The Love-Tiff

The Love-Tiff [with accents]

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Title: The Love-Tiff
Author: Moliere
Release Date: September, 2004 [EBook #6564] [Yes, we are more than
one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on December 28,
Edition: 10

Language: English
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_The Love-tiff_ (_Le Dépit-amoureux_) is composed of two pieces
joined together. The first and longest is a comparatively modest
imitation of a very coarse and indecent Italian comedy, _L'Interesse_,
by Signer Nicolo Secchi; its intrigue depends chiefly on the substitution
of a female for a male child, a change which forms the groundwork of
many plays and novels, and of which Shakespeare has also made use.
The second and best part of the _Love-tiff_ belongs to Molière alone,
and is composed chiefly of the whole of the first act, the first six verses
of the third scene, and the whole of the fourth scene of the second act;
these, with a few alterations and a few. lines added, form, the comedy
which the _Théâtre Française_ plays at the present time. It was first
represented at Béziers towards the end of 1656, when the States
General of Languedoc were assembled in that town, and met with great
success; a success which continued when it was played in Paris at the
Théâtre du Petit-Bourbon in 1658. Why in some of the former English
translations of Moliére the servant Gros-René is called "Gros-Renard"
we are unable to understand, for both names are thoroughly French. Mr.
Ozell, in his translation, gives him the unmistakably English, but not

very euphonious name of "punch-gutted Ben, alias Renier," whilst
Foote calls him "Hugh." The incidents of the _Love-tiff_ are arranged
artistically, though in the Spanish taste; the plot is too complicated, and
the ending very unnatural. But the characters are well delineated, and
fathers, lovers, mistresses, and servants all move about amidst a
complication of errors from which there is no visible disentangling.
The conversation between Valère and Ascanio in man's clothes, the
mutual begging pardon of Albert and Polydore, the natural
astonishment of Lucile, accused in the presence of her father, and the
stratagem of Éraste to get the truth from his servants, are all described
in a masterly manner, whilst the tiff between Éraste and Lucile, which
gives the title to the piece, as well as their reconciliation, are considered
among the best scenes of this play.
Nearly all actors in France who play either the valets or the soubrettes
have attempted the parts of Gros-René and Marinette, and even the
great tragédienne Madlle. Rachel ventured, on the 1st of July, 1844, to
act Marinette, but not with much success.
Dryden has imitated, in the fourth act of _An Evening's Love_, a small
part of the scene between Marinette and Éraste, the quarrelling scene
between Lucile, Éraste, Marinette, and Gros-René, as well as in the
third act of the same play, the scene between Albert and Metaphrastus.
Vanbrugh has very closely followed Molière's play in the _Mistake_,
but has laid the scene in Spain. This is the principal difference I can
perceive. He has paraphased the French with a spirit and ease which a
mere translation can hardly ever acquire. The epilogue to his play,
written by M. Motteux, a Frenchman, whom the revocation of the Edict
of Nantes brought into England, is filthy in the extreme. Mr. J. King
has curtailed Vanbrugh's play into an interlude, in one act, called
_Lover's Quarrels_, or Like Master Like Man.
Another imitator of Molière was Edward Ravenscroft, of whom Baker
says in his _Biographia Dramatica_, that he was "a writer or compiler
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