Anna Maria Strada. Johannes Verelst, 1732. The Foundling Museum, London.
The late Miss Strada, one of Mr. Hendel’s primadonnas, a grand woman but of small stature, who thought herself all high and mighty, indeed. So fine did she think her singing voice that she thought the Birds themselves would stop to listen. “Ladies”, says she, entertaining one day in her garden, “What will you wager if I cannot but bring forth the Birds from the trees with my song?”. This was soon settled and she proceeded to sing, at which the birds made a hasty flight, ‘tis sure, from their nests. All but one remained in the branches and Miss Strada’s musick was rewarded in full when it did sh-t on her head.