On 19th September 1738, Jennens wrote to a friend
“Mr.Handel’s head is more full of maggots than ever”
Maggot 1: His newly discovered carillon – “with this Cyclopean instrument he designs to made poor Saul stark mad.
Maggot 2: A bespoke organ, costing £500, designed so that he could direct the orchestra from it, ‘all the time with his back to the audience!’ (Not considered a bad idea now; but the cost in current money would be about £77,000). Jennens suggested he was ‘overstocked with money’ – a bit rich considering the cost of his own Leicestershire home.
Maggot 3: ‘A Hallelujah he has trumped up at the end of his oratorio since I went into the country’. Handel had refused to set the Hallelujah Jennens had put at the end of the opening scene, and thought Jennens’ ending not sufficiently grand. Fortunately for us Handel carried out precisely Jennens intentions regarding Hallelujahs.
Jennings concludes: “but it grows late and I must defer the rest till I write next, by which time, I doubt not, more new ones will breed in his brain.”