RELATING A QUARREL which he had had with James Lacy, his partner in the management of Drury Lane, Garrick complained to his brother George in 1768 that in "the last Year, my playing alone brought to ye house between 5 & 6 thousand pounds-- . . . you know what sums I have given to ye house in altering Romeo--Every Man, &c, &c, &c, without fee or reward,--nay have had ye most ungrateful return for it."1.
Garrick was justified in uttering the complaint: it was his acting, his management of the company, his handling of recalcitrant actors and actresses, his choice of plays, his long hours of rehearsing the company, his own dramatic pieces, and his alteration of the older plays that made Drury Lane the profitable venture that it was. Moreover, by that year Garrick had produced fourteen of the twenty-two original plays presented in this edition, eleven of the twelve adaptations of Shakespeare, and thirteen of the fifteen nonshakespearean adaptations, or thirty-eight of his forty-nine dramatic pieces. But Garrick did even more than these things. Because of his wide and carefully cultivated acquaintance among the "right" people, he lent a great deal of social prestige to the London professional stage. And he spent incalculable hours discussing plays and corresponding about them with authors and would-be authors. Isaac Bickerstaff, for example, before his disgrace, supplied Drury Lane with a great deal of material for the boards; but the demands on Garrick's time in planning with him original productions and adaptations, and in supplying criticisms and suggestions for improvement, were great. Playwrights frequently acknowledged their indebtedness to Garrick. George Colman wrote in the advertisement to The Jealous Wife ( 1761): "It would be unjust, indeed, to omit mentioning my Obligations to Mr. Garrick. To his Inspection the Comedy was submitted in its first rude state; and to my Care and Attention to follow his Advice in many Particulars, relating both to the Fable and Characters, I know that I am____________________