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tem of exertion and good management. No. 5. the actual annual incun-brances. No. 6 the nightly expenses. No. 7. the estimated profits. Calculating on which, I demand, for a quarter of the property reserving to myself the existing private boxes, but no more to be created, and the fruit-offices and houses not part of the theatre.

“ I assume that Mr. Kemble and I agree as to the price, annexing the following conditions to our agreement:~Mr. Kemble shall have his engagement as an actor for any rational time he pleases. Mr. Kemble shall be manager, with a clear salary of 500 guineas per annum, and per cent. on the clear profits. Mr. Sheridan engages to procure from Messrs. Hammersleys a loan to Mr. Kemble of ten thousand pounds, part of the purchase-money, for four years, for which loan he is content to become collateral security, and also to leave his other securities, now in their hands, in mortgage for the same. And for the payment of the rest of the money, Mr. Sheridan is ready to give Mr. Kemble every facility his circumstances will admit of. It is not to be overlooked, that if a private box is also made over to Mr. Kemble, for the whole term of the theatre lease, its value cannot be stated at less than 35ool. Indeed, it might at any time produce to Mr. Kemble, or his assigns, 3ool. num. Vide No. 8. This is a material deduction from the purchase-money to be paid.

Supposing all this arrangement made , I conceive Mr. Kemble's income would stand thus:-

L.
Salary as an actor

1050
In lieu of benefit,

315 As manager,

525 Per centage on clear profit,

300
Dividend on quarter-share,

2500
L. 46900

per an

S. d.

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“I need not say how soon this would clear the whole of the purchase. With regard to the title, etc., Mr. Crews and Mr. Pigott are to decide. As to debts, the share must be made over to Mr. Kemble free from a claim even; and for this purpose all demands shall be called in, by public advertisement, to be sent to Mr. Kemble's own solicitor. In short, Mr. Crews shall be satisfied that there does not exist an unsatisfied demand on the theatre, or a possibility of Mr. Kemble being involved in the risk of a shilling. Mr. Hammersley, or such person as Mr. Kemble and Mr. Sheridan shall agree on, to be Treasurer, and receive and account for the whole receipts, pay the charges, trusts, etc. ; and at the close of the season, the surplus profits to the proprietors. A clause in case of death , or sale, to give the refusal to each other.”

The following letter from Sheridan to Kemble, in answer, as it appears, to some complaint or remonstrance from the latter, in his capacity of Manager, is too curiously characteristic of the writer to be omitted :

“I put this on the very lowest speculation.”

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16 Dear KEMBLE, "If I had not a real good opinion of your principles and intentions upon all subjects, and a very bad opinion of your nerves and philosophy upon some, I should take very ill indeed, the letter I received from

you

this evening.

“That the management of the theatre is a situation capable of becoming troublesome is information which I do not want, and a discovery which I thought you had made long since.

“ I should be sorry to write to you gravely on your offer, because I must consider it as a nervous flight, which it would be as unfriendly in me to notice seriously, as it would be in you seriously to have made it.

“ What I am most serious in is a determination that, while the theatre is indebted, and others, for it and for me, are so involved and pressed as they are, I will exert myself, and give every attention and judgment in my power to the establishment of its interests. In hoped, and do hope, to find an assistant, on principles of liberal and friendly confidence,-I mean confidence that should be above touchiness and reserve,

and that should trust to me to estimate the value of that assistance.

“ If there is any thing amiss in your mind, not arising from the troublesomeness of your situation, it is childish and unmanly not to disclose it to me. The frankness with which I have always dealt towards you entitles me to expect

that
you

should have done so. “ But I have no reason to believe this to be the case; and, attributing your letter to a disorder which I know ought not to be indulged, I prescribe that you shall keep your appointment at the Piazza Coffee-house, to-morrow at five, and, taking four bottles of claret instead of three, to which in sound health you might stint yourself, forget that you ever wrote the letter, as I shall that I ever received it.

“R. B. SHERIDAN."

you )

CHAPTER XIX.

State of Parties.--Offer of a place to Mr. T. Sheridan -Receivership of

the Duchy of Cornwall bestowed upon Mr. Sheridan.—Return of Mr. Pitt to Power. — Catholic question.- Administration of Lord Grenville and Mr. Fox.-Death of Mr. Fox.-Representation of Westminster. — Dismission of the Ministry. - Theatrical Negotiation.Spanish Question.--Letter to the Prince.

During the short interval of peace into which the country was now lulled , - like a ship becalmed for a moment in the valley between two vast waves,-such a change took place in the relative positions and bearings of the parties that had been so long arrayed against each other, and such new boundaries and divisions of opinion were formed, as considerably altered the map of the political world. While Mr. Pilt lent his sanction to the new Administration, they who had made common cause with him in resigning, violently

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opposed it; and, while the Ministers were thus thwarted by those who had hilherto always agreed with them, they were supported by those Whigs with whom they had before most vehemently differed. Among this latter class of their friends was, as I have already remarked, Mr. Sheridan, - who, convinced that the only chance of excluding Mr. Pitt from power lay in strengthening the hands of those who were in possession, not only gave them the aid of his own name and eloquence, but endeavoured to impress the same views upon Mr. Fox, and exerted his influence also to procure the sanction of Carlton-House in their favour.

It cannot, indeed, be doubted that Sheridan, at this time, though still the friend of Mr. Fox, had ceased, in a great degree, to be his follower. Their views with respect to the renewal of the war were wholly different, while Sheridan joined in the popular feeling against France, and showed his knowledge of that great instrument, the Public Mind, by approaching it only with such themes as suited the martial mood to which it was tuned, the too confiding spirit of Fox breathed nothing but forbearance and peace;-and he who, in 1786, had proclaimed the “ natural enmity” of England and France, as an argument against their commercial intercourse, now asked, with the softened tone which time and retirement had taught him, “ whether France was for ever to be considered our rival' ? ”

The following characteristic note, written by him previously to the debate on the army Estimates, (December 8, 1802,) shows a consciousness that the hold which he had once had upon his friend was loosened:

" DEAR SHERIDAN, “ I mean to be in town for Monday,--that is, for the Army. As for to-morrow, it is no matter;--I am for a largish fleet, though perhaps not quite so large as they mean, Pray, do not be absent Monday, and let me have a quarter of an hour's conversation before the business begins. Remember, I do not wish you to be inconsistent, at any rate. Pitt's opinion by Proxy is ridiculous beyond conception, and I hope you will show it in that light. I am very much against your abusing Bonaparte, because I am sure it is impolitic both for the country and ourselves. But, as you please;--only, for God's sake, Peace ..

6. Yours ever, “ Tuesday night.

“C, J. Fox.” It was about this period that the writer of these pages had, for the first time, the gratification of meeting Mr. Sheridan, at Donington-Park, the seat of the present Marquis of Hastings; - a cir

Speech on the Address of Thanks, in 1803, · These last words are an interesting illustration of the line in Mr. Rogers’s Verses on this statesman :

* Peace ,' when he spoke, was ever on his tongne."

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cumstance which he recalls, not only with those lively impressions that our first admiration of genius leaves behind, but with many other dreams of youth and hope, that still endear to him the mansion where that meeting took place, and among which gratitude to its noble owner is the only one, perhaps, that has not faded. Mr. Sheridan, I remember, was just then furnishing a new house, and talked of a plan he had of levying contributions on his friends for a library. A set of books from each would, he calculated , amply accomplish it, and already the intimation of his design had begun to “ breathe a soul into the silent walls '.” The splendid and well-chosen library of Donington was, of course, not slow in furnishing its contingent; and little was it foreseen into what badges of penury these gifts of friendship would be converted at last.

As some acknowledgment of the services which Sheridan had rendered to the Ministry, (though professedly as a tribute to his public character in general, ) Lord St. Vincent, about this time, made an offer to his son, Mr. Thomas Sheridan, of the place of Registrar of the Vice-Admiralty Court of Malta, - an office which, during a period of war, is supposed to be of considerable emolument. The first impulse of Sheridan, when consulted on the proposal, was, as I have heard, not unfavourable to his son's acceptance of it. But, on considering the new position which he had, himself, lately taken in politics, and the inference that might be drawn against the independence of his motives, if he submitted to an obligation which was but too liable to be interpreted, as less a return for past services than a lien upon him for fulure ones, he thought it safest for his character to sacrifice the advantage, and, desirable as was the provision for his son, obliged him to decline it.

The following passages of a letter to him from Mrs. Sheridan on this subject do the highest honour to her generosity, spirit, and good sense. They also confirm what has generally been understood, that the King, about this time, sent a most gracious message to Sheridan, expressive of the approbation with which he regarded his public conduct, and of the pleasure he should feel in conferring upon him some mark of his Royal favour :

“I am more anxious than I can express about Tom's welfare. It is indeed unfortunate that you have been obliged to refuse these things for him, but surely there could not be two opinions; yet why will you neglect to observe those attentions that honour does not compel you to refuse ? Don't you know that when once the King takes offence, he was never known to forgive? I suppose it would be impossible to have your motives explained to him, because it would touch his weak side, yet any thing is better than his attributing your refusal to contempt and

! Rogers.

indifference. Would to God I could bear these necessary losses instead of Tom, particularly as I so entirely approve of your conduct.”

“ I trust you will be able to do something positive for Tom about money. I am willing to make any sacrifice in the world for that purpose, and to live in any way whatever. Whatever he has now ought to be certain, or how will he know how to regulate his expenses ?

The fate, indeed, of young Sheridan was peculiarly tantalizing. Born and brought up in the midst of those bright hopes, which so long encircled his father's path, he saw them all die away as he became old enough to profit by them, leaving difficulty and disap+ pointment, his only inheritance, behind. Unprovided with any profession by which he could secure his own independence, and shut out, as in this instance, from those means of advancement, which, it was feared, might compromise the independence of his father, he was made the victim even of the distinction of his situalion, and paid dearly for the glory of being the son of Sheridan. In the expression of his face, he resembled much his beautiful mother, and derived from her also the fatal complaint of which he died. His popularity in society was unexampled , --but he knew how to attach as well as amuse ; and, though living chiefly with that class of persons, who pass over the surface of life, like Camilla over the corn, without leaving any impression of themselves behind, he had manly and intelligent qualities, that deserved a far better destiny. There are, indeed, few individuals, whose lives have been so gay and thoughtless, whom so many remember with cordiality and interest; and, among the numerous instances of discriminating good nature, by which the private conduct of His Royal Highness the Duke of York is distinguished, there are none that do him more honour than his prompt and efficient kindness to the interesting family that the son of Sheridan has left behind him.

Soon after the Declaration of War against France, when an immediate invasion was threatened by the enemy, the Heir Apparent, with the true spirit of an English Prince, came forward to make an offer of his personal service to the country. A correspondence upon the subject, it is well known , ensued, in the course of which His Royal Highness addressed letters to Mr. Addington, to the Duke of York, and the King. It has been sometimes stated that these letters were from the pen of Mr. Sheridan; but the first of the series was written by Sir Robert Wilson, and the remainder by Lord Hutchinson.

The death of Joseph Richardson, which took place this year, was felt as strongly by Sheridan as any thing can be felt by those who, in the whirl of worldly pursuits, revolve too rapidly round Self, to let any thing rest long upon their surface. With a fidelity

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