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A STARTLING INNOVATION.

A NOVEL PLAY BY AN AUBTRA LIAN. [From Our London Corkbfpondent.J London, May 31. Who is " Mr Garraway, the well-known Australian dramatist," whoso extraordinary and audacious attempt at play-writing has fo ainuced Mr Andrew Lang? The literary prophet of the ' Daily Ncwb ' makes him the Bubject of a leader on Tuesday ; but I cannot find anyone else who has ever heard of the man or his writings. And yet he should be a person worth knowing, judging by his work. You will understand what I mean when I explain that the heroine of ' The Girl Queen' (a pootical play) ia none other than our sovereign lady the Queen. With her, figuring prominently in the list of personages, are the Duchess of Kent, Lady Conyngham, the Marquis of Hastings, Lady Flora Hastings, the Prince Consort, Lord Melbonrno, tho Duko of Wellington, Baron Stockmar, Sir Robert Peel (second baronet), and Mr Greville, the industrious chronicler of court gossip. The play opens with some passages of artless dialogue between the Princess Victoria and her mother, who observes that it is time her illustrious daughter " should know the height of her great destinies." The Princess then confesses that she had been struck at Tunbridge Wells by tho circumstance that the crowds that gathered in her path would whisper "the girl Queen." Thereupon the Duchess desireß to know whether her companion remembers how once a whizzing bullet, Fired by a clownish boy, csmo through the window, PasslcK within en inch'cf the f*ir cheek ? —to which the Princess answers: "Ay, mother." Later wo are led to the deathbed of King William IV., around which are grouped the Bishop of London and various courtiers whom His Majesty addresses in this characteristic fashion : Give me air, courtiers; bring me r.ow my sceptre— I faiu would touch it jurt onoo moro. Ha, Groville '. Thou mole working away in earth. Think not Thy jittings have boon unnoticed. Well, treat ma (air, Say the honest Sailor King acted up to Nelsons motto— England expeota that every man will do his duty ; And if he don't, lot some olher man bo found to do it. Give my respects to little Vicky. Tell her to be goodBe just, and foar not. Ah, T wish I were eighteen ; But now I'm turned of seventy.

The Bishop hereupon veutures on tho mild remonstrance : "My gracious Lord, pray bo more serious," but with little effect, as will be seen from the lines following : KiSO : Shiver my timbers, don't call mo G/aolous, Away with titles. Cill me Plain William—anvthinff. What'*" tha odds ? I'll go down like the Koya George, Nailing the good old Chuicb of England colors to the mast. Pipe all hands. Avast, belay ! Bishop : AlaB! he's wandering.

Next comes the historical episode of the announcement of the death of King William to the Princess and her mother at Kensington Palace, which brings on to the stage Archbishop Sumner and other celebrities. The Coronation procession through the London streets, which offers obvious opportunities for the scenic artists and costumiers, conducts the act to a close. After this, tho Queen trying on the robes of Btate, and practising the "nice conduct" of tho " Crown, orb, and sceptre," together with the episode of the games of chess with Lord Melbourne, necessarily strike one as a trifle tame, though it is conceived in the following puzzlingly playful vein :

Mblbocrnb : Say, your Majesty, will this Queen o'er be mated with the Kins ? Impossible, you Bay. Hero aro your brave knights, Myaell and Wellington. Victoria : Whore have you,won your spurs? MBiiBODRNB: Only on the hustln/i». Victoria: While his come from Vimlera and the D->uro. Tories Vedra", Salamanoa, Vittoria, Waterloo. Melbourne : But here, at all events, are your faithful Bishops, His Grace of Canterbury and he of York. Your Castles Are Windsor, Walmer, Edinburgh, Dublin. Ample amends, however, is made by the romantio interest of the third act, which is occupied mainly with the details of the courtship of the young Prince Albert and the Queen as they present themselves to the dramatist's lively imagination. Mr Garraway's play is evidently inspired by feelings of genuine loyalty, and it seems to be intended for the stage. Unfortunately, it deals with a period of our annals which is oßviously 096 yet rip? {or the dramatist's

purposes. The Lord Chamberlain will probably think that, like good wino, it will be the better for keeping.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890722.2.22

Bibliographic details

A STARTLING INNOVATION., Issue 7965, 22 July 1889

Word Count
732

A STARTLING INNOVATION. Issue 7965, 22 July 1889

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