Smelly Peasants

One of Monteverdi’s most famous Operas, Orfeo, was performed last night at the Theater in London.  It was a beautiful day yesterday.  The sun finally made its grand appearance after many days of rain, but the roads were still muddy.  The theater was on the other side of town, so we had quite a long trip to get to it.  We had a wonderful journey until the road became too muddy to traverse upon it.  James, our driver, was forced to stop the carriage.  He jumped down and came over to us and said, “Forgive me, Sir and Lady Smitherton, but there seems to be a problem with the road up ahead.  It has become rather muddy.  We shall be forced to travel upon a different road.  May I have your permission?”  “Go right ahead, James.  You always seem to know just the right way,” replied Madam.
So off they went on a different road.  Everything was grand on the way until they had to go through the poor section of town where those smelly peasants lived.
“Ew-w-w, those dirty people.  Do we have to look at them? Their teeth are all brown, and their clothes are so grotesque.  Just look at those ladies exposing their bosoms.  Don’t they have any decency?  They hang their undergarments on the clothesline in view of everybody.  They laugh out loud.  They look like they are all intoxicated. We shouldn’t have to be forced to look at them.”  
Just then, we had to stop because James had to make sure we were on the right road.
He had to ask one of those smelly peasants if we were traveling in the right direction.  With his cockney accent, which I could barely understand, he said.  “Aye, me Lord, up the road to the second barn, then to the left.”  Then he tipped his dirty old hat and said, “Good-dye people ‘Tis a pleasure to meet someone so noble as you. Would you and madam care to share a pint with me at the pub?’  “Let’s go, James.  That man is so disgusting.  Ew-w-w-w. They shouldn’t show those revolting people to us.  They should send them out to sea to clean the toilets in the ships.  The further away they are, the better.  They have to ruin my journey by availing themselves to us.  I’ve often heard about those people from our friends at dinner parties, but I have never been in contact with any of them.  Why do they have to have poor people?  Why can’t they all be like us?  They are so disgusting.”
The night at the opera was a grand occasion.  The opera was about Orpheus, son of the Greek God, Apollo. It was a lavish production, and the orchestra was magnificent.  Monteverdi traveled all the way from Italy to be there in attendance, and everyone gave the performance a standing ovation.  Everything was so magnificent, except for those smelly peasants that she had to meet along the way.  She tried her hardest to forget about them and concentrate on the performance.  Little did she know that the composer was once a poor singer who had to beg the treasurer to pay him for the work that he did on the opera so he could eat.  Little did she know that most artists were once smelly peasants.


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