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Sir Pertinax. But are you convinced of the guid effects and of the utility of booing?
Act III, Scene 1.
THE MAN OF THE WORLD:
En five Aets,
BY CHARLES MACKLIN.
PRINTED FROM THE ACTING COPY, WITH REMARKS,
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL, BY D-G.
To which are added,
A DESCRIPTION OF THE COSTUME, -CAST OF THE CHARACTERS, ENTRANCES AND EXITS, -RELATIVE POSITIONS OF THE PERFORMERS ON THE STAGE, AND THE WHOLE OF THE STAGE
As nov performed at the
THEATRES ROYAL, LONDON.
By Mr. WHITE, from a Drawing taken in the Theatre, by
MR. R. CRUIKSHANK.
JOHN CUMBERLAND, 19, LUDGATE HILL.
The Man of the Udorld.
The original name of this fine comedy was The True-born Scotch
It was played in Ireland, with great applause, niany years before its appearance in London; for that scrupulous jack-in-office, Capell, of Shakspearian notoriety, who at that period held the situation of sub-licencer, prohibited its exhibition on the English stage. The death of that dunce, however, removed every obstacle, and the comedy, enlarged to five acts, with a new title (the former one being considered too national), was performed at Covent Garden, in the year 1781, with complete success. But, although The True-born Scotch man was softened down to the Man of the World, the chief character retained all its original identity and force of colouring. Every man of the world is not a Scotchman, but every Scoicliman is a man of the world.
Boswell, at his first interview with Dr. Johnson, after apologising for being a Scotchinan, added, with true simplicity of heart, that he couldn't help it. To wbich Johnson, with compassionate irovy, replied, “ Sir, it is what a great many of your countrymen cannot help!” —And Sir Pertinax can no more belp his cringing hypocricy, bis beggarly pride, his griping avarice, than, like Boswell, he can help being a Scotchman. They are his property by descent, his true inheritance. Had be flourished in the days of Messrs. Gall and Spurtzheim, and submitted his pericranium to the inspection of those learned professors, what a glorious development of the national organs had been discovered! The bump of acquisitiveness and that of conscientiousness, would have been in the same proportion as Ossa to a wart ;-unless conscienciousness should signify an ex. tensive conscience-as "natale solum” has been translated into "my estate”-and then, indeed, the bumps would have been found pretty equal. For the conscience of Sir Pertinax, like Mercutio's wound, though neither so deep as a well, nor co wide as a churchdoor, is sufficiently capacious.
For manly sense, keen satire, and original character, this comedy may rank with the very best in the English language. The unities of time and place are preserved with great exactness; the former is within forty-eight hours, and the latter is confined to the house of Sir Pertinax. The plot has the advantage of simplicity, yet the interest never flags; the incidents display no caricature exhibitions of life, yet the audience are exhilirated throughout; which proves that, though extravagance may provoke laughter, it is not absolutely essential to it; and that comedy, in the hands of a genius, may be made to satisfy the judgment, and to relax the muscles; and be at once a source of entertainment, and a lesson of morality.
The inimitable pencil of Hogarth has delineated the rake's and the hurlot's progress.-The pen of Macklin has given us the Scotch. man's progress with equal discrimination and humour. Both artists