I am glad you approve what I had previously undertaken, Mr. Harris’s procuring an epilogue; he told me on Saturday that he should have one. You are very happy in friends, Sir; which is another proof of your merit. Mr. Malone is not less zealous than Mr. Tighe, to whom I beg my compliments.
(454) Now first printed.
As Mr. Malone undertook to give you an account, Sir, by last night’s post, of the great success of the tragedy, I did not hasten home to write; but stayed at the theatre, to talk to Mr. Harris and the actors, and learn what was said, besides the general applause. Indeed I never saw a more unprejudiced audience, nor more attention. There was not the slightest symptom of disapprobation to any part, and the plaudit was loud and long when given out again for Monday. I mention these circumstances in justification of Mr. Sheridan, to whom I never spoke in my life, but who certainly had not sent a single person to hurt you. The prologue was exceedingly liked; and, for effect, no play ever produced more fears. In the green-room I found that Hortensia’s sudden death was the only incident disapproved; as we heard by intelligence from the pit; and it is to be deliberated tomorrow whether it may not be preferable to carry her off as in a swoon. When there is Only so slight an objection, you cannot doubt of your full success. It is impossible to say how much justice Miss Younge did to your writing. She has shown herself’ a great mistress of her profession, mistress of dignity, passion, and of all the sentiments you have put into her hands. The applause given to her description of Raymond’s death lasted some minutes, and recommenced; and her scene in the fourth act, after the Count’s ill-usage, was played in the highest perfection. Mr. Henderson was far better than I expected from his weakness, and from his rehearsal yesterday, with which he was much discontented himself. Mr. Wroughton was very animated, and played the part of the Count much better than any man now on the stage would have done. I wish I could say Mr. Lewis satisfied me; and that poor child Miss Satchell was very inferior to what she appeared at the rehearsals, where the total silence and our nearness deceived us. Her voice has no strength, nor is she yet at all mistress of the stage. I have begged Miss Younge to try what she can do with her by Monday. However, there is no danger to your play: it is fully established. I confess I am not only pleased on your account, Sir, but on Mr. Harris’s, as he has been very obliging to me. I am not likely to have any more intercourse with the stage; but I shall be happy if I leave my interlude there by settling an amity between you and Mr. Harris, whence I hope he will draw profit and you more renown.
(455) Now first printed.