Social Reform and Comic Opera: Inkle and Yarico

From The Rise of Comic Opera
Linda V. Troost
copyright 1985

  In the summer of 1787, when George Colman the Younger's (1762-1836) Inkle and Yarico first appeared, dramatic comic operas constituted the new works appearing at the three theaters. Rival versions of the escape opera, Richard Coeur de Lion, had opened the previous fall at the two winter theaters, although only General Burgoyne's version at Drury Lane did really well (38 performances in its first season). O'Keeffe's Peeping Tom of Coventry, half farce and half historical romance, had been the great hit of the previous summer. The summer before that, Holcroft's pseudo-egalitarian comic opera, The Noble Peasant, had achieved a reasonably good run at the Haymarket (10 performances), and MacNally's Robin Hood (containing a subplot based on Goldsmith's ballad of Edwin and Angelina) had done well at Covent Garden during the winter before (LS).
  These comic-opera predecessors to Inkle and Yarico have elements in common. They are all set during historical periods famous for political strife: Richard and Robin Hood in the last decade of the twelfth century, The Noble Peasant and Peeping Tom in pre-Conquest Britain. They each feature an aristocratic character or two suffering unjust exile or imprisonment, and they contain nobles (often the exiled ones) in disguise (usually as peasants) fighting for the good of England against corrupt society or an evil figure of authority. 
  Inkle and Yarico may not be one of these fashionable historic comic operas that show the weaknesses of some of the ruling classes, but it possesses the social idealism that characterizes these musical works. It, too, has political strife of sorts, although in Colman's comic opera, members of the middle class, not the aristocracy, perpetrate much of the injustice: commercial slavery and dehumanizing materialism. Admittedly, the comic opera lacks the intentionally disguised characters that play so great a role in the works I mention above, but one character, Captain Campley, is at least unwittingly disguised: the Governor of the Barbados mistakes the pleasant fellow for Thomas Inkle. And, as in the historical comic operas, Campley's worth becomes evident to the figure of authority (the governor) only while his identity is supressed. 
  This theme of virtue's finally being recognized reaches back through the historical operas to Rosina and The Poor Soldier (the popular O'Keeffe afterpiece that premiered a year after Brooke's comic opera). These two afterpieces glorify the lowly and virtuous but nevertheless reward them with only a modest rise in station: Rosina becomes a country squire's wife and the poor foot soldier, Patrick, receives a promotion (and gets the girl) after Captain Fitzroy, who rivals him in the affection of the girl, discovers that Patrick had saved his life in an American battle. In these comic operas of the 1780s, moral worth, not wit, wins the day. 
  Moral worth, however, does not get one far up the social ladder. For instance, O'Keeffe's humble soldier Patrick comes across as a "noble spirit" and a generous man, but he does not marry into the gentry, let alone the aristocracy. In Rosina, Belville admires the lowly (but genteel) heroine but does not propose marriage to her until he learns that she is actually of a higher caste than she appears. Captain Belville consciously expresses this social snobbery: he will take Rosina as a mistress but scorns marrying her while he thinks her a mere gleaner. 
  Things do not change with the more Romantic operas. The historical operas are as rigid in social structure as the pastoral operas, even though they were written closer to the French Revolution. In the work by the politically radical Thomas Holcroft, the "noble peasant" who wins the heart of Lady Edwitha (whose father wants her to marry the cowardly Sir Egbert) turns out to be a nobleman in disguise, thereby saving Edwitha the mortification of having fallen in love with a member of the lower classes. Even the "peasant" who rescued Emma from the Danes in Peeping Tom turns out to be an exiled Earl's son. 
  The comic operas before Inkle and Yarico avoid undermining the class structure, although some of the ones written a year or two before toy with (and abandon) egalitarian ideas. The French Revolution may be imminent, but it does not really influence the romantic, fairy-tale world of the comic opera. Actually, real fairy tales have more social mobility than these comic operas: don't expect to find princes marrying penniless Cinderellas in eighteenth-century comic opera. Some of these comic operas of the middle 1780s contain seeds of romanticism, but not until Inkle and Yarico do these seeds grow into new social concepts. 
  But let me turn to its performance history. Inkle and Yarico opened at the Little Theater in the Haymarket on 4 August 1787 and received 20 showings in the 38 remaining nights of the summer season and a strikingly successful 19 the following summer, eventually totalling 98 performances at the Haymarket in the eighteenth century. Only The Spanish Barber by Colman's father received more performances at the Haymarket than Inkle and Yarico, but it also had ten more years in which to do so. Colman's comic opera had wider exposure, however, than The Spanish Barber because Colman offered Inkle and Yarico to Covent Garden, unusual because he was fiercely protective of his work (LS 5.2.910). This way, Inkle and Yarico ran steadily not only in the summer at the Haymarket, but also during the winter at Covent Garden. 
  The comic opera's popularity led to additional performances at other London theaters: Drury Lane (4), the White Horse Inn, Fulham (1), the King's Head Inn, Southwark (1), and the Crown Inn, Islington (1), bringing the total of performances to 164 performances by 1800. According to Hogan, it ranks second in popularity among mainpieces written in the last quarter of the century, just after The School for Scandal (clxiii). 
  Inkle and Yarico also saw many performances abroad. Loewenberg records performances in Dublin (1787), Jamaica (1788), New York (1789), Philadelphia (1790), Calcutta (1791), and Boston (1794). James notes performances in Baltimore and Washington during the early nineteenth century. Despite the comic opera's New World setting, however, the work did not have the appeal in the United States that it had in Great Britain, although it was still successful: Rosina received 44 performances in Philadelphia between 1782-1855; Inkle and Yarico received only 25 Philadelphia performances between 1790 and 1855 (Pollock, James, Wilson, passim); Rosina was presented 16 times in Washington and Baltimore, Inkle and Yarico only twice (James, passim). Perhaps its Romantic and pro-miscegenistic themes were less appealing to Americans at the time than they were to the British.
  Like the stage presentations, the printed libretto was also more successful in Great Britain than in the United States. Four editions were printed by G. G. J. & J. Robinson--1787 (three issues), 1788, 1789, 1792 (ESTC)--with four imprints by other publishers between 1806 and 1821 (NUC). In America, there were only two imprints of the libretto. No book of the songs, duets, and chorusses printed on either side of the ocean survives, although the opening-night program, according to The London Stage, claims that one was for sale (4 August 1787). Although it did vastly better than most comic operas texts, Inkle and Yarico in print did not have the enormous appeal of a work such as Rosina.
  The same held true for the printed music. The keyboard-vocal score saw only two London editions, both by Longman & Broderip and both published in 1787. Only a few songs were printed in England and New England as sheet music. Actually, this dearth is not so surprising because the music in Inkle and Yarico is less prominent than that in other comic operas. The comic opera had only modest success as a reading play or as a source of music for the drawing room because its appeal lay in dramatic presentation. People wanted to see Inkle and Yarico, not just read it or play the music at home. 
  The comic opera was popular enough to inspire the usual pirated editions. The National Union Catalogue lists three in Dublin (1787, 1788, 1789), and one each in Philadelphia (1792), Boston (1794), Glasgow (1796), and Edinburgh (1814). Like many comic operas, Inkle and Yarico was anthologized in the major dramatic series: those by Inchbald (1809) and Cumberland (1825-55), as well as The British Drama (1824), and Dick's Standard Plays (c. 1872). Clearly, Colman's version of the Inkle-and-Yarico story attracted many play-readers after the eighteenth century, too. 
  The story of Inkle and Yarico also appeared in other forms following the success of Colman's comic opera. Over the next few years, several poems based on the legend appeared in England, one of which was done by Charles Brockden Brown in 1799 (Price, Album 159). In addition, Colman's actual libretto was translated into Dutch in 1792 as well as adapted for the German stage in 1788 by Schröder (Price, Album 158). As Price notes, the Inkle-and-Yarico story was particularly popular in the eighteenth century, appearing in several countries and in several genres. Germany and England loved the story the best, with 21 German versions of the story appearing between 1746 and 1815 and 15 British versions between Ligon's 1657 version and 1830 (Album 141). Perhaps Germany's earlier interest in Romanticism accounts for its greater number of renditions of this English tale. 
  George Colman the Younger, like the many other adapters of the story, found inspiration for Inkle and Yarico in Steele's Spectator #11 (13 March 1711), a defense of women's constancy in love. Steele, in turn, had embellished a story from Richard Ligon's 1657 True and Exact History of the Island of Barbados (p. 55) concerning Yarico, an Indian woman, wrongfully sold into slavery by an Englishman whom she had protected when his ship, stopping ashore while en route to Barbados, was attacked by her countrymen. 
Steele christened the Englishman Thomas Inkle and invented a personality for Ligon's non-descript fellow. Steele's Inkle is avaricious and selfish, with a father who is to blame for the sons's callousness: 

  • Mr. Thomas Inkle of London, aged 20 Years, embarked in the Downs on the good Ship called the Achilles, bound for the West-Indies, on the 16th of June 1647, in order to improve his Fortune by Trade and Merchandize. Our Adventurer was the third Son of an eminent Citizen, who had taken particular Care to instill into his Mind an early Love of Gain, by making him a perfect Master of Numbers, and consequently giving him a quick View of Loss and Advantage, and preventing the natural Impulses of his Passions, by Prepossession towards his Interests. (49-50)

  •   To enhance the contrast between the Englishman and the American, Steele embellishes the character of Yarico by making her a "Person of Distinction" (50) among the Indians. In general, Steele's version of the story develops a moral as well as a social disparity between the lovers. Inkle, a city man, is not noble, and his conduct reflects the worst aspects of his bourgeois background; Yarico, although a savage, possesses great charity and kindness: 

  • The Indian grew immediately enamoured of him, and consequently sollicitous for his Preservation: She therefore conveyed him to a Cave, where she gave him a Delicious Repast of Fruits . . . To make his Confinement more tolerable, she would carry him in the Dusk of the Evening, or by the favour of Moon-light, to unfrequented Groves and Solitudes, and show him where to lye down in Safety . . . Her Part was to watch and hold him in her Arms, for fear of her Country-men, and wake him on Occasions to consult his Safety. (50-51)

  •   Once a European ship picks them up, Inkle poorly repays Yarico's devotion by calculating the money he has missed earning while in the wilds instead counting his obligations to the woman who saved his life: 

  • Mr. Thomas Inkle, now coming into English Territories, began seriously to reflect upon his loss of Time, and to weigh with himself how many Days Interest of his Mony he had lost during his Stay with Yarico. This Thought made the Young Man very pensive, and careful what Account he should be able to give his Friends of his Voyage. Upon which Considerations, the prudent and frugal young Man sold Yarico to a Barbadian Merchant; notwithstanding that the poor Girl, to incline him to commiserate her Condition, told him that she was with Child by him: But he only made use of that Information, to rise in his Demands upon the Purchaser. (51)

  •   Steele's Inkle is an utter cad whose business mind obscures his compassion. The detail of Yarico's pregnancy dramatizes his harsh nature by showing Inkle's blithely selling into slavery his lover and his own child for no other reason than to show his friends in England how profitable his journey was. What conduct could be more unfeeling and mercenary? Precisely because of these melodramatic elements, Steele's version of the story, not Ligon's tame rendition, forms the basis of the literature on Inkle and Yarico. 
      Colman's comic-opera version draws inspiration directly from Steele's essay, building on Steele's contrast by adding two counterpoint romances: one between Inkle's English servant, Trudge, and Yarico's handmaiden, Wowski, and another between Inkle's intended bride, Narcissa, and Captain Campley. Colman also omits some of Steele's inventions--Yarico's pregnancy, Inkle's greed as the sole motivation for selling Yarico--and adds another complication of his own: an engagement between Narcissa and Inkle that would give Inkle greater social consequence and wealth. Most important, however, Colman changes the ending of his source: the comic-opera Inkle heartily repents of his shameful conduct and marries the faithful Yarico. 
      Colman is not the first to give Inkle and Yarico a happy conclusion. Although Price never makes the connection, Colman's comic opera does also share elements with a French version of the story, the play La Jeune Indienne (1764) by Sebastian-Roch-Nicholas Chamfort. Like Colman, Chamfort alters Steele's original. His play is set in Charleston, South Carolina, and has the benign Boston-bred hero, Belton, torn between gratitude to the Indian maiden, Betti, and the need to repair his fortune by marrying a wealthy Quaker's daughter, thereby acquiring the means to take care of Betti. Once the Quaker learns the whole story, he arranges a marriage between Belton and Betti so that all ends happily (Price, Album 57). In general, Chamfort plays down the less attractive aspects of the hero's character, sentimentalizing away his most offensive traits. 
      Although greatly altering the original story, Chamfort's play is an analogue to Colman's comic opera, if not an outright source. Both plays feature the protagonist's engagement to a wealthy woman, both make him less contemptible, and both have him marry the Indian maid assisted by the father of the other woman. Chamfort's play was published widely in France and Germany (Price, Album 160-63), so Colman might have read the 1764 or 1787 (!) edition if he had not seen the popular comedy in Paris. 
      Whatever its sources, Colman's Inkle and Yarico is a transitional work in the history of eighteenth-century theater. It has many of the features of the conventional comic opera--romance as its major plot, songs for everyone to sing, ensemble numbers at the end of each act--but it foreshadows the theater of the later part of the century, the theater in the throes of Romanticism, the theater of German melodrama. The traits that define this new Romantic musical--limited music, songs for the lower classes only, controversial issues, exotic settings and characters--appear in embryonic form in Inkle and Yarico
      George Colman the Younger was still clearly writing in the tradition of comic opera, but his alteration of the conventions shows that he felt the theatrical audience in these few years before the fall of the Bastille wanted an alternative to the satiric farce in The Duenna or the simple pastoral of Rosina. In fact, Inkle and Yarico received its greatest number of performances (37) during the first years of the French Revolution, the 1788-89 season, rather than in its first or second season, as most other comic operas did (largely because it ran at two theaters). Covent Garden did wisely to acquire winter performance rights to Colman's work because the work proved successful despite its not being new--it amassed 24 performances during its first season at Covent Garden.
      Although Colman's comic opera did not completely turn the tide of theatrical writing in England--after all, comic opera did not vanish from the stage--it did prove the first comic-opera success that worked with something other than tried-and-true material. Over the next few decades, writers and composers nurtured Romantic germs of the type found in Inkle and Yarico, creating a new variety of relatively serious musical work that co-existed with the traditionally romantic and light-hearted comic operas. Comical operas were still written and performed, but the more serious ones, especially those with Gothic or historical settings generally proved most successful--The Haunted Tower with 56 performances in its first season, The Siege of Belgrade with 47--in other words, the ones more like melodrama. Even the successful afterpiece of the 1790s, No Song, No Supper by Prince Hoare and Stephen Storace, blends the serious Romantic with the farcical. 
      Colman makes several changes in the comic-opera formula. First, he reduces the role of music in the comic opera, giving the composer, Dr. Arnold, only 16 songs to set for the three acts (2 additional songs appear in the libretto). Compare this to Rosina, which has 17 songs in two acts, and The Duenna with 33 separate musical numbers. Colman, therefore, relies more heavily upon dialogue than on song to accent important scenes or aspects of character. Like the writers of nineteenth-century melodrama, he employs music to set a scene or mood rather than to convey information about the plot and the characters. Consequently, in the most important parts of the work, the songs disappear or become sparse. The first scene of the comic opera contains no songs at all; the entire third act contains only three. In short, with Inkle and Yarico begins the schism between the comic opera and the melodrama. 
      As a result of these rearranged priorities, the songs of Inkle and Yarico lose their dramatic importance, and they do not respond to close study as profitably as those in The Duenna. One could leave all the songs out of Inkle and Yarico and lose little of significance. Conversely, new songs blend in just as easily. During her performances of Yarico at Covent Garden (first performance: 26 January 1789), Mrs. Billington interpolated at least four borrowed arias into the first act, no doubt adding little to the plot, but greatly expanding the music of her role. Mrs. Billington was driven to this extreme because Colman assigned the principals in Inkle and Yarico little singing. Mrs. Billington's other comic-opera roles generally featured more music: Rosina sings eight numbers and Clara in The Duenna sings six. Yarico, on the other hand, sings two solos, a duet, and a bit of the finale. Mrs. Billington was not the only one to augment her role. Mrs. Clendining added songs for her performances of Yarico (16 May 1793 and 18 May 1796), and Mrs. Ferguson managed to work in several songs, among them "Hope told a flattering tale" complete with harp accompaniment (9 May 1797). 
      Not only performers of Yarico wanted more music to sing. When Incledon played Captain Campley on 15 April 1796 and 9 May 1797, he had "additional songs" to supplement his three numbers. Townsend, who performed the Mate on these dates, got a second song. In the libretto, the Mate sings more than Inkle does (one solo versus one duet) so, not surprisingly, performers of the title role wanted to sing as least as much as (if not more than) the minor characters. According to Fiske, Dr. Arnold soon capitulated to Covent Garden's strong musical tradition by writing two new songs for their Inkle, John Johnstone (ETM 478). Johnstone first played the role on 13 October 1789, but according to The London Stage, Arnold's new songs were for Michael Kelly's performance of Inkle at Drury Lane on 4 November 1789 (the songs were used again for one of Johnstone's other performances of Inkle on 27 April 1791). Despite this performance's being his own benefit, Bannister played the Mate, interpolating (of course) "The Wand'ring Sailor" to flesh out this small role.
      Why did Colman give so few songs to his male protagonist? Was it to accommodate the performer? Bickerstaff had done that for non-singing Ned Shuter in Love in a Village by giving him only one folksy song to perform in the character of Justice Woodcock (Fiske, ETM 328). John Bannister, however, could sing. He had played Belville in Rosina for several years and, not surprisingly, took over the more musically rewarding role of Trudge in October 1789. Colman perhaps had another reason for de-emphasizing music for his principal character: he thought songs inappropriate for the character. 
      In general, Inkle and Yarico shows a tendency toward the hierarchy of character that becomes more marked in the last years of the century. Serious--but not necessarily high--characters do not sing; comic or low characters do. In a way, it marks a return to the decorum of Shakespeare's plays, in which those of low status tend to sing much more than those above them do. Hence, in The Tempest, Trinculo, Stephano, and the servant sprites sing; Prospero, Miranda, and Ferdinand do not. The 18 songs in Inkle and Yarico are more or less evenly divided between the serious and comic characters, but as the earnest characters (Inkle, Yarico, Sir Christopher, Narcissa, Uncle Medium, and Campley) outnumber the comical characters (Trudge, Wowski, the mate, and Patty) the imbalance still exists. 
      For example, the amusing Narcissa sings more than Yarico, the ostensible heroine, sings. Also, the most earnest of the earnest folk, the Governor, sings little, if at all (the libretto assigns part of a trio to him, but the vocal score gives that music to Campley). Nor does Inkle's Uncle Medium sing (he, like the Governor, exists primarily as a foil for the selfish Inkle). Because these two characters embody ideal morality in the play, Colman and Arnold may have thought it unseemly for such worthy and serious old men to sing. 
      As in a Shakespearean romantic comedy, Inkle and Yarico has both serious and light-hearted plots (of the two lighter plots, one is comic and one witty). Comic opera has hitherto eschewed such division. The Duenna, for example, gives each character (even Don Carlos) light-hearted moments, although the humour figures of Margaret, Don Isaac, and Don Jerome get most of them. Rosina, written a few years after The Duenna, bestows greater earnestness on Rosina and Belville than on William and Phoebe, but neither Rosina nor Belville are as devoid of wit as Inkle and Yarico are. Any laughs that Colman's comic opera produces come from Trudge and Wowski, the lowest social classes represented on the stage, or from Captain Campley, who exchanges witty banter with Narcissa. If Inkle provokes any laughter as he tries to sell Yarico to the Governor, the humor derives from situational irony alone. Colman intends Inkle to be non-comic. 
      The problematic romance between Inkle and Yarico is the stuff of dark comedy, of Measure for Measure and All's Well That Ends Well, not conventional comic opera. Yarico, like Mariana and Helena, loves and (eventually) marries someone unworthy of her, but her future holds more promise than the futures of Shakespeare's two ladies: at least Inkle loves her. He tries to abandon her, not because her dowry is too small (like Angelo) or because he does not care for her (like Bertram), but because he falls victim to his upbringing. He worries about what society would think if he married an American savage. 
      Inkle loves Yarico, but as he comes closer to civilized Barbados, he remembers that marrying her will not bring him the wealth and status that marrying Narcissa would. Only when alone with Yarico in America and far away from the English does Inkle utterly forget the ways of the world. When he first meets her, he forgets everything in his amorous daze and tells her that he will take her to England, if ever he should get back:

  • INKLE. Generous Maid! Then, to you I will owe my life; and whilst it lasts, nothing shall part us.
    YARICO. And shan't it, shan't it indeed?
    INKLE. No, my Yarico! For when an opportunity offers to return to my country, you shall be my Companion.
    YARICO. What, cross the seas?
    INKLE. Yes, help me to discover a vessel, and you shall enjoy wonders. You shall be deck'd in silks, my brave maid, and have a house drawn with horses to carry you.
    YARICO. Nay, do not laugh at me--but is it so?
    INKLE. It is indeed?
    YARICO. Oh wonder! I wish my Countrywomen cou'd see me--But won't your warriors kill us?
    INKLE. No, our only danger on land is here. (21) 

  • Yarico, paradoxically, is the prudent one now. She suspects Inkle's high-flown words at once--"shan't it indeed?"--and her fears prove correct in the next two acts. Even the duet that the new lovers sing has overtones of a impending difficulty. The folk tune that Dr. Arnold selected ("Oh, Say Bonny Lass") starts in G major but, contrary to eighteenth-century musical conventions, it ends in a different key (Fiske, ETM 479). This duet is the only music that Inkle sings, and it ironically reflects his true nature (as comic-opera songs often do). Inkle imagines a happy and conventional ending for himself and Yarico, but his music implies otherwise. 
      By Act 2, Inkle and Yarico, along with their equally smitten servants, Trudge and Wowski, have been picked up by a ship, and Inkle has a chance to fulfill his promise. Unfortunately, the European values he supressed in the American forest greet him in the Barbados, personified by some planters. Just after Inkle and Trudge arrive on the island, planter-slavetraders accost them separately, wanting to buy their Indian consorts. Inkle at first resists: 

  • But urge this no more I beg you. I must not listen to it. For to speak freely, her anxious care of me, demands, that here,--though here it may seem strange,--I should avow my love for her . . . Chance threw me on my passage to your island, among a savage people, deserted,--defenceless,--cut off from my companions,--my life at stake,--to this young creature I owe my preservation;--she found me like a dying bough torn from its kindred branches, which as it droop'd, she moisten'd with her tears. (39)

  • His language becomes poetically metaphorical, although in a hackneyed way, and grammatically fragmented, emphasizing that he is displaying the sincerity and passion he recently has learned to feel. This is not the same speech pattern of the first-act Inkle, who plays with witty logic: "Travelling, Uncle, was always intended for improvement, and improvement is an advantage; and advantage is profit, and profit is gain. Which in the travelling translation of a trader, means that you shou'd gain every advantage of improving your profit" (10). 
      The planter, nevertheless unmoved by Inkle's new flights of poetic diction, urges him to return to his former businessman-like speech and to eschew this lofty language: "Nay, nay, talk like a man of this world" (39). Alas, this comment revives Inkle's former commercial values: 
    your interruption goes to my present feelings; for on our sail to this your island--the thoughts of time mispent--doubts--fears--or call it what you will--have much perplex'd me; and as your spires arose, reflections still rose with them; for here, Sir, lie my interests, great connections, and other weighty matters, which now I need not mention. (39) 
    The closer he comes to civilization, the stronger the pull of his business sense, but he still struggles with himself--"And yet the gratitude I owe her!" (40). 
      A final comment from the planter, however, starts the shift in Inkle's mind from moral righteousness to financial and social shrewdness. The planter's argument: "Pshaw! So because she preserv'd your life, your gratitude is to make you give up all you have to live upon" (40). Inkle's response? "Why in that light indeed--This never struck me yet" (40). Inkle does not see the injustice of the planter's remark; he sees only that he is paying a high price: his life for Yarico's life. In his mercantile eyes, the transaction is not profitable. What he no longer sees, however, is that he is greatly in debt to Yarico. 
      The planter has strange ideas of what would suitably repay someone who saved one's life: "Why what return can the wench wish more than taking her from a wild, idle, savage people, and providing for her here with reputable hard work, in a genteel, polish'd, tender, christian country?" (40). Each adjective that Colman piles on the noun intensifies the irony. The planter may be more genteel and polished than Yarico, but she, not this representative of civilization, possesses a tender Christian spirit: she plays good Samaritan to Inkle and Trudge, but the planter wishes to enslave free people. The heathen, therefore, paradoxically proves more virtuous than he who has the benefit of established religion. 
          Had Colman ended the scene here, we would have a melodrama. Instead, he adds a final comic touch to lighten the tone and to make the planter ridiculous rather than villainous: "Zounds how late it is--but never be put out of your way for a woman--I must run--my wife will play the devil with me for keeping breakfast" (40). This expostulation has the effect of undercutting everything the planter has said--he fancies one thing is true when it isn't--although Inkle does not notice. The audience, however, cannot miss the obvious irony. 
      Inkle's scene with the planter revives his Old-World attitudes, and, after a brief comic scene with Trudge, Inkle soliloquizes about whether to sell the woman who saved him:

  • Let me reflect a little. This honest planter councils well. Part with her--What is there in it which cannot easily be justified? Justified!--Pshaw--My interest, honour, engagements to Narcissa, all demand it. My father's precepts too; I can remember when I was a boy what pains he took to mould me!--School'd me from morn to night--and still the burthen of his song was--Prudence! Prudence, Thomas, and you'll rise.--Early he taught me numbers; which he said--and said rightly,--wou'd give me a quick view of loss and profit, and banish from my mind those idle impulses of passion, which mark young thoughtless spendthrifts; his maxims rooted in my heart, and as I grew--they grew; till I was reckon'd, among our friends, a steady, sober, solid, good young man; and all the neighbours call'd me the prudent Mr. Thomas. And shall I now at once kick down the character, which I have rais'd so warily?--Part with her,--sell her,--The thought once struck me in our cabin, as she lay sleeping by me; but in her slumbers she past her arm around me, murmur'd a blessing on my name, and broke my meditations. (40-41)

  • The soliloquy reveals the turmoil in Inkle's mind. He tries to regain his mental balance by recollecting what his father taught him and how he built his reputation, finally reverting to his Threadneedle-Street ways just as he did on the boat to the Barbados. But, as Yarico's embrace breaks his "meditation" on the ship by reminding him that she embodies love and goodness, so does Yarico herself interrupt his soliloquy. She senses his ideological struggle and leads him into a reminiscence of the their American grotto:

  • YARICO. My mind has been so busy, that I almost forgot even you; I wish you had staid with me--You wou'd have seen such sights!
    INKLE. Those sights are grown familiar to me, Yarico.
    YARICO. And yet I wish they were not--You might partake my pleasures--but now again, methinks, I will not wish so--for with too much gazing, you might neglect poor Yarico.
    INKLE. Nay, nay, my care is still for you.
    YARICO. I'm sure it is: and if I thought it was not, I'd tell you tales about our poor old grot--Bid you remember our Palm-tree near the brook, where in the shade you often stretch'd yourself, while I wou'd take your head upon my lap, and sing my love to sleep. I know you'll love me then. [Song: "Our grotto was the sweetest place"] (41-42) 

  • She claims that she does not doubt his love, but just to make sure, she reminisces anyway, both in speech and song. As in their first scene, Yarico suspects that Inkle could forsake her. She, after all, has no illusions about his character or about the nature of love. On this ambiguous note, Colman abandons the principal plot until the emotionally charged third act.
      Inkle and Yarico does not have a conventional blocking figure to obstruct the romance. Inkle himself creates the barriers to his happiness, thanks to his social indoctrination. Like Ferdinand in The Duenna, Inkle causes his own suffering and that of others, but unlike the jealous Ferdinand, Inkle's attitudes stem not from a humour but from another source: the restricting conventions of eighteenth-century English civilization. 
      Colman sets up Inkle's less-restricted servant, Trudge, as a foil for Inkle. Trudge also crosses the racial barriers in the romance with Wowski, but he responds differently to the pressures of Old-World civilization. An obsession with what society would think does not hamper him as it does his middle-class master. Trudge feels the same apprehension that Inkle does at showing a non-Caucasian mistress at his side, but he overcomes this by trying do what he knows is morally right. A slave-buying planter approaches him, but Trudge's response to the planter's proposition is utterly unlike Inkle's:

  • PLANTER. She's your slave, I take it?
    TRUDGE. Yes; and I'm her humble servant, I take it.
    PLANTER. Aye, ay, natural enough at sea.--But at how much do you value her?
    TRUDGE. Just as much as she has sav'd me--My own life.
    PLANTER. Pshaw! you mean to sell her?
    TRUDGE. (Staring). Zounds! what a devil of a fellow! Sell Wows!--my poor, dear dingy wife!
    PLANTER. Come, come, I've heard your story from the ship.--Don't let's haggle; I'll bid as fair as any trader amongst us: But no tricks upon travellers, young man, to raise your price.--Your wife, indeed! Why, she's no Christian?
    TRUDGE. No; but I am; so I shall do as I'd be done by, Master Black-Market; and if you were a good one yourself, you'd know, that fellow-feeling for a poor body who wants your help, is the noblest mark of our religion. (37)
    Trudge is admirable in this scene. He remains steadfastly faithful to Wowski, and he wittily points out the serious flaws in the planter's reasoning by turning his objections against him. When the planter bluntly states, "Why, sure friend, you wou'd not live here with a Black!" (37), Trudge retorts with an admission of his feelings: 
    TRUDGE. Plague on't; there it is. I shall be laugh'd out of my honesty here.--but you may be jogging friend! I may feel a little queer, perhaps, at shewing her face--but dam'me, if ever I do any thing to make me asham'd of shewing my own.
    PLANTER. Why, I tell you, her very complexion--
    TRUDGE. Rot her complexion.--I'll tell you what, Mr. Fair Trader: If your head and heart were to change places, I've a notion you'd be as black in the face as an ink-bottle. (37-38)

  • Trudge feels all the pressure that Inkle feels, but he does not waver: he clings staunchly to his principles of right and wrong. Although he, too, has another woman waiting for him in Barbados (Narcissa's maid, Patty), he never even considers giving up Wowski for her. He remains faithful to his "poor, dear, dingy wife." He may be lower in social stature than his master, but Trudge comes across as the possessor of higher standards of moral conduct. By placing Trudge's scene with a planter immediately before Inkle's scene with another planter, Colman sets up the contrasts between the manners of the two "civilized" men at the start of the second act. The dramatic interest arises from the servant's being more sentimental and less conniving than his master, a curious turnabout from the usual comic formula.
      Colman, however, also shows that the high born can have as much virtue as the lower classes (not the case in many melodramas of the next century). The middle-class Inkle and the serving-class Patty are snobs, but the high-born Narcissa, like Trudge, recognizes and rewards the virtues of someone beneath her. Although she is the daughter of a knighted Governor, she chooses to love Captain Campley, a "poor honest fellow" (30), and not Thomas Inkle, the man her father has selected. 
      Despite his undistinguished position in society, Captain Campley has sufficient money to support Narcissa "above indigence" (70), and he possesses the necessary social graces that Inkle lacks. As Narcissa's maid, Patty, recollects, "if our voyage from England was so pleasant, it wasn't owing to Mr. Inkle, I'm certain. He didn't play the fiddle in our cabin, and dance on the deck, and come languishing with a glass of warm water in his hand, when we were sea-sick" (29). A kind heart motivates Campley's thoughtful actions. Even the Governor sees his merit at once, welcoming him warmly as a son-in-law and calling him a "lad of spirit" (70). By avoiding a link between class and moral virtue, Colman prevents Inkle and Yarico from becoming a narrow-minded political or social allegory. 
      The story of Inkle and Yarico is unusual for comic opera of the time, being laden with social issues as well as the more usual romance and comedy. Colman brings up such topics as the possible superiority of the natural man over the civilized man, the evils of slavery, and the problem of miscegenation, but he does not treat these subjects narrowly. He allows that civilization can have its redeeming features and that European man can be as noble as the savage. Several of the issues that he raises show an affinity with the Romantic movement, just beginning in the England of 1787, but Colman's light-hearted touch sets him apart from the typical Romantic writers to come. 
      For example, Colman's handling of the Noble Savage motif has a comical side as well as a poetic one. Yarico represents the serious side of the Noble Savage. She is a woman of great beauty and status--Inkle describes her as being as "beautiful as an angel" (19)--she has her own servant (Wowski), and she has a cave decorated with "savage elegance" (18). She clearly commands the respect of her fellows for "none enter [her cave] since [her] father was slain in battle" (20). Also, she has natural intelligence, having learned to speak eloquent English from a shipwrecked sailor (the same one that taught Wowski pidgin English), and learning to read in only six weeks (with Inkle as her tutor). In addition, Yarico embodies all the virtues of humanity and none of its vices. 
      She even has the child-like simplicity and pastoral purity so revered by the Romantics. Inkle himself remarks upon it when he resurfaces in Act 3, once again soliloquizing: "When I wou'd speak, her look, her mere simplicity disarms me; I dare not wound such innocence. Simplicity is like a smiling babe, which to the ruffian that wou'd murder it, stretching its little naked, helpless arms, pleads speechless its own cause" (57). The Romantic poets would also applaud Yarico's finding happiness in nature, not in the city. She fears, and quite rightly, that civilization parts her from Inkle: "Come, come, let's go. I always fear'd these cities. Let's fly, and seek the woods; and there we'll wander hand in hand together. No cares will vex us then" (67). In other words, if she could get Inkle away from the corrupting influence of civilization, he would be in harmony with the natural world and his deepest passions, just as she is. 
      Yarico's servant, Wowski, on the other hand, is a parody of the Noble Savage. First of all, civilization has already corrupted her: she smokes tobacco, a habit she learned from the shipwrecked British tar. Also, she lacks the ethereal delicacy, sublime intellect, and intense emotions of her mistress. She makes no secret of her many lovers, and she gleefully tells Trudge that her people are cannibals (so, presumably are Yarico's, but she never discusses this). The presence of Wowski, then, keeps the tone of the opera light, bringing out several sides of savage life that those who view the Noble Savage philosophically forget about. 
      She and Trudge, however, do depict an aspects of the motif: the outsider looking critically at civilization, like Cumberland's West Indian or Montesquieu's Usbek in The Persian Letters. Wowski's inexperience with English society allows Trudge to make numerous comments at its expense: 

  • this it is now to live without education; the poor dull devils of her country are all in the practice of gratitude without finding out what it means; while we can tell the meaning of it, with little or no practice at all--Lord, Lord, what a fine advantage Christian learning is. (35)

  • Trudge the satirist also rails at society's hypocrisy and faults with a burlesque catechism:

  • TRUDGE. Now we've accomplish'd our landing, I'll accomplish you. You remember the instructions I gave you on the voyage? . . . And how are you to recommend yourself when you have nothing to say, amongst all our great friends?
    WOWSKI. Grin--shew my teeth.
    TRUDGE. Right! they'll think you've liv'd with people of fashion; but suppose you meet an old shabby friend in misfortune, that you don't wish to be seen to speak to--what wou'd you do?
    WOWSKI. Look blind--not see him.
    TRUDGE. Why wou'd you do that?
    WOWSKI. 'Cause I can't bear see good friend in distress.
    TRUDGE. That's a good girl! and I wish every body cou'd boast of so kind a motive for such cursed cruel behaviour. (35-36)

  • Trudge already possesses Noble-Savage values, so he doesn't really try to educate Wowski in social hypocrisy. Colman includes this catechism primarily for comic value and not for its characterizing power. The lovers are really sentimentally noble characters: faithful to each other, true to the laws of nature and humanity, and heedless of civilized man's opinion of them.
      Inkle has, more or less, the same urban background as Trudge, but he upholds different moral values. Inkle represents urban civilization, a marked contrast to Yarico, who represents Nature. As an example of a man blinded by business, Inkle does not find consolation in nature; he finds it in money: "We christians, girl, hunt money, a thing unknown to you. But here, 'tis money which brings us ease, plenty, command, power, every thing, and of course happiness" (67). Inkle reveres material, not spiritual goods (his statement reveals his belief that "of course" money can buy happiness). Hoxie Neal Fairchild mentions that Colman was "up to date" in attacking Threadneedle Street and not the immoral courts (84), as the rising middle class provided a more obvious target for the satirist. 
      Of course, capitalism does not totally rule Inkle's life. He does, after all, fall in love with Yarico and live happily in the forest with her for several weeks. As Yarico observes, however, Inkle's civilized breeding comes to the fore when he leaves the forest and comes near civilization. In the wilds, he tells Yarico she will accompany him to England when they are rescued. On his way to the Barbados, however, Inkle briefly thinks about selling Yarico. Only after contact with civilization does Inkle start seriously vacillating. The planter attacks all Inkle's arguments for fidelity and gratitude by appealing to his mercantile pragmatism: "So because she preserv'd your life, your gratitude is to make you give up all you have to live upon" (40). Although Inkle has promised Yarico eternal fidelity, the planter's exaggerated argument begins to pull him away from his vow. The argument strikes Inkle, but not the audience, as eminently reasonable, but at least it does not convince him completely. 
      Some might think Inkle's repentance at the end of the comic opera, is contrived, like Duke Frederick's in As You Like It or Edmund's in King Lear, but actually Colman sets up the conflict in Inkle's soul much earlier. Although the slave-buying planter may sway Inkle temporarily in Act 2, when Inkle next appears on stage (not until Act 3), he has reverted to his former natural morality, swayed by the thought of Yarico's simplicity and devotion: "I must not--cannot quit her" (57). Unfortunately, civilization intrudes again, this time in the form of Narcissa's maid, Patty. She, like the planter, represents civilized man's flaws (narrow-mindedness, deception, vanity), but while he appeals to Inkle on financial grounds, Patty does so on social grounds. She lies to Inkle that the Governor wants to hold extensive public festivities the next day for Inkle and Narcissa, inadvertently forcing Inkle to reconsider his decision or else lose face in public. Patty tells these lies for a good reason--to get Inkle out of the way so that her mistress, Narcissa, can sneak off to marry Campley--but the results of her meddling are disastrous. 
      Although Inkle's conscience has been gaining the upper hand so far, the interference of corrupt society (through these lies) sways him again: "How can I, in honor, retract?" (58). One call of honor conflicts with another, although he didn't actively seek the second (the public breakfast in his honor). Trudge's casual comments on the bride's fortune ultimately makes Inkle revert to his Threadneedle Street views: "O death! it wou'd be madness to retract. Surely, my faculties have slept, and this long parting from my Narcissa, has blunted my sense of her accomplishments. 'Tis this alone makes me so weak and wavering" (59). Of course, he deceives himself: Narcissa's fortune, not her accomplishments, attracts him. 
      Inkle thinks that money is the source of his happiness, but it also causes all his grief. Because, at the start of the comic opera, Inkle takes too much time calculating "if so many natives cou'd be caught, how much they might fetch at the West India markets" (10), he and Trudge find themselves stranded on the American coast and attacked by Indians instead of safely on board the ship with Narcissa, Campley, Medium, and Patty. Inkle's greed for Narcissa's fortune (coupled with a fear of public humiliation) forces him finally to dispose of Yarico, thereby disgracing himself anyway before his prospective father-in-law. 
      Inkle mistakes Sir Christopher Curry for the slave-trader he met that morning and tries to sell Yarico to him. Because the Governor is against slavery, Inkle comes off very badly indeed:

  • Look-ye, young man, I love to be plain; I shall treat her a good deal better than you wou'd, I fancy; for though I witness this custom every day, I can't help thinking the only excuse for buying our fellow creatures, is to rescue 'em from the hand of those who are unfeeling enough to bring 'em to market . . . [You are an] Englishman! More shame for you; Let Englishmen blush at such practices. Men who so fully feel the blessings of liberty, are doubly cruel in depriving the helpless of their freedom. (63)

  • Nor do Inkle's false boasts about how well he knows the Governor help him much. Poetic justice triumphs again as Inkle's greed for wealth and status finally brings him into a trap: exposure of his unfeeling character before the Governor himself. The only honorable escape for Inkle is repentance and reformation. 
      Although popular opinion has assumed that John Bannister, who invariably played nice guys, suggested to Colman that Inkle should reform at the end of the comic opera, Barry Sutcliffe suggests that Colman's revision of the comic opera's ending actually toned down the "emotional temperature" of the repentance scene, which (in what remains of the manuscript version) he sees as "clearly in the process of rising to a level higher than that of its published counterpart" (24). Colman's plotting in Act 2, after all, carefully intensifies Inkle's entrapment by civilization and his fledgling struggles against it, indicating either that he always intended to have Inkle renounce his former ways or else that he revised the comic opera extensively after changing the ending, the less likely of the two possibilities. 
      The last scene, as it was printed and performed, gives Inkle a chance to resolve the two forces that claim him. He rationally and decisively renounces one of the forces rather than sink into Romantic anguish: 

  • Nature 'gainst Habit combating within me, has penetrated to my heart; a heart, I own, long callous to the feelings of sensibility; but now it bleeds, and bleeds for my poor Yarico. Oh, let me clasp her to it while 'tis glowing, and mingle tears of love and penitence. (72)

  • Like the true man of sensibility, Inkle finally weeps, but unlike such a one, he defends his past conduct and his conversion through reason. Instead of surrendering totally to a spontaneous overflow of powerful feeling, he calmly discusses how his father bred him to be self-interested and asks the Governor a rhetorical question: "Sir, what wou'd you say, should I, in spite of habit, precept, education, fly in my father's face, and spurn his councils?" (72). The Governor, caught, replies with a paradox: "Say! why that you were a damn'd honest undutiful fellow" (72). Inkle has reformed, but he has not completely abandoned his way of logical thinking. 
      Colman's comic opera raises issues not seen before in light dramatic works. The most obvious issue is that of abolition, a topic of great interest at the time: William Pitt had introduced a resolution the spring before Inkle and Yarico opened "that the House should commit itself to full discussion of slavery early in the next session" (Fiske, ETM 477). As MacMillan has observed, drama in the last decade of the eighteenth century often addressed "relatively live social and political issues," but finding such strong social criticism in a comic opera is unusual, especially one that predates most of the "sentimental satire," to borrow MacMillan's apt phrase, of Inchbald, Holcroft, and Reynolds ("Rise of Social Comedy" 336). Inkle and Yarico looks forward, not only to the works of these playwrights, but specifically to other musical plays that debate the same issues of freedom and oppression, of New-World innocence and nobility measured against Old-World corruption, to works such as Sheridan's Pizzaro (1799) and Cobb's Paul and Virginia (1800). 
      The play's attitudes on marriage are also ahead of the times. Loftis notes the difficulty of finding "in English drama of the Restoration and of the eighteenth century prior to the 1790s unambiguous instances of marriage between persons who are neither foolish nor villainous and who are very different from one another in both fortune and rank" ("Political and Social Thought" 283). One cannot deny that Inkle and Yarico are as different from each other as they can possibly be: racially, culturally, and spiritually. Trudge and Wowski, on the other hand, are less extreme in their differences: they differ primarily in race, a point that Trudge regards as ultimately insignificant in their union. 
      The union of Inkle and Yarico, however, is a misalliance, but principally not one of race or rank. The inequity is in the spirit: Yarico's is far superior to the merchant's. She possesses the values that conventionally belong to an ideal: loyalty and courage. Inkle, on the other hand, is cowardly and treacherous, representing humanity's baser side. Because matters are resolved almost miraculously, Colman's play gives the air of a fairy tale: a noble lady helps transform a beast (or a toad) into a human by falling in love with him, and they live happily ever after. Although the difference in race complicates the story, the fairy-tale ending of Inkle's repentance lightens the serious tone of the play. Such a fanciful solution cannot exist in more serious plays. In Boucicault's The Octoroon (1859) and the twentieth-century musical South Pacific (1949), to choose two very different examples, miscegenistic romance proves destructive: both Zoe (the octoroon in love with a white man) and Lt. Cable (in love with a Polynesian girl) find self-annihilation the only possible solution for their problems. 
      Inkle and Yarico, however, is an eighteenth-century comic opera and, therefore, must be light in subject, or at least in treatment. Colman has taken a charged topic, but he manages to keep it comical by adding the satiric Trudge/ Wowski plot and the undeniably wholesome Campley/ Narcissa plot to dilute the main story. Colman is not an English Kotzebue, although, like the German playwright, he depicts social misalliances and treats the unwedded bliss of the lovers sympathetically, if vaguely. Unlike the plays modeled on or inspired by Kotzebue, Inkle and Yarico glosses over sensitive subjects. For example, Inkle feels obliged to marry Yarico because she saved his life, not because they have been living together for several months. Colman decides to leave out the illegitimate child that Steele bestows on the couple, primarily to keep Inkle's inner struggles on a more spiritual level. Inkle's reformation does not depict middle-class morality's triumph over sinfulness; instead, it shows the triumph of spiritual purity over middle-class materialism. 
      Did George Colman the Younger actually advocate these early Romantic positions? Whether he did or didn't does not really matter. He knew what would interest his audience, he knew how to titillate them without badly shocking them, and he perhaps wanted to make them think about slavery, greed, freedom, and humanitarianism. The words of Nicoll sum up Inkle and Yarico nicely: "It startles us, it arouses us, it awakes our consciences better than any pages of philosophy could have done" (3.151). He is actually discussing a play written two years before Inkle and Yarico, but the evoked feelings that he describes result from this comic opera as well as from Inchbald's comedy, I'll Tell You What.
      Colman's comic opera was one of the earliest musical works to reflect the new trends of political and philosophical thought. The new musical dramas of the next decade espoused these Romantic ideas more strongly, but Inkle and Yarico helped make this new form possible. Colman attempted "to expand the familiar formal limits of popular entertainment to include less easily digested material" and was able "over the course of a mere few years [1787-91], to induce into [comic opera and comedy] a flexibility undreamt of either by earlier practitioners like the elder Colman, David Garrick, and John Burgoyne" (Donohue, Theater in the Age of Kean 94). The plot of Inkle and Yarico certainly has come a far way from Love in a Village or The Duenna
      Inkle and Yarico took the basic comic plot (boy-meets-girl, etc.) but fused it with elements of tragedy and sentimental drama, leading the way to the serious comedies of the last decade and to nineteenth-century melodrama. It also altered the balance between music and plot that comic operas of the previous decades had maintained. Such innovations eventually led to the death of the witty comic operas that Bickerstaff, Sheridan, and Brooke wrote.

    Works Cited

    Arnold, Dr. Samuel. Inkle and Yarico: A Comic Opera. London: Longman and Broderip, 1787. Rpt. Kalmus Vocal Series 9062. Melville (NY): Belwin Mills, 197-.

    Chamfort, Sebastian-Roche-Nicholas. La Jeune Indienne. Paris: Vente, 1764, 1787.

    Colman, George the Younger. Inkle and Yarico. An Opera in Three Acts, etc. London: G. G. J. and J. Robinson, 1787. [all quotations are from this edition of the libretto]

    Donohue, Joseph. Theatre in the Age of Kean. Drama and Theatre Studies. Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Littlefield; Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1975.

    Eighteenth-Century Short-Title Catalogue. Baton Rouge: LSU, 1982. [RLIN computer database abbreviated as ESTC]

    Fairchild, Hoxie Neal. The Noble Savage: A Study in Romantic Naturalism. New York: Columbia UP, 1928.

    Fiske, Roger. English Theatre Music in the Eighteenth Century. 2nd ed. London: Oxford UP, 1986. [abbreviated as ETM]

    Hogan, Charles Beecher, ed. The London Stage, 1660-1800. Pt. 5: 1776-1800. 3 vols. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1968.

    James, Reese. Old Drury of Philadelphia: A History of the Philadelphia Stage, 1800-1835. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 1932.

    Ligon, Richard. True and Exact History of the Island of Barbados. London: Peter Parker and Thomas Gray, 1657.

    Loewenberg, Alfred. Annals of Opera: 1597-1940. 3rd ed., rev. and corrected. Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Littlefield, 1978.

    Loftis, John. "Political and Social Thought in the Drama." In The London Theatre World, 1660-1800. Ed. Robert D. Hume. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1980. 253-285.

    London Stage. 5 parts in 11 vols. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1960-68. [abbreviated as LS; prefatory material listed by author].

    MacMillan, Dougald. "The Rise of Social Comedy in the Eighteenth Century." Philological Quarterly 41 (1962): 330-38.

    National Union Catalogue. [Abbreviated NUC]

    Nicoll, Allardyce. Late Eighteenth-Century Drama: 1750-1800. Vol. 3 of A History of English Drama, 1660-1900. 2nd ed. 5 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1952.

    Pollock, Thomas Clark. The Philadelphia Theater in the Eighteenth Century. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 1933.

    Price, Lawrence. The Inkle and Yarico Album. Berkeley: U of California P, 1937.

    Steele, Sir Richard. The Spectator. With Joseph Addison. Ed. Donald Bond. 5 vols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1965.

    Sutcliffe, Barry. Introduction. Plays by George Colman the Younger and Thomas Morton. Ed. Barry Sutcliffe. British and American Playwrights: 1750-1920. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1983.

    Wilson, Arthur Herman. A History of Philadelphia Theater: 1835 to 1855. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 1935.