During the second week of that historic November, Handel was staying at the Golden Falcon in Northgate Street (in Chester), on his way to Dublin, where the first performance of "Messiah" was to take place...

Charles Burney, at that time a 15-year old schoolboy and later a famous music historian, [...] recalls that Handel enquired of Mr Baker "the organist, my first music master, to know whether there were any choirmen in the cathedral who could sing at sight (i.e. perform the music at one reading). Mr Baker recommended some singers, including a Mr Janson "who had a good bass voice, and was one of the best musicians in the choir.” The rehearsal took place at The Golden Falcon. But Janson, even after many attempts, was unable to sing the chorus "And with his stripes we are healed".

Handel lost his temper, swore in four or five languages, and cried out in broken English, "You scoundrel! Did you not tell me you could sing at sight?" Janson replied "Yes, sir, and so I can: but not at first sight."

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