5 Annotations

Terry F  •  Link


L&M note: "A play by Sir John Suckling which he originally wrote as a tragedy, but transformed into a tragicomedy; first acted in 1737, and published in 1638. The scene mentioned here is probably the one at the beginning of Act V, involving a fight between Ariaspes [Achaemenid, b. 0416 B.C., d. 0359 B.C. of poison, second son of Artaxerxes III Ochus, ruler of Persia], and Ziriff [a fictional person]."

" a tragedy of court intrigue, of which the scene is supposed to be Persia, was acted in the winter of 1637, when its literary qualities received less attention than the novelty and magnificence of the scenery used and the dresses presented by the author to the actors. King Charles is said to have requested an alternative final act with a happy ending, which Suckling afterwards wrote. Flecknoe saw the play when it was revived at the Restoration, and his criticism, that it was "full of flowers, but rather stuck than growing there," applies to all Suckling's dramatic work. He has imagination, fancy and wit, but these faculties are not usually employed upon his plot and his characters. The famous lyric, "Why so pale and wan, fond lover?" occurs in the fourth act of Aglaura." http://www.bartleby.com/216/0921.html

Why so Pale and Wan?

WHY so pale and wan, fond lover?
Prithee, why so pale?
Will, when looking well can't move her,
Looking ill prevail?
Prithee, why so pale?5
Why so dull and mute, young sinner?
Prithee, why so mute?
Will, when speaking well can't win her,
Saying nothing do 't?
Prithee, why so mute?10
Quit, quit for shame! This will not move;
This cannot take her.
If of herself she will not love,
Nothing can make her:
The devil take her!15


Michael Robinson  •  Link

L&M note (v. p. 263., Sept 5 1664) "Originally a tragedy, this play had been awkwardly transformed into a tragicomedy; ... PL 905 (1658 ed.)."

Wing, S 6128, noting one edition only. However in 1658 Humphrey Moseley issued three distinct printings of Suckling's 'Fragmenta Aurelia,' with similar title pages, each designated as "third edition," but each differently paginated and with different contents: each is described separately in the ESTC database. Absent a physical examination of the Pepys copy, or information from someone who has done so, I am unable to distinguish which of the three SP owned.

Aglaura appears to have been popular at the time; separate issues in 1638 and 1646. Issued as part of Suckling's 'Fragmenta Aurelia' in 1646, 1646, (2); 1648 (1); 1658, 1648 sic [ie 1658], 1658 sic for [1659] (3). Later by Bentley & Tonson, as part of a Suckling's 'Works' in 1696.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Sir John Suckling from Aglaura.


WHY so pale and wan, fond lover ?
Prithee, why so pale ?
Will, when looking well can't move her,
Looking ill prevail ?
Prithee, why so pale ?

Why so dull and mute, young sinner ?
Prithee, why so mute ?
Will, when speaking well can't win her,
Saying nothing do 't ?
Prithee, why so mute ?

Quit, quit, for shame, this will not move :
This cannot take her.
If of herself she will not love,
Nothing can make her :
The devil take her !


nix  •  Link

"added an optional happy ending" --

Prefiguring the DVD industry.

Terry Foreman  •  Link


Presented at the Private House in Black-Fryars,
by his Majesties Servants.
Written by Sir JOHN SVCKLING.
LONDON, printed by T. W. for Humphrey Moseley. and are to be sold
at his shop at the Signe of the Princes Armes in St Pauls Churchyard. 1646.

Google book http://goo.gl/bJH7O

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.



  • Sep