Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Rivals of Another Kind

Aha! And have I ever doubted my father’s sagacity or his ability to foresee events? So it has come to pass that Constanze and Wolfie are planning a tour of Germany followed by a trip to England. They have asked Papa if he will care for their two sons while they are traveling. (It would seem Herr Muller, the silhouette maker, has stirred something of a hornet’s nest by revealing Leopoldl’s whereabouts. And who is his most rapturous audience in all this mischievous blabbing from Salzburg to Vienna? Wolfgang and Constanze.)
‘Basta!’ cries Papa. ‘As if I am NOT already an overworked and exhausted kindergarten!’ (He has quite forgotten that it was HIS idea, HIS wish and HIS insistence that HE borrowed MY son for his entire infancy.)
What to do? I replied in a letter from Saint Gilgen.
‘Asso-luta-menta-niente,’ Papa wrote back and in my mind I could hear him toss his inkpot at the wall. ‘I shall simply say I cannot be a nursemaid to their increasing brood as they may well have such a fine time abroad, they will FORGET to return for another two years. Out of the question and OUT of order, my son!’
Poor Wolfie, named after a lake - but I have read the score of Le Nozze di Figaro and it is perfect – so, not so poor as Salieri. N.


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