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THE

COUNTRY GIRL;

A COMEDY,

IN FIVE ACTS;

AS PERFORMED AT THE

THEATRE ROYAL, DRURY LANE.

ALTERED FROM WYCHERLY'S COUNTRY WIFE,

BY DAVID GARRICK, Esq.

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.

2

WILLIAM SAVAGE, PRINTER,

BEDFORD RURY.

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The author of this comedy possessed a mind which delighted every man, and a person which charmed

every woman.

Wycherly lived in the cheerful days of Charles the Second; was the companion of the wits of that period, caressed by his sovereign, and it is said, beloved by his sovereign's mistress, the beautiful Duchess of Cleveland.

As a wife has too often the power to make her husband conceive a friendship for the very man who is the means of his disgrace, such surely may be the power of a mistress; and the singular partiality, which his Majesty showed for the author of this play, might possibly be derived from the same artful source which supplies treachery to the marriage statethough, in the present case, followed by less fatal consequences.

In the course of a dangerous illness, which for some time threatened Wycherly's life, the king even condescended to visit him at his lodgings in Bow street, and was graciously pleased to present him with a large sum of money, in order to travel to the south of France for the recovery of his health.-On his return to England, the monarch conferred on him a still higher degree of honour than he had yet done, by entrusting to his care the tuition of a favourite

son, and allowing him a pension of fifteen hundred a year for his guardianship.

The present comedy was greatly admired by the court, and warmly received by the town; which will give the reader no surprise, as its fable, incidents, and dialogue, are all perfectly dramatick, and worthy of high admiration.-Yet, to one, who has seen this play acted of late years, it must appear wonderful how it could ever be performed successfully without Mrs. Jordan.

Mrs. Jordan made her first appearance on the London stage in the character of Peggy. She came with no report in her favour to elevate her above a very moderate salary; or to attract more than a very moderate house when she appeared. But here moderation stopped. She at once displayed such consummate art, with such bewitching nature-such excellent sense, with such innocent simplicity, that her auditors were boundless in their plaudits, and so warm in her praises, when they left the theatre, that their friends at home would not give credit to the extent of their eulogiums.

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It is unnecessary to tell the present generation, that not a syllable, that was spoken in Mrs. Jordan's commendation in this character, was extravagant.

Amongst the external gifts, which inspire endearing sensations from one human being to another, the most fascinating, is, perhaps, a melodious voice -not the vocal music of singing, but of speaking. Mrs. Jordan has this gift beyond any woman who speaks in public. As a proof, her pronunciation is imperfect; for most of her words are uttered

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