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Daniel Deronda

George Eliot's Zionist Novel - 1876

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Daniel Deronda - George Eliot's Zionist Novel - 1876

Daniel_Deronda MAIN

This was recitative: then followed--

"Ma la gloria--non vedo"--

a mournful melody, a rhythmic plaint. After this came a climax of devout triumph--passing from the subdued adoration of a happy Andante in the words--

"Beatissimi voi. Che offriste il petto alle nemiche lance Per amor di costei che al sol vi diede"--

to the joyous outburst of an exultant Allegro in--

"Oh viva, oh viva: Beatissimi voi Mentre nel monde si favelli o scriva."

When she had ended, Klesmer said after a moment--

"That is Joseph Leo's music."

"Yes, he was my last master--at Vienna: so fierce and so good," said Mirah, with a melancholy smile. "He prophesied that my voice would not do for the stage. And he was right."

"Continue, if you please," said Klesmer, putting out his lips and shaking his long fingers, while he went on with a smothered articulation quite unintelligible to the audience.

The three girls detested him unanimously for not saying one word of praise. Mrs. Meyrick was a little alarmed.

Mirah, simply bent on doing what Klesmer desired, and imagining that he would now like to hear her sing some German, went through Prince Radzivill's music to Gretchen's songs in the "Faust," one after the other without any interrogatory pause. When she had finished he rose and walked to the extremity of the small space at command, then walked back to the piano, where Mirah had risen from her seat and stood looking toward him with her little hands crossed before her, meekly awaiting judgment; then with a sudden unknitting of his brow and with beaming eyes, he stretched out his hand and said abruptly, "Let us shake hands: you are a musician."

Mab felt herself beginning to cry, and all the three girls held Klesmer adorable. Mrs. Meyrick took a long breath.

But straightway the frown came again, the long hand, back uppermost, was stretched out in quite a different sense to touch with finger-tip the back of Mirah's, and with protruded lip he said--

"Not for great tasks. No high roofs. We are no skylarks. We must be modest." Klesmer paused here. And Mab ceased to think him adorable: "as if Mirah had shown the least sign of conceit!"

Mirah was silent, knowing that there was a specific opinion to be waited for, and Klesmer presently went on--"I would not advise--I would not further your singing in any larger space than a private drawing-room. But you will do there. And here in London that is one of the best careers open. Lessons will follow. Will you come and sing at a private concert at my house on Wednesday?"

"Oh, I shall be grateful," said Mirah, putting her hands together devoutly. "I would rather get my bread in that way than by anything more public. I will try to improve. What should I work at most?"

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