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The air to which they chant their couplets is almost always a Campagna melody. Sharp attacks are given and as sharp répliques received, in exceeding good-humor; and when there is little wit, there is sure to be much laughter. The salt is oftentimes pretty coarse, but it serves its purpose.
Sometimes she would rehearse her roles in the voice they speak of as golden; because it coins gold for her, I suppose. The rehearsing of her roles was not so amusing, as there were no repliques; but what kept Nina most quiet was when Sarah told her of the album she was making for her. Every artist she knew was working at some offering, and when it would be finished Nina was to have it.
L. de (Lillie de) Hegermann-Lindencrone - In the Courts of Memory, 1858 1875; from Contemporary Letters
Montgomery brought down his stick furiously, the repliques of the girls buffeted her ears like palms of hands, and it was not until she was halfway through the gossiping couplets, and saw Montgomery's arm swing peacefully to and fro over the bent profiles of the musicians that she fairly recovered her presence of mind.