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culiarly levelled at D'Avenant, and thus the piece became a kind of patchwork.
This lively farce was first performed on the 7th of December, 1671,6 and was published in the following year :' a publication which, we are told by Prior, “ the Duke of Buckingham deferred for some time, till he was sure, as he expressed it, that my Lord Dorset would not rehearse on him again." Such was the high opinion then entertained of that nobleman's satirical powers. It was formerly a common notion that The RehearSAL was hissed off the stage the first night of its performance, though it afterwards met with a favourable reception :' but this is a mistake. Though the poignancy of its satire is certainly somewhat abated by the lapse of more than a century, at the time of its original representation it must have afforded a high degree of entertainment. Much of the success, doubtless, was owing to the mimickry employed. Dryden's dress, and manner, and usual expressions, were all minutely copied, and the Duke of Buckingham took incredible pains in teaching Lacy, the original performer of Bayes,' to speak some passages of that part:' in
a Ark. Oxon. vol. ii. col. 804.
? It was entered in the Stationers' Register, by Thomas Dring, June 19, 1672.
• Spence's ANECDOTES.
9 After the death of Lacy in 1681, the part of Bayes was played by Haines, who was famous for dancing and mimickry.
these he probably imitated our author's mode of recitation, which was by no means excellent.
Dr. Johnson has observed that The REHEARSAL, though played in 1671, " is represented as ridi. culing passages in The CONQUEST OP GRANADA and Assignation, which were not published till 1678; in MARRIAGE A-LA-MODE, published in 1673; and in TYRANNICK Love, of 1670."“ These contradictions (he adds) shew how readily satire is applied."-But in truth, there is no contradiction wliatsoever; for these seeming difficul. ties all arise from his having confided in Lange baine's erroneous account of the dates of our au. thor's plays, and his not knowing that various alterations and additions were made to The ReHEARSAL, after its original publication. .. The plays of Dryden, parodied or otherwise
ridiculed in this farce, as it now appears, are The Wild GALLANT, THE MAIDEN Queen, TvRANNICK Love, the two parts of GRANADA, and The AssignATION. The first of these, we have seen, was printed in 1669 ; The MAIDEN QUEEN, in the preceding year ; TYRANNICK Love in 1670. · The two parts of GRANADA were performed in
"Spence, from the information of Dr. Lockier, who was personally acquainted with Dryden.
• The author of the Key to The REHEARSAI., men. tions also MARRIAGE A-LA-MODE, which was not printed till 1673; but there is not a single parody on any passage in that play, nor any allusion to it.
1669 and 1670, though not printed till 1672. They might therefore be ridiculed on the stage in
Scc p. 8. n. If a story which has been often repeated, were true, it might afford us somc aid in ascertaining the precise time when the First Part of Granada was orginally played. It has been said that Nell Gwyn first attracted the notice of her royal lover in speaking the Epilogue to that play, under the pent-house of a liat as large as a cart. whcel. As her son, the Duke of St. Albans, was born on the 8th of May, 1670, this circumstance would prove that the play was performed in the preceding year. But unluckily the very same tale has been told concerning TYRANNICK Love; and we are informed, that in speaking the Epilogue to that piccc she won the King's heart :
“ Hold! are you mad, you damn'd confounded rogue ?
“I am to risc and speak the Epiloguc." This suits sufficiently well with the birth of her son ; for TYRANNICK Love was certainly performed in 1669.-A third tale, however, says, that it was her agility in dancing with which Charles was first captivated.
Dryden, who is supposed to have been very partial to Nelly, as she was usually called till she became Madam Gwyn, allotting to her the principal part in some of his comedies, cold Mr. Boyer, (as he has mentioned in a note on his translation of Grammont's Memoirs, 8vo. 1714,) that “ she was Lord Dorset's mistress, before the King fell in love with her; and that having a mind to get her from his Lordship, he sent him on a sleeveless crrand to France." If the account given by Collins in his Peerage were correct,--that Lord Dorset was sent to France in 1669,—this anecdote also would confirm the date of Granada, supposing that to have been the play in which this celebrated actress attracted the royal favour. But thc embassy to France was in return for the visit of
a piece exhibited in December 1671, from me. mory, or from copies furnished by some of the actors; and as The CONQUEST OF GRANADA was published in 1672, and The ReHEARSAL at a late period in that year, the author had an opportunity of making his parodies correct from the printed copy of the play intended to be exposed. As for the comedy last mentioned in the list of pieces ridiculed, the original edition of The REHEARSAL contains no allusion to The AssignATION; the only passage that has a reference to that comedyo being added in an edition posterior to its publication.
The song in the third act, which Bayes tells us “ was made by Tom Thimble's first wife after she was dead,” to the tune of Farewel, fuir Armidu, &c. is known to have been a parody on one written by our author on the death of Captain Digby, (a younger son of George, Earl of Bristol,) who was
the Duchess of Orleans to Charles, who met her at Dover in May 1670; and thercfore Lord Dorset's mission must have been posterior to that time. However, Nell Gwyn, who, after she became the King's mistress, remained for some time on the stage, was probably not unkind to some of her former lovers, among whom are enumerated Hart and Lacy, the players, as well as Lord Dorset ; and the King finding that nobleman perhaps too much in his way, after the birth of her son, (who in January, 1683-4, was created Duke of St. Albans,) might perhaps have sent him on a sleeveless errand in June, 1670.
4 « Indeed, Mr. Bayes, that hip-hop," &c. and Bayes's Answer, REHEARSAL, Act III. sc. 5.--These words are not in the original edition of 1672. .. .
killed in the sea-fight between the English and Dutch Fleet off Southwold Bay, on the 28th of May, 1672. Here is a seeming difficulty, which, however, is at once removed by examining the original edition ; where Bayes only says " What, are they (the players] gone, without singing my last new song ?" The song itself, with the prefatory matter, was introduced in a subsequent copy. The original lines on which Buckingham's parody is formed, not having been preserved in Dryden's works, and being found entire only in a scarce miscellany,' I shall here insert theni. Such is the force of the association of ideas, that it is difficult to peruse this song without finding some of that ridicule which has been attached to it; yet I know not that, if it had not been parodied, the conceits in it would appear more objectionable than those which are found in many other similar compositions of the last century, and were certainly very generally admired. The lines must be supposed to be written immediately before the lover's departure, and, in the style of ancient ballads, would have been called—“Digby's last Goodnight." The lady to whom they are addressed, is said to have been the beautiful Frances Stuart, wife of Charles Stuart, Duke of Richmond, of whom she was deprived in the following December.
s Covent Garden DROLLERY, 8vo. 1672, p. 16. The “ fair Armida" was married to thc Duke of Rich. mond in 1667, and died October 15, 1702. VOL. I.