I was excessively amused on Tuesday night; there was a play at Holland-house, acted by children; not all children, for Lady Sarah Lenox(124) and Lady Susan Strangways(125) played the women. It was Jane Shore; Mr. Price, Lord Barrington’s nephew, was Gloster, and acted better than three parts of the comedians. Charles Fox, Hastings; a little Nichols, who spoke well, Belmour; Lord Ofaly,,(126) Lord Ashbroke, and other boys did the rest: but the two girls were delightful, and acted with so much nature and simplicity, that they appeared the very things they represented. Lady Sarah was more beautiful than you can conceive, and her very awkwardness gave an air of truth to the shame of the part, and the antiquity of the time, which was kept up by her dress, taken out of Montfaucon. Lady Susan was dressed from Jane Seymour; and all the parts were clothed in ancient habits, and with the most minute propriety. I was infinitely more struck with the last scene between the two women than ever I was when I have seen it on the stage. When Lady Sarah was in white, with her hair about her ears, and on the ground, no Magdalen by Corregio was half so lovely and expressive. You would have been charmed too with seeing Mr. Fox’s little boy of six years old, who is beautiful, and acted the Bishop of Ely, dressed in lawn sleeves and with a square cap; they had inserted two lines for him, which he could hardly speak plainly. Francis had given them a pretty prologue. Adieu!
(123) Basil Fielding, sixth Earl of Denbigh, and fifth Earl of Desmond. He died in 1800.-E.
(124) daughter of the Duke of Richmond, afterwards married to Sir Thomas Charles Bunbury, Bart.-E.
(125) Daughter of Stephen Fox, first Earl of Ilchester; married, in 1764, to William O’Brien, Esq.-E.
(126) Eldest son of the Marquis of Kildare.-E.
I have not written to you lately, expecting your arrival. As you are not come yet, you need not come these ten days if you please, for I go next week into Norfolk, that my subjects of Lynn may at least once in their lives see me. ’Tis a horrible thing to dine with a mayor! I shall profane King John’s cup, and taste nothing but water out of it, as if it were St. John Baptist’s.
Prepare yourself for crowds, multitudes. In this reign all the world lives in one room: the capital is as vulgar as a country town in the season of horse-races. There were no fewer than four of these throngs on Tuesday last, at the Duke of Cumberland’s, Princess Emily’s, the Opera, and Lady Northumberland’s; for even operas, Tuesday’s operas, are crowded now. There is nothing else new. Last week there was a magnificent ball at Carleton-house: the two royal Dukes and Princess Emily were there. He of York danced; the other and his sister had each their table at loo. I played at hers, and am