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Ær. 24.

DRURY LANE THEATRE.

167

LETTER 97.

TO LORD HOLLAND.

better judges have admired, and may again ; have had more time, but will do my best, – but I venture to“ prognosticate a prophecy' but too happy if I can oblige you, though I (see the Courier), that he will not succeed. may offend a hundred scribblers and the

“So, poor dear Rogers has stuck fast on discerning public. Ever yours. the brow of the mighty Helvellyn' - I “Keep my name a secret ; or I shall be hope not for ever. My best respects to beset by all the rejected, and, perhaps, Lady H.:-her departure, with that of my damned by a party.” other friends, was a sad event for me, now reduced to a state of the most cynical solitude. By the waters of Cheltenham I

“ Cheltenham, September 23. 1812. sat down and drank, when I remembered

“ Ecco!- I have marked some passages thee, oh Georgiana Cottage! As for our harps, we hanged them up upon the willows with double readings—choose between them that grew thereby. Then they said, Sing

-cut add— reject —or destroy - do with us a song of Drury Lane,' &c.;- but I am

them as you will — I leave it to you and the dumb and dreary as the Israelites. The

Committee, you cannot say so called 'a waters have disordered me to my heart's

non committendo. What will they do (and I content — you were right, as you always are. do) with the hundred and one rejected

Troubadours ? Believe me ever your obliged and affec

• With trumpets, yea, and tionate servant,

with shawms, will you be assailed in the “ BYRON.”

most diabolical doggerel. I wish my name

not to transpire till the day is decided. I The request of the Committee for his aid shall not be in town, so it won't much having been, still more urgently, repeated, think Élliston should be the man, or Pope ;

matter ; but let us have a good deliverer. I be, at length, notwithstanding the difficulty not Raymond, I implore you, by the love of and invidiousness of the task, from his strong wish to oblige Lord Holland, con

Rhythmus!

The sented to undertake it ; and the quick suc

marked thus passages

==, above ceeding notes and letters, which he addressed, and below, are for you to choose between during the completion of the Address, to his epithets, and such like poetical furniture. noble friend, afford a proof (in conjunction Pray write me a line, and believe me ever,&c. with others of still more interest, yet to be

My best remembrances to Lady H, cited) of the pains he, at this time, took in Will you be good enough to decide between improving and polishing his first conceptions, other ; or our deliverer may be as puzzled as

the various readings marked, and erase the and the importance he wisely attached to a judicious choice of epithets as a means of en

a commentator, and belike repeat both. If riching both the music and the meaning of these versicles won't do, I will hammer out his verse. They also show,- what, as an

some more endecasyllables. illustration of his character, is even still " P.S. - Tell Lady H. I have had sad more valuable, - the exceeding pliancy and work to keep out the Phænix — I mean the good humour with which he could yield to

Fire Office of that name. It has insured friendly suggestions and criticisms ; nor can the theatre, and why not the Address ?” it be questioned, I think, but that the docility thus invariably exhibited by him, on

TO LORD HOLLAND. points where most poets are found to be

September 24. tenacious and irritable, was a quality natural I send a recast of the four first lines of to his disposition, and such as might have the concluding paragraph. been turned to account in far more important

" This greeting o'er, the ancient rule obey'd, matters, had he been fortunate enough to

The drama's homage by her Herald paid, meet with persons capable of understanding Receive our welcome too, whose every tone and guiding him.

Springs from our hearts, and fain would win your own. The following are a few of those hasty The curtain rises, &c. &c. notes, on the subject of the Address, which And do forgive all this trouble. See what I allude to :

it is to have to do even with the genteelest

of us. Ever, &c.” TO LORD HOLLAND.

TO LORD HOLLAND. “ September 22. 1812. “My dear Lord,

“ Cheltenham, Sept. 25. 1812. " In a day or two I will send you some- “ Still ‘more matter for a May morning.' thing which you will still have the liberty to Having patched the middle and end of the reject if you dislike it. I should like to Address; I send one more couplet for a part

LETTER 98.

meteors

&c. &c.

of the beginning, which, if not too turgid, you Garden market on the night of conflagration, will have the goodness to add. After that instead of the audience or the discerning flagrant image of the Thames (I hope no public at large, all of whom are intended to unlucky wag

will

say I have set it on fire, be comprised in that comprehensive and, I though' Dryden, in his · Annus Mirabilis,' hope, comprehensible pronoun. and Churchill, in his “Times,' did it before By the by, one of my corrections in the me), I mean to insert this

fair copy sent yesterday has dived into the

bathos some sixty fathom As flashing far the new Volcano shone

“ When Garrick died, and Brinsley ceased to write. And swept the skies with lightnings 3 not their own, While thousands throng'd around the burning dome, Ceasing to live is a much more serious con

cern, and ought not to be first ; therefore I think thousands' less flat than “crowds I will let the old couplet stand, with its collected'-- but don't let me plunge into the half rhymes ‘sought' and 'wrote.'i Second bathos, or rise into Nat. Lee's Bedlam me- thoughts in every thing are best, but, in taphors. By the by, the best view of the rhyme, third and fourth don't come amiss. said fire (which I myself saw from a house-I am very anxious on this business, and I do top in Covent-garden) was at Westminster hope that the very trouble I occasion you Bridge, from the reflection on the Thames. will plead its own excuse, and that it will

“ Perhaps the present couplet had better tend to show my endeavour to make the come in after “trembled for their homes, most of the time allotted. I wish I had the two lines after ; as otherwise the known it months ago, for in that case I had image certainly sinks, and it will run just as

not left one line standing on another. I well.

always scrawl in this way, and smooth as “ The lines themselves, perhaps, may be much as I can, but never sufficiently; and, better thus-(choose,' or 'refuse'

but latterly, I can weave a nine-line stanza faster please yourself, and don't mind · Sir Fret- than a couplet, for which measure I have ful') –

not the cunning. When I began “Childe "As fash'a the volumed blaze, and { challely}

Harold,' I had never tried Spenser's mea

sure, and now I cannot scribble in any The skies with lightnings awful as their own.

other. The last runs smoothest, and, I think, best; “ After all, my dear Lord, if you can get a but you

know better than best. “Lurid' is decent Address elsewhere, don't hesitate to also a less indistinct epithet than ‘livid wave,' put this aside. Why did you not trust your and, if you think so, a dash of the pen will own Muse ? I am very sure she would have do.

been triumphant, and saved the Committee I expected one line this morning; in the their trouble —"'tis a joyful one' to me, but mean time, I shall remodel and condense, I fear I shall not satisfy even myself. After and, if I do not hear om you, shall send the account you sent me, 'tis no compliment

to say you would have beaten your can“ I am ever, &c."

didates; but I mean that, in that case, there would have been no occasion for their being

beaten at all. TO LORD HOLLAND.

“ There are but two decent prologues in

September 26. 1812. our tongue — Pope's to Cato — Johnson's “ You will think there is no end to my to Drury-Lane. These, with the epilogue villanous emendations. The fifth and sixth to the · Distrest Mother,' and, I think, one lines I think to alter thus

of Goldsmith's ?, and a prologue of old

Colman's to Beaumont and Fletcher's Phi“ Ye who beheld - oh sight admired and mourn'd,

laster, are the best things of the kind we Whose radiance mock'd the ruin it adorn'd;

have. because 'night' is repeated the next line but

- I am diluted to the throat with one ; and, as it now stands, the conclusion of medicine for the stone ; and Boisragon wants the paragraph, ‘worthy him (Shakspeare) me to try a warm climate for the winter and you,' appears to apply the 'you' to those but I won't.” only who were out of bed and in Covent

shone

another copy.

LETTER 99.

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“P.S.

1« Such are the names that here your plaudits sought,

When Garrick acted, and when Brinsley wrote.'

“Dear are the days that made our annals bright,

Ere Garrick fled, or Brinsley ceased to write." 2 [To Charlotte Lennox's comedy of " The Sister." See Goldsmith's Misc. Works, vol. iv. p. 130. ed. 1837.)

At present the couplet stands thus:

Ær. 24.

LETTERS TO LORD HOLLAND.

169

LETTER 100. TO LORD HOLLAND.

“ Till slowly ebb’d the

{ spent volcanic } wave, “ September 27. 1812.

And blackening ashes mark'd the Muse's grave. “I have just received your very

kind letter, and hope you have met with a second If not, we will say “burning wave,' and copy corrected and addressed to Holland instead of burning clime,' in the line some House, with some omissions and this new

couplets back, have 'glowing.'

Is Whitbread determined to castrate all couplet,

my cavalry lines ? 3 I don't see why t’other “ As glared each rising flash!, and ghastly shone house should be spared ; besides, it is the The skies with lightnings awful as their own.

public, who ought to know better ; and you As to remarks, I can only say I will alter recollect Johnson's was against similar bufand acquiesce in any thing. With regard to fooneries of Rich's — but, certes, I am not the part which Whitbread wishes to omit, I Johnson. believe the Address will go off quicker without “ Instead of effects,' say labours 'it, though, like the agility of the Hottentot, degenerate' will do, will it? Mr. Betty is at the expense of its vigour. I leave to no longer a babe, therefore the line cannot your choice entirely the different specimens be personal. of stucco-work; and a brick of your own Will this do? will also much improve my Babylonish turret.

S the burning I should like Elliston to have it, with your

“ Till ebb'd the lava of that molten } wave, leave. · Adorn' and “mourn ' are lawful with glowing dome, in case you prefer rhymes in Pope's Death of the unfortunate Lady. -Gray has ‘forlorn’and ‘mourn' The word fiery pillar' was suggested by

burning' added to this 'wave' metaphorical

. - and torn' and 'mourn' are in Smollett's the pillar of fire” in the book of Exodus, famous Tears of Scotland. ?

which went before the Israelites through the “ As there will probably be an outcry Red Sea. I once thought of saying "like amongst the rejected, I hope the Committee Israel's pillar,' and making it a simile, but I will testify (if it be needful) that I sent in did not know, the great temptation was nothing to the congress whatever, with or leaving the epithet fiery' for the supplewithout a name, as your Lordship, well

mentary wave. I want to work up that knows. All I have to do with it is with and through you; and though I, of course, wish passage, as it is the only new ground us

prologuizers can go upon — to satisfy the audience, I do assure you my first object is to comply with your request,

“ This is the place where, if a poet and in so doing to show the sense I have of

Shined in description, he might show it. the many obligations you have conferred upon If I part with the possibility of a future conme. Yours ever,

“B."

flagration, we lessen the compliment to

Shakspeare. However, we will e'en mend LETTER 101. TO LORD HOLLAND.

it thus September 28. 1812.

“ Yes, it shall be the magic of that name, “Will this do better? The metaphor is That scorns the scythe of Time, the torch of Flame, more complete.

On the same spot, &c. &c.

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1 At present, “ As glared the volumed blaze."

Blame not our judgment should we acquiesce, ? [" By foreign hands thy humble grave adorn'd,

And gratify you more by showing less.
By strangers honour'd, and by strangers mourn'd."

Oh, since your Fiat stamps the Drama's laws,
Pope.

Forbear to mock us with misplaced applause ; "Stay, oh stay! nor thus forlorn,

That public praise be ne'er again disgraced,
Leave me anbless'd, uppitied, here to mourn.'

brutes to man recall
From

{babes and brutes redeem} a nation's taste ;

GRAY. “Mourn, hapless Caledonia, mourn

Then pride shall doubly nerve the actor's powers, Thy banish'd peace, thy laurels torn."

When Reason's voice is echoed back by ours."

SMOLLETT.) * The lines he here alludes to, and which, in spite of quent copy, thus :

The last couplet but one was again altered in a subseall his efforts to retain them, were omitted by the Committee, ran thus:

The past reproach let present scenes refute, * Nay, lower still, the Drama yet deplores

Nor shift from man to babe, from babe to brute." That late she deign'd to crawl upon all-fours. When Richard roars in Bosworth for a horse,

* The form of this couplet, as printed, is as follows :If you command, the steed must come in course.

“ Till blackening ashes and the lonely wall If you decree, the Stage must condescend To soothe the sickly taste we dare not mend.

Usurp'd the Muse's realm, and mark'd her fall."

LETTER 103. TO LORD HOLLAND.

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LETTER 102.

TO LORD HOLLAND.

There — the deuce is in it, if that is not an other House allusion is ‘non sequitur'—but I improvement to Whitbread's content. Re- wish to plead for this part, because the thing collect, it is the name,' and not the magic,' really is not to be passed over. Many afterthat has a noble contempt for those same pieces at the Lyceum by the same company weapons. If it were the magic,' my me- have already attacked this · Augean Stable' taphor would be somewhat of the maddest and Johnson, in his prologue against ‘Lunn - so the 'name' is the antecedent. But, (the harlequin manager, Rich), — ' Hunt,' — my dear Lord, your patience is not quite so *Mahomet,' &c. is surely a fair precedent." immortal — therefore, with many and sincere thanks, I am

“ Yours ever most affectionately. “P. S.-I foresee there will be charges of

September 29. 1812. partiality in the papers ; but you know I

Shakspeare certainly ceased to reign in one sent in no Address ; and glad both you and I of his kingdoms, as George III. did in America, must be that I did not, for, in that case, and George IV.2 may in Ireland ? Now, we their plea had been plausible. I doubt the have nothing to do out of our own realms, and Pit will be testy ; but conscious innocence when the monarchy was gone, his majesty (a novel and pleasing sensation) makes me

had but a barren sceptre. I have cut away, bold."

you will see, and altered, but make it what you please ; only I do implore, for my own gratification, one lash on those accursed

quadrupeds -'a long shot, Sir Lucius, if September 28.

you love me. I have altered 'wave,' &c., “I have altered the middle couplet, so as and the fire,' and so forth for the timid. I hope partly to do away with W.'s objection.

“Let me hear from you when convenient, I do think, in the present state of the stage, and believe me, &c. it had been unpardonable to pass over the

“P.S. - Do let that stand, and cut out horses and Miss Mudie, &c. As Betty is

elsewhere. I shall choke, if we must overno longer a boy, how can this be applied to

look their d-d menagerie.” him ? He is now to be judged as a man. If he acts still like a boy, the public will but be more ashamed of their blunder. I have, you see, now taken it for granted that these

“ September 30. 1812. things are reformed. I confess, I wish that

“I send you the most I can make of it; part of the Address to stand ; but if W. is for I am not so well as I was, and find I inexorable, e'en let it go. I have also new

pall in resolution.' cast the lines, and softened the hint of future combustion ', and sent them off this Tetbury by twelve on Saturday ; and from

" I wish much to see you, and will be at morning. Will you have the goodness to

thence I go on to Lord Jersey's. It is imadd, or insert, the approved alterations as they arrive? They come like shadows, of the Stage, but I have lightened it, and en

possible not to allude to the degraded state so depart ;' occupy me, and, I fear, disturb deavoured to obviate your other objections. you.

There is a new couplet for Sheridan, allusive “ Do not let Mr. W. put his Address into

to his Monody. All the alterations I have Elliston's hands till you have settled on these alterations. E. will think it too long : parison with the other copy.

marked thus 1, as you will see by com

I hare – much depends on the speaking. I fear cudgelled my brains with the greatest willit will not bear much curtailing, without ingness, and only wish I had more time to chasms in the sense.

have done better. " It is certainly too long in the reading ; but if Elliston exerts himself

, such a favourite couplet inserted for the quiet of the Com

“ You will find a sort of clap-trap laudatory with the public will not be thought tedious. mittee, and I have added, towards the end, I should think it so, if he were not to

the couplet you were pleased to like. The speak it.

* Yours ever, &c.

whole Address is seventy-three lines, still

perhaps too long; and, if shortened, you will “P. S.-On looking again, I doubt my

LETTER 104. TO LORD HOLLAND.

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idea save time, but, I fear, a little of what I meant of having obviated W.'s objection. To the for sense also.

It had been, originally,

Though other piles may sink in future flame,
Ou the same spot," &c. &c.

9 Some objection, it appears from this, had been made to the passage, “ and Shakspeare ceased to reign."

64

Ær. 24.

LETTERS TO LORD HOLLAND.

171

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“ With myriads of thanks, I am ever, &c. or Hawkins's Pipe of Tobacco, it will not

My sixteenth edition of respects to be bad fun for the imitated. Lady H. — How she must laugh at all this!

“Ever, &c." "I wish Murray, my publisher, to print off some copies as soon as your Lordship

LETTER 106. TO LORD HOLLAND. returns to town - it will ensure correctness

" October 2. 1812. in the papers afterwards.”

"A copy of this still altered is sent by the

post, but this will arrive first. It must be LETTER 105. TO LORD HOLLAND.

humbler' — yet aspiring' does away the " Far be from him that hour which asks in vain modesty, and, after all, truth is truth. BeTears such as flow for Garrick in his strain ;

sides, there is a puff direct altered, to please

your plaguy renters. “ Far be that hour that vainly asks in turn

“I shall be at Tetbury by 12 or 1 — but

There Such verse for him as crown'd his

send this for you to ponder over. wept o'er } Garrick's urn.

are several little things marked thus / altered

September 30. 1812. for your perusal. I have dismounted the “Will you choose between these added to cavalry, and, I hope, arranged to your genethe lines on Sheridan ?i I think they will ral satisfaction. wind up the panegyric, and agree with the

" Ever, &c." train of thought preceding them.

“At Tetbury by noon. - I hope, after it is “Now, one word as to the Committee

sent, there will be no more elisions. It is how could they resolve on a rough copy of not now so long — 73 lines — two less than an Address never sent in, unless you had been allotted. I will alter all Committee obgood enough to retain in memory or on paper, jections, but I hope you won't permit Elli ton the thing they have been good enough to to have any voice whatever, — except in adopt? By the by, the circumstances of speaking it.” the case should make the Committee less ‘avidus gloriæ,' for all praise of them would look plaguy suspicious. If necessary to be

CHAPTER XVI. stated at all, the simple facts bear them out. They surely had a right to act as they pleas

1812-1813. ed. My sole object is one which, I trust, my whole conduct has shown ; viz. that I CHELTENHAM. —LETTERS TO MR. MURRAY, did nothing insidious — sent in no Address MR. WILLIAM BANKES, LORD HOLLAND, whatever — but, when applied to, did my AND MR. ROGERS. GRANVILLE PENN'S best for them and myself; but, above all

, CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE, AND BIOSCOPE, that there was no undue partiality, which OR DIAL

EXPLAINED. - THE will be what the rejected will endeavour to REJECTED ADDRESSES. DR. BUSBY. make out. Fortunately — most fortunately JAMES

HORACE SMITH. - I sent in no lines on the occasion. For CATION OF THE WALTZ — AND OF THE I am sure that had they, in that case, been GIAOUR, GROUND-WORK OF THE FICpreferred, it would have been asserted that TION, LETTER FROM LORD SLIGO. I was known, and owed the preference to SUCCESS OF THE POEM. - NEW EDITIONS private friendship. This is what we shall AND ADDITIONAL PASSAGES. -A SUPprobably have to encounter ; but, if once PER AT MR, ROGERS's. —LORD TAURLOW's spoken and approved, we sha’n't be much POEMS, ANECDOTES OF embarrassed by their brilliant conjectures ; GEORGE COLMAN. - ACQUAINTANCE WITH and, as to criticism, an old author, like an MR. LEIGH HUNT-VISIT

MR, HUNT old bull, grows cooler (or ought) at every IN HORSEMONGER-LANE GAOL, -THIRD baiting.

AND LAST SPEECH IN THE HOUSE OF “ The only thing would be to avoid a

RECOLLECparty on the night of delivery — afterwards, TIONS. GRATTAN. FOX. the more the better, and the whole trans- CANNING, WINDHAM. -WHITBREAD, action inevitably tends to a good deal of HOLLAND. - LANSDOWNE, GRENVILLE, discussion. Murray tells me there are BURDETT. - WARD, - · PEEL, WILmyriads of ironical Addresses ready — some, BERFORCE.

LAUDERDALE. in imitation of what is called my style. If - SHERIDAN.-HORNE TOOKE.- FLOOD. they are as good as the Probationary Odes, COURTENAY.

The time comprised in the series of letters These added lines, as may be seen by reference to the printed Address, were not retained.

to Lord Holland, which, as being exclusively

OF

LIFE

AND

PUBLI

SHERIDAN.

TO

LORDS,

PARLIAMENTARY

GREY.

ERSKINE.

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