Griffith, Mrs. (Elizabeth), 1720?-1793. Amana. A dramatic poem. By a lady. London: printed by T. Harrison; for W. Johnston, 1764. xii,54p.; 4⁰. (ESTC T21796; OTA K030677.000)

  • AMANA. A Dramatic Poem.

    Libertas, et natale solum.

    By a LADY.

    LONDON: Printed by T. HARRISON; For W. JOHNSTON in Ludgate-Street. MDCCLXIV.


    THE story of this piece is taken from the moral and ingenious writings, lately published, stiled THE ADVENTURER, Numbers 72 and 73. But the Drama, which was too much confined in the fable, has been inlarged here, by the addition of four persons, namely, NARDIC, ABDALLAH, FATIMA, and HAMET. For tho' NARDIC, and ABDALLAH (SANBAD, in the original) are mentioned in the story, they are not introduced into the scene.

    Some other alterations have been made in the fable, in order to accommodate the representation to a British audience: the machinery of genie's has been laid aside, and the catastrophé brought to pass without the declared interposition of superior agents: the time and place too, have been restrained, to preserve two of the unities. Shakespear alone could call spirits from the vasty deep; he was himself a superior intelligence; could create beings not to be found in nature or fable, could rock ages to sleep to hasten his events, and annihilate both time and space, to bring the history of a man within the representation of a day.

    "Existence saw him spurn her bounded reign,
    " And panting time toiled after him in vain. "

    But modern wits are no more able to stride in Shakespear's buskin, than modern beaus to shoot in Ulysses' bow.

    [Page iv]

    The moral, professed in the original story, is, To shew the folly of human wishes and schemes for correcting the moral government of the world; which sentiment is preserved here in a speech of Amana's.

    O Nouradin!
    Forgive this fatal rashness — Had I staid
    A few short moments, we had now been blest;
    But wresting from the hand of providence
    The means of my escape, we both are wretched.

    But I confess that the reflections which occurred to my mind most strongly, on the perusal of this tale, were a tender and humane resentment of the miseries of those nations which are subject to despotic power, and an exulting sense of the peculiar blessings of liberty, that we enjoy in these thrice happy kingdoms.

    The contemplation of this contrast, both suggested and inspired the plan of the following writing; in which I have endeavoured to contribute my grateful mite of praise to those laws, and to that government, under which our superior advantages are established, defended, and preserved; and however the presumption of this attempt may be condemned, I hope that the faults of the performance may be pardoned, as the first essay of

    A Woman.
  • To the RIGHT HONOURABLE The Countess of Northumberland.


    I Beg leave to lay at your ladyship's feet a work, which from the spirit of liberty it attempts to breathe, may hope for the honour of your patronage. Your ladyship's own character justifies this address, and the names of PERCY and SEYMOUR demand it. History is my voucher, and fame my herald. Liberty was their crest, and Glory their motto.

    BUT such an heroic subject is beyond my strength, and I shall content myself with praising and admiring the more social and amiable virtues of your ladyship, your humanity, benevolence and affability; which latter quality is the characteristic of true nobility, in opposition to that haughtiness which is frequently observable in those who have sprung from obscurity — Those who are placed on an eminence may descend, but those on a level would rise.


    IF this little work, the offspring of a female and unlettered pen, shall be so happy to amuse your ladyship for half an hour, it will afford the highest satisfaction to the author, who humbly presumes to hope, that your ladyship's candour will pardon whatever defects your judgment may find in this piece, for the sake of those sentiments it is intended to convey.

    I have the honour to be, With the profoundest respect, and humblest duty, MADAM, Your most humble and obedient servant, ELIZA GRIFFITH.

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  • AMANA. A Dramatic Poem.


    • OSMIN, Sultan of Egypt.
    • NARDIC, his Prime Minister.
    • HAMET, Aga of his Guards.
    • NOURADIN, an Egyptian Merchant.
    • CALED, his Slave.
    • ABDALLAH, Father to Amana.
    • Amana.
    • FATIMA, Sultaness.

    Attendants, Guards, &c.

    SCENE, in and near Grand Cairo.

  • AMANA.