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A TRIP TO THE JUBILEE;
IN FIVE ACTS;
BY GEORGE FARQUHAR, Esq.
AS PERFORMED AT THE THEATRES ROYAL,
DRURY LANE AND COVENT GARDEN.
PRINTED UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE MANAGERS
FROM THE PRONPT BOOK.
BY MRS. INCHBALD.
PRINTED FOR LONGMAN, HURST, REES, AND ORME,
bere Far united peared
WILLIAM SAVAGE, PRINTER,
is a w
George Farquhar, the author of this comedy, was the son of a clergyman in the north of Ireland. He was born in the year 1678, discovered an early taste for literature, and wrote poetic stanzas at ten years
In 1694 he was sent to Trinity College, Dublin, and there made such progress in bis studies as to acquire considerable reputation. But he was volatile and
poorấthe first misfortune led him to expense; the second, to devise means how to support his extrava7gance.
The theatre has peculiar charms for men of letters. Whether as a subject of admiration or animadversion, it is still a source of high amusement; and here Farquhar fixed his choice of a profession, in the united expectations of pleasure and of profit-he appeared on the stage as an actor, and was disappointed of both.
The author of this licentious comedy is said to have possessed the advantages of person, manners, and elocution, to qualify him for an actor; but that he could never overcome his natural timidity. Courage is a whimsical virtue. It acts upon one man so as to
make him expose his whole body to danger, whilst he dares not venture into the slightest peril one sentiment of his mind. Such is often the soldier's valour. -Another trembles to expose his person either to a wound or to the eye of criticism, and yet will dare to publish every thought that ever found entrance into his imagination. Such is often the valour of a poet.
Farquhar, abashed on exhibiting his person upon the stage, sent boldly thither his most indecorous thoughts, and was rewarded for his audacity.
In the year 1700 he brought out this comedy of " The Constant Couple; or, A Trip to the Jubilee." It was then the Jubilee year at Rome, and the author took advantage of that occurrence to render the title of his drama popular; for which cause alone it must be supposed he made any thing in his play refer to that festival, as no one material point is in any shape connected with it.
At the time Farquhar was a performer, a sincere friendship was formed between him and Wilks, the celebrated fine gentleman of the stage_fur him, Farquhar wrote the character of Sir Harry Wildair; and Wilks, by the very admirable manner in which he supported the part, divided with the author those honours which the first appearance of the work obtained him.
As a proof that this famed actor's abilities, in the representation of the fine gentlemen of his day, were not over-rated, no actor, since he quitted the stage, has been wholly successful in the performance of this character; and, from Wilks down to the pre