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amending of; but there is great amends made in the representation, which cannot be matched, no more than the friendly and indefatigable care of Mr. Wilks, to whom 1 chiefly owe the success of the play.FARQUHAR, GEORGE, 1707, The BeauxStratagem, Advertisement.

It is an honour to the morality of the present age, that this most entertaining comedy is but seldom performed; and never, except some new pantomime, or other gaudy spectacle, be added, as an afterpiece, for the attraction of an audience. The well-drawn characters, happy incidents, and excellent dialogue, in "The Beaux' Stratagem," are but poor atonement for that unrestrained contempt of principle which pervades every scene. -ICHBALD, MRS. ELIZABETH, 1806-9, The British Theatre, The Beaux Stratagem, Remarks, vol. xx, p. 3.

"The Beaux' Stratagem" is the best of his plays as a whole; infinitely lively, bustling, and full of point and interest. HAZLITT, WILLIAM, 1818, Lectures on the English Comic Writers.

Its plot is new, simple, and interesting; the characters various, without confusing it; the dialogue sprightly and characteristic; the moral bold, healthy, admirable, and doubly needed in those times, when sottishness was a fashion. Archer and Aimwell who set out as mere intriguers, prove in the end true gentlemen, candid, conscientious, and generous. Scrub and Scrub and Boniface, though but a servant and an innkeeper, are quotable fellows both, and have made themselves prominent in theatrical recollection, the former especially, for his quaint ignorance and sordid cunning. And Mrs. Sullen is the more touching in her distress, from the cheerfulness with which she wipes away her tears. Sullen is an awful brute, yet not thoroughly inhuman; for he feels, after all, that he has no right to such a wife.—HUNT, LEIGH, 1840, ed. The Works of Wycherley, Congreve, Vanbrugh, and Farquhar, p. lviii.

It was fortunate for his fame, in every view, that his expiring effort should have proved, in all its points, his most successful one; for the "Beaux' Stratagem" has retained possession of the stage to the present day, and it is always attractive when there is a company of performers ready to sustain its delightful variety of

characters. That of Archer, the hero of the piece, is the refined version of the author's former gallants. He is gay, without boisterousness, rallying and imprudent without a tinge of coarseness: and, that which is best of all, his lovemaking and his intrigues have no participation in that absorbing indifference to others that distinguish the gallants of his immediate predecessors, and even of his own contemporaries.-CLARKE, CHARLES COWDEN, 1872, On the Comic Writers of England, Gentleman's Magazine, n. s. vol. 8, p. 56.

In "The Beaux' Stratagem" (1707) Farquhar achieved his masterpiece. This comedy, justly the most celebrated of his plays and destined to an enduring life on the stage, deserved its success in the first instance by the cleverness of the plot, which is ingenious without being improbable. Some of the incidents, indeed, are of dubious import, including one at the close, a separation by mutual consent,

which throws a glaring light on the view taken by the author and his age of the sanctity of the marriage-tie. But the comedy is also an excellent picture of manners. The inn with its rascally landlord and highwaymen-guests and the country-house into which the Beau is carried in a fainting-fit, stand before us as scenes from real life; and some of the characters are drawn with much humour and spirit. The most successful conception is that of Archer, who pretends to be the valet of his friend the Beau, but carries on adventures on his own account. This became one of Garrick's most famous parts; and indeed the easy volubility of the pretended servant furnishes an admirable opportunity for a fine actor of light comedy. Altogether this play is written in the happiest of veins; and may be regarded as the prototype of Goldsmith's "She Stoops to Conquer," like which it hovers rather doubtfully on the borders -not always easy to determine-of comedy and farce.-WARD, ADOLPHUS WILLIAM, 1875-99, A History of English Dramatic Literature, vol. III, p. 484.

This is not a review of the dramatists of this era, but the figure of the jovial humorous Farquhar-Captain Farquharis conspicuous, and cannot be passed over. His comedy, "The Beaux's Stratagem, is full of the freshest humour, and if

acted at all respectably, must entertain. There is nothing more exhilarating, and the characters and incidents come back on us with a perpetual pleasure. We find ourselves thinking with a smile of Scrub, and the presumed London servant whom he so admires. It is extraordinary how Goldsmith later caught the same freshness of handling in "She Stoops to Conquer." Such broad treatment is essential in true comedy, and will be found in all the great writers from Molière downwards. Nowadays a more trifling local treatment is in vogue, and the other style is scarcely appreciated.-FITZGERALD, PERCY, 1882, A New History of the English Stage, vol. 1, p. 184.

That "The Beaux Stratagem" is the best of our author's comedies, there can be no question. Decenter in language, its plot is comparatively inoffensive, and it has given to literature types of character of which universal acceptance proves the truth. The gracious figure of Lady Bountiful has flitted across many a page, whose reader knew not whence she came; and Boniface has baptized half the innkeepers of Christendom with his dishonest


Archer and Aimwell,

Dorinda and Mrs. Sullen, were in London only two years ago.- HUNTINGTON, H. A., 1882, Captain Farquhar, Atlantic Monthly, vol. 49, pp. 405, 407.


What pert low dialogue has Farquhar writ! -POPE, ALEXANDER, 1733, First Epistle of the Second Book of Horace.

He seems to have been a man of a genius rather sprightly than great, rather flow'ry than solid; his comedies are diverting, because his characters are natural, and such as we frequently meet with; but he has used no art in drawing them, nor does there appear any force of thinking in his performances, or any deep penetration into nature; but rather a superficial view, pleasant enough to the eye, though capable of leaving no great impression on the mind. He drew his observations chiefly from those he conversed with, and has seldom given any additional heightening, or indelible marks to his characters; which was the peculiar excellence of Shakespear, Johnson, and Congreve.

He had certainly a lively imagination, but then it was capable of no great

compass; he had wit, but it was of so peculiar a sort, as not to gain ground upon consideration; and it is certainly true, that his comedies in general owe their success full as much to the player, as to any thing intrinsically excellent in themselves. CIBBER, THEOPHILUS, 1753, Lives of the Poets, vol. III, pp. 136, 137.

Farquhar is a light and gay writer, less correct and less sparkling than Congreve; but he has more ease; and perhaps fully as great a share of the vis comica. The two best and least exceptionable of his plays, are the "Recruiting Officer," and the "Beaux' Stratagem." I say, the least exceptionable; for, in general, the tendency of both Congreve and Farquhar's plays is immoral. Throughout them all, the rake, the loose intrigue, and the life of licentiousness, are the objects continually held up to view; as if the assemblies of a great and polished nation could be amused with none but vicious objects.-BLAIR, HUGH, 1783, Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles-Letters, ed. Mills, p. 542.

He makes us laugh from pleasure oftener than from malice. He somewhere prides himself in having introduced on the stage the class of comic heroes here spoken of, which has since become a standard character, and which represents the warm-hearted, rattle-brained, thoughtless, high-spirited young fellow, who floats on the back of his misfortunes without repining, who forfeits appearances, but saves his honour and he gives us to understand that it was his own. He did not need to be ashamed of it. Indeed there is internal evidence that this sort of character is his own, for it pervades his works generally, and is the moving spirit that informs them. His comedies have on this account probably a greater appearance of truth and nature than almost any others. His incidents succeed one another with rapidity, but without premeditation; his wit is easy and spontaneous; his style animated, unembarrassed, and flowing; his characters full of life and spirit, and never overstrained so as to "o'erstep the modesty of nature," though they sometimes, from haste and carelessness, seem left in a crude, unfinished state. There is a constant ebullition of gay, laughing invention, cordial good humour, and fine animal spirits, in his writings. Of the four writers here classed

together, we should perhaps have courted Congreve's acquaintance most, for his wit and the elegance of his manners; Wycherley's, for his sense and observation on human nature; Vanbrugh's, for his power of farcical description and telling a story; Farquhar's, for the pleasure of his society, and the love of good fellowship.HAZLITT, WILLIAM, 1818, Lectures on the English Comic Writers.

The artificial Comedy, or Comedy of manners, is quite extinct on our stage. Congreve and Farquhar show their heads once in seven years only, to be exploded and put down instantly. The times cannot bear them. Is it for a few wild speeches, an occasional licence of dialogue? I think not altogether. The business of their dramatic characters will not stand the moral test.-LAMB, CHARLES, 1824? On the Artificial Comedy of the Last Century.

The thoughtless and volatile, but goodnatured and generous, character of Farquhar is reflected in his comedies, which, with less sparkle, have more natural life and airiness, and are animated by a finer spirit of whim, than those of either Vanbrugh or Congreve. His morality, like theirs, is abundantly free and easy; but there is much more heart about his profligacy than in theirs, as well as much less grossness or hardness. CRAIK, GEORGE L., 1861, A Compendious History of English Literature and of the English Language, vol. II, p. 274.

He extended the list of the comic dramatic personages of the day, and his Captain Plume, the fine gentleman officer, Boniface, the innkeeper, Cherry, his lively daughter, Scrub, the country servant who guesses they are talking of him, "for they laughed consumedly," and above all the inimitable recruiting officer, Sergeant Pike are all invaluable additions to our stock of comedy characters. His plots are simpler and better than those of his brother playwrights, they have more life. and movement, and the episodes succeed each other in an unforced way which must have made his pieces very pleasant to audiences.-CRAWFURD, OSWALD, 1883, ed. English Comic Dramatists, p. 172.

Borne down with trouble and debts, he secured his place among the greatest of writers of English comedy in a life which. did not reach to thirty years.—AITKEN,

GEORGE A., 1889, Life of Richard Steele, vol. 1, p. 152.

Without the keen wit or the sardonic force of his rivals, he has more genuine high spirits and good nature.-STEPHEN, LESLIE, 1889, Dictionary of National Biography, vol. XVII, p. 222.

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He was a smart, soldier-like Irishman, of "a splenetic and amorous complexion,' half an actor, a quarter a poet, and altogether a very honest and gallant gentleman. He had taken to the stage kindly enough, and at twenty, had written "Love and a Bottle." Since then, two other plays, "The Constant Couple" and "Sir Harry Wildair," had proved that he had wit and fancy, and knew how to knit them. together into a rattling comedy. But he was poor, always in pursuit of that timid wild-fowl, the occasional guinea, and with no sort of disposition to settle down into a heavy citizen. In order to bring down a few brace of golden game, he shovels into Lintott's hands his stray verses of all kinds, a bundle of letters he wrote from Holland, a dignified essay or discourse upon Comedy, and, with questionable taste perhaps, a set of copies of the love-letters he had addressed to the lady who became his wife. All this is not very praiseworthy, and as a contribution to literature it is slight indeed; but, then, how genuine and sincere, how guileless and picturesque is the self-revelation of it! There is no attempt to make things better than they are, nor any pandering to a cynical taste by making them worse. Why should he conceal or falsify? The town knows what sort of a fellow George Farquhar is. Here are some letters and some verses; the beaux at White's may read them if they will, and then throw them away. GOSSE, EDMUND, 1891, Gossip in a Library, p. 148.

It is fortunate for Farquhar that he could not emulate the exquisitely civilized depravities of Congreve's urban Muse. But his dialogue is not "low" to modern tastes; it has, in general, a simple, natural zest, infinitely preferable to the Persian apparatus of the early eighteenth century. Even he, however, can rant and deviate into rhetoric, as soon as his lovers drop upon one knee. More plainly in Farquhar's work than in that of any contemporary, we mark the glamour of the Caroline literature fading, and the breath of life


blowing in. His mind was Medea's kettle, out of which everything issued cleaner and more wholesome. . . Though Farquhar did not live, like Vanbrugh and the magnanimous Dryden, to admit the abuse of a gift, and to deplore it, he alone, of the minor dramatists, seems all along to have had a negative sort of conscience better than none. His instincts continually get the better not

only of his environment, but of his practice. Some uneasiness, some misgiving, are at the bottom of his homely materialism. He thinks it best, on the whole, to forswear the temptation to be sublime, and to keep to his cakes and ale; and for cakes and ale he had an eminent and inborn talent.-GUINEY, LOUISE IMOGEN, 1894, A Little English Gallery, pp. 132, 136, 137.

William Walsh


Poet, critic and scholar, born in Worcestershire in 1663. A member of several parliaments, and a gentleman of the horse under the Duke of Somerset. Chiefly remembered as the friend of Dryden and Pope. Works: "The Golden Age Restored;" "Eugenia, a Defence of Women;" "Esculapius: or, the Hospital of Fools;" "A Collection of Letters, Amorous and Gallant." Life: in Johnson's "Lives of the English Poets."-MOULTON, CHARLES WELLS, 1901.


About fifteen, I got acquainted with Mr. Walsh. He used to encourage me much, and used to tell me, that there was one way left of excelling: for though we had several great poets, we never had any one great poet that was correct; and he desired me to make that my study and aim.-POPE, ALEXANDER, 1742-43, Spence's Anecdotes, ed. Singer, p. 212.


William Walsh, of Abberley, Esq., who has so long honoured me with his friendship, and who, without flattery, is the best critic of our nation.-DRYDEN, JOHN, 1697, Postscript to Virgil.

To him the wit of Greece and Rome was known,

And every author's merit, but his own.
Such late was Walsh-the Muse's judge and

Who justly knew to blame or to commend;
To failings mild, but zealous for desert;
The clearest head and the sincerest heart.
-POPE, ALEXANDER, 1711, An Essay on
Criticism, III, 727–732.

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seldom rises higher than to be pretty.— JOHNSON, SAMUEL, 1779-81, Walsh, Lives of the English Poets.

Mr. Walsh's other pieces consist chiefly of Elegies, Epitaphs, Odes, and Songs; they are elegant, tho' not great, and he seems to have had a well cultivated, tho' not a very extensive, understanding. Dryden and Pope have given their sanction in his favour, to whom he was personally known, a circumstance greatly to his advantage, for had there been no personal friendship, we have reason to believe, their encomiums would have been less lavish; at least his works do not carry so high an idea of him, as they have done.CIBBER, THEOPHILUS, 1753, Lives of the Poets, vol. III, p. 155.

Except his encouragement of the early genius of Pope, he seems to have no claim to remembrance.-CAMPBELL, THOMAS, 1819, Specimens of the British Poets.

The qualities which Pope attributes to the person of Walsh are found in his writings, which have certainly been unduly neglected. The Propertius of the Restoration, he alone among the writers of his age understood the passion of love in an honourable and chivalric sense. Dryden, however, was almost the only person who perceived the moral beauty of Walsh's verse, and certainly was alone in praising his very remarkable "Defence of the Fair Sex, in which the young poet, in an age given up to selfish gallantry, recommended the honourable equality of

the sexes and the views now understood as the extension of women's rights. He possessed little versatility, but much. sweetness in the use of the heroic measure, and a certain delicate insight into emotion. His poem entitled "Jealousy" cannot be quoted here; but it is by far the most powerful of his productions, and a marvellously true picture of a heart tossed in an agony of jealousy and love. In studying the versification of Pope, the influence of Walsh upon the style of the younger and greater man should not be overlooked, and there will be found in Walsh couplets such as this

"Embalmed in verse, through distant times they come,

Preserved, like bees within au amber tomb."

which Pope did not disdain to re-work

on his own anvil into brighter shapes. It should be noted that Walsh is the author of the only sonnet written in English. between Milton's, in 1658, and Warton's, about 1750*.-GOSSE, EDMUND, 1880, English Poets, ed. Ward, vol. III, p. 6.

If we search amongst contemporary authorities to discover who he was, we at last come upon his works described in the "Rambler" as "pages of inanity."MOULTON, RICHARD G., 1885, Shakespeare as a Dramatic Artist, p. 17.

His own writings are insignificant. Walsh's chief title to fame lies in his connection with Pope, and in the tributes from the latter that resulted from it.-WARD, ADOLPHUS WILLIAM, 1899, Dictionary of National Biography, vol. LIX, pp. 226, 227.

*Gray's on Richard West, in 1742-Dennis.

William Sherlock


A divine then high in repute, born in 1641, educated at Eton and Peterhouse, Cambridge; in 1669 Rector of St. George's, Botolph Lane, and Prebendary of St. Paul's; then Master of the Temple, an active preacher and writer against the Roman Catholics. At the time of his deprivation, Sherlock published, in 1689,, the most popular of his books, "Practical Discourse concerning Death." His deprivation was soon followed by his acceptance of the established authority in 1691, when he was restored to his office of Master of the Temple, and made Dean of St. Paul's. In 1692 appeared his "Practical Discourse concerning a Future Judgment;" and he was involved in a long and bitter controversy upon the Trinity, with Robert South, a learned, zealous, and good-natured divine. Sherlock died in 1707.-MORLEY, HENRY, 1879, A Manual of English Literature, ed. Tyler, p. 503.


He was a clear, a polite, and a strong writer; but he was apt to assume too much to himself, and to treat his adversaries with contempt; this created him many enemies, and made him pass for an insolent, haughty man.-BURNET, GILBERT, 1715-34, History of My Own Time.

Perhaps no single presbyter of the Church of England has ever possessed a greater authority over his brethern than belonged to Sherlock at the time of the Revolution. He was not of the first rank among his contemporaries as a scholar, as a preacher, as a writer on theology, or as a writer on politics; but in all the four characters he had distinguished himself. The perspicuity and liveliness of his style have been praised by Prior and Addison. The facility and assiduity with which he

wrote are sufficiently proved by the bulk and the dates of his works. There were indeed among the clergymen of brighter genius and men of wider attainments: but during a long period there was none who more completely represented the order, none who, on all subjects, spoke more precisely the sense of the Anglican priesthood.-MACAULAY, THOMAS BABINGTON, 1843, Dr. William Sherlock, Critical and Historical Essays.

Sherlock's practical works are better than his controversial.-BICKERSTETH, EDWARD, 1844, The Christian Student, p. 455.

His "Discourse concerning Death" is a standing article in second-hand bookstalls. This continued popularity is due more to the matter than to the manner.

MINTO, WILLIAM, 1872-80, Manual of English Prose Literature, p. 334.

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