1719 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lewis Theobald

Giles Jacob, in Poetical Register: or the Lives and Characters of the English Dramatick Poets (1719) 257-59.



This Gentleman was born at Sittinborne in Kent, of which Place his late Father, Mr. Peter Theobald, was an eminent Attorney. His School-Learning he received chiefly under the Reverend Mr. Ellis at Isleworth in Middlesex, and hath since applied himself to the Study and Practice of the Law. He is mentioned here on account of the following Pieces, and Translations, in the Dramatick Way.

I. The Persian Princess, or The Royal Villain; a Tragedy, acted at the Theatre Royal in Drury-Lane. Printed in the Year 1715, and Dedicated to her Grace Mary Dutchess of Ormond. The Author says in his Preface, this Play was written and acted before he was full Nineteen Years old. The Plot seems to be a Fiction, and borrowed from no Circumstances of the Persian History.

II. The Perfidious Brother; a Tragedy, acted at the Theatre in Little Lincolns-Inn-Fields, 1716. This Play is built after the Model of the Orphan, the whole Scene of it lying in a private Family.

III. PAN and SYRINX; an Opera of one Act, set to Musick by Mr. Galliard. Perform'd at the Theatre in Lincolns-Inn-Fields, 1717. For the Story consult Ovid's Metam.

IV. Entertainents for a Subscription-Opera, call'd, The Lady's Triumph; set to Musick by Mr. Galliard. Perform'd at the Theatre in Lincolns-Inn-Fields, 1718. For the Masque at the latter End, consult the Story of Decius Mundus, and Paulina in Josephus.

V. ELECTRA; a Tragedy. Translated from the Greek of Sophocles, with Notes. Printed in the Year 1714. Dedicated to Joseph Addison, Esq.

VI. OEDIPUS, King of Thebes; a Tragedy, Translated from Sophocles, with Notes. Printed in the Year 1715. Dedicated to the Right Honourable Lewis Earl of Rockingham.

VII. PLUTUS, or the World's Idol; a Comedy. Translated from the Greek of Aristophanes, with Notes. Printed in the Year 1715. Dedicated to his Grace John Duke of Argyle. The Author has to this Translation prefix'd a Discourse, containing some Account of Aristophanes and his two Comedies of Plutus, and The Clouds.

VIII. The Clouds; a Comedy. Translated from Aristophanes, with Notes. Printed in the Year 1715. Dedicated to John Glanville, Esq. This Play was likewise translated by Thomas Stanley, Esq; in the Year 1715.

What other Pieces this Author has publish'd, not being in the Dramatick Way, do not properly fall under the Notice of this Treatise. He has by him a Tragedy ready for the Stage, call'd, The Death of HANNIBAL, and has finish'd a Translation of the Seven Tragedies of AESCHYLUS.