But fhall now conclude with Affurance of my being moft fincerely, &c.



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N Order to 'pafs my Time as agreably as I could, 'till I fhould have an Opportunity of feing the learned Gentleman my Landlord had told me of, I enquired what public Diversions this Place afforded, and was told there was every Monday, Wednesday and Thurfday, a very good Opera, the Property of which was, at this Time, vefted in Mr. W----b, the English Envoy, and the Management left to one of his Secretaries, our Country-man, Mr. L-----d. I invited my Landlord to go with me, and expected to have been diverted more with a Sight of the Company, than with the Drama, being told the Price of the Pit was but half a Dollar, or about 2 s. Sterling. I was, however, deceived, and found it far exceed my Expectations. The House is large and handfom; the Stage very long, and, as I conceived, at the largest Opening, not much less than a Hundred Foot deep; broad proportionably, but two low for the Length, and the Declivity too great. The Pit is beautiful and convenient, in the Form of an Amphitheatre, with a Space between that and the Orchestre of about ten Foot broad, for Gentlemen to walk and converfe, and fo much lower than the Amphitheatre, that, tho they ftand, they do not intercept the Sight of the other SpectaAnd at one End of this Space is a Sort of



Shop, where Coffee, Tea, Liquors, and other Refreshments are fold. There are two Rows of Boxes, one above the other, but both too high, and a Gallery over them. Excepting the middle Front-Box, and two Side-Boxes, neareft the Stage, with two Balconies over the Ends of the Orchestre, the Rest, in both Rows, are divided into fmall Family-Boxes, for four or fix Perfons, which are let, fome by the Year, and others by the Day. The Front of the Stage opens, in a grand Manner, with a double Portico, one over the Orchestre, and the other over about eight or nine Foot of the Stage, instead of a Sound-board. The inftrumental Mufic was good, and the Voices, tho' not comparable to ours at the Hay-market, were far from being defpicable. The Habits were tolerably good, and the Scenes beautiful, and in greater Variety, than I remember to have seen on any Stage. I foon perceived the Compofition of the Mufic to be of the inimitable Mr. Handel (who, itfeems, formerly play'd the ThoroughBafs, in this Opera, for three or four Shillings a Time) and I fancied I knew the Songs. Upon buying the Book, I found the Opera to be Julius Cæfar in Egypt, as reprefented at the King's Theatre in the Hay-market, of which, I perceived by the Dedication, Mr. L----d had tranflated the Recitative into German Verfe, and left the Songs in Italian, in Order to retain Mr. Handel's Mufic in them, tho' the Recitative was entirely new fet, according to the Tone or Accent peculiar to the Language: In the fame Manner as was practiced in the Hay-market, with great Succefs; 'till the Audience refolved to facrifice every other Part of the Pleasure of a good Play to that of their Hearing, or rather, to the Vanity of being pleafed with nothing but what was foreign. What was wanting in Voices was fufficiently made up in the Fourberia della Scena, (the Knavery, or trickifh Part of the Drama) as Mr.



Addifon, I think, fomewhere calls it, which is raifed to a great Height here, especially in fplendid Entries, and great Variety of Dances, properly enough introduced: Befides which, we were entertained with a whimfical Intermezzo, fet to Music, between the Acts, representing the Adventures of an Old Man who married his Chamber-maid. In the Whole, the Evening's Entertainment was very agreable and diverting; and pleafed me fo well, that I refolved to fpend more of my Time there. The next Picce I faw, on the Wednesday following, was a Tragedy wholly in the German Language, and fet to Mufic by a German Compofitor, Mr. Tel. leman, Director of the Church-Mufic of this City. The Subject was taken from the Spanish History, being the Story of a King of that Nation, whofe beloved Confort was wrongfully accufed, by her own Son, of Adultery. The Words of this Opera were not, as generally with us, a mere dead Letter, or Vehicle to convey the Mufic to our Ears; the Paffions feemed to be finely wrought up in the Poetry, and as naturally exprefs'd in the Mufic, a Thing feldom or never regarded in the Italian Operas; but which has a very great Effect upon the Mind, efpecially if accompanied with Action. I must, for my Part, confefs, this Drama had as great an Effect on me as any of our excellent Tragedies, and it was hard to fay whether the Poet or Compofitor had the greatest Share in it. There was one Scene, which I thought the tendereft and most affecting I had ever feen. The innocent Queen, the Night before her intended Execution, defires an Interview with the King her Hufband, as the laft Favor fhe has to afk, not to fue for Pardon, but to indulge her Sorrow in a doleful Farewel. The King was perfuaded of her Guilt, and fully bent to let her fuffer the Death, he thought, fhe had deferved: He abhor'd the Criminal, but had yet the Remains


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of the tendereft Affection for the Wife; and, after a long Conflict between Love and Honour, he confents to it. The melancholy View of a mourning Chamber, divefted of all Light but two dim Candles on the Table; the Queen in Widow's Weeds; her Submiffion and Refignation; the apparent Strife in the King's Breaft, between Love and Anger; the former of which foon prevail'd, and broke thro' all the Art made use of to conceal it: All these Circumftances, I fay, heighten'd with every Thing that Poetry and Mufic could add to them, and accompanied with a fuitable Action, concur'd to raise the tendereft Compaffion poffible in the Breaft of the Audience. But what moft affected me, and, in my Opinion, deferv'd the utmoft Applaufe, was the Conclufion of this tender Scene, where the Compofitor had fhewn his exquifite Skill and Judgment, in diverfifying the three laft Words of a Duetto,fung by them, noch einmahl fabrewol (once more farewel) in fuch Manner, that what with the Repetition of them, on both Sides, with proper Paufes, fill'd with Mufic perfectly adapted to the Subject, they lafted fome Minutes, and thereby gave the Actors all the Opportunity they could wifh, to difplay their Skill, and the Audience a fufficient Time to indulge that noble Paffion, which the preceding Incidents had raised. To me, I muft own, this fingle Scene was worth more, than a whole lifelefs Italian Opera; nor do I think it poffible for the utmoft Skill of the Poet, to raise the Paffions to fuch a Height, as this fkilful Combination of Poetry and Mufic can effect. It is well this Letter is to come into no other Hands, than your own; I might, otherwife, be look'd upon, as a Fellow of a very odd Tafte, or rather no Tafte at all. What! fome might be apt to fay, give the Preference to Mufic fet to Words, which are a perfect, Contradiction to Mufic, and fufficient to deftroy all H 2 Harmony a

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Harmony But even this is a vulgar Error; the High German is no fuch difharmonious Language, but that a fkilful Poet, who knows any Thing of Mufic, may find Words as proper to be fet to it, as in Italian: And I defy any Italian to point out to me harfher Sounds in the German, than I will fhew him in his Mother-Tongue. I was again at the Opera laft Night, where I was entertain❜d by a Piece of as odd a Compofition, as, I think, I ever faw. It was call'd Die verkehrte Welt, or the World turn'd Topfy-turvy, a Comic Opera. I foon found the Idea, and perhaps the principal Scenes, were taken from a French Piece, call'd Le Mond Renverse; but it feem'd to be more particularly adapted to the Circumstances of the Times and Place; and, if I may be allowed to judge by the Locks and Behavior of the Audience, was not without perfonal Satyr. The Mufic was as fingular, as the Subject, and the whole whimsicaly, tho' nonfenficaly diverting. I am, &c.




SI had heard a very favorable CharaEter of Mr. Ld, I had fought every Evening in the Opera, an Opportunity of geting acquainted with him; and the laft Time, I was there, a very convenient one offer'd. Towards the Conclufion of the Drama, was fhewn him fiting on a Bench at the Coffee Shop; and, as there was Room on the fame Bench, for another, I immediately took Poffeffion




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