Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/423

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329
LETTER OF SHIRLEY BROOKS.

catalogue of their musical deeds, for I had a bill, but it was borrowed from me by a large Yorkshireman, and he was so very large that I did not like to demand it again. Nevertheless, La Diva sang "The Last Rose of Summer," a la Flotow, and made me think of many things—are they not written in the book of the Chronicles of Benjamin, whose name is Lumley? Likewise she sang something out of Faust, with il Signor, and other matters, whereof no matter—is it not enough to have seen and heard her? But commend me, (not that I need your commendation) to Madame Sainton-Dolby, inasmuch as that lady sang Handel's 'Lascia ch'o pianga,' and sang it nobly, and sang Smart's 'Lady of the Lea,' and sang Claribel's 'Maggie's Secret,' and sang it divinely. You know what M. Sainton can do with his violin, but you do not know what he cannot do with it, nor do I. Il Signor Mario put forth bis powers chivalrously, and broke many hearts among the fair York roses. La Diva was dressed in white. Madame Sainton-Dolby was dressed in pink. I was dressed in a black coat, waistcoat, and trowsers, white cravat, lavender gloves, and patent leather boots, and the little boys of Whitby, unaccustomed to such splendour, cheered me as I came out, privately and alone, to dip my beak in the gascon wine, that is, in some excellent beer, in which I now drink your health.

"If you have another reporter, your own special, in the town (I saw two or three persons who looked disreputable and enthusiastic enough to be musical critics—or even dustmen), and he has kept sober and sent you a report, you need not print this. I do not care a horse's mamma whether you print it or not. But I had a delightful evening, and I do not care who knows it; in fact, I wish everybody to know it, and that is why I write to your widely circulated (and widely yawned-over) journal. You have not been over civil to me of late, which is very ungrateful. You may say, with an attempt at wit, that the owl was a baker's child, and therefore crusty. I believe that you could win the prize for the worst conundrum in any circus in Yorkshire. Receive the assurance of my profound respect.

"Ever yours, 

"Whitby.
"Zamiel's Owl."