Wednesday, 2: 00 P. M
22 October, 1908
My dear parents,
The worst is behind us! That was last night's organ concert and the lecture preceding it. Quite frankly I was somewhat worried about this lecture Since I am not used to giving long talks in French…and the hall is enormous: three thousand people. But to my amazement I discovered that I felt as much at home in French as I do in German, and that it was easier for me to speak loudly and clearly in French than in German! I stood there without a manuscript, and within three minutes I sensed that I had captured my audience more surely than I had ever done before. I spoke for fifty-five minutes, and next came an organ recital that lasted for one hour. I have never been so successful. When the program ended, they all remained in their seats: I had to go back to my organ and play for another half hour; the audience was sorry to leave…it was half-past midnight!
Here, the concerts are announced for 9:15, but at that time there's not a soul in the auditorium; toward 9: 30 the first few people arrive, strolling about in the hall and the lobby, and toward ten o'clock, after three rings of a bell, the people deign to finally take their scats!
On Saturday, a grand concert with organ and orchestra is scheduled in the morning, and I have long rehearsals in the evening, for the organ is very difficult to play since the sound is always delayed. Luckily, I am well rested, and I am managing to overcome the difficulties. Absolutely everyone addresses me as "cher ma re"; the art critics settle down in the auditorium during rehearsals;my portrait is displayed in the music stores. It's such fun.
I am staying with Walter at the premier hotel on the grand square with splendid palm trees. I have a view of the square and the entire city all the way to the big mountains forty minutes away from here; they are as high as the Hohnack. I walk over to them every afternoon; it takes me a total of two hours.
The weather is the same as at home on a lovely June day.The men who were waiting for me at the railroad station roared with laugher when they saw Walter and me in overcoats.
As I am writing to you, the square below my window is filled with a terrible din. The king is arriving in an hour, and the troops are now taking up their positions. Tomorrow evening there will be a grand gala performance at the theater. I have been invited, but I am not going; I want to rest, for I feel too well to risk my excellent condition.
I will close now, otherwise the letter won't go off tonight. It has to be at the post office by four o'clock. There is no night train to France.
Please forward this letter to the Fhretsmanns and to the Woytts.
Hugs and kisses.
1.此句省略了“be”动词“was”，完整的句子应为:"the lecture was preceding it"。
2.连词“since”在此表示“因为”。固定搭配“be used to sth.”表示“习惯于……”。“介词in+语言”表示“说某种语言”。
3.英语中“to + one's+表示情感的词”较为常用，表示“让人……的是”。常见搭配有:to one's disappointment(让人失望的是);to ones satisfaction(让人满意的是);to one's surprise(让人惊讶的是);to one's resentment(让人愤怒的是)等等。
4.搭配“to feel at home”表示“自在，舒适”，此处表示说法语和德语都很自如。
5.搭配"address sb. as / by sth.”表示"称呼某人……”.
6.搽配"take up a position / post"表“上岗，就任”之意，此处指军队各执其职。