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amusement, inquired what new young fellow that was, whom he had seen in the Chaplain—upon which Mountfort replied, "that's he behind you"— Goodman then turning about looked earnestly at Cibber, and after some pause clapping him on the shoulder rejoined "If he does not make a good "actor, I'll be damned"—the surprise of being commended by so good a judge, and in so positive a manner, filled Cibber with the greatest transport.
Kynaston being ill one day, when the Double Dealer was to be acted, Cibber by Congreve's recommendation played Lord Touchwood, and did it so much to Congreve's satisfaction, that by his interest with the Patentees he was raised from 15 to 20 shillings a week—at the secession of the principal actors, he was raised to 30 shillings.
Cibber gives a circumstantial account of the success with which he one day acted Fondlewife—for this, and other particulars, see Cibber's Apology.
There can be no doubt but that the acting at T. R. was miserably inferiour to what it had been —but perhaps Cibber's account is a little exaggerated—he had evidently a personal dislike to Powell —every thing therefore that he says, directly or indirectly, against him must be received with some grains of allowance—Powell seems to have been eager to exhibit himself in some of Betterton's best parts, whereas a more diffident actor would have wished to avoid comparisons—we know from the Spectator that Powell was too apt to tear a passion to tatters, but still he must have been an actor of considerable reputation at this time, or he would not
VOL. n. F
have been cast for several good parts before the division of the company.
Philaster was revived with alterations by Settle— Philaster = Powell: Pharamond = Cibbars: (Cibber) King = Simpson: Dion = Powell Senior: Cleremont = M. Leigh: Thraselin = Horden: Euphrasia, disguised as Bellario, = Mrs. Rogers: Arethusa = Mrs. Knight: Megra = Mrs.Kent: Galatea = Mrs.Cibbars: —in the titlepage the play is said to be revised, and the last two acts to be new written—Settle has added several speeches to the first three acts, and some new scenes to the last two—but when he states these two acts as new written, he exceeds the truth—there still remain more than 8 Octavo pages of Fletcher's play—in Settle's 4th act, Philaster, after he has ordered Bellario to leave him, presents his sword to Arethusa, and tells her to guide it to his heart— instead of doing so, she falls on the sword and is supposed to die—Bellario returns—Philaster is going to kill himself but Bellario beats away his sword— she is on the point of acknowledging her sex, when some of the Courtiers come on—Philaster surrenders himself to justice—in the 5th act Philaster is brought before the king as having killed his daughter —Bellario, to save Philaster's life, proclaims herself the murderer of Arethusa—two Messengers enter and say that the Princess is recovered, and that she had received her wound from her own hand—the play ends as in the original.
L. I. F. 1695.
The theatre in Little Lincoln's Inn Fields (as it is frequently called) was opened with Love for Love. Valentine =Betterton: Ben=Dogget: Foresight = Sandford: Tattle = Boman: Sir Sampson Legend = Underhill: Scandal = Smith: Jeremy = Bowen: Trapland = Trefusis: Angelica = Mrs. Bracegirdle: Mrs. Frail = Mrs. Barry: Miss Prue = Mrs. Ayliff: Mrs. Foresight = Mrs. Bowman: Nurse = Mrs. Leigh :— the play was very well acted in all the parts, particularly in Ben—it was performed 13 days successively. (Dowries.)
The character of Foresight is now become obsolete, as few or no persons, but those of the lowest rank, have any faith in judicial astrology—but in 1695 there could not be a more fair subject for ridicule, as persons of the first abilities were guilty of that folly—Dryden, in a letter to his sons at Rome written after this time, says—" Towards the latter "end of Sep. Charles will begin to recover his per"feet health, according to his nativity, which casting "it myself I am sure is true, and all things hitherto "have happened according to the time that I pre"dieted them"—the famous Lord Shaftesbury, tho' as to religion a Deist, had in him the dotage of Astrology to a high degree—he said to Burnet, that a Dutch Doctor had from the stars foretold him the whole series of his life.
Pyrrhus King of Epirus—this is an indifferent T. by Hopkins—the foundation of it is the death of Pyrrhus at Argos—see Plutarch—to this is added a love episode—two Romans are improperly introduced—as also the wife of Pyrrhus —the celebrated discourse, which Plutarch represents as having passed between Cineas and Pyrrhus, is put into her mouth —there are no performers' names to the D. P.
DRURY LANE And DORSET GARDEN 1696.
Cibber's great success in Fondlewife did not much promote his rise in the theatre, there were few or no other parts of the same kind to be had—nor could people conceive from what he had done in that character, for what others he was fit—if he solicited for any thing of a different nature, he was told that it was not in his way, but what was in his way was not determined on—having then no other resource, he resolved to write a character for himself—when he had finished his play, yet the difficulty of getting it on the stage was not easily surmounted—for at this time as little was expected from him as an author, as there was from him as an actor—but Southerne happening to like it, immediately recommended it to the Patentees, and it was accordingly produced in Jan. 1695-6.
Love's last Shift, or the Fool in Fashion. Sir Novelty Fashion = Cibber: Loveless = Verbruggen: Sir William Wisewoud = Johnson: Snap = Penketh
man: Elder Worthy = Williams: Younger Worthy = Horden: Sly = Bullock: Lawyer = Mills: Amanda = Mrs. Rogers: Narcissa = Mrs. Verbruggen: Hillaria = Mrs. Cibber: Mrs. Flareit = Mrs. Kent: Amanda's Woman = Mrs. Lucas:—this is on the whole a very tolerable C.—on the first night as Cibber was going to prompt the Prologue, Southerne took him by the hand and said, "Young man I "pronounce thy play a good one—I will answer for "its success, if thou dost not spoil it by thy own "action"—for this however, as well as for the play, Cibber obtained much applause—Lord Dorset told him that "for a young fellow to show himself such "an actor and such a writer in one day was some"what extraordinary."
Vanburgh did Cibber the honour to write his Relapse as a Sequel, or second part, to Love's last Shift.
Don Quixote part 3d by D'Urfey—Don Quixote = Powell: Sancho = Newth: Basilius = Horden: Camacho = Bullock: Jaques = Penkethman: Carrasco = Verbruggen: Gines de Passamonte = M. Leigh: Mary the Buxom = Mrs. Verbruggen: Teresa = Mrs. Powell: Quilteria = Mrs. Finch: Altesidora = Miss Cross :—the Puppetshow scene is very good—the whole of this Comedy is equal to the second part and very superiour to the first, yet such is the caprice of the Public that it was not acted with near the same success—it is evident from the names of the Performers, that they were inferiour to those who had acted the former parts, and it appears from the preface that some things were