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The town of Bresse having revolted against the
French, was attacked, taken, and sacked, with an almost unexampled fury.
The chevalier Bayard, who was wounded at the beginning of the action, was
carried to the house of a person of quality, whom he protected from the
fury of the conquerors, by placing at the door two soldiers, whom he
indemnified with a gift of eight hundred crowns, in lieu of the plunder
they might have lost by their attendance at the door. The impatience of
Bayard to join the army without considering the state of his wound, which
was by no means well, determined him to depart. The mistress of the house
then threw herself at his feet, saying, "The rights of war make you master
of our lives and our possessions, and you have saved our honour. We hope,
however, from your accustomed generosity that you will not treat us with
severity, and that you will be pleased to content yourself with a present
more adapted to our circumstances, than to our inclinations." At the same
time, she presented him with a small box full of ducats.

Bayard, smiling, asked her how many ducats the box contained. "Two thousand
five hundred, my lord," answered the lady, with much emotion; "but if these
will not satisfy you, we will employ all our means to raise more."--"No,
madam," replied the chevalier, "I do not want money: the care you have
taken of me more than repays the services I have done you. I ask nothing
but your friendship; and I conjure you to accept of mine."

So singular an instance of generosity gave the lady more surprise than joy.
She again threw herself at the feet of the chevalier, and protested that
she would never rise until he had accepted of that mark of her gratitude.
"Since you will have it so," replied Bayard, "I will not refuse it; but may
I not have the honour to salute your amiable daughters?" The young ladies
soon entered, and Bayard thanked them for their kindness in enlivening him
with their company. "I should be glad," said he, "to have it in my power
to convince you of my gratitude; but we soldiers are seldom possessed of
jewels worthy the acceptance of your sex. Your amiable mother has presented
me with two thousand five hundred ducats; I make a present to each of you
of one thousand, for a part of your marriage portion. The remaining five
hundred I give to the poor sufferers of this town, and I beg you will take
on yourselves the distribution."

One of the finest actions of a soldier of which history makes mention, is
related in the history of the Marechal de Luxemburg. The marechal, then
Count de Boutteville, served in the army of Flanders in 1675, under the
command of the Prince of Conde. He perceived in a march some soldiers that
were separated from the main body, and he sent one of his aides-de-camp to
bring them back to their colours. All obeyed, except one, who continued his
road. The count, highly offended at such disobedience, threatened to strike
him with his stick. "That you may do," said the soldier, with great
coolness, "but you will repent of it." Irritated by this answer,
Boutteville struck him, and forced him to rejoin his corps. Fifteen days
after, the army besieged Furnes; and Boutteville commanded the colonel of a
regiment to find a man steady and intrepid for a coup-de-main, which he
wanted, promising a hundred pistoles as a reward. The soldier in question,
who had the character of being the bravest man in the regiment, presented
himself, and taking thirty of his comrades, of whom he had the choice, he
executed his commission, which was of the most hazardous nature, with a
courage and success beyond all praise. On his return, Boutteville, after
having praised him highly, counted out the hundred pistoles he had
promised. The soldier immediately distributed them to his comrades, saying,
that he had no occasion for money; and requested that if what he had done
merited any recompense, he might be made an officer. Then addressing
himself to the count, he asked if he recognised him? and on Boutteville
replying in the negative, "Well," said he, "I am the soldier whom you
struck on our march fifteen days ago. Was I not right when I said that you
would repent of it?" The Count de Boutteville, filled with admiration, and
affected almost to tears, embraced the soldier, created him an officer on
the spot, and soon made him one of his aides-de-camp.

Handel had such a remarkable irritation of nerves, that he could not bear
to hear the tuning of instruments, and therefore at a performance this was
always done before he arrived. A musical wag, who knew how to extract some
mirth from Handel's irascibility of temper, stole into the orchestra, on a
night when the Prince of Wales was to be present, and untuned all the
instruments. As soon as the prince arrived, Handel gave the signal for
beginning, _con spirito;_ but such was the horrible discord, that the
enraged musician started up from his seat, and having overturned a double
bass, which stood in his way, he seized a kettle-drum, which he threw with
such violence at the leader of the band, that he lost his full-bottomed wig
in the effort. Without waiting to replace it, he advanced bare-headed to
the front of the orchestra, breathing vengeance, but so much choked with
passion, that utterance was denied him. In this ridiculous attitude he
stood staring and stamping for some moments, amidst a convulsion of
laughter; nor could he be prevailed upon to resume his seat, until the
prince went in person, and with much difficulty appeased his wrath.

Handel being only a musician, was obliged to employ some person to write
his operas and oratorios, which accounts for their being so very defective
as poetical compositions. One of those versifiers employed by him, once
ventured to suggest, in the most respectful manner, that the music he had
composed to some lines of his, was quite contrary to the sense of the
passage. Instead of taking this friendly hint as he ought to have done,
from one who (although not a Pindar) was at least a better judge of poetry
than himself, he looked upon the advice as injurious to his talents, and
cried out, with all the violence of affronted pride, "What! you teach me
music? The music is good music: confound your words! Here," said he,
thrumming his harpsichord, "are my ideas; go and make words to them."

Handel became afterwards the proprietor of the Opera House, London; and
presided at the harpsichord in the orchestra (piano-fortes not being then
known). His embellishments were so masterly, that the attention of the
audience was frequently diverted from the singing to the accompaniment, to
the frequent mortification of the vocal professors. A pompous Italian
singer was, on a certain occasion, so chagrined at the marked attention
paid to the harpsichord, in preference to his own singing, that he swore,
that if ever Handel played him a similar trick, he would jump down upon his
instrument, and put a stop to the interruption. Handel, who had a
considerable turn for humour, replied: "Oh! oh! you vill jump, vill you?
very vell, sare; be so kind, and tell me de night ven you vill jump, and I
vill advertishe it in de bills; and I shall get grate dale more money by
your jumping, than I shall get by your singing."

Although he lived much with the great, Handel was no flatterer. He once
told a member of the royal family, who asked him how he liked his playing
on the violoncello? "Vy, sir, your highness _plays like a prince_." When
the same prince had prevailed on him to hear a minuet of his own
composition, which he played himself on the violoncello, Handel heard him
out very quietly; but when the prince told him, that he would call in his
band to play it to him, that he might hear the full effect of his
composition, Handel could contain himself no longer, and ran out of the
room, crying, "Worsher and worsher, upon mine honour."

One Sunday, having attended divine worship at a country church, Handel
asked the organist to permit him to play the people out; to which, with a
politeness characteristic of the profession, the organist consented. Handel
accordingly sat down to the organ, and began to play in such a masterly
manner, as instantly to attract the attention of the whole congregation,
who, instead of vacating their seats as usual, remained for a considerable
space of time, fixed in silent admiration. The organist began to be
impatient (perhaps his wife was waiting dinner); and at length addressing
the performer, told him that he was convinced that _he_ could not play the
people out, and advised him to relinquish the attempt; which being done,
they were played out in the usual manner.

In 1741, Handel, who was then proceeding to Ireland, was detained for some
days at Chester, in consequence of the weather. During this time he applied
to Mr. Baker, the organist, to know whether there were any choir men in the
cathedral who could sing _at sight_, as he wished to prove some books that
had been hastily transcribed, by trying the choruses. Mr. Baker mentioned
some of the best singers in Chester, and among the rest, a printer of the
name of Janson, who had a good bass voice, and was one of the best
musicians in the choir. A time was fixed for this private rehearsal at the
Golden Falcon, where Handel had taken up his residence; when, on trial of a
chorus in the Messiah, poor Janson, after repeated attempts, failed
completely, Handel got enraged, and after abusing him in five or six
different languages, exclaimed in broken English, "You schauntrel, tit not
you dell me dat you could sing at soite?" "Yes sir," said the printer, "so
I can, but not at _first sight_."

Mozart, walking in the suburbs of Vienna, was accosted by a mendicant of a
very prepossessing appearance and manner, who told his tale of woe with
such effect, as to interest the musician strongly in his favour; but the
state of his purse not corresponding with the impulse of his humanity, he
desired the applicant to follow him to a coffee-house. Here Mozart, drawing
some paper from his pocket, in a few minutes composed a minuet, which with
a letter he gave to the distressed man, desiring him to take it to his
publisher. A composition from Mozart was a bill payable at sight; and to
his great surprise the now happy mendicant was immediately presented with
five double ducats.

When Haydn was in England, one of the princes commissioned Sir Joshua
Reynolds to take his portrait. Haydn went to the painter's house, and sat
to him, but soon grew tired. Sir Joshua, careful of his reputation, would
not paint a man of acknowledged genius, with a stupid countenance; and
deferred the sitting till another day. The same weariness and want of
expression occurring at the next attempt, Reynolds went and communicated
the circumstance to his royal highness, who contrived the following
stratagem. He sent to the painter's house a German girl, in the service of
the queen. Haydn took his seat for the third time, and as soon as the
conversation began to flag, a curtain rose, and the fair German addressed
him in his native language, with a most elegant compliment. Haydn,
delighted, overwhelmed the enchantress with questions; his countenance
recovered its animation, and Sir Joshua rapidly seized its traits.

Haydn could be comic as well as serious; and he has left a remarkable
instance of the former, in the well known symphony, during which all the
instruments disappear, one after the other, so that, at the conclusion, the
first violin is left playing by himself. The origin of this singular piece
is thus accounted for. It is said that Haydn, perceiving his innovations
were ill received by the performers of Prince Esterhazy, determined to play
a joke upon them. He caused his symphony to be performed, without a
previous rehearsal, before his highness, who was in the secret. The
embarrassment of the performers, who all thought they had made a mistake,
and especially the confusion of the first violin, when, at the end, he
found he was playing alone, diverted the court of Eisenstadt. Others
assert, that the prince having determined to dismiss all his band, except
Haydn, the latter imagined this ingenious way of representing the general
departure, and the dejection of spirits consequently upon it. Each
performer left the concert room as soon as his part was finished.

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