Note by A Milnes to As A Playwright a chapter of The Life Of Dryden

This farce was written by George Villiers, second Duke of Buckingham, aided probably by Butler, author of Hudibras, and several others. It was originally published in 1672, a year after it was first played, and by this time additions had been made to it; a fact which explains Johnson's difficulty about the dates, and the allusions to ' Granada ' and the ' Assignation .' The two parts of ' Granada ' were performed in 1669 and 1670, ' Tyrannic Love ' was printed in 1670, the allusions to the ' Assignation ,' 1673, were added in later editions, and to ' Marriage-à-la-Mode ' there is no reference in the Rehearsal . Dryden in this play was ridiculed under the name of Bayes, an allusion to him as Laureate. The name stuck to him ever after. The intention mentioned by Johnson ' to ridicule the reigning poet, whoever it might be ', is clearly shown by the allusions to other poets, given in the text, and by the fact that the farce was afterwards adapted to Pope. The ' Rehearsal ' was really aimed at the rhyming plays of the time; and so far it certainly fought on the right side. Smith from the country, and Johnson of the town, meet, talk of plays, etc., and encounter Bayes who is going to see the rehearsal of one of his own plays. Bayes offers to take them with him, and the rehearsal is sketched with the comments of all three.

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