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|Letter 31: Mr Doricourt has travelled :he knows best.......
Written by JulieW
(9/17/2007 7:48 a.m.)
Friday. -- I thank you for yours, though I should have been more grateful for it if it had not been charged 8d. instead of 6d., which has given me the torment of writing to Mr. Lambould on the occasion. I am rather surprised at the revival of the London visit; but Mr. Doricourt has travelled -- he knows best.
In the same paragraph in which she writes about a real person, Mr Lambould, the postmaster at Overton, she also writes of Mr Doricourt.
He is ,you will probably be surprised to note, not a real person but a fictional character.
He appears in The Belle's Stratagem, a play written by Hannah Cowley.
The Belle's Stratagem opening scene is set at Lincoln's Inn, where the character Saville is looking for his good friend, Doricourt, who has recently returned from his travels.
And here is an extract from the play to prove that he had indeed, travelled :well at least as far as Rome;-)
Act 1 Scene 1
Courtall : But, pr'ythee, Saville, how came you town, whilst all the qualified gentry are shooting in the country
Seville. I came to meet my friend Doricourt, who, you know, is lately arrived from Rome.
Court Arrived ! Yes, 'faith, and has cut us all out -His carriage, his liveries, his dress, himself, are the rage of the day! His first appearance set the whole too in a ferment, and his valet is besieged by levees of tailors, habit makers, and other ministers of fashion, to gratify the impatience of their customers, for becoming " la mode de Doricourt"-Nay, the beautiful Lady Frolic, t'other night, with two sister countesses, insisted upon his waistcoat for muffs ; and their snowy arms, now hear it in triumph about town, to tile heart-rending affliction of all our beaux garcons !
I love the way JA has this code, or a method if you like of talking with Cassandra about fictional charactres as if they were real. Indeed I do it all the time with her characters.I wonder if she would laugh at me? Probalby so.......
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