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Letter 10
Evelina To The Rev. Mr. Villars Queen Ann Street, London, Saturday, April 2
THIS moment arrived. Just going to Drury Lane Theatre. The celebrated Mr.
Garrick performs Ranger. I am quite in ecstasy. So is Miss Mirvan. How fortunate
that he should happen to play! We would not let Mrs. Mirvan rest till she
consented to go. Her chief objection was to our dress, for we have had no time to
Londonize ourselves; but we teased her into compliance, and so we are to sit in
some obscure place that she may not be seen. As to me, I should be alike
unknown in the most conspicuous or most private part of the house.
I can write no more now. I have hardly time to breathe-only just this, the houses
and streets are not quite so superb as I expected. However, I have seen nothing
yet, so I ought not to judge.
Well; adieu, my dearest Sir, for the present; I could not forbear writing a few
words instantly on my arrival, though I suppose my letter of thanks for your
consent is still on the road. Saturday Night.
O, my dear Sir, in what raptures am I returned? Well may Mr. Garrick be so
celebrated, so universally admired-I had not any idea of so great a performer.
Such ease! such vivacity in his manner! such grace in his motions! such fire and
meaning in his eyes!-I could hardly believe he had studied a written part, for
every word seemed to be uttered from the impulse of the moment.
His action-at once so graceful and so free!-his voice-so clear, so melodious, yet
so wonderfully various in its tones!-Such animation!-every look speaks!
I would have given the world to have had the whole play acted over again. And
when he danced-O, how I envied Clarinda! I almost wished to have jumped on
the stage and joined them.
I am afraid you will think me mad, so I won't say any more; yet, I really believe
Mr. Garrick would make you mad too if you could see him. I intend to ask Mrs.
Mirvan to go to the play every night while we stay in town. She is extremely kind
to me; and Maria, her charming daughter, is the sweetest girl in the world.
I shall write to you every evening all that passes in the day, and that in the same
manner as, if I could see, I should tell you. Sunday.
This morning we went to Portland chapel; and afterwards we walked in the mall
of St. James's Park, which by no means answered my expectations: it is a long
straight walk of dirty gravel, very uneasy to the feet; and at each end instead of
an open prospect, nothing is to be seen but houses built of brick. When Mrs.
Mirvan pointed out the Palace to me-I think I was never much more surprised.
However, the walk was very agreeable to us; every body looked gay, and
seemed pleased; and the ladies were so much dressed, that Miss Mirvan and I
could do nothing but look at them. Mrs. Mirvan met several of her friends. No
wonder, for I never saw so many people assembled together before. I looked
about for some of my acquaintance, but in vain; for I saw not one person that I
knew, which is very odd, for all the world seemed there.
Mrs. Mirvan says we are not to walk in the Park again next Sunday, even if we
should be in town, because there is better company in Kensington Gardens; but