Now, Sir, for the epilogue. I have taken the liberty of desiring Mr. Harris to have one prepared, in case yours should not arrive in time. It is a compliment to him, (I do not mean that he will write it himself,) will interest him still more in the cause; and, though he may not procure a very good one, a manager may know better than we do what will suit the taste of the times. The success of a play being previous, cannot be hurt by an epilogue, though some plays have been saved; and if it be not a good one, it will not affect you. If you send us a good one, though too late, it may be printed with the play.
I must act about the impression just the reverse of what I did about the performance, and must beg you would commission some friend to transact that affair; for I know nothing of the terms, and should probably disserve you if I undertook the treaty with the booksellers, nor should I have time to supervise the correction of the press. In truth, it is so disagreeable a business, that I doubt I have given proofs at my own press of being too negligent; and as I am actually at present reprinting my Anecdotes of Painting, I have but too much business of that sort on my hands. You will forgive my saying this, especially when you consider that my hands are very lame, ind that this morning in Mr. Harris’s room, the right one shook so, that I was forced to desire him to write a memorandum for me.
I think I have omitted nothing material. Mr. Wroughton is to play the Count. I do not know who will speak the prologue; probably not Mr. Henderson, as he has been so very ill: nor should I be very earnest for it; for the Friar’s is so central and so laborious a part, that I should not wish to abate his powers by any previous exertion. Perhaps I refine too much, but I own I think the non-appearance of a principal actor till his part opens is an advantage.
I will only add that I must beg you will not talk of obligations to me. You have at least overpaid me d’avance by the honour you have done me in adopting the Castle of Otranto.
(450) Now first printed.
(451) To the tragedy of the Count of Narbonne. See ant`e, p. 238, letter 184.-E.
(452) Miss Satchell.
As I have been at the rehearsal of your tragedy to-day, Sir, I must give you a short a(-count of it; though I am little able to write, having a good deal of gout in my right hand, which would have kept me away from any thing else, and made me hurry back hither the moment it was over, lest I should be confined to town. Mr. Malone, perhaps, who was at the playhouse too, may have anticipated me; for I could not save the post to-night, nor will this go till to-morrow.