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The Orphan

or, The Unhappy Marriage

Cover image for


Author: Thomas Otway
Published: 1680
Language: English
Wordcount: 16,033 / 55 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 91.8
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 506
Added to site: 2010.03.02 26837
Genre: Drama

Dr. Johnson observes,—"This is one of the few pieces that has pleased for almost a century, through all the vicissitudes of dramatic fashion. Of this play, nothing new can easily be said. It is a domestic tragedy, drawn from middle life:—its whole power is upon the affections; for it is not written with much comprehension of thought, or elegance of expression. But, if the heart is interested, many other beauties may be wanting; yet not be missed."

Show Excerpt

would be busy.

Pol. So would I, Not loiter out my life at home, and know No further than one prospect gives me leave.

Acas. Busy your minds then, study arts and men; Learn how to value merit, though in rags, And scorn a proud, ill-manner'd, knave in office.

Enter Serina.

Ser. My lord, my father!

Acas. Blessings on my child! My little cherub, what hast thou to ask me?

Ser. I bring you, sir, most glad and welcome news; The young Chamont, whom you've so often wish'd for, Is just arriv'd, and entering.

Acas. By my soul, And all my honours, he's most dearly welcome; Let me receive him like his father's friend.

Enter Chamont.

Welcome, thou relic of the best lov'd man! Welcome, from all the turmoils and the hazards Of certain danger and uncertain fortune! Welcome, as happy tidings after fears.

Cham. Words would but wrong the gratitude I owe you! Should I begin to spe



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