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March 3, 2016

Nice review of The Recruiting Officer…

The Harbottle Review

1The play-wright George Farquhar was among the besieged at Londonderry; fought for William at the Boyne; took to the boards, whereupon he accidentally killed his opposite in a stage duel at Smock Alley, Dublin; then repaired to London, where his first play, Love and a Bottle, was well received at Drury Lane, and all this before turning of twenty-one.

The precocious Irishman now presents us with The Recruiting Officer, being a comedy on love and war, as well as a portrait of a dubitable profession, in which “a bold step, a rakish toss, a smart cock, and an impudent air,” are said to be the chief constituents of a captain; while “canting, pimping, bullying, swearing, whoring, drinking and a halberd” are solemnly attested as amounting to his sergeant.

Colley_Cibber_as_Pistol_in_Shakespeare_s_Henry_IVpt2 Colley Cibber as Kite

By way of confession I should say that some years ago, to escape the consequences of…

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