About 20-23 July 1828

Party

London: Ignaz Moscheles’ Residence

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Charlotte, in a letter: ‘On one occasion…we had the happiness of entertaining the famous Sontag at a large party at our own house—she was enchanting as usual. Sir Walter Scott, who happened to be in London, was present. He was delighted at meeting Sontag, whose introduction to Sir Walter, on the eve of her appearing in the Donna del lago, was singularly well-timed. Lockhart, it is true, tells us in his biography that Sir Walter felt annoyed at being besieged by a crowd of flatterers and strangers, who made a pilgrimage to Abbotsford, and overwhelmed him with compliments, their knowledge of his works being based possibly on a single attendance at the Donna del lago, at the Italian Opera; but in the presence of Sontag, the great man was all ears, and eyes too, I think. When she questioned him about her costume as the Lady of the Lake, he described to her with the utmost minuteness every fold of the plaid, and was greatly pleased when I produced a genuine satin clan plaid, the present of Lady Sinclair, while in Edinburgh, the loan of which I was delighted to promise to Sontag. He showed her the particular way the brooch should be fastened at the shoulder, and would nor allow any alteration. Henrietta [Sontag] had two worshippers that evening, the second being Clementi, who seemed as much fascinated as Scott. He got up from his chair and said “Tonight I should like to play also”. The proposition was received with acclamation” ’.

RMM, 144.

Moscheles: ‘He [Clementi] extemporised with all the freshness of youth… and we listened with intense delight, for Clementi very rarely played before company. You should have seen the ecstasy of the two old men, Scott and Clementi; they shook each other by the hand, took it in turns to flirt with Sontag, without seeming jealous of one another; it was a pretty duet of joint admiration, of course the poet, musician, and songstress were the observed of all observers’.

RMM, 144-145.