The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford — Volume 3 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,055 pages of information about The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford — Volume 3.
thought of being known for an author even by his own acquaintance!  In the stage-box was Lady Bute, Lord Halifax, and Lord Melcombe.  I must say, the two last entertained the house as much as the play; your King was prompter, and called out to the actor every minute to speak louder.  The other went backwards, behind the scenes, fetched the actors into the box, and was busier than Harlequin.  The curious prologue was not spoken, the whole very ill acted.  It turned out just what I remembered it; the good extremely good, the rest very flat and vulgar; the genteel dialogue, I believe, might be written by Mrs. Hannah.  The audience were extremely fair:  the first act they bore with patience, though it promised very ill; the second is admirable, and was much applauded; so was the third; the fourth-woful; the beginning of the fifth it seemed expiring, but was revived by a delightful burlesque of the ancient chorus, which was followed by two dismal scenes, at which people yawned, but were awakened on a sudden by Harlequin’s being drawn up to a gibbet, nobody knew why or wherefore — this raised a prodigious and continued hiss, Harlequin all the while suspended in the air,—­at last they were suffered to finish the play, but nobody attended to the conclusion.(179) Modesty and his lady all the while sat with the utmost indifference; I suppose Lord Melcombe had fallen asleep before he came to this scene, and had never read it.  The epilogue was the King and new queen, and ended with a personal satire on Garrick:  not very kind on his own stage To add to the judgment of his conduct, Cumberland two days ago published a pamphlet to abuse him.  It was given out for to-night with rather more claps than hisses, but I think will not do unless they reduce it to three acts.

I am sorry you will not come to the coronation.  The place I offered I am not sure I can get for any body else; I cannot explain it to you, because I am engaged to secrecy:  if I can get it for your brother John I will, but don’t tell him of it, because it is not sure.  Adieu!

(179) The piece was coldly received by the town.  Cumberland says that, “when the last of the three Wishes produced the ridiculous catastrophe of the hanging of Harlequin in full view of the audience, my uncle, the author, then sitting by me, whispered in my ear, ’If they don’t damn this they deserve to be damned themselves;’ and whilst he was yet speaking the roar began, and The Wishes were irrevocably damned."-E.

Letter 88 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.  Strawberry Hill. (page 140)

This is the 5th of August, and I just receive your letter of the 17th of last month by Fitzroy.(180) I heard he had lost his pocket-book with all his despatches, but had found it again.  He was a long time finding the letter for me.

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The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford — Volume 3 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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