The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford — Volume 4 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 4.

Letter 232 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.  Berkeley Square, Sunday morning, Nov. 18, 1781. (page 294)

I have been here again for three days, tending and nursing and waiting on Mr. Jephson’s play.  I have brought it into the world, was well delivered of it, it can stand on its own legs—­and I am going back to My Own quiet hill, never likely to have any thing more to do with theatres.  Indeed it has seemed strange to me, who for these three or four years have not been so many times in a playhouse, nr knew six of the actors by sight, to be at two rehearsals, behind the scenes, in the green-room, and acquainted with half the company.  The Count of Narbonne was played last night with great applause, and without a single murmur of disapprobation.  Miss Younge has charmed me.(456) She played with intelligence that was quite surprising.  The applause to one of her speeches lasted a minute, and recommenced twice before the play could go on.  I am sure you will be pleased with the conduct and the easy beautiful language of the play, and struck with her acting.

(456) In 1786, this celebrated actress was married to Mr. Pope, the comedian.  She died in 1797, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.-E.

Letter 233 To Robert Jephson, Esq.(457) Strawberry Hill, Nov. 21, 1781. (page 295)

I have just received your two letters, Sir, and the epilogue, which I am sorry came so late, as there are very pretty things in it:  but I believe it would be very improper to produce it now, as the two others have been spoken.

I am sorry you are discontent with there being no standing figure of Alphonso, and that I acquiesced in its being cumbent.  I did certainly yield, and I think my reasons will justify me.  In the first place, you seemed to have made a distinction between the statue and the tomb; and, had both been represented, they would have made a confusion.  But a more urgent reason for my compliance was the shortness of the time, which did not allow the preparation of an entire new scene, as I proposed last year and this, nay, and mentioned it to Mr. Harris.  When I came to the house to see the scene prepared, it was utterly impossible to adjust an erect figure to it; nor, indeed, do I conceive, were the scene disposed as you recommend, how Adelaide could be stabbed behind the scenes.  As I never disguise the truth, I must own,.-for I did think myself so much obliged to Mr. Harris,—­that I was unwilling to heap difficulties on him, when I did not think they would hurt your piece.  I fortunately was not mistaken:  the entrance of Adelaide wounded had the utmost effect, and I believe much greater than would have resulted from her being stabbed on the stage.  In short, the success has been so complete, and both your poetry and the conduct of the tragedy are so much and so justly admired, that I flatter myself you will not blame me for what has not produced

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