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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to Lord Holland, 28 September 1812

Life of Byron: to 1806
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Sept. 28.

“I have altered the middle couplet, so as I hope partly to do away with W.’s objection. I do think, in the present state of the stage, it had been unpardonable to pass over the horses and Miss Mudie, &c. As Betty is no longer a boy, how can this be applied to him? He is now to be judged as a man. If he acts still like a boy, the public will but be more ashamed of their blunder. I have, you see, now taken it for granted that these things are reformed. I confess, I wish that part of the Address to stand; but if W. is inexorable, e’en let it go. I have also new cast the lines and softened the hint of future combustion*, and sent them off this morning. Will you have the goodness to add, or insert, the approved alterations as they arrive? They ‘come like shadows, so depart;’ occupy me, and, I fear, disturb you.

“Do not let Mr. W. put his Address into Elliston’s hands till you have settled on these alterations. E. will think it too long:—much depends on the speaking. I fear it will not bear much curtailing, without chasms in the sense.

“It is certainly too long in the reading; but if Elliston exerts himself, such a favourite with the public will not be thought tedious. I should think it so, if he were not to speak it.

“Yours ever, &c.

“P.S. On looking again, I doubt my idea of having obviated W.’s objection. To the other House, allusion is a ‘non sequitur’—but I wish to plead for this part, because the thing really is not to be passed over. Many after-pieces at the Lyceum by the same company have already attacked this ‘Augean Stable’—and Johnson, in his prologue against ‘Lunn’ (the harlequin manager, Rich),—‘Hunt,’—‘Mahomet,’ &c. is surely a fair precedent.”