The Lives and Characters of the English Dramatick Poets/Mrs. Mary Pix

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The Lives and Characters of the English Dramatick Poets
by Gerard Langbaine
3201667The Lives and Characters of the English Dramatick PoetsGerard Langbaine

Mrs. Mary Pix.

THis is a Lady yet living, and in this Poetick Age, when all Sexes and Degrees venture on the Sock or Buskins, she has boldly given us an Essay of her Talent in both, and not without Success, tho’ with little Profit to her self.

Ibrahim, the Thirteenth Emperor of the Turks, a Tragedy, acted at the Theatre Royal, 1696. 4 to. and dedicated to Richard Minchal, of Burton, Esq; This Play, if it want the Harmony of Numbers, and the Sublimity of Expression, has yet a Quality, that at least ballances that Defect, I mean the Passions; for the Distress of Morena never fail’d to bring Tears into the Eyes of the Audience; which few Plays, if any since Otway’s, have done; and yet, which is the true End of Tragedy. She informs us, that by mistake it was called Ibrahim the Thirteenth, when it should have been called, Ibrahim the Twelfth, the Story you may find in Sir Paul Ricaut’s Continuation of the Turkish History.

The Innocent Mistress, a Comedy, acted at the Theatre in Little Lincoln’s-Inn-Fields, by his Majesty’s Servants, 1697. 4 to. The Prologue and Epilogue writ by Mr. Motteux. This is a diverting Play, and met with good Success, tho’ acted in the hot Season of the Year, our Poetress has endeavoured to imitate the Easiness and Way of the Author of Vertue in Danger, and The Provok’d Wife. She has borrowed some Incidents from other Plays; as Mrs. Beauclair’s carrying of Mrs. Flywife from Sir Francis Wildlove, from the Vertuous Wife doing the same to her Husband’s Mistress. Then the Scene in the Park betwixt Sir Francis and her in her Mask, is a kind of Copy in young Bellair, and Harriots in Sir Fopling. Miss Peggy seems a Copy of Miss Hoyden, as Chattal is of several of the parts written of late for Mr. Dogget. But notwithstanding these Imitations, which ever have been allowed in Poets, the Play has its peculiar Merit; and as a Lady carried the Prize of Poetry in France this Year, so in Justice, they are like to do in England; tho’ indeed we use them more barbarously, and defraud them both of their Fame and Profit.

The Spanish Wives, a Farce, acted at the Theatre in Dorset-Gardens, by his Majesty’s Servants, 1696. and dedicated to the Honourable Collonel Tipping, of Whitfield. This Farce had the good Fortune to please, and it must be own’d, there are two or three pleasant Turns in it. For the Plot consult the Novel of the Pilgrim.

from The Appendix

THis Prolifick Lady has again gratified the Town with a Play, call'd

The Deceiver Deceiv'd, a Comedy, as 'tis now acted by his Majesty's Servants, at the Theatre in Little Lincoln's-Inn-Fields, 4to. 1698. and dedicated to Sir Robert Marsham, Knight and Baronet. This Play and The Impostor Cheated, are on the same Bottom, built on a little printed Story of the same Subject. I think the Scene where the Blind Man's Wife makes Love before his Face, is better manag'd in Mr. Powel's Play, than here, tho' in general, this is the better Play.

Queen Catharine; or, The Ruines of Love, a Tragedy, 4to. 1698. acted at the Theatre in Little Lincoln's-Inn-Fields; and dedicated to the Honourable Mrs. Cook of Norfolk. For the Plot consult Baker, Speed, Stow, in the Lives of Edward the Fourth, and Henry the Sixth.