Such Things Are

Diary and Letters of Madame d’Arblay

Source: Diary and letters of Madame d’Arblay, vol. III (1786-87) (London: Hurst and Blackett, 1854), pp. 274-275

Production: Elizabeth Inchbald, Such Things Are, Covent Garden, London, 19 February 1787

Text: Monday, February 19th [1787]
The Queen sent for me as soon as we arrived in town, and told me she had ordered the Box, that we might go to the play. There is a Box appropriated for this purpose, whenever her Majesty chooses to command it: ’tis the Balcony-Box, just opposite to the King’s Equerries, and consequently in full view of their Majesties and all their suite. Miss Goldsworthy, Miss Gomme, and Miss Planta, made the party, and Colonel Goldsworthy was our esquire.

The play was new, ‘Such Things Are,’ by Mrs. Inchbald; and it has great merit, I think, both in the serious and the comic parts.

It was a great pleasure to me to see the reception given by the public to the Royal Family: it was always, indeed, pleasant to me; but now it has so strong an additional interest, that to be in the house when they are present makes them become half the entertainment of the evening to me.

I had also, this day, a very gracious message from the King, to inquire if I should like to have my name down among the subscribers to the Tottenham Street Oratorio. Doubtless I accepted this condescension very willingly.

At night I had the gratification of talking over the play, in all its parts, with the Queen, who has a liberality and a justice in her judgments that make all discussions both easy and instructive with her.

Comments: Frances Burney (1752-1840), known after her marriage as Madame d’Arblay, was an English novelist and playwright. She was appointed Keeper of the Robes to Queen Charlotte, consort to King George III, in 1785. Elizabeth Inchbald (1753–1821) was an English novelist, playwright and actress. This royal command performance of Such Things Are was produced at Covent Garden.

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