Letter to plan a lecture tour to Paris

Madam Duval's letter is just recvd   57 Lincoln Inn Fields London

6 July                                             5 July 1818

Dear Sir

In reply to Madam duVal's answer to my letter I wrote without delay expressing upon the main my accordance with her proposal, & requesting some few further particulars, which it appeared desirable to have distinctly understood before the arrival of my daughter iin Paris. As that second letter has not been honoured with any further answer, I conclude that Madame Duval had not the opportunity to write (from the time proposed for the visit of my daughter) it appeared to be too late, and she may therefore have waited their arrival for the explanations I requested to be favored with. But the journey of my daughter is unavoidably delayed-The lady who was to have conducted them to Paris is prevented from visiting your capital this year--& not having been able to hear of any other family or matron in the circle of my acquaintance, who is about to visit Paris, I am obliged so far to change my plans as even to meditate visiting your capital myself as soon as my vocation will permit & the meditation of this plan connects itself immediately with another, upon which I should feel myself highly obliged by the free communication of your opinion & advice--& probably no person could be better qualified than yourself to favour me with the information & assistance I might require. Tho such a thought would never have entered into my own head, I have been almost persuaded by several persons here, how seem not altogether unacquainted with the state of circumstances in Paris, that a course of lectures on Shakespeare and Milton, and on the idiom rhythmus and study of the English Language cultivated by that Theatrical style of declamation with which I am in the habit of delivering my recitations might not be unacceptable to the Parisians-or to the sojourners in your capital the more especially as I should probably bring with me a young gentleman and of high rank from the Netherlands, who would be an interesting exemplification of the efficacy of my system of instruction both in teaching to foreigners the idiom and accent of our language and removing impediments of speech-In short my lectures being at once Scientific & Theatrical-it is thought they would fall in with the taste of your countrymen in the present pastime of affairs. As the only drawback to my desire of rewriting France is the reflection that I must thereby relinquish the proposal of a provincial excursion at once pleasurable and profitable during my vacation months, if it should be apparent that my plan of lecturing in Paris would be feasible, my resolution would be taken at once, & Mrs. Thelwall and myself would certainly visit you in person, & probably thro the medium of your Establishment Bibliographique & your literary connections in general, you might be able considerably to assist me in the prosecution of my design. I should be therefore very highly obliged to you, if you would favour me with an early answer--& if you would take the trouble of giving me any information that might guide me, not only upon the main point of the probability-but as to the means-the place where my lecturers should be attempted-the hour (morning or evening) the terms-the means of announcement, and other preliminary steps-The plan, if acted upon, would require the friendly cooperation of some enlightened native resident who would ??? to prepare the way for me, as my time of residence will necessarily be short-for from Paris I should proceed to Brussels-and perhaps to The Hague & my whole term of absence must be limited to two months. any attention you may honour this with, I assure you I should have the highest gratification in returning to the utmost of my power, should you ever have an inclination to visit England-or should there be any means by which I could be serviceable to you here.

I shall write to an English lady of rank and ??? resident in Paris who knows me with her particular friendship-to promote my views in her circle = but it is not among the sojourners of my own country but among the Parisians themselves, & the other foreigners, that I look for attendance-for the English in france ought to want to keep themselves out of the way of English-they need not go to Paris to learn English Elocution.

With best respects to Madam Duval and your daughter I have the honour to remain

Dear Sir

Your obliged hble servant

John Thelwall

6th July

Madam Duval's letter, just received being . and so amply satisfactory-we shall drive up to her door at once on our own arrival-& you will perhaps be kind enough to direct Mrs. T. & myself & any pupil that may accompany us, to the proper situation for our accommodation. But in the mean time I shall hope to have the honour of hearing from you as early as possible. My daughter & Mrs. T. join me in acknowledgements to Mm Duval. I will deliver her letter myself, & write her relation to such attentions as our hospitality can offer. My vacation could commence with the first of August & I may perhaps set off on that day or the 2d-or I may be delayed til the 14th or 15th.

I have written to the Abbe' Sicard-and have mentioned to him some few particulars of the scientific part of my system-its application to the improvement of the declamation in the received theory of the Metrical Rhythmus and the curious phenomenon of the application of the metronome in the remedy of impediments of speech. I should add that my lectures are always delivered spontaneously, & and are of course rather effusions of oratory than mere lectures. Should my plan appear practicable to you-you would oblige me by my voluntary agency you should adopt or dictate for preparatory announcement - & any consequent expenditure I will cheerfully be responsible for.

M. M. M??? Duval