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The Count of Narbonne A Tragedy, in Five Acts   By:

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[Illustration: COUNT OF NARBONNE THEODORE SHE HASTENED TO THE CAVE AND VANISHED FROM MY SIGHT ACT I SCENE I PAINTED BY COOK PUBLISH'D BY LONGMAN & CO. ENGRAV'D BY ENGLEHEART 1807]

THE COUNT OF NARBONNE; A TRAGEDY, IN FIVE ACTS;

By ROBERT JEPHSON, Esq.

AS PERFORMED AT THE THEATRE ROYAL, COVENT GARDEN.

PRINTED UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE MANAGERS FROM THE PROMPT BOOK.

WITH REMARKS BY Mrs. INCHBALD.

LONDON: PRINTED FOR LONGMAN, HURST, REES, AND ORME, PATERNOSTER ROW.

WILLIAM SAVAGE, PRINTER LONDON.

REMARKS.

This tragedy was brought upon the stage in 1780; it was extremely admired, and exceedingly attractive.

Neither "The Winter's Tale", nor "Henry VIII" by Shakspeare, were at that time performed at either of the theatres; and the town had no immediate comparison to draw between the conjugal incidents in "The Count of Narbonne," and those which occur in these two very superior dramas.

The Cardinal Wolsey of Shakspeare, is, by Jephson, changed into a holy and virtuous priest; but his importance is, perhaps, somewhat diminished by a discovery, which was intended to heighten the interest of his character; but which is introduced in too sudden, and romantic a manner, to produce the desired consequence upon a well judging auditor.

One of the greatest faults, by which a dramatist can disappoint and fret his auditor, is also to be met with in this play. Infinite discourse is exchanged, numberless plans formed, and variety of passions agitated, concerning a person, who is never brought upon the stage Such is the personal nonentity of Isabel, in this tragedy, and yet the fable could not proceed without her. Alphonso, so much talked of, yet never seen, is an allowable absentee, having departed to another world; and yet, whether such invisible personages be described as alive, or dead, that play is the most interesting, which makes mention of no one character, but those which are introduced to the sight of the audience.

The lover of romances, whose happy memory, unclouded by more weighty recollections, has retained a wonderful story, by the late Lord Orford, called, "The Castle of Otranto," will here, it is said, find a resemblance of plot and incidents, the acknowledged effect of close imitation.

Lord Orford, (at that time Mr. Horace Walpole,) attended some rehearsals of this tragedy, upon the very account, that himself was the founder of the fabric.

The author was of no mean reputation in the literary world, for he had already produced several successful dramas. "The Count of Narbonne" proved to be his last, and his best composition. Terror is here ably excited by descriptions of the preternatural Horror, by the portraiture of guilt; and compassion, by the view of suffering innocence. These are three passions, which, divided, might each constitute a tragedy; and all these powerful engines of the mind and heart, are here, most happily combined to produce that end, and each forms a lesson of morality.

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

AUSTIN Mr. Harley. THEODORE Mr. Bloomfield. FABIAN Mr. Thompson. OFFICERS { Mr. Powell. { Mr. Evatt. THE COUNT Mr. Farren. ADELAIDE Mrs. Merry. JAQUELINE Mrs. Platt. COUNTESS Mrs. Pope.

OFFICERS, ATTENDANTS, &c.

SCENE. Narbonne Castle, and the Monastery of St. Nicholas, adjoining to the Castle.

THE COUNT OF NARBONNE.

ACT THE FIRST.

SCENE I.

A Hall.

Enter the COUNT, speaking to an OFFICER; FABIAN following.

Count. Not to be found! is this your faithful service? How could she pass unseen? By hell, 'tis false! Thou hast betray'd me.

Offi. Noble sir! my duty

Count. Your fraud, your negligence away, reply not. Find her within this hour; else, by my life, The gates of Narbonne shall be clos'd against thee; Then make the world thy country... Continue reading book >>




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