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a person of quality. I will therefore bear my disgrace pretty well disposed of. Pray, how, madam, do you like a great man, and let the people see I am above pass your evenings? an affront. [ Aloud.] Dear Tom, since things are thus Sir John. Like a woman of spirit, sir; a great fallen out, prithee give me leave to wish thee joy. spirit. Give me a box and dice. Seven's the main ! I do it de bon caur--strike me dumb! You have (ons, sir, I set you a hundred pound! Why, do you married a woman beautiful in her person, charming think women are married now-a-days to sit at home in her airs, prudent in her conduct, constant in her and mend napkins? Oh, the Lord help your head ! inclinations, and of a nice morality--split my wind- Justice. Mercy on us, Mr Constable! What will pipe !
this age come to? The young lady thus eulogised, Miss Hoyden, is Const. What will it come to indeed, if such women the lively, ignorant, romping country girl to be met as these are not set in the stocks! with in most of the comedies of this period. In the • Provoked Wife,' the coarse pot-house valour and
Fable. absurdity of Sir John Brute (Garrick's famous part)
A Band, a Bob-wig, and a Feather, is well contrasted with the fine-lady airs and affec
Attacked a lady's heart together. tation of his wife, transported from the country to
The Band in a most learned plea, the hot-bed delicacies of London fashion and extra
Made up of deep philosophy, vagance. Such were the scenes that delighted our
Told her if she would please to wed play-going ancestors, and which still please us, like
A reverend beard, and take, instead old stiff family portraits in their grotesque habili
Of vigorous youth, ments, as pictures of a departed generation.
Old solemn truth, These portraits of Vanbrugh's were exaggerated
With books and morals, into bed, and heightened for dramatic effect; yet, on the whole,
llow happy she would be! they are faithful and characteristic likenesses. The picture is not altogether a pleasing one, for it is
The Bob he talked of management, dashed with the most unblushing licentiousness. A What wondrous blessings heaven sent tone of healthful vivacity, and the absence of all On care, and pains, and industry: hypocrisy, form its most genial feature. “The And truly he must be so free license of the times,' as Mr Leigh Hunt remarks, To own he thought your airy beaux, • allowed Vanbrugh to be plain spoken to an extent With powdered wig and dancing shoes, which was perilous to his animal spirits ;' but, like Were good for nothing--mend his soul! Dryden, he repented of these indiscretions; and if he But prate, and talk, and play the fool. had lived, would have united his easy wit and nature
He said 'twas wealth gave joy and mirth, to scenes inculcating sentiments of honour and virtue.
And that to be the dearest wife
Of one who laboured all his life [Picture of the Life of a Woman of Pashion.]
To make a mine of gold his own,
And not spend sixpence when he'd done, (Sir John Brute, in the Provoked Wife,' disguised in his
Was heaven upon earth. lady's dress, joins in a drunken midnight frolic, and is taken by the Constable and Watchmen before a Justice of the Peace.)
When these two blades had done, d'ye see,
The Feather (as it might be me) Justice. Pray, madam, what may be your lady
Steps out, sir, from behind the screen, ship's common method of life? if I may presume so
With such an air and such a mienfar.
Like you, old gentleman-in short, Sir John. Why, sir, that of a woman of quality.
He quickly spoiled the statesman's sport. Justice. Pray, how may you generally pass your
It proved such sunshine weather, time, madam! Your morning, for example! Sir John. Sir, like a woman of quality. I wake
That you must know, at the first beck
The lady leaped about his neck, about two o'clock in the afternoon-I stretch, and
And off they went together! make a sign for my chocolate. When I have drank three cups, I slide down again upon my back, with my arms over my head, while my two maids put on my
GEORGE FARQUHAR. stockings. Then, hanging upon their shoulders, I'm trailed to my great chair, where I sit and yawn for
GEORGE FARQUHAR was a better artist, in stage my breakfast. If it don't come presently, I lie down effect and happy combinations of incident and chaupon my couch, to say my prayers, while my maid
racter, than any of this race of comic writers. He rends me the playbills.
has an uncontrollable vivacity and love of adventure, Justice. Very well, madam.
which still render his comedies attractive both on Sir John. When the tea is brought in, I drink the stage and in the closet. Farquhar was an Irishtwelve regular dishes, with eight slices of bread and man, born in Londonderry in 1678, and, after some butter; and half an hour after, I send to the cook to
college irregularity, he took to the stage. Happening : know if the dinner is almost ready.
accidentally to wound a brother actor in a fencing Justice. So, madam.
scene, he left the boards at the age of eighteen, and Sir John. By that time my head is half dressed, I procured a commission in the army from the Earl of hear my husband swear
swearing himself into a state of per-| Orrery. His first play, Love and a Bottle, came out dition that the meat's all cold upon the table; to at Drury Lane in 1698; the Constant Couple in 1700; amend which I come down in an hour more, and have the Inconstant in 1703; the Stage-Coach in 1704; the it sent back to the kitchen, to be all dressed over Twin Rivals in 1705; the Recruiting Officer in 1706 ; again,
and the Beaur' Stratagem in 1707. Farquhar was Justice. Poor man!
early married to a lady who had deceived him by Sir John. When I have dined, and my idle ser- pretending to be possessed of a fortune, and he sunk vants are presumptuously set down at their ease to a victim to ill health and over exertion in his thirtieth do so too, I call for my coach, to go to visit fifty dear / year. A letter written shortly before his death to friends, of whom I hope I never shall find one at home Wilks the actor, possesses a touching brevity of exwhile I shall live.
pression :--Dear Bob, I have not anything to leave Justice - So! there's the morning and afternoon thee to perpetuate my memory but two helpless girls,
Look upon thein sometimes, and think of him that Aim. You're very exact, I find, in the age of your was to the last moment of his life thine-GEORGE | ale. FARQUHAR.' One of these daughters, it appears, Bon. As punctual, sir, as I am in the age of my married a low tradesman,' and the other became a children : I'll show you such ale. Here, tapster, servant, while their mother died in circumstances of broach number 1706, as the saying is. Sir, you shall the utmost indigence.
taste my anno domini. I have lived in Litchfield, The ‘Beaux' Stratagem' is Farquhar's best comedy. man and boy, above eight-and-fifty years, and I The plot is admirably managed, and the disguises of believe have not consumed eight-and-fifty ounces of Archer and Aimwell form a ludicrous, yet natural meat. series of incidents. Boniface, the landlord, is still Aim. At a meal, you mean, if one may guess by one of our best representatives of the English inn- | your bulk ? keeper, and there is genius as well as truth in the Bon. Not in my life, sir; I have fed purely upon delineation. Scrub, the servant, is equally true and ale : I have ate my ale, drank my ale, and I always amusing; and the female characters, though as free sleep upon my ale. spoken, if not as frail as the fine-bred ladies of Congreve and Vanbrugh, are sufficiently discriminated.
Enter Tapster with a Tankard. Sergeant Kite, in the Recruiting Officer' is an ori- Now, sir, you shall see- Your worship's health : ginal picture of low life and humour rarely surpassed. [Drinks)-Ha! delicious, delicious : fancy it BurFarquhar has not the ripe wit of Congreve, or of our gundy ; only fancy it--and 'tis worth ten shillings & best comic writers. He was the Sinollett, not the quart. Fielding of the stage. His characters are lively; and
Aim. [Drinks ] 'Tis confounded strong. there is a quick succession of incidents, so amusing
Bon. Strong! it must be so, or how would we be and so happily contrived to interest the audience. / strong that drink it! that the spectator is charmed with the variety and
Aim. And have you lived so long upon this ale,
landlord ? vivacity of the scene. • Farquhar,' says Leigh Hunt, 'was a good-natured,
Bon. Eight-and-fifty years, upon my credit, sir; sensitive, reflecting man, of so high an order of what I but it killed my wife, poor woman, as the saying is. may be called the town class of genius, as to sympa
Aim. How came that to pass ? thise with mankind at large upon the strength of
Bon. I don't know how, sir ; she would not let the what he saw of them in little, and to extract from a
ale take its natural course, sir ; she was for qualifying quintessence of good sense an inspiration just short
it every now and then with a dram, as the saying is; of the romantic and imaginative; that is to say, he
and an honest gentleman, that came this way from could turn what he had experienced in common life
Ireland, made her a present of a dozen bottles of
usquebaugh--but the poor woman was never well to the best account, but required in all cases the
after ; but, however, I was obliged to the gentleman, support of its ordinary associations, and could not
you know. project his spirit beyond them. He felt the little
Aim. Why, was it the usquebaugh that killed her ? world too much, and the universal too little. He saw
Bon. My Lady Bountiful said so. She, good lady, into all false pretensions, but not into all true ones;
did what could be done: she cured her of three and if he had had a larger sphere of nature to fall
tympanies : but the fourth carried her off: but she's back upon in his adversity, would probably not have
happy, and I'm contented, as the saying is. died of it. The wings of his fancy were too common,
Aim. Who's that Lady Bountiful you mentioned ? and grown in too artificial an air, to support him in
Bon. Odds my life, sir, we'll drink her health : the sudden gulfs and aching voids of that new region, Drinks)-My Lady Bountiful is one of the best of and enable him to beat his way to their green islands.
women. Her last husband, Sir Charles Bountiful, His genius was so entirely social, that notwithstand
left her worth a thousand pounds a-year; and I being what appeared to the contrary in his personal | lieve she lays out one-half on't in charitable uses for manners, and what he took for his own superiority the good of her neighbours. to it, compelled him to assume in his writings all the Aim. Has the lady any children? airs of the most received town ascendency; and when Bon. Yes, sir, she has a daughter by Sir Charles ; it had once warmed itself in this way, it would seem the finest woman in all our county, and the greatest
the finest woman in all our counting that it had attained the healthiness natural to its fortune. She has a son, too, by her first husband, best condition, and could have gone on for ever, in- 'Squire Sullen, who married a fine lady from London creasing both in enjoyment and in power, had exter. t'other day; if you please, sir, we'll drink bis health nal circumstances been favourable. He was becom. [Drinks.) ing gayer and gayer, when death, in the shape of a Aim. What sort of a man is he? sore anxiety, called him away as if from a pleasant Bon. Why, sir, the man's well enough : says little, party, and left the house ringing with his jest.' thinks less, and does nothing at all, faith ; but he's a
man of great estate, and values nobody. [Humorous Scene at an Inn.)
Aim. A sportsman, I suppose ?
Bon. Yes, he's a man of pleasure ; he plays at BONIFACE. AIMWELL.
whist, and smokes his pipe eight-and-forty hours toBon. This way, this way, sir.
gether sometimes. A im. You're my landlord, I suppose !
Aim. A fine sportsman, truly !-and married, you Bon. Yes, sir, I'm old Will Boniface ; pretty well say ? known upon this road, as the saying is.
Bon. Ay; and to a curious woman, sir. But he's Aim. Oh, Mr Boniface, your servant.
my landlord, and so a man, you know, would notBon. Oh, sir, what will your honour please to drink, Sir, my humble service [Drinks.) Though I value as the saying is?
not a farthing what he can do to me; I pay him his Aim. I have heard your town of Litchfield much
rent at quarter-day; I have a good running trade; I famed for ale ; I think I'll taste that.
have but one daughter, and I can give her but no Bon. Sir, I have now in my cellar ten tun of the matter for that. best ale in Staffordshire : 'tis smooth as oil, sweet as Aim. You're very happy, Mr Boniface : pray, what milk, clear as amber, and strong as brandy, and will other company have you in town? be just fourteen years old the fifth day of next March, Bon. A power of fine ladies; and then we have the old style.
| French officers.
Aim. Oh, that's right; you have a good many of Cost. Nay, for that matter, I'll spend my penny those gentlemen ; pray, how do you like their com- with the best he that wears a head; that is, begging
your pardon, sir, and in a fair way. Bon. So well, as the saying is, that I could wish we | Kite. Give me your hand, then ; and now, gentlehad as many more of 'em. They're full of money, inen, I have no more to say but this-here's a purse and pay double for everything they have. They of gold, and there is a tub of humming ale at my know, sir, that we paid good round taxes for the quarters ; 'tis the king's money and the king's drink; making of 'em; and so they are willing to reimburse he's a generous king, and loves his subjects. I hope, us a little ; one of 'em lodges in my house [Bell rings.] gentlemen, you wont refuse the king's health! I beg your worship’s pardon ; l'll wait on you in half All Mob. No, no, no. a minute.
Kite. Huzza, then !-huzza for the king and the
honour of Shropshire.
AU Mob. Huzza !
[Exeunt shouting. Drum SCENE-The Market-Place.
beating the Grenadier's March. Drum beats the Grenadier's March. Enter SERGEANT KITE,
followed by THOMAS APPLETREE, Costar PEARMAIN, and the Moe.
SCENE–The Street. Kite Making a speech.) If any gentlemen, soldiers,
Enter Kite, with COSTAR PEARMAIN in one hand, and or others, have a mind to serve his majesty, and pull
THOMAS APPLETREE in the other, drunk. down the French king; if any 'prentices have severe masters, any children have undutiful parents ; if any
Kite Sings servants have too little wages, or any husband a bad wife, let them repair to the noble Sergeant Kite, at Our 'prentice Tom may now refuse the sign of the Raven, in this good town of Shrews
To wipe his scoundrel master's shoes, bury, and they shall receive present relief and enter
For now he's free to sing and play tainment. [Drum.] Gentlemen, I don't beat my Over the hills and far away. drums here to ensnare or inveigle any man ; for you
Over, &c. [The mob sing the chorus must know, gentlemen, that I am a man of honour: besides, I don't beat up for common soldiers ; no, I
We shall lead more happy lives list only grenadiers-grenadiers, gentlemen. Pray,
By getting rid of brats and wives, gentlemen, observe this capthis is the cap of honour
That scold and brawl both night and day, it dubs a man a gentleman in the drawing of a trigger ; Over the hills and far away. and he that has the good fortune to be born sis foot
Over, &c. high, was born to be a great mau. Sir, will you give me leave to try this cap upon your head ?
Kite. Iley, boys! thus we soldiers live! drink, sing, Cost. Is there no harm in't! Wont the cap list dance, play; we live, as one should say—we live-'tis me?
| impossible to tell how we live-we are all princes; Kite. No, no; no more than I can. Come, let me why, why you are a kiny, you are an emperor, and see how it becomes you.
I'in a prince; now, an't we? Cost. Are you sure there is no conjuration in it? Tho. No, sergeant; I'll be no emperor. no gunpowder plot upon me?
Kite. No! Kite. No, no, friend ; don't fear, man.
Tho. I'll be a justice-of-peace. Cost. My mind misgives me plaguily. Let me see Kite. A justice-of-peace, nian! it. [Going to put it on.] It smells woundily of sweat Tho. Ay, wauns will I; for since this pressing act, and brimstone. Siell, Tummas.
they are greater than any emperor under the sun. Tho. Ay, wauns does it.
Kite. Done; you are a justice-of-peace, and you are Cost. Pray, sergeant, what writing is this upon the a king, and I'm a duke, and a rum duke; an't 11 face of it?
Cost. I'll be a queen. Kite. The crown, or the bed of honour.
Kite. A queen! Cost. Pray now, what may be that same bed of Cost. Ay, of England; that's greater than any king honour
of them all. Kite. Oh, a mighty large bed !-bigger by half than Kite. Bravely said, faith! Huzza for the queen. the great bed at Ware-ten thousand people may lie [Huzza.) But harkye, you Mr Justice, and you Mr in it together, and never feel oue auother.
Queen, did you ever see the king's picture ? Cost. But do folk sleep sound in this same bed of Both. No, no, no honour?
Kite. I wonder at that; I have two of them set Kite. Sound !-ay, so sound that they never wake. in gold, and as like his majesty ; God bless the mark ! Cost. Wauns! I wish that my wife lay there. - see here, they are set in gold. Kite. Say you so ? then I find, brother
(Takes two broad pieces out of his pocket; Cost. Brother! hold there, friend; I am no kindred
presents one to each. to you that I know of yet. Look ye, sergeant, no Tho. The wonderful works of nature! coaxing, no wheedling, d'ye see. If I have a mind to
(Looking at it. list, why, so; if not, why, 'tis not so; therefore take What's this written about ? here's a posy, I believe. your cap and your brothership back again, for I am Ca-ro-lus! what's that, sergeant ? not disposed at this present writing. No coaxing, no Kite. Oh, Carolus ? why, Carolus is Latin for King brothering me, faith.
George ; that's all. Kite. I coax! I wheedle! I'm above it, sir; I have Cost. 'Tis a fine thing to be a scollard. Sergeant, served twenty campaigns; but, sir, you talk well, and will you part with this? I'll buy it on you, if it I must own you are a man every inch of you; acome within the compass of a crown. pretty, young, sprightly fellow! I love a fellow with Kite. A crown! never talk of buying; 'tis the same å spirit; but I scorn to coax: 'tis base ; though, I thing among friends, you know. I'll present them to must say, that never in my life have I seen a man ye both: you shall give me as good a thing. Put better built. How firm and strong he treads !-hethem up, and remeinber your old friend when I am steps like a castle !-but I scorn to wheedle any man! over the hills and far away. Come, honest lad! will you take share of a pot?
[They sing, and put up the money.
Enter PLUME, the Recruiting Officer, singing.
Tho. Why, captain, we know that you soldiers hare
inore liberty of conscience than other folks; but for Orer the hills and over the main,
me or neighbour Costar here to take such an oath, To Flanders, Portugal, or Spain ;
'twould be downright perjuration. The king comioands, and we'll obey,
Plume. Look ye, rascal, you villain ! if I find that Over the hills and far away.
you have imposed upon these two honest fellows, I'II Come on, my men of mirth, away with it ; I'll make trample you to death, you dog! Come, how was it ? one among you. Who are these hearty lads?
Tho. Nay, then, we'll speak. Your sergeant, as Kite. Off with your hats ; 'ounds ! off with your you say, is a rogue; an't like your worship, begging hats; this is the captain; the captain.
your worship's pardon; andTho. We have seen captains afore now, mun.
Cost. Nay, Tummas, let me speak; you know I can Cost. Ay, and lieutenant-captains too. Sflesh ! read. And so, sir, he gave us those two pieces of I'll keep on my nab.
money for pictures of the king, by way of a preTho. And l’se scarcely doff mine for any captain in sent. England. My vether's a freeholder.
Plume. How? by way of a present? the rascal! I'll Plume. Who are those jolly lads, sergeant?
teach him to abuse honest fellows like you. ScounKite. A couple of honest brave fellows, that are drel, rogue, villain ! willing to serve their king: I have entertained them
[Beats off the Sergeant, and follows. just now as volunteers, under your honour's command. Both, O brave noble captain! huzza! A brave
Plume. And good entertainment they shall have : captain, faith! volunteers are the men I want ; those are the men fit Cost. Now, Tummas, Carolus is Latin for a beating. to make soldiers, captains, generals.
This is the bravest captain I ever saw. Wounds! Cost. Wounds, Tummas, what's this ! are you listed ? | I've a month's mind to go with him. Tho. Flesh ! not I : are you, Costar ? Cost. Wounds ! not I.
Enter PLUME. Kite. What ! not listed ? ha, ha, ha! a very good Plume. A dog, to abuse two such honest fellows as jest, i'faith.
you. Look ye, gentlemen, I love a pretty fellow; I Cost. Come, Tummas, we'll go home.
come among you as an officer to list soldiers, not as a Tho. Ay, ay, come.
kidnapper to steal slaves. K’ite. Home ! for shame, gentlemen ; behare your Cost. Mind that, Tummas. selves better before your captain. Dear Thomas ! Plume. I desire no man to go with me, but as I honest Costar!
went myself. I went a volunteer, as you or you may Tho. No, no; we'll be gone.
do now; for a little time carried a musket, and now Kile. Nay, then, I command you to stay : I place I command a company, you both sentinels in this place for two hours, to watch Tho. Mind that, Costar. A sweet gentleman. the motion of St Mary's clock you, and you the mo- Plume. 'Tis true, gentlemen, I might take an adtion of St Chad's; and he that dares stir from his vantage of you ; the king's money was in your pockets post till he be relieved, shall have my sword in his |--my sergeant was ready to take his oath you were belly the next minute.
listed; but I scorn to do a base thing ; you are both Plume. What's the matter, sergeant? I'm afraid of you at your liberty. you are too rough with these gentlemen.
Cost. Thank you, noble captain. Icod, I can't find Kite. I'm too mild, sir; they disobey command, in my heart to leave him, he talks so finely. sir; and one of them should be shot for an example to Tho. Ay, Costar, would he always hold in this mind. the other. They deny their being listed.
Plume. Come, my lads, one thing more I'll tell Tho. Nay, sergeant, we don't downright deny it you : you're both young tight fellows, and the army neither; that we dare not do, for fear of being shot; is the place to make you men for ever: every man has but we humbly conceive, in a civil way, and begging his lot, and you have yours. What think you of a your worship's pardon, that we may go home.
purse of French gold out of a monsieur's pocket, after Plume. That's easily known. Have either of you you have dashed out his brains with the butt end of received any of the king's money!
your firelock, eh? Cost. Not a brass farthing, sir.
* Cost. Wauns! I'll have it. Captain, give me & Kite. They have each of them received one and shilling; I'll follow you to the end of the world. twenty shillings, and 'tis now in their pockets.
Tho. Nay, dear Costar! do'na; be advised. Cost. Wounds! if I have a penny in my pocket Plume. Here, my hero; here are two guineas for but a bent sixpence, I'll be content to be listed and thee, as earnest of what I'll do farther for thee. shot into the bargain.
Tho. Do'na take it; do'na, dear Costar. Tho. And I: look ye here, sir.
[Cries, and pulls back his arm. Cost. Nothing but the king's picture, that the ser. Cost. I wull, I wull. Waunds ! my mind gives me geant gave me just now.
that I shall be a captain myself: I take your money, k'ite. See there, a guinea ; one-and-twenty shillings; sir, and now I am a gentleman. 'tother has the fellow on't.
Plume. Give me thy hand; and now you and I Plume. The case is plain, gentlemen : the goods are will travel the world o'er, and command it wherever found upon you. Those pieces of gold are worth one- we tread. Bring your friend with you, if you can., and-twenty shillings each.
[Aside. Cost. So, it seems that Carolus is one-and-twenty Cost. Well, Tummas, must we part? shillings in Latin !
Tho. No, Costar; I cannot leave thee. Come, capTho. "Tis the same thing in Greek, for we are tain, I'll e'en go along with you too; and if you have listed.
two honester simpler lads in your company than wo Cost. Flesh ; but we an't, Tummas: I desire to be two have been, l'll say no more. carried before the mayor, captain.
Plume. Here, my lad. [Gives him money.] Now, [Captain and Sergeant whisper the while. your name? Plume. 'Twill never do, Kite; your tricks will ruin Tho. Tummas Appletree. me at last. I wont lose the follows though, if I can Plume. And yours? help it. Well, gentlemen, there must be some trick Cost. Costar Pearmain. in this; my sergeant offers to take his oath that you Plume. Well said, Costar. Born where! are fairly listed.
Tho. Both in Herefordshire.
Plume. Very well. Courage, my lads. Now, we'll life, and the dispositions of ordinary men, was [Sings.] Over the hills and far away;
never before entertained either in England or elseCourage, boys, it's one to ten
where. In France, it must be allowed, the celeBut we return all gentlemen ;
brated Montaigne had published in the sixteenth While conquering colours we display,
century a series of essays, of which manners formed Over the hills and far away.
the chief topic. Still more recently, La Bruyere, Kite, take care of them.
another French author, had published his CharacEnter KITE.
ters, in which the artificial life of the court of Kite. An't you a couple of pretty fellows, now?
Louis XIV. was sketched with minute fidelity, and Here you have complained to the captain ; I am to be
the most ingenious sarcasm. But it was now for the turned out, and one of you will be sergeant. Which
first time that any writer ventured to undertake a of you is to have my halberd ?
work, in which he should meet the public several Both. I.
times each week with a brief paper, either discussRite. So you shall-in your guts. March, you | ing some feature of society, or relating some lively scoundrels!
[Beats them off. tale, allegory, or anecdote. Among the other successful writers for the stage,
SIR RICHARD STEELE-JOSEPH ADDISON. may be instanced COLLEY CIBBER (1671-1757), an actor and manager, whose comedy, the Careless Hus- The credit of commencing this branch of literaband, is still deservedly a favourite. Cibber was a ture is due to Sir RICHARD STEELE, a gentleman of lively amusing writer, and his Apology for his Life is English parentage, born in Ireland while his father one of the most entertaining autobiographies of the | acted as secretary to the Duke of Ormond, Lord. language. When Pope displaced Theobald, to install Cibber as hero of the • Dunciad,' he suffered his judgment to be blinded by personal vindictiveness and prejudice. Colley Cibber was vain, foolish, and sometimes ridiculous, but never a dunce. SIR RICHARD STEELE was also a dramatic author, and obtained from George I. a patent, appointing him manager and governor of the royal company of comedians. Steele's play, the Conscious Lovers, combines moral instruction with amusement, but is rather insipid and languid both on and off the stage. The Distrest Mother, translated from Racine, was brought out by AMBROSE Philips, the friend of Addison, and was highly successful. AARON Hill adapted the Zara of Voltaire to the English theatre, and wrote some original dramas, which entitled him, no less than his poems, to the niche he has obtained in Pope's 'Dunciad.' A more legitimate comic writer appeared in MRS SUSANNA CENTLIVRE (1667-1723), an Irish lady, whose life and writings were immoral, but who possessed considerable dramatic skill and talent. Her comedies, the Busy Body, The Wonder, a Woman keeps a Secret, and A Bold Stroke for a Wife, are still favourite acting plays. Her plots and incidents are admirably arranged for stage effect, and her charac
Sir Richard Steela ters well discriminated. Mrs Centlivre had been
Lieutenant of that kingdom. Through the duke s some time an actress, and her experience had been
influence, Steele was placed at the Charter-house of service to her in writing for the stage.
school in London, where a warm and long-continued
friendship between him and Addison took its rise. ESSAYISTS.
He thence removed, in 1692, to Merton college,
Oxford; but after spending several years in deHE age now under sultory study, became so enamoured of the military notice does not de- profession, that, in spite of the dissuasion of his rive greater lustre friends, and his failure to procure an appointment, from its poets and he enlisted as a private soldier in the horse-guards. comic dramatists, In this step, by which the succession to a relathan from its origi- tion's estate in Wexford was lost, he gave a striknating a new and ing manifestation of that recklessness which unforpeculiar kind of tunately distinguished him through life. In the literature, which army, his wit, vivacity, and good humour, speedily consisted in short rendered him such a favourite, that the officers of essays on men and his regiment, desirous to have him among themmanners, published selves, procured for him the rank of an ensign. Thus periodically. Papers situated, he plunged deeply into the fashionable containing news follies and vices of the age, enlarging, however, by had been esta such conduct, that knowledge of life and character blished in London, which proved so useful to him in the composition of and other large his works. During this course of dissipation, being cities, since the sometimes visited by qualms of conscience, he drew time of the civil up, for the purpose of self-admonition, a small treatise war; but the idea entitled The Christian Hero, and afterwards pub.
of issuing a perio- lished it as a still more powerful check upon his dical sheet, commenting on the events of private irregular passions. Yet it does not appear that even