"Old poets sing that beasts did dance Whenever Orpheus played: So to Faustina's charming voice Wise Pembroke's asses brayed."
The two fair cantatrices even forgot themselves so far as to come to blows on several occasions, and the scandalous chronicle of the times was enlivened with epigrams, lampoons, libels, and duels in rapid succession. This amusing but disgraceful feud was burlesqued in a farce called "Contretemps, or The Rival Queens," which was performed at Heidigger's theatre. Faustina as the Queen of Bologna and Cuzzoni as Princess of Modena were made to seize each other by the hair, and lacerate each other's faces. Handel looks on with cynical attention, and calmly orders that the antagonists be "left to fight it out, inasmuch as the only way to calm their fury is to let them satisfy it."
The directors of the opera finally solved the difficulty in the following manner: Cuzzoni had solemnly sworn never to accept a guinea less than her
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