Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: The Contrast
Author: Tyler, Royall, 1757-1826
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



TRANSCRIBERS' NOTES

This e-book contains the text of _The Contrast_, extracted from
Representative Plays by American Dramatists: Vol 1, 1765-1819. Comments
and background to all the plays and the other plays are available at

Spelling as in the original has been preserved.



THE CONTRAST

_By_

ROYALL TYLER

[Illustration: ROYALL TYLER]



ROYALL TYLER

(1757-1826)


William Dunlap is considered the father of the American Theatre, and
anyone who reads his history of the American Theatre will see how firmly
founded are his claims to this title. But the first American play to be
written by a native, and to gain the distinction of anything like a
"run" is "The Contrast,"[1] by Royall Tyler. Unfortunately for us, the
three hundred page manuscript of Tyler's "Life," which is in possession
of one of his descendants, has never been published. Were that document
available, it would throw much valuable light on the social history of
New England. For Tyler was deep-dyed in New England traditions, and,
strange to say, his playwriting began as a reaction against a
Puritanical attitude toward the theatre.

When Tyler came to New York on a very momentous occasion, as an official
in the suppression of Shays's Rebellion, he had little thought of ever
putting his pen to paper as a playwright, although he was noted from
earliest days as a man of literary ambition, his tongue being sharp in
its wit, and his disposition being brilliant in the parlour. It was
while in what was even then considered to be the very gay and wicked
city of New York, that Royall Tyler went to the theatre for the first
time, and, on that auspicious occasion, witnessed Sheridan's "The School
for Scandal." We can imagine what the brilliancy of that moment must
have been to the parched New England soul of our first American
dramatist.

Two days afterwards, inspiration began to burn, and he dashed off, in a
period of a few weeks, the comedy called "The Contrast," not so great a
"contrast," however, that the literary student would fail to recognize
"The School for Scandal" as its chief inspiration.

Our young dramatist, whose original name, William Clark Tyler, was
changed, by act of Court, to Royall, was born in Boston on July 18,
1757, near the historic ground of Faneuil Hall. His father was one of
the King's Councillors, and figured in the Stamp Act controversy. From
him, young Tyler inherited much of his ability. The family was wealthy
and influential. Naturally, the father being a graduate of Harvard, his
son likewise went to that institution. His early boyhood, when he was at
the grammar school, was passed amidst the tumult of the Stamp Act, and
the quartering of troops in Boston. When he entered Harvard as a
freshman, on July 15, 1772, three days before he was fifteen years old,
he was thoroughly accustomed to the strenuous atmosphere of the coming
Revolution.

There were many students in his class, who afterwards won distinction as
chief justices, governors and United States senators, but at that time
none of them were so sedate as to ignore the usual pranks of the college
boy. Tyler's temperament is well exhibited by the fact that he was one
of the foremost instigators in a fishing party from his room window,
when the students hooked the wig of the reverend president from his head
one morning as that potentate was going to chapel.

Tyler graduated with a B.A. degree from Harvard in July, 1776, the
Valedictorian of his class; and was similarly honoured with a B.A. by
Yale (1776). Three years after, he received an M.A. from Harvard and, in
later life (1811), from the University of Vermont. He read law for three
years with the Hon. Francis Dana, of Cambridge, and the Hon. Benjamin
Hichbourne, of Boston, during that time being a member of a club which
used to meet at the rooms of Colonel John Trumbull, well known to all
students as a soldier and painter. Unfortunate for us that the life-size
canvas of Royall Tyler, painted by Trumbull, was destroyed by fire. We
are assured by Trumbull, in his "Reminiscences," that during those long
evenings, they "regaled themselves with a cup of tea instead of wine,
and discussed subjects of literature, politics and war." In 1778, Tyler
found himself by the side of Trumbull, fighting against the British and
serving a short while under General Sullivan.

In 1779, he was admitted to the bar, and there followed a long
succession of activities, in which he moved from place to place, finally
associating himself definitely with the early history of Vermont, and
Brattleboro in particular.

There is much interesting data in existence relating to Royall Tyler's
literary activities, as a writer of witty articles, sprightly verse and
autobiographical experiences--in a style which, while lacking in
distinction, is none the less a measure of the sprightliness of the
author's disposition. It is not my purpose to enter into a discussion of
anything but Royall Tyler as the author of "The Contrast." He wrote
several other plays besides,[2] one dealing with the wild-cat land
speculation in Georgia. But the play under discussion is fully
representative of his dramatic ability, an ability which would scarcely
be worthy of too much commendation were it not for the fact that Tyler
may be regarded as the creator of the Yankee type in American drama.

In 1787, Shays's Rebellion brought Tyler once more under the command of
Major-General Benjamin Lincoln, with whom he had served in the
Revolutionary War. As an aide, he was required to go into the State of
New York, and arrange for the pursuit and capture of Shays. It was, as I
have said, while on this mission in New York City that he went to the
theatre for the first time. He witnessed Sheridan's "The School for
Scandal," and in the audience on the occasion there very probably sat
George Washington. The latter was a constant frequenter of the little
John Street Theatre, where Wignell was the chief comedian. Apart from
_Jonathan's_ description of this "Colonial" Playhouse, as it looked
after the Revolution, we have Seilhamer's impression (i, 212), as
follows:

    "... the theatre in John Street ... for a quarter of a century
    was to New York what the Southwark Theatre was to Philadelphia.
    Both houses were alike in appearance, but the New York Theatre
    stood back about sixty feet from the street, with a covered way
    of rough wooden materials from the sidewalk to the doors. It was
    principally of wood and was painted red. It had two rows of
    boxes, and a pit and gallery, the capacity of the house when
    full being about eight hundred dollars. The stage was
    sufficiently large for all the requirements of that theatrical
    era, and the dressing-rooms and green room were in a shed
    adjacent to the theatre."

This was, it seems, the first time Tyler had ever left New England. His
manuscript was finished in three weeks, and shortly after handed over
to the American Company for production. So loath was he to have his name
connected with it, that, when he gave the manuscript to Wignell, he
consigned also to that actor the copyright, with the instruction that,
when the play was published, on the title-page, the piece should be
credited to the authorship of "a citizen of the United States." Of all
the productions which came from his pen, the very prosaic and doubtfully
authoritative Vermont Law Reports is the only publication bearing his
name on the title-page.

"The Contrast" was produced on April 16, 1787, at the John Street
Theatre, in New York, by the American Company, the original cast
including Mr. Henry and Mr. Hallam as the rival lovers, and Mr. Wignell
in the part of _Jonathan_, the first stage Yankee. Anyone who has read
the play will quite understand why it is that the honours so easily fell
to Mr. Wignell rather than to Mr. Henry or to Mr. Hallam, and it is no
surprise, therefore, to find, after the initial performance, that
jealousy began to manifest itself between these three gentlemen,--so
much so, indeed, that, when the time arrived for the Company to go to
Philadelphia, in December, 1787, Mr. Wignell was unable to present "The
Contrast" in the theatre, and had to content himself with a reading,
because it was "impracticable at this time to entertain the public with
a dramatic representation." The Notice continued: Mr. Wignell, "in
compliance with the wishes of many respectable citizens of Philadelphia,
proposes to read that celebrated performance at the City Tavern on
Monday evening, the 10th inst. The curiosity which has everywhere been
expressed respecting this first dramatic production of American genius,
and the pleasure which it has already afforded in the theatres of New
York and Maryland, persuade Mr. Wignell that his excuses on this
occasion will be acceptable to the public and that even in so imperfect
a dress, the intrinsic merit of the comedy will contribute to the
amusement and command the approbation of the audience." Of Wignell and
his associates, an excellent impression may be had from a first hand
description by W. B. Wood, in his "Personal Recollections."

Whether the intrinsic merits of the play would contribute to the
amusement of audiences to-day is to be doubted, although it is a
striking dramatic curio. The play in the reading is scarcely exciting.
It is surprisingly devoid of situation. Its chief characteristic is
"talk," but that talk, reflective in its spirit of "The School for
Scandal," is interesting to the social student. When the ladies discuss
the manners of the times and the fashions of the day, they discuss them
in terms of the Battery, in New York, but in the spirit of London. The
only native product, as I have said, is _Jonathan_, and his surprise
over the play-house, into which he is inveigled, measures the surprise
which must have overwhelmed the staid New England conscience of Royall
Tyler, when he found himself actually in that den of iniquity,--the
theatre. For the first time in the American Drama, we get New England
dialogue and some attempt at American characterization. Wignell, being
himself a character actor of much ability, and the son of a player who
had been a member of Garrick's Company in London, it is small wonder
that he should have painted the stage Yankee in an agreeable and
entertaining and novel manner.

But, undoubtedly, the only interest that could attach itself to this
comedy for the theatre-going audience of to-day would be in its
presentment according to the customs and manners of the time. In fact,
one would be very much entertained were it possible to make _Letitia_
and _Charlotte_ discuss their social schemes and ambitions in a parlour
which reflected the atmosphere of New York in 1787. As a matter of fact,
however, the audience that crowded into the little John Street Theatre,
on the opening night of "The Contrast," was treated to an interior room,
which was more closely akin to a London drawing-room than to a parlour
in Manhattan. According to the very badly drawn frontispiece, which
Wignell used in the printed edition of the play, and which William
Dunlap executed, we see a very poor imitation of the customs, costumes,
and situations which Tyler intended to suggest.

Indeed, we wonder whether Dunlap, when he drew this picture, did not
have a little malice in his heart; for there is no doubt that he showed
jealousy over the success of "The Contrast," when, after a three years'
stay in London, under the tutelage of Benjamin West, he returned to
America to find "The Contrast" the talk of the town. Both he and
Seilhamer who, however prejudiced they may be in some of their judgments
and in some of their dates, are nevertheless the authorities for the
early history of the American Theatre, try their best to take away from
the credit due Tyler as an American dramatist. They both contend that
"The Contrast," though it was repeated several times in succession--and
this repetition of a native drama before audiences more accustomed to
the English product must have been a sign of its acceptance,--was
scarcely what they would consider a success. As evidence, Seilhamer
claims that, just as soon as Royall Tyler handed over the copyright of
his play to Wignell, the latter advertised the printed edition whenever
the subscribers' list was sufficiently large to warrant the publication.
It was not, however, until several years after this advertisement, that
the play was actually published, the subscribers being headed by the
name of President George Washington, and including many of Washington's
first cabinet, four signers of the Declaration of Independence, and
several Revolutionary soldiers. According to Seilhamer, the American
dramatists of those days were very eager to follow the work of their
contemporary craftsmen, and, in the list of subscribers, we find the
names of Dunlap, Peter Markoe, who wrote "The Patriot Chief" (1783),
Samuel Low, author of "The Politician Out-witted" (1789), and Colonel
David Humphreys, who translated from the French "The Widow of Malabar;
or, The Tyranny of Custom" (1790).

We are told by some authorities that Royall Tyler was on friendly terms
with the actors of this period, a fact accentuated all the more because
his brother, Col. John S. Tyler, had become manager of the Boston
Theatre. In many ways he was a great innovator, if, on one hand, he
broke through the New England prejudices against the theatre, and if, on
the other hand, during his long career as lawyer and as judge of the
Supreme Court of Vermont, he broke through the traditional manner of
conducting trials, as is evidenced by many human, amusing anecdotes,
illustrative of his wit and quick repartee. He was married to Mary
Palmer, in 1794, and brought up a family of eleven children, a number of
whom won distinction in the ministry, but none of whom followed their
father's taste for playwriting. He mingled with the most intellectual
society of the time, being on intimate terms with the Adams family, the
Quincys and Cranchs, and identifying himself very closely with the
literary history of the country.

In a record of New England periodicals, his name will figure constantly
as contributing editor. We have letters of his, descriptive of his home
life in Brattleboro, Vermont, filled with a kindly benevolence and with
a keen sense of humour. It was there that he died on August 16, 1826.
But, all told, we fear that even though Royall Tyler has the
distinction of being one of the first American dramatists, he came into
the theatre purely by accident. "The Contrast" is not, strictly
speaking, a very dramatic representation.

When, in June, 1912, Brattleboro celebrated its local history with a
pageant, a production of "The Contrast" was rehearsed and given in a
little hall, fitted up to represent the old John Street Theatre. A scene
from the play was given at an American Drama Matinée, produced by the
American Drama Committee of the Drama League of America, New York
Centre, on January 22 and 23, 1917,--the conversation between _Jonathan_
and _Jenny_. In Philadelphia, under the auspices of the Drama League
Centre, and in coöperation with the University of Pennsylvania, the
play, in its entirety, was presented on January 18, 1917, by the "Plays
and Players" organization. A revival was also given in Boston, produced
in the old manner, "and the first rows of seats were reserved for those
of the audience who appeared in the costume of the time."

The play in its first edition is rare, but, in 1887, it was reprinted by
the Dunlap Society. The general reader is given an opportunity of
judging how far _Jonathan_ is the typical Yankee, and how far Royall
Tyler cut the pattern which later was followed by other playwrights in a
long series of American dramas, in which the Yankee was the chief
attraction.[3]

FOOTNOTES:

[1] The/Contrast,/a/Comedy;/In Five Acts:/Written By a/Citizen of the
United States;/Performed with Applause at the Theatres in
New-York,/Philadelphia, and Maryland;/and published (under an Assignment
of the Copy-Right) by/Thomas Wignell./_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./Philadelphia:/From the Press of Prichard & Hall, in Market
Street:/Between Second and Front Streets./M. DCC. XC. [See
Frontispiece.]

[2] For example, "The Duelists," a Farce in three acts; "The Georgia
Spec; or, Land in the Moon" (1797); "The Doctor in Spite of Himself," an
imitation of Molière; and "Baritaria; or, The Governor of a Day," being
adventures of Sancho Panza. He also wrote a libretto, "May-day in Town;
or, New York in an Uproar." (See Sonneck: "Early Opera in America.")

[3] The song which occurs in the play under the title, "Alknomook," had
great popularity in the eighteenth century. Its authorship was
attributed to Philip Freneau, in whose collected poems it does not
appear. It is also credited to a Mrs. Hunter, and is contained in her
volume of verse, published in 1806. It appears likewise in a Dublin play
of 1740, "New Spain; or, Love in Mexico." See also, the _American
Museum_, vol. I, page 77. The singing of "Yankee Doodle" is likewise to
be noted (See Sonneck's interesting essay on the origin of "Yankee
Doodle," General Bibliography), not the first time it appears in early
American Drama, as readers of Barton's "Disappointment" (1767) will
recognize.



[Illustration: AS A JUST ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF THE LIBERAL EXERTIONS BY
WHICH THE _STAGE_ HAS BEEN RESCUED FROM AN IGNOMINIOUS PROSCRIPTION,


THE CONTRAST,


(BEING THE FIRST ESSAY OF _AMERICAN_ GENIUS IN THE 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.  }

DEDICATION PAGE IN THE FIRST EDITION OF "THE CONTRAST"]



ADVERTISEMENT


The Subscribers (to whom the Editor thankfully professes his
obligations) may reasonably expect an apology for the delay which has
attended the appearance of "The Contrast;" but, as the true cause cannot
be declared without leading to a discussion, which the Editor wishes to
avoid, he hopes that the care and expence which have been bestowed upon
this work will be accepted, without further scrutiny, as an atonement
for his seeming negligence.

In justice to the Author, however, it may be proper to observe that this
Comedy has many claims to the public indulgence, independent of its
intrinsic merits: It is the first essay of American genius in a
difficult species of composition; it was written by one who never
critically studied the rules of the drama, and, indeed, had seen but few
of the exhibitions of the stage; it was undertaken and finished in the
course of three weeks; and the profits of one night's performance were
appropriated to the benefit of the sufferers by the fire at _Boston_.

These considerations will, therefore, it is hoped, supply in the closet
the advantages that are derived from representation, and dispose the
reader to join in the applause which has been bestowed on this Comedy by
numerous and judicious audiences, in the Theatres of _Philadelphia_,
_New-York_, and _Maryland_.



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 priz'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.
VAN ROUGH,        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.

N.B. The lines marked with inverted commas, "thus", are omitted in the
representation.



THE CONTRAST

ACT I.


SCENE I. _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 faltered 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 who are judges of
its merits?

CHARLOTTE. Why, a creature who does not know _Buffon_ from
_Souflè_--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 satin, 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][4] arranged her dress with such apathy as if she did not
know that plain white satin 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 then 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 expence 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._


SCENE II. _A Room in VAN ROUGH'S House._

MARIA [_sitting disconsolate at a table, with books, &c._].

SONG.[5]

    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, O 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? hav'n't you every thing 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 story-books; 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 not you 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 any thing, 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 acquaintances 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 band-box; 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 dote 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 choose 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 expences 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, venture to
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 apprehensions, 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 Chaffé, 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
tailor 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 countrywomen
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 _outré_ 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 très-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 cérémonie_--

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 vitæ_ 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 stayed 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 wer'n'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 stimu late 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 think 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 wou'dn't have me false to my true-love, would you?

JESSAMY. Maybe 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 you 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 pugnency 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 grin'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 _outré_
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 with 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, to 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 authorize 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 power of topping
folks, all sitting round in little cabins, "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[s] 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 neighbour'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' 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, &c.

    And there we saw a swamping gun,
    Big as log of maple,
    On a little deuced cart,
    A load for father's cattle.
        Yankee doodle do, &c.

    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, &c.

    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, &c.


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 gentlemen 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 laid 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 allege 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 pensorosos 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
traveled, 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 from 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--have 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.

_Re-enter CHARLOTTE._

DIMPLE. Did my lovely angel receive my billet?        [_To CHARLOTTE._

CHARLOTTE. Yes.

DIMPLE. What hour shall I expect with impatience?

CHARLOTTE. At eight I shall be at home unengaged.

DIMPLE. Unfortunately! 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 shou'dn'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 complete, and can be only more so when days of misery
with the man I cannot love will make me think of him whom I 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_].

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 shou'dn'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?

JESSAMY. 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 bass, 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 [_sic_], 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. Aye, 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 to 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
_tête-à-tête_ 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 the 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 house. [_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, 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._

FOOTNOTES:

[4] The omitted passages in the First Edition, indicated by inverted
commas, are here enclosed in heavy brackets.

[5] A page reproduction of the original music is given in the Dunlap
reprint of this play.





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

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home