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CURIOSITIES OF THE OPERA.             365
plays " with songs " were known however, and one of these, "in the Italian style," was per­formed in Paris, before the King and Eoyal family, on the occasion of the victory of the Duke of Guise at Calais, 1558.
The chief representations for years after, lay rather in the direction of ballets, than of operas. Rehgious plays also still were given at Paris, but after the ordinance, of 1548, that no Catholic ceremony should be represented on the stage, they disappeared.*
The theatres, mat is those which were public, were at this time very poorly appointed, but through the constant festivities of the court, many inventions came into use.
The Court of France had always a penchant for music, the drama, and dancing. Henry iv., was very fond of the latter.
Louis xiii., cultivated music with much success, he composed many airs, and several motets which he had performed in his Chapel. Music was his ordinary recreation when he could not go hunting. At the siege of La Rochelle, there being no musi­cians or singers with the army, he himself wrote out the vespers for Pentecost, that they might be ready in time. Three weeks before his death, and after he had received the extreme unction, feeling himself somewhat better, he begged Nyert, his first valet de garderobe to sing a paraphrase of David, which he had set to music, to give thanki to God.
• Curiotitea Theatraiea, fournel (Paris), p. 17.






E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III