« PreviousContinue »
A REVIEW OF HIS PRINCIPAL CHARACTERS, AND
THOSE OF VARIOUS EMINENT WRITERS,
WITH ANECDOTES OF DRAMATIC POETS, ACTORS, &C.
GREAT RUSSELL-STREET, COVENT-GAR D'EN
Al Shee - -
DR A MATIC
MISCELL A N I E S.
All's well that ends well,
Unpromising fable to All's well that ends
well. — Şhakspeare's creative power. - Revival of this comedy in 1741. Sickness of Milward. Mrs. Woffington. — Death of Milward.—His character.-Superstition of the actors. Parolles.- Macklin and The. Cibber. Chapman and Berry commended.
All's well that ends well revived by Garrick. - Distribution of the parts.- Abuse of wardship. Fascinating power of certain worthless characters. Lully, Swift, and Lord Rivers.-Word Christen
dom. Helen's defcription of Parolles. Definition of elown, or fool. His occupation.- Description from Yohnfon and Steea vens. – B. Fonfon and Fletcher. Shaka speare's fuperior knowledge of nature and the qualities of his auditors. — Fonfón not averse to mirth in tragedy. His Sejanus and Catiline. Condition of physicians in England, France, and Germany. - Helen's delicacy.
Physician's daughter curing a king,
distempered with a fistula, by a recipe of her dead father, is the history on which this play is founded; a plot strange and unpromising. But the genius of Shakspeare meets with no obstacle from the uncouthnefs of the materials he works upon, Action and character are the chief engines he employs in this comedy, and he raises abundance of mirth from the situations in which they are placed. Parolles and Lafeu are admirable contrasts, from the collision
of whose humours perpetual laughter is produced
Helen's scheme, of gaining her husband's affections by passing on him for a mistress, has been adopted with success by other dramatists; particularly by Shirley in the Gamester, and Cibber in his first comedy of Love's last Shift.
All's well that ends well, after having lain more than a hundred years undisturbed upon the prompter's shelf, was, in October, 1741, revived at the theatre in Drury-lane. Milward, who acted the King, is said to have caught a distemper which proved fatal to him, by wearing, in this part, a too light and airy suit of clothes, which he put on after his supposed recovery. He felt himself seized with a shivering; and was asked, by one of the players, how he found himself? How is it possible for me,” he faid, with some pleasantry, 'to be fick, when I have such a physician as Mrs. Woffington ?' This elegant and beautiful actress was the Helen of the play,