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A subsequent letter contains further particulars of their progress.

“ DEAR SIR, “Sunday evening next is fixed for our first musical rehearsal, and I was in great hopes we might have completed the score. The songs you have sent up of · Banna's Banks, and

Deil take the wars,' I had made words for before they arrived, which answer excessively well ; and this was my reason for wishing for the next in the same manner, as it saves so much time. They are to sing Wind, gentle evergreen,' just as you sing it (only with other words), and I wanted only such support from the instruments, or such joining in, as you should think would help to set off and assist the effort. I inclose the words I had made for Wind, gentle evergreen, which will be sung, as a catch, by Mrs. Mattocks, Dubel. lamy*, and Leoni. I don't mind the words not fitting the notes so well as the original ones. • How merrily we live, and . Let's drink and let's sing,' are to be sung by a company of friars over their wine.t The words will be parodied, and the chief effect I expect from them must arise from their being known; for the joke will be much less for these jolly fathers to sing any thing new, than to give what the audience are used to annex the idea of jollity to. For the other things Betsey mentioned, I only wish to have them with such accompaniment as you would put to their present words, and I shall have got words to my liking for them by the time they reach me.

“My immediate wish at present is to give the performers their parts in the music (which they expect on Sunday night), and for any assistance the orchestra can give to help the effect of the glees, &c., that may be judged of and added at a rehearsal, or, as you say, on enquiring how they have been done ; though I don't think it follows that what Dr. Arne's method is must be the best. If it were possible for Saturday

• Don Antonio.

† For these was afterwards substituted Mr. Linley's lively glee, “This bottle's the sun of our table.”

and Sunday's post to bring us what we asked for in our last letters, and what I now enclose, we should still go through it on Sunday, and the performers should have their parts complete by Monday night. We have had our rehearsal of the Bpeaking part, and are to have another on Saturday. I want Dr. Harrington's catch, but, as the sense must be the same, i am at a loss how to put other words.. Can't the under part ( A smoky house, &c.') be sung by one person and the other two change? The situation is--Quick and Dubellamy, two lovers, carrying away Father Paul (Reinold) in great raptures, to marry them the Friar has before warned them of the ills of a married life, and they break out into this. The catch is particularly calculated for a stagé effect; but I don't like to take another person's words, and I don't see how I can put others, keeping the same idea of seven squalling brats, &c.') in which the whole affair lies. However, I shall be glad of the notes, with Reinold's part, if it is possible, as I mentioned.*

“I have literally and really not had time to write the words of any thing more first and then send them to you, and this obliges me to use this apparently awkward way.

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“My father was astonishingly well received on Saturday night in Cato : I think it will not be many days before we are reconciled.

" The inclosed are the words for Wind, gentle ever green;' a passionate song for Mattocks, and another for Miss Brown, which solicit to be clothed with melody by you, and are all I want. Mattocks's I could wish to be a

• This idea was afterwards relinquished.

The words of this song, in composing which the directions here givenit were exactly followed, are to be found in scarce any of the editions of the Duenna. They are as follows :

Sharp is the woe, that wounds tbe jealous mind,

When treachery two fond hearts would rend :
But oh! bow keener far the pang to find

That traitor in our bosom friend. " Adieu, thou dreary pile."

broken, passionate affair, and the first two lines may be recitative, or what you please, uncommon, Miss Brown sings hers in a joyful mood; we want her to show in it as much execution as she is capable of, which is pretty well ; and, for variety, we want Mr. Simpson's hautboy to cut a figure, with replying passages, &c., in the way of Fisher's 'M' ami, il bel idol mia,' to abet which I have lugged in Echo,' who is always allowed to play her part. I have not a moment more, Yours ever sincerely,"

The next and last extract I shall give at present is from a letter, dated Nov. 2. 1775, about three weeks before the first representation of the opera.

“Our music is now all finished and rehearsing, but we are greatly impatient to see you. We hold your coming to be necessary beyond conception. You say you are at our sers vice after Tuesday next; then I conjure you by that you do possess,' in which I include all the powers that preside over harmony, to come next Thursday night (this day se'n. night), and we will fix a rehearsal for Friday morning. From what I see of their rehearsing at present, I am become still more anxious to see you.

“We have received all your songs, and are vastly pleased with them. You misunderstood me as to the hautboy song ; I had not the least intention to fix on Bel idol mia. Howe ever, I think it is particularly well adapted, and, I doubt not, will have a great effect.

An allusion which occurs in these letters to the prospect of a reconciliation with his father gives me an opportunity of mentioning a circumstance, connected with their difference, for the knowledge of which I am indebted to one of the persons most interested in remembering it, and which, as a proof of the natural tendency of Sheridan's heart to let all its sensibilities flow in the right channel, ought not to be forgotten. During the run of one of his pieces, having received information from an old family servant that his father (who still refused to have any intercourse with him) meant to attend, with his daughters, at the representation of the piece, Sheridan took up his station by one of the side scenes, opposite to the box where they sat, and there continued, unobserved, to look at them during the greater part of the night. On his return home, he was so affected by the various recollections that came upon him, that he burst into tears, and, being questioned as to the cause of his agitation by Mrs. Sheridan, to whom it was new to see him returning thus saddened from the scene of his triumph, he owned how deeply it had gone to his heart “to think that there sat his father and his sisters before him, and yet that he alone was not permitted to go near them or speak to them."

On the 21st of November, 1775, The Duenna was performed at Covent Garden, and the following is the original cast of the characters, as given in the Collection of Mr. Sheridan's Dramatic Works :

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The run of this opera has, I believe, no parallel in the annals of the drama. Sixty-three nights was the career of the Beggar's Opera; but the Duenna was acted no less than seventy-five times during the season, the only intermissions being a few days at Christmas, and the Fridays in every week ;the latter on account of Leoni, who, being a Jew, could not act on those nights. In order to counteract this great success of the rival house,

This is incorrect : it was Miss Brown that played Donna Clara for the first few nights.

Garrick found it necessary to bring forward all the weight of his own best characters ; and even had recourse to the expedient of playing off the mother against the son, by reviving Mrs. Frances Sheridan's comedy of The Discovery, and acting the principal part in it himself. In allusion to the increased fatigue which this competition with The Duenna brought upon Garrick, who was then entering on his sixtieth year, it was said, by an actor of the day, that "the old woman would be the death of the old man.”

The Duenna is one of the very few operas in our language, which combine the merits of legitimate comedy with the attractions of poetry and song ;--that divorce between sense and sound, to which Dr. Brown and others trace the cessation of the early miracles of music, being no where more remarkable than in the operas of the English stage. The “Sovereign of the willing soul” (as Gray calls Miusic) always loses by being made exclusive sovereign,--and the division of her empire with poetry and wit, as in the instance of The Duenda, doubles her real power.

The intrigue of this piece (which is mainly founded upon an incident borrowed from the “ Country Wife" of Wycherley) is constructed and managed with considerable adroitness, having just material enough to be wound out into three acts, without being encumbered by too much intricacy, or weakened by too much extension. It does not appear, from the rough copy in my possession, that any material change was made in the plan of the work, as it proceeded. Carlos was originally meant to be a Jew, and is called " Cousin Moses" by Isaac, in the first sketch of the dialogue; but, possibly from the consideration that this would apply too personally to Leoni, who was to perform the character, its designation was altered. The scene in the second act, where Carlos is introduced by Isaac to the Duenna, stood, in its original state, as follows:

* Isaac. Moses, sweet coz, I thrive, I prosper. " Moses. Where is

your mistress? " Isaac. There, you booby, there she stands. » "Moses. Why she's damn'd ugly.

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