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A LARGE portion of our mirth is derived from the vexations, perplexities, and dilemmas of others. Ludicrous distress, when exhi. bited on the stage, is exhilirating and droll; but the very same distress loses its power of entertaining, when transported to real life. It is a just remark that the miseries of this sublunary state consist not in gigantic evils, but in daily and hourly vexations, that besiege es sans intermission, and buzz round us like the blue-bottle round the nose of my uncle Toby. They are to be numbered among those small complaints wbich nobody dies of, but that prove a bane to every social comfort. Among the most annoying is jealousythe offspring of a mean disingenuous mind, conscious of a secret infirmity, which it is for ever contrasting with some superior excellence it beholds in another-seizing, at the same time, every incident, however harmless, to vent its spleen upon, The exhibition of this passion, in high life and in low-in minds of as many kinds as moss, has been a zure card with dramatic authors; and many a playgoing couple, after laughing heartily at sceres of fancied jealousy, have, on their return home, acted the same farce over again by themselves, without finding it half se entertaining.
This comedy exhibits jealousy in the married and single with diverting effect. Some of the hints are taken from Molière's “Cocu Imaginaire;" but the imitation is by no means servile, and the author has shown his usual judgment, first, in selecting a good model, and, secondly, in rendering the copy not unworthy of the original.
The hurry and bustle of this comedy sometimes defeat the purpose intended. The attention has not time to fix amidst such a quick succession of incidents. The dialogue is almost lost in the action, which is rapid and complex. Murphy was a complete master of stage effect: hence, he contrives to give the spectator a partial glimpse of what is likely to happen, which, by a theatrical ruse de guerre, is made to take an unexpected and different turn. The characters are not remarkable for strength or originality ; but the dialogue, though possessing less humour than many of the author's other productions, is pointed and elegant. The moral is good : it shows that half of our miseries have their origin in our own misconceptions, and that the mind which is itself unconscious of evil, is the least prone to suspect evil in others.
Sir John and Lady Restless are admirably well niatched-they are just the sort of couple that we rejoice to see upited, for the purpose of inflicting upon each other poetical justice. We can hardly say which is the most unreasonable creature of the two: Sir John fancies himself a cuckold, because his house has a back and a front door to it; my lady storms, first, because she thinks Mrs. Marmalet's complexion is rubbed on, and then because she finds it will not rub off. The miniature scene, and the contrast her ladyship draws between the dear bandsome unknown, and the brute and monster, together with her pathetic lamentation to Tattle, conceived in the true spirit of Queen Dollalolla, that ladies cannot change their hnsbands as they do their gloves or earrings (" O, bless'd prerogative of giantism !"), may offer some apology for Sir John ; while the fainting.scene in the park, Mrs. Marmalet and the mask, and Beverley emerging from the closet, may be fairly urged in extenuation of Lady Restless. The cross.purposes, however, are so well managed, that the matual distrusts that worry and distract each party, in turn, seem to arise as much from an unlucky combination of suspicious circumstances, as froin the natural jealousy of their dispositions.
Mr. Beverley is a gentleman of a temperament so exquisitely delicate, sensitive, and refined, that we strongly suspect nothing short of an ethereal essence will realize the conception he has formed of woman. Swift has whimsically shown the unreasonableness of forming too exalted ideas of human perfectibility. Every Strephon is sure to find a Chloe !
Belinda is almost entirely amiable-she has wit, witb good sense to manage it with discretion. Her lover is fair game, and she banters himn with infinite pleasantry. We could wish that she, too, had not fallen into the jealons snare-bnt the disease is so epidemic, that it is next to impossible to encounter one of its victims without catching the infection.
All in the Wrong was originally brought out at Drury Lane, in 1761, when that theatre was let by Garrick to Foote for the summer season. It was highly successful, and has ever continued to rank among the best English comedies.
The Conductors of this work print no Plays but those which they have Teen acted. The Stage Directions are given from personal observation, during the most recent performances.
EXITS AND ENTRANCES
R. means Right ; L. Left; R. D. Right Door ; L. D. Left Door; C. D. F. or M. D. Centre Door in the Flat ; R. D. F. Right Door in the Flat; L. D. F. Left Door in thc Flat, or the Scene running across the back of the Stage; R.S. E. Right Second Entrance ; R. U. E. Right Upper Entrance; L. S. E. Left Second Entrance : L. U. E. Left Upper Entrance.
RELATIVE POSITIONS: R. means Right; L. Left; C. Centre ; R. C. Right of Centre; LC. Left of Centre,
R. RC. C. LC. L. * The Reader is supposed to be on the Staye facing the Audience.
SIR JOHN RESTLESS.-Dress hat-blue coatwhite waistcoat-black breeches-black silk stockings
shoes and buckles.
BEVERLEY-Dress hat-blue coat-white waistcoat-white breeches-white silk stockings-shoes and buckles.
BELLMONT.-Dress hat-blue coat-white waistcoat-buff pantaloons—white silk stockings-shoes.
SIR W. BELLMONT and BLANDFORD.- Formai dresses of old English gentlemen.
LADY RESTLESS.-White satin.
Cast of the Characters,
Drury Lane. Covent Garden.
. . . Mrs. Davidson. Mrs. Chatterley.
. . . Clarissa . . . . . Miss Boyce. Miss Jones.
.. Mrs. Harlowe. Miss Love. Tippet . . . .
. Miss Tidswell. Mrs. Boyle. Marmalat . . . . Mrs. Scott. Miss Henrv.