Duenna illo

Page 06     Serenade x
Page 08     The Crimson Morn x
Page 12     Could I Each Fault Remember
Page 13     I Could Never Lustre See
Page 16     Tho' Cause For Suspicion Appears x
Page 18     Thou Canst Not Boast
Page 19     If a Daughter You Have x
Page 20 When Sable Night
Page 22 Had I a Heart
Page 24 Gentle Maid x
Page 26 May'st Thou Never
ACT 2 x x
Page 28 Give Isaac the Nymph
Page 30 When the Maid Whom We Love x
Page 32 When a Tender Maid
Page 33 Ah Sure a Pair
Page 38 What Bard x
Page 40 O Had My Love
ACT 3 x x
Page 49 By Him We Love x
Page 52 How Oft Louisa
Page 59 Introduction to Finale x
Page 60 Finale x


This drama has a charm for the public beyond its own intrinsic worth - it was written by Richard Brinsley Sheridan. If that name has no power over the reader's imagination, so as to give to every sentence a degree of interest, let him throw aside the book, and forbear to seek after literary pleasures, for he has not the taste to enjoy them.

Although "The Duenna's" highest claim to notice, depends, now, upon the reputation of its author, yet the author was first indebted to "The Duenna" for the honour of ranking among poets, and of receiving from the fashionable world all those animating caresses, so dear to a poet's heart.

This opera was brought upon the stage in 1775, and during that, and many following years, dellighted the dramatic world; still the author did not receive undivided praise for its success: - Musicians had their share, and certain singers of the most forcible attraction.

Divested of all adventitious aid, the value of the opera consists in the beautiful poetry of many of the songs; for though it is a production of much ingenuity and skill, it does not give a presage, either in wit or incident, of such a work, from the same hand, as "The School for Scandal." The comparing of Isaac's neuter faith to the blank leaf between two scripture doctrines is, indeed, the happy conception of a very extraordinary imagination; but as this brilliant sentence stands in the dialogue unrivalled, without companion, or comparison with any other in the play, it has more the appearance of some other writer's wit, than that of the ostensible authorp; though subsequent wit from the same pen allows him most probable claim to it.

Of less doubtful origin is the best incident in the opera, or rather, the foundation and fable of the opera itself, which is borrowed from Wycherley's "Country Wife." - Not purloined, and the mark taken out, to prevent detection; but fairly borrowed, and used almost to the very letter.

Neither is the scene of Friar Paul and his brethren of Mr. Sheridan's invention; but is either taken from Marmontel, or some other French author.

Margaret, the Duenna, has some resemblance to Bickerstaff's Ursula - but little Isaac, the Jew, seems to be a character wholly original; and notwithstanding, there is great humour in him, there is, at the same time, infinite instruction. He is an excellent example for men, vain either of their persons, or their intellects. He has all the folly of both elderly and youthful coxcombs; and is happily punished by a destiny, which, in general, falls to their share.

It is painful to record errors; but as the author was a young man, and somewhat inexperienced, at the time of writing this drama, these circumstances may be his excuse for having here slandered a noble science, which he has since pursued with unremitting industry; and which, no doubt, has long given him reason to recant that unguarded declaration, in page 44, which alleges that "conscience has nothing to do with politics."

- 1807 -


Don Jerome Mr. Matthews Mr. Munden
Ferdinand Mr. Kelly Mr. Johnstone
Antonio Mr. [Charles] Dignum (1765-1827) Mr. Hill
Carlos Mr. [John] Braham (1774-1856) Mr. Incledon
Isaac Mendoza         Mr. Dowton Mr. Fawcett
Lopez Mr. [Ralph] Wewitzer (1748 - 1825) Mr. Farley
Lorenzo Mr. Fisher Mr. Wilkinson
Lewis Mr. Chatterly Mr. Curties
Samcho Mr. Webb Mr. Wilde
Father Paul Mr. Palmer Mr. Darley
Francis Mr. Maddocks Mr. Abbot
Augustine Mr. Cooke Mr. Street
Porter Mr. Evans Mr. Simmons
Clara Signora [Anna] Storace         Mrs. Atkins
Louisa Miss De Camp Mrs. Martyr
Duenna Miss Pope Mrs. Davenport
Louisa's Maid Mrs. Coates Mrs. Blurton
Clara's Maid Miss Tidswell Mrs. Findlay

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Richard Sheridan Genealogy
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Music Manuscript of Henry Livingston


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