|Visit Us On FB
NINETEENTH-CENTURY BALLADS 75
on ass ; but if I were to say, " You are an ass," it rests on you, Sir James.'
"Reiterated shouts of laughter by the whole court, in which the Bench itself joined, followed this repartee."
"Gentle Zitella" was written for the opera The Brigand, the libretto of which was by J. R. Planche, the dramatist. The song was originally published by Latour, and when Chappell bought Latour's business £500 was added to the purchase price on account of this song alone, Chappell being said to have made a profit of £1000 out of it during the first year it was in his possession.
Planche in his Memoirs declares that the tune was his as well as the words. He says: "Tom Cooke received £25 for the arrangement of the air, and some further benefit in the exchange of a piano, but when he asked for further remuneration Latour referred him to Chappell and Chappell back again to Latour."
Planche himself got nothing beyond what he had received for the libretto. It appears to have been a custom at that time for an author to allow the composer to publish any separate song in an opera without paying the author of the words any further fee. Owing to the success of "Gentle Zitella " and of " Rise, gentle moon " (out of the opera Charles XII, composed by John Barnett),