excerpt from 'Diary of Hester Lynch Piozzi, 5 May 1795' pp. 925–926 (269 words)

excerpt from 'Diary of Hester Lynch Piozzi, 5 May 1795' pp. 925–926 (269 words)

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Diary of Hester Lynch Piozzi, 5 May 1795

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Miss Hamilton has left Marchesi’s manner now, & taken up Pacchierotti’s—wch though infinitely preferable upon the whole, suits her worse: the voice shows its Defects now, and these Graces obtained at third Hand through Cima d’Oro, make no Effect, and please but very faintly—when She play’d Marchesi’s Tricks, She surprized one at least; and with this way She does just nothing. 


How foolish ’tis to change the Style & Character of writing, Painting, Singing or Acting!  God Almighty when he imprinted a Character, gave a Style too; at least the Propensity to a particular Style, and how does Miss Hamilton degrade herself by that flexibility of Mind which every touch can warp?  when She sung in Marchesi’s Manner her Heart was in it, & it suited her Voice, and She deservedly gained not only Applause, but Admiration:  Now She will Imitate the Imitators of Pacchierotti,—what can She gain but Contempt?  Tho’ I prefer the style of Pachierotti, & so do Thousands; yet the other was best adapted to her.—Would Piozzi or Cimad’oro set about following Marchesi in his sudden Leaps and peculiar Finales—I should think them mad; but Miss Hamilton could do that, and as to singing Cantabile Airs with expressive Sweetness, that She cannot do; let that be left for Catherine Glasse, She is the only Englishwoman who will ever attain proximity to true Italian softness, & luscious Volubility—

 With wanton heed & giddy Cunning
The Melting Voice in Mazes running:* 

 and once more why should Mara try at singing as Guadagni sung??  Quod sis, esse velis––in everything.


*Milton, L’Allegro, ll. 141–2

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excerpt from 'Diary of Hester Lynch Piozzi, 5 May 1795' pp. 925–926 (269 words)


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