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= Mrs. Boraan: Clara = Mrs. Boutell: Compasse's Wife = Mrs. Perin: Nurse = Mrs. Lawson: Mrs. Venter = Mrs. Lacy.—it is clear from the names of the performers that this C. must have been badly acted—it is only an alteration of a Cure for a Cuckold.
A Cure for a Cuckold was written by Webster in conjunction with Rowley—it was not printed till 1661, but had doubtless been acted many years before that time—Lessingham is in love with Clare— she sends him a letter in which she says—
"Prove all thy friends, find out the best and "nearest,
"Kill for my sake that friend that loves thee "dearest"
—Lessingham debates the matter in a Soliloquy— he tells 4 of his friends that he has a duel on his hands, and that he wants a second, who is to fight himself—they decline his proposal under various pretences—Bonvile agrees to accompany him to the appointed place, notwithstanding that it is his wedding day—when they arrive at Calais sands, Lessingham tells Bonvile that he is come thither on purpose to kill him—Bonvile refuses to fight him, and adds that he may boast to Clare that he has killed his friend, as all friendship between them is dead—
In Massinger's Parliament of Love—Leonora says to Cleremond—
"I have heard thee boast,
"That of all blessings in the earth next me,
"Made up thy happiness: out of these, I charge "thee,
"To kill the best deserver "—Cleremond has a soliloquy—all his friends refuse to take a part in the duel, except Montrose—when they come to the spot —they fight and Cleremond is worsted—it seems more probable, that Webster and Massinger should both have borrowed from the same story, than that either of them should have been guilty of flagrant plagiarism—as they were contemporaries, and as neither of the plays was printed till after the author's death, it is impossible to determine which was the first written—Webster's first play was printed in 1612—his second and third in 1623—Massinger's first play was printed in 1622.
In the Cure for a Cuckold, Compass returns from sea after an absence of 4 years—he finds that his wife (who had supposed him to be dead) has a child about a quarter of a year old—instead of being angry, he claims the child—the real father refuses to resign him —a friend recommends Compass to make a divorce between himself and his wife—" within 2 hours you "may wed again, and then the cuckold's blotted "— this gives the title to the play—Compass calls his second marriage "the shedding of horns "—Lessingham marries Clare, and requests Bonvile's forgiveness —this is on the whole a very good C.—but the plot is not probable—Kirkman however, who published the play, says, "the expedient of Curing a Cuckold "(as here set down) has been tried to my knowledge, "and therefore I may say Probatum est"—he adds, that several persons remembered the acting of the C. and that it generally pleased well.
Harris the actor brought out the City Bride without any acknowledgment that it was stolen from Webster—he has changed several of the names—his alterations are not material, but they are all for the worse—in particular, he has omitted Compasse in the last scene, and consequently the best joke in the play.
Lover's Luck. Eager = Bowen: Goosandelo (a silly fop) = Bowman: Bellair (in love with Mrs. Purflew) — Betterton: Sir Nicholas Purflew = Bright: Alderman Whim = Underhill: Sapless (a Cheshire Squire) = Dogget: Breviat (a Lawyer) = Freeman: Jocond (Bellair's Page) = Mrs. Ayliff: Mrs. Purflew (a great heiress) = Mrs. Bracegirdle: Vesuvia (a woman of the town) = Mrs. Leigh: Mrs. Plyant = Mrs. Bowman: Sprightly (an old housekeeper) = Mrs. Lawson :—this is an indifferent C. by Dilke— Downes says it filled the house for 6 days together, and brought £50 on the 8th day, after which it was laid aside—Sir Nicholas and the Alderman are joint guardians to Mrs. Purflew—the former wants her to marry Goosandelo and the latter Breviat—she is in love with Bellair—Eager is a sharper, who lives by pimping and cheating—he inveigles Sapless to marry Vesuvia, but Bellair prevents the match—Sir Nicholas and the Alderman employ Eager to introduce them to Vesuvia—in the 4th act they both come to her lodgings—Eager in disguise, with some bullies, robs them of their money—this is the best scene in the play—at the catastrophe Breviat is taken in to marry Mrs. Plyant—Goosandelo marries the Page— they both suppose they have married Mrs. Purflew.
Royal Mischief. Levan Dadian (Prince of Colchis and married to Bassima) = Bowman: Osman (in love with Bassima) = Betterton: Prince of Libardian (uncle to Levan, and husband to Homais) = Kynaston: Ismael (a young officer) = Hwdson: Acmat (an eunuch belonging to Homais) = Freeman: Homais (desperately in love with Levan) = Mrs. Barry: Bassima (in love with Osman, but virtuous) = Mrs. Bracegirdle: Selima (wife to Osman) = Mrs. Bowman:—this is a strange play, but not a dull one—it should have been called Love and Murder—the catastrophe is unusually bloody—Homais is killed by her husband —Levan kills himself—Bassima is poisoned—Ismael and Acmat are put to death—Osman is thrust into a cannon and fired off—Selima is said to be
"Gathering the smoaking relicks of her Lord, "Which singes, as she grasps them."
Few female writers are sufficiently attentive to grammar, Mrs. Manley might have said —
"Which singe her, as she grasps them."
In the preface she allows that the principal objection made against this T. was the warmth of it; but says in her defence, that after some few speeches had passed between Levan and Homais, she had shut the scene upon them, judging it more modest to do so, than to let the lovers agree before the audience, and
then retire, as resolving to perform articles Levan
however when he returns to the stage gives the audience a broad hint of what had passed—and Homais when dying takes care to inform her husband that Ismael was the person, with whom she was first intimate.
The Epilogue was spoken by Miss Bradshaw.
Mrs. Boutel's name does not often appear after the Union—Curll says "She was low of stature, had "very agreeable features, a good complexion, but a "childish look: her voice was weak, but very mellow; "she generally acted the young innocent Lady, whom "all the Heroes are mad in love with; she was a "favourite of the town; and besides what she saved "by playing, the generosity of some happy lovers "enabled her to quit the stage before she grew old" —at this time she had been on the stage above 30 years; and one would hardly have supposed that she would have played such young parts as Francelia and Constantia—Downes however does not give any intimation that there was a second actress of the same name—and Cibber does not mention her at all.
Her characters—selection only.
T. R. 1663. Estifania.
1666. Aspatia in Maid's Tragedy.
1668. *Theodosia in Evening's Love.
1669. *St. Catharine in Tyrannick Love.
1670. *Benzayda in Conquest of Granada.
1672. * Christiana in Love in a Wood—*Melantha in Marriage a-la-Mode.
1673. *Country Wife.
1674. *Fidelia in Plain Dealer.
1676. * Rosalinda in Sophonisba.
1678. * Cleopatra in All for Love—*Semandra in Mithradates.
1688. *Mrs. Termagant in Squire of Alsatia.