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116 A CENTURY OF BALLADS
the others in the set being "Maydew," "Forget-me-not," and "To Chloe in sickness " (words by Robert Burns), which one musical critic of the time described as "a love song which would melt a heart of stone ! "
In Bennett's Journal under the date of February 22nd in this year, (1842), is the following entry of rather personal interest:1 "To-day I have been dining with Mendelssohn, and played him my songs." Between Mendelssohn and Bennett there was a long and close friendship, and the latter was a frequent and brilliant exponent of the master's works on the piano.
Apropos of this an amusing little incident is recorded in Bennett's Life, After Mendelssohn's death John Hullah gave a memorial concert in Exeter Hall, and Bennett had promised to play a selection of the Lieder. On a bench behind that occupied by Mrs. Bennett and her friends sat a burly countryman, whose enthusiasm for the vocal music was unrestrained, and whose comments were made in a stentorian voice pro bono publico. When Bennett's turn came, this loquacious gentleman let everyone know that he had not come there to see "a feller twiddling his fingers on the piano." Mrs. Bennett's party were, of course, anxious as to what might happen next. However, the gentleman in
1 See Life of Sterndale Bennett, by J. R. Sterndale Bennett.