1832 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Morell

John Taylor Esq., in Records of my Life (1832) 1:334-35.



I had the pleasure of a slight acquaintance with Dr. Morell, well known for learning and piety, and who selected subjects from the Scriptures for Handel's oratorios. I heard him say that, one fine summer's morning, he was roused out of bed at five o'clock by Handel, who came in his carriage a short distance from London. The doctor went to the window, and spoke to Handel, who would not leave his carriage. Handel was at the time composing an oratorio. When the doctor asked him what he wanted, he said, "What de devil means de vord billow?" which was in the oratorio the doctor had written for him. The doctor, after laughing at so ludicrous a reason for disturbing him, told him that billow meant wave, a wave of the sea. "Oh, de vave," said Handel, and bade his coachman return, without addressing another word to the doctor.