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CURIOSITIES OF THE OPERA. 357
before his enterprise; one given at Paris, by Cardinal Mazarin, in 1645; one entitled "Ake"bar, King of Mogul," by the Abbee" Mailly and " La Pastorale en musique," by Cambert,* but these do not deprive Lulli of the claim of being the " founder of French opera."
La Fontaine tried to write some libretti for Lulli, which were total failures, and declined by he musician.
The King (Louis xiv.), was passionately fond of Lulli's music, and would hear scarcely any other.
About this time, the idea of whistling and hissing to show disapproval, was invented. It is said that Corneille's "Baron de Fondrieres" has the questionable honor of being the first play that ever was hissed.
The hiss, spread rapidly, but on some one having injudiciously hissed the opera of Orpheus, by the sons of Lully, the hiss was interdicted by law in 1690. t
The repression was not very effectual, and innumerable epigrams (some of which still exist),% showed the derision of the public.
The singers of Lulli's operas had all the faults of their later brethren. Dumenil, the tenor, used to steal the jewelry of the prime donne, and get intoxicated with the baritone. He is said to have drank six bottles of champagne every night, and only the sixth deteriorated his performance.
• Edwards' History of the Opera, toI. 1, p. 15. t Curiosites Theatrales, Fournel, p. 161. $ See Annals Dramatizes, vn., p. 1G&