Three Cheers

In 1900 Edward Elgar invited three ladies, teachers of English, French, and German, to a rehearsal of The Dream of Gerontius at a Birmingham school. They sent him this letter of thanks:

My cher Herr!

We sommes so full de Dankbarkeit and débordante Entzücken and sentons so weak et demütig that la Kraft of une Sprache seems insuffisante auszüdrücken our sentiments. Deshalb we unissons unsere powers et versuchen to express en Englisch, French, and Allemand das for que wir feel n’importe quelle Sprache to be insuffisante. Wie can nous beschreiben our accablante Freude and surprise! Wir do pas wissen which nous schützen most: notre Vergnügen to-morrow, ou die fact, que von all gens Sie thought à uns.

We sommes alle three fières und happy, et danken you de ganz our cœur.

Elgar passed it on to the Musical Times, which published it, calling its form of expression “somewhat Tower of Babelish.”