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I have had to work upon, could not, under the direction of Mr. Garrick, produce a very bad one; especially if he presumed to foist in little or nothing of his own: And the remarkably kind reception the public have given to this comedy, makes me believe they are well content with my humble endeavour to entertain them.
Gratitude, however, obliges me to take notice of the great assistance I have received from Mrs. Abington and Mr. King.— The former, in the charaćter of Charlotte (Cibber's admirable Maria) is so excellent, that I cannot conceive it possible for any aćtress ever to have gone beyond her. There is a natural ease and vivacity in her manner, and in this part, particularly, a fashionable deportment (if I may use the expression) which gives a brilliancy to every thing she says, and has in a very uncommon manner engaged the attention and applause of the town. The latter, in the part of the Hypocrite, has shewn that he is capable of assuming charaćters the most difficult, and at the same time. the most opposite; and, by each new effort, to add to the esteem which the public appears to have for him.
A These alterations of plays have little pretensions to
be considered as of distinčt charaćter from their originals: the alterations are in general of little moment, and the success of the piece, though it may be claimed, and usually is, by the dramatic garbler, is always owing to the original stamina of the old play.
The TARTUFFE is usually esteemed the chef d'oeuvre of Mo Lie Re—It is in truth a masterly display of the sullen hypocrisy of the Churchman; and the traces of the character have only been effaced in France by the Revolution. Colley Cibber applied it to the Nonjuror, a being now utterly forgotten—Among the audiences of the present day the Cantwell of this piece will be variously attributed through the whole circle of fanatics, as one sect or another may from personal motives have become obnoxious to the spectator.
Happy is the writer to say, that he does not imagine any one can be found, who will liken this odious being to any MEMBER of our liberal and enlightened National Church.
#3: LAMBERT, - - - Mr. Packer.
Women. Old Lady LAMBERT, - - - Mrs. Hopkins./ Young Lady LAMB ERT, - - Mrs. Kemble. CHAR lot TE, - - - Miss Farren.
BETTY, - - - - - - Miss Tidswell.
i.J.'s LAMBERT, - — , - Mr. Hull.
Women. Old Lady LAMBERT, - - Mrs. Webb.
Young Lady LAMBERT, - -
ACT I. SCENE I.
Colonel Lambert. PRAY consider, sir. Sir 7. Lamb. So I do, sir, that I am her father, and will dispose of her as I please. Col. Lamb. I do not dispute your authority, sir; but as I am your son too, I think it my duty to be concerned for your honour. Have not you countenanced his addresses to my sister: Has not she received them —Mr. Darnley's birth and fortune are well known to you ; and, I dare swear, he may defy the world to lay a blemish on his charaćter. Sir 7. Lamb. Why then, sir, since I am to be catechised, I must tell you, I do not like his charaćter; he is a world-server, a libertine, and has no more religion than you have. Col. Lamb. Sir, we neither of us think it proper to make a boast of our religion; but, if you will please to enquire, you will find that we go to church as orderly as the rest of our neighbours. Sir J. Lamb. Oh I you go to church 1 you go to church —Wonderfull wonderful to bow, and grin, and cough, and sleep; a fine act of devotion indeed. Col. Lamb. Well, but dear sir Sir. 7. Lamb. Colonel, you are an atheist. Col. Lamb. Pardon me, sir, I am none : it is a charaćter I abhor; and, next to that, I abhor the charaćter of an enthusiast. Sir 7. Lamb. Oh, you do so; an enthusiast!—this is the fashionable phrase, the bye-word, the nickname, that our pleasure-loving generation give to those few who have a sense of true sančtity. Col. Lamb. Say canting, sir. Sir 7. Lamb. I tell you what, son, as I have told you more than once, you will draw some heavy judgment on your head one day or other. Col. Lamb. So says the charitable Dr. Cantwell ; you have taken him into your house, and, on return, he gives over half your family to the devil. Sir 7. Lamb. Do not abuse the doćtor, colonel; it is not the way to my favour. I know you cannot bear him, because he is not one of your mincing preachers.—He holds up the glass to your enormities, shews you to yourselves in your genuine colours. Col. Lamb. I always respect piety and virtue, sir; but there are pretenders to religion, as well as to courage; and as we never find the truly brave to be