excerpt from 'Diary of Thomas Moore, 26 January 1821' pp. 193–195 (344 words)

excerpt from 'Diary of Thomas Moore, 26 January 1821' pp. 193–195 (344 words)

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Diary of Thomas Moore, 26 January 1821

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Called upon Chabot (whose rooms are over the Duke of Orleans's) at a quarter before six, in order to go under his escort to dinner. The Duke met me on my entering the room […] There was only their own family party; and though the thing was at first rather royal and formidable, I soon found myself perfectly at my ease among as unaffected and domestic a circle as ever I witnessed in my station. […] After the dinner, which was over unusually soon, the Duchess sat down to work, and four or five fine children were admitted, with whom the Duke played most delightedly, making polichinelle caps for them, &c. […] They then asked me to sing, and I have seldom had a more pleased audience; indeed, the reiteration of “charmant,” “delicieux,” &c. became at last almost oppressive. The Duke reminded me of the songs he had taught me at Donnington Park, “Cadet Roussel” and “Polichinelle est par tout bien recu,” and I played them over, which amused him very much. He said he did not see the least alteration in my looks since we last met, which must now be near eighteen years ago. In talking of the fitness of the English language for music, and the skill with which (they were pleased to say) I softened down its asperity, a Frenchman who was there said, in the true spirit of his nation, Mais la langue Anglaise n’est pas plus dure que l’Allemande, never seeming to have the least suspicion that his own is the most detestable language for music of any. The “Evening Bells” seemed particularly to be the favourite, and the whole family understood English well enough to comprehend the meaning of the words. As I was engaged in the evening to the Forsters, I begged of Chabot to ask whether I might take an early leave, which was granted, with a thousand expressions of thanks for the pleasure I had given them, &c., and I came away at a little after nine, very much pleased and flattered by the day. 

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excerpt from 'Diary of Thomas Moore, 26 January 1821' pp. 193–195 (344 words)


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