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´╗┐Title: The Contrast
Author: Tyler, Royall, 1757-1826
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Contrast" ***

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The Contrast


by

Royall Tyler

A Comedy



WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY THOMAS J. McKEE



INTRODUCTION.


THE 'Contrast' was the first American play ever performed in public by
a company of professional actors.  Several plays by native authors had
been previously published, the more noteworthy being the 'Prince of
Parthia,' a tragedy by Thomas Godfrey of Philadelphia, which was
probably written, and was offered to Hallam's company in 1759 (but not
produced), and was printed in 1765, two years after the author's
death.[1]

A comedy called the 'Mercenary Match,' by one Barnabas Bidwell, is said
to have been performed by the students at Yale College, under the
auspices of the Rev. Dr. Ezra Styles, President of the College.  Dunlap
speaks of having heard it read, but does not mention whether it was
from a manuscript or printed copy.  It was printed at New Haven in
1785.  The 'Contrast,' however, was the first to meet successfully the
critical judgment and approval of a professional manager.  This fact
alone should redeem it from the neglect and inattention it has
heretofore met with.  Besides, it possesses considerable intrinsic
merit, and as an acting play will compare favorably with many of the
English comedies of the period; and though, perhaps, meager in plot and
incident, it is bright, humorous, and natural; the dialogue is
sparkling with genuine wit; and its satire aimed at the evils and
follies of the time is keen and incisive.  The contrast between the
plain and simple honesty of purpose and breeding of our American home
life and the tinseled though polished hypocrisy and knavery of foreign
fashionable society is finely delineated, and no doubt suggested the
name of the play.  Thoroughly natural in its plan and characters, it
was a bold venture of a young writer in a new literary domain.

The character of Jonathan is a thoroughly original conception; nothing
of the typical Yankee, since so familiar and popular, had as yet
appeared, either on the stage or in print.

The 'Contrast' was first performed[2] at the John Street Theater,
New-York City, on the 16th of April, 1787, and undoubtedly met with the
approval of the public, as it was repeated on the 18th of April, the 2d
and 12th of May the same season, and was reproduced with success later
at Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Boston.  It was, as far as can be
learned, the first literary effort of its author, a most remarkable
genius, and one of the pioneers in several branches of our literature,
who, up to within a few weeks of its production, had never attended a
theatrical performance.

Royall Tyler, the author of the 'Contrast,' was born at Boston, Mass.,
July 18, 1758, and belonged to one of the wealthiest and most
influential families of New England.  He received his early education
at the Latin School, in his native city, graduated at Harvard, and
during the Revolutionary War, and afterward in Shay's Rebellion, acted
as aid-de-camp with the rank of Major on the staff of General Benjamin
Lincoln.  It was owing to the latter event that he came to New-York,
being sent here by Governor Bowdoin on a diplomatic mission with
reference to the capture of Shay, who had crossed the border line from
Massachusetts into this State.  This was the first time that Tyler had
left his native New England, and the first time he could have seen the
inside of a regular theater, thus confirming the statements made in the
preface of the play as to the author's inexperience in the rules of the
drama, and as to the short time within which it was written, as his
arrival in New-York was within but a few weeks of its first performance.

Tyler was apparently immediately attracted to the theater, for he
became a constant visitor before and behind the curtain, and rapidly
gained the friendship of all the performers, particularly that of
Wignell, the low comedian of the company.  He gave Wignell the
manuscript of the 'Contrast,' and on the 19th of May, the same year,
produced for that actor's benefit his second play, 'May-day in Town, or
New-York in an Uproar,' a comic opera in two acts.  He shortly
afterward returned to his home at Boston, where, several years later
(1797) another play from his pen, called 'A Good Spec, or Land in the
Moon,' was produced.  I have been unable to ascertain whether either
'Mayday' or 'A Good Spec' was ever printed or not.

Tyler's modesty or indifference as to his literary reputation, as
evidenced in his treatment of his plays, characterized his conduct
throughout life with respect to his other works; so that, of the many
productions of his pen that have been printed, the only one that bears
his name upon the title-page is a set of Vermont Law Reports.  And
though early in life he acquired among literary circles a reputation as
a witty and graceful writer of poetry and prose, it is doubtful whether
he benefited much by his writings, either pecuniarily or in popularity,
as an author.  They were undoubtedly the recreation of his leisure
moments, and though they were thrown off from time to time without
apparent effort, they bear internal evidence of being the result of
deep reflection and much reading.[3]

Tyler adopted the legal profession, married, settled in Vermont, became
celebrated as a successful advocate, was elected a Judge, and later,
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Vermont, and died at Brattleboro,
in that State, August 16, 1826.

The success of the 'Contrast' was one of the powerful influences which
aided in bringing about in this country a complete revolution of
sentiment with respect to the drama and theatrical amusements.  Up to
the time it first appeared, the drama here had met with few friends,
and but little favor.

A single company of English players, the so-called first "American
Company," after a long and bitter struggle with the intolerance and
prejudices of the Puritan and Quakers, had attained some slight favor
in New-York, Philadelphia, and some of the Southern cities; but in New
England the prohibitory laws against all theatrical amusements were
still in force and were rigidly executed.  The Continental Congress,
while not absolutely suppressing,[4] had set its seal of condemnation
against the theater, so that the most reputable and law-abiding of our
people were kept away from all theatrical amusements, if not from
inclination, at least by the fear of deviating from the plain path of
their duty.  But immediately after the production of the 'Contrast,' a
radical change of opinion in respect to the drama is apparent.

Plays by American authors followed in rapid succession, the stigma
against the theater gradually and completely faded away; and when the
first citizen of the United States, the immortal Washington, attended
in state as President to witness a first-night performance of an
American play, the revolution was complete.  At Boston a number of the
most prominent, intelligent, and influential citizens assembled in town
meetings, and passed resolutions instructing their representatives to
demand of the Legislature an immediate repeal of the laws against
theatrical amusements, and upon such repeal being refused, they
subscribed the necessary funds to erect a theater and invited the
American Company to visit Boston to give a series of performances
there, which invitation was accepted.  There was some interference on
the part of the authorities, but the new theater was erected and
performances publicly given there, while the prohibitory law became a
dead letter.

It will be noticed that the frontispiece is from a drawing by Dunlap,
which must have been done by him shortly after his return from England,
where he had been studying art as a pupil under Benjamin West.  It was
evidently intended to represent the portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Morris,
Mr. Henry, Mr. Wignell, and Mr. Harper, in their respective characters
in this play, with the scenery as given in the last act at the John
Street Theater, the first season, but the inferior work of the engraver
had made it of little value as likenesses.

The illustration to the song of Alknomook is from music published
contemporaneously with the play.  This song had long the popularity of
a national air and was familiar in every drawing-room in the early part
of the century.  Its authorship has been accredited both to Philip
Freneau and to Mrs. Hunter, the wife of the celebrated English
physician, John Hunter.  It was published as by Freneau in the American
Museum, where it appears (with slight changes from the version in the
'Contrast') in vol. I., page 77.  But Freneau never claimed to have
written it, and never placed it among his own collections of his poems,
several editions of which he made long after the 'Contrast' was
published.  Mrs. Hunter's poems were not printed till 1806, and the
version of the song there printed is an exact copy as given in the
play.  This song also appeared in a play, entitled, 'New Spain, or Love
in Mexico,' published at Dublin in 1740.  After considerable research,
I have become convinced that Alknomook is the offspring of Tyler's
genius.

THOMAS J. MCKEE



  THE
  CONTRAST


  A COMEDY;
  IN FIVE ACTS:

  WRITTEN BY A
  CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES;


  Primus ego in patriam
  Aonio--deduxi vertice Musas.

VIRGIL

(Imitated)

  First on our shores I try THALIA'S powers,
  And bid the laughing, useful Maid be ours.



THE CONTRAST


(BEING THE FIRST ESSAY OF *AMERICAN* GENIUS IN DRAMATIC ART)


IS MOST RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED

TO

THE PRESIDENT AND MEMBERS OF THE

Dramatic Association,


BY

THEIR MOST OBLIGED

AND

MOST GRATEFUL SERVANT,

THOMAS WIGNELL

PHILADELPHIA,
  1 January, 1790



PROLOGUE

WRITTEN BY A YOUNG GENTLEMAN OF NEW-YORK, AND SPOKEN BY MR. WIGNELL

  EXULT, each patriot heart!--this night is shewn
  A piece, which we may fairly call our own;
  Where the proud titles of "My Lord!  Your Grace!"
  To humble Mr. and plain Sir give place.
  Our Author pictures not from foreign climes
  The fashions or the follies of the times;
  But has confin'd the subject of his work
  To the gay scenes--the circles of New-York.
  On native themes his Muse displays her pow'rs;
  If ours the faults, the virtues too are ours.
  Why should our thoughts to distant countries roam,
  When each refinement may be found at home?
  Who travels now to ape the rich or great,
  To deck an equipage and roll in state;
  To court the graces, or to dance with ease,
  Or by hypocrisy to strive to please?
  Our free-born ancestors such arts despis'd;
  Genuine sincerity alone they pris'd;
  Their minds, with honest emulation fir'd;
  To solid good--not ornament--aspir'd;
  Or, if ambition rous'd a bolder flame,
  Stern virtue throve, where indolence was shame.

  But modern youths, with imitative sense,
  Deem taste in dress the proof of excellence;
  And spurn the meanness of your homespun arts,
  Since homespun habits would obscure their parts;
  Whilst all, which aims at splendour and parade,
  Must come from Europe, and be ready made.
  Strange! We should thus our native worth disclaim,
  And check the progress of our rising fame.
  Yet one, whilst imitation bears the sway,
  Aspires to nobler heights, and points the way.
  Be rous'd, my friends! his bold example view;
  Let your own Bards be proud to copy you!
  Should rigid critics reprobate our play,
  At least the patriotic heart will say,
  "Glorious our fall, since in a noble cause.
  "The bold attempt alone demands applause."
  Still may the wisdom of the Comic Muse
  Exalt your merits, or your faults accuse.
  But think not, tis her aim to be severe;--
  We all are mortals, and as mortals err.
  If candour pleases, we are truly blest;
  Vice trembles, when compell'd to stand confess'd.
  Let not light Censure on your faults offend,
  Which aims not to expose them, but amend.
  Thus does our Author to your candour trust;
  Conscious, the free are generous, as just.



Characters

  New-York            Maryland

  Col. MANLY,         Mr Henry.    Mr Hallam.
  DIMPLE,             Mr Hallam.   Mr Harper.
  VANROUGH,           Mr Morris.   Mr Morris.
  JESSAMY,            Mr Harper.   Mr Biddle.
  JONATHAN,           Mr Wignell.  Mr Wignell.

  CHARLOTTE,          Mrs Morris.  Mrs Morris.
  MARIA,              Mrs Harper.  Mrs Harper.
  LETITIA,            Mrs Kenna.   Mrs Williamson.
  JENNY,              Miss Tuke.   Miss W. Tuke.


  SERVANTS

  SCENE, NEW-YORK.



The Contrast.

----------


ACT I.

Scene, an Apartment at CHARLOTTE'S.

CHARLOTTE and LETITIA discovered.

LETITIA

AND so, Charlotte, you really think the pocket-hoop unbecoming.


CHARLOTTE

No, I don't say so.  It may be very becoming to saunter round the house
of a rainy day; to visit my grand-mamma, or to go to Quakers' meeting:
but to swim in a minuet, with the eyes of fifty well-dressed beaux upon
me, to trip it in the Mall, or walk on the battery, give me the
luxurious, jaunty, flowing, bell-hoop.  It would have delighted you to
have seen me the last evening, my charming girl!  I was dangling o'er
the battery with Billy Dimple; a knot of young fellows were upon the
platform; as I passed them I faultered with one of the most bewitching
false steps you ever saw, and then recovered myself with such a pretty
confusion, flirting my hoop to discover a jet black shoe and brilliant
buckle.  Gad! how my little heart thrilled to hear the confused
raptures of--"Demme, Jack, what a delicate foot!"  "Ha!  General, what
a well-turned--"


LETITIA

Fie! fie!  Charlotte [stopping her mouth], I protest you are quite a
libertine.


CHARLOTTE

Why, my dear little prude, are we not all such libertines?  Do you
think, when I sat tortured two hours under the hands of my friseur, and
an hour more at my toilet, that I had any thoughts of my aunt Susan, or
my cousin Betsey? though they are both allowed to be critical judges of
dress.


LETITIA

Why, who should we dress to please, but those are judges of its merit?


CHARLOTTE

Why, a creature who does not know Buffon from Souflee--Man!--my
Letitia--Man! for whom we dress, walk, dance, talk, lisp, languish, and
smile.  Does not the grave Spectator assure us that even our much
bepraised diffidence, modesty, and blushes are all directed to make
ourselves good wives and mothers as fast as we can?  Why, I'll
undertake with one flirt of this hoop to bring more beaux to my feet in
one week than the grave Maria, and her sentimental circle, can do, by
sighing sentiment till their hairs are grey.


LETITIA

Well, I won't argue with you; you always out-talk me; let us change the
subject.  I hear that Mr. Dimple and Maria are soon to be married.


CHARLOTTE

You hear true.  I was consulted in the choice of the wedding clothes.
She is to be married in a delicate white sattin, and has a monstrous
pretty brocaded lutestring for the second day.  It would have done you
good to have seen with what an affected indifference the dear
sentimentalist turned over a thousand pretty things, just as if her
heart did not palpitate with her approaching happiness, and at last
made her choice and arranged her dress with such apathy as if she did
not know that plain white sattin and a simple blond lace would shew her
clear skin and dark hair to the greatest advantage.


LETITIA

But they say her indifference to dress, and even to the gentleman
himself, is not entirely affected.


CHARLOTTE

How?


LETITIA

It is whispered that if Maria gives her hand to Mr. Dimple, it will be
without her heart.


CHARLOTTE

Though the giving the heart is one of the last of all laughable
considerations in the marriage of a girl of spirit, yet I should like
to hear what antiquated notions the dear little piece of old-fashioned
prudery has got in her head.


LETITIA

Why, you know that old Mr.
John-Richard-Robert-Jacob-Isaac-Abraham-Cornelius Van Dumpling, Billy
Dimple's father (for he has thought fit to soften his name, as well as
manners, during his English tour), was the most intimate friend of
Maria's father.  The old folks, about a year before Mr. Van Dumpling's
death, proposed this match: the young folks were accordingly
introduced, and told they must love one another.  Billy was then a
good-natured, decent-dressing young fellow, with a little dash of the
coxcomb, such as our young fellows of fortune usually have.  At this
time, I really believe she thought she loved him; and had they been
married, I doubt not they might have jogged on, to the end of the
chapter, a good kind of a sing-song lack-a-daysaical life, as other
honest married folks do.


CHARLOTTE

Why did they not then marry?


LETITIA

Upon the death of his father, Billy went to England to see the world
and rub off a little of the patroon rust.  During his absence, Maria,
like a good girl, to keep herself constant to her nown true-love,
avoided company, and betook herself, for her amusement, to her books,
and her dear Billy's letters.  But, alas!  how many ways has the
mischievous demon of inconstancy of stealing into a woman's heart!  Her
love was destroyed by the very means she took to support it.


CHARLOTTE

How?--Oh!  I have it--some likely young beau found the way to her study.


LETITIA

Be patient, Charlotte; your head so runs upon beaux.  Why, she read Sir
Charles Grandison, Clarissa Harlow, Shenstone, and the Sentimental
Journey; and between whiles, as I said, Billy's letters.  But, as her
taste improved, her love declined.  The contrast was so striking
betwixt the good sense of her books and the flimsiness of her
love-letters, that she discovered she had unthinkingly engaged her hand
without her heart; and then the whole transaction, managed by the old
folks, now appeared so unsentimental, and looked so like bargaining for
a bale of goods, that she found she ought to have rejected, according
to every rule of romance, even the man of her choice, if imposed upon
her in that manner.  Clary Harlow would have scorned such a match.


CHARLOTTE

Well, how was it on Mr. Dimple's return?  Did he meet a more favourable
reception than his letters?


LETITIA

Much the same.  She spoke of him with respect abroad, and with contempt
in her closet.  She watched his conduct and conversation, and found
that he had by travelling, acquired the wickedness of Lovelace without
his wit, and the politeness of Sir Charles Grandison without his
generosity.  The ruddy youth, who washed his face at the cistern every
morning, and swore and looked eternal love and constancy, was now
metamorphosed into a flippant, palid, polite beau, who devotes the
morning to his toilet, reads a few pages of Chesterfield's letters, and
then minces out, to put the infamous principles in practice upon every
woman he meets.


CHARLOTTE

But, if she is so apt at conjuring up these sentimental bugbears, why
does she not discard him at once?

LETITIA

Why, she thinks her word too sacred to be trifled with.  Besides, her
father, who has a great respect for the memory of his deceased friend,
is ever telling her how he shall renew his years in their union, and
repeating the dying injunctions of old Van Dumpling.


CHARLOTTE

A mighty pretty story!  And so you would make me believe that the
sensible Maria would give up Dumpling manor, and the all-accomplished
Dimple as a husband, for the absurd, ridiculous reason, forsooth,
because she despises and abhors him.  Just as if a lady could not be
privileged to spend a man's fortune, ride in his carriage, be called
after his name, and call him her nown dear lovee when she wants money,
without loving and respecting the great he-creature.  Oh!  my dear
girl, you are a monstrous prude.


LETITIA

I don't say what I would do; I only intimate how I suppose she wishes
to act.


CHARLOTTE

No, no, no!  A fig for sentiment.  If she breaks, or wishes to break,
with Mr. Dimple, depend upon it, she has some other man in her eye.  A
woman rarely discards one lover until she is sure of another.  Letitia
little thinks what a clue I have to Dimple's conduct.  The generous man
submits to render himself disgusting to Maria, in order that she may
leave him at liberty to address me.  I must change the subject.
[Aside, and rings a bell.


Enter SERVANT.

Frank, order the horses to.--Talking of marriage, did you hear that
Sally Bloomsbury is going to be married next week to Mr. Indigo, the
rich Carolinian?


LETITIA

Sally Bloomsbury married!--why, she is not yet in her teens.

CHARLOTTE

I do not know how that is, but you may depend upon it, 'tis a done
affair.  I have it from the best authority.  There is my aunt Wyerly's
Hannah.  You know Hannah; though a black, she is a wench that was never
caught in a lie in her life.  Now, Hannah has a brother who courts
Sarah, Mrs. Catgut the milliner's girl, and she told Hannah's brother,
and Hannah, who, as I said before, is a girl of undoubted veracity,
told it directly to me, that Mrs. Catgut was making a new cap for Miss
Bloomsbury, which, as it was very dressy, it is very probable is
designed for a wedding cap.  Now, as she is to be married, who can it
be to but to Mr. Indigo?  Why, there is no other gentleman that visits
at her papa's.


LETITIA

Say not a word more, Charlotte.  Your intelligence is so direct and
well grounded, it is almost a pity that it is not a piece of scandal.


CHARLOTTE

Oh!  I am the pink of prudence.  Though I cannot charge myself with
ever having discredited a tea-party by my silence, yet I take care
never to report any thing of my acquaintance, especially if it is to
their credit,--discredit, I mean,--until I have searched to the bottom
of it.  It is true, there is infinite pleasure in this charitable
pursuit.  Oh! how delicious to go and condole with the friends of some
backsliding sister, or to retire with some old dowager or maiden aunt
of the family, who love scandal so well that they cannot forbear
gratifying their appetite at the expense of the reputation of their
nearest relations!  And then to return full fraught with a rich
collection of circumstances, to retail to the next circle of our
acquaintance under the strongest injunctions of secrecy,--ha, ha,
ha!--interlarding the melancholy tale with so many doleful shakes of
the head, and more doleful "Ah!  who would have thought it! so amiable,
so prudent a young lady, as we all thought her, what a monstrous pity!
well, I have nothing to charge myself with; I acted the part of a
friend, I warned her of the principles of that rake, I told her what
would be the consequence; I told her so, I told her so."--Ha, ha, ha!


LETITIA

Ha, ha, ha!  Well, but, Charlotte, you don't tell me what you think of
Miss Bloomsbury's match.


CHARLOTTE

Think! why I think it is probable she cried for a plaything, and they
have given her a husband.  Well, well, well, the puling chit shall not
be deprived of her plaything: 'tis only exchanging London dolls for
American babies.--Apropos, of babies, have you heard what Mrs.
Affable's high-flying notions of delicacy have come to?


LETITIA

Who, she that was Miss Lovely?


CHARLOTTE

The same; she married Bob Affable of Schenectady.  Don't you remember?

Enter SERVANT.


SERVANT.

Madam, the carriage is ready.


LETITIA

Shall we go to the stores first, or visiting?


CHARLOTTE

I should think it rather too early to visit, especially Mrs. Prim; you
know she is so particular.


LETITIA

Well, but what of Mrs. Affable?


CHARLOTTE

Oh, I'll tell you as we go; come, come, let us hasten.  I hear Mrs.
Catgut has some of the prettiest caps arrived you ever saw.  I shall
die if I have not the first sight of them.                  [Exeunt.


[page intentionally blank]


[illustration omitted]



SCENE II.

A Room in VAN ROUGH'S House

MARIA sitting disconsolate at a Table, with Books, &c.


SONG.


  I.

  The sun sets in night, and the stars shun the day;
  But glory remains when their lights fade away!
  Begin, ye tormentors! your threats are in vain,
  For the son of Alknomook shall never complain.


  II.

  Remember the arrows he shot from his bow;
  Remember your chiefs by his hatchet laid low:
  Why so slow?--do you wait till I shrink from the pain?
  No--the son of Alknomook will never complain.


  III.

  Remember the wood where in ambush we lay,
  And the scalps which we bore from your nation away:
  Now the flame rises fast, you exult in my pain;
  But the son of Alknomook can never complain.


  IV.

  I go to the land where my father is gone;
  His ghost shall rejoice in the fame of his son:
  Death comes like a friend, he relieves me from pain;
  And thy son, Oh Alknomook! has scorn'd to complain.


There is something in this song which ever calls forth my affections.
The manly virtue of courage, that fortitude which steels the heart
against the keenest misfortunes, which interweaves the laurel of glory
amidst the instruments of torture and death, displays something so
noble, so exalted, that in despite of the prejudices of education I
cannot but admire it, even in a savage.  The prepossession which our
sex is supposed to entertain for the character of a soldier is, I know,
a standing piece of raillery among the wits.  A cockade, a lapell'd
coat, and a feather, they will tell you, are irresistible by a female
heart.  Let it be so.  Who is it that considers the helpless situation
of our sex, that does not see that we each moment stand in need of a
protector, and that a brave one too?  Formed of the more delicate
materials of nature, endowed only with the softer passions, incapable,
from our ignorance of the world, to guard against the wiles of mankind,
our security for happiness often depends upon their generosity and
courage.  Alas!  how little of the former do we find!  How
inconsistent! that man should be leagued to destroy that honour upon
which solely rests his respect and esteem.  Ten thousand temptations
allure us, ten thousand passions betray us; yet the smallest deviation
from the path of rectitude is followed by the contempt and insult of
man, and the more remorseless pity of woman; years of penitence and
tears cannot wash away the stain, nor a life of virtue obliterate its
remembrance.  Reputation is the life of woman; yet courage to protect
it is masculine and disgusting; and the only safe asylum a woman of
delicacy can find is in the arms of a man of honour.  How naturally,
then, should we love the brave and the generous; how gratefully should
we bless the arm raised for our protection, when nerv'd by virtue and
directed by honour!  Heaven grant that the man with whom I may be
connected--may be connected!  Whither has my imagination transported
me--whither does it now lead me?  Am I not indissolubly engaged, "by
every obligation of honour which my own consent and my father's
approbation can give," to a man who can never share my affections, and
whom a few days hence it will be criminal for me to disapprove--to
disapprove! would to heaven that were all--to despise.  For, can the
most frivolous manners, actuated by the most depraved heart, meet, or
merit, anything but contempt from every woman of delicacy and sentiment?


[VAN ROUGH without.  Mary!]

Ha! my father's voice--Sir!--

[Enter VAN ROUGH.

VAN ROUGH

What, Mary, always singing doleful ditties, and moping over these
plaguy books.


MARIA

I hope, Sir, that it is not criminal to improve my mind with books, or
to divert my melancholy with singing, at my leisure hours.


VAN ROUGH

Why, I don't know that, child; I don't know that.  They us'd to say,
when I was a young man, that if a woman knew how to make a pudding, and
to keep herself out of fire and water, she knew enough for a wife.
Now, what good have these books done you?  have they not made you
melancholy? as you call it.  Pray, what right has a girl of your age to
be in the dumps? haven't you everything your heart can wish; an't you
going to be married to a young man of great fortune; an't you going to
have the quit-rent of twenty miles square?


MARIA

One-hundredth part of the land, and a lease for life of the heart of a
man I could love, would satisfy me.


VAN ROUGH

Pho, pho, pho! child; nonsense, downright nonsense, child.  This comes
of your reading your storybooks; your Charles Grandisons, your
Sentimental Journals, and your Robinson Crusoes, and such other
trumpery.  No, no, no! child; it is money makes the mare go; keep your
eye upon the main chance, Mary.


MARIA

Marriage, Sir, is, indeed, a very serious affair.


VAN ROUGH

You are right, child; you are right.  I am sure I found it so, to my
cost.


MARIA

I mean, Sir, that as marriage is a portion for life, and so intimately
involves our happiness, we cannot be too considerate in the choice of
our companion.


VAN ROUGH

Right, child; very right.  A young woman should be very sober when she
is making her choice, but when she has once made it, as you have done,
I don't see why she should not be as merry as a grig; I am sure she has
reason enough to be so.  Solomon says that "there is a time to laugh,
and a time to weep." Now, a time for a young woman to laugh is when she
has made sure of a good rich husband.  Now, a time to cry, according to
you, Mary, is when she is making choice of him; but I should think that
a young woman's time to cry was when she despaired of getting one.
Why, there was your mother, now: to be sure, when I popp'd the question
to her she did look a little silly; but when she had once looked down
on her apron-strings, as all modest young women us'd to do, and drawled
out ye-s, she was as brisk and as merry as a bee.


MARIA

My honoured mother, Sir, had no motive to melancholy; she married the
man of her choice.


VAN ROUGH

The man of her choice!  And pray, Mary, an't you going to marry the man
of your choice--what trumpery notion is this?  It is these vile books
[throwing them away].  I'd have you to know, Mary, if you won't make
young Van Dumpling the man of your choice, you shall marry him as the
man of my choice.


MARIA

You terrify me, Sir.  Indeed, Sir, I am all submission.  My will is
yours.


VAN ROUGH

Why, that is the way your mother us'd to talk.  "My will is yours, my
dear Mr. Van Rough, my will is yours"; but she took special care to
have her own way, though, for all that.


MARIA

Do not reflect upon my mother's memory, Sir--


VAN ROUGH

Why not, Mary, why not?  She kept me from speaking my mind all her
life, and do you think she shall henpeck me now she is dead too?  Come,
come; don't go to sniveling; be a good girl, and mind the main chance.
I'll see you well settled in the world.


MARIA

I do not doubt your love, Sir, and it is my duty to obey you.  I will
endeavour to make my duty and inclination go hand in hand.


VAN ROUGH

Well, Well, Mary; do you be a good girl, mind the main chance, and
never mind inclination.  Why, do you know that I have been down in the
cellar this very morning to examine a pipe of Madeira which I purchased
the week you were born, and mean to tap on your wedding day?--That pipe
cost me fifty pounds sterling.  It was well worth sixty pounds; but I
over-reach'd Ben Bulkhead, the supercargo.  I'll tell you the whole
story.  You must know that--

Enter SERVANT.

SERVANT.

Sir, Mr. Transfer, the broker is below.      [Exit.


VAN ROUGH

Well, Mary, I must go.  Remember, and be a good girl, and mind the main
chance.             [Exit.


MARIA, alone.

How deplorable is my situation!  How distressing for a daughter to find
her heart militating with her filial duty!  I know my father loves me
tenderly; why then do I reluctantly obey him?  Heaven knows!  with what
reluctance I should oppose the will of a parent, or set an example of
filial disobedience; at a parent's command, I could wed awkwardness and
deformity.  Were the heart of my husband good, I would so magnify his
good qualities with the eye of conjugal affection, that the defects of
his person and manners should be lost in the emanation of his virtues.
At a father's command, I could embrace poverty.  Were the poor man my
husband, I would learn resignation to my lot; I would enliven our
frugal meal with good humour, and chase away misfortune from our
cottage with a smile.  At a father's command, I could almost submit to
what every female heart knows to be the most mortifying, to marry a
weak man, and blush at my husband's folly in every company I visited.
But to marry a depraved wretch, whose only virtue is a polished
exterior; who is actuated by the unmanly ambition of conquering the
defenceless; whose heart, insensible to the emotions of patriotism,
dilates at the plaudits of every unthinking girl; whose laurels are the
sighs and tears of the miserable victims of his specious
behaviour,--can he, who has no regard for the peace and happiness of
other families, ever have a due regard for the peace and happiness of
his own?  Would to heaven that my father were not so hasty in his
temper?  Surely, if I were to state my reasons for declining this
match, he would not compel me to marry a man, whom, though my lips may
solemnly promise to honour, I find my heart must ever despise.
[Exit.


END OF THE FIRST ACT.



ACT II.  SCENE I.

Enter CHARLOTTE and LETITIA.

CHARLOTTE [at entering].

BETTY, take those things out of the carriage and carry them to my
chamber; see that you don't tumble them.  My dear, I protest, I think
it was the homeliest of the whole.  I declare I was almost tempted to
return and change it.


LETITIA

Why would you take it?


CHARLOTTE

Didn't Mrs. Catgut say it was the most fashionable?


LETITIA

But, my dear, it will never fit becomingly on you.

CHARLOTTE

I know that; but did you not hear Mrs. Catgut say it was fashionable?


LETITIA

Did you see that sweet airy cap with the white sprig?


CHARLOTTE

Yes, and I longed to take it; but, my dear, what could I do?  Did not
Mrs. Catgut say it was the most fashionable; and if I had not taken it,
was not that awkward, gawky, Sally Slender, ready to purchase it
immediately?


LETITIA

Did you observe how she tumbled over the things at the next shop, and
then went off without purchasing anything, nor even thanking the poor
man for his trouble?  But, of all the awkward creatures, did you see
Miss Blouze endeavouring to thrust her unmerciful arm into those small
kid gloves?


CHARLOTTE

Ha, ha, ha, ha!


LETITIA

Then did you take notice with what an affected warmth of friendship she
and Miss Wasp met? when all their acquaintance know how much pleasure
they take in abusing each other in every company.


CHARLOTTE

Lud!  Letitia, is that so extraordinary?  Why, my dear, I hope you are
not going to turn sentimentalist.  Scandal, you know, is but amusing
ourselves with the faults, foibles, follies, and reputations of our
friends; indeed, I don't know why we should have friends, if we are not
at liberty to make use of them.  But no person is so ignorant of the
world as to suppose, because I amuse myself with a lady's faults, that
I am obliged to quarrel with her person every time we meet: believe me,
my dear, we should have very few acquaintance at that rate.

SERVANT enters and delivers a letter to CHARLOTTE, and--[Exit.


CHARLOTTE

You'll excuse me, my dear.

[Opens and reads to herself.


LETITIA

Oh, quite excusable.


CHARLOTTE

As I hope to be married, my brother Henry is in the city.


LETITIA

What, your brother, Colonel Manly?


CHARLOTTE

Yes, my dear; the only brother I have in the world.


LETITIA

Was he never in this city?


CHARLOTTE

Never nearer than Harlem Heights, where he lay with his regiment.


LETITIA

What sort of a being is this brother of yours?  If he is as chatty, as
pretty, as sprightly as you, half the belles in the city will be
pulling caps for him.


CHARLOTTE

My brother is the very counterpart and reverse of me: I am gay, he is
grave; I am airy, he is solid; I am ever selecting the most pleasing
objects for my laughter, he has a tear for every pitiful one.  And
thus, whilst he is plucking the briars and thorns from the path of the
unfortunate, I am strewing my own path with roses.


LETITIA

My sweet friend, not quite so poetical, and a little more particular.


CHARLOTTE

Hands off, Letitia.  I feel the rage of simile upon me; I can't talk to
you in any other way.  My brother has a heart replete with the noblest
sentiments, but then, it is like--it is like--Oh! you provoking girl,
you have deranged all my ideas--it is like--Oh! I have it--his heart is
like an old maiden lady's bandbox; it contains many costly things,
arranged with the most scrupulous nicety, yet the misfortune is that
they are too delicate, costly, and antiquated for common use.


LETITIA

By what I can pick out of your flowery description, your brother is no
beau.


CHARLOTTE

No, indeed; he makes no pretension to the character.  He'd ride, or
rather fly, an hundred miles to relieve a distressed object, or to do a
gallant act in the service of his country; but should you drop your fan
or bouquet in his presence, it is ten to one that some beau at the
farther end of the room would have the honour of presenting it to you
before he had observed that it fell.  I'll tell you one of his
antiquated, anti-gallant notions.  He said once in my presence, in a
room full of company,--would you believe it?--in a large circle of
ladies, that the best evidence a gentleman could give a young lady of
his respect and affection was to endeavour in a friendly manner to
rectify her foibles.  I protest I was crimson to the eyes, upon
reflecting that I was known as his sister.


LETITIA

Insupportable creature! tell a lady of her faults! if he is so grave, I
fear I have no chance of captivating him.


CHARLOTTE

His conversation is like a rich, old-fashioned brocade,--it will stand
alone; every sentence is a sentiment.  Now you may judge what a time I
had with him, in my twelve months' visit to my father.  He read me such
lectures, out of pure brotherly affection, against the extremes of
fashion, dress, flirting, and coquetry, and all the other dear things
which he knows I doat upon, that I protest his conversation made me as
melancholy as if I had been at church; and heaven knows, though I never
prayed to go there but on one occasion, yet I would have exchanged his
conversation for a psalm and a sermon.  Church is rather melancholy, to
be sure; but then I can ogle the beaux, and be regaled with "here
endeth the first lesson," but his brotherly here, you would think had
no end.  You captivate him!  Why, my dear, he would as soon fall in
love with a box of Italian flowers.  There is Maria, now, if she were
not engaged, she might do something.  Oh! how I should like to see that
pair of pensorosos together, looking as grave as two sailors' wives of
a stormy night, with a flow of sentiment meandering through their
conversation like purling streams in modern poetry.


LETITIA

Oh! my dear fanciful--


CHARLOTTE

Hush!  I hear some person coming through the entry.


Enter SERVANT.

SERVANT.

Madam, there's a gentleman below who calls himself Colonel Manly; do
you chuse to be at home?


CHARLOTTE

Shew him in.  [Exit Servant.]  Now for a sober face.

Enter Colonel MANLY.


MANLY

My dear Charlotte, I am happy that I once more enfold you within the
arms of fraternal affection.  I know you are going to ask (amiable
impatience!) how our parents do,--the venerable pair transmit you their
blessing by me.  They totter on the verge of a well-spent life, and
wish only to see their children settled in the world, to depart in
peace.


CHARLOTTE

I am very happy to hear that they are well.  [Coolly.] Brother, will
you give me leave to introduce you to our uncle's ward, one of my most
intimate friends?


MANLY [saluting Letitia].

I ought to regard your friends as my own.


CHARLOTTE

Come, Letitia, do give us a little dash of your vivacity; my brother is
so sentimental and so grave, that I protest he'll give us the vapours.


MANLY

Though sentiment and gravity, I know, are banished the polite world,
yet I hoped they might find some countenance in the meeting of such
near connections as brother and sister.

CHARLOTTE

Positively, brother, if you go one step further in this strain, you
will set me crying, and that, you know, would spoil my eyes; and then I
should never get the husband which our good papa and mamma have so
kindly wished me--never be established in the world.


MANLY

Forgive me, my sister,--I am no enemy to mirth; I love your
sprightliness; and I hope it will one day enliven the hours of some
worthy man; but when I mention the respectable authors of my
existence,--the cherishers and protectors of my helpless infancy, whose
hearts glow with such fondness and attachment that they would willingly
lay down their lives for my welfare,--you will excuse me if I am so
unfashionable as to speak of them with some degree of respect and
reverence.


CHARLOTTE

Well, well, brother; if you won't be gay, we'll not differ; I will be
as grave as you wish.  [Affects gravity.] And so, brother, you have
come to the city to exchange some of your commutation notes for a
little pleasure?


MANLY

Indeed you are mistaken; my errand is not of amusement, but business;
and as I neither drink nor game, my expenses will be so trivial, I
shall have no occasion to sell my notes.


CHARLOTTE

Then you won't have occasion to do a very good thing.  Why, here was
the Vermont General--he came down some time since, sold all his musty
notes at one stroke, and then laid the cash out in trinkets for his
dear Fanny.  I want a dozen pretty things myself; have you got the
notes with you?


MANLY

I shall be ever willing to contribute, as far as it is in my power, to
adorn or in any way to please my sister; yet I hope I shall never be
obliged for this to sell my notes.  I may be romantic, but I preserve
them as a sacred deposit.  Their full amount is justly due to me, but
as embarrassments, the natural consequences of a long war, disable my
country from supporting its credit, I shall wait with patience until it
is rich enough to discharge them.  If that is not in my day, they shall
be transmitted as an honourable certificate to posterity, that I have
humbly imitated our illustrious WASHINGTON, in having exposed my health
and life in the service of my country, without reaping any other reward
than the glory of conquering in so arduous a contest.


CHARLOTTE

Well said heroics.  Why, my dear Henry, you have such a lofty way of
saying things, that I protest I almost tremble at the thought of
introducing you to the polite circles in the city.  The belles would
think you were a player run mad, with your head filled with old scraps
of tragedy; and as to the beaux, they might admire, because they would
not understand you.  But, however, I must, I believe, introduce you to
two or three ladies of my acquaintance.


LETITIA

And that will make him acquainted with thirty or forty beaux.


CHARLOTTE

Oh! brother, you don't know what a fund of happiness you have in store.


MANLY

I fear, sister, I have not refinement sufficient to enjoy it.


CHARLOTTE

Oh! you cannot fail being pleased.


LETITIA

Our ladies are so delicate and dressy.


CHARLOTTE

And our beaux so dressy and delicate.


LETITIA

Our ladies chat and flirt so agreeably.


CHARLOTTE

And our beaux simper and bow so gracefully.


LETITIA

With their hair so trim and neat.


CHARLOTTE

And their faces so soft and sleek.


LETITIA

Their buckles so tonish and bright.


CHARLOTTE

And their hands so slender and white.


LETITIA

I vow, Charlotte, we are quite poetical.


CHARLOTTE

And then, brother, the faces of the beaux are of such a lily-white hue!
None of that horrid robustness of constitution, that vulgar corn-fed
glow of health, which can only serve to alarm an unmarried lady with
apprehension, and prove a melancholy memento to a married one, that she
can never hope for the happiness of being a widow.  I will say this to
the credit of our city beaux, that such is the delicacy of their
complexion, dress, and address, that, even had I no reliance upon the
honour of the dear Adonises, I would trust myself in any possible
situation with them, without the least apprehensions of rudeness.


MANLY

Sister Charlotte!


CHARLOTTE

Now, now, now, brother [interrupting him], now don't go to spoil my
mirth with a dash of your gravity; I am so glad to see you, I am in
tiptop spirits.  Oh! that you could be with us at a little snug party.
There is Billy Simper, Jack Chaffe, and Colonel Van Titter, Miss
Promonade, and the two Miss Tambours, sometimes make a party, with some
other ladies, in a side-box at the play.  Everything is conducted with
such decorum.  First we bow round to the company in general, then to
each one in particular, then we have so many inquiries after each
other's health, and we are so happy to meet each other, and it is so
many ages since we last had that pleasure, and if a married lady is in
company, we have such a sweet dissertation upon her son Bobby's
chin-cough; then the curtain rises, then our sensibility is all awake,
and then, by the mere force of apprehension, we torture some harmless
expression into a double meaning, which the poor author never dreamt
of, and then we have recourse to our fans, and then we blush, and then
the gentlemen jog one another, peep under the fan, and make the
prettiest remarks; and then we giggle and they simper, and they giggle
and we simper, and then the curtain drops, and then for nuts and
oranges, and then we bow, and it's pray, Ma'am, take it, and pray, Sir,
keep it, and oh! not for the world, Sir; and then the curtain rises
again, and then we blush and giggle and simper and bow all over again.
Oh! the sentimental charms of a side-box conversation!  [All laugh.]


MANLY

Well, sister, I join heartily with you in the laugh; for, in my
opinion, it is as justifiable to laugh at folly as it is reprehensible
to ridicule misfortune.


CHARLOTTE

Well, but, brother, positively I can't introduce you in these clothes:
why, your coat looks as if it were calculated for the vulgar purpose of
keeping yourself comfortable.


MANLY

This coat was my regimental coat in the late war.  The public tumults
of our state have induced me to buckle on the sword in support of that
government which I once fought to establish.  I can only say, sister,
that there was a time when this coat was respectable, and some people
even thought that those men who had endured so many winter campaigns in
the service of their country, without bread, clothing, or pay, at least
deserved that the poverty of their appearance should not be ridiculed.


CHARLOTTE

We agree in opinion entirely, brother, though it would not have done
for me to have said it: it is the coat makes the man respectable.  In
the time of the war, when we were almost frightened to death, why, your
coat was respectable, that is, fashionable; now another kind of coat is
fashionable, that is, respectable.  And pray direct the taylor to make
yours the height of the fashion.


MANLY

Though it is of little consequence to me of what shape my coat is, yet,
as to the height of the fashion, there you will please to excuse me,
sister.  You know my sentiments on that subject.  I have often lamented
the advantage which the French have over us in that particular.  In
Paris, the fashions have their dawnings, their routine, and
declensions, and depend as much upon the caprice of the day as in other
countries; but there every lady assumes a right to deviate from the
general ton as far as will be of advantage to her own appearance.  In
America, the cry is, what is the fashion? and we follow it
indiscriminately, because it is so.

CHARLOTTE Therefore it is, that when large hoops are in fashion, we
often see many a plump girl lost in the immensity of a hoop-petticoat,
whose want of height and en-bon-point would never have been remarked in
any other dress.  When the high head-dress is the mode, how then do we
see a lofty cushion, with a profusion of gauze, feathers, and ribband,
supported by a face no bigger than an apple! whilst a broad full-faced
lady, who really would have appeared tolerably handsome in a large
head-dress, looks with her smart chapeau as masculine as a soldier.


MANLY

But remember, my dear sister, and I wish all my fair country-women
would recollect, that the only excuse a young lady can have for going
extravagantly into a fashion is because it makes her look extravagantly
handsome.--Ladies, I must wish you a good morning.


CHARLOTTE

But, brother, you are going to make home with us.


MANLY

Indeed I cannot.  I have seen my uncle and explained that matter.


CHARLOTTE

Come and dine with us, then.  We have a family dinner about half-past
four o'clock.

MANLY

I am engaged to dine with the Spanish ambassador.  I was introduced to
him by an old brother officer; and instead of freezing me with a cold
card of compliment to dine with him ten days hence, he, with the true
old Castilian frankness, in a friendly manner, asked me to dine with
him to-day--an honour I could not refuse.  Sister, adieu--Madam, your
most obedient--[Exit.


CHARLOTTE

I will wait upon you to the door, brother; I have something particular
to say to you.          [Exit.


LETITIA, alone.

What a pair!--She the pink of flirtation, he the essence of everything
that is outre and gloomy.--I think I have completely deceived Charlotte
by my manner of speaking of Mr. Dimple; she's too much the friend of
Maria to be confided in.  He is certainly rendering himself
disagreeable to Maria, in order to break with her and proffer his hand
to me.  This is what the delicate fellow hinted in our last
conversation.  [Exit.



SCENE II.  The Mall.


Enter JESSAMY.

Positively this Mall is a very pretty place.  I hope the cits won't
ruin it by repairs.  To be sure, it won't do to speak of in the same
day with Ranelagh or Vauxhall; however, it's a fine place for a young
fellow to display his person to advantage.  Indeed, nothing is lost
here; the girls have taste, and I am very happy to find they have
adopted the elegant London fashion of looking back, after a genteel
fellow like me has passed them.--Ah! who comes here?  This, by his
awkwardness, must be the Yankee colonel's servant.  I'll accost him.


Enter JONATHAN.


JESSAMY

Votre tres-humble serviteur, Monsieur.  I understand Colonel Manly, the
Yankee officer, has the honour of your services.


JONATHAN

Sir!--


JESSAMY

I say, Sir, I understand that Colonel Manly has the honour of having
you for a servant.

JONATHAN

Servant!  Sir, do you take me for a neger,--I am Colonel Manly's waiter.


JESSAMY

A true Yankee distinction, egad, without a difference.  Why, Sir, do
you not perform all the offices of a servant? do you not even blacken
his boots?


JONATHAN

Yes; I do grease them a bit sometimes; but I am a true blue son of
liberty, for all that.  Father said I should come as Colonel Manly's
waiter, to see the world, and all that; but no man shall master me.  My
father has as good a farm as the colonel.


JESSAMY

Well, Sir, we will not quarrel about terms upon the eve of an
acquaintance from which I promise myself so much
satisfaction;--therefore, sans ceremonie--


JONATHAN

What?--


JESSAMY

I say I am extremely happy to see Colonel Manly's waiter.


JONATHAN

Well, and I vow, too, I am pretty considerably glad to see you; but
what the dogs need of all this outlandish lingo?  Who may you be, Sir,
if I may be so bold?


JESSAMY

I have the honour to be Mr. Dimple's servant, or, if you please,
waiter.  We lodge under the same roof, and should be glad of the honour
of your acquaintance.


JONATHAN

You a waiter! by the living jingo, you look so topping, I took you for
one of the agents to Congress.


JESSAMY

The brute has discernment, notwithstanding his appearance.--Give me
leave to say I wonder then at your familiarity.


JONATHAN

Why, as to the matter of that, Mr.--; pray, what's your name?


JESSAMY

Jessamy, at your service.


JONATHAN

Why, I swear we don't make any great matter of distinction in our state
between quality and other folks.


JESSAMY

This is, indeed, a levelling principle.--I hope, Mr. Jonathan, you have
not taken part with the insurgents.


JONATHAN

Why, since General Shays has sneaked off and given us the bag to hold,
I don't care to give my opinion; but you'll promise not to tell--put
your ear this way--you won't tell?--I vow I did think the sturgeons
were right.


JESSAMY

I thought, Mr. Jonathan, you Massachusetts men always argued with a gun
in your hand.  Why didn't you join them?

JONATHAN

Why, the colonel is one of those folks called the Shin--Shin--dang it
all, I can't speak them lignum vitae words--you know who I mean--there
is a company of them--they wear a china goose at their button-hole--a
kind of gilt thing.--Now the colonel told father and brother,--you must
know there are, let me see--there is Elnathan, Silas, and Barnabas,
Tabitha--no, no, she's a she--tarnation, now I have it--there's
Elnathan, Silas, Barnabas, Jonathan, that's I--seven of us, six went
into the wars, and I staid at home to take care of mother.  Colonel
said that it was a burning shame for the true blue Bunker Hill sons of
liberty, who had fought Governor Hutchinson, Lord North, and the Devil,
to have any hand in kicking up a cursed dust against a government which
we had, every mother's son of us, a hand in making.


JESSAMY

Bravo!--Well, have you been abroad in the city since your arrival?
What have you seen that is curious and entertaining?


JONATHAN

Oh!  I have seen a power of fine sights.  I went to see two
marble-stone men and a leaden horse that stands out in doors in all
weathers; and when I came where they was, one had got no head, and
t'other wern't there.  They said as how the leaden man was a damn'd
tory, and that he took wit in his anger and rode off in the time of the
troubles.


JESSAMY

But this was not the end of your excursion?


JONATHAN

Oh, no; I went to a place they call Holy Ground.  Now I counted this
was a place where folks go to meeting; so I put my hymn-book in my
pocket, and walked softly and grave as a minister; and when I came
there, the dogs a bit of a meeting-house could I see.  At last I spied
a young gentlewoman standing by one of the seats which they have here
at the doors.  I took her to be the deacon's daughter, and she looked
so kind, and so obliging, that I thought I would go and ask her the way
to lecture, and--would you think it?--she called me dear, and sweeting,
and honey, just as if we were married: by the living jingo, I had a
month's mind to buss her.


JESSAMY

Well, but how did it end?


JONATHAN

Why, as I was standing talking with her, a parcel of sailor men and
boys got round me, the snarl-headed curs fell a-kicking and cursing of
me at such a tarnal rate, that I vow I was glad to take to my heels and
split home, right off, tail on end, like a stream of chalk.


JESSAMY

Why, my dear friend, you are not acquainted with the city; that girl
you saw was a--[whispers.]


JONATHAN

Mercy on my soul! was that young woman a harlot!--Well! if this is
New-York Holy Ground, what must the Holy-day Ground be!


JESSAMY

Well, you should not judge of the city too rashly.  We have a number of
elegant, fine girls here that make a man's leisure hours pass very
agreeably.  I would esteem it an honour to announce you to some of
them.--Gad! that announce is a select word; I wonder where I picked it
up.

JONATHAN

I don't want to know them.


JESSAMY

Come, come, my dear friend, I see that I must assume the honour of
being the director of your amusements.  Nature has given us passions,
and youth and opportunity stimulate to gratify them.  It is no shame,
my dear Blueskin, for a man to amuse himself with a little gallantry.


JONATHAN

Girl huntry!  I don't altogether understand.  I never played at that
game.  I know how to play hunt the squirrel, but I can't play anything
with the girls; I am as good as married.


JESSAMY

Vulgar, horrid brute!  Married, and above a hundred miles from his
wife, and thinks that an objection to his making love to every woman he
meets!  He never can have read, no, he never can have been in a room
with a volume of the divine Chesterfield.--So you are married?


JONATHAN

No, I don't say so; I said I was as good as married, a kind of promise.


JESSAMY

As good as married!--


JONATHAN

Why, yes; there's Tabitha Wymen, the deacon's daughter, at home; she
and I have been courting a great while, and folks say as how we are to
be married; and so I broke a piece of money with her when we parted,
and she promised not to spark it with Solomon Dyer while I am gone.
You wouldn't have me false to my true-love, would you?


JESSAMY

May be you have another reason for constancy; possibly the young lady
has a fortune?  Ha!  Mr. Jonathan, the solid charms: the chains of love
are never so binding as when the links are made of gold.


JONATHAN

Why, as to fortune, I must needs say her father is pretty dumb rich; he
went representative for our town last year.  He will give her--let me
see--four times seven is--seven times four--nought and carry one,-- he
will give her twenty acres of land--somewhat rocky though--a Bible, and
a cow.


JESSAMY

Twenty acres of rock, a Bible, and a cow!  Why, my dear Mr. Jonathan,
we have servant-maids, or, as you would more elegantly express it,
waitresses, in this city, who collect more in one year from their
mistresses' cast clothes.


JONATHAN

You don't say so!--


JESSAMY

Yes, and I'll introduce to one of them.  There is a little lump of
flesh and delicacy that lives at next door, waitress to Miss Maria; we
often see her on the stoop.


JONATHAN

But are you sure she would be courted by me?


JESSAMY

Never doubt it; remember a faint heart never--blisters on my tongue--I
was going to be guilty of a vile proverb; flat against the authority of
Chesterfield.  I say there can be no doubt that the brilliancy of your
merit will secure you a favourable reception.


JONATHAN

Well, but what must I say to her?


JESSAMY

Say to her! why, my dear friend, though I admire your profound
knowledge on every other subject, yet, you will pardon my saying that
your want of opportunity has made the female heart escape the poignancy
of your penetration.  Say to her!  Why, when a man goes a-courting, and
hopes for success, he must begin with doing, and not saying.


JONATHAN

Well, what must I do?


JESSAMY

Why, when you are introduced you must make five or six elegant bows.


JONATHAN

Six elegant bows!  I understand that; six, you say?  Well--


JESSAMY

Then you must press and kiss her hand; then press and kiss, and so on
to her lips and cheeks; then talk as much as you can about hearts,
darts, flames, nectar, and ambrosia--the more incoherent the better.


JONATHAN

Well, but suppose she should be angry with I?


JESSAMY

Why, if she should pretend--please to observe, Mr. Jonathan--if she
should pretend to be offended, you must--  But I'll tell you how my
master acted in such a case: He was seated by a young lady of eighteen
upon a sofa, plucking with a wanton hand the blooming sweets of youth
and beauty.  When the lady thought it necessary to check his ardour,
she called up a frown upon her lovely face, so irresistibly alluring,
that it would have warmed the frozen bosom of age; remember, said she,
putting her delicate arm upon his, remember your character and my
honour.  My master instantly dropped upon his knees, with eyes swimming
with love, cheeks glowing with desire, and in the gentlest modulation
of voice he said: My dear Caroline, in a few months our hands will be
indissolubly united at the altar; our hearts I feel are already so; the
favours you now grant as evidence of your affection are favours indeed;
yet, when the ceremony is once past, what will now be received with
rapture will then be attributed to duty.


JONATHAN

Well, and what was the consequence?


JESSAMY

The consequence!--Ah! forgive me, my dear friend, but you New England
gentlemen have such a laudable curiosity of seeing the bottom of
everything;--why, to be honest, I confess I saw the blooming cherub of
a consequence smiling in its angelic mother's arms, about ten months
afterwards.


JONATHAN

Well, if I follow all your plans, make them six bows, and all that,
shall I have such little cherubim consequences?


JESSAMY

Undoubtedly.--What are you musing upon?


JONATHAN

You say you'll certainly make me acquainted?--  Why, I was thinking
then how I should contrive to pass this broken piece of silver--won't
it buy a sugar-dram?


JESSAMY

What is that, the love-token from the deacon's daughter?--You come on
bravely.  But I must hasten to my master.  Adieu, my dear friend.


JONATHAN

Stay, Mr. Jessamy--must I buss her when I am introduced to her?


JESSAMY

I told you, you must kiss her.


JONATHAN

Well, but must I buss her?


JESSAMY

Why, kiss and buss, and buss and kiss, is all one.


JONATHAN

Oh! my dear friend, though you have a profound knowledge of all, a
pungency of tribulation, you don't know everything.
[Exit.


JESSAMY, alone.

Well, certainly I improve; my master could not have insinuated himself
with more address into the heart of a man he despised.  Now will this
blundering dog sicken Jenny with his nauseous pawings, until she flies
into my arms for very ease.  How sweet will the contrast be between the
blundering Jonathan and the courtly and accomplished Jessamy!


END OF THE SECOND ACT.



ACT III.  SCENE I.

DIMPLE'S Room.

DIMPLE discovered at a Toilet, Reading.

"WOMEN have in general but one object, which is their beauty."  Very
true, my lord; positively very true.  "Nature has hardly formed a woman
ugly enough to be insensible to flattery upon her person." Extremely
just, my lord; every day's delightful experience confirms this.  "If
her face is so shocking that she must, in some degree, be conscious of
it, her figure and air, she thinks, make ample amends for it." The
sallow Miss Wan is a proof of this.  Upon my telling the distasteful
wretch, the other day, that her countenance spoke the pensive language
of sentiment, and that Lady Wortley Montague declared that if the
ladies were arrayed in the garb of innocence, the face would be the
last part which would be admired, as Monsieur Milton expresses it; she
grinn'd horribly, a ghastly smile.  "If her figure is deformed, she
thinks her face counterbalances it."

Enter JESSAMY with letters.

DIMPLE

Where got you these, Jessamy?


JESSAMY

Sir, the English packet is arrived.


DIMPLE opens and reads a letter enclosing notes.

"Sir,

"I have drawn bills on you in favour of Messrs.  Van Cash and Co. as
per margin.  I have taken up your note to Col. Piquet, and discharged
your debts to my Lord Lurcher and Sir Harry Rook.  I herewith enclose
you copies of the bills, which I have no doubt will be immediately
honoured.  On failure, I shall empower some lawyer in your country to
recover the amounts.

"I am, Sir,
  "Your most humble servant,
    "JOHN HAZARD."

Now, did not my lord expressly say that it was unbecoming a well-bred
man to be in a passion, I confess I should be ruffled.  [Reads.]
"There is no accident so unfortunate, which a wise man may not turn to
his advantage; nor any accident so fortunate, which a fool will not
turn to his disadvantage."  True, my lord; but how advantage can be
derived from this I can't see.  Chesterfield himself, who made,
however, the worst practice of the most excellent precepts, was never
in so embarrassing a situation.  I love the person of Charlotte, and it
is necessary I should command the fortune of Letitia.  As to Maria!--I
doubt not by my sang-froid behaviour I shall compel her to decline the
match; but the blame must not fall upon me.  A prudent man, as my lord
says, should take all the credit of a good action to himself, and throw
the discredit of a bad one upon others.  I must break with Maria, marry
Letitia, and as for Charlotte--why, Charlotte must be a companion to my
wife.--Here, Jessamy!

Enter JESSAMY.

DIMPLE folds and seals two letters.

DIMPLE

Here, Jessamy, take this letter to my love.

[Gives one.


JESSAMY

To which of your honour's loves?--Oh! [reading] to Miss Letitia, your
honour's rich love.


DIMPLE

And this [delivers another] to Miss Charlotte Manly.  See that you
deliver them privately.


JESSAMY

Yes, your honour.             [Going.


DIMPLE

Jessamy, who are these strange lodgers that came to the house last
night?


JESSAMY

Why, the master is a Yankee colonel; I have not seen much of him; but
the man is the most unpolished animal your honour ever disgraced your
eyes by looking upon.  I have had one of the most outre conversations
with him!--He really has a most prodigious effect upon my risibility.


DIMPLE

I ought, according to every rule of Chesterfield, to wait on him and
insinuate myself into his good graces.--Jessamy, wait on the colonel
with my compliments, and if he is disengaged I will do myself the
honour of paying him my respects.--Some ignorant, unpolished boor--


JESSAMY goes off and returns.

JESSAMY

Sir, the colonel is gone out, and Jonathan his servant says that he is
gone to stretch his legs upon the Mall.--Stretch his legs! what an
indelicacy of diction!


DIMPLE

Very well.  Reach me my hat and sword.  I'll accost him there, in my
way to Letitia's, as by accident; pretend to be struck by his person
and address, and endeavour to steal into his confidence.  Jessamy, I
have no business for you at present.              [Exit.


JESSAMY [taking up the book].

My master and I obtain our knowledge from the same source;--though,
gad! I think myself much the prettier fellow of the two.  [Surveying
himself in the glass.]  That was a brilliant thought, to insinuate that
I folded my master's letters for him; the folding is so neat, that it
does honour to the operator.  I once intended to have insinuated that I
wrote his letters too; but that was before I saw them; it won't do now;
no honour there, positively.--"Nothing looks more vulgar, [reading
affectedly] ordinary, and illiberal than ugly, uneven, and ragged
nails; the ends of which should be kept even and clean, not tipped with
black, and cut in small segments of circles."--Segments of circles!
surely my lord did not consider that he wrote for the beaux.  Segments
of circles; what a crabbed term!  Now I dare answer that my master,
with all his learning, does not know that this means, according to the
present mode, let the nails grow long, and then cut them off even at
top.  [Laughing without.]  Ha! that's Jenny's titter.  I protest I
despair of ever teaching that girl to laugh; she has something so
execrably natural in her laugh, that I declare it absolutely
discomposes my nerves.  How came she into our house!  [Calls.]  Jenny!

Enter JENNY.


JESSAMY

Prythee, Jenny, don't spoil your fine face with laughing.


JENNY

Why, mustn't I laugh, Mr. Jessamy?


JESSAMY

You may smile, but, as my lord says, nothing can authorise a laugh.


JENNY

Well, but I can't help laughing.--Have you seen him, Mr. Jessamy? ha,
ha, ha!


JESSAMY

Seen whom?


JENNY

Why, Jonathan, the New England colonel's servant.  Do you know he was
at the play last night, and the stupid creature don't know where he has
been.  He would not go to a play for the world; he thinks it was a
show, as he calls it.


JESSAMY

As ignorant and unpolished as he is, do you know, Miss Jenny, that I
propose to introduce him to the honour of your acquaintance?

JENNY

Introduce him to me! for what?


JESSAMY

Why, my lovely girl, that you may take him under your protection, as
Madame Ramboulliet did young Stanhope; that you may, by your plastic
hand, mould this uncouth cub into a gentleman.  He is to make love to
you.


JENNY

Make love to me!--


JESSAMY

Yes, Mistress Jenny, make love to you; and, I doubt not, when he shall
become domesticated in your kitchen, that this boor, under your
auspices, will soon become un amiable petit Jonathan.


JENNY

I must say, Mr. Jessamy, if he copies after me, he will be vastly,
monstrously polite.


JESSAMY

Stay here one moment, and I will call him.--Jonathan!--Mr.
Jonathan!--[Calls.]


JONATHAN [within]

Holla! there.--[Enters.]  You promise to stand by me--six bows you say.
[Bows.]


JESSAMY

Mrs. Jenny, I have the honour of presenting Mr. Jonathan, Colonel
Manly's waiter, to you.  I am extremely happy that I have it in my
power to make two worthy people acquainted with each other's merits.


JENNY

So, Mr. Jonathan, I hear you were at the play last night.


JONATHAN

At the play! why, did you think I went to the devil's drawing-room?


JENNY

The devil's drawing-room!


JONATHAN

Yes; why an't cards and dice the devil's device, and the play-house the
shop where the devil hangs out the vanities of the world upon the
tenter-hooks of temptation?  I believe you have not heard how they were
acting the old boy one night, and the wicked one came among them sure
enough, and went right off in a storm, and carried one quarter of the
play-house with him.  Oh! no, no, no! you won't catch me at a
play-house, I warrant you.


JENNY

Well, Mr. Jonathan, though I don't scruple your veracity, I have some
reasons for believing you were there: pray, where were you about six
o'clock?


JONATHAN

Why, I went to see one Mr. Morrison, the hocus pocus man; they said as
how he could eat a case knife.


JENNY

Well, and how did you find the place?


JONATHAN

As I was going about here and there, to and again, to find it, I saw a
great crowd of folks going into a long entry that had lantherns over
the door; so I asked a man whether that was not the place where they
played hocus pocus?  He was a very civil, kind man, though he did speak
like the Hessians; he lifted up his eyes and said, "They play hocus
pocus tricks enough there, Got knows, mine friend."


JENNY

Well--


JONATHAN

So I went right in, and they shewed me away, clean up to the garret,
just like meeting-house gallery.  And so I saw a bower of topping
folks, all sitting round in little cabbins, "just like father's
corn-cribs"; and then there was such a squeaking with the fiddles, and
such a tarnal blaze with the lights, my head was near turned.  At last
the people that sat near me set up such a hissing--hiss--like so many
mad cats; and then they went thump, thump, thump, just like our Peleg
threshing wheat, and stampt away, just like the nation; and called out
for one Mr. Langolee,--I suppose he helps act the tricks.


JENNY

Well, and what did you do all this time?


JONATHAN

Gor, I--I liked the fun, and so I thumpt away, and hiss'd as lustily as
the best of 'em.  One sailor-looking man that sat by me, seeing me
stamp, and knowing I was a cute fellow, because I could make a roaring
noise, clapt me on the shoulder and said, "You are a d---d hearty cock,
smite my timbers!"  I told him so I was, but I thought he need not
swear so, and make use of such naughty words.


JESSAMY

The savage!--Well, and did you see the man with his tricks?


JONATHAN

Why, I vow, as I was looking out for him, they lifted up a great green
cloth and let us look right into the next neighbor's house.  Have you a
good many houses in New-York made so in that 'ere way?


JENNY

Not many; but did you see the family?


JONATHAN

Yes, swamp it; I see'd the family.


JENNY

Well, and how did you like them?


JONATHAN

Why, I vow they were pretty much like other families;--there was a
poor, good-natured, curse of a husband, and a sad rantipole of a wife.


JENNY

But did you see no other folks?


JONATHAN

Yes.  There was one youngster; they called him Mr. Joseph; he talked as
sober and as pious as a minister; but, like some ministers that I know,
he was a sly tike in his heart for all that.  He was going to ask a
young woman to spark it with him, and--the Lord have mercy on my
soul!--she was another man's wife.


JESSAMY

The Wabash!


JENNY

And did you see any more folks?


JONATHAN

Why, they came on as thick as mustard.  For my part, I thought the
house was haunted.  There was a soldier fellow, who talked about his
row de dow, dow, and courted a young woman; but, of all the cute folk I
saw, I liked one little fellow--


JENNY

Aye! who was he?


JONATHAN

Why, he had red hair, and a little round plump face like mine, only not
altogether so handsome.  His name was--Darby;--that was his baptizing
name; his other name I forgot.  Oh! it was Wig--Wag--Wag-all,
 Darby Wag-all,--pray, do you know him?--I should
like to take a sling with him, or a drap of cyder with a pepper-pod in
it, to make it warm and comfortable.


JENNY

I can't say I have that pleasure.


JONATHAN

I wish you did; he is a cute fellow.  But there was one thing I didn't
like in that Mr. Darby; and that was, he was afraid of some of them
'ere shooting irons, such as your troopers wear on training days.  Now,
I'm a true born Yankee American son of liberty, and I never was afraid
of a gun yet in all my life.


JENNY

Well, Mr. Jonathan, you were certainly at the play-house.


JONATHAN

I at the play-house!--Why didn't I see the play then?


JENNY

Why, the people you saw were players.


JONATHAN

Mercy on my soul! did I see the wicked players?--  Mayhap that 'ere
Darby that I liked so was the old serpent himself, and had his cloven
foot in his pocket.  Why, I vow, now I come to think on't, the candles
seemed to burn blue, and I am sure where I sat it smelt tarnally of
brimstone.


JESSAMY

Well, Mr. Jonathan, from your account, which I confess is very
accurate, you must have been at the play-house.


JONATHAN

Why, I vow, I began to smell a rat.  When I came away, I went to the
man for my money again; you want your money? says he; yes, says I; for
what? says he; why, says I, no man shall jocky me out of my money; I
paid my money to see sights, and the dogs a bit of a sight have I seen,
unless you call listening to people's private business a sight.  Why,
says he, it is the School for Scandalization.--The School for
Scandalization!--Oh! ho! no wonder you New-York folks are so cute at
it, when you go to school to learn it; and so I jogged off.


JESSAMY

My dear Jenny, my master's business drags me from you; would to heaven
I knew no other servitude than to your charms.


JONATHAN

Well, but don't go; you won't leave me so--

JESSAMY

Excuse me.--Remember the cash.        [Aside to him, and--Exit.]

JENNY

Mr. Jonathan, won't you please to sit down?  Mr. Jessamy tells me you
wanted to have some conversation with me.  [Having brought forward two
chairs, they sit.]


JONATHAN

Ma'am!--


JENNY

Sir!--


JONATHAN

Ma'am!--


JENNY

Pray, how do you like the city, Sir?


JONATHAN

Ma'am!--


JENNY

I say, Sir, how do you like New-York?


JONATHAN

Ma'am!--


JENNY

The stupid creature! but I must pass some little time with him, if it
is only to endeavour to learn whether it was his master that made such
an abrupt entrance into our house, and my young mistress's heart, this
morning.  [Aside.]  As you don't seem to like to talk, Mr. Jonathan--do
you sing?

JONATHAN Gor, I--I am glad she asked that, for I forgot what Mr.
Jessamy bid me say, and I dare as well be hanged as act what he bid me
do, I'm so ashamed.  [Aside.] Yes, Ma'am, I can sing--I can sing Mear,
Old Hundred, and Bangor.


JENNY

Oh! I don't mean psalm tunes.  Have you no little song to please the
ladies, such as Roslin Castle, or the Maid of the Mill?


JONATHAN

Why, all my tunes go to meeting tunes, save one, and I count you won't
altogether like that 'ere.


JENNY

What is it called?


JONATHAN

I am sure you have heard folks talk about it; it is called Yankee
Doodle.


JENNY

Oh! it is the tune I am fond of; and if I know anything of my mistress,
she would be glad to dance to it.  Pray, sing!


JONATHAN [Sings.]

  Father and I went up to camp,
  Along with Captain Goodwin;
  And there we saw the men and boys,
  As thick as hasty-pudding.
  Yankee doodle do, etc.

  And there we saw a swamping gun,
  Big as log of maple,
  On a little deuced cars,
  A load for father's cattle.
  Yankee doodle do, etc.
  And every time they fired it off
  It took a horn of powder,
  It made a noise--like father's gun,
  Only a nation louder.
  Yankee doodle do, etc.

  There was a man in our town,
  His name was--

No, no, that won't do.  Now, if I was with Tabitha Wymen and Jemima
Cawley down at father Chase's, I shouldn't mind singing this all out
before them--you would be affronted if I was to sing that, though
that's a lucky thought; if you should be affronted, I have something
dang'd cute, which Jessamy told me to say to you.


JENNY

Is that all!  I assure you I like it of all things.


JONATHAN

No, no; I can sing more; some other time, when you and I are better
acquainted, I'll sing the whole of it--no, no--that's a fib--I can't
sing but a hundred and ninety verses; our Tabitha at home can sing it
all.--[Sings.]

  Marblehead's a rocky place,
  And Cape-Cod is sandy;
  Charlestown is burnt down,
  Boston is the dandy.
  Yankee doodle, doodle do, etc.

I vow, my own town song has put me into such topping spirits that I
believe I'll begin to do a little, as Jessamy says we must when we go
a-courting.--[Runs and kisses her.]  Burning rivers! cooling flames!
red-hot roses! pig-nuts! hasty-pudding and ambrosia!


JENNY

What means this freedom? you insulting wretch.  [Strikes him.]


JONATHAN

Are you affronted?

JENNY

Affronted! with what looks shall I express my anger?


JONATHAN

Looks! why as to the matter of looks, you look as cross as a witch.


JENNY

Have you no feeling for the delicacy of my sex?


JONATHAN

Feeling!  Gor, I--I feel the delicacy of your sex pretty smartly
[rubbing his cheek], though, I vow, I thought when you city ladies
courted and married, and all that, you put feeling out of the question.
But I want to know whether you are really affronted, or only pretend to
be so?  'Cause, if you are certainly right down affronted, I am at the
end of my tether; Jessamy didn't tell me what to say to you.


JENNY

Pretend to be affronted!


JONATHAN

Aye, aye, if you only pretend, you shall hear how I'll go to work to
make cherubim consequences.  [Runs up to her.]


JENNY

Begone, you brute!

JONATHAN

That looks like mad; but I won't lose my speech.  My dearest
Jenny--your name is Jenny, I think?--My dearest Jenny, though I have
the highest esteem for the sweet favours you have just now granted
me--Gor, that's a fib, though; but Jessamy says it is not wicked to
tell lies to the women.  [Aside.]  I say, though I have the highest
esteem for the favours you have just now granted me, yet you will
consider that, as soon as the dissolvable knot is tied, they will no
longer be favours, but only matters of duty and matters of course.


JENNY

Marry you! you audacious monster! get out of my sight, or, rather, let
me fly from you.  [Exit hastily.]


JONATHAN

Gor! she's gone off in a swinging passion, before I had time to think
of consequences.  If this is the way with your city ladies, give me the
twenty acres of rock, the Bible, the cow, and Tabitha, and a little
peaceable bundling.


SCENE II.  The Mall.

Enter MANLY.

It must be so, Montague! and it is not all the tribe of Mandevilles
that shall convince me that a nation, to become great, must first
become dissipated.  Luxury is surely the bane of a nation: Luxury!
which enervates both soul and body, by opening a thousand new sources
of enjoyment, opens, also, a thousand new sources of contention and
want: Luxury! which renders a people weak at home, and accessible to
bribery, corruption, and force from abroad.  When the Grecian states
knew no other tools than the axe and the saw, the Grecians were a
great, a free, and a happy people.  The kings of Greece devoted their
lives to the service of their country, and her senators knew no other
superiority over their fellow-citizens than a glorious pre-eminence in
danger and virtue.  They exhibited to the world a noble spectacle,--a
number of independent states united by a similarity of language,
sentiment, manners, common interest, and common consent, in one grand
mutual league of protection.  And, thus united, long might they have
continued the cherishers of arts and sciences, the protectors of the
oppressed, the scourge of tyrants, and the safe asylum of liberty.  But
when foreign gold, and still more pernicious foreign luxury, had crept
among them, they sapped the vitals of their virtue.  The virtues of
their ancestors were only found in their writings.  Envy and suspicion,
the vices of little minds, possessed them.  The various states
engendered jealousies of each other; and, more unfortunately, growing
jealous of their great federal council, the Amphictyons, they forgot
that their common safety had existed, and would exist, in giving them
an honourable extensive prerogative.  The common good was lost in the
pursuit of private interest; and that people who, by uniting, might
have stood against the world in arms, by dividing, crumbled into
ruin;--their name is now only known in the page of the historian, and
what they once were is all we have left to admire.  Oh! that America!
Oh!  that my country, would, in this her day, learn the things which
belong to her peace!

Enter DIMPLE.


DIMPLE

You are Colonel Manly, I presume?


MANLY

At your service, Sir.


DIMPLE

My name is Dimple, Sir.  I have the honour to be a lodger in the same
house with you, and, hearing you were in the Mall, came hither to take
the liberty of joining you.


MANLY

You are very obliging, Sir.


DIMPLE

As I understand you are a stranger here, Sir, I have taken the liberty
to introduce myself to your acquaintance, as possibly I may have it in
my power to point out some things in this city worthy your notice.


MANLY An attention to strangers is worthy a liberal mind, and must ever
be gratefully received.  But to a soldier, who has no fixed abode, such
attentions are particularly pleasing.


DIMPLE

Sir, there is no character so respectable as that of a soldier.  And,
indeed, when we reflect how much we owe to those brave men who have
suffered so much in the service of their country, and secured to us
those inestimable blessings that we now enjoy, our liberty and
independence, they demand every attention which gratitude can pay.  For
my own part, I never meet an officer, but I embrace him as my friend,
nor a private in distress, but I insensibly extend my charity to
him.--I have hit the Bumkin off very tolerably.

[Aside.


MANLY

Give me your hand, Sir!  I do not proffer this hand to everybody; but
you steal into my heart.  I hope I am as insensible to flattery as most
men; but I declare (it may be my weak side) that I never hear the name
of soldier mentioned with respect, but I experience a thrill of
pleasure which I never feel on any other occasion.


DIMPLE

Will you give me leave, my dear Colonel, to confer an obligation on
myself, by shewing you some civilities during your stay here, and
giving a similar opportunity to some of my friends?


MANLY

Sir, I thank you; but I believe my stay in this city will be very short.

DIMPLE

I can introduce you to some men of excellent sense, in whose company
you will esteem yourself happy; and, by way of amusement, to some fine
girls, who will listen to your soft things with pleasure.


MANLY

Sir, I should be proud of the honour of being acquainted with those
gentlemen;--but, as for the ladies, I don't understand you.


DIMPLE

Why, Sir, I need not tell you, that when a young gentleman is alone
with a young lady he must say some soft things to her fair
cheek--indeed, the lady will expect it.  To be sure, there is not much
pleasure when a man of the world and a finished coquette meet, who
perfectly know each other; but how delicious is it to excite the
emotions of joy, hope, expectation, and delight in the bosom of a
lovely girl who believes every tittle of what you say to be serious!


MANLY

Serious, Sir!  In my opinion, the man who, under pretensions of
marriage, can plant thorns in the bosom of an innocent, unsuspecting
girl is more detestable than a common robber, in the same proportion as
private violence is more despicable than open force, and money of less
value than happiness.


DIMPLE

How he awes me by the superiority of his sentiments.  [Aside.]  As you
say, Sir, a gentleman should be cautious how he mentions marriage.


MANLY

Cautious, Sir!  No person more approves of an intercourse between the
sexes than I do.  Female conversation softens our manners, whilst our
discourse, from the superiority of our literary advantages, improves
their minds.  But, in our young country, where there is no such thing
as gallantry, when a gentleman speaks of love to a lady, whether he
mentions marriage or not, she ought to conclude either that he meant to
insult her or that his intentions are the most serious and honourable.
How mean, how cruel, is it, by a thousand tender assiduities, to win
the affections of an amiable girl, and, though you leave her virtue
unspotted, to betray her into the appearance of so many tender
partialities, that every man of delicacy would suppress his inclination
towards her, by supposing her heart engaged!  Can any man, for the
trivial gratification of his leisure hours, affect the happiness of a
whole life!  His not having spoken of marriage may add to his perfidy,
but can be no excuse for his conduct.


DIMPLE

Sir, I admire your sentiments;--they are mine.  The light observations
that fell from me were only a principle of the tongue; they came not
from the heart; my practice has ever disapproved these principles.


MANLY

I believe you, Sir.  I should with reluctance suppose that those
pernicious sentiments could find admittance into the heart of a
gentleman.


DIMPLE

I am now, Sir, going to visit a family, where, if you please, I will
have the honour of introducing you.  Mr. Manly's ward, Miss Letitia, is
a young lady of immense fortune; and his niece, Miss Charlotte Manly,
is a young lady of great sprightliness and beauty.


MANLY

That gentleman, Sir, is my uncle, and Miss Manly my sister.


DIMPLE

The devil she is!  [Aside.]  Miss Manly your sister, Sir?  I rejoice to
hear it, and feel a double pleasure in being known to you.--Plague on
him!  I wish he was at Boston again, with all my soul.  [Aside.]


MANLY

Come, Sir, will you go?


DIMPLE

I will follow you in a moment, Sir.  [Exit Manly.] Plague on it! this
is unlucky.  A fighting brother is a cursed appendage to a fine girl.
Egad!  I just stopped in time; had he not discovered himself, in two
minutes more I should have told him how well I was with his sister.
Indeed, I cannot see the satisfaction of an intrigue, if one can't have
the pleasure of communicating it to our friends.                 [Exit.


END OF THE THIRD ACT.



ACT IV.  SCENE I.

CHARLOTTE'S Apartment.

CHARLOTTE leading in MARIA.


CHARLOTTE

THIS is so kind, my sweet friend, to come to see me at this moment.  I
declare, if I were going to be married in a few days, as you are, I
should scarce have found time to visit my friends.


MARIA

Do you think, then, that there is an impropriety in it?--How should you
dispose of your time?


CHARLOTTE

Why, I should be shut up in my chamber; and my head would so run
upon--upon--upon the solemn ceremony that I was to pass through!--I
declare, it would take me above two hours merely to learn that little
monosyllable--Yes.  Ah! my dear, your sentimental imagination does not
conceive what that little tiny word implies.


MARIA Spare me your raillery, my sweet friend; I should love your
agreeable vivacity at any other time.


CHARLOTTE

Why, this is the very time to amuse you.  You grieve me to see you look
so unhappy.


MARIA

Have I not reason to look so?


CHARLOTTE

What new grief distresses you?


MARIA

Oh! how sweet it is, when the heart is borne down with misfortune, to
recline and repose on the bosom of friendship!  Heaven knows that,
although it is improper for a young lady to praise a gentleman, yet I
have ever concealed Mr. Dimple's foibles, and spoke of him as of one
whose reputation I expected would be linked with mine; but his late
conduct towards me has turned my coolness into contempt.  He behaves as
if he meant to insult and disgust me; whilst my father, in the last
conversation on the subject of our marriage, spoke of it as a matter
which lay near his heart, and in which he would not bear contradiction.


CHARLOTTE

This works well; oh! the generous Dimple.  I'll endeavour to excite her
to discharge him.  [Aside.] But, my dear friend, your happiness depends
on yourself.  Why don't you discard him?  Though the match has been of
long standing, I would not be forced to make myself miserable: no
parent in the world should oblige me to marry the man I did not like.


MARIA

Oh! my dear, you never lived with your parents, and do not know what
influence a father's frowns have upon a daughter's heart.  Besides,
what have I to alledge against Mr. Dimple, to justify myself to the
world?  He carries himself so smoothly, that every one would impute the
blame to me, and call me capricious.


CHARLOTTE

And call her capricious!  Did ever such an objection start into the
heart of woman?  For my part, I wish I had fifty lovers to discard, for
no other reason than because I did not fancy them.  My dear Maria, you
will forgive me; I know your candour and confidence in me; but I have
at times, I confess, been led to suppose that some other gentleman was
the cause of your aversion to Mr. Dimple.


MARIA

No, my sweet friend, you may be assured, that though I have seen many
gentlemen I could prefer to Mr. Dimple, yet I never saw one that I
thought I could give my hand to, until this morning.


CHARLOTTE

This morning!


MARIA

Yes; one of the strangest accidents in the world.  The odious Dimple,
after disgusting me with his conversation, had just left me, when a
gentleman, who, it seems, boards in the same house with him, saw him
coming out of our door, and, the houses looking very much alike, he
came into our house instead of his lodgings; nor did he discover his
mistake until he got into the parlour, where I was; he then bowed so
gracefully, made such a genteel apology, and looked so manly and
noble!--


CHARLOTTE

I see some folks, though it is so great an impropriety, can praise a
gentleman, when he happens to be the man of their fancy.  [Aside.]


MARIA

I don't know how it was,--I hope he did not think me indelicate,--but I
asked him, I believe, to sit down, or pointed to a chair.  He sat down,
and, instead of having recourse to observations upon the weather, or
hackneyed criticisms upon the theatre, he entered readily into a
conversation worthy a man of sense to speak, and a lady of delicacy and
sentiment to hear.  He was not strictly handsome, but he spoke the
language of sentiment, and his eyes looked tenderness and honour.


CHARLOTTE

Oh! [eagerly] you sentimental, grave girls, when your hearts are once
touched, beat us rattles a bar's length.  And so you are quite in love
with this he-angel?


MARIA

In love with him!  How can you rattle so, Charlotte? am I not going to
be miserable?  [Sighs.]  In love with a gentleman I never saw but one
hour in my life, and don't know his name!  No; I only wished that the
man I shall marry may look, and talk, and act, just like him.  Besides,
my dear, he is a married man.


CHARLOTTE

Why, that was good-natured--he told you so, I suppose, in mere charity,
to prevent you falling in love with him?

MARIA

He didn't tell me so; [peevishly] he looked as if he was married.


CHARLOTTE

How, my dear; did he look sheepish?


MARIA

I am sure he has a susceptible heart, and the ladies of his
acquaintance must be very stupid not to--


CHARLOTTE

Hush!  I hear some person coming.

Enter LETITIA.


LETITIA

My dear Maria, I am happy to see you.  Lud! what a pity it is that you
have purchased your wedding clothes.


MARIA

I think so.  [Sighing.]


LETITIA

Why, my dear, there is the sweetest parcel of silks come over you ever
saw!  Nancy Brilliant has a full suit come; she sent over her measure,
and it fits her to a hair; it is immensely dressy, and made for a
court-hoop.  I thought they said the large hoops were going out of
fashion.


CHARLOTTE

Did you see the hat?  Is it a fact that the deep laces round the border
is still the fashion?


DIMPLE within.  Upon my honour, Sir.


MARIA

Ha!  Dimple's voice!  My dear, I must take leave of you.  There are
some things necessary to be done at our house.  Can't I go through the
other room?


Enter DIMPLE and MANLY.


DIMPLE

Ladies, your most obedient.


CHARLOTTE

Miss Van Rough, shall I present my brother Henry to you?  Colonel
Manly, Maria,--Miss Van Rough, brother.


MARIA

Her brother!  [turns and sees Manly.]  Oh! my heart! the very gentleman
I have been praising.


MANLY

The same amiable girl I saw this morning!


CHARLOTTE

Why, you look as if you were acquainted.


MANLY

I unintentionally intruded into this lady's presence this morning, for
which she was so good as to promise me her forgiveness.


CHARLOTTE

Oh! ho! is that the case!  Have these two penserosos been together?
Were they Henry's eyes that looked so tenderly?  [Aside.]  And so you
promised to pardon him? and could you be so good-natured?  have you
really forgiven him?  I beg you would do it for my sake [whispering
loud to Maria].  But, my dear, as you are in such haste, it would be
cruel to detain you; I can show you the way through the other room.


MARIA

Spare me, my sprightly friend.


MANLY The lady does not, I hope, intend to deprive us of the pleasure
of her company so soon.


CHARLOTTE

She has only a mantua-maker who waits for her at home.  But, as I am to
give my opinion of the dress, I think she cannot go yet.  We were
talking of the fashions when you came in, but I suppose the subject
must be changed to something of more importance now.  Mr. Dimple, will
you favour us with an account of the public entertainments?


DIMPLE

Why, really, Miss Manly, you could not have asked me a question more
mal-apropos.  For my part, I must confess that, to a man who has
travelled, there is nothing that is worthy the name of amusement to be
found in this city.


CHARLOTTE

Except visiting the ladies.


DIMPLE

Pardon me, Madam; that is the avocation of a man of taste.  But for
amusement, I positively know of nothing that can be called so, unless
you dignify with that title the hopping once a fortnight to the sound
of two or three squeaking fiddles, and the clattering of the old tavern
windows, or sitting to see the miserable mummers, whom you call actors,
murder comedy and make a farce of tragedy.


MANLY

Do you never attend the theatre, Sir?

DIMPLE

I was tortured there once.


CHARLOTTE Pray, Mr. Dimple, was it a tragedy or a comedy?


DIMPLE

Faith, Madam, I cannot tell; for I sat with my back to the stage all
the time, admiring a much better actress than any there--a lady who
played the fine woman to perfection; though, by the laugh of the horrid
creatures round me, I suppose it was comedy.  Yet, on second thoughts,
it might be some hero in a tragedy, dying so comically as to set the
whole house in an uproar.  Colonel, I presume you have been in Europe?


MANLY

Indeed, Sir, I was never ten leagues from the continent.


DIMPLE

Believe me, Colonel, you have an immense pleasure to come; and when you
shall have seen the brilliant exhibitions of Europe, you will learn to
despise the amusements of this country as much as I do.


MANLY

Therefore I do not wish to see them; for I can never esteem that
knowledge valuable which tends to give me a distaste for my native
country.


DIMPLE

Well, Colonel, though you have not travelled, you have read.

MANLY

I have, a little; and by it have discovered that there is a laudable
partiality which ignorant, untravelled men entertain for everything
that belongs to their native country.  I call it laudable; it injures
no one; adds to their own happiness; and, when extended, becomes the
noble principle of patriotism.  Travelled gentlemen rise superior, in
their own opinion, to this; but if the contempt which they contract for
their country is the most valuable acquisition of their travels, I am
far from thinking that their time and money are well spent.


MARIA

What noble sentiments!


CHARLOTTE

Let my brother set out where he will in the fields of conversation, he
is sure to end his tour in the temple of gravity.


MANLY

Forgive me, my sister.  I love my country; it has its foibles
undoubtedly;--some foreigners will with pleasure remark them--but such
remarks fall very ungracefully from the lips of her citizens.


DIMPLE

You are perfectly in the right, Colonel--America has her faults.


MANLY

Yes, Sir; and we, her children, should blush for them in private, and
endeavour, as individuals, to reform them.  But, if our country has its
errors in common with other countries, I am proud to say America--I
mean the United States--has displayed virtues and achievements which
modern nations may admire, but of which they have seldom set us the
example.


CHARLOTTE

But, brother, we must introduce you to some of our gay folks, and let
you see the city, such as it is.  Mr. Dimple is known to almost every
family in town; he will doubtless take a pleasure in introducing you.


DIMPLE

I shall esteem every service I can render your brother an honour.

MANLY

I fear the business I am upon will take up all my time, and my family
will be anxious to hear from me.


MARIA

His family! but what is it to me that he is married!  [Aside.]  Pray,
how did you leave your lady, Sir?


CHARLOTTE

My brother is not married [observing her anxiety]; it is only an odd
way he has of expressing himself.  Pray, brother, is this business,
which you make your continual excuse, a secret?


MANLY

No, sister; I came hither to solicit the honourable Congress, that a
number of my brave old soldiers may be put upon the pension-list, who
were, at first, not judged to be so materially wounded as to need the
public assistance.  My sister says true [to Maria]: I call my late
soldiers my family.  Those who were not in the field in the late
glorious contest, and those who were, have their respective merits;
but, I confess, my old brother-soldiers are dearer to me than the
former description.  Friendships made in adversity are lasting; our
countrymen may forget us, but that is no reason why we should forget
one another.  But I must leave you; my time of engagement approaches.


CHARLOTTE

Well, but, brother, if you will go, will you please to conduct my fair
friend home?  You live in the same street--I was to have gone with her
myself-- [Aside].  A lucky thought.


MARIA I am obliged to your sister, Sir, and was just intending to go.
[Going.]


MANLY

I shall attend her with pleasure.  [Exit with Maria, followed by Dimple
and Charlotte.]


MARIA

Now, pray, don't betray me to your brother.


CHARLOTTE

[Just as she sees him make a motion to take his leave.]  One word with
you, brother, if you please.  [Follows them out.


Manent, DIMPLE and LETITIA.


DIMPLE

You received the billet I sent you, I presume?


LETITIA

Hush!--Yes.


DIMPLE

When shall I pay my respects to you?


LETITIA

At eight I shall be unengaged.

Reenter CHARLOTTE.


DIMPLE

Did my lovely angel receive my billet?  [to Charlotte.]


CHARLOTTE

Yes.


DIMPLE

At eight I shall be at home unengaged.


DIMPLE

Unfortunate!  I have a horrid engagement of business at that hour.
Can't you finish your visit earlier and let six be the happy hour?


CHARLOTTE

You know your influence over me.  [Exeunt severally.



SCENE II.

VAN ROUGH'S House.


VAN ROUGH, alone.

IT cannot possibly be true!  The son of my old friend can't have acted
so unadvisedly.  Seventeen thousand pounds! in bills!  Mr. Transfer
must have been mistaken.  He always appeared so prudent, and talked so
well upon money matters, and even assured me that he intended to change
his dress for a suit of clothes which would not cost so much, and look
more substantial, as soon as he married.  No, no, no! it can't be; it
cannot be.  But, however, I must look out sharp.  I did not care what
his principles or his actions were, so long as he minded the main
chance.  Seventeen thousand pounds!  If he had lost it in trade, why
the best men may have ill-luck; but to game it away, as Transfer
says--why, at this rate, his whole estate may go in one night, and,
what is ten times worse, mine into the bargain.  No, no; Mary is right.
Leave women to look out in these matters; for all they look as if they
didn't know a journal from a ledger, when their interest is concerned
they know what's what; they mind the main chance as well as the best of
us.  I wonder Mary did not tell me she knew of his spending his money
so foolishly.  Seventeen thousand pounds!  Why, if my daughter was
standing up to be married, I would forbid the banns, if I found it was
to a man who did not mind the main chance.--Hush!  I hear somebody
coming.  'Tis Mary's voice; a man with her too!  I shouldn't be
surprised if this should be the other string to her bow.  Aye, aye, let
them alone; women understand the main chance.--Though, I' faith, I'll
listen a little.    [Retires into a closet.

MANLY leading in MARIA.


MANLY

I hope you will excuse my speaking upon so important a subject so
abruptly; but, the moment I entered your room, you struck me as the
lady whom I had long loved in imagination, and never hoped to see.


MARIA

Indeed, Sir, I have been led to hear more upon this subject than I
ought.


MANLY

Do you, then, disapprove my suit, Madam, or the abruptness of my
introducing it?  If the latter, my peculiar situation, being obliged to
leave the city in a few days, will, I hope, be my excuse; if the
former, I will retire, for I am sure I would not give a moment's
inquietude to her whom I could devote my life to please.  I am not so
indelicate as to seek your immediate approbation; permit me only to be
near you, and by a thousand tender assiduities to endeavour to excite a
grateful return.


MARIA

I have a father, whom I would die to make happy; he will disapprove--


MANLY

Do you think me so ungenerous as to seek a place in your esteem without
his consent?  You must--you ever ought to consider that man as unworthy
of you who seeks an interest in your heart contrary to a father's
approbation.  A young lady should reflect that the loss of a lover may
be supplied, but nothing can compensate for the loss of a parent's
affection.  Yet, why do you suppose your father would disapprove?  In
our country, the affections are not sacrificed to riches or family
aggrandizement: should you approve, my family is decent, and my rank
honourable.


MARIA

You distress me, Sir.


MANLY

Then I will sincerely beg your excuse for obtruding so disagreeable a
subject, and retire.       [Going.


MARIA

Stay, Sir! your generosity and good opinion of me deserve a return; but
why must I declare what, for these few hours, I have scarce suffered
myself to think?--I am--


MANLY

What?


MARIA

Engaged, Sir; and, in a few days, to be married to the gentleman you
saw at your sister's.


MANLY

Engaged to be married!  And have I been basely invading the rights of
another?  Why have you permitted this?  Is this the return for the
partiality I declared for you?

MARIA

You distress me, Sir.  What would you have me say?  You are too
generous to wish the truth.  Ought I to say that I dared not suffer
myself to think of my engagement, and that I am going to give my hand
without my heart?  Would you have me confess a partiality for you?  If
so, your triumph is compleat, and can be only more so when days of
misery with the man I cannot love will make me think of him whom I
could prefer.


MANLY [after a pause].

We are both unhappy; but it is your duty to obey your parent--mine to
obey my honour.  Let us, therefore, both follow the path of rectitude;
and of this we may be assured, that if we are not happy, we shall, at
least, deserve to be so.  Adieu!  I dare not trust myself longer with
you.        [Exeunt severally.


END OF THE FOURTH ACT.



ACT V.  SCENE I.

DIMPLE'S Lodgings.

JESSAMY meeting JONATHAN.

JESSAMY

WELL, Mr. Jonathan, what success with the fair?


JONATHAN

Why, such a tarnal cross tike you never saw!  You would have counted
she had lived upon crab-apples and vinegar for a fortnight.  But what
the rattle makes you look so tarnation glum?


JESSAMY

I was thinking, Mr. Jonathan, what could be the reason of her carrying
herself so coolly to you.


JONATHAN

Coolly, do you call it?  Why, I vow, she was fire-hot angry: may be it
was because I buss'd her.


JESSAMY

No, no, Mr. Jonathan; there must be some other cause; I never yet knew
a lady angry at being kissed.


JONATHAN

Well, if it is not the young woman's bashfulness, I vow I can't
conceive why she shouldn't like me.


JESSAMY

May be it is because you have not the Graces, Mr. Jonathan.


JONATHAN

Grace!  Why, does the young woman expect I must be converted before I
court her?


JESSAMY

I mean graces of person: for instance, my lord tells us that we must
cut off our nails even at top, in small segments of circles--though you
won't understand that; in the next place, you must regulate your laugh.


JONATHAN

Maple-log seize it! don't I laugh natural?


JESSAMY

That's the very fault, Mr. Jonathan.  Besides, you absolutely misplace
it.  I was told by a friend of mine that you laughed outright at the
play the other night, when you ought only to have tittered.


JONATHAN

Gor!  I--what does one go to see fun for if they can't laugh?


JESSAMY You may laugh; but you must laugh by rule.


JONATHAN

Swamp it--laugh by rule!  Well, I should like that tarnally.


JESSAMY

Why, you know, Mr. Jonathan, that to dance, a lady to play with her
fan, or a gentleman with his cane, and all other natural motions, are
regulated by art.  My master has composed an immensely pretty gamut, by
which any lady or gentleman, with a few years' close application, may
learn to laugh as gracefully as if they were born and bred to it.


JONATHAN

Mercy on my soul!  A gamut for laughing--just like fa, la, sol?


JEREMY

Yes.  It comprises every possible display of jocularity, from an
affettuoso smile to a piano titter, or full chorus fortissimo ha, ha,
ha!  My master employs his leisure hours in marking out the plays, like
a cathedral chanting-book, that the ignorant may know where to laugh;
and that pit, box, and gallery may keep time together, and not have a
snigger in one part of the house, a broad grin in the other, and a
d---d grum look in the third.  How delightful to see the audience all
smile together, then look on their books, then twist their mouths into
an agreeable simper, then altogether shake the house with a general ha,
ha, ha! loud as a full chorus of Handel's at an Abbey commemoration.


JONATHAN

Ha, ha, ha! that's dang'd cute, I swear.


JESSAMY

The gentlemen, you see, will laugh the tenor; the ladies will play the
counter-tenor; the beaux will squeak the treble; and our jolly friends
in the gallery a thorough base, ho, ho, ho!


JONATHAN

Well, can't you let me see that gamut?


JESSAMY

Oh! yes, Mr. Jonathan; here it is.  [Takes out a book.]  Oh! no, this
is only a titter with its variations.  Ah, here it is.  [Takes out
another.]  Now, you must know, Mr. Jonathan, this is a piece written by
Ben Johnson, which I have set to my master's gamut.  The places where
you must smile, look grave, or laugh outright, are marked below the
line.  Now look over me.  "There was a certain man"--now you must smile.


JONATHAN

Well, read it again; I warrant I'll mind my eye.


JESSAMY

"There was a certain man, who had a sad scolding wife,"--now you must
laugh.


JONATHAN

Tarnation!  That's no laughing matter though.


JESSAMY

"And she lay sick a-dying";--now you must titter.

JONATHAN

What, snigger when the good woman's a-dying!  Gor, I--

JESSAMY

Yes, the notes say you must--"and she asked her husband leave to make a
will,"--now you must begin to look grave;--"and her husband said"--


JONATHAN

Ay, what did her husband say?  Something dang'd cute, I reckon.


JESSAMY

"And her husband said, you have had your will all your life-time, and
would you have it after you are dead, too?"


JONATHAN

Ho, ho, ho!  There the old man was even with her; he was up to the
notch--ha, ha, ha!


JESSAMY

But, Mr. Jonathan, you must not laugh so.  Why you ought to have
tittered piano, and you have laughed fortissimo.  Look here; you see
these marks, A, B, C, and so on; these are the references to the other
part of the book.  Let us turn to it, and you will see the directions
how to manage the muscles.  This [turns over] was note D you blundered
at.--You must purse the mouth into a smile, then titter, discovering
the lower part of the three front upper teeth.


JONATHAN

How? read it again.


JESSAMY

"There was a certain man"--very well!--"who had a sad scolding
wife,"--why don't you laugh?


JONATHAN

Now, that scolding wife sticks in my gizzard so pluckily that I can't
laugh for the blood and nowns of me.  Let me look grave here, and I'll
laugh your belly full, where the old creature's a-dying.


JESSAMY

"And she asked her husband"--[Bell rings.]  My master's bell! he's
returned, I fear.--Here, Mr. Jonathan, take this gamut; and I make no
doubt but with a few years' close application, you may be able to smile
gracefully."           [Exeunt severally.



SCENE II.

CHARLOTTE'S Apartment.

Enter MANLY.


MANLY

WHAT, no one at home?  How unfortunate to meet the only lady my heart
was ever moved by, to find her engaged to another, and confessing her
partiality for me!  Yet engaged to a man who, by her intimation, and
his libertine conversation with me, I fear, does not merit her.  Aye!
there's the sting; for, were I assured that Maria was happy, my heart
is not so selfish but that it would dilate in knowing it, even though
it were with another.  But to know she is unhappy!--I must drive these
thoughts from me.  Charlotte has some books; and this is what I believe
she calls her little library.     [Enters a closet.


Enter DIMPLE leading LETITIA.


LETITIA

And will you pretend to say now, Mr. Dimple, that you propose to break
with Maria?  Are not the banns published?  Are not the clothes
purchased?  Are not the friends invited?  In short, is it not a done
affair?


DIMPLE

Believe me, my dear Letitia, I would not marry her.


LETITIA

Why have you not broke with her before this, as you all along deluded
me by saying you would?


DIMPLE

Because I was in hopes she would, ere this, have broke with me.


LETITIA

You could not expect it.


DIMPLE

Nay, but be calm a moment; 'twas from my regard to you that I did not
discard her.


LETITIA

Regard to me!


DIMPLE

Yes; I have done everything in my power to break with her, but the
foolish girl is so fond of me that nothing can accomplish it.  Besides,
how can I offer her my hand when my heart is indissolubly engaged to
you?


LETITIA

There may be reason in this; but why so attentive to Miss Manly?


DIMPLE

Attentive to Miss Manly!  For heaven's sake, if you have no better
opinion of my constancy, pay not so ill a compliment to my taste.


LETITIA

Did I not see you whisper her to-day?


DIMPLE

Possibly I might--but something of so very trifling a nature that I
have already forgot what it was.


LETITIA

I believe she has not forgot it.


DIMPLE

My dear creature, how can you for a moment suppose I should have any
serious thoughts of that trifling, gay, flighty coquette, that
disagreeable--

Enter CHARLOTTE.


DIMPLE

My dear Miss Manly, I rejoice to see you; there is a charm in your
conversation that always marks your entrance into company as fortunate.


LETITIA

Where have you been, my dear?


CHARLOTTE

Why, I have been about to twenty shops, turning over pretty things, and
so have left twenty visits unpaid.  I wish you would step into the
carriage and whisk round, make my apology, and leave my cards where our
friends are not at home; that, you know, will serve as a visit.  Come,
do go.


LETITIA

So anxious to get me out! but I'll watch you.  [Aside.]  Oh! yes, I'll
go; I want a little exercise.  Positively [Dimple offering to accompany
her], Mr. Dimple, you shall not go; why, half my visits are cake and
caudle visits; it won't do, you know, for you to go.  [Exit, but
returns to the door in the back scene and listens.]


DIMPLE

This attachment of your brother to Maria is fortunate.


CHARLOTTE

How did you come to the knowledge of it?


DIMPLE

I read it in their eyes.


CHARLOTTE

And I had it from her mouth.  It would have amused you to have seen
her!  She, that thought it so great an impropriety to praise a
gentleman that she could not bring out one word in your favour, found a
redundancy to praise him.


DIMPLE

I have done everything in my power to assist his passion there: your
delicacy, my dearest girl, would be shocked at half the instances of
neglect and misbehaviour.


CHARLOTTE

I don't know how I should bear neglect; but Mr. Dimple must misbehave
himself indeed, to forfeit my good opinion.


DIMPLE

Your good opinion, my angel, is the pride and pleasure of my heart; and
if the most respectful tenderness for you, and an utter indifference
for all your sex besides, can make me worthy of your esteem, I shall
richly merit it.


CHARLOTTE

All my sex besides, Mr. Dimple!--you forgot your tete-a-tete with
Letitia.


DIMPLE

How can you, my lovely angel, cast a thought on that insipid,
wry-mouthed, ugly creature!


CHARLOTTE

But her fortune may have charms?


DIMPLE

Not to a heart like mine.  The man, who has been blessed with the good
opinion of my Charlotte, must despise the allurements of fortune.


CHARLOTTE

I am satisfied.


DIMPLE

Let us think no more on the odious subject, but devote the present hour
to happiness.


CHARLOTTE

Can I be happy when I see the man I prefer going to be married to
another?


DIMPLE

Have I not already satisfied my charming angel, that I can never think
of marrying the puling Maria?  But, even if it were so, could that be
any bar to our happiness? for, as the poet sings,

  "Love, free as air, at sight of human ties,
  Spreads his light wings, and in a moment flies."

Come, then, my charming angel! why delay our bliss?  The present moment
is ours; the next is in the hand of fate.  [Kissing her.]


CHARLOTTE

Begone, Sir!  By your delusions you had almost lulled my honour asleep.


DIMPLE

Let me lull the demon to sleep again with kisses.  [He struggles with
her; she screams.]


Enter MANLY.


MANLY

Turn, villain! and defend yourself.--[Draws.]


[VAN ROUGH enters and beats down their swords.]


VAN ROUGH

Is the devil in you? are you going to murder one another?  [Holding
Dimple.]


DIMPLE

Hold him, hold him,--I can command my passion.


Enter JONATHAN.


JONATHAN

What the rattle ails you?  Is the old one in you?  Let the colonel
alone, can't you?  I feel chock-full of fight,--do you want to kill the
colonel?--


MANLY

Be still, Jonathan; the gentleman does not want to hurt me.

JONATHAN

Gor!  I--I wish he did; I'd shew him Yankee boys play, pretty
quick.--Don't you see you have frightened the young woman into the
hystrikes?

VAN ROUGH

Pray, some of you explain this; what has been the occasion of all this
racket?


MANLY

That gentleman can explain it to you; it will be a very diverting story
for an intended father-in-law to hear.


VAN ROUGH

How was this matter, Mr. Van Dumpling?


DIMPLE

Sir,--upon my honour,--all I know is, that I was talking to this young
lady, and this gentleman broke in on us in a very extraordinary manner.


VAN ROUGH

Why, all this is nothing to the purpose; can you explain it, Miss?  [To
Charlotte.]


Enter LETITIA through the back scene.


LETITIA

I can explain it to that gentleman's confusion.  Though long betrothed
to your daughter [to Van Rough], yet, allured by my fortune, it seems
(with shame do I speak it) he has privately paid his addresses to me.
I was drawn in to listen to him by his assuring me that the match was
made by his father without his consent, and that he proposed to break
with Maria, whether he married me or not.  But, whatever were his
intentions respecting your daughter, Sir, even to me he was false; for
he has repeated the same story, with some cruel reflections upon my
person, to Miss Manly.


JONATHAN

What a tarnal curse!


LETITIA

Nor is this all, Miss Manly.  When he was with me this very morning, he
made the same ungenerous reflections upon the weakness of your mind as
he has so recently done upon the defects of my person.


JONATHAN

What a tarnal curse and damn, too!


DIMPLE

Ha! since I have lost Letitia, I believe I had as good make it up with
Maria.  Mr. Van Rough, at present I cannot enter into particulars; but,
I believe, I can explain everything to your satisfaction in private.


VAN ROUGH

There is another matter, Mr. Van Dumpling, which I would have you
explain.  Pray, Sir, have Messrs. Van Cash & Co. presented you those
bills for acceptance?


DIMPLE

The deuce!  Has he heard of those bills!  Nay, then, all's up with
Maria, too; but an affair of this sort can never prejudice me among the
ladies; they will rather long to know what the dear creature possesses
to make him so agreeable.  [Aside.]  Sir, you'll hear from me.  [To
Manly.]


MANLY

And you from me, Sir--


DIMPLE

Sir, you wear a sword--


MANLY

Yes, Sir.  This sword was presented to me by that brave Gallic hero,
the Marquis De la Fayette.  I have drawn it in the service of my
country, and in private life, on the only occasion where a man is
justified in drawing his sword, in defence of a lady's honour.  I have
fought too many battles in the service of my country to dread the
imputation of cowardice.  Death from a man of honour would be a glory
you do not merit; you shall live to bear the insult of man and the
contempt of that sex whose general smiles afforded you all your
happiness.


DIMPLE

You won't meet me, Sir?  Then I'll post you for a coward.


MANLY I'll venture that, Sir.  The reputation of my life does not
depend upon the breath of a Mr. Dimple.  I would have you to know,
however, Sir, that I have a cane to chastise the insolence of a
scoundrel, and a sword and the good laws of my country to protect me
from the attempts of an assassin--


DIMPLE

Mighty well!  Very fine, indeed!  Ladies and gentlemen, I take my
leave; and you will please to observe in the case of my deportment the
contrast between a gentleman who has read Chesterfield and received the
polish of Europe and an unpolished, untravelled American.
[Exit.


Enter MARIA.


MARIA

Is he indeed gone?--

LETITIA

I hope, never to return.


VAN ROUGH

I am glad I heard of those bills; though it's plaguy unlucky; I hoped
to see Mary married before I died.


MANLY

Will you permit a gentleman, Sir, to offer himself as a suitor to your
daughter?  Though a stranger to you, he is not altogether so to her, or
unknown in this city.  You may find a son-in-law of more fortune, but
you can never meet with one who is richer in love for her, or respect
for you.


VAN ROUGH

Why, Mary, you have not let this gentleman make love to you without my
leave?


MANLY

I did not say, Sir--


MARIA

Say, Sir!--I--the gentleman, to be sure, met me accidentally.


VAN ROUGH

Ha, ha, ha!  Mark me, Mary; young folks think old folks to be fools;
but old folks know young folks to be fools.  Why, I knew all about this
affair.  This was only a cunning way I had to bring it about.  Hark ye!
I was in the closet when you and he were at our hours.  [Turns to the
company.]  I heard that little baggage say she loved her old father,
and would die to make him happy!  Oh! how I loved the little baggage!
And you talked very prudently, young man.  I have inquired into your
character, and find you to be a man of punctuality and mind the main
chance.  And so, as you love Mary and Mary loves you, you shall have my
consent immediately to be married.  I'll settle my fortune on you, and
go and live with you the remainder of my life.


MANLY

Sir, I hope--


VAN ROUGH

Come, come, no fine speeches; mind the main chance, young man, and you
and I shall always agree.


LETITIA I sincerely wish you joy [advancing to Maria]; and hope your
pardon for my conduct.


MARIA

I thank you for your congratulations, and hope we shall at once forget
the wretch who has given us so much disquiet, and the trouble that he
has occasioned.


CHARLOTTE

And I, my dear Maria,--how shall I look up to you for forgiveness?  I,
who, in the practice of the meanest arts, have violated the most sacred
rights of friendship?  I can never forgive myself, or hope charity from
the world; but, I confess, I have much to hope from such a brother; and
I am happy that I may soon say, such a sister.


MARIA

My dear, you distress me; you have all my love.


MANLY

And mine.


CHARLOTTE

If repentance can entitle me to forgiveness, I have already much merit;
for I despise the littleness of my past conduct.  I now find that the
heart of any worthy man cannot be gained by invidious attacks upon the
rights and characters of others;--by countenancing the addresses of a
thousand;--or that the finest assemblage of features, the greatest
taste in dress, the genteelest address, or the most brilliant wit,
cannot eventually secure a coquette from contempt and ridicule.


MANLY

And I have learned that probity, virtue, honour, though they should not
have received the polish of Europe, will secure to an honest American
the good graces of his fair countrywomen, and, I hope, the applause of
THE PUBLIC.



THE END.



NOTES.

[1] In addition to the 'Prince of Parthia,' the following plays by
American authors are known to have been printed:

1.   'The Suspected Daughter, or Jealous Father,' a Farce in three
acts, both serious and comic, written by T. T. Boston, 1751.

2.   'The Disappointment, or The Force of Credulity,' a new American
Comic Opera of two acts, by Andrew Barton, Esq.  New-York, 1767.

3.   'The Conquest of Canada, or Siege of Quebec, a Historic Tragedy,'
by George Cockings.  Philadelphia, 1772.

4.   'The Adulateur,' a tragedy; and

5.   'The Group,' a Political Comedy, 1775; both by Mrs. Mercy  Warren.

6.   'The Blockheads, or the Affrighted Officers,' a Farce.  Boston,
1776.

7.   'The Battle of Bunker Hill,' a dramatic piece, in five acts.
Philadelphia, 1776; and

8.   'The Death of General Montgomery in storming the City of Quebec,'
a Tragedy.  Philadelphia, 1777; both by H. H. Brackenridge.

9.   'The Patriot Chief,' a Drama, by Peter Markoe.  Philadelphia, 1783.

10.  'Edwin and Angelina, or The Banditti,' an Opera in three acts, by
Dr. Elihu H. Smith.  New-York, 1787.


[2] Dunlap erroneously gives the date of the first performance of the
'Contrast' as in 1786, and writers generally following him make the
same mistake.  Ireland in his 'Records' gives the date correctly.


[3] Tyler, in addition to the plays and law reports mentioned, wrote
and published the following works:

1.   'The Algerine Captive, or The Life and Adventures of Doctor Updike
Underhill, six years a prisoner among the Algerines.' 2 vols.  Walpole,
N. H., 1797.

2.   'Moral Tales for American Youths.'  Boston, 1800.

3.   'The Yankey in London; a series of Letters written by an American
Youth during nine months' residence in the City of London.'  New-York,
1809.

He also contributed to a number of newspapers of his period, and a
collection of his contributions (with those of Joseph Dennie) were
published in a volume, at Walpole, in 1801, entitled 'The Spirit of the
Farmers' Museum and Lay Preachers' Gazette.'


[4] On October 16th, 1778, the Continental Congress passed the
following resolution:

"Whereas, frequenting play-houses and theatrical entertainments has a
fatal tendency to divest the minds of the people from a due attention
to the means necessary to the defence of their Country and preservation
of their liberties;

"Resolved, That any person holding an office under the United States
who shall act, promote, encourage or attend such play, shall be deemed
unworthy to hold such office, and shall be accordingly dismissed."

T. J. McK.





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