Charles Burney

The Present State of Music in France and Italy (2nd, corrected edition)

London: T. Becket and Co., 1773


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Sunday, Nov. 11. Having a little re-
covered the fatigue of my journey from
Naples, I renewed my operations at

This morning I went to the convent
of St. Ursula, to see a nun take the veil.

The company was very numerous, and
composed chiefly of the first people of
Rome, who were all in full dress. I was
placed closed to the altar, where I could
see the whole ceremony, and hear every
word that was uttered. The service was
begun by saying mass, then cardinal de
Rossi entered in great state, while the
organ was playing, and the mass was sing-
ing: the music both vocal and instrument-
al, was performed by the nuns and ladies
of the convent who were placed in the
organ gallery. The composition was pretty,
but ill executed; the organ was a bad
one, and too powerful for the band: