Volltext: A history of caricature and grotesque in literature and art

H2301")! of Caricature 
the Heyreiie, iirtt a6ted on Saturday, but when We come thither We find 
no play there; Kynaiton, that did a6t a part therein in abufe to fir 
Charles Sedley, being lait night exceedingly beaten with flicks by two or 
three that faluted him, ['0 as he is mightily bruiled, and forced to keep 
his bed." It is faid that Dryden's comedy of "Limberham," brought 
on the ftage in 1678, was prohibited after the firft night, becaufe the 
charaifter of Limberham was ccnfidered to be too open a fatire on the 
duke of Lauderdale. 
Another peculiarity in the comedies of the age of the Reiioration was 
their extraordinary indelicacy. The writers feemed to emulate each 
other in prefenting upon the Rage fcenes and language which no modeft 
ear or pure mind could fupport. In the earlier period coarfenefs in con- 
vcrfation was characteriftic of an unpolilhed age-the language put in 
the mouths of the actors, as remarked before, fmelt of the tavern; but 
under Charles II. the tone of fafhionable fociety, as reprefented on the 
Rage, is modelled upon that of the brothel. Even the veiled allufion is 
no longer reforted to, broad and direct language is fubttituted in its place. 
This open prohigacy of the Itage reached its greateit height between the 
years 1670 and I680. The Ptaple material of this comedy may be con- 
Iidered to be the commiiiion of adultery, which is prefented as one of the 
principal ornaments in the character of the well-bred gentleman, varied 
with the feducing of other men's miftreffes, For the keeping of mittrelfes 
appears as the rule of focial life. The " Country Wife," one of 
Wycherley's comedies, which is fuppofed to have been brought on the 
Rage perhaps as early as 1672, is a mafs of grofs indecency from beginning 
to end. It involves two principal plots, that of a voluptuary who feigns 
himfelf incapable of love and infenfible to the other fex, in order to 
purfue his intrigues with greater liberty; and that of a citizen who takes 
to his wife a filly and innocent country girl, whole ignorance he believes 
will be a protection to her virtue, but the very means he takes to prevent 
her, lead to her fall. The " Parfon's Wedding," by Thomas Killigrew, 
Brit acted in I673, is equally licentious. The fame at leaft may be faid of 
Dryden's " Limberham, or the Kind Keeper," firft performed in 1678, 
which, according to the author's own ftatetnent, was prohibited on account


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