* * * * * These extracts are not from the manuscript of a modern farce-comedy,A but belong to Steele's play of "The Funeral, or Grief a la Mode."
If Field Lane, with its long fluttering rows of yellow handkerchiefs, be a Dionysius' Ear, where, in stifled jarring hubbub, we hear the Indictment which Poverty and Vice bring against lazy Wealth, that it has left them there cast out and trodden under foot of Want, Darkness and the Devil,--then is Monmouth Street a Mirza's Hill, where, in motley vision, the whole Pageant of Existence passes awfully before us; with its wail and jubilee, mad loves and mad hatreds, church-bells and gallows-ropes, farce-tragedy, beast-godhood,--the Bedlam of Creation!"
Robert Merry, who signed himself Della Crusca, James Cobb, a farce-writer, James Boswell (biographer of Dr. Johnson), O'Keefe, Morton, Reynolds, Holcroft, Sheridan, Colman the younger, Mrs. H. Cowley, and Mrs. Robinson were its best exponents.
"Sounds like a farce plot to me.
The whole atmosphere of such a play should be impregnated with humour, without reaching that gross supersaturation which we find in the lower order of farce-plays of the type of Charlie's Aunt or Niobe.
Our law prescribes examinations, but forgets to provide for the competency of the examiners; so that few better farces offer than the course of question and answer on these occasions.
And you see, in some places, a little farce mingled, which is below the dignity of the other parts.
I was sleepy and the carriage very noisy; and take it altogether, what a farce life is sometimes!
Let us be frank, Kathleen, and confess that life is but a trivial farce ignobly played in a very stately temple."
Farce bottleth up her crocodile tears, or labelleth her empty lachrymatories.