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"sook him "—this is a gross mistake—Plutarch does not say a syllable about a son of Sosibius; the person of whom he speaks is Ptolemy the son of Chrysermus.
Fairy Queen—this is Midsummer Night's Dream turned into an Opera.
Act 1st—the alterations are slight till Bottom and the other comic characters enter, then part of the scene in the 3d Act is added to that in the 1st.
Act 2d—the Fairies enter—and then Demetrius and Helena—when Titania re-enters, a dance is introduced with additional singing—Titania Lysander and Hermia fall asleep as in the original.
Act 3d—Helena enters, but not Demetrius—when Lysander wakes—he speaks 3 new lines—
"Ha, Helen! fairest of all womankind!
The person who made this alteration was ignorant that Theseus, in whose time the scene is laid, lived before the siege of Troy—the Duke indeed has no name given to him, but we must suppose him to be Theseus.
The Comic characters enter, and rehearse the Mock-Tragedy as in the 5th act of the original— Robin Goodfellow comments on the play—in Midsummer Night's Dream Theseus says—" The wall "methinks, being sensible should curse again "—and Bottom, "No, in truth he should not"—in the Fairy Queen, Robin Goodfellow speaks the line that belongs to Theseus, and Bottom makes the reply as before, which is absurd, as Robin Goodfellow must be supposed to speak to himself—when the play is over, Robin Goodfellow disperses the Clowns, as in the original 3d Act—Bottom returns with the Ass' head and Titania falls in love with him—after they are gone out, Oberon and Robin Goodfellow enter— the scene between Demetrius and Hermia is omitted and they only cross the stage—Titania and Bottom re-enter—as in the 1st scene of the original 4th Act —the dialogue is shortened—singing and dancing are introduced.
Act 4th—Oberon and Robin Goodfellow enter, and then Lysander &c.— the scene proceeds (as in Shakspeare's 3d Act) with omissions, till the four lovers fall asleep—Oberon wakes Titania—then follows
machinery, singing &c the Fairies exeunt—and
Robin applies the juice of the flower to Lysander's eyes.
Act 5th—The Duke, Egeus &c. enter—the four lovers wake and go out to be married—Bottom wakes and speaks his soliloquy—the Glowns enter and go through the last scene of the original 4th Act—The Duke and the serious characters re-enter—and afterwards the Fairies—Oberon tells the Duke he will feast his eye and ear—Juno appears in a machine— the Peacocks spread their tails and fill the middle of the Theatre—the scene changes to a Chinese Garden —a Chinese man and woman sing—6 Monkies dance &c. &c.—Oberon and Titania speak a sort of Epilogue.
On the whole this play does not differ materially from the original; several slight changes are made in the dialogue—the character of Hippolita is omitted —Theseus' speech about "the poet's eye" &c. is sadly mutilated—a great deal of machinery singing and dancing are introduced—Downes tells us that the Court and town were wonderfully satisfied with the Fairy Queen, but the expense attending it was so
great, that the company got very little by it the
Prologue complains of the beaux who stand on the stage and interrupt the performance—the B. D. says this Opera was acted at the Hay.—at this time the theatre in the Hay. was not built—the Editor of the B. D. was probably led into this gross mistake by the titlepage which tells us that it was acted at the Queen's Theatre, by which no doubt was meant Dorset Garden.
Henry the 2d, King of England, with the Death of Rosamond. King Henry = Betterton: Abbot = Sandford: Prince Henry = Michael Leigh: Verulam = Kynaston: Sir Thomas Vaughan = Leigh: Bertrard = Dogget: Queen Eleanor = Mrs. Barry: Rosamond = Mrs. Bracegirdle :—the original story of Rosamond did not furnish materials for five acts—the author of this T. was therefore obliged to make additions to it —the character of the Abbot coalesces very well with the story, but he occupies much too large a portion of the play—the Abbot is an enemy to the King on Becket's account—he does not scruple to promote his revenge by any means—in the 5th act, he makes Bertrard carry some wine and fruit to Rosamond, as a present from the King—Bertrard, not knowing that the wine is poisoned, drinks some of it twice—the Queen forces Rosamond to poison herself—the King enters before she dies—the Abbot had caused Sir Thomas Vaughan to be mortally wounded by a ruffian
—Sir Thomas in return kills the Abbot this is an
indifferent play—the political part is dull—the love scenes are not very interesting—the comic characters of Sir Thomas Vaughan and Bertrard are good—but they are not characters of any great importance—Sir Thomas is the King's pimp.
Henry the 2d, like Edward the 3d, is attributed to Bancroft—but the dedication is signed Will. Mountfort, tho' he was dead when this play was published in 1693.
Volunteers, or the Stock Jobbers. Major General Blunt (an old Cavalier Officer) = Leigh: Sir Nicholas Dainty (an effeminate Volunteer) = Bowman: Sir Timothy Kastril = Bowen: Col. Hackwell Senior = Dogget: Col. Hackwell Junior = Powell: Welford (a brave Volunteer) = Hodgson: Nickum = Alexander: Taylor (a part of 6 lines) = Penkethman: Eugenia and Teresia (daughters to General Blunt) = Mrs. Mountfort and Mrs. Knight: Clara (daughter to Col. Hackwell Senior) = Mrs. Bracegirdle: Mrs. Hackwell = Mrs. Leigh: Winifred (her daughter by a former husband) = Mrs. Rogers:—Col. Hackwell Senior is married to a second wife — she keeps Nickum—and forces her husband to turn his daughter out of his house, as he had previously done his son—Lettice brings her master to a room where he finds Nickum and his wife on a bed—she pretends to have a fit, and the old Colonel is completely duped by her— in the 5th act, he is sensible that she has made him a cuckold—he is reconciled to his son and daughter—Mrs. Hackwell makes her exit in confusion—her daughter marries a dancing master—Sir Timothy Kastril is beaten by Nickum—he plucks up courage—and not only beats Nickum, but is inclined to quarrel with any body—the outlines of this character are borrowed from the Little French Lawyer —at the conclusion, Col. Hackwell Junior, Welford,
and Sir Nicholas Dainty marry Eugenia, Clara, and Teresia—this is a tolerable C. but not equal to the generality of Shadwell's plays—the Stock Jobbers are rather hunters after Patents than Stock Jobbers in the modern sense of the word—they have so very little to do with the piece, that Shadwell should not have given his play a second title on their account
Shadwell died before the Volunteers was acted
—the Prologue was written by D'Urfey and spoken by Mrs. Bracegirdle—the persons who were liable to be brought upon the Stage are supposed to rejoice at Shadwell's death—
"Mon Dieu, cries Miss, as right as ever twang'd, "These rhyming Satire rogues should all be "hangU
"I live by law, a Protestant true blue, -v "All taxes pay, and am to Church so true, V "I make my assignations in a pew." J
The Epilogue is quite serious and was spoken by one in deep mourning—it is a compliment on Shadwell.
Maid's last Prayer, or any rather than Fail. Gayman = Bom an: Lord Malepert = Dogget: Granger = Powell: Capt. Drydrub = Underhill: Sir Symphony = Bowen: Garnish = Alexander: Sir Ruff Rancounter = Bright: Jano (a page) = Betty Allinson: Porter = Pinkyman: Lady Malepert = Mrs. Barry: Lady Susan Malepert = Mrs. Mountfort: Lady Trickitt = Mrs. Bracegirdle: Wishwell = Mrs. Betterton: Siam = Mrs. Leigh: Maria = Mrs. Rogers: Judy = Mrs. Rachel Lee:—this is a moderate C. by Southerne—Lady Susan is an old maid who, find