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In Five Acts,
BY ISAAC BICKERSTAFF., di
PRINTED FROM THE ACTING COPY, WITH REMARKS,
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL,
To which are added,
A DESCRIPTION OF THE COSTUME, -CAST OF THE CHARACTERS, ENTRANCES AND EXITS,-RELATIVE POSITIONS OP THE PERFORMERS ON THE STAGE, AND THE WHOLE OF THE STAGE
As now performed at the
THEATRES ROYAL, LONDON.
EMBELLISHED WITH A WOOD FNGRAVING,
By Mr. White, from a Drawing by Mr. R. CRUIKSHANK.
JOHN CUMBERLAND, 19, LUDGATE HILL.
The characters in the Comedy of the Hypocrite are drawn somewhat too strong to appear natural; nor is the business, any more than the qualities assigned to each character, within the ordinary range of probability.
That a gentleman of the rank and education of Sir John Lambert should take into his favour, to the exclusion of his own children, who are highly accomplished, and not deficient in filial affection, a low, canting, sectarian preacher, is highly improbable. That Cantwell himself should prove in the end to be half hypocrite and half bully, or both completely, is not so much to be wondered at; for many of these enthusiastic ranters have been most abandoned characters, who at some particular period of their lives happen to get over a few days without committing any sinful act. The novelty of an approving conscience, though only for so short a period, both pleases and bewilders them; and, not seeing the real cause of their perturbation of mind, they give it out that they have had a call, and a long course of fervent devotion and vehement preaching is the consequence. Poor Mawworm finds himself strongly affected, but he knows not why or wherefore. Religion, genuine religion, it is very clear, has no place in his breast; from the circumstance of his dealing out frightful denunciations upon all around him, and his readiness to inform against persons guilty of an infraction of the statute against swear
The infatuation of Sir John Lambert, in respect of his protegé, Cantwell, once got over, the story goes on regularly enough, and leads to many highly interesting scenes.
That all this outward show of purity should end in the exposure of a corrupt heart, and the assumption of insolent airs, were the objects the Dramatist aimed at. The observation of Sir John Lambert to his son, and his son's answer, will show more clear. Jy what was, and what was not, the anthor's object.
Sir John Lambert. Colonel, you are an atheist.
Col. Lainbert. Pardon me, Sir, I am none; it is a character I abhor; and, next to that, I abhor the character of an enthusiast.
Isaac Bickerstaff, the author of this, and about twenty other dramatic pieces, was a native of Ireland. He was born in the year 1735, and was one of the most successful writers for the stage. He was appointed one of the pages to Lord Chesterfield, when that nobleman was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, in 1746. He was afterwards an officer in the marines, but left the service in disgrace, and was banished. He resided many years abroad, in poverty and obscurity, but nothing further of him is known.
SIR JOHN LAMBERT.-A hrown cloth suit, lined with white silk.
DOCTOR CANTWELL.-A. black cloth suit, and • dark speckled stockings.
COLONEL LAMBERT.-Full dress of a Colonel.
MAWWORM.-Black coat, long, formal, flowered waistcoat, black breeches, blue stockings, and shoes, with small brass buckles.
OLD LADY LAMBERT.-A black satin dress, with black velvet. cuffs, and bobins, white stomacher, and black hood.
YOUNG LADY LAMBERT.-White satin dress, white leno upper dress, with white satin trimming and lace.
CHARLOTTE.-A blue satin body trimmed, silver leno skirt, festooned at bottom with blue and silver flowers.
Cast of the Characters in the Comedy of The HYPOCRITE, at the Theatre-Royal, Drury-Lane.
Sir John Lambert
Old Lady Lamb.