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Trudge Come let us dance and sing,
and While all Barbadoes bells shall ring : Wowski Love scrapes the Addle string,
And Venus plays the lute.
Aet III. Scene 3.
INKLE AND YARICO:
En Chree Acts.
BY GEORGE COLMAN, ESQ.
Author of Who Wants a Guinca, Ways and Means, ge.
PRINTED FROM THE ACTING COPY, WITH REMARKS,
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL, BY D-G.
To which are added,
A DESCRIPTION OF THE COSTUME, -CAST OF THE CHARACTERS,
As now performed at the
THEATRES ROYAL, LONDON.
EMBELLISHED WITH A FINE ENGRAVING,
By Mr. BONNER, from a Drawing taken in the Theatre by
Mr. R. CRUIKSHANK.
JOHN CUMBERLAND, 19, LUDGATE HILL.
INKLE AND YARICO" is borrowed from the well-known tale in the first volume of “ The Spectator.” It exhibits a picture of that heartless cupidity which too often characterises the sons of commerce, who care little for human liberty or happiness, if they chance to obstruct them in their eager pursuit of wealth. Inkle is one of those worthies, who, hav. ing received his education upon 'Change, has just wit enough to accomplish his purpose, and to know that he is doing wrong ; but he has neither the virtue, nor the courage, to resist the temptation of worldly gain. His penitence is not the result of principle-he is caught in his own tiap and therefore, to redeem his credit with the better part of mankind, he makes a virtue of necesity; and abjures vice, because it no longer answers his purpose to be vicious.
Upon this slight foundation, has Mr. Colman constructed a very amusing Opera-The hero and heroine were ready formed to his hand; but the remaining characters are entirely his own, and they do great credit to his head and heart. Sir Christopher is one of those pleasing portraits of human nature, that we delight to contemplate; more especially, as his virtues acquire additional lustre from his situation in life. If the humanity of a goaler could merit the eloquent eulogium of Johnson, what meed of praise shall we assign to it, in the Governor of a slave island, familiarised with the sufferings of the most degraded, and, consequently, with the most unhappy of mankind? Let us hope that this portrait is not merely ideal. Let us hope, that while some are trampling upon the sacred rights of justice and liberty, and gorging their bloated ambition with the blood and bones of their fellow men, that others are exerting their power and influence to mitigate the sufferings they cannot suppress. We drink not (as Johnson once did) to the next rebellion among the slaves; but we drink-yea, and heartilyto their speedy restoration to the rights and immunities that belong to every member of the human family.
Trudge is a delightful fellow ! kind-hearted and facetious; counting-house immorality has not corrupted him! He the very prince of City-clerks, from Temple-bar to Aldgate! We can sympathise with him, rudely transplanted from his snug little dressing-room, behind the office, in Threadneedle-Street, to the wilds of America! Every thing has degenerated since Mr. Trudge's first appearance in public life. Clerks are no longer the precise, prim, powdered personages of olden time; with three-cornered hats, and knee-breeches Wellingtons -villainous Wellingtons have been the spoil of 'em. We have become a warlike people-witness the black stocks, and military sourtouts that surprise us at every turn! We have a numerous standing army kehind every counter in the Metropolis. Let the political economists look to it. For ourselves, we behold, in this military mania, something that forebodes a counter-revolution !
Trudge is a delightful fellow! We hardly know which are the most comical, his apprehensions of being eaten up alive, or his amorous lessons to little Wowski. Of the effect produced by Edwin in the character, those who remember his performance speak in raptures. Long ere we became familiar with the stage, death had for ever silenced that inimi. table disciple of the laughing god. But his countenance has been transmitted to us by such an admirable pencil,* and we have heard his voice, and seen his manner imitated with so much whimsicality and truth, tha we can enjoy, even in imagination, those gambols, songe, and flashes of merriment that were wont to set the theatre in a roar.
Munden brought all his genius to bear, in Sir Christopher Curry. We never beheld this consummate actor to greater advantage than in the scene where Inkle is about to dispose of Yarico to the Governor. His generous burst of indignation, when he discovers himself to his intended son-in-law, made the theatre ring with applause. We once saw Cooke attempt the character-it was for his own benefit we believe-we hope it benefitted his pocket, for it had a contrary effect on his reputation. We only mention this performance, as a dramatic curiosity!
Bannister and Fawcett may fairly divide the crown in Trudge. Nothing could exceed the humour, the gaiety, the feeling of these glorious comedians. Our pleasant friend, Harley, is as lively and as brisk as a bottle of perry! It is worth three-and-sixpence at any time, to behold his consternation at the entrance of Yarico's cavern, when he dreads walking into more mouths than one!
The language of this piece is, in many parts, natural and affecting, But it has this blemish, that, when any pathetic or generous sentiment is enforced, it is generally rivetted with an oath. Were Mr. Colman, in his grave capacity of Licenser, to sit in judgment upon his own plays, what havoc would he make with them! The “ dumns" have had their day! and we are glad of it. We trust to the pious care of the present Licenser, never to let them have another in his time! The humour savours too much of pun and concetti-it is less a play upon meanings, than a torture upon words ; but this defect is hardly noticed in the mouth of a skilful comedian, and Trudge has been very fortunate in his representatives. The music, partly original and partly selected, is extremely beautiful.
“ Inkle and Yarico" is one of Mr. Colman's earliest productions. It was originally brought out at the Haymarket theatre, in the year 1787.
* See an excellent and extremely scarce portrait of Edwin, in the character of Lingo, by Alefounder.
“What &-what amsensible soul!"