Mr. Henderson is still too ill to attend, but hopes to be abroad by Tuesday: Mr. Hull read his part very well. Miss Younge is perfectly mistress of her part, is pleased with it, and I think will do it justice. I never saw her play so ably. Miss Satchell, who is to play Adelaide, is exactly what she should be: very young, pretty enough, natural and simple. She has already acted Juliet with success. Her voice not only pleasing, but very audible; and, which is much more rare, very articulate: she does not gabble, as most young women do, even off the stage. Mr. Wroughton much exceeded my expectation. He enters warmly into his part, and with thorough zeal. Mr. Lewis was so very imperfect in his part, that I cannot judge quite what he will do, for he could not repeat two lines by heart; but he looked haughtily, and as he pleased me in Percy, which is the same kind of character, I promise myself he will succeed in this.
Very, very few lines will be omitted; and there will be one or two verbal alterations to accommodate the disposition, but which will not appear in the printed copies, of which Mr. Malone says he will take the management. As Mr. Harris and the players all seemed zealous and in good humour, I will not contest some trifles; and, indeed, they were not at all unreasonable. I an) to see the scenes on Friday, if I am able: and if Mr. Henderson is well enough, the play will be performed on the 17th or immediately after. Some slight delays, which one cannot foresee, may always happen. In truth-, I little expected so much readiness and compliance both in manager and actors; nor, from all I have heard of the stage, could conceive such facilities. >From the moment Mr. Harris consented to perform your play, there has not been one instance of obstinacy or wrongheadedness anywhere. If the audience is as reasonable and just, you may, Sir, promise yourself complete success.
(453) Now first printed.
I have, this minute, Sir, received the corrected copy of your tragedy, which is almost all I am able to say, for I have so much gout in this hand, and it shakes so much, that I am scarce able to manage my pen. I will go to town if I can, and consult Mr. Henderson on the alterations; though I confess I think it dangerous to propose them so late before representation, which the papers say again is to be on Saturday if Mr. Henderson is well enough. Mr. Malone shall have the corrected copy for impression.
I own I cannot suspect that Mr. Sheridan will employ any ungenerous arts against your play. I have never heard any thing to give me suspicions of his behaving unhandsomely; and as you indulge my zeal and age a liberty of speaking like a friend, I would beg you to suppress your sense of the too great prerogatives of theatric monarchs. I hope you will again and again have occasion to court the power of their crowns; and, therefore if not for your own, for the sake of the public, do not declare war with them. It has not been my practice to preach slavery; but, while one deals with and depends on mimic sovereigns, I would act policy, especially when by temporary passive obedience one can really lay a lasting obligation on one’s country, which your plays really are.