John Dancer

Criticism

Life
fl.1675; horsetrooper in the service of Duke of Ormond and Smock Alley dramatist; translated plays of Corneille, Tasso and Quinault’s Agrippa, King of Alba, or The False Tibernius, performed before March 1669 in front of Duke of Ormond, Viceroy (W. S. Clark); also trans. writings of René Rapin, Saint Evremond, et al, on oratory and classical history. ODNB OCIL

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Works
Plays, Nicomede , A Tragi-Comedy, Translated out of the French of Monsieur Corneille by John Dancer (London: Francis Kirkman 1670) [with 'exact catalogue of all English plays ...]; Aminta: the famous pastoral written in Italian by Signor Torquato Tasso; and translated into English verse by John Dancer ((London: John Starkey 1660); Agrippa King of Alba: or, The false Tiberinus: As it was several times acted with great applause before his Grace the Duke of Ormond then Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, at the Theatre Royal in Dublin (London: J. C. for Nich. Cox 1675).

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Prose, Trans., René Rapin (1621-87), The comparison of Plato and Aristotle with the opinions of the fathers on their doctrine and some Christian reflections (London: T.R. and N.T. for Dorman Newman [et al.] 1673); Trans, Reflections upon the use of the eloquence of these times: Together with A comparison between the eloquence of Cicero and Demosthenes, translated out of French [of René Rapin] ( Oxford: the bookseller 1672), 16cm.; Trans., Saint Evremond, Charles de Marguetel de Saint Denis, seigneur de, 1613-1703 (Judgement on Alexander and Caesar; and also on Seneca, Plutarch, and Petronius; trans. out of the French (London: A. Maxwell, for Jonathan Edwin 1672), 78pp., 8vo. Trans, sundry issues of The Mercury-Galant from 1672.

Note: Dancer contests authorship of The Mercury-Gallant (1661) with Sir John Davies [see COPAC, infra.]

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Commentary
William Smith Clark, the Early Irish Stage: The Beginnings to 1720 (Oxford: Clarendon 1955): ‘John Dancer, a young Irish horsetrooper of literary attainments, freely translated a French tragicomedy by Quinault under the title of Agrippa, King of Alba, or The False Tibernius, performed before March 1669 on front of Duke of Ormond’. [q.p.].

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Stockwell, La Tourette, Dublin Theatres and Theatre Customs 1637-1820 (Kingsport, Tennessee: Kingsport Press; New York: Benjamin Blom, 1968), cites Nicomede, A Tragi-Comedy, Translated out of the French of Monsieur Corneille by John Dancer, As it was Acted at the Theatre-royal in Dublin. Together with an Exact Catalogue of all the English Stage-Plays printed, till this presented year 1671. Licensed December 16, 1670, Roger L’Estrange. London. Printed for Francis Kirkman and are to be sold at his Shop in Thames-street over against the Custom-House.

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References
Dictionary of National Biography, translator and dramatist; prob. in Duke of Ormond’s service; translated Corneille’s Nicomede, a tragicomedy trans. &c. . ... as it was acted at the Theatre Royal, Dublin (London 1671), published by Francis Kirkman ‘in the absence of the author’, and ded. to Thomas, Earl of Ossory, with an appendix added by Kirkman, ‘A true, perfect, and exact Catalogue of all the comedies, tragedies, tragicomedies, pastorals, masques, and interludes, that were ever yet printed and published till this present year 1671; Judgement on Alexander and Caesar, and also on Seneca, Plutarch, and Petronius, from the French of Renaud [René] Rapin (London 1672); The Comparison of Plato and Aristotle, with the opinions of the fathers on their doctrine and some Christian reflections, from the French (London 1673), ded. James Duke of Ormonde; Mercury Gallant, containing many true and pleasant relations of what hath passed at Paris, from Jan. 1 1672 till the kings departure thence, from the French (London 1673), ded. George Bowerman; Quinault’s Agrippa, King of Alba, or the False Tiberinus [?Tibernius], as it was sev. times acted with great applause before the Duke of Ormonde, LL of Ireland, at the Theatre Royal in Dublin, from the French of Monsieur. Quinault (London 1675), ded. to Ormonde’s dg. Mary, and Tasso’s Aminta, the Famous Pastoral, trans. into English verse ... [with] various Ingenious Poems (1660), the first two in rhyming couplet. BIOG, LONG ODNB, lived for some time in Dublin, dram. translated presented at Theatre Royal; dedicated books to Duke of Ormonde, as owing ‘all I have and am’; groundless credited with alternate name of Dauncy in Langbaine.

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COPAC lists DRAMA, Aminta: the famous pastoral / written in Italian by Signor Torquato Tasso; and translated into English verse by John Dancer; together with divers ingenious poems (London: Printed for John Starkey 1660), [22], 84pp. [microfiche vers. Three centuries of English and American plays, 1500-1830 ]; Nicomede: a tragi-comedy / translated out of the French of Monsieur Corneille, by John Dancer ; together with an exact catalogue of all the English stage-plays printed, till this present year 1671 (London: Printed for Francis Kirkman […]to be sold at his shop 1671), [4], 56pp. [vers. Three centuries of English and American plays, 1500-1830]; Philippe Quinault (1635-88), Agrippa King of Alba: or, The false Tiberinus: As it was several times acted with great applause before his Grace the Duke of Ormond then Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, at the Theatre Royal in Dublin / From the French of Monsieur Quinault (London: Printed by J. C. for Nich. Cox, neer Castle-Yard in Holbourn 1675), [6], 61, [1]; 40pp.; PROSE, Trans., René Rapin (1621-87), The comparison of Plato and Aristotle with the opinions of the fathers on their doctrine and some Christian reflections. Together with Judgement on Alexander & Caesar as also on Seneca, Plutarch and Petronius. [Translated by John Dancer, the first part from René Rapin's “La Comparaison de Platon et d'Aristote,” the second from the “Jugement sur César et sur Alexandre” of C. Marguetel de Saint-Denis, Seigneur de Saint-Évremond.] (London: Printed by T.R. and N.T. for Dorman Newman [..]and Jonathan Edwin [..]1673), [26], 214, [2], 78p ; 8o. ['The epistle dedicatory' signed by the John Dancer, trans.]; Trans, Reflections upon the use of the eloquence of these times: Together with A comparison between the eloquence of Cicero and Demosthenes, translated out of French [of René Rapin] ( Oxford: Printed and […]to be sold by the bookseller there 1672), 16cm.; Trans., Saint Evremond, Charles de Marguetel de Saint Denis, seigneur de, 1613-1703 (Judgement on Alexander and Caesar; and also on Seneca, Plutarch, and Petronius; translated out of the French ( London: printed by A. Maxwell, for Jonathan Edwin 1672), 78pp., 8vo. JOURNALS, Trans., The Mercury-Gallant; containing many ... relations of what hath passed at Paris , from Jan. 1 1672 till the King's departure thence. Translated [by J. Dancer] from the French [of vol. 1 of the Mercure-Galant, &etc.] ( London 1673). [Other vols. 1678-82 and 1717-21], all 12o. [Also in Mercure du dix-neuvième siècle. 1823-32]. ALSO, contests authorship of [Sir John Davies] The civil warres of Great Britain and Ireland: containing an exact history of their occasion, originall, progress, and happy end / by an impartiall pen (London: printed by R.W. for Philip Chetwind […] to be sold by booksellers 1661), 384 [i.e. 396]pp. 29, 8vo., red and black title [dedication signed “J. D.”; attributed to Dancer in Halkett & Laing; with signed pages 281, 222-227, 289-292 repeated between pages 292 and 293].

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