High Life Above Stairs.
BON TON; or High Life Above Stairs was first produced, after Measure for Measure, on March 18, 1775, at Drury-Lane, for the benefit of John King, the actor. Its original three acts were reduced to two for the second representation on March 27 of the same year. In the revised form it was repeated on April 4 and April 8. The farce continued to be acted well into the nineteenth century, for it was given at Covent Garden on June 6, 1827.
The play was doubtless sketched earlier than 1775, since the advertisement to the first edition reads as follows: 'This little Drama, which had been thrown aside for many years, was brought out last season, with some alterations, for the benefit of Mr. King, as a token of regard. . . . The author is singularly apprehensive that the excellence of the performance on the stage, will greatly lessen its credit with the readers in the closet.' That the play, however, was unexpectedly popular 'in the closet' is evident from the fact that, after the first edition in 1775, new editions came out in both London and Dublin. The piece also appeared frequently in miscellaneous collections, in one of which-- Powell's Minor Theatre, London, 1793--it is erroneously attributed to John Burgoyne. It was translated into the Italian by Signior G. Piazza, under the title, I Costumi del Mondo: Farsa, and appeared in the eighth volume of Il Teatro Moderno, etc., Venezia, 1796. A French translation, Les Deshors d'un Mariage, comedie en deux actespar Garrick, traduite de l'anglais,