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which the slightest degree of pru- of worldly prosperity, the faith in dence would have taught him to which he had been baptized, was avoid. To gratify his taste, he what he could in no way answer to bought pictures, and to supply his his conscience. As Geminiani thus wants, he sold them. The result of positively refused the place, it was this irrational system was that he bestowed on Mr. Matthew Dubourg, suffered from continual distress and a young man who had been one of poverty. With the object of secur- his pupils, and who was a distining immunity from arrest, poor Ge- guished performer on the violin. miniani was fain to avail himself of At this period Geminiani was at the the protection which the nobility height of his fame. He had in 1726 were privileged to give their ser- published his opera terza, consisting vants. Being on a visit at the house of six concertos for the violin, the of the Earl of Essex, one of his last of which was looked upon as pupils, he persuaded his lordship to one of the finest compositions of the enrol his name in the list of his kind in the world. He was condomestics. He soon had an oppor- sidered to be without a rival in his tunity of testing the validity of his profession; but he benefited very claim to security; for he was arrested little by the profits that accrued by a creditor for a small sum, and from the publication of his works. thrown into the Marshalsea. Gemi- The manuscript of his opera seniani sent a note, through one cunda was surreptiously obtained Forest, an attorney, to a gentleman by Walsh, who was about to print in Lord Essex's family, who showed it, when the notion struck him that the message to the Earl, and was it might be an advantage to have the directed to go to the prison and corrections of the author. He wrote demand Geminiani as the servant of to Geminiani, giving him the alterthe Earl of Essex. This was done, native of correcting the work, or and Geminiani was set at liberty. It having the mortification of seeing it might be imagined that, being per- appear before the public with such petually in debt, and harassed by faults as would seriously injure it. duns, he would have been glad to At first Geminiani was in a passion accept & regular situation, with a at this insult, and rejected it with fixed income, on any terms; but, scorn; he instituted a process in although careless and prodigal, Ge- the Court of Chancery for an injuncminiani was not without principle. tion against the sale of the book, In 1727, the place of master and but Walsh compounded the matter, composer of the state music in Ire- and the work was published under land was vacant by the death of the supervision of the composer. John Sigismund Cousser, a German The opera terza he parted with for musician of eminence. The Earl of a certain sum to Walsh, who printed Essex, by the influence of Lord it, and in an advertisement gave the Percival, obtained a promise of the purchaser the satisfaction of knowplace from Sir Robert Walpole, ing that he had come honestly by which he offered to Geminiani, telling him that his difficulties were The speculation into which Geminow at an end, for that they had niani entered at the Little Theatre provided for him an honourable in the Haymarket was a complete employment, suited to his profession failure. He was utterly ignorant of and abilities, and which would afford the business of the orchestra, and him an ample provision for life. had not the least conception of the Unfortunately, on inquiring into the labour and unwearied attention reconditions of the office, Geminiani quired to instruct vocal and infound that it was not to be held by strumental performers, nor did he a Roman Catholic; he therefore de- understand anything of the practical clined it, alleging as the reason that he details of operatic business. The was a member of the Romish Church, performances did not continue more and that though he had never made than nine or ten nights; and this was any great pretensions to religion, the Geminiani's first and last attempt at thought of renouncing, for the sake playing the perplexing part of Opera
Director. It is difficult to conjec- last the squire's fits of laughter beture what could have suggested to came so alarmingly violent, that his him the idea of undertaking it. mother commanded the fiddler to
About fifteen years later, Geminiani terminate his performance, on pain visited Ireland, to pass some time of her weighty displeasure; so Gewith his pupil and friend Dubourg. miniani was relieved. The bell He went for a sojourn of some rang, the curtain drew up, and weeks with another pupil, Squire Younger, in the character of Lord Coote (afterwards Lord Bellamonte), Townley (in the ‘Provoked Husat Coot-hill, in the north of Ireland. band'), was discovered seated at a Here a ridiculous adventure befel table. His soliloquy being finished, him. Mr. Joseph Younger, an actor, Lady Townley entered, when he was then on a summer excursion with should have said, Going out so a company of itinerants, who were soon this morning, madam ?' but an in a very impoverished state, and he unforeseen accident broke the thread informed Mr. Coote of their pitiable of his discourse. There was no condition, when that gentleman or- raised stage, in consequence of the dered a play to be performed in a place not affording space for such a stable the next evening for their be- convenience, and the ground was & nefit. Geminiani was persuaded by new-laid malt-house floor. When Mr. Coote to attend the entertain- the actor attempted to advance toment at the rural theatre. When wards his lady, the high heels of his the little company assembled they theatrical shoes stuck in the newfound, to their dismay, that they made floor, and so tenacious was the were without a musician, and they clay, that, although he extricated were consulting as to what should himself, he was obliged to leave his be done, when, to their joy, a little shoes fixed in the mire, until with girl appeared, leading a blind man, might and main he compelled the who carried a crowdy'-a species earth to yield up his property.' In of rude violin- under his coat. He utter confusion he ran off the stage, was immediately engaged, and placed so furious that he said he would have on a stool behind the scenes. After had the greatest satisfaction and twanging his instrument, to put it pleasure in kicking Lady Townley in tune, he drew from the strings a out of the stable, horse whipping his series of horrible discords. All eyes sister, the mild Lady Grace, and in turned instinctively to Geminiani, pulling his friend Manly by the who stopped his ears, and even then nose. This ludicrous accident caused writhed and groaned with torture. the performance to be suspended for The poor fiddler, being informed by some time. Even Geminiani forgot some wags behind the scenes that the his own misfortunes, and joined in greatest violinist in the world was in the shouts of laughter. When the pit with Squire Coote, and was in Younger returned he was so irate raptures with the excellence of his that every smile he detected on the playing, became more energetic. The countenances of the audience apgreat musician sprang from his seat, peared to be specially directed his features distorted with convul- against himself. sive agony at the harsh grating On returning to Dublin, a fatal 'torn and rasped from the vilest of mishap befel Geminiani. He had instruments, and implored Mr. devoted some years to composing an Coote to order the carriage to take elaborate treatise on music; but a him away. The young squire, in female servant - recommended to ecstacies with the fun, refused to him, it is said, for the purpose comply with his request; and the treacherously abstracted the manufiddler, hearing the shouts, the clap- script from his chamber and it was ping of hands, the roars from every never recovered. Unable to repair part of the house, fancying that he his loss, Geminiani pined away, and was creating a marvellous sensation, soon after died. played the louder, especially when The arrival of Gluck was the prinhe was told that the squire was de- cipal event which distinguished the lighted with his performance. At season of 1746. His father was
master of the chase to Prince Lob- hot and choleric. His impatience kowitz, and as the prince was at this knew no bounds when his airs were time in London, it is probable that not executed in the style and expreshe partly induced Gluck to come sion in which he composed them. over in 1745. January 7, 1746, was You sing that air very loud,
' said he produced the 'Caduta de' Giganti,' one day bluntly to a prima donna, which was performed before the but don't flatter yourself that you Duke of Cumberland, in compliment sing it very well. He was thoroughly to whom the piece was written and obstinate and unyielding, and always composed. Gluck was then thirty- pursued his way amid difficulties two. He was not very prepossessing which would have been insuperable in aspect, being terribly pitted with to anybody else. During his resismall-pox, and exceedingly coarse in dence in London he associated much figure and face. At rehearsal he with Dr. Arne and his wife-forwas perhaps one of the most curious- merly Miss Brent, a popular opera looking gentlemen imaginable. In singer-who exercised a most benecharacter he was frank and open, but ficial influence on the simplicity of
his productions. The singers in his than a German. She was exceed• Caduta de' Giganti' were Monti- ingly dignified, and had a peculiarly celli (who left England at the end graceful walk. Gluck's genius, naof this season), Jozzi, and Ciacchi, turally so great, was yet immature; with Signore Imer, Frasi, and Pom- the piece was not a very good one, peati, afterwards better known under and it ran only five nights. He the name of Madame Cornelie. The then brought out one of his former company was an excellent one, yet operas, 'Artamene,' which the new dances by Auretti and the performed ten nights. An opera charming Violetta were much more rarely ran more than ten or twelve applauded than the singing. Vio- nights at that period. When 'Arletta, afterwards Mrs. Garrick, was tamene' was withdrawn, Gluck born at Vienna, but she looked in- arranged a pasticcio, 'Piramo e finitely more of an Englisbwoman Tisbe, a selection of the most ad
mired airs from his other works; German woman of small abilities, but as the pieces, when thus col- and Signore Casarini and Frasi, then lected, were totally inapplicable to in an inferior class. the scenic representation, they in- Two new composers came to Engevitably lost all their beauty, and land at the close of 1746, Paradies, the public were greatly disappointed. a pupil of Porpora, and Terradellas, Soon after the production of this Terradeglas, or Terradeglias. They pasticcio, Gluck quitted England, were very unfortunate in not finding much astonished to find that those singers capable of performing their airs which had been most effective works. Terradellas was especially in the operas for which they were clever, and so sensitive about his originally composed, were tame and productions, that he died at Rome flat when reproduced with other in 1751, of grief at the bad success words. Gluck had hitherto followed
of one of his operas. the then fashionable style and taste The Earl of Middlesex, who, till the of the Italian opera ; yet he was winter of 1747, had been patentee conscious of its defects, and felt how and sole director of the Opera, was little his music, as a whole, could then joined by several noblemen at lay claim to real dramatic merit. the ginning of that season. They Indeed Handel declared that his opened a general subscription : the works were detestable. The chief first in November, for six nights obstacle to the attainment of true only; the second in December, for dramatic perfection by the composer ten; the third in January, for sevenwas the empty and disconnected teen; and the fourth in March, for character of the poetry. It was not fourteen nights. The season was till he accidentally made the ac- commenced with 'Fetonte,'or Phaëquaintance of a man who had the
ton, a new opera, set by Paradies, boldness and energy to strike into the drama being written by Vaan independent path as a librettist, neschi, afterwards manager, to which that Gluck was inspired to do the was prefixed a Discourse on Operas, same as a musician.
inscribed to the Earl of Middlesex. In the autumn of 1746, Reginelli November, 1747, the Little Theatre first appeared on the London Opera in the Haymarket was opened by stage, in a pasticcio called 'Annibale some unemployed or discontented in Capua.' He was an old but great performers, who brought out an singer; his voice, as well as person, opera entitled 'L'Ingratudine Puwas in ruin. He was now over fifty nita.' After the second night, howyears of age; his voice, a soprano, ever, the speculation was abanwas cracked, and in total decay; his doned. figure was tall, raw-boned, and Reginelli was still first male singer, gawky; yet there were fine remains and Signora Galli, who had made a of an excellent school in his taste favourable impression in Handel's and manner of singing. He had Judas Maccabaeus,' was leading some refinement in his embellish- female performer. Early in 1748, ments and expression 'which can- during the last year of the reign of not be described,' says Dr. Burney, Lord Middlesex, Gaetano Guadagni “and which I have never heard from arrived in England. He was a wild any other singer. In a cantabile his and careless singer, though he had taste, to those who had places near a full and well-toned voice. He atenough to hear his riffioramenti, tracted the notice of Handel, who was exquisite.' Unfortunately, the assigned him the parts in his oratonumerous imperfections of his voice rios of 'Samson' and the 'Messiah' and figure disgusted those who originally written for Mrs. Cibber. could hear only the worst part of He remained for several years in his performance. The rest of the London, during which time he was singers this season were very indif- more remarkable for singing English ferent, consequently there was no- than Italian. When he played in body to supply Reginelli's defi- an English opera called the Faiciencies. The singers were Borosini, ries, Garrick took much pleasure in Triulzi, and Ciacchi, with Pirker, a forming him as an actor. He had a noble-looking, elegant figure, and a Dr. Burney, that I never rememhandsome and intelligent counte- ber to have heard such hearty and nance; his attitudes were so full of unequivocal marks of approbation grace and dignity that they would at any other musical performance have been excellent studies for a whatever.' The doctor had met sculptor. He had a delicious voice him the night before at a private and irreproachable taste. His tem- concert, with Guadagni and Signora per, unfortunately, was capricious, Frasi, at the house of an amateur obstinate, and unyielding; he was named Franks, who was himself perpetually quarrelling with the one of the best dilettante permanager, his fellow-singers, and the formers on the violin at that time. public, and involving himself in We were all equally surprised and difficulties, though he was lavishly delighted with the various powers generous and very good-natured to- of Giardini, at so early a period of wards those whom he liked. Soon his life; when, besides solos of his after his arrival, Cuzzoni, now grown own composition, of the most brilold, poor, and miserable, worn down liant kind, he played several of Marwith infirmities, her once magnifi- tini's in manuscript, at sight, and at cent voice grown thin and cracked, five or six feet distance from the reappeared upon the scene of her notes, as well as if he had never former triumphs. She was engaged practised anything else. His tone, at the King's Theatre to sing in the bow, execution, graceful carriage of opera of 'Mithridate,' composed by himself and instrument; playing Terradellas, but she disgusted those some of my own music, and making who came anticipating pleasure. it better than I intended, or had
The noble directors found them- imagined it in the warm moments selves considerable losers by their of conception; and, at last, playing speculation in the Opera, and obliged variations extempore, during half an to make up all deficiencies in the hour, upon a new but extraordinary shape of salaries and general ex- kind of birthday minuet, which accipenses.
The season wore on hea- dentally lay on the harpsichord; all vily, and the Earl of Middlesex was this threw into the utmost astonishagain a loser to a large amount. ment the whole company, who had May 14 the house was shut up, never been accustomed to hear betalthough three popular operas had ter performers than Festing, Brown, been tried.
and Collet.' When the Earl of Middlesex re- After her unprofitable concert, the linquished the Opera management, wretched old singer-poor Cuzzoni, Dr. Croza came into possession. erst the flattered and admired prima Like his predecessor, he has left no donna, who had received the homage records of his life.
of all Europe, had defied Handel, In the spring of that year there thrown London into a fever, beheld arrived in England a young musi- the rank and fashion of the haughcian, who was destined to mark & tiest country in the world at her new era in the history of instru- feet, seen the dress of one of her mental music in this country. This favourite characters adopted as a was Felice Giardini. He was then uniform by the fair and youthful thirty-three, and he had acquired aristocracy of England, insolently a splendid reputation on the Conti- refused to accept princely salaries, nent. His first appearance in public and who had recklessly Hung herwas at a benefit concert for Cuzzoni, self into all kinds of extravagancies May 18, at the Little Theatre in the and eccentricities and audacitiesHaymarket. There were very few poor improvident Cuzzoni retired to people present, as nobody cared Italy, there to drag on a pitiable about the dilapidated old ex-prima existence by making buttons, until donna, who had besought public she expired in a public hospital. assistance in her distress; yet when Giardini led the Opera band, into Giardini played a solo of Martini which he introduced new discipline, of Milan's composition, the ap- and a new style of playing, far supeplause was so long and loud,' says rior in itself and more congenial with