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The document in Mr. Sheridan's hand-writing, already mentioned, from which I have stated the sums paid in 1776 by him, Dr. Ford, and Mr. Linley, for Garrick's moiety of the Drury Lane Theatre, thus mentions the new purchase, by which he extended his interest in this property in the year 1778:-" Mr. Sheridan afterwards was obliged to buy Mr. Lacy's moiety at a price exceeding 45,000l. : this was in the year 1778.” - He then adds--what it may be as well to cite, while I have the paper before me, though relating to subsequent changes in the property: “ In order to enable Mr. S. to complete this purpose, he afterwards consented to divide his original share between Dr. Ford and Mr. Linley, so as to make


each of theirs a quarter. But the price at which they purchased from Mr. Sheridan was not at the rate which he bought from Lacy, though at an advance on the price paid to Garrick.

Mr. S. has since purchased Dr. Ford's quarter for the sum of 17,000l., subject to the increased incumbrance of the additional renters.”

By what spell all these thousands were conjured up, it would be difficult accurately to ascertain. That happy art-in which the people of this country are such adepts-of putting the future in pawn for the supply of the present, must have been the chief resource of Mr. Sheridan in all these later purchases.

Among the visible signs of his increased influence in the affairs of the theatre, was the appointment, this year, of his father to be manager ; -a reconciliation having taken place between them, which was facilitated, no doubt, by the brightening prospects of the son, and by the generous confidence which his prosperity gave him in making the first advances towards such a reunion.

One of the novelties of the year was a musical entertainment called The Camp, which was falsely attributed to Mr. Sheridan at the time, and has since been inconsiderately admitted into the Collection of his Works. This unworthy trifle (as appears from a rough copy of it in my possession) was the production of Tickell, and the patience with which his friend submitted to the imputation of having written it was a sort of

martyrdom of fame” which few but himself could afford.

At the beginning of the year 1779 Garrick died, and Sheridan, as chief mourner, followed him to the grave. He also wrote a Monody to his memory, which was delivered by Mrs. Yates, after the play of the West Indian, in the month of March following. During the interment of Garrick in Poets' Corner, Mr. Burke had remarked that the statue of Shakspeare seemed to point to the grave where the great actor of his works was laid. This hint did not fall idly on the ear of Sheridan, as the following fixation of the thought, in the verses which he afterwards wrote, proved : “ The throng that mourn'd, as their dead favourite

pass'd, The grac'd respect that claim'd him to the last; While Shakspeare's image, from its hallow'd base, Seem'd to prescribe the grave and point the place.”

This Monody, which was the longest flight ever sustained by its author in verse, is more remarkable, perhaps, for refinement and elegance, than for either novelty of thought or depth of sentiment. There is, however, a fine burst of poetical eloquence in the lines beginning “Superior hopes the poet's bosom fire;" and this passage,

, accordingly, as being the best in the poem, was, by the gossiping critics of the day, attributed to Tickell,—from the same laudable motives that had induced them to attribute Tickell's bad farce to Sheridan. There is no end to the variety of

the stage,

these small missiles of malice, with which the Gullivers of the world of literature are assailed by the Lilliputians around them.

The chief thought which pervades this poem, -namely, the fleeting nature of the actor's art and fame,-had already been more simply expressed by Garrick himself in his Prologue to The Clandestine Marriage : “ The painter's dead, yet still he charms the суе,

While England lives, his fame can never die;
But he, who struts his hour upon
Can scarce protract his fame through half an age;
Nor pen nor pencil can the actor save ;
The art and artist have one coinmon grave."

Colley Cibber, too, in his portrait (if I remember right) of Betterton, breaks off into the same reflection, in the following graceful passage, which is one of those instances, where prose could not be exchanged for poetry without loss :-“ Pity it is that the momentary beauties, flowing from an harmonious elocution, cannot, like those of poetry, be their own record; that the animated graces of the player can live no longer than the instant breath and motion that presents them, or, at best, can but faintly glimmer through the memory of a few surviving spectators.”

With respect to the style and versification of the Monody, the heroic couplet in which it is written has long been a sort of Ulysses' bow, at which Poetry tries her suitors, and at which they



almost all fail. Redundancy of epithet and monotony of cadence are the inseparable companions of this metre in ordinary hands; nor could all the taste and skill of Sheridan keep it wholly free from these defects in his own. To the subject of metre, he had, nevertheless, paid great attention. There are among his papers some fragments of an Essay * which he had commenced

* Or rather memorandums collected, as was his custom, with a view to the composition of such an Essay. He had been reading the writings of Dr. Foster, Webb, etc. on this subject, with the intention, apparently, of publishing an answer to them. The following (which is one of the few consecutive passages I can find in these notes) will show how little reverence he entertained for that ancient prosody, upon which, in the system of English education, so large and precions a portion of human life is wasted :-" I never desire a stronger proof that an author is on a wrong scent on these subjects, than to see Quintilian, Aristotle, etc. quoted on a point where they have not the least business. All poetry is made by the ear, which must be the sole judge—it is a sort of musical rhythmus. If then we want to reduce our practical harruony to rules, every man, with a knowledge of his own language and a good ear, is at once competent to the undertaking. Let him trace it to music-if he has no knowledge, let him inquire.

" We have lost all notion of the ancient accent; -we have lost their pronunciation ;-all puzzling about it is ridiculous, and trying to find out the melody of our own verse by theirs is still worse.

We should have had all our own metres, if we never had heard a word of their language,-this I affirm. Every nation finds out for itself a national melody; and we may say of it, 'as of religion, no place has been discovered without music. A people, likewise, as their language inproves, will introduce a music into their poetry, which is sim (that is to say, the numerical part of poetry, which must be distinguished from the imaginary) the transferring

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