Jan 16 N.S.

[Owen Swiney, Venice, to Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond,

16 January 1727/8 N.S.]



Faustina continues to complain, most horridly, in

all her letters, to this place: she swears, she’l leave

London the Minute the season for opera’s, is at an End:

I fancy she will, and that she’l return again, before

they begin again.[1]




Jan 18

[Mrs. Pendarves to Mrs. Ann Granville, 19 January 1727-8]


[...] Yesterday

I was at the rehearsal of the new opera composed by

Handel:  I like it extremely, but the taste of the town

is so depraved, that nothing will be approved of but the

burlesque.  The Beggars’ Opera entirely triumphs over

the Italian one; I have not yet seen it, but everybody

that has seen it, says it is very comical and full of humour;

the songs will soon be published, and I will send them

to you.[2]




Jan 23–Mar 16

[Princess Caroline’s list of expenses]






Sent to Lady Colladon by Her R. Hss.


the 23d.

Orders for the poor French for Coals




To Mr. Ruperty for the Propagation

of the Gospel & for the Poor



To the Lutheren Church in the Savoy



To the German Reformed Church ditto



For this Book of Accounts



February 5.

To Mrs. Quenouault for putting a poor

Woman in the Hospital



To Mrs. Robethon for a Chest of Drawer



To Mr. Richd. Downes for 3 pr. of Silk Hoses




To Mr. J: Lions for 20 pr. of Gloves as p. bill



For Japan Tea boards & Cordel Cups.




For two Tickets of Radamistus


To Mr. Mat: Reynolds for 5. pr. of Shoes as p bill


To Mrs. B: Nobbs for Hoods &cr. as p. bill





To Mrs. An: Viet for Flowers as p. bill



For an Opera Ticket Siroe




To Mr. Bosch for ye. French Gazets a Year


To Mrs. Robethon what she disboursd as p. bill


To Mr. Jo. West for Lace as p. bill, by Mrs. Swinton



To Mr. M. Cross for 2. Girdels as p. bill



To Mr. L: Mettayer for Tape, as p. bill



To Mr. Jo. Lesage for a Silver Decanter as

p. bill



The Ballance due to me is £: 8: – : –


Approved by me

[signed] Carolina



Febr: 23.

Recd. of Her Rl. Highss. again


March. 16.

Recd. by Lady Portland







Jan 29

On Monday was represented for the first Time,

at the Theatre Royal in Lincoln’s Inn-Fields,

Mr. Gay’s new English Opera, written in a Manner

wholly new, and very entertaining, there being

introduced, instead of Italian Airs, above 60

of the most celebrated old English and Scotch

Tunes. There was present then, as well as last

Night, a prodigious Concourse of Nobility and

Gentry, and no Theatrical Performance for these

many Years has met with so much Applause.[4]




Feb 13 N.S.

[Owen Swiney, Venice, to Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond,

13 February 1727/8 N.S.]


Cavalier Nicolino (having waited Messrs. de

L’academies answer, to my proposals, about him, two

Months longer than the ordinary time, for receiving

answers to letters written, from hence, to London) has

been obliged to conclude a, conditional, bargain, which

he had Entred into, with Messrs. Grimani, for the Ensuing [377]

Carneval, at an increase of 400 Venetian Ducats, more

than he, ever, received, in any one Season, in Venice.

He performed in the two opera’s (which were acted

this winter) in St. Gio: Chrysostomo’s Theatre, with a

deserved, universal applause, & I think, much, better,

and with more spirit, than he did, when he was younger.

He had calls from Naples, Rome, Milan, & Turin; from

which, you may conclude, the Esteem he is in, at present,

in this Country. Im’e very Sorry that Messrs. de

L’academie do not think him, fit for their Service, tho’

I doe; and to speak my Mind, freely, to your Grace, I

think that no performer, in Italy, can add a greater

lustre, to the Academy (upon a supposition, always, that

Senesino continues, in England) than Cavalier Nicolino

can doe: indeed, were Senesino to leave you than the

Farinelli, or some other young performer wou’d be much

more proper.

If Messrs. de L’academie shall think him fit for

their next years Service, I shall Execute their commands,

when they Honour me with ’em.

There were, other, things which I recommended, in

ye same letter, and to which, I expect a speedy answer:

that is, I Expect an answer in a post or two, at least,

I think I ought reasonably to Expect one.



These Expences, draw to my Memory the Don Gratuit

which Messrs. de L’academie Honour me with annually, and

make me desire your Graces sollicitation of that most

necessary and much wanted Supply.[5]




Feb 3

This Week a Dramatick Entertainment has been

exhibited at the Theatre in Lincoln’s-Inn Fields,

entitled the Beggar’s Opera, which has met with a

general Applause, insomuch that the Waggs say it has

made Rich very Gay, and probably will make Gay

very Rich.[6]




Feb 5

A New Opera, composed by M. de la Coste,

entitled Arion, is to be performed in few Days.[7]




Feb 6

LONDON, Feb. 6.


We hear his Majesty has made a Present of the fine

Organ that was put up for the Coronation-Day in Westminster-

Abbey, to the said Church; and which is to be placed at the

West End of the Choir, and to stand in the same Form as that

at St. Paul’s, viz. with two Fronts. Made by Mr. Shrieder,

the King’s Organ-Builder.[8]




Feb 8

The BEGGARS OPERA, that is now

presented at the Theatre-Royal in Lincoln’s-Inn-

Fields, meets with that universal Applause, that

not one third Part of the Company that crowd

thither to see it, can get Admittance: which

occasions a new Run to the Provok’d Husband at

Drury-Lane; and so proves an equal Advantage

to both Houses.[9]




Feb 8

AT the King’s Theatre in the Hay-

Market, this present Thursday, being the 8th Day of

February, will be a BALL.

Tickets will be deliver’d to the Subscribers this Day, at

Mrs. White’s Chocolate-House in St. James’s-street, at the

usual Price.

A sufficient Guard is appointed within and without the

House, to prevent all Disorders and Indecencies; and to oblige

Persons guilty of ’em, immediately to quit the Place.

Strict Orders are given not to deliver any Bottles and

Glasses from the Side-Boards, and to shut them up early.

The Doors to be open’d at Half an Hour after 8 o’ Clock.

The Coaches are desired to come to the Hay-Market, and

the Chairs up Market-Lane from the Pall-Mall.

The Time being very short from the Opera to the Ball, for

the great Preparations to be made, no Persons whatsoever can

be admitted to see the House before the Ball begins.

If any Subscribers or others have any Tickets to spare, they

are desired not to give them to their Servants, but to send

them to the Office in the Hay-Market, where the Money

they cost shall be returned, to prevent their falling into bad





Feb 8

His Majesty was last Thursday-Night

at the Masquerade, where a Supper was

provided for him.

At the Masquerade the same Night

a Merchant’s Clerk in the City, won

4000 Guineas at the Hazard Table, and

went off with them. Some of the

Masqueraders having committed great

Disorders at a Tavern in Pall Mall, by breaking

the Windows, and wounding the Master of

the House; a Guard of Soldiers were sent

to protect the Vintner, and secure the Rioters.[11]




Feb 10

The Earl of Essex is preparing a fine Consort of Vocal

and Instrumental Musick, at his House in St. James’s Square,

for the Entertainment of their Majesties on Monday Night

next, who are then to stand Godfather and Godmother to his

Lordship’s new born Son, the Viscount Malden.[12]




Feb 10

The fine Organ made by Mr. Shrieder,

which was set up in Westminster Abbey,

and used on the Day of the Coronation,

has been presented to the said Abbey by

his Majesty. It is accounted one of the

best Performances of that Maker.[13]




Feb 12

The Beggar’s Opera is continued acting at the

Theatre-Royal in Lincoln’s-Inn-Fields, with the

greatest Applause, and to an Audience as numerous

as ever. And we are informed, That most

of the Boxes are taken to the 25th Night.[14]




Feb 17

We hear that the British Opera, commonly called

the Beggars Opera, continues to be acted, at the

Theatre in Lincoln’s-Inn Fields with general Applause,

to the great Mortification of the Performers and

Admirers of the Outlandish Opera in the Haymarket.[15]




Feb 17

His Majesty has subscrib’d 1000 l. to the

Opera’s in the Hay-Market.[16]




Feb 17


Re di Persia.


Da Rappresentarsi





Sold at the King’s Theatre in the Hay-

Market. M.DCC.XXVIII.[17]




Feb 17

On Saturday Night their Majesties, the Princess

Royal and the Princess Carolina went to the King’s

Theatre in the Haymarket, to see the Performance

of the New Opera call’d, Siroe.[18]




Feb 27 NS

[Owen Swiney, Venice, to Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond, 27 February 1727/8]



            By all the letters written from London, to this place, by Signora Faustina & Signor Boschi, people are persuaded that the dissolution of the academie, is not far distant: if the matter is not soe, they are both to blame, for their reports doe prejudice Messrs. de L’academie, by fright’ning those, who might be, very, usefull to ’em, from thoughts of going for England.

            Faustina complains that she is not paid by the Academy, & that she sings in a great many private places, without any presents &c.[19]




Feb 15

[John Gay to Jonathan Swift]


[“Whitehall. / Febr. 15. 1727/8”]


Dear Sir


I have deferr’d writing to you from time to time

till I could give you an account of the Beggar’s Opera. It is Acted at

the Playhouse in Lincoln’s Inn fields, with such success that the Play house

hath been crouded every night; to night is the fifteenth time of Acting, and ’tis

thought it will run a fortnight longer. I have order’d Motte to send the Play to you

the first opportunity. I made no interest either for approbation or money, nor

hath any body been prest to take tickets for my Benefit, notwithstanding which,

I think I shall make an addition to my fortune of between six and seven

hundred pounds. I know this account will give you pleasure, as I have push’d

through this precarious Affair without servility or flattery. As to any

favours from Great men I am in the same state you left me; but I am

a great deal happier as I have no expectations. The Dutchess of Queens-

berry hath signaliz’d her friendship to me upon this occasion in such a

conspicuous manner, that I hope (for her sake) you will take care

to put your fork to all in proper uses, and suffer nobody for the f<uture>

to put their knives in their mouths. Lord Cobham says that I should

printed it in Italian over against the English, that the Ladys might have

understood what they read. The outlandish (as they now call it) Opera hath been so thin of

late that some have call’d that the Beggars Opera, & if the run conti-

nues, I fear I shall have remonstrances drawn up against me by

the Royal Academy of Musick. [...][20]




Feb 27 N.S.

[Owen Swiney, Venice, to Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond,

27 February 1727/8 N.S.]



I beg your Grace not to forget, the affair of the

Money bill de Messrs. de L’academie.

I told your Grace (last post) that Cavaliere

Nicolini was (after waiting Messrs. de L’academies

answer, three Months’) obliged to conclude an Engagement

for the Ensuing year with the Signori Grimani, of St.

Gio: Chrysostoms &c.

I, now, must let you know, that the two Brothers

(Signori Valeriani, Romans) whom I recommended as the

ablest Scene painters, in Italy, are Engaged for the

next Winter, at Turin.

They refused an offer, made ’em, by the Signori

Grimani, for Five years (at my desire,) in hopes that

Messrs. de L’academie, may think fit to call ’em.

By all the letters written from London, to this

place, by Signora Faustina & Signor Boschi, people are

persuaded that the dissolution of the academie, is not

far distant: if the matter is not soe, they are both to

blame, for their reports doe prejudice Messrs. de

L’academie, by fright’ning those, who might be, very, [378]

useful1 to ’em, from thoughts of going for England.

Faustina complains that she is not paid by the

Academy, & that she sings in a great many private places,

without any presents &c.

I wait some sort of answer to the other matters

which I proposed to Messrs. de L’academie: & I believe

’twou’d be more for their interest that Mr. Haym gave

me (now and then) some information of the state &

condition of their affairs: but they are the best & only

judges of these matters.

I, once more recommend the money bill to your

speedy care.[21]




Feb 23

[23 February 1728]

There is an Italian Opera in London, the contractors being

certain noblemen at Court. The sumphony is composed of skilled

musicians, both English and foreign, and the singers are all

Italian. Two famous singers, the Faustina and the Cozzoni, and

one of the brothers Senazini are at present singing here; they are

said to be the finest singers in Europe, and are very well paid, the

two former receiving each £1,500, and the latter £1,200 sterling,

for singing three times a week for four months, besides a benefit

night, which brings them in about £250 sterling each. The Court

and town, men and women, are divided into two parties, one

admiring the Faustina and the other the Cozzoni, and both parties

load their respective favourite with presents, compliments, and

flatteries. I must own that both these women are excellent and

admirable singers, and can do anything they wish with their

throats; such excellent singers have never been heard before, and

I cannot tell you which of the two I prefer. [170]

There are no men or women dancers at the opera, neither

is there any machinery, but the scenes and decorations are often

changed, some of them being of rare beauty; and it is a delight to

the eyes to see the King, the Queen, and the Royal Family, the

peers and peeresses, always beautifully dressed. One cannot

understand much about the intrigue of the piece; it is sung in

Italian, and the words that suit the music are sung over and over

again. The opera is expensive, for you must pay half a guinea for

the best places.[22]




Feb 27

[Lord Chamberlain’s Records]


These are to pray and require you to pay or Cause to be paid to Mr. Christopher Smith

the sum of Thirty Pounds Ten Shillings for Copying the Anthems composed by Mr.

Handel for His Majesty’s Coronation, Also to pay him the sum of Three pounds two

Shillings and Six pence for Office Fees.  Amount[in]g in all to the sum of Thirty Three

Pounds Twelve Shillings & Sixpence.  And for so doing this shall be your Warrant

Given under my hand this 27th. Day of Feb[rua]ry 1727/8 In the first Year of His

Majesty’s Reign.

To the Hon[oura]ble S[i]r John Hobart Bart. &c.                               Grafton

Marginal entry: Mr: Smith for Copying Anthems Composed for His Majesty’s


s d





These are to pray and require you to pay of Cause to be paid to Mr Barn[ar]d Gates for

the several persons in the Annext List for two Rehearsals and P[er]forming the

Anthems at his Majesty’s Coronation the several Sums opposite to their Names. 

Amounting to the Sum of Forty four pounds two Shillings as Certifyed by the Sub

Dean of His Majesty’s Chapel.  Also to pay them the sum of Four pounds Ten Shillings

and Sixpence for Office Fees Amounting in all to the sum of Forty Eight Pounds

Twelve Shillings and Six pence.  And for so doing this shall be your Warrant Given

under my hand this 27th Day of Feb[rua]ry 1727/8. in the first Year of His Majesty’s


To the Hon[our]ble S[i]r John Hobart Bart. &c.                                 Grafton

Marginal entry: Vocal Musick for p[er]forming at His Ma[jes]t[y]’s Coronation.

s d





These are to pray and require you to pay, or Cause to be paid to Mr: Christopher

Smith for the Fifty Seven Supernumery P[er]formers of Musick at His Majesty’s

Coronation each the sum of Three pounds three Shillings, and for the use of the

Instrum[en]ts and other expences the sum of Fifteen Pounds Fifteen Shillings as

appears by the Annext Bill Certifyed by Mr. Handal.  Also to pay them sum of Twenty

Pounds and four pence for Office Fees Amounting in all to the sum of Two Hundred

Fifteen pounds Six Shillings and four pence.  And for so doing this shall be your

Warrant.  Given under my hand this 27th day of Feb[rua]ry 1727/8.  In the first Year of

His Majesty’s Reign.

To the Hon[oura]ble S[i]r John Hobart Bart. &C.                              Grafton

Marginal entry: Instum[en]t[a]l Musick for p[er]foming at His Majesty’s Coronation

s  d





Feb 29

[Mrs. Pendarves to Mrs. Anne Granville, 29 February 1727-8]


[...] The Opera

will not survive after this winter; I wish I was a poet

worthy the honour of writing its elegy.  I am certain

excepting some few, the English have no real taste

for musick; for if they had, they could not neglect an

entertainment so perfect in its kind for a parcel of ballad

singers.  I am so peevish about it, that I have no

patience.  [...][24]




Mar 12

[Mrs. Pendarves to Mrs. Ann Granville, 12 March 1728]


[...] I shall go to the

opera to-night I believe.  I have sent to Lady Sunderland

to know if she has any room in her box.  To-morrow

morning an opera is to be rehearsed; I have not heard

of the fame of it, its name nor author.  The last is a

charming piece of musick, but quite neglected for the

Beggars’ Opera. [...][25]




Mar 14

[Mrs. Pendarves to Mrs. Ann Granville, 14 March 1727-8]


I desire you will introduce the Beggars’ Opera at

Glocester; you must sing it everywhere but at church, if

you have a mind to be like the polite world.  I was

last Tuesday at the Italian Opera with the club, ’twas

sweet and lovely: it gave me infinite pleasure, and

you accompanied every delightfull note. [...][26]




Mar 19

[Mrs. Pendarves to Mrs. Ann Granville, 19 March 1727-8]


Operas are something mended within this fortnight; [166]

they are much fuller than they have been any time this

winter.  [...][27]




Mar 20

[John Gay to Jonathan Swift]


[“March. 20th. 1727/8.”]


[...] The Beggar’s

Opera hath now been acted thirty six times, and was as full the

last night as the first, and as yet there is not the least probabi-

lity of a thin audience; though there is a discourse about the town

that the Directors of the Royal Academy of Musick are design

to sollicite against it’s being play’d on the outlandish Opera

days, as it is now call’d. On the Benefit day of one of the

Actresse’s last week one of the players falling sick they were

oblig’d to give out another play or dismiss the Audience, A Play

was given out, but the people call’d out for the Beggar’s Opera, &

they were forc’d to play it, or the Audience would not have stayd. [174v]

I have got by all this success between seven & eight hundred

pounds, and Rich, (deducting the whole charge of the House)

hath clear’d already near four thousand pounds. In about a

month I am going to the Bath with the Dutchess of Marlborough

and Mr Congreve, for I am have no expectations of receiving any

favours from the Court. [...]. There is a Mezzo-tinto Print publish’d to day

of Polly, the Heroine of the Beggar’s Opera, who was before

unknown, & is now in so high vogue, that I am in doubt, whether

her fame does not surpass that of the Opera itself. [...][28]




Mar 23

To the Author of the LONDON JOURNAL.


AS there is nothing which

surprizes all true Lovers of

Musick more, than the Neglect

into which the Italian Operas

are at present fallen; so I

cannot but think it a very

extraordinary Instance of the fickle

and inconstant Temper of the

English Nation: A Failing which They have

always been endeavouring to cast upon their

Neighbours in France, but which They themselves have

at least as good a Title to; as any one may be

satisfied of, who will take the pains to consult our

best Historians. I shall not examine These at

present, intending to confine myself within the

Compass of a few Observations, that relate to the

Behaviour of my ingenious Countrymen, in regard

only to the State of Operas. The Original of

these Dramatick Entertainments among Us, is of

so late a Date, that ’tis very easy to call to mind

the Circumstances with which they were attended

at their first Appearance. Notwithstanding the

Reflections that were cast on them by some true

Britons, who thought themselves above submitting

to a foreign Nation in any Point, that they were

a ridiculous, senseless, and unnatural Diversion;

yet as their Interest was espous’d by People of the

most polite Taste, they continued to gain ground

to such a Degree, that the whole Nation seem’d

in a short Time almost unanimous in the

Encouragement of them. Our English Language was

by degrees discarded with our English Musick;

and we appear’d to be so entirely converted to an

Italian Taste, that we were not able to bear with any

Voice which was produced under our own Climate.

In short, we were grown so nice, as to see even

the Italians themselves glad of our Leavings. ’Tis

remark’d on the Genius of the English, that though

They are not the First in hitting upon a new

Invention, yet They are observed to carry their

Improvements on it to a greater Height and

Perfection than any People whatsoever. The present

State of our Operas may convince us of this

Truth. We were never satisfied as long as there

was any thing wanting to make them as compleat

as an Entertainment of that sort, in respect of

the Musick and Voices, (which are the essential

Parts of an Opera,) was capable of being. Every

one knows with what Eagerness and Impatience

we waited for each of our principal Performers in

their Turns. And now we have compass’d our

Point, and brought together Three such Voices

as have never been equall’d in any Age; and

a Composer, who is able to set each of them off

to the best Advantage; with such a Band of

Musicians to accompany them, as is not to be match’d

in Europe; (to say nothing of the Decorations of

the Stage;)= it might be reasonably concluded,

that we should sit down contented, and enjoy the

Fruits of all the Trouble which we have been at

in procuring them. But instead of taking this

Satisfaction, we have behaved our selves like

Children, who never cease to cry for a new

Plaything ’till they have got it, and as soon as they

have it, throw it away. The Improvements of

our Operas have served only to raise Disputes

among us, and to divide us into Parties, and this

without the least Foundation in Reason: For all

the Arguments that can be brought by either

Party in Defence of their Favourite Singer,

amount to no more, than if two Men were to enter

into Dispute about the Perfections of their

Mistresses; and the one should argue that his must

be the handsomest Woman in the World, because

she has a beautiful Face; and the other should

assert that his Mistress must be so, because she

has an exact Shape: for until it can be decided,

whether a fine Face or a fine Shape is the more

agreeable Qualification of the Two, the

Dispute is like to end just where it began. In

this manner have we a long Time been

quarrelling about two Voices, which are both very

perfect in their Kinds, and very different; and

because neither Side has been able to bring over

the other to its Opinion, They both seem

resolved in a Pet to throw up their Concern for an

Entertainment, in which They are convinc’d that

neither of them has had due Deference paid to its

Judgment. This appears to me to be a pretty fair

State of the Case; and if it is so, it will not be

hard to judge, whether that excessive Fondness for

Italian Operas, which has of late Years over-run

the Nation, has proceeded really from a true Taste

of good Musick, or only from a violent Affectation

of it. But however this Question might have been

debated, Mr. RICH has I think now quite put it

out of Dispute. I wou’d not be thought here to

speak with any Prejudice or Ill-will to The Beggar’s

Opera, in which I am willing to allow there is a

great deal of true low Humour. I only wish this

Performance had been produced at any other

Time, when it cou’d not have been capable of

doing so much Disservice to an Entertainment of a

better sort. Besides, as we can have this Diversion

four Nights in a Week, on which we cannot have

an Italian Opera, I think ’tis a little hard to desert

the latter on those only two Nights on which we

can hear it. The Academy has certainly neglected

nothing this Winter which might engage the

Town on their Side: for we have never had three

such Operas performed in any one Season as have

been in this; and yet the House has seldom been

filled; which was a Demonstration that our Relish

for Italian Musick was decaying. The Manager

of the New Playhouse was too quicksighted not to

perceive by this, that our Encouragement of the

Italians proceeded not from any real Affection to

their Musick. He has accordingly shown his

Judgment very much, in discerning wherein the

true English Taste naturally consists; and by his

late Contrivance has reduced almost all the Nation

to their primitive State of Ballad-Singers. Dr.

SWIFT has observed, that there is a peculiar String

in the Harmony of Human Understanding, which,

in several Individuals is exactly of the same

Tuning: This, says he, if you can dext’rously screw

up to its right Key, and then strike gently upon

it; whenever you have the good Fortune to light

among those of the same Pitch, they will by a secret

Sympathy strike exactly at the same Time. But

here it is a very nice Point to adapt this Talent with

Respect to the Differences of Persons and Times;

for otherwise, you may so order Affairs, as to pass

for a Fool or a Madman in one Company, when

you might have pass’d for a Philosopher in

another. It is very apparent how dext’rously the

Manager abovemention’d has screw’d up this String to

its right Pitch; and how perfectly well He has

adapted it to the Persons and Times He has to

deal with. The Beggar’s Opera I take to be a

Touchstone to try the British Taste on; and it has

accordingly proved effectual in discovering our true

Inclinations: which, how artfully soever they may

have been disguis’d for a while, will one Time or

another start up again and disclose themselves.

AEsop’s Story of the Cat, who at the Petition of her

Lover was changed into a fine Woman, is pretty

well known: Notwithstanding which Alteration,

we find, that upon the Appearance of a Mouse,

she cou’d not resist the Temptation of springing out

of her Husband’s Arms to pursue it; tho’ it was

upon the very Wedding-Night. Our English

Audience have been for some Time returning to their

Cattish Nature; of which some particular Sounds

of late from the Gallery have given us sufficient

Warning. And since now They have so openly

declared Themselves, I must only desire They will

not think They can put on the fine Woman again,

just when They please, but e’en content

Themselves with their Skill in Catterwauling. For my

own Part, I cannot think it would be any Loss at

all to such as are true Lovers of Musick, if all

those false Friends, who have made Pretensions to

it only in Compliance with the Fashion, wou’d

separate Themselves from Them; provided our

Italian Opera cou’d be brought under such

Regulations as to go on without ’em. We might then be

able to sit and enjoy an Entertainment of this Sort,

free from those Noises and Disturbances which are

so frequent in an English Audience, without any

Regard, not only to the Performers, but even to

the Presence of Majesty itself. In short, my

Comfort is, that although so great a Desertion may

force us to contract the Expences of our Operas,

which will put an end to our seeing them in as

great a Perfection as at present; yet we shall at

least be able to hear them without any Interruption.

I am, SIR, &c.[29]




Apr 8 N.S.

[Owen Swiney, Padova, to Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond,

8 April 1728 N.S.]



I hear nothing from Messrs. de L’academie: nor, as

yet, nothing from Mr. Haym, which puts me to a very,

great difficulty’s, & if your Grace does not stand by Me

now, I shall be quite undone.[30]




Apr 4

From the London Evening-Post, April 4. 1728.

To the Author.


THE kind Reception given by the Publick to some late Discoveries in the Papers of the Plagiaries of Swift, Pope, Arbuthnot, and their Accomplices, have encouraged me to proceed in my Search, the Effects of which I desire you to publish in the following Instances.

            We whose Names are signify’d by the following initial Letters do declare,

1. That the Authors have been heard to confess, that an Epigram on Handel and Bononcini, printed in the last Volume of Miscellanies, did not belong to any of them.


——To all these Assertions we are ready to make Oath if called upon; and will be heard of at Mr. Lintot’s whensoever any of the Gentlemen injur’d will put in their Claim.  J.H.  J.C.  L.S.  J.E.

                                                                        I am, SIR,

                                                                                    Your Humble Servant,





Apr 4

Signiora Faustina, Mrs. Cuzzoni, Signior

Senesino, his Brother, and many other Italian Voices

perform’d in the Consort at the Portugal Envoy’s.

His Excellency has promis’d to repair the Damage

done to Golden Square.[32]




Apr 4

On Tuesday and Wednesday last a great many of the

Ministers of State, Foreign Ministers and Nobility dined with

the Envoy of Portugal in Golden Square on the Account of the

double Royal Marriage in Spain and Portugal.  There were

illuminations Tuesday and Wednesday in the Evening, and

on Thursday Evening there was a Masquerade.  Signiora

Faustina, Mrs. Cuzzoni, Signior Senesino, and many other

Italian Voices performed in a Consort there, and during the

Rejoycings there was a large Cask filled with several

Hogsheads of Wine placed within the Rails of the Square, out of

which the Wine ran into a Leaden Cistern without the Rails,

for the Pouplace [sic], many of whom were found lying Drunk in

the Streets the next Morning.  The Rails were pull’d down

and the Cask carried away.  His Excellency has promised to

repair the Damage in the Square.[33]




Apr 12 – Jun 1

Voiage / D[’]Angleterre / D’hollande / Et / De Flandre /

[...] / fait, / En L’année / 1728. /

Par Mr. Fougeroux / Pierre jacques


[...] Leur musiciens

sont aussi mauvais que Leur Sculpteurs, ils

ont Recours en Cela aux Italiens[.]

[211 ...]


L’opera qui autrefois n’etoit Rien, est

devenu depuis trois ans un Spectacle Consi-

derable, ils ont fait venir d’Italie Les plus [212]

belles voix [et] Les plus habiles symphonistes et

y ont ajouté Ce que L’Allemagne a de meil-

leur. Cela Leur Coute tant qu’on parloit a mon

départ de Londres de La Rupture de Cet opera[.]

il n’y avoit que Six voix dont trois etoient

excellentes, La fameuse faustine de Venise[,]

La Cuzzoni et Senesino fameux Castrattes, –

deux autres Castrattes[,] Balbi et Palmerini

et Boschi pour La basse, autant bon que

peut estre un italien pour Cette partie qui

est tres rare Chez eux. J’avois dejà entendu

a Venise Les trois belles voix, et Comme il

y a douze ans elles etoient encore meilleures

qu’a présent; La faustine a un gosier

Charmant et La voix assez grande mais un

peu rude, sa figure et Sa beauté sont des

plus mediocres, La Cuzzoni quoique d’une

voix plus foible a une douceur qui enchan-

te avec des passages divins, apres La fameu-

se Santine de Venise qui ne joue plus.

presentement, L’Italie n’a point eu de[s]

plus belles voix que les deux femmes: Le

Sanesino est tout ce qu’ils ont eu de meilleur[,]

bon musicien, beau gosier et assez bon acteur[.]

On donnoit a Senesino 1600 pieces ou Livres

Sterlings valant 35000 ff monoye de france

et 1500 pieces a chaque des deux actrices

quoique L’opera ne Se joue que deux fois

La Semaine, Les mardys et Les samedys[,]

et qu’il Cesse pendt: L’esté, C’est un paix exor-

bitant et Le moyen dont ils Se font Service

pour enlever tout ce que L’italie avoit de



L’orchestre etoit Composé de vingt

quatre violons Conduit par Les deux Castrucci [213]

freres, deux Clavessins, dont Indel [Handel] allemand

grand joueur et grand Compositeur en tou-

choit un, un Archilut, trois violoncelles, deux

Contrebasses, trois bassons et quelquefois

des flutes et des Clairons. Cet orchestre fait

un grand fracas, Comme il n’y a point

de partie du milieu Les vingt quatre

violons ne jouent ordinairement que Le

premier et Le Second dessus, Ce qui est

extremement brillant et d’une belle execu-

tion, Les deux Clavessins [et] L’archilut font

Les accords et Les parties du milieu, il n’y a

qu’un violoncelle, Les deux Clavessins et

L’archilut pour Le Recitatif. La musique

en est bonne et tout a fait dans Le gout

italien, a L’exception de quelques morceaux

tendres dans Le gout francois. C’est Indel

qui a Composé Les troix opera[s] que j’ay veu.

Le premier etoit Ptolemé Roy d’Egypte, Le

second Siroé Roy de Perse, Et Le troisieme

Admette Roy de Tessalie. C’étoient d’anciens

operas Italiens pour Les paroles que L’on

avoit traduit en vers Anglois a Coté de

L’italien en faveur des dames. Comme il

n’y a aucun Spectacle en danses en decora-

tions en Machines et que Le theatre est

denué de * Choeur et de Cette multitude d’acteurs

qui decorent La scene, on peut dire que Le

nom d’opera est mal appliqué a Ce Spec-

tacle, C’est plutôt un beau Concert Sur un



[*] Il n’y a qu’un trio ou

quatuor a La fin et

deux duo dans tout



La salle en est petitte et d’un gout fort

mediocre, Le theatre assez grand avec de [214]

mauvaises * decorations, il n’y a point d’am-

phiteatre[,] Ce n’est qu’un parterre, ou sont

de grands bans Ceintrez jusqu’a L’orchestre

ou Les hommes et Les femmes Sont assis

pesle-mesle. Les Loges Sont Louées a L’année[.]

au fond de La salle il s’eleve une galerie

Ceintrée soutenue par des piliers qui donnent

dans Le parterre et elevée Comme nos Secon-

des Loges: C’est pour La petitte bourgeoisie[,]

On y donne Cependant Cinq schelings qui

font 5ff 10s. de france. Les places du parterre

sont d’une demie guinée, valant 11ff 10s. Le Roy

a deux Loges Contre Le theatre, il y veint [sic]

deux fois avec La Reine; Les princesses etoient

vis a vis dans une autre Loge; On bat des

mains quand Le roy arrive et on Le Salue

en sortant; il n’avoit que deux hallebardiers

pour toute garde. Les bords du theatre sont

ornez de Colones, Le longs desquels Sont atta-

chez des miroirs avec des bras et plusieur de

bougies, ainsi qu’aux pilastres qui Soutien-

nent La galerie du fond de La Salle, aulieu

de Lustres ce Sont de vilains Chandeliers de

bois soutenus de Cordes Comme on en voit aux

danseurs de Cordes: Rien n’est plus vilain

Ce Sont pourtant des bougies par tout.


[*] Dans les changemens

de decorations on se

sert d’une sonette au-

lieu d’un siflet.


Comme vous n’estes pas sectateur

de La musique italienne, Je n’ose pas vous

dire, Monsieur, qu’excepté Le Recitatif et

La mauvaise maniere d’accompagner en

Coupant Le Son de Chaque accord, il y a des

arrettes magnifiques pour L’harmonie avec

des accompagnement de violons qui ne

Laissent Rien a Souhaiter. Les ouvertures de [215]

Ces operas sont des especes de sonates en fugues

fort belles. J’y entendis un morceau de someil

fort imité de Ceux que vous Connoissez dans

nos operas. On avoit meslé dans une de Ces

ouvertures des Corps [sic] de Chasse ainsi que

dans Le * Chorus de La fin[,] ce qui faisoit des



[*] Ce Chorus est composé

seulement de quatre



Les Concerts

Pendant que nous sommes Sur La

musique, il faut vous parler des Concerts

publics de Londres[,] qui sont peu de Chose en

Comparaison des nôtres. Nous en entimes *

un qui se tint dans une salle basse, toute

peinte mais fort noircie qui sert ordinai-

rement de salle a danser; il y a une tribu-

ne au bout ou L’on monte quelques mar-

ches, C’est ou se met La musique. On y

joua quelques sonates et L’on y Chanta

des vaudevilles anglois et allemands: On

paye pour Ces mauvais Concerts Cinq

schelings qui valent 5ff 10s. Nous entendi-

mes encore un autre Concert au premier

etage, dans un Caffé ou Les violons de

L’opera s’exercent tous Les jeudys, il n’y

avoit que des allemands qui executent fort

bien, mais qui jouent durement, un entre

autre[s] joua tres bien de La flutte alle-

mande, Nous y vismes aussi un ministre

jouer du violoncelle.


* Contre La Pompe a



Vous serez Surpris, Monsieur, de ce

que je vais vous dire, que parmy Les gens de

qualitez hommes et femmes il y en a peu

qui s’attachent a La musique. On ne Scait

Ce que C’est que de Concerter ensemble [216]

tout Le plaisir Conciste a bien boire et a

fumer; vous scavez Monsieur, Combien

L’occupation de La musique en france

detourne La jeunesse de La debauche et de

quel Commerce elle devient par tout.

[... 217 ... 220 ... Lincoln’s-Inn-Fields theatre] On

y jouoit une espece d’opera Comique

appellé L’opera des gueux, a Cause qu’on y

Representoit une bande de voleurs de[s]

grands Chemins avec Leur Capitaine, dont [221]

il n’y avoit que deux acteurs de bons et une

fille appelleé [sic] fenton assez jolie. L’orchestre

est aussi mauvais que L’autre [Drury Lane theatre]. Tout est en

vaudevilles avec de mechante musique[.]

On pretendoit que Le poëte avoit fait

quelque application au gouvernement

present. On y boit a chaque moment, on

y fume, et Le Capitaine avec huit fem-

mes qui Luy tiennent Compagnie dans

La prison Les baise a plusieurs reprises.

On alloit Le faire pendre au Cinquieme

acte, mais avec de L’argent il a L’adresse

de se sauver du Gibet, C’est par ou L’opera

finit. Je vous ennuyerois de vous parler des

Contredanses de La fin.


Les Bals.

Il se fait de temps en temps des bals

publics sur Le theatre de L’opera, ou

chaque personne donne pour entrer plus

de dix ecus de france. La danse est Ce qu’il

y a de moins interressant; sur Les Cotez

du theatre, L’on pratique dans plusieurs

pieces bien ornées des divertissemens de

jeu et ou L’on vous donne a boire de toutes

sortes de vin et de Liquers imaginables

avec des viandes froides et des Confitures a

discretion, Jugez Monsieur si <?ou> divertissemt.

est du gout des Anglois. Tout Le monde y est

masqué en Domino. Le parterre se Leve

a niveau de theatre de la même maniere

que Le Notre: il y eut encore pendant

nostre sejour un bal Chez Le Duc de Norfort

ou Le Roy et toute La Cour se trouverent

La magnificence y partut dans Les habits

dans Les piereries et Les Rafraichissemens[.][34]




May 14 N.S.

[Owen Swiney, Venice, to Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond,

14 May 1728 N.S.]


Your inviting me to Goodwood, as Ecuyer (or

Secretaire) to the Duke of Richmond, is so, very, Signal

a Mark of your favour, towards me, That I can never

forget it, tho’ I shou’d live to the age of Methusalem.

I am, so, busily Employed, now, in my great Work, that

I cannot accept of that favour ’till your pieces to

Their Majesties King William and King George are finished.


I am Sorry to hear that matters go so, very, ill

with the academy & that a faithfull Servant of Theirs is

likely to loose the Regalo or Salary of one intire year

and to be, likewise, saddled with postage of letters and

pacquets, received and forwarded on their accounts.

I can shew your Grace that they promised me, a

certain Establishment, and this I shall do, by articles

taken out of their Secretary’s first two letters to me--

in that dated April 23d 1724 Mr. Haym tells me that he

had orders from the Royal Academy of Musick to write to

me, & to desire that I would Establish a correspondence

with him, & that I might from time to time give ’em an

account of Such Singers &c. as I shou’d think fit for

the English Theatre. And then, he says, in consideration

of these Services, They design to settle, upon you, a

reasonable gratification--in the letter of April 30th

1724 he repeats the contents of the first letter and

adds several, other, articles, and then Encourages me

not to neglect the Service of the academy, for says he,

They have resolved to make you a very considerable Salary

(stabilimento Onorato, per lei) in regard of your trouble. [379]

Wou’d any body think, now, that Messrs. de

L’academie, did not think me, Engaged in their Service,

if any body says that I was not, I desire to know

whether they wou’d have taken amisse the Neglect of

the orders received from their Secretary?

The thing is so plain that to talk of it, wou’d

bring the matter into doubt.

I have been Employed, four years, in their

Service, And I have received (on this account) £300

sterling. The opera of Elpidia cost me above £40 and I

was above £40 more out of pocket for copying the scores

of opera’s, ordered by Messrs. de L’academie. I beg to

know, out of what fund, am I to pay a journey to Parma

about the Faustina’s bargain, or, the copying Musick,

which I have sent, at several times, to London, with

several, other, Expences which any body that resolved

to have serv’d ’em well & faithfully must have been at.

But supposing that I never spent a farthing in copying

of Songs or seeing opera’s, or treating of Damned Eunuchs

with a dish of Chocolate, or Tea (or journeying to

Parma,) Then it appears that I have received £220 for

four years Service.

I find by the Question that was asked your Grace,

viz. [what] Mr. Swiny had done for the academy (since the

last gratification) That Messrs. de L’academie, have

forgotten that I received (from ’em) some orders, within

this, very, year--therefore I think it necessary to

mention it. Their Secretaries letter June 9th 1727 says

Messrs. Les Directeurs have ordered me to write to you,

that you may find out, immediately, one of the best

Women Singers (with a soprano Voice) for their Service,

for the next season &c. but not to conclude a bargain,

with her, ’till further orders. And then he says, towards

the end of his letter--that <…> serve the Academy

in this affair, with more Exactnesse, <…> know,

that The Signora Cuzzoni was discharged the Service of

the Academy, on Saturday last &c. & that the person you

are desired to find out, is to supply her place--after I

received this order I had provided a woman (extreamly

well Qualifyed) had there been any occasion for one, and

waited Three Month’s the further order of Messrs. de

L’academie, tho’ at that very time, My occasions called

me to Bologna &c.

I give your Grace a great deal of trouble, & Im’e

affraid to, very little purpose, but I hope, you’l forgive

me if I declare to the World, the treatment I have

met with, from Messrs. de L’academie. If I am to pay the

Twenty odd pounds, charg’d (by Mr. Smith) for letters &c.

pray let me know it, that you may have no further trouble

about this, not very Honourable affair.

I am Obliged to your Grace for your intended

recommendation to the gentlemen (if the Scheme takes

place) of the Company who are to carry on the opera’s &c.

for the future; but you’l do me a, very, Signal favour

if you leave me out of that Commission, Especially, if

your Grace has nothing to do, in the Management of it.

They can never want Italians, who will serve ’em, [380]

Much Worse, and Much dearer.

The Faustina, always, writes of the great obligations

that She owes the Duke and Duchesse of Richmond,

but complains that She is not paid, & that regalo’s are

not made her, Where She is called to Sing &c.[35]




May 11

[Mrs. Pendarves to Mrs. Anne Granville, 11 May 1728]


Mr. Dubourg is just come from Dublin; our friends

there propose being in England some time this month; [173]

he left my brother in good health.  [...]

There is to be but four opera nights more, and then

adieu to harmony of that kind for ever and ever.  Senesino

and Faustina have hired themselves to Turin and to

Venice for the next winter and the carnival following.  [...][36]




May 16

[John Gay to Jonathan Swift]


[“Bath. May 16 1728.”]


[...] The Beggar’s Opera is acted here, but our Polly

here hath got no fame, but the Actor’s have got money. I have sent by

Dr Delany the Opera Polly Peacham, & Captain Macheath, I would have

sent you my own head wch is now graving to make up the Gang, but it

is not yet finish’d. I suppose you must have heard that I have had

the honour to have had a sermon preach’d against my works by a Court

Chaplain, which I look upon as no small addition to my fame. [...][37]





[Owen Swiney to Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond]



P.S. My hopes to recover any thing from Messrs. de

L’academie, depend intirely on your Grace’s warm

Sollicitation in my favour and laying before ’em ye Services

of four years, during which time, their Petitioner has

been, more than once, publickly, thank’d for his

faithful Services &c.

Mr. Handel & Mr. Heidegger, both, are convinced

that my request is just & have promised me to Sollicite

your Grace & ye other Members of ye late Society &c.[38]




Jun 8

[Lord Chamberlain’s Records]


These are to pray and require your Lordship to pay or Cause to be paid to Mr:

Christopher Shrider the sum of One Hundred and Thirty Pounds for putting up a

large Organ in Westminster Abbey for the P[er]formance of Mr: Handals Vocal and

Instrumental Musick on the Coronation of His Majesty and the Queen as Appears by

the Annext Bill Certifyed by Mr. Barnard Gates Tuner of the Regals and Organs.  And

for so doing this shall be your Lord[shi]p’s Warrant.  Given under my hand this 8th Day

of June 1728.  In the first Year of His Majesty’s Reign.

To the R[igh]t Hon[oura]ble the L[or]d Hobart Bart. &c.                  Grafton

Marginal entry: Mr Shrider for provide[in]g an Organ for His Majesty’s Coronation





Jul 1

Last Night there was a fine Concert of Musick, for the

Entertainment of several Persons of Distinction, at Mr. Gates’s

House, Master of the Singing Boys belonging to his Majesty’s

Royal Chapel at St. James’s.[40]




Jul 3

Signor Senesino and Signora Faustina, two

famous Performers in the Italian Opera’s, have

taken Leave of their Majesties, designing in a few

Days to return by the Way of France to Italy.[41]




Jul 11

The famous Signiora Cuzzoni, who is now

Lying-in, will set out in a Month’s time on her

Return to Italy.[42]




Jul 30 N.S.

[Owen Swiney, Venice, to Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond,

30 July 1728 N.S.]



I desire your Grace will see that I am treated by

Messrs. de L’academie as every body, else is, that

received an yearly Sallary, from ’em: This is but reasonable

(I think) & shou’d they say I was not employed, by

’em (this lasy {sic} year) Mr. Haym’s letter to me, for

providing a Woman in ye room of Cuzzoni, will convince

’em that I was. I suppose, by ye Summes of Money

appointed me (by ’em) at several times, they intended me a

Salary of an Hundred pounds a year--& at an Hundred

pounds a year I desire to be charged: & I desire to

receive, in proportion, as other Salary people have been

or shall be paid.

I beg your Grace will not forget the Bill of Two

and Twenty pounds which they leave me to pay; tho’ the

Money was paid by Mr. John Smith of London for the

postage of letters & pacquets sent & received for ye use

of the academy &c.[43]




Aug 29

GIOVEDÌ 30. Gennaro, 1729




Essendoci venúto, fatto di trovár la príma cópia d’ una

Léttera che fu da qualqúno di quì inviáta ad un

Amíco d’ Itália, ove si párla de’ drami musicáli in

Inghiltérra, e stimándo poter ésser gráta al Público,

quì la poniámo per lo appunto, com’ è a noi



Londra li 29. Agosto 1728.

Carissimo Amico,

TRoppo mi chiedéte domandándomi colla vostra

un ragguáglio del génio di questa Nazióne concernénte

alla Música, esséndo che le Opere, quali

parévano così bene ed onorevolménte stabilíte,

síano poi ad un tratto cadùte. La brevità d’ una Léttera

non può contenére quanto sarébbe necessário, nè la mia

insufficiénza lo permétte; ma come nulla a voi posso negáre,

procurerò in breve di adempíre tânto che mi sarà possíbile

alla vostra richiésta.

Per darvi adunque un sággio del genio loro in essa, vi

dirò: che quasi da dugent’ anni scorsi sono gl’ Inglési stati

così osservanti delle buone régole e della Maéstrìa nel compórre,

che senza essagerazióne può dirsi, che da Enrico VIII. sino

a tempi di Giacomo I. ed anche più oltre, nello stile

ecclesiastico e divóto mai anno avúto di che invidiare ad alcun

altra Nazióne; e bastarébbe, se altri non vi fóssero stati, il

loro Gugliélmo Bird a contrabilanciare i più gran

contrapuntisti del suo tempo: ma d’ allora in quà per dire il véro,

i Maéstri di quest’ arte pare che si síano andati sempre piû

negligentando nello studio della loro professióne.

Non è però mancato ne’ dilettanti il desidério di

accommunarsela, ond’ è che non solo si sono applicati al suóno di

diversi stroménti, ma si sono mostrati parzialissimi delle

pregiate musiche del Corelli e d’ altri famósi Italiani: anno

fondate Assemblee di música, ed anno spronato la prima

Nobiltà del Regno a far veníre i più distinti professori e

compositóri di Europa per far trionfare le Opere in Londra;

ma piú che ad ogn’ altro debbiamo noi il riceviménto delle

medesime a queste Mylady (che così chiamansi le Dame

titolare) le quali non solo si préndono l’ incómmodo d’

imparare il nostro Idióma con molta applicazióne, e la nostra

musica, ma altresì le protéggono, e fanno quanto è loro

possíbile, acciò vi si manténgano, e stabiliscansi per sempre;

e ad onta della nostra Patria vedesi ogn’ ora in questa

Nazióne una singolare attenzióne alle rappresentazióni

Dramatiche, mentre quì si ascóltano con rigoroso silénzio, [2]

talmente che i più fini e delicati tocchi dell’ armonia e dell’

espressione non titíllano in vano le orecchia loro senza passarle nell’

intimo dell’ Anima.

Non così tosto cominciarono le Opere a comparir sulla

scéna, che tutte le volte si colmava il Teatro colla più

distinta nobiltà del Govérno civíle e militare di questi Regni.


Per maggior glôria della Italiana Armonía formóssi poi

una Réale Accademia di música compósta de’ Primati del

Regno, contribuéndovi la generósa mano del Sovrano e della

sua Real Famíglia. Su questo ben fondato cominciaménto

videsi fra poco emula la scena di Londra a quella d’ Italia

ed anche superióre, onde parea quasi impossibile, che

potesse giammai crollare un sì bene stabilito edifício; ma

avendo già la predetta Accademia una delle prime

Cantatrici di Europa, gli venne in mente, per render le Opere

anche più cospícue, di farne veníre un altra d’ Italia, che

secóndo alcuni stimavasi non a quella inferióre.

Trovatesi dunque sulle rive dell’ altero Tamigi queste due

lusinghévoli siréne, cominciaron fra loro le gare, dalle quali

poi nacquero tante discórdie dissenzióni e partíti che

ridússero il tutto in rovína; ond’ è che se una sola donna fu

bastante per la distruzióne della famósa Ilio, non poteasi a

meno, che due non distruggéssero l’ Opera e la Reale

Accademia in Inghilterra, come in effeto seguì poco dopo.

Fin quì può ben conoscersì quanto parziali siano fino ad

ora stati i Signori Inglesi della nostra Musica; ma sappiate in

oltre, ch essendo essi naturalménte generosi, posson dirsi

profusi in riguardo de’ nostri migliori cantanti, mentre

senza sparmio alcuno di danaro procuran di aver tutto ciò

che in tal genere può aversi di meglio, nè lascianli poi

da loro partirsi, se prima non gli fanno anche dono della

loro benevolenza e cortese amicizia.

Questa parzialità, questa profusione, e questa benevolenza

che si à quì per la nostra musica, e che certo non si

pratica altrove, sembra che devrebbe dar animo a nostri

professori della medesima di far gran caso dell’ Inghilterra, e di

procurar di accattivarsela, ma da ciò con somma

ammirazione ne risulta un effeto tutto contrario; poichè

divenendo i cantanti ricchissimi non soi curan più di ciò che possa

accadergli, e trovandosi benvoluti e stimati gli sembra che

tutto gli sia permesso di fare, nè più riconoscon per

Padroni quei che gli van facendo del bene, e che li anno

ingranditi: simili ad un feroce cavallo, di cui quanto più conto

sene faccia, e sia meglio nudrito, tanto diviene più ardito

ed altero.

Nel tempo delle predette discordie un beneavveduto

Inglese conoscendo non potersi atterrar l’ Opera Italiana se non

con il mezzo della cattiva condotta de’ Musici, si servì di

quella congiontura, e pose in Iscena un mostruoso

componimento, ove gli Eroi eran Ladri, gaglioffi, genti infami,

Uomini e donne di male affare, che andavan cantando per la

scena delle ballate da strada e da taverna per burlarsi così

de’ nostri cantanti; e andò con esso a ferire dove giammai

non se lo era pensato: poichè questa raffinata Nazione già

stanca delle dissenzioni musiche lasciandosi adescare l’ udito

da queste vane apparenze concorse (cosa quasi da non

potersi credere) ad applaudire quest’ Opera di Birbanti, e

distruggere la vera e nobile, ch’ loro stessi avean sì

cortesemente promossa stabilita abbracciata e sostenuta, onde ne

seguì immediatamente l’ eccidio totale: ma non così tosto

essendosene ripentiti e tocchi dalla vergogna non vedonsi ora

passeggiar su quelle armoniche scene che colla maschera sul

volto. [3]

Vi è apparenza non ostante che l’ Opera Italiana sia anche

fra poco per risorgere e ristabilirsi nell’ Inghilterra, e se gli

Attori di essa fapranno moderarsi, e riconoscere il loro dovere,

frastorneranno può essere una maggior caduta, che potrà

essergli assai più nocevole della passata; perchè se l’ esorbitanti

paghe non stancheranno una Nazione, che si contenta di

comperare a peso d’ oro i divertimenti, la stancheranno almeno

le loro dissenzioni e turbolenze. Devono in oltre considerare

che son quì venuti per servire questi Mylordy e non

per commandargli, e se scorgono ch’ essi facilmente sanno

compatire i loro difetti, non devono abusarsene, onde se si

approfitterranno di tali avvertimenti, vi è da sperare che non

solo le Opere si rimetteranno sul piede onorevole di prima,

ma vedrassi sempre più intenta questa nobiltà a far loro del


Sovvenitevi di parteciparmi l’ esito delle Opere di costà, ed

Jo non mancherò in avvenire di farvi parte di quanto quì

occorrerà; e resto prontissimo a vostri commandi.

Vostro affettuosissimo Amico.

A. B.


THURSDAY 30th of January, 1729.




We having accidentaly [sic] met with the Copy of a

Letter wrote by some Person residing here to a

Friend in Italy, which, as it treats of the English

Operas, may possibly be acceptable to the Publick;

we have set it down Word for Word as it came

to our Hands.


London, 29 August. 1728.


YOU require too much of me when you ask an Accounnt [sic]

of the Genius of this Nation in regard of Musick,

the Operas which seem’d so honourably provided for,

and establish’d being at once entirely fallen. Neither

the Compass of a Letter will contain, nor my inability allow

the saying what is requisite on this Head; but, as I can

deny you nothing, I will endeavour in few Words to gratifie

you to the utmost of my Power.


To give you therefore a Taste of their Genius in this Point, you

must know, that, for near two hundred Years back, they have been

so careful in the exact Rules and Art of composeing, that without

Exaggeration it may be said, from the Time of Henry

VIII. to that of James the first, and even lower down, in Church

Musick they had no Reason to envy other Nations; and their

William Bird alone, had they no other, is sufficient to put into

the Scale against the greatest Composer of his Time; but from

those to the present Times, to say the Truth, the Masters of this

Art, seem to grow every Day more negligent in their


A Desire of rendering it familiar, has not however been

wanting in the Lovers of Musick, who have not only applied

themselves to the playing on different Instruments, but have been

found very partial in favour of the excellent Compositions of

Corelli and other noted Italians: They have incouraged

Concerts of Musick, and the Chief of the Nobility of this Kingdom,

have been solicitous to allure hither the Professors and

Composers of the greatest Note in Europe, that the Operas might shine

in their full Lustre here in London; but, its Receeption [sic], we owe

chiefly to the Ladies (for these of Title are so call’d) who not

only undertake the Pains to learn our Language and Musick

with very great Application, but to the utmost of their Power

patronise, support and establish it on a permanent Basis; and to

the Shame of our Country be it said, a particular Attention is

remarkable in the English at the Dramatick Performances,

where they attend with so profound a Silence, that the minutest, [2]

the most delicate touch in Musick, or in the Diction, does not only

please the Ear, but even affects the Soul.


No sooner did the Operas appear upon the Stage, but the

Theatre was crouded with Persons of the highest Nobility, and

greatest distinction, in Posts both Civil and Military of these


For the glory of the Italian Harmony, a Royal Academy of

Musick was soon after establish’d, to which the Sovereign’s, and

his Royal Family’s Generosity did not a little contribute. From so

well grounded a Beginning in a small Space the Stage of

London rival’d that of Italy, and even outshone it; whence the

ruin of so firm a building seem’d a Thing impossible; but, the

Academy having with them one of the best Voices in Europe;

had a Mind to give a greater Lustre to the Operas, by sending

for another Singer from Italy, who, in the Opinion of some,

was no way inferior to the former.


The Meeting of these enticeing Syrens on the Banks of haughty

Thames, was the Ground of that Emulation which gave Birth

to discord, Parties and Dissention, and brought ruin on the

whole. If then one Woman sufficed for the Destruction of renown’d

Ilium, two must necessarily ruin the Operas of the Royal

Academy in England, as indeed they did very soon after.


By this you may perceive how much the English Nobility

have been hitherto byass’d [sic] in favour of our Musick; but you

must farther learn, that as they are naturaly liberal, they may

in regard of our Singers, be said even profuse; for as they

have boggled at no Expence to have the most excellent of the

Profession that were to be procur’d, so have they never suffer’d ’em

to return, without Marks of Friendship from their Affability, and

of Benevolence from the considerable Presents made them.

This partiality in the Favour of our Musick, this generosity

and Profusion, which is only to be met with here, one wou’d

imagine shou’d make our Professors, have a very great esteem

for the Country, and endeavour to conciliate its Favour; but, to

my no little Surprize, it ha[s] a quite contrary Effect; for the

Singers growing very rich, they don[’]t care what happens, and

finding themselves caress’d and esteem’d, they think they may

do just as they please, and no longer acknowledge those Patrons

who have thus rais’d and enrich’d them; not unlike a headstrong

Horse, which the more Care you take of him, and the

better he’s fed, grows more stomachful and unruly.



While the above Contention reign’d an Englishman of good

Sense knowing that the ill Conduct alone of the Musicians cou’d

destroy the Italian Opera, laid hold of this Opportunity, and brought

upon the Stage a monstrous Composition, in which, the Heroes were

Thieves and Vilains [sic], infamous People, and the Men and

Women of the basest Character, and these in ridicule of our Singers,

sung Catches and Ballads; and wounded them in a Part

which was never thought on: For this polite Nation tir’d with the

Squabbles of our Singers, suffer’d themselves to be allured by this idle

Performance, and flock’d (after an incredible Manner) to give their

Approbation of the B--- Opera, and to ruine that real, that

elegant one, which they themselves had with Indulgence forwarded,

establish’d, embrac’d and supported, whence followed its total

Destruction; but no sooner did they repent themselves, but as it

were cover’d with Shame, they now tread that Stage of Harmony

with Masks on their Faces. [3]



However there is a likelyhood of the Italian Operas rising once

again, and being establish’d in England; and if the Actors can but keep

themselves within Bounds, and know their Duty, they may avoid a

greater fall, and what may be of much worse Consequence to them than

this already mention’d; for if a Nation which chearfully trucks

Gold for their Diversions is not wearied with the exhorbitant Prizes,

they will be however tired out with their troublesome Dissentions.

They ought to consider that they come here to serve, not to

command the Nobility, and if they find them ready to pass by

their Errors, let them not abuse the Lenity. If this Advice is

not thrown away upon them, there is Reason to hope, that the

Operas will not only be re-establish’d on the same honourable

Foot they were at first, but the Nobility will always be found

ready to advance ’em.


Don’t fail giving me an Account of the Success of your

Operas, and I will be sure of acquainting you with what may

hereafter occur here. I am, ever ready to obey your Commands,

Your most affectionate Friend,

A. B.[44]




Aug 31



ABout a Year ago, you gave us an

Account of the declining State of the

Royal Academy of Musick, occasioned

by the Disputes between Cuzzoni and

Faustina, concerning the first Part in

the Opera; and having the Cause of

Harmony very much at Heart, you

proposed some Preliminaries for a general

Pacification, which were accepted on both Sides by the

Parties concern’d, after some Alterations, and a Congress

was accordingly open’d, the Beginning of this Summer,

at the Opera-House, in the Haymarket, pursuant to Notice

given for this Purpose, in the publick Papers.

But alas!  it is too well known how this Assembly

broke up; that they wrangled, for some time, about Forms

and started Difficulties about meer Trifles, without so

much as once mentioning the material Points in Debate.

This did, of Consequence, very deeply affect every Man,

who had any real Concern for the Musical Government of

Great Britain, which now seems to be in the utmost

Danger, and hath raised a general Indignation against Those,

who have reduced it to this Extremity.  I need not

mention these Men.  They are sufficiently denoted by the daily

Exclamations of the Subscribers against them; but it can

not be amiss, for the Instruction of other States and

Societies, to recapitulate their Proceedings, for some Years past,

on this Affair; from whence the monstrous Absurdity and

Madness of their Conduct will appear, and I hope be a

Warning to all true Lovers of Musick and Harmony.

I believe, I may defy the wisest Man in Britain to give a

rational Account how these Commotions first arose, and

perhaps, it may not be prudent for me to make any

Enquiries into the true Causes of them.  All that we know,

at present, is that Madam Faustina was pleased, upon her

coming over hither, to set up a Claim to the first Part in

the Opera, against her Competitor Seigniora Cuzzoni,

(who had long possess’d it) by virtue of a former, secret

Promise, as she pretended, of the said Cuzzoni to

surrender it to Her; and it was said that this excellent Singer,

by the Advice of her chief Confidantes (who drew her into

this foolish Engagement) would have willingly enough

fulfilled her Promise, rather than occasion so much

Disturbance in the Academy; but great Numbers of the best

Friends of the Opera expressed the utmost Abhorrence of

such a Design and would not, upon any Terms, be induced

to consent that she should give up so material a Right;

alledging that it was of the utmost Consequence to the

whole Community, and seemed to affect the very

Constitution of their Government itself.

Faustina, on the other Hand, finding that Cuzzoni and

her Agents began to praevaricate and refused to comply

with the Conditions, on which she was brought over,

thought it high time to take Care of her self. She is

acknowledged to be a Lady of as much Art, Spirit and

Intrigue as any of her Countrywomen the Italians, and by

the Negociation of much abler Sollicitors than Cuzzoni

employed, made such powerful Alliances amongst the chief

Nobility and Gentry of the Kingdom, and engaged them

so zealously in her Interest, that Cuzzoni began to think

herself in imminent Danger and applyed herself, with the

utmost Diligence, to the forming of counter Alliances, in

order to defeat the formidable Designs of her Rival; but

though Cuzzoni was herself very much esteemed by all

true Lovers of Musick, on account of her sweet Voice and

excellent Judgment, yet having intrusted the Management

of her Affairs in the Hands of unskilful Persons

(who seemed to know no other Methods of Negotiation,

than Threats, Blusters and Bribes) they were not able, by

all their Endeavours, to turn the Balance on her Side.

Some considerable Persons, indeed, did take her Money

and promised to stand by her defensively, in case

Faustina or any of her Confederates should attack Her

but Cuzzoni’s Ministers, either from some Infatuation

which had possess’d them, or a Design to betray Her,

committed Hostilities first.  They employed Mobbs to

insult Her before her own Door, and, in the Theatre,

condescended to make use of the barbarous Enginry of

Hisses and Catcalls.  They maltreated her Servants, whom

she sent to accommodate Matters, and reviled her Person;

They charged her with odious Designs against Cuzzoni’s

Fortune and Life; and represented one of her intimate

Friends, as an ungrateful Upstart, a poor, distress’d

Ballad-Singer, whom They had set up and borne upon their

Shoulders; though it is well known that He was in

Possession of the first Character in Musick, long before we

took any Notice of Him.  This extraordinary Usage

naturally produced the sharpest Resentment on the other

side.  Faustina exerted herself, and made ample

Reprizals.  She despised foul Language and personal Reflections,

but attacked Cuzzoni in the tenderest Part, and returned

Actions for Words.  Cuzzoni’s high Spirit was thoroughly

enraged at this; but, on a sudden, she found her Hands

tied up from Revenge.  Those, whom she chiefly

depended on, instead of giving her the expected Assistance,

desired Time to consider who was the Aggressor;

notwithstanding which she continued to talk big, menace

and defy, and gave it out very confidently, every Day,

by herself and her Agents, that Matters would be soon

made up to her Advantage.  In the mean time, all Offices

of Friendship and mutual Intercourse (however for the

Interest of both) were laid aside.  Even visiting ceased;

nor would They send a civil How d’ye to one another.

Nay, these Animosities were not confined to the Rival

Ladies, but spread themselves through most of the polite

Families in Town; insomuch, that we were, on a

sudden, surprized with unaccountable Alliances.  The most

intimate Friends broke off their Acquaintance with one

another, and run into the Arms of their inveterate

Enemies.  In short, every thing seemed to tend to an open

Rupture, though it was thought that all Parties secretly

desired Peace.

In this deplorable Situation of Affairs, you were

pleased to propose a Congress for terminating all

Differences and restoring the Academy to its former Lustre;

but you will give me leave to complain of one palpable

false Step, which I apprehend to be the Consummation of

all our former Blunders and Mismanagement; I mean

setting up Senesino for a Moderator between the

contending Parties, who had manifestly too large an Interest in

these Disputes, to decide them impartially.  This was

generally foreseen and complain’d of at first; for though

He pretended, and solemnly assur’d us, that He had

nothing at Heart but a friendly Accommodation, it soon

appeared, as we all suspected, that He not only design’d

to make Himself more considerable by these Contentions,

but had a secret Understanding with Faustina; for as soon

as the Conferences at the Hay-Market were discontinued

(for, I think, the Congress was not finally dissolv’d)

Senesino, the Mediator, immediately left us and went over

to Faustina.  It is pretended indeed by those, who love

to palliate Matters, that Cuzzoni is now left absolutely

in Possession of her Right, which remain’d somewhat

doubtful during the Struggle last Winter; whereas

Faustina, by deserting her Ground, seems to give up her

Pretensions, or at least to be made so sensible of the

Impracticability of her Designs, that she will hardly resume

them.  It is true, indeed, that Cuzzoni is left, at present,

to sing by Herself; but I would willingly ask these

Gentlemen, whether They think that one Person, with all the

Advantages of Voice and Judgment, can possibly entertain

the Town with an Opera, in all its usual delightful

Variety; and whether the Connoiseurs of Musick would not

be glad to have a safe, honourable and lasting Accommodation

concluded with Faustina, though They might be

very sorry to see her possessed of the first Part.

The same Gentlemen endeavour to alleviate our

Sorrows and remove our Discontents, under these melancholy

and most unharmonious Circumstances, by assuring us,

that Senesino will come over to us again, and that He is

gone off at present only with a Design to reconcile

Faustina to our Interest and Proposals.  But this does not

seem to satisfy many People; even though his Excellency

Mr. H———r, (who is equally remarkable for the

Gracefulness of his Person and the Elegance of his

Address) is sent over to negotiate that Affair.

They tell us farther, by way of Comfort, that in case

a final Accommodation cannot be brought about, we

need not doubt of a Truce for some Years, till a more

favourable Opportunity offers itself.  But neither does

this Project seem to give People the Satisfaction which

They desire, because They cannot depend, with any

Certainty, on the Continuance of such a meer Cessation of

Hostilities, and They do not seem inclinable to come into

another Subscription, to support the Expence of so many

Performers, till They are convinced of a perfect


But let these Affairs end how They will, the

Management of them hath, without doubt, been exceedingly

ridiculous, if not worse, and Mr. Gay had too much

Reason, in his Beggar’s Opera, to expose it to the Contempt

of the whole Town.


I am, SIR, &c.[45]




Oct 9

How fickle is the Humour of this World!

since Michaelmas Lamps have been lighted,

I have not heard one Sigh at the Fall of Opera’s

The two Signiora’s that some time ago were

considerable enough to run us into Parties,

and to create Debates about their respective

Excellencies, are now gone off unlamented,

hardly spoken of; for my own part, I

retained the Gentility of my Goust to the

very last, and with great Concern bid adieu

to my dear Cuzzoni.  She and her Company

left in my Charge the following Properties to

be disposed of, that the good People of England

might have more than Songs for their Money.


An INVENTORY of Goods to be

seen near the Opera-House.  in the



For SALE, by Inch of Candle, near the

Opera-House in the Hay-Market.


A Rising-Sun, second-hand, eclips’d Five

Digits by the dirty Hands of an Opera Porter.

A Full Moon, span new, never used, but one Side

a little Rat-eaten.

Several Setts of Clouds, flying down the Wind,

in good Condition.

Six Dozen of pretty twinkling Stars, a little out

of Order for want of Brushing.

Four Mantles of State, made in the Reign of

King CHARLES II. and worn by Emperors of

several Ages and Nations:  They are rich Embroidery,

and still very fit for Kettle-Drum Banners, or to

make Petticoats for Running Footmen.

Four Dozen of Musick-Books, with long Symphonies

and Ha-ha’s, very proper Pills for Asthmatick


All the Pikes, Javelins and Partizans of Alexander’s

Life-Guard, may now serve the Train Band

Officers either to fight, or to make into Fishing


Four Brocade Breeches, worn by Nicolini and

Senesino, cut into upper Leathers for Ladies Slippers;

the Wastebands bespoke to line the Cape of Mother

Needham’s Cloak.

Three Dozen of Roman Sandals and Buskins,

made by the best Hand in Crambo-Alley, of the

antique Fashion, and very well suited to the modern


Several other Rarities that we want English

Names for, but are very useful to the Curious,—

and are to be expos’d at the Place of SALE.[46]






Mr. Handel.                 4 Books.[47]




Nov 9

Mr. Heyddegger not having succeeded in his late Journey to

Italy, the Italian Opera’s are now entirely laid aside in this

Kingdom for the present.[48]





A musical festival, probably the first held in Bristol, took place in the Cathedral on the 22nd November, 1727. […] The festival in the Cathedral was repeated a year later [1728].[49]




Nov 23

We hear that the Italian Opera’s are laid aside for this Season

for want of Performers; and that Mr. Heidegger has obtain’d Leave

for having Masquerades this Winter at the Hay-Market.[50]




Dec 2

[John Gay to Jonathan Swift]


London Decemr. 2. 1728.”


[...] I have had a very severe attack of a

feaver which by the care of our friend Dr Arbuthnot hath

I hope now almost left me; I have been confin’d about ten

days but never to my bed, so that I hope soon to get abroad [182v]

about my business, which is, the care of the second part

of the Beggar’s Opera which was almost ready for rehear-

sal. But Rich receiv’d the Duke of Grafton’s commands

(upon an information he was rehearsing a Play improper

to be represented) not to rehearse any new Play whatever

’till his Grace hath seen it; what will become of it I

know not, but I am sure I have written nothing that can

be legally supprest, unless the setting vices in general in

an odious light, and virtue in an amiable one may give

offense. [...] Prince Frederic is expected over this week.





Dec 8

Vienna, Dec. 8. [...]

The famous Italian Singer Cuzzoni is

arrived here from England by the Way of France,

and going to make a Visit to the Minister of Great

Britain, he kept her to dine with him, after which

she danced [sic] in his Presence. [...][52]




Dec 17

Letters from Vienna say, Madam Cuzzoni was arrived there, and

had din’d at the British Minister’s, where she sung, and that she was

to sing before the Emperor, after which she was to go to Italy, and

then to England.[53]




[“Polly Peachum’s Opera: Or, A Medley of New Songs.”]




To the Tune of, Sally in our Alley


OF all the Belles that tread the Stage,

  There’s none like pretty Polly,

And all the Musick of the Age,

  Except her Voice, is Folly;

The waining Nymphs of Drury-Lane

  I now can bear no longer;

And when she’s present, I disdain

  My quondam Favourite Y[oun]ger. [39]



Compar’d with her, how flat appears

  Cuzzoni or Faustina?

And when she sings, I shut my Ears

  To warbling Senesino.

What though her Father is a Rogue,

  Her Mother though a Whore is?

Those Vices now are high in Vogue,

And Virtue out of Door is.


[… 40 …]

Some Prudes indeed, with envious Spight,

  Would blast her Reputation,

And tell us that to Ribands bright

  She yields, upon Occasion.



But these are all invented Lies,

  And vile outlandish Scandal,

Which from Italian Clubs arise,

  And Partizans of Handel.

Then let us toast the blooming Lass,

  Whose Charms have thus ensnared me;

I’d drink it in a brimming Glass,

  Though Parson * H---rng [=Herring] heard me.[54]


* A mighty weak sucking Priest, who to show his

Theological Capacity, preached a Sermon at

Lincoln’s-Inn-Chapel against the Deism of the

Age, and the Beggars Opera.




On the famous Contests between SIGNORA CUZZONI, and SIGNORA FAUSTINA.


WHILE with the heighten’d Force of Rival sound,

Each tuneful Stranger struck the ravish’d Ear,

Careless of Joy the adverse Hearers frown’d,

And each in Rage extoll’d his fav’rite Fair.


Strange! that from Harmony’s all-Soothing spell,

Tumultuous Jars, and fiercest Discord came,

Strange! that the Breast of Man enrag’d shou’d Swell

By notes which list’ning Savages wou’d Tame.[55]




[Owen Swiney to Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond, no place and date]


P.S. My hopes to recover any thing from Messrs. de L’academie, depend intirely on your Grace’s warm Sollicitation in my favour and laying before ’em ye Services of four years, during which time, their Petitioner has been, more than once, publickly, thank’d for his faithful Services &c.

            Mr. Handel & Mr. Heidegger, both, are convinced that my request is just & have promised me to Sollicite your Grace & ye other Members of ye late Society &c.[56]




Travelogue of Prince Anton Ulrich von Sachsen-Meiningen


Catalogus von gebundnen und Ungebundnen Musicalien so Anno 1728. von Wien mit zurück gebracht worden.


[Uneingebundene Musicalien II. Stuck (lies: Stücke) vor Instrumente.]

5. Concerto a IV. Oboé obligato, 2. Violini e Basso. del Sig[no].r     Hendel.[57]




ca 1728

The Musicall Gramarian


A practick Essay upon Harmony,

plain, and artificiall.


Notes of comparison between the

Elder and later Musick, and

Somewhat Historicall of both.


[...] the beginning of subscribing

[...] hath bin carryed on with very [180r]

great profusion, for celebrating ye choisest

Itallian operas and Inviting over the most

celebrious voices. As all things from low beginnings

Grow up to their full magnitude so

our Operas were performed by English voices,

nay the Itallian of forrein opera’s were translated

and fitted to ye musick, nay more some scenes

were sung in English and others In Itallian or

Dutch rather then fail, wch made such a crowd

of Absurditys as was not to be borne. But now

the Subscription’s, with a Royall Encouragemt

hath brought the opera’s to be performed In

their native Idiom and up to Such a Sufficiency

that many have say’d, that Rome & venice, where

they heard them, have not Exceeded.

Now having brought our English opera musick to

this pass, It will scarce be manners to thro any

censures at them, but be they very great and [180v]

good, there is no such perfection upon Earth

to or from wch somewhat may not a buon Cento

be added, or Substracted, and perhapps alltered

for the better. One thing I dislike is the laying

too much stress upon some one voice, wch is purchased

at a dear rate. Were it not as well If

somewhat of that was abated, & added to the rest

to bring ye orchestre to a neerer Equallity: Many

persons come to hear that Single voice, who care

not for all the rest, Especially If it be a fair

Lady: And observing ye discours of the Quallity

crittiques, I found it run’s most upon ye point, who sings

best? and not whither ye musick be good and

wherein? and it is a sorry case to sitt by one

who during a recitativo, sighs & groan’s at what

he is to Endure, before this favorite ariette, or that

ballett comes up. And it [is] a fault In ye Composition

to overcalculate for ye prime voice, as If no other [181r]

other [sic] part were worth Regarding, whereupon

the whole Entertainmt consists of Solo’s; and

very little or no Consorts of voices: where is

there a Chorus of 4 full voices Interwoven

with ye proper Consort ornaments to be heard?

I am sure Nature affords not mean’s for musick to

be so good any other way. If they say It is not

suitable to a Drama to have many sing together.

The contrary of that is most apparently

true; for (excepting ye comedys) wch of ye Ancient Dramatiques had not

a chorus that sang what was proper to the

Subject? And now at last, from what I can

perceiv, the Opera’s made In England of ye

latter date, are more substantially musicall,

than those wch are used notatim out

of Itally, wch latter have of late diverted from the Lofty style downe

to the Ballad, fitt for the streets that Receivs

them, whereby it appears that the Itallian vein is much degenerated.[58]


[1] West Sussex Record Office, Goodwood Ms 105/426: Elizabeth Gibson, The Royal Academy of Music, 1719-1728: The Institution and Its Directors (New York and London: Garland, 1989), 376.

[2] The Autobiography and Correspondence of Mary Granville, Mrs. Delany, ed. Lady Llanover, 3 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1861), 1:158.

[3] Foundling Museum, Gerald Coke Handel Collection, accession no. 4374; repr. Ilias Chrissochoidis, “Princess Carolina’s list of monthly expenses, January–February 1727/8,” Notes & Queries 58/3 (September 2011), 401–403.

[4] The Daily Journal, no. 2201, Thursday 1 February 1728, [2].

[5] West Sussex Record Office, Goodwood Ms 105/427: Elizabeth Gibson, The Royal Academy of Music, 1719-1728: The Institution and Its Directors (New York and London: Garland, 1989), 376-77.

[6] The Country Journal: Or, The Craftsman, no. 83, Saturday 3 February 1728, [2].

[7] The Daily Journal, no. 2204, Monday 5 February 1728, [1].

[8] The London Evening-Post, no. 25, Saturday 3 – Tuesday 6 February 1728, [2].

[9] The Daily Journal, no. 2207, Thursday 8 February 1728, [1].

[10] The Daily Journal, no. 2207, Thursday 8 February 1728, [2].

[11] The British Journal: Or, The Censor, no. 4, Saturday 10 February 1727-8, [3].

[12] The London Evening-Post, no. 27, Thursday 8 – Saturday 10 February 1728, [2]; The Daily Post, no. 2617, Saturday 10 February 1728, [1].

[13] The British Journal: Or, The Censor, no. 4, Saturday 10 February 1727-8, [2].

[14] The Daily Journal, no. 2210, Monday 12 February 1728, [1].

[15] The Country Journal: Or, The Craftsman, no. 85, Saturday 17 February 1728, [2; 2nd version].

[16] The British Journal: Or, The Censor, no. 5, Saturday 17 February 1727-8, [3].

[17] William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, UCLA, *ML48.O65 (no. 5).

[18] The Daily Post, no. 2624, Monday 19 February 1728, [1]; The Daily Journal, no. 221[6], Monday 19 February 1728, [2].

[19] Elizabeth Gibson, The Royal Academy of Music, 1719-1728: The Institution and Its Directors (New York and London: Garland, 1989), 377-78.

[20] British Library, Add. Ms. 4805, f. 172r.

[21] West Sussex Record Office, Goodwood Ms 105/428: Elizabeth Gibson, The Royal Academy of Music, 1719-1728: The Institution and Its Directors (New York and London: Garland, 1989), 377-78.

[22] A Foreign View of England in 1725-1729: The Letters of Monsieur Cesar De Saussure to his Family, transl. ed. Madame van Muyden (London: Caliban, 1995; orig. edn, 1902), 169-70.

[23] Donald Burrows, Handel and the English Chapel Royal (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 610.

[24] The Autobiography and Correspondence of Mary Granville, Mrs. Delany, ed. Lady Llanover, 3 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1861), 1:160.

[25] The Autobiography and Correspondence of Mary Granville, Mrs. Delany, ed. Lady Llanover, 3 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1861), 1:162.

[26] The Autobiography and Correspondence of Mary Granville, Mrs. Delany, ed. Lady Llanover, 3 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1861), 1:163.

[27] The Autobiography and Correspondence of Mary Granville, Mrs. Delany, ed. Lady Llanover, 3 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1861), 1:165-66.

[28] British Library, Add. Ms. 4805, f. 174r-v.

[29] The London Journal, no. 451, Saturday 23 March 1727-8, repr. Elizabeth Gibson, The Royal Academy of Music, 1719-1728: The Institution and Its Directors (New York and London: Garland, 1989), 398-401.

[30] West Sussex Record Office, Goodwood Ms 105/429: Elizabeth Gibson, The Royal Academy of Music, 1719-1728: The Institution and Its Directors (New York and London: Garland, 1989), 378.

[31] A Compleat Collection of all the Verses, Essays, Letters and Advertisements, which have been occasioned by the Publication of Three Volumes of Miscellanies by Pope and Company (London: A. Moore, 1728), 23-24.

[32] The Daily Post, no. 2664, Friday 5 April 1728, [1].

[33] The Country Journal: Or, The Craftsman, no. 92, Saturday 6 April 1728, [2].

[34] Foundling Museum, Gerald Coke Handel Collection, accession no. 2367, pp. 210-21; first published (with several errors and regularized spelling) in Winton Dean, “A French Traveller’s View of Handel’s Operas,” Music & Letters 55 (1974), 172-78: 177-78.

[35] West Sussex Record Office, Goodwood Ms 105/429: Elizabeth Gibson, The Royal Academy of Music, 1719-1728: The Institution and Its Directors (New York and London: Garland, 1989), 378-80.

[36] The Autobiography and Correspondence of Mary Granville, Mrs. Delany, ed. Lady Llanover, 3 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1861), 1:172-73.

[37] British Library, Add. Ms. 4805, f. 176r.

[38] West Sussex Record Office, Goodwood Ms 105/432: Elizabeth Gibson, The Royal Academy of Music, 1719-1728: The Institution and Its Directors (New York and London: Garland, 1989), 380.

[39] Donald Burrows, Handel and the English Chapel Royal (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 611.

[40] The London Evening-Post, no. 88, Saturday 29 June-Tuesday 2 July 1728, [3]; reported in Donald Burrows, Handel and the English Chapel Royal (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 290, n7.

[41] The Daily Post, no. 2740, Wednesday 3 July 1728, [1]; repr., The London Evening-Post, no. 89, Tuesday 2 – Thursday 4 July 1728, [2]; repr., The Weekly Journal: Or, The British Gazetteer, no. 163, Saturday 6 July 1728, [3].

[42] The Daily Post, no. 2747, Thursday 11 July 1728, [1]; repr., The Weekly Journal: Or, The British Gazetteer, no. 164, Saturday 13 July 1728, [3].

[43] West Sussex Record Office, Goodwood Ms 105/434: Elizabeth Gibson, The Royal Academy of Music, 1719-1728: The Institution and Its Directors (New York and London: Garland, 1989), 380.

[44] La Staffetta Italiana: Or, The Italian Post, no. 7, 30 January 1729, [1-3]; repr. (English translation only) Elizabeth Gibson, The Royal Academy of Music, 1719-1728: The Institution and Its Directors (New York and London: Garland, 1989), 404-7.

[45] The Country Journal: Or, The Craftsman, no. 113, Saturday 31 August 1728, [1]; repr. (not from the original issue), Elizabeth Gibson, The Royal Academy of Music, 1719-1728: The Institution and Its Directors (New York and London: Garland, 1989), 401-04.

[46] The Parrot.  By Mrs. Prattle, no. 3, Wednesday 9 October 1728, [2].

[47] [John Ernest] Galliard, The Hymn of Adam and Eve, out of the Fifth Book of Milton’s Paradise-Lost; set to Musick by Mr. Galliard ([?London]: [?], 1728.

[48] The London Evening-Post, no. 144, Thursday 7 – Saturday 9 November 1728, [1].

[49] John Latimer, The Annals of Bristol in the Eighteenth Century (Bristol: [the author], 1893; repr. Bath: Kingsmead Reprints, 1970), 161.

[50] The London Evening-Post, no. 150, Thursday 21 – Saturday 23 November 1728, [1]; The Universal Spectator, and Weekly Journal, no. 7, Saturday 23 November 1728, [2].

[51] British Library, Add. Ms. 4805, f. 182r-v.

[52] The Daily Post, no. 2883, Tuesday 17 December 1728, [1].

[53] The London Evening-Post, no. 160, Saturday 14 – Tuesday 17 December 1728, [2].

[54] Caleb D’Anvers [=Nicholas Amhurst], The Twickenham Hotch-Potch, For the Use of the Rev. Dr. Swift, Alexander pope, Esq; and Company.  Being a Sequel to the Beggars Opera, &c. (London: J. Roberts, 1728), 38-40; see also, Deutsch, Handel, 223-24.

[55] John Whaley, A Collection of Poems (London: the author, 1732), 100.

[56] Elizabeth Gibson, The Royal Academy of Music, 1719-1728: The Institution and Its Directors (New York and London: Garland, 1989), 380.

[57] Rashid-S. Pegah, “‘anno 1707’: Neue Forschungsergebnisse zur Tätigkeit von G. F. Händel in Rom und Florenz,” Die Musikforschung 62 (2009), 2–13: 13.

[58] British Library, Add. Ms. 32533, ff. 179v-181r; repr. Roger North, The Musicall Gramarian, ed. Hilda Andrews (Oxford University Press / London: Humphrey Milford, [1925]), 39-41.