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THE MAN'S THE MASTER. The Man's the Master; A comedy, written by Sir William D'Avenant, Knight. In the Savoy; Printed for Henry Herringham, at the Blew Anchor, in the Lover Walk of the New Erchange. 1669, 4to.
The same in the folio edition of Sir William D'Avenant's works. 1673.
The Man's the Master; A Comedy, in Fire Acts, as now performed at the Theatre-Royal, Covent Garden; written by Sir William D'Avenant. London : Printed for T. Evans, in the Strand, near York Buildings. 1775. 8ro. This play was acted in our author's lifetime, with great applause, though not published till after his decease. The design and a portion of the language is borrowed (without hope of return, as is usual in such cases) from Scarron's “Jodelet, ou le Maistre Valet," and part from his “L'Heritier ridicule."
The materiel of which this piece is composed has been variously used by Le Sage, Colley Cibber, and latterly by O'Keefe in his Castle of Andalusia.
It was first produced at Lincoln's-Inn-Fields on the 26th March 1668, and was the last new play performed there, as well as being the last play Sir William D'avenant ever wrote, “he dying presently after, and was buried in Westminster Abbey, near Mr Chaucer's monurnent, our whole company attending his funeral. The comedy in general was very well performed, especially the Master by Mr Harris." - Dounes. Harris acted Don John, and Underhill Jodelet. The epilogue was sung by Harris and Sandford as two street ballad singers. Geneste remarks-“This is a good comedy by D'avenant. It was revived at Lincoln's-Inn-Fields 15th July 1726, and at Covent Garden 3d November 1775. It is the only one of D'avenant's sixteen plays which has been acted for years."
“ 15th July 1726.-Not acted twelve years, Man's the Master. Don John by Milward; Loveworth, Chapman; Belinda, Mrs Grace from Dublin. Acted four times.”
On the production of this piece at Covent Garden on 30 November 1775, some slight alterations were made, it is believed by Woodward. These appear as footnotes in the present edition. The following version of the song was substituted for that of Don John towards the end of the third act, and was sung by Bettris, Mrs Mattocks.
The comedy, which was thus cast, was again acted four times :
Don John, Mr Lewis ; Jodelet (his servant) Mr Woodward ; Don Lewis, Mr Wroughton; Stephano (his servant), Mr Lee Lewis; Don Ferdinand, Mr Dunstall ; Sancho (his steward), Mr Quick ; Isabella, (daughter to Don Ferdinand), Miss Leeson,* her first appearance there ; Bettris (her woman), Mrs Mattocks; Lucilla (sister to Don John), Mrs Bulkley.
The bread is bak'd,
The embers are rak'd,
Let us laugh and carouse,
For none in the house
Then let us bave posset, and posset again,
Sad dirges they sing,
Our time we employ
In mirth and in joy,
Then let us have posset, and posset again,
Before it be day,
A health then to thee,
To him and to me,
Then let us have posset, and posset again,
And hey for the maids, and ho for the men! In connection with one of the earlier performances of “ The Man's the Master,” Downes has this note :-“Mr
* Subsequently married to Mr Lewis, who acted her lover in this piece.
('aileman in this play, not long after our company began in Dorset Garden, his part being to fight with Mr Harris, was unfortunately, with a sharp foil, pierced near the eye; which so maim'd both his hand and his speech, that he can make but little use of either; for which mischance he has received a pension ever since 1673, being 35 years ago." Cademan, it is supposed, was also a bookseller.
Of Harris and Sandford, the original representatives of Don John and Don Lewis, notices will be found in the introduction to “ Juliana," in the first volume of Crowne's Works in the present series. Cave Underhill, the original Jodelet, was, according to Colley Cibber's account, "a correct and natural comedian." His peculiar excellence was in stiff, heavy, stupid characters, such as Obediah in the “ Committee," and Lolpoop in “The Squire of Alsatia.” In ridiculous parts, Sir Sampson Legend, and Justice Clodpole, in “Epsom Wells," for instance, he met with great favour, and his Gravedigger in “Hamlet” was much applauded.
Underhill's last performance in London was on 12th May 1710, when he took a benefit. The play was D'avenant avd Dryden's alteration of the Tempest, in which he played Duke Trincalo, his original character. He acted again and for the last time, at Greenwich, on 26th August in the same year, under the management of Pinkethman. The Play was the Rover: “Ned Blunt, by the famous true comedian, Cave Underhill, to oblige Pinkethman's friends; with an Epilogne by Pinkethman on an ass.”
There is a letter from Leigh to Underhill, and one from Underhill to Leigh among Ton Brown's Letters from the Dead to the Living.
Although Cibber and Downes assert that Underbill was a good actor, Anthony Aston, says of him, that he was more admired by the actors than the audience, that his few good parts were: The Grave ligger, in Hamlet; Sancho Panca, in the 1st part of Don Quixote; Ned Blunt the Host in the Villain; and more especially Lolpoop. Aston further observes," he was six feet high and corpulent, his face long and broad, his nose flattish and short, his upper lip thick, his mouth wide, and his chin short, his voice was churlish and his action awkward. He would