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He considers Farces, when represented after regular plays, as unnatural excrescences, and would have them banished to his second theatre. 6. The style of all its
compositions should be somewhat in this way. But " they should all certainly have a moral tendency.” (p. 127. Edn. 1796.) He is, however, for having even comedy rather farcical : " it is impossible for the pulpit “ to represent vice and folly in so strong a light as the
stage. One addresses our reason, the other our
imagination ; and we know which receives commonly ““ the more forcible impression. There should always “ however be a little dash of the caricature to give a zest “ to character. But nature and probability should be “ strictly observed. I remember-I believe it is now “thirty years ago--seeing a play acted (I forget its “ title) in which an old fellow is represented dallying 66 with a coquettish girl. It was an admirable picture
from nature. The sprightly actions of youth imitated by the ridiculous gesticulations of age, struck my memory
so forcibly, that the picture is yet as fresh, as “ if it had been painted yesterday.” (Do. p. 117.)
As I do not agree with Mr. G. in separating the lower from the higher classes so widely in their amusements; so, neither, do I agree with him in banishing Farces from the amusements of the higher classes, but rather wish that plays and farces should be associated with more consideration than they sometimes are. Barataria is a highly amusing farce, but I have no wish to see it after a Tra. gedy, or a pathetic or elegant Comedy, when my feelings are refined, and when some simple piece would better accord with them: but after such a play as The Goodnatur'd Man, or The Clandestine Marriage, I could enter into the humour of Sancho with great pleasure: And I think this to be the feeling of the greater part of the audience.
This Farce, as the author informs us in his own Address To the Public, is taken from D'Urfey's Don Quixote, which I have not had an opportunity of consulting ; but it is one of those pieces which was so much, and so deservedly, censured by Collier in his book against the Stage. The portion of The History of Don Quixote on which it is founded is to be seen in the Second Volume of Shelton's translation, edited by Capt. Stevens, in 1706, Chapters xlii. to Luli. From this I have made some few alterations and additions in the following piece. The author has certainly made a very amusing farce; but he might, I think, have given us more of Sancho, without fear of satiety, and, in some respects, have adhered closer to the original : I think an audience could have borne at least three, if not five, acts of Sancho; a whole act might have been given to his decisions. The question referred to him, respecting the bridge and the passenger, in Ch. 41., is at least equal to any of the other cases. In The History neither Sancho's wife nor daughter are with him during his government; but stage-prescription, I suppose, required that females should be introduced in the scene.
The edition used in printing is one Printed for W. Lowndes in 1793, the only copy I have seen. This Farce is not in Mrs. Jochbald's edition.
Clare Hall, March 2, 1812.
The subject of the following Farce is taken from the Second Part of D'Urfey's Don QuixoTE. Three scenes only of the original have been retained; and even these it was found necessary to materially alter, and enrich with additions to give them a modern, a novel complexion. -Impressed with every veneration for the genius of Cervantes, the present writer has adhered to him as closely as the nature of dramatic writing would admit; and should the fame of that celebrated wit protect Sancho on the stage, the Author of BARATARIA need not wish to be more successful.
The DUKE RICARDO.
Messengers, Servants, &c.
to the Duchess.
STOUT WOMAN. Baratarian Lords, Ladies, Guards and Attendants.
SCENE, in the Province of Arragon in Spain.
* In Don Quixote, Sancho's daughter is called SancəICA.
SCENE I. An Apartment in The Duke Ricardo's
Palace. Enter MANUEL and Pedro. Manuel. This is truly a curious whim of the Duke's to make Sancho a governor.
Pedro. I like the fancy of all things, and can anticipate in idea laughter without end from it. Sudden elevation too often makes the wise man forget himself, and become ridiculous; now I shall be glad to see what effect it will have upon a fool.
Man. The best of the joke is, old Rodriguez, her Grace's woman, takes every thing seriously; and is enraged to see a fellow like Sancho Pança dignified with the title of Governor, whilst nothing is done for her after so many years attendance on the Duchess.
Ped. Are not you to be continually about his person?
Man. Yes; but the duke has not yet given me my in. structions in full. I wish you had overheard Don Quix. ote this morning, admonishing Sancho for degrading his rank, by scuffling with one of the grooms over the grid. iron, about a brown crust and a rasher of bacon; he look'd as fierce as the Knight of the burning sword, or the Knight of the burning pestle, while the chop-fallen governor hung his head, as if he expected every minute to be cut into mince-meat, or pounded to a jelly. In pity to poor Sancho at last I interposed, and rescued his excellency from a rib-roasting.
Ped. As I am known to have pick'd up a smattering