« 이전계속 »
the foremost and warmest of which is the gentleman to whose virtues you have inscribed an ode. I must see it,-on my discretion you may safely rely. Non sum qualis eram. Calamities of the magnitude that I have sustained are powerful preachers, and I think I bave not been deaf to their voice.
Your asking leave to bring Mr. Clutterbuck here is pleasant enough; it is just as if you was to make an apology to an epicure for taking the liberty to send him a turtle, or to beg Lady Vane's pardon for the introduction of a young tall raw. boned Milesian,
So long as I love cheerfulness, good humour, and humanity, I shall be glad to meet that gentleman any where ; happy if it chances to be where the rights of hospitality call upon me to pay him a particular attention. Sir Francis, who is unalterably yours, though we were a little piqued at your passing us by, begs that upon this occasion I would say “ all that you can suppose.” Mr. Beard's answer to mine was such as you guessed : it came accompanied by a letter from Smith, just to let me know, that as to cutting the Commissary (for that I think is the phrase, and a pretty expressive one too), nothing so remote from his thoughts; his design was only to sink the two best scenes in the piece.
The duke of York, lord and lady Mexborough, &c. &c. have been here for three or four days, totally ignorant about my unfortunate artery, and expecting to find me upon crutches,—but they are gone, and I am still on my back. To-morrow I have leave to resume my great chair, and, perhaps, the next day—but levius fit patientia, quicquid corrigere nefas. Poor Derrick! I expected every day to see him, by some of his irascible countryman, sowsed in the neighbouring stream-the only chance, I think, he has of resembling the swans of the Avon.
Sir Francis has conceived, from your letter, that we are not to see Mrs. Garrick, but we all think and hope he is mistaken. Adieu, dear sir; it is lucky for you that I am at the end of my paper, otherwise I should not tell you this hour how sincerely I am your affectionate servant,
SAMUEL FOOTE TO THE DUCHESS OF
[August, 1775). THOUGH I have neither time nor inclination to answer the illiberal attacks of your agents, yet a public correspondence with your grace is too great an honour for me to decline. I can't help thinking but it would have been prudent in your grace to have answered my letter before dinner, or at least postponed it to the cool hour of the morning; you would then have found that I had voluntarily granted that request which you had endeavoured, by so many different ways, to obtain.
Lord Mountstuart, for whose amiable qualities I have the highest respect, and whose name your agents first very unnecessarily produced to the public, must recollect, when I had the honour to
meet him at Kingston House, by your grace's appointment, that instead of begging relief from your charity, I rejected your splendid offers to suppress the “ Trip to Calais,” with the contempt they deserved. Indeed, madam, the humanity of my royal and benevolent master, and the public protection, have placed me much above the reach of your bounty.
But why, madam, put on your “ coat of mail” against me? I have no hostile intentions. Folly, not vice, is the game I pursue. In those scenes which you so unaccountably apply to yourself, you must observe, that there is not the slightest hint at the little incidents of your life, which have excited the curiosity of the grand inquest for the county of Middlesex. I am happy, madam, how. ever, to hear that your robe of “ innocence” is in such perfect repair; I was afraid it might have been a little the worse for wearing; may it hold out to keep you warm the next winter.
The progenitors your grace has done me the honour to give me, are, I presume, merely metaphorical persons, and to be considered as the authors of my muse, and not of my manhood: a merry andrew and a prostitute are no bad poetical parents, especially for a writer of plays; the first to give the humour and mirth, the last to furnish the graces and powers of attraction.Prostitutes and players must live by pleasing the public: not but your grace may have heard of ladies, who, by private practice, have accumulated amazing great fortunes. If you mean that I really owe my birth to that pleasing connexion, your grace is grossly deceived. My father was, VOL. V.
in truth, a very useful magistrate and respectable country gentleman, as the whole county of Cornwall will tell you. My mother, the daughter of Sir Edward Goodere, bart., who represented the county of Hereford ; her fortune was large, and her morals irreproachable, till your grace condescended to stain them; she was upwards of fourscore years old when she died, and what will surprise your grace, was never married but once in her life. I am obliged to your grace for your intended present on the day, as you politely ex, press it, when I am to be “ turned off.” But where will your grace get the “Cupid" to bring me the “ lip salve ?" That family, I am afraid, have long quitted your service. - Pray, madam, is not J- n the name of your female confidential secretary ? and is not she generally clothed in black petticoats made out of your weeds?
So mourn’d the dames of Ephesus her love. I fancy your grace took the hint when you last resided at Rome : you heard there, I suppose, of a certain Joan, who was once elected a pope, and in humble imitation, have converted a pious par. son into a chambermaid. The scheme is new in this country, and has doubtless its particular pleasures. That you may never want the benefit of clergy, in every emergence, is the sincere wish of your grace's most devoted and obliged humble servant,
SAMUEL FOOTE TO LORD HERTFORD (THE
[August, 1775.] I did intend troubling your lordship with an earlier address, but the day after I received your probibitory mandate, I had the honour of a visit from Lord Mountstuart, to whose interposition I find I am indebted for your first commands, relative to the “ Trip to Calais,” by Mr. Chetwynd, and your final rejection of it by Col. Keen. • Lord Mountstuart has, I presume, told your lordship, that he read with me those scenes to which your lordship objected, that he found them collected from general nature, and applicable to none but those, who, through consciousness, were compelled to self-application. To such minds, my lord, the Whole Duty of Man, next to the Sacred Writings, is the severest satire that ever was wrote ; and to the same mark, if Comedy directs not her aim, her arrows are shot in the air; for by what touches no man, no man will be mended. Lord Mountstuart desired that I would suffer him to take the play with him, and let him leave it with the duchess of Kingston: he had my consent, my lord, and at the same time an assurance, that I was willing to make any alteration that her grace would suggest. Her grace saw the play, and in consequence I saw her grace : with the result of that interview, I shall not, at this time, trouble your lordship. It may perhaps be necessary to observe, that her grace could not discern, which your lordship, I dare say, will