FARQUHAR, GEORGE ( 1678-1707 ) An English dramatist. He was born at London derry, Ireland, and entered Trinity College, Dub lin, in 1694, but left without a degree. He was then engaged as an actor by orm of the Dublin theatres. Playing the part of Guyomar in Dry den's Indian Emperor, he accidentally wounded a brother performer, and was so shoeked by the occurrence that he at once quitted the hoards. Accompanied by the actor Wilkes, he proeeeded to London, and shortly afterwards received a commission in the regiment commanded by the Earl of Orrery, which was then stationed in Ireland. Urged by Wilkes, he produced in 1699 his first comedy, entitled Lore and a Bottle, which proved a success. The next year appeared his Constant Couple, which met with a brilliant reception, and to which he wrote a sequel called Sir Harry Wildair. In 1702 he produced The Inconstant, founded on the Wild-Goose Chase of Beaumont and Fleteher—a version in which all the coarseness and none of the poetry is retained.
This was followed by The Twin Rinds (1702) ; The Stage Coach (1701) ; and a fine military comedy called The Recruiting Officer (1700). He had married in 1703, and, falling into serious pecuniary difficulties, he sold his commission. He felt his poverty keenly, but nevertheless dur ing his last illness wrote the best of his plays, The Beaux' Stratagem, it is said, in six weeks. Farquhar is one of the finest of our comic dra matists, although Pope called him a 'farce writer.' Less brilliant than Congreve, he pos sessed more warmth and a wider range of char acter. He had wit in abundance, but he had hu manity too. As a man he was tender-hearted and somewhat given to melancholy. Consult Dra matic Works, edited, with Life, by Ewald (Lon don, 18921.