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.
a great actor’?  His Cymon, his prologues and epilogues, and forty such pieces of trash, are below mediocrity, and yet delight the mob in the boxes as well as in the footman’s gallery.  I do not mention the things written in his praise; because he writes most Of them himself!  But you know any one popular merit can confer all merit.  Two women talking Of Wilkes, one said he squinted—­t’other replied, “Squints!—­well, if he does, it is not more than a man should squint.”  For my part, I can see how extremely well Garrick acts, without thinking him six feet high.  It is said Shakspeare was a bad actor; why do not his divine plays make our wise judges conclude that he was a good one?  They have not a proof of the contrary, as they have in Garrick’s works—­but what is it to you or me what he is?  We may see him act with pleasure, and nothing obliges us to read his writings.(69)

(69) The best defence of Garrick against the charges which Walpole so repeatedly brings against him will be found in the estimation in which he was held by the most distinguished of his contemporaries.  His friend Dr. Johnson thought well of’ his talent in prologue writing:  “Dryden,” he said, “has written prologues superior to any that David has written; but David has written more good prologues than Dryden has done.  It is wonderful that he has been able to write such variety of them.  A true conception of character and natural expression of it, were his distinguished excellences; but I thought him less to be envied on the stage than at the head of a table.  He was the first man in the world for sprightly conversation."-E.

Letter 41 To The Rev. Mr. Cole.  Arlington Street, June 9, 1772. (page 66)

Dear sir, The preceding paper(70) was given me by a gentleman, who has a better opinion of my bookhood than I deserve.  I could give him no satisfaction, but told him, I would get inquiry made at Cambridge for the pieces he wants.  If you can give any assistance in this chase, I am sure you will:  as it will be trouble enough, I will not make my letter longer.

(70) This letter enclosed some queries from a gentleman abroad, respecting books, etc. relating to the order of Malta.

Letter 42 To The Rev. Mr. Cole.  Strawberry Hill, June 17, 1772. (page 66)

Dear sir, You are a mine that answers beyond those of Peru.  I have given the treasure you sent me to the gentleman from whom I had the queries.  He is vastly obliged to you, and I am sure so am I, for the trouble you have given yourself"and, therefore I am going to give you more.  King Edward’s Letters are printed.(71) Shall I keep them for you or send them, and how?  I intend you four copies—­shall you want more?  Lord Ossory takes a hundred, and I have as many; but none will be sold.

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The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford — Volume 4 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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