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the Castilians recommend Don Manrique, Don Lopez, and Don Alvarez to Isabella, and request her to select one of them for her husband—the two Queens are in love with Carlos_Carlos had distinguished himself by his valour and other accomplishmentshe is respected even by his enemies, but as his parentage is unknown, the Grandees look on him with some degree of contempt-Carlos believes himself to be the son of a shepherd in Arragon—Isabella creates Carlos a Marquis—she gives him a ring, and says that she will marry the person whom Carlos shall recommend to her choice by giving him the ring—Carlos declares that he will give the ring to nobody, except the person who shall vanquish him in single combat—at the conclusion, Carlos turns out to be Sancho, the son of Ferdinand King of Arragon, and consequently his heir-Elvira, on finding that Carlos is her brother, gives her hand to Alvarez - Isabella marries Carlos—in the course of the play, the Usurper of Arragon is said to have been killed — the Conflict is in blank verse-it is not badly written --the plot is romantic—the Editor of the B. D. says that Miss Brand's play is an alteration of Corneille's Don Sancho of Arragon-but some of the leading circumstances in her piece are so like to some of the leading circumstances in Don Garcia of Navarre, that it is hardly possible that she should not have taken them from Moliere-see Moliere vol 2d at the end of 1754-1755_Miss Brand may possibly have blended the two plays together-she calls her play a Heroick Comedy-very improperly, as there is nothing comic in it-she has evidently borrowed the expression from Moliere.
3. Adelinda--the scene lies at Paris--the D. P. are - Marquis D'Olstain-Count D’Olstain-Strasbourg - Adelinda D’Olstain --Narchioness D’Olstain
-Zella- Dorcas, a farmer's widow ---Flora, woman to the Marchioness-the Marquis insists that Adelinda should marry the Count, who is his relation, and the heir to his title-Adelinda does not like him -she is secretly in love with Strasbourg, who is her father's confidential servant, and a sort of gentleman--he is in love with Adelinda--but suspected of being in love with Zella, the daughter of Dorcas-he encourages the supposition, for the sake of concealing the object of his real attachment-Zella is very beautiful—she has had an education superiour to her situation in life-the Count, tho' engaged to Ade. linda, cannot help admiring Zella—the Marquis becomes very partial to her - at the conclusion it appears, that Dorcas, to whom the Marchioness had given her daughter to nurse, had changed the chil. dren-and that Zella is really the daughter of the Marquis-she marries the Count-Adelinda had been privately married to Strasbourg - this is on the whole a good C.-it seems to have been borrowed, wholly or in part, from the French.
Miss Brand told Wilkinson that she was inti. mately acquainted with the Italian, French, Latin, and Greek authors, and hinted to him that she piqued herself on her knowledge of grammar ---she had notwithstanding a provincial dialect-(Wilkinson)-and in her writings (as is frequently the case with female authors) she is guilty of several inaccuracies-one instance may suffice---in Adelinda, she makes Zella
say—“orphaned as I am"-on the whole she appears o be a sensible woman with great oddities.
O'Keeffe in 1798 published his Works by Subscription in 4 vols. 8vo.-in his preface he regrets, that an inconsiderate disposal of the copyright of his pieces, called the Son in Law, the Agreeable Surprise, the Young Quaker, the Dead Alive, and Peeping Tom, to the late Manager of the Hay., prevents their appearance in that collection-whereas, if they had been sold to a bookseller and consequently published, they might have appeared in it, at the expiration of 14 years—a term which had long elapsed-he adds, that Harris, who had purchased the copyright of several of his other pieces, had kindly permitted him to print them.
O'Keeffe has inserted in his works several of his pieces, which had not been printed before, but there are some of them which had been acted, but which he has not inserted—the pieces now published for the 1st time were-Lad of the Hills - Magic Banner -Basket Maker-Blacksmith of Antwerp—Beggar on Horseback - Castle of Andalusia-Czar--Doldrum-Farmer - Fontainbleau --Highland Reel — Little Hunchback-Love in a Camp-Man Milliner ---Modern Antiques-- Poor Soldier-Positive Man -Sprigs of Laurel_Tantara rara Rogues all.
To these must be added Le Granadier--this piece in 3 parts was meant for representation at C. G. in 1789—it has several songs, some little dialogue, and a description of the business in all the scenes, but it is merely the foundation of a play which was never finished - O'Keeffe meant to have exhibited the taking of the Bastile with other recent events at Paris-see his Recollections vol. 2 p. 143.
O'Keeffe is certainly not to be depended on, as to the date of the year, in which he says his pieces came out, or as to the cast of them—he has, in more instances than one, given the cast as he intended the characters to be performed, and not as they were really acted—this is put past a doubt by the bills of
Tho' some of O'Keeffe's Comedies and Farces were damned, or coolly received, yet he must on the whole be considered as a very successful authorin a literary point of view his productions have not a vast deal to recommend them-most of them are better calculated for representation than perusal-he frequently makes one person mistaken for another, and then writes a scene of equivocation—without punning and equivocation he could not write—having been an actor himself, he understood the trick of the stage, and how to adapt his characters to the performers who were to represent them.
In 1826 O'Keeffe enumerates no less than 68
pieces as written by him-of these, Wild Oats, and the Young Quaker are the two best Tony Lumpkin in Town - Son in Law-Dead Alive - Agreeable Surprise Poor Soldier -- Farmer
Prisoner at Large, and Modern Antiques are good Farces ---Castle of Andalusia, and Fontainbleau are pretty good Operas-the rest are either trifles, or such pieces as do O'Keeffe but little credit.
O'Keeffe in 1826 published the Recollections of his Life-his 2 vols are on the whole entertainingthey contain a good deal of theatrical informationit appears from them that his benefit at C. G. in 1800 produced about £360--with which (excepting about £60) he purchased a small annuity for his life in Dec. 1803 he obtained another annuity of 20 Guineas from C. G. theatre- and in return he gave Harris 7 of his manuscript pieces--6 of which had not been acted-Harris seems to have made no use of them-In Jan. 1826 the King granted O'Keeffe a pension of 100 guineas annually—and paid the 1st year in advance.