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L E T T E R LIV.
Feb. 16, 174 HAD cleared at my benefit the last season
was owing to several causes. I had for some time been allowed to be sole dietatress among the polite ranks in the article of dress. My judgment in this point was held in fo much estimation, that the ladies would have been wretched who did not consult me relative to their birth-day or fancy cloaths. A masquerade had been given by the foreign Ambassadors, which was the most splendid entertainment of the kind ever seen in England. This afforded me and my dresser, Mrs. Tinns (whom I had left behind me at Drury-lane when I removed from that Theatre) sufficient employment. Fancy was tortured to fix on difVOL. III.
ferent dresses for the crouds of ladies that applied to us. Had I suffered it, there would have been a hundred Eltrudas. Lady Kildare and Lady Granby were now added to my list of patronesses. In return for the af. fistance I had given the numerous ladies upon this occasion, they each of them made a point to employ all their interest to increase the emoluments of my night.
Dr. Francis having been promoted through my application to Mr. Fox, and his promotion much talked of, I was looked up to as a proper person through whom to feck for preferment. All the military gentlemen, therefore, seized this opportunity to court my favour; and as the furest way to do so, paid a handsome tribute to my theatrical merit. Lord Kildare, Lord Granby, Mr. Fox, and Mr. Digby who was now returned from abroad, took four tickets at one hundred pounds each; and the three last continued their liberality to me till death. All these circumstances combined, account for the largeness of the before-mentioned fum.
I besides received presents from Asia, Africa, and America, together with others the produce of our own climate. In short I was now in poffefsion of every thing that could excite the envy of the world. And yet amidst all this, even in the very zenith of my fplendor, I was not happy. Like the celebrated Harlequin Carolin, who wept 6
under the masque, while he excited peals of laughter from his admiring audience, my smiles covered an uneasy mind. And many a time when I have been thought by my surrounding guests to be as happy as affluence and the acquisition of fame could make me, I have secretly exclaimed: “Where art thou “ to be found, 0 happiness! Thy only re« fidence can be with those bleffed votaries “ to Heaven, who having never experienced “ the delusive pleasures and corroding cares « of the world, secure within the cloistered “ walls, the peaceful abode of innocence, “ know not a wish but to render themselves " acceptable to their God.”
The constant perturbation I underwent from these uneafy reflections, and the unceasing fatigue I had gone through, had greatly impaired my health. It was there. fore thought adviseable for me to go to Bristol for a few weeks, before the ensuing season commenced. I was accompanied by the Widow Delany, who, as usual, was generally with me, and who had married one of Mr. Calcraft's clerks whose name was Walker. When we reached Marlborough, as we drove into the yard of the Castle, Mr. Ryan ran out to receive me, and greeted me with the pleasing intelligence, that my Daddy Quin was in the house ; adding, that he would
go and wake him.
It being eight o'clock in the evening, I