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Title: Critical Strictures on the New Tragedy of Elvira, Written by Mr. David Malloch
Author: Erskine, Andrew, 1739-1793, Dempster, George, 1732-1818, Boswell, James, 1740-1795
Language: English
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         The Augustan Reprint Society

JAMES BOSWELL, ANDREW ERSKINE, and GEORGE DEMPSTER

_Critical Strictures on the New Tragedy of Elvira,
        Written by Mr. David Malloch_

                    (1763)



   With an Introduction by Frederick A. Pottle


              Publication Number 35



                  Los Angeles
    William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
           University of California
                     1952



       *       *       *       *       *


GENERAL EDITORS

  H. RICHARD ARCHER, _Clark Memorial Library_
  RICHARD C. BOYS, _University of Michigan_
  ROBERT S. KINSMAN, _University of California, Los Angeles_
  JOHN LOFTIS, _University of California, Los Angeles_

ASSISTANT EDITOR

  W. EARL BRITTON, _University of Michigan_

ADVISORY EDITORS

  EMMETT L. AVERY, _State College of Washington_
  BENJAMIN BOYCE, _Duke University_
  LOUIS BREDVOLD, _University of Michigan_
  JAMES L. CLIFFORD, _Columbia University_
  ARTHUR FRIEDMAN, _University of Chicago_
  EDWARD NILES HOOKER, _University of California, Los Angeles_
  LOUIS A. LANDA, _Princeton University_
  SAMUEL H. MONK, _University of Minnesota_
  ERNEST MOSSNER, _University of Texas_
  JAMES SUTHERLAND, _University College, London_
  H.T. SWEDENBERG, JR., _University of California, Los Angeles_

CORRESPONDING SECRETARY

  EDNA C. DAVIS, _Clark Memorial Library_


       *       *       *       *       *


INTRODUCTION

"WEDNESDAY 19 JANUARY [1763]. This was a day eagerly expected by Dempster,
Erskine, and I, as it was fixed as the period of our gratifying a whim
proposed by me: which was that on the first day of the new Tragedy called
_Elvira's_ being acted, we three should walk from the one end of
London to the other, dine at Dolly's, & be in the Theatre at night; & as
the Play would probably be bad, and as Mr. David Malloch, the Author, who
has changed his name to David Mallet, Esq., was an arrant Puppy, we
determined to exert ourselves in damning it."[1]

George Dempster, aged thirty, a Scots lawyer who by putting his fortune
under severe strain had been elected Member of Parliament for the Forfar
and Fife burghs, was in London in his official capacity. Andrew Erskine,
aged twenty-two, younger son of an impoverished Scots earl, was waiting in
London till the regiment in which he held a lieutenant's commission should
be "broke," following the Peace. James Boswell, heir to the considerable
estate of Auchinleck in Ayrshire, also aged twenty-two, had come to London
in the previous November in an attempt to secure a commission in the Foot
Guards. Dempster, Erskine, and Boswell had constituted themselves a
triumvirate of wit in Edinburgh as early as the summer of 1761, and had
already made more than one joint appearance in print.[2]

David Mallet, now in his late fifties, was also a Scotsman. "It was
remarked of him," wrote Dr. Johnson many years later, "that he was the
only Scot whom Scotchmen did not commend."[3] Scotsmen considered him a
renegade. They felt that he had repudiated his country in changing his
distinctively Scots name, perhaps also in learning to speak English so
well that Johnson had never been able to catch him in a Scotch accent.
They would have been willing to forget his humble origins if he had not
shown that he was ashamed of them himself. But when he allowed himself to
assume arrogant manners and to style himself "Esq." (a kind of behavior
especially offensive to genuine men of family, like our trio), they chose
to remember, and to remind the world, that he was the son of a tenant
farmer (a Macgregor, at that), that as a boy he had been willing to run
errands and to deliver legs of mutton, and that for a time in his youth he
had held the menial post of Janitor in the High School of Edinburgh.

It was not merely the Scots who had their knives out for Mallet. He was
generally unpopular, apparently for adequate reasons. He had accepted a
large sum of money from the Duchess of Marlborough to write a life of the
Duke, of which he never penned a line, though he pretended for years that
he was worn out by his labors in connection with it. He courted Pope,
accepted kindnesses from him, and then attacked him after he was dead. He
published Bolingbroke's posthumous infidelities, causing Johnson to remark
that Bolingbroke bad charged "a blunderbuss against religion and morality"
and had "left half a crown to a beggarly Scotchman, to draw the trigger
after his death."[4] His behavior towards the memory of his friend and
collaborator Thomson was thought to be less than candid. He had written a
discreditable party pamphlet at the instigation of the Earl of Hardwicke
against the unfortunate Admiral Byng, and had then deserted Hardwicke for
the Earl of Bute, who had found him a sinecure of £300 a year. And even as
early as 1763 people were saying that he was really not the author of the
fine ballad _William and Margaret_ which he had published as his own.

Boswell, at least, had meditated an attack on Mallet before _Critical
Strictures_ was written. In the large manuscript collection of his
verses preserved in the Bodleian Library are two scraps of an unpublished
satire imitating Churchill's _Rosciad_ (1761), to be entitled _The
Turnspitiad_, a canine contest of which Mallet is the hero:

    If dogg'rel rhimes have aught to do with dog,
    If kitchen smoak resembles fog,
    If changing sides from Hardwick to Lord B--t
    Can with a turnspit's turning humour suit,
    If to write verse immeasurably low,
    Which Malloch's verse does so compleatly show,
    Deserve the preference--Malloch, take the wheel,
    Nor quit it till you bring as _gude a Chiel_![5]

And the decision to damn _Elvira_ was made in advance of the
performance, as we have seen.

Having failed, in spite of shrill-sounding catcalls, to persuade the
audience at Drury Lane to damn the play, our trio went to supper at the
house of Erskine's sister, Lady Betty Macfarlane, in Leicester Street, and
there found themselves so fertile in sallies of humour, wit, and satire on
Mallet and his play that they determined to meet again and throw their
sallies into order. Accordingly, they dined at Lady Betty's next day (20
January). After dinner Erskine produced a draft of their observations
thrown into pamphlet size, they all three corrected it, Boswell copied it
out, and they drove immediately in Lady Betty's coach to the shop of
William Flexney, Churchill's publisher, and persuaded him to undertake the
publication. Next day Boswell repented of the scurrility of what they had
written and got Dempster to go with him to retrieve the copy. Erskine at
first was sulky, but finally consented to help revise it again. It went
back to Flexney in a day or two, and was published on 27 January.[6]

_Elvira_ was essentially a translation or adaptation of Lamotte-Houdar's
French tragedy _Inès de Castro_, a piece published forty years
before, but the English audience of 1763 saw in it a compliment to the
King of Portugal, whose cause against Spain Great Britain had espoused
towards the end of the Seven Years' War. The preliminaries of peace had
already been signed, but the spirit of belligerency had not subsided; so
that the making of the only odious person in the play (the Queen) a
Spaniard, and having it end with a declaration of war against Spain, could
not fail to please a patriotic audience. Since nobody reads _Elvira_
any more, I shall venture to give an expanded version of Genest's outline
of the plot, in order to make the comments in Critical Strictures more
intelligible:

Don Pedro [son of Alonzo IV, King of Portugal] and Elvira [maid of honour
to the Queen, who is the King's second wife, and is mother of the King of
Spain] are privately married--the King insists that his son should marry
Almeyda [the Queen's daughter, sister to the King of Spain]--he
acknowledges his love for Elvira--she is committed to the custody of the
Queen--Don Pedro takes up arms to rescue Elvira--he forces his way into
the palace--she blames him for his rashness--the King enters, and Don
Pedro throws away his sword--Don Pedro is first confined to his apartment,
and then condemned to death--Almeyda, who is in love with Don Pedro, does
her utmost to save him--she prevails on the King to give Elvira an
audience--Elvira avows her marriage, and produces her two children--the
King pardons his son--Elvira dies, having been poisoned by the Queen--Don
Pedro offers to kill himself, but is prevented by his father.[7]

The play had a respectable run, in spite of its colliding with the
Half-Price Riots, but contemporary accounts appear to indicate that it
was not highly thought of by the judicious. I extract the following terse
criticism from a letter in the _St. James's Chronicle_ for 20 January,
the day after the play opened:

  _A Brief Criticism on the New Tragedy of Elvira_

        Act I. Indifferent.

        Act II. Something better.

        Act III. MIDDLING.

        Act IV. Execrable.

        Act V. Very Tolerable.

Dempeter later regretted his share in _Critical Strictures_ on the
ground that neither he nor his collaborators could have written a
tragedy nearly so good. _The Critical Review_, in which Mallet himself
sometimes wrote, characterized the pamphlet as "the crude efforts of envy,
petulance, and self-conceit." "There being thus three epithets," says
Boswell, "we, the three authours, had a humourous contention how each
should be appropriated."[8] _The Monthly Review_ was hardly less
severe. It conceived the author of _Critical Structures_ to be either
a personal enemy of Mallet's or else a bitter enemy of Mallet's country,
prejudiced against everything Scotch. The reviewer could not but look upon
this author "as a man of more abilities than honesty, as the want of
candour is certainly a species of dishonesty."[9]

It was natural to infer that _Critical Strictures_ was motivated by
prejudice against Scotland. It appeared in the days of Wilkes's _North
Briton_ and shortly after Charles Churchill's _Prophecy of Famine_, that
is, at the height of the violent anti-Scotch feeling which the opponents
of Bute (a Scotsman by birth) had stirred up and were exploiting in
order to force him out of office. But the critics might have remembered
that the most savage criticism of any Scot generally comes from other
Scots who think he has not remained Scotch enough; as witness, by what
new appears to be retributive justice, the general Scots dislike of
Boswell himself. At any rate, the pamphlet was the production, not of
one Englishman imbued with a hatred of all things Scots, but of three
warmly patriotic Scotsmen.

_Critical Strictures_ is the merest of trifles, but at least three
reasons can be given for publishing a facsimile of it. Scholars on
occasion need to be able to read all the productions of great authors no
matter how trifling, and this one is excessively rare; so rare, indeed,
that few of Boswell's editors have been able to get a sight of it. It
makes a pleasant and useful footnote to _Boswell's London Journal,
1762-1765_, a work now being widely read, or at least widely circulated.
And it contains a remark or two that should be of interest to historians
of English drama in the middle of the eighteenth century.

Mr. C. Beecher Hogan has given me expert assistance in writing two of the
notes.

The copy of _Critical Strictures_ used for making this reproduction
was given to the Library of Yale University by Professor Chauncey B.
Tinker.

Frederick A. Pottle
Yale University.



NOTES TO THE INTRODUCTION

1. _Boswell's London Journal, 1762-1763_, ed. F.A. Pottle, McGraw-Hill
Book Co. (New York), William Heinemann (London), 1950, p. 152, quoted
with permission of the McGraw-Hill Book Co. This edition (which will
hereafter be referred to as LJ) prints the journal in a standardized and
modernized text. In the passage above quoted I have restored the
ampersands and capitals of Boswell's manuscript.

2. See F.A. Pottle, _The Literary Career of James Boswell_, Clarendon
Press, 1929, pp. 6, 12.

3. "The Life of Mallet," in _Lives of the Poets_.

4. James Boswell's _Life of Samuel Johnson_, ed. G.B. Hill and L.F.
Powell, Clarendon Press, 6 vols., 1934-1950, i. 268. (Hereafter referred
to as _Life_.)

5. Douce MS 193, 93^v, quoted with permission of the Curators of the
Bodleian Library.

6. LJ, pp. 154-155, 162, 163-164, 172, partly paraphrased, partly quoted.

7. John Genest, _Some Account of the English Stage from ... 1660 to
1830_, 10 vols., Bath, 1832, v.12-13.

8. _Life_, i. 409 _n._ 1; _The Critical Review_, xv (Feb.
1763). 160.

9. _The Monthly Review_. xxviii (Jan. 1763). 68, written by the
editor, Ralph Griffiths (B.C. Nangle, _The Monthly Review, First Series
1749-1789_, Clarendon Press, 1934, p. 84, no. 995).


       *       *       *       *       *


                   CRITICAL
                  STRICTURES
                    ON THE
                 New TRAGEDY
                      OF
                    ELVIRA,
                  WRITTEN BY
              Mr. DAVID MALLOCH.


                    LONDON:
Printed for W. FLEXNEY, near Gray's Inn, Holborn.
                  MDCCLXIII.

              (Price Sixpence.)



       *       *       *       *       *



Advertisement.[A]

We have followed the Authority of Sir _David Dalrymple_, and Mr.
_Samuel Johnson_, in the Orthography of Mr. _Malloch_'s Name; as
we imagine the Decision of these Gentlemen will have more weight in the
World of Letters, than even that of the said Mr. _Malloch_ himself.


       *       *       *       *       *


CRITICAL
STRICTURES, &c.

In our Strictures on the Tragedy of _Elvira_, we shall not hasten all at
once into the midst of Things, according to the Rules of Epic Poetry;
Heroic Poems and Remarks on New Plays, are things so essentially
different, that they ought not to be written by the same Rules. Had Mr.
_Malloch_ been aware of these Distinctions in writing, which surely are
not very nice, he probably would have discovered that Scenes admirably
adapted for forming a Burlesque Tragedy, would never succeed in forming
a serious Drama. In the Prologue the Author informs us, that the
Preliminaries of Peace are signed, and the War now over and he humbly
hopes, as we have spared the _French_, we will spare his Tragedy. But as
the Principles of Restitution seem at present strong in this Nation,
before we extend our Mercy to him, we insist that in imitation of his
Superiors, he shall restore every thing valuable he has plunder'd from
the _French_ during the Course of his sad and tedious Composition.

In the first Scene of this Tragedy a Gentleman who has been abroad,
during the Wars, requests his Friend to acquaint him with what has past
at Court in the time of his Absence. We were equally surprized and
delighted with this new Method of informing the Spectators of the
Transactions prior to the Commencement of the Play; nothing can be more
natural, for we imagine the Art of conveying Letters by Post was at that
time undiscovered. We must indeed acknowledge, that during the time of
the Roman Empire Letters were transmitted with the utmost Celerity from
one Part to another of those immense Dominions; but we also know, that
after the Subversion of that State by the Incursions of the _Goths_ and
_Vandals_, the first Act of Cruelty committed by these Barbarians was
murdering all the Post-Boys in cold Blood: In like manner as our inhuman
_Edward_ upon his compleating the Conquest of _Wales_ ordered all the
Bards to be put to Death, amongst the Number of which had Mr. _Malloch_
been included we had not now been tortured with his execrable Tragedy.
Novelty of the same kind with this we have mentioned runs thro' the
whole Play, almost every Scene being an Interview and a _tête a tête_.
The King wants to see his Son, the Queen wants to see _Elvira_, _Elvira_
wants to see the King, and so on thro' the Five Acts.

No new Thoughts or Sentiments are to be found in this Performance, we
meet only with old ones absurdly expressed. _Dryden_ said that _Ben
Johnson_ was every where to be traced in the Snow of the Ancients. We
may say that _Malloch_ is every where to be traced in the Puddle of the
Moderns. Instead of selecting the Beauties, he has pick'd out whatever
is despicable in _Shakespeare_, _Otway_, _Dryden_, and _Rowe_, like a
Pick-Pocket who dives for Handkerchiefs, not for Gold; and contents
himself with what he finds in our Great Coat Pocket, without attempting
our Watch or your Purse. Tho' Mr. _Malloch_ may only mean to borrow, yet
as he possesses no Fund of Original Genius from whence he can pay his
Debts, borrowing, we are afraid is an inadequate Expression, the harsher
one of stealing we must therefore, tho' reluctantly, substitute in its
room. In the Prologue he acknowledges himself a Culprit, but as the Loss
of what he has pilfered is insignificant to the Owners, we shall bring
him in guilty only of Petty Larcenary: We believe he has been driven,
like poor People in this severe Weather by dire Necessity, to such
dishonest Shifts.

In this Play the Author has introduced a Rebellion unparalleled in
any History, Ancient or Modern. He raises his Rebellions as a skilful
Gardener does his Mushrooms, in a Moment; and like an artful Nurse,
he lulls in a Moment the fretful Child asleep. The Prince enters an
Appartment of the Palace with a drawn Sword; this forms the Rebellion.
The King enters the same Appartment without a drawn Sword. This quashes
the Rebellion. How to credit this Story, or to pardon this poetical
Licence, we are greatly at a Loss; for we know in the Year 1745 three
thousand Mountaineers actually appeared at _Derby_. _Cataline_, we are
credibly informed, had a Gang of at least a Dozen stout Fellows; and it
is pretty certain that _Bedemar_, when going to inslave _Venice_, had
provided Pistols and Battle Powder for more than fifteen fighting Men.
We are almost tempted to think, that Mr. _Malloch_ gets his Rebellions
ready made, like his _Scotch_ Tobacco, cut and dry, at the Sign of the
Valiant Highlander.

Our great Author possesses, in its utmost Perfection, the happy Art of
uniting rival Ladies, and of setting at Variance a virtuous Father and
Son. How intimate his Acquaintance with Human Nature! How deep his
Knowledge of the Passions! No less exquisite and refined in his Morality,
like a true Disciple of Lord _Bolingbroke_, he unites Vice and Virtue
most lovingly together; witness this memorable Line of the King's,
addressed to _Elvira_;

    _'Midst all your Guilt I must admire your Virtue._

Let us invert this Line,

    'Midst all your Virtue I must abhor your Guilt.

Let us parody it;

    O Mr. _David Malloch_! 'midst all your Dullness I must admire
        your Genius.

We heard it once asserted by _David Hume_, Esq;[B] that Mr. _Malloch_
was destitute of the Pathetic. In this Observation however we beg leave
to differ with him. In the fourth Act the whole Board of Portuguese
Privy Counsellors are melted into Tears. The Trial of the Prince moves
the Hearts of those Monsters of Iniquity, those Members of Inquisition,
when the less humane Audience are in Danger, from the Tediousness of two
insipid Harangues of falling fast asleep. This majestic Scene is too
exactly copied from a Trial at the _Old Bailey_, to have even the Merit
of Originality. And indeed it is to the Lenity of the King of _Portugal_
that we owe by far the greater Part of this amazing Play. The good Man
lets his rebellious Subjects out of Prison to chat with him, when a
wiser Monarch would have kept them close confined in _Newgate_. The
incomparable Action of that universal Genius Mr. _Garrick_ alone, saved
this Act from the Damnation it deserved. Had not he, like a second
_Æneas_, carried the old doating and decrepid Father on his Back, he
must have lain by the Way. Tho' we must observe another Character in
this Play seemed better suited to the Impetuosity and Fire of this
Actor. We could not but smile at the Humour of a merry Wag in the Pit,
who at the Conclusion of one of the most tiresome Pleadings, with some
Degree of Impatience and Emotion called out, _Encore, encore_.

In the fifth Act we were melted with the Sight of two young Children
which the King embraced, which the Prince embraced, which _Elvira_
embraced. Mr. _Addison_ in the 44th No. of the _Spectator_, has some
Remarks so judicious and lively on the Practice of introducing Children
on the Stage, that we must beg leave to transcribe the Passage.

"A disconsolate Mother with a Child in her Hand, has frequently drawn
Compassion from the Audience, and has therefore gained a Place in
several Tragedies; a modern Writer who observed how this had taken
in other Plays, being resolved to double the Distress, and melt his
Audience twice as much as those before him had done, brought a Princess
on the Stage with a little Boy in one Hand, and a Girl in the other. A
third Poet being resolved to out-write all his Predecessors, a few Years
ago introduced three Children with great Success; and as I am informed a
young Gentleman who is fully determined to break the most obdurate
Heart, has a Tragedy by him where the first Person that appears on the
Stage is an afflicted Widow, in her mourning Weeds, with half a dozen
fatherless Children attending her, like those that usually hang about
the Figure of Charity. Thus several Incidents that are beautiful in a
good Writer become ridiculous by falling into the Hands of a bad one."

We would suggest to Mr. _Malloch_ the useful Hint of introducing in
some of his future Productions, the whole Foundling Hospital, which with
a well painted Scene of the Edifice itself would certainly call forth the
warmest Tears of Pity, and the bitterest Emotions of Distress; especially
when we consider that many of the Parents of these unfortunate Babes would
probably be Spectators of this interesting Scene.

The Conclusion of the Piece is as abrupt as the other Parts of it are
absurd. We should be much at a Loss to guess by whom the Poison is
administered to _Elvira_, were we not aided in our Conjectures by the
shrewd Suspicions which the King, tho' otherwise a very loving Husband,
seems to entertain of his Wife. Upon my regreting that her Majesty, if
guilty, should escape without poetical Justice at least, a Gentleman who
sat behind me, a Friend as I supposed of the Author, assured me her
Punishment was reserved for the Farce, which for that Purpose was,
contrary to Custom, added to the Play.[C]

Though in general this Tragedy is colder than the most extreme Parts of
_Nova Zembla_,[D] yet we now and then feel a Warmth, but it is such a
Warmth or Glow rather, as is sometimes produced by the Handling of Snow.

Bad as this Play is, yet will the Author have the Profits of his Three
Nights: Few on the First Night having either Taste or Spirit to express
their Disapprobation. Like the Rascals who plundered _Lisbon_ after
the Earthquake, Mr. _David Malloch_ will extract Guineas out of
Rubbish.

We shall now give, in a few Words, the Quintessence of this Play. Monarchs
ought to be just. Heroes are bad Men. Husbands ought to die for their
Wives, Wives for their Husbands. We ought to govern our Passions. And the
Sun shines on all alike. A few of these new Remarks form the Sum total of
this contemptible Piece.

After the Play we were entertained with an Epilogue fraught with Humour,
and spoken with Spirit. There was a Simile of a Bundle of Twigs formed
into a Rod, which seemed to convey a delicate Allusion to Mr.
_Malloch_'s original Profession,[E] and some of the Lines contained an
exquisite and severe Criticism on the Play itself.

Amidst all the harshness inspired by a real Feeling of the Dulness of the
Composition itself, it would be unjust not to bestow the highest Applause
on the principal Performers, by the Energy of whose Action even Dulness
was sometimes rendered respectable. We were sorry to find such great
Talents so very ill employed. The melting Tones of a _Cibber_ should
make every Eye stream with Tears. _Pritchard_ should always elevate.
_Garrick_ give Strength and Majesty to the Scene. Let us soften at
the keen Distress of a _Belvidera_; let our Souls rise with the
Dignity of an _Elizabeth_; let us tremble at the wild Madness of a
_Lear_;[F] but let us not Yawn at the Stupidity of uninteresting
Characters.


                  _FINIS_


       *       *       *       *       *



NOTES ON _CRITICAL STRICTURES_

[Footnote A: (P. 5) Advertisement. Johnson's dictum first appeared in
the abridgment of his dictionary, 1756, under _Alias_, which he defined
as "A Latin word signifying otherwise; as Mallet _alias_ Mallock; that
is, _otherwise_ Mallock." In four places in his _Memorials and Letters
Relating to the History of Britain in the Reign of James the First_
(1762) Dalrymple had given Mallet "his real name"; he had repented after
the sheets were printed and had inserted a corrigendum, "For Malloch, r.
Mallet," which only made matters worse. See _The Yale Edition of Horace
Walpole's Correspondence_, iv. 78 _n._ 17. Dalrymple chided the
authors of _Critical Strictures_ gently for using his name, and said
he was sorry for having thus yielded to a private pique (LJ, p. 190
_n._ 6). But the matter remained of interest to him, for as late as
1783 he sent Johnson a copy of one of Mallet's earliest productions, the
title-page of which bore the name in its original spelling (_Life_,
iv. 216-217; see also _Private Papers of James Boswell ... in the
Collection of ... R.H. Isham_, ed. Geoffrey Scott and F.A. Pottle, 18
vols., Privately Printed, 1928-1934, xv. 208).]

[Footnote B: (P. 15) "We heard it once asserted by _David Hume_, Esq." On
4 November 1762, in Hume's house in James's Court, Edinburgh. "Mr. Mallet
has written bad Tragedies because he is deficient in the pathetic, and
hence it is doubted if he is the Author of _William and Margaret_.
Mr. Hume said he knew people who had seen it before Mallet was born.
Erskine gave another proof, viz. that he has written _Edwin and
Emma_, a Ballad in the same stile, not near so good." See _Private
Papers_ (as in the note preceding this), i. 126-127, or the Limited
Edition of _Boswell's London Journal, 1762-1763_, McGraw-Hill and
Heinemann, 1951, p. 101. Hume protested vigorously, though with good
humor, at this breach of confidence, and Boswell wrote a flippant reply
(LJ, pp. 206-207, 208-209).]

[Footnote C: (P. 20) "... her Punishment was reserved for the Farce, which
for that Purpose was, contrary to Custom, added to the Play." Stock plays
were always followed by an afterpiece, but the afterpiece was in most
cases omitted during the first run of a new play. For example, Mrs.
Sheridan's _Discovery_ opened 3 February 1763 and ran for ten nights before
an afterpiece was added. The afterpieces presented with _Elvira_ up to
27 January were as follows: 19 January, _The Male Coquette_ (Garrick);
20 January, _High Life Below Stairs_ (Townley); 21 January, _Old
Maid_ (Murphy); 22 January, _Catharine and Petruchio_ (Garrick's
adaptation of Shakespeare's _Taming of the Shrew_); 24 January, _High
Life Below Stairs_; 26 January, _Catharine and Petruchio_; 27
January, _Edgar and Emmeline_ (Hawkesworth). But Mrs. Pritchard, who
played the Queen in _Elvira_, seems not to have appeared in any of
these afterpieces, and no one of them contains a queen (Dougald MacMillan,
_Drury Lane Calendar_, 1747-1776, Clarendon Press, 1938, pp. 94, 217,
239, 260, 282, 297). Furthermore, if the jest could be understood only
with reference to a particular farce, that farce would surely have been
named. This is no doubt a case where less is meant than meets the ear.
The authors are merely saying that Mallet's play is badly constructed,
and is so ridiculous generally that no one will know when the tragedy
ends and the farce begins.]

[Footnote D: (P. 21) "Though in general this Tragedy is colder than the
most extreme Parts of _Nova Zembla_ ..." This is perhaps the only passage
in _Critical Strictures_ that can be attributed with certainty to one of
the three authors. The remark is Dempster's, and had been made some time
before Elvira was presented; in fact, he had applied it originally to
Johnson's _Irene_. See LJ, pp. 69, 306.]

[Footnote E: (P. 22) "... a Simile of a Bundle of Twigs formed into a
Rod ... Mr. _Malloch_'s original Profession ..." Garrick's epilogue to
_Elvira_ contains the following lines:

    A single critick will not frown, look big,
    Harmless and pliant as a single twig,
    But crouded _here_ they change, and 'tis not odd,
    For twigs when bundled up, become a rod.

One of Mallet's duties, when he was janitor of the High School of
Edinburgh, had been to assist in the floggings, either by applying the
instrument of punishment himself (see LJ, p. 209) or by lifting the boys
up on his back at the command of _tollatur_ and exposing the proper
portion of their anatomy to the master's birch (John Ramsay, _Scotland
and Scotsmen in the Eighteenth Century_, Blackwood, Edinburgh and
London, 1888, i. 24 _n_.)]

[Footnote F: (Pp. 23-24) "... keen Distress of a _Belvidera_,... Dignity
of an _Elizabeth_;... wild Madness of a _Lear_." The authors are listing
what they conceive to be the most impressive tragic roles of Mrs. Cibber,
Mrs. Pritchard, and Garrick, who played respectively Elvira, the Queen,
and the King in _Elvira_. Belvidera in Otway's _Venice Preserved_
was by all accounts one of Mrs. Cibber's best parts. It had been
assigned to her in the majority of the Drury Lane performances since 1747,
and she had appeared in it as recently as 16 November 1762. Mrs. Pritchard
had played Queen Elizabeth in all the Drury Lane performances (1755-1760)
of _The Earl of Essex_ by Henry Jones and of the play of the same
name by Henry Brooke (1761-), but had appeared in neither role more
recently than 30 December 1761. A role of Elizabeth which she had
presented more recently (18 December 1762) and had been appearing
regularly in since 1748 was the Queen Elizabeth of Shakespeare's
_Richard III_ as altered by Cibber. It is probably this last named
Elizabeth that the authors of _Critical Strictures_ had in mind. The
choice is unusual, critics generally having considered Lady Macbeth to
be her finest tragic role. Garrick had played Lear on 31 December 1762
(_Drury Lane Calendar_, as above, pp. 237-238, 268, 313-315, 338).]


       *       *       *       *       *



PUBLICATIONS OF THE AUGUSTAN REPRINT SOCIETY


FIRST YEAR (1946-47)

Numbers 1-4 out of print.

5. Samuel Wesley's _Epistle to a Friend Concerning Poetry_ (1700) and
_Essay on Heroic Poetry_ (1693).

6. _Representation of the Impiety and Immorality of the Stage_ (1704)
and _Some Thoughts Concerning the Stage_ (1704).


SECOND YEAR (1947-1948)

7. John Gay's _The Present State of Wit_ (1711); and a section on Wit
from _The English Theophrastus_ (1702).

8. Rapin's _De Carmine Pastorali_, translated by Creech (1684).

9. T. Hanmer's (?) _Some Remarks on the Tragedy of Hamlet_ (1736).

10. Corbyn Morris' _Essay towards Fixing the True Standards of Wit,
etc._ (1744).

11. Thomas Purney's _Discourse on the Pastoral_ (1717).

12. Essays on the Stage, selected, with an Introduction by Joseph Wood
Krutch.


THIRD YEAR (1948-1949)

13. Sir John Falstaff (pseud.), _The Theatre_ (1720).

14. Edward Moore's _The Gamester_ (1753).

15. John Oldmixon's _Reflections on Dr. Swift's Letter to Harley_
(1712); and Arthur Mainwaring's _The British Academy_ (1712).

16. Nevil Payne's _Fatal Jealousy_(1673).

17. Nicholas Rowe's _Some Account of the Life of Mr. William
Shakespeare_ (1709).

18. "Of Genius," in _The Occasional Paper_, Vol. III, No. 10 (1719);
and Aaron Hill's Preface to _The Creation_ (1720).


FOURTH YEAR (1949-1950)

19. Susanna Centlivre's _The Busie Body_ (1709).

20. Lewis Theobold's _Preface to The Works of Shakespeare_ (1734).

21. _Critical Remarks on Sir Charles Grandison, Clarissa, and Pamela_
(1754).

22. Samuel Johnson's _The Vanity of Human Wishes_ (1749) and Two
_Rambler_ papers (1750).

23. John Dryden's _His Majesties Declaration Defended_ (1681).

24. Pierre Nicole's _An Essay on True and Apparent Beauty in Which from
Settled Principles is Rendered the Grounds for Choosing and Rejecting
Epigrams_, translated by J.V. Cunningham.


FIFTH YEAR (1950-51)

25. Thomas Baker's _The Fine Lady's Airs_ (1709).

26. Charles Macklin's _The Man of the World_ (1792).

27. Frances Reynolds' _An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Taste,
and of the Origin of Our Ideas of Beauty, etc._ (1785).

28. John Evelyn's _An Apologie for the Royal Party_ (1659); and _A
Panegyric to Charles the Second_ (1661).

29. Daniel Defoe's _A Vindication of the Press_ (1718).

30. Essays on Taste from John Gilbert Cooper's _Letters Concerning
Taste_, 3rd edition (1757), & John Armstrong's _Miscellanies_
(1770).

31. Thomas Gray's _An Elegy Wrote in a Country Church Yard_ (1751);
and _The Eton College Manuscript_.

32. Prefaces to Fiction; Georges de Scudéry's Preface to _Ibrahim_
(1674), etc.

33. Henry Gally's _A Critical Essay_ on Characteristic-Writings
(1725).

34. Thomas Tyers' A Biographical Sketch of Dr. Samuel Johnson (1785).


       *       *       *       *       *


William Andrews Clark Memorial Library: University of California

THE AUGUSTAN REPRINT SOCIETY

_General Editors_

H. RICHARD ARCHER
    William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
E.N. HOOKER
    University of California, Los Angeles
R.C. BOYS
    University of Michigan
JOHN LOFTIS
    University of California, Los Angeles

The Society exists to make available inexpensive reprints (usually
facsimile reproductions) of rare seventeenth and eighteenth century works.
The editorial policy of the Society continues unchanged. As in the past,
the editors welcome suggestions concerning publications. All income of the
Society is devoted to defraying cost of publication and mailing.

All correspondence concerning subscriptions in the United States and
Canada should be addressed to the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library,
2205 West Adams Boulevard, Los Angeles 18, California. Correspondence
concerning editorial matters may be addressed to any of the general
editors. The membership fee is $3.00 a year for subscribers in the United
States and Canada and 15/- for subscribers in Great Britain and Europe.
British and European subscribers should address B.H. Blackwell, Broad
Street, Oxford, England.

       *       *       *       *       *

Publications for the sixth year [1951-1952]

(At least six items, most of them from the following list, will be
reprinted.)

THOMAS GRAY: _An Elegy Wrote in a Country Church Yard_ (1751).
Introduction by George Sherburn.

JAMES BOSWELL, ANDREW ERSKINE, and GEORGE DEMPSTER: _Critical Strictures
on the New Tragedy of Elvira_ (1763). Introduction by Frederick A.
Pottle.

_An Essay on the New Species of Writing Founded by Mr. Fielding_
(1751). Introduction by James A. Work.

HENRY GALLY: _A Critical Essay on Characteristic Writing_ (1725).
Introduction by Alexander Chorney.

[JOHN PHILLIPS]: _Satyr Against Hypocrits_ (1655). Introduction by
Leon Howard.

_Prefaces to Fiction_. Selected and with an Introduction by Benjamin
Boyce.

THOMAS TYERS: _A Biographical Sketch of Dr. Samuel Johnson_ ([1785]).
Introduction by Gerald Dennis Meyer.

Publications for the first five years (with the exception of NOS. 1-4,
which are out of print) are available at the rate of $3.00 a year. Prices
for individual numbers may be obtained by writing to the Society.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE AUGUSTAN REPRINT SOCIETY
_WILLIAM ANDREWS CLARK MEMORIAL LIBRARY_
2205 WEST ADAMS BOULEVARD, LOS ANGELES 18, CALIFORNIA

Make check or money order payable to THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF
CALIFORNIA.





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