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tSnsltei) Stage from tfye Hejestoratton
IN 1660 TO 1830.
T. R. 1691.
Treacherous Brothers. Menaphon and Orgillus (the treacherous brothers) = Mountfort and Hodgson: King of Cyprus = Powell: Ithocles and Meleander (in love with Marcelia) = Williams and Alexander: Semanthe, Queen of Cyprus = Mrs. Bowtel: Marcelia■ (in love with Ithocles) = Mrs. Bracegirdle: Statilia (disguised as Lattinius, and in love with Meleander) = Mrs. Butler: Armena = Mrs. Jourden :—Menaphon makes love to the Queen, and being repulsed by her, he determines on revenge—he contrives to have a sleeping potion administered to Ithocles and the Queen—Orgillus conveys Ithocles to the Queen's apartment—and Menaphon brings the King—Ithocles and the Queen are found asleep on a couch, arm in arm—the King sentences them both to death—in the 5th act Orgillus is seized with remorse—Menaphon
Vol. n. B
stabs him to prevent a discovery—Orgillus survives so as to declare the Queen's innocence—Menaphon is executed—Ithocles is united to Marcelia—and Meleander to Statilia—this is a moderate T. by Powell the actor—it came out in Hilary Term 1690 O. S. that is in 1691 according to our present computation —the Editors of the B. D. state it as printed in I696 —they consider it, as Powell's third play—Mrs. Knight begins the Prologue with—
"New plays is still the cry of the whole town,
Mrs. Butler in the Epilogue speaking of the author,
"Faith, Gentlemen, be kind to his first born."
The first edition of the Treacherous Brothers is dated 1690—Langbaine says that the main incident —the soporifick potion—is borrowed from a romance called the Wall Flower—it is introduced again in Brutus of Alba 1696—and in the Unnatural Mother 1698.
Distressed Innocence, or the Princess of Persia. Isdigerdes (King of Persia) = Bowman: Hormidas (his general and nephew—a Christian) = Mountford: Theodosius (son to the Emperour Arcadius) = Powell: Otrantes (formerly general) = Kynaston: Rugildas (his friend—a villain) = Sandford: Audas (a Christian Bishop) = Hodgson: Orundana (supposed daughter of Isdigerdes) = Mrs. Barry: Cleomira (wife to Hormidas—a Christian) = Mrs. Bracegirdle:—the temple of the Sun is burnt—the Christians are falsely accused of having set fire to it—Isdigerdes orders a general persecution—Hormidas and Cleomira are reduced to slavery—Cleomira is "poisoned by philters," that is, reduced to a state of insensibility by drugs—Otrantes takes that opportunity to gratify his passion for her —in the last act Otrantes is going to kill the king, but is killed himself—Rugildas drags in Cleomira with a dagger in his hand—Hormidas enters—the stage effect produced at this moment is precisely the same as that in the last act of Braganza—the scene however ends differently—Rugildas kills Cleomira—a struggle ensues between him and Hormidas—they are both mortally wounded—Orundana kills herself from disappointment—it being made to appear, that she is really the daughter of Otrantes, and that Cleomira is the king's daughter—Isdigerdes puts a stop to the persecution.
Settle in his dedication says "whatever fiction I "have elsewhere interwoven, the distresses of Hor"midas and Cleomira are true history "—this play is founded on the 39th chapter of the 5th book of Theodoritus—Settle has warpt the story in favour of the Christians, for AMas, from a mistaken zeal, did pull down a temple—Hormidas (properly Hormisdas) was forced to lead the camels of the army, (as mentioned in the play)—it was not however his wife, but the wife of another person, who was taken from her husband and given to a slave—all the other circumstances relating to Hormidas and Cleomira are fiction — Settle makes his Persians talk of Minerva, CEdipus, Tarquin &c.—on the whole this is far from a bad play.
Settle says in the dedication—" I grew weary of "my little talent in Dramatics, and forsooth must be "rambling into politics: and much I have got by it,
"for, I thank 'em, they have undone me"—when Dryden wrote his Absalom and Achitophel, and his Medal, Settle answered them both—he was at that time the poet of the Whigs—he afterwards became so staunch a Tory, that he wrote a Heroick Poem on the Coronation of James the 2d, and even a Panegyrick upon Judge Jefferies—but before he could derive any solid advantage from his change of party, the Revolution took place, and from that period he lived poor and despised till 1723-4—(Dr. Johnson and B. D.)—political apostacy is so common, that it rarely meets with the treatment, which it merits— Settle had however prostituted his pen in so gross a manner, that the contempt excited by his political writings was even extended to his dramatic labours —see City Ramble D. L. Aug. 17 1711.
King Edward the 3d with the Fall of Mortimer— Mortimer, Earl of March (the Queen's paramour) = Williams: Lord Mountacute = Mountfort: Edward the 3d = Powell: Sir Thomas Delamore = Kynaston: Sir Robert Holland = Hodgson: Earl of Leicester = Bowman: Earl of Exeter = Sandford: Tarleton (Bishop of Hereford, and Chancellor of England) = Leigh: Serjeant Eitherside = Nokes: Queen Mother = Mrs. Barry: Maria (niece to Eitherside, in love with Mountacute) = Mrs. Bracegirdle :—in the 5th act the Queen Mother signs an order for the King's confinement as a prisoner—this seems to be fiction— in other respects the play differs but little from the history—the author has added a comic underplot— the Chancellor is of an amorous disposition—the Serjeant pimps for him in hopes of preferment—he brings Maria to the Chancellor, and insists that she