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(a) Drake Sen. Draw up our Men; and in low Whispers give our Orders out.
(SIR W. D'AVENANT.] Play-House to be Lett, p. 100. (6) See the Amorous Prince, pag. 20, 22, 39, 60, where you will find all the chief Commands, and Directions, are given in Whispers.
Key 1704. As I have been unable to see a Copy of the first of these Plays, I insert GERARD LANGBAINE's description of it.
Play-House to Let. I know not under what Species to place this Play, it consisting of several Pieces of different kinds hand. somely tackt together, several of which the Author writ in the times of Oliver, and were acted separately by stealth; as the History of Sr Francis Drake exprest by Instrumental, and Vocal Musick, and by Art of Perspective in Scenes, &c. The Cruelty of the Spaniards in Peru. These two Pieces were first printed in quarto. They make the third and fourth Acts of this Play. The second Act consists of a French Farce, translated from Molieri's Sganarelle, on Le Cocu Imaginaire, and purposely by our Author put into a sort of Fargon common to French-men newly come over. The fifth Act consists of Tragedie travestie, or the Actions of Cæfar Antony and Cleopatra in Verse Bur. lesque. This Farce I have seen acted at the Theatre in Dorsetgarden some years ago, at the end of that excellent Tragedy of Pompey, translated by the incomparable Pen of the much admired Orinila. pp. 109-110. Ed. 1691.
BIBLIOGRAPHY. KEYS TO THE REHEARSAL'
Continuec ,rom page 36. Then appear'd such plays as these; THE SIEGE OF RHODES, Part I. acted at the Cock-pit, before the Restoration ; THE PLAY-HOUSE TO BE Lett; THE SLIGHTED MAID; THE UNITED KINGDOMS ; The Wild Gallant ; The ENGLISH MONSIEUR; THE VILLAIN ; and the like.
You will meet with several passages out of all these, except the UNITED KINGDOMS, (which was never printed) in the following notes; as you will out of several other plays, which are here omitted.
Our most noble author, to manifest his just indignation and hatred of this fulsome new way of writing, used his utmost interest and endeavours to stifle it at its first appearing on the stage, by engaging all his friends to ex plode, and run down these plays, especially the United Kingdoms; which had like to have brought his life into danger.
The author of it being nobly born, of an ancient and numerous family, had many of his relations and friends in the Cock-pit, during the acting it; some of them perceiving his Grace to head a party, who were very active in damning the play, by hissing and laughing immoderately at the strange conduct thereof, there were persons laid in wait for him as he came out: but there being a great tumult and uproar in the house and the passages near it, he escaped ; But he was threaten'd hard: however the business was composed in a short time, tho' by what means I have not been informed.
Concluded at page 48.
ACTUS II. SCÆNA I.
BAYES, JOHNSON and SMITH.
Ow, Sir, because I'l do nothing here that ever was done be. fore
Spits. SMI. A very notable design,
for a Play, indeed. Bayes. Instead of beginning with a Scene that difcovers something of the Plot, I begin this with a whisper.
SMI. That's very new.
Enter Gentlemen-Uher and Physician. Phys. Sir, by your habit, I should ghess you to be the Gentleman-Usher of this sumptuous place.
Uh. And, by your gait and fashion, I should almost suspect you rule the healths of both our noble Kings, under the notion of Physician.
Phys. You hit my Function right.
JOHNs. Pray, Sir, who are those two so very civil persons ?
BAYES. Why, Sir, the Gentleman-Umer, and Phyficians of the two Kings of Brentford.
Johns. But how comes it to pass, then, that they know one another no better?
BAYES. Phoo! that's for the better carrying on of the Intrigue.
JOHNS. Very well
Concluded from page 46. After this, our author endeavoured by writing to expose the follies of these new-fashioned plays in their proper colours, and to set them in so clear a light, that the people might be able to discover what trash it was, of which they were so fond, as he plainly hints in the prologue ; and so set himself to the composing of this farce.
When his Grace began it, I could never learn, nor is it very material.
Thus much we may certainly gather from the editions of the plays reflected on in it, that it was before the end of 1663, and finished before the end of 1664; because it had been several times rehears'd, the players were perfect in their parts, and all things in readiness for its acting, before the great plague 1665; and that then prevented it.
But what was so ready for the stage, and so near being acted at the breaking out of that terrible sickness, was very different from what you have since seen in print. In that he called his poet BIL.BOẠ; by which name, the town generally understood Sir Robert HOWARD to be the Person pointed at.* Besides, there were very few of this new sort of plays then extant, except these before mentioned, at that time; and more, than were in being, could not be ridiculed.
The acting of this farce being thus hindered, it was laid by for several years, and came not on the public theatre, till the year 1671.
During this interval, many great Plays came forth, writ in heroick rhyme ; and, on the death of Sir William D'AVENANT, 1669, MR. DRYDEN, a new laureat appeared on the staget, much admired, and highly applauded; which moved the Duke to change the name of his poet from BilBoA to BAYES, whose works you will find
often mentioned in the following Key. Thus far, kind reader, I have followed the direction of my new acquaintance, to the utmost extent of my memory, without transgressing the bounds he assigned me, and I am free from any fear of having displeased him: I wish I could justly say as much, with relation to the offences I have committed against yourself, and all judicious persons who shall peruse this poor address.
I have nothing to say in my own defence: I plead guilty, and throw myself at your feet, and beg for mercy; and not without hope, since what I have here writ did not proceed from the least malice in me, to any person or family in the world ; but from an honest design to enable the meanest readers to understand all the passages of this farce, that it may sell the better. I am, with all submission, Your most obliged, humble Servant.
5. A real Key should confine itself to the identical plays and dramatists satirized, nothing more nor less. Bp. Percy searching through all the antecedent dramatic literature, may find, did find many parallel passages, but he could adduce nothing to prove these were in the minds of the authors in writing The Rehearsal. Indeed it is improbable that they had in view the 40 or 50 plays to which he refers. His references but illustrate the extent of the mock heroic drama.
In the Illustrations of the present work Langbaine and the first Key have been principally followed ; it being noted that the Text is, as first acted on 7 Dec. 1671. Subsequent additions and their illustrations therefore, (such as ridicule Dryden's The Assignation, or Love in a Nunnery, produced in 1672) are, with two exceptions, not found in it. At the same time, the vacant spaces on the alternate pages will enable enquirers to note the results of further researches.
* Very small signs appear of this at present: But when the Duke altered the name, he might also suppress the more offensive passages. Before the Rehearsal was acted Sir Robert Howard was upon such good terms with our noble author, that he dedicated to him his Duel of the Stags, Lond. 1688, 8vo. Bp. Percy.
+ Mr, Dryden became Poet-laureat upon the Death of Sir William Data sunt; but he had appeared as a Dramatic Writer before. Bp. Percy.
Phys. Sir, to conclude,
BAYES. No, Sir; you must know they had been talking of this a pretty while without.
SMI. Where? In the Tyring-room ?
BAYES. Why ay, Sir. He's so dull! Come, speak again.
Phys. Sir, to conclude, the place you fill, has more than amply exacted the Talents of a wary Pilot, and all these threatning storms which, like impregnant Clouds, do hover o'er our heads, (when they once are grasp'd but by the eye of reason) melt into fruitful îhowers of blessings on the people.
BAYES. Pray mark that Allegory. Is not that good ?
JOHNS. Yes; that grasping of a storm with the eye is admirable.
Phys. But yet some rumours great are stirring; and if Lorenzo should prove false, (as none but the great Gods can tell you then perhaps would find, that
[Whispers. BAYES. Now they whisper. Us. Alone, do you say? Phys. No ; attended with the noble [Whispers Ujh. Who, he in gray ? Phys. Yes; and at the head of [Whispers. BAYES. Pray mark.
Um. Then, Sir, most certain, 'twill in time appear These are the reasons that induc'd'em to't: First, he
[Whispers. BAYES. Now t'other whispers. Um. Secondly, they-
[Whispers BAYES. He's at still. Uh. Thirdly, and lastly, both he, and they —