On September 23 1812, Lord Byron sends to Lord Holland a draft of his address for the Opening of the Drury Lane Theatre. He asks Lord Holland to choose between some words. Byron also offers some advice on who should read out his address. Byron's letter is reproduced below.
TO LORD HOLLAND.
Cheltenham, September 23. 1812.
Ecco! — I have marked some passages with double readings—choose between them —cut—add—reject—or destroy—do with them as you will—I leave it to you and the Committee—you cannot say so called 'a non committendo.' What will they do (and I do) with the hundred and one rejected Troubadours ?' With trumpets, yea, and with shawms,' will you be assailed in the most diabolical doggerel. I wish my name not to transpire till the day is decided. I shall not be in town, so it. won't much matter; but let us have a good deliverer. I think Euiston should be the man, or Pope; not Raymond, I implore you, by the love of Rhythmus!
The passages marked thus = ==, above and below, are for you to choose between epithets, and such like poetical furniture. Pray write me a line, and believe me ever, &c.
My best remembrances to Lady H, Will you be good enough to decide between the various readings marked, and erase the other; or our deliverer may be as puzzled as a commentator, and belike repeat both. If these versicles won't do, I will hammer out some more endecasyllables.
Tell Lady H. I have had sad work to keep out the Phoenix—I mean the Fire Office of that name. It has insured the theatre, and why not the Address?
This had perhaps better be recopied – if sent to my Publisher it will save your Lordship any further trouble on that score – but I wish you to decide first on the different readings. –
If the <epith> “stormed” appears to strong a word remember Johnson
“And unresisted Passion stormed the heart”