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capitulation were publickly read in the Cathedral— the Viceroy &c. solemnly swore to observe them inviolably for ever, and to procure without delay the ratification of them from his Catholick Majesty— Masaniello, who from the 7th day of July to the Sunday following, had behaved himself with so much wisdom and kingly authority, to the great surprise of every body, grew delirious all on a sudden—many and various are the reflections that have been made upon his sudden madness—some are of opinion, that that stupendous height of power to which he arrived, as it were in an instant, made him giddy and turn'd his brains—others will have it to be occasioned by the great and continual fatigues he underwent, scarce ever allowing himself time to take the natural refreshments of food or sleep—but, the most probable and received opinion is, that the Viceroy had given him an intoxicating draught, which, by inflaming his blood, should make him commit such extravagancies, as would oblige the people to despise and forsake him.
On the 16th of July Masaniello was murdered with the approbation of the Viceroy—at the time of his assassination the people seemed stupified and motionless, but on the next day they buried him with great solemnity—he was about 24 years old at the time of his death—the Archbishop acknowledged that in the several conferences he had with him with respect to the treaty of accommodation, he had often been amazed at the solidity of his judgment, and the subtilty of his contrivances—he had given a proof of his disinterestedness by remaining poor in the midst of wealth—and of his loyalty by making the people often cry out, "long live the King of Spain"—Such was the rise and fall of a man, who in the space of 4 days had raised an army of 150,000 men, and made himself master of one of the most populous cities in the world—during his short, but stupendous reign, his orders were without reply—his decrees without appeal—and the destiny of Naples might be said to depend on a single motion of his hand.
The Rebellion of Naples, or the Tragedy of Massenello is said to have been written by a Gentleman, who was an eyewitness of the facts on which he has founded his play—it is printed in 12mo with the date MDCII—an I having probably been put for an L— it is clear from the address to the reader that the play was published about 1651—T. B. the author of this piece has dramatized the principal events in a tolerable manner—it concludes with the funeral of Massenello—a Herald proclaims a general pardon— Massenello revives and speaks the Epilogue—in the 3d act, Agatha, the 2d wife of Massenello, stabs Flora, the daughter of Massenello by a former wife, in the face—Massenello breaks Agatha's neck between his hands—Antonio, the son of the Viceroy, falls in love with Flora, and means to marry her—in the 5th act, Ursula, Massenello's daughter by Agatha, poisons Flora—as also her Grandmother—the latter unintentionally—Flora dies—Ursula is cut in pieces, and thrown to the dogs—as T. B. professed to write a true account of the story, he ought not to have introduced circumstances, which not only did not happen, but could not happen —Massenello was too young to have a marriageable daughter—D'Urfey does not seem to have borrowed any thing from this play.
VOL. II. M
D'Urfey begins with the breaking out of the insurrection—in the 3d act, Blowzabella, Massaniello's wife, enters awkwardly dressed in the Duchess of Mataloni's jewels—the Duchess is brought in in a mean habit—Massaniello falls in love with the Duchess —Blowzabella takes a fancy to the Prince of Bissig■ nano—a bandit shoots a pistol at Massaniello, but misses him—Perone and the other banditti are carried off—the Duke of Mataloni assumes the disguise of a bandit—in the last scene of the 5th act, he contrives to carry off the Duchess.
In the 2d part, there is a scene in the Cathedral, according to the history—Blowzabella gives an entertainment to the Vice-Queen &c.—Massaniello resumes his Fisherman's dress—his brother Pedro dissuades him from laying down his authority—Cosmo promises to put the Duchess into his power—Cosmo and Pedro seize the Duke and Duchess of Mataloni, with Fellicia, who is the niece of the Vice-Queen— the 4th act begins with the Duke and Duchess in prison—the Duke stabs Cosmo—he effects his escape —but the Duchess is retaken—Pedro ravishes Fellicia—the Prince of Bissignano gets the key of Massaniello's apartment from Blowzabella—the Duchess having defied Massaniello's love, and dared his cruelty, he orders her to be seized, stripped naked, and to have her head cut off—the Duke &c. enter—the Duke shoots Massaniello—the play concludes thus—" the "scene opens and discovers the trunk of Massaniello, "headless and handless, dragged by horses, his head "and hands fastened to a pole, with an inscription, "and behind these the bodies of Blowzabella, and "Pedro hanging upon gibbets" D'Urfey should have concluded with the funeral of Massaniello—he has very injudiciously written his play in 2 parts— which is a bad ■plan, except when particular circumstances make it expedient—his plays are far from bad ones, but their merit consists chiefly in the low humour which he has thrown into the comic characters—D'Urfey's great fault is, that any person who reads his play, without having read the history, would form very wrong notions of Massaniello—D'Urfey makes Blowzabella an important comic part, this may be tolerated, but Massaniello's love to the Duchess is a monstrous fiction—In the history (p. 187) Massaniello's wife, his mother and two sisters are said to make a visit to the Vice-Queen in a new coach, which the Duke of Mataloni had bespoken for his wedding day.
The two parts of Masaniello were reduced to one by Walker, and brought out at L. I. F. July 31 1724.
Love without Interest, or the Man too hard for the Master. "Wildman (in love with Letitia) = Powell: Jonathan = Penkethman: Sir Fickle Cheat = Bullock: Trulove (in love with Honoria) = Mills: Wrangle = Johnson: Sobersides = Newth: Letitia (niece to Sir Fickle, secretly in love with Wildman) = Mrs. Verbruggen: Honoria (her sister, in love with Trulove) = Mrs. Rogers: Eugenia = Mrs. Kent: Jenny = Mrs. Wilkins :—this is a poor C—it seems from the Epilogue that the author gave it to Penkethman— Sir Fickle Cheat puts the writings relative to his nieces' fortunes into the custody of his man Jonathan, who sells them to Wildman and Trulove—they give the papers to Letitia and Honoria—hence both the names of this C.—Sir Fickle Cheat marries Wildman's cast mistress, Eugenia—in the short characters of Wrangle and Sobersides the author has borrowed a hint from the Forced Marriage of Moliere—the Prologue was spoken by Haines—it is the Prologue which he wrote for the Northern Lass, when revived in 1684—with the alteration of about 6 lines.
Island Princess, or the Generous Portuguese— Islanders—King of Tidore = Evans: Governour of Ternate = Johnson: King of Bakam = Bullock: Quisara = Mrs. Rogers: Panura = Mrs. Wilkins :— Portuguese—Armusia = Powell: Ruidias = Mills: Piniero = Thomas :—this is Fletcher's play turned into an Opera—the alteration is a very bad one—it is worse than Tate's alteration in 1687, and much worse than the play as acted in 1669—the original required only a slight alteration to fit it for representation—Motteux has mutilated it sadly, particularly in the characters of Ruidias, Piniero, and Panura—■ this Opera seems to have come out in the summer, as Powell desires. the audience to spare the play for the sake of the players, who were—
"Left by their rulers for themselves to strive." In a poem written in 1702 it was said—
"Motteux and D'Urfey are for nothing fit,
"What was not Fletcher's no more sense con-
The Constant Couple, or a Trip to the Jubilee