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lord Whitlocke, Sir John Maynard, and other persons of rank, who really were ashamed of the cant and hypocrisy which then prevailed. In consequence of this, our poet opened a kind of theatre at Rutland House, where several pieces were acted, and if they did not gain him reputation, they procured him what is more solid, and what he then more wanted, money. Some of the people in power, it seems, were lovers of music, and tho' they did not care to own it, they were wise enough to know that there was nothing scandalous or immoral in the diversions of the theatre. Sir William therefore, when he applied for a permission called what he intended to represent an opera; but when he brought it on the stage, it appeared quite another thing, which when printed had the following title: First day's entertainment at Rutland House by declamation and music, after the manner of the ancients. This being an introductory piece, it demanded all the author's wit to make it answer different intentions; for first it was to be so pleasing as to gain applause; and next it was to be be so remote from the very appearance of a play, as not to give any offence to that pretended sanctity that was then in fashion. It began with music, then followed a prologue, in which the author rallies the oddity of his own performance. The curtain being drawn up to the sound of slow and solemn music, there followed a grave declamation by one in a guilded rostrum, who personated Diogenes, and shewed the use and excellency of dramatic entertainments. The second part of the entertainment consisted of two lighter declamations; the first by a citizen of Paris, who wittily rallies the follies of London; the other by a citizen of London, who takes the same liberty with Paris and its inhabitants. To this was tacked a song, and after that came a short epilogue. The music was composed by Dr. Coleman, Capt. Cook, Mr. Henry Laws, and Mr. George Hudson. There were several other pieces which Sir William introduced upon this stage of the same kind, which met with as much success, as could be expected from the nature of the performances themselves, and the temper and disposition of the audience. Being thus introduced, he at last grew a little bolder, and not only ventured to write, but to act several new plays, which were also somewhat in a new taste; that is, they were more regular in their structure, and the language generally speaking, smoother, and more correct than the o
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