A damning review for a man put on the spot
My 19th-century blogger Miss Williams Wynn is today less than impressed with the performance of an improvisatore. Not a term with which I was previously familiar - although the general intent is clear enough - it seems the audience gave him subjects for verses, which he had to make up on the spot. (Doesn't rap music sometimes do something similar today?)
I discovered Coleridge wrote on the subject and it may have been a particularly Italian tradition.