1743

 

 

Jan 10

Janry. 10 1742-3

Sr.

The ffollowing [sic] Oratorio of Samson is Intended

to be Perform’d at the Theatre Royal in Covt. Garden

with your Permission             I am

Sr.

Yr. humble Servt.

Jno. Rich

George Frideric Handel

To

——Chitwin Esqr.

in Cork Street

                        Absent[1]

 

 

 

Jan 17

[Charles Jennens in London to Edward Holdsworth]

 

Dear Sir,

I came not to Town till the last day of the old year, &, had it not been for your Business, should have come up even then with reluctance, having in my own mind fix’d the beginning of February for my Journey, about a fortnight before the time of Handel’s Oratorios. […1v]

[2r]

I told you before that one of the Composers in my Box was good, I mean Scarlatti: & I shall not condemn the rest without a fair Trial. Handel has borrow’d a dozen of the Pieces, & I dare say I shall catch him stealing from them; as I have formerly, both from Scarlatti & Vinci. He has compos’d an exceeding fine Oratorio, being an alteration of Milton’s Samson Agonistes, with which he is to begin Lent. His Messiah has disappointed me, being set in great hast, tho’ he said he would be a year about it, & make it the best of all his Compositions. I shall put no more Sacred Words into his hands, to be thus abus’d.

[…] I am resolv’d to have no more Operas or Cantatas from Italy, but if you can meet with any more of Astorga’s church Musick, or Marcello’s, or any that is much esteem’d, I shall be oblig’d to you for them. […][2]

 

 

 

Feb 3

For the Benefit of Mr. CLEGG,

(Who has been in a bad State of Health for some Time past,)

AT Hickford’s Great Room in Brewer’s-

Street, near Golden-Square, this Day, Feb. 3, will be

perform’d a CONCERT of Vocal and Instrumental

MUSICK.

The Vocal Part by Signora AVOLIO,

(Being the first Time of her Singing in Publick in England;)

The principal Instrumental Parts as follow[s], viz.

A Solo on the Violoncello by Signor Caporale.

A Concerto on the Harpsichord by Mr. James Vincent.

A Concerto on the Hautboy by Mr. Thomas Vincent, jun.

A Concerto on the Bassoon by Mr. Miller.

And the First Violin by Mr. Feasting.

Tickets to be had at the following Places, viz. Mrs. Clegg’s, at

Mr. Fullford’s, a Brazier in New Bond-street; the Swan Tavern in

Cornhill; Mr. Walmsley’s, a Musick-shop, the Corner of Picadilly;

and at the Place of Performance.

Each Ticket Five Shillings.

To begin exactly at Seven o’Clock.[3]

 

 

 

Feb [5/]16

[Edward Holdsworth in Angers to Charles Jennens]

 

I have wrote to Mr Pitt by this post, and thank’d him for the 2 Drawings He gave you; and for sending your Books and box of Musick, tho’ the latter perhaps may not be worth thanks. However ’tis some credit to yr box that Handel borrows some of the pieces, and if He borrows from them, that will be still doing them more honour.

[…] I am sorry to hear yr friend Handel is such a jew. His negligence, to say no worse, has been a great disappointment to others as well as yr self, for I hear there was great expectation of his composition. I hope the words, tho’ murther’d, are still to be seen, and yt I shall have that pleasure when I return. And as I don’t understand the musick I shall be better off than the rest of ye world.[4]

 

 

 

Feb 7

By SUBSCRIPTION.

AT the Theatre Royal in Covent-Garden, on Friday the 18th inst. will be perform’d a new ORATORIO, call’d

SAMPSON.

            Tickets will be deliver’d to Subscribers (on paying their Subscription-Money) this Day, and every Day following, (Sunday excepted) at Mr. Handel’s House in Brooke-Street, near Hanover-Square.

            Attendance will be given from Nine o’ Clock in the Morning till Three in the Afternoon.

            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 Covent-Garden Theatre, at Half a Guinea each.  First Gallery 5s.  Upper Gallery 3s. 6d.

            Note, Each Subscriber is to pay Six Guineas upon taking out his Subscription Ticket, which entitles him to three Box-Tickets every Night of Mr. Handel’s first six Performances in Lent.[5]

 

 

 

Feb 12

By SUBSCRIPTION.

AT the Theatre Royal in Covent-Garden,

on Friday the 18th inst. will be perform’d a new ORATORIO, call’d

SAMPSON.

Tickets will be deliver’d to Subscribers (on paying their Subscription-

Money) this Day, and every Day following, (Sunday excepted), at Mr.

Handel’s House in Brooke-Street, near Hanover-Square.

Attendance will be given from Nine o’Clock in the Morning till Three

in the Afternoon.

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 Covent-Garden

Theatre, at Half a Guinea each.  First Gallery 5 s.  Upper Gallery 3 s. 6 d.

Note, Each Subscriber is to pay Six Guineas upon taking out his

Subscription Ticket, which entitles him to three Box-Tickets every Night of Mr.

Handel’s first six Performances in Lent.  And if Mr. Handel should have any

more Performances after the six first Nights, each Subscriber may continue

on the same Conditions.[6]

 

 

 

Feb 16 [NS?]

[Edward Holdsworth to Charles Jennens]

 

[“Angers. Feb. 16. 1743.”]

 

[...]

I have wrote to Mr Pitt by this post, and thank’d him for the

2 Drawings He gave you; and for sending your Books and box of

Musick, tho’ the latter perhaps may not be worth thanks. However ’tis

some credit to yr box that Handel borrows some of the pieces, and

if He borrows from them, that will be still doing them more honour.

[...] I am sorry to hear

yr friend Handel is such a jew. His negligence, to say no worse, has been a

great disappointment to others as well as yr self, for I hear there was great

expectation of his composition. I hope the words, tho’ murther’d, are still to be

seen, and yt I shall have that pleasure when I return. And as I don’t understand

the musick I shall be better off than the rest of ye world.[7]

 

 

 

Feb 21

[Charles Jennens in London to Edward Holdsworth]

 

[…] I am sorry I mention’d my Italian Musick to Handel, for I don’t like to have him borrow from them who has so much a better fund of his own. As to the Messiah, ’tis still in his power by retouching the weak parts to make it fit for a publick performance; & I have said a great deal to him on the Subject; but he is so lazy & so obstinate, that I much doubt the Effect. I have a copy, as it was printed in Ireland, full of Bulls; & if he does not print a correct one here, I shall do it my Self, & perhaps tell him a piece of my mind by way of Preface. I am a little out of humour, as you may perceive, & want to vent my Spleen for ease. What adds to my chagrin is, that if he makes his Oratorio ever so perfect, there is a clamour about Town, said to arise from the B[isho]ps, against performing it. This may occasion some enlargement of the Preface. […2r…]

 

[postscript:]

Last Friday Handel perform’d his Samson, a most exquisite Entertainment, which tho’ I heard with infinite Pleasure, yet it increas’d my resentment for his neglect of the Messiah. You do him too much Honour to call him a Jew! a Jew would have paid more respect to the Prophets. The Name of Heathen will suit him better. yet a sensible Heathen would not have prefer’d the Nonsense, foisted by one Hamilton into Milton’s Samson Agonistes, to the sublime Sentiments & expressions of Isaiah & David, of the Apostles & Evangelists; & of Jesus Christ.[8]

 

 

 

Feb 18

By SUBSCRIPTION.

AT the Theatre Royal in Covent-Garden,

this Day, the 18th instant, will be perform’d a new ORATORIO, call’d

SAMPSON.

With a new CONCERTO on the ORGAN.

Tickets will be deliver’d to Subscribers this Day, at the Office in Covent-

Garden Theatre.

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 Covent-Garden

Theatre, at Half a Guinea each.  First Gallery 5 s.  Upper Gallery 3 s. 6 d.

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

To begin at Six o’Clock.[9]

 

 

 

Feb 18

This Day is publish’d, (Price 1 s.)

SAMPSON.  An Oratorio.  As it is perform’d at the Theatre Royal in Covent-Garden.  Alter’d and adapted to the Stage from the Sampson Agonistes of MILTON.  Set to Musick by GEORGE FREDERICK HANDEL.

Printed for J. and R. Tonson, in the Strand.[10]

 

 

 

            Sampson, an Oratorio, for Mess. Tonson, pr. 1 s.[11]

 

 

 

Feb 21

[Charles Jennens to Edward Holdsworth]

 

[“Q. Square. Feb. 21. 1742-3.”]

 

[...] I am sorry I mention’d my Italian

Musick to Handel, for I don’t like to have him bor-

row from them who has so much a better fund

of his own. As to the Messiah, ’tis still in his

power by retouching the weak parts to make it

fit for a publick performance; & I have said a

great deal to him on the Subject; but he is so

lazy & so obstinate, that I much doubt the

Effect. I have a copy, as it was printed in Ireland,

full of Bulls; & if he does not print a correct

one here, I shall do it my Self, & perhaps tell

him a piece of my mind by way of Preface.

I am a little out of humour, as you may perceive,

& want to vent my Spleen for ease. What adds to

my chagrin is, that if he makes his Oratorio ever so

perfect, there is a clamour about Town, said to

arise from the Bps, against performing it. This may

occasion some enlargement of the Preface. [... 2r ...]

 

[postscript]

Last Friday Handel perform’d his Samson, a

most exquisite Entertainment, which tho’ I

heard with infinite Pleasure, yet it increas’d

my resentment for his neglect of the Messiah.

You do him too much Honour to call him

a Jew! a Jew would have paid more respect

to the Prophets. The Name of Heathen will

suit him better. yet a sensible Heathen would

not have prefer’d the Nonsense, foisted by one

Hamilton into Milton’s Samson Agonistes, to

the sublime Sentiments & expressions of

Isaiah & David, of the Apostles

& Evangelists; & of Jesus Christ.[12]

 

 

 

Feb 23

By SUBSCRIPTION.

The Second Night.

AT the Theatre Royal in Covent-Garden,

this Day, will be perform’d a new ORATORIO, call’d

SAMSON.

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

Covent-Garden Theatre.

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 Covent-Garden

Theatre, at Half a Guinea each.  First Gallery 5 s.  Upper Gallery 3 s. 6 d.

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

To begin at Six o’Clock.[13]

 

 

 

Feb 23

It being known on Wednesday that his Majesty and the rest of the Royal Family were to be at the Oratorio at Covent-Garden Playhouse, and Intelligence being given that a large Gang of Pickpockets were preparing to give their Attendance upon that Occasion, Mr. Holden Bowker, High Constable for the City and Liberty of Westminster, with several of the petty Constables likewise, attended there to take them, and three of the most notorious of that pernicious Gang were taken, and brought before Col. De Veil, where they were under Examination for a considerable Time, and they prov’d to be John Price, much better known by the Nickname of Pidgeon, having been the Captain of the Pickpockets for Years past; the next, William Cole, another famous Person in the Mystery of picking Pockets, also better known by the Nickname of Stink and End; and the third, one William Meredith, a Bulk to the Pickpockets.  They were all committed to Clerkenwell-Bridewell to hard Labour, so that their Trade will be at an End for this Season.[14]

 

 

 

Feb 24

[Horace Walpole to Horace Mann]

 

Arlington Street, Feb. 24.

 

[...]

But to come to more real contests; Handel has set up an oratorio

against the operas; and succeeds.  He has hired all the goddesses from

farces and the singers of Roast Beef from between the acts at both

theatres, with a man with one note in his voice [Beard], and a girl [Cibber?]

without ever an one; and so they sing, and make brave hallelujahs; and

the good company encore the recitative, if it happens to have any

cadence like what they call a tune.

I was much diverted t’other night at the opera; two gentlewomen

sat before my sister, and not knowing her, discoursed at their ease.

Says one, ‘Lord! how fine Mr W[alpole] is!’ ‘Yes,’ replied t’other [181]

(with a tone of saying sentences) ‘some men love to be particularly so,

your petit maîtres — but they are not always the brightest of their sex.’[15]

 

 

 

Feb 24

For the Benefit of JAMES JACOBSON.

AT the Angel and Crown Tavern in White-chapel, Tomorrow, being the 25th instant, will be perform’d a Grand CONCERT of Vocal and Instrumental

MUSICK:

With Mr. Handel’s Coronation-Anthem, a new Organ Concerto by Mr. Jacobson on the Harpsichord, and a Solo on the Viola d’Amore by Mr. Grosman; to conclude with the Water-Piece.

To begin at Six o’Clock.

Tickets at 2s. 6d. each, to be had at Mrs. Hare’s Musick-Shop, in Birchin-Lane; at Mr. Hill’s Musick-Shop, in the Minories; at Mr. Morton’s, Watchmaker, in Tower-Street; and at the Bar at the Place of Performance.[16]

 

 

 

Feb 25

By SUBSCRIPTION.

The Third Night.

AT the Theatre Royal in Covent-Garden,

this Day, will be perform’d a new ORATORIO, call’d

SAMSON.

With a new CONCERTO on the ORGAN.

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

Covent-Garden Theatre.

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 Covent-Garden

Theatre, at Half a Guinea each.  First Gallery 5 s.  Upper Gallery 3 s. 6 d.

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

To begin at Six o’Clock.[17]

 

 

 

Feb 28

For the Benefit of Mr. BROWN.

AT the Castle Tavern in Pater-noster-Row, on Friday next, the 4th of March, will be perform’d a CONCERT of Vocal and Instrumental

MUSICK.

The Vocal Parts by Signor Palma and Mr. Beard.  A Concerto on the Organ by an eminent Master, a Solo on the German Flute by Mr. Balicourt, a Concerto on the Bassoon by Mr. Hebden, and a Solo and several Concertos on the Violin by Mr. Brown.

Note, Mr. Brown begs Leave to acquaint the Publick, that there will be no Oratorio on that Night.

[…][18]

 

 

 

February

ENTERTAINMENT and POETRY.

[...]

5.  Sampson.  An Oratorio.  Printed for Mess. Tonson, price 1s[.][19]

 

 

 

Mar 2

By SUBSCRIPTION.

The Fourth Night.

AT the Theatre Royal in Covent-Garden,

this Day, will be perform’d a new ORATORIO, call’d

SAMSON.

With a new CONCERTO on the ORGAN.

And a Solo on the Violin by Mr. DUBOURG.

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

Covent-Garden Theatre.

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 Covent-Garden

Theatre, at Half a Guinea each.  First Gallery 5 s.  Upper Gallery 3 s. 6 d.

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

To begin at Six o’Clock.[20]

 

 

 

Mar 3

[Horace Walpole to Horace Mann]

 

March 3d 1743.

[... 185 ... 186 ...]

The oratorios thrive abundantly — for my part, they give me an

idea of heaven, where everybody is to sing whether they have voices

or not.[21]

 

 

 

Mar [5/]16

[Edward Holdsworth in Angers to Charles Jennens]

 

As soon as I get to Italy, where I hope to be by Midsummer, I shall remember your instructions, about Astorga’s or Marcello’s Church Musick. But for fear of mistakes I shou’d be glad to know wt you have of that sort already, that I may not blunder & send you Duplicates, as for Operas & Cantatas I am very safe, I shall meddle with none. If I mistake not Mr Sandford has only one Vol. of Blanchini. and you 3. or rather one of Blanchini and 2 by another author, wch I was impos’d upon, and took as his; for more security I shall be glad to know particularly the titles of what you have, that I may not send you the same again; for you find by experience that I can blunder.

I am not at all surpris’d at the clamour rais’d against Messiah, since I remember a R[igh]t. R[everend]. took offence at Exodus. I hope this will not engage you in a Quarrel with the bench. They are a terrible body. […][22]

 

 

 

Mar 9

By SUBSCRIPTION.

The Fifth Night.

AT the Theatre Royal in Covent-Garden,

this Day, will be perform’d a new ORATORIO, call’d

SAMSON.

With a new CONCERTO on the ORGAN.

And a Solo on the Violin by Mr. DUBOURG.

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

Covent-Garden Theatre.

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 Covent-Garden

Theatre, at Half a Guinea each.  First Gallery 5 s.  Upper Gallery 3 s. 6 d.

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

To begin at Six o’Clock.[23]

 

 

 

Mar 11

By SUBSCRIPTION.

The Sixth Night.

AT the Theatre Royal in Covent-Garden,

this Day, will be perform’d a new ORATORIO, call’d

SAMSON.

With a new CONCERTO on the ORGAN.

And a Solo on the Violin by Mr. DUBOURG.

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

Covent-Garden Theatre.

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 Covent-Garden

Theatre, at Half a Guinea each.  First Gallery 5 s.  Upper Gallery 3 s. 6 d.

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

To begin at Six o’Clock.[24]

 

 

 

Mar 16

COVENT-GARDEN.

By SUBSCRIPTION.

The Seventh Night.

AT the Theatre-Royal in Covent-Garden,

this Day, will be perform’d a New ORATORIO, call’d

SAMPSON.

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

With a CONCERTO on the ORGAN.

And a Solo on the Violin by Mr. DUBOURG.

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

in Covent-Garden Theatre.

Pit and Boxes to be put together, and no Person to be admitted

without Tickets, which will be deliver’d this Day, at the Office in

Covent-Garden Theatre, at Half a Guinea each.  First Gallery 5 s.

Upper Gallery 3 s. 6 d.

The Galleries will be open’d at Four o’Clock.  Pit and Boxes at Five.

[DA only:] To begin at Six o’Clock.

*** The Subscribers to Mr[.] Handel’s six former Performances, who

intend to continue their Subscription on the same Conditions for six

Entertainments more, are desired to send their Subscription-Money

to the Office in Covent-Garden Theatre.[25]

 

 

 

Mar 18

COVENT-GARDEN.

By SUBSCRIPTION.

The Eighth Night.

AT the Theatre-Royal in Covent-Garden,

this Day, will be perform’d

L’ALLEGRO ED IL PENSEROSO.

With ADDITIONS.

AND

DRYDEN’s ODE on CAECILIA’s DAY.

A CONCERTO on the ORGAN,

And a Solo on the Violin by Mr. DUBOURG.

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

in Covent-Garden Theatre.

Pit and Boxes to be put together, and no Person to be admitted

without Tickets, which will be deliver’d this Day, at the Office in

Covent-Garden Theatre, at Half a Guinea each.  First Gallery 5 s.

Upper Gallery 3 s. 6 d.

The Galleries will be open’d at Four o’Clock.  Pit and Boxes at Five.

[DA only:] To begin at Six o’Clock.[26]

 

 

 

Mar 19

From my CHAMBERS, Lincoln’s-Inn.

 

THE following Letter may

to many of my Readers,

especially those of a gay

and polite Taste, seem too

rigid a Censure on a Performance,

which is so universally

approv’d: However,

I could not suppress

it, as there is so well-

intended a Design and pious

Zeal runs through the whole, and nothing derogatory

said of Mr. Handel’s Merit.  Of what good

Consequences it will produce, I can only say — Valeat

Quantum valere potest.

 

To the AUTHOR of the UNIVERSAL SPECTATOR.

 

SIR,

WHEN Prophaneness and Immorality flow in

like a Flood, it becomes every one to lend a

helping Hand to stop the Torrent, and not supinely

and negligently let them swell till they deluge the

Land.  Altho’ I fear my weak Endeavours will have but

little Effect, yet I shall have the Satisfaction to think

I did what I could to prevent it:  With this Intention,

and in Hopes I may, by this Hint, set some more able

Pen to Work, I send you the following Sentiments,

desiring you to clothe my Thoughts with better

Language, that is, good Sir, make what Alterations

you think proper, and then give them a Place in your

Paper, and let not me, but the urgent Necessity of the

present Juncture, engage you to do it immediately, in

which you will very highly oblige,

 

Sir,

Your unknown Correspondent.

 

IF Zeal for God’s Honour, and a sincere Regard for

the Happiness of our Fellow Creatures, are not

only allowable, but laudable Sentiments, I hope they

will excuse my attempting to assert the one, and

endeavour the other.

 

That Diversions are arriv’d at this Time to such an

extravagant Height, as can scarce be parallel’d in any

Time or Nation, every Body sees, whose Reason is

not quite enervated and blinded by Pleasure.  As in

the Days of Noah they eat, they drank, and rose up to

play, so now also, Eating, Drinking and Play, seem all

the Business and End of Life.  If Christ should at this

Time call us to Judgment, his Prophecy would be

compleatly verified, That so should it be when he came.

Whoever looks back into History, whether Sacred or

Prophane, will find that Luxury and Prophaneness are

generally the Forerunners of Judgment and Destruction

to particular Cities and Nations.

 

But my Design, at present, is to speak to one particular

Diversion, appropriated to this Season or Time of

Lent; a Season design’d for every one to humble their

Souls:  But if one was to judge by the busy Crowd,

and many Diversions, one should rather imagine it was

a Carnival.

 

But to my present Purpose, which is to consider,

and, if possible, induce others to consider, the Impropriety

of Oratorios, as they are now perform’d.

 

Before I speak against them (that I may not be

thought to do it out of Prejudice or Party) it may

not be improper to declare, that I am a profess’d Lover

of Musick, and in particular all Mr. Handel’s Performances,

being one of the few who never deserted him.

I am also a great Admirer of Church Musick, and think

no other equal to it, nor any Person so capable to

compose it, as Mr. Handel.  To return:  An Oratorio

either is an Act of Religion, or it is not; if it is, I ask

if the Playhouse is a fit Temple to perform it in, or a

Company of Players fit Ministers of God’s Word, for in

that Case such they are made.

 

Under the Jewish Dispensation, the Levites only might

come near to do the Service of the Tabernacle, and no

common Person might so much as touch the Ark of

God:  Is God’s Service less holy now?

 

In the other Case, if it is not perform’d as an Act of

Religion, but for Diversion and Amusement only, (and

indeed I believe few or none go to an Oratorio out of

Devotion) what a Prophanation of God’s Name and

Word is this, to make so light Use of them?  I wish

every one would consider, whether, at the same

Time they are diverting themselves, they are not

accessary [sic] to the breaking the Third Commandment.  I am

sure it is not following the Advice of the Psalmist,

Serve the Lord with Fear, and rejoice unto him with

Reverence:  How must it offend a devout Jew, to hear

the great Jehovah, the proper and most sacred Name of

God, (a Name a Jew, if not a Priest, hardly dare

pronounce) sung, I won’t say to a light Air, (for as Mr.

Handel compos’d it, I dare say it is not) but by a Set

of People very unfit to perform so solemn a Service.

David said, How can we sing the Lord’s Song in a strange

Land; but sure he would have thought it much

stranger to have heard it sung in a Playhouse.

 

But it seems the Old Testament is not to be prophan’d

alone, nor God by the Name of Jehovah only, but the

New must be join’d with it, and God by the most sacred

the most merciful Name of Messias; for I’m inform’d

that an Oratorio call’d by that Name has already been

perform’d in Ireland, and is soon to be perform’d here:

What the Piece itself is, I know not, and therefore

shall say nothing about it; but I must again ask, If the

Place and Performers are fit?  As to the Pretence that there

are many Persons who will say their Prayers there who

will not go to Church, I believe I may venture to say,

that the Assertion is false, without Exception; for I

can never believe that Persons who have so little Regard

for Religion, as to think it not worth their while

to go to Church for it, will have any Devotion on hearing

a religious Performance in a Playhouse.  On the

contrary, I’m more apt to fear it gives great Opportunity

to prophane Persons to ridicule Religion at least,

if not to blaspheme it; and, indeed, every Degree of

Ridicule on what is sacred, is a Degree of Blasphemy:

But if the Assertion was true, are the most sacred

Things, Religion and the Holy Bible, which is the Word

of God, to be prostituted to the perverse Humour of

a Set of obstinate People, on a Supposition that they

may be forc’d thereby once in their Lives to attend to

what is serious.

 

How will this appear to After-Ages, when it shall

be read in History, that in such an Age the People of

England were arriv’d to such a Height of Impiety and

Prophaneness, that the most sacred Things were suffer’d

to be us’d as publick Diversions, and that in a Place, and

by Persons appropriated to the Performance not only of

light and vain, but too often prophane and dissolute

Pieces?  What would a Mahometan think of this,

who with so much Care and Veneration keep

their Alcoran?  What must they think of us and our

Religion?  Will they not be confirm’d in their Errors?

Will not they be apt to say, that surely we ourselves

believe it no better than a Fable, by the Use we make

of it; and may not the Gospel, by this Means, (as well

as by the wicked Lives of Christians) be hinder’d from

spreading?  A Thing of no small Consequence, and

which ought to be consider’d by us who have the lively

Oracles committed to us, and are bound by all the

Ties of Gratitude and Humanity, as well as Honour and

Conscience, to endeavour to enlarge that Kingdom of

Christ, which we pray should come.

 

PHILALETHES.[27]

 

 

 

Mar 20

[Elizabeth Harris Sr to James Harris, 20 March [1743]]

 

Lady Shaftesbury writes me word she believes Mr Handle will get at least

£2,000 by these subscriptions of his, which I rejoice to hear of.[28]

 

 

 

Mar 22 /Apr 2

[Horace Mann to Horace Walpole]

 

Florence, April 2d 1743 NS.

 

[... 198 ...]

À propos to dead folks we hear Vanneschi is of the number.  Bonducci

heard he had succeeded well in England, made operas, cheated Lord

M[iddlese]x, changed his religion, and married a dama.  He desires

me to recommend him to you as his successor.  I fancy he would turn

his hand to all, and he depends much on your recommendation. [...][29]

 

 

 

Mar 23

COVENT-GARDEN.

By SUBSCRIPTION.

The Ninth Night.

AT the Theatre-Royal in Covent-Garden,

this Day, will be perform’d

A NEW SACRED ORATORIO.

A CONCERTO on the ORGAN,

And a Solo on the Violin by Mr. DUBOURG.

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

in Covent-Garden Theatre.

Pit and Boxes to be put together, and no Person to be admitted

without Tickets, which will be deliver’d this Day, at the Office in

Covent-Garden Theatre, at Half a Guinea each.  First Gallery 5 s.

Upper Gallery 3 s. 6 d.

The Galleries will be open’d at Four o’Clock.  Pit and Boxes at Five.

[DA only:] To begin at Six o’Clock.[30]

 

 

 

Mar 24

[Charles Jennens in London to Edward Holdsworth]

 

I have no Italian Church Musick but Astorga’s Stabat Mater. Mr. Sanford & I have each the first volume (tome it is call’d) of Blanchini’s Vindiciae Scripturarum Canonicarum, which was all that was publish’d when you was last at Rome. We both desire as many volumes of the same work as have been publish’d since. Mr. Sanford sets a great value upon it, & says it will be of great service to the Christian Religion. I have the first part in two Tomes of the Works of Cardinal Thomasius publish’d by the same Blanchini: these Mr. Sanford would have; & if more volumes have been publish’d, you may buy them for both of us.

Messiah was perform’d last night, & will be again to morrow, notwithstanding the clamour rais’d against it, which has only occasion’d it’s being advertis’d without it’s Name; a Farce, which gives me as much offence as any thing relating to the performance can give the B[ishop]s. & other squeamish People. ’Tis, after all, in the main, a fine Composition, notwithstanding some weak parts, which he was too idle & too obstinate [2v] to retouch, tho’ I us’d great importunity to perswade him to it. He & his Toad-eater Smith did all they could to murder the Words in print; but I hope I have restor’d them to Life, not without much difficulty. I am,

Dear Sr.,

Your most Affectionate

Friend & Servt.

C. Jennens.[31]

 

 

 

Mar 25

[Thomas Harris to James Harris, 25 March 1743]

 

I am glad Handel mett success for 7 nights with his Sampson.  Indeed I did not

imagine that any other peice would go off so well, because none could suit the

voices so well.[32]

 

 

 

Mar 31

COVENT-GARDEN.

By SUBSCRIPTION.

The last Night this Season.

AT the Theatre-Royal in Covent-Garden,

this Day, will be perform’d an Oratorio, call’d

SAMSON.

A CONCERTO on the ORGAN,

And a Solo on the Violin by Mr. DUBOURG.

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

in Covent-Garden Theatre.

Pit and Boxes to be put together, and no Person to be admitted

without Tickets, which will be deliver’d this Day, at the Office in

Covent-Garden Theatre, at Half a Guinea each.  First Gallery 5 s.

Upper Gallery 3 s. 6 d.

The Galleries will be open’d at Four o’Clock.  Pit and Boxes at Five.

[DA only:] To begin at Six o’Clock.[33]

 

 

Wrote extempore by a Gentleman, on reading the Universal Spectator.

 

On Mr. HANDEL’s new ORATORIO,

perform’d at the Theatre Royal in Covent-Garden.

 

Cease, Zealots, cease to blame these Heav’nly Lays,

For Seraphs fit to sing Messiah’s Praise!

Nor, for your trivial Argument, assign,

“The Theatre not fit for Praise Divine.”

These hallow’d Lays to Musick give new Grace,

To Virtue Awe, and sanctify the Place;

To Harmony, like his, Celestial Pow’r is giv’n,

T’ exalt the Soul from Earth, and make, of Hell, a Heav’n.[34]

 

 

 

Apr 8

We hear the Oratorio of Samson is to be perform’d

at the Temple in Ranelagh-Gardens, as soon as the new

Orchestra is completed.

It is thought by the Connoisseurs, that this Temple

would have met with the Fate of that of Gaza, had they

trusted Samson in the old Orchestra; but as the

Proprietors have changed its Situation, and by that means

prevented a too powerful Reverberation of the Musick, they

are of Opinion he will rather support than destroy it now,

especially as no Philistines will be there to scoff, but Lovers

of Harmony only to admire.[35]

 

 

 

[Spring]

The New Calliope, or English

Harmony in Taste.  A Collection of

Celebrated Songs and Cantatas.  By

the most approv’d Masters.  Neatly

Engraved with Transpositions for

the Flute, and embellished with

Designs adapted to each Song.  In

Two Volumes.  Volume the First

Containing one hundred Airs,

Inscribed to Mr. Handel By his

Humble Servant Henry Roberts.

London.  Sold by H. Roberts

Engraver in New Turnstile opposite

the Vine Tavern Holborn.

MDCCXLIII.

 

[dedicatory poem]

 

Handel, had Milton hear’d Thy Heavenly Strain,

And learn’d what Strength His Words from Music gain;

That the Divinity, the active Fire,

Which breath’d in Him, move also in Thy Lyre;

Sweet as the Angel’s Voice in Adam’s Ear

He pleas’d with Sense, had still stood fixt to hear:

While by Thy Song enlighten’d, He had found;

His Loss of Sight rewarded well with Sound.[36]

 

 

 

Apr 9, Dublin

For the Benefit of the Charitable Infirmary on the Inns-quay, at

the Great Musick-hall in Fishamble street, on Wednesday the 4th of May

next, at 6 in the Evening, will be performed, the Oratorio of Alexander’s

Feast.  Composed by Mr. Dryden, and set to Musick by Mr. Handel.  In

which the Gentlemen of the Choirs of both Cathedrals, the celebrated Mrs.

Arne, and several other Voices, will assist.  There will be a Grand Rehearsal

the Monday before, precisely at 12 o’clock.  Tickets to be had at Half a

Guinea each, at Mr. Neal’s in Christ-church-yard, and at the Infirmary.

N.B. A Rehearsal Ticket is to be given with each Performance Ticket,

and a Book will be given at the Rehearsal.[37]

 

 

 

Apr 11

Mr Handel, who has been dangerously ill, is now recover’d.[38]

 

 

 

Apr 14

[Horace Walpole to Horace Mann]

 

Arlington Street, April 14th, 1743.

 

[... 209 ... 210 ...]

I really don’t know whether Vanneschi be dead; he married some

low English woman, who is kept by Amorevoli — so the Abate turned

the opera every way to his profit.  As to Bonducci, I don’t think I

could serve him; for I have no interest with the Lords Middlesex and

Holderness, the two sole managers.  Nor if I had, would I employ it,

to bring over more ruin to the operas.  Gentlemen directors, with

favourite abbés and favourite mistresses, have almost overturned the [211]

thing in England.  You will plead my want of interest to Mr Smith

too — besides, we had buffos here once, and from not understanding the

language, people thought it a dull kind of dumb show.  We are next

Tuesday to have the Miserere of Rome [by Allegri] — it must be curious! 

The finest piece of vocal music in the world, to be performed by three

good voices, and forty bad ones from Oxford, Canterbury, and the

farces!  There is a new subscription formed for an opera next year, to

be carried on by the Dilettanti, a club, for which the nominal

qualification is having been in Italy, and the real one, being drunk: the

two chiefs are Lord Middlesex and Sir Francis Dashwood, who were

seldom sober the whole time they were in Italy.[39]

 

 

 

Apr 16

As I inserted a Letter of my following Correspondent’s,

on Divine Subjects being exhibited in Theatres,

under the Name of Oratorios, I think I am oblig’d,

impartially, to give a Place to another Letter on this

Subject.

 

To the AUTHOR of the UNIVERSAL SPECTATOR.

 

Mr. SPECTATOR,

ACcidentally taking up the Daily Advertiser of

Thursday March 31, at the End of the Advertisement

of Mr. Handel’s Oratorio, I read the following

Lines, said to be wrote Extempore by a Gentleman,

on reading the Universal Spectator of March 19.

 

‘ Cease, Zealots, cease to blame these heav’nly Lays,

‘ For Seraphs fit to sing Messiah’s Praise:

‘ Nor for your trivial Argument, assign,

‘ The Theatre not fit for Praise Divine.’

These hallow’d Lays to Musick give new Grace,

‘ To Virtue Awe, and Sanctify the Place:

‘ To Harmony like his, Coelestial Pow’r is giv’n

‘ T’exalt the Soul from Earth, and make of Hell a Heav’n.

 

As I could not forbear endeavouring to answer this,

I send what I wrote for that Purpose, desiring you to

dispose of it as you think proper, either to the Flames,

or publick Censure.

 

Mistake me not, I blam’d * no heav’nly Lays;

Nor Handel’s Art which strives a Zeal to raise,

In every Soul to sing Messiah’s Praise:

But if to Seraphs you the Task assign;

Are Players fit for Ministry Divine?

Or Theatres for Seraphs there to sing,

The holy Praises of their heav’nly King?

Ah no! for Theatres let Temples rise,

Thence sacred Harmony ascend the Skies;

Let hallow’d Lays to Musick give new Grace;

But when those Lays have sanctify’d the Place,

To Use Prophane, oh! let it ne’er be given,

Nor make that Place a Hell, which Those had made

a Heav’n.

 

I apprehend the Word Theatre to be of a great

Latitude, and may be us’d in a figurative Sense for any

Place, where an Action, or Oration, is made publick:

Or, if confin’d to a particular Form of Building, there

might be a sacred Theatre for sacred Uses:  (And since

so splendid a † Place has lately been erected for a mere

trifling Entertainment, why can’t the Lovers of sacred

Harmony build one for theirs, then might they also have

fit Persons to perform it, and perform it as it ought,

(if it be perform’d at all) as an Act of Religion.

 

But since the Poet can here be understood to mean

no other than those Places of Drollery and ludicrous

Mirth, the Play-houses, I must again assert, that being

such, they are for that Reason very unfit for sacred

Performances.  Nor can it be defended as Decent, to

use the same Place one Week as a Temple to perform a

sacred Oratorio in, and (when sanctify’d by those hallow’d

Lays) the next as a Stage, to exhibit the Buffoonries of

Harlequin.

 

Sir, If you should think fit to savour these Sentiments

with a Place in your Paper, it will confer an

Obligation on one, who gratefully acknowledges your

late Favour in the speedy Publication of my last, in

yours of March 19, 1743.

 

I am, Sir,

Yours, much oblig’d,

PHILALETHES.

 

* Not the Poetry or Musick, the Place and Performers only,

are found Fault with.  See Universal Spectator, March 19,

1743.

 

The Amphitheatre in Ranelagh Gardens at Chelsea.[40]

 

 

 

Apr 19

HAY-MARKET.

AT the KING’s THEATRE in the Hay-

Market, this Day, will be perform’d an ENTERTAINMENT

of VOCAL and INSTRUMENTAL

MUSICK.

Consisting of various MOTETTS, CHORUS’s, CONCERTO’s,

&c. to be divided into three Parts, after the Manner of an

ORATORIO.

The whole to Conclude with the celebrated PIECE of

VOCAL MUSICK from ROME [Allegri’s Miserere].

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 Haymarket, at Half a Guinea each.  Gallery 5 s.

[LDP:] The Gallery will be open’d at Four o’Clock.  Pit and Boxes at Five.

[DA:] To begin at Six o’Clock.[41]

 

 

 

Apr 29

[Charles Jennens in Gopsall to Edward Holdsworth]

 

Mr. Crynes, having heard, I suppose, by Mr. Sandford of Blanchini’s Books, & by I know not who of my Vatican Virgil, sent me a message by Wat Powel when he came up to the Oratorio, & made him repeat it afterwards [1v] in a Letter, by which he begs the favour of you to buy him the Vindiciae, Card. Thomasius, & the Virgil; at the same time desiring his humble Service to you. […]

I hear Handel has a return of his Paralytick Disorder, which affects his Head & Speech. He talks of spending a year abroad, so that we are to expect no Musick next year; & since [2r] the Town has lost it’s only Charm, I’ll stay in the Country as long as ever I can. I am,

Dear Sir,

Your most Affectionate

Friend & Servt.

C. Jennens.[42]

 

 

 

May 4

[Horace Walpole to Horace Mann]

 

May 4th 1743.

 

[... 225 ...]

We are likely at last to have no opera next year: Handel has had

a palsy and can’t compose; and the Duke of Dorset has set himself [226]

strenuously to oppose it, as Lord Middlesex is the impresario, and

must ruin the house of Sackville by a course of these follies.  Besides

what he will lose this year, he has not paid his share to the losses of the

last, and yet is singly undertaking another for next season, with the

almost certainty of losing between four or five thousand pounds, to

which the deficiencies of the opera generally amount now.  The Duke

of Dorset has desired the King not to subscribe; but Lord Middlesex

is so obstinate, that this will probably only make him lose a thousand

pound more.[43]

 

 

 

Jun 18

[Thomas Harris to James Harris, 18 June 1743]

 

[...] We [Lord Radnor and I]

mett Handel lately in the park, whose head does not seem so clear as I could wish

it to be.[44]

 

 

 

Jun 21

We hear from Oxford, that on the 12th of July,

being Tuesday in Act Week, will be perform’d there

the Oratorio of Israel in Egypt, by Mr. Handel.[45]

 

 

 

July

Upon a Piece of Musick compos’d by Mr. HANDEL,

and perform’d at Oxford, to raise Money for a Musick-Room building there.

AMPHION well-skill’d

By musick could build,

Of whom poets miracles tell:

But let us no more

Boast wonders of yore,

For Handel can work them as well.[46]

 

 

 

Jul 28

[John Christopher Smith to the 4th Earl of Shaftesbury]

 

LONDON.

July 28th, 1743.

My Lord,

It is with your Lordship’s kind permission that I take the liberty

to acquaint your Lordship with Mr. Handel’s health and what

passes in musical affairs, which I should have done a month sooner

if it had not been that I would stay to know what Resolution He

would take in what I am going to relate to your Lordship.  It seems

that Mr. Handel promised my Lord Middlesex that if he would

give him for two new operas 1000 guineas and his health would

permit, He would compose for him next Season, after which He

declined his promise and said that He could — or would do nothing

for the Opera Directors, altho’ the Prince of Wales desired him at

several times to accept of their offers, and compose for them, and

said that by so doing He would not only oblige the King and the

Royal Family but likewise all the Quality.

When my Lord Middlesex saw that no persuasion would take

place with Him, and seeing himself engaged in such an undertaking

without a Composer He sent for one from Italy, of whom nobody has

any great opinion.  Nevertheless He would still make some fresh

proposals to Mr. Handel, and let Him know how much regard He

had for his composition, and that he would put it in his power to

make it as easy to Himself as He pleased.  I was charged with the

Commission, and the offer was that He should have 1000 Guineas

for two, or 500 Guineas for one new opera, and if his health would

not permit Him to compose any new one at all, and would only

adjust some of His old operas, that He should have 100 Guineas

for each:  But in case Mr. Handel should refuse all these offers, that

my Lord would have some of his old operas performed without

Him and to let the Publick know in an advertisement what offers

was made to Mr. Handel and that there was no possibility to have

anything from Him.

I could not in Duty but let Him know My Lord’s new offers and

proceedings, for fear things might be carry’d to far; I wrote the

contents to Mr. Goupy with the desire to communicate it to Mr.

Handel (for it seems he has taken an aversion to see me, for having

been to much his friend) and to have his answer, which He said He

would give to the Principale, but has given none since, and has been

composing for himself this two months, and finished (as I hear) a

piece of Music from Drydens words, the subject unknown to me,

tho’ they tell me that I was to do for Him as I did before, but my

Son is to see Him and take his instructions.

He is now upon a new Grand Te Deum and Jubilate, to be

performed at the King’s return from Germany (but He keeps this a

great secret and I would not speak of it to any Body but to your

Lordship) and by the Paper he had from me I can guess that it

must be almost finished.  This I think perfectly well Judg’d to appeace

and oblige the Court and Town with such a grand Composition and

Performance. [264]

But how the Quality will take it that He can compose for Himself

and not for them when they offered Him more than ever He had in

His life, I am not a judge and could only wish that I had not been

employed in it either Directly or Indirectly, for He is ill-advised and

thinks that all I do now is wrong, tho’ I may say that He is persuaded

in His heart to the contrary for He had too many proofs of my

fidelity within this 24 years, and I shall never be wanting to do Him

still all the Services that lies in my power, for I think it is better to

suffer than to offend.  I know I have trespassed too much upon your

Lordship’s goodness and must beg humbly for pardon and I am

with profound respect

Your Lordship’s

Most dutiful and most obliged humble servant

CHRISTOPHER SMITH.[47]

 

 

 

Aug 14

[Horace Walpole to Horace Mann]

 

Arlington Street, Aug. 14, 1743.

 

[... 292 ... 293 ...] I am sorry you are engaged in

the opera: I have found it a most dear undertaking!  I was not in the

management: Lord Middlesex was chief: we were thirty subscribers,

at two hundred pounds each, which was to last four years, and no

other demands ever to be made.  Instead of that, we have been made [294]

to pay fifty-six pounds over and above the subscription in one winter.

I told the secretary in a passion, that it was the last money I would

ever pay for the follies of directors.[48]

 

 

 

Sep 7-8

On the 7th and 8th Instant, was held at Worcester, the

Annual Meeting of the Choirs of Worcester, Gloucester and

Hereford.  Mr. Purcel’s, and Mr. Handel’s Services were

perform’d as usual; the Anthem was entirely new; the

Words suited to the Occasion, and set to Musick by Mr.

Boyce.  The whole Performance was much admir’d; and

the Collection for Charity amounted to more than 95

Pounds.[49]

 

 

 

Sep 15

[Charles Jennens in Gopsall to Edward Holdsworth]

 

[…] since you have a mind to pay me, you may only let me choose my coin: you shall pay me in notes upon Virgil […] he is not without some faults, of which obscurity is one. But whatever becomes of Virgil, the Bible is not affected by the same objections […] our maker had a right to speak to us in what language he pleased, & to humble our pride with things above our understanding, but I think our Fellow Creatures right to speak to us so as that we may understand them and that with ease […]

I hear Handel is perfectly recover’d, & has compos’d a new Te Deum & a new Anthem against the return of his Master from Germany. I don’t yet despair of making him retouch the Messiah, at least he shall suffer for his negligence; nay I am inform’d that he has suffer’d, for he told Ld. Guernsey, that a letter I wrote him about it contributed to the bringing of his last illness upon him; & it is reported that being a little delirious with a Fever, he said he should be damn’d for preferring Dagon (a Gentleman he was very complaisant to in the Oratorio of Samson) before the Messiah. This shews that I gall’d him: but I have not done with him yet.[50]

 

 

 

Sep 26

Monday their Royal Highnesses the Princesses were at the Chapel Royal at St. James’s to hear the Rehearsal of Mr. Handel’s new Anthem and Te Deum, to be performed on his Majesty’s safe Arrival in his British Dominions.[51]

 

 

 

Oct [17/]28

[Edward Holdsworth in Florence to Charles Jennens]

 

[…] But if you cannot relish Bath ’twou’d be better I shou’d think to take a lodging somewhere near London, so that you may go backward & forword, & change the scene as you think proper, rather than be buried in Leicestershire for ye whole winter. You don’t delight in any country diversions, and in the depth of winter, if I am not much mistaken, you cannot visit your neighbours, without running the risque of being buried in mud. Pardon my speaking so freely of Leicestershire; but in truth I am angry with it. You have staid too long there already; It has had an ill effect upon you, and made you quarrel with your best friends, Virgil & Handel. You have contributed, by yr. own confession, to give poor Handel a fever, and now He is pretty well recover’d, you seem resolv’d to attack him [1v] again; for you say you have not yet done with him. This is really ungenerous, & not like Mr Jennens. Pray be merciful; and don’t you turn Samson, & use him like a Philistine. […2r…]

Since you are in earnest about N. Crynes’s books I will take care to buy what you have orderd. I have purchas’d for you Sire. Marcello’s Psalms, yt is, all that are printed, wch are ye first 35 Psalms, making 6 volumes in fol. ’Tis, I find, a work much esteem’d, and I believe I met with them cheap, having paid not above a Guinea & half. The friend who inform’d me yt there were some of Astorga’s compositions to be met with here is dead, and I can hear of none but Cantatas, wch you forbid me to buy.[52]

 

 

 

Nov 10

[Mrs. Delany to Mrs. Dewes, 10 November 1743]

 

That night [Tuesday] Mrs. Percival came to invite us to dine

with her yesterday, and to go in the morning to Whitehall

Chapel to hear Mr. Handel’s new Te Deum rehearsed,

and an anthem.  It is excessively fine, I was all rapture and

so was your friend D. D. as you may imagine; everybody

says it is the finest of his compositions; I am not well

enough acquainted with it to pronounce that of it, but it is

heavenly. [...][53]

 

 

 

Nov 17

[Horace Walpole to Horace Mann]

 

London, Nov. 17, 1743.

 

[... 341 ... 342 ...]

The opera is begun, but is not so well as last year.  The Rosa

Mancini, who is second woman, and whom I suppose you have heard, is

now old.  In the room of Amorevoli, they have got a dreadful bass,

who, the Duke of Montagu says he believes, was organist at

Aschaffenburgh.[54]

 

 

 

Nov 18

[Mrs. Delany to Mrs. Dewes, 18 November 1743]

 

I was at the opera of Alexander, which under the

disguise it suffered, was infinitely better than any Italian

opera; but it vexed me to hear some favourite songs mangled. [...][55]

 

 

 

Nov 19, Dublin

By Appointment of the Charitable Musical Society, for the

Benefit and Enlargement of Prisoners confined for Debt in the

several Marshalseas in this City, at the great Musick-hall in

Fishamble-street, on Friday the 16th Day of December next, in the

Evening, will be performed, The MESSIAH, composed by

Mr. HANDELL.  And on Monday the 12th of December,

at Noon, there will be a Rehearsal of the said Performance. ——

Tickets to be had from Mr. Neale, Treasurer to the said Society,

at the said Musick-Hall.  A Ticket for the Rehearsal, and

another for the Performance, half a Guinea.[56]

 

 

 

Dec 5

[Charles Jennens in Gopsall to Edward Holdsworth]

 

[…] Winter is come, & does not affect me, nor is likely to do it, till I come into the Air of London, where I expect to be shook with coughs & chock’d with catarrhs, as usual. However, as I shall certainly stay in the Country till the Month of January is over, I am not without some hopes that the severity of the Winter may be in some measure abated, & I may bear the Town Air better than formerly. If not, I shall make hast back to my native Dirt, & Handel himself shall not drag me up again. […] It is not Leie.shire that has made me quarrel with Handel, but his own Folly, (to say no worse,) if that can be call’d a quarrel, where I only tell him the Truth; & he knows it to be Truth, yet is so obstinate, he will not submit to it. […][57]

 

 

 

Dec 6, Dublin

From the Charitable Musical Society.

The said Society having obtained from the celebrated Mr.

Handell, a Copy of the Score of the Grand Musical Entertainment,

called the MESSIAH, they intended to have it rehearsed

on the 12th, and performed on the 16th of December Inst. for

the Benefit and Enlargement of Prisoners confined for Debt,

pursuant to their Advertisements; and in order to have it executed in

the best Manner, they had prevailed on Mr. Dubourg to give them

his Assistance, and also applyed by a Deputation of the Society to

the Members of the Choirs of the two Cathedrals to assist therein

(the necessary Approbation of their so doing being first obtained

on due Applications) which several of them promised, and [a]t a

Meeting for that Purpose chose, and received their Parts; but

after Preparations had been made, at considerable Expence, to the

Surprize of the Society, several of the Members of the said Choirs

(some of whom had engaged as before mentioned) thought fit

to decline performing, and returned their Parts, for Reasons that no

way related to, or concerned the said Society; they are therefore

obliged to postpone that Entertainment until Friday the 3d Day

of February next, to the great Detriment and Delay of their

Charitable Intentions, the good Effects whereof have been manifested

for several Years past.  By that Time the Society will provide

such Performers as will do Justice to that Sublime Composition,

and for the future will take such Measures as shall effectually free

them from Apprehensions of a second D[i]sappointment to the

Publick or themselves.[58]

 

 

 

[“The Establishment of their Royal Highness, the Princess Amelia and the Princess Caroline.”]

 

Musick-master

Mr Handel, 200l. a Year.[59]

 

 

 

[Tea, A Poem]

 

Here Cleria mocks romantick Bowers and Shades,

Grows old in Cards, and sighs for Masquerades.

There fairer Roses breath a rich Perfume,

And living Lillies never cease to Bloom [37]

And then Spadill—submit ye Lawns, ye Glades,

She finds more Beauty in the King of Spades.

Next the dear Opera comes, delightful Theme!

Who dares the sacred Opera blaspheme?

The sober Audience sit compos’d and calm,

While Farinelli sings the—Hundredth Psalm.

The listening Belles with Candour Cleria hear,

And snatch th’ unfinish’d Words with eager Ear.[60]

 

 

 

Fran[kly].  But even admitting that Folly were Happiness, are you under any Necessity of so often shewing your Folly?

Auth[or].  Don’t plague me! for I will never be under the Trouble of hiding it.  How can you teize me about it, when you know I have so utter an Insensibility of being ridiculous, that in a Conversation upon Musick, you have heard me fifty times sing before Handel, with as little Concern, as if I had been only squalling to myself?

            Fran.  That’s true; and I confess, Sir, my Ears have as often been the painful Witnesses of it: Since then, you are resolved to secure your Happiness by being incorrigible, it would be barbarous in me to disturb it.[61]

 

 

 

            C. G.  [...] Suppose you and I make a Cartel; for instance, agree for every other Theatre, and oblige ourselves by this Cartel to reduce by near one half the Salaries of our principal Performers [... 12 ...]

            D. L.  [...] but these People [i.e. actors in both theatres] will be apt to publish their Case, and I abhor Cases.

            C. G.  No, no—they’ll be oblig’d to troop off to Ireland, and leave Great Britain entirely under Subjection to our Patron Goddess——They may have the hungry Fame indeed of being register’d in the next Edition of ’Squire Alexander’s Dunciad, with our Adversary, Mr. Handel, upon that Account——and much Good may do them with it.[62]

 

 

 

[“OF TRUE GREATNESS.  An EPISTLE to GEORGE DODINGTON, Esq;”]

Some Merit then is to the Muses due;

But oh! their Smiles the Portion of how few!

Tho’ Friends may flatter much, and more ourselves,

Few, Dodington, write worthy of your Shelves.

Not to a Song which Caelia’s Smiles make fine,

Nor Play which Booth had made esteem’d divine;

To no rude Satyr from Ill-nature sprung,

Nor Panegyrick for a Pension sung;

Not to soft Lines that gently glide along,

And vie in Sound and Sense with Handel’s Song;

To none of these will Dodington bequeath,

The Poet’s noble Name and laureate Wreath.[63]

 

 

 

            AIR, in Musick, is a Name given by some to any short Piece of Musick.  Of these there are Sets composed by Mr. Handel, Dr. Pepusch, &c.

 

            MUSIC, is one of the seven Sciences, commonly called Liberal, and comprehended also among the Mathematical, as having for its Object discrete Quantity of Number; but not considering it in the Abstract like Arithmetic; but with relation to Time and Sound, in order to make a delightful Hamorny.

[… page …]

            It is very easy to conclude, from what we have upon Music from the Ancients, that it was very imperfect and deficient; and notwithstanding the fabulous Wonders, it is said to produce upon Men’s Passions in those times, yet now-a-days I believe, the most skilful of their Musicians would little or scarcely move one at all: [Greeks didn’t have harmony] Guido Aretinus is said to be the first who invented and brought Symphony or Concert into Music; but what Progress he made, and what were his Compositions, we do not know.  In a word, one may venture to affirm from the whole of what we find wrote on the Subject, that Music did not begin to arrive at any tolerable Perfection, till towards the End of the last Century, when the great Purcel and prodigious Corelli oblig’d the World with their most agreeable and harmonical Compositions; then it was that Music began to advance apace, and receive great Improvements from many other ingenious Composers and Performers of several European Nations, especially the Italians and English, and now seems to be brought near its utmost Perfection; since all the agreeable Combinations of the various Continuance, Rising, Falling, and Mixtures of Tones, must be contain’d within certain Limits, whose Number may not be so great as is generally imagined; and because of the great Number of Persons who have for more than thirty Years last past, applied themselves to this Art.  Among whom the excellent Mr. Handel himself, deservedly named the Prince of Musicians, both for his Composition and Execution upon the Organ and Harpsicord, has abundantly and wonderfully performed his part.[64]

 

 

 

A New BALLAD; or, BRITONS Rejoice, &c.

To the Tune of Handell’s March in Scipio.

 

BRITONS rejoice,

Your Honour’s now retriev’d,

The French are beat,

Our Joy’s compleat,

[...][65]

 



[1] The Huntington Library, LA 38; facs. repr., Handel: A Celebration of his Life and Times, 1685-1759, ed. Jacob Simon (London: National Portrait Gallery, 1985), 21.

[2] Foundling Museum, Gerald Coke Handel Collection, accession no. 2702, “Jennens Holdsworth Letters 2,” item 86, ff. 1r, 2r; 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: 114–115; (second paragraph) Autograph Letters of George Frideric Handel and Charles Jennens (auction catalog, Christie, Manson & Woods, July 4, 1973), 23; Händel Handbuch, 356.

[3] The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no.2586, Thursday 3 February 1742-3, [2]; first advertised in The Daily Advertiser, Monday 3 January 1743: transcription in “Old Advertisements (Musical),” Foundling Museum, Gerald Coke Handel Collection, accession no. 6351, p. 81.

[4] Foundling Museum, Gerald Coke Handel Collection, accession no. 2702, “Jennens Holdsworth Letters 2,” item 87, 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: 115; (second paragraph) Autograph Letters of George Frideric Handel and Charles Jennens (auction catalog, Christie, Manson & Woods, July 4, 1973), 23; Händel Handbuch, 356–57.

[5] The Daily Advertiser, no. 3761, Monday 7 February 1743, [2]; Chrissochoidis, 761.

[6] The Daily Advertiser, no. 3766, Saturday 12 February 1743, [2]; The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 2594, Saturday 12 February 1742-3, [1].

[7] Foundling Museum, Gerald Coke Collection, HC 769, “Jennens Holdsworth Letters 2,” item 87, f. 1v; repr. (second paragraph) Autograph Letters of George Frideric Handel and Charles Jennens (auction catalog, Christie, Manson & Woods, July 4, 1973), 23; Händel Handbuch, 356-57.

[8] Foundling Museum, Gerald Coke Handel Collection, accession no. 2702, “Jennens Holdsworth Letters 2,” item 88, ff. 1v–2r; 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: 115–116; Autograph Letters of George Frideric Handel and Charles Jennens (auction catalog, Christie, Manson & Woods, July 4, 1973), 23; Händel Handbuch, 357.

[9] The Daily Advertiser, no. 3771, Friday 18 February 1743, [1]; The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 2599, Friday 18 February 1742-3, [1].

[10] The Daily Advertiser, nr. 3771, Friday 18 February 1743, [4]; Chrissochoidis, 761.

[11] The Annals of Europe for the Year 1743 (London: T. Astley, and George Hawkins, 1745), 575; Chrissochoidis, 761.

[12] Foundling Museum, Gerald Coke Collection, HC 769, “Jennens Holdsworth Letters 2,” item 88, ff. 1v-2r; repr. Autograph Letters of George Frideric Handel and Charles Jennens (auction catalog, Christie, Manson & Woods, July 4, 1973), 23; Händel Handbuch, 357.

[13] The Daily Advertiser, no. 3775, Wednesday 23 February 1743, [2]; The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 2603, Wednesday 23 February 1742-3, [2].

[14] The Daily Advertiser, nr. 3777, Friday 25 February 1743, [1]; also, The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, Friday 25 February 1743, [1]; Chrissochoidis, 762.

[15] Horace Walpole’s Correspondence with Sir Horace Mann II, ed. W. S. Lewis, Warren Hunting Smith, and George L. Lam (New Haven: Yale University Press / London: Geoffrey Cumberlege, Oxford University Press, 1954), 179-81.

[16] The Daily Advertiser, nr. 3776, Thursday 24 February 1743, [2]; Chrissochoidis, 761.

[17] The Daily Advertiser, no. 3777, Friday 25 February 1743, [2]; The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 2605, Friday 25 February 1742-3, [1].

[18] The Daily Advertiser, nr. 3779, Monday 28 February 1743, [2]; reprinted daily Tuesday-Friday, 1-4 March 1743, on page [2]; Chrissochoidis, 762.

[19] The London Magazine: and Monthly Chronologer 12 (1743), 104; Chrissochoidis, 762.

[20] The Daily Advertiser, no. 3781, Wednesday 2 March 1743, [2]; The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 2609, Wednesday 2 March 1742-3, [1].

[21] Horace Walpole’s Correspondence with Sir Horace Mann II, ed. W. S. Lewis, Warren Hunting Smith, and George L. Lam (New Haven: Yale University Press / London: Geoffrey Cumberlege, Oxford University Press, 1954), 184-86.

[22] Foundling Museum, Gerald Coke Handel Collection, accession no. 2702, “Jennens Holdsworth Letters 2,” item 89, 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: 116; last paragraph excerpted in Ruth Smith, Handel’s Oratorios and Eighteenth-Century Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 422, n.16.

[23] The Daily Advertiser, no. 3787, Wednesday 9 March 1743, [2]; The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 2615, Wednesday 9 March 1742-3, [1] (headline: “COVENT-GARDEN.”).

[24] The Daily Advertiser, no. 3789, Friday 11 March 1743, [2]; The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 2617, Friday 11 March 1742-3, [1] (headline: “COVENT-GARDEN.”).

[25] The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 2621, Wednesday 16 March 1742-3, [1]; also, The Daily Advertiser, no. 3793, Wednesday 16 March 1743, [2].

[26] The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 2623, Friday 18 March 1742-3, [1]; also, The Daily Advertiser, no. 3795, Friday 18 March 1743, [2].

[27] The Universal Spectator, and Weekly Journal, no. 754, Saturday 19 March 1743, [1]; repr. (with minor omissions), Deutsch, 563-65.

[28] 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), 156.

[29] Horace Walpole’s Correspondence with Sir Horace Mann II, ed. W. S. Lewis, Warren Hunting Smith, and George L. Lam (New Haven: Yale University Press / London: Geoffrey Cumberlege, Oxford University Press, 1954), 197-98.

[30] The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 2627, Wednesday 23 March 1742-3, [1]; also, The Daily Advertiser, no. 3799, Wednesday 23 March 1743, [1].

[31] Foundling Museum, Gerald Coke Handel Collection, accession no. 2702, “Jennens Holdsworth Letters 2,” item 90, 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: 117; (second paragraph) Autograph Letters of George Frideric Handel and Charles Jennens (auction catalog, Christie, Manson & Woods, July 4, 1973), 24; Händel Handbuch, 360–61.

[32] 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), 160

[33] The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 2634, Thursday 31 March 1743, [1]; also, The Daily Advertiser, no. 3806, Thursday 31 March 1743, [2].

[34] The Daily Advertiser, no. 3806, Thursday 31 March 1743, [2].

[35] The Daily Advertiser, no. 3813, Friday 8 April 1743, [1].

[36] Anthony Hicks, “Handel, Milton and The New Calliope,” The Handel Institute Newsletter 8/1 (Spring 1997), [3-5]: [3, 5].

[37] George Faulkner.  The Dublin Journal, no. 1750, Tuesday 5 – Saturday 9 April 1743, [2].

[38] The Daily Advertiser, 11 April 1743: Donald Burrows, Handel: Messiah (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 32.

[39] Horace Walpole’s Correspondence with Sir Horace Mann II, ed. W. S. Lewis, Warren Hunting Smith, and George L. Lam (New Haven: Yale University Press / London: Geoffrey Cumberlege, Oxford University Press, 1954), 208-11.

[40] The Universal Spectator, and Weekly Journal, no. 758, Saturday 16 April 1743, [1]; repr. (with minor omissions), Deutsch, 567-68.

[41] The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 2650, Tuesday 19 April 1743, [1]; The Daily Advertiser, no. 3822, Tuesday 19 April 1743, [2].

[42] Foundling Museum, Gerald Coke Handel Collection, accession no. 2702, “Jennens Holdsworth Letters 2,” item 91, ff. 1r–2r; 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: 117–118; (second paragraph) Autograph Letters of George Frideric Handel and Charles Jennens (auction catalog, Christie, Manson & Woods, July 4, 1973), 24; Händel Handbuch, 362–63.

[43] Horace Walpole’s Correspondence with Sir Horace Mann II, ed. W. S. Lewis, Warren Hunting Smith, and George L. Lam (New Haven: Yale University Press / London: Geoffrey Cumberlege, Oxford University Press, 1954), 224-26.

[44] 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), 163.

[45] The General Evening Post, no. 1521, Saturday 18 – Tuesday 21 June 1743, [2]; repr., The London Evening-Post, no. 2437, Tuesday 21 – Thursday 23 June 1743, [2].

[46] The London Magazine: And Monthly Chronologer 12 (1743), 354; Chrissochoidis, 762-63.

[47] Betty Matthews, “Unpublished Letters Concerning Handel,” Music and Letters 40 (1959), 261-68: 263-64.

[48] Horace Walpole’s Correspondence with Sir Horace Mann II, ed. W. S. Lewis, Warren Hunting Smith, and George L. Lam (New Haven: Yale University Press / London: Geoffrey Cumberlege, Oxford University Press, 1954), 291-94.

[49] The London Daily Post, and General Advertiser, no. 2776, Thursday 15 September 1743, [1].

[50] Foundling Museum, Gerald Coke Handel Collection, accession no. 2702, “Jennens Holdsworth Letters 2,” item 92, f. 3v; 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: 118; (second paragraph) Autograph Letters of George Frideric Handel and Charles Jennens (auction catalog, Christie, Manson & Woods, July 4, 1973), 24; (second paragraph) Händel Handbuch, 365.

[51] The Universal London Morning Advertiser, Monday 26 September – Wednesday 28 September 1743, [3]; Chrissochoidis, 763.

[52] Foundling Museum, Gerald Coke Handel Collection, accession no. 2702, “Jennens Holdsworth Letters 2,” item 93, ff. 1r–2r; 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: 119; (except first two sentences and last paragraph) Autograph Letters of George Frideric Handel and Charles Jennens (auction catalog, Christie, Manson & Woods, July 4, 1973), 25; Händel Handbuch, 366.

[53] The Autobiography and Correspondence of Mary Granville, Mrs. Delany, ed. Lady Llanover, 3 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1861), 2:222.

[54] Horace Walpole’s Correspondence with Sir Horace Mann II, ed. W. S. Lewis, Warren Hunting Smith, and George L. Lam (New Haven: Yale University Press / London: Geoffrey Cumberlege, Oxford University Press, 1954), 340-42.

[55] The Autobiography and Correspondence of Mary Granville, Mrs. Delany, ed. Lady Llanover, 3 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1861), 2:227.

[56] George Faulkner.  The Dublin Journal, no. 1814, Tuesday 15 – Saturday 19 November 1743, [2].

[57] Foundling Museum, Gerald Coke Handel Collection, accession no. 2702, “Jennens Holdsworth Letters 2,” item 94, 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: 119.

[58] George Faulkner.  The Dublin Journal, no. 1819, Saturday 3 – Tuesday 6 December 1743, [2]; repr., Townsend, 114.

[59] The Court [and City] Register [for the Year 1743] ([London: T. Cooper, 1743]), 26; Chrissochoidis, 763.

[60] Tea, A Poem, In Three Cantos (London: Aaron Ward, 1743), 36-37.

[61] [Colley Cibber], The Egotist: Or, Colley upon Cibber, being His own Picture retouch’d, to so plain a Likeness, that no One, now, would have the Face to own it, but Himself (London: W. Lewis, 1743), 34; Chrissochoidis, 763.

[62] The Case between the Managers of the Two Theatres, and their Principal Actors, fairly stated, and submitted to the Town (London: J. Roberts, 1743), 11-12; Chrissochoidis, 763-64.

[63] Henry Fielding, Miscellanies, 3 vols. (London: the author, 1743), 1:11; Chrissochoidis, 764.

[64] E[dmund]. Stone, A New Mathematical Dictionary: Wherein is contain’d, not only the Explanation of the Bare Terms, but likewise an History of the Rise, Progress, State, Properties, &c. of Things, both in Pure Mathematics, and Natural Philosophy, so far as these last come under a Mathematical Consideration, 2nd edition with large additions (London: W. Innys, T. Woodward. T. Longman, and M. senex, 1743), not paginated; Chrissochoidis, 764-65.

[65] Timothy Silence, The Foundling Hospital, for Wit.  Number II. (London: J. Lyon, 1743), 11; Chrissochoidis, 765.