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S.A. Bent, comp. Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men. 1887.

George Frederick Handel

  • [Properly Haendel: the distinguished musical composer; born at Halle, in Prussian Saxony, Feb. 24, 1684; composed sonatas at the age of ten; after study in Italy, settled in England, and acted as manager of the new Academy of Music, and of a theatre in which he lost his fortune; devoted himself from 1740 to the production of sacred music, composing the “Messiah,” 1741; died 1759, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.]
  • I did think I did see all heaven before me, and the great God himself.

  • Of his state of mind during the composition of “The Messiah.”
  • Vy, sir, your Highness plays like a prince.

  • Being asked by a member of the royal family how he liked his playing on the violoncello. A similar answer was given by Voltaire to the Duc de Villars, who asked him how he played the part of Genghis Khan in the poet’s “Orphelin,” at Ferney: “Like a duke and peer.” Marat, revolutionist as he was, favored the restoration of their titles to the nobles, because, as he said, “a duke is always a duke” (un duc est toujours un duc). He gave that as a reason for sentencing to death the republican Duc d’Orleans (Égalité): whatever he might profess, he would always be a noble. Napoleon said of the desertion of some of his generals after his first abdication, “You see, my dear Gerard, that the blue are always blue, and the white always white.”
  • When Philip of Macedon corrected a musician at a banquet, and discoursed with him concerning notes and instruments, the musician replied, “Far be that dishonor from your majesty, that you should understand these things better than I do.”—PLUTARCH: Apothegms.
  • Handel said at a state concert to George III. when a child, “You will take care of my music when I am dead.”