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badly managed in the representation—Collier falls foul of these three plays and not without reason.
The Prologue is spoken by Horden and Miss Cross. She boasts of her interest with the men: Horden tells her—
"Child th' art three years too young." Miss Cross. Perhaps as much too young, as you too good.
Horden. Nay I confess th' art planted in a place, Where like a Melon underneath a glass,
The Town's warm beams soon ripeness will produce,
No hot-bed like a Playhouse for that use.
Miss Cross was called Miss because she was quite a girl—she was afterwards called Mrs. Cross—the case was the same with several other actresses— Cibber in the Lady's last Stake calls two of his female characters Miss Notable and Mrs. Conquest, tho' they are both unmarried—but one is a girl and the other a woman.
Oronooko—Oronooko = Verbruggen: Aboan = Powell: Lieut. Governour = Williams: Stanmore = Horden: Jack Stanmore = Mills: Blanford = Harland: Capt. Driver=Johnson: Daniel = Mich. Leigh: Hottman = Sympson: Imoinda = Mrs. Rogers: Widow Lackitt = Mrs. Knight: CharlotWelldon = Mrs. Verbruggen: Lucy Welldon = Mrs. Lucas :—Southerne has professedly borrowed the plot of this play from Mrs. Behn—her father was appointed Lieutenant Governour of Surinam, but died on his voyage thither—she and the rest of her family proceeded to Surinam, where she became acquainted with Oro. nooko, whose history she has related in a very interesting manner—Southerne's chief deviation from the story is at the catastrophe, when he makes Oronooko kill first the Governour, and then himself— Oronooko was in fact put to death in a most cruel manner—Southerne has greatly enlarged the pait of Aboan—he has also added a comic underplot—Oronooko was very successful—the Tragic scenes are peculiarly interesting—it is the fashion to abuse the Comic ones—they are certainly very indecent, but they have a great deal of the vis comica in them—in a moral light the alterations of this play have been for the better, but in point of dramatic merit vastly for the worse.
Agnes de Castro. Prince = Powell: Alvaro (in love with Agnes) = Verbruggen: King = Simpson: Lorenzo = Cibber: Agnes = Mrs. Rogers: Elvira (sister to Alvaro) = Mrs. Knight: Princess = Mrs. Temple :—scene Portugal—the Prince had been intimate with Elvira, but had abandoned her on his marriage—she discovers that the Prince is in love with Agnes—and makes the Princess acquainted with it—this however does not dissolve the strict friendship between the Princess and Agnes—act the 3d begins with Elvira solus — in the next scene she stabs the Princess in the dark, mistaking her for Agnes— the Princess dies—and Agnes falls into a swoon—the King &c. enter—Elvira accuses Agnes of having killed the Princess—Agnes is committed to the custody of Lorenzo—in the 4th act, the Ghost of the Princess appears to Elvira, who immediately runs mad—in the 5th act, the King is convinced of the innocence of Agnes—Alvaro aims a blow at the Prince, Agnes shrieks, the Prince steps back, and Agnes receives a mortal wound—the Prince kills Alvaro, and is with difficulty prevented from killing himself—this is a moderate T. attributed to Mrs. Trotter—(afterwards Mrs. Cockburne)—it is said to be founded on a French Novel, translated by Mrs. Behn.
Bonduca, or the British Heroine—Britons—Caratach = Powell: Venutius= Horden: Macquaire (a prince of the Picts) = Simpson: Nennius = Mills: Hengo (a boy—nephew to Caratach) = Miss Allison: Bonduca = Mrs. Knight: Claudia and Bonvica (her daughters) — Mrs. Rogers and Miss Cross :—Romans —Suetonius = Verbruggen: Petilius = Harland: Junius = Hill: Macer = M. Leigh :—this is only a wretched alteration of one of Beaumont and Fletcher's best plays.
Bonduca—this play is founded on history—Caratach or Caractacus was carried as a prisoner to Rome in the time of Claudius—see the 12th book of the Annals of Tacitus—Bonduca or Boudicea put an end to her life by poison in the time of Nero—the slight anachronism, in bringing these two distinguished characters into the same play, is abundantly compensated by the advantages resulting from it— see the 14th book of the Annals of Tacitus—Penius really killed himself as represented in this Tragedy —Suetonius is a real character—most of the others are fictitious—Judas is a comic part—Junius and Petilius are sometimes comic and sometimes serious —the latter is a part of importance, but not much connected with the plot.
Bonduca was revived with very considerable alterations—the character of Penius is entirely omitted— that of Petilius is greatly shortened—all that passes in the original play between Junius and the second daughter of Bonduca is omitted—Junius is said to be in love with a Grecian Captive whom he had left behind him at Rome—he is killed in the battle—the deficiency, thus occasioned, is supplied chiefly by the love scenes between Venutius and Claudia—Comes, (or Macquaire as he is called in the D. P.) is also in love with Claudia—the name of Judas, is changed to Macer.
Some Gentleman was so conceited as to suppose that he could improve the original play—he bestowed but four days'labour upon it, and then gave it to Powell, who had it acted and printed—the whole was revised and studied in a fortnight—Bonduca, thus shamefully mangled, was acted, now and then, for several years, particularly by the Summer Company—the original play was revived at the Hay. July 30 1778.
Rival Sisters, or the Violence of Love. Antonio = Powell: Sebastian (his friend and son to Vilarezo) = Verbruggen: Alonzo = Williams: Vilarezo (a nobleman of Portugal) = Disney: Geraldo (an amorous old man) = Johnson: Catalina and Berinthia (in love with Antonio) = Mrs. Knight and Mrs. Rogers: Alphanta = Miss Cross: Ansilva (Catalina's woman) = Mrs. Verbruggen :—Antonio is in love with Berinthia, the younger daughter of Vilarezo—he refuses his consent, and wants Antonio to marry his elder daughter, Catalina—in the 4th act, Vilarezo makes Antonio drunk, and marries him to Catalina—Antonio supposed her to be Berinthia—when he finds the mistake, he refuses to consummate his marriage, and goes off with Berinthia—Sebastian pursues him and kills him—Catalina is killed by a thunderbolt, but before her death she acknowledges that she had stabbed Ansilva, and had intended to poison her sister —Berinthia, on Antonio's death, takes poison—there is an indifferent underplot between Alonzo and Alphanta—and some good comic scenes between Ge
raldo and Ansilva this T. was written by Gould
—there is a striking resemblance between it and Shirley's Maid's Revenge—each of them is founded on the 7th history of "God's Revenge against Mur"ther" by Reynolds—but the two pieces differ in some material points—Gould's play is far from a bad one.
Ibrahim 13th Emperour of the Turks. Ibrahim = Verbruggen: Amurat = Powell: Achmet (chief of the Eunuchs) = Mrs. Verbruggen: Mufti =■ Simpson: Mustapha (father to Amurat) = Mills: Morena (the Mufti's daughter) = Mrs. Rogers: Sheker Para = Mrs. Knight:—Sheker Para is one of Ibrahim's cast mistresses—she maintains an influence over him by being his procuress—she makes love to Amurat, but is rejected by him—by means of Achmet she discovers that Amurat is on the point of marriage with Morena —she praises Morena's beauty to Ibrahim—he offers Morena his hand—on her declining of it, he ravishes her, and sends her back to her father—the Mufti appeals to the Divan—Ibrahim is dethroned and killed—Morena takes poison—Amurat and Sheker Para kill themselves—Achmet is killed—the plot of