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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 640 pages of information about Pamela, Volume II.

P.B.

LETTER LIV

MY DEAR LADY,

I gave you in my last my bold remarks upon a TRAGEDY-The Distressed Mother.  I will now give you my shallow notions of a COMEDY—­The Tender Husband.

I liked this part of the title; though I was not pleased with the other, explanatory of it; Or—­The Accomplished Fools.  But when I heard it was written by Sir Richard Steele, and that Mr. Addison had given some hints towards it, if not some characters—­“O, dear Sir,” said I, “give us your company to this play; for the authors of the Spectator cannot possibly produce a faulty scene.”

Mr. B. indeed smiled; for I had not then read the play:  and the Earl of F., his countess, Miss Darnford, Mr. B. and myself, agreed to meet with a niece of my lord’s in the stage-box, which was taken on purpose.

There seemed to me to be much wit and satire in the play:  but, upon my word, I was grievously disappointed as to the morality of it; nor, in some places, is—­probability preserved; and there are divers speeches so very free, that I could not have expected to meet with such, from the names I mentioned.

In short the author seems to have forgotten the moral all the way; and being put in mind of it by some kind friend (Mr. Addison, perhaps), was at a loss to draw one from such characters and plots as he had produced; and so put down what came uppermost, for the sake of custom, without much regard to propriety.  And truly, I should think, that the play was begun with a design to draw more amiable characters, answerable to the title of The Tender Husband; but that the author, being carried away by the luxuriancy of a genius, which he had not the heart to prune, on a general survey of the whole, distrusting the propriety of that title, added the under one:  with an OR, The Accomplished Fools, in justice to his piece, and compliment to his audience.  Had he called it The Accomplished Knaves, I would not have been angry at him, because there would have been more propriety in the title.

I wish I could, for the sake of the authors, have praised every scene of this play:  I hoped to have reason for it.  Judge then, my dear lady, my mortification, not to be able to say I liked above one, the Painter’s scene, which too was out of time, being on the wedding-day; and am forced to disapprove of every character in it, and the views of every one.  I am, dear Madam, your most obliged sister and servant,

P.B.

LETTER LV

My Dear Lady,

Although I cannot tell how you received my observations on the tragedy of The Distressed Mother, and the comedy of The Tender Husband, yet will I proceed to give your ladyship my opinion of the opera I was at last night.

But what can I say, after mentioning what you so well know, the fine scenes, the genteel and splendid company, the charming voices, and delightful music?

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