LAST MODIFIED Wednesday 27 May 2020 12:14

Charles Nagel

Dr GRAEME SKINNER (University of Sydney)


To cite this:

Graeme Skinner (University of Sydney), "Charles Nagel", Australharmony (an online resource toward the history of music and musicians in colonial and early Federation Australia):; accessed 31 May 2020

NAGEL, Charles (Charles NAGEL; Captain NAGEL; C. NAGEL; NAGLE [sic])

Song writer, composer, playwright

Born Ireland, 1802; baptised St. Finbarr's South, Cork, 1 November 1802, son of Adolphus NAGEL and Elizabeth MULLANE
Married Caroline DICKSON, c. 1830
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 8 October 1837 (per Lord William Bentick, from London, 15 June, with wife, 3 daughters and servant)
Died Liverpool Asylum, NSW, 17 April 1870, "aged 64" (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier)


Charles Nagel (sometimes spelt "Nagle") was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1802, a son of Adolphus Nagel, a Irish-German lieutenant adjutant who had recently served with Ferdinand Hompesch's dragoons in Spain and Egypt, and on returning to Ireland joined the 20th Regiment, and his wife Eliza Mullane. According to a later account (1842), Nagel was also related to admiral Edmund Nagle [sic].

Charles Nagel himself took a commission as an ensign in the recently formed 97th Regiment in June 1826, and was promoted to lieutenant in December 1829. He served with the regiment in Ceylon (Sri Lanka), where he was married and where his eldest daughters were born, and returned with the regiment to the United Kingdom in 1836.

Having served 10 years by June 1836, Nagel retired from the army, and in June 1837 sailed with his family from London for New South Wales on the Lord William Bentick.

He and his wife, 3 daughters and a servant arrived in Sydney on 8 October 1837. His eldest son, Adolphus John (d. 1916), was born near Maitland, in the Hunter, on 7 March 1839. In January 1840 Nagel purchased a grant of land near Merton, in the district of Muswellbrook, in the Upper Hunter. He was appointed a magistrate for the area in October 1840.

The mock Catalani in Little Puddleton (1842)

Nagel was an early casualty of the colonial depression, and was declared insolvent in February 1842. His financial situation evidently brought him back to Sydney by February May 1842, and spurred him toward literary work. Initially advertised as "The Sham Catalani", but thereafter as "The mock Catalani in Little Puddleton", his "Musical Burletta", or "Musical Extravaganza", was premiered at the Royal Victoria Theatre on 4 May 1842, with the company manager, Joseph Simmons, in the burlesque title role as a young music teacher impersonating the celebrated prima donna, Angelica Catalani.

The work included, as well as parodies and introduced songs, several original musical numbers composed by Nagel. Sheet music editions of four of these were published separately by Thomas Rolfe, but a copy of only one, The pretty bark hut in the bush, is known to survive.

The printed libretto, published by James Tegg, also survives, as does Nagel's Farewell address to the 28th Regiment (on their departure to India), delivered before a performance of the Catalani on 14 June 1842.

Nagel especially composed two further songs for the burletta's first revival at the City Theatre in May 1843, Maid of Castile and Little girls and boys but in the event were reportedly not performed, and neither texts nor music have survived.

There were also further later performances in Sydney (1844) and Melbourne (1846 and 1847).

See here for Documentation

See here for more on the music in The mock Catalani

Merry freaks in troublous times (1843)

Nagel's next production was the libretto, Merry freaks in troublous times, duly set to music by Isaac Nathan, the words and music of which were probably largely complete by May 1843

Nagel's libretto was published separately, printed late in 1843 by Thomas Forster, though not circulated until early 1844; however, no copy is known to survive. Forster also later printed a full edition of the words and music, probably in 1847-48.

Plans to perform the work in Sydney in 1843 came to nothing, and though Nathan sent copies of the printed edition to London, the work was never performed in its entirety.

See her for Documentation

See here for more on Merry freaks in troublous times

Shaksperi conglommorofunnidogammoniae (1843)

Nagel's next work, Shaksperi conglommorofunnidogammoniae, a musical extravaganza in one act, was published in October 1843 by W. A. Duncan in October 1843, and first staged at the Royal Victoria Theatre in July 1844.

Unlike The mock Catalani, it contained no original music, all of Nagel's songs and ensembles being set to standard tunes. Nagel also indicated that the tune Oh dear, what can the matter be? was to be used as an instrumental piece; there was to be a "fight to the tune of the gavotte"; Hamlet's Ghost would rise "to the Tune of Paddy Carey"; there was a song to the tune Here's to the maiden of bashful fifteen; and a finale to Yankee Doodle.

There were also later performances of Shaksperi in Hobart (1845) and Launceston (1847)

See here for more on the music in Shaksperi conglommorofunnidogammoniae

The banner of old England (1845)

Dating from August 1845, Nagel's only other surviving song setting was The banner of old England of which he composed both the words and music, and which was published by George Hudson, with an especially fine engraved frontispiece by john Carmichael. Nagel had previously published the words separately in The Atlas, during a short stint he spent working on the paper's literary pages in May 1845.

Having been released from insolvency early in 1845, two years later Nagel sold up his household effects and moved from Balmain to Eden on the south coast, where he had been appointed Clerk of the Petty Sessions. He stayed on there until mid 1848, but by July was back in Sydney.

One of his last identified public productions was a letter to the press in 1850 railing against the "forced" conversion to Roman Catholicism of one of his daughters. Another daughter married the Catholic bookseller William Dolman at St. Mary's cathedral Sydney in 1853, and Nagel himself was originally baptised a Catholic.

Self-reportedly described as a "pauper" in 1850, he appears never to have returned again to public notice. He died in 1870 while an inmate at the Liverpool asylum.


Register of Baptisms, St. Finbarr's south (Roman Catholic), Cork, Ireland, November 1802, page 416; CR-RC-BA-54216; p4778.00376; National Library of Ireland 

[November] 1 Charles Maximillian [son] of Adolphus Nagel, Lieut't Adjut., Hompesch's & [?] the 20th reg't & Elizabeth nee Mullane, Cold Harbor, sponsors Maximilian Joross [?], Isaac Hewitt, Miss Ann Slack . . .

"97th [Regiment]", The London gazette (10 June 1826), 1400

Charles Nagel, Gent., to be Ensign, by purchase, vice Travers. Dated 10th June 1826.

A list of the officers of the Army and of the Corps of Royal Marines ([London: War Office], 1827), 279

[1827] 97th (or the Earl of Ulster's) Regt. of Foot . . . Ensign . . . Charles Nagel 10 June [1826] . . .

"War Office, 17th December, 1829", The London gazette (18 December 1829), 2350 

97th Foot . . . Ensign Charles Nagel to be Lieutenant, by purchase, vice Barlow. Dated 18th December 1829.

New South Wales (1837-70)

8 October 1837, arrival of Nagel and his wife, 3 daughters and servant, per Lord William Bentick, from London

"Shipping Intelligence", The Sydney Monitor (9 October 1837), 2 

Last evening the ship Lord William Bentinck, Doutty, master, from London, 15th June, with merchandise. Passengers, Mr. and Mrs. Nagle, 3 children, and Servant . . .


"UNCLAIMED LETTERS", The Colonist (12 October 1839), 4

. . . Charles NAGELL . . .


Land purchase, Charles Nagel, 25 January 1840, Hunter, 936 acres; State Records Authority of NSW (PAYWALL)

. . . for the Sum of [£608 8s. 0d] . . . DP HEREBY GRANT unto the said Charles Nagel . . . [936] acres . . . near the confluence of the Goulburn, with the Hunter . . . in pursuance of the Advertisement of 9th January 1839, and in part payment for which [he] was allowed a remission of 100 pounds sterling . . . as a late lieutenant in her Majesty's 97th Regiment of Foot of Ten Years Standing, the balance of [£508 8s.] having been duly paid . . .

"Colonial Secretary's Office", The Sydney Monitor (2 November 1840), 2

Colonial Secretary's Office, Sydney, October 19, 1840.
His Excellency the Governor has been pleased to appoint the following gentlemen to be Magistrates of the Territory and its Dependencies, viz:-
. . . Charles Nagel, of Merton, Esquire . . .


"In the Insolvent Estate of CHARLES NAGEL, of Murton, Upper Hunter, Settler", New South Wales Government Gazette (25 February 1842), 315

WHEREAS the Estate of Charles Nagel was, on the 19th day of February, 1842, placed under Sequestration in my hands, by order of His Honor Mr. Justice Burton, I hereby appoint a Meeting of the Creditors of the said Charles Nagel to be holden at the Supreme Court House, Sydney, on the 23rd day of April next, at Ten o'clock in the Forenoon, for proof of Debts, and another Meeting to be holden at the same place, on the 9th day of May next, at the same hour, for the like purpose, and for electing a Trustee or Trustees.
WILLIAM H. KERR, Chief Commissioner of Insolvent Estates.
Dated this 22nd day of February, 1842.

[Notice], New South Wales Government Gazette (1 July 1842), 947 

In the Insolvent Estate of Charles Nagle. (Under Act of Council, 5 Victoria, No. 17.)
Mr. ISAAC SIMMONS will Sell by Auction, at his Rooms, George-street, two doors from Park-street, on Friday, the 1st July, 1842,
at 11 o'clock precisely, 500 Sheep.
Terms at Sale. JOSEPH McKENNA, Trustee.

"IMPOUNDINGS . . . MUSWELLBROOK", The Sydney Herald (15 March 1842), 3

For trespass in open pasture: . . . One brown heifer (supposed to belong to Charles Nagle, Esq.), branded CN, C under, on off rump . . . damages 3d. per head. If not claimed they will be sold on the 4th of April. E. BENNETT.

Angelica Catalani, 1815 (detail), as La Susanna (in Mozart's The marriage of Figaro); Alfred Edward Chalon; Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Angelica Catalani, 1815 (detail), as "La Susanna" (in Mozart's The marriage of Figaro); by Alfred Edward Chalon; Victoria & Albert Museum, London (DIGITISED)

ASSSOCIATIONS: Angelica Catalani; Alfred Edward Chalon

The mock Catalani (first performance 4 May 1842)

4 May 1842, first performance of The mock Catalani, Royal Victoria Theatre, Sydney

[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (4 May 1842), 2

On the above Evening, will be produced an entirely New Original Musical Burletta, (produced under the Special License of the Honorable The Colonial Secretary), written expressly for this Theatre by a Colonial Amateur, entitled:
In the course of the Piece a variety of Songs, Original and Select.
A Dance by Miss Jones. To conclude with, for the second time, OTHELLO . . .

"THEATRICALS", The Sydney Herald (5 May 1842), 3 

We had a real novelty at the theatre last night, a piece written in the colony it is entitled CATALANI IN LITTLE PUDDLETON, and is a satire upon the rage for encouraging foreign singers; the dialogue is smart, some of the original music (composed by the author) is pretty, and on the whole the piece was successful the principal character, the mock Catalani, was played by Simmons, who was at times rather too exuberant. The author is, we understand, a military man.

"News and Rumours of the Day", Sydney Free Press (7 May 1842), 2 

A very pretty little piece entitled the "Sham Catalani in Little Puddleton," the production of a colonial author, was brought out at the Victoria, on Wednesday evening, and came off very successfully.

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph Simmons (actor, vocalist)

7 May 1842, second performance of The mock Catalani

"VICTORIA THEATRE", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (7 May 1842), 3 

The interlude of the "Sham Catalani" comes on to-night. The great applause with which it met on its former representation is complete praise . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (7 May 1842), 2 [with list of numbers in Mock Catalani]

UNDER THE PATRONAGE OF COLONEL FRENCH And the Officers of H. M. 28th Regiment.
ON WHICH OCCASION The Band of the Regiment will attend.
The Public is most respectfully informed, that in consequence of the unbounded applause and unanimous approbation bestowed on the
FIRST ORIGINAL BURLETTA Ever produced in this Colony, it will be repeated this Evening.
SATURDAY, EVENING, MAY 7, 1842, The Performances will commence with the laughable Burletta, entitled
Dobbs (the Mayor of Little Puddleton) - Mr. Fenton
William (the Sham Catalani) - Mr Simmons
Captain O'Leary - Mr. Falchon
Tibbs (Poet Laureate of Little Puddle) - Mr. Simes
Spritsail - Mr. Grove
John - Mr. Lee
Beadle - Mr. Meredith
Town Crier - Mr. Collins
Fanny - Mrs. S. W. Wallace
Polly - Mrs. Ximenes
Attendants. Soldiers, Citizens, Lame Sexton, &c.
Original, "The Sensitive Plant," Mrs. Wallace
Duet, "Dear Maid," Mrs. Wallace and Mr. Simmons
Song, "The Widow Malone" Mr. Falchon.
Song, "Oh men what silly things you are," Mrs. Ximenes
Original, Song and Chorus, "Catalani."
Original, "The pretty Bark Hut in the Bush," Mrs. Ximenes.
Original, Song and Chorus, "Wellington," Mr. Falchon.
Song, Mrs. Ximenes.
Original, "Mock Italian Aria," Mr. Simmons.
Grand Finale, Original . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Fenton (Dobbs); Joseph Simmons (William, the mock Catalani); Arthur Falchon (O'Leary); Thomas simes (Tibbs); Daniel Parsons Grove (Spritsail); John Herman Selwyn Lee (John); John Meredith (Beadle); Caroline Wallace (Fanny);

Ann Winstanley Ximenes (Polly)

"THE DRAMA", The Australian (10 May 1842), 2 

. . . We, therefore pass on to a pleasing part of our duty, by noticing a "Burletta" entitled Mock Catalani in Little Puddleton, which was performed for the second time at the Victoria Theatre, on Saturday night. This species of entertainment is not now much in vogue, and without offending the squeamishness of any portion of our Colonial audience, we may say, that it is one to which they have not been sufficiently familiarized to be very competent critics. But all men, women, and children, know when they are pleased, and the vast majority of such in the theatre, on Saturday night, expressed their pleasure in a manner that could not be mistaken for any thing else than the spontaneous effusion of their delight. In the number of this majority, we would rather be included, than among those snarling critics, and fastidious sticklers, who might give their vote in the minority.

The plot of the piece is like that or all of such kind of entertainments, founded on the rival courtship by devoted admirers of young ladies, who have made a choice in their virgin hearts as to the respective merits of their lovers; but leave to the superior talents of their chosen one, with full confidence in his success, a favourable issue to his suit. Simple and common as this part of the author's task might be considered, he deserves credit for ingenuity in his mode of effecting the more difficult portion of his undertaking. To introduce the occasion of Catalani's supposed visit to a small country town, as a means of out-tricking rivals, and deluding guardians, is an original thought, and is entitled to its proportionate meed of praise. Its effect, however, when brought out into execution, must entirely depend on concomitant circumstances, over which the poor author has little or no controul. Never were such circumstances more propitious to the success of a piece than those which accompanied this, the author's first essay at writing for the stage. Let the merit of his production have been whatever it might, its musical compositions how excellent soever, it must have failed, but for the peculiar advantages it derived from the kind assistance, the friendly zeal, and the very grent appropriate talents of the performers. The songs throughout were allotted to faithful trustees, the acting part was justly cast, and well sustained, as the author himself could desire. But the admirable personation of the Mock Catalani by Mr. Simmons must have exceeded even his own conception of his own inventive and musical talents.

It will no doubt, be repeated with every degree of success, to satiate the utmost ambition of this the first writer of a musical entertainment which has been accepted by the Managers of a Sydney Theatre, and submitted by them to the test of public opinion. This gentleman, we understand, is a Captain Neagle, a relative of Admiral Neagle.

ASSOCIATIONS: Admiral Edmund Nagle [sic]

10 May 1842, third performance of The mock Catalani

"VICTORIA THEATRE", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (10 May 1842), 2 

The performances this night will commence with "Othello;" the part of the Moor to be sustained by Mr. Nesbitt, and that of Iago by Mr. Spencer . . . The amusements this evening will conclude with the highly successful new burletla of "The Mock Catalani." We shall review this piece in our Thursday's theatrical report.


Who that saw Mr. Simmons, as The mock Catalani, could recognize in such a mirth-exciting performance, the personator of Macbeth, Iago, and a host of desperately-tragical characters, which it is that gentleman s misfortune occasionally to misrepresent? The laughable burlesque which Mr. SIMMONS presented to his auditors - his grotesque appearance; - his pleasant affectation of air and manner - his coquettish management of an exaggerated fan - his voice - his look - and above all, his Italian aria - supremely absurd and ridiculous, yet abundantly entertaining - all these combined, fairly took the audience by surprise, and brought down a hearty and unrestrained effusion of merriment, such as the walls of the theatre have seldom witnessed. The laughter and applause continued through out the whole of Mr. Simmons's performance, and the curtain fell in the midst of satisfactory testimony as to the merits of this very amusing piece.

The plot of Catalani, which, by the way, is its least recommendation, may be told in a few words. William, a music-master, and Captain O'Leary, commanding the troops at Little Puddleton, are rival suitors for the hand of Fanny, the daughter, of Dobbs, the mayor of the town. Fanny, however, with a degree of bad taste, by no means common with her sex, declares for Apollo instead of Mars - the music-master before the soldier - but the worthy Dobbs, withholding his consent, stratagem is resorted to, by way of inducing the old gentleman's compliance. In the course of casual conversation William obtains a sort of pledge from the mayor and O'Leary - that the one will give his consent, and the other desist from his suit, if it should happen that they are induced to go down upon their knees, and kiss the music-master's hand - which, as may be imagined, is looked upon as the most improbable thing in the world. The mayor subsequently receives a letter, informing him that Catalani intends honoring the town with her presence, and when the rapture which the intelligence produces, has subsided a little, [remember this refers to a period when the rage for foreign singing was at its height] it is resolved by the mayor and Tibbs, the poet-laureate, that the distinguished visitor shall be received with all due honour. The visitor arrives - is received in the most flattering manner - enchants the whole town with her condescension, and after receiving a most respectful salute, on bended knee, from Dobbs and O'Leary, the sham Catalani throws off his disguise and appears as the music-master, Whereupon the old gentleman consents, and Fanny and the counterfeit singer are forthwith married [so we conclude, at least] and live happily for the rest of their lives.

The chief defect in this piece is the complete want of association, in the minds of the audience, between the comic humour of the dialogue, and the thing which it is meant to burlesque. Probably not ten persons out of those present, on its first and second representation, had ever seen Catalani, and certainly the number of those conversant with Italian singing was not in the majority. For this reason the unrestrained rapture of Dobbs and the poet-laureate, at the prospect of a visit from the distinguished cantatrice, was not understood; - and comprising, as it does, a great portion of the earlier part of the dialogue, it was found to be insufferably flat and tiresome. The author, if he expect his performance to be thoroughly successful, must omit, or at least curtail the three first scenes, and permit Catalani to come upon the stage a little earlier than she is allowed to do. The satire of the piece, in respect of Italian singing, is both out of place out of date, and can never be appreciated by those who are not conversant with the defects and merits of the Italian school. The whole interest of the piece, for a colonial audience, rests in the character of Catalani, which is entertaining much more from the comic power of the performer, than from the fact of its being a burlesque upon the extravagancies of the Prima Donna.

Nevertheless, Catalani was well received, and deservedly so - for, unlike the generality of our theatrical representations, it was very fairly sustained in all its parts. The singing was very indifferent, the original song and chorus, "Catalani" excepted, but as the success of the piece is not dependent upon the vocal capabilities of the performers, but chiefly upon the comic powers of Mr. Simmons, we are not so much inclined to quarrel with such a deficiency in this piece, as in one of a more elaborate character. Will Mr. Simmons permit us to point out a defect in his acting - or rather a palpable playing to the pit, when he should rather consult the good taste and intelligence of the boxes? It is both unnecessary and offensive to represent Catalani as sinking, to the ground when she curtsies - and still more offensive is it to personate her with such an indelicate walk as that which Mr. Simmons assumes for the occasion. When a lady is represented by one of us men - the modesty of the sex should never be lost sight of - as in these circumstances only, can the counterfeit escape detection. With this exception, Mr. Simmons's performance is admirable, and provided the three first scenes be shortened, we venture to predict that Catalani, as an afterpiece, will be a favourite with the public.

"Theatricals", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (12 May 1842), 3

The amusements in the Victoria during the last week were varied and highly entertaining . . . We shall conclude our report, with a short review of the amusing new Burletta of the "Mock Catalani in Little Padlington," [sic] written, we understand, by Captain Nagle, formerly a Magistrate in this territory. The piece was eminently successful, as we have formerly stated, and each successive representation seems to give the audience greater satisfaction.

The plot of the piece is as follows; - A young lady named Fanny, (Mrs. Wallace) daughter of Mr. Dobbs, Mayor of Little Pudlington, falls in love with a young man named William, (Simmons) who attends her in the capacity of music-master. Her father has, however, determined that she will marry a Captain O'Leary (Falchon) of Bally-something or other - a sort of Irish fortune hunter, with a considerable portion of impudence, blarney, and braggadocia. The father and the Captain surprise the lovers together, and there's "a certain person to pay, and no pitch hot." The matter is, however, arranged by the music-master, betting if the father will consent to his marriage with his daughter, he will, within a given time, make the old man kneel to him, and the valiant Captain likewise, kneel and kiss his hand. They both agree at once to this "merry bond," thinking the poor music-master, mad; he is, however, too knowing for them. William gets a letter quietly sent to the old Mayor, as if from Madame Catalani, stating her intention of honoring the inhabitants of Little Pudlington with a visit. This puts the old fellow in a great state of excitement, he being a great enthusiast in music, particularly of the "divine Catalani." He therefore summons the council, gives orders for a general illumination, and the ringing of bells in honor of the auspicious event. A poet too is hired to write a complimentary ode; the inhabitants of Little Puddlington are directly in a state of the greatest excitement. The procession proceeds in great pomp to meet the lady, who in due time arrives, and is received with great enthusiasm.

The manner in which Simmons dresses himself as the "Mock Catalani," is admirable - we must inform our readers that the celebrated lady is neither more nor less than "William" the music master in disguise - and we must say that he looked a very foreign lady-like gentleman - his acting and singing were admirable, and the manner in which he brings the papa and gallant captain to his feet, and wins his bet, was inimitable. The denouement is as perfect as that of any farce we have ever seen. We have no more to say on this subject, than that we hope to see this original piece succeeded by many others of equal merit - a literary competition in this colony is much wanted, and would be most advantageous to the rising youth of Australia. The farce of the "Mock Catalani" is not however original, as far as the idea is concerned, the plot being literally taken from the bet between Power and Webber, as narrated in that inimitable work "Charles O'Malley." Great credit is, notwithstanding, due to the author, for the admirable manner in which he has dramatised it. Better a good translation, than a bad original.

NOTE: Charles O'Malley, the Irish dragoon (Dublin, 1841) [by Charles Lever]

May 1842, publication of the sheet music of the songs in The mock Catalani
The pretty bark hut in the bush; Charles Nagel, 1842

The pretty bark hut in the bush, aria, sung in the new burletta entitled "The mock Catalani" as performed at the Royal Victoria Theatre, words and music by Chas. Nagel esq're (Sydney: T. Rolfe, jun'r, [1842]) (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: Thomas Rolfe (publisher)

[Advertisement], "MUSIC", Australasian Chronicle (10 May 1842), 3

MUSIC. IN the course of a few days, the Original Music of the New Burletta, entitled, The "Mock Catalani in Little Puddleton," will appear at ROLFE'S Musical Warehouse, Regent Terrace, Hunter-street.

"NEW MUSIC", Australasian Chronicle (12 May 1842), 2

Mr. Rolfe, of Hunter-street, has, we perceive, published the music of the new and original little burletta entitled the "Sham Catalani;" from the celebrity the piece has already gained no doubt the publisher of the music will meet with encouragement.

"NEW MUSIC", The Sydney Herald (13 May 1842), 2 

The publication of music in this colony is becoming almost an every-day matter in Sydney: we have had three notices of colonial publications in the Herald within the last few days, and we perceive that Mr. Rolfe is advertising the music in the colonial drama of The Mock Catalani.

[William Augustine Duncan], "NEW MUSIC", Australasian Chronicle (14 May 1842), 2

No. 1. A Sensitive Plant. Aria, sung in the new Burletta entitled "The Mock Catalani." Words by Shelly; music by Charles Nagel, Esq.

No 2. It was but a dream. From the same. Words and music by Charles Nagel, Esq.

No. 3. The pretty bark hut in the bush. From the same. By the same. Sydney, Rolfe, 1842.

We generally take up every colonial production of art or literature with a determination to speak well of it when we can, and to be as lenient as possible when obliged to condemn. In the present case there is something in the very idea of a new Australian opera which strongly tends to disarm criticism; and yet we must confess there are a sufficient number both of beauties and defects in the work itself to provoke a discriminating discussion of its merits as a musical composition. Of the poetry we cannot speak very highly. The words "a thrill that no language can give expression" require the addition of a monosyllable which would destroy the rhyme in order to reduce them to reason; and "lingered on fancy's revision" is not a very intelligible expression, in our opinion. But to come to the music.

No. 1 opens with a few bars of very pleasing melody, which afterwards becomes a very jumble of modulations and chromatic progressions, which defy our skill to decypher them. This song forcibly reminded us of the preface of the eccentric Dr. Worgan to his book of psalm tunes. "Whereas," said the learned contrapuntist, "the following work is full of errors in harmony, the reader, it is hoped, will pardon them for the sake of the effect." What the effect intended in the present instance may have been we cannot exactly say.

No. 2 is a melody of a more simple kind, and it is almost unnecessary to say it is very much superior. The harmony of this piece is also less objectionable, although in page 2 we meet most unexpectedly with double fifths and consecutive octaves of a very objectionable kind. Upon the whole, however, "It was but a dream" is a very pretty little song, and we wish it every success.

No. 3 is a genuine Australian song, and the subject of it is neither more nor less than a pretty maid who wants to run away with her sweetheart to a hut in the "far bush," and leave her father and mother, a step which we think few of our Sydney lasses will be inclined to follow. There is a frontispiece, presenting to view the identical bush hut, with a tribe of black fellows, and their gins, in front, the execution of which does the spirited publisher and artist much credit. The melody partakes much of the character of No. 2, to which, however, we give the preference. In No. 3, as well as in No. 1, there is a continual recurrence of doubled thirds, unresolved discords, and other objectionable progressions, but, notwithstanding these blemishes, which are very pardonable in an amateur, and often disfigure the works of a professor, we consider the songs in "Mock Catalani" very creditable to the publisher and to the colony, and deserving of the patronage of the musical public. Captain Nagel is undoubtedly a very clever amateur, and we shall be glad to hear of a speedy sale, and to welcome into the world his opera seconda.


[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (19 May 1842), 3

MUSIC. This day is published, by T. ROLFE, 4, Regent terrace, Hunter-street, ALL the SONGS in the Musical Burletta, The Mock Catalani, as sung at the Royal Victoria Theatre.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (6 June 1842), 3

THE following Songs in the Musical Burletta, "The Mock Catalani," may be had at Rolfe's Music and Musical Instrument Warehouse, No. 4, Regent Terrace, Hunter-street, "The sensitive Plant," "The pretty Bark hut in the Bush," "It was but a Dream," and "Wellington " Also, "Prince Albert's Band March," arranged for the Piano.

"ORIGINAL CORRESPONDENCE. To the Editor of . . .", The Australian (19 May 1842), 3 

Sir, - The elaborate review of the little songs in the Musical Burletta, entitled "The Mock Catalani in Little Puddleton," just published, as promulgated through the medium of the "Australasian Chronicle" of the 14th instant, calls for a short notice on the part of the author of the Burletta.

The sapient Australasian contra-puntist and profound critic commences a tirade by professing a desire to be as lenient as possible on the offending author, and then, with an animus that cannot be mistaken, discovers blemishes, and discrepancies in an appalling heap.

Had the sapient Australasian contra-puntist and most profound critic but adhered to truth, in giving his quotations from the songs to the public, it would, verily, have been a virtue in that august personage.

But what will the public think, when it is informed that the sapient Australasian contrapuntist and most profound critic, actually misquoted intentionally the line "That no language can give DUE expression," thus arousing the terror-stricken author of lame verse, a foot being wanting.

The sapient Australasian contra-puntist and most profound critic, then proceeds to massacre the music. He finds "a very jumble of modulations and chromatic progressions" which defy his skill to decipher. It may be very possible indeed, that the sapient Australasian contrapuntist and most profound critic cannot understand the simple and legitimate modulation prominent in the aria entitled "The Sensitive Plant," but whether it therefore follows that the song is to be designated a mere jumble of sounds, admits, in my humble opinion, of some little shadow of doubt.

The sapient Australasian contra-puntist and most profound critic next stumbles, most unexpectedly too, on a series of double-fifths! double thirds!! consecutive octaves!!! &c., &c., &c., &c., &c., &c., of a most objectionable nature. Eheu! Eheu!! Elieu!!!

Has the sapient Australasian contra-puntist and most profound critic ever gone over the score of that glorious production of the great Mozart, "The Requiem"?

If so, he will find therein a precedent for the monstrous blemishes that disfigure the songs and matter of his erudite review. Having written thus far, a little distich suggested itself, with which I shall conclude.

As once a traveller took his way,
In humble guise, along a road,
A village cur-dog, hot for fray,
Snarling, and barking, stood at bay
Close to a hovel's mean abode.
But he, not heeding the curmudgeon,
And without using stone or bludgeon,
Pursued his pathway as before.
The mongrel row was soon giv'n o'er.
Reader, a sterling moral decks my tale;
Heed not crude critics' ranc'rous scoff and rail.

I am, Courteous Editor,
Your very obedient humble servant,
Sydney, 16th May, 1842.

[William Augustine Duncan], "CHARLES NAGEL, ESQ. AND THE MOCK CATALANI", Australasian Chronicle (21 May 1842), 2

WE are not desirous of embarking in the controversy which engages a portion of the public attention, as to whether the " Mock Catalani," which has just been produced at the Victoria, be a "new" or an "old" burletta, or whether Charles Nagel, Esq., be its real or its " mock" author. We confess we know nothing about the matter; nor would it be selon les règles for us to intermeddle between that gentleman and his numerous critics, even so far as to justify our own very lenient condemnation of the false progressions and numerous clusters of unprepared and unresolved discords which disfigure the otherwise interesting music of that work; but when Mr. Nagel talks of "an animus that cannot be mistaken," and roundly accuses us of having "actually misquoted intentionally the line 'that no language can give DUE expression,' thus accusing the terror-stricken author of lame verse, a foot being wanting," we feel called upon to say a word or two in reply.

'With regard to the "animus," we can only say that, to the best of out knowledge, we have never seen Mr. Nagel, nor did we ever hear of him in any way before the appearance of his burletta. We then heard of him for the first time as a Captain Nagel of the army, as we understood; but even of this much respecting the author we are yet in ignorance. We may have prejudices, like other people, but nothing can exist without a cause, and there is no possible cause why we should have been bent upon condemning Mr. Nagel's burletta.

So much for the "animus;" now to the fact of "intentionally misquoting" with which we are charged. If, indeed, our object had been, as Mr. Nagel asserts, to prove that the author had written "lame verse, a foot being wanting," undoubtedly he would have been justified in calling our extract a "misquotation," and a shameful one too; but we never did accuse the author of writing "lame verse." What we accused him of was of writing bad English, and we merely extracted the nouns and verbs necessary to show this; the omitted adjective which the author puts in capitals makes thie thing, so far as grammar and sense go, neither better nor worse. What we said was as follows:

"The words "a thrill that no language can give expression" require the addition of a monosyllable, which would destroy the rhynme, in order to reduce them to reason."

We now give the entire verse, which will explain our meaning even to Mr. Nagel himself:

"It was but a dream, still it left on my heart A soft feeling - a gentle impression, An exquisite thrill that no words can impart. That no language can give due expression."

We presume the author meant that no language could describe, or give expression TO, the thrill on his heart, but the essential monosyllable is omitted to save the rhyme - to preserve the verse from becoming "lame," not by "wanting a foot," but by having one too many! To make sense, the line should have read:

"To which no language can give due expression;"

and if this alteration would make the verse lame, the poet must blame himself, not the reviewer. Our opinion would be without value when we praise good verses, if we were to shrink from censuring bad ones. We must have sense in poetry, even at the risk of treading upon a "lame foot," and we must have correct, or at least tolerable, harmony in music - even if our strictures should wound a "Sensitive Plant," or awaken an author from "A Dream."

Scene from Die falsche Prima-Donna in Krahwinkel; Theatralische Bilder-Gallerie, 3. Jahrgang [1835/36], No. 9; Theatermuseum, 1010 Wien

Scene from "Die falsche Prima-Donna in Krähwinkel"; Theatralische Bilder-Gallerie, 3. Jahrgang [1835/36], No. 9; Theatermuseum, 1010 Wien (DIGITISED)

"ORIGINAL CORRESPONDENCE. To the Editor of . . .", The Australian (17 May 1842), 2 

SIR, - Without intending the least compliment, I beg leave to take this opportunity of expressing my grateful sense of the enlightened views which your journal takes of the principles and practice which should prevail in the administration of theatrical affairs, in the success of which I take a deep interest. Your general remarks have been productive of most essential benefit; while in your occasional more minute criticisms you have manifested a kindly spirit and due qualifications. In your observations, relative to the Burletta "Mock Catalani," so friendly to the writer, I should have concurred, were I not acquainted with a fact, of which, it is evident, you were not the least aware.

"Mock Catalani" is not an original colonial production, neither in conception nor execution; but an old German piece, chiefly produced at Carnival time, Ash Wednesday Eve, &c. The title is faithfully translated, being in German "Die falsche Catalani," or entertainment in Krähwinkel: that word, conveying the same meaning in German as Puddleton would in English. This piece was performed before his late Majesty George the Fourth, during his visit to Hanover; where it created general surprise that the Monarch should have selected such a piece as Fastnachts for his entertainment. There are scores of Germans in the Colony who can testify to these facts.
I am, Sir, Yours, respectfully,

[Taking it for granted, that such is the case as represented by this Correspondent, the writer of the English "Mock Catalini" has acted in a manner as unwise as it is blameable. This plagiarism robs of the honour, of which he would have robbed another. It would have been merit sufficient if he had claimed only such as he was entitled to, namely, that of having translated a musical entertainment from the German, and adapted it to the English Stage. - ED. AUST.]

PIECE: Die falsche Prima Donna in Krähwinkel (Die falsche Catalani): Posse mit Gesang in zwey Acten von Adolf Bäuerle (Pesth: Hartleben Verlag, 1820) (DIGITISED)

See also Playbill 1825

See also the original music by Ignaz Schuster

"To the Editor of the Australian", The Australian (19 May 1842), 3 

"Who shall decide when Doctors disagree?"

SIR - The unfortunate author of the Musical Burletta entitled "The Mock Catalani," finds himself placed in a dubious position, owing to the many notices and critiques bestowed on this production. While one portion of the press speaks flatteringly of the Burletta, another designates it as "stale, flat," &c. One journalist accuses the delinquent author with having taken the plot from that inimitable work, Charles O'Malley, affirming that the farce of the Mock Catalani is not original; while, lo and behold! - "to fright the unhappy author from his propriety," a German, in the "Australian" of the 17th instant, with his scores of Germans at his back, appears, positively asserting that the Monk Catalani is not an original colonial production, either in conception or execution.

From whatever source the plot might have been derived, the author can safely affirm that not a single sentence in the whole piece is a translation from any language whatever; and of this the learned German and his scores will have a full opportunity of judging, as the Burletta will be published, in the course of a few days, at Mr. Tegg's. The author of the Musical Burletta, entitled the Mock Catalani, never intended robbing any one of a literary honour; neither was it his aim, by dint of plagiarism, to earn undue meed.

Being upon the topic, the author will allude to the legitimate source from which, doubtless, the piece alleged by the German to have been performed before his late Majesty, King George the Fourth, has also been taken. The plot occurs in a very old Spanish novel, entitled "The Sham Musician of Toledo," written by Garvara, so far back as the early part of the seventeenth century, to which authority the curious in these matters is referred.

Nay, the author of the Musical Burletta will go further still, and state, that some twenty years since, when in Germany, he witnessed the representation of the very piece alluded to by the German; and whatever hints a faint recollection of its performance might have supplied at this recent date, an attempt to establish an identity must surely prove abortive.

And now, having said his say, the author of the Musical Burletta bids an indulgent public farewell. Whatever the merits, or imperfections, of the piece may be, they are his own, for which he is solely responsible.

I am, Sir, Your obedient Servant,
The Author of the Musical Burletta entitled

[It is but just to insert this letter of Mr. Nagel. Those of our readers who are so disposed, can "look at this picture and at that" which was presented by a "German" in our last number. It would have been as well if the writer of the Burletta had at first made the same concessions us he has now done. - ED. AUST.]

NOTE: Possibly a work attributed to Luis Vélez de Guevara (1579-1644)

24 May 1842, fourth performance of The mock Catalani

[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (24 May 1842), 2 

OTHELLO . . . To conclude with the original Musical Burletta entitled

2 June May 1842, fifth performance of The mock Catalani

[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (2 June 1842), 2 

To conclude with the Musical Burletta, entitled THE MOCK CATALANI IN LITTLE PUDDLETON . . .

1 June 1842, publication of the printed word-book of The mock Catalani
The mock Catalani . . . (Sydney: James Tegg, 1842)

The mock Catalani, in Little Puddleton: a musical burletta in one act, by Charles Nagel, esq., as performed at the Royal Victoria Theatre, Sydney, New South Wales (Sydney: James Tegg, 1842)

Copy at the British Library (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: James Tegg (publisher, bookseller)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (2 June 1842), 3 

JUST PUBLISHED, price One Shilling and Sixpence, The Mock Catalani in Little Puddteton; a Musical Burletta, in One Act, by Charles Nagel, Esq., as performed at the Royal Victoria Theatre, Sydney, New South Wales. Sold by James Tegg, Printer, George-Street, and Thomas Rolfe, music-seller, Hunter-street.

"THE MOCK CATALANI", The Sydney Herald (3 June 1842), p. 2 

Mr. Tegg has just published Mr. Nagel's burletta of The Mock Catalani, which, as the first successful attempt of the kind, should be preserved as a curiosity. Although the first part of the burletta is a little prosy, the humour of the two last scenes is so rich, and the burlesque acting of Simmons is so good, that we have no doubt it will long continue a favorite with the Sydney playgoers. Mr. Nagel, we think very foolishly, has appended to the farce a piece of doggrel poetry, in reply to the criticisms of the Chronicle and Examiner, which were certainly rather severe, and appeared ill-natured. It was not worthwhile to inform all his readers that he had been unmercifully cut up; the piece must stand or fall on its own merits, and we do not imagine that Mr. Nagel's addenda is likely to add much to its chance of success as a literary production.

"LITERATURE", Australasian Chronicle (9 June 1842), 3

Mr. Tegg has just published in an elegant form the libretto of Mr. Nagel's "Mock Catalani," the music of which we lately noticed at some length. It is, upon the whole, a creditable work in its present shape, and worthy of patronage as a colonial production. The author has appended to his play a curious soliloquy, of which the following is a specimen:-

"Still must I scan the Australasian brawl,
Prompt ev'ry trivial folly to recal.
Shall, haply, I not scribble at mine ease,
Because the Australasian I can't please?
Must I my waywardly bent pen resign,
My musings unto Lethe's flood consign,
Hopeless the current of the stream to stem,
Kiss the indomitable critic hem,
Bow to the rod, which, spleenful e'en in favours,
Massacres crotchets, minimurns, and quavers,
Curtails my verse, and, in a shower of words,
Proscribes my octaves, fifths, and double thirds?
Sweet Australasian, gentle critic why
My little muse will you thus cuf? - Oh, fie!"

It is pleasing, however, to observe that the author, though not over grateful for our criticism, has profited by it to amend his "lame verse" (p. 26). We shall be glad to see a second edition of the music, bearing similar evidence of the good effects of honest criticism, even when it provokes an author to wrath.

7 June May 1842, sixth performance of The mock Catalani

'Royal Victoria Theatre", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (9 June 1842), 3 

. . . It is indeed pleasing to recount the success which the excellent Colonial written farce of the "Mock Catalani in Little Puddleton" meets on every successive night of its representation. It was repeated on Tuesday, and went off with immense applause, and very justly too, for the piece being an excellent one, and the actors completely au fait in their parts, (especially Simmons.) It could not do otherwise before a well informed and respectable audience.

"ORIGINAL CORRESPONDENCE. To the Editor of . . .", The Australian (9 June 1842), 3 

Sir, - Feeling an interest to witness the representation of the "Mock Catalani," I attended the Theatre on Tuesday evening last, having first provided myself with the pamphlet of the piece, as published at Tegg's. With this before me, I could not help feeling surprised at the extraordinary extent to which the performers carried, what in theatrical parlance is named, "gagging;" or, in other words, substituting their inventive phraseology for that of the Author's. This seems to me the more strange, as from the frequent representation of the piece, one would suppose the performers had ample opportunity of making themselves perfect in their respective parts. By some, whole sentences were omitted altogether, while others, most copiously added to their own; but not to the writer's reputation. The most ludicrous transmutation was that by Mrs. Knowles, in the song entitled "The pretty bark hut in the bush," who instead of singing "With his corps 'tis quite clear we can't tarry," actually mumbled forth "With her corpse, &c." Now in my humble opinion, this is not doing the Author justice; and it is to be hoped the Stage Manager, whose province it is to notice such theatrical transgressions, will give attention in future to such matters affecting the credit of the stage, and reputation of the Author.
I am, Sir, Your obedient servant,
Sydney, 8th June, 1842.

ASSOCIATIONS: Harriet Knowles (actor, vocalist); Joseph Simmons (actor, stage manager), though Thomas Simes was "acting manager"

Playbill, Royal Victoria Theatre. Tuesday, June 14, 1842; National Library of Australia

[Playbill] Royal Victoria Theatre. Tuesday, June 14, 1842 . . .; National Library of Australia (DIGITISED)

14 June May 1842, seventh performance of The mock Catalani

[News], The Australian (14 June 1842), 2 

The officers of the 28th regiment make a farewell visit to the Victoria this evening, to witness the play of the Mountaineer, and the original burletta entitled The Mock Catalani. Their band will be in attendance, and perform some of the most favourite pieces. Immediately preceding the burletta, a Farewell Address will be delivered by Mr. Simmons to this gallant regiment.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (14 June 1842), 2 

COLONEL FRENCH And the Officers of H. M. 28th Regiment, Having signified their intention of visiting this Theatre for the last time THIS EVENING,
the Performances will commence with the admired Play, in Three Acts, entitled the
To conclude with, by particular desire, the popular Burletta, entitled
Previous to the commencement of the Burletta, a Farewell Address to the 28th Regiment will be spoken by permission of Colonel French.
The excellent Band of the Regiment will attend.
J. SIMMONS. Stage-Manager.
T. SIMES, Acting-Manager.

[Charles Nagel], Farewell address to the 28th regiment on their departure to India, spoken at the Royal Victoria Theatre, Sydney, New South Wales on the evening of the 14th June 1842 ([Sydney: Royal Victoria Theatre, 1842]) (DIGITISED)

"THE TWENTY-EIGHTH REGIMENT", The Sydney Herald (15 June 1842), 3 

There was a full house at the Victoria last night, it having been announced that the officers of the 28th Regiment would attend, and that a Farewell Address would be spoken. There were not many officers present. Before the commencement of the second piece, Mr. Simmons delivered the following Address, which is certainly a very poor composition:

To-night Mock Catalani re-appears
To greet his friends - an office that endears:
For humble though has been the Author's task,
'Tis welcomed: and what more can author ask?
A kindly welcome, from indulgent friends,
Is rich reward, to all intents and ends.
Thus far "Mock Catalani" makes his bow:
Another object has its author now:
To bid Farewell! unto a martial band,
About to leave us for Ind's distant land;
To add fresh laurels to their old renown,
And guard the honour of the British Crown:
Make the fierce, false Affghans, in far Cabul,
Grow meek to Paddy, Sawney, and John Bull.
They, with their steel array will heal the sore
Inflicted, but too deep, by Forty-Four.
Bold Sale, who keeps in awe the murderous hashers,
Will hail, with warrior's warmth the gallant "Slashers:"
Their Chief will prove again their valour true,
Remembering "Albuhera!" - "Waterloo!"
The gallant "Slashers" quit Australia's shore,
And we may ne'er behold their phalanx more;
Yet in our memory will they linger long,
A beau ideal of the martial throng;
And many a gentle bosom, void of guile,
Will feel a pang, - sweet lips will sadden'd smile.
Brave "Twenty-Eighth," who danger ne'er did shun,
Farewell! Success we wish you every one.

"THEATRICALS", Sydney Free Press (16 June 1842), 3 

On Tuesday Evening, the performances at the Victoria Theatre were announced as being under the patronage of Colonel French, and the Officers of the 28th Regiment, and the house received accordingly a full and respectable attendance. The opening piece was the celebrated drama of the Mountaineers, in which the character of Octavian was sustained by Mr. Nesbitt, with a degree of truth and feeling that we have seldom seen equalled. The other characters were also well played, and the whole piece was received with great approbation by the audience. Notwithstanding the announcement that the Officers of the 28th were to patronise the entertainments of the evening, we were sorry to observe that there were but few of their number present, and as far as our sight served us, these were principally the junior officers of the corps. This, however, was made up for by the presence of the fine band of the regiment, which played some of their best music between the acts, and formed one of the chief attractions of the evening.

Previous to the rising of the curtain for the afterpiece, Mr. Joseph Simmons, the Manager, delivered, in a very effective manner, the following parting address to the 28th, which had been written for the occasion by the author of the Mock Catalani; and which, although it cannot be looked upon as a production of the most brilliant description, was, nevertheless received with great applause: -

To-night Mock Catalani re-appears To greet his friends - an office that endears . . . [as above]

Mr. Simmons afterwards returned thanks on the behalf of the proprietor and company of the Theatre, to Colonel French, and the officers of the 28th, for the many instances of patronage and favor which they have received from that corps.

The after-piece, which was the Mock Catalani in Little Puddleton was as usual well received, the part of Captain O'Leary, which used to be borne by Falchon, was sustained by Mr. C. Jones, and considering that it was his first attempt in this line, he got on very, well; we fear, nevertheless, that he will never make a stage singer.

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles Edward Jones (actor, vocalist)

"Theatricals. ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (16 June 1842), 2 

. . . On Tuesday evening the Theatre was patronized by Colonel French and the officers of the 28th Regt., which leaves in a day or two for India, where, we are afraid, they will have less amusement than they had that night. The applause given by the audience even on the entrance of the band shewed the good feeling - we may say the commiseration - of their countrymen to the proper defenders of their native land; and we have no doubt but that they will defend it nobly. The band did indeed "discourse most excellent music," and we sincerely hope that its effect in the battle field will be as great as it was in the Victoria on the evening alluded to.

. . . The Colonial farce of "THE MOCK CATALANI" was repeated with great eclat. Previous to this, the following farewell address was delivered by Mr. Simmons; it was, however, much more creditable to the speaker than the author: . . . [as above]

ASSOCIATIONS: Band of the 28th Regiment

E. H. Malcolm, "THEATRES IN THE BRITISH COLONIES", Fisher's colonial magazine (May to August 1843), 202 

The Sydney Gazette, the Monitor, and the Australian are morning papers published at Sydney, in which the theatre meets with admiring critics. The force of their criticism has, in fact, produced the desiderated effect of shaming the community of Sydney into doing something in behalf of a colonial drama, and the call has been cleverly responded to by the production of home-made or indigenous tragedy, melodrama, and opera. The Australian (1842) writes - "It is indeed pleasing to recount the success which the excellent colonial-written piece, 'A Mock Catalani,' meets, on every successive night of its representation." - The music of this little opera is above par, judging from a song belonging to it which we have heard, accompanied at the piano-forte. It is a ballad in the Haynes Bayley style; sentimental, with a dash of the genteelly-comic. The prettiness and originality of this song will carry it beyond the limits of the Sydney theatre and a private drawing-room in this country . . .

[Advertising], The Australian (30 June 1842), 3

In the Insolvent Estate of Charles Nagle, by order of the Trustee, Mr. Joseph McKenna.
MR. ISAAC SIMMONS is instructed to sell by public auction, at his Rooms,
George street, two doors from Park-street, TOMORROW, 1st July, at Eleven o'clock precisely,
Five hundred sheep, comprising -
One hundred old ewes
One hundred and twenty five two and three year old ewes, now dropping lambs
Two hundred and seventy-five wethers, and two year and yearling lambs of both sexes.
The above sheep are running on Mr. Dickson's station, Reedy Creek, district of Liverpool Plains.
Terms at sale.

"List of unclaimed letters for the month of August, 1842:", Australasian Chronicle (8 September 1842), 4

. . . Charles Nagle, Esq. . . .


[Notice], New South Wales Government Gazette (10 February 1843), 231 

In the Insolvent Estate of Charles Nagel.
NOTICE is hereby given, that the plan of distribution of available proceeds of this Estate lies at my Office, at the Supreme Court House, Sydney, for the inspection of Creditors; and that any Creditor, or other person interested therein, objecting to the confirmation thereof, must lodge a Caveat, stating the grounds of such objection, at my said Office, within fourteen days from the date hereof. Sydney, 7th February 1843.
WILLIAM H. KERR, 295 Chief Commissioner.

Merry freaks in troublous times (1843)

"NEWS AND RUMOURS OF THE DAY", Australasian Chronicle (4 March 1843), 2 

A new opera, founded upon the history of the house of Stewart, is in the course of preparation for the Sydney stage, from the pen of Captain Nagle, author of the well-known "Mock Catalani," the music of which will be got up under the direction of Mr. Nathan.

"NEWS AND RUMOURS OF THE WEEK", The Sun and New South Wales Independent Press (4 March 1843), 3 

Captain Nagle, author of the "Mock Catalani," is engaged in preparing an Opera for the English stage, founded on the romantic and eventful history of the Stuart family. Mr. Nathan is the composer.

"NEWS AND RUMOURS", The Colonial Observer (4 March 1843), 859. 

An Opera is now in course of preparation in Sydney, founded on the romantic and eventful history of the Stuarts. The author, Captain Nagle; composer, Mr. Nathan. It is intended to be sent to London for representation.

"THEATRICALS", The Australian (6 March 1843), 3 

Captain Nagle and Mr. Nathan are busily employed upon an opera, which they purpose forwarding to London for acceptance and representation. A contemporary suggests that, as a "colonial" production, we ought to have the benefit of tasting its qualities before it receives the impress of the London sanction. We do not coincide with this remark. Literary and musical efforts are not so liberally paid for by the Sydney public as to induce either author or composer to undergo the ordeal of its criticisms upon the bare assumption of its liberality. The established reputation of Mr. Nathan in Europe, might have secured for him, we should have thought, a more substantial kind of reception than he has met in Sydney, where he has certainly but very small inducements to produce his opera.

We lately took occasion to advert to . . . the famous system of class singing that was first set on foot in Europe by Messrs. Hullah and Mainzer . . .

Our immediate purpose in now alluding to the system of class singing, is to express the gratification we have experienced in hearing a partial rehearsal by Mr. Nathan's class pupils, of the a new historical opera, written by Captain Nagel; and the music of which has been composed by Mr. Nathan. This performance justifies our hope as to the nature of the resulting influence upon the progress of musical science in this colony, to be expected from class teaching; and, although not a public display, we cannot refrain from mentioning in high, terms of praise the talent with which the whole of the pupils acquitted themselves on the occasion. The spirit and vivacity with which each young lady executed her allotted part, assures us that, in representation, those delightful effects will be attempted by them that will entirely destroy the statue-like semicircle of chorus, which in English theatres is so often the despair of eyes used to the dramatic life and energy of the German Opera, - whilst in the mechanical mastery of the art they gave ample evidences of their careful training.

From a partial rehearsal of the music alone, it would be extremely unjust to offer my opinion as to the dramatic merits of the opera itself, and even as regards its music we cannot yet speak critically, because as on this occasion it was not performed with an orchestral score, the homogenous tone of the pianoforte and voices prevented a fair appreciation of the excellent use made by Mr. Nathan of his materials. Hence, to generalize from this trial would be absurd; and yet from its partially displayed effects, we cannot suppress our conviction of its intrinsic merit as regards musical construction, and of its high promise as regards dramatic effect.

We believe that an arrangement has been very liberally proposed by Mr. Simmons for the production of this opera at the City Theatre, and we heartily wish both Captain Nagel and Mr. Nathan all the success they so richly deserve.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Hullah; Joseph Mainzer

"MUSIC AND MUSICIANS . . . NEW HISTORICAL OPERA", The Australian (29 May 1843), 2 

Our ears have been of late so violently assailed by some musical monstrosities which some London frlends have sent us, with the unnecessary information that they are very difficult, but very fashionable, that we really welcome the forthcoming New Opera with feelings of anticipatory pleasure. We know Mr. Nathan's vehement opposition to the modern school of English music, where art is preferred to nature, science to feeling, and contrapuntal involution to pure melody; where harmonic progressions, false relations, consecutions of fifths, and other complete barbarisms are the substitutes for the poetry of music; and we accordingly look forward to the promised colonial fruits of his genius as a relief to the compositions by which we have been lately deafened, and which withall their unmeaning difficulties have but few scintillations of genius to recommend them.

As we have not yet had the pleasure of hearing the music of this opera rehearsed with its orchestral score, we are precluded from a complete appreciation of its merits, but we have no hesitation in expressing our belief, that it will be acknowledged to present an union of consummate art, with the most vivid conception of dramatic effect: and we are truly obliged to Mr. J. Simmons for affording the Sydney public an opportunity of becoming acquainted with its beauties.

In the literary portion of the affair, Mr. Nathan has been happy in meeting with so able a coadjutor as Captain Nagle, who has treated the subject with much tact and skill. The Opera is entitled "Merry Freaks in Troublous Times," and the plot commences after the defeat of Charles the Second of England at the battle of Worcester, whence the King and Rochester escape under the assumed names of Jacob Tomkins and Peregrine Samson. The first act exhibits their "Merry freaks" at the seat of Sir Henry Milford, in which they are assisted by that indispensable hero of Comic Opera, a mischievous page, who is mainly instrumental in the King's safe escape to the continent. The second act, betwixt which and the first, a lapse of some years is supposed to have occurred, opens with Charles' small court of exiled Royalists in Holland. An under current of that "course of true love which never does run smooth," flows in sinuous windings through the piece, which, in its denouement, terminates at Mllford Hall, whither the King and his faithful adherents return previous to the Restoration. Both author and composer have humourously pourtrayed the contrasted character of the Cavalier and Puritan of that age; and in one double chorus, where the gallant Royalists, and the sanctified servants of the protector, sing each their hypostatic party-song, in dramatic discord, but concordant harmony, this distinctive feature of the design is admirably carried out.

The opera will be produced at the new Royal City Theatre under the immediate direction of Mr. Nathan, who will personally conduct the music; and we do trust that the sustained support of the Sydney public will reward all parties concerned in this attempt to lay the foundation of AUSTRALIAN OPERA.

"NEWS AND RUMOURS OF THE DAY", Australasian Chronicle (30 May 1843), 3 

. . . A new opera, entitled "Merry Freaks in Troublous Times," which has been got up under the direction of Mr. Nathan, is about to be produced at the City Theatre . . .

29 May and 1 June 1843, 2 revival performances of The mock Catalani, with new songs adveristed (but not performed), by Simmons's company at the Royal City Theatre, Sydney

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (29 May 1843), 2

Proprietors, Messrs. SIMMONS and BELMORE.

The greatest dramatic treat ever offered in one night!!!
A new drama in two Acts, entitled "THE DELUSION" . . .
The MOCK CATALANI, with new Songs, composed expressly for this Theatre, by the talented author, Captain Nagle.
In announcing the following Bill of Fare for THIS EVENING, MONDAY, the 29th May, 1843,
the Managers feel assured that upon no occasion has such a Phalanx of Talent been brought into play upon one and the same evening.

At Seven o'clock the Orchestra will play the Overture to the Barber of Seville, and a favourite Overture by Haydn.
After which, the curtain will rise for . . . THE DELUSION . . .
After which will be performed for the first time here, a Drama, of deep interest, in two Acts, founded on an American tale,

The Evening's Entertainments will conclude with the justly celebrated and highly laughable and musical Burletta, written by C. Nagle, Esq.,
with new Songs, &c., composed for this occasion, called
Dobbs (a retired slop-seller, Mayor of Little Puddleton, a patron of music and the fine arts), Mr. Fenton:
William, (teacher of music and languages, afterwards the Mock Calalani) Mr. Simmons;
Ensign and Commandant O'Leary, Mr. HAMBLETON, his first appearance in that character;
Tibbs (poet laureat, and master of ceremonies), Mr. Meredith;
Spritsail (a retired Naval Officer), Mr. Fennell;
John (servant to Dobbs, afterwards Signor Allfunsquallini), Mr. Lee;
Beadle of Little Puddleton, Mr. Riley;
Fanny (daughter of Dobbs), Mrs. Wallace;
Polly, Mrs. Ximenes;
Soldiers, Citizens, Children, Town Crier, Sexton, &c., by the rest of the Company.

In the course of the Piece, the following Songs, Duets, Chorusses, &c., &c. :-
Song, " A sensitive Plant," Mrs. Wallace;
Duet, "Dear Maid by every Hope," Mr. Simmons and Mrs. Wallace;
Song, "With my Brogue and my Blarney and bothering Ways," Mr. Hambleton;
Song, "Maid of Castile," Mrs. Wallace, composed expressly for her by C. Nagle, Esq.;
Song, "Little Girls and Boys," Mrs. Ximenes, composed for the occasion by C. Nagle, Esq;
Song and Chorus, "Receive great Empress of all Song," Mr. Meredith;
Song, "Pretty Bark hut," Mrs. Ximenes;
Song, "T'was but a Dream," Mrs. Wallace;
Song and Full Chorus, "Wellington," Mr. Hambleton;
Song, "Meet me in the Willow Glen," Mrs. Ximenes;
Mock Italian Bravura, "De Pigs vas in the Stye," Mr. Simmons;
Grand Finale, Verse and Chorus, by the whole Vocal Strength of the Company.

. . . Managing Director, Mr. J. SIMMONS. Stage Manager, Mr. C. KNOWLES. VIVAT REGINA!

"ROYAL CITY THEATRE", The Sydney Morning Herald (1 June 1843), 2 

ROYAL CITY THEATRE. First night of Luke the Labourer: Luke, Mr. Knowles.
Second night of The Mock Catalani.
To conclude with the admired musical Burletta, entitled THE MOCK CATALANI IN LITTLE PUDDLETON
. . . [cast as above, except for] . . .
Ensign and Commandant O'Leary, Mr. Griffiths, who will make his first appearance in that character, and sing "The Widow Malone, and "Wellington" . . .

In the course of the Piece, the following Songs, Duets, Choruses, &c., &c.:
Song, "A Sensitive Plant," Mrs. Wallace;
Duet, "Dear Maid by every hope," Mr. Simmons and Mrs. Wallace;
Song, "Rise Gentle Moon," Mrs. Wallace;
Song, "The Old Kirk Yard," Mrs. Ximenes;
Song and Chorus, " Receive great Empress of all song," Mr. Meredith;
Song, "Pretty Bark Hut," Mrs. Ximenes;
Song, "'Twas but a Dream," Mrs. Wallace;
Song, "Meet me in the Willow Glen," Mrs. Ximenes;
Mock Italian Bravura, "De Pigs vas in the Stye," Mr. Simmons;
Grand Finale, Verse and Chorus, by the whole vocal strength of the Company . . .

"THEATRICALS. ROYAL CITY THEATRE", The Australian (2 June 1843), 2

The revival of Captain Nagel's operatic extravaganza of THE MOCK CATALANI, drew a crowded audience to this Theatre on Monday evening. Mr. J. Simmons as "the hero" - we were almost about to say heroine - of the piece, once more asserted his claims to be recognised as the representative of the buffo of Australian Opera; and, in his famous Mock Bravura, exceeded, if possible, his previous efforts. We understand that Mr. Simmons proposes shortly to enact Figaro - in Rossini's delightful version of the freaks of "Il Barbiere," and we look forward to his assumption of this pet of the buffa school with much pleasure. By the way we must observe, with reference to the revival of THE MOCK CATALANI, that considerable dissatisfaction has been expressed in various circles at the omission of the new songs, written expressly for the occasion, by Captain Nagel, and which were announced in Monday's bills. We regret this on every account, and must express our hope that the ladies, to whom these songs were assigned, will make the amende honorable to the clever author, by bringing them before the public in the next representation of this burletta.

ASSOCIATIONS: Caroline Wallace (actor, vocalist); Ann Winstanley Ximenes (actor, vocalist); John Meredith (actor, vocalist); John Gordon Griffiths (actor); John Hambleton (actor, vocalist, probably did not appear as advertised)

MUSIC: With my brogue and my blarney and bothering ways (Tune - Black Joke); The old kirk yard (words by Haynes Bayley)

"MERRY FREAKS IN TROUBLOUS TIMES", The New South Wales magazine, or, Journal of general politics, literature, science, and the arts 1/7 (1 July 1843), 347-51 

A new historical operatic Drama, in two acts, written and composed in the colony, from the pen of Mr. Nagel, the music by Mr. Nathan.

We have been favoured with a perusal of the Manuscript, and have also had an opportunity of hearing most of the music, and may be permitted to express our conviction of a favourable result to its representation.

The plot embraces the career of the volatile and merry monarch Charles 2nd, reckless and thoughtless amid serious trouble, from the era of his defeat at Worcester, accompanying him in his exile to the continent, and bringing him back again to England, to occupy the throne of the Stuarts.

During the whole piece, until the denouement in the last scene, of the second act, he appears under the assumed name of "Jacob Tomkins," and is accompanied, by Wilmot, afterwards Earl of Rochester, who figures as Peregrine Samson; under the above disguises guises they enact sundry "Merry Freaks," at the seat of Sir Henry Milford, a royalist, aided and abetted by a mischief loving page "Alfred," who is ignorant that it is his royal master he meets in the boon companion, Master Jacob Tomkins. A lapse of several years is supposed to intervene between the Ist and 2nd Acts.

The contrasted character of the royalist and puritan of the age, is cleverly and humourously depicted, and calculated to produce a good dramatic effect. The piece opens with a splendid chorus of boozing cavaliers, who give utterance to their loyalty in the hostelry of Boniface, an enthusiastic royalist landlord. The songs interspersed throughout are classically typical of the age. In particular we would name the [348] Prior's Song, "Oh for the olden time," and the compulsory puritan strain, "I once did chance to rove," as possessing considerable merit. But the chef d'oeuvre of the music, in our opinion is the grand concluding Finale, "Though storms and perils linger near us."

It is indeed an admirable composition, and most musically expressive of the influence of both hope and trouble on the minds of mortals.

We give the following extracts:

Scene 2. - Act I. A chamber in Milford Hall. Lady Milford and Alfred . . .

[349] . . . Scene 5. - Act I. A chamber in Milford Hall. Lady Milford discovered seated at a table reading . . .

[351] . . . We give the forgoing extracts as a specimen of the style and spirit with which the author has worked up his materials. It is indeed creditable to the colony to possess within its own resources, the means of furnishing forth such a combination of dramatic and musical talent as the piece we notice presents.

We are given to understand that it is in contemplation to produce it as an amateur performance, several gentlemen of known histrionic ability have consented to take parts.

We shall be glad indeed to witness the representation of "Merry Freaks in Troublous Times," previous to its transmission to England, whither eventually it will be consigned for the acceptance of a London Manager.

"MR. NATHAN'S OPERA", The Australian (12 July 1843), 2 

We are glad to learn that Mr. Nathan has completed his Opera of "Merry freaks in troublous times;" and that Victoria is to be the theatre of its trial before an Australian audience. We understand that on its first representation, several of the parts will be sustained by amateurs, who have studied the music under the composer's immediate auspices. On this occasion the performance will be for the benefit of Mr. Nathan, to whom Mr. Wyatt has with much kindness and consideration, granted the theatre on most liberal terms. As the stage arrangements will be directed by Mr. Lazar, who has displayed so much taste in the musical pieces which now so highly distinguish the Victoria, we may anticipate that every justice will be awarded to this first specimen of Australian Opera.

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph Wyatt (proprietor); John Lazar (manager)

September 1843, pre-publication review of the word book (only) of Merry freaks

[William Augustine Duncan], "LITERARY REGISTER: Merry Freaks in Troublous Times", The Weekly Register 1/9 (23 September, 1843), 132-34


WHAT! an Opera, composed in New South Wales; with Overture, Songs and Choruses, in full score, adapted for her Majesty's Theatre in London! It is indeed so. It behoves us, therefore to rub our spectacles, and see what degree of praise or censure appertains unto a production, forming so unexpected an accession to our scanty stock of Colonial literature and art.

The subject of the drama is taken from the history of the last days of the Protectorate, and the misfortunes of Charles II. The first scene opens with a chorus of Loyal Cavaliers in an inn, where Charles in his wanderings arrives, and seeks repose for the night. This is followed by a laughable scene at Lady Milford's, where two Puritan officers, Longshanks and Marrowbones, arrive, with an order from the Protector to arrest Sir Henry Milford, as a favourer of the Royal Cause, but are outwitted by Sir Henry's page, who steals the Protector's order from the pocket of Lieutenant Nehemiah Longshanks. The rogueish page disguised as a Puritan meets Captain Holdfast, with a party of the Protector's soldiers, and presenting to him the stolen order of Cromwell, conducts the party to Milford Castle for the purpose of arresting Longshanks and Marrowbones; whom he describes as "two profane knaves who have assumed our godly garb for nefarious purposes," meanwhile Charles quitting the loyal Boniface proceeds to the Castle, accompanied by his companion Wilmot, where, under the assumed names of Tomkins and Samson, and known only to Sir Henry, they perform a part in some very amusing freaks with Longshanks, Marrowbones, and the leader of the Puritan host Captain Holdfast. Longshanks and Marrowbones are apprehended and committed to the Tower by virtue of their own order from the Protector. They afterwards join Holdfast's band, beseige and take the Castle, but are again discomfitted by a laughable ghost plot invented by the ingenious page, and are glad to escape out of the window with danger to their necks. Charles now embarks for France and thus finishes the first Act.

Act II opens with a picture of Charles's semblance of a Court in Holland. He receives a message from England, which gives him hopes of a speedy restoration. Then follows a ludicrous scene in an English monastery, which is not only entirely out of character, (as Captain Nagel, who has lived on the Continent should have known) but is is historically absurd, inasmuch, as King Charles himself was safer in England than a Monk, during the sway of the Puritans; and certainly no such thing as a monastery could by any possibility have existed in the country. Its introduction here, however, enables the Merry Page to play sundry roguish tricks upon the worthy fathers, who sigh in chorus "for the olden time." Next follow a double chorus and a fight between a party of Cavaliers and Roundheads, on the road near London, in which the former carry the victory. The Puritans are thrown into consternation by the death of Cromwell, whose mourning scene is interrupted by the following freaks, which will give a fair notion of the merits of the piece.

[Act 2] SCENE V. Interior of a road-side Inn, near London . . .

[133] . . . One of the Protector's last acts was to commit Sir Henry Milford to the Tower. The ingenious page robs a drunken Puritan of a pass from General Monk, by means of which he gains admission to Sir Henry, and plans his escape. Meantime the King arrives at Milford Castle, still in disguise as Tomkins, and an admirable recognition scene, in which Lady Milford and Boniface are equally astonished, concludes the drama.

[134] Having thus gone through the work, we can readily accord our testimony to the dramatic skill and general literary merit displayed in its composition, as well as to the stream of humour which runs throughout the piece. Of the music we shall have another opportunity of speaking, as preparations are being made for its performance by a body of amateurs, previously to the transmission of the score to London. We regret we cannot add that the Printing of the drama will convey to the gentlemen of Paternoster Row, even a tolerable idea of the progress of the art in this part of the world.

COLONIAL LITERATURE, The Sydney Morning Herald (26 September 1843), 2 

We have been favoured with a copy of an historical operatic drama in two acts, entitled "Merry Freaks in troublous times," written by a gen-[tle]-man named Nagel. The plot is founded upon the adventures of Charles II., when escaping the puritans, and, with the exception of one glaring anachronism, is well written, some of the scenes being highly humorous. Mr. Nathan has composed the music for the songs and we understand that it will shortly be performed.

ASSOCIATIONS: Thomas Forster (printer, The Australian)

[William Augustine Duncan], "MUSICAL REGISTER: The New Opera", The Weekly Register 1/12 (14 October 1843), 171

A private rehearsal of the chorusses of this work was held at Mr. Nathan's residence on Monday; at which some of the officers of the garrison, and other friends of the composer, were present. These chorusses are really grand, and the proficiency of the amateurs in their performance delighted us not a little. We should much desire to see this Opera brought out, but we regret to find that some of the gentlemen who had undertaken the principal characters in the Drama have not yet found time to study their parts.

Shaksperi conglommorofunnidogammoniae (published October 1843)

Shaksperi conglommorofunnidogammoniae, a musical extravaganza in one act, by Charles Nagel, esq. (Sydney: W.A. Duncan, 1843)

Copy at the State Library of Victoria (DIGITISED)

[Advertisement], The Weekly Register of Politics, Facts and General Literature (7 October 1843), 165 

This Day is Published, price 1s.,
SHAKSPERI CONGLOMMOROFUNNIDOGAMMONIAE, a Musical Extravaganza, in One Act, by Charles Nagel, Esq. Sydney: Published by W. A. Duncan, Esq., King-street, East; and to be had of all booksellers.

ASSOCATIONS: William Augustine Duncan (publisher)

"COLONIAL LITERATURE", The Australian (24 October 1843), 3 

. . . In addition to these Dramas, which have been acted at the Victoria, we must notice two little pieces from the pen of Captain Nagel, the one entitled Merry Freaks in Troublous Times, the other Shaksperi Conglommorofunnidogammoniae. Of the first, which although printed, has not yet been published, so many "puffs direct' have been circulated with a view to eulogise the author, and to abuse the printer, that little remains to be said. As we were fain to hope that Captain Nagel's genius needed not the aid of the light artillery of the "Puffs," to ensure for him the fair meed of public favour, so we can assure those skirmishers who directed their missiles against the AUSTRALIAN Imprimerie that it is proof against their "pale and ineffectual fires." Of the second piece, which is the extravagant illustration of an extravagant idea, we can say but very little.

"REVIEW OF NEW WORKS", The New South Wales magazine, or, Journal of general politics, literature, science, and the arts 1/11 (1 November 1843), 625 

SHAKSPERI CONGLOMMOROFUNNIDOGAMMONIAE: a Musical Extravaganza, by CHARLES NAGEL, Esq. Sydney: Duncan; London: Whittaker.

This is a truly strange and clever satirical emanation. The very idea of embodying the principal characters of Shakspere's most celebrated plays, as a means of exhibiting humorously the present state of affairs in the colony, bespeaks originality of conception in a high degree. Each character in this extraordinary production can be identified in the colony. Who can mistake Shylock? Who Justice Shallow? The mortgaging of Falstaff's nose presents a most ludicrous specimen of the extent some individuals have gone to in the way of obtaining accommodation on mortgage security. The scene in Justice Shallow’s Court, is racy in the extreme, and, indeed, a rich strain of wit and humour pervades the work, which is written in verse, and contains a number of comic songs, duetts, and choruses.

The book is very neatly got up ; and any one who wishes to enjoy a hearty laugh in the present epoch of "monetary confusion," we recommend to procure "Shaksperi Conglommorofunnidogammoniae."

[Advertisement], The Australian (16 November 1843), 2 

Author of Shakeperi Conglomorofunnido-gammon-iae.
Five hundred copies of the above on sale at fourpence per pound, unless claimed within fourteen days from this date, and all expenses paid.
Apply at the Office of this paper.

ASSOCIATIONS: Thomas Forster (printer, The Australian)

1 January 1844, delayed publication of word book (only) of Merry freaks in troublous times

[Advertisement], The Australian (2 January 1844), 1 

Just Published.
"Oddsfish 't was well said:"
"Diavolus est, Diavolus est!"
THIS Historical Operatic Drama, in Two Acts, the Music composed by I. Nathan, Esq. may now be had at "THE AUSTRALIAN" Office only.
Price. 1s. 6d.
REVIEWS PRIOR TO PUBLICATION - (See New South Wales Magazine, and the Register.)

26 and 27 February and 19 April 1844, revival of The mock Catalani, Royal Victoria Theatre, Sydney

[Advertisement], The Australian (24 February 1844), 2 

MR. J. LAZAR (MANAGER) . . . his BENEFIT is fixed for MONDAY, FEBRUARY 26th, 1844 . . .
To conclude with, for the first time these three years, And by permission of the author, Charles Nagel, Esq., the Musical Extravaganza of the
William, teacher of music and languages - MR. SIMMONS
Polly - MRS. S. W. WALLACE, her first appearance in that character.
Song - Sensitive Plant, - MRS. BUSHELLE
Duet - Near to the willow, - MRS. BUSHELLE AND MRS. WALLACE
Song - Oh! I could love him (from The Maid of Artois), - MRS. BUSHELLE
Song and Chorus - Receive great Empress - MR. TORNING
Song - How pleasant to chat, - MRS. WALLACE
Song - It was but a dream, - MRS. BUSHELLE
Song - Wellington, - MR. DEERING
Song - A boat on some fairy land, - MRS. WALLACE
Song - Sweetly o'er my senses stealing, - MRS. WALLACE
Grand Extravaganza - De pigs vas in de sty-ah, - MR. SIMMONS
Grand Finale and Chorus, by the characters . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 February 1844), 2 

Will be presented the Nautical Drama of CAPTAIN ROSS.
To conclude with the Musical Extravaganza of MOCK CATALANI.
J. LAZAR, Manager. Vivat Regina!

[Advertisement], The Australian (19 April 1844), 2 

ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE . . . THIS EVENING, Friday, April 10, 1844 . . .
To conclude with the Musical Extravaganza of THE MOCK CATALANI.
J. LAZAR, Manager . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Eliza Wallace Bushelle (actor, vocalist); Caroline Wallace (actor, vocalist); Andrew Torning (actor, vocalist); Henry Deering (actor, vocalist); John Lazar (actor, manager)

29 May and 12 June 1844, Australian Philharmonic Concerts

[Advertisement], The Australian (29 May 1844), 2 

THE FIRST PHILHARMONIC CONCERT In this colony, will take place at the Royal Hotel, THIS EVENING, the 29th MAY.
THE Vocal and Instrumental Department, with the exception of Mrs. Bushelle and other Professional Talent already engaged, will be sustained by Amateurs, who have kindly volunteered their services in aid of this great undertaking, assisted (by the kind permission of Colonel Baker and Officers)
The whole under the management and direction of MR. NATHAN.
PART FIRST . . . Finale - "Tho' storms and perils linger near us," from the Opera of "Merry Freaks in Troublous Times" - Nathan . . .
Principal Violins and Leaders, Mr. S. W. Wallace and Mr. Gibbs . . .

"AUSTRALIAN PHILHARMONIC CONCERTS", The Australian (30 May 1844), 3 

The first of these Concerts took place last evening, at the Royal Hotel, under the direction of Mr. Nathan, and was numerously attended, although we must submit our belief, that had the tickets been fixed at a more reasonable price, the result would have been more profitable . . . Nathan's dashing Finale to "Merry Freaks in Troublous Times," gives us a favourable notion of that Opera, and makes us wish for a further acquaintance with it . . .

"THE PHILHARMONIC CONCERTS", The Sydney Morning Herald (31 May 1844), 3 

. . . It only remains for us to notice the finale from Mr. Nathan's new opera, performed, publicly, for the first time on this occasion; it consists of a pleasing air, with a very full and effective chorus, and must have given the audience a favourable opinion of the work from which it was extracted.

"MUSICAL REGISTER", The Weekly Register of Politics, Facts and General Literature (1 June 1844), 619 

. . . The selections were almost wholly classical, as all the music studied by such a society ought strictly to be. The only exception in this case was the finale to Nathan's new opera of Merry Freaks in Troublous Times; but apart from the above principle, which we must contend for, this was no great error, this fine chorus being not unworthy of such a place . . .

"THIRD PHILHARMONIC CONCERT", The Australian (12 June 1844), 3 

We are happy to perceive that the third of these Concerts, which takes place this evening, is under the patronage of the Mayor, Aldermen, and Council of this City. The programme displays the usual good taste of Mr. Nathan, and includes both, classical and popular compositions . . . Mrs. Bushelle sings the opening grand scena from Il Tancredi, and also Jephtha's Daughter and the Minstrel Boy. She also sings with Mr. Nathan in the "La ci darem la mano," and "Crudel perche," and in the favourite finale from "Merry Freaks," which created so marked. an impression at the last Concerts.

[Advertisement], The Australian (24 June 1844), 4 

(The Music composed by I. Nathan, Esq.)
THE Publishers have a few Copies of the above Historical Operatic Drama on hand.
Price - 2s. 6d. STATHAM & FORSTER; June 10, 1844.

ASSOCIATIONS: Thomas Forster (printer, publisher)

Royal Victoria Theatre, Sydney in 1848

Interior of the Royal Victoria Theatre, Sydney; Joseph Fowles, Sydney in 1848; State Library of New South Wales (DIGITISED)

1 July 1844, first performance of Shaksperi Conglommorofunnidogammoniae

"THEATRICALS", The Australian (1 July 1844), 3 

This evening, at the Victoria, the lovers of the drama are to have presented to them the new Burletta, by Mr. Nagle, never performed on any stage, entitled "Shaksperi Conglommorofunnidogammoniae." We have read this colonial production, and think, as we have before expressed our opinion of his dramatic abilities, that the author may be regarded as an amusing writer for the stage, and profitable to those who cater for public amusement; and provided the dramatis personae be well up in their respective parts, this new musical Extravaganza must draw a full house. Shylock is to dance and sing, alternately, "Jim along Josey;" and the Ghost of Hamlet - merry fellow - is to dance "an Irish Jig!" The principal characters will be sustained by Messrs. Simmons, Lazar, and Simes, and Mesdames Louise and Torning. After the above, the curtain will rise to the laughable Farce of The Review, or the Wags of Windsor; Looney Mactwolter by Mr. Nesbitt, who will sing "The Boys of Kilkenny." The comic Drama of My Uncle Toby will close the evening's entertainments . . .

[Advertisement], The Australian (1 July 1844), 2 

First Night of an original, laughable Burletta, operatical, tragical, melo-dramatical,
(by the author of the "Mock Catalani") called
Will bo presented, for the first time in any Theatre, an Operatic Burletta
J. LAZAR, Manager.

"ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE", The Australian (3 July 1844), 3 

Notwithstanding the unfavorable state of the weather on Monday evening, a tolerably numerous audience attended to witness the first performance of Captain Nagel's Burlesque Extravaganza, entitled, SHAKSPERI CONGLOMMOROFUNNIDOGAMMONIAE. The fun of the eccentric author was confided to capital hands, and Messrs. Lazar, Simmons, Griffiths, and Simes, exerted themselves to the utmost, and continued to keep up a hearty laugh from the rise to the fall of the curtain. The favorite farce of THE REVIEW followed . . .

"THEATRE", The Weekly Register of Politics, Facts and General Literature (6 July 1844), 4 

Mr. Nagel's Shaksperi Conglomorofunnidogammoniae was brought out for the first time on Monday, and was repeated again on Wednesday. The piece is full of humour, and enabled Griffiths, Lazar, Simmons, and Simes to display to advantage their powers in this department.

ASSOCIATIONS: Thomas Simes (actor); Madame Louise (Mrs. James); Eliza Torning (actor, vocalist); John Lazar (actor, vocalist); John Gordon Griffiths (actor)

[Notice], New South Wales Government Gazette (8 October 1844), 1236 

In the Insolvent Estate of Charles Nagel.
I Hereby appoint a Special Meeting of the Creditors of the above-named Insolvent, to be holden before me, at the Supreme Court House, Sydney, on Wednesday, the 9th day of October instant, to commence at 3, p.m., and end at 3.30, p.m., for proof of Debts against the said Estate. - Sydney, 3rd October, 1844.
WILLIAM. H. KERR, Chief Commissioner.


[Notice], New South Wales Government Gazette (7 January 1845), 23 

In the Insolvent Estate, of Charles Nagel, late of Mereton, settler.
NOTICE is hereby given,, that I, Charles Nagel, the above-named Insolvent, intend to apply to the Chief Commissioner of Insolvent Estates, on Thursday, the 13th day of February next, that a Certificate be granted to me, under an Act of the Governor and Legislative Council of New South Wales, passed in the seventh year of the reign of Her present Majesty, No.. 19, intituled, "An Act to amend an Act, intituled, 'An Act for giving relief to Insolvent persons, and providing for the administration of Insolvent Estates, and to abolish imprisonment for Debt'" - Dated this 23rd day of December, 1844.

30 January 1845, performance of Shaksperi, Royal Victoria Theatre, Hobart Town, VDL

[Advertisement], Colonial Times (25 January 1845), 1 

THE Public are respectfully informed, that MR. NESBITT will take a BENEFIT on Thursday next, the 30th instant,
when Sheridan Knowles's Grand Roman Tragedy of VIRGINIUS will be performed, with, as an Afterpiece, the Musical Extravaganza of
Shakspeari Conglommerofunnidogammomoniae, By CAPTAIN NAGEL, of Sydney.
Further particulars in a future advertisement. January 24, 1845.

"VICTORIA THEATRE. MR. NESBITT'S BENEFIT", Colonial Times (4 February 1845), 3 

On Thursday evening last Mr. Nesbitt took his benefit, with a good house . . . Of the afterpiece, with a title about a yard and a half long, we can only say that the Conglommoro was very predominant, the Funnido a good deal "abroad," and the Gammonie everywhere . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Francis Nesbitt (actor); Anne Remens Clarke (actor, vocalist, manager)

10 May 1845, first publication of the words only of The banner of old England



[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (7 June 1845), 1

THE undersigned begs to intimate that all connexion on his part with "The Atlas" ceases from the present date. CHARLES NAGEL. May 7, 1845.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (10 June 1845), 1

To the Editors of the Sydney Morning Herald.
"Summum crede nefas animam praeferre pudori." - JUV., Sat. viii.

GENTLEMEN, - Acting on the suggestion of friends, who are of opinion that my simple notice of secession from The Atlas as contained in your number of the 9th instant, is scarcely explanatory of my reason for leaving so suddenly such a flourishing concern, I now take leave to offer, through the medium of your columns, the following statement, and my discursive remarks consequent thereon.

On Saturday, the 31st May, when calling at the Atlas Office for the purpose of procuring that day's paper, I was unexpectedly addressed by its printer, Daniel Lovett Welch, who inquired of me whether it was true that I had expressed a wish to undertake the conducting of the Atlas. I replied in the negative; but said, I was inclined to conduct its literary department. Welch then made me an offer, (on the part of the proprietors, I presume), of £2 per week, to attend to its literary interest, read over the correspondence, and afford assistance in correcting the press. To this I agreed, with the distinct understanding that the writing of leading articles of political import was not to come within my province. I entered upon my duty the following Monday morning, and the next day I was honoured with an interview with Mr. Robert Lowe, the Editor, the result of which meeting I shall hereafter communicate. On this day (Tuesday) a difference of opinion took place between Mr. Lowe and Welch, the printer. The latter came to me and asked me to write a leading political article for the Saturday's number. I told him it was not in my terms of agreement to perform such service. He pressed me, and at last I consented, provided a notice to the following effect appeared in the paper. I give the substance of it, to the best ot my memory, the original document being now in the Atlas office.

"A change having taken place in the editorial management of this paper, from the commencement of the present week, a new tone and spirit will pervade its columns. * * * We shall in future deal with measures and not with men. * * * * * * And last, though not least, we must entreat of our fellow-colonists to dismiss at once from their minds any wish on our part to espouse the cause of disloyally."

This notice did not suit the taste of the printer, who peremptorily refused to give it insertion. In consequence of which I declined furnishing a leading article of political tendency. During the remaining days of the week until Friday, I occupied myself, for several hours each day, in various ways of employment for the completion of the paper. On going accidentally into Welch's shop on the Friday afternoon, he accosted me in the rudest manner, told me that I was a useless, idle fellow, said he might as well throw his money into the dirt as place it in my hands, and intimated that he would insist on my pursuing a very different system the ensuing week. When he finished his lecture I walked out of Welch's pantheon of erudition, without offering an observation, determining never again to enter its precincts. With respect to Welch's allusion to his money having been misapplied, it was rather a superfluous one. I never have, nor will accept one sliver from the patriotic Atlas fund. I should not have occupied myself so long with such an insignificant and exceedingly illiterate person as Daniel Lovett Welch, printer, were it not that I consider his way of doing business should be made known to the public.

I now have to deal with Robert Lowe, Esq , Barrister at Law, M. C., &c. In the course of a conversation I had with this modern Demosthenes, he hinted that it would be a matter of expediency did he not appear as Editor of "The Atlas," because, "proh pudor," he would require his intended speeches at the approaching session of the Legislative Council to be well puffed in the columns of the Atlas. Modest man! He then intimated that it would be advisable that I should be understood to be the Editor. I remarked that I had a decided objection to render myself obnoxious to a prosecution for libel in my capacity of supposed Editor, and that I considered the line of politics adopted by the paper were of a dangerous diameter. He said that a prosecution for libel would be the making of the paper. That the penalty, should a verdict be had against it, would amount to a mere fine. That, if necessary, five thousand pounds would be raised on the spot by subscription.

On leaving Mr. Lowe that day I had not the remotest idea that on the following morning I should see my name trumpeted forth through the medium of the press, as Editor of the Atlas. It was a most unwarrantable, unauthorised step of Mr. Lowe, and taken solely for the purpose of resorting to a subtile artifice to serve a pusillanimous end. His object was very apparent, namely, to establish me as the author of those choice specimens of poetical imagery, entitled "The Levee," with a view of removing the onus from himself. But allow me to inform Mr. Lowe, that in the bitterest hour of my adversity I never once forgot myself so far, as to sacrifice, were it but in idea, the loyalty I cherish for my Sovereign at the shrine of faction, and at the beck of the would-be grand contractor for discord and anarchy, incipient hatcher of conspiracy and sedition, and dictator to his party.

I have been asked by friends, acquainted with my reverence for monarchical institutions how it became possible for me to enlist under Mr. Barrister Lowe. I reply in the words of Home -

The needy man, who has known better days,
One whom distress has spited at the world,
Is he whom tempting friends would pitch upon
To do such deeds, as make the prosperous men
Lift up their hands, and wonder who could do them;
And such a man was I.

The organ of the Atlas may sound my name forth as one, whose object in publishing this letter is to curry favour with His Excellency Sir George Gipps. I can only assert, that I never intend asking a boon from our present Governor. I am totally opposed to many of his acts of colonial government; on some I perfectly coincide with him. Censure may, at times, avail in a newspaper when commenting on the acts of authority; but its influence becomes baneful when perverted. I cannot understand why the Press should be transformed into a literary volcano, to vomit out the lava of fiery scurrility. Mr. Lowe and his minions, are at perfect liberty to lather any elegant extract from their miscellany of abuse on me. But I beg they will be so good and give me credit for having intruded upon its numbers with one loyal strain namely, "The Banner of Old England."

Having been behind the Atlas scenes, I have had an opportunity of becoming acquainted with many of the mysteries of the establishment. I know the names of the contributors to its columns, and the vein in which they have written. But they may rest assured their secret is safe with me, unless forced to disclose it by their own organ. To sum up. I quitted the Atlas because I highly disapproved of its tone, tenor, and tendency - because I thought an uncertain salary of £2 per week was scarcely commensurate to the performance of the character of fighting man to the establishment, and one who was expected besides to stand the brunt of every prosecution for libel that might be instituted against it - to write violent and abusive personalities - conduct its literary department - peruse carefully the whole of its correspondence - assist in correcting the press, and lastly become a subservient tool in the hands of a bullying illiterate mechanic.

To conclude, if unblushing effrontery - ignoble appropriation of terms - pusillanimous conduct - absence of veracity, but copious indulgence in the use of vituperous language, when it can be used under the cloak of privilege, constitute, in the eyes of the electors of St. Vincent and Auckland, the requisite qualifications for their representative in the Legislative Council, I congratulate them on their election of Mr. Robert Lowe.

I have the honour to be, Gentlemen,
Your very obedient servant,
Balmain, June 8, 1845.

ASSOCIATIONS: Robert Lowe, controversial editor of The Atlas, from it first issue in November 1844, was moving to distance himself officially from the publication, having nominated for one of the two seats for Sydney in the Legislative Council, and being 30 July elected, a close second to W. C. Wentworth.

July 1845, publication of Sweet smiles and bright eyes, and Oh, for the older time, from Merry freaks

Sweet smiles and bright eyes; song, king Charles, from the historical operatic drama of Merry freaks in troublous times, author, C. Nagel, esq., composer, I. Nathan (Sydney: W. Baker, Hibernian Press; London: Falkner, 1845) (DIGITISED)

[Advertisement], The Australian (10 July 1845), 2 

THIS DAY PUBLISHED, price 2s., by W. Baker, King-street East,
"SWEET SMILES AND BRIGHT EYES," King- Charles' Song from the operatic Drama of
"Merry Freaks In Troublous Times," written by Captain Nagel; composed by I. Nathan. -
In the Press, from the same Opera,

"ANOTHER TUNE - Not played on the Barrel Organ", The Australian (10 July 1845), 3 

We have much pleasure in acknowledging the receipt of a song entitled "Sweet Smiles and Bright Eyes," from Nagel's operatic drama of Merry Freaks, which has been set to music by that indefatigable composer, Nathan. The accompaniment is easy, and the air simple; and as the composition, both musical and typographical, as well as the words, are colonial, we feel assured it will be readily purchased by all who feel a desire to advance the arts and science in Australia.

Oh! for the olden time; song, king Charles [sic] from the historical operatic drama of Merry freaks in troublous times, author, C. Nagel, esq., composer, I. Nathan (Sydney: W. Baker, Hibernian Press; London: Falkner, 1845) (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: William Baker (publisher)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (21 July 1845), 1 

Just Published, Price 2s.
OH! FOR THE OLDEN TIME; SONG, King Charles, from the historical operatic drama of
Author, C. Nagel, Esq. Composer, J. Nathan.
Publisher, W. Baker, Hibernian Printing Office.

[William Augustine Duncan], "NEW MUSIC", The Weekly Register of Politics, Facts and General Literature (26 July 1845), 45-46 

Oh! for the Olden Time: song, from the Opera of "Merry Freaks in Troublous Times. Author, C. Nagel, Esq.; Composer, I. Nathan, Esq. Baker, publisher, King-street.

This is the second of a series of songs from the above opera now in course of publication, and bids fair to be as popular with gentlemen vocalists as its predecessor, "Sweet smiles and bright eyes," has become with the ladies. Every body knows that Nathan's harmony is unexceptionable; but we have here in addition a very pleasing melody, which, extending from C to E flat, is within the compass of almost every male voice.

We perceive that a slight error (no doubt a typographical one) has occurred in the title page of this song which is attributed to King Charles instead of to the Friar. Those of our readers who know anything of English History, will stare to hear of such a person age as a jolly Friar in the days of Charles the Second, or more properly speaking during the latter part of the Protectorate; but we forgive the license taken by the Poet, the [46] more readily as it has been the means of eliciting from the Composer this, the best song in an Opera of which all the songs are good.

We cannot conclude there remarks without an expression of regret that the words do not possess sufficient strength and perspicuity to entitle them to an alliance with such music. Indeed we must say in justice to Captain Nagel, that they are not a fair sample of his operetta.

"NEW MUSIC", The Australian (14 August 1845), 3 

"Oh! for the Olden Time," Song, King Charles [sic], from the Opera of "MERRY FREAKS IN TROUBLOUS TIMES." Author, C. NAGEL; Composer, I. NATHAN. Baker, publisher.

Most of our fair readers are doubtless by this time on terms of perfect intimacy with the very pretty little song published by Mr. Nathan a short time ago, from the operetta of "MERRY FREAKS," entitled "Sweet Smiles and Bright Eyes," and we are now favored with a second song from the same opera, which will afford our friends of the rougher sex an opportunity of displaying to advantage their vocal talent.

Having had the pleasure of being present on several occasions when portions of the music from "MERRY FREKAS" were rehearsed, we are enabled to speak of it in the very highest terms; and if we had been called upon to select from the entire operetta the song which pleased us most, we should have been inclined to name "Oh! for the Olden Time."

The plot of this opera is laid in the time of Charles the Second, and with an almost unpardonable license the author has introduced a set of jolly fat friars, (friars are always fat,) by one of whom, and not by King Charles, this song is sung. We are scarcely prepared to say whether this friar was, or was not of "orders grey," but of this we are quite convinced, that he sang a good song, and drank his wine like a man, or else Captain Nagel is a sad libeller. There is about this song a species of gloomy rejoicing (so to speak) which is quite characteristic. Being written in the minor mode, it is well suited to express the melancholy feelings with which our esteemed friend the friar alludes to those glorious times prior to the eighth Henry,

When butts of wine and haunches fat,
And beeves in rolling prime,

testified the admiration (or fear) in which the fraternity was held by an admiring people; whilst the time of the piece, (allegro now molto,) and the airiness of the melody, are altogether in keeping with the transitory joy inspired by the juice of the grape and the jocund faces of his brethren, who, at the end of each verse, join in chorus, exclaiming, "Oh! for the olden time!"

We are quite prepared to find that this song will become a favorite, particularly as it is within the compass of tenor, baritone, or bass, and to the theorist it cannot fail to be interesting. Now that the vocal strength of the Victoria is so considerable, we would suggest to the Management that an attempt should be made to produce the operetta of MERRY FREAKS, which unites a good libretto with first-rate music.

August 1845, publication of the music of The banner of old England
The banner of old England, by Charles Nagel; cover engraving by John Carmichael (Sydney: george Hudson, [1845])

Song, The banner of old England, dedicated to the Blue and Red Jackets of the Fighting School, by an Australian emigrant old soldier (Sydney: Published for the author by G. Hudson, 1845) (DIGITISED; photocopy of a State Library of New South Wales exemplar below)

Copy at the State Library of New South Wales (not digitised) 

Also copy at SL-NSW (Q786.4/Mu3); not yet in electronic catalogue

Titlepage (with pictorial engraving, "When gallic cock was trampled low 'neath British lion's tread, New Zealand 1845 Tahiti", signed "J. Carmichael, Sc., Kent Street North"

ASSOCIATIONS: George Hudson (music publisher); John Carmichael (engraver)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (9 August 1845), 1

SONG, Dedicated to the Blue and Red Jackets of the Old Fighting School, by an Australian Emigrant Officer.
To be had of Messrs. Ford and Grocott's, Stationers, George-street.
Also, at the publisher's, G. Hudson, Music Seller, 377, Pitt-street North. Price 2s. 6d.

"NEW MUSIC", Morning Chronicle (9 August 1845), 3

We have to acknowledge the receipt of a new song, entitled "The Banner of Old England" set to music, and adapted for the piano-forte, the words and music by Charles Nagle, Esq. It is very neatly got up, and we have no doubt will add to the reputation of the witty and talented author.

[William Augustine Duncan], "NEW MUSIC", The Weekly Register (9 August 1845), 62

The Banner of Old England, a Song dedicated to the Blue and Red Jackets, by an Old Soldier. Sydney: G. Hudson, 1845.

This is an exceedingly warlike production, as respects the words; so much so, that if it attain popularity, it will go further to induce England to declare war with France, than all the articles which recently appeared in the Morning Herald upon the same subject! The melody is pleasing, but seems in some degree founded on Braham's Death of Nelson. The harmony is very good, and proves that Captain Nagel has made some progress since we last met him in this department.

[Richard Thompson], "MUSICAL EXAMINER", The Examiner (9 August 1845), 4 


This dashing affair is published at an appropriate moment. The peculiar phasis of the author's genuis is here developed, and the whole idea of the piece is imaginative and martial in a high degree. "The poet, painter, the musician's art," has been evoked, and yielded obedience to the call. Let us commence with the music. The song commences with a Marciale, con spirito symphony in B flat, and the subject which follows is harmoniously and skilfully managed. Whilst the voice, in a sort of recitative, enumerates the names of Nelson, Collingwood, Hoste, Marlborough, Wellington, the accompaniment is formed by a snatch from Rule Britannia, which,, taking the ear by surprise, produces a happy effect.

The words are worthy of the music, breathing a high tone of patriotic spirit, and conveying a severe rebuke to the powers that be for their dastard and cold policy in the affairs of New Zealand. We have cause for gratification that the Banner of Old England has fallen in the way of such championship, and much hope that the specimen now before us may be followed by a numerous brotherhood. The words and ' music are from the pen of Captain Nagel.

The frontispiece is a copperplate engraving, from a drawing by another gallant officer, - some, passages of whose peninsular career, under the "BEAU," it has been lately our agreeable province to present to the Australian public. The sketch displays the British Lion crushing the Gallic Cock for his presumption in crossing the Lion's path. He holds, aloft, under an oak tree, the Banner of Old England. In the distance the words "Tahiti," "New Zealand," are dimly shadowed forth in dark clouds.

Whether we regard this publication as a composition or a work of art, we are justified in awarding it our cordial commendation, and are satisfied that the most complimentary result which can await it - a rapid sale - will reward the exertions of the accomplished artistes.

"THE BANNER OF OLD ENGLAND", The Australian (30 August 1845), 3

We take shame to ourselves, for having been so long in noticing this spirit-stirring strain, whose poetry and melody are the joint production of Captain Nagle's pen. It is the right sort of song at the right time, and remembering how much good service the untiring Dibdin rendered to our glorious "blue and red jackets of the old fighting school," we rejoice to feel, that there needs but like occasion to bring out other bards, to fan the patriotic fire into all its pristine lustre. The melody of Captain Nagle's song, is bold and energetic - its harmony as perfect as it is pleasing, and the words quite in keeping with the air; just such as a dauntless tar, or enthusiastic soldier, might be expected to give impassioned utterance. We therefore feel convinced, it needs but to be known to be deservedly appreciated. Having said thus much for the matter, we would add a word or two on the manner of this production, which is more than I creditable to Sydney ability - the engraved title being executed with a spirit and propriety superior to many London issues, and equal to most. We hove no doubt that this has been effected at a heavy outlay, which we trust an extensive sale may repay. The lion appears to be quite earnest, with the noisy cock that has pertinaciously disturbed his repose - as earnest as we doubt not he will prove, should time and occasion demand.

9 September 1846, The mock Catalani, Queen's Theatre, Melbourne

[Advertisement], he Port Phillip Patriot and Morning Advertiser (8 September 1846), 2 

In aid of the Funds for the Relief of the Poor of Ireland.
WEDNESDAY EVENING, Sept. 9, 1846 . . .
To conclude with the MOCK CATALINI IN LITTLE PUDDLETON . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Company members included at the time Caroline Wallace (actor, vocalist); Arthur Falchon was also with the company at the time; John Thomas Smith (manager);

March 1847 to June 1848, Eden, NSW

"PETTY SESSIONS", New South Wales Government Gazette (5 January 1847), 15 

Colonial Secretary's Office, Sydney, 5th January, 1847.
His Excellency the Governor has been pleased to appoint the undermentioned gentlemen to be Clerks of Petty Sessions at the places mentioned, in connection with their names respectively, viz.:
- EDEN, Mr. Charles Nagel . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (4 March 1847), 4

MESSRS. GREEN, THOMAS, AND CO., will sell by auction, THIS DAY,
At the residence of Charles Nagel, Esq., Stratheden. Balmain, All the Household Furniture, beds, bedding, kitchen utensils, and other articles.
Terms at sale.

18 April 1847, performance of The mock Catalani, Queen's Theatre, Melbourne

"QUEEN'S THEATRE", Port Phillip Gazette and Settler's Journal (24 April 1847), 2 

On Monday evening the performances commenced with that very excellent historical drama, "Charles the Twelfth" . . . After the drama came some singing by Mrs. Richards and Mrs. Wallace. Then a most laughable farce called No Followers, which kept the house in a perfect roar of laughter, and deservedly so too; everyone of the performers appearing to vie with each other in carrying this farce well through. - Some more singing, and the Mock Catalani. Here however, our praise must stop. Altogether, the performances appeared to give general satisfaction.

ASSOCIATIONS: Caroline Wallace (actor, vocalist); Eliza Richards (actor, vocalist); Arthur Falchon was also with the company at the time; John Thomas Smith (manager);

24 May 1847, Olympic Theatre, Launceston, VDL
24 May 1847, performance of Shaksperi, Olympic Theatre, Launceston, VDL

[Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (22 May 1847), 4 

Farewell Benefit of Mr. LEE, STAGE MANAGER.
MONDAY, MAY 24th, 1847 . . .
The whole to conclude with an entire new Burlesque, by Charles Nagel, Esq.,
and performed with complete success, more than 20 nights at the
Royal Victoria Theatre, Sydney, entitled
King Richard III . . . Mr. KENNY.
Othello . . . Mr. AUSTIN.
Macbeth . . . Mr. BRAGG.
Shylock . . . Mr. MERETON.
Sir John Falstaff . . . Mr. GOOCH.
Hamlet . . . Mr. BLAND.
Justice Shallow . . . Mr. MACDONALD.
Prospero . . . Mr. MAGIC.
Surgeon . . . Mr. RILEY.
Officer of Justice . . . MR. DOUGLASS.

"BENEFIT", The Cornwall Chronicle (26 May 1847), 2 

Mr. Lee bad a flattering testimonial of public favor on Monday night. A long time has gone by since the "Olympic" was so crowded to overflowing as on that occasion . . . The "Shakesperian" burlesque by which the amusements were wound up, is a whimsical affair, and will bear repetition. Some of the characters were exceedingly well sustained to wit - Lee's "Ghost of Hamlet's Father," Mereton's "Shylock," Austin's "Othello," and Kenny's "Richard." The parts of "Shallow" and "Macbeth" were amusing and creditable to the actors . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: John Herman Selwyn Lee (actor, vocalist); James Richard Kenney (actor vocalist); Thomas Mereton (actor, vocalist)


TICKET OF LEAVE MUSTER.", New South Wales Government Gazette (27 June 1848), 802 

A General muster of all prisoners of the Crown, holding tickets, of leave for the Police District of Eden, Twofold Bay, will be holden at the Court House, Eden, on Thursday, the 6th day of July next . . . By order of the Bench,
CHAS. NAGEL, Clerk of Petty Sessions.
Police Office, Eden, 9th May, 1848.

NOTE: After several intervening notices during 1847 and 1848, not transcribed here, this notice, dated 29 May 1848, is the latest record of Nagel's term as clerk at Eden

"To the Editor of the Australian Journal", The Australian (27 July 1848), 3 

SIR, - It has been objected by some of the citizens that in my former letter I treated in too light a strain the palpable features of evil in Mr. Robert Lowe's mischievous career in New South Wales. There may, perhaps, be some justice in the objection; and yet I cannot see the necessity of exposing the tricks of a mountebank in a very serious manner . . . I might now turn to his warlike feuds with the stronger sex; but as they were summed up in a vary few words in a placard which ornamented the walls of the city not very long ago, I need do no more than refer to the records of the Police-office, and the records of the Sydney Press, for a full, true, and particular account of Mr. Robert Lowe's feats in arms with Mr. Broadhurst, Captain Nagel, Alderman McDermott and Dr. Bland. Oh! Men of Sydney, these are (perhaps) warlike times; so pray vote for this redoubtable champion; this carpet-knight!
I am, Mr. Editor, Your obedient servant,
Sydney, July 20, 1848.

NOTE: Robert Lowe, editor of The Atlas from November 1844 and into mid 1845, had nominated for one of the two seats for Sydney in the Legislative Council, and on 30 July was elected, a close second to W. C. Wentworth.


"ORIGINAL CORRESPONDENCE. PERSECUTION BY THE ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIESTS. To the Editors of . . .", The Sydney Morning Herald (31 May 1850), 2

Gentlemen, I beg leave to request that you will give insertion to my present communication in the columns of your paper, as I conceive it to be a duty I owe to the Protestant community of the colony to give publicity to the following case of persecution, with a view of putting them on their guard against the machinations of the Roman Catholic priests. It will be necessary for me, in order to bring the subject permanently before the public, to recur to a period of some standing.

About eighteen months since, at a time when I was absent from the colony, my daughter Eliza Anne Nagel, a girl under age, was instigated to secede from the Protestant religion and become a convert to the Roman Catholic faith. Shortly after my return to the colony, I sought out my daughter, and discovered her acting in the capacity of assistant teacher in the Roman Catholic school (called the Benedictine), in Parramatta - street, where among other occupations, I found that she had to employ herself in cooking meals for the priests when they visited the institution. Although much pained at the step my daughter had been instigated to take during my absence from the colony, I permitted no harsh expression to escape my lips on the subject, but endeavoured by gentle reasoning to convince her of the error ahe had committed in adopting her new faith. She however, although upon all occasions expressing herself most affectionately towards me, and promising implicit obedience in all other matters, remained firm in her adherence to the Roman Catholic faith. The following extract from a letter addressed to me by my daughter from the Benedictine School will best testify the feelings she then entertained for me.

She writes, "I promise you, when you express the least wish for me to leave Sydney I will obey you, and go where you wish to take me - yes, even to the most remote spot. Dear Papa, my heart was always bursting with grief each time I saw you, but do not be unhappy on my account."

In another letter I received from my daughter not long since, the following passage occurs, "We may yet be all together as we once were. God grant it. It is of you and my dear brothers that I am speaking."

Both the letters from which I quote are undersigned, "Your affectionate and dutiful daughter." Having made arrangements to remove my daughter from the Benedictine school to the country residence of a friend, the step was rendered unnecessary by the arrival in the colony of her grandmother and aunts, who desired to have her under their care and protection. I consequently proceeded to the Benedictine school, of which a Mrs. Rice was the matron, and acquainting my daughter with the arrival of her near relatives (Mrs. Rice being present), directed her to get ready to accompany me to join them. On hearing this, Mrs. Rice exclaimed, "Don't believe him ; he is only telling lies: he wants to get you into the bush away from us." An altercation ensued between Mrs. Rice and myself, which she cut short on a sudden by seizing my daughter by the shoulder, and thrusting her into an adjoining room, saying, "She is safe enough at all events there for the present," and vanishing through the door, Mrs. Rice slammed it in my face. On reporting to my relatives what had occurred, they proceeded in a carriage to the Benedictine school, but my daughter was no longer there; she had been spirited away, nor could the matron be prevailed upon to reveal whether my daughter was kept in close concealment from us for the three ensuing months. We could gain no tidings whatever of her, and it was only when the Roman Catholic priests, in whose custody she was detained, heard something about a writ of habeas corpus being applied for, that they, the priests, thought proper to release her.

My daughter having resided with her relatives up to a few days since, has again disappeared, and in the following manner: - Sometime since my daughter stated that Dr. Gregory had assured her, "if she became a nun she would sit in the next world among the blessed women on the right hand of the Holy Virgin." Absurd and ridiculous as this comfortable assurance of the reverend gentleman's may appear, it earned its due weight with the poor infatuated girl, who, aspiring to attain this state of celestial beatitude, wrote me a letter, requesting my permission to enter the convent at Parramatta, I returned a reply, in which, after commenting at some length on the nature of her request in terms of marked disapprobation, I gave a decided refusal to it, declaring that she should never, with my consent, become a nun; and further, intimating that she could not legally take such a step during her minority without my consent. Immediately on receipt of my letter, my daughter went off with it to Dr. Gregory. The following is the result of her interview with him, as related by her to her relatives on her return home: - "When I showed my papa's letter to Dr. Gregory (she states) he laughed heartily at it. He said - "What can a pauper like your father do against us who are so powerful, and have so much money at our command. I know that your father has not even the means of paying the amount of passage in the steam-boat to Parramatta to search after you. Where will a pauper get a lawyer to take up his case. As regards the duty you owe your father he speaks of in his letter, I will at once absolve you from it. You must henceforth look upon me as your father, I only wish I had your father within the walls of the monastery, and I would give him what he deserves."

A choice sample of Christian charity does this homily of Dr. Gregory present. But I will here observe that it would have been more in keeping with the sacred character of a professed minister of the Christian faith, admitting even that an unhappy difference did exist between a parent and child; I maintain that it would have been more becoming in him, as a minister of peace, to have used arguments tending to soften down any feeling of asperity manifested between parties of such near and kindred ties, than thus to instil principles into the mind of a young, artless, and credulous girl, inciting her to violate the commandment of God, and commit a breach of the laws established and recognised by man. And I take this occasion most solemnly and emphatically to protest against any member of the Roman Catholic priesthood arrogating to himself a right that no power divine or human can invest them with. But to resume, on Thursday, the 23rd instant, it was arranged, and with my daughter's own consent, that she should sojourn for a short time with a lady, with whom she had previously been domesticated. On Friday evening, she left her relatives' house, giving them to suppose that she was going to the lady in question on her purposed visit. She did not do so. Dr. Gregory, in the plenitude of his fatherly solicitude for his adopted daughter, ordained that a more sanctified abode should be her lot.

That Friday night my daughter paused with a Mrs. Gorman, who lives in the house of a person named Carew, in Hunter-street, and after attending mass on the next morning, with the said Mrs. Gorman, she, as I have been informed, was escorted by a Roman Catholic priest to the convent at Parramatta, where she now is concealed. I cannot but consider the said Mrs. Gorman an accessary to the illegal act of trepanning a child from her father and near relatives, for on being taxed with having connived at my daughter's absconding, she remarked, " Well, suppose I did? What of that? she slept with me last night, and we both heard early mass this morning, and now she's off."

Now, gentlemen, what conclusion can be arrived at from the proceedings I have described - proceedings worthy only of a place in the annals of the dark ages of Popish domination, intolerance, and cruelty, upheld by the terrors of the infamous Inquisition. If a child can thus be absolved, at the will or caprice of a Roman Catholic priest from all duty to a parent, the fabric of domestic society becomes sapped to the foundation, ties of kindred affection rent asunder, and in once peaceful and happy families the seeds of discord and trouble would be sown. It is a matter of no moment to me, that my daughter, labouring under a hallucination of intellect, and panting for that sainted dwelling place on the right of the holy Virgin, promised her by Dr. Gregory, should have proved a passive instrument in the hands of the Roman Catholic priesthood. I assert, in the present case, my right over my child in opposition to the sinister views of the self-dubbed father. I am fully aware that the Roman Catholic priests can prevail upon my daughter, in her present position, to make any declaration to suit their purposes. From personal observations I know that my daughter defers to them in all things with blind obedience. But I am determined to bring to issue whether the natural authority of a father over his child is to succumb to the daily machinations of priestcraft. As regards Dr. Gregory's remarks about my pauperism, little need be said, further than that I can afford to despise his threats.

The Rev. Dr. Gregory may affect to treat my present communication with the silence of contempt, or he may fulminate his anathemas on my devoted head, I am alike indifferent to both. To the laws of that Government under which I live I am resolved to appeal for redress for the intolerable grievance I complain of. In those I have the fullest confidence, and trust that so flagrant a breach of the ordinances of God and man will not be suffered to pass with impunity. From those laws I claim the restoration of a child to her father and near relatives, her rescue from the fangs of the Roman Catholic priesthood.

I am, gentlemen,
Your obedient servant,
Sydney, May 29.

ASSOCIATIONS: Nagel's eldest daughter Eliza Anna (born c. 1832); Henry Gregory


"MARRIED", The Sydney Morning Herald (30 December 1853), 5 

By special license, at St. Mary's Cathedral, on the 27th instant, by the Rev. S. A. Sheehy, William Dolman, fourth son of Thomas Dolman, of Pocklington, Yorkshire, to Caroline, second daughter of Captain C. A. Nagel, late of Her Majesty's 97th Regiment.

ASSOCIATIONS: Caroline Augusta (c. 1836-1871), married the Roman Catholic bookseller and publisher William Dolman


Liverpool Asylum, NSW, 1876 (DIGITED)

Burials in the parish of St. Luke Liverpool . . . New South Wales in the year 1870; register 1858-94, page 129; Anlgican Diocese of Sydney (PAYWALL)

No. 450 / Charles Nagel / Asyl[um] / [died] 17th April / [buried] 18th April / 64 yrs / Retired Military officer . . .

Mock Catalani (1842-43)

The mock Catalani, in Little Puddleton: a musical burletta in one act, by Charles Nagel, esq., as performed at the Royal Victoria Theatre, Sydney, New South Wales (Sydney: James Tegg, 1842)

Copy at the British Library (DIGITISED)

Dramatis personae (first performance, May 1842)

DOBBS, a retired Slopseller, Mayor of Little Puddleton, Patron of Music and the Fine Arts - MR. FENTON.

WILLIAM, Teacher of Music and Languages - MR. SIMMONS.


TIBBS, Poet Laureate, and Master of Ceremonies - MR. SIMES.

SPRITSAIL, a Retired Naval Officer - MR. GROVE.

JOHN, Servant to Dobbs - MR. LEE.


FANNY, Daughter to Dobbs - MRS. WALLACE.


Soldiers, Citizens, Children, Town-crier, Sexton, &c., &c., &c.

Musical numbers

Scene 1:

A sensitive plant

SONG - FANNY [music by Nagel; words by Percy Bysshe Shelley]


A sensitive plant in a garden grew,
And the young winds fed it with silver dew;
And it op'd its fan-like leaves to the light,
And clos'd them beneath the kisses of night.
And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like a spirit of bliss, felt ev'ry where;
And each flower and herb on earth's dark breast
Arose from the dream of its wint'ry rest.

But none ever trembled or panted for bliss,
In the garden, the field, or the wilderness,
Like a doe in the noontide, with love's sweet want,
Like the companionless Sensitive Plant.
And over-head the sweet nightingale
Ever sang more soft as the day might fail,
And snatches of her Elysian chant
Were mix'd with the dreams of the Sensitive Plant.

Dear maid, by every hope of bliss


For the words only, see The universal songster . . . vol. 1 (London: John Fairburn, 1825), 350-51 (DIGITISED)

The widow Malone

SONG - O'LEARY [INTRODUCED] (words by Charles Lever)

See much later edition, in Alfred Moffat, The minstrelsy of Ireland (London: Augener and Co., [1897]), 46 (DIGITISED)

For the words, see "Widow Malone", Kilmore Free Press [VIC] (13 August 1914), 1 

Rise, gentle moon!

SONG - FANNY [INTRODUCED] (music by John Barnett)

Rise gentle moon, sung by Miss Love in the historical drama Charles the Twelfth, written by J. R. Planche, esq're, compose by John Barnett (Sydney: F. Ellard. [n.d.]) (DIGITISED)

Scene 3:

Oh men, what silly things you are!

SONG - POLLY [INTRODUCED] (music by John Barnett)

Oh! men what silly things you are, sung by Miss H. Cawse, written by J. R. Raymond, esq., composed by John Barnett (London: Barnett, [c. 1831])

See Review

And see US edition here

Scene 4:

Receive, great empress of all song

Ally Croaker; Calliope, 1788

SONG - BEADLE - TUNE - "A captain bold, in Halifax"

Unfortunate Miss Bailey, sung by Mr. Mathews, in the comic opera of Love laughs at locksmiths (London: M. Kelly, [c. 1803]) (DIGITISED)

Set to the tune of Samuel Foote's comic song Ally Croaker, written for his comedy The Englishman in Paris (1753);
see Calliope; or, The musical miscellany (London: Elliot and Kay, 1788), 158

Receive, great Empress of all Song,
Our humble adulation!
Great Catalani's name is known
In each and every nation.
How blest in Little Puddleton -
The Muses surely kiss it,
In granting it so high a boon,
Great Catalani's visit.

CHORUS: - Catalani, Catalani -
Who can compare with Catalani.

Your Excellency will, we trust,
Be pleas'd with your reception:
Our amateurs dread very much
Your musical perception.
Our Poet Laureate's skill will speak,
How very great the honour
Conferred on Little Puddleton -
The Muses smile upon her.

CHORUS: - Catalani, Catalani -
Who can compare with Catalani.

Scene 5:

How pleasant to chat with one's own love [The pretty bark hut in the bush]

The pretty bark hut in the bush, Charles Nagel, 1842

SONG - POLLY [music by Nagel]

How pleasant to chat with one's own love,
Since no one can call it a sin;
And dance the whole night with one's true love,
Nor heed mamma's black looks a pin.
Mamma is too fond, far, of money;
She designs a rich match - what a bore!
And papa's whims so odd are - so funny -
He shuts on dear Harry the door.

Dear Harry and I have agreed on't,
Tho' folks may not deem it quite right,
Yet we've gravely consider'd, indeed, on't,
To flit off together some night.
New Zealand is rather too distant;
Besides I am so sick at sea:
And dear Harry, who's very consistent,
Agrees in all matters with me.

The goddess of war, to forsake her,
Will no doubt cost dear Harry a tear:
And land, at twelve shillings per acre
The minimum price, is so dear.
With his corps, 'tis quite clear we can't tarry,
We never could live on his pay;
We therefore must hit, ere we marry,
On some little managing way.

Papa has a hundred times told me
He never will give his consent;
And mamma, on occasions, will scold me,
And say I am waywardly bent.
Ah, would that their hearts but relented!
Dear Harry I never will cut:
I'm sure we might live so contented,
In the bush, in a pretty bark hut.

Scene 6:

It was but a dream

SONG - FANNY [music by Nagel]


It was but a dream! - still it left on my heart
A soft feeling, a gentle impression,
An exquisite thrill, that no words can impart,
To which language yields feeble expression.
While wrapt in deep slumber, my phantasy wrought
A magical, soul-stirring vision,
That happy, past days to my wake senses brought;
They linger'd on Fancy's revision.

Methought, that kind absent friends past in review,
Benignantly smiling around me -
Dear friends, that, alas! I may ne'er again view,
To whom ev'ry bland spell hath bound me.
Yon kindly solicitude, fond beaming glance,
Shall fade from my memory never.
Ah! why hast thou fleeted away blissful trance?
Ah, why from lov'd friends must we sever?

I herald forth no lowly name [Wellington]

SONG - O'LEARY [music by Nagel]


I'll herald forth no lowly name,
Amid our earthly throng -
A hero's high untarnish'd fame
Proclaims aloud my song.
Whose matchless deeds, in hundred fields,
Immortal glory won.
To none on hist'ry's record yields
The name of WELLINGTON.

CHORUS : Wellington, Wellington!
To none our hist'ry's record yields
The name of WELLINGTON.

The Ebro and the Douro twain
Long his renown shall sound;
And Waterloo's fierce goughten plain
Shall thundering resound.
In conflict, calm; in council, wise;
Bright laurels he hath won.
Then shout, triumphant to the skies,
The name of WELLINGTON.

CHORUS : Wellington, Wellington!
Then shout, triumphant to the skies,
The name of WELLINGTON.

Meet me in the willow glen

SONG - POLLY [INTRODUCED] (music by Alexander Lee)

Meet me in the willow glen, words by Mrs. C. Baron Wilson, music by A. Lee (Sydney: Woolcott & Clarke, [n.d.]) (DIGITISED)

De pigs vas in de sty-ah

WILLIAM. - Voglio bene, Signor; but I am leetel horse at de trot (Rises and comes forward.) Signor Maestro Wallace, vill you obligato me vid the accompanimento to de aria, "Nel cor piu non mi sento."

Nel cor piu non mi sento [Paisiello]; theme of Beethoven's 6 variations

MUSIC: Nel cor piu non mi sento [Paisiello]; as pictured above, theme of Beethoven's Six variations

SONG - [WILLIAM] - TUNE - "Nel cor piu non mi sento" [Paisiello]

De pigs vas in de sty-ah,
De day was vet and raw;
Contento dey did lie-ah,
Togeder on de straw.
Wen in come von big dog-ah;
He did not like dat hog-ah,
Who was dere grand-papa:
And all de leetel pig-ah -
Did grunt vid deir mamma.

I to-day have won my prize

FINALE - GRAND CHORUS [ ? music by Nagel]


WILLIAM - I today have won my prize,
And pleasure beams from loving eyes.
Then hence away care,
Ne'er let us despair!
Through darksome clouds the sun shines fair.

CHORUS - Then hence away care, &c. . . .

FANNY - My William well has played his part,
And I bestow a loving heart,
Then hence away care, &c. . . .

O'LEARY - That Catalani's a grate big chate;
And Ensign O'Leary he is dead bate.
yet hence away care, &c. . . .

POLLY - What deeds are donw at Cupid's call!
Yes, mighty love can conquer all.
Then hence away care, &c. . . .

WILLIAM - Our efforts they are ended now
And to our friends we make our bow. Then hence away care,
Ne'er let us despair!
Through darksome clouds the sun shines fair.

Shaksperi conglommorofunnidogammoniae (1843-44)

Shaksperi conglommorofunnidogammoniae, a musical extravaganza in one act, by Charles Nagel, esq. (Sydney: W.A. Duncan, 1843)

Copy at the State Library of Victoria (DIGITISED)

Musical numbers:

Scene 1:

Good Macbeth, I'm yours till death

Merrily danced the quaker's wife, Gow's complete repository, part 2, page 17

Part second of the complete repository of original Scots tunes, strathspeys and dances . . . by Neil Gow . . . third edition corrected & imporved by Nath. Gow (Edinburgh: Rob't Purdie, [n.d.]) (DIGITISED)

See also at Traditional Tune Archive

DUET [MACBETH and OTHELLO] - TUNE - "Merrily danced the Quaker"

OTHELLO: Good Macbeth
I'm yours till death
If in my suit I prosper.

MACBETH: Gallant Moor
You may make sure
Of my persuasive goster.

OTHELLO: We must be quick
Or else grim Dick,
Will carry matters freely.

MACBETH: I go hence straight
To hold debate
With cunning little Pheely.

BOTH: Some sigh and moan
For love alone
In words brim full of honey,
But wiser we
No charm we see
Like love combin'd with money.

MACBETH: Hamlet's rage
For Nancy Page
Provokes fat Jack, tis sartin.

OTHELLO: And Mistress Anne
Knows well her man
My eye and Betty Martin.

MACBETH: I'll haste away
Without delay
And ply your wuit with Pheely.

OTHELLO: If in the street
Grim Dick you meet
Pray cut him dead, genteely.

BOTH: Some sigh and moan . . .

My stake shall be Jack Falstaff's nose

My love is like the red, red rose, The Scots musical museum, vol. 5, page 415

The Scots musical museum . . . volume 5 (facsimile of 1796 edition, Edinburgh: William Blackwood, 1839), 415-16 (no. 402) (DIGITISED)

See also at Traditional Tune Archive

SONG - SHYLOCK - TUNE - "My love is like the red, red rose"

My stake shall be Jack Falstaff's nose
Of many fangled hue,
Oh I such a nose was never seen
Since Adam breath first drew.
There blue and purple intermix
With ruddy crimson dyes,
It shames the rainbow's varied tints,
Oh 1 such a nose I prize.

Of such a nose, of such a nose,
Oh! who would not be fond,
Its hue and shape so rich so rare,
I'll have it for my bond.

Some are who in a red, red rose,
Great beauties they espy,
But oh, give me Jack Falstaff s nose,
To match it I defy.
E'en Tristram Shandy's long-beak'd man.
If Falstaff s mug he saw
Would stare - the Burgomaster's wife
Uplift her hands in awe.

Of such a nose, etc., etc. . . .

Scene 2:

In my dairy when I bide

Tune, Nora Creina, Moore and Stevenson, Irish melodies, number 4

O Farrells, pocket companion, for the Irish or Union pipes [volume 1] ([n.p.], [1806]), 60-61 DIGITISED

A selection of Irish melodies, with symphonies and accompaniments by Sir John Stevenson Mus.Doc. and characteristic words by Thomas Moore esq. [number 4] (London: J. Power, [1811]), 72-77 (73 pictured above) (DIGITISED)

See also a Traditional Tune Archive

SONG - OPHELIA - TUNE - "Norah Creina"

In my dairy when I bide
Merrily my butter churning,
What heed I the world so wide,
How 'tis bustling - round 'tis turning.
Oh, a dairy life for me -
Full of gain - a task that pleases;
What a sight around to see
My butter, cream, and new-made cheeses.

Oh, my dairy, dairy dear,
With my churn I ne'er feel dreary,
No blue devils do I fear,
But pass my time so light, so cheery.

Othello strives my hand to win,
The blackamoor - oh, how I hate him,
With his odious leering grin,
But when he prattles, don't I rate him?
Richard hotly plies his suit,
In tender mood my hand he squeezes,
Swears my voice is like a lute,
But eyes my butter, cream and cheeses.

Oh, my dairy, dairy dear, etc., etc. . . .

Look to yourself, you mendacious Scot

Madam Figg's gala; or, The Yorkshire concert - Rumpty iddity

Madam Figg's gala; or, The Yorkshire concert, sung with the greatest applause by Mr. Twaits, written by T. Dibdin (New York: J. Hewitt, [c.1805]) (DIGITISED)

See also: The Yorkshire concert, sung by Mr. Emery at Covent Garden Theatre (DIGITISED)

DUET - MACBETH AND RICHARD - TUNE - "Rumti iddity, pig bow wow"

RICHARD - Look to yourself, you mendacious Scot.
MACBETH - Your threats and advice I heed not a jot.
RICHARD I'll chop thee, fit for a haggis now.
MACBETH - Rumti iddity pig bow wow.

[Fight and then pause.]

RICHARD - Rumti iddity, how are you now?
MACBETH - Rumti iddity, quite well, I trow,
RICHARD - Rumti iddity, tow row, row.
BOTH - Rumti iddity, pig bow wow.

[Richard sharpens his sword on the stage, and Macbeth takes a cheese which he uses as a target.]

RICHARD - That cheese from Ophelia you shall buy dear.
MACBETH - Twill serve me well as a target here.
RICHARD - I’ll stick thee stiff as old Davy's sow.
MACBETH - Rumti iddity, pig bow wow.

[Fight, and then pause.]

RICHARD - Rumti iddity, how are you now?
MACBETH - Rumpti iddity, quite well I trow.
MACBETH - Rumti iddity, tow row, row.
BOTH - Rumti iddity, pig bow vow.

Scene 3:

How I'm plagued with lovers two

Probably derived from The frog and the mouse and/or The agreeable surpise

SONG - ANNE PAGE - TUNE - "A frog he would a wooing go"

How I'm plagued with lovers two,
Heigho! so funny;
How I'm plagued with lovers two,
Each striving the other in lies to outdo;
With their sighing, lying,
Both for love dying;
Heigho! so funny.

Were ever two such lovers seen,
Heigho! so funny;
Were ever two such lovers seen,
The one so fat, and the other so lean,
With their suing, wooing. Ever pursuing;
Heigho! so funny.

Falstaff fumes with jealous rage,
Heigho! so funny;
Falstaft fumes with jealous rage.
While Hamlet, the mope, drawls out "sweet Mistress Page"
With their mauling, drawling,
All for love brawling;
Heigho! so funny.

These love sick swains, I'd have them know,
Heigho! so funny,
Those love sick swains, I'd have them know,
They both may, for me, off to Jericho go;
With their sigh away, die away,
Soon may they hie away
Heigho! so funny.

Scene 4:

In Connemara I was born

Saint Patrick was a gentleman

Saint Patrick was a gentleman [arr.] by John Davies (New York: Hitchcock's, [n.d.]) (DIGITISED)

See another version of the tune in Folk tune finder

SONG - GHOST - TUNE - "Saint Patrick was a Gentleman"

In Connemara I was born,
All in the county Galway,
My daddy sowld the raal potheen
An' baccy in a shmall way.
My mammy she was mighty proud,
An' to the Blakes related,
An' bein' intinded for the church
Wid larnin' I was thrated.

Sing hubbaboo and didderoo,
To call me royal Dane, man;
Is morrowhoger, Paddy's land,
Owns me, the dacent clane man.

The parish priest I met one day,
He on me kept an eye, sur,
What would you like to be, my boy,
Sis he - a dean, sis I, sur.
When one Bill Shakspeare, a grate fool,
Who came from Tipperary,
Made all the spalpeens in the school
Call me the dane Pat Carey.

Sing hubbaboo, etc. etc. . . .

MUSIC: [Thunder - Ghost descends to the tune of "Ballinafad"]

See one version of Ballinafad in Traditional Tune Archive

Scene 5:

Here upon my judgment seat

Perhaps a version of Heigho! says thimble

SONG AND CHORUS [SHALLOW and the CONSTABLES] - TUNE - "Heigho, my uncle Ben"

SHALLOW - Here upon my judgment seat,
CONSTABLES - Wise Justice Shallow, oh!
SHALLOW - With due respect my presence greet,
CONSTABLES - Wise Justice Shallow, oh!
SHALLOW - Dignity my speech shall crown,
And should any noisy clown
Kick up a row - just knock him down.
CONSTABLES - Wise Justice Shallow, oh!
SHALLOW - Tremble at the laws decree;
CONSTABLES - Wise Justice Shallow, oh!
SHALLOW - A second Daniel see in me;
CONSTABLES - Wise Justice Shallow, oh!
SHALLOW - To meaner mortals may belong,
The failing to misguide the throng,
But Justice Shallow ne'er did wrong.
CONSTABLES - Wise Justice Shallow, oh!

[page 30] Music plays "Oh! dear, what can the matter be."

Scene 6:

In me, Mistress Ann, you behold now a Queen

Here's to the maiden of bashful fifteen, A collection of national English airs, W. Chappell, 4

A collection of national English airs . . . edited by W. Chappell [music] (London: Chappell, 1840), 4 (no. 7) (DIGITISED)

DUET - OPHELIA and ANNE - TUNE - "Here's to the maiden of bashful fifteen"

OPHELIA - In me, Mistress Anne, you behold now a Queen
Who holds her head high as a steeple,
ANNE - One plainly can see, from your Majesty's mein,
That you cut all the ways of low people.

BOTH - [Twice] When a Queen goes astray,
There's the dickens to pay;
Yet Queens are but women, philosophers say.

OPHELIA - A Oueen thinks of nothing but sceptres and crowns,
In a coach and six horses she rides, too.
ANNE - But lowly-born maidens must make all their gowns,
And find the materials, besides, too.

BOTH - [Twice] When a Queen goes astray, etc. etc. . . .

Scene 7:

MUSIC: [They fight to the tune of "the Gavotte" - Richard falls.]

Perhaps Vestris' gavotte or Union pipes gavotte (Traditional Tune Archive)

MUSIC: [Thunder - Ghost descends to the tune of "Paddy Carey"]

Paddy Carey, Edinburgh repository of music, 1

Edinburgh repository of music . . . vol. 1 (Edinburgh: J. Sutherland, [n.d.]), 26 (DIGITISED)

See Paddy Carey (Traditional Tune Archive)

When around us here we see

See Yankee Doodle Dandy (Traditional Tune Archive)

FINALE - [OMNES] - TUNE - "Yankee Doodle"

ANNE PAGE - When around us here we see,
Happy faces smiling,
Rich reward our efforts crowns
While thus the time beguiling.

OTHELLO - Ours it is a harmless strife,
We boast a magic power,
For here we kill, and bring to life
And all in the same hour.

OMNES - Tol de roll, de roll, de re,
Tol de roll, de ri do,
Tol de roll, de roll, de re,
Sing tol, de roll, de ri do.

OPHELIA - Lovers here a lesson learn,
To Richard's plan resorting,
A barrel may serve well your stead,
When in a dairy courting.

MACBETH - [To Richard] Diogenes lived in a tub,
A barrel's no bad place Sir,
Whene'er you do not wish to meet
A rival face to face, Sir.

OMNES - Tol de roll, de roll, etc., etc. . . .

SHALLOW - The laws we may till here defy
In wide unbounded measure,
Since it is kill and come again,
And all quite at our leisure.

GHOST - A mighty plisant path is ours,
With posies strew'd, and daisies,
No thorns or nettles in our way,
Long as our friends we plazes.

OMNES - Tol de roll, de roll, etc., etc. . . .

Merry freaks in troublous times, Nagel and Nathan
Merry freaks in troublous times (1843; printed in full ? c. 1847/48; music by Isaac Nathan)

Merry freaks in troublous times, an historical operatic drama in two acts by Charles Nagel [wordbook only] ([Sydney; Thomas Forster, 1843-44])


Merry freaks in troublous times, an historical operatic drama in two acts by Charles Nagel, esquire, the music composed by I. Nathan (Sydney: By the composer, [c. 1847-48]; on verso of title-page: "T. Forster, printer, Pitt-street north, Sydney"

Printed vocal score (2 numbers in full score), with libretto interspersed, 176 pages; copy at State Library of New South Wales

The State Library of NSW catalogue record indicates that the score was "published" by Nathan in 1851, but rather, the date indicates receipt of a copy by the British Library; it was in fact never advertised for sale, and was almost certainly printed complete well before 1851, probably c. 1847-48 (DIGITISED)

Photocopy of the above; National Library of Australia (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: Thomas Forster (printer); on dating, Forster was active at this address, 1847-48; none of the printed and published excerpts below were incorporated as pre-existing units into the full score, the relevant items being completely reset

List of musical numbers: 

OVERTURE (pages 1-11) 

ACT 1:

Act 1 scene 1 - CHORUS - For male voices - "Here's a health fo the king" (12-20) 

Act 1 scene 2 - SOLO - Alfred, soprano - "The sun shine of my Lady's eyes" (23-27) 

Act 1 scene 5 - SOLO - Alfred, soprano - "A dear merry dance" (33-39) 

Act 1 scene 6 - CHORUS - Villagers, male and female - "Joyful day" (41-48) 

Act 1 scene 6 - VILLAGERS' DANCE (49-50) 

Act 1 scene 6   SOLO - Margaret, soprano - "This kiss you stole" [with full orchestral accompaniments] (52-61) 

Act 1 scene 8   SOLO - King Charles, tenor - Sweet smiles and bright eyes" (64-68) 

Act 1 scene 8 - SONG and CHORUS - Marrowbones, with male voices - Oh! 'tis a pleasant sight to see (71-75) 

Act 1 scene 10 - DIRGE (instrumental - "God save the queen") (77) 

ACT 2:

Act 2 scene 1 - CHORUS - Male voices - "Tho' exiled on a foreign strand" (80-92) 

Act 2 scene 2 - SOLO - Prior [incorrectly "King Charles", in 1845 edition] - "Oh! for the olden time" (95-98) 

Act 2 scene 3 - DOUBLE CHORUS - Male voices, Cavaliers and Puritans - "Long life to king Charles / Oh! Lord preserve" (100-17) 

Act 2 scene 5 - SOLO - Marrowbones, baritone - "I once did chance to rove" (122-25) 

Act 2 scene 6 - SOLO - Margaret, soprano - "She lost her heart and necklace" [with full orchestral accompaniments] (129-40) 

Act 2 scene 8 - SOLO - Alfred, soprano - "I chanced on a Puritan knave" (143-47) 

Act 2 scene 9 - FINALE - Male and female - "Tho' storms and perils" (152-) 

Manuscripts (c. 1843)

E flat clarinet part; overture only

MS, composer's autograph, 4 pages; State Library of New South Wales (DIGITISED)

Chorus, bass part; Finale (Act 2 scene 9); Joyful day (Act 1 scene 6); Here's a health to the King (Act 1 scene 1); Oh! tis a pleasant sight to see (Act 1 scene 8); Tho' exiled on a foreign [strand] (Act 2 scene 1)

MS, composer's autograph, 8 pages; State Library of New South Wales (DIGITISED)

Published excerpts (1845-46)

Sweet smiles and bright eyes

Sweet smiles and bright eyes; song - King Charles, from the historical operatic drama of Merry freaks in troublous times; author C. Nagel, esq.; composer, I. Nathan (Sydney: W. Baker, Hibernian Press, 1845) (DIGITISED)

Oh, for the olden time

Oh, for the olden time; song - King Charles [sic], from the historical operatic drama of Merry freaks in troublous times; author C. Nagel, esq.; composer, I. Nathan ((Sydney: W. Baker, Hibernian Press, 1845) (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: William Baker (publisher)

God save the queen (arr.)

God save the queen ("from the Opera of Merry Freaks in Troublous Times"), in Isaac Nathan, The first, second, and third of a series of lectures on the theory and practice of music . . . (Sydney: W. Ford, 1846), 7 (PAGE IMAGE)

. . . It is a stubborn fact that the most beautiful melody ever composed may be entirely destroyed by performing it with an unclassical bass . . . A striking instance of this fact occurs in the Opera of Merry Freaks in Troublous Times, composed in this colony (Sydney), in the plot of which King Charles II., quits England for the Continent. On his departure, God Save the King is performed, during the slow falling of the curtain; but to express the lament of the Loyalists at losing their beloved Monarch, the composer has given his own bass, which admits of harmony in the minor mode from beginning to end . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: William Ford (publisher)

Loyalty (music and words slightly reworked from chorus of cavaliers, act 2 scene 1)

Loyalty, a national paean, respectfully inscribed to his excellency, Sir Charles Augustus Fitz Roy, K.C.H., Governor-in-chief of New South Wales and its dependencies by I. Nathan (DIGITISED)

For separate checklist entry, see:

Loyalty (1850-10-07)

Bibliography and resources

Pont 1993

Graham Pont, "The rediscovery of Isaac Nathan; or 'Merry Freaks in Troub'lous Times'", Journal of the Australian Jewish Historical Society 12/1 (November 1993), 42-53

Pelosi 2003

Janette Pelosi 2003, "Colonial drama revealed, or plays submitted for approval", MARGIN: life & letters in early Australia 60 (July-August 2003), 21ff. (PAYWALL)

Skinner 2011

Graeme Skinner, Toward a general history of Australian musical composition: first national music, 1788-c. 1860 (Ph.D thesis, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney, 2011), 28, 44, 47, 49, 208-13, 215-16, 376, 440, 451, 456, 457, 464 (DIGITISED)

© Graeme Skinner 2014 - 2020