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finery of the original. The following are specimens of the various trials of this passage, which I find scribbled over detached scraps of paper :
“ Contrast the different attitudes and occupations of the two governments:-B. eighteen months from his capital, -head-quarters in the vilJages,-neither Berlin or Warsaw,-dethroning and creating thrones,-the works he raises are monarchies,—sceptres his palisadoes, thrones his martello towers.”
“Commissioning kings-erecting thrones,-martello towers,-Camba. ceres count noses, -Austrians, fine dressed, like Pompey's troops."
“B. fences with sceptres,-his martello towers are throne,-he alone is France."
Another Dissolution of Parliament having taken place this year, he again became a candidate for the city of Westminster. But, after a violent contest, during which he stood the coarse abuse of the mob with the utmost good humour and playfulness, the election ended in favour of Sir Francis Burdett and Lord Cochrane, and Sheridan was returned, with his friend Mr. Michael Angelo Taylor, for the borough of Ilchester.
In the autumn of 1807 he had conceived some idea of leasing the property of Drury-Lane Theatre, and with that view had set on foot, through Mr. Michael Kelly, who was then in Ireland, a negotiation with Mr. Frederick Jones, the proprietor of the Dublin Theatre. In explaining his object to Mr. Kelly, in a letter dated August 30, 1807, he describes it as “ a plan by which the property may be leased to those who have the skill and the industry to manage it as it should be for their own advantage, upon terms which would render any risk to them almost impossible ;" the profit to them, (he adds,) would probably be beyond what I could now venture to state, and yet upon terms which would be much better for the real proprietors than any thing that can arise from the careless and ignorant manner in which the undertaking is now misconducted by those who, my son excepted, have no interest in its success, and who lose nothing by its failure.” The negotiation with Mr. Jones was continued into the following year; and, according to a draft of agreement, which this gentleman has been kind enough to show me, in Sheridan's hand-writing, it was intended that Mr. Jones should, on becoming proprietor of one quarter-share of the property, “ undertake the management of the Theatre in conjunction with Mr. T. Sheridan, and be entitled to the same remuneration, namely, 1000l. per annum certain income, and a certain per centage on the net profits arising from the office-receipts, as should be agreed upon,” &c. &c.
The following memorandum of a bet connected with this transaction, is of somewhat a higher class of wagers than the One Tun Tavern has often had the honour of recording among its archives
“ One Tun, St. James's Market, May 26, 1808. “In the presence of Messrs. G. Ponsonby, R. Power, and Mr. Becher," Mr. Jones bets Mr. Sheridan five hundred guineas that he, Mr. Sheridan, does not write, and produce under his name, a play of five acts, or a first piece of three, within the term of three years from the 15th of September next.-It is distinctly to be understood that this bet is not valid unless Mr. Jones becomes a partner in Drury-Lane Theatre before the commencement of the ensuing season. “ Richard Power.
“R. B. SHERIDAN, “George Ponsonby.
“ FRED. Edw. Joses. “ W. W. Becher. “ N. B. W. W. Becher and Richard Power join, one fifty,-the other one hundred pounds in this bet.
The grand movement of Spain, in the year 1808, which led to consequences so important to the rest of Europe, though it has left herself as enslaved and priest-ridden as ever, was hailed by Sheridan with all that prompt and welltimed ardour, with which he alone, of all his party, knew how to meet such great occasions. Had his political associ
* It is not without a deep feeling of melancholy that I transcribe this pa. per. Of three of my most valued friends, whose names are signed to it,Becher, Ponsonby, and Power,--the last has, within a few short months, been snatched away, leaving behind him the recollection of as many gentle and manly virtues as ever concurred to give sweetness and strength to cbaracter.
ates but learned from his example thus to place themselves in advance of the procession of events, they would not have had the triumphal wheels pass by them and over them so frequently. Immediately on the arrival of the Deputies from Spain, he called the attention of the House to the affairs of that country; and his speech on the subject, though short and unstudied, had not only the merit of falling in with the popular feeling at the moment, but, from the views which it pointed out through the bright opening now made by Spain, was every way calculated to be useful both at home and abroad.
“ Let Spain," he said, “see, that we were not inclined to stint the services we had it in our power to render her; that we were not actuated by the desire of any petty advantage to ourselves; but that our exertions were to be solely directed to the attainment of the grand and general object, the emancipation of the world. If the flame were once fairly caught, our success was certain. France would then find, that she had hitherto been contending only against principalities, powers, and authorities, but that she had now to contend against a people.”
The death of Lord Lake this year removed those difficulties which had, ever since the appointment of Sheridan to the Receivership of the Duchy of Cornwall, stood in the way of his reaping the full advantages of that office. Previously to the departure of General Lake for India, the Prince had granted to him the reversion of this situation which was then filled by Lord Elliot. It was afterwards, however, discovered that, according to the terms of the Grant, the place could not be legally held or deputed by any one who had not been actually sworn into it before the Prince's Council. On the death of Lord Elliot, therefore, His Royal Highness thought himself authorised, as we have seen, in conferring the appointment upon Mr. Sheridan. This step, however, was considered by the friends of General Lake as not only a breach of promise, but a violation of right; and it would seem from one of the documents which I am about to give, that measures were even in train for enforcing the claim by law.
The first is a Letter on the subject from Sheridan to Colonel M Mahon
“MY DEAR M‘MAHON,
Thursday evening: “I have thoroughly considered and reconsidered the subject we talked upon to-day. Nothing on earth shall make me risk the possibility of the Prince's goodness to me furnishing an opportunity for a single scurrilous fool's presuming to hint even that he had, in the slightest manner, departed from the slightest engagement. The Prince's right, in point of law and justice, on the present occasion to recall the appointment given, I hold to be incontestible; but, believe me, I am right in the proposition I took the liberty of submitting to His Royal Highness, and which, (so far is he from wishing to hurt General Lake,) he graciously approved. But understand me,-my meaning is to give up the emoluments of the situation to General Lake, holding the situation at the Prince's pleasure, and abiding by an arbitrated estimate of General Lake's claim, supposing His Royal Highness had appointed him; in other words, to value his interest in the appointment as if he had it, and to pay him for it or resign to him.
“ With the Prince's permission I should be glad to meet Mr. Warwick Lake, and I am confident that no two men of common sense and good intentions can fail, in ten minutes, to arrange it so as to meet the Prince's wishes, and not to leave the shadow of a pretence for envious malignity to whisper a word against his decision.
“R. B. SHERIDAN. “I write in great haste-going to A-,
The other Paper that I shall give, as throwing light on the transaction, is a rough and unfinished sketch by Sheridan of a statement intended to be transmitted to General Lake, containing the particulars of both Grants, and the documents connected with them :
+ DEAR GENERAL, “I am commanded by the Prince of Wales to transmit to you a correct Statement of a transaction in which
your name is so much implicated, and in which his feelings have been greatly wounded from a quarter, I am commanded to say, whence he did not expect such conduct.
“As I am directed to communicate the particulars in the most authentic form, you will, I am sure, excuse on this occasion my not adopting the mode of a familiar letter.
“ Authentic Statement respecting the Appointment by His
Royal Highness the Prince of Wales to the Receivership of the Duchy of Cornwall, in the Year 1804, to be transmitted by His Royal Highness's Command to Lieutenant-General Lake, Commander-in-chief of the Forces in India.
“ The circumstances attending the original reversionary Grant to General Lake are stated in the brief for Counsel on this occasion by Mr. Bignel, the Prince's solicitor, to be as follow : (No. I.) It was afterwards understood by the Prince that the service he had wished to render General Lake, by this Grant, had been defeated by the terms of it; and so clearly had it been shown that there were essential duties attached to the office, which no Deputy was competent to execute, and that a Deputy, even for the collection of the rents, could not be appointed but by a principal actually in possession of the office, (by having been sworn into it before his Council) that upon General Lake's appointment to the command in India, the Prince could have no conception that General Lake could have left the country under an impression or expectation that the Prince would appoint him, in case of a vacancy, to the place in question. Accordingly, His Royal Highness, on the very day he heard of the death of Lord Elliot, unsolicited, and of his own gracious suggestion, appointed Mr. Sheridan. Mr. Sheridan returned, the next day, in a letter to the Prince, such an answer and acknowledgment as might be