Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 11.djvu/15

This page needs to be proofread.


11 S. XI. JAN. 2, 1915.]


NOTES AND QUERIES.


Cf. discussion, under ' The German Hotel, 1790, for bearing of this as evidence of Hoi croft's knowledge of German.

It would seem that Holcroft took warning from the opinion of the actor Bannister, anc did not take the trouble of alteration, for though within the next two years two translations appeared, none seems to be Holcroft's.

(1) "The East Indian; a comedy. Translated from the German of Augustus von Kotzebue by A. Thomson, author of Whist, &c. Lon don : Printed for T. N. Longman and O. Rees No 39, Paternoster Bow. 1799. Price two shillings."

This translation by Alexander Thomson was earlier included in the ' German Miscel- lany ' (Perth, 1796).

(2 ) " The Indian Exiles. A comedy, in three acts Translated from the German of Augustus von Kotzebue, by Benjamin Thompson, Esq. Lon don : Printed by T. Maiden, Sherbourne-Lane, For Vernor and Hood, No. 31, Poultry. 1800."

This translation formed a part of the ' Ger- man Theatre,' vol. iii. (1801).

I list another play of the same title :

(3) " The East Indian : a comedy, in five acts. As Performed at the Theatre-Royal, Drury-Lane. By M. G. Lewis, Esq. M.P. Author of THE MONK, CASTLE SPECTRE, &c. .... [Quotation from Juvenal, Sat. 5.] London : Printed by J. Davis, Chancery Lane ; for J. Bell, No. 148, Oxford Street. M.DCCC."

This production was acted at Drury Lane, 22 April, 1799, for Mrs. Jordan's benefit, and 1 May, 1799, for the benefit of Mr. and Mrs. Powell, and was the only play of that name to get on the stage at that period.

I had a great deal of trouble in finding a copy to examine and compare with Kotzebue. But it was immediately obvious that Lewis's is not a translation at all, but an independent piece, written before he was 16, partly derived from the novel of Sidney Biddulph, and produced at a benefit, as worthless plays by pleasant people often were in those days. The Preface tells its own story ; but this can be verified in ' The Life and Correspondence of M. G.Lewis,' 1839, 1: 70.

Aside from these three, the ' Biographia Dramatica ' lists (2: 183, No. 116) a play of the same title as Lewis's, " a translation, by an anonymous hand, from the same original. 8vo, 1799." Holcroft's piece, amid the Kotzebue stampede of the time, may have simply dropped away. An ingenious friend of mine has pointed to the facts that Holcroft was at that time (1798-1800) publishing anonymously, for reasons which are indi- cated in the discussion of ' The German Hotel' (1790); that 'Deaf and Dumb'


(1801), which was put forward under the- name of Herbert Hill, contained a song in the third act by " Monk " Lewis ; and that the literary M.P. also wrote the Epilogue of

  • Knave or Not ? ' (1798.) On these bases,

my friend would have me assume that Lewis- stood for Holcroft as the author of the piece. I have not yet looked very closely into the- subject, have not even sought to verify Lewis's knowledge of German ; but I con- sider such an assumption quite improbable. However much Holcroft might have per- mitted Mrs. Inchbald, Mr. Joseph Marshall, and Mr. Herbert Hill to stand for pieces while they were on the stage, he would scarcely have permitted any of them to have published the play as his or her own. 'The Deserted Daughter,' 'The German Hotel,' and ' Deaf and Dumb ' were printed anonymously. So, since Holcroft's ' Me- moirs ' and Lewis's ' Correspondence ' agree, and the plays differ, my ingenious friend must be wrong.

The only hope which I entertain of seeing Holcroft's translation rests on discovery of the original manuscript, or on establishment of the identity of the " translation, by an anonymous hand," noted by the ' Bio- graphia Dramatica.' I have not yet been able to examine this translation.

As far as I have been able to discover, the unpublished and unacted translation by Hol- croft forms the only excuse very scant it seems for Prof. "Alois Brandl's phrase " Kotzebue-Uebersetzer Holcroft " in ' Cole- ridge und die Englische Romantik,' Berlin, 1886, p. 179. ELBRIDGE COLBY.

Columbia University, New York City.

(To be continued.)


THE PROLOGUE TO JONSON, CHAPMAN, ANIX MARSTON'S ' EASTWARD HOE ' : Not out of envy, for there 's no effect Where there 's no cause ; nor out of imitation, For we have evermore been imitated ; Nor out of our contention to do better Than that which is opposed to ours in title, For that is good ; and better cannot be.

On the ground of the " tone of arrogant ssumption " in these opening lines of the Prologue to ' Eastward Hoe,' Mr. Bullen Marston's ' Works,' iii. 5) would attribute ts authorship to Jonson, an attribution vhich seems to Prof. F. E. Schelling (' East- vard Hoe,' &c., Belles -Lettres Edition, p. xii) 'altogether likely."

The tone is no doubt confident, but the generous praise of the play " opposed to oura n title " (Dekker and Webster's ' Westward