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SAMUEL FOOTE, Esq.
OF HIS GENUINE
BON-MOTS, ANECDOTES, OPINIONS, &c.
THREE OF HIS DRAMATIC PIECES,
Not published in his Works.
IN THREE VOLUMES:
BY WILLIAM COOKE, Esq.
-- A merrier man
NO. 6, BRIDGE-STREET, BLACKFRIARS.
BON-MOTS, CHARACTERS, OPINIONS, &c.
Otway's Orphan. THE plot of this celebrated tragedy, though generally supposed to be invented by the author, is taken from a fact related in a very scarce pamphlet (of which, I believe, only two copies are now to be found) entitled English Adventures, published in 1667. The following are the particulars :
The father of Charles Brandon, afterwards Duke of Suffolk, retired, on the death of his lady, to the borders of Hampshire. His family consisted of two sons; and a
young lady, the daughter of a friend lately deceased, whom he adopted as his own child.
This lady, being singularly beautiful, as well as amiable in her manners, attracted the affections of both the brothers. The elder, however, was the favourite, and he privately married her; which the younger not knowing, and overhearing an appointment of the lovers to meet the next night in her bed-chamber, he contrived to get his brother otherwise employed, and made the signal of admission himself (thinking it a mere intrigue). Unfortunately, he succeeded.
On a discovery, the lady lost her reason, and soon after died. The two brothers fought, and the elder fell. The father broke his heart in a few months afterwards. The younger brother, Charles Brandon, the unintentional author of all this family misery, quitted England in despair, with a fixed determination of never returning.
Being abroad for several years, his nearest relations supposed him dead, and began to take the necessary steps for obtaining his
estates ; when, roused by this intelligence, he returned privately to England, and for a time took obscure lodgings in the vicinity of his family mansion.
While he was in this retreat, the young king (Henry VIII), who had just buried his father, was one day hunting on the borders of Hampshire, when he heard the cries of a female in distress in an adjoining wood His gallantry immediately summoned him to the place, though he then happened to be detached from all his courtiers; where he saw two ruffians attempting to violate the honour of a young lady. The king instantly drew on them; and a scuffle ensued, which roused the reverie of Charles Brandon, who was taking his morning's walk in an adjoining thicket : he immediately ranged himself on the side of the king, whom he then did not know; and by his dexterity soon disarmed one of the ruffians, while the other fled.
The king, charmed with this act of gallantry so.congenial to his own mind, inquired the name and family of the stranger;