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and I cannot briefly explain to you the character and situation of the persons on the stage with him. The first (a dialogue between Quick and Mrs. Mattocks *), I would wish to be a pert, sprightly air; for, though some of the words mayn't seem suited to it, I should mention that they are neither of them in earnest in what they say. Leoni takes it up seriously, and I want him to show himself advantageously in the six lines, beginning Gentle maid.' I should tell you, that he sings nothing well but in a plaintive or pastoral style; and his voice is such as appears to me always to be hurt by much accom. paniment. I have observed, too, that he never gets so much applause as when he makes a cadence. Therefore my idea is, that he should make a flourish at Shall I grieve thee?' and return to Gentle maid,' and so sing that part of the tune again. + After that, the two last lines, sung by the three, with the persons only varied, may get them off with as much spirit as possible. The second act ends with a slow glee, therefore I should think the two last lines in question had better be brisk, especially as Quick and Mrs. Mattocks are concerned in it.
* Isaac and Donna Louisa.
It will be perceived, by a reference to the music of the opera, that Mr. Linley followed these instructions implicitly and successfully.
"The other is a song of Wilson's in the third act. I have written it to your tune, which you put some words to, beginning, Prithee, prithee, pretty man!' I think it will do vastly well for the words: Don Jerome sings them when he is in particular spirits; therefore the tune is not too light, though it might seem so by the last stanza - but he does not mean to be grave there, and I like particularly the returning to days when I was young!' We have mislaid the notes, but Tom remembers it. If you don't like it for words, will you give us one? but it must go back to O the days,' and be funny. I have not done troubling you yet, but must wait till Monday."
A subsequent letter contains further particulars of their progress.
"Sunday evening next is fixed for our first musical rehearsal, and I was in great hopes we might have completed the score. The songs you have sent up of Banna's Banks,' and 'Deil take the Wars,' I had made words for before they arrived, which answer excessively well; and this was my reason for wishing for the next in the same manner, as it saves so much time. They are to sing Wind, gentle evergreen,' just
as you sing it (only with other words), and I CHAP. wanted only such support from the instruments,
or such joining in, as you should think would help to set off and assist the effort. I inclose the words I had made for Wind, gentle evergreen,' which will be sung, as a catch, by Mrs. Mattocks, Dubellamy, and Leoni. I don't mind the words not fitting the notes so well as the original ones. How merrily we live,' and Let's drink and let's sing,' are to be sung by a company of friars over their wine. The words will be parodied, and the chief effect I expect from them must arise from their being known; for the joke will be much less for these jolly fathers to sing any thing new, than to give what the audience are used to annex the idea of jollity to. For the other things Betsy mentioned, I only wish to have them with such accompaniment as you would put to their present words, and I shall have got words to my liking for them by the time they reach me.
My immediate wish at present is to give the performers their parts in the music (which they expect on Sunday night), and for any assistance the orchestra can give to help the effect of the glees, &c., that may be judged of and added at a
* Don Antonio.
For these was afterwards substituted Mr. Linley's lively
CHAP. rehearsal, or, as you say, on enquiring how they have been done; though I don't think it follows that what Dr. Arne's method is must be the best. If it were possible for Saturday and Sunday's post to bring us what we asked for in our last letters, and what I now enclose, we should still go through it on Sunday, and the performers should have their parts complete by Monday night. We have had our rehearsal of the speaking part, and are to have another on Saturday. I want Dr. Harrington's catch, but, as the sense must be the same, I am at a loss how to put other words. Can't the under part (A smoky house,' &c.) be sung by one person and the other two change? The situation is-Quick and Dubellamy, two lovers, carrying away Father Paul (Reinold) in great raptures, to marry them: - the Friar has before warned them of the ills of a married life, and they break out into this. The catch is particularly calculated for a stage effect; but I don't like to take another person's words, and I don't see how I can put others, keeping the same idea (of seven squalling brats,' &c.) in which the whole affair lies. However, I shall be glad of the notes, with Reinold's part, if it is possible, as I mentioned.*
"I have literally and really not had time to write the words of any thing more first and then • This idea was afterwards relinquished.
send them to you, and this obliges me to use this apparently awkward way.
My father was astonishingly well received on Saturday night in Cato: I think it will not be many days before we are reconciled.
"The inclosed are the words for Wind, gentle evergreen;' a passionate song for Mattocks †, and another for Miss Brown ‡, which solicit to be clothed with melody by you, and are all I want. Mattocks's I could wish to be a broken, passionate affair, and the first two lines may be recitative, or what you please, uncomMiss Brown sings hers in a joyful mood: we want her to show in it as much execution as she is capable of, which is pretty well; and, for variety, we want Mr. Simpson's hautboy to cut a figure, with replying passages, &c., in the way of Fisher's M'ami, il bel idol mio,' to abet which I have lugged in Echo,' who is always
The words of this song, in composing which the direc tions here given were exactly followed, are to be found in scarce any of the editions of The Duenna. They are as follows:
"Sharp is the woe that wounds the jealous mind,
When treachery two fond hearts would rend;
That traitor in our bosom friend."
+ "Adieu, thou dreary pile."