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The usual pursuit, full of trick work and slapstick, ensues, until the harlequinade, after a series of Waterloo scenes, ends when Fancy liberates the lovers from Satire's cave, the site of the dark scene; dismissing the various animal actors, she ushers in a celebration of Shakespeare and traditional dramatic genius.
This print text provides hardly any information about the harlequinade proper, with rather cryptic descriptions such as this for Scene XI of "The Grand Interior of Burlington House, As fitted up for the fete, given to the Emperor Alexander: Characters out of Character.
For example, the close of Harlequin and Fancy is handled differently in the two texts, with the print text having Satire banishing the animals and ending the harlequinade, as the action moves to the Fairy's Pavilion and then to the "Court of Shakespeare, in the Temple of Dramatic Genius," while the licensing manuscript has Fancy organize the final action, which takes place in her "Pavilion and Garden.
As the scene in Brighton or the reference to a new Strand bridge suggest, the harlequinade sought a good deal of its energy in reference to current fads, fashions, and events.
Harlequin and Fortunio, as we have seen, sets up the harlequinade as a movement towards a climactic scene at Waterloo.
Still, beyond the fun of the harlequinade and Shing-Moo's praise of peace, the play never escapes the sense that, just as Harlequin can only win Columbine through the trials of the pantomime, so peace can only be achieved through war.
Scholars have, of course, been interested in what this might tell us about Byron, but I am more interested in what it reveals about Dibdin's pantomime and the harlequinade in general.
The role of Harlequin demanded strength, agility, and physical dexterity, for the hero had to foil or elude repeated threats of destruction at the hands of Pantaloon and Clown during the Harlequinade.