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William Godwin: his Friends and Contemporaries
Ch. II. 1785-1788
Thomas Abthorpe Cooper to William Godwin, 27 July 1792

Contents Vol. I
Ch. I. 1756-1785
Ch. II. 1785-1788
Ch. III. 1788-1792
Ch. IV. 1793
Ch. V. 1783-1794
Ch. VI. 1794-1796
Ch. VII. 1759-1791
Ch. VII. 1791-1796
Ch. IX. 1797
Ch. X. 1797
Ch. XI. 1798
Ch. XII. 1799
Ch. XIII. 1800
Contents Vol. II
Ch. I. 1800
Ch. II. 1800
Ch. III. 1800
Ch. IV. 1801-1803
Ch. V. 1802-1803
Ch. VI. 1804-1806
Ch. VII. 1806-1811
Ch. VIII. 1811-1814
Ch. IX. 1812-1819
Ch. X. 1819-1824
Ch. XI. 1824-1832
Ch. XII. 1832-1836
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Produced by CATH
Edinburgh, Thursday, July 27, 1792.

“I arrived here last night at nine, in high health and spirits, but my spirits were damped when upon my arrival I could get no bed nor lodging either at Edinburgh or Leith, on account of the races, which will end on Saturday. I went to Mr Kemble’s this morning, at eleven, and he told me that at one he would hear me go through the character of Douglas. At one I went, but he left word (with his compliments) that he was obliged to go to Leith. To-morrow morning at twelve I am to rehearse with Mrs Siddons, and on Monday night am to make my first appearance in the character of Douglas. I am just returned to the inn from my second visit to Mr Kemble, to whom I went to know if I might not go to the play to-night. I am going, and Mrs Siddons plays Jane Shore. To-morrow the Road to Ruin is acted (not for the first time), to give some rest to Mrs S., who has acted several nights running. You will receive this Monday morning, and may expect another on Thursday or Friday, and so, hoping you will excuse bad writing on account of haste, I remain, yours everlastingly,

T. Cooper.

“Friday, two o’clock.—’Sdeath, I’m sped! I have just rehearsed Douglas with the other actors before Mr Kemble. When I had done he walked aside with me, and told me he was sorry to say that he could not trust me with the character. He then made his individual objections. He said that in two descriptive speeches
I had a great deal too much passion, especially in the last; and that in the scene with Glenalvon the audience would laugh at me.

“I asked him if he did not think Douglas was very angry; he answered, Certainly, but that he was angry with good manners, and that he must not vex Mrs Siddons (she was not present); and, in short, he thought I was really too young to act a character of such importance, but that he would see about some other characters. Then, having parted, he said that if I would come to him next morning to breakfast, he would see if we could not manage Douglas by reading it together. Perhaps Mrs Siddons will be there, and I shall probably please her better, if she gives me a hearing, for I am certain I rehearsed as well as ever I did to Mr H. I have an infallible rule to judge by—the recollection of my own feelings. I should be glad to hear from you, if possible, by return of post. Direct to me at Mrs M’Lelland’s, opposite the general entry, Potterrow St., Edinburgh. Nothing less will answer the purpose, for reasons which I have not room to explain.”