Nahum Tate Rewrites 'the White Devil, 1707
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Extracts from Act I, scene i and Act II, scene i of 'Injur'd Love, or, The Cruel Husband' by Nahum Tate (16521715). Tate, appointed poet laureate in 1692 and the successful adapter of 'King Lear' in 1681, in this instance failed to see his unacknowledged plagiarism rewarded: the title-page describes 'Injur'd Love' as 'designed to be acted at the Theatre Royal'; no record exists that it ever was. Although many scenes follow in Websterian order, yet often with laundered lines, Tate introduces a major change for his post-Restoration intended audience: Vittoria, though high-spirited and attracted to Brachiano, remains faithful to Camillo and, as seen below, tells Brachiano not of her 'foolish idle dream' but of Isabella's virtue. Thus her 'innocence-resembling boldness', as Lamb later put it, becomes at the trial the boldness indeed of innocence. And at Brachiano's effort to destroy his marriage, audiences in an age of decorum were to have heard the earth groan. Among the missing are the scenes of the dirge and at the house of convertities, a dumb show (Camillo's death), disgressions, asides, and, in all, the atmosphere of 'The White Devil'.