|Visit Us On FB
BALLAD OPERAS AND BALLADS 43
over Nelson's duel with the French fleet, and when the news of his victory at the Nile reached England the enthusiasm of the people knew no bounds. The following paragraph appeared in The Times of October 3rd in that year, under the heading of " Drury Lane " :—
" After the play, the news of Admiral Nelson's glorious victory produced a burst of patriotic exultation that has rarely been witnessed in a theatre. ' Rule Britannia' was unanimously called for in every part of the house, and Messrs. Kelly, Dignum, Sedgwick, Miss Leak and Mrs. Bland, came forward and sang it, accompanied by numbers of the audience. It was called for and sung a second time. The acclamations were the loudest and most fervent we ever witnessed."
As to the authorship of the words, the claims of Thomson and Mallet appear to be fairly equal. They were joint authors of the whole libretto, and it seems impossible to decide as to which actually wrote the words of this song. Mr. Kid-son is inclined to ascribe the honour to Mallet, but against this another writer declares that it is doubtful whether Mallet had any claim to it. The latter writer, by the way, says that David Mallet, whose real name appears to have been Mallock, was the man who wrote the letter of accusation which was the cause of the death