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Jula Ward Howe, Reminiscences: 1819-1899 2 0 Browse Search
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Jula Ward Howe, Reminiscences: 1819-1899, Chapter 6: Samuel Ward and the Astors (search)
s much pleased at recognizing, one evening, the strains of a brilliant waltz, of which he said: I heard it at a fair in Switzerland years ago. The Swiss women were whirling round in their red petticoats. On another occasion, we sang the well-known song, Am Rhein; and Mr. Astor, who was very stout and infirm of person, rose and stood beside the piano, joining with the singers. Am Rhein, am Rhein, da wachset susses Leben, he sang, instead of Da wachsen unsere Reben. My sister-in-law, Emily Astor Ward, was endowed with a voice whose unusual power and beauty had been enhanced by careful training. We sometimes sang together or separately at old Mr. Astor's musical parties, and at one of these he said to us, as we stood together: You are my singing birds. Of our two repertoires, mine was the most varied, as it included French and German songs, while she sang mostly operatic music. The rich volume of her voice, however, carried her hearers quite away. Her figure and carriage were fi