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-Nay, should the rapture-breathing Nine
In one celestial concert join,
Their sovereign's power to rehearse,
-Were you to furnish them with verse,
By Jove, I'd fly the heavenly throng,

Tho' Phoebus play'd and Linley sung." On the opening of the New Assembly Rooms at Bath, which commenced with a ridotto, Sept. 30, 1771, he wrote a humorous description of the entertaininent, called “An Epistle from Timothy Screw to his Brother Henry, Waiter at Almack's,' which appeared first in the Bath Chronicle, and was so eagerly sought after, that Crutwell, the editor, was induced to publish it in a separate form. The allusions in this trifle have, of course, lost their zest by time; and a specimen or two of its humour will be all that is

necessary Two rooms were first opened the long and the round

one, (These Hogstyegon names only serve to confound one,) Both splendidly lit with the new chandeliers, With drops hanging down like the bobs at Peg's ears : While jewels of paste reflected the rays, Add Bristol-stone diamonds gave strength to the blaze: So that it was doubtful, to view the bright clusters, Which sent the most light out, the ear-rings or lustres.

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Nor less among you was the medley, ye fair!
I believe there were some beside quality there :
Miss Spiggot, Miss Brussels, Miss Tape, and Miss

Socket,
Miss Trinkel, and aunt, with her leathern pocket,

54 MEMOIRS OF R. B. SHERIDAN.

With good Mrs. Soaker, who made her old chin go,
For hours, hobnobbing with Mrs. Syringo :
Had Tib staid at home, I b'lieve none would have miss'd

her, Or pretty Peg Runt, with her tight little sister,"etc. etc. 55

CHAPTER II.

DUELS WITH MR. MATHEWS.-MARRIAGE WITH

MISS LINLEY.

TOWARDS the close of the year 1971, the elder Mr. Sheridan went to Dublin, to perform at the theatre of that city,--leaving his young and lively family at Bath, with nothing but their hearts and imaginations to direct them.

The following letters, which passed between him and his son Richard during his absence, though possessing little other interest than that of having been written at such a period, will not, perhaps, be unwelcome to the reader :

“ My Dear RICHARD,

Dublin, Dec. 7th, 1771. How could you be so wrong-headed as to commence cold bathing at such a season of the year, and I suppose without any preparation too? You have paid sufficiently for your folly, but I hope the ill effects of it have been long since over.

brother are lond of quacking, a most dangerous disposition with regard to health. Let slight things pass away of themselves; in a case that requires assistance do nothing without advice. Mr. Crook is a very able man in his way. Should a physician be at any time wanting, apply to Dr. Nesbitt, and tell him that at leaving Bath I recommended

You and

your

you

all to his care. This indeed I intended to have mentioned to him, but it slipped my memory. I forgot Mr. Crooke's bill, too, but desire I may have the amount by the next letter. Pray what is the meaning of my hearing so seldom from Bath? Six weeks here, and but two letters! You were very tardy; what are your sisters about? I shall not easily forgive any future omissions. I suppose Charles received my answer to his, and the pol. bill from Whately. I shall order another to be sent at Christmas for the rent and other necessaries. I have not time at present to enter upon the subject of English authors, etc. but shall write to you upon that head when I get a little leisure. Nothing can be conceived in a more deplorable state than the stage of Dublin. I found two miserable companies opposing and starving each other. I chose the least bad of them; and, wretched as they are, it has had no effect on my nights, numbers having been turned away every time I played, and the receipts bave been larger than when I had Barry, his wife, and Mrs. Fitz-Henry to play with me. However, I shall not be able to continue it long, as there is no possibility of getting up a sufficient number of plays with such poor materials. I purpose to have done the week after next, and apply vigorously to the material point whieh brought me over. I find all ranks and parties very zealous for forwarding my scheme, and have reason to believe it will be carried in parliament after the

without opposition. It was in vain to have attempted it before, for never was party violence

recess,

* The money-bill, brought forward this year under Lord l'ownsend's administration, encountered violent opposition, and was finally rejected.

carried to such a height as in this sessions ; the House seldom breaking up till eleven or twelve at night. From these contests, the desire of improving in the article of elocution is become very general. There are no less than five persons of rank and fortune now waiting my leisure to become my pupils. Remember me to all friends, particularly to our good landlord and landlady. I am, with love and blessing to you all,

56 Your affectionate father,

66 THOMAS SHERIDAN. “P. S.--Tell your sisters I shall send the poplins. as soon as I can get an opportunity.”

6 DEAR FATHER, " We have been for some time in hopes of receiving a letter, that we might know that you had acquitted us of neglect in writing. At the same time we imagine that the time is not far when writing will be unnecessary; and we cannot help wishing to know the posture of the affairs, which, as you have not talked of returning, seem probable to detain you longer than

you

intended. I am perpetually asked when Mr. Sheridan is to have his patent for the theatre, whịch all the Irish here take for granted, and I often receive a great deal of information from them on the subject. Yet I cannot help being vexed when I see in the Dublin papers such bustling accounts of the proceedings of your House of Commons, as I remember it was your argument against attempting any thing from parliamentary authority in England. However, the folks here regret you, as one that is to be fixed in another kingdom, and will scarcely believe that you will ever visit Bath at all; and we are often

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