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Title: The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor - Vol I, No. 2, February 1810
Author: Arnold, Samuel James, 1774-1852
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor - Vol I, No. 2, February 1810" ***

  [Transcriber's Note:

  Typographical errors are listed at the end of the text.

  The printed book contained the six Numbers of Volume I with their
  appended plays. The Index originally appeared at the beginning of
  the volume; it has been included at the end of the journal text of
  Pages 109-188 refer to the present Number.]




Vol. I.  FEBRUARY 1810.  No. 2.




It has been already remarked that at a very early period, considerably
more than three thousand years ago, the Chinese and other nations in the
east understood the rudiments of the dramatic art. In their crude,
anomalous representations they introduced conjurers, slight of hand men
and rope dancers, with dogs, birds, monkies, snakes and even mice which
were trained to dance, and in their dancing to perform evolutions
descriptive of mathematical and astronomical figures. To this day the
vestiges of those heterogeneous amusements are discernible all over
Indostan: but that which will be regarded by many with surprise, is that
in all countries pagan or christian the drama in its origin, with the
dancings and spectacles attending it have been intermixed with divine
worship. The Bramins danced before their god Vishnou, and still hold it
as an article of faith that Vishnou had himself, "in the olden time"
danced on the head of a huge serpent whose tail encompassed the world.
That very dance which we call a minuet, has been proved by an ingenious
Frenchman, to be the same dance originally performed by the priests in
the temple of Apollo, and constructed by them, to be symbolical of the
zodiac; every figure described by the heavenly bodies having a
correspondent movement in the minuet: the diagonal line and the two
parallels representing the zodiac generally, the twelve steps of which
it is composed, representing the twelve signs, and the twelve months of
the year, and the bow at the beginning and the end of it a profound
obedience to the sun. About the year four hundred after the building of
the city of Rome, the Romans, then smarting under great public calamity,
in order to appease the anger of heaven, instituted theatrical
performances, as feasts in honour of their gods. The first Spanish plays
were founded, sometimes on the loves of shepherds, but much more
frequently on points of theology, such as the birth of Christ, the
passion, the temptation in the desert and the martyrdom of saints. The
most celebrated dramatic poet of Portugal, Balthazar, wrote dramas which
he called AUTOS chiefly on pious subjects--and the prelate Trissino, the
pope's nuncio, wrote the first regular tragedy, while cardinal Bibiena
is said to be the author of the first comedy known in Italy, after the
barbarous ages. The French stage began with the representation of
MYSTRIES, by the priests, who acted sacred history on a stage, and
personated divine characters. The first they performed was the history
of the death of our Saviour, from which circumstance the company who
acted, gave themselves the name of THE CONFRATERNITY OF THE PASSION: and
in England one single paper which remains on record, proves that the
clergy were the first dramatists. This paper is a petition of the clerks
or clergy of St. Paul's to king Richard the Second, and dated in 1378
which prayed his majesty to prohibit a company of _unexpert_ people from
representing the history of the Old Testament, to the great prejudice of
the said clergy, who had been at great charge and expense to represent
the same at christmas.

It would be little to the purpose, to dwell longer on that part of the
history of the drama, which lies back in the darkness of remote
antiquity. Having shown that it did exist, in some shape or other, of
which but very imperfect traces remain, and of course very inadequate
notions can be collected, all further inquiry backward would be but the
loss of so much time and trouble. The scope of human knowledge is
extended at too heavy a price when the industry which might be more
usefully applied, is exercised in hunting down origins into the
obscurity of times so extremely distant. Where the greatest pains have
been lavished on that sort of research, little knowledge has been
gained; and the most diligent inquirers have been compelled either to
confess that they were baffled, or rather than own their disappointment,
to substitute fable for fact, and pass the fictions of imagination for
historical truths.

It is in the records of Greece the dramatic art first presents itself in
the consistent shape and with the circumstantial detail of authentic
history. There, plays were first moulded into regular form, and divided
into acts. Yet the people of that country knew so little of its having
previously existed in any shape, in any other country, that the
different states contested with each other, the honour of having
invented it; each asserting its claim with a warmth that demonstrates
the high sense they entertained of its importance: and surely what such
a people highly valued is entitled to the respect of all other nations.
Of the drama, therefore, it might perhaps be enough to say that it was
nursed in the same cradle with Eloquence, Philosophy, and Freedom, and
that it was so favourite a child of their common parents, that they
contended, each for an exclusive right to it. The credit of having first
given simplicity, rational form, and consequent interest to theatrical
representations has, by the universal concurrence of the learned, been
awarded to Attica, whose genius and munificence erected to the drama
that vast monument the temple of Bacchus, the ruins of which are yet
discernible and admired by all travellers of taste and erudition.

The origin of tragedy is a subject of curious contemplation. A rich
planter of Attica, finding, one day, a goat devouring his grapes, killed
it, and invited the peasantry to come and feast upon it. He gave them
abundance of wine to drink, intoxicated with which they daubed their
faces with the lees, ornamented their heads with chaplets made of the
vine branches, and then danced, singing songs in chorus to Bacchus all
the while round the animal destined for their banquet. A feast so very
agreeable was not likely to go unrepeated; and it was soon reduced to a
custom which was pretty generally observed in Attica, during the
vintage. On those occasions the peasants, absolved from all reserve by
intoxication, gave a loose to their animosities against the opulent, and
in token of defiance of their supposed oppressors, went in bodies to
their houses, and in set terms of abuse and sarcasm, called aloud for
redress of their grievances. The novelty of the exhibition drew a
multitude round them who enjoyed it as a new species of entertainment.
Far from preventing it, the magistrates authorized the proceeding in
order that it might serve as an admonition to the rich; taking special
care, however, that no positive violence should be resorted to, and thus
making it a wholesome preventive of public disorder. To this yearly
festival which was called "the feast of the goat" the people of all
parts were invited; and as this extraordinary spectacle was performed in
a field near the temple of Bacchus, it was gradually introduced into the
worship of that god. Hymns to the deity were sung both by priests and
people in chorus while the goat was sacrificing, and to these hymns the
name was given of _Tragodia_ (tragedy) or "the song of the goat."

During these exhibitions the vintagers, intoxicated with wine and joy,
revenged themselves not only on the rich by publishing and satirizing
their injustice, but on each other with ridicule and sarcasm. In their
other religious festivals also, choruses of fauns and bacchants chaunted
songs and held up individuals to public ridicule. From such an humble
germe has sprung up an art which in all parts of the world has, for
centuries, administered to the advancement of poetry and elegant
literature, and to the delight and improvement of mankind.

To these performances succeeded pieces composed by men of poetical
talents, in some of which the adventures of the gods were celebrated and
in others the vices and absurdities of individuals were attacked with
much asperity. The works of all those poets probably died with them; nor
is there any reason to believe that the loss of them is to be
regretted--they are mentioned here only because they form a link in the
chain of this history. By them, such as they were, however, the
influence of the drama was established so far that it was soon found
necessary to regulate it by law; the players who entered into
competition at the Pythian games being enjoined to represent
successively the circumstances that had preceded, accompanied and
followed the victory of Apollo over Python. Some years after this, came
Susarion of Megara, the first inventor of comedy who appeared at the
head of a company of actors attacking the vices of his time. This was
562 years before Christ, and in twenty-six years after, that is 536
before Christ, appeared Thespis.

THESPIS has the credit of being the first inventor of regular tragedy.
Disgusted with the nonsensical trash exhibited on the subject of
Bacchus, and indignant, or pretending to be so, at the insult offered by
such representations to that deity, he wrote pieces of a new kind, in
which he introduced recitation, leaving Bacchus entirely out, lashing
the vices and follies of the times, and making use, for the first time,
of fiction. Though his representations were very rustic and imperfect
they still make the first great era in the history of the tragic art:
and they must be allowed to have made no slight impression upon the
public mind, when it is remembered that they called forth the opposition
of SOLON, the great lawgiver of Athens; who, on seeing the
representations of Thespis, sternly observed, that if falsehood and
fiction were tolerated on the stage they would soon find their way into
every part of the republic. To this Thespis answered, that the fiction
could not be harmful which every one knew to be fiction; that being
avowed and understood, it lost its vicious character, and that if
Solon's argument were true, the works of Homer deserved to be burned.
Solon, however, exercised his authority upon the occasion, and
interdicted Thespis not only from writing but from teaching the art of
composing tragedies at Athens. Whether Thespis was supported by the
people in contradiction to Solon, or whether he contrived to follow his
business in some other part of Attica, out of the jurisdiction of that
great man, is not known; but he certainly disregarded the interdict, and
not only wrote tragedies, but instructed others in their composition.
For Phrynicus, the tragic poet of Athens, (the first who introduced a
female character on the stage) was his disciple.

In less than half a century after Thespis had, by his ingenuity, so
improved the dramatic art as to form an era in its history, arose the
illustrious personage, whose further improvements and astonishing
poetical talents justly obtained for him the high distinction of "The
Father of Tragedy." Æschylus, in common with all the natives of Attica,
was bred to arms. The same genius which, applied to poetry, placed him
at the head of tragic writers, raised him in the field to a high rank
among the greatest captains of antiquity. At the celebrated battles of
Marathon, Salamis and Platæa he distinguished himself in a manner that
would have rendered his name forever illustrious as a warrior, if the
splendor of his martial fame were not lost in the blaze of his poetical
glories. Descended from some of the highest Athenian blood, he was early
placed under Pythagoras to learn philosophy, and at the age of
twenty-one was a candidate for the prize in poetry. Thus illustrious as
a philosopher, a warrior and a poet, it is no wonder that he was held in
the highest respect and consideration by his countrymen. He wrote
sixty-six, or, as some say, ninety tragedies, forty of which were
rewarded with the public prize. Of all these, seven only have escaped
the ravages of time, and descended to us perfect.

Thespis, who had gone before him, still left the Grecian stage in a
state of great rudeness and imperfection, and, what was worse, in a
condition of low buffoonery. Before Thespis tragedy consisted of no more
than one person, who sung songs in honour of Bacchus. Thespis introduced
a second performer; such was the state of the Grecian stage when
Æschylus arose, and made an illustrious epoch in the history of the
drama. Before him the chorus was the principal part of the performance;
but he reduced it to the state of an assistant, which was introduced
between the acts to heighten the effect by recitation or singing, and by
explaining the subject in its progression. He introduced another actor,
which made his dramatis personæ three. He divided his pieces into acts,
and laid the foundation of those principles of dramatic poesy upon which
Aristotle afterwards built his rules. Thespis and his successors before
Æschylus, acted from a cart in the streets: neither his actors nor
himself were distinguished by any more than their ordinary dress.
Æschylus built a theatre, embellished it with appropriate scenery,
machinery, and decorations, and clothed his actors with dresses suitable
to their several characters. This would have been effecting much if he
had done nothing more; but to the theatre which he erected, he added
plays worthy of being represented with the splendor of such
preparations. Abandoning the monstrous extravagancies and uncouth
buffoonery of his predecessors, he took Homer for his guide, and
composed pieces which for boldness and terrible sublimity have never
been surpassed. His fiery imagination, when once on the wing, soared
beyond the reach of earth, and seemed to spurn probability, and to
delight in gigantic images and tremendous prodigies. No poet ever had
such talents for inspiring terror. When his tragedy of EUMENIDES was
represented, many children died through fear, and several pregnant women
actually miscarried in the house, and it is related of him that nothing
could surpass the terrible ferocity of his countenance while, under the
inspiration of his sublime Muse, he composed his tragedies.

The mind of this very extraordinary man was comprehensive, energetic,
vigorous, and fiery: of him may with equal truth be said what doctor
Johnson has said of our Shakspeare:

  Existence saw him spurn her wide domain.

For his imagination, daring, wild, and disorderly, resorted to the
agency of preternatural beings, and in one of his plays called up the
dead, with a degree of skill which Shakspeare only has surpassed, and
none but Shakspeare could at all equal. He selected his subjects from
the highest regions of sublimity, and his morals, always excellent, are
enforced by the most dreadful examples of divine vengeance. To sum up
his character in a few words--Longinus, the prince of Critias, says of
him that he had a noble boldness of expression, with an imagination
lofty and heroic, and his claim to the sublime has never been contested.
At the same time it must be owned that his style is, at least to modern
readers, obscure, and that his works are considered the most difficult
of all the Greek classics. The improvements he made in the drama seemed
to his cotemporaries to bespeak an intelligence more than human;
wherefore, to account for his wonderous works, they had recourse to
fable, and related that the god Bacchus revealed himself to him
personally, as he lay asleep under the shade of a vine, commanded him to
write tragedy, and inspired him with the means. This story is very
gravely told by the historian Pausanias.

There is little doubt that Æschylus felt a gratification in putting down
the monstrous rhapsodies to Bacchus and the other deities, with which
the idolatrous priests of that day blindfolded and deceived the people;
his plays having frequent cuts upon the gross superstition which then
darkened the heathen world. For some expressions which were deemed
impious he was condemned to die. Indeed christian scholars particularly
mark a passage in one of his tragedies in which he palpably predicts,
the downfall of Jupiter's authority, as if he had foreseen the
dispersion of heathenism. The multitude were accordingly going to stone
him to death when they were won over to mercy by the remonstrances and
intreaties of his brother Amynias who had commanded a squadron of ships
at the glorious battle of Salamis, and was regarded as one of the
principal saviours of his country. This brave man reminded the people
what they owed to his brother Æschylus for his valour at Marathon and at
Platæa, and then of what they owed himself for his conduct at Salamis,
in which bloody but glorious battle he had been chiefly supported by
that brother whom they were now ungratefully going to put to
death:--having said this, he threw aside his cloak and exposing his arm
from which the hand had been cut off, "Behold," he cried--"behold this,
and let it speak for my brother and myself!" The multitude relented, and
were all at once clamorous in their applause and benediction of the two
brothers. The highminded Æschylus however was so incensed at the
ingratitude of the mob and the slight they put upon him, that he retired
into Sicily where he lost his life by a most singular accident. Having
wandered into the fields, an eagle which had mounted into the air with a
tortoise, for the purpose of dropping it upon a rock in order to break
the shell, mistaking the bald head of Æschylus for a stone, let the
animal fall upon it, and killed him on the spot. The Athenians gave him
the honour of a pompous public funeral with orations, and all that could
denote their respect for the hero, the philosopher, the poet, and the
father of the tragic art--and succeeding tragedians made it a ceremony
to perform plays at his tomb.

To complete the glories of this wonderful man, the ruins of the theatre
he planned and erected, furnished the Romans with the model, upon which
they afterwards raised those magnificent edifices which still are the
objects of admiration and delight with the world, and of imitation with
the scientific professors of architecture.


Mrs. Ann Warren, whose name has, for some years, stood so high in
theatrical annals, was the daughter of Mr. John Brunton, who as an actor
and a manager, maintained a respectable rank in Great Britain, while he
remained upon the stage; and all his life has been considered a man of
great worth, and an estimable gentleman. Having received a good
classical education under the tuition of the reverend Mr. Wilton,
prebendary of Bristol, Mr. Brunton was bound apprentice to a wholesale
grocer in Norwich, and when his time was out, married a Miss Friend, the
daughter of a respectable merchant of that city, soon after which he
went to London, and entered into business, as a tea-dealer and grocer in
Drury-Lane. Here he became acquainted with Mr. Joseph Younger, who was
at the time prompter at Covent Garden theatre, and though no actor
himself, knew stage business as well as any man in England. Mr. Younger,
discerning in Mr. Brunton good talents for an actor, advised him to try
the experiment, and gave him such strong assurances of success, that he
agreed to make the attempt and actually made his first appearance in the
character of Cyrus for his friendly adviser's benefit, sometime in the
year 1774. His reception in this character was so very encouraging that
he again came forward before the end of the season, and played the
character of Hamlet for the benefit of Mr. Kniveton. So completely did
the event justify Mr. Younger's opinion, and evince his discernment that
Mr. Brunton soon found it his interest to abandon commerce, and take
entirely to the stage. At this time his eldest daughter, the subject of
the present memoir, was little more than five years of age. Having
settled his affairs in London, and sold off his stock in trade, Mr.
Brunton returned to the city of Norwich in which he got an engagement,
and met all the encouragement, he could hope for, being considered the
best actor that had ever appeared on that stage. From this he was
invited to Bath and Bristol, where he continued to perform for five
years, and at the end of that time returned to the Norwich theatre of
which he became manager. Mr. B.'s family had now become very numerous;
he had six children,--a charge which in England would be thought to lean
too heavy upon a very large estate--and yet with nothing more than the
income which he derived from his professional industry, did this
exemplary father tenderly rear and genteelly educate that family.

From the circumstances of her father's situation, and from her early
accomplishments and success as an actress, it will be imagined by many,
that Miss Brunton was early initiated in stage business; that she had
seen every play acted, and had studied and imitated the many great
models of her time, the Barrys, the Bellamys, the Yeates, and the
Siddonses; that under a father so well qualified to instruct her, her
talents were brought forth in the very bud, by constant exercise, and
that while yet a child she had learned to personate the heroine. What
then will the reader's surprise be, when he is informed that she had
seen very few plays; perhaps fewer than the general run of citizens'
daughters--and that the stage was never even for an instant contemplated
as a profession for her till a very short time before her actual
appearance in public. The fact is, that Mr. Brunton's conduct through
life was distinguished no less by prudence and discretion, than by a
lofty regard to the honourable estimation of his family. While he
himself drudged upon the stage and faced the public eye, his family,
more dear to him, lived in the repose of retired life, and instead of
fluttering round the scenes of gayety and dissipation, or haunting the
theatre before or behind the curtain, Mrs. Brunton trained her children
to domestic habits, and contented herself with qualifying her daughters
to be like herself, good wives and mothers. Not in the city but in the
country near Bath did Mr. Brunton live in an elegant cottage, where his
little world inhaled the pure air of heaven, and grew up in
innocence--Mrs. Brunton herself being their preceptress. Nothing was
farther from his thoughts than that any of his daughters possessed
requisites for the stage; they were all very young, even the eldest, our
heroine, had but turned past fifteen, and, exclusive of her youth, had
a lowness of stature and an exility of person, than which nothing could
be farther from suggesting ideas of the heroine, or of tragic
importance, when one day, by desire of her mother, she recited some
select passages in her father's presence. He listened with mixed
emotions of astonishment and delight--a new train of thought shot across
his mind; he put her over and over again to the trial, and at every
repetition had additional motives to admire and to rejoice. Then, for
the first time, was he aware of the mine which lay concealed in his
family under modesty and reserve, and then, for the first time, he
resolved that she should try her fate upon the stage, his fond heart
prognosticating that _his_ darling would, ere long, be the darling of
the people. That she should possess such an affluence of endowment,
without letting it earlier burst upon her father's sight, is evidence of
a share of modesty and diffidence as rare as lovely, and well worthy
imitation, if under the present _regime_ the imitation of such virtues
were practicable.

As this circumstance exhibits our heroine's private character in a most
exalted and amiable view, so it demonstrates the native powers of her
genius. Let it only be considered!--while she yet fell, by two months,
short of sixteen years of age, or in other words while she had yet
scarcely advanced a step from the date of childhood, without any
previous stage practice, without the advantage of studying, in the
performances of other actresses, what to do, or what to avoid, she comes
forward, for the first time, in one of the most arduous characters in
tragedy, and at one flight mounts to the first rank in her profession.
It is a circumstance unexampled in the records of the stage, and would
be incredible if not too universally known to be doubted.

Mr. Brunton immediately on discovering the treasure he possessed,
resolved to bring it forth to public view. The time was nearly at hand
when he was to take his benefit, and he judiciously thought that there
could not be a more happy way of introducing her with advantage than in
the pious office of aiding him on that occasion--nor can the most lively
imagination, conceive an object more interesting than a creature so
young, so lovely, and so much wiser than her years standing forward to
encounter the hazards and the terrors of that most trying situation in
cheerful obedience to a father's will, and for a father's benefit. The
selection of the character of Euphrasia for her, while he played the
aged father, Evander, who is supposed to be sustained by the nourishment
given from his daughter's bosom, was judicious, as it formed a
coincidence of fact and fiction, which if it had been only moderately
supported by her performance, could scarcely fail to excite in every
bosom, in the house, the most lively and interesting sensations. Nothing
that paternal affection, and good sense could dictate were wanting on
the part of Mr. Brunton. Of the short time he had for instructing her,
no part was lost. The appearance of Mr. Brunton's daughter in Euphrasia,
with a prologue written for the occasion, was announced, and
notwithstanding there were not wanting wretches mean and miserable
enough to trumpet abroad her youth and smallness of stature, as
insurmountable obstacles to her personating the Grecian daughter, more
just ideas of her, or perhaps curiosity brought a full house. Mr.
Brunton himself spoke the prologue, which was written for him by the
ingenious Mr. Meyler, and was as follows:

  Sweet Hope! for whom his anxious parent burns,
  Lo! from his tour the travelled heir returns,
  With each accomplishment that Europe knows,
  With all that Learning on her son bestows;
  With Roman wit and Grecian wisdom fraught,
  His mind has every letter'd art been taught.
    Now the fond father thinks his son of age,
  To take an active part in life's vast stage;
  And Britain's senate opes a ready door,
  To fill the seat his sire had fill'd before,
  There when some question of great moment springs,
  He'll rise--then "hear him, hear him," loudly rings,
  He speaks--th' enraptur'd list'ning through admire
  His voice, his argument, his genius' fire!
  The fond old man, in pure ecstatic joy,
  Blesses the gods that gave him such a boy!
  But if insipid Dulness guide his tongue,
  With what sharp pangs his aged heart is wrung--
  Despair, and shame, and sorrow make him rue
  The hour he brought him to the public view.
    And now what fears! what doubt, what joys I feel!
  When my first hope attempts her first appeal,
  Attempts an arduous task--Euphrasia's wo--
  Her parent's nurse--or deals the deadly blow!
  Some sparks of genius--if I right presage,
  You'll find in this young novice of the stage:
  Else had not I for all this earth affords
  Led her thus early on these dangerous boards.
  If your applause gives sanction to my aim,
  And this night's effort promise future fame,
  She shall proceed--but if some bar you find,
  And that my fondness made my judgment blind,
  Discern no voice, no feeling she possess,
  Nor fire that can the passions well express;
  Then, then forever, shall she quit this scene,
  Be the plain housewife, not the tragic queen.

Such an appeal, delivered with all the powers of an excellent speaker,
and enforced by the genuine and unfeigned feelings of a father's heart,
told home--peals of applause gave assurance that her entrance was
strewed with flowers, and that at least, her reception, would correspond
with his fondest wishes.

The accounts that have been given by spectators of the events of that
night are extremely interesting. Many, no doubt, went there with a
prepossession, raised by the unfavourable reports of her personal
appearance; and if lofty stature were indispensibly necessary to a
heroine, no external appearance could be much less calculated to
personify a Thalestris than Miss Brunton's--but the mighty mind soon
made itself to be felt, and every idea of personal dimensions vanished.
"The audience (says a British author) expected to see a mawkin, but saw
a Cibber--the applause was proportionate to the surprise: every mouth
emitted her praise, and she performed several parts in Bath and Bristol,
a phenomenon in the theatrical hemisphere." Though the trepidation
inseparable from such an effort diminished her powers at first, the
sweetness of her voice struck every ear like a charm: the applause that
followed invigorated her spirits so far that in the reciprocation of a
speech or two more, her fine clear articulation struck the audience with
surprise, and when, more assured by their loud approbation, she came to
the speech:

  "Melanthon, how I loved, the gods who saw
  Each secret image that my fancy formed,
  The gods can witness how I loved my Phocion,
  And yet I went not with him. Could I do it?
  Could I desert my father?--Could I leave
  The venerable man, who gave me being,
  A victim here in Syracuse, nor stay
  To watch his fate, to visit his affliction,
  To cheer his prison hours, and with the tear
  Of filial virtue bid each bondage smile."

she seemed to pour forth her whole heart and soul in the words, and
emitted such a blaze as filled the house with rapture and astonishment.
In a word, no actress at the highest acmé of popularity ever received
greater applause. Next day her performance was the topic of every circle
in Bath. Horatia in the Roman Father, and Palmyra in Mahomet, augmented
her reputation, and in less than a month the fame of this prodigy, for
such she appeared to be, had reached every town and city of Great
Britain and Ireland.

It was natural to imagine that such extraordinary powers would not be
long suffered to waste themselves upon the limited society of country
towns. Mr. Harris, as soon as he received intelligence on which he could
depend, upon the subject of Miss Brunton's talents, resolved to be
himself an eye-witness of her performance, and set off to Bath with a
view, if his judgment should concur with that of the public of that
city, to offer her an engagement at Covent Garden. To see her was to
decide; he resolved to have her if possible, and lost no time to make
such overtures at once as could not well be refused. These included an
engagement at a very handsome salary for her father; her own of course
was liberal--when one considers how long Mrs. Siddons had appeared upon
the stage before she got a firm footing on the London boards, one cannot
but be astonished at the rise of this lady at one leap from the
threshold to the top of her profession. It is worthy of observation that
the real children of nature generally burst at once upon the view in
excellence approaching to perfection; while the mere artists of the
stage lag behind, labouring for years, before they attain the summit of
their ambition; when their consummate art and their skill in concealing
that art (ars celare artem) if they have it, entitles them at last to
the highest praise. Mrs. Bellamy was one of those children of nature.
Before she appeared, Quin decidedly gave judgment against her: yet the
first night she performed he was so struck with her excellence, that,
impatient to wipe away his injustice by a candid confession he
emphatically exclaimed, "My child, the spirit is in thee." Garrick it is
said never surpassed his first night's performance: and the Othello of
Barry's first appearance, and the Zanga of Mossop's never were equalled
by any other actors, nor were ever surpassed even by themselves.

Such was the impression made by this phenomenon, even before she left
the country for London, that the presses teemed with tributes to her
extraordinary merit, in verse and prose. Learning poured forth it praise
in deep and erudite criticism--Poetry lavished its sparkling encomium in
sonnets, songs, odes, and congratulatory addresses, while the light
retainers to literature filled the magazines and daily prints with
anecdotes, paragraphs, bon-mots, and epigrams. In a word, there was for
sometime no reading a newspaper, or opening a periodical publication
without seeing some production or other addressed to Miss Brunton. From
the number which appeared the following is deservedly selected, for the
elegance of its Latin and the beauty of its thoughts:



    Nostri præsidium et decus thartri;
  O tu, Melpomene severioris
  Certe filia! quam decere formæ
  Donavit Cytherea; quam Minerva
  Duxit per dubiæ vias juventæ,
  Per plausus populi periculosus;--
  Nec lapsam--precor, O nec in futuram
  Lapsuram. Satis at Cam[oe]na dignis
  Quæ te commemoret modis? Acerbos
  Seu præferre Monimiæ dolores,
  Frater cum vetitos (nefas!) ruebat
  In fratris thalamos, parumque casto
  Vexabat pede; sive Julietæ
  Luctantes odio paterno amores
  Maris: te sequuntur Horror,
  Arrectusque comas Pavor. Vicissim
  In fletum populus jubetur ire,
  Et suspiria personant theatrum.

    Mox divinior enitescis, altrix
  Altoris vigil et parens parentis.
  At non Græcia sola vindicavit
  Paternæ columen decusque vitæ
  Natam; restat item patri Britanno
  Et par Euphrasiæ puella, quamque
  Ad scenam pietas tulit paternam.

    O Bruntona, cito exitura virgo,
  Et visu cito subtrahenda nostro,
  Breves deliciæ, dolorque longus!
  Gressum siste parumper oro; teque
  Virtutesque tuas lyra sonandas
  Tradit Granta suis vicissim almunis.

The following very elegant poem, published as a version of this ode, is
rather a paraphrase than a translation. What Gibbon said of Pope's Homer
may with some truth be applied to it: "_It has every merit but that of
resemblance to the original._" Might not a version equally elegant, but
adhering more closely to the original, and preserving more of its
peculiar genius be found in America. We wish some of our readers who
feel the inspiration of a happy Muse would make the experiment.

    Maid of unboastful charms, whom white-rob'd Truth,
  Right onward guiding through the maze of youth,
  Forbade the Circe, PRAISE, to witch thy soul,
  And dash'd to earth th' intoxicating bowl;
  Thee, meek-eyed Pity, eloquently fair,
  Clasp'd to her bosom, with a mother's care;
  And, as she lov'd thy kindred form to trace,
  The slow smile wander'd o'er her pallid face,
  For never yet did mortal voice impart
  Tones more congenial to the sadden'd heart;
  Whether to rouse the sympathetic glow,
  Thou pourest lone Monimia's tale of wo;
  Or happy clothest, with funereal vest,
  The bridal loves that wept in Juliet's breast.
  O'er our chill limbs the thrilling terrors creep,
  Th' entranc'd passions still their vigils keep;
  Whilst the deep sighs, responsive to the song,
  Sound through the silence of the trembling throng.
  But purer raptures lighten'd from thy face,
  And spread o'er all thy form a holier grace;
  When from the daughter's breast the father drew
  The life he gave, and mix'd the big tear's dew.
    Nor was it thine th' heroic strain to roll,
  With mimic feelings, foreign from the soul;
  Bright in thy parent's eye we mark'd the tear;
  Methought he said, "Thou art no actress here!
  A semblance of thyself, the Grecian dame,
  And _Brunton_ and _Euphrasia_ still the same!"
  O! soon to seek the city's busier scene,
  Pause thee awhile, thou chaste-eyed maid serene,
  Till Granta's sons, from all her sacred bow'rs,
  With grateful hand shall weave Pierian flow'rs,
  To twine a fragrant chaplet round thy brow,
  Enchanting ministress of virtuous wo!

It was on the 17th of October, 1785, that Miss Brunton made her first
appearance at Covent Garden theatre in the character of Horatia. The
public had anxiously looked for her, and the house was crowded to
receive her. The venerable Arthur Murphy wrote a prologue for the
occasion, in which he displayed his accustomed delicacy and judgment. It
was as follows, and was well spoken by Mr. Holman:

  The tragic Muse long saw the British stage
  Melt with her tears, and kindle with her rage,
  She saw her scenes with varied passions glow,
  The tyrant's downfall and the lover's wo;
  'Twas then her Garrick--at that well-known name
  Remembrance wakes, and gives him all his fame;
  To him great Nature open'd Shakspeare's store,
  "Here learn," she said, "here learn the sacred lore;"
  This fancy realiz'd, the bard shall see,
  And his best commentator breathe in thee.
  She spoke: her magic powers the actor tried;
  Then Hamlet moraliz'd and Richard died;
  The dagger gleam'd before the murderer's eye,
  And for old Lear each bosom heav'd sigh;
  Then Romeo drew the sympathetic tear,
  With him and Cibber Love lay bleeding here.
  Enchanting Cibber! from that warbling throat
  No more pale Sorrow pours the liquid note.
  Her voice suppress'd, and Garrick's genius fled,
  Melpomene declined her drooping head;
  She mourn'd their loss, then fled to western skies,
  And saw at Bath another genius rise.
  Old Drury's scene the goddess bade her choose,
  The actress heard, and spake, "herself a muse."
  From the same nursery, this night appears
  Another warbler, yet of tender years;
  As a young bird, as yet unus'd to fly
  On wings, expanded, through the azure sky,
  With doubt and fear its first excursion tries
  And shivers ev'ry feather with surprise;
  So comes our chorister--the summer's ray,
  Around her nest, call'd forth a short essay;
  Now trembling on the brink, with fear she sees
  This unknown clime, nor dares to trust the breeze.
  But here, no unfledg'd wing was ever crush'd;
  Be each rude blast within its cavern hush'd.
  Soft swelling gales may waft her on her way,
  Till, eagle-like, she eyes the fount of day:
  She then may dauntless soar, her tuneful voice
  May please each ear and bid the grove rejoice.

It would be superfluous, and indeed only going over the same ground
already beat at Bath, to describe Miss Brunton's reception on her first
appearance in London. Suffice it to say that plaudits and even
exclamations of delight were, if possible, more rapturous and more
incessant at Covent Garden than at Bath. Of the reputation thus quickly
acquired, she never, to the day of her death, lost an atom; but
continued to perform, in different parts of England, with accumulating
fame, till her marriage deprived the people of England of her talents.

Mr. Robert Merry, a gentleman well known in the literary world, and
rendered conspicuous by some pretty poetry published under the name of
_Della Crusca_, had the honour of rendering himself so agreeable to Miss
Brunton that she suffered him to lead her to the altar. He was of a
gentleman's family, and received his education under that mass of
learning, doctor Parr, was a man of brilliant genius, amiable
disposition, elegant manners, with a fine face and person. Being a _bon
vivant_ and a little addicted to play, as well as to other fashionable
and wasteful frivolities of high life, his affairs were in a very
unpleasant state, but for this there was an abundant remedy in his
wife's talents; and perhaps (with her aid) a little in his own too.
Family pride, however, forbid it. He was much swayed by his relatives,
particularly by two old maiden aunts, who were, or affected to be
wounded at his marrying an actress. Nothing but his withdrawing his wife
from the stage could assuage their wrath or heal the wound, and Mrs.
Merry, in a spirit of obedience to her husband, and of amiable feeling
for his situation, which will ever do honour to her memory, complied;
and as soon as her engagement at Covent Garden expired (in 1792) left
the stage, to the great regret, and a little to the indignant contempt
for the old ladies, of the whole British nation.

Mr. and Mrs. Merry soon after paid a visit to the continent, where they
lived for a little more than a year, when they returned to England, and
settled in retired life in the country and there remained till the year
1796, when they removed to America. Mr. Brunton, the father of Mrs.
Merry, was, no less than the old ladies alluded to, and on much more
substantial grounds, averse to her marriage with Mr. Merry, and still
more to her coming to America. In obedience to a higher duty, however,
she followed the fortunes of her husband, and with the most poignant
regret left her native country and her father, to sojourn in a strange
land. On the 19th of September, 1796, they sailed from the Downs, and on
the 19th of October following landed at New-York.

Few country theatres in Great Britain have been able to boast of so good
a company as that which assembled at Philadelphia on the season which
succeeded Mrs. Merry's arrival. The theatre opened on the fifth of
December, with Romeo and Juliet, and the Waterman. The elegant and
interesting Morton played Romeo--Mrs. Merry Juliet; all the characters
had excellent representatives, and Mrs. Merry appeared to the audience a
being of a superior kind. That winter she played all her best parts, but
though supported by such a company it often happened that the receipts
were insufficient to pay the charges of the house, and the season was,
on the whole, extremely unsuccessful; a circumstance which at first view
will excite surprise, but at the time might reasonably have been
expected. This will be understood when the general financial condition
of the city is called to recollection. Every one who has known the
country but for a few years back must remember the almost general
bankruptcy occasioned by the failure of land speculating men of opulence
and high credit. During that time commerce in all its classes sensibly
felt the shock, and business languished in all its branches. No wonder
that the theatre, which can only be fed by the superflux of all other
departments of society, should droop, neglected and unsupported. The
prices then too were higher than now--the boxes a dollar and a
quarter--the pit a dollar. And here we cannot help expressing a wish,
founded we believe on justice and common sense, that admittance to the
pit were raised:--first, because it is, at least, equal if not
preferable to the boxes; and next because it would in some degree tend
to exclude many who, though fit to sit only in the upper gallery, make
their way into the pit to the great annoyance of those decent well
behaved people who go to enjoy and understand the play, and not to
blackguard and speak aloud.

When the theatre was closed, according to civil regulation, the company,
went to New-York. At that time Hallam and Hodgkinson had possession of
both the theatres of that city--the old one in John-street, and the new
one at the Park. The Philadelphia company, still bleeding from the
wounds of the unsuccessful season, and urged by necessity for future
support, applied to Hallam and Hodgkinson to rent them the theatre in
John-street. Guided by a policy, rational enough and perhaps justifiable
on principles of self-defence, though certain not very liberal, and in
the end greatly injurious to themselves, the York proprietors
peremptorily refused. The circus of Ricketts, the equestrian, in
Greenwich-street then presented itself, and the Philadelphia company
opened in full force. In order to oppose them, Hallam and Hodgkinson
invited Mr. Sollee with his company to John-street. The Philadelphia
company, however, made a very successful campaign of it. Sollee also had
his visitors, and the consequence to H. and H. was that when they came
to open the new house they played to thin or rather empty boxes; the
town being saturated with theatrical exhibitions, and a little exhausted
too of the cash disposable for such recreations.

In New-York as well as Philadelphia, and indeed in every place where
Mrs. M. went, she was no sooner seen than admired; and the impression
she never failed to make at first sight remained, not only uneffaced but
more deeply augmented in proportion as she was seen, even to the end of
her life. She afterwards visited Baltimore and other places, and
wherever she went, was the polar star to which the attention of all was

While she was proceeding in this career of success her felicity met with
the most cruel interruption by the sudden death of her husband, which
happened at Baltimore in the latter end of the year 1798. Mr. Merry had
not laboured under any specific physical complaint from which his death
could in the smallest degree be apprehended. On the day before christmas
he was apparently well, had walked out into the garden, and was soon
after followed by some friends who found him lying senseless on the
ground. Medical aid was immediately called in--several attempts were
made to draw blood from him but without the least success; the
physicians pronounced it an apoplectic case, and from every circumstance
the conclusion was that his death was instantaneous and without pain.
Mr. Merry was large and of a plethoric habit; and to that his death may,
in some sort, and was then entirely ascribed. But circumstances appeared
after his death which led to a conclusion that concealed sorrow, might
have had some share in it. From refined motives of tenderness for a
beloved wife's feelings, and that loftiness of spirit which clings to
the perfect gentleman, he concealed the state of his affairs in England,
which had for some time been in a rapid decline, and of the complete
ruin of which he had a short time before been fully informed. His
patrimonial estate had been foreclosed and sold under a mortgage, and he
remained debtor for a considerable sum after the sale. To this effect a
letter was found after his death. As soon as this was discovered, every
one who knew his exquisite sensibility, reflected with astonishment upon
the delicacy which dictated and the fortitude with which he managed his
concealment, and felt deep and sympathetic sorrow for the anguish he
must have been privately enduring while he endeavoured to dress his face
with tranquillity and to converse with his accustomed cheerfulness and
ease. Smothered grief is one of the most deadly inmates; and it is
reasonable to believe that a paroxysm of violent emotion in a moment
when solitude gave an opportunity for giving a loose to reflection,
operating upon a plethoric habit, occasioned his sudden dissolution.

That Mr. Merry was a gentleman of great private worth we believe the
evidence of all those to whom familiar intercourse had revealed his
disposition; that he was learned and accomplished in a very eminent
degree no one has ever denied; and that he was a man of genius, his
"Della Crusca," and the many witty and satirical epigrams he wrote for
the public prints under the signature of "Tom Thorne," abundantly prove.
But the pen of state vengeance was raised against him, and his poetical
fame was immolated as an expiation for his political offences. Attached
to French revolutionary, or, as they were then called, jacobin
principles, to a degree which even Foxites censured, he was viewed with
abhorrence by one party, and with no great regard by the other; so that
when the witty author of the Pursuits of Literature drew his sword, and
the sarcastic author of the Baviad and Mæviad lifted his axe against him
there was no one to ward off the blows. There is a fact respecting Mr.
M. which, though it does not properly belong to this biographical
sketch, yet as it is curious enough to apologize for its introduction,
we take the liberty to relate. The celebrated Mrs. Cowley, under the
name of "Anna Matilda," and Mr. M. under that of "Della Crusca,"
corresponded with and admired each other, without being known or even
suspected by one another, or, for some time, by the public. These
productions formed a new era or rather a new school of poetry, which
excited such attention and curiosity that every art was resorted to in
order to discover the authors. It was at length whispered abroad, and
then what most surprised the world was, that the two persons were
totally strangers to each other.

Mrs. Merry remained a widow for more than four years: she then, on the
first of January 1803, married Mr. Wignell, the manager of the
Philadelphia theatre, who died in seven weeks after their marriage. For
three years and a half she retained the name of Wignell, when the
present manager solicited her hand so successfully that she consented,
and took the name of Warren, on the 15th of August, 1806. By this
marriage the property and management of the Philadelphia theatre
devolved upon Mr. Warren; than whom, exclusive of the personal
attachment that subsisted between them, she could not have pitched upon
any one person more competent to the care of her property or the
direction of the theatre; or one more worthy of the sacred trust of
being a parent and a guardian to her infant daughter. For near two years
they lived together in a state of ease and felicity which bid fair to
last for years, when he being obliged to attend his company to their
customary summer stations, Mrs. Warren, then in a far advanced state of
pregnancy, desired to go along with him. Aware of the fatigue, the
inconveniences, and the privations to which she would, in all
likelihood, be exposed, during her journey southward, and still more in
her _accouchement_, which must necessarily take place before his return,
he endeavoured to prevail upon her to stay behind. But "Fate came into
the list," and she would go. Arrived at Alexandria, he took a large
commodious house, and put it in a condition sufficiently comfortable;
Mrs. Warren was in lusty health, and as the time approached all was fair
and promising. By one of those turns, however, which it pleases
Providence for his own wise purposes frequently to ordain, to mock our
best hopes and baffle our most sanguine expectations, this admirable
woman was, contrary to every antecedent prognostic, visited in her
travail with epileptic fits, in which she expired, "leaving," (as the
sublime Burke no less truly than pathetically said on the death of
doctor Johnson,) "not only nothing to fill her place, but nothing that
has a tendency to fill it."

Here, we let the curtain drop. Neither her private nor her public
character can derive additional lustre from any pen.


Mr. Thomas Betterton, dramatist and actor, was born in Tothill-street,
Westminster; and after having left school, is said to have been put
apprentice to a bookseller. It is supposed he made his first appearance
on the stage about the year 1657, at the opera house, which was then
under the direction of sir William Davenant. He went over to Paris to
take a view of the French scenery, and on his return, made such
improvements, as added greatly to the lustre of the English stage.

The professional merits of this great man were of a kind so perfectly
unequivocal and unalloyed that there never was heard one dissenting
voice upon the subject of his superiority to all other actors. He stood
so far above the highest of his profession that competition being
hopeless there was no motive for envy.

Of the few who lived to see him and Garrick, the far greater number gave
him the palm, with the exception of Garrick's excellence in low comedy.
Indeed he seems to have combined in himself the various powers of the
three greatest modern actors, of Garrick, except as before excepted, of
Barry, and of Mossop; add to which, he played Falstaff as well as Quin.
The present writer got this from old Macklin, who was stored with
anecdotes of his predecessors.

Of Betterton, Colley Cibber speaks thus, in his apology for his own

"Betterton was an actor, as Shakspeare was an author, both without
competitors! formed for the mutual assistance, and illustration of each
other's genius! how Shakspeare wrote, all men who have a taste for
nature may read, and know--but with what higher rapture would he still
be read, could they conceive how Betterton _played_ him! Then might they
know, the one was born alone to speak what the other only knew to write!
pity it is, that the momentary beauties flowing from a harmonious
elocution, cannot, like those of poetry, be their own record! that the
animated graces of the player can live no longer than the instant breath
and motion that presents them; or at best can but faintly glimmer
through the memory, or imperfect attestation of a few surviving
spectators. Could _how_ Betterton spoke be as easily known as _what_ he
spoke, then might you see the Muse of Shakspeare in her triumph, with
all her beauties in their best array, rising into real life, and
charming her beholders. But alas! since all this is so far out of the
reach of description, how shall I show you Betterton? Should I therefore
tell you, that all the Othellos, Hamlets, Hotspurs, Mackbeths, and
Brutuses, whom you may have seen since his time, have fallen far short
of him; this still would give you no idea of his particular excellence.
Let us see then what a particular comparison may do! whether that may
yet draw him nearer to you?

"You have seen a Hamlet perhaps, who, on the first appearance of his
father's spirit, has thrown himself into all the straining vociferation
requisite to express rage and fury, and the house has thundered with
applause; though the misguided actor was all the while (as Shakspeare
terms it) tearing a passion into rags--I am the more bold to offer you
this particular instance, because the late Mr. Addison, while I sate by
him, to see this scene acted, made the same observation, asking me with
some surprize, if I thought Hamlet should be in so violent a passion
with the ghost, which though it might have astonished, it had not
provoked him? for you may observe that in this beautiful speech, the
passion never rises beyond an almost breathless astonishment, or an
impatience, limited by filial reverence, to inquire into the suspected
wrongs that may have raised him from his peaceful tomb! and a desire to
know what a spirit so seemingly distressed, might wish or enjoin a
sorrowful son to execute towards his future quiet in the grave! this was
the light into which Betterton threw this scene; which he opened with a
pause of mute amazement! then rising slowly, to a solemn, trembling
voice, he made the ghost equally terrible to the spectator, as to
himself! and in the descriptive part of the natural emotions which the
ghastly vision gave him, the boldness of his expostulation was still
governed by decency, manly, but not braving; his voice never rising into
that seeming outrage, or wild defiance of what he naturally revered. But
alas! to preserve this medium, between mouthing, and meaning too little,
to keep the attention more pleasingly awake, by a tempered spirit, than
by mere vehemence of voice, is of all the master-strokes of an actor the
most difficult to reach. In this none yet have equalled Betterton. But I
am unwilling to show his superiority only by recounting the errors of
those, who now cannot answer to them, let their farther failings
therefore be forgotten! or rather, shall I in some measure excuse them!
For I am not yet sure, that they might not be as much owing to the false
judgment of the spectator, as the actor. While the million are so apt to
be transported, when the drum of their ear is so roundly rattled; while
they take the life of elocution to lie in the strength of the lungs, it
is no wonder the actor, whose end is applause, should be also tempted,
at this easy rate, to excite it. Shall I go a little farther? and allow
that this extreme is more pardonable than its opposite error? I mean
that dangerous affectation of the monotone, or solemn sameness of
pronunciation, which to my ear is insupportable; for of all faults that
so frequently pass upon the vulgar, that of flatness will have the
fewest admirers. That this is an error of ancient standing seems evident
by what Hamlet says, in his instructions to the players, _viz._

  Be not too tame, neither, &c.

The actor, doubtless, is as strongly tied down to the rules of Horace as
the writer:

    Si vis me flere, dolendum est
  Primum ipsi tibi----

He that feels not himself the passion he would raise, will talk to a
sleeping audience: but this never was the fault of Betterton; and it has
often amazed me to see those who soon came after him, throw out in some
parts of a character, a just and graceful spirit, which Betterton
himself could not but have applauded. And yet in the equally shining
passages of the same character, have heavily dragged the sentiment along
like a dead weight; with a long-toned voice, and absent eye, as if they
had fairly forgot what they were about. If you have never made this
observation, I am contented you should not know where to apply it.

"A farther excellence in Betterton, was, that he could vary his spirit
to the different characters he acted. Those wild impatient starts, that
fierce and flashing fire, which he threw into Hotspur, never came from
the unruffled temper of his _Brutus_ (for I have more than once, seen a
_Brutus_ as warm as Hotspur) when the Betterton Brutus was provoked, in
his dispute with Cassius, his spirit flew only to his eye; his steady
look alone supplyed that terror, which he disdained an intemperance in
his voice should rise to. Thus, with a settled dignity of contempt, like
an unheeding rock, he repelled upon himself the foam of Cassius. Perhaps
the very works of Shakspeare will better let you into my meaning:

  Must I give way, and room, to your rash choler?
  Shall I be frighted when a madman stares?

And a little after,

  There is no terror, Cassius, in your looks! &c.

Not but in some part of this scene, where he reproaches _Cassius_, his
temper is not under this suppression, but opens into that warmth which
becomes a man of virtue; yet this is that _hasty spark_ of anger, which
Brutus himself endeavours to excuse.

"But with whatever strength of nature we see the poet show, at once, the
philosopher and the hero, yet the image of the actor's excellence will
be still imperfect to you, unless language could put colours in our
words to paint the voice with.

"_Et, si vis similem pingere, pinge sonum_, is enjoining an
impossibility. The most that a _Vandyke_ can arrive at, is to make his
portraits of great persons seem to _think_; a Shakspeare goes farther
yet, and tells you _what_ his pictures thought; a Betterton steps beyond
them both, and calls them from the grave, to breathe, and be themselves
again, in feature, speech, and motion. When the skilful actor shows you
all these powers at once united, and gratifies at once your eye, your
ear, your understanding. To conceive the pleasure rising from such
harmony, you must have been present at it! 'tis not to be told you!

"There cannot be a stronger proof of the charms of harmonious elocution,
than the many, even unnatural scenes and flights of the false sublime it
has lifted into applause. In what raptures have I seen an audience, at
the furious fustian and turgid rants in _Nat. Lee's Alexander the
Great_! for though I can allow this play a few great beauties, yet it is
not without its extravagant blemishes. Every play of the same author has
more or less of them. Let me give you a sample from this. Alexander, in
a full crowd of courtiers, without being occasionally called or provoked
to it, falls into this rhapsody of vainglory:

  Can none remember? Yes, I know all must!

And therefore they shall know it again.

  When Glory, like a dazzling eagle, stood
  Perched on my beaver, in the Granic flood,
  When Fortune's self, my standard trembling bore,
  And the pale Fates stood frighted on the shore,
  When the immortals on the billows rode,
  And I myself appeared the leading god.

When these flowing numbers come from the mouth of a Betterton, the
multitude no more desired sense to them, than our musical connoisseurs
think it essential in the celebrated airs of an Italian opera. Does not
this prove, that there is very near as much enchantment in the
well-governed voice of an actor, as in the sweet pipe of a eunuch? If I
tell you, there was no one tragedy, for many years, more in favour with
the town than Alexander, to what must we impute this its command of
public admiration? not to its intrinsic merit, surely, if it swarms with
passages like this I have shown you! If this passage has merit, let us
see what figure it would make upon canvas, what sort of picture would
rise from it. If Le Brun, who was famous for painting the battles of
this hero, had seen this lofty description, what one image could he have
possibly taken from it? In what colours would he have shown us _Glory
perched upon a beaver_? how would he have drawn _Fortune trembling_? or,
indeed, what use could he have made of _pale Fates_, or _immortals_
riding upon _billows_, with this blustering _god_ of his own making at
the _head_ of them! where, then, must have lain the charm, that once
made the public so partial to this tragedy? why plainly, in the grace
and harmony of the actor's utterance. For the actor himself is not
accountable for the false poetry of his author; that, the hearer is to
judge of; if it passes upon him, the actor can have no quarrel to it;
who, if the periods given him are round, smooth, spirited, and
high-sounding, even in a false passion, must throw out the same fire and
grace, as may be required in one justly rising from nature; where those
his excellencies will then be only more pleasing in proportion to the
taste of his hearer. And I am of opinion, that to the extraordinary
success of this very play, we may impute the corruption of so many
actors, and tragic writers, as were immediately mislead by it. The
unskilful actor, who imagined all the merit of delivering those blazing
rants, lay only in the strength, and strained exertion of the voice,
began to tear his lungs, upon every false, or slight occasion, to arrive
at the same applause. And it is hence I date our having seen the same
reason prevalent, for above fifty years. Thus equally misguided too,
many a barren-brained author has streamed into a frothy flowing style,
pompously rolling into sounding periods, signifying--roundly nothing; of
which number, in some of my former labours, I am something more than
suspicious, that I may myself have made one, but to keep a little closer
to Betterton.

"When this favourite play I am speaking of, from its being too
frequently acted, was worn out, and came to be deserted by the town,
upon the sudden death of Monfort, who had played Alexander with success,
for several years, the part was given to Betterton, which, under this
great disadvantage of the satiety it had given, he immediately revived
with so new a lustre, that for three days together it filled the house;
and had his then declining strength been equal to the fatigue the action
gave him, it probably might have doubled its success; an uncommon
instance of the power and intrinsic merit of an actor. This I mention
not only to prove what irresistible pleasure may arise from a judicious
elocution, with scarce sense to assist it; but to show you too, that
though Betterton never wanted fire, and force, when his character
demanded it; yet, where it was not demanded, he never prostituted his
power to the low ambition of a false applause. And further, that when,
from a too advanced age, he resigned that toilsome part of Alexander,
the play, for many years after never was able to impose upon the public;
and I look upon his so particularly supporting the false fire and
extravagancies of that character, to be a more surprizing proof of his
skill, than his being eminent in those of Shakspeare; because there,
truth and nature coming to his assistance he had not the same
difficulties to combat, and consequently, we must be less amazed at his
success, where we are more able to account for it.

(_To be continued._)


  I have always considered those combinations which are formed in the
  playhouse as acts of fraud or cruelty: He that applauds him who
  does not deserve praise, is endeavouring to deceive the public; He
  that hisses in malice or in sport is an oppressor and a robber.

  _Dr. Johnson's Idler, No. 25._


_Dec. 6th._--Douglas, _with the_ Shipwreck.      Young Norval }
     _8th._--Mountaineers--Raising the Wind.     Octavian     }
     _9th._--Lover's Vows--Rosina.               Frederick    }
    _11th._--Mahomet--Spoiled Child.             Zaphna       } _BY_
    _13th._--Hamlet--Weathercock.                Hamlet       }
    _15th._--Pizarro--The Ghost.                 Rolla        } _MASTER_
    _16th._--Douglas--Youth, Love and Folly.     Young Norval }
    _18th._--Tancred and Sigismunda--Farmer.     Tancred      } _PAYNE._
    _20th._--Barbarossa--Too Many Cooks.         Selim        }
     _22d._--Romeo and Juliet--Love laughs at                 }
             Locksmiths, for his own benefit.    Romeo        }

All those plays are well known. From the peculiar circumstances
attending their performance they call for a share of particular
attention, which would otherwise be superfluous. Where there is
something new, and much to be admired, it would be inexcusable to be
niggard of our labour, even were the labour painful, which in this
instance it is not. The performance of Master Payne pleased us so much
that we have often since derived great enjoyment from the recollection
of it; and to retrace upon paper the opinions with which it impressed
us, we now sit down with feelings very different from those, which, at
one time, we expected to accompany the task. Without the least
hesitation we confess, that when we were assured it would become our
duty to examine that young gentleman's pretensions, and compare his
sterling value with the general estimate of it, as reported from other
parts of the union, we felt greatly perplexed. On one hand strict
critical justice with the pledge which is given in our motto,
imperiously forbidding us to applaud him who does not deserve it, stared
us in the face with a peremptory inhibition from sacrificing truth to
ceremony, or prostrating our judgment before the feet of public
prejudice: while, on the other we were aware that nothing is so
obstinate as error--that fashionable idolatry is of all things the most
incorrigible by argument, and the least susceptible of conviction--that
while the dog-star of favouritism is vertical over a people, there is
no reasoning with them to effect; and that all the efforts of common
sense are but given to the wind, if employed to undeceive them, till the
brain fever has spent itself, and the public mind has settled down to a
state of rest. We had heard Master Payne's performances spoken of in a
style which quite overset our faith. Not one with whom we conversed
about him spoke within the bounds of reason: few indeed seemed to
understand the subject, or, if they did, to view it with the sober eye
of plain common rationality. The opinions of some carried their own
condemnation in their obvious extravagance; and hyperbolical admiration
fairly ran itself out of breath in speaking of the wonders of this
cisatlantic young Roscius.

While we knew that half of what was said was utterly impossible, we
thought it due to candor to believe that such a general opinion could
not exist without some little foundation; that in all likelihood the boy
had merit, considerable for his years and means, to which his puerility
might have given a peculiar recommendation, and that when he came to be
unloaded by time and public reflection of that injurious burthen of
idolatrous praise, which to our thinking had all the bad effects of
calumny, we should be able to find at bottom something that could be
applauded without impairing our veracity, deceiving the public, or
joining the multitude in burning the vile incense of flattery under the
boy's nose, and hiding him from the world and from himself in a cloud of
pernicious adulation.

But how to encounter this reigning humour was the question: to render
his reasoning efficacious, the critic must take care not to make it
unpalatable. And here the general taste seemed to be in direct
opposition to our reason and experience; for we had not yet (even in the
case of young Betty, with the aggregate authority of England, Ireland,
and Scotland in his favour) been free from scepticism: the Roscio-mania
contagion had not yet infected us quite so much: in a word, we had no
faith in MIRACLES, nor could we, in either the one case or the other,
screw up our credulity to any sort of unison with the pitch of the
multitude. We shall not readily forget the mixed sensations of concern
and risibility with which, day after day, from the first annunciation of
Master Payne's expected appearance at Philadelphia, we were obliged to
listen to the misjudging applause of his panegyrists. There is a
narrowness of heart, and a nudity of mind too common in our nature,
under the impulse of which few people can bring themselves to do homage
to one person without magnifying their incense by the depreciation of
some other. According to these a favourite has not his proper station,
till all others are put below him; as if there was no merit positive,
but all was good but by comparison. In this temper there certainly is at
least as much malice to one as kindness to the other: but an honourable
and beneficent wisdom gives other laws for human direction, and dictates
that in the house of merit there are not only many stories, but many
apartments in each story: and that every man may be fairly adjudicated
all the praise he deserves without thrusting others down into the ground
floor to make room for him. Yet not one in twenty could we find to
praise Master Payne, without doing it at the expense of others. "He is
superior to Cooper," said one; "he speaks better than Fennell," said a
second: these sagacious observations too, are rarely accompanied by a
modest qualification, such as "I think," or "it is my opinion"--but
nailed down with a peremptory IS. This is the mere naked offspring of a
muddy or unfinished mind, which, for want of discrimination to point
out the particular beauties it affects to admire, accomplishes its will
by a sweeping wholesale term of comparison, more injurious to him they
praise than to him they slight. Nay, so far has this been carried, that
some who never were out of the limits of this union have, by a kind of
telescopical discernment, viewed Cooke and Kemble in comparison with
their new favourite, and found them quite deficient. We cannot readily
forget one circumstance: a person said to another in our hearing at the
playhouse, "You have been in England, sir, don't you think Master Payne
superior to young Betty?" "I don't know, sir, having never seen Master
Betty," answered the man; "I think he is very much superior," replied
the former--"You have seen Master Betty then, sir," said the latter;
"No, I never did," returned he that asked the first question, "but I am
sure of it--I have heard a person that was in England say so!!"--This
was the pure effusion of a mind subdued to prostration by wonder. In
England this was carried to such lengths, that the panegyrists of young
Betty seemed to vie with each other in fanatical admiration of that
truly extraordinary boy. One, in a public print, went so far as to
assert, that Mr. Fox (who, as well as Mr. Pitt, was at young Betty's
benefit when he played Hamlet) declared the performance was little, if
at all, inferior to that of his deceased friend Garrick. With the very
same breath in which we read the paragraph we declared it to be a
falsehood. Mr. Fox had too much judgment to institute the
comparison--Mr. Fox had too much benignity to utter such a malicious
libel upon that noble boy.

These considerations naturally augmented our anxiety, and we did most
heartily wish, if it were possible, to be relieved from the task of
giving an opinion of Master Payne. For in addition to his youthfulness,
we knew that he wanted many advantages which young Betty possessed. The
infant Roscius of England, had, from his very infancy, been in a state
of the best discipline; being from the time he was five years of age,
daily exercised in recitation of poetry, by his mother, who shone in
private theatricals; and having been afterwards prepared for the stage,
and hourly tutored by Mr. Hough, an excellent preceptor. By his father
too, who is one of the best fencers in Europe, he was improved in
gracefulness of attitude--and nature had uncommonly endowed him for the
reception of those instructions. Of such means of improvement Master
Payne was wholly destitute, for there was not a man that we could hear
of in America who was at once capable and willing to instruct him.
Self-dependent and self-taught as he must be, we could see no feasible
means by which he could evolve his powers, be they what they might, to
adequate effect for the stage. We deemed it scarcely possible that he
could have got rid of the innumerable provincialisms which must cling to
his youth: and we laid our account at the best with meeting a fine
forward boy who would speak, perhaps not very well either, by rote; and
taking the most prominent favourite actor of his day, as a model, be a
mere childish imitator. We considered that when young people do any
thing with an excellence disproportioned to their years, they are viewed
through a magnifying medium; and that being once seen to approach to the
perfection of eminent adults, they are, by a transition sufficiently
easy to a wondering mind, readily concluded to excel them. Thus Betty
was said to surpass Kemble and Cooke; and thus young Payne was roundly
asserted to surpass Cooper and Fennell. Such were the feelings and
opinions with which we met Master Payne on his first appearance, for
which the tragedy of Douglas was judiciously selected; and we own that
the first impression he made upon our minds was favourable to his
talents in this way: He appeared to be just of that age which we should
think least advantageous to him; too young to enforce approbation by
robust manly exertion of talents; too far advanced to win over the
judgment by tenderness; or by a manifest disproportion between his age
and his efforts, to excite that astonishment which, however shortlived,
is, while it lasts, despotic over the understanding. Labouring,
therefore, under most of the disadvantages without any of the
advantages of puerility, candor and common sense pronounced at once that
much less of the estimation in which he was held, was to be ascribed to
his boyishness, and of course much more to his talents than we had been
led to imagine. If, therefore, he got through the character handsomely,
and still carried the usual applause along with him, we directly
conceived that there would be just ground for thinking it not entirely
the result of prejudice, nor by any means undeserved.

At his entrance he seemed a little intimidated, as if he were dubious of
his reception; nor could he for some minutes devest himself of that
feeling, though he was received with the most flattering welcome;--this
transient perturbation gave a very pleasing effect to his first words;
and when he said, "My name is Norval," he uttered it with a pause which
seemed to be the effect of the modest diffidence natural to such a
character upon being introduced into a higher presence than he had ever
before approached. Had this been the effect of art it would have been
fine--perhaps it was--but we thought it was accidental.

The utter impossibility of a beardless boy of sixteen or seventeen
years, at all assimilating to the character of a warrior and mighty
slayer of men, is of itself an insuperable obstacle to the complete
_personification_ of certain characters by a young gentleman of the age
and stature of Master Payne. He might speak them with strict
propriety--he might act them with feeling and spirit; but had he the
general genius of Garrick--the energies of Mossop--the beauty of Barry,
the elocution of Sheridan, and the art of Kemble, he could not with the
feminine face and voice, and the unfinished person inseparable from such
tender years, _personate_ them: nor so long as he is seen or heard can
the perception of his nonage be excluded, or he be thought to represent
that character, to the formation of which, not gristle, nor fair, round
soft lineaments, but huge bone and muscle, well-knit joints, knotty
limbs, and the hard face of Mars are necessary. If we find, as we do in
many great works of criticism, objections made to the performance of
several characters by actors of high renown merely for their deficiency
in personal appearance--if the externals of Mr. Garrick are stated by
his warmest panegyrists as unfitting him for characters of dignity or
heroism, even to his exclusion from Faulconbridge, Hotspur, &c. and if
we find that the greatest admirers of Barry considered the harmony and
softness of his features, as reducing his Macbeth, Pierre, &c. to poor
lukewarm efforts, how can it be expected that a boy, just started from
childhood, should present a true picture of a warrior or a philosopher?
We premise this for the purpose of having it understood that what we are
to say of Master Payne is to be subject to these deductions, and that in
the praise which it is but just to bestow upon him, we exclude all idea
of external resemblance to the characters. Of the mental powers, the
informing spirit, the genius, the feeling which he now discloses, and
the rich promise they afford of future greatness--of these it is, we
profess to speak: further we cannot go without insincerity, untruth, and
manifest absurdity.

As might have been expected from Master Payne's limited means of stage
instruction, he several times discovered want of judgment. In the speech
in which Norval tells his story, he trespassed on propriety in his
efforts to throw an air of martial ardor into his expressions; by
suddenly changing the key and raising the tone of his voice, and
speaking with increased rapidity the words that more immediately related
to fighting, erecting them into a kind of _alto relievo_ above the level
of the rest; particularly in "I had heard of battles," &c. "We fought
and conquered," &c. all which is a narrative that should be delivered
with humility, and a strict avoidance of any thing like vainglory, or
egotism, studiously softening down, with modest air, those details of
his own prowess which the author has _necessarily_ given to the

Had Master Payne had a Hough to instruct him, or a Cooke for his model,
he would have escaped the error into which he fell in that part of the
fourth act in which Norval describes the hermit who instructed him: he
would have known that acting what he narrates is highly improper--indeed
absurd; as it is acting in the first person, and speaking in the third
at one and the same time. While he repeated the words

  ----Cut the figures of the marshall'd hosts,
  Described the motions, and explain'd the use
  Of the deep column, and the lengthened line,
  The square, the crescent, and the phalanx firm,

Master Payne cut those figures, and described the square and the
crescent with his hands--a great error! A better lesson cannot be
offered to a young actor on this subject than may be found in the novel
of Peregrine Pickle, in which doctor Smollet ridicules Quin the player
for acting narrative in Zanga.

Master Payne would find it his interest to avoid as much as may be, long
declamatory speeches, till his organs are enlarged and confirmed. But in
those parts in which Douglas discloses his lofty spirit, and no less in
all the pathetic parts, he far exceeded expectation, and deserved all
the applause he received.

  Oh, tell me who and where's my mother!
  Oppressed by a base world, perhaps she bends
  Beneath the weight of other ills than grief,
  And, desolate, implores of Heaven the aid
  Her son should give----
  Oh, tell me her condition.

There was, in his delivering these lines, an expression of tenderness
which appealed forcibly to the heart; and was rendered still more
striking by the abrupt transition to his sword,

  Can the sword----
  Who shall resist me in a parent's cause?

which he executed with a felicity that nothing but consummate genius
could accomplish. Again he blazed out with _the true spirit_ in the
following lines:

  The blood of Douglas will protect itself.
  Then let yon false Glenalvon beware of me.

That part, however, in which he disclosed not only exquisite feeling but
a soundness of judgment that would do honour to an experienced actor,
was where Glenalvon taunts him, for the purpose of rousing his spirit to
resentment. In that speech particularly which begins,

  Sir, I have been accustomed all my days
  To hear and speak the plain and simple truth.

The suppression of his indignation in this and the succeeding
passages--the climax of passion marked in his face, his tone and his
action, when he says to himself

  If this were told!----

the gradation thence to

  Hast thou no fears for thy presumptuous self?

till at last he flames into ungovernable rage in

  Did I not fear to freeze thy shallow valour,
  And make thee sink too soon beneath my sword,
  I'd tell thee--what thou art--I know thee well.

was altogether a string of beauties such as it rarely falls to the lot
of the critic to commemorate. Had age and personal hardihood been added,
it would have defied the cavils of the most churlish criticism, and
deprived even enmity of all pretence to censure.

The next striking beauty he disclosed was in his reply to Randolph, when
the latter offers his arbitration between him and Glenalvon.

  Nay, my good lord, though I revere you much,
  My cause I plead not, nor demand your judgment.

The cold peremptory dignity he threw into these words was beautifully
conceived, and executed in a masterly manner: nor was he less successful
in the transition to an expression of poignant but smothered sensibility
in the next line:

  I blush to speak: I will not, cannot speak
  Th' opprobrious words that I from him have borne.

His delivery of this and all the other lines of the speech that followed
it, deserved the thunders of applause with which it was greeted--it was,
indeed, admirable.

In impassioned feeling lies Master Payne's strength. Hence his last
scene was deeply affecting. Though we could well have spared that
KEMBLEIAN dying trope, his rising up and falling again. It is because we
seriously respect Master Payne's talents that we make this remark:
clap-traps and stage trick of every kind cannot be too studiously
avoided by persons of real parts.

It would be injustice to omit one passage--

  Just as my arm had mastered Randolph's sword
  The villain came behind me----BUT I SLEW HIM.

In the break, the pause, and the last four words he was inimitably fine.

In Master Payne's performance of this character we perceived many
faults, which call for his own correction. They are, we think, such as
he has it in his power to get rid of. As they are general and pervade
all his performances, we reserve our observations upon them till we
close the course of criticism we are to bestow upon him, when we mean to
sum up our opinion of his general talents. Meantime we beg leave to
remind him that Mr. Garrick himself, after he had been near forty years
upon the stage, often shut himself up for days together restudying and
rehearsing parts he had acted with applause a hundred times before. _Sat

Nature has bestowed upon this young gentleman a countenance of no common
order. Its expression has not yet unfolded itself; but we entertain no
doubt that when manhood and diligent professional exercise shall have
brought the muscles of his face into full relief, and strengthened its
lines, it will be powerfully capable of all the inflexions necessary for
a general player. At present the character of his physiognomy is
perfectly discernible only upon a near view. When he advances towards
the front of the stage, the lines may be perceived from that part of the
pit and boxes which are near the orchestra; even then the shades are so
very much softened by youth, and the parts so rounded, and so utterly
free from acute angles, that they can, as yet, but faintly express
strong, turbulent emotions, or display the furious passions. In a boy of
his age, this, so far from being a defect, is a beauty, the reverse of
which would be unnatural; and if it were a defect, every day that passes
over his head would remedy it. What is now wanting in muscular
expression, is in a great measure supplied by his eye, which glows with
animation, and intelligence, and at times SPEAKS the language of a soul
really impassioned. Upon a close view, when apart from the factitious
aids and incumbrances of stage-lights, costume, and paint, he must be a
shallow-sighted physiognomist who would not at the first glance be
struck by Master Payne's countenance. A more extraordinary mixture of
softness and intelligence never were associated in a human face. The
forehead is particularly fine; Lavater would say that genius and energy
were enthroned there; and over the whole, though yet quite boyish, there
is a strong expression of what is called manliness; by which is to be
understood, not present, but the indications of future manliness. How
strongly and distinctly this is characterised in the boy's face, may be
collected from an anecdote which, exclusive of its application to this
subject, we think well worth relating on account of the other party
concerned in it.

A day or two before Master Payne left Philadelphia he and a friend of
his walking in a remote part of the city, were encountered by a strange
old woman, who requested alms with an earnestness which exacted
attention. The gentleman who was in company with our youth, and from
whom we deliver the story, being an Irishman, instantly recognizing in
the petitioner, an unhappy countrywoman, stopped, surveyed her with more
than cursory regard, and put his hand into his pocket in order to give
her money. As there was in her aspect that which bespoke something that
had once been better accommodated, and had claims above a common
mendicant, he was searching in his pocket for a suitable piece of
silver, when the generous boy outstripping him, put unostentatiously,
into the old lady's hand some pieces of silver. She viewed them--drew
back--gazed upon him for some seconds with a fixed look of wonder,
delight and affection, then lifting up her eyes to heaven, in a tone of
voice, and with a solemnity which no words can express, exclaimed, "May
the great God of heaven shower down his blessings on YOUR INFANT YEARS,
AND MANLY FACE!" Quickness of conception beyond all other people is now
allowed, even by the English, to be characteristic of the people of
Ireland, once considered by those of the sister kingdom as the Bæotians
of Britain; and we are disposed to concur with the Irish gentleman, who,
in his exultation and honest prejudice said, "that the woman might be
known to be Irish from her warm gratitude, her quick discernment, and
her elegant extemporaneous compliment." In fact, if Edmund Burke
himself, who exceeded all mankind in the quickness and elegance of
complimentary replies, had been considering the matter a whole hour, he
could not have uttered anything to surpass it.

Of Master Payne's person we cannot speak (nor do we hope) so favourably
as of his face. And we much fear that he will not undergo the pain of
mending it by abstinence from indulgence. Early hours, active or even
hard exercise, particularly of the gymnastic kind, and diligent
unremitting study are as indispensable to his fame, if he means to be a
player, as food or drink are to his support. In general his action is
elegant--his attitudes bold and striking; but of the former he sometimes
uses too much, and in his appropriation of the latter he is not always
sufficiently discriminating. This was particularly observable in his
performance of Frederick in Lover's Vows--a character in which we shall
have occasion to speak of him, and with great praise in a future number.
His walk too, which in his own unaffected natural gait is not
exceptionable, he frequently spoils by a kind of pushing step, at open
war with dignity of deportment. It would be well for this young
gentleman if he had never seen Mr. Cooper. Perhaps he will be startled
at this; and flatters himself that he never imitates that gentleman. We
can readily conceive him to think so even at the moment he is doing it.
To imitate another, it is not necessary to intend to do so. Every day of
their lives men imitate without the intervention of the will. The
manners of an admired, or much-observed individual, insensibly root
themselves in a young person's habits--he draws them into his system, as
he does the atmosphere which surrounds him. We doubt very much whether
Mr. Cooper himself would not be surprised if he knew how much he
imitates Kemble. Though seemingly a paradox, we firmly rely upon it--Mr.
Cooper _may_ be aiming at Cooke, when he is by old habitual taint really
hitting Kemble.[1] On this subject of imitation much is to be said.
Kemble rose when every bright luminary of the stage had set. Being the
best of his day, in the metropolis, he has become the standard of acting
to the young and inexperienced; more from pride than want of judgment he
goes wrong; his system of acting is radically vitious; but as it makes
labour pass as a substitute for genius, by transferring expression from
its natural organs to the limbs, and making attitude and action the
chief representatives of the passions and the feelings, it not only
fascinates because it catches the eye, but is adopted because extremely
convenient to the vast majority of young adventurers on the stage, who,
possessing neither the feelings fit for the profession, nor the organs,
nor the genius to express them if they had, are glad to find a
substitute for both. Hence the system of Mr. Kemble has spread like a
plague--infected the growing race of actors, mixed itself with the very
life-blood of the art, and extended its contagion through every new
branch, even to the very last year's bud. Thus Mr. Kemble is imitated by
those who never saw him. Let us tell Master Payne that it is the very
worst school he could go to, this of the statuary. It is as much
inferior to the old one--to that of Garrick, Barry, Mossop, and nature,
as the block of marble from which the Farnesian Hercules was hewed, is
to the god himself. Of its superiority we need urge no farther proof
than that of Mr. Cooke, who, though assuredly inferior to several of the
old stock, and groaning under unexampled intemperance, has in spite of
every impediment which artful jealousy and envy of his talents could
raise against him, risen so high in public estimation, that even when
just reeking from offences which would not have been endured in Garrick
or Barry, his return is hailed with shouts, as if it were a national
triumph. And why?--because he is of the old school, and scorns the
cajolery of statue-attitude and stage-trick.

  [Footnote 1: Had Mr. Cooper entered on the profession in the days of
  Garrick, we are persuaded he would, with the advantage of that great
  man as a model, and the scientific Macklin as an instructor, have been
  one of the first actors that ever existed.]

We speak thus freely to Master Payne because we think he has talents
worth the interposition of criticism, and if we speak at all, must speak
the whole truth. The praise we give him might well be distrusted, if
from any false delicacy we slurred over his defects and errors. The most
dangerous rock in his way will be adulation. Sincerely we wish him to be
assured that those who mix their applause with a proper alloy of censure
are his best friends. Indiscriminate flatterers are no better than the
snake which besmears its prey with slime, only to gorge it the more

On reviewing what we have written, we find no observation on Master
Payne's voice, in which nature has been very bountiful to him. We heard
him a few times, with no little pain strain it out of its compass. He
need not do so; since, judiciously managed, it is equal to all the
purposes of his profession. Those are dangerous experiments, by which
he may spoil a voice naturally clear, melodious, and of tolerable
compass. His pronunciation is at times hurtful to a very nice ear. He is
not to imagine that he has spoken as he ought when he has uttered words
as they are pronounced in general conversation. There are some, and high
ones too, who will say "good boy" when they mean "goodbye;" and it would
not be at all impossible to hear a very fine lady say that she was daown
in taown, to buy a gaown. We do not accuse Master Payne of this; but at
times a little of the _a_ cheats the _o_ of its good old round rights;
so distantly however, as not to be noticed except by a very accurate
ear--but he ought not to let _any ear_ discover it.

To the correct orthoepist, several persons on the stage give offence in
the pronunciation of the pronoun possessive MY--speaking it in all cases
with the full open Y, as it would rhyme to _fly_, which should only be
when it is put in contradistinction to _thy_ or _his_, or any other
pronoun possessive: in all other cases it should be sounded like _me_.
This is a pure Americanism, not practised in any other place where the
English language is spoken, and, so far as it goes, deprives the word of
a quality of nice distinctness.

It gives us great pleasure to communicate to our readers the
intelligence that Master Payne's success at Richmond, even surpassed
that which he had met before. From a letter submitted to our perusal we
have, with permission, made the following extract: "Wednesday night
Payne arrived; Thursday was the first day of his performance; the other
nights, being Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and
Saturday, when the house closed for the season; and on Sunday he
departed in the mail stage. This flying visit (of ten days only)
produced him upwards of SEVENTEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS!!"

       *       *       *       *       *

It was our intention to confine our remarks on this occasion entirely to
Master Payne. It seemed to us that the interest taken by the public in
this native plant, the novelty of his appearance, and, indeed, his own
merits, laid claim to a very particular discussion of his performances:
but as we read over the play for that purpose, Mr. M'Kenzie's _Old
Norval_ forced itself so imperiously upon our remembrance, that we could
not drop the subject without doing justice to that gentleman's
performance and our own feelings. It was a specimen of acting and
speaking we little expected to meet with: masterly, chaste, and
exquisitely affecting; no less gratifying to the critical ear than to
the feeling heart. We particularly admired his attestation to heaven of
his innocence:

                          As I hope
  For mercy before the judgment seat of heaven
  The tender lamb that never nipt the grass
  Is not more innocent than I of murder.

And his pathetic supplication for mercy:

  Oh, gentle lady! by your lord's dear life,
  Which these weak hands, I swear, did ne'er assail,
  And by your children's welfare spare my age!
  Let not the iron tear my aged joints,
  And my gray hairs bring to the grave with pain.

The first of these he poured forth with an expression of simple
sincerity, and the second with a gentle earnestness, so humble, so
passionately moving, that none but the most hardened hearts could resist
it. Even the gallery felt its force and made the house resound with its
rude applause--'twas well; and we may say with Pierre,

  We could have hugged the greasy rogues; they pleased us.

As in the two former passages Mr. M'Kenzie presented a specimen of
exquisitely pathetic expression, so he evinced his skill and powers of
speaking in that speech which may be called the pride of the
play--perhaps of all Scottish poetry too, in which he relates the
finding of the child:

  One stormy night, as I remember well,
  The wind and rain beat hard upon our roof;
  Red came the river down, and loud and oft
  The angry spirit of the water shriek'd, &c.

Lord Randolph is a character of which we doubt whether Cooke himself
could make any thing. Mr. Warren did all that is usually done for him.

Partial as we are to Mr. Wood's acting generally, we did not perceive in
his performance of Glenalvon any thing to please us very much, or
augment his reputation.

In Lady Randolph, Mrs. Barrett would deserve much commendation, if she
could get rid of a few faults in her speaking. Her feelings and personal
appearance are finely adapted to the character.

       *       *       *       *       *

A correspondent at Baltimore, of whose judgment we think highly, has
sent us the following communication, and expressed a wish that we should
publish it--at the same time acknowledging that it had been printed in
some periodical paper. As we wish to oblige our correspondent, and there
is no opinion in it which, according to our present idea of the company
violently militates against our own, we give it a place.

While so interesting a scene is now acting upon the great theatre of the
world, and as the chief performer has recently closed one of the acts
with a very important incident, it may, by many be considered as a
relaxation, to employ a few minutes in taking a concise view of our own
little theatre; the leader of which has also so lately closed his
campaign in Baltimore.

I am the more desirous of offering a few remarks upon this subject, from
having occasionally heard observations indicating some disapprobation
relative to our theatrical arrangements. Such impressions, we flatter
ourselves, a little more information upon the subject, and a candid
reconsideration will do away. From a knowledge of the state of the
theatres in other parts of the continent, we feel ourselves perfectly
safe in declaring, that ours is most unquestionably entitled to the
first place, whether we have reference to the performers composing the
company, the scenery, dresses, decorations or music.

In tragedy and genteel comedy, Mr. Wood must certainly be considered
preeminent, with the exception of Mr. Cooper only, who though perhaps[2]
excelling him in some tragical characters, is considered by many good
judges, as by no means his superior in many appertaining to genteel

  [Footnote 2: Perhaps!!! Mr. Wood we dare say has too much good sense
  to relish this _perhaps_, it rather savours of irony.]

Mrs. Wood ranks high in the same line; the correct style in which she
gives the sense of her author, the refinement of her taste and her clear
and distinct utterance, must always ensure to her the approbation of an
enlightened audience; we feel some reluctance in adding that her
uniformity of declamation, and something in her tones approaching to
monotony, retard her progress to that excellence to which the
qualifications abovementioned must evidently lead her.

Mr. Warren, viewed only as a performer, will be found fairly deserving
of our praise. In the arduous character of the "inimitable and
unimitated Falstaff" he has no rival on this side the Atlantic. In the
other class of characters, to which he modestly confines himself, he is
always correct and respectable.

In Mr. Cone, we see a young performer gradually rising in estimation. To
the manners of a gentleman, he adds a habit of discrimination, the
effect of a liberal education; and could he get over a certain
inflexibility of voice, (whether arising from nature or habit we know
not) he must very soon become a distinguished performer.

Mr. M'Kenzie is also a most respectable and useful actor: his person and
manner give him many advantages in performing characters requiring
dignity and firmness of deportment; as Glenalvon in Douglas, he is
excellent; and those who have witnessed his performance of sir Archy
M'Sarcasm and sir Pertinax M'Sycophant, will unite with us in paying him
the tribute of applause for his correct personification of the wily
Scotchman.--His talents do not seem calculated for genteel comedy in

Mrs. Barrett must be considered as a very useful actress; her figure is
well adapted to the characters she undertakes, and her general
deportment upon the stage immediately indicates her perfect acquaintance
with the boards.

Mrs. Wilmot needs not our panegyric to call forward that public
attention she has so long merited; her qualifications as an actress are
uncommonly general--whether we see her in genteel comedy, or in the
English opera, we are equally gratified with the diversity of her
talents. As a singer, her voice and judgment are equally conspicuous,
and those who have seen her in the character of Ophelia, will readily
admit her claim to the pathetic.

In addition to Mrs. Wilmot as a vocal performer, we have Mrs. Seymour,
who possesses much sweetness and melody of tone, and whose modest and
unassuming manner of giving her songs is not their smallest attraction.

In low comedy where shall we find a competitor to Jefferson? The only
performer who seems to bear the comparison for a moment is Twaits; but
although we willingly subscribe to his merits, yet we can by no means
admit him capable of that variety of character for which Mr. Jefferson
is so distinguished.

Mr. Blisset is also very prominent in the same line--Together with a
fund of humour he possesses a whimsical eccentricity of character which
is always diverting; his voice however, is frequently too weak to be
heard in the remote parts of the house.

Mr. and Mrs. Francis have long enjoyed the _favour_ of the public.
Francis has much comic talent, sometimes, however, he is led by it, a
little too much into the caricature. Mrs. F. is not less diverting, and
remarkable for her appropriate manner of dressing for old characters; a
property very estimable. The ladies too often sacrifice a correct
representation of the character in this respect, to an unconquerable
aversion they so naturally retain of appearing old and ugly.

Mr. West, lately added to the company, seems to promise something in low
comedy; and Mr. Hardinge, in Irish characters, and vocal parts will
certainly be an acquisition to the theatre. Although our dramatis
personæ do not afford much strength as to their vocal abilities; some of
those abovenamed, with the assistance of Wilmot and Jacobs, form a group
sufficient to render a musical piece very entertaining.

It should be recollected, that in all theatrical companies, there must
necessarily be a number of inferior rank; performers of merit will not
take the minor parts abounding in every dramatic piece; and while we
condemn a want of excellence in the performer, we should consider, that
did he possess more talent, he would not fill that situation.

Our orchestra will assuredly bear the strictest scrutiny.--The names of
Gillingham and Niniger are sufficient of themselves to stamp its
character. The other accompaniments are very respectable and
sufficiently numerous. The scenery, as far as the scale of the stage
will admit, is frequently beautiful, sometimes superb. The illuminated
wings recently exhibited in some of the pieces last produced, are new to
this country, and have a very brilliant effect: they do much credit to
Messrs. Robins and Stewart in the painting-room. The dresses of the
principal performers are rich and beautiful; to those who are acquainted
with European theatres, it will not be considered as amplifying, when we
assert, that we do not yield to them in that species of decoration. The
management of the scenery is as correct and subject to as few
interruptions as possible; and the expedition with which one act
succeeds another, can be only appreciated by those who have witnessed
the tedious delay so often experienced in other places.

We are assured no pains have been spared by the manager to procure the
most eminent performers; nor is any opportunity omitted to take
advantage of the accidental presence of any performer, whose engagement
promises to gratify the town.

This theatre has taken the lead in getting up every thing novel, in
either branch of the drama, and that in a style very much superior to
any other establishment of the kind upon the continent. It must be
evident that it is the wish, as it is the interest of the manager, to
conduct the trust committed to him upon the most liberal principles:
that which pleases the public most, is most favourable to him.

It must be observed, that the limits of a sketch like this, could only
admit of a very concise and general view of the subject. The writer has
no farther connexion or interest in the theatre, than that he holds in
common with those who are partial to dramatic entertainments, and who
think with him that a well regulated theatre, which is the only public
amusement Baltimore can boast of, instructs while it amuses, and
conduces much to that grace and elegance of conversation and manners so
fascinating in private life.


In the last number, the reader was presented with a short sketch upon
the subject of Irish music, in a letter from the celebrated poet Moore.
That gentleman very philosophically ascribes the mixture of levity and
melancholy which is discernible in the character, as well as the music
of the original native Irish, to political circumstances. All who have
paid attention to the airs of that country must have perceived that they
are extremely lively and exhilarating, or delightfully plaintive and
melancholy. The former may be considered as displaying the ground-work,
or the natural temperament, the other the superinduced adventitious
character, derived from poverty and oppression. A writer of considerable
talents and intimate knowledge of the subject (Mr. Walker) adverting to
the poetry as well as the music of Ireland, speaks as follows:

"We see that music maintained its ground in this country even after the
invasion of the English, but its style suffered a change; for the
sprightly Phrygian gave place to the grave Doric, or the soft Lydian
measure. Such was the nice sensibility of the bards, such was their
tender affection for their country, that the subjections to which the
kingdom was reduced affected them with the heaviest sadness. Sinking
beneath this weight of sympathetic sorrow, they became a prey to
melancholy: hence the plaintiveness of their music: for the ideas that
arise in the mind are always congenial to, and receive a mixture from
the influencing passion. Another cause might have occurred in the one
just mentioned, in promoting a change in the style of our music; the
bards often driven together with their patrons, by the sword of
oppression, from the busy haunts of men, were obliged to lie concealed
in marshes, and in glyns and vallies resounding with the noise of
falling waters, or filled with portentous echoes. Such scenes as these,
by throwing a settled gloom over the fancy, must have considerably
increased their melancholy; so that when they attempted to sing, it is
not to be wondered at that their voices, thus weakened by struggling
against heavy mental depression, should rise rather by minor-thirds,
which consist but of four semitones, than by major-thirds which consist
of five. Now almost all the airs of this period are found to be set in
the minor-third, and to be of the sage and solemn nature which Milton
requires in his IL PENSEROSO."[3]

  [Footnote 3: See Hist. Mem. of the Irish Bards.]

To illustrate his position, Mr. Walker introduces the following
anecdote: "About the year 1730, one Maguire, a vintner, resided near
Charing Cross, London. His house was much frequented, and his skill in
playing on the harp was an additional incentive: even the duke of
Newcastle and several of the ministry sometimes condescended to visit
it. He was one night called upon to play some Irish tunes; he did so;
they were plaintive and solemn. His guests demanded the reason, and he
told them that the native composers were too deeply distressed at the
situation of their country, and her gallant sons, to be able to compose
otherwise. But, added he, take off the restraints under which they
labour, and you will not have reason to complain of the plaintiveness of
their notes.

"Offence was taken at these warm effusions: his house became gradually
neglected, and he died soon after of a broken heart. An Irish harper who
was a cotemporary of Maguire, and like him, felt for the sufferings of
his country, had this distich engraven on his harp:

  Cur lyra funestas edit percussa sonores?
  Sicut amissum sors diadema gemit.

But perhaps the melancholy spirit which breathes through the Irish music
and poetry, may be attributed to another cause; a cause which operated
anterior and subsequent to the invasion of the English: we mean the
remarkable susceptibility of the Irish to the passion of love; a passion
which the munificent establishment of the bards left them at liberty
freely to indulge. While the mind is enduring the torments of fear,
despair or hope, its effusions cannot be gay. The greater number of the
productions of those amorous poets, Tibullus, Catullus, Petrarch and
Hammond, are elegiac. The subject of their songs is always love, and
they seem to understand poetry to be designed for no other purpose than
to stir up that passion in the mind.



Every true sportsman of this county must regret to hear that what has
been for sometime rumoured has at last taken place. Colonel Thornton has
been induced to part with Falconer's-hall, and if the report is true, we
have to congratulate him in having selected the most enviable and
princely domain in England, a residence unparalleled in its situation,
either for a man of fashion, a _bon vivant_, or a sportsman. After
having given the very best sport in hawking, coursing and hunting, at
Scarborough, Falconer's-hall, and to the Saltergate Club, the colonel, a
few days since, proceeded through York, in his way to Spy Park, in
Wiltshire, followed by a cavalcade, (such as attracted the attention of
the whole of this place) in the following order:

First, the boat-wagon, so well known by the opponents of my lord Milton,
and held by the owner invaluable, from having conveyed not less than
three thousand independent free-holders of this virtuous county to vote,
and ultimately, in spite of ministerial influence, to elect lord Milton,
a descendent of that man, the pattern of patriotism and unexampled
rectitude, Charles Watson Wentworth, marquis of Rockingham;--this wagon,
admirably contrived for the carrying of luggage or loose dogs, covered
with the skins of stags, fallow-deer and roebucks killed by the colonel,
nets, otter spears, fishing rods, and guns, drawn by four thorough-bred
cream-coloured Arabian mares bred by the king. Next a dog-cart, which
carried milk-white terriers, and beautiful gray-hounds; these were all
sheeted and embroidered with the different matches they had won: the
novelty of this appeared to excite particular gratification. The
huntsman, mounted upon a powerful, fine gray hunter, followed by an
immense pack (judged not less than one hundred couple) of stag-hounds,
fox-hounds, and otter-hounds, and lively lap-dog beagles. A stud-groom
and four grooms, each leading a thorough-bred horse, the descendants,
as it was said, of Jupiter;--deer-skins covered them by way of housing.
A keeper appropriately dressed, with three brace of pointers. The
falconer in green and silver, surrounded by hawks, and on his fist a
venerable grand-duke, closed this procession. Following, we understand,
there were nine wagon loads of old wine and ale, brought from Thornvile
Royal, inestimable from its age, and held by the duke of York as the
finest wine in the kingdom. These wines, moved at such an immense
expense, were from twenty-five to an hundred years old.

Many sportsmen, though delighted with the _coup d'[oe]il_, could not
forbear saying they should never see such sport as they had enjoyed with
the colonel, and envied those who were now to partake of his amusements
and hospitality in Wiltshire.

The distance we understand this cavalcade is to travel, is about two
hundred miles. A farther account of this very valuable removal, and
their safe arrival at their destination (and such was the sincere wish
of all the spectators) we hope to give hereafter.

       *       *       *       *       *

Spy Park is situated in that part of the county of Wilts called North
Wiltshire, which is very dissimilar, in geographical features and
natural characteristics, to the southern portion of the county. Whilst
the former is distinguished by its numerous inclosures, dairy farms, and
manufacturing towns, the latter is chiefly occupied by the
wide-spreading downs called Salisbury Plain.

Spy Park has, for many generations, been the property of the Baynton
family, some of whom appear to have been knights of St. John of
Jerusalem, in the time of Henry II. The late sir Edward Baynton Holt,
bart. died at the advanced age of ninety, in January, 1800, when his
estates devolved to his son and heir, sir Andrew Baynton Holt, who has
recently sold or let Spy Park to colonel Thornton.

The mansion is a plain but spacious building, seated in a park which
abounds with fine old oak and other timber trees. The grounds are
diversified by bold swells and winding vallies, and command at various
stations, some extensive and interesting prospects. To the south-east
the bold promontory called Roundaway-hill, presents its steep acclivity,
with its commanding encampment on the summit. A range of lofty
chalk-hills extend thence for several miles to the east, on the southern
face of which is the White-Horse of Cherril, and above it is another
encampment, called Oldbury-castle.

At the extremity of the park, towards the west, the grounds slope
gradually to the river Avon, and its fertile meadows; and at an old
gate, called the Spy, a very extensive tract of country is unfolded.
Whilst the plantations of Bowden Park, and the venerable abbey of
Laycock, attract the eye near the fore-ground, the lofty free-stone
hills around Bath are seen in the middle distance, and a large tract of
Gloucestershire is observed extending to the north-east; whilst the more
picturesque and romantic features of Somersetshire are beheld,
stretching to the horizon, in the west and south-western directions. The
park includes an area of nearly eight miles in circumference, and during
the residence of the late sir Edward, its venerable forest-like trees
were sacredly preserved from the axe; they were, however, I am informed,
considerably thinned by the last proprietor.

       *       *       *       *       *

Since the publication of colonel Thornton's departure from Yorkshire,
the following letter has appeared in the public prints:

I am happy to inform the public, through the medium of your interesting
paper, that the cavalcade of colonel Thornton at this place, was
distinguished by a junction of an immense number of sporting and other
valuable paintings; together with a collection of rare exotic plants,
and three wagon loads of bald-faced and other red deer, roebucks,
Asiatic deer, and party-coloured fallow deer; a _garde chasse_ had the
charge of two brace of Russian and French wild boars, the latter
understood to be a present from Napoleon, in return for seventy couple
of high-bred fox-hounds, descended from the famous old Conqueror, and
sent to the emperor Napoleon during the last peace, whose high mettle
afforded him the most exquisite gratification. A brace of cormorants
with silver rings around their necks, and broke in for fish-hunting;
together with ichneumons and pole-cat ferrit, for rat-hunting, and some
beautiful milk-white Muscovy ducks, and a number of high-bred blood
mares, foals, colts, fillies, and the two famous horses, the Esterhazy
and Theodolite, closed this splendid procession; and it is understood
that on their arrival at Spy Park they were met by the colonel and some
sporting friends, who expressed their astonishment, that after having
travelled through such almost impassable roads, amid torrents of rain,
and particularly the lap-dog beagles, not more than thirteen inches and
a half in height, and consequently often swimming, they should have
arrived without the least injury.

  I am, &c.


       *       *       *       *       *

At Rockdale races, the Brighton shepherd, so well known as a pedestrian,
was matched against a horse of the honourable captain Harley Rodney's
(rode by lord Rodney), for one hundred yards. This race, from its
novelty, excited very considerable attention, and was won by the

       *       *       *       *       *

A short time since, Rickets, the celebrated Hampshire pedestrian,
undertook, for a wager of five guineas, to run seventeen miles in two
hours, which he performed in one hour and forty-nine minutes. He has
undertaken, for one hundred guineas, to run twenty miles in two hours,
and will attempt it soon.

       *       *       *       *       *

An extraordinary feat of pedestrianism was performed, by a man of the
name of Williams, steward to Mr. Crouch. He was backed for twenty
guineas, to go twenty miles in two hours. He started at Hammersmith, and
did the distance in unfavourable weather, in seven minutes within the
given time. His track was from Colnbrook, and to return to near the

       *       *       *       *       *


The former useful as well as elegant appendage to the harness of the
dashing chariot of the day is just introduced by Charles Buxton, esq.
The advantages arising from this improvement are obvious: in respect to
their infallible quality of preventing the numberless accidents which
daily occur by horses running away, they are peculiarly desirable. These
bits are made upon a very simple construction; they give the person who
has the reins in hand, the power of checking the horse by the most easy
movement imaginable, however light in hand, or hard in mouth (boring on
the bit) he may be. There are four loops in this regulating bit; in all
others there is only one. Mr. Buxton very much opposes the principle on
which lord Hawke, Mr. Annesley, and Mr. Thornhill act, with respect to
the chain, instead of the pole pieces. The Charlton bradoon, a favourite
for more than twenty years, has lost its consequence by the new
invention; the bearing rein now passes through the throat lash, but
formerly it only entered the bit, and went straight to the territ.

       *       *       *       *       *

The two divines who rendered themselves so very conspicuous at the late
punching match, at Moulsey, excuse themselves by observing, that the
apostolic injunction, "a bishop should be no striker," was never
intended to restrain the conduct of the inferior clergy.

       *       *       *       *       *

A match was made a short time ago, for one hundred guineas, play or pay,
for a hack mare, the property of Mr. Sitwell, to perform fifty-six miles
in four hours, with half an hour stoppage allowed for feeding. The match
was undertaken soon after, from a spot near Shillingford, Berks, to
Haunston, and the mare did her task in seven minutes less than the given
time. She performed chiefly by the trot, and baited after going half the
distance in three minutes less than half the time. The odds were
considerably against the performance.

       *       *       *       *       *


A flock of geese belonging to Mr. Lloyd, of the town-house, at Marford,
seven miles from Chester, lately set a hare on the top of that hill,
when poor puss, bursting from the cackling tribe, ran down the hill and
was pursued by the whole flock, some flying, some running with extended
wings till they overtook her, when puss slyly gave them the double; and,
returning, was so closely pursued by the irritated flock as to be taken
alive by a servant-girl of Mrs. Pate's, as she was attempting the latch
in her mistresses garden, in the presence of upwards of twenty
spectators. Her carcass was afterwards made a present of to a
wedding-party in that neighbourhood.

       *       *       *       *       *


The name of this extraordinary person, whose labours surpass any of the
boasted pedestrian achievements, is William Brackbank. He is a native of
Millom, in Cumberland. He daily performed the distance between
Whitehaven and Ulverstone, on foot, under the disagreeable circumstance
of frequently wading the river at Muncaster, by which place he
constantly went, which is at least three miles round; and, including the
different calls he had to make, at a short distance from the road, his
daily task was not short of forty-seven miles. He is at present
walking-post from Manchester to Glossop, in Derbyshire, a distance of
sixteen miles, which he performs every day, Sundays excepted; returns
the same evening, and personally delivers the letters, newspapers, &c.
in that populous and commercial county, to all near the road, which
makes his daily task not less than thirty-five miles, or upwards; and
what is more extraordinary, he has performed this business, for upwards
of two years, without the intervention of a day, except Sunday, and has
never varied a quarter of an hour, from his usual time of arriving at
Glossop. He performs all this in less than twelve hours a day.

       *       *       *       *       *

A foot-race was run in the park between a lieutenant Hawkey and a Mr.
Snowden of Nottingham-street. The distance was two hundred yards, the
stakes fifty guineas, and the performers not being professional runners,
some betting took place. The race was won by about a yard by Mr.
Snowden, and the distance was performed in twelve seconds.

       *       *       *       *       *


A battle took place at Wilsden Green, between Tom O'Donnell, and a
countryman, by trade a boot-closer. They fought forty-five hard rounds,
in which the countryman got a severe beating. Having boasted before the
battle that he could beat any man, he left the field of action, as may
be supposed, a little ashamed of himself.

       *       *       *       *       *

A severe battle was fought at Marlborough-common, Wilts, by Mr. Howell,
hatter, and Mr. Titcomb, both of Marlborough. Soon after eight they set
to, the former seconded by Mr. Mead, collar-maker, and the latter by an
ostler at the Castle-inn. The first three rounds were in favour of
Howell, who laughed at his antagonist, and told him if he could not
strike harder he had better have staid at home; but the fourth round put
an end to his laughing, having received a left-handed blow on his head,
which cut his ear, and brought him to the ground; although he never
recovered this blow, yet he stood twenty-five rounds and showed good
bottom, but was so exhausted by the loss of blood, and so severely
beaten in the body as well as his face, that he gave in to Titcomb, who
said he had no objection to such exercise every morning in the week.

A pitched battle for one hundred guineas, was fought at Bognor, Bucks,
between a farmer of the name of Mitchell, who resides at Bognor, and a
publican of the name of George. The match was made in consequence of a
dispute respecting their merits as boxers. The battle lasted fifty-five
minutes, in the presence of about one thousand spectators. It was what a
professional boxer would have termed gluttony from beginning to ending.
There was no advantage in skill, strength or bottom, the former of which
neither of the champions possessed, but it was fighting in earnest at a
scratch, until one was knocked down. Mitchell at length gave in, but he
was able to walk away, which was not the case with the victor, who was
put to bed at the house next the scene of action. The victor was
seconded by Jones, a professional bruiser from London.

       *       *       *       *       *

A remarkable instance of the effects of fear on irrational animals
lately occurred in Blickling Park, Norfolk, during the races there: At
the very height of sport, a covey of partridges sprang up, and were
flying across the ground, when overcome with alarm at the noise and
bustle of the scene, they fell lifeless among the crowded throng, and
were picked up by some of the spectators.

       *       *       *       *       *

A singular occurrence lately took place at Cobham church: The earl of
Darnley was followed there by one of his pointers, which shortly became
mad, and threw the whole congregation into confusion and alarm. A
countryman, with great courage, procured a rope, and slipped it round
the animal's neck, and hung him across one of the pews. Fortunately no
person sustained any injury.

       *       *       *       *       *

A most enormous shark was lately caught by the fishermen at Hastings; it
was entangled in seventeen of their nets, and completely broke them all;
but being wounded and nearly spent, they contrived to tow on shore this
monster of the deep. It measures thirty feet in length, and upwards of
twenty in circumference, and is supposed to weigh at least ten ton; has
four rows of teeth, and the throat is so large that it could swallow a
man with the greatest ease. It is considered to be the largest of the
species ever met with in any of the seas of Europe. Colonel Bothwell has
purchased it for his friend Mr. Home, the surgeon, of Sackville-street,
who intends to dissect it, and place the skeleton in his museum.

       *       *       *       *       *



    The shadowy Night has nearly run her course
  Over the silent world--the cock repeats
  His warning note--behooves us to prepare
  For our expected sport. Now when the stars
  Slowly decrease, and the faint glimmering light,
  First trembles in the east, we hasten forth,
  To seek the rushing river's wandering wave.
  The doubtful gloom shall favour our approach,
  And should we through th' o'erhanging bushes view
  The dim-discovered flock, the well-aim'd shot
  Shall have insur'd success, nor leave the day
  To be consum'd in vain. For shy the game,
  Nor easy of access: the fowler's toils
  Precarious; but inur'd to ev'ry chance,
  We urge those toils with glee. E'en the broad sun,
  In his meridian brightness, shall not check
  Our steady labour; for some rushy pool,
  Some hollow willowy bank, the skulking birds
  May then conceal, which our stanch dogs shall pierce,
  And drive them clam'ring forth. Those tow'ring rocks,
  With nodding wood o'erhung, that faintly break
  Upon the straining eye, descending deep,
  A hollow basin form, the which receives
  The foaming torrent from above. Around
  Thick alders grow. We steal upon the spot
  With cautious step, and peering out, survey
  The restless flood. No object meets our eye.
  But hark what sound is that approaching near,
  "Down close," The wild-ducks come, and darting down,
  Throw up on ev'ry side the troubled wave;
  Then gayly swim around with idle play,
  With breath restrain'd, and palpitating heart,
  I view their movements, whilst my well-taught dogs
  Like lifeless statues crouch. Now is the time,
  Closer they join; nor will the growing light
  Admit of more delay--with fiery burst,
  The unexpected death invades the flock;
  Tumbling they lie, and beat the dashing pool,
  Whilst those remoter from the fatal range
  Of the swift shot, mount up on vig'rous wing,
  And wake the sleeping echoes as they fly.
  Quick on the floating spoil my spaniels rush,
  And drag them to the shore.

       *       *       *       *       *


A more lively and yet poignant satire upon the wilful corruption of the
stage, the degeneracy of the public taste, and the reigning follies of
the British nation can scarcely be imagined than the following, which,
with several more under the same signature, has appeared in a celebrated
periodical work in London.

_To the right worshipful John Bull, of the united kingdom of Great
Britain and Ireland._


Denied access to your sacred person, I avail myself of the press to
solicit your notice. You have, doubtless, by this time totally forgotten
poor Theobaldus Secundus, for short memories are not the exclusive
property of great wits. Truth is said to lie at the bottom of a well,
and as your worship seldom looks beyond the surface, I am not surprised
that she should hitherto have eluded your researches. If fate has
ordained my inkstand to be the bucket that shall draw her from her
watery grave for your edification, I expect a premium from your humane
society for my pains. If not, "you may kill the next Percy yourself." I
am now to solicit your patience, while I recount my adventures, in doing
which I shall ape the dignity rather than the prolixity, of the runaway
prince of Troy, when seated on the high bed of the enamoured queen of

I am, may it please your worship, grand nephew to the renowned Lewis
Theobald, one of those numerous broth-spoiling commentators, who have
smothered poor Shakspeare in the onion sauce of conjectural criticism.
My great uncle was, with reverence be it spoken, a great blockhead; but
that was no fault of his, he being a younger brother, and the family
genius being vested in my grandfather, with remainder to his sons in
tail male. From my earliest childhood I have looked upon Shakspeare as
the real king of England, and the two winter theatres as his proper
palaces. "The period spent on stubborn Troy," has now elapsed, since I
began a commentary on the plays of our immortal bard. O, the rivers of
ink that I have exhausted in cleansing his Augean page from the
black-letter filth heaped upon it by his different commentators! The
task was laborious, but such labour is my delight. The waters of Avon
suit my palate better than Boniface's ale. "I eat my Shakspeare, I drink
my Shakspeare, and (when certain players enact him) I always sleep upon
my Shakspeare."

Apollo was a doctor of physic as well as a doctor of divinity, and
Dryden, we are told, took his physic whenever he wanted to borrow his
inspiration. A dramatic writer of the present day writes tragedy in a
helmet facing a mirror. Ever while you live encourage the imagination!
My faith in Shakspeare is so unbounded, that I verily believe the
hell-broth of Macbeth's witches would, if properly mixed, engender a
real armed head and bloody child. I lately at a great expense, collected
all the materials in my kitchen-copper; I must own the experiment
failed; but I found out the cause. The resurrection man, whom I employed
to get me the "liver of blaspheming Jew," had made free with the corpse
of a very religious man of that persuasion. I must be more careful
another time--but this is foreign to our present purpose.

Having completed my commentary, my parched hopes sighed for the golden
shower, which I expected from presenting my dedication to your worship.
The times were tempting, your two winter playhouses were at that time
experiencing a nightly overflow, and a Tragedy was, as she should be,
all the rage! I knew not the cause, but rejoicing in the effect, huddled
my manuscript into my great-coat pocket, and trotted to your residence
in Portland-place. For be it known, sir, to those whom it may concern,
(your tradesmen) that you no longer reside within five minutes' walk of
the Royal Exchange. Formerly you passed your evenings in posting your
leger, and shaking your head at the follies of Fashion; you now exhaust
that portion of the day in posting to the opera, or shaking your heels
at Willis's rooms, and your elbows at the Union Club. If I felt pleased
at finding you at home, how was my satisfaction increased, by hearing
from a yellow-bellied waspish footman that you were busy with the first
tragedian of the day? Good! said I to myself, this must be Kemble: there
is no man better able to appreciate my labours--I'll break in upon them
without ceremony. On approaching your worship's door, I heard the words
"knuckle down" articulated in a shrill voice. I thought this an odd
exclamation for the first tragedian of the day; but how was I petrified
with astonishment, on entering the room, to find you on your knees,
playing at marbles with the little Roscius! Speechless with admiration I
retired unperceived. To have deranged a single taw would, in my mind,
have been a sacrilege as great as an attempt to upset the balance of the
Copernican system. I had scarce time to reflect on your improvement in
dramatic taste, when I learned that you had engaged a Roscia at your
theatre in Covent-Garden. Indeed, so wide had your love of the rising
generation at that time extended, I was credibly informed that Genoa was
on the point of shipping a squalling Roscium for the edification of your
opera-house, when the bubble burst like the gas of the Pall-Mall
lamp-lighter: Reason's dragon-teeth had been buried long enough, and a
race of men succeeded. The worshipful John Bull acted the part of the
cow, in Tom Thumb. Ridicule, that infallible emetic of sick minds, had
eased your stomach of its baby incumbrance; Miss Mudie returned to her
mamma, and Master Betty also retired to break Priscian's head, and hide
his own in the bosom of alma mater.

How elastic is hope when a man thinks he has written a good book, and
what mortal ever supposed himself the author of a bad one? _Quassas
reficit rates._ I again collected my darling notes on Shakspeare, and in
the firm hope that your stomach was well disposed to its natural
aliment, assaulted your door with face as brazen as the knocker I
handled. It was Saturday night, and your yellow barouche was waiting at
the door, but I confidently reckoned upon five minutes' conversation
with you, ere you repaired to the evening lecture, to which I concluded
a sober man like you was about to adjourn. While hesitating upon the fit
mode to address you, a figure descended the stairs, which, at first
sight, I mistook for an Alguazil, in a plethora, but upon nearer
approach found to be your worshipful self, posting to the opera, clad in
a great-coat of the newest cut, all fringe and frippery, the offspring
of a German tailor. You and your cloak were so enveloped in frogs and
self-conceit, that I could compare you to nothing but king Pharaoh,
inoculated with a plague greater than any in Egypt, an Italian singer.
After desiring me in a surly tone, to call tomorrow morning, your
worship mounted your vehicle, and scampered away to the region of
recitative. O, cried I, in bitterness of spirit, why has John Bull, my
revered patron, quitted his city residence? in his warehouse he has
bales of cotton in abundance, and might, like the wise Ulysses, stuff
his large and long ears with a portion of that commodity, to enable him
to escape the snares of the Haymarket syren.

Those who have patrons must also have patience. I dissembled my chagrin,
and you may remember, most worshipful sir, that I called the ensuing
day, at two o'clock, to allow you time to ponder on the morning's
service. Alas! I was now fated to be forestalled by a son of France, as
I had before been by a daughter of Italy. Both kingdoms boast the same
emperor, and their natives come hither upon the same embassy. While I
and Shakspeare were kicking our heels in the hall, you and Mons.
Deshayes were kicking yours before a pier glass in the drawing-room. I
had soon the satisfaction to observe your worship endeavouring to
imitate the te-totum pirouettes of that agile gentleman, in doing which
you bore a much stronger resemblance to the dervise in the Arabian Tale,
inasmuch, as after spinning some time, you threw down a purse, which the
wily foreigner, as light of finger as of foot, did not fail to pocket.
This, to be sure was no time for Shakspeare; I, therefore, left your
worship, hoodwinked by the Frenchman, _so turn about three times and
catch whom you may_.

I now sported the sullens in dignified retirement--but it would not do:
murder will out, and so will manuscripts. I resolved to make one more
effort. But were I to bring to your recollection all the mortifying
repulses I endured, I should quite destroy that patience of which you
stand so much in need, to listen to the debates at the next meeting of
your common council. At one time, naked from the waist upwards, you were
waging war with Belcher, the _Hittite_: at another, you had taken an
invisible girl into keeping: your cash was drained by lotteries,
missionaries, and mountebanks of all sorts and sizes: boys, even the
deaf, the dumb, and the blind, quitted their asylum in St. George's
Fields, for a more lucrative one on the boards of your theatres. Your
comic operas were, like Muzio Clementi's carts, mere vehicles for music,
and vehicles withal of such a clumsy fabric, that poor Euterpe, when she
took her nightly airings, reminded the spectator of Punch's wife in a
wheelbarrow; every expense was incurred, and every scribbler taken into
pay, except poor Shakspeare and his poorer commentator.

One morning, about eleven o'clock, as I was indulging myself in a
solitary ramble over Blackfriars-bridge, I espied your well-known
barouche, which I followed, and observed to stop at the Elephant and
Castle! Heighday! said I, this is a metamorphosis indeed! John Bull has
returned to nature at last. He prefers "the sanded floor that grits
beneath the tread," to a Persian carpet, and a pot of porter to the
"wines of France and milk of Burgundy." I'll go and smoke a pipe with
him! here again I was in error, your carriage having passed the
public-house, and stopped at a methodist meeting adjoining. It seems
your worship had, with religious abhorrence, passed by the Elephant and
Castle, but borrowing in part the imagery of that sign, had converted
your half-reasoning self into a clumsy Christian pedler, with a bundle
of contraband goods at your back. One Joanna, it seems, was the
priestess of this temple, and your worship had commenced so strong a
flirtation with the Lambeth sybil, that all the world looked upon
wedlock as inevitable. As I stood in the porch, I overheard your amatory
sighs and groans which sounded in my ears like Boreas wooing Vulcan
through a cranny in a chimney-corner. On approaching your pew, how was I
struck with the change in your physiognomy! Your face heretofore as red
and round as the full moon, had, by the joint influence of that planet
and the aforesaid Joanna, extended itself to a length, which Momus
forbid mine should ever attain, unless when reflected from a
table-spoon, at the Piazza coffee-house!

It was now confidently reported, that the days of Jeremy Collier had
returned: that the theatres were to be shut up, his majesty's servants
to receive their arrears of scarlet cloth, for regimentals to serve him
in the capacity of foot-soldiers: that the slayers of Syntax, who had
stuffed their mouths with melo-drames, and other pernicious compounds,
were to turn hewers of wood, and that your worship would license no
pantomimes, except those exhibited in the Blackfriars and
Tottenham-court roads.

This intelligence rather pleased than alarmed me. I believed it only to
a certain extent, conceiving the fact to be, that my respected patron
was sick of silk banners and Peruvian suns, exhausting more gold than
they engendered, and that a ray of true taste was hereafter to dawn upon
the dramatic horizon. "The theatre," exclaimed I, "is the school of
morality; and morality and religion are inseparable." Without stopping
to prove my syllogism, I seized my commentary, and with a head and a
great-coat pocket full of my immortal labours, called once more in
Portland-place. You received me with civility, desired me to take a
seat, and treated me with a cup of chocolate, declining to take any
yourself, on account of a nausea at your stomach, which I ascribed to a
certain sentimental pill you had lately swallowed, rolled up in the
shape of a comedy, and for which I undertook to prescribe. You requested
me with eagerness to do so, and I drew my manuscript from my pocket,
thinking the golden moment at hand. I conjured you to consider, that in
dramatic entertainments the love of show was like the love of money, and
increased by indulgences, beyond the power of a manager to gratify: I
proved by mathematical demonstration, that small theatres wanted nothing
but good dialogue to support them: I entreated you to send your gorgeous
trumpery to rag-fair, and to diminish your overgrown Drury, which no man
could now think of entering unaccompanied by a telescope and an
ear-trumpet. All the persuasions of a Tully, all the energy of a
Waithman, were enlisted into my harangue; which finished by exhorting
your worship to step back half a century in your dramatic career, to a
period when theatrical property was somewhat more than a mouthful of
moonshine;--when Shakspeare was, indeed as he should be, and when
nothing was talked of in this great metropolis, save the great Goliath
of Stratford, on the banks of the Avon, and little David, of the
Adelphic terrace, on the banks of the Thames.

This eloquent harangue was no sooner concluded, than your worship burst
into a horse-laugh, and stamping your foot on the floor, the room was
instantly filled with as motley a group as ever giggled decorum out of
countenance at a masquerade: among whom I recognized a zany, with a
blue perriwig, bestriding a large goose, and brandishing a golden egg,
whilst your worship was clapping your hands in all the raptures of
applause. "Perdition seize this fellow," cried your worship, pointing to
me, "his tongue chatters like a cherry-clapper, and lies like the
prospectus of a new magazine! All you, my pimps, parasites, and
pensioners--my leading mistresses and led captain--my mummers and
melo-dramatists, who conspire to drill holes in the breeches-pockets of
John Bull, that his coin may not corrode for want of circulation; if
ever this fellow enters my house again, with his deer-stealing Stratford
vagabond under his arm, tie them both up in a hopsack, and throw them
into the Thames!

Such treatment, sir, I did not expect, for I never had a patron before.
When I expected the golden apple,--to be then pelted with a golden egg,
was too much for human endurance; I, therefore, took my leave with the
following address: "May your worship's stage be glutted with monsters,
running upon all fours, with your own taste! May wit and humour wing
their flight to another region, and the mighty void be supplied by
maukish sentiment, horse-collar grins, wood-demons, and other
show-cattle of the Smithfield muses! May you be visited by a locust
tribe of scribblers, who shall conspire to torment that groaning martyr,
the Press, with ducal lampoons, drowsy epics, and zig-zag heroics! With
Hope the upholsterer, and Bryon the idler, with Joe Miller in quarto,
Genius in thin duodecimo, Leadenhall romances, and Puritan biography:
and should your worship ever find yourself deviating from the path of
virtue, may _Hannah Glasse_ preserve your temperance, _Hannah More_ your
soberness, and _Anacreon Moore_ your chastity!"

One word more, sir, and I take my leave. It was the opinion of Ophelia's
grave digger, that your worship was to the full as mad as the
hare-brained lover of that young lady. This circumstance gives that
royal youth a title to your first regards: my annotations on _Hamlet,
Prince of Denmark_, shall accordingly be submitted to your consideration
at our next monthly meeting,

  I am, &c,

       *       *       *       *       *


Young, the celebrated author of the Night Thoughts, wrote a tragedy
called the Brothers, and appropriated the profits of his third nights of
the representation for the benefit of some public charity. But the
proceeds falling short of one thousand pounds, which he had expected
would have been raised in this way, he very bountifully supplied the
deficiency by an additional donation.

       *       *       *       *       *


There was formerly in the Northern Liberties a petty theatre, called
Noah's Ark, from its being in the neighbourhood of a tavern, of which
that was the sign. A ludicrous circumstance took place there about
twenty years ago; a hobble-de-hoy, of the name of Purcell, with a wizen
face like "Death and Sin," having met with misfortunes, hired the
theatre for one night, and advertised Othello for his benefit. He played
himself the character of the valiant Moor. As he had many friends who
made considerable exertions in his favour, the house was crowded. His
acting was so truly ludicrous, that the audience instead of letting fall
the pearly drops over their cheeks, were in an unceasing roar of
laughter. Between the play and the farce a drunken fellow of the name of
Vaughan was to deliver the celebrated epilogue of "Bucks, have at ye
all." He had made the most solemn promise to abstain from his usual drop
of grog till he had performed his tour of duty. But alas! poor human
nature, like other great men, he yielded to the temptation of a flowing
bowl. When he came on the stage, and had just made a beginning--

  "Ye social friends--

A slight hiss was heard, which enraged him so much that he stopped, and
looked among the audience with indignation, trying to discover what
jealous rival was endeavouring to discompose him--a silence ensued for a
minute; Vaughan then began again:

  Ye social friends of claret and of wit,
  Where'er dispersed in merry groupes ye sit.

About ten or a dozen persons then hissed pretty loudly. Vaughan stamped
on the floor, clenched his fist, struck his thigh, and cried out in a
loud voice, "damn you, ye black-guards--I wish I had you here--I'd soon
settle you." A universal hiss took place--the enraged orator was pelted
off the stage, and poor Purcell had to come forward and make an apology.
In this extemporaneous effort, his success was as splendid as in his
performance of Othello. He hoped, he said, the ladies and gentlemen
would not go for to say, for to do, for to think that he was at all to
blame--that it was all Dr. Vaughan's fault--for though he had promised
to keep sober till the play was over, he had got as drunk as David's sow
before it began. This elegant harangue produced the desired effect, and
appeased the angry passions of the gods and goddesses. A parley ensued.
Peace was made. A promise was given that Vaughan should be allowed to
proceed without hissing--and he accordingly came out and recited the
epilogue, now and again looking among the audience to discover who was
murmuring a slight hiss, which the keen ears of the speaker would not
let escape. As soon as he was done, he had the high gratification of a
universal hiss from almost every individual in the house, and was once
more pelted off in spite of all his ire and loudly vociferated threats.

       *       *       *       *       *


This performer was the most complete Harlequin that ever trod the
British stage. His agility was to the last degree astonishing. He has
leaped through a window on the stage, when pursued by the clown, full
thirteen feet high. Whenever he was in the play-bills in Dublin, he
attracted crowded houses. One night, when he had a prodigious leap to
perform, the persons behind the scenes who were to have received him in
a blanket, were not prepared in time, and of course he fell on the
boards, and was miserably bruised. He then took a most solemn oath, that
he would never leap again on the stage. Nor did he violate his oath.
Thenceforward, when he performed Harlequin, George Dawson, another
actor about his size, and very active, was attired in the party-coloured
robes. Whenever in the course of the pantomime a leap was requisite,
Vandermere passed off on one side--Dawson came in on the other, and
leaped. Then Vandermere returned and went through the Harlequinian

       *       *       *       *       *


    In days of yore, th' historic page
  Says, women were proscrib'd the stage;
  And boys and men in petticoats
  Play'd female parts with Stentor's notes.
  The cap, the stays, the high-heel'd shoe,
  The 'kerchief and the bonnet too,
  With apron as the lily white,
  Put all the male attire to flight--
  The culotte, waistcoat, and cravat,
  The bushy wig, and gold-trimm'd hat.
  Ye gods! behold! what high burlesque,
  Jane Shore and Juliet thus grotesque!

       *       *       *       *       *

  King Charles one night, jocund and gay,
  To Drury went, to see a play--
  Kynaston was to act a queen--
  But to his tonsor he'd not been:
  He was a mirth-inspiring soul
  Who lov'd to quaff the flowing bowl--
  And on his way the wight had met
  A roaring bacchanalian set;
  With whom he to "_the Garter_" hies,
  Regardless how time slyly flies.
  And while he circulates the glass,
  Too rapidly the moments pass;
  At length in haste the prompter sends.
  And tears Kynaston from his friends;
  Tho' he'd much rather there remain,
  He hurries on to Drury Lane.
  When in the green-room he appear'd,
  He scar'd them with his bushy beard,
  The barber quick his razor strops,
  And lather'd well _her royal chops_:
  While he the stubble mow'd away,
  The audience curs'd such long delay:
  They scream'd--they roar'd--they loudly bawl'd.
  And with their cat-calls _sweetly_ squall'd:
  Th' impatient monarch storm'd and rav'd--
  "_The queen, dread sire, is not quite shav'd_!"
  Was bellow'd by the prompter loud--
  This cogent reason was allow'd
  As well by king as noisy crowd.

       *       *       *       *       *


A young poet having consulted him on a tragedy full of extraordinary
incidents, Voltaire pointed out to him the defects of his piece. The
writer replied, that he had purposely forsaken the beaten track of
Corneille and Racine. "So much the worse," replied Voltaire,
"originality is nothing but judicious imitation."

       *       *       *       *       *

One day when his Irene was performing at the house of the marquis de
Villette, a celebrated actress reciting her part rather negligently,
Voltaire said to her, "Really, mademoiselle, it is unnecessary for me to
write verses of six feet, if you gulp down three of them."

       *       *       *       *       *

On the performance of one of his tragedies, the success of which was
equivocal, the abbe Pellegrin complained loudly that Voltaire had stolen
some verses from him. "How can you, who are so rich," said the abbe,
"thus seize upon the property of another?" "What! have I stolen from
you?" replied Voltaire; "then I no longer wonder that my piece has met
with so little approbation."

       *       *       *       *       *


There is an anecdote related in the Memoirs of the Court of Louis XIV,
which reflects some credit on that monarch's understanding, and may be
of service to multitudes of the _bourgeoisie_ of every city in the
world, if properly digested and acted upon.

A _negociant_, who took the lead of all the rest in Paris, was in
particular favour with the king, and without formality consulted by him,
in all that he wished to know relating to mercantile affairs. At length
the man of the counting-house, whose wealth was enormous, felt his
ambition excited, and nothing would content him but a _title_. After
many fruitless overtures, Louis at last granted his request, and never
treated him with friendly familiarity again. The trader, exceedingly
hurt at this neglect, made free one day to inquire the cause. "It is
your own fault," said the monarch, "you have degraded yourself--you were
the first as a merchant--you are the lowest as a peer."

       *       *       *       *       *


This once celebrated singer has, according to German papers, retired to
an estate in Poland. During her late residence at Moscow, her companion
Florio, was involved in a very unpleasant affair. A letter, signed
Richard Florio, written in French, and filled with invectives against
the Russian government, was put into the post office at St. Petersburgh.
The person it was addressed to handed it over to the police. Florio was
arrested at Moscow, and conveyed prisoner to St. Petersburgh. Here,
however he was speedily released, his name being not Richard, but
Charles, and it appearing that he was totally ignorant of the French
language. The emperor Alexander overhearing of the circumstances, made
Florio a present of a handsome sum of money, over and above the expenses
he had been put to in his journey from Moscow.

       *       *       *       *       *


That celebrated comedian, the inimitable LEWIS, retired from the stage
in May last, to devote the residue of his days to tranquil domestic
enjoyment. His talents and prudence have enabled him to sit down with
property sufficient for all the rational purposes of life. Since his
retirement he made a transfer in the bank of five thousand pounds to
each of his three daughters, and now, say the wits of London, many a
Bassanio will doubtless say, their

                                _Sunny_ locks
  Hang on their temples like a golden fleece.

It was on the night of his own benefit that Mr. Lewis took a formal and
final farewell of the public, under circumstances so honourable to him
as no actor, perhaps has ever been able to boast of. _During the
thirty-six years he had been a player, he had never once fallen under
the displeasure of his audience._ The play was "Rule a Wife and have a
Wife," in which he performed THE COPPER CAPTAIN. After the comedy, when
the curtain dropped, Mr. Lewis came forward and addressed the house in
the following words:


  "I have the honour of addressing you for the last time. This is the
  close of my theatrical life; (loud cries of no! no!) and I really
  feel so overcome by taking leave forever of my friends and patrons;
  that might it not be deemed disrespectful or negligent I could wish
  to decline it; (Loud applause, and a cry of go on! go on!) but it
  is a duty which I owe, and I will attempt to pay it, conscious I
  shall meet your indulgence; for when I remind you that I have been
  thirty-six years in your service, and cannot recollect to have
  fallen once under your displeasure, my dramatic death cannot be met
  by me without the strongest emotions of regret and gratitude.

  "I should offer my acknowledgments for innumerable acts of kindness
  shown to my earliest days, and your yet kinder acceptance of, and
  partiality shown to my latest efforts; all these I powerfully feel,
  though I have not the words to express those feelings.----But while
  this heart has a sensation it will beat with gratitude.

  "Ladies and gentlemen, with the greatest respect, and, if you will
  admit the word, the sincerest affection, I bid you farewell."

During the delivery of this address, Mr. Lewis was evidently much
affected. His voice faultered, and the tear started from his eye. The
audience were also much affected at this parting scene, and took leave
of their favourite with loud and universal acclamations. The house was
crowded to excess.

Thus (says the London writer) every hour is seen stealing from this
stock of harmless pleasure, and our theatrical register serves only to
record our losses. What can we put in balance against the death of
Parsons, Suett, Palmer, and King, and the retirement of Mrs. Mattocks,
Miss Pope, and Mr. Lewis?--Nothing. What is there in prospect?--the
further loss of Mrs. Siddons and Mrs. Jordan. These two stars of the
first magnitude will also soon be missing in the theatrical hemisphere,
and where is he who can say that he has discovered any promise that this
light will, in our time, be repaired?--Nowhere.

  "The greatest fires are out, and glimmering night succeeds."

On his taking a final leave of the Dublin stage, Mr. Lewis spoke the
following address:

  From ten years old till now near fifty-six,
  Of all I've gained, the _origin_ I fix
  _Here on this fav'rite spot_; when first I came
  A trembling candidate for scenic fame,
  In numbers _lisping, here_ that course began
  Which, through your early aid, has smoothly ran;
  Here too, returning from your sister land,
  Oft have I met your smile, your lib'ral hand:
  Oft as I came Hibernia still has shown
  That hospitality so much her own.
  But _now_ the prompter, _Time_, with warning bell,
  Reminds me that I come to bid farewell!
  With usual joy this visit I should pay,
  But _here_, adieu is very hard to say.
  Yet take my thanks for thousand favours past--
  My wishes that your welfare long may last--
  My promise that, though Time upon this face
  May make his annual marks, no time can chase
  Your memory here, while memory here has place.
  My meaning is sincere, though plainly spoke--
  My heart, like yours, I hope, is heart of oak;
  And that although the bark, through years, may fail ye,
  The trunk was, is, and will be true shillaly.

       *       *       *       *       *


_The Comedy annexed to this number._

The favourable reception which this comedy met in London, will no doubt
induce the managers of America to produce it on their boards. For _this
reason_ it has been selected by the editors.

In the general reception of this comedy on the stage, the author has
been more successful than in the judgment it has received from the
press. Of the criticisms which have appeared in the London publications,
we have seen two, which disagree with each other on its merits. That the
reception by a large audience and the opinion of a critic should differ,
is not at all surprising. In the present instance one of those critics
is at complete variance with the audience, and says "it is as dull as
the ministerial benches, and yet as patriotic as the opposition." The
editors reserve their opinion till they see it acted.

       *       *       *       *       *


The conductors thank "DRAMATICUS" for his communications, to which they
will pay the proper attention. Though the series for the month of
February is complete, they have made room for four of the articles with
which he has favoured them.

       *       *       *       *       *
           *       *       *       *

Errors and Inconsistencies: The Mirror of Taste

  Spellings were changed only when there was an unambiguous error,
  or the word occurred elsewhere with the expected spelling.
  Omitted closing quotation marks are as in the original text.
  [oe] indicates an oe ligature.

  chaunted  [chanted]
  cotemporary/ies  [contemporary/ies]
  descendent  [descendant]
  devest  [divest]
  monkies  [monkeys]
  mystries  [mysteries]
  pedler  [pedlar]
  surprize  [surprise]
  wo  [woe]
  wonderous  [wondrous]
  then "hear him, hear him," loudly rings,  [final comma is unclear]
  assuage their wrath or heal the wound,  [comma is unclear]

  From the circumstances of her father's situation  [farther's]
  Though the trepidation inseparable from such an effort  [inseperable]
  Each secret image that my fancy formed  [Eech]
  Quin decidedly gave judgment against her  [decidely]
  is rather a paraphrase than a translation  [pharaphrase]
  the season which succeeded Mrs. Merry's arrival  [whith]
  vainglory  [occurs with and without hyphenation]
  signifying--roundly nothing  [signifyng]
  the dog-star of favouritism  [favourite-ism]
  don't  [occurs with and without apostrophe]
  strength as to their vocal abilities  [abilites]
  a wedding-party in that neighbourhood  [neigbourhood]

       *       *       *       *       *
           *       *       *       *






  Published by Bradford and Inskeep, Philadelphia;
  Inskeep and Bradford, New-York; and William
  M'Ilhenny, Boston.

  Smith and Maxwell, Printers.






  Lord Austencourt.
  Sir Rowland Austencourt.
  Charles Austencourt.
  Sir Willoughby Worret.
  Abel Grouse.
  Mr. Cornelius O'Dedimus.
  Parish Officer.
  Lady Worret.
  Helen Worret.


SCENE I.--_Abel Grouse's cottage. Enter_ Abel Grouse _and_ Fanny.

_Ab. Gr._ Don't tell me of your sorrow and repentance girl. You've
broke my heart. Married hey? and privately too--and to a lord into the
bargain! So, when you can hide it no longer, you condescend to tell me.
Think you that the wealth and title of lord Austencourt can silence the
fears of a fond father's heart? Why should a lord marry a poor girl like
you in private, if his intentions were honourable? Who should restrain
him from publicly avowing his wife?

_Fanny._ My dearest father, have but a little patience, and I'll explain

_Ab. Gr._ Who was present, besides the parson, at your wedding?

_Fanny._ There was our neighbour, the attorney, sir, and one of his
clerks, and they were all--

_Ab. Gr._ My heart sinks within me--but mark me. You may remember I was
not always what now I seem to be. I yesterday received intelligence
which, but for this discovery, had shed a gleam of joy over my remaining
days. As it is, should your husband prove the villain I suspect him,
that intelligence will afford me an opportunity to resume a character in
life which shall make this monster lord tremble. The wrongs of Abel
Grouse, the poor but upright man, might have been pleaded in vain to
him, but as I shall soon appear, it shall go hard but I will make the
great man shrink before me, even in his plenitude of pride and power.

_Fanny._ You terrify me, sir, indeed you do.

_Ab. Gr._ And so I would. I would prepare you for the worst that may
befal us: for should this man, this lord, who calls himself your

_Fanny._ Dearest father, what can you mean? Who _calls_ himself my
husband! He _is_ my husband.

_Ab. Gr._ If he _is_ your husband, how does he dare to pay his
addresses, as he now publicly does, to the daughter of sir Willoughby
Worret, our neighbour. I may be mistaken. I'm in the midst here of old
acquaintances, though in this guise they know me not. They shall soon
see me amongst them. Not a word of this, I charge you. Come girl, this
lord shall own you. If he does not, we will seek a remedy in those laws
which are at once the best guardians of our rights and the surest
avengers of our wrongs. [_Exeunt._

SCENE II.--_A parlour in_ sir W. Worret's _house. The breakfast
prepared, urn, &c._ Sir Willoughby _reading the newspaper. He rises and
rings the bell; then pulls out his watch._

_Sir W._ Three quarters of an hour since breakfast was first announced
to my wife. My patience is exhausted. Oh wedlock, wedlock! why did I
ever venture again into thy holy state--of misery! Of all the taxes laid
on mankind by respect to society and the influence of example, no one is
so burthensome as that which obliges a man to submit to a thousand ills
at home, rather than be suspected of being a bad husband abroad. (_enter
servant_) Go to your lady.

_Serv._ I told her ladyship five times before, sir Willoughby, that
breakfast was waiting.

_Sir W._ Then tell her once more, and that will make six, and say I
earnestly request the favour she will hasten to breakfast, as while she
stays I starve.

_Serv._ Yes, sir Willoughby, but she'll stop the longer for the message.
(_Aside going out._) [_Exit._

_Sir W._ My wife is the very devil. It seems that she'd be miserable if
she did not think me happy; yet her tenderness is my eternal torment;
her affection puts me in a fidget, and her fondness in a fever.

    _Enter servant._

_Serv._ My lady says she wont detain you a moment, sir Willoughby.

_Sir W._ The old answer. Then she's so nervous. A nervous wife is worse
than a perpetual blister; and then, as the man says in the play, your
nervous patients are always ailing, but _never die_. Zounds! why do I
bear it? 'tis my folly, my weakness, to dread the censure of the world,
and to sacrifice every comfort of my fire side to the ideal advantage of
being esteemed a _good husband_. (_Lady Worret is heard speaking
behind_) Hark! now she begins her morning work, giving more orders in a
minute than can be executed in a month, and teasing my daughter to death
to teach her to keep her temper; yet every body congratulates me on
having so good a wife; every body envies me so excellent an economist;
every body thinks me the happiest man alive; and nobody knows what a
miserable mortal I am.

_Lady W._ (_behind_) And harkye, William, (_entering with servant_) tell
the coachman to bring the chariot in a quarter of an hour: and William,
run with these books immediately to the rector's; and William, bring up
breakfast this moment.

_Will._ Yes, my lady: (_aside_) Lord have mercy upon us! [_Exit._

_Lady W._ My dear sir Willoughby, I beg a thousand pardons; but you are
always so indulgent that you really spoil me. I'm sure you think me a
tiresome creature.

_Sir W._ No, no, my life, not at all. I should be very ungrateful if I
didn't value you _just exactly as highly_ as you deserve.

_Lady W._ I certainly _deserve_ a good scolding: I do indeed. I think if
you scolded me a little I should behave better.

_Sir W._ Well, then, as you encourage me, my love, I must own that a
little more punctuality would greatly heighten the zest of your society.

_Lady W._ And yet, sir Willoughby, you _must_ acknowledge that my time
is ever dedicated to that proper vigilance which the superintendance of
so large an establishment undoubtedly requires.

_Sir W._ Why, true, my love; but somehow I can't help thinking, that, as
my fortune is so ample, it is quite unnecessary that you should undergo
so much fatigue: for instance, I _do_ think that the wife of a baronet
of 12,000l. a year owes it to her rank to be otherwise employed than in
hunting after the housemaid, or sacrificing her time in the storeroom in
counting candles, or weighing out soap, starch, powder-blue, and brown

_Lady W. (in tears)_ This is unkind, sir Willoughby, this is very

_Sir W._ So! as usual, here's a breeze springing up. What the devil
shall I say to sooth her? Wife, wife! you drive me mad. You first beg me
to scold you, and then are offended because I obligingly comply with
your request.

_Lady W._ No, sir Willoughby, I am only _surprised_ that you should so
little know the value of a wife who daily degrades herself for your

_Sir W._ That's the very thing I complain of. You _do_ degrade yourself.
Your economy, my life, is downright parsimony: your vigilance is
suspicion; your management is meanness; and you fidget your servants
till you make them fretful, and then prudently discharge them because
they will live with you no longer. Hey! ods life, I must sooth her: for
if company comes, and finds her in this humour, my dear-bought
reputation as a good husband is lost forever. _(Enter servant with
breakfast.)_ Come, come, my dear lady Worret, let us go to breakfast,
come _(sitting down to breakfast)_ let us talk of something else. Come,
take your tea.

_Lady W. (to servant)_ Send William to speak to me. [_Exit servant._

_Sir W._ Where's Helen?

_Lady W._ I have desired her to copy a few articles into the family
receipt book before breakfast; for as her marriage will so shortly take
place, it is necessary she should complete her studies.

_Sir W._ What, she's at work, I suppose, on the third folio volume.

_Lady W._ The _fifth_, I believe.

_Sir W._ Heaven defend us! I don't blame it; I don't censure it at all:
but I believe the case is _rather_ unprecedented for an heiress of
12,000l. a year to leave to posterity, in her own hand writing, five
folio volumes of recipes, for pickling, preserving, potting, and pastry,
for stewing and larding, making ketchup and sour krout, oyster patties,
barbacued pies, jellies, jams, soups, sour sauce, and sweetmeats.

_Lady W._ Oh, sir Willoughby! if young ladies of the present day paid
more attention to such substantial acquirements, we should have better
wives and better husbands.

_Sir W._ Why that is singularly just.

_Lady W._ Yes, if women were taught to find amusement in domestic
duties, instead of seeking it at a circulating library, assemblies, and
balls, we should hear of fewer appeals to Doctor's Commons and the court
of King's Bench.

_Sir W._ Why that is undeniably true _(aside)_ and now, as we have a
moment uninterrupted by family affairs--

    _Enter_ William.

_Lady W._ Is the carriage come?

_Will._ No, my lady.

_Lady W._ Have you carried the books?

_Will._ No, my lady.

_Lady W._ Then go and hasten the coachman.

_Will._ No, my lady--_yes_, my lady.

_Lady W._ And William, send up Tiffany to Miss Helen's room, and bid her
say we expect her at breakfast.

_Will._ Miss Helen has been in the park these two hours.

_Sir W. (Laughs aside.)_

_Lady W._ How! in the park these two hours? Impossible. Send Tiffany to
seek her.

_Will._ Yes, my lady. [_Exit._

_Sir W._ So, as usual, risen with the lark, I suppose.

_Lady W._ Her disobedience will break my heart.

_Sir W._ Zounds! I shall go mad. Here's a mother-in-law going to break
her heart, because my daughter prefers a walk in the morning to writing
culinary secrets in a fat folio family receipt book!

_Lady W._ Sir Willoughby, sir Willoughby, it is you who encourage her in
disregarding my orders.

_Sir W._ No such thing, lady Worret, no such thing: but if the girl
likes to bring home a pair of ruddy cheeks from a morning walk, I don't
see why she is to be balked of her fancy.

_Lady W._ Ruddy cheeks, indeed! Such robust health is becoming only in
dairy maids.

_Sir W._ Yes, I know your taste to a T. A consumption is always a key to
your tender heart; and an interesting pallid countenance will at any
time unlock the door to your best affections: but I must be excused if I
prefer seeing my daughter with the rosy glow of health upon her cheek,
rather than the sickly imitations of art, which bloom on the surface
alone, while the fruit withers and decays beneath--but zounds! don't
speak so loud, here's somebody coming, and they'll think we are
quarrelling. _(Helen sings behind)_ So here comes our madcap.

    _Enter_ Helen.

_Helen._ Good morning, good morning. Here, papa, look what a beautiful
posy of wild flowers I have gathered. See, the dew is still upon them.
How lovely they are! To my fancy, now, these uncultivated productions of
nature have more charms than the whole garden can equal. Why can we not
all be like these flowers, simple and inartificial, with the stamp of
nature and truth upon us?

_Lady W._ Romantic stuff! But how comes it, Miss Helen, that my orders
are thus disobeyed?

_Helen._ Why lord, mamma, I'll tell you how it was; but first I must eat
my breakfast; so I'll sit down and tell you all about it. _(sits down.)_
In the first place, I rose at six, and remembering I was to copy out the
whole catalogue of sweetmeats, and as I hate all sweet things, (some
sugar, if you please, papa) I determined to take one run round the park
before I sat down to my morning's work: so taking a crust of bread and a
glass of cold water, which I love better than (some tea, if you please,
mamma) any thing in the world, out I flew like a lapwing; stopped at the
dairy; and (some cream, if you please, papa) down to the meadows and
gathered my nosegay; and then bounded home, with a heart full of gayety,
and a rare appetite for--some roll and butter, if you please, mamma.

_Lady W._ Daughter, this levity of character is unbecoming your sex, and
even your age. You see none of this offensive flightiness in me.

_Sir W._ Come, come, my dear lady Worret. Helen's gayety is natural.
Helen, my love, I have charming news for you. Every thing is at last
arranged between lord Austencourt and me respecting your marriage.

_Helen._ Why now, if mamma-in-law had said this, I should have thought
she meant to make me as grave as herself.

_Lady W._ In expectation that Helen will behave as becomes her in this
most important affair of her life, I consent to pass over her negligence
this morning in regard to my favourite receipts.

_Helen._ I hate all receipts, sweet, bitter, and sour.

_Lady W._ Then we will now talk of a husband.

_Helen._ I hate all husbands, sweet, bitter, and sour.

_Sir W._ Whoo! Helen, my love, you should not contradict your mamma.

_Helen._ My dear papa, I don't contradict her; but I will not marry lord

_Lady W._ This is too much for my weak nerves. I leave you, sir
Willoughby, to arrange this affair, while I hasten to attend to my
domestic duties.

_Sir W._ (_aside to lady W._) That's right; you'd better leave her to
me. I'll manage her, I warrant. Let me assist you--there--I'll soon
settle this business. (_Hands lady Worret off._)

_Helen._ Now, my dear papa, are you really of the same opinion as her

_Sir W._ Exactly.

_Helen._ Ha! ha! lud! but that's comical. What! both think alike?

_Sir W._ Precisely.

_Helen._ That's very odd. I believe it's the first time you've agreed in
opinion since you were made one: but I'm quite sure you never can wish
me to marry a man I do not love.

_Sir W._ Why no, certainly not; but you _will_ love him; indeed you
_must_. It's my wife's wish, you know, and so I wish it of course. Come,
come, in this one trifling matter you must oblige us.

_Helen._ Well, as _you_ think it only a trifling matter, and as I think
it of importance enough to make me miserable, I'm sure _you'll_ give up
the point.

_Sir W._ Why no, you are mistaken. To be sure I _might_ have given it
up; but my lady Worret, you know--but that's no matter. Marriage is a
duty, and tis incumbent on parents to see their children settled in that
_happy_ state.

_Helen._ Have _you_ found that state _so happy_, sir?

_Sir W._ Why--yes--that is--hey? happy! certainly. Doesn't every body
say so? and what every body says _must_ be true. However, that's not to
the purpose. A connexion with the family of lord Austencourt is
particularly desirable.

_Helen._ Not to _me_, I assure you, papa.

_Sir W._ Our estates join so charmingly to one another.

_Helen._ But sure that's no reason _we_ should be joined to one another.

_Sir W._ But their contiguity seems to invite a union by a marriage
between you.

_Helen._ Then pray, papa, let the stewards marry the estates and give me
a separate maintenance.

_Sir. W._ Helen, Helen, I see you are bent on disobedience to my lady
Worret's wishes. Zounds! you don't see me disobedient to her wishes; but
I know whereabouts your objection lies. That giddy, dissipated young
fellow, his cousin Charles, the son of sir Rowland Austencourt, has
filled your head with nonsensical notions and chimeras of happiness.
Thank Heaven, however, he's far enough off at sea.

_Helen._ And _I_ think, sir, that because a man is fighting our battles
abroad, he ought not to be the less dear to those whom his courage
enables to live in tranquillity at home.

_Sir W._ That's very true: (_aside_) but I have an unanswerable
objection to all you can say. Lord Austencourt is rich, and Charles is a
beggar. Besides sir Rowland himself prefers lord Austencourt.

_Helen._ More shame for him. His partial feelings to his nephew, and
unnatural disregard of his son, have long since made me hate him. In
short, you are for money, and choose lord Austencourt: I am for love,
and prefer his poor cousin.

_Sir W._ Then, once for all, as my lady Worret must be obeyed, I no
longer consult you on the subject, and it only remains for you to retain
the affection of an indulgent father, by complying with my will (I mean
my wife's) or to abandon my protection. [_Exit._

_Helen._ I won't marry him, papa, I won't, nor I won't cry, though I've
a great mind. A plague of all money, say I. Oh! what a grievous
misfortune it is to be born with 12,000l. a year? but if I can't marry
the man I like, I won't marry at all; that's determined: and every body
knows the firmness of a woman's resolution, when she resolves on
contradiction. [_Exit._

SCENE III.--O'Dedimus's _office. Boxes round the shelves._ O'Dedimus
_discovered writing at an office table. A few papers and parchments,

_O'Dedimus._ There! I think I've expressed my meaning quite plainly,
(_reads_) "Farmer Flail, I'm instructed by lord Austencourt, your
landlord, to inform you, by word of letter, that if you can't afford to
pay the additional rent for your farm, you must turn out." I think
that's clear enough. "As to your putting in the plea of a large family,
we cannot allow that as a set off; because, when a man can't afford to
support seven children with decency, he ought not to trouble himself to
get them." I think that's plain English.

    "Your humble servant,
            "Attorney at law.

"P.S. You may show this letter to his lordship, to convince him I have
done my duty; but as I don't mean one word of it, if you'll come to me
privately, I'll see what can be done for you, without his knowing any
thing of the matter," and I think _that's_ plain English.

    _Enter_ gamekeeper _with a_ countryman _in custody._

_O'Ded._ Well, friend, and what are you?

_Countryman._ I be's a poacher: so my lord's gamekeeper here do say.

_O'Ded._ A poacher! Faith that's honest.

_Gamekeeper._ I caught him before day-light on the manor. I took away
his gun and shot his dog.

_O'Ded._ That was bravely done. So, you must pamper your long stomach
with pheasants and partridges, and be damned to ye! Will you prefer
paying five pounds now, or three month's hard labour in the house of

_Countrym._ Thank ye, sir, I don't prefer either, sir.

_O'Ded._ You must go before the justice. He'll exhort you, and commit

_Countrym._ Ees, I do know that _extortion_ and _commission_, and such
like, be the office of the justice; but I'll have a bit of law, please
punch. He ha' killed my poor dog, that I loved like one o' my own
children, and I've gotten six of 'em, Lord bless 'em.

_O'Ded._ Six dogs!

_Countrym._ Dogs! No, children, mun.

_O'Ded._ Six children! Och, the fruitful sinner!

_Countrym._ My wife be a pains-taking woman, sir. We ha' had this poor
dog from a puppy.

_O'Ded._ Shut your ugly mouth, you babbler.--Six children! Oh! we must
make an example of this fellow. An't I the village lawyer? and an't I
the terror of all the rogues of the parish? (_aside to him._) You must
plead "not guilty."

_Countrym._ But I tell you, if that be guilt, I _be_ guilty.

_O'Ded._ Why, you blundering booby, if you plead guilty, how will I ever
be able to prove you innocent?

_Countrym._ Guilty or innocent, I'll have the law of him, by gum. He has
shot my poor old mongrel, and taken away my musket; and I've lost my
day's drilling, and I'll make him pay for it.

_O'Ded._ A mongrel and a musket! by St. Patrick, Mr. Gamekeeper, and you
have nately set your foot in it.

_Gamekeeper._ Why, sir, its a bad affair, sir. 'Twas so dark, I couldn't
see; and when I discovered my mistake, I offered him a shilling to make
it up, and he refused it.

_O'Ded._ (_aside to gamekeeper._) Harkye, Mr. Gamekeeper; he has one
action against ye for his dog, and another for false imprisonment.
(_aloud_) I love to see the laws enforced with justice: (_aside_) but
I'll always help a poor man to stand up against oppression. (_to
gamekeeper_) He has got you on the hip, and so go out and settle it
between yourselves, and do _you_ take care of yourself: (_to
countryman_) and do _you_ make the best of your bargain. [_Exeunt._

Parish officer _brings forward the_ sailor.

_Officer._ Here's a vagrant. I found him begging without a pass.

_O'Ded._ Take him before his worship directly. The sturdy rogue ought to
be punished.

_Sailor._ Please your honour, I'm a sailor.

_O'Ded._ And if you're a sailor, an't you ashamed to own it? A begging
sailor is a disgrace to an honourable profession, for which the country
has provided an asylum as glorious as it is deserved.

_Sailor._ Why so it has: but I an't bound for Greenwich yet.

_O'Ded._ (_aside to him._) Why, you're disabled, I see.

_Sailor._ Disabled! What for? Why I've only lost _one_ arm yet. Bless
ye, I'm no beggar. I was going to see my Nancy, thirty miles further on
the road, and meeting some old messmates, we had a cann o' grog
together. One cann brought on another, and then we got drinking the
king's health, and the navy, and then _this_ admiral, and then _t'other_
admiral, till at last we had so many gallant heroes to drink, that we
were all drunk afore we came to the reckoning; so, your honour, as my
messmates had none of the rhino, I paid all; and then, you know, they
had a long journey upwards, and no biscuit aboard; so I lent one a
little, and another a little, till at last I found I had no coin left in
my locker for myself, except a cracked teaster that Nancy gave me; and I
couldn't spend that, you know, though I had been starving.

_O'Ded._ And so you begged!

_Sailor._ Begged! no. I just axed for a bit of bread and a mug o' water.
That's no more than one Christian ought to give another, and if you call
that begging, why I beg to differ in opinion.

_O'Ded._ According to the act you are a vagrant, and the justice may
commit ye; (_aside to the officer_) lookye, Mr. Officer--you're in the
wrong box here. Can't you see plain enough, by his having lost an arm,
that he earns a livelihood by the work of his hands; so lest he should
be riotous for being detained, let me advise you to be off. I'll send
him off after you with a flea in his ear--the other way.

_Officer._ Thank ye, sir, thank ye. I'm much obliged to you for your
advice, sir, and shall take it, and so my service to you. [_Exit._

_O'Ded._ Take this my honest lad; (_gives money_) say nothing about it,
and give my service to Nancy.

_Sailor._ Why now, heaven bless you honour forever; and if ever you're
in distress, and I'm within sight of signals, why hang out your blue
lights; and if I don't bear down to your assistance, may my gun be
primed with damp powder the first time we fire a broadside at the enemy.

O'Dedimus _rings a bell._

_O'Ded._ Ponder! Now will this fellow be thinking and thinking, till he
quite forgets what he's doing. Ponder, I say! (_enter Ponder._) Here,
Ponder, take this letter to farmer Flail's, and if you see Mrs. Muddle,
his neighbour, give my love and duty to her.

_Ponder._ Yes, yes, sir; but at that moment, sir, I was immersed in
thought, if I may be allowed the expression; I was thinking of the vast
difference between love and law, and yet how neatly you've spliced them
together in your last instructions to your humble servant, Peter Ponder,

_O'Ded._ Umph! is that your manners, you bear-garden? Will I never be
able to larn you to behave yourself? Study _me_, and talk like a
gentleman, and be damn'd to ye.

_Ponder._ I study the law; I can't talk it.

_O'Ded._ Cant you? Then you'll never do. If your tongue don't run faster
than your client's, how will you ever be able to bother him, you booby?

_Ponder._ I'll draw out his case; he shall read, and he'll bother

_O'Ded._ You've a notion. Mind my instructions, and I don't despair of
seeing you at the bar one day. Was that copy of a writ sarved yesterday
upon Garble, the tailor?

_Ponder._ Aye.

_O'Ded._ And sarve him right too. That's a big rogue, that runs in debt
wid his eyes open, and though he has property, refuses to pay. Is he

_Ponder._ He was bailed by Swash the brewer.

_O'Ded._ And was the other sarved on Shuttle, the weaver?

_Ponder._ Aye.

_O'Ded._ Who bailed him?

_Ponder._ Nobody. He's gone to jail.

_O'Ded._ Gone to jail! Why _his_ poverty is owing to misfortune. He
can't pay. Well, that's not our affair. The law must have its course.

_Ponder._ So Shuttle said to his wife, as she hung crying on his

_O'Ded._ That's it; he's a sensible man; and that's more than his wife
is. We've nothing to do with women's tears.

_Ponder._ Not a bit. So they walked him off to jail in a jiffey, if I
may be allowed the expression.

_O'Ded._ To be sure, and that was right. They did their duty: though for
sartin, if a poor man can't pay his debts when he's at liberty, he wont
be much nearer the mark when he's shut up in idleness in a prison.

_Ponder._ No.

_O'Ded._ And when he that sent them there comes to make up his last
account, 'tis my belief that he wont be able to show cause why a bill
shouldn't be filed against him for barbarity. Are the writings all ready
for sir Rowland?

_Ponder._ All ready. Shall I now go to farmer Flail's with the letter?

_O'Ded._ Aye, and if you see Shuttle's wife in your way, give my service
to her; and d'ye hear, as you're a small talker, don't let the little
you say be so cursed crabbed; and if a few kind words of comfort should
find their way from your heart to your tongue, don't shut your ugly
mouth, and keep them within your teeth. You may tell her that if she can
find any body to stand up for her husband, I shan't be over nice about
the sufficiency of the bail. Get you gone.

_Ponder_ I shall. Let me see! farmer Flail--Mrs. Muddle, his
neighbour--Shuttle's wife--and a whole string of messages and
memorandums--here's business enough to bother the brains of any
ordinary man! You are pleased to say, sir, that I am too much addicted
to thinking--I think _not_. [_Exit Ponder._

_O'Ded._ By my soul, if an attorney wasn't sometimes a bit of a rogue,
he'd never be able to earn an honest livelihood. Oh Mr. O'Dedimus! why
have you so little when your heart could distribute so much!

    Sir Rowland, _without_.

_Sir Row._ Mr. O'Dedimus--within there!

_O'Ded._ Yes, I'm within there.

    _Enter_ sir Rowland.

_Sir Row._ Where are these papers? I thought the law's delay was only
felt by those who could not pay for its expedition.

_O'Ded._ The law, sir Rowland, is a good horse, and his pace is slow and
sure; but he goes no faster because you goad him with a golden spur; but
every thing is prepared, sir; and now, sir Rowland, I have an ugly sort
of an awkward affair to mention to you.

_Sir Row._ Does it concern _me_?

_O'Ded._ You know, sir Rowland, at the death of my worthy friend, the
late lord Austencourt, you were left sole executor and guardian to his
son, the present lord, then an infant of three years of age.

_Sir Row._ What does this lead to? (_starting_)

_O'Ded._ With a disinterested view to benefit the estate of the minor,
who came of age the other day, you some time ago embarked a capital of
14,000l. in a great undertaking.

_Sir Row._ Proceed.

_O'Ded._ I have this morning received a letter from the agent, stating
the whole concern to have failed, the partners to be bankrupts, and the
property consigned to assignees not to promise, as a final dividend,
more than one shilling in the pound. This letter will explain the rest.

_Sir Row._ How! I was not prepared for this--What's to be done?

_O'Ded._ When one loses a sum of money that isn't one's own, there's but
one thing to be done.

_Sir Row._ And what is that?

_O'Ded._ To pay it back again.

_Sir Row._ You know that to be impossible, utterly impossible.

_O'Ded._ Then, sir Rowland, take the word of _Cornelius O'Dedimus_,
attorney at law, his lordship will rigidly exact the money, to the
uttermost farthing.

_Sir Row._ You are fond, sir, of throwing out these hints to his

_O'Ded._ I am bold to speak it--I am possessed of a secret, sir Rowland,
in regard to his lordship.

_Sir Row._ (_alarmed._) What is it you mean?

_O'Ded._ I thought I told you it was a _secret_.

_Sir Row._ But to me you should have no secrets that regard my family.

_O'Ded._ With submission, sir Rowland, his lordship is my client, as
well as yourself, and I have learned from the practice of the courts,
that an attorney who blabs in his business has soon no suit to his back.

_Sir Row._ But this affair, perhaps, involves my deepest interest--my
character--my all is at stake.

_O'Ded._ Have done wid your pumping now--d'ye think I am a basket full
of cinders, that I'm to be sifted after this fashion?

_Sir Row._ Answer but this--does it relate to Charles, my son?

_O'Ded._ Sartinly, the young gentleman has a small bit of interest in
the question.

_Sir Row._ One thing more. Does it allude to a transaction which
happened some years ago--am I a principal concerned in it?

_O'Ded._ Devil a ha'porth--it happened only six months past.

_Sir R._ Enough--I breathe again.

_O'Ded._ I'm glad of that, for may-be you'll now let me breathe to tell
you that as I know lord Austencourt's private character better than you
do, my life to a bundle of parchment, he'll even arrest ye for the

_Sir R._ Impossible, he cannot be such a villain!

_Abel Grouse._ (_without_) What ho! is the lawyer within?

_Sir Row._ Who interrupts us?

_O'Ded._ 'Tis the strange man that lives on the common--his name is Abel
Grouse--he's coming up.

_Sir R._ I'll wait till you dismiss him, for I cannot encounter any one
at present. Misfortunes crowd upon me; and one act of guilt has drawn
the vengeance of Heaven on my head, and will pursue me to the grave.
[_Exit to an inner room._

_O'Ded._ Och! if a small gale of adversity blows up such a storm as
this, we shall have a pretty hurricane by and by, when you larn a little
more of your hopeful nephew, and see his new matrimonial scheme fall to
the ground, like buttermilk through a sieve.

    _Enter_ Abel Grouse.

_Abel Grouse._ Now, sir, you are jackall, as I take it, to lord

_O'Ded._ I am his man of business, sure enough; but didn't hear before
of my promotion to the office you mention.

_Ab. Gr._ You are possessed of all his secret deeds.

_O'Ded._ That's a small mistake--I have but one of them, and that's the
deed of settlement on Miss Helen Worret, spinster.

_Ab. Gr._ Leave your quibbling, sir, and speak plump to the point--if
habit hasn't hardened your heart, and given a system to your knavery,
answer me this: lord Austencourt has privately married my daughter?

_O'Ded._ Hush!

_Ab. Gr._ You were a witness.

_O'Ded._ Has any body told you that thing?

_Ab. Gr._ Will you deny it?

_O'Ded._ Will you take a friend's advice?

_Ab. Gr._ I didn't come for advice. I came to know if you will confess
the fact, or whether you are villain enough to conceal it.

_O'Ded._ Have done wid your bawling--sir Rowland's in the next room!

_Ab. Gr._ Is he? then sir Rowland shall hear me--Sir Rowland!--he shall
see my daughter righted--Ho there! Sir Rowland!

_O'Ded._ (_aside_) Here'll be a devil of a dust kicked up presently
about the ears of Mr. Cornelius O'Dedimus, attorney at law!

    _Enter_ Sir Rowland.

_Sir Row._ Who calls me?

_Ab. Gr._ 'Twas I!

_Sir Row._ What is it you want, friend?

_Ab. Gr._ Justice!

_Sir Row._ Justice! then you had better apply there, (_pointing to

_Ab. Gr._ That's a mistake--he deals only in _law_--'tis to you that I
appeal--Your nephew, lord Austencourt, is about to marry the daughter of
sir Willoughby Worret.

_Sir Row._ He is.

_Ab. Gr._ Never! I will save him the guilt of that crime at least!

_Sir Row._ You are mysterious, sir.

_Ab. Gr._ Perhaps I am. Briefly, your nephew is privately married to my
daughter--this man was present at their union--will you see justice done
me, and make him honourably proclaim his wife?

_Sir Row._ Your tale is incredible, sir--it is sufficient, however, to
demand attention, and I warn you, lest by your folly you rouse an
indignation that may crush you.

_Ab. Gr._ Hear me, proud man, while I warn _you_! My daughter is the
lawful wife of lord Austencourt--double is the wo to me that she _is_
his wife: but as it is so, he shall publicly acknowledge her--to you I
look for justice and redress--see to it, sir, or I shall speedily appear
in a new character, with my wrongs in my hand, to hurl destruction on
you. [_Exit._

_Sir Row._ What does the fellow mean?

_O'Ded._ That's just what I'm thinking--

_Sir Row._ _You_, he said, was privy to their marriage.

_O'Ded._ Bless ye, the man's mad!

_Sir Row._ Ha! you said you had a secret respecting my nephew.

_O'Ded._ Sir, if you go on so, you'll bother me!

_Sir Row._ The fellow must be silenced--can you not contrive some means
to rid us of his insolence?

_O'Ded._ Sir, I shall do my duty, as my duty should be done, by
Cornelius O'Dedimus, attorney at law.

_Sir Row._ My nephew must not hear of this accursed loss--be secret on
that head, I charge you! but in regard to this man's bold assertion, I
must consult him instantly--haste and follow me to his house.

_O'Ded._ Take me wid ye, sir; for this is such a dirty business, that
I'll never be able to go through it unless you show me the way.

_End of act I._


SCENE I.--_A library at_ Sir Willoughby's. _Enter_ Helen _with_ Servant.

_Helen._ Lord Austencourt--true--this is his hour for persecuting
me--very well, desire lord Austencourt to come in. (_exit servant_) I
won't marry. They all say I shall. Some girls, now, would sit down and
sigh, and moan, as if that would mend the matter--that will never suit
me! Some indeed would run away with the man they liked better--but then
the only man I ever liked well enough to marry--is--I believe, run away
from _me_. Well! that won't do!--so I'll e'en laugh it off as well as I
can; and though I wont marry his lordship, I'll teaze him as heartily as
if I had been his wife these twenty years.

    _Enter_ lord Austencourt.

_Lord A._ Helen! too lovely Helen! once more behold before you to
supplicate for your love and pity, the man whom the world calls proud,
but whom your beauty alone has humbled.

_Helen._ They say, my lord, that pride always has a fall some time or
other. I hope the fall of your lordship's hasn't hurt you.

_Lord A._ Is it possible that the amiable Helen, so famed for gentleness
and goodness, can see the victim of her charms thus dejected stand
before her.

_Helen._ Certainly not, my lord--so pray sit down.

_Lord A._ Will you never be for one moment serious?

_Helen._ Oh, yes, my lord! I am never otherwise when _I think_ of your
lordship's proposals--but when you are making love and fine speeches to
me in person, 'tis with amazing difficulty I can help laughing.

_Lord A._ Insolent vixin. (_aside_) I had indulged a hope, madam, that
the generosity and disinterested love I have evinced--

_Helen._ Why as to your lordship's generosity in condescending to marry
a poor solitary spinster, I am certainly most duly grateful--and no one
can possibly doubt your disinterestedness, who knows I am only heiress
to 12,000l. a year--a fortune which, as I take it, nearly doubles the
whole of your lordship's rent roll!

_Lord A._ Really, madam, if I am suspected of any mercenary motives, the
liberal settlements which are now ready for your perusal, must
immediately remove any such suspicion.

_Helen._ Oh, my lord, you certainly mistake me--only as my papa
observes, our estates _do join so charmingly to one another_!

_Lord A._ Yes:--that circumstance is certainly advantageous to both
parties (_exultingly._)

_Helen._ Certainly!--only, as mine is the biggest, perhaps yours would
be the greatest gainer by the bargain.

_Lord A._ My dear madam, a title and the advantages of elevation in rank
amply compensate the sacrifice on your part.

_Helen._ Why, as to a title, my lord (as Mr. O'Dedimus, your attorney,
observes) there's no title in my mind better than a good title to a fine
estate--and I see plainly, that although your lordship is a peer of the
realm--you think this title of mine no mean companion for your own.

_Lord A._ Nay, madam--believe me--I protest--I assure you--solemnly,
that those considerations have very little--indeed _no_ influence _at
all_ with me.

_Helen._ Oh, no!--only it is natural that you should feel (as papa again
observes) that the _contiguity_ of these estates seem to _invite_ a
union by a marriage between us.

_Lord A._ And if you admit that fact, why do you decline the invitation?

_Helen._ Why, one doesn't accept _every_ invitation that's offered, you
know--one sometimes has very disagreeable ones; and then one presents
compliments, and is extremely sorry that a prior engagement obliges us
to decline the honour.

_Lord A._ (_aside_) Confound the satirical huzzy--But should not the
wishes of your parents have some weight in the scale?

_Helen._ Why, so they have; _their_ wishes are in one scale, and _mine_
are in the other; do all I can, I can't make mine weigh most, and so the
beam remains balanced.

_Lord A._ I should be sorry to make theirs preponderate, by calling in
their authority as auxiliaries to their wishes.

_Helen._ Authority!--Ho! what, you think to marry me by force! do ye my

_Lord A._ _They_ are resolute, and if _you_ continue obstinate--

_Helen._ I dare say your lordship's education hasn't precluded your
knowledge of a very true, though _rather_ vulgar proverb, "one man may
lead a horse to the water, but twenty can't make him drink."

_Lord A._ The allusion may be classical, madam, though certainly it is
not very elegant, nor has it even the advantage of being applicable to
the point in question. However I do not despair to see this resolution
changed. In the mean time, I did not think it in your nature to treat
any man who loves you with cruelty and scorn.

_Helen._ Then why don't you desist, my lord? If you'd take an answer,
you had a civil one: but if you will follow and teaze one, like a sturdy
beggar in the street, you must expect at last a reproof for your

_Lord A._ Yet even in their case perseverance often obtains what was
denied to poverty.

_Helen._ Yes, possibly, from the feeble or the vain; but genuine
Charity, and her sister, Love, act only from their own generous impulse,
and scorn intimidation.

    _Enter_ Tiffany.

_Tiffany._ Are you alone, madam?

_Helen._ No; I was only wishing to be so.

_Tiff._ A young woman is without, inquiring for sir Willoughby, ma'am; I
thought he had been here.

_Helen._ Do you know her?

_Tiff._ Yes, ma'am; 'tis Fanny, the daughter of the odd man that lives
on the common.

_Helen._ I'll see her myself--desire her to walk up. [_Exit Tiffany._

_Lord A._ (_seems uneasy_) Indeed! what brings her here?

_Helen._ Why, what can be the matter now? your lordship seems quite
melancholy on a sudden.

_Lord A._ I, madam! oh no!--or if I am--'tis merely a head ach, or some
such cause, or perhaps owing to the influence of the weather.

_Helen._ Your lordship is a very susceptible barometer--when you entered
this room your countenance was _set fair_; but now I see the index
points to _stormy_.

_Lord A._ Madam, you have company, or business--a good morning to you.

_Helen._ Stay, stay, my lord.

_Lord A._ Excuse me at present, I have an important affair--another

_Helen._ Surely, my lord, the arrival of this innocent girl does not
drive you away!

_Lord A._ Bless me, madam, what an idea! certainly not; but I have just
recollected an engagement of consequence--some other time--Madam, your
most obedient-- [_Exit._

    _Enter_ Fanny.

_Fan._ I beg pardon, madam, I'm fearful I intrude; but I inquired for
sir Willoughby, and they showed me to this room. I wished to speak with
him on particular business--your servant, madam.

_Hel._ Pray stay, my good girl--I rejoice in this opportunity of
becoming acquainted with you--the character I have heard of you has
excited an affectionate interest--you must allow me to become your

_Fanny._ Indeed, indeed, madam, I am in want of friends; but you can
never be one of them.

_Helen._ No! Why so?

_Fan._ You, madam! Oh no--you are the only enemy I ever had.

_Hel._ Enemy! This is very extraordinary! I have scarce ever seen you
before--Assuredly I never injured you.

_Fan._ Heaven forbid I should wish any one to injure you as deeply.

_Hel._ I cannot understand you--pray explain yourself.

_Fan._ That's impossible, madam--my lord would never forgive me.

_Hel._ Your lord! Let me entreat you to explain your meaning.

_Fan._ I cannot, madam; I came hither on business of importance, and no
trifling business should have brought me to a house inhabited by one who
is the cause of all my wretchedness.

_Hel._ This is a very extraordinary affair! There is a mixture of
cultivation and simplicity in your manner that affects me strongly--I
see, my poor girl, you are distressed; and though what you have said
leaves on my mind a painful suspicion--

_Fan._ Oh heavens, madam! stay, I beseech you!--I am not what you think
me, indeed I am not--I must not, for a moment, let you think of me so
injuriously: yet I have promised secrecy! but sure no promise can be
binding, when to keep it we must sacrifice all that is valuable in
life--hear me, then madam--the struggle is violent; but I owe it to
myself to acknowledge all.

_Hel._ No, no, my dear girl! I now see what it would cost you to reveal
your secret, and I will not listen to it; rest assured, I have no longer
a thought to your disadvantage: curiosity gives place to interest: for
though 'tis cruelty to inflict a wound, 'tis still more deliberate
barbarity to probe when we cannot hope to heal it. (_going._)

_Fan._ Stay, madam, stay--your generosity overpowers me! oh madam! you
know not how wretched I am.

_Hel._ What is it affects you thus?--come, if your story is of a nature
that may be revealed, you are sure of sympathy.

_Fan._ I never should have doubted; but my father has alarmed me
sadly--he says my lord Austencourt is certainly on the point of marriage
with you.

_Hel._ And how, my dear girl, if it were so, could that affect you?
Come, you must be explicit.

_Fan._ Affect me! merciful Heaven! can I see him wed another? He is my
husband by every tie sacred and human.

_Hel._ Suffering, but too credulous girl! have you then trusted to his

_Fan._ How, madam! was I to blame, loving as I did, to trust in vows so
solemn? could I suppose he would dare to break them, because our
marriage was performed in secret?

_Hel._ Your marriage, child! Good Heavens, you amaze me! but here we may
be interrupted--this way with me. If this indeed be so all may be well
again: for though he may be dead to _feeling_ be assured he is alive to
_fear_: the man who once descends to be a villain is generally observed
to be at heart a coward. [_Exeunt._

SCENE II.--_The door of a country inn._--Ponder _sitting on a

_Ponder._ I've heard that intense thinking has driven some philosophers
mad!--now if this should happen to _me_, 'twill never be the fate of my
young patron, Mr. Charles Austencourt, whom I have suddenly met on his
sudden return from sea, and who never thinks at all. Poor gentleman, he
little thinks what--

    _Enter_ Charles Austencourt.

_Charles._ Not gone yet? How comes it you are not on the road to my
father? Is the fellow deaf or dumb. Ponder! are ye asleep?

_Pon._ I'm thinking, whether I am or not.

_Charles._ And what wise scheme now occupies your thoughts?

_Pon._ Sir, I confess the subject is beneath me (_pointing to the

_Char._ The weight of the portmanteau, I suppose, alarms you.

_Pon._ If that was my heaviest misfortune, sir, I could carry double
with all my heart. No, sir, I was thinking that as your father, sir
Rowland, sent you on a cruize, for some cause best known to himself; and
as you have thought proper to return for some cause best known to
_yourself_, the chances of war, if I may be allowed the expression, are,
that the contents of that trunk will be your only inheritance, or, in
other words, that your father will cut you off with a shilling--and now
I'm thinking--

_Char._ No doubt--thinking takes up so many of your waking hours, that
you seldom find time for _doing_. And so you have, since my departure,
turned your thinking faculties to the law.

_Pon._ Yes, sir; when you gave me notice to quit, I found it so hard to
live honestly, that lest the law should take to me, I took to the law:
and so articled my self to Mr. O'Dedimus, the attorney in our town: but
there is a thought unconnected with law that has occupied my head every
moment since we met.

_Char._ Pr'ythee dismiss your thought, and get your legs in motion.

_Pon._ Then, sir, I have really been thinking, ever since I saw you,
that you are a little--(_going off to a distance_) a little _odd_
hereabouts, sir; (_pointing to his head_) a little damned mad, if I may
be allowed the expression!

_Char._ Ha! ha! very probably. My sudden return, without a motive, as
you suppose, has put that wise notion in your head.

_Pon._ Without a motive! No, sir, I believe I know tolerably well the
motive--the old story, sir, ha! love!

_Char._ Love! And pray, sirrah, how do you dare to presume to suppose,
that I--that I can be guilty of such a folly--I should be glad to know
how you dare venture to think that I----

_Pon._ Lord bless you, sir, I discovered it before you left the country.

_Char._ Indeed! and by what symptoms, pray?

_Pon._ The old symptoms, sir--in the first place, frequent fits of my

_Char._ _Your_ complaint?

_Pon._ Yes, thinking, long reveries, sudden starts, sentimental sighs,
fits of unobserving absence, fidgets and fevers, orders and counter
orders, loss of memory, loss of appetite, loss of rest, and loss of your
senses, if I may be allowed the expression.

_Char._ No, sir, you may not be allowed the expression--'tis
impertinent, 'tis false. I never was unobserving or absent; I never had
the fidgets; I never once mentioned the name of my adored Helen; and,
heigho! I never sighed for her in my life!

_Pon._ Nor I, sir; though I've been married these three years, I never
once sighed for my dear wife in all that time--heigho!

_Char._ I mustn't be angry with the fellow. Why, I took you for an
unobserving blockhead, or I would never have trusted you so near me.

_Pon._ Then, sir, you _mis_-took me. I fancy it was in one of your most
decided unobserving fits that you took _me_ for a blockhead.

_Char._ Well, sir; I see you have discovered my secret. Act wisely, and
it may be of service to you.

_Pon._ Sir, I haven't studied the law for nothing. I'm no fool, if I may
be allowed the expression.

_Char._ I begin to suspect you have penetration enough to be useful to

_Pon._ And craving your pardon, sir, I begin to suspect your want of
that faculty, from your not having found out that before.

_Char._ I will now trust you, although once my servant, with the state
of my heart.

_Pon._ Sir, that's very kind of you, to trust your humble servant with a
_secret_ he had himself discovered ten months ago.

_Char._ Keep it with honour and prudence.

_Pon._ Sir, I _have_ kept it. Nobody knows of it, that I know of, except
a few of your friends, many of your enemies, most travelling strangers,
and all your neighbours.

_Char._ Why, zounds! you don't mean to say that any body, except
yourself, suspects me to be in love.

_Pon._ Suspects! no, sir; _suspicion_ is out of the question; it is
taken as a proved fact in all society, a bill found by every grand jury
in the county.

_Char._ The devil it is! Zounds! I shall never be able to show my
face--this will never do--my boasted disdain of ever bowing to the power
of love--how ridiculous will it now render me--while the mystery and
sacred secrecy of this attachment constituted the chief delight it gave
to the refinement of my feelings--O! I'll off to sea again--I won't stay
here--order a post-chaise--no--yes--a chaise and four, d'ye hear?

_Pon._ Yes, sir; but I'm thinking--

_Char._ What?

_Pon._ That it is possible you may alter your mind.

_Char._ No such thing, sir; I'll set off this moment; order the chaise,
I say.

_Pon._ Think of it again, sir.

_Char._ Will you obey my orders, or not?

_Pon._ I think I will. (_aside_) Poor gentleman! now could I blow him up
into a blaze in a minute, by telling him that his mistress is just on
the point of marriage with his cousin, but though they say "ill news
travels apace," they shall never say that I rode postillion on the
occasion. [_Exit into inn._

_Char._ Here's a discovery! all my delicate management destroyed! known
all over the country! I'm off! and yet to have travelled so far, and not
to have one glimpse of her! but then to be pointed at as a poor devil in
love, a silly inconsistent boaster! no, that wont do--but then I may see
her--yes, I'll see her once--just once--for three minutes, or three
minutes and a half at most--no longer positively--Ponder, Ponder!
(_enter Ponder_) Ponder, I say--

_Pon._ I wish you wouldn't interrupt me, for I'm thinking--

_Char._ Damn your thinking, sir!

_Pon._ I was only thinking that you may have altered your mind already.

_Char._ I have not altered my mind: but since I _am_ here, I should be
wanting in duty not to pay my respects to my father; so march on with
the trunk, sir.

_Pon._ Yes, sir: but if that's all you want to do, sir, you may spare
yourself the trouble of going further, for, most fortunately, here he
comes; and your noble cousin, lord Austencourt, with him--

_Char._ The devil!

_Pon._ Yes, sir; the devil, and his uncle, your father, if I may be
allowed the expression. [_Exit._

    _Enter_ sir Rowland _and_ lord Austencourt.

_Char._ My dear father, I am heartily glad to see you--

_Sir R._ How is this, Charles! returned thus unexpectedly?

_Char._ Unexpected pleasure, they say, sir, is always most welcome--I
hope you find it so.

_Sir R._ This conduct, youngster, requires explanation.

_Char._ Sir, I have it ready at my tongue's end--My lord, I ask your
pardon--I'm glad to see you too.

_Lord A._ I wish, sir, I could return the compliment; but this
extraordinary conduct--

_Char._ No apologies, my lord, for your civil speech--you might easily
have returned the compliment in the same words, and, believe me, with as
much sincerity as it was offered.

_Sir R._ This is no time for dissention, sir--

_Lord A._ My cousin forgets, sir Rowland, that although united by ties
of consanguinity, _birth_ and _fortune_ have placed me in a station
which commands some respect.

_Char._ No, my lord, for I also am in a station where I _too_ command
respect, where I respect and am respected. I therefore well know what is
due to my superiors; and this duty I never forget, till those above me
forget what they owe to themselves.

_Lord A._ I am not aware, good cousin, that I have ever yet forfeited my
title to the respect I claim.

_Char._ You have, my lord: for high rank forfeits every claim to
distinction when it exacts submissive humility from those beneath it,
while at the same time it refuses a graceful condescension in exchange.

_Sir R._ Charles, Charles, these sentiments but ill become the dependent
state in which Fortune has placed you.

_Char._ Dependent state! Dependent upon whom! What, on _him_! my titled,
tawdry cousin there? What are his pretensions, that he shall presume to
brand me as a poor dependent!--What are _his_ claims to independence?
How does he spend the income Fortune has allotted to him? Does he
rejoice to revive in the mansion of his ancestors the spirit of old
English hospitality? Do the eyes of aged tenants twinkle with joy when
they hope his coming? do the poor bless his arrival? I say no. He is the
lord of land--and is also, what he seems still more proud of, a lord of
parliament; but I will front him in both capacities, and frankly tell
him, that in the first he is a burthen to his own estate, and not a
benefactor; and in the second, a peer but not a prop.

_Sir R._ Charles, how dare you thus persevere! You cannot deny, rash and
foolish boy, that you are in a dependant state. Your very profession
proves it.

_Char._ O, father, spare that insult! The profession I glory to belong
to, is above dependence--yes! while we live and fight, we feel, and
gratefully acknowledge, that our pay depends on our king and country,
and therefore you _may_ style us dependant; but in the hour of battle we
wish for nothing more than to show that the glory and safety of the
nation _depends on us_; and by our death or blood to repay all previous

_Sir R._ Dismiss this subject.

_Char._ With all my heart--My cousin was the subject, and he's a
fatiguing one.

_Sir R._ Though you do not love your cousin, you ought to pay that
deference to his rank which you refuse to his person.

_Char._ Sir, I do; like a fine mansion in the hands of a bad inhabitant.
I admire the building, but despise the tenant.

_Lord A._ This insolence is intolerable, and will not be forgotten. You
may find, hot sir, that Where my friendship is despised, my resentment
may be feared. I well know the latent motives for this insult. It is the
language of a losing gamester, and is treated with deserved contempt by
a _successful rival_. [_Exit._

_Char._ Ha! a _successful rival_! Is this possible?

_Sir. R._ It is. The treaty of marriage between lord Austencourt and
Helen is this morning concluded.

_Char._ And does she consent?

_Sir R._ There can be little doubt of that.

_Char._ But _little_ doubt! False Helen! Come, come, I know my Helen

_Sir R._ I repeat my words, sir. It is not the curse of every parent to
have a disobedient child.

_Char._ By Heaven, sir, that reflection cuts me to the heart. You have
ever found in me the obedience, nay more, the affection of a son, till
circumstance on circumstance convinced me, I no longer possessed the
affection of a father.

_Sir R._ Charles, we are too warm. I feel that I have in some degree
merited your severe reproof--give me your hand, and to convince you that
you undervalue my feelings towards you, I will now confess that I have
been employed during your absence, in planning an arrangement which will
place you above the malice of fortune--you know our neighbour, Mrs.

_Char._ What, the gay widow with a fat jointure? What of her?

_Sir R._ She will make not only a rich, but a good wife. I know she
likes you--I'm sure of it.

_Char._ Likes _me_!

_Sir R._ I am convinced she does.

_Char._ But--what the devil--she doesn't mean to marry me surely!

_Sir R._ That will, I am convinced, depend upon yourself.

_Char._ Will it? then by the Lord, though I sincerely esteem her, I
shall make my bow, and decline the honour at once. No, sir; the heart is
_my_ aim, and all the gold I care for in the hand that gives it, is the
modest ring that encompasses the finger, and marks that hand as mine

_Sir R._ Thus I see another of my prospects blighted! Undutiful,
degenerate boy! your folly and obstinacy will punish themselves. Answer
me not; think of the proposal I have made you; obey your father's will,
or forever I renounce you! [_Exit._

_Char._ Whoo! here's a whirligig! I've drifted on to a pleasant lee
shore here! Helen betrothed to another! Impossible.--Oh Helen! Helen!
Zounds! I'm going to make a soliloquy! this will never do! no, I'll see
Helen; upbraid her falsehood; drop one tear to her memory; regain my
frigate; seek the enemy; fight like a true sailor; die like a Briton;
and leave my character and memory to my friends--and my blessing and
forgiveness to Helen. [_Exit._

_End of act II._


SCENE I.--_O'Dedimus's office. Ponder discovered._

_Ponder._ So! having executed my commission, let me _think_ a little
(_sits down,_) for certain I and my master are two precious rogues
(_pauses._) I wonder whether or not we shall be discovered, as
assistants in this sham marriage (_pauses._) If we _are_, we shall be
either transported or hanged, I wonder which:--My lord's bribe, however,
was convenient; and in all cases of _conscience versus convenience_,
'tis the general rule of practice to nonsuit the plaintiff. Ha! who's
here? The poor girl herself. (_Enter Fanny._) I pity her; but I've been
bribed; so I must be honest.

_Fanny._ Oh, sir! I'm in sad distress--my father has discovered my
intercourse with lord Austencourt, and says, he is sure my lord means to
deny our marriage; but I have told him, as you and your master were
present, I am sure you will both be ready to prove it, should my lord
act so basely.

_Pon._ I must mind my hits here, or shall get myself into a confounded
scrape--ready to do what, did you say, ma'am, to prove your marriage?

_Fan._ Yes, as you both were present.

_Pon._ Present! me! Lord bless me, what is it you mean? Marriage! prove!
me! present!

_Fan._ Why do you hesitate? come, come, you do but jest with me--you
cannot have forgotten it--

_Pon._ Hey? why no! but I can't say I remember it--

_Fan._ Sure, sure, you cannot have the barbarity to deny that you were a
witness to the ceremony!

_Pon._ I may be mistaken--I've a remarkably short memory; but to the
best of my recollection I certainly--

_Fan._ Ay, you recollect it--

_Pon._ I certainly _never was_ present--

_Fan._ Cruel! you were--indeed, indeed you were.

_Pon._ But at one wedding in my life.

_Fan._ And that was mine--

_Pon._ No, that was mine.

_Fan._ Merciful Heaven! I see my fate--it is disgrace and misery!

_Pon._ Bless you, if I could remember it; but I can't--however I'll
speak to my master about it, and if _he_ recollects it I dare say _I_

_Fan._ I have then no hope, and the fate of the hapless Fanny is

_Pon._ Ha! yonder I see comes my master and his lordship. I wonder what
they are thinking of--they're coming this way. _I_ think we had better

_Fan._ O hide me! hide me! In any corner let me hide my head, from
scorn, from misery, and, most of all, from him--

_Pon._ You can't escape that way, so you must come this. They wont think
of coming here. (_puts her into another room_) Poor girl! I've a great
mind to confess the whole affair. What shall I get by that? Nothing!
nothing! Oh! that's contrary to law! [_Exit.

    Enter_ lord Austencourt _and_ O'Dedimus.

_Lord A._ Are you certain no one can overhear us?

_O'Ded._ There's nobody can hear us except my ould housekeeper, and
she's as deaf as St. Dunstan's clock-strikers.

_Lord A._ There is no time to be lost. You must immediately repair to
Fanny--tell her my affection is unabated--tell her I shall ever love
her, and make her such pecuniary offers, as shall convince her of my
esteem and affection; but we must meet no more. (_Fanny utters a cry

_O'Ded._ What's that?

_Lord A._ We are betrayed!

_O'Ded._ Och! 'tis only my ould housekeeper.

_Lord A._ Your housekeeper! I thought you told me she was deaf.

_O'Ded._ Yes; but she isn't dumb. Devil a word can she _hear_ for
sartin; but she's apt to _say_ a great many, and so we may proceed.

_Lord A._ You will easily accomplish this business with Fanny.

_O'Ded._ I'm afraid not. To tell you the truth, my lord, I don't like
the job.

_Lord A._ Indeed! and why, sir?

_O'Ded._ Somehow, when I see a poor girl with her pretty little eyes
brim full of tears, which I think have no business to be there, I'm more
apt to be busy in wiping them away, than in saying cruel things that
will make them flow faster; you had better tell her all this yourself,
my lord.

_Lord A._ That, sir, is impossible. If _you_ decline it, I shall find
some one less delicate.

_O'Ded._ There's reason in that, and if you send another to her, he may
not be quite so delicate, as you say: so I'll even undertake it myself.

_Lord A._ The poor girl disposed of, if the old fool, her father, will
be thus clamorous, we must not be nice as to the means of silencing
him--money, I suppose, is his object.

_O'Ded._ May be not--If a rich man by accident disables a poor man from
working, money may make him easy; but when his feelings are deliberately
tortured, devil fly away with the mercenary miser, if he will take
shining dirt as a compensation for cruelty.

_Lord A._ I can dispense with moral reflections--It may serve your
purpose elsewhere, but to me, who know your practice, your preaching is
ridiculous--What is it you propose? If the fellow wont be satisfied by
money he must be removed.

_O'Ded._ Faith, 'tis a new way, sure enough, to make reparation to the
feelings of a father, after having seduced daughter under the plea of a
false marriage, performed by a sham priest, and a forged licence!

_Fanny_ (_behind._) Oh, heaven! let me pass--I must and will see him
(_enters._) Oh, my lord! my lord! my husband! (_she falls at his feet,
he raises her_) Surely my ears deceived me--you cannot, cannot mean it!
a false marriage! a pretended priest! What is to become of me! In mercy
kill me! Let me not live to see my broken-hearted father expire with
grief and shame, or live to curse me! Spare me but this, my lord, and I
will love, forgive, will pray for you--

_Lord A._ This is a plot against me--You placed her there on purpose to
surprise me in the moment of unguarded weakness.

_O'Ded._ By St. Patrick, how she came there is a most mysterious mystery
to Cornelius O'Dedimus, attorney at law.

_Lord A._ Fanny, I entreat you, leave me.

_Fanny._ Oh, do not send me from you! Can you, my lord, abandon thus to
shame and wretchedness the poor deluded victim of your treachery!

_Lord A._ Ha! leave me, I charge you!

_Fanny._ No, no, my dearest lord! I cannot leave you! Whither shall I
fly, if these arms deny me refuge! Am I not yours? What if these wicked
men refuse me justice! There is another witness who will rise in
dreadful evidence against you! 'Tis Heaven itself! 'tis there your vows
were heard! 'tis there where Truth resides, your vows are registered!
then oh! reflect before you plunge too deep in guilt for repentance and
retreat! reflect that we are married!

_Lord A._ I cannot speak at present; leave me, and we will meet again.

_Fanny._ Do not command me from you; I see your heart is softened by my
tears; cherish the stranger Pity in your breast; 'tis noble, excellent!
Such pity in itself is virtue! Oh, cherish it, my lord! nor let the
selfish feelings of the world step in to smother it! Now! now, while it
glows unstifled in your heart! now, ere it dies, to be revived no more,
at once proclaim the triumph of your virtue, and receive into your arms
a fond and an acknowledged wife!

_Lord A._ Ha! impossible! Urge me no more! I cannot, will not hear
you--My heart has ever been your own, my _hand must_ be another's; still
we may love each other; still we may sometimes meet.

_Fanny_ (_after a struggle._) I understand you! No, sir! Since it must
be, we will meet no more! I know that there are laws; but to these laws
I disdain to fly! Mine is an injury that cannot be redressed; for the
only mortal witnesses to our union you have suborned: the laws,
therefore, cannot do me justice, and I will never, inhuman as you are, I
will never seek them for revenge. [_Exit._

_O'Ded_ (_aside._) I'm thinking, that if I was a lord, I should act in a
clean _contrary_ way; by the powers now, that man has got what I call a
tough constitution; his heart's made of stone like a brick wall--Oh!
that a man should have the power of a man, and not know how to behave
like a man!

_Lord A._ What's to be done? speak, advise me!

_O'Ded._ That's it: have you made up your mind already, that you ask me
to advise you?

_Lord A._ I know not how to act.

_O'Ded._ When a man's in doubt whether he should act as an honest man or
a rogue, there are two or three small reasons for choosing the right

_Lord A._ What is't you mean, sir?

_O'Ded._ I mean this thing--that as I suppose you're in doubt whether to
persecute the poor souls, or to marry the sweet girl in right earnest.

_Lord A._ Marry her! I have no such thoughts--idiot!

_O'Ded._ Idiot! That's no proof of your lordship's wisdom to come and
ask advice of one.--Idiot, by St. Patrick! an idiot's a fool, and that's
a Christian name was never sprinkled upon Cornelius O'Dedimus, attorney
at law!

_Lord A._ I can feel for the unfortunate girl as well as you; but the
idea of marrying her is too ridiculous.

_O'Ded._ The unfortunate girl never knew misfortune till she knew you,
my lord; and I heartily wish your lordship may never look more
ridiculous than you would do in performing an act of justice and mercy.

_Lord A._ You presume strangely, sir, on my confidence and

_O'Ded._ What! are you coming over me now with the pride of your
condescension. _That_ for your condescension! When a great man, my lord,
does me the honour to confide in me, he'll find me trusty and
respectful; but when he condescends to make me an agent and a partner in
his iniquity, by your leave from that moment there's an end of
distinction between us.

_Lord A._ There's no enduring this! Scoundrel!

_O'Ded._ Scoundrel! ditto, my lord, ditto! If I'm a scoundrel, it was
you that made me one, and by St. Patrick, there's a brace of us.

_Lord A._ (_aside_) The fellow has me in his power at present--you see
me irritated, and you ought to bear with me--let us think of this no
more. The father and daughter must both be provided for out of that
money which sir Rowland still holds in trust for me.

_O'Ded._ And if you depend upon that money to silence the old man, you
might as well think to stop a mouse-hole with toasted cheese.

_Lord A._ Pray explain, sir.

_O'Ded._ Devil a penny of it is there left. Sir Rowland ventured it in a
speculation, and all is lost--Oh! blister my tongue, I've let out the
secret, sure enough!

_Lord A._ Indeed! and what right had sir Rowland to risk my property? Be
assured I will exact every guinea of it.

_O'Ded._ That's just what I told him. Sir, says I, his lordship is one
of the flinty-hearted ones, and devil a thirteener will he forgive
you--but, my lord, it will utterly ruin sir Rowland to replace it.

_Lord A._ Sir Rowland should have thought of that before he embarked my
property in a hazardous enterprise. Inform him, sir, from me that I
expect an instant account of it.

_O'Ded._ I shall do that thing, sir: but please to reflect a little--the
money so laid out was honestly intended for your advantage.

_Lord A._ Another word sir, and I shall think it necessary to employ
another attorney.

_O'Ded._ Sir, that's a quietus--I've done--only remember that if you
proceed to extremities, I warrant you'll repent it.

_Lord A._ _You_ warrant--

_O'Ded._ Ay, sir, and a warrant of attorney is reckoned decent good

_Lord A._ Since my uncle has so far forgotten his duty as a guardian, I
have now an opportunity, which I shall not neglect, to bring him to a
proper recollection--you have nothing to do but to obey my orders; and
these are that the fourteen thousand pounds, of which he has defrauded
my estate, shall be immediately repaid. Look to it, sir, and to the
other affair you are entrusted with, and see that the law neglects no
measures to recover what is due to me. [_Exit._

_O'Ded._ And by St. Patrick, if the law gives you what is due to you,
that's what I'm too polite to mention. You've had your swing in iniquity
long enough, and such swings are very apt to end in one that's much too
exalted for my notions. [_Exit._

SCENE II.--_an apartment at_ sir Willoughby's.--_Enter_ sir Willoughby,
_and_ William _meeting him, the latter delivers a letter._

_Will._ The gentleman desired me to say he is below, sir.

_Sir W._ Hey! (_reads_) "My dear Worret, I hope that a long absence from
my native land has not obliterated the recollection of our friendship. I
have thought it right to adopt this method of announcing my return, lest
my too sudden appearance should hurt _your_ feelings, by deranging the
_delicate nerves_ of your _amiable lady_" Hey!

    "Ever yours,

Bless my soul! Falkner alive? show the gentleman up.

_Will._ He's here, sir.

    _Enter_ Falkner.

_Falk._ My old friend, I rejoice to see you.

_Sir W._ Friend Falkner, I shan't attempt to say how welcome your return
is. We all thought you dead and buried. Where have you been all these

_Falk._ A wanderer. Let that suffice.

_Sir W._ I see you still retain your old antipathy to answering
questions, so I shall ask none--Have you been in France, or among the
savages? Hey! I remember you had a daughter at school--is she alive? is
she merry or miserable? Is she married?

_Falk._ Zounds what a medley! France and savages! marriage and misery!

_Sir W._ Ods life, I'm happy to see you! I haven't been so cheerful or
happy for many a day.

_Falk._ How's your wife?

_Sir W._ Hey! thank ye, sir! why that excellent good woman is in high
health, in astonishing health! by my troth I speak it with unspeakable
joy, I think she's a better life now than she was when I married her!
(_in a melancholy tone._)

_Falk._ That must be a source of _vast comfort_ to you. I don't wonder
at your being so cheerful and happy.

_Sir W._ True--but it isn't _that_--that is, not altogether so: no, 'tis
that I once more hold my friend Falkner by the hand, and that my
daughter--you remember your little favourite Helen--

_Falkner._ I do indeed!

_Sir W._ You are arrived at a critical moment: I mean shortly to marry

_Falkner._ I forbid the banns!

_Sir W._ The devil you do!

_Falkner._ Pshaw! (_aside_) my feelings o'erstep my discretion. Take
care what you're about--If you're an honest man, you'd rather see her
dead than married to a villain.

_Sir W._ To be sure I would; but the man I mean her to marry--

_Falkner._ Perhaps will never be her husband.

_Sir W._ The devil he wont! why not?

_Falkner._ Talk of something else--you know I was always an eccentric

_Sir W._ What the devil does he mean? yes, yes you was always eccentric;
but do you know--

_Falkner._ I know more than I wish to know; I've lived long enough in
the world to know that roguery fattens on the same soil where honesty
starves; and I care little whether time adds to information which opens
to me more and more the depravity of human nature.

_Sir W._ Why, Falkner, you are grown more a misanthrope than ever.

_Falkner._ You know well enough I have had my vexations in life; in an
early stage of it I married--

_Sir W._ Every man has his trials!

_Falkner._ About two years afterwards I lost my wife.

_Sir W._ That was a heavy misfortune! however you bore it with

_Falkner._ I bore it easily; my wife was a woman without feelings: she
had not energy for great virtue, and she had no vice, because she had no
passion: life with her was a state of stagnation.

_Sir W._ How different are the fates of men!

_Falkner._ In the next instance, I had a friend whom I would have
trusted with my life--with more--my honour--I need not tell you then I
thought him the first of human beings; but I was mistaken--he understood
my character no better than I knew his: he confided to me a transaction
which proved him to be a villain, and I commanded him never to see me

_Sir W._ Bless me! what was that transaction?

_Falkner._ It was a secret, and has remained so. Though I should have
liked to hang the fellow, he had trusted me, and no living creature but
himself and me at this day is possessed of it.

_Sir W._ Strange indeed; and what became of him.

_Falkner._ I have not seen him since, but I shall see him in a few

_Sir W._ Indeed, is he in this neighbourhood?

_Falkner._ That circumstance of my friend, and a loss in the West
Indies, which shook the fabric of my fortune to its foundation, drove me
from the world--I am now returned to it with better prospects--my
property, which I then thought lost, is doubled--circumstances have
called me hither on an important errand, and before we are four and
twenty hours older, you may see some changes which will make you doubt
your own senses for the remainder of your days--

_Sir W._ You astonish me mightily.

_Falkner._ Yes, you stare as if you were astonished: but why do I stay
chattering here? I must be gone.

_Sir. W._ Nay, pr'ythee now--

_Falkner._ Pshaw! I have paid my first visit to you, because you are the
first in my esteem: don't weaken it by awkward and unseasonable
ceremony--I must now about the business that brings me here: no
interruption, if you wish to see me again let me have my own way, and I
may, perhaps, be back in half an hour.

_Sir W._ But I want to tell you that--

_Falkner._ I know--I know--you want to prove to me that you are the
least talker, and the best husband in the county: but both secrets must
keep till my return, when I shall be happy to congratulate you--and so
farewell-- [_Exit._

_Sir W._ Bless my soul! what can he mean? 'I forbid the banns'--'lost my
wife'--'horrid transaction'--'back again in half an hour'--dear
me--John--Thomas! lady Worret! Helen! [_Exit._

SCENE III.--_A room in_ sir Willoughby's _house_--Helen _and_ Charles
_meeting_--Helen _screams--they run towards each other, as if to
embrace_--Charles _stops suddenly._

_Helen._ Charles! is it _you_, or is it your _spirit_?

_Char._ 'Tis I, madam, and you'll find I have brought my spirit with me.

_Helen._ Hey! why what the deuce ails the man?

_Char._ My presence here, no doubt astonishes you.

_Helen._ Yes, sir, your presence _does_ astonish me, but your manner
still more.

_Char._ I understand you--you would still keep a poor devil in your
toils, though in his absence you have been sporting with _nobler_ game.

_Helen._ My good friend, will you descend from your heroical stilts, and
explain your meaning in plain English?

_Char._ There needs no explanation of my conduct--call it caprice--say,
if you please, that _I_ am _altered_--say _I have changed my mind_, and
love another better--

_Helen._ Indeed! and is it come to this! he shall not see he mortifies
me, however--(_aside_) Since you are in this mind, sir, I wish you had
been pleased to signify the same by letter, sir--

_Char._ By letter?

_Helen._ Yes, sir,--for this personal visit being rather unexpected,
does not promise to be particularly pleasant--

_Char._ I believe so, madam--you did not calculate, I fancy, on this
_sudden_ return.

_Helen._ No, indeed, sir--and should have shown all Christian patience
if this _sudden_ return hadn't happened these _twelve months_.

_Char._ The devil you would! madam!--but I'll be cool--I'll cut her to
the heart with a razor of ice--I'll congeal her with indifference--you
must know, madam--

_Helen._ Bless me, Charles, how very strangely you look--you're pale and
red, and red and pale, in the same moment! why you can scarcely breathe!
and now you tremble so! I'm afraid you are very ill.

_Char._ Sarcastic!

_Helen._ You move all over like a ship in a storm!

_Char._ Vastly well, madam--and now--

_Helen._ Your teeth chatter!--

_Char._ Fire and fagots, madam, I _will_ speak!

_Helen._ Do, dear Charles, while your are able--your voice will be gone
in a minute or two, and then--

_Char._ I will be heard! (_bawling_)

_Helen._ That you will, indeed, and all over the house, too.

_Char._ Madam, will you hear me or not?

_Helen._ I am glad to find there's no affection of the lungs!

_Char._ Death and torments! may I be allowed to speak--yes, or no?

_Helen._ Yes, but gently; and make haste before they call the watch.

_Char._ Madam, madam--I wish to keep my temper--I wish to be cool.

_Helen._ Perhaps this will answer the purpose (_Fanning him_).

_Char._ (_In confusion, after a pause, aside_) Is she laughing at me
now, or trying to wheedle me into a good humour? I feel, Miss Worret,
that I am expressing myself with too much warmth--I must therefore
inform you, that being ordered home with despatches, and having some
leisure time on my hands on my return, I thought it but proper as I
passed the house to call at your door--just to say--a--a--just civilly
to say--false! cruel! perfidious girl! you may break the tough heart of
a sailor, but damn me if he will ever own it broke for love of you!

_Helen._ On my honour, sir, I do not understand what all this means.

_Char._ You don't?

_Helen._ No, sir--if your purpose here is insult, you might, methinks,
have found some fitter object than one who has so limited a power to
resent it! [_Going._

_Char._ Stay, madam, stay--what a face is there! a smile upon it too:
oh, Helen, spare those smiles! they once could wake my soul to ecstasy!
but now they rouse it into madness: save them, madam, for a happier
lover--save them for lord Austencourt.

_Helen._ Charles, Charles, you have been deceived: but come, sit down
and hear me.

_Char._ I am all attention, and listen to you with all that patience
which the subject demands.

_Helen._ As you know the world, Charles, you cannot wonder that my
father (in the main a very good father, but in this respect like all
other fathers) should wish to unite his daughter to a man whose rank and

_Char._ (_Rising in anger_) Spare yourself the trouble of further
explanation, madam; I see the whole at once--you are now going to tell
me about prudence, duty, obedience, filial affection, and all the
canting catalogue of fine phrases that serve to gloss over the giddy
frailty of your sex, when you sacrifice the person and the heart at the
frequented shrine of avarice and ambition!

_Helen._ (_Rising also_) When I am next inclined to descend to
explanation, sir, I hope you will be better disposed to attend to me.

_Char._ A moment, madam! The whole explanation lies in a word--has not
your father concluded a treaty of marriage between you and lord

_Helen._ He _has_--

_Char._ There--'tis enough! you have confessed it--

_Helen._ (_Stifling her tears_) Confessed what? you monster! I've
confessed nothing.

_Char._ Haven't you acknowledged that you are to be the wife of another?

_Helen._ No.

_Char._ No! won't you consent then?

_Helen._ Half an hour ago nothing on earth should have induced me to
consent--but since I see, Charles, of what your temper is capable, I
shall think it more laudable to risk my happiness by obedience to my
father, than by an ill-judged constancy to one who seems so little
inclined to deserve it. [_Exit._

_Char._ Hey! where am I! zounds, I see my whole error at once! Oh,
Helen, Helen--for mercy's sake one moment more!--She's gone--and has
left me in anger! but I will see her again, and obtain her
forgiveness--fool, idiot, dolt, ass, that I am, to suffer my cursed
temper to master reason and affection at the risk of losing the dearest
blessing of life--a lovely and an amiable woman! [_Exit._

_End of Act III._


SCENE I.--O'Dedimus's _office--Enter_ Charles _pulling in_ Ponder _by
the collar._

_Char._ This way, sirrah, this way, and now out with your confession, if
you expect mercy at my hands.

_Pon._ I will, sir, I will: but I expect no mercy at your hands, for
you've already handled me most unmercifully--(_Charles shakes him_) what
would you please to have me confess, sir?

_Char._ I have seen old Abel Grouse--he has told me the story of his
daughter's marriage with this amiable cousin of mine: now, sirrah,
confess the truth--were you present, or were you not? out with it
(_shakes him_).

_Pon._ Now pray recollect yourself--do, sir--think a little.

_Char._ Recollect myself?

_Pon._ Ay, sir, if you will but take time to reflect, you'll give _me_
time to collect my scattered thoughts, which you have completely shaken
out of my pericranium.

_Char._ No equivocation, answer directly, or though you're no longer my
servant, by heavens I'll--

_Pon._ Sir--for heaven's sake!--you'll shake nothing more out of me,
depend on't--if you'll be pleased to pause a moment, I'll think of an

_Charles._ It requires no recollection to say whether you were a

_Pon._ No indeed, sir, ask my master if I was; besides if I had been, my
conscience wouldn't let me disclose it.

_Charles._ Your conscience! good, and you're articled to an attorney!

_Pon._ True, sir, but there's a deal of conscience in our office; if my
master knew I betrayed his secrets even to you, I believe (in
conscience,) he'd hang me if he could.

_Charles._ If my old friend O'Dedimus proves a rogue at last, I shan't
wonder that you have followed his example.

_Pon._ No, sir, for I always follow my master's example, even though it
should be in the path of roguery; compliment apart sir, I always
followed yours.

_Charles._ Puppy, you trifle with my patience.

_Pon._ No indeed, sir, I never play with edg'd tools.

_Charles._ You wont acknowledge it then.

_Pon._ Yes, sir, I'll acknowledge the truth, but I scorn a lie.

_Charles._ 'Tis true I always thought you honest. I have ever trusted
you, Ponder, even as a friend: I do not believe you capable of deceiving

_Pon._ Sir, (_gulping_) I can't swallow that! it choaks me (_falling on
his knees_); forgive me, dear master that _was_; your threats I could
withstand, your violence I could bear, but your kindness and good
opinion there is no resisting; promise you wont betray me.

_Charles._ So; now it comes. I do.

_Pon._ Then, sir, the whole truth shall out, they _are_ married, sir,
and they are _not_ married, sir.

_Charles._ Enigma too!

_Pon._ Yes, sir, they are married, but the priest was ordained by my
master, and the license was of his own granting, and so they are not
married, and now the enigma's explained.

_Charles._ Your master then is a villain!

_Pon._ I don't know, sir, that puzzles me: but he's such an honest
follow I can hardly think him a rogue--though I fancy, sir, between
ourselves, he's like the rest of the world, half and half, or like
punch, sir, a mixture of opposites.

_Charles._ So! villany has been thriving in my absence. If you feel the
attachment you profess why did you not confide this to me before?

_Pon._ Sir, truth to speak, I did not tell you, because, knowing the
natural gentleness of your disposition, which I have so often admired, I
was alarmed, lest the sudden shock should cause one of those irascible
fits, which I have so often witnessed, and produce some of those shakes
and buffets, which to my unspeakable astonishment, I have so often

_Charles._ And which, I can tell you, you have now so narrowly escaped.

_Pon._ True sir, I have escaped as narrowly as a felon who gets his
reprieve five minutes _after_ execution.

_Charles._ Something must be done. I am involved in a quarrel with Helen
too! curse on my irritable temper.

_Pon._ So I say, sir--try and mend it; pray do.

_Charles._ I am resolved to have another interview with her;--to throw
myself at her feet, and sue for pardon! Though fate should oppose our
union, I may still preserve her from the arms of a villain, who is
capable of deceiving the innocent he could not seduce: and of planting a
dagger in the female heart, where nature has bestowed her softest
attributes, and has only left it _weak_, that man might cherish,
shelter, and protect it. [_Exit._

_Pon._ So! now I'm a rogue both ways--If I escape punishment one way, I
shall certainly meet it the other. But if my good luck saves me both
ways I shall never more credit a fortune-teller: for one once predicted,
that I was born to be hanged. [_Exit._

SCENE II.--_Sir Rowland's._

    _Enter_ Sir Rowland _and_ O'Dedimus.

_Sir R._ You have betrayed me then!--Did not I caution you to keep
secret from my nephew this accursed loss.

_O'Ded._ And so you did sure enough, but somehow it slipt out before I
said a word about it; but I told him it was a secret, and I dare say he
wont mention it.

_Sir R._ But you say, that he demands the immediate liquidation.

_O'Ded._ Ay, sir, and has given me orders to proceed against you.

_Sir R._ Is it possible! in a moment could I arrest his impious
progress; but I will probe him to the quick, did he threaten me, say
you?--There is however one way to save _him_ from this public avowal of
his baseness, and _me_ from his intended persecution--a marriage between
Charles and Mrs. Richland.

_O'Ded._ The widow's as rich as the Wicklow mines!

_Sir R._ The boy refuses to comply with my wishes; we may find means,
however, to compel him.

_O'Ded._ He's a sailor; and gentlemen of his kidney are generally pretty
tough when they take a notion in their heads.

_Sir R._ I am resolved to carry my point. I have reason to believe you
advanced him a sum of money.

_O'Ded._ I did that thing--he's a brave fellow; I'd do that thing again.

_Sir R._ You did wrong, sir, to encourage a young spendthrift in
disobedience to his father.

_O'Ded._ I did right, sir, to assist the son of a client and the nephew
of a benefactor, especially when his father hadn't the civility to do

_Sir R._ Mr. O'Dedimus, you grow impertinent.

_O'Ded._ Sir Rowland, I grow old; and 'tis one privilege of age to grow
blunt. I advanced your son a sum of money, because I esteemed him. I
tack'd no usurious obligation to the bond he gave me, and I never came
to ask you for security.

_Sir R._ You _have_ his bond then--

_O'Ded._ I have, sir; his bond and judgment for two hundred pounds.

_Sir R._ It is enough: then you can indeed assist my views,--the dread
of confinement will, no doubt, alter his resolution: you must enter up
judgment, and proceed on your bond.

_O'Ded._ If I proceed upon my bond, it will be very much against my

_Sir R._ In order to alarm him, you must arrest him immediately.

_O'Ded._ Sir Rowland, I wish to treat you with respect--but when without
a blush on your cheek you ask me to make myself a rascal, I must either
be a scoundrel ready-made to your hands, for respecting you, or a damn'd
hypocrite for pretending to do it--I see you are angry, sir, and I can't
help that; and so, having delivered my message, for fear I should say
any thing uncivil or ungenteel, I wish you a most beautiful good
morning. [_Exit._

_Sir R._ Then I have but one way left--my fatal secret must be publicly
revealed--oh horror! ruin irretrievable is preferable--never--never--that
secret shall die with _me_--(_Enter Falkner_) as 'tis probably
already buried in the grave with Falkner.

_Falk._ 'Tis false--'tis buried only in his heart!

_Sir R._ Falkner!

_Falk._ 'Tis eighteen years since last we met. You have not, I find,
forgotten the theme on which we parted.

_Sir R._ Oh, no! my heart's reproaches never would allow me! Oh
Falkner--I and the world for many years have thought you numbered with
the dead.

_Falk._ To the world I was so--I have returned to it to do an act of

_Sir R._ Will you then betray me?

_Falk._ During eighteen years, sir, I have been the depositary of a
secret, which, if it does not actually affect your life, affects what
should be dearer than life, your honor. If, in the moment that your
ill-judged confidence avowed you as the man you are, and robbed me of
that friendship which I held sacred as my being--If in that bitter
moment I concealed my knowledge of your guilt from an imperious
principle of honor, it is not likely, that the years which time has
added to my life, should have taught me perfidy--your secret still is

_Sir R._ Oh, Falkner--you have snatched a load of misery from my heart;
I breathe, I live again.

_Falk._ Your exultation flows from a polluted source--I return to the
world to seek you, to warm and to expostulate; I come to urge you to
brave the infamy you have deserved; to court disgrace as the punishment
you merit: briefly to avow your guilty secret.

_Sir R._ Name it not for mercy's sake! It is impossible! How shall I
sustain the world's contempt, its scorn, revilings and reproaches?

_Falk._ Can he, who has sustained so long the reproaches of his
conscience, fear the world's revilings?--Oh, Austencourt! Once you had a

_Sir R._ Sir, it is callous now to every thing but shame; when it lost
_you_, its dearest only friend, its noblest feelings were extinguished:
my crime has been my punishment, for it has brought on me nothing but
remorse and misery: still is my fame untainted by the world, and I will
never court its contumely.

_Falk._ You are determined--

_Sir R._ I am!

_Falk._ Have you no fear from me?

_Sir R._ None! You have renewed your promise, and I am safe.

_Falk._ Nothing then remains for me but to return to that obscurity from
whence I have emerged--had I found you barely leaning to the side of
virtue, I had arguments to urge that might have fixed a wavering
purpose; but I find you resolute, hardened and determined in guilt, and
I leave you to your fate.

_Sir R._ Stay, Falkner, there is a meaning in your words.

_Falk._ A dreadful precipice lies before you: be wary how you tread!
there is a being injured by your----by lord Austencourt, see that he
makes her reparation by an immediate marriage--look first to that.

_Sir R._ To such a degradation could _I_ forget my noble ancestry, _he_
never will consent.

_Falk._ Look next to yourself: he is not a half villain, and it is not
the ties of consanguinity will save you from a jail. Beware how you
proceed with Charles--you see I am acquainted with more than you
suspected; look to it, sir; for the day is not yet passed that by
restoring you to virtue, may restore to you a friend; or should you
persevere in guilty silence, that may draw down unexpected vengeance on
your head-- [_Exit._

_Sir R._ Mysterious man! a moment stay! I cannot live in this dreadful
uncertainty! whatever is my fate, it shall be decided quickly. [_Exit._

SCENE III.--_An apartment at sir Willoughby's; a door in the flat.
Enter_ Helen _and_ Charles.

_Helen._ I tell you, it is unless to follow me, sir. The proud spirit
you evinced this morning, might have saved you methinks from this
meanness of solicitation.

_Charles._ Surely now a frank acknowledgment of error deserves a milder
epithet than meanness.

_Helen._ As you seem equally disposed, sir, to quarrel with my words, as
you are to question my conduct, I fear you will have little cause to
congratulate yourself on this _forced_ and _tiresome_ interview.

_Charles._ _Forced_ interview! Did ever woman so consider the anxiety of
a lover to seek explanation and forgiveness! Helen, Helen, you torture
me; is this generous?--is it like yourself? surely if you lov'd me--

_Helen._ Charles--I do love you--that, is, I _did_ love you, but--I
don't love you, but (_aside_) ah! now I'm going to make bad worse.

_Charles._ But _what_, Helen?

_Helen._ The violence of temper you have discovered this morning, has
shown me the dark side of your character; it has given a pause to
affection, and afforded me time to reflect--now though I do really and
truly believe that--you--love me Charles.

_Sir W._ (_behind_) I must see my daughter directly--where is she!

    _Enter_ Tiffany _running._

_Tiffany._ Ma'am, ma'am, your father's coming up stairs, with a letter
in his hand, muttering something about Mr. Charles; as sure as life
you'll be discovered.

_Helen._ For heav'n's sake hide yourself; I would not have him find you
here for worlds--here, step into the music-room.

_Charles._ Promise me first your forgiveness.

_Helen._ Charles, retire, I entreat you--make haste, he is here.

_Charles._ On my knees--

_Helen._ Then kneel in the next room.

_Charles._ Give me but your hand.

_Helen._ That is now at my own disposal--I beseech you go--(_Charles
just gains the door when enter sir Willoughby with a letter in his hand,
and Lady Worret._)

_Sir W._ Gadzooks! Here's a discovery!

_Helen._ A discovery, sir? (_Helen looks at the door_)

_Sir W._ Ay, a discovery indeed!--Ods life! I'm in a furious passion!

_Helen._ Dear sir, not with me I hope--

_Lady W._ Let me entreat you sir Willoughby to compose yourself;
recollect that anger is very apt to bring on the gout.

_Sir W._ Damn the gout, I must be in a passion--my--life--harkye,

_Helen._ They know he's here! so I may as well own it at once.

_Lady W._ Pray compose yourself, remember we have no _proof_.

_Sir W._ Why that's true--that is remarkably true--I must compose
myself--I _will_--I _do_--I _am_ composed--and now let me open the
affair with coolness and deliberation! Daughter, come hither.

_Helen._ Yes, sir--now for it!--

_Sir W._ Daughter, you are in general, a very good, dutiful, and
obedient child--

_Helen._ I know it, papa--and was from a child, and I always will be.

_Lady W._ Allow me, sir Willoughby--you are in general, child, a very
headstrong, disobedient, and undutiful daughter.

_Helen._ I know it, mamma--and was from a child, and always will be.

_Lady W._ How, madam!--Remember, sir Willoughby--there is a proper
medium between too violent a severity, and too gentle a lenity.

_Sir W._ Zounds, madam, in your own curs'd economy there is no
medium--but don't bawl so, or we shall be overheard.

_Lady W._ Sir Willoughby, you are very ill I'm sure; but I must now
attend to this business, daughter, we have heard that Charles--

_Sir W._ Lady Worret, my love, let _me_ speak--you know, child, it is
the duty of an _obedient_ daughter, to _obey_ her parents.

_Helen._ I know it, papa, and when I _obey you_, I am _generally

_Lady W._ In short, child, I say again, we learn that Charles----

_Sir W._ Lady Worret, lady Worret, you are too abrupt, od-rabbit it,
madam, I will be heard: this affair concerns the _honor_ of my family,
and on this one occasion, I will be my own spokesman.

_Lady W._ Oh heavens! Your violence affects my brain.

_Sir W._ Does it? I wish it would affect your tongue, with all my heart:
bless my soul, what have I said! Lady Worret! lady Worret! you drive me
out of my senses, and then wonder that I act like a madman.

_Lady W._ Barbarous man, your cruelty will break my heart, and I shall
leave you, sir Willoughby, to deplore my loss, in unavailing despair,
and everlasting anguish. [_Exit._

_Sir W._ (_aside_) I am afraid not: such despair and anguish will never
be my--happy--lot!--bless me, how quiet the room is--what can be--oh, my
wife's gone! now then we may proceed to business--and so daughter, this
young fellow, Charles, has dared to return, in direct disobedience to
his father's commands.

_Helen._ I had better confess it all at once--he has, he has, my dear
papa. I do confess it was very, very wrong; but pray now do forgive--

_Sir W._ _I_--forgive him! never; nor his father will never forgive him;
sir Rowland writes me here, to take care of you; I have before given him
my solemn promise to prevent your meeting, and I am sorry to say, I
haven't the least doubt that you know he is here, and will--

_Helen._ I do confess, _he_ is here, papa.

_Sir W._ Yes, you'll confess it fast enough, now I've found it out.

_Helen._ Indeed I was so afraid you would find it out, that I----

_Sir W._ Find it out! his father writes me word, he has been here in the
village these three hours!

_Helen._ In the _village_! Oh, what, you heard he was in the _village_!

_Sir W._ Yes, and being afraid he should find his way to my house--egad
I never was brisker after the fox-hounds than I was after you, in fear
of finding you at a fault, you puss.

_Helen._ Oh! you were afraid he should come _here_, were you?

_Sir W._ Yes; but I'll take care he shan't; however, as my maxim is (now
my wife doesn't hear me) to trust your sex no farther than I can
possibly help, I shall just put you, my dear child, under lock and key,
'till this young son of the ocean, is bundled off to sea again.

_Helen._ What! lock me up!

_Sir W._ Damme if I don't. Come, walk into that room, and I'll take the
key with me. (_pointing to the room where Charles entered._)

_Helen._ Into _that_ room?

_Sir W._ Yes.

_Helen._ And do you think I shall stay there by myself?

_Sir W._ No, no. Here Tiffany! (_enter_ Tiffany) Miss Pert here shall
keep you company. I'll have no whisperings through key-holes, nor
letters thrust under doors.

_Helen._ And you'll really lock me up in that room!

_Sir W._ Upon my soul I will.

_Helen._ Now, dear papa, be persuaded; take my advice, and don't.

_Sir W._ If I _don't_, I wish you may be in Charles Austencourt's arms
in three minutes from this present speaking.

_Helen._ And if you _do_, take my word for it I might be in his arms if
I chose, in less than two minutes from this present warning.

_Sir W._ Might you so? Ha, ha! I'll give you leave if you can: for
unless you jump into them out of the window, I'll defy the devil and all
his imps to bring you together.

_Helen._ We shall come together without their assistance, depend on it,

_Sir W._ Very well; and now, my dear, walk in.

_Helen._ With all my heart; only remember you had better not. (_He puts
her in._)

_Sir W._ That's a good girl; and you, you baggage, in with you (_to
Tiffany, who goes in._)

_Sir W._ (_shuts the door and locks it_) "Safe bind, safe find," is one
of my lady Worret's favourite proverbs; and that's the only reason why I
in general dislike it (_going._)

    _Enter_ Falkner.

_Sir W._ Once more welcome, my dear Falkner. What brings you back so

_Falk._ You have a daughter--

_Sir W._ Well, I know I have.

_Falk._ And a wife.

_Sir W._ I'm much obliged to you for the information. You have been a
widower some years I believe.

_Falk._ What of that? do you envy me?

_Sir W._ Envy you! what! because you are a widower? Eh? Zounds, I
believe he is laughing at me (_aside._)

_Falk._ I am just informed that every thing is finally arranged between
your lady and his lordship respecting Helen's marriage.

_Sir W._ Yes, every thing is happily settled.

_Falk._ I am sincerely sorry to hear it.

_Sir W._ You are! I should have thought Mr. Falkner, that my daughter's
happiness was dear to you.

_Falk._ It is, and therefore I do not wish to see her married to lord

_Sir W._ Why then what the devil is it you mean?

_Falk._ To see her married to the man of her heart, with whom I trust to
see her as happy--as you are with lady Worret.

_Sir W._ Yes, ha! ha! ha! yes! but you are in jest respecting my

_Falk._ No matter! where is Helen?

_Sir W._ Safe under lock and key.

_Falk._ Under lock and key!

_Sir W._ Ay, in that very room. I've locked her up to keep her from that
hot-headed young rogue, Charles Austencourt. Should you like to see her?
She's grown a fine young woman.

_Falk._ With all my heart.

_Sir W._ You'll be surprised, I can tell you.

_Falk._ I dare say.

_Sir W._ We'll pop in upon her when she least expects it. I'll bet my
life you'll be astonished at her appearance.

_Falk._ Well, I shall be glad to see your daughter; but she must not
marry this lord.

_Sir W._ No! Who then?

_Falk._ The man she loves.

_Sir W._ Hey! oh yes! but who do you mean! Charles Austencourt?
(_opening the door._)

    _Enter_ Lady Worret, _suddenly._

_Lady W._ Charles Austencourt!

_Falk._ (_aloud, and striking the floor with his stick._) Ay, Charles

_Charles_ (_entering._) Here am I. Who calls?

Helen _and_ Tiffany _come forward, and_ Tiffany _goes off._

_Sir W._ Fire and fagots! what do I see?

_Lady W._ Ah Heavens defend me! what do I behold?

_Falk._ Why, is this the surprise you promised me? The astonishment
seems general. Pray, sir Willoughby, explain this puppet show!

_Lady W._ Ay! pray sir Willoughby explain--

_Sir W._ Curse me if I can.

_Helen._ I told you how it would be, papa, and you would not believe me!

_Sir W._ So! pray, sir, condescend to inform lady Worret and me, how you
introduced yourself into that most extraordinary situation.

_Charles._ Sir, I shall make no mystery of it, nor attempt to screen you
from her ladyship's just reproaches, by concealing one atom of the
truth. The fact is, madam, that sir Willoughby not only in my hearing,
gave Miss Helen his unrestricted permission to throw herself into my
arms, but actually forced her into the room where I was quietly seated,
and positively and deliberately lock'd us in together!

_Lady W._ Oh! I shall expire!

_Sir W._ I've heard of matchless impudence, but curse me if this isn't
the paragon of the species! Zounds! I'm in a wonderful passion!
Daughter, I am resolved to have this affair explained to my

_Helen._ You _may_ have it explained, papa, but I fear it won't be to
your _satisfaction_.

_Charles._ No, sir, nor to her ladyship's either, and now, as my
situation here is not remarkably agreeable I take my leave: madam, your
most obedient, and sir Willoughby, the next time you propose an
agreeable surprise for your friends--

_Sir W._ Harkye sir, how you came into my house I can't tell, but if you
don't presently walk out of it.

_Charles._ I say, I heartily hope that you may accomplish your purpose.

_Sir W._ Zounds, sir, leave my house.

_Charles._ Without finding yourself the most astonished of the party!

_Sir W._ Thank heaven my house is rid of him.

_Lady W._ As usual, sir Willoughby, a precious business you've made of

_Sir W._ Death and furies, my Lady Worret--

_Falk._ Gently, my old friend, gently: I'm one too many here during
these little domestic discussions; but before I go, on two points let me
caution you; let your daughter choose her own husband if you wish her to
have one without leaping out of the window to get at him; and be master
of your own house and your own wife if you do not wish to continue, what
you now are, the laughing-stock of all your acquaintance.-- [_Exit._

_Lady W._ Ah! the barbarian!

_Sir W._ (_appears astonished_) I'm thunderstruck (_makes signs to Helen
to go before._)

_Helen._ Won't you go first, papa?

_Sir W._ Hey? If I lose sight of you till you've explained this
business, may I be laid up with the gout while you are galloping the
Gretna Green! "Be master of your house and wife if you don't wish to
continue, _what you now are_!--Hey? the laughing-stock of all your
acquaintance!" Sir Willoughby Worret the laughing stock of all his
acquaintance! I think I see my self the laughing-stock of all my
acquaintance (_pointing to the door_) I'll follow you ladies! I'll
reform! 'tis never too late to mend! [_Exeunt._

_End of Act. IV._


SCENE I.--_An apartment at_ sir Willoughby Worret's. _Enter_ sir
Willoughby _and_ lady Worret.

_Sir W._ Lady Worret! lady Worret! I will have a reform. I am at last
resolved to be master of my own house, and so let us come to a right
understanding, and I dare say we shall be the better friends for it in

_Lady W._ You shall see, sir Willoughby, that I can change as suddenly
as yourself. Though you have seen my delicate system deranged on
_slight_ occasions, you will find that in essential ones I have still
spirit for resentment.

_Sir W._ I'll have my house in future conducted as a gentleman's should
be, and I will no longer suffer my wife to make herself the object of
ridicule to all her servants. So I'll give up the folly of wishing to be
thought a _tender_ husband, for the real honour of being found a
_respectable_ one. I'll make a glorious bonfire of all your musty
collection of family receipt-books! and when I deliver up your keys to
an honest housekeeper, I'll keep one back of a snug apartment in which
to deposit a rebellious wife.

_Lady W._ That will be indeed the way to make yourself respectable. I
have found means to manage you for some years, and it will be my own
fault if I don't do so still.

_Sir W._ Surely I dream! what? have you _managed_ me? Hey? Zounds! I
never suspected that. Has sir Willoughby Worret been lead in
leading-strings all this time? Death and forty devils, madam, have you
presumed to manage _me_?

_Lady W._ Yes, sir; but you had better be silent on the subject, unless
you mean to expose yourself to your daughter and all the world.

_Sir W._ Ay, Madam, with all my heart; my daughter and all the world
shall know it.

    _Enter_ Helen.

_Helen._ Here's a pretty piece of work!--what's the matter now, I

_Lady W._ How dare you overhear our domestic dissentions. What business
have you to know we were quarrelling, madam?

_Helen._ Lord love you! if I had heard it, I should not have listened,
for its nothing new, you know, when you're _alone_; though you both look
so _loving_ in _public_.

_Sir W._ That's true--that is _lamentably_ true--but all the world
_shall_ know it--I'll proclaim it; I'll print it--I'll advertise
it!--She has usurped my rights and my power; and her fate, as every
usurper's should be, shall be _public_ downfall and disgrace.

_Helen._ What, papa! and won't you let mamma-in-law rule the roast any

_Sir W._ No,--I am resolved from this moment no longer to give way to
her absurd whims and wishes.

_Helen._ You are!

_Sir W._ Absolutely and immovably.

_Helen._ And you will venture to contradict her?

_Sir W._ On every occasion--right or wrong.

_Helen._ That's right--Pray, madam, don't you wish me to marry lord

_Lady W._ You know my _will_ on that head, Miss Helen!

_Helen._ Then, papa, of course you wish me to marry _Charles_

_Sir W._ What! no such thing--no such thing--what! marry a beggar?

_Helen._ But you won't let mamma rule the roast, will you, sir?

_Sir W._ 'Tis a great match! I believe in that _one_ point we shall
still agree--

_Lady W._ You may spare your persuasions, Madam, and leave the room.

_Sir W._ What--my daughter leave the room? Stay here, Helen.

_Helen._ To be sure I shall--I came on purpose to tell you the news! oh,
tis a pretty piece of work!

_Sir W._ What does the girl mean?

_Helen._ Why, I mean that in order to ruin a poor innocent girl, in our
neighbourhood, this amiable lord has prevailed on her to consent to a
private marriage--and it now comes out that it was all a mock marriage,
performed by a sham priest, and a false license!

_Lady W._ I don't believe one word of it.

_Sir W._ But I do--and shall inquire into it immediately.

_Lady W._ Such a match for your daughter is not to be relinquished on
slight grounds; and though his lordship should have been guilty of some
indiscretion, it will not alter my resolution respecting his union with

_Sir W._ No--but it will mine--and to prove to you, madam, that however
you may rule your household, you shall no longer rule _me_--if the story
has any foundation--I say--she _shall not_ marry lord Austencourt.

_Lady W._ Shall not?

_Sir W._ No, Madam, shall not--and so ends your management, and thus
begins my career of new-born authority. I'm out of leading-strings now,
and madam, I'll manage you, damn me if--I--do--not! [_Exit Sir

_Helen_ (_to Lady W._) You hear papa's _will_ on that head, ma'am.

_Lady W._ I hear nothing!--I see nothing!--I shall go mad with vexation
and disappointment, and if I do not break his resolution, I am
determined to break his heart; and my _own_ heart, and _your_ heart, and
the hearts of all the rest of the family. [_Exit._

_Helen._ There she goes, with a laudable matrimonial resolution. Heigho!
with such an example before my eyes, I believe I shall never have
resolution to die an old maid. Oh, Charles, Charles--why did you take me
at my word!--Bless me! sure I saw him then--'tis he indeed! So, my
gentleman, are you there? I'll just retire and watch his motions a
little (_retires._)

    _Enter Charles Austencourt, cautiously._

_Charles._ What a pretty state am I reduced to? though I am resolved to
speak with this ungrateful girl but once more before I leave her for
ever; here am I, skulking under the enemy's batteries as though I was
afraid of an encounter!--Yes, I'll see her, upbraid her, and then leave
her for ever! heigho! she's a false, deceitful--dear, bewitching girl,
and--however, I am resolved that nothing on earth--not even her tears,
shall now induce me to forgive her. (_Tiffany crosses the stage._)

_Charles._ Ha!--harkye, young woman! pray are the family at home?

_Tiffany._ My lady is at home, sir--would you please to see her?

_Charles._ Your lady--do you mean your _young_ lady?

_Tiffany._ No, sir, I mean my _lady_.

_Charles._ What, your _old_ lady?--No--I don't wish to see her. Are all
the rest of the family from home--

_Tiffany._ No, sir--sir Willoughby is within--I'll tell him you are
here. (_going._)

_Charles._ By no means--stay--stay! what then, they are all at home
except Miss Helen.

_Tiffany._ She's at home too, sir--but I suppose she don't wish to see

_Charles._ _You suppose!_

_Tiffany._ I'm sure she's been in a monstrous ill-humour ever since you
came back, sir.

_Charles._ The devil she has!--and pray now are you of opinion that my
return is the cause of her ill-humour?

_Tiffany._ Lord, sir--what interest have I in knowing such things?--

_Charles._ Interest!--oh, ho! the old story! why harkye, my dear--your
mistress has a lord for her lover, so I suppose he has secured a warmer
interest than I can afford to purchase--however, I know the custom, and
thus I comply with it, in hopes you will tell me whether you really
think my return has caused your young mistress' ill-humour----(_gives

_Tiffany._ A guinea! well! I declare! why really, sir--when I say Miss
Helen has been out of humour on your account, I don't mean to say it is
on account of your _return_, but on account of your going away again--

_Charles._ No! my dear Tiffany!

_Tiffany._ And I am sure I don't wonder at her being cross about it, for
if I was my mistress I never would listen with patience (any more than
she does) to such a disagreeable creature as my lord, while such a
generous nice gentleman as you was ready to make love to me.

_Charles._ You couldn't?

_Tiffany._ No, sir--and I'm sure she's quite altered and melancholy gone
since you quarrelled with her, and she vows now more than ever that she
never will consent to marry my lord, or any body but you--(_Helen comes
forward gently._)

_Charles._ My dear Tiffany!--let me catch the sounds from your rosy
lips. (_Kisses her_)--

_Helen._ (_separating them_) Bless me! I am afraid I interrupt business

_Charles._ I--I--I--Upon my soul, Madam--what you saw was--

_Tiffany._ Ye--ye--yes--upon my word, ma'am--what you saw was--

_Helen._ What I saw was very clear indeed!--

_Charles._ Hear me but explain--you do not understand.--

_Helen._ I rather think I _do_ understand.

_Tiffany._ Indeed, Ma'am, Mr. Charles was only _whispering_ something I
was to tell you--

_Helen._ And pray, ma'am, do you suffer gentlemen in general to whisper
in that fashion?--what do you stand stammering and blushing there
for?--why don't you go?

_Tiffany._ Yes, ma'am,--but I assure you--

_Helen._ What! you stay to be whispered to again, I suppose. [_Exit

_Charles._ Let me explain this,--oh, Helen--can you be surprised?

_Helen._ No, sir, I can't be surprised at any thing after what I have
just witnessed--

_Charles._ On my soul, it was excess of joy at hearing you still lov'd
me, that led me into this confounded scrape.

_Helen._ Sir, you should not believe it--I don't love you. I wont love
you,--and after what I have just seen, you can't expect I should love

_Charles._ Helen! Helen! you make no allowance for the fears of a man
who loves you to distraction. I have borne a great deal, and can bear
but very little more--

_Helen._ Poor man! you're sadly loaded with grievances, to be sure; and
by and by, I suppose, like a horse or a mule, or some such stubborn
animal, having more than you can bear, you'll kick a little, and plunge
a little, and then down on your _knees_ again!

_Charles._ I gloried even in that humble posture, while you taught me to
believe you loved me.

_Helen._ 'Tis true, my heart was once your own, but I never can, nor
ought to forgive you--for thinking me capable of being unfaithful to

_Charles._ Dearest dear Helen! and has your anger then no other cause?
surely you could not blame a resentment which was the offspring of my
fond affection?

_Helen._ No! to be sure I couldn't, who could!--but what should I not
have to dread from the violence of your temper, if I consented--to run
away with you?

_Charles._ Run away with me!--no!--zounds I've a chaise in waiting--

_Helen._ Have you?--then pray let it wait,--no! no! Charles--though I
haven't scrupled to own an affection for you, I have too much respect
for the world's opinion,--let us wait with patience,--time may rectify
that impetuosity of character, which is now, I own, my dread; think of
it, Charles, and beware; for affection is a frail flower, reared by the
hand of gentleness, and perishes as surely by the shocks of violence as
by the more gradual poison of neglect.

_Charles._ Dearest Helen! I will cherish it in my heart--'tis a _rough_
soil I own, but 'tis a _warm_ one; and when the hand of delicacy shall
have cultivated this flower that is rooted there, the blossom shall be
everlasting love!

_Helen._ Ah you men!--you men! but--I think I may be induced to try
you.--Meantime, accept my hand, dear Charles, as a pledge of my heart,
and as the assurance that it shall one day be your own indeed (_he
kisses her hand._) There you needn't eat it--there!--now make your
escape, and farewell till we meet again.--(_They are going out

    _Enter_ sir Rowland _and_ sir Willoughby, _at opposite sides._

_Charles._ Zounds! my father!

_Helen._ Gad-a-mercy! my papa!

_Sir R._ So, sir! you are here again I find!

_Sir W._ So! so! Madam! together again, hey? sir Rowland, your servant.

_Sir R._ I need not tell you, sir Willoughby, that this undutiful boy's
conduct does not meet with my sanction.

_Char._ No! sir Willoughby--I am sorry to say my conduct seldom meets
with my father's sanction.

_Sir W._ Why look ye, sir Rowland, there are certain things that we _do_
like, and certain things that we do _not_ like--now sir, to cut the
matter short, I do like my daughter to marry, but I do not like either
your son or your nephew for her husband.

_Sir R._ This is a very sudden _change_, sir Willoughby--

_Sir W._ Yes, sir Rowland, I have made two or three sudden changes to
day!--I've changed my resolution--I feel changed myself--for I've
changed characters with my wife, and with your leave I mean to change my

_Sir R._ Of course, sir, you will give me a proper explanation of the
last of these changes.

_Sir W._ Sir, if you'll meet me presently at your attorney's, the thing
will explain itself: this way, young lady if you please--Charles, I
believe you are a devilish honest fellow, and I want an honest fellow
for a son-in-law--but I think it is rather too much to give twelve
thousand a year for him--this way Miss Helen. [_Exit sir Willoughby and

_Sir R._ This sudden resolution of sir Willoughby will still more
exasperate him--I must seek him instantly, for the crisis of my fate is
at hand; my own heart is witness against me--Heaven is my judge, and I
have deserved my punishment! [_Exit sir R._

_Char._ So! I'm much mistaken, or there'll be a glorious bustle
presently at the old lawyer's--He has sent to beg I'll attend, and as my
heart is a little at rest in this quarter, I'll e'en see what's going
forward in _that_--whether his intention be to _expose_ or to _abet_ a
villain, still I'll be one amongst them; for while I have a heart to
feel and a hand to act, I can never be an idle spectator when insulted
virtue raises her supplicating voice on one side, and persecution dares
to lift his unblushing head on the other. [_Exit._

SCENE II.--_O'Dedimus's Office._

    _Enter_ O'Dedimus _and_ Ponder.

_O'Ded._ You've done the business, you say!

_Pon._ Ay, and the parties will all be here presently.

_O'Ded._ That's it! you're sure you haven't blabbed now?

_Pon._ Blabbed! ha, ha, ha! what do you take me for?

_O'Ded._ What do I take you for, Mr. Brass? Why I take you for one that
will never be choked by politeness.

_Pon._ Why, Lord, sir, what could a lawyer do without impudence? for
though they say "honesty's the best policy" a lawyer generally finds his
purpose better answered by a _Policy of Assurance_.

_O'Ded._ But hark! somebody's coming already, step where I told you, and
make haste.

_Pon._ On this occasion I lay by the lawyer and take up the Christian.
Benevolence runs fast--but law is lazy and moves slowly. [_Exit._

    _Enter_ Falkner _as_ Abel Grouse.

_Abel Grouse._ I have obeyed your summons. What have you to say in
palliation of the injury you have done me?

_O'Ded._ Faith and I shall say a small matter about it. What I have done
I have performed, and what I have performed I shall justify.

_Ab. Gr._ Indeed! Can you justify fraud and villany? To business, sir;
wherefore am I summoned here?

_O'Ded._ That's it! Upon my conscience I'm too modest to tell you.

_Ab. Gr._ Nature and education have made you modest: you were born an
Irishman and bred in attorney--

_O'Ded._ And take my word for it, when Nature forms an Irishman, if she
makes some little blunder in the contrivance of his head, it is because
she bestows so much pains on the construction of his heart.

_Ab. Gr._ That may be partially true; but to hear _you_ profess
sentiments of feeling and justice reminds me of our advertising
money-lenders who, while they practise usury and extortion on the world,
assure them that "the strictest honor and liberality may be relied on;"
and now, sir once more, your business with me.

_O'Ded._ Sure, sir, I sent for you to ask one small bit of a favour.

_Ab. Gr._ From me!

_O'Ded._ Ay, from you; and the favour is, that before you honor me with
the appellation of scoundrel, villain, pettyfogger, and some other such
little genteel epithets, you will be pleased to examine my title to such

_Ab. Gr._ From you, however, I have no hopes. You have denied your
presence at the infamous and sacrilegious mockery of my daughter's

_O'Ded._ That's a mistake, sir; I never did deny it.

_Ab. Gr._ Ha! you acknowledge it then!

_O'Ded._ That's another mistake, sir; for I never did acknowledge it.

_Ab. Gr._ Fortunately my hopes rest on a surer basis than your honesty.
Circumstances have placed in one of my hands the scales of Justice, and
the other her sword for punishment.

_O'Ded._ Faith, sir, though you may be a fit representative of the old
blind gentlewoman called Justice, she showed little discernment when she
pitched upon you, and overlooked Mr. Cornelius O'Dedimus, attorney at
law. And now, sir, be pleased to step into that room, and wait a moment,
while I transact a little business with one who is coming yonder.

_Ab. Gr._ I came hither to obey you; for I have some suspicion of your
intentions; and let us hope that one virtuous action, if you have
courage to perform it, will serve as a sponge to all the roguery you
have committed, either as an attorney or as a man. [_Exit to an inner

_O'Ded._ That blunt little fellow has got a sharp tongue in his head.
He's an odd compound, just like a great big roasted potato, all crusty
and crabbed without, but mealy and soft-hearted within. He takes me to
be half a rogue and all the rest of me a scoundrel--Och, by St. Patrick!
I'll bother his brains presently.

    _Enter_ sir Rowland, lord Austencourt, _and_ Charles.

_Lord A._ Further discussion, sir, is useless. If I am to be
disappointed in this marriage, a still more strict attention to my own
affairs is necessary.

_Sir R._ I appeal fearlessly to this man, who has betrayed me, whether
your interest was not my sole motive in the appropriation of your

_Lord A._ That assertion, sir, I was prepared to hear, but will not
listen to.

_Sir R._ _Beware_, lord Austencourt, _beware_ how you _proceed_!

_Lord A._ Do you again threaten me? (_to O'Dedimus_) are my orders
obeyed? is every thing in readiness?

_O'Ded._ The officers are in waiting!

_Charles._ Hold, monster! Proceed at your peril. To me you shall answer
this atrocious conduct.

_Lord A._ To you!

_Charles._ Ay, sir, _to me_, if you have the courage of a man.

_Lord A._ I will no longer support these insults. Call in the officers.

    _Enter_ sir Willoughby, lady Worret, _and_ Helen.

_Sir W._ Hey! zounds! did you take me and my lady Worret for sheriff's
officers, my lord?

_Lord A._ I have one condition to propose--if that lady accepts my hand,
I consent to stop the proceedings. That alone can alter my purpose.

_Charles._ Inhuman torturer!

_Helen._ Were my heart as free as air I never would consent to a union
with such a monster!

_Sir W._ And if _you_ would, curse me if _I_ would--nor my lady Worret

_Sir R._ Let him fulful his purpose if he dare! I now see the black
corruptness of his heart; and though my life were at stake I would pay
the forfeit, rather than immolate innocence in the arms of such

_Lord A._ Call in the officers, I say!

_O'Ded_ (_without moving._) I shall do that thing.

_Lord A._ 'Tis justice I demand! Justice and Revenge alike direct me,
and their united voice shall be obeyed.

_Falkner_ (_enters suddenly._) They shall! behold me here, thou
miscreant, to urge it! justice and revenge you call for, and they shall
both fall heavily upon you.

_Sir. R._ Falkner!

_O'Ded._ What! Abel Grouse, Mr. Falkner! here's a transmogrification for

_Sir R._ How! Falkner and the unknown cottager the same person!

_Falk._ Ay, sir; the man who cautioned you today in vain; who warned you
of the precipice beneath your feet, and was unheeded by you--

_Sir R._ Amazement! what would you have me do?

_Falk._ Before this company assist me with the power you possess (and
that power is ample) to compel your haughty nephew to repair the injury,
which, in a humbler character, he has done me--

_Lord A._ He compel me! ridiculous!

_Falk._ (_to sir Rowland._) Insensible to injury and insult, can nothing
move you? _Reveal your secret!_

_Lord A._ I'll hear no more. Summon the officers I say. I am resolved.

_Sir R._ I too am at last resolved! at length the arm is raised that, in
descending must crush you.

_Lord A._ I despise your united threats! am I to be the sport of
insolence and fraud? _What_ am I, sir, that thus you dare insult me! Who
am I?

_Sir R._ No longer the man you seem to be! hear me! before grief and
shame shall burst my heart, hear me proclaim my guilt! When the late
lord Austencourt dying bequeathed his infant son to my charge, my own
child was of the same age! prompted by the demons of ambition, and
blinded to guilt by affection for my own offspring--_I changed the

_Charles._ Merciful Heaven!

_Sir R._ (_to lord A._) Hence it follows that you, unnatural monster,
are my son!

_Sir W._ Ods life! Hey! then there is something in the world to astonish
me, besides the reformation of my lady Worret.

_Lord A._ Shallow artifice! Think you I am weak enough to credit this
preposterous fiction, or do you suppose the law will listen to it?

_Falk._ Ay, sir; the law _will_ listen to it, _shall_ listen to it. _I_,
sir, can prove the fact, beyond even the hesitation of incredulity!

_Lord A._ You!

_Falk._ I. You have seen me hitherto a poor man and oppressed me; you
see me now rich and powerful, and well prepared to punish your villany;
and thus, in every instance, may oppression recoil on the oppressor.

_Lord A._ Then I am indeed undone!

_O'Ded._ Shall I call the officers now, my lord? Mr. Austencourt, I
should say; I ask pardon for the blunder: and now, ladies and gentlemen,
be pleased to hear me speak. This extraordinary discovery is just
exactly what I _did not_ expect. It is true I had a bit of a discovery
of my own to make: for I find that the habits of my profession though
they haven't led me to commit acts of knavery, have too often induced me
to _wink_ at them. Therefore as his quandam lordship has now _certainly_
lost Miss Helen, I hope he'll have no objection to do justice in another
quarter. [_Exit._

_Sir R._ Oh, Charles! my much injured nephew! how shall I ever dare to
look upon you more?

_Charles._ Nay, nay, sir, I am too brimful of joy at my opening
prospects here (_taking Helen's hand_) to cherish any other feeling than
forgiveness and good humour. Here is my hand, sir, and with it I pledge
myself to oblivion of _all_ the past, except the acts of kindness I have
received from you.

_Sir W._ That's a noble generous young dog--My lady Worret, I wonder
whether he'll offer to marry Helen now?

_Lady W._ Of course, after what has passed, you'll think it decent to
refuse for a short time: but you are the best judge, sir Willoughby, and
your will shall in future be mine--

_Sir W._ Shall it--that's kind--then I _will_ refuse him to please you:
for when you're so reasonable, how can I do otherwise than oblige you.

_Lady W._ (_aside._) Leave me alone to manage him still.

    _Enter_ O'Dedimus, _introducing_ Fanny.

_Lord A._ (_seeing Fanny._) Ah, traitor!

_O'Ded._ Traitor back again into your teeth, my master! and since you've
neither pity for the poor innocent, nor compassion for the little blunt
gentleman her father, 'tis time to spake out and to tell you that
instead of a sham priest and a sham license for your deceitful marriage
as you bid me, _I_ have sarved the cause of innocence and my own soul,
by procuring a _real_ priest and a _real_ license, and by St. Patrick
you are as much _one_ as any _two_ people in England, Ireland, or

_Fanny._ Merciful powers! there is still justice for the unfortunate!

_Lord A._ (_after a conflict of passion._) And is this really so?

_O'Ded._ You're _man_ and _wife_, sure enough. We've decent proof of
this, too, sir.

_Lord A._ You no doubt expect this intelligence will exasperate me. 'Tis
the reverse. By heaven it lifts a load of guilty wretchedness from my

_Fanny._ Oh, my lord! my husband!

_Falk._ Can this be genuine? Sudden reformation is ever doubtful.

_Lord A._ It is real! my errors have been the fruits of an unbridled
education. Ambition dazzled me, and wealth was my idol. I have acted
like a villain, and as my conduct has deserved no forgiveness, so will
my degradation be seen without compassion; but this weight of guilt
removed, I will seek happiness and virtue in the arms of my much-injured

_Fanny._ Silent joy is the most heartfelt. I cannot speak my happiness!
My father!

_Falk._ This is beyond my hopes; but adversity is a salutary monitor.

_Sir R._ Still, Charles, to you I am indebted beyond the power of

_Char._ My dear father--no--no dear uncle, I mean, here is the reward I
look for.

_Helen._ Ah, Charles--my lord, I mean, I beg pardon--to be sure papa,
ay, and mamma-in-law too, will now no longer withhold their consent.

_Sir W._ Who, me? Not for the world--hey! mercy on us! I forgot your
ladyship (_aside_) do you wish me to decline the honor?

_Lady W._ (_aside._) Why no, as matters have turned out.

_Char._ Then Fortune has indeed smiled on me today!

_Falk._ The cloud of sorrow is passed, and may the sun of joy that now
illumines my face, diffuse its cheering rays on all around us.

_O'Ded._ And sir Willoughby and her ladyship will smile most of us all;
for every body knows they're the happiest man and wife among us.

_Helen._ And while amongst ourselves we anxious trace
         The doubtful smile of joy in every face,
         There _is_ a smile, which doubt and danger ends----
         The smile of approbation from our friends.


       *       *       *       *       *
           *       *       *       *

Errors and Inconsistencies: Man and Wife

  Spellings were changed only when there was an unambiguous error,
  or the word occurred elsewhere with the expected spelling.
  Where names in stage directions were inconsistently italicized, they
  have been silently regularized. Some minor punctuation inconsistencies
  have also been silently corrected.

  barbacued  [barbecued]
  befal  [befall]
  fulful  [fulfil]
  head ach  [head ache]
  vixin  [vixen]

  Lady Worret  [twice spelt Worrett]
  Abel Grouse's cottage [Grouses's]
  The wrongs of Abel Grouse  [Growse]
  and no biscuit aboard  [buiscuit]
  as mine is the biggest, perhaps yours  [bigest, perhaps your's]
  However I do not despair  [do no despair]
  the attorney in our town  [at-attorney: mis-hyphenated at end of line]
  housekeeper  [occurs with and without hyphenation]
  Yes, sir, your presence does astonish me  [you presence]
  when it lost you, its dearest only friend  [it's]
  Hey! ods life, I must sooth her  [odslife]
  Ods life! I'm in a furious passion!  [Odslife]
  I must be in a passion--my--life--harkye, daughter  [karkye]
  harkye, young woman  [karkye]
  Heigho! with such an example before my eyes  [Heighho]
  heigho! she's a false, deceitful--dear, bewitching girl  [heighho]
  In Act III, Scene III is named Scene II in the original

  In the original, apostrophes are used or omitted inconsistently in
  several words: a'nt, cant, dont, had'nt, hav'nt, havn't, is'nt,
  musn't, shant and would'nt. These have all been regularized.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor - Vol I, No. 2, February 1810" ***

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