I have promised to assist Sheridan in compiling—I believe this is the properest term—an opera, which I understand from him he has engaged to produce at Covent Garden this season. I have already set some airs which he has given me, and he intends writing new words to some tunes of mine. My son1 has likewise written some tunes for him, and I understand he is to have some others from Mr Jackson of Exeter. This is a mode of proceeding in regard to his composition which I by no means approve of. I think he ought first to have finished his opera with the songs he intends to introduce into it, and have got it entirely new set. No musician can set a song properly unless he understands the character and knows the performer who is to exhibit it.… I would not have been concerned in this business at all, but that I know there is an absolute necessity for him to endeavour to get some money by this means, and he will not be persuaded upon to let his wife sing,2 and indeed at present she is incapable, and nature will not permit me to be indifferent to his success.