Hector Berlioz. A desired autograph.

The great composer Hector Berlioz was famous not only for his renowned genius works, but also for his great dislike towards the process of giving autographs. A popular singer Adelaida Patti during quite a long period of time regularly begged the composer to write something in her personal album. She asked to write just anything, even a few words would do. Berlioz was unyielding for a long time, but then he finally gave in. This is how it happened.

Once the singer suggested to the composer with a winsome smile: ‘Maestro, could you be so kind as to write several lines in my diary. It will take you just a minute or two. In return I promise to present you with a good gift. So there’s nothing you lose. What would you prefer, maestro, my singing to you or a liver paste of excellent quality which was sent to me from Toulouse this morning?

Berlioz listened to her attentively, reflected upon something for a while and then finally he made up his mind. He took the singer’s diary in his hands and wrote several phrases in Latin there. ‘What do these words mean?’ the singer asked Berlioz.

‘They mean, give me a liver paste!’ answered Hector with a satisfied smile.