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[222] for freedom, and personal loyalty — in one central character, expressed this combination of qualities and sentiments in a vigorous personality, especially suited for Forrest, and clothed the sentiments expressed in a dignified and flexible blank verse, varied at times by prose. Bird's tragedy of Peru, Oralloossa (1832), but more especially his Broker of Bogota (1834), both produced by Forrest, are among the most significant of American dramas. The character of Febro in The Broker of Bogota, energetic, with a middle-class mind but courageous and with a passion for his children, is admirably conceived. Bird was also known as a novelist, and one of his romances, Nick of the woods, dramatized by Louisa Medina in 1838, proved to be one of the most successful melodramas of the time. His Infidel was dramatized by Benjamin H. Brewster and played in Philadelphia in 1835, and The Hawks of hawk Hollow was put on the stage in 1841.1

Bird's fellow-citizen, Richard Penn Smith, while not so great a dramatist, is significant on account of his laudable attempts to treat native material. At least fifteen of his plays were performed, eleven of which have been preserved in print or in manuscript. Of his tragedy Caius Marius, in which Forrest starred, we have only tradition and one scene. His national plays, The eighth of January, celebrating Jackson's victory at New Orleans, William Penn, his drama of colonial and Indian life, both played in 1829, and The triumph at Plattsburg (1830), concerned with McDonough's victory on Lake Champlain, are vigorous plays and were well received.

Although Robert T. Conrad's historical play of Jack Cade, first acted in Philadelphia in 1835, was not written originally for Forrest, it was through his acting that it received its best interpretation. This play was a worthy rival of Bird's dramas for favour here and abroad. It has a deeper significance than appears at first glance, for it was made a vehicle for the expression of democratic ideals, and this strengthened its hold on the American people.

The most significant of this group of Philadelphia dramatists was George Henry Boker. His first play, Calaynos, is a tragedy based on the hatred of the Spaniards for the Moors. Previous to its performance in Philadelphia in 1851, it had a

1 See also Book II, Chap. VII.

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