G. C. Duggan [1885-1969], The Stage Irishman: A History of the Irish Play and Stage-characters from the E arliest Times (Benjamin Blom 1937; reissued 1969. [See other works, infra.]

G[eorge] C[hester] Duggan (1885-1969) [see other works, infra.]

NOTE: Duggan’s researches seem to have been largely directed by what he calls Fr. Browne’s list in Guide to Books on Ireland, and also by an unpublished manuscript, Egerton MSS 1763-4, BM, compiled by Monck Mason, and called ‘Introduction to a History of the Irish Stage’, bought by the Museum in 1858, of which he says that it was ‘evidently used by Fr. Browne [sic] in his Index [actually by Holloway]. [177]

Epigram from Geo.Moore’s Ave: Moore, ‘You don’t mean the brogue, the ugliest dialect in the world?’ Yeats, ‘No dialect is ugly. It is the broad road of the journalist that is ugly.’

Preface : Henry Brooke’s Little John and the Giants, pillories the Dublin Corporation; Amyas Griffith’s The Swadlers, attacks the Methodists of Ennis Co. Clare. Unearthed plays are The Irish Knight (early Elizabethan); The Irish Gentleman (Jacobean); and The Irish Playe of the State of Ireland? Unable to trace Concanon’s [sic] The Wexford Walls [sic].

On Irish plays and the stage Irishman of the nineteenth century I have only cast a fleeting glance. No one would wish to probe too deeply into that quagmire … it is unfortunate that the novels of Lever and Lover, excellent as they are in the delineation of a genuinely humorous side of Irish life, should have led to the final deterioriation of the Irishman on the stage at the hands of buffoons who could only appreciate the superficialities of the novelists. To analyse such crudities would be merely a laboratory dissection. No work could be poorer by their omission. [6-7]

Ch.1: Past History

Shirley: St. Patrick for Ireland (1640). It is easy to understand how one who had been in Holy Orders took this semi-religious subject for a dramatic theme. His sources were Bede’s Ecclesiastical Historyand the apoc. Life of St Patrick my Maccumacthenius.

Charles Shadwell, Rotherick O’Connor (1715: date fixed by prologue).

William Phillips, Hibernia Freed, ded. Earl of Thomond, and acted Lincoln’s Inn, Lon., 1722. Shows Phillips capable of sustained and vigorous verse; plot includee Turgesius and the three Irish kings, O’Connor, O’Neill, and O’Brien. Turgesius has a passion for Sabina, O’Brien’s daughter, and demands fifteen maidens as the victor’s due; the girls ask to where veils to spare their shame, and are revealed as O’Neill and O’Connor. The bard Eugenius’s epilogue—‘another nation shall indeed succeed/ … They shall succeed invited to ouraid/And mix their blood with ours: one people gorw,/Polish our manners and improve our minds.’ Duggan thinks, however, that the authors sympathies were less orthodoxically colonial: ‘When we for Honour, Faith or Justice bleed’—said O’Neill—Gibbets and chains are honourable made/And martyrs with the heroes vie for fame.’

Robert Ashton, The Battle of Aughrim (1727: a date fixed from the dedication to Lord Carteret). To the student of the classics the tragedy has a distinct appeal despite its frequently ludicrous verbiage: the seeker after unintentional comedy can also find here much to revel in. The piece has value, too, as a political curiosity, and its main significance resides in two facts: the first that it persisted as a political play until recent times; the second that, to the uncultured, stilted language which soars to the welkin, and as easily drops to the nadir of bathos, may still appeal as the true clothing of heroic tragedy. [37]

John Cutts, Rebellion Defeated, or the Fall of Desmond (printed for the author 1745), dedicated to ‘Free-born Englishmen, Friends of Liberty, and especially those gentlemen in Associations established for the Defence of their Country … in opposition to the destructive schemes of France.’

Cutts’s connection with Ireland unknown. Concerns the events following the Desmond rebellion of 1579, when Desmond’s cousin, Sir James Fitzmaurice, returned with a small force in 1579, to be followed by Desmond in the following year. Ormonde relentless pursues Desmond, who is finally killed by a party of soldiers in a cabin on a moutainside near Tralee. Chars. incl. Lord Grey, Ftitzgyrald (Earl of Desmond); Allan and Blake (Jesuits); imag. chars. incl Castus, a gentleman, Aemula, wife ofMackveer, and Ablabiia, wife of Cavenaugh; Cavenaugh’s father, Mackfrenky, takes Desmond’s side against his son et al.; other chars. incl. two gentlemen, some peasants, and a blind bard.

The whole in blank verse and highly declamatory, with no attempt at character-drawing … teems with rhetorical questions.

Francis Dobbs, The Irish Chief or Patriot King (1773). He does not realise that he had predecessors in this class of drama: the atempts of Charles Shadwell and William Phillips seem to have passed into oblivion. He is frankly a propagandist. [43]

Gorges Edmund Howard, The Siege of Tamor (1773); a prologue by Peter Seguin complains of the absence of patriotic drama in Ireland ‘although her heroes were as bold in fight/Her swains as faithful and her nymphs as bright. … For here alas we boast no Homer born,/No Shakespeare rose, an intellectual morn,/To lift our fame perennial and sublime/Above thedart of death and tooth of time … But lo, a bard, a native bard, at last/Treads backthe travels of the ages past.’

The heroine is Eernestha, dg. of Malsechlin, King of Leinster and Ireland, besieged in Tara by Turgesius, and accompanied by traitors, Reli, Prince of Breffney, and Moran, Archb. of Dubln. Ther influence of Macpherson is evident. … Do we hear the reveille note of Grattan’s eloquence in the Parliament in College Green? ‘Never, never may Ierne vield/Ne’r be a vassal to a foreign yoke:/Behold the stag that loves to haunt the desert/Freed and delighted roams he there nor hears/The hunter’s wiles ..’; the citizens cry, ‘Freedom or death. Ierne shall be free.’

As in the earlier play, Rotherick O’Connor, the 12 virgins turn out to be twelve youths in disguise, who thus strike at the very heart of the foe. The hero, Niall, rescues Eernestha from the Dane, and is rumoured to be killed. The play ends, ‘How they are favioured/Who dare for freedom and their country bleed.’

Ch. 2: Contemporary Events

The Famous History of Thomas Stukeley with his marriage to Alderman Curteis’ daughter and valient ending of his life at the Battaile orf Alcazar (printed Lond. 1605); author unknown. Stukeley and Vernon, who loves Stukeley’s newly married and neglected wife, whom he has married for financial reasons; the Irish scenes open in the besieged English garrison at Dundalk, with Shane O’Neill outside the walls. Chars. are O’Neale, O’Hanlon, Neale Makener (McKenna). The conversation includes Hiberno-English usages aplenty, as for instance the reason why no signal is given from within the town: ‘Brian MacPhelemy is with his streepo.’ [54]. ‘And may all Irish that with treason deale,/Come to like end or worse than Shane O’Neill.’ One recognises the author as an actual eye-witness of the Irish wars. Probably written nearer the time when O;Neill and Stukeley were important figures [55] It is very probable that it was staged when the battle of Alcazar, 1578, was a recent memory, and printed or reprinted in the early reign of James I, when Shane’s son Hugh aroused fresh interest in Irish events.

Allusions to Ireland occurs in the following plays by Shakespeare: Henry VI (‘Great Lords, from Ireland I am come amain/To signify the rebels ther are up/and put the Englishmen unto the sword/Send succours, lords, and stop the rage betime/Before the wound do grow incurable … The uncivil Kernes of Ireland are in arms/And temper clay with blood of Englishmen’; also, ‘Full often, like a shag-hair’d crafty Kerne/Hath he conversed with the enemy … And given me notice of their villanies;’ Richard II: ‘Now four our Irish wars:/We must supplant those rough rug-headed Kernes/Which live like venom where no venom else/But only they have privelige to live.’; Henry V: ‘As, by a lower but loving likelihood,/Were now the general of our gracious empress [Essex]/As in good time he may, from Ireland coming,/Bringing rebellion broached upon his sword.’

Irish touches in John Webster’ The White Devil were mainly culled from Stanihurst’s Description of Ireland (1577). Such details are the Irish gamester who will ply himself naked, and the ‘wild Irish’ who play football with their enemies heads.

A Tragedy of Cola’s Furie (1645), Henry Brukhead, a merchant of Kilkenney; ded. to Lord Herbert, who ‘had visited Ireland on an errand of mercy.’ It is a transcript of contemporary history in the lull of 1644-5 when Ormonde, to thwart the Parliament men, made a truce with the Confederacy.

Ch. 3: Restoration Plays of Contemporary Events

The Royal Voyage, or the Irish Expedition, a Tragi-Comedy (acted 1689; printed 1690); frankly anti-Irish, ‘the perfidious, base, cowarldy, bloody nature of the Irish, both in this and all past ages … the worse than heathenish barbarities committed by them on their peaceable British neighbours in that bloody and detestable massacre and rebellion of ‘Forty One, which will make the nation stink as long as there’s one bag or bog-trotter left in it.’ The play is set in the early stages of the Williamite War, but looks back at 1641.

The Royal Flight (Bartholomew Fair, 1690), a companion piece of the above, attacking the morals of James II and the Irish priests. The unknown author has produced a work, unkind, biassed, indecent in parts, but amusing, trenchant in speech, full of life and movement, and with unexepcted and quaint turns of phrase and simile that make the reader forgive its inherent crudeness. [84] epilogue: ‘Tis strange what nature made these Irish for./They’re neither good in peace, nor fit for war;/The highest office they are fit for most,/Is to be Trotters in the Penny Post/ … to Rome, if we could them convey/We gladly would the charge of carriage pay.’

John Michelburne’s Ireland Preserved or The Troubles of the Nort, being a preparation to the Siege of Derry: a tragi-comedy; the second part being The Siege of Derry. 2nd ed., 1708, has portrait of Michelbourne (Vera Effigies Iohannes Michelburn Armigeri Gubernatoris Derriensis, ad 1689); first ed. of both parts dated 1705; probably written in the Fleet; a ded. makes the first reference to ‘the Virgin City’. The first part is scarce, but the second part popularised in Ulster. Remodelled by Rev John Graham of Magilligan in 1841, removing all the vigour of the original. Michelburn became third military governor after ousting of Lundy and the death of Baker; settled in London after the Siege, with occasional visits to London. Never intended to be staged. Michelburne’s own country, as he hints in the preface of his play, had forgotten him within a few years, and from his quiet home near the city which he had helped to defend he could look with a tolerant eye on those who differed from him in faith, but possessed the simple virtues of the soldier in arms. [PARA] He died in 1722 and left a legacy to ring the bells of the Cathedral on the anniversary of the raising of the siege. [102]

The Conspiracy or the Wicklow Mountains (MB Add. MS 25930), by R. Pike, Member of the Philomathic Soc., Exeter, written in 1798, deals with the Rebellion and the theme of the futility of armed force. Chars. are Lord Lieutenant Cambden, and Lord Chancellor Fitzgibbon. Oriental cum Tuetonic atmosphere, with Osman, Julia, Frederic and Orlando (Bagenal Harvey), Griffian. The play is generally sympathetic to the rebels, although there is a decimation leaving only Orlando alive to speak the end lines: ‘... remember the sword only propagates/Calamities without being productive of good. In many appeals to reason/and calm expostulations alone seek redress.’.

Ch 4: Plays of Dublin Society

WJ Lawrence: “18th c. Dublin never showed any particular partiality for theatrical mirroring of its own life … “ [108]

Richard Head’s Hic et ubique (publ. Lon. 1663); b. N. Ireland, son of clergman killed in 1641 Rebellion; ed. Oxford; bookseller’s apprentice; wrote the play for private performance in Dublin; called ‘a man addicted to pleasures, with a strange rambling head’ (DF McCarthy, Poets of Ireland, 1846).

Chars. are the new arrivals, Hopewell, Contriver, Bankrupt, Trustall; the old arrival Peregrine; the hosteller Thrivewell and his daughter Cassandra; high-spirited Phantastic, and Col Kil-tory, ‘not sparing the very spawn of Rebellion’, and courting Cassandra; and a his servant, Patrick; The speculators regard Dublin as a Hesperides to recover their English fortunes, and there are projects in the air: Contriver: ‘the bogs lie near the mountains which will afford me earth enough to dam them up, but first I’ll lay a foundation of hurdles such as Dublin is built on to support that masse of earth … A vast quantity of unprofitable acres made arable, next a discovery it may be of gold and silver mines … and lastly the metamorphosing of a mountainous into a champain country. The King will confer on me little less than the title of Duke of Mountain, Earl of Moras, and Lord Drein-Bog.’ Head must have been familiar with Dublin’s underworld, as well as its middle-classes [113]

William Phillips, St Stephen’s Green, or The Generous Lovers, dated with reference to the Wool Bill, staged Theatre Royal in 1700, and written at the suggestion of the Earl of Inchiquin to whom it is dedicated; chars. incl. Freelove and Aemilia; Trickwell, his servant; Bellmine, Irish gent.,; Sir Francis Feignyouth; Wormwood; Vainly; Lady Volant; Timothy Tellpenny; Aemilia is neice to Sir Francis, and Marina, his daughter. The conversation between the lovers is not brilliant. Similar plays by the score in Post-Restoration drama, and Phillips’ does not rise above the merest mediocrity. Yet it must reflect Dublin of the day, a somewhat shallow, gossiping, philandering world indeed. [116] Trickwell: ‘I have known many of them when they came first to London think there is no way so ready to purchase the title of a wit as to ridicule their own country.’

Charles Shadwell, The Hasty Wedding, or the Intrigueing Squire, set in Dublin; chars. Sir Ambrose Wealthy, hisdg. Aurelia; Sir John Dareall, in reality a sharper, Jack Ombre, who sues for her hand, in competition with the ludicrous Squire Daudle (of the title), a masterpiece of blundering character.

The Sham Prince, or News from Passau, written in 5 days to celebrate a famous hoax in Dublin; Sir William Cheatley, title char.; Araminta, and Trueman; Welldone, who rumbles Cheatley early, and contrives to fool him with an offer of marriage from ‘the Princess of Passau’; the tradesmen accomodate Cheatley and his father royal; the culprits make their escape to London; other chars. are Sir Bullet Airy, a fat man, who marries Miss Molly; Lady Homebred, Molly’s mother; Araminta, a well-balanced and witty young lady, who believes a little freedom good for her sex (‘My der Aunt, my cousins shall not be cooped up after your manner’); she is an example of ‘fine,. gay, sprightly Irishwomen’, and a type of debutante.

The Plotting Lovers, or the Dismal Squire, from Moliere’s Monsieur de Pourceaugnac; reduced to one act, close adaptation; in it, a patient is examined by two physicians who have been told he is a lunatic, a plot element repeated by Thomas Sheridan in Captain O’Blunder.

Irish Hospitality or Virtue Rewarded; Sir Patrick Worthy, a Fingallian land owner; his retainer Morose; his loutishbrother, Squire Clumsey; his sister, LadyPeevish; Goodlove, a friend; a sspendthrift son, Charles Worthy (who takes advantage of a tenant, Winifred Dermott, but marries her at his father’s insistence); his daughters Myra and Penelope, with the former of whom Goodlove is in love; contrasted with Sir Wou’d-be-Generous, a new arrival in county circles; and Sir Jowler, a sporting baronet.

Charles Coffey, The Beggar’s Wedding, printed Dublin 1729; after Gay’s Beggar’s Opera (1728); a new opera, ‘to entertain or amuse the Town with something of Irish birth, ded. facetiously to the Provost, Fellows, and rest of the learned society of TCD. Satire of Corporation of Dublin; Alderman Quorum, JP, ‘a thorough-paced rogue; no local colour, and the beggar-fraternity, Grig, Cant, Gage Mump and Scrip, or their doxies, Strumer, Mopsey, Blouze, Drab, manchet, and Tib Tatter, are purely English. For plot, Hunter, the son of the King of the Beggars (Chaunter), falls in love and elopes with Phoebe, the dg. of the Alderman, who turns out to be as low-born as him, so the wedding goes on.

A MS play, Peg Plunket or the Dublin Courtezans (MS 25992) was presented the BM by Coventry Patmore. Written about 1730; immoral.

Anon., The Conspirators, printed Carrickfergus, reprinted Lon. 1749, as it was acted in Ireland and England without applause; ‘tragi-comic opera’; set in Dublin; the play leaves the reader with an impression of the bizarre and repellant as forcibly as a sculpture by Epstein’ [135] ?!

Charles Macklin, The True-Born Irishman or the Fine Irish Lady (1762); held the stage for many years; and ed. was prined by William Spotswood in Philadelphia in 1784, reflecting the many political touches in it; two acts; set in Dublin; the story of a woman new-coming to Dublin society, who affects to despise everything Irish; her husband, Murrough O’Dogherty, a plain downright Irishman; ‘the Irish fine lady’s delirium’ afflicts his wife on returning from London: ‘she has brought over a new language with her … a new kind of London English that’s no more like our irish English, than a coxcomb’s fine gilded chariot is like a Glassmonogue noddy.’ His wife calls herself Mrs. Diggerty. There is much berating of the ‘patriot-mad’ in Parliament, while O’Dogherty has left his seat there convinced that there is more met in someone who makes employment, or makes an ear of wheat grow where none grew before, than in ‘all the courtiers and politicians and prodigals that are unhanged.’

PLOT: Mrs. Diggerty’s hanger on is Oxford educated pawnbroker’s son, soi-disant Count Mushroom, who becomes agent to her lover, Lord Oldcastle. There is some lease-business between O’Dogherty and Oldcastle, and Mushroom attempts to persuade Mrs.Diggerty on the basis of his interest in it that she will permit him to become ‘the occasional lord of her ladyship’s matrimonial manner.’ His letter is shown to O’Dogherty,m and when disguised as a woman he comes to the house for his assignation, he is exposed to the whole social circle.

Mushroom was seen in Dublin as a daring caricature of Single-Speech Hamilton, the viceroy’s secretary, who had anti-Irish outlook. Theback-biting social crowd are represented by Lady Kinnegad,Lady Bab Frightful, Mrs. Gazette, and Major Gamble; the vocabulary runs to bun tun, Jenny-see-quee, and Ó Moundew. The play succeeded in Dublin, where it was rightly viewed as an exposé of Dublin snobbery; it was a failure in London.

David Garrick, The Irish Widow, continued a favorite with Dublin public well into the 19thc. The widow, Martha Brady, and daughter of Sir Patrick O’Neale, is in love with young Whittle; but her father wishes her to remarry to his uncle; young Whittle and she plot to have her appear in full flight of improvidence and Irish brogue, frightening old Whittle off.

Ch. V: Plays of O’Keeffe

Few of his plays had any vogue in Dublin; catered to English and—increasingly—American audience tired of false sentimentality. Hazlitt called him the English Moliere, but his fast moving farces seem deplorably flat; yet ‘he cannot be neglected … indeed his Irish plays and Irish characters explain clearly the nemesis which overtook the Irishman on the nineteenth century stage.’ [143]

His Opera, The Shamrock, with “its Irish characters and customs, pipers and fairies, football players and gay hurlers”, and replete with Carolan’s airs, is missing. His Irish plays are: The Poor Soldier (1782); The Prisoner at Large (1788); The Wicklow Mines or lad of the Hills (1795); and Love in a Camp, or Patrick in Prussia, the sequel to The Poor Soldier, though set abroad (1785).

The Poor Soldier: set at Carton, with the Duke of Leinster’s house as backdrop; an Irish soldier returns from the West Indies to find his fiancée Norah being wooed by Capt. Fitzroy; all ends happily when turns out the soldier saved the Captain in Carolina (US), and a captaincy is bestowed on him to save him from the anger of the priest who agreed to the other’s marriage; as a subplot, Darby is wooing Kathlane, effectually and practically, in comparison with Dermot’s soppy sentimentalism.

In the sequel, Patrick in Prussia is serving Marshall Fehrbellin in Prussia while Norah is in the keeping of Fr. Luke in Berlin; Darby, having beenjilted by Kathlane, has sold his farm and gone wandering, and ends up on the point of being flogged when Patrick rescues him; a love intrigue between the Capt. and Flora ensues, and when Norah arrives on the scene is unravelled; Darby evasions fuel the complications of the plot, which includes Flora’s flirtation in cross-dress disguise with Norah. The priest, not entirely a toper, extracts a bottle of Drogheda whisky from an unwilling donor.

The Prisoner at Large; Lord Esmond has fallen into the hands of a gang of crooks through gambling in Paris; discovering that Count Fripon has gone to his Killarney estate to collect his rents, he secretly returns with Trap, his custodian, and makes himself known to Jack Connor, the young farmer who has persuaded the tenants not to pay, and also to Miss Adelaide, to whom he was married ten years before. According to his Recollections (1826), the plot is based on facts encountered by O’Keeffe when in the year 1768 an innkeeper in Antrim pointed out to him a Frenchman trying to collect rent in the manner of Count Fripon.

The Wicklow Gold Mines, a comic opera with a thin plot, set in Arklow, and interesting as an attempt to describe Irish country life. The central char. is Felix, ‘lad of the hills’, a devil may care suspected of robbing the coach; other characters are Rosa, the shop-keeping cottager, Billy, her suitor; Sulivan, the Schoolmaster, post-master, and part-owner of a fishing fleet; the Squire who drives down from Merrion Square; his bailiff, Redmond O’Hanlon, who pursues Billy and Felix in their capacities as poachers. Redmond himself sings, ‘In Antrim I was a Heart of Steel, in Clonmel I was a White Boy.’ contemporary Dublin life: ‘The elegant delights of Dublin—plays, ridottos, public breakfasts, Castle balls, Circular Road canters, New Garden concerts, and Blackrock casinos.’

The Lie of the Day (1788), set at Hampton Court, has chiefly Irish characters, Edward O’Donovan, TCD sizar, and Larry Kavanagh, being changelings, the former being the true sone of Sir Carroll O’Donovan. The term ‘bog-trotter’ is used [152].

Part 2, Chp. 7: Irish Stage Characters

This chapter gives a history of Irish emigrations to London. It includes passing references to plays in which Irish characters appear, and other writings indicating the growth of Irish stereotypes.

The Jubilee in Honour of Shakespeare as performed at the theatre in Waterford (Esther Crawley & Son, Euclid’s Head, in Peter St., Waterford, 1773), probably by David Garrick, as including tableau by him for the Stratford Shakespeare festival of 1769.

Ch. 8: The Irish Actor

The fact that a considerable percentage of actors and actresses on the English stage were Irish by birth undoubtedly contributed to the mumber of Irish characters to be found in the plays of these centuries … They have been accused of playing to the gallery, overstressing the characteristics, presenting a travesty of the real article … Surely the theory of a conspiracy between Irish actor and Irish playwright is farcical?

Leading roles were Major O’Flaherty, in Cumberland’s West Indian; Teague, in The Committee; the Irishman in The Registry Office; Sir Callaghan O’Brallaghan in Love a la Mode (Macklin), and Sir Patrick O’Neale in The Irish Widow; Teague in The Twin Rivals; the Irish priest, in The Beaux’ Stratagem;

Epilogue to Farquhar’s Love and a Bottle: ‘As travel does the men of mode refine/So our stage heroes did their tour design/To mend their manners and coarse English feeding/They went to Ireland to improve their breeding.’

Peg Woffington: her name is something to conjure with—a wild vreature, erring, wayward, lovable, mesmeric on and off the stage, with a beauty and spirit in her acting that left the playhouse delirious with wonder and delight. And ftn.: Percy Fitzgerald in his Life of Mrs. Clive (1888) fails to confirm the statement made by others that she wrote a play called The Faithful Irishwoman.

Churchill’s Rosciad has lines commending Ireland in general, and John Moody in particular:

Moody we praise with all the warmth we can

When he depicts the Irish gentleman:

Long from a nation ever hardly used,

At random censured, wantonly abused,

have Britons drawn their sport with partial view,

Formed general notions from the rascal few,

Condemned a people as for vices known,

Which from their country banished seek our own.

At length, however, the slavish chain is broke,

and sense awakened scorns her ancient yoke,

Taught by thee, Moody, we now learn to raise,

Mirth from their foibles, from their virtues praise. [176]

Of Owenson, Duggan only says, he spoke Gaelic and sang Irish songs with great effect in those plays where Irish airs were introduced.

Robert Hitchcock, An Historical View of the Irish Stage &c. (vol i 1788; vol ii 1794).

Shakesperean plays and all the stock pieces from London were billed, but local talent was not neglected, and Irish drama produced which never went across the Irish Sea. “The Dublin stage was mildly creative,” says WJ Lawrence. [179]

Duggan quotes: ‘Faith Garrick,you were once in Dublin city,/In sweet Smock alley you have cut a figure;/Oh you’d be great were you a little bigger”, says Mrs Abindon in a epilogue to the farce The Sultan delivered at Crow St. Theatre in 1778. [179] (And note that the lines were adapted from a prologue to Griffith’s Variety, infra.

Rhymed attacks on contemporary Irish theatre were published, an Aesopiad (1793), and Familiar Epistles (1793) by Croker. Croker [181] wrote his Epistle in tetrameter, here reproduced: e.g., ‘But can we not ourselves produce/These novelties for Irish use/That we to foreign lands must roam/For goods we used to make at home/Where is the soul of drama fled?/Is genius paralysed or dead?/That artless Southerne’s native shore/Produces tragic bards no more/Shall Farquhar’s, Congreve’s native isle/No more with wit peculiar smile?/And can no kindred soul from death/Catch Sheridan’s expiring breath?’ [181]

Ch. 9: Sham Irishmen

Duggan discusses a category of plays in which Englishmen masquerade as Irishmen. These include Thomas Dekker’s Old Fortunatus, a Welsh play, The Welsh Embassador (c.1620), of which the original was found in a Welsh library; and Antonio, the title character, Antonio, in Beaumont and Fletcher’s The Coxcomb. And note that the servant describes Antonia, in disguise, to Maria, as a ‘Kilkenny Ring’ [cf. fainne]. [187]. There is a sham Irishwoman in Jonson’s The New Inn or the Light Heart. This case is especially interesting since the ‘poor beggarwoman’ recites an Irish lineage and speaks authentic Gaelic: Er grae, Chreest, Tower een cuppaw d’usquebagh doone.’ Duggan conjectures that Jonson had an Irish nurse.

Ch. 10: Soldier and Gent. of Fortune

MacMorris, the only Irishman in Shakespeare: ‘Of my nation! What ish my nation? Ish a villanand a bastard, and a knave and a rascal. What ish my nation? Who talks of my nation? I do not know you so good a man as myself.’ (Henry V, Pt. II). There is an Irish soldier and love-intrigue turned husband-murderer called Browne, from Dublin at the centre of A Warning for Faire Women (1599). There is an immoral Irishman, Capt. Val Whit, in Jonson’s Bartholomew Fair.

Thomas Sheridan, Captain O’Blunder or the Brave Irishman (1738); freq. reprinted and a favourite in Dublin, it also became the legend on inn-signs. It is a one-act play, the plot ultimately from Moliere’s Monsieur de Porceaugnac, but reflected also in Shadwell’s The Plotting Lovers. Lucy, daughter of Tradewell, is being wooed by Cheatwell, but also by Capt. O’Blunder, arriving from Dublin with his manservant Sergeant Terence; the Capt. is lured into a madhouse, thinking it a private residence, by Cheatwell, and examined by two doctors, on whom he turns the tables; when Tradewell tests Cheatwell and an Frenchman, Monsieur Ragout, with the pretence that he is bankrupt, the Capt. carries off Lucy. [197]. Capt. O’Blunder is a good natured giant, full of patriotism for his native place, Ballymacushlane, near Ballyshans Duff [Ballyjamesduff Co.Monaghan], and malapropisms [of his sergeant]: “He’s the best recruiting officer in all Ireland; he understands riding as well as no man alive and he was manured to it from his cradle … he has long lain under the computation of being a Papist.” Lucy’s epilogue: ‘For now I find they made me but a child/To tell me that the Irish were all wild./My captain is as gentle as a dove/As innocent and quite as full of love./Ye British fair if ye would wed the truth/You’ll only find it in the Irish youth:/The Irish to our hearts have found a way/I ne’er believed it till I saw—the Key.”

Charles Macklin, Love a la Mode (1760), in which three suitors of Charlotte, dg. of Sir theodore Goodchild—Mordecai, Squire Groom, and Sir Archy MacSarcasm—combine to keep the Irishman Sir Callaghan O’Brallaghan out. The plays ends with the same device as Sheridan’s wehn a flase report of Goodchild’s lost fortune drives the suitors off. A rough soldier, he deals smartly with the Scot: “The Scots are all Irishmen’s bastards.”; “My ancestor Terence Flaherty O’Brallaghan went over from Carrickfergus and people all Scotland with his own hands.” The play held Dublin audiences for more than a generation, and has an allusion in Thackeray’s The Virginians, where George Esmond, writing to a brother in America of an Irish actor, Geoghegan, refusing to act Sir Callaghan, who says “he does not keer to disgrave his tongue with the imiteeshion of that rascal brogue.”

The Rivals: of Sir Lucius O’Trigger, Duggan says: ‘robust farce under the defter touch of the son of the older Sheridan has become witty comedy.’ [201] Sir Lucius was regarded by London-Irishmen as a travesty of national characteristics. RB Sheridan, in his preface to his published play, defended Sir Lucius against the charge of being a travesty: “If the condemnation of this comedy could have added one spark to the decaying flame of national atachment to the country supposed to be reflected on, I should have been happy in its fate, and might with truth have boasted that it had done more real service in its failure than the successful morality of a thousand stage-novels will ever effect.” [Duggan, 201, 291]. The conversation between Bob Acres and him in the duelling scene nearly caused a riot in the theatre. Said to have been drawn from one William Barnett, a friend of Capt. Matthews with whom Sheridan fought his two duels over Elizabeth Linley.

Sheridan derived hints for the play from his mother’s A Trip to Bath (see R. Crompton Rhodes, in Harlequin Sheridan; n.d. given), Sir Lucius’s remark about the family pictures (”Though the mansionhouse and dirty acres have slipped through my fingers, I thank heaven our honour and the family pictures are as fresh as ever”) drawn from a less sprightly remark by Sir Jonathan Bull in her play.

St. Patrick’s Day or the Scheming Lieutenant, theatrical benefit for Lawrence Clinch, who performed Sir Lucius; central char., Lieut. O’Connor, prev. of the Royal Inniskillins; in a short recruiting scene was rediscovered by RC Rhodes, an Irish potential recruit evades the faked blarney of the sargeant; for plot, O’Connor is trying to win Lauretta, dg. of Justice Credulous, becoming first his servant, and then disguising as a quack doctor when the Justice thinks himself in danger of death from poison, and is rewarded with her hand.

Duggan remarks: ‘for the last quarter of the eighteenth century, the dramatist who takes the Irish soldier as one of his characters holds card which is certain of success, and cites Cumberland’s Major O’Flaherty

Richard Cumberland: Under Sec. to Lord Lieutenant in 1761, frequent visitor to Ireland where his father, Bishop of Clonfert and Kilmore, distinguished himself by his care for his Irish tenants. Major [Denis] O’Flaherty, a sentimental creation, appears in The West Indian, and later in The Natural Son, and is said to be based on a Col. O’Brien. The Major, as a Catholic, can get no commission in the British army and serves in the Irish Brigade instead, most recently in Poland (”such another set of madcaps, by the lord Harry, I never knew what they were scuffling about.”); he plays the part of the thwarted lovers’ friend. In The Natural Son, he is in the service of Austria; he brings news of the death to Sir Jeffrey Latimer of the dead of his cousin Mrs Frances Latimer and the fact that Blushenly, brought up by Sir Jeffrey, is her natural son and heir: “.. a saint upon earth though she made a small slip in her youth, and bore you over the left shoulder, as the saying is; a frolic, nothing more.’ [Note that this is the obverse declaration of the news brought by O’Halloran of the birthright of Miss Nugent, in The Absentee.] Rewarded by his kindness, O’Flaherty contemplates returning to Ireland “where with a rood of potatoes in my front, and an acre of bog at my back I can sit chirping like an old cricket in my chimney corner.”

Other 18th c. plays with Irish soldiers are the younger George Colman’s The Moutaineers, which includes a Captain Killmallock (”I was toosed out of Tipperary into Spain, where I have fought these seven years under Ferdinand”); also Thomas Morton’s Zorinski (1795), with the light-hearted Capt. O’Curragh, a squire of distressed damsels; also in plays by James Cobb, viz, Ramah Droog, an Anglo-Indian com. op., (c.1798), in which Sarg. Liffey appears, ‘somewhere in India’, and the Wife of Two Husbands, trans. from Rene Charles Guilbert de Pinerecourt (with a trans. also by Miss Gunning), in which appears the Irish Sarg. Armagh, faithful, blundering, a lover and a lover of whiskey. It contains a pro-Union sentiment: “Gt. Britain and Ireland are as pretty a pair of islands as ever providence coupled them together in the salt seas: and may providence which coupled them never permit them to be disunited.” There is also a Irish soldier,O’Rourke O’Donnell, Gov. of The Castle of Sorrento (1799), in Henry Heartwell’s musical entertainment.

Ch. 11: Irish Sailors

Captain O’Cutter, in George Colman the Elder’s Jealous Wife, an insensitive well-intentioned blunderer, and an Irish cut-throat (”never fails,fait, when a throat is to be cut”): “when I was last in Dublin I fought with one jontleman for cheating me out of a thousand pounds. I fought ten of the Mermaid’s crew about Sally macguire, three about politics, and one about the playhouse in Smock Alley. But upon my fait, since I am in England, I have done nothing at all, at all.” O’Cutter is charged with delivering letters contriving the destruction of the lovers enemies, but delivers them into the wrong hands being illiterate.

Isaac jackman, The Milesian (1777), and com. op., written in a rather serious vein; Irish attorney and journalist; b. Dblin 1732; short time as ed. of Morning Post; Captain Cornelius O’Gallagher is The Milesian. For plot: Captain O’Gallagher visits the home of his brave lieutenant George Belfield; he is a blustering Irishman, with a heart of gold; on finding that the other son, Valentine, has run off with a school-girl whom he is supposed to be keeping as his mistress, he follows him to a tavern where he overhears him discussing the amours of the Gods (”I know nothing of Mr Jove … but if he laughs at the ruin of innocence, he’s a dirty fellow”), and finds that the girl is in fact his own daughter, Caroline O’Gallagher. Valentine establishes that he has not touched her, and the lovers marry.

John O’Keeffe, The World in a Village (1793); Capt. Mullinahack, serving with the French navy, is captured and sheltered in England by the widowed mother of a youth he has saved from drowning, and finds his own daughter playing lady bountiful to the poor of the neighbourhood; the comedy develops from the Moliere-theme of the mistaken examination, and from various bulls and blunders.

In an anonymous piece, The Raft (1798), with Charles Johnstone as O’Bowling, an Irish navyman appears: “I’m an Irishman born and as pretty a youth/As ever bawl’d whack or the sweet Gramachree/In a drop of the creature I always find truth/And a drop of the creature’s the true drop for me.”

Ch. 12: The Quality

Four Irish burghers are lampooned in John Ford’s Perkin Warbeck (1634); they are ex-tradesmen from Ireland, who speak in a demodé style of Euphues: Heron, a bankrupt mercer; John-a-Wat, a former mayor of Cork; Skelton, a tailor; Astley, a scrivener.

George Farquhar, Love and A Bottle, his first play, contains Roebuck, “an Irish gentleman of a wild roving temper, newly come to London”. Roebuck eventually marries Leanthe, the sister of his friend Lovewell, who owns an estate in Ireland, when she employs and immoral ruse to win him. Roebuck wittily defends Ireland in railing conversation with Lucinda, who later marries Lovewell. Trudge, another character, is in London having fled a forced match in Ireland, paying off the would-be bride with #500 from his father; and the play ends with a masque or “Irish entertainment of three men and three women dressed after the Fingallian fashion.”

Arthur Murphy’s farce, The Apprentice, (1756), set among a group of theatrical enthusiasts at the Spouting Club, “a meeting of ‘prentices and clerks and giddy young men intoxicated with plays, and so they meet in publichouses to act speeches”, contains an Irishman who opens his declamation of a soliloquy from Othello with “Arrah, my dear … “, and is quoted back by Dick the apprentice with a speech from The Beaux Stratagem: “Arrah, my dear cousin MacShane, won’ you put a rememberance upon me?”.

Samuel Foote’s The Orators (1772) is along the same lines, and contains skits on two plays, Cock-Lane Ghost, and The Robin-Hood. In the later scenes, he introduces a number of Irishmen, the first being a wtiness, Peter Paragraph, journalist, “a native of Ireland, and born and bred in the city of Dublin”, arrived with the confessed purpose of marrying a London bookseller’s daughter, who falls out with his prospective father in law over their rival exploitation of the news value of Fanny the Phantom, the central figure in the Cock-Lane Ghost, which is skitted in the first part of the play. [And note that Peter Paragraph is a caricature of George Faulkner]. Stage-irishmen in the upper boxes of the play-within-the-play interrupt to rail against “that hopping fellow there, that Dublin journal man, Pra-paragraf by my shoul, that is none of his name.” Sending his men to shout it down in the theatre, Faulkner was humiliated since they were struck silent by Foote’s character which they mistook for their master.

Samuel Foot’s The Bankrupt (1776) also contains an Irish journalist, Phelim O’Flam, who collects obituary details of the latest social casualities. In Dr. Last in his Chariot, produced in collaboration with Bickerstaff[e], there is a Dr. Bulgruddery, while in The Devil Upon Two Sticks, there are Doctors Sligo and Osasafras. of these, the one says to the other: ‘Osasafras—that’s a name of no note; he is not a Milesian, I am sure. The family, I suppose, came over the other day with Strongbow, not above 700 or 800 years ago, or perhaps a descendent from one of Oliver’s drummers.’

Hugh Kelly The School for Wives (1774), has Connolly the law clerk. for plot, Belville, a philanderer, has run off with Miss Leeson, promising her a part in the Irish theatre of which he claims to be manager; her relations are involved in tangled love-intrigues; the financially embarrassed attorney Leeson is in love with Miss Moreland, who is really Belville’s sister; Connolly is the attorney’s clerk. Connolly is given the speeches agaist duelling which stand at the heart of the play, with its condemnation of that sentimentally-inspired but murderous practice: “An ounce of common sense is worth a whole ship-load of it [honour], if we must prefer a bullet or a halter to a fine lady and a great fortune.” His detestation of duelling dates from the time when he was second t his brother in the Fifteen Acres of the Phoenix Park. Duggan reads the play as testimony to the stride made by French humanitarian principles in the late 18th c.

Richard Griffith’s Variety (1782) contains an Irish gentle-woman, Lady Fallal, brought up in Mayo, wife of elderly baronet, Sir Frederick, who married her for her fortune; she is “a sprightly young woman with a very good fortune but a little too bustling to be elegant”. Under tuition at her husband’s request to correct her brogue by French singing lessons, she says: “Iwould not part with anything I broughtfrom my own dear country upon any account whatever, and I’d have you to know tht I think my broague, as you call it, the prettiest feather in my cap, because it tells everybody without their asking it that I am an Irish woman, and I assure you that I am prouder of that title than I am of being called my Lady Fallal … I don’t believe there’s a Fallal to be found in all Ireland except myself and I’m out of it.” [229] The prologue of this play was echoed in the epilogue of The Sultan (see supra).

William Macready, The Irishman in London or the Happy African (1793), ded. to Thomas Harris of Covent Garden, in a note dated 3 Mary St., Dublin, though the play did not appear on the Irish stage. It is an example of the Irishman expressly tailored to debased English taste. William Patrick O’Brien Colloony, squireen of Ballinarobe, in London, affects to hide his Irish identity; accepted as husband for Caroline by her father, Frost; but she is successfully wooed by Captain Seymour, while Colloony settles for her friend Louisa, and Murtoch, his man, marries an African brought over by the Captain; he humour is raised by the Irishman’s response to England,as a naive foreigner. After a promising start, in which he disparages the lack of impressive manufacture between Holyhead and London, the Irish element in the play deteriorates into a concoction of whiskey, bulls, and sentimental songs. [230-31]

Ch. 13: Irish Priests

Catholicus, in Shadwell’s Rotherick O’Connor; Maurice Gibbon Fitzgibbon, in George Peel’s play about Thomas Stuckeley, The Battle of Alcazar (1594). Priests in The Royal Flight and The Conspirators are unpleasant.

John O’Keeffe alone in the 18th-19th c. presents likeable priests in his Poor Soldier, Patrick in Prussia, and The Prisoner at Large, writing when placating Catholics was a tenet of the day.

Thomas Shadwell’s two part play, The Lancashire Witches or Teague O’Divelly, the Irish Priest (1681), and The Amorous Bigotte, with the second part of Teague O’Divelly (1690). Context: in 1678, Sir Edmonsbury Godfrey, the London Justice who had taken the depositions of Titus Oates, was murdered; in the following year, the Crown brought the case that Fr. Gerald and Fr. Kelly, who has escaped to France, were involved, and Shadwell presented the latter under the guise of Teague O’Divelly.

In the first part, Teague is explicitly identified with Kelly, but his relation to the main plot—in which two girls affiancéed to booby squires fortunately marry Yorkshire gentlemen—is skimpy. He is engaged in exorcising Sir Edward Hartford, who is under the delusion that he is bewitched. His character is hypocritical, superstitious, and licentious. Warned in an epilogue that he will ‘offend a part of the Nation’, Shadwell defends himself: “They that are angry must be very beasts/For all religious laugh at foolish priests.”

In the second part, Teague is in Madrid, confessor to Belliza, an amorous bigotte, whose daugter Elvira and niece Rosania he dupes with his hypocrisy; at the close he performs a marriage service, pronouncing the words ‘without the intention [so that] it is no marrige and all dere posterity will be after being bashtards as all de Schoolmen say.” He is a repugnant character.

Ch. 14: The Irish Serving Man

The richest gallery of Irish characters in dramatic literature is composed of the serving men, the teagues, to give them their early generic title.

Sir John Oldcastle (1600), by Drayton, Munday, Hathway, and Wilson, in which the son of Sir John Lee, come from the Irish wars, has an Irish servant. He is faithful to his master alive, put kills him for the credit when he is wounded and dying.

The Honest Whore (1604) by Dekker contains an Irish footman, Bryan, in the service of the Count of Milan. He is falsely accused of acting as a go-between and thrown out by his mistress, speaking Irish laments: “Slawne loot; ah morragh frofat boddah breen”; and, “I will go steal cows again in Ireland”.

Ben Jonson wrote a nuptual masque in Hiberno-English—or brogue—presented at Court, 29 Dec. 1613, with four Irish footmen as main characters (Denis, Donnell, Dermock, and Patrick), representing the four provinces, uttering their loyalty to James amid dialect banter relating to their jobs as costermongers; of the dozen Irish gentlemen come from Ireland for the wedding of the daughter of the Earl of Suffolk and the divorced wife of Essex, then being celebrated, it is said: “theywere like to dance naked [without cloaks] and please his majesty, for de villanous vild Irish sheas have casht away all de fine cloysh … Dey must e’en come and dance in their mantles now, and show tee how teye can foot te fading and te fadow and te Phip o’Dunboyne, I trow.” A bard singing to the accompaniment of two harps completes the play. It spite of a condescending tone, it testifies that the Irish were considered a separate culture with its own merits, and that the Court was anxious to placate the Irish nobles.

Thomas Heywood’s The Four Prentices of London (1615), notoriously burlesqued in Beaumont and Fletcher’s Knight of the Burning Pestle, contains an Irishman picked up by one of the prentices when shipwrecked in Ireland, and brought with him to Jerusalem as his loyal retainer—”a gentleman and his water-spaniel”. [249]

James Shirley’s Hyde Park (1632), written to celebrate to opening of the park to the public, stages a race between an English and an Irish footman (Lacy).

Sir Richard Howard, The Committee or the Faithful Irishman, a satire on Roundheads and Dissenters. Teague’s master has been killed and he takes shelter with another cavelier, Colonel Careless, disdaining to admit a trade. “An Irishman scorns a trade, his blood is too thick for a trade. I will run for thee forty miles, but I scorn to have a trade.” When the Colonel is pressured to take the covenant by the local Presbyterian Committee, Teague rescues him by “taking the covenant” in good earnest—i.e., stealing it from the book-seller who has charge of it. Teague now corrupts Obadiah, Committee Chairman, by teaching him to drink and sing Irish songs.

Howard served in Ireland during the Civil War. The play was popular in England after the Restoration, and was seen by Evelyn and Pepys, who praised Lacy who “acted the Irish footman to admiration.” The character is said to be based on a servant of Howard’s whom he sent to England to find his son, taken prisoner by the Parliamentarians. There was a 19th c. adaptation called The Honest Thieves, made by Thomas Knight, and compiled in 1806.

Farquhar, The Twin Rivals (1720), in which the younger son Would-be plots to dispossess his elder Hermes-Would-be from his inheritance and from the hand of Constance, while in a subplot the elder’s friend Capt. Trueman rescues Constance’s cousin Aurelia from the rakish Richmore. Teague is the servant of the elder twin, and it is he who foils and unravels the plot. On London: “Fet, dear joy, ‘tis the bravest place I have sheen in my peregrinations exshepting my nown brave shity of Carrickvergus.” His philosophy”: “Eating, dear joy, fen I can get it, and sleeping fen I can get none; ‘tish the fashion in Ireland.”; “Hanged, dat is nothing, dear joy—we are us’d to’t”; “By my shoul, dear joy, I am ever out of my ways: for poor Teague has been a wanderer ever since he was born.” Farquhar’s treatment of Teague shows a respect for his humanity as a stranger in a strange land.

Duggan remarks that the degradation of this character into the sentimental version purveyed as Tirlah O’Flaherty in Henry Brooke’s The Contending Twins, a close adaptation, shows the fate of the Irish servant in the stagnating English theatre.

ADD: One recalls how, in Farquhar’s The Twin Rivals, the attorney is prepared to bring over a whole cargo-load of witnesses from Ireland if the wind is blowing from the proper quarter [p.264, infra].

Susannah Centlivre’s one act farce, A Cure for Cuckoldom, or a Wife Well-managed (published 1715), has its Teague as go-between from the wife of Don Pisato and her Confessor with whom she is infatuated.

In Elizabeth Griffith’s The Platonic Wife (published 1765), an Irish servant, Patrick, shows moral fibre in preventing an abduction. The plays ends with his being rewarded: “patrick will carry it into his own country and that itself would be a help to poor Ireland, for everyone has a pluck at it and would be glad to take all they can get from it, and nobody never gives it nothing at all.” The epilogue is topical, in the period when the tax on Irish butter in England had just been lifted: “Now to abolish all monopoly,/and furnish out a choice and full supply/Take advantage of a late decree/Make ‘t legal to import a quantity/Of Irish wit—like butter—duty free.” Neither of her two other plays have Irish characters.

Frederick Reynolds, in Notoreity (CG 1792), has an Irish valet, Denis Blunder O’Whack.

William Macready’s Bank-Note or Lessons for Ladies gives Sir Charles Leslie an Irish servant called Killeavy who has worked for an actor and has Shakespearean quotations for every circumstance.

Wally Chamberlain Oulton, Botheration or a Ten Years’s Blunder, concerns a mistake made by Jack Hopeful, answering a ten year-old matrimonial advertisement, who hears a conversation about a dog, Flora (”fine hair, etc.”) and thinks it Lady Apes being described. Her servant Thady O’B[l]arney is a character of wit and aptitude and not much brogue. The play, which appeared in 1798, is pro-Union, the end-words being: “and Thady O’Blarney’s [sic] ambition shall be to serve faithfully and honestly those kind masters and mistresses before whomhe has now thehonour to stand. [PARA] They will, he hopes, take pleasure in their man/Whose tongue may blunder but whose heart ne’er can.”

A Prior Claim, by Henry James Pye and Samuel James Arnold contains an Irish servant soldier, O’Shatter, who carries bulls to an extreme.

Ch. XV: Other Irishmen and Irishwomen

Irishmen appear as chairmen in George Colman, Elder’s, The Occasional Prelude (TR Lon., 1772) [and note that, again, a cara is rendered as my dear]; also in Thomas Vaughan, the Hotel or the Double Valet.

In George Colman, the Elder’s, The New Brooms, a curtain-raiser written to open Drury lane Theatre under the new Sheridan management, an Irishman, and stagehand Phelim makes fun of the fad for operas and contemplates putting his own “ganius” on the stage. To obvious objections, he replies, “the brogue’s nothing at all my dear. It’s very well known that nobody speaks Engish so well as your Irishman, except the Scotch, indeed, indeed.

John Crowne’s The City Politiques (1683), an Irish Catholic bricklayer appears as witness in a lawsuit; purportedly laid in Venice, it is obviously an attack on contemporary English politics. “Hubbubaboo, ask an Irishman what religion he is of? Certainly, if I be an Irishman I am a good Catholick.”

An Irish agricultural labourer—or spalpeen—is presented in Joseph Reed’s The Register Office (1761) where one Patrick O’Carroll from Killybegs brings about the downfall of the office proprietor Gulwell. Gulwell’s scheme is to ship him off the the West Indies on pretence of a job in the west of England. O’Carroll dunks him in the horse-pond. A similar plot is found in Foote’s The Cozeners (1778), where the export is to the Falkland Islands.

An Irish scene-painter, O’Daub, occurs in Burgoyne’s The Maids of the Oaks (1744), “based on a Fete Champetre given by a Noble Lord” and “a species of entertainment new to this country; elegant in its principle and innocent if not beneficial in its tendency”, and regarded as utterly feeble by Duggan. O’Daub boasts: “I painted a whole set for the Swish who carries the temple of Jeruslaem about upon his back and it made his fortune. If you had seen the sign of a setting sun that I painted for a linen draper in Bread Street in Dublin, devil burn me but the auroree of O’Guide [Guido] was a fool to it.”

Sheridan acknowledges that he borrowed Johnny Burgoyne’s O’Daub for his own play, The Camp, a satire on London society’s lionizing of Coxheath Camp opened on threat of French invasion in 1778.

Netley Abbey (Dublin 1799), op. farce by William Pearce, contains a stage Irishman, Phenegan M’Scrape, barber and fiddler, who is snide about the pretension of the adulator of the picturesque and the antique who evicts tenants to improve the view: “It must cost your worship a great deal to keep those ruins in a continued state of decay.”

The Shipwreck (1796), by Samuel James Arnold, son of Dr. Arnold, Westminster Abbey composer of fame, contains an Irish wandering pedlar (female), who sings a song modelled on Henry Carey’s ‘Sally in Our Alley’.

Ch. 16: The Irish Fortune Hunter

”Heroes that corss the rude Hibernian Sea/In search of widow’s hearts or love of play”, from lines soliciting subscriptions for the aged Beau Nash, by an authoress of 1754.

An Irish adventurer, Shamwell, appears in The Humours of Oxford (1730) by Rev. James Millar. The equivalent part is carried by Phelim O’Blunder in Moses Mendez’s The Double Disappointment or the Fortune Hunters (1755), and an unpleasant specimen is George Colman the Elder’s The Oxonian in Town (1769), which was impeded by the rioting of London Irishmen. The Dublin ed. was dedicated to John Hely Hutchinson, Sergeant-at-Law in Ireland, with the defence: ‘”so far from intending to cast an illiberal reflection on the Irish nation, it was evidently the authors main design to vindicate the gentlemen of that country from the reproach deservedly incurred by worthless adventurers and outcasts.” The principal characters are Irish; Careless and Knowell, Oxonians, and sons of Irish landlords; Rook, Sharp, and M’Shuffle are tricksters who intrigue to get control of his patrimony, and also to match him with a lady of the town so as to elicit a pension from his father.

Colman the Younger, in Who Wants A Guinea, or the Irish Yorkeshireman, has a descendent of sir Lucius O’Trigger in Sir Larry MacMurrough of Ballygrennanclonfergus, Bart., who is comically the host of a girl employed to attend an aged gentleman; Sir Larry proves a gentleman and not a rascal.

Ch. 17: Nineteenth Century

Maria Edgeworth’s plays: Love and Law, and The Rose, Thistle and Shamrock, both of which Duggan describes as sound peasant comedy.

Duggan high-handedly remarks how easy a task it was for Lady Gregory and Edward Martyn and the Irish Lit. Theatre Soc. to swwp away the kind of Punch and Judy show which they found occupying the stage; yet … how is it that many dramatic writers find it incumbent upon them at some time to introduce an Irishman for better or worse? … ‘The Irishman it would appear must be staged through the patriots cry aloud to high heaven, and cut themselves or their neighbours with literary knives.’ [282]

Ch. 18: The Irish Brogue

The only hint of Ireland in the plays of William congreve is a reference to Gaelic script, in Love for Love: “She is harder to understand than a piece of Egyptian antiquity, or an Irish manuscript: you may pore till you spoil your eyes and not improve your knowledge.”

Francis Dobbs, The Irish Chief (prologue): “The bull, the borgue, are now so common grown/That one would almost swear they were—your own.”

Edgeworths’ Essay on Irish Bulls: “The Irish brogue is a great and shameful defect, but it does not render the English language absolutely unintelligible. There are but a few variations of the brogue such as the long and short, the thady brogue and the paddy brogue which differ much in tone but little in phraseology.”

Jonathan Swift, in his Essay “On the Barbarous Denominations of Ireland”: “.. what we call the irish brogue is no sooner discovered than it makes the deliverer in the last degree ridiculous and despised, and from such a mouth an Englishman expects nothing but bulls, blunders and follies. Neither does it avail whether the censure be reasonable or not since the fact is always so easily discernnible to any English ear.”

Ch. 19: The Stage Irishman

In the last chapter, Duggan surveys the archetypes of the archetype—that is the prejudicial view of Irishmen, and the Irish critic’s corresponding view of the stage Irish phenomenon (as exemplified by Louis Bourgeois’s book on Synge), but concludes: ‘.. on the whole, the dramatists were more honest than the pamphleteers. Though some such such examples are placed on the stage … the general impression left by the irishmen of early drama is far from unpleasant … becuase men wrote from their souls and with the touch of genius … the stage Irishman up to and beyond the Restoration period is as yet unknown. [PARA} It was the degeneration of stage writing itself that began to produce the first embyro of the Stage Irishman [with] the coming of the sentimental and humanitarian drama, followed by burlesques, farces, romantic comedies ..fetes champetres.

He takes issue with Thomas MacDonagh [Literature in Ireland], who says, “Occasionally they [Irishmen in England]introduced to their readers English-speaking Irishmen, but they were either caricatures, or were obviously only half-articulate in their new speech.” Duggan replies: A generalisation of this kind can hardly be sustained on a fair examination of the plays. [292]

Other works by the SAME AUTHOR: Northern Ireland : success or failure / Duggan, George Chester, 1887-(1969 ((1950);); Report of the Departmental Committee on Civil Service Re-grading [Chairman: Mr. G. C. Duggan, O.B.E.] / Northern Ireland. Ministry of Finance. Departmental Committee on Civil Service Re-grading. (1930); Report of the inter-departmental committee on road fund finance [Chairman: Mr. G. C. Duggan, O.B.E.] / Northern Ireland. Ministry of Finance. Inter-departmental Committee on Road Fund Finance (1930); Report of the Inter-departmental Committee on Rating Relief in Northern Ireland [Chairman: Mr. G. C. Duggan, O.B.E.] / Northern Ireland. Ministry of Finance. Inter-departmental Committee on Rating Relief in Northern Ireland. (1928); Report of the Local Authorities’Grants (Derating) Committee [Chairman: G. C. Duggan] / Northern Ireland. Ministry of Finance. Local Authorities’Grants (Derating) Committee ((1929); The stage Irishman / Duggan, George Chester, 1885-. (1937); The stage Irishman : a history of the Irish play and stage characters from the earliest times / G. C. (George Chester), 1885-1969 (1969).

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