Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Widow Von Durst

She has no more than twenty-six years and her late husband was a salt merchant. It is true that she discourages all visitors to her apartment and that she dresses her dark brown hair by herself. She does not care for the society of philanderers, nor society as such I would say, but prefers the presence of her lap-dog, Finette. Papa arranged for me to have a harpsichord in Frau Von Durst's room, which looks out onto the market place. I think she is quite taken with Papa for she asks me to read aloud a passage from his treatise on violin playing before she retires to bed each night. I was not aware that she understood the finer points of string instruments but I noticed that her cheeks were uncommonly pink when I said the art of vibrato is to enrich the sound. It is my belief that her greatest art is not to conceal what she knows. N.

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