1719 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Gay

Giles Jacob, in Poetical Register: or the Lives and Characters of the English Dramatick Poets (1719) 114-15.



An Author born in Devonshire, and bred a Mercer in the Strand; but quitting that Employment, he was afterwards retain'd in the Service of the Dutchess of Monmouth, as her Grace's Steward; and having an Inclination to Poetry, by the Strength of his own Genius; and the Conversation of Mr. Pope, he has made some Progress in Poetical Writings. His Dramatick Pieces are,

I. The Wife of Bath; a Comedy, acted at the Theatre Royal in Drury-lane, 1714. This Play met with but indifferent Success. Part of the Plot seems to be taken from Kite in The Recruiting Officer.

II. The what d'ye call it; a Tragic-Comi-Pastoral Farce, acted at the Theatre Royal, 1715. This Farce was acted with Applause; it is allegorical, and exposes several of our eminent Poets.

III. Three Hours after Marriage; a Comedy of three Acts, acted at the Theatre Royal, 1717. This Play has some extraordinary Scenes in it, which seem'd to trespass on Female Modesty.

IV. The Mohocks; a Farce, never acted.