The Age (Queanbeyan, NSW: 1904-1907), Tuesday, October 15, 1907, p. 5.



Robert Browning

Photograph by Herbert Rose Barraud, ca. 188


The great Victorian poet was one of Joachim’s closest friends, and had a great admiration for the musician’s playing. On one occasion they were together at the house of a great hostess, and, after he had played several pieces, the ladies desired Browning to ask Dr. Joachim to delight them with one more item. Browning approached the master, and grandiloquently proffered the request. Joachim continued tenderly placing the violin in its case, while he looked blankly at the poet. Then he closed the case, nodded, and walked away. The hostess and the ladies were piqued, and later in the evening Browning mentioned the matter to Joachim. “Wanted more music!” the musician cried in surprise. “Then why on earth didn’t you say so? I hadn’t the slightest idea what you were driving at! If you’d only have said, ‘Come on, Joe, old fellow, let us have some more music,’ it would have been all right!” Joachim was often asked out to dinner by careful hostesses who wished to exploit the great musician without having to “pay the piper.” With characteristic acuteness he invariably defeated their ends by turning up without his violin. “What have you not brought your violin?” used to be the inevitable question. Joachim would sorrowfully shake his head and reply sadly, “No, madame, my violin never dines out.”  — “M.A.P.”