In truth, my lord, it is too late now to hinder copies of my play from being spread. It has appeared here, both whole and in fragments: and, to prevent a spurious one, I was forced to have some printed myself: therefore, if I consent to an Irish edition, it is from no vain desire of diffusing the performance. Indeed, my good lord, I have lived too long not to have divested myself both of vanity and affected modesty. I have not existed to past seventy-three without having discovered the futility and triflingness of my own talents: and, at the same time, it would be impertinent to pretend to think that there is no merit in the execution of a tragedy, on which I have been so much flattered; though I am sincere in condemning the egregious absurdity of selecting a subject so improper for the stage, and even offensive to private readers.
But I have said too much on a personal theme; and therefore, after repeating a million of thanks to your lordship for the honour of your interposition, I will beg your lordship, if you please, to signify to the bookseller that you withdraw your prohibition: but I shall not answer Mr. Walker’s letter, till I have your lordship’s approbation, for You are both my lord chamberlain ’and licenser; and though I have a tolerably independent spirit, I may safely trust myself under the absolute power of one, who has voluntarily protected me against the licentiousness of those who have invaded my property, and who distinguishes so accurately and justly between license and liberty.
(740) Now first collected. This letter was written in consequence of one Walpole had received, informing him that a Dublin bookseller was about to print his tragedy of The Mysterious Mother. At this time, and indeed until the Union took place, there was no act of parliament which regulated literary property in Ireland.-E.
Here is a shocking, not a fatal, codicil to Gunnilda’s story. But first I should tell you, that two days after the explosion, the ignora Madre took a postchaise and four, and drove to Blenheim; but, not finding the Duke and Duchess there, she inquired where the Marquis was, and pursued him to Sir Henry Dashwood’s: finding him there, she began about her poor daughter; but he interrupted her, said there was an end put to all that, and desired to lead her to her chaise, which he insisted on doing, and did. I think this