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The Orphan of China

posted 17 Jan 2016, 10:41 by Jim Sheng   [ updated 2 Jan 2017, 19:58 ]
The book was digitized by Google, and published on Google Books.

I use Microsoft OneNote for the OCR, just copy the picture to OneNote, and right click the image, and 'Copy Text from Picture'. Of course you can also copy text direct from Google Books, which is quite comfortable for you to read on a computer screen.

The letter s( ſ ) and f are very confusing, and cause OCR errors. This long minuscule letter s appears in the middle or at the beginning of a word,  the letter also called medial, or descending s. The double s in the middle of a word was also written with a long s and a short s.





HE Story of Voltaire's ORPHAN of

CHINA, IS so very affecting, and

some of the characters so strongly

marked, that I cannot help taking this 

method of recommending it to your notice. A

Play built on the fame Fable, could not fail

of being well received on our Stage. The

following Translation, lame  as it may appear; 

would bid fair for as many admirers 

as most of our modern Tragedies, if ZAUTI

was represented by Mr. Garrick, and IDAME 


 by Mrs. Cibber, or Mrs. Pritchard: for either
of those Performers would appear to

advantage in that character. You will mile

perhaps at this last insinuation ; but can

assure I am the most disinterested of

any who have offered their Plays to you,

since I shall not pretend to lay any claim

the Benefit of Third Nights.


But if you seriously intended to bring on

a Tragedy founded on this Story, some few

alterations in the Plan might be made, which,

I think, would render it still more excellent.

The two alarming Scenes in the First and Last  act

could, indeed, admit of no improvement;

and are convincing proofs of the sense our

Author must entertain of Shakespear's 

excellencies, and how much he has profited by a

judicious imitation of his manner, notwithstanding 

the disrespect with which he has

more than once mentioned that great Master

of the Drama. It appears to me, that the Plot

would be more artfully conducted, if the audience were not so soon apprized that IDAME

is the Person for whom GENGIS formerly

entertained an unsuccessful passion.


THIS, I think, will be evident to every

one, who will read over the Scene between 

 GENCIS and OCTAR, in the Second act,

and for a moment suppose to himself, that

he has not already been let into the secret

after which let him consider whether the

natural amazement of GENGIS, on seeing

IDAME, at the opening of the Third Act,

would not have been doubly interesting, if

the discovery had by that means been first

made to the spectator. Besides this alteration,

 I cannot help thinking that the account

given by OSMAN, at the latter part of the

Second of the behaviour of ZAMTI:

and IDAME, might be very successfully

thrown into action, and would more 

affectingly engage the attention of the 

audience, than a long narration which would

appear the more tedious, as it would most

probably be put into the mouth of an inferior player. The. character of GENGIS

might also be heightened with some pathetick touches, which would not only be more natural, but would also make him less resemble one of those angry strutting kings,

so frequent in our Plays, and which have

long made Majesty appear ridiculous on the

English Stage.


THESE, and some few other alterations;

might perhaps be found expedient, if you

should think proper to naturalize this French

performance. I hope you will on no account


 the Public of so exquisite an entertainment, since Voltaire's Original must fall

into very bad hands indeed, if they contrive

make it half so insipid as a new Tragedies lately exhibited, Barbassa excepted.

I am,


Your Admirer,

and bumble Servant,

The Translator.