1739

 

 

Jan 3

We hear, that on Tuesday se’nnight the King’s Theatre

will be open’d with a new Oratorio, compos’d by Mr.

Handel, call’d SAUL:  And that at the same Theatre there

will be a Masquerade on Thursday the 25 Inst.[1]

 

 

 

Jan 5

The Earl of Middlesex is arriv’d at Knowle in Kent

from his Travels.[2]

 

 

 

Jan 9

[Lord Wentworth to the Earl of Strafford]

 

[“London Janury: ye 9 1738-9”]

 

[...] Mr: Handel rehearsed yesterday a new —

Oratorio call’d Saul and Mr: Hamilton thinks it a very

good one: and for a chief performer he has got one Rusell

an Englishman that sings extreamly well; he has got —

Francisschina for his best woman; and I believe all the rest

are but indifferent; [...][3]

 

 

 

Jan 9

[Mrs. Pendarves to Mrs. Ann Granville, 9 January 1738-9]

 

[...] To-morrow I go to hear Mr. Handel’s oratorio rehearsed. [...][4]

 

 

 

Jan 13

[Earl of Egmont’s Diary, Saturday 13 January 1738-9]

 

This week the Lady Henrietta Powis, a young widow of 22 years

old, married Birde [Beard] the singing man.  She is daughter to the Earl of

Walgrave, now Ambassador in France, and her first husband was

son to the Marquis of Powis.  Her brother, an Ensign in the Guards,

told her that her lover had the pox, and that she would be disappointed

of the only thing she married him for, which was her lust; for that he

would continue to lie every night with the player that brought them

together, and give her no solace.  But there is no prudence below the

girdle.  Birde continues to sing upon the stage,  This lady had 600 l.

a year jointure, 200 l. of which is encumbered by former debts, and

200 l. she has lately sold to pay his debts.  To-day it is said her goods

have been sold.[5]

 

 

 

Jan 13

[Lord Wentworth to the Earl of Strafford]

 

[“London Janry: ye 13 1738-9”]

 

[...] I hear Mr: Handell

has borrow’d of the Duke of Argylle a pair of the largest

Kettle drums in the tower; so to be sure it will be most

eccessive [sic] noisy with a bad set off singers; I doubt it will

not retrieve his former losses; [...][6]

 

 

 

Jan 16

HAY-MARKET.

AT the KING’s THEATRE in the

HAY-MARKET, this Day, January 16, will be

perform’d a NEW ORATORIO, call’d

SAUL.

Pit and Boxes to be put together, and no Persons to be

admitted without Tickets, which will be deliver’d this

Day, at the Office in the Hay-Market, at Half a Guinea

each.  Gallery 5 s.

The Gallery will be open’d at Four, and Pit and Boxes

at Five.

To begin at Six o’Clock.[7]

 

 

[Earl of Egmont’s Diary, Tuesday 16 January 1738-9]

 

In the evening went to Hendle’s new oratorio called Saul.[8]

 

 

 

Jan 17

[Earl of Egmont’s Diary, Wednesday 17, Thursday 18 January 1738-9]

 

After dinner I went to the Wednesday music club at the Crown

Tavern.

Thursday 18. — I went at night to a public meeting of the vocal

music club at the Crown Tavern, where the famous oratorio of Hendel,

called “The Feast of Alexander,” was performed by the gentlemen

of our club.[9]

 

 

 

Jan 18

This Indenture made the Eighteenth day of

January 1738/9 in the Twelfth Year of the Reign of our

Sovereign Lord GEORGE 2d by the Grace of God,

KING of Great Britain, France and Ireland, Defender of

the Faith, &c. Between His Grace John Duke of Argyll &

Greenwich Master General of His MAJESTY’S Ordnance, and the

Principal Officers of the same, on the Behalf of the King’s most

Excellent MAJESTY on the one Part; And George Frederick Hendal Esqr.

------------------------------------------------------- on the other Part;

Witnesseth, That the said George Fredrick Hendel hath received out of His

MAJESTY’s Stores, within the Office of the Ordnance, at the Tower

the Kettle Drums undermentioned the same being lent to him for

the use of the Oratorios at the Kings Theatre in the HayMarkett,

By Order of the Board dated the 16 Instant which he’s to return

in as good Order as when receiv’d.

Large Kettle Drums to beat before a Train

of Artillery with Heads Compleat

} One Pair

 

G.F. Handel

[on the back in pen:]

Large Kettle Drums lent to Mr. Handel for the use use [sic] of the

Oratorioes [sic] at the Kings Theatre in the Hay Markett himself for

Ditto 18 Janry 1738/9 [10]

 

 

 

Jan 23

HAY-MARKET.

AT the KING’s THEATRE in the

HAY-MARKET, this Day, January 23, will be

perform’d a NEW ORATORIO, call’d

SAUL.

With several new Concerto’s on the Organ.

Pit and Boxes to be put together, and no Persons to be

admitted without Tickets, which will be deliver’d this

Day, at the Office in the Hay-Market, at Half a Guinea

each.  Gallery 5 s.

The Gallery will be open’d at Four, and Pit and Boxes

at Five.

To begin at Six o’Clock.[11]

 

 

 

Jan 24

It is a Justice to the Oratory [i.e Henley’s lectures] to own that the Proposal

of Saul as the best Theme for Music, was in an Oratorio on

St. Caecilia’s Day.[12]

 

 

 

January

POETRY.

[...]

16.  Saul, an Oratorio.  Sold by T. Astley and J. Shuckburgh, pr. 1s.[13]

 

 

 

Feb 3

HAY-MARKET.

AT the KING’s THEATRE in the

HAY-MARKET, this Day, February 3, will be

perform’d a NEW ORATORIO, call’d

SAUL.

With several Concerto’s on the Organ.

Pit and Boxes to be put together, and no Persons to be

admitted without Tickets, which will be deliver’d this

Day, at the Office in the Hay-Market, at Half a Guinea

each.  Gallery 5 s.

The Gallery will be open’d at Four, and Pit and Boxes

at Five.

To begin at Six o’Clock.[14]

 

 

 

[Earl of Egmont’s Diary, Saturday 3 February 1738-9]

 

[...] In the evening went to Hendel’s Oratorio.[15]

 

 

 

This Day is published,

SAUL, an Oratorio, or Sacred Drama.  As

it is perform’d at the King’s Theatre in the Hay-market.

Set to Musick by

GEORGE-FREDERIC HANDEL, Esq;

 

Αρετή ποιού φίλον όστις άριστος.             A. Carm.

Qui autem in virtute summum bonum ponunt, praedare illi quidem:

Sed boec ipsa virtus Amicitiam & gignit & continet:  Nec sine virtute

Amicitia esse ullo pacto potest.                                    Cic.

Printed for Tho. Wood, and sold by Tho. Astley in St. Paul’s

Church-yard; J. Shuckburgh, at the Inner-Temple Gate; and at

the King’s Theatre in the Hay-market.[16]

 

 

 

Feb 9

[Gio. Giacomo Zamboni in London to Prince Cantemir in Paris, 9 February 1739]

 

As for diversions (divertimenti), things could not be worse than they are, since there are only two miserable assemblies, which I never attend, because a polite antipathy prevails between the writer [of this letter] and the women who sponsor them.  As for public spectacles, I cannot tell you how bad they have been.  There are no operas, only some oratorios and concerts in the worst possible taste {...}.[17]

 

 

 

Feb 10

HAY-MARKET.

AT the KING’s THEATRE in the

HAY-MARKET, this Day, February 10, will be

perform’d a NEW ORATORIO, call’d

SAUL.

With several Concerto’s on the Organ.

Pit and Boxes to be put together, and no Persons to be

admitted without Tickets, which will be deliver’d this

Day, at the Office in the Hay-Market, at Half a Guinea

each.  Gallery 5 s.

The Gallery will be open’d at Four, and Pit and Boxes

at Five.

To begin at Six o’Clock.[18]

 

 

 

Feb 12

MUSICK.

This Day is publish’d, Price 2 s. 6 d.

THE celebrated Airs in Score of the

Oratorio of SAUL.

By Mr. HANDEL.

Printed for John Walsh in Catherine-street in the Strand.

On the 28th Instant will be publish’d,

Seven new Sonata’s or Trio’s for two Violins, or German Flutes,

and a Bass.  Compos’d by Mr. Handel.  Opera Quinta.

The Price to Subscribers is Half a Guinea to be paid at the Time of

Subscribing.

Where may be had,

1.  Handel’s Chamber Airs, Vol. 4. Part 1. for a German Flute and

Bass, from the Opera Xerxes.

2.  Handel’s Overtures from his Six last Opera’s, in 7 Parts, and

for the Harpsichord.

3.  Handel’s Concerto’s for the Harpsichord, or Organ.  To be

had with or without the Instrumental Parts.[19]

 

 

 

Feb 17

HAY-MARKET.

AT the KING’s THEATRE in the

HAY-MARKET, this Day, February the 17th, will

be reviv’d an ODE, call’d

ALEXANDER’s FEAST.

Written by Mr. Dryden.

With several Concerto’s on the Organ, and other Instruments.

Pit and Boxes to be put together, and no Persons to be

admitted without Tickets, which will be deliver’d this

Day, at the Office in the Hay-Market, at Half a Guinea

each.  Gallery 5 s.

The Gallery will be open’d at Four, and Pit and Boxes

at Five.

To begin at Six o’Clock.[20]

 

 

 

Feb 20 NS

[Prince Cantemir in Paris to Giacomo Amiconi in London, 20 February 1739]

 

[Cristina Antonia] Somis [van Loo] has decided not to go to London.  She told me so after I heard her sing at a concert the day before yesterday, when she sang like an angel.  I understand the pain which you and other music lovers feel when you see the horrible decadence of the profession in London.  I have always thought that Handel’s music by itself could not delight the ears and that the presence of [Elisabeth Duparc, called] Francesina would be good for the eyes.  I doubt that Lucchesina alone can bring [Gio. Battista] Pescetti’s concert into vogue, because a single voice will ordinarily weary audiences on the third evening, so that they will no longer support the person who sings.  I except Farinelli from this rule, since I believe that he could never weary us….

Please also buy and send me…(3) all the overtures of Handel that are printed in seven parts and (4) the new organ concertos by Handel.[21]

 

 

 

Feb 24

HAY-MARKET.

AT the KING’s THEATRE in the

HAY-MARKET, this Day, February 24, will

be reviv’d an ODE, call’d

ALEXANDER’s FEAST.

Written by Mr. Dryden.

With several Concerto’s on the Organ, and other Instruments.

Pit and Boxes to be put together, and no Persons to be

admitted without Tickets, which will be deliver’d this

Day, at the Office in the Hay-Market, at Half a Guinea

each.  Gallery 5 s.

The Gallery will be open’d at Four, and Pit and Boxes

at Five.

To begin at Six o’Clock.[22]

 

 

 

Feb 26

We hear that a new Serenade compos’d by Signor

Pescetti, will in a few Days be acted, in the same manner as

an Opera, at the Theatre-Royal in Covent-Garden; Part

whereof will be perform’d by Signora Moscovita just arriv’d

from Italy, by Signora Marchesina, and others.[23]

 

 

 

Feb 28

NEW MUSICK.

This Day is publish’d,

THE celebrated Airs in Score of the

SEVEN Sonata’s, or Trio’s, for two

Violins or German Flutes and a Bass.  Opera quinta.

Compos’d by Mr. HANDEL.

Printed for John Walsh in Catherine-street in the Strand.

Where may be had, just publish’d,

1.  The celebrated Songs in Score in the Oratorio of Saul.

2.  Alexander’s Feast, an Ode.  Set to Musick by Mr. Handel.

The second Edition.

3.  Handel’s Organ Concerto’s.  To be had with or without the

Instrumental Parts.

4.  Six Overtures for Violins, &c. in eight Parts from the six last

Opera’s; also the same set for the Harpsichord.  These compleat 42

Overtures of Mr. Handel’s for all Instruments.

5.  Handel’s Chamber-Airs for a German Flute, from the Opera

Xerxes, Vol. IV. Part I.[24]

 

 

 

Mar 3

HAY-MARKET.

AT the KING’s THEATRE in the

HAY-MARKET, this Day, March the 3d, will be

reviv’d an ORATORIO, call’d

Il Trionfo del Tempo & della Verita.

With several Concerto’s on the Organ, and other Instruments.

Pit and Boxes to be put together, and no Persons to be

admitted without Tickets, which will be deliver’d this

Day, at the Office in the Hay-Market, at Half a Guinea

each.  Gallery 5 s.

The Gallery will be open’d at Four, and Pit and Boxes

at Five.

To begin at Six o’Clock.

 


COVENT-GARDEN.

AT the Theatre-Royal in Covent-Garden,

on Saturday next, March 10, will be perform’d a

Pastoral Opera, call’d

ANGELICA and MEDORO.

Pit and Boxes to be put together, and no Persons to be

admitted without Tickets, which will be deliver’d that

Day, at the Office in the Theatre, at Half a Guinea each.

F[i]rst Gallery 5 s.  Upper Gallery 2 s. 6 d.

The Galleries will be open’d at Four, Pit and Boxes

at Five.

To begin at Six o’Clock[.][25]

 

 

 

Mar 6

We hear, that on Tuesday the 20th of this Month the

Feast of Alexander will be performed, for the Benefit of a

Fund establish’d for the Support of decay’d Musicians and

their Families; and that Mr. Handel has generously given

the Use of the Opera-House, and intends to direct the

Performance.[26]

 

 

 

Mar 10

AT the KING’s THEATRE in the

HAY-MARKET, Tuesday, March 20, will be

perform’d

ALEXANDER’s FEAST.

Written by Mr. Dryden.

For the Benefit of a Fund raised for the

Support of Decay’d Musicians or their Families.

 


COVENT-GARDEN.

By HIS MAJESTY’s COMMAND.

AT the Theatre-Royal in Covent-Garden,

this Day, March the 10th, will be perform’d a

Pastoral Opera, call’d

ANGELICA and MEDORO.

Pit and Boxes to be put together, and no Persons to be

admitted without Tickets, which will be deliver’d this

Day, at the Office in the Theatre, at Half a Guinea each.

F[i]rst Gallery 5 s.  Upper Gallery 2 s. 6 d.

The Galleries will be open’d at Four, Pit and Boxes

at Five.

To begin at Seven o’Clock.[27]

 

 

 

Mar 15

[Gio. Giacomo Zamboni in London to Prince Cantemir in Paris, 15/26 March 1739]

 

As for public diversions, things continue to go from bad to worse.  Everyone is tired of Handel’s oratorios, and a pastorale [Angelica e Medoro] set to music by Pescetti, performed for the first time in the Covent Garden Theatre last Saturday [10 March 1739], had an abominable success.  This was not because of the composition, which was generally approved, but because of the singers, who are insufferable, as Your Excellency may easily surmise from the knowledge that the best among the women is considered to be Mistress Young [Cecilia Arne], the best among the men is [Gaetano Filippo] Rochetti, and they are joined by two German musicians [Gustavus Waltz and Thomas Reinhold].

[Giovanni] Carestini has now arrived here, and great plans have been devised for this worthy champion.  Some ladies, in addition to vigorously instigating an operatic subscription for next year, are attempting to implement something for the remainder of the present season.  In due course (to speak seriously of a ridiculous matter) we will see clearly the outcome of these projects.  I have a poor opinion of them, especially because current conditions are not very favourable to negotiations and contracts.[28]

 

 

 

Mar 17

HAY-MARKET.

For the Benefit and Increase of a Fund

established for the Support of Decay’d Musicians or their

Families.

AT the KING’s THEATRE in the

HAY-MARKET, Tuesday next, March 20, will be

reviv’d an Ode, call’d

ALEXANDER’s FEAST.

Written by Mr. Dryden.

With several Concerto’s on the Organ, and other Instruments,

Particularly a new Concerto, compos’d by Mr. Handel, on purpose

for this Occasion.

Pit and Boxes to be put together, and no Persons to be

admitted without Tickets, which will be deliver’d that

Day, at the Office in the Hay-Market, at Half a Guinea

each.  Gallery 5 s.

The Gallery will be open’d at Five, and Pit and Boxes

at Six.

To begin at Seven o’Clock.

 


COVENT-GARDEN.

AT the Theatre-Royal in Covent-Garden,

this Day, March the 17th, will be perform’d a

Pastoral Opera, call’d

ANGELICA and MEDORO.

Pit and Boxes to be put together, and no Persons to be

admitted without Tickets, which will be deliver’d this

Day, at the Office in the Theatre, at Half a Guinea each.

F[i]rst Gallery 5 s.  Upper Gallery 2 s. 6 d.

The Galleries will be open’d at Four, Pit and Boxes

at Five.

To begin at Seven o’Clock.

*** To prevent Imposition, this Notice is given, that the Books

of this Opera are sold in the House at One Shilling each, a sufficient

Allowance being given to the Persons who sell them.[29]

 

 

 

Mar 20

HAY-MARKET.

For the Benefit and Increase of a Fund

established for the Support of Decay’d Musicians or their

Families.

AT the KING’s THEATRE in the

HAY-MARKET, this Day, March 20, will be

reviv’d an Ode, call’d

ALEXANDER’s FEAST.

Written by Mr. Dryden.

With several Concerto’s on the Organ, and other Instruments,

Particularly a new Concerto on the Organ by Mr. Handel, on purpose

for this Occasion.

Pit and Boxes to be put together, and no Persons to be

admitted without Tickets, which will be deliver’d this

Day, at the Office in the Hay-Market, at Half a Guinea

each.  Gallery 5 s.

The Gallery will be open’d at Five, and Pit and Boxes

at Six.

To begin at Seven o’Clock.[30]

 

 

 

Mar 21

To an eminent Painter, seeing him drawing Mr. HANDEL’s

Picture, designed for Hickford’s Great Room, in Brewers-street.

 

Whilst, from the Cloth, thou call’st the mimic Life,

And Nature, smiling, views the charming Strife;

Handel, well pleas’d, revolves some noble Lay,

To spread thy Fame, and thy just Art repay.

    Happy! When thus the Pencil and the Lyre,

    Throw Rays o’er each, and mingle Fire with Fire.[31]

 

 

 

Mar 24

AT the KING’s THEATRE in the

HAY-MARKET, Tuesday next, March 27, will be

perform’d an Oratorio, call’d

SAUL.

With several Concerto’s on the Organ.

Pit and Boxes to be put together, and no Persons to be

admitted without Tickets, which will be deliver’d that

Day, at the Office in the Hay-Market, at Half a Guinea

each.  Gallery 5 s.

The Gallery will be open’d at Five, and Pit and Boxes

at Six.

To begin at Seven o’Clock.

 


COVENT-GARDEN.

AT the Theatre-Royal in Covent-Garden,

this Day, March 24, will be perform’d a

Pastoral Opera, call’d

ANGELICA and MEDORO.

Pit and Boxes to be put together, and no Persons to be

admitted without Tickets, which will be deliver’d this

Day, at the Office in the Theatre, at Half a Guinea each.

First Gallery 5 s.  Upper Gallery 2 s. 6 d.

The Galleries will be open’d at Four, Pit and Boxes

at Five.

To begin at Seven o’Clock.

*** To prevent Imposition, this Notice is given, that the Books

of this Opera are sold in the House at One Shilling each, a sufficient

Allowance being given to the Persons who sell them.[32]

 

 

 

Mar 26

Not Acted this Season.

At the Desire of several Persons of Quality.

For the Benefit of Mr. GRIFFIN.

AT the Theatre-Royal in Drury-Lane,

To-morrow, March 27, will be presented a Comedy, call’d

The PROVOK’D HUSBAND.

The Part of Lord Townly, by Mr. Mills; Lady Townly, by Mrs.

Butler; Manly, Mr. Milward; Sir Francis Wronghead, Mr. Griffin;

Lady Grace, Mrs. Mills; Lady Wronghead, Mrs. Roberts;

And the Part of Miss Jenny, by Mrs. Clive.

With ENTERTAINMENTS.

Tickets to be had, and Places taken, at Mr. Moor’s, Box Book-

keeper in the Playhouse Passage.

N.B.  Tickets deliver’d out by Mr. Griffin for Thursday March

the 29th will be taken Tuesday the 27th, he having been desired to

change his Day to the Tuesday, there being an Assembly appointed

for the Thursday.[33]

 

 

 

Mar 27

HAY-MARKET.

AT the KING’s THEATRE in the

HAY-MARKET, this Day, March 27, will be

perform’d an Oratorio, call’d

SAUL.

With several Concerto’s on the Organ.

Pit and Boxes to be put together, and no Persons to be

admitted without Tickets, which will be deliver’d this

Day, at the Office in the Hay-Market, at Half a Guinea

each.  Gallery 5 s.

The Gallery will be open’d at Five, and Pit and Boxes

at Six.

To begin at Seven o’Clock.

______________________________________________________

DRURY – LANE.

Not Acted this Season.

At the particular Desire of several Ladies of

Quality.

For the Benefit of Mr. GRIFFIN.

By His Majesty’s Company of Comedians,

AT the Theatre-Royal in Drury-Lane,

this Day, March 27, will be presented a Comedy, call’d

The PROVOK’D HUSBAND;

OR,

A JOURNEY TO LONDON.

The Part of Lord Townly, by Mr. Mills; Lady Townly, by Mrs.

Butler; Manly, Mr. Milward; Sir Francis Wronghead, Mr. Griffin;

Lady Grace, by Mrs. Mills; Lady Wronghead, Mrs. Roberts; Count

Basset, Mr. Woodward; John Moody, Mr. Macklin; ’Squire Rich-

ard, Mr. Cross; Poundage, Mr. Turbutt; Mrs. Motherly, Mrs. Mar-

shall; Myrtilla, Mrs. Cross; Trusty, Mrs. Bennet;

And the Part of Miss Jenny, by Mrs. Clive.

With Entertainments of Singing and Dancing, particularly

Act II.  A Punch Dance, by Master Ferg and Miss Wright.

Act III.  The Pierot, by Master Ferg and Miss Wright.

Act IV.  A Turkish Dance by Mons. Muilment and others.

Act V.  The Cantata of See from the Silent Groves, &c. by Mr. Beard.

To which (by Desire) will be added, a Ballad-Opera, call’d

The DEVIL TO PAY;

OR,

The Wives Metamorphos’d.

The Part of Sir John Loverule, by Mr. Beard,

In which will be introduc’d a Song call’d The EARLY HORN, &c.

Nell, by Mrs. Clive; Lady Loverule, by Mrs. Pritchard;

Jobson, by Mr. Turbutt; Butler, Mr. Raftor.

Boxes 5 s.  Pit 3 s.  First Gallery 2 s.  Upper Gallery 1 s.

To begin exactly at Six o’Clock.

N.B.  Servants will be admitted to keep Places on the Stage, which

will be Inclos’d and Ornamented in a handsome Manner.

Tickets to be had, and Places taken, at Mr. Moor’s, Box Book-

keeper in the Playhouse Passage.

N.B.  Tickets deliver’d out by Mr. Griffin for Thursday March

the 29th will be taken this Day.

Not Acted this Season, on Thursday will be presented a Comedy,

call’d The PLAIN DEALER.[34]

 

 

 

Apr 4

HAY-MARKET.

AT the KING’s THEATRE in the

HAY-MARKET, this Day, April 4, will be

perform’d a New Oratorio, call’d

ISRAEL in EGYPT.

With several Concerto’s on the Organ, and particularly a new one.

Pit and Boxes to be put together, and no Persons to be

admitted without Tickets, which will be deliver’d this

Day, at the Office in the Hay-Market, at Half a Guinea

each.  Gallery 5 s.

The Gallery will be open’d at Five, and Pit and Boxes

at Six.

To begin at Seven o’Clock.[35]

 

 

[Earl of Egmont’s Diary, Wednesday 4 April 1739]

 

In the evening I went to Hendel’s new Oratorio, “The Israelites’

flight out of Egypt.”[36]

 

 

 

Apr 9

[Giambattista Gastaldi in London to Prince Cantemir in Paris, 9 April 1739]

 

I have several times decided to write you something concerning music here, but I say honestly that I have always forgotten to do so.  Carestini, who has been here for a month, says he came to England solely to have the pleasure of seeing his friends.  Voilà un chântre bien accompli!  But the truth of the matter is that he counts on being hired here for next year.  I, however, do not know what [173] fine hopes he might have of earning guineas.  More than ever before, the English seem tired of music.  Handel has produced two oratorios [Saul and Israel in Egypt], while Pescetti has given a pastorale [Angelica e Medoro].  The first [Saul] had a prodigious concourse of people on the first evening [January 16], and the same was true for Pescetti.  But the other evenings have been as bad as any that you have ever seen.  Last Tuesday [April 4], Handel performed his second oratorio [Israel in Egypt] for the first time; but he did not have twenty people in the pit.  Lucchesina had her benefit at the Covent Garden Theatre, where Pescetti is performing.  I was there, and it seemed very poorly attended (fort mince).  She may return immediately to Italy, and they say that she may give up theatrical performances.  If that is true, I fear that our poor Amiconi has done something foolish, or has desired to do it: for how can Lucchesina live if no one takes care of her and she leaves music?

Madam Francesina has been the Cuzzoni and the Faustina of the Hay-Market.  I was told that Mr Furnes paid £400 to Heidegger for the theatre, and God knows what presents he gave to Handel to put him in a good enough humour to compose some fine airs for this illustrious virtuosa.  Yet even they have not attracted many people to the theatre, which shows that one cannot delude the entire town if the merit is not real.

Another famous virtuosa [Lucia Panichi], who is called the Moscovita, has arrived here.  {...} I now know her to be a virtuosa supported by Mylord [Charles Sackville, Earl of] Middlesex, son of [Lionel Cranfield Sackville] the Duke of Dorset, who is called the Muscovite because her father or mother has been in Muscovy.  She sang in the pastorale of Pescetti, who is going to produce an oratorio.  But the great name which she bears is not worth much, for, like all devils, she sings out of tune.[37]

 

 

 

Apr 11

HAY-MARKET.

AT the KING’s THEATRE in the

HAY-MARKET, this Day, April 11, will be

perform’d a New Oratorio, call’d

ISRAEL in EGYPT.

Which will be shortned and Intermix’d with Songs,

And the two last new Concerto’s on the Organ.

(Being the last Time of performing it.)

Pit and Boxes to be put together, and no Persons to be

admitted without Tickets, which will be deliver’d this

Day, at the Office in the Hay-Market, at Half a Guinea

each.  Gallery 5 s.

The Gallery will be open’d at Five, and Pit and Boxes

at Six.

To begin at Seven o’Clock.

 


COVENT-GARDEN.

AT the Theatre-Royal in Covent-Garden,

this Day, April the 11th, will be perform’d a

Serenata, call’d

ANGELICA and MEDORO.

(Being the last Time of performing it this Season.)

With a new Interlude, call’d

L’ASILO D’AMORE.

Pit and Boxes to be put together, and no Persons to be

admitted without Tickets, which will be deliver’d this

Day, at the Office in the Theatre, at Half a Guinea each.

First Gallery 5 s.  Upper Gallery 2 s. 6 d.

The Galleries will be open’d at Four, Pit and Boxes

at Five.

To begin at Seven o’Clock.[38]

 

 

 

Apr 17

HAY-MARKET.

AT the KING’s THEATRE in the

HAY-MARKET, this Day, April 17, will be

perform’d a New Oratorio, call’d

ISRAEL in EGYPT.

Which will be shortned and Intermix’d with Songs,

And the two last new Concerto’s on the Organ.

Pit and Boxes to be put together, and no Persons to be

admitted without Tickets, which will be deliver’d this

Day, at the Office in the Hay-Market, at Half a Guinea

each.  Gallery 5 s.

The Gallery will be open’d at Five, and Pit and Boxes

at Six.

To begin at Seven o’Clock.[39]

 

 

 

Apr 17-18

[diary of the Rev. Dr. Thomas Birch, 17 April 1739]

 

Ibam cum Eliza Cartera ad Handelii Oratorium Musicum, titulus, Israel in Egypt

 

 

[diary of the Rev. Dr. Thomas Birch, 18 April 1739]

 

Scripsi Literas Latine ad Elis. Carteram[40]

 

 

 

Apr 19

HAY-MARKET.

AT the KING’s THEATRE in the

HAY-MARKET, this Day, April 19, will be

perform’d the last New Oratorio, call’d

SAUL.

And not ISRAEL in EGYPT (as by Mistake was advertised in

Yesterday’s Bills and Papers.)

With a Concerto on the Organ, by Mr. Handel;

And another on the Violin, by the famous Sig. PIANTANIDA,

who is just arriv’d from Abroad.

Pit and Boxes to be put together, and no Persons to be

admitted without Tickets, which will be deliver’d this

Day, at the Office in the Hay-Market, at Half a Guinea

each.  Gallery 5 s.

The Gallery will be open’d at Five, and Pit and Boxes

at Six.

To begin at Seven o’Clock.[41]

 

 

 

Apr 24

To the author of the SCOTS MAGAZINE.

SIR,                                                                 London, April 24.

THe art of puffing increases beyond belief: and even the great Handell himself has been accused of conforming to this prevailing folly, in an instance where (I cannot help speaking with some concern) there was the least cause for descending to such means arts.—A new oratorio, called Israel in Egypt, was performed the third night to a small, though very splendid audience: on which appeared a letter in the daily papers full fraught with praises of the above piece; and intreating, as a blessing for the publick, that Mr. Handell would favour the town with it once more.  And that Master of Melody, out of his constant inclination to oblige, condescended to this request; and the oratorio was performed to this request; and the oratorio was performed, to the surprize of myself and many more, to a very numerous audience, headed by two personages of the greatest distinction; and, two days after, a second letter was published, pointing out the beauties of that composition, in such a manner as will, if the publick take it for a spontaneous compliment, go near to have it yet once more repeated.

[… 182 …]

I am, &c.                                                         S. TOUPEE.[42]

 

 

 

April

I shall say no more now concerning the public censure which a restraint on dramatic poetry must inevitably bring on the authors of such a restraint: but certain it is, that the public will thereby be deprived of many excellent pieces, which would otherwise be exhibited.  A man of genius is now disheartened from writing for the stage: the difficultys [sic] attending it, even before the late act, discouraged many. […] And, after all these difficultys are surmounted, at the Lord Chamberlain’s office is another fiery ordeal; which may prove severer than the [xii] former, by blasting all the fruits of the labours passed: and if a dramatic writer obtains an indulgence from thence, and his play is brought on the stage, there is a hazard still remaining against him from the badness of the actors, and the caprice of a certain part of the town at the representation of a new play.  Our stage now is so unhappyly [sic] filled with actors, that a play writ by a masterly hand would suffer as much as a piece of HANDEL’s music attempted by bad voices in an ill manner, accompanyed with bad instruments by unskilful hands.

THE representation of an excellent tragedy, or comedy, is certainly one of the noblest entertainments which a person of understanding and taste can desire to see, when the actors are capable of doing justice to their parts; but when our stages labour under the disadvantages of mismanagement, of actors in whose praise little can be sayed, and of clamours raised in the behalf of harlequins, or on any other account, I should not be surprised to see those theatres entirely deserted by every person of taste and distinction: and I do not in the least doubt but they would be, if Mr. Handel was able to procure such voices as are fit to be vehicles of his music to the ear.

THERE never was a time in England when our people of high rank, and indeed those of lower condition in London, shewed a greater inclination to encourage public entertainments than [xiii] now; a plain indication of which we have had several winters passed in the numerous appearance that has been almost every night at one playhouse, tho[’] under the disadvantages which I have mentioned: yet that success was, in a great measure, owing to the want of other entertainments; for I observed at the Oratorio of Saul, and other of HANDEL’s compositions, that the great concern of the audience was that he had not voices capable of doing him right.[43]

 

 

 

May 4

[Lord Boyle to the Rev. Mr. Wesley, Westminster, 4 May [1739]]

 

[...] I am out

of my Element when I am out of the Country, and tho’

St. James’s Park puts one in mind of the Somersetshire

verdure, yet the Music on the Parade is no more equal to

the songs of our Nightingales than the Music of the Opera

House is to an old English Ballad.  By the by, the

Comparison does not hold exactly at present, for the State of

that Theatre has long been overturn’d, and the Princes

and Heroines who used to strut so furiously upon the Stage

have been long ago sent, like the Jews and the Gypsies,

to wander over the Face of the Globe, whilst the two

Brothers Hendel and Heydegger live in daily expectation

of the Gallows.[44]

 

 

 

May 7

[Katherine Knatchbull in London to James Harris, [7 May 1739]]

 

[…] This last opera of Jupiter did not take […] Mr Jennings din’d here W[ednes]day & tells me he fears there will not be one opera more this summer.[45]

 

 

 

May 8

[4th Earl of Shaftesbury in London to James Harris, 8 May 1739]

 

            Last Saturday I was at the opera: the piece is, for the greatest part, made up of old songs. Mr Jennens complains heavily that such a number of menuets are inserted; but as for my-self I must own, I was extreamly entertained. The first new woman is a fine actress, & a good mistress of notes, though her voice is too weak for a large theater. The other is a mere girl & has scarce ever perform’d in public before. The parts assigned to both these are entirely new. Handel had not above four days time to compose them, that they are not much laboured; yet I must once more differ with Mr Jennens & think them very pretty. […][46]

 

 

 

[Summer?]

[Charles Jennens to Edward Holdsworth]

 

When you come into the Land of Musick, if you meet with any new Opera’s that are particularly celebrated, you will oblige me by ordering the Score to be transcrib’d for me.[47]

 

 

 

Aug [18/]29

[Edward Holdsworth in Dijon to Charles Jennens]

 

Dear Sr

After having spent about 12 days at Paris, we came hither to the Capital of Burgundy, […]

Since I have been here I have had the pleasure of talking of you and drinking yr health in a glass of good Burgundy wth Mr Knatchbull Sr Wyndham’s bror. who seems to me to be a very worthy Gentleman. He staid here about a week in company wth a young gentleman wth whom He is gone to make the tour of France, & then returns to England. As He is very musical I believe He wou’d have been well pleas’d to have gone to Italy, but Non cuivis homini contingil — […][48]

 

 

 

Aug 22

[Miss Ann Granville to Lady Throckmorton, 22 August 1739]

 

[...] Have you heard Mr. Kellaway upon the harpsichord?  he

is at Scarborough and a most delightful player, very little

inferior to Handel. [...][49]

 

 

 

Sep 22

And who does not know that a certain great composer, who resides in a great neighboring state but does uncommon honor to his fatherland on account of his true merits, has very often made use of the thoughts and inventions of our Keiser?[50]

 

 

 

Oct 31

[handwritten inscription on the title page: “31 October 1739”]

 

[…]

A righteous Rage at our degen’rate Days,

Arm’d Pope with his own keen Iambick Lays,

To scourge th’ enormous Folly o’ the Times,

And make the Vicious tremble at his Rhimes.

[…]

Hark! Handel strikes the Lyre---He whom the Nine

Have crown’d sole Prince of Harmony Divine:

Now sacred Themes his sacred Strains employ,

And pour upon the Soul Seraphick Joy.

Hear * David sooth the Phrensy of the King,

In Sounds as sweet as David’s Self could sing;

When Samuel’s boding Notes his Heart appall,

We stand aghast, and tremble too with Saul;

And when the solemn Fun’ral March moves on

To plaintive Chords, whilst David joins his Moan

Lamenting Saul and Jonathan his Son,

How are the Mighty fall’n! we sighing cry,

And Tears spontaneous gush from ev’ry Eye.

[1516]

Now gayer Subjects animate his Strings,

The Lover’s Fires, and Victor’s Wreaths he sings;

Hark, how the Joy-inspiring Concords roll!

Exalt our Mirth, and all our Cares controul.

Whilst in his Royal * Macedonian’s Feast

Th’almighty Pow’r of Harmony’s exprest,

Our Joy and Grief, our Transport and Despair,

Wait on each Touch, and change with ev’ry Air.

Stupendous Master! now, amaz’d, we see

All that was feign’d of Orpheus true of Thee.

Let Pope and Handel then, with Sister Arts,

At once improve your Joys, and mend your Hearts;

When such Delights your leisure Moments know,

Virtue and Wisdom from Amusement flow.[51]

 

 

 

Nov 15

[premiere: 15 November 1739.]

 

Enter DAUGHTER.

Daugh.  Your Servant, Gentlemen!  Your Servant, Sir!  Isn’t it time to go?

Aesc[ulapius].  Go! where?

Daugh.  Where!  Can you ask that Question?

Merc[ury].  Why truly, Child, I think it a very necessary Question; I can’t tell how one should know the Time of going, unless we knew where ’twas we were to go.

Daugh.  Bless me! Sir; d’ye know what Night ’tis?  Isn’t it Oratorio Night?

Merc.  O!  Oratorio Night!  I beg Pardon.---[Aside.]  This is an English Fool, I suppose.

Father.  Ay, ay, there’s her Folly now; she minds nothing but Piping and Fidling; she lives upon B-fa-bemi.

Daugh.  O charming Oratorio!  O dear, dear Saul!  I expire at that Duetto, and the Dead March brings me to life again.

Father.  To life again!  I’m sorry for it, I’m sure.  If you had expir’d for good and all ’twou’d have been many a Crown in my Pocket. [15]

Daugh.  Crown in your Pocket! what ridiculous Notions some People have!  Would you think it now, Mr. Mercury?  This frugal Papa of mine, as well as he loves Mony, can subscribe Five Pound a Year towards the Support of a Place for nasty sick People, and yet grudge a few Crowns to a ravishing Foreigner.

Father.  Ravishing! ah, ’tis well they can’t ravish, you Slut you, or else—

Daugh.  Now which is the greatest Fool of the two?---begging your Pardon, Papa.

Merc.  I can’t tell, Child, indeed, which is the greatest.

Daugh.  [To Aesculapius.]  Come, come, Signior Doctor, you must love Musick; you know Alexander’s Feast, to be sure; I’ll sing you a Song out of it.

 

SONG.

The Prince, unable to conceal his Pain,

Gaz’d on the Fair

Who caus’d his Care,

And sigh’d, and look’d, and sigh’d again, &c.

 

Well, Gentlemen, what! Ne’er an Encore!  So many People here, and not a single Encore?  My Stars! these Folks are absolutely void of all Taste.

            Aesc.  You are not void of Tongue, Child, I’m sure.

Daugh.  [To Mercury, viewing his Caduceus.]  Pray, Sir, what Instrument is that in your Hand? a Sackbut, or Cymbal, or Psaltery? or some new Invention?—O charming Sackbut! a Sackbut’s my Delight of all things.  Pray, Sir, who did you learn of?

            Merc.  I, Madam!  I learnt of the Spheres.

Daugh.  Ay! that’s some famous Hand, I suppose, just come over; well, I hope we shall have ’em all in time.

            Aesc.  Hearkye, old Gentleman, this appears to have more of Madness than Folly in it, and so does not come within our Province of Cure.

            Father.  A pize on’t!  What shall I do with her? [16]

            Daugh.  Well, I’ll swear ’tis a horrid Shame that there is not a new Tax made for the Encouragement of those People; at least, I think they might apply the Sinking Fund to that Purpose.

            Father.  Bless us! what Phrensy possesses the Slut.

            Daugh.  [To Aesculapius.]  Sir, you look like a wise Man, but you are come upon a mighty silly Errand:  Cure People of their Folly indeed!  I’m sure it is the pleasantest thing in the World to play the Fool now and then:  Wisdom’s good for nothing, by what I can find, but to plague other People, and one’s self too.  If I am a Fool, I’ll be a Fool still, and live at my Ease.  I’ll give you a Song upon that, Mr. Mercury.

 

SONG.

 

A Fool enjoys the sweets of Life,

Unwounded by its Cares;

He thinks not, He, of Debts or Wife;

He feels not, He, nor fears.

 

If fortune smiles, as smile she will,

Upon her booby Brood,

The Fool anticipates no Ill,

But reaps the present Good.

 

Or should, thro’ love of Change, her Wheels

Her fav’rite Bantling cross,

The happy Fool, no Anguish feels,

He weighs not Gain or Loss.

 

When Knaves o’er-reach, and Friends betray,

Whilst Men of Sense run mad,

Fools, careless, whistle on---and say,

’Tis silly to be sad. [17]

 

Since free from Sorrow, Fear, and Shame,

A Fool thus Fate defies,

The greatest Folly I can name

Is to be Overwise.

 

            Merc.  Well, Aesculapius, how does your Gravity like this?  This is the most entertaining Patient we have met with yet.-----Troth, I think ’tis a pity to cure her.

            Aesc.  No, Mercury, the Distemper is not less pernicious for being entertaining.  When People are arriv’d to such a Profusion of Folly as to throw away all their Time upon Sound, and their Mony on Pipes and Fidlers, the World will be as little indebted to their Understandings, as their Understandings are to their own Ears.

            Merc.  Ay, my dear Doctor, but ’twou’d be very hard because People have no Understandings they should have no Ears neither; no body will allow such People to have the first, and so they are in the right to convince ’em they have the last.

            Father.  Well, Gentlemen, and what am I to hope?  D’ye think, Sir, you can do the Baggage any good?

            Merc.  Pr’ythee, old Gentleman, how did she come by this Distemper?

            Daugh.  I catch’d it of my Father, Sir.

            Aesc.  Of your Father!

            Daugh.  Yes indeed, he gave it me.

            Father.  Catch’d it of me, Hussy!  I give it you!---Why you---you---you---did I learn you to squeak, hey?  Did I teach you Tweedle de dum?  Sir, Gentlemen, I don’t so much as know a Crotchet from a Demi-Semi---I don’t know what a murrain they call ’em.---I learn you Hoh, hoh, hoh!  Hah, ha!

            Daugh.  If you didn’t yourself, you employ’d one that did, Sir:  Didn’t you keep a tallow-fac’d Thing in Mens’ Cloaths for Seven Years together about me, under pretence of keeping me out of bad Company?  Would your jealous Temper suffer me to be present at any Diversion, except an Oratorio?  Not so much as an [18] innocent Opera, because that was wicked Stage-playing it seem’d.  Not so much as to see poor, dear, harmless Faronelli act----poor dear Creature!

            Aesc.  How! and do you now accuse her of liking the only thing you would suffer her to like?

            Merc.  A word with you, old Gentleman.---This is, I think, the third Indictment you stand convicted upon---Avarice, Cowardice and Jealousy---three very dangerous Disorders indeed, and require pretty rough Treatment.  As for you, Child, I’ll take you under my own Care, and will teach you to like something better than Musick, I warrant ye.

            Daugh.  You are very welcome, Sir.

[… 24 …]

            Daugh.  Well, but, Mr. Mercury, […]  Didn’t you promise me you wou’d teach me something that I should like better than Musick?  I have been waiting yonder a long while for a Lesson.  Why don’t you come and do as you promis’d.

            Merc.  Presently, Child; you shou’dn’t be in a Hurry, my Dear.

            Daugh.  Ay, but I am in a Hurry; and if you won’t come this Moment, I’ll still insist upon it that Musick’s the only Wisdom, and that Singing is the wisest thing any body can do.

            Merc.  Ay, say you that, my pretty One?

            Daugh.  Yes, I maintain that there is nothing in the World superior to a Song, and that the World itself is nothing but a Song.

            Merc.  ’Tis set to a very scurvy Tune, if it be so.

            Aesc.  You mistake, Mercury, it is not ill set, but ill play’d; the Composition’s good, but the Mischief is, that the Performers neither stop in Tune nor Time.

            Daugh.  I’ll sing you a Song upon that, Mr. Mercury.  You won’t say a Word against it, Signior Doctor?

            Aesc.  Not I, indeed, Child; I would as soon pretend to lay a [25] Whirlwind with a Thought, as stop that tempestuous Member of thine with a Word.

 

SONG.

 

Daugh.  If Life can yield any thing pleasant or sweet,

To strew its rough Valley along,

In Musick, I’m sure, we the Blessing must meet,

For why, the whole World’s a mere Song.

 

Repair to the Court, and you’ll instantly find

Amidst the delusive gay Throng,

No Friendship can hold, nor no Promise can bind,

For the Courtier’s Honour’s a Song.

 

Go next to the Camp, and review each trim Blade,

How they strut it so stout and so strong,

Turn ’em into War’s Field, and I’m hugely afraid,

Their Courage would prove a mere Song.

 

Pray, what are Possessions, tho’ ever so great,

Once got the good Lawyers among?

For they’ll brief it and thief it, they’ll pocket and prate

Till they’ve brought all your Wealth to a Song.

 

The Fair One, who fondles and lolls on dear Spouse,

And vows she ne’er meant him a Wrong

See, Damon slip in a back Way to the House,

For why, Marriage-Vows are a Song.

 

Thus, Youth, run thro’ Life, and try all that you can,

This Truth you must own e’er ’tis long,

Take Greatness or Riches, take Woman or Man,

Your Gains will turn out a mere Song. [26]

 

Now isn’t that true, Mr. Doctor, hey?  How does your Reverence like it?

            Aesc.  Why, in troth, Child, whatever Folly the Singer may be guilty of, there is but too much Sense in the Song.

            Daugh.  Too much Sense!  Oh! you would have had an Italian Song then?

            Merc.  Good, good!  Ha, ha, ha!  This is plain tell-truth English, indeed!

            Daugh.  Ay, I wonder how they could Set it to Musick, for my part!

[…]

            Aesc.  Mercury, thou art a swift Messenger, haste away to Jupiter, inform him of what we have done, and know his further Pleasure in the Matter:  You may tell him, that upon a full Survey of Mankind, it appears that every one has such a sufficient Share of Folly, that he has no reason to complain of his Neighbours having more:  That, in answer to those who think their Folly obstructs their Happiness, it is very plain, that the Happiness of [27] Mankind is so complicated with their Folly, that it is impossible to cure them of the one, without endangering the other too.

            Merc.  Troth! that’s true; […]

            Aesc.  That’s the very Case, Mercury; by taking away their Folly, we shou’d take away one of the most useful Qualities in Life; so that, upon the whole Matter, we must ev’n leave the World as we found it.

            Daugh.  Poor Mr. Doctor, I pity you heartily, I vow!  And so you can make no hand on’t, hey?  You and your Nostrum must march back again together; Ha, ha, ha!  I’m glad on’t.

            Merc.  Yes, Child, for as full of Fools as the World is, he’ll scarce be able to get an Act to purchase the Discovery on’t.  However, if Jupiter thinks there ought to be somewhat done in this matter, after having made so much Noise about it, the most general Folly in Men being that of shewing Severity to other People’s Faults while they overlook their own, he may order a solemn Proclamation to be made, “That no Man shall have the Privilege of censuring the Follies of other People, till he can bring a certificate, under the Hands of three judicious Neighbours, that he has no Folly at all of his own.[”]

            Daugh.  Dear Mr. Mercury, stay a little, and I’ll give you a Song on this very Subject.

            Mercury.  With all my Heart, Child. [28]

 

SONG.

 

Daugh.  Our Folly is our Neighbour’s Gains,

Our Neighbour’s Folly ours;

Fool lives on Fool, and what remains

The cunning Knave devours.

 

If ’twas not for the Marrying Fool,

How would you Virgins fare?  [Curtsying to the Boxes.

If ’twas not for the Keeping Fool,

How those kind Damsels there?  [pointing to the Slips.

 

If ’twas not for the Squand’ring Fool,

Cou’d Citts their Coffers cram?

If ’twas not for the Writing Fool, [Pointing behind the Scenes{.}

You’d lose the Joy to Damn. [To the Pit.

 

            Merc.  Good, good! my little Musical Moralist.[52]

 

 

 

Nov 22

LINCOLN’s-INN FIELDS.

AT the Theatre-Royal in Lincoln’s-Inn

Fields, this Day, November 22, (being St. Cecilia’s Day)

will be perform’d

An ODE of Mr. DRYDEN’<s>,

With two new CONCERTO’s for several Instruments.

Which will be preceded by

ALEXANDER’s FEAST.

And a CONCERTO on the ORGAN.

Boxes Half a Guinea.  Pit 5 s.  First Gallery 3 s.  Upper Gallery 2 s.

*** Particular Care has been taken to have the House well-air’d;

and the Passage from the Fields to the House will be cover’d for

better Conveniency.

Box Tickets will be sold this Day at the Stage-Door.

Pit and Gallery Doors will be open’d at Four, the Boxes at Five.

To begin at Six o’Clock.[53]

 

 

 

Nov 27

LINCOLN’s-INN FIELDS.

AT the Theatre-Royal in Lincoln’s-Inn

Fields, this Day, will be perform’d

An ODE of Mr. DRYDEN’s,

With two new CONCERTO’s for several Instruments, never

perform’d but Once.

Which will be preceded by

ALEXANDER’s FEAST.

And a CONCERTO on the ORGAN.

Boxes Half a Guinea.  Pit 5 s.  First Gallery 3 s.  Upper Gallery 2 s.

Box Tickets will be sold this Day at the Stage-Door.

Pit and Gallery Doors will be open’d at Four, the Boxes at Five.

*** Particular Care will be taken to have Guards plac’d to keep all

the Passages clear from the Mob.

To begin at Six o’Clock.[54]

 

 

 

Nov 29

[Charles Jennens, Queens Square, London to Edward Holdsworth]

 

Handel open’d the Theatre in Lincoln’s-Inn-Fields on St. Cecilia’s day with Dryden’s two Odes for the day; the House was very full upon that day, but he perform’d it last Tuesday a 2d time to half a House. On <Satur>day Ld. Middlesex opens the little French Thea<tre> in the Haymarket with a Serenata of Diana & Endymion. His Singers are his dear Moscovita, Carestino, & Clemente newly arriv’d, who I hear outsings your old Friend Carestino. […]

 

[postscript:]

Your quondam Pupil Mr. Herbert came very lamely into the Boxes on Tuesday at Handel’s Odes, but look’d well in the Face. I had forgot [2v] to add to my last Musical Commission my desire, that when you are in Italy you would collect me as many as you can of the Baron d’ Astorga’s Cantata’s, which are much esteem’d here, but I don’t know how to get ’em. […][55]

 

 

 

Acis and Galatea performed in Newcastle in 1739 under Avison before “the greatest Audience that ever was known on the like Occasion in Newcastle,” when “all present saluted the Performers with loud Peals of Claps, acknowledging a general Satisfaction.”[56]

 

 

 

Dec 11

[Tuesday 11 December 1739]

 

Some Days ago two Gentlemen jostling each other by Accident, in the Street, some angry Words pass’d on both Sides, which ended in a Challenge given and accepted: The Meeting however was postpon’d to the next Day but one: Not that they might have Leisure to settle their Affairs, and make their Wills; but to have the Pleasure of hearing Mr. Handel’s new Music before they dy’d: Which grand Point carry’d, they met on the Morrow in Tuttle-Fields, fell to with all the Satisfaction imaginable, and after a few Passes, both being disabled, embrac’d, adjourn’d to a Tavern to have their Wounds dress’d, and are now like to be fast Friends for Life.[57]

 

 

 

Dec 13

LINCOLN’s-INN FIELDS.

AT the Theatre-Royal in Lincoln’s-Inn

Fields, this Day, will be perform’d

ACIS and GALATEA,

A [sic] SERENATA.

With two new CONCERTO’s for several Instruments, never

perform’d before.

To which will be added,

The last New ODE of Mr. DRYDEN’s,

And a CONCERTO on the ORGAN.

Boxes Half a Guinea.  Pit 5 s.  First Gallery 3 s.  Upper Gallery 2 s.

Pit and Gallery Doors will be open’d at Four, the Boxes at Five.

Box Tickets will be sold this Day at the Stage-Door.

*** Particular Care will be taken to have Guards plac’d to keep all

the Passages clear from the Mob.

To begin at Six o’Clock.[58]

 

 

 

Dec 13

[Richard West to Horace Walpole]

 

Temple, Dec. 13, 1739.

 

[... 196 ... 197 ...] To muster up all sort of news: Glover has put out on

this occasion a new poem, called London, or the Progress of Commerce,

wherein he very much extols a certain Dutch poet, called Janus

Douza, and compares him to Sophocles.  I suppose he does it to make

interest upon ’Change.  Plays we have none, or damned ones.  Handel

has had a concerto this winter.  No opera, no nothing.  All for war and

Admiral Haddock.  Farewell and adieu!

Yours,

R. WEST[59]

 

 

 

Dec 17

[Giambattista Gastaldi in London to Prince Cantemir in Paris, 17/28 December 1739]

 

The concert series is going very badly.  Rolli devised a system for Mylord Middlesex at the Little Theatre in the Haymarket, in which each person, without distinction, was charged a half-guinea, and the gallery was closed.  This irritated the town of London, and, even though the gallery was reopened at its old price of five shillings, almost no one is booking subscriptions.  Judge, sir, the success of this enterprise, for which Carestini, in order to attract a crowd, sang the Salve Regina composed by Hasse the day before yesterday.  The king [George II] asked yesterday what Salve Regina meant, for, as a good Protestant, he did not know the prayers we address to the Holy Virgin.  Has one ever heard the Salve Regina sung in a theatre?  If I were an inquisitor, I would truly like to place this impertinent and wretched Carestini in a dungeon for having profaned in such a vile manner what is most sacred in our religion.  But for all that the crowd was no larger than usual.  Handel, on the contrary, triumphs; and everyone runs after his music at the theatre in Criedlasylums[!] Fields.[60]

 

 

 

Dec 20

LINCOLN’s-INN FIELDS.

AT the Theatre-Royal in Lincoln’s-Inn

Fields, this Day, will be perform’d

ACIS and GALATEA,

A [sic] SERENATA.

With two new CONCERTO’s for several Instruments, never

perform’d but once.

To which will be added,

The last New ODE of Mr. DRYDEN’s,

And a CONCERTO on the ORGAN.

(Being the last Time of performing ’till after the Holidays.)

Boxes Half a Guinea.  Pit 5 s.  First Gallery 3 s.  Upper Gallery 2 s.

To begin at Six o’Clock.[61]

 

 

 

Dec 29

[Charles Jennens at Queen Square, London to James Harris, 29 December 1739]

 

            Having mention’d to Mr Handel your schemes of Allegro & Penseroso, I have made him impatient to see it in due form & to set it immediately. I beg therefore that you will execute your plan without delay & send it up; or if you don’t care to do that, send me your instructions, & I will make the best use I am able of them: but by all means let me know your intentions by the next post; for he is so eager, that I am afraid, if his demands are not answer’d very soon, he will be diverted to some less agreeable design. I have been preparing a collection for him from scripture, which is more to my own tast & (by his own confession) to his too; but I believe he will not set it this year, being desirous to please the town with something of a gayer turn.[62]

 

 

 

[Dec 30/] Jan 10 [1740]

[Edward Holdsworth in Angers to Charles Jennens]

 

[…] If any one was to read your Italian Commissions to me, they wou’d think you in jest, to employ me to buy Musick for you, and to desire me to sit for my picture; But as meny [sic] as they seem to be, you shall be obey’d […][63]

 

 

 

The Man, who lives in hope, or lives in fear,

In naught he has can feel the Joy sincere:

Sooner shall Handel give the Dead Delight,

And Raphael’s Pencil charm the Blind to Sight.[64]

 

 

 

[“AN ESSAY ON THE UNIVERSE.”]

 

Let the brisk Grape refresh thy languid Soul,

But shun the Circe of th’ enchanting Bowl.

Or seek Relief from Musick’s sweet Repairs,

With grave Corelli, or with Handel’s Airs.

Musick!  I love thy soft recov’ring Pow’r,

Balm of my drooping, melancholy Hour![65]

 



[1] The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 1305, Wednesday 3 January 1738[-9], [1].

[2] The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 1307, Friday 5 January 1738[-9], [1].

[3] British Library, Add. Ms. 31145, f. 330v; repr. The Wentworth Papers, 1705-1739, ed. James J. Cartwright (London: Wyman & Sons, 1883), 542.

[4] The Autobiography and Correspondence of Mary Granville, Mrs. Delany, ed. Lady Llanover, 3 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1861), 2:24.

[5] Manuscripts of the Earl of Egmont.  Diary of the First Earl of Egmont (Viscount Percival).  Vol. III. 1739-1747 (London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1923), 4.

[6] British Library, Add. Ms. 31145, f. 338v; repr. The Wentworth Papers, 1705-1739, ed. James J. Cartwright (London: Wyman & Sons, 1883), 543.

[7] The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 1316, Tuesday 16 January 1738-9, [1].

[8] Manuscripts of the Earl of Egmont.  Diary of the First Earl of Egmont (Viscount Percival).  Vol. III. 1739-1747 (London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1923), 5.

[9] Manuscripts of the Earl of Egmont.  Diary of the First Earl of Egmont (Viscount Percival).  Vol. III. 1739-1747 (London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1923), 5.

[10] facs. repr., Handel: A Celebration of his Life and Times, 1685-1759, ed. Jacob Simon (London: National Portrait Gallery, 1985), 165.

[11] The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 1322, Tuesday 23 January 1738-9, [1].

[12] The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 1323, Wednesday 24 January 1739, [1].

[13] The London Magazine: and Monthly Chronologer 8 (1739): 52; also in The Annals of Europe for the Year 1739...Vol. II (London: George Hawkins, 1741), 491; repr., Chrissochoidis, 738.

[14] The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 1332, Saturday 3 February 1738-9, [1].

[15] Manuscripts of the Earl of Egmont.  Diary of the First Earl of Egmont (Viscount Percival).  Vol. III. 1739-1747 (London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1923), 18.

[16] The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 1332, Saturday 3 February 1738-9, [1].

[17] Lowell Lindgren, “Musicians and Librettists in the Correspondence of Gio. Giacomo Zamboni (Oxford, Bodleian Library, MSS Rawlinson Letters 116-138),” [Royal Musical Association] Research Chronicle 24 (1991), 1-194: 171.

[18] The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 1338, Saturday 10 February 1738-9, [1].

[19] The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 1339, Monday 12 February 1738-9, [2].

[20] The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 1344, Saturday 17 February 1738-9, [1].

[21] Lowell Lindgren, “Musicians and Librettists in the Correspondence of Gio. Giacomo Zamboni (Oxford, Bodleian Library, MSS Rawlinson Letters 116-138),” [Royal Musical Association] Research Chronicle 24 (1991), 1-194: 171.

[22] The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 1350, Saturday 24 February 1738-9, [1].

[23] The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 1351, Monday 26 February 1738-9, [2].

[24] The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 1353, Wednesday 28 February 1738-9, [2].

[25] The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 1356, Saturday 3 March 1738-9, [1].

[26] The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 1358, Tuesday 6 March 1738-9, [1].

[27] The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 1362, Saturday 10 March 1738-9, [1].

[28] Lowell Lindgren, “Musicians and Librettists in the Correspondence of Gio. Giacomo Zamboni (Oxford, Bodleian Library, MSS Rawlinson Letters 116-138),” [Royal Musical Association] Research Chronicle 24 (1991), 1-194: 172.

[29] The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 1368, Saturday 17 March 1738-9, [1].

[30] The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 1370, Saturday 20 March 1738-9, [1].

[31] The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 1371, Wednesday 21 March 1739, [2].

[32] The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 1374, Saturday 24 March 1738-9, [1].

[33] The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 1375, Monday 26 March 1739, [2].

[34] The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 1376, Tuesday 27 March 1738-9, [1].

[35] The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 1383, Wednesday 4 April 1739, [1].

[36] Manuscripts of the Earl of Egmont.  Diary of the First Earl of Egmont (Viscount Percival).  Vol. III. 1739-1747 (London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1923), 49.

[37] Lowell Lindgren, “Musicians and Librettists in the Correspondence of Gio. Giacomo Zamboni (Oxford, Bodleian Library, MSS Rawlinson Letters 116-138),” [Royal Musical Association] Research Chronicle 24 (1991), 1-194: 172-73.

[38] The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 1389, Wednesday 11 April 1739, [1].

[39] The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 1394, Tuesday 17 April 1739, [1].

[40] Brian Trowell, “Handel, Thomas Birch and Elizabeth Carter,” The Handel Institute Newsletter 8/1 (1997), [3-5]: [3].

[41] The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 1396, Thursday 19 April 1739, [1].

[42] The Scots Magazine 1 (1739): 181; repr., Chrissochoidis, 740-41.

[43] [Thomas] Cooke, The Mournful Nuptials, or Love the Cure of all Woes, A Tragedy (London: T. Cooper, 1739), xi-xiii; repr., Chrissochoidis, 741.

[44] The Orrery Papers, ed. the Countess of Cork and Orrery, 2 vols. (London: Duckworth and Co., 1903), 1:258.

[45] Donald Burrows and Rosemary Dunhill (eds.), Music and Theatre in Handel’s World: The Family Papers of James Harris (1732–1780) (Oxford and New York, 2002), 70.

[46] Donald Burrows and Rosemary Dunhill (eds.), Music and Theatre in Handel’s World: The Family Papers of James Harris (1732–1780) (Oxford and New York, 2002), 70.

[47] Foundling Museum, Gerald Coke Handel Collection, accession no. 2702, “Jennens Holdsworth Letters 1,” item 59, f. 1v; repr. Amanda Babington and Ilias Chrissochoidis, “Musical References in the Jennens–Holdsworth Correspondence (1729–46),” Royal Musical Association Research Chronicle, 45:1 (2014), 76–129: 102.

[48] Foundling Museum, Gerald Coke Handel Collection, accession no. 2702, “Jennens Holdsworth Letters 1,” item 60, f. 1r; repr. Amanda Babington and Ilias Chrissochoidis, “Musical References in the Jennens–Holdsworth Correspondence (1729–46),” Royal Musical Association Research Chronicle, 45:1 (2014), 76–129: 102.

[49] The Autobiography and Correspondence of Mary Granville, Mrs. Delany, ed. Lady Llanover, 3 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1861), 2:61.

[50] Critischer Musikus.  Neue, vermehrte und verbesserte Auflage (Leipzig: 1745): 527-28; quoted in John H. Roberts, “Handel’s Borrowings from Keiser,” Göttinger Händel-Beiträge 2 (1986), 51-76: 51.

* Vide Saul, an Oratorio, set to Musick by Mr. Handel.

* Vide Alexander’s Feast, an Ode; set to Musick by Mr. Handel.

[51] [James] Miller, [The] Art of Life.  In Imitation of Horace’s Art of Poetry.  In Two Epistles.  Epistle the First (London: J. Watts, 1739), 14, 16; repr., Chrissochoidis, 742-43.

[52] [James Miller], An Hospital for Fools.  A Dramatic Fable (London: J. Watts, 1739), 14-18, 24-28; repr., Chrissochoidis, 743-47.

[53] The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 1584, Thursday 22 November 1739, [1].

[54] The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 1588, Tuesday 27 November 1739, [1].

[55] Foundling Museum, Gerald Coke Handel Collection, accession no. 2702, “Jennens Holdsworth Letters 2,” item 61, f. 2; repr. Amanda Babington and Ilias Chrissochoidis, “Musical References in the Jennens–Holdsworth Correspondence (1729–46),” Royal Musical Association Research Chronicle, 45:1 (2014), 76–129: 102–103; (first sentence) Autograph Letters of George Frideric Handel and Charles Jennens (auction catalog, Christie, Manson & Woods, July 4, 1973), 21; Händel Handbuch, 314.

[56] The Newcastle Courant, 1 December 1739; The Newcastle Journal, 1 December 1739: quoted in Winton Dean, Handel’s Dramatic Oratorios and Masques (London: Oxford University Press, 1959), 179.

[57] [Henry Fielding, and James Ralph], The Champion: Containing a Series of Papers, Humorous, Moral, Political, and Critical, 2 vols, (London: J. Huggonson, 1741), 85; repr., Chrissochoidis, 747.

[58] The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 1602, Thursday 13 December 1739, [1].

[59] Horace Walpole’s Correspondence with Thomas Gray, Richard West and Thomas Ashton, ed. W. S. Lewis, George L. Lam, and Charles H. Bennett (New Haven: Yale University Press / London: Geoffrey Cumberlege, Oxford University Press, 1948), 195-97.

[60] Lowell Lindgren, “Musicians and Librettists in the Correspondence of Gio. Giacomo Zamboni (Oxford, Bodleian Library, MSS Rawlinson Letters 116-138),” [Royal Musical Association] Research Chronicle 24 (1991), 1-194: 175.

[61] The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 1608, Thursday 20 December 1739, [1].

[62] Donald Burrows and Rosemary Dunhill (eds.), Music and Theatre in Handel’s World: The Family Papers of James Harris (1732–1780) (Oxford and New York, 2002), 82, 84.

[63] Foundling Museum, Gerald Coke Handel Collection, accession no. 2702, “Jennens Holdsworth Letters 2,” item 62, f. 1v; repr. Amanda Babington and Ilias Chrissochoidis, “Musical References in the Jennens–Holdsworth Correspondence (1729–46),” Royal Musical Association Research Chronicle, 45:1 (2014), 76–129: 104.

[64] An Epistle in Verse to a Friend, in Imitation of the Second Epistle of the First Book of Horace (London: J. Robinson, 1739), 13; repr., Chrissochoidis, 748.

[65] Moses Browne, Poems on Various Subjects.  Many never printed before (London: Edward Cave, 1739), 334; repr. as “MAN exhorted to VIRTUE and a moderate and regular Use of PLEASURE, &c.” with the Handel line in different position, The Agreeable Medley Or, Universal Entertainer (Malton: Joshua Nickson, 1748), 168; repr., Chrissochoidis, 748.