravery of our soldiers.

It would have been very pleasant to stay on in Paris, where our orchestra were beginning to feel very much at home, and rest upon our young laurels, but our tour had only begun and we had to carry on!

In the meantime Mr. Engles and our treasurer, Roger Townsend, had to smooth out all kinds of new difficulties and complications, among which the passport nuisance was the greatest. War conditions still prevailed and passports had to be carefully viséd by the ambassadors of every country we visited. All our orchestra were practically Americans, but technically they belonged to America, France, Belgium, Italy, England, Russia, Germany, Austria, and Czecho-Slovakia. Many of them had had only their first American papers when the war broke out, and according to war regulations could not yet obtain their American citizens’ papers. They were therefore compelled to travel on foreign passports and some of their visés were exceedingly difficult to obtain, as new countries like Czecho-Slovakia, for instance, had not yet a properly organized diplomatic service. Others, like Russia, were not recognized at all and our Russians had to travel on Kerensky passports issued for them by the Kerensky ambassador who was still “holding the fort” in Washington. Through the kindly help of Mr. Grew, councillor at our embassy in Paris, and other friends in high places, we finally obtained our hundred visés and left Paris for Bordeaux on May 11, and—in spite of the railroad strike—with the passage of our train assured as far as Bordeaux.

The only fly in the ointment was a little revolution before we left the station. Some of the members of the orchestra had brought their wives and even a few small children to Europe with them. They very naturally desired to give their families a good time and wanted to have them with them and in the orchestra cars on the entire trip. As railroad space was exceedingly limited and the bachelor and straw-widower members of the orchestra strenuously objected to this addition, I had to veto the plan, and painted the difficulties of travel, hotels, passports, etc., in such lurid fashion that I succeeded in preventing their departure from Paris with us. The husbands promised to leave their families in Paris until our return, about three weeks later, but as all the wives and children came to the station to see their respective husbands and fathers off, I was nervous until the last doors of the car were slammed to and the whistle of the French locomotive, which always sounds like the shrill wail of the damned, announced that we were really off.

The orchestra were in a very gay mood and insisted on getting out every time the train stopped even a second, and then having to be pulled back as the train started again without any warning. A passport picture of one unfortunate little second violinist was sent through all the cars, pasted on a piece of paper with the inscription: “Wanted for bigamy. Member of the New York Symphony Orchestra. Reward of three francs if returned dead or alive to George Engles, Manager.” This had been perpetrated by Willem Willeke, who was not only a master violoncellist but the master mind behind almost every practical joke indulged in during the tour.

We arrived in Bordeaux that evening and were welcomed at our hotel by a typical little hotel manager, with his head entirely bald on top but beautifully covered with the long hair combed forward from the back of his head. He also had a full beard neatly parted in the middle, and of course a long double-breasted frock coat. He rubbed his hands with the pleasure of welcoming us and assured us that all our rooms were properly reserved. Actually it took us three-quarters of an hour to get ourselves and our baggage straightened out in the proper rooms. Our party consisted of Albert and Mrs. Spalding, John Powell, Mary Flagler, my daughter Gretchen, and myself, and the highly efficient manager had sent each one of us at first to the wrong rooms while our bags had still further gone astray. But a good bath and a delicious dinner at the famous Chapon Fin put us all in good humor.

The theatre at which we were to play the following evening was directly opposite to our hotel and its frontal façade is without doubt the most beautiful I have ever seen. Such examples of the finest architecture of the eighteenth century stand out in remarkable contrast to their more modern surroundings and it is difficult to understand how French architects, with such noble examples to follow and with a school in Paris which is still considered the best in the world, should have allowed their art to degenerate to such an extent within the last thirty years. One has but to compare the noble façade of the Place de la Concorde with such modern monstrosities as, for instance, the Hotel Mercedes or the Palais de Justice at Tours, to realize that in their endeavor to break away completely from their own noblest traditions they have deliberately courted anarchy, for their architecture rests upon no laws of beauty or symmetry. Many of our best American architects are graduates from the École des Beaux Arts in Paris, but they have not become revolutionaries and have understood how to adapt their appreciation of the best French traditions to American needs. The results demonstrate an art of which every American can be proud.