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Title: Next Door Neighbours - A Comedy in Three Acts
Author: Inchbald, Mrs., 1753-1821
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 "Next Door Neighbours - A Comedy in Three Acts" ***

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  NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOURS;


  _A COMEDY_;
  IN
  THREE ACTS.


  FROM THE
  French Dramas _L'Indigent_ & _Le Dissipateur_.
  AS PERFORMED AT THE
  THEATRE-ROYAL, HAY-MARKET.


  BY
  MRS. INCHBALD.


  LONDON:
  PRINTED FOR G. G. J. AND J. ROBINSON,
  PATER-NOSTER-ROW.
  M,DCC,XCI.



_PROLOGUE_,

BY T. VAUGHAN, ESQ.

SPOKEN BY MR. BANNISTER, JUN.


    To PUFF, or not to Puff--that is the Question--
  Puff by all means, say I, it helps digestion.
  To prove my maxim true, pray read the Papers--
  From _Quacks of State_, to those who cure the Vapours.

  You'll find them, one and all, puff high their skill,
  Tho' nine in ten, are oft'ner found to kill.--
  Yet Puff's the word, which gives at least a name,
  And oftener gains the _undeserving_ Fame:
  Or wherefore read we of _Lord Fanny's_ Taste,
  Of _me_--an Actor--_wonderfully chaste_!
  And yet so squeamish is our Lady elf,
  She'd rather die--than paragraph herself;
  So fix'd on me--the _Prologue speaking Hack_,
  To stop, with _Puff-direct_, the Critic Pack,
  Who yelp, and foaming, bark from morn to night,     }
  And when run hard--turn tail--then snap and bite;   }
  Putting the timid Hare-like-Bard to flight.         }
  To such, the best and only Puff to hit,              }
  Is that which honest CANDOUR must admit,             }
  A Female Scribbler is an harmless Wit;               }
  And who so harmless as our present Bard,
  Claiming no greater or distinct reward,
  Than what from free Translation is her due,
  Which here in fullest trust she leaves to you:
  With this remark--Who own their Debts with pride,
  Are well entitled to the Credit Side.
  And as for those with whom she makes so free
  They'll ne'er complain of English Liberty;
  But glory to behold their Tinsel shine,
  Through the rich Bullion of the English Line.

    Fear then avaunt! Trust to a BRITISH JURY--
  With them, an honest Verdict I'll ensure you:
  Let Echo catch the sound--'Tis PRATT[1] enacts,
  You're _Judges of the Law, as well as Facts_.
  On this she rests her Cause, and hopes to find,
  As Friends, and _Next Door Neighbours_, you'll be kind;
  At least, this only punishment ensue,
  _A Frown_--and that's severe enough, from you.

    _Thus puff'd_--I freely to the Court commit her,
  Not doubting, as a Woman, you'll acquit her--
  And now join issue, Sirs, without delay--      }
  Judging from _written Evidence_ our Play,      }
  And--_send her a good Deliverance_, I pray.    }

[1: Vide, Earl CAMDEN'S celebrated and Constitutional Speech and
Opinion on the subject of Libels.]



_DRAMATIS PERSONÆ._


  _MEN._

  Sir George Splendorville    Mr. PALMER.
  Mr. Manly                   Mr. KEMBLE.
  Mr. Blackman                Mr. BADDELEY.
  Mr. Lucre                   Mr. R. PALMER.
  Lord Hazard                 Mr. EVATT.
  Willford                    Mr. AICKIN.
  Henry                       Mr. PALMER, Jun.
  Bluntly                     Mr. BANNISTER, Jun.

  _WOMEN._

  Lady Caroline Seymour       Mrs. BROOKS.
  Lady Bridget Squander       Miss HEARD.
  Evans                       Mrs. EDWARDS.
  Eleanor                     Mrs. KEMBLE.

  Other Ladies, Gentlemen, Servants, &c.

  SCENE----LONDON.



NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOURS.

_A COMEDY._



ACT I.


SCENE I. _An Antichamber at Sir_ GEORGE SPLENDORVILLE'_s_, _adjoining
a Ball-room_.

_Enter_ BLUNTLY, _meeting a Servant in Livery_.


 BLUNTLY.
 Come, come, is not every thing ready? Is not the ball-room prepared
 yet? It is past ten o'clock.

 SERVANT.
 We have only to fix up the new chandelier.

 BLUNTLY.
 I'll have no new chandelier.

 SERVANT.
 My master said the last ball he gave, the company were in the dark.

 BLUNTLY.
 And if you blind them with too much light, they will be in the dark
 still.

 SERVANT.
 The musicians, sir, wish for some wine.

 BLUNTLY.
 What, before the ball begins? No, tell them if they are tipsy at the
 end of it, it will be quite soon enough.

 SERVANT.
 You are always so cross, Mr. Bluntly, when my master is going to have
 company.

 BLUNTLY.
 Have not I a right to be cross? For while the whole house is in good
 humour, if there was not one person cross enough to take a little
 care, every thing would be wasted and ruined through extreme good
 temper. (_A man crosses the stage._) Here, you--Mister----Pray are you
 the person who was sent with the chandelier?

 SHOPMAN.
 Yes, sir.

 BLUNTLY.
 Then please to take it back again--We don't want it.

 SHOPMAN.
 What is your objection to it, sir?

 BLUNTLY.
 It will cost too much.

 SHOPMAN.
 Mr. Bluntly, all the trades-people are more frightened at you than at
 your master.--Sir George, Heaven bless him! never cares how much a
 thing costs.

 BLUNTLY.
 That is, because he never cares whether he pays for it or not----but
 if he did, depend upon it he would be very particular. Tradesmen all
 wish to be paid for their ware, don't they?

 SHOPMAN.
 Certainly, sir.

 BLUNTLY.
 Then why will they force so many unnecessary things, and make so many
 extravagant charges as to put all power of payment out of the
 question?

      _Enter_ EVANS:----_The Tradesman goes off at the opposite
      Door._

 BLUNTLY.
 How do you do, Mrs. Evans? [_Sullenly._

 EVANS.
 What makes you sigh, Mr. Bluntly?

 BLUNTLY.
 What makes you smile?

 EVANS.
 To see all the grand preparations for the ball this evening. I
 anticipate the joy my lady will take here, and I smile for _her_.

 BLUNTLY.
 And I sigh for my master.--I foresee all the bills that will be
 brought in, for this evening's expence, and I anticipate the sorrow
 it will one day be to _him_.

 EVANS.
 But consider, Mr. Bluntly, your master has my lady's fortune to take.

 BLUNTLY.
 Yes, but I consider he has your lady to take along with it; and I
 prophecy one will stick by him some time after the other is gone.

 EVANS.
 For shame.--My lady, I have no doubt, will soon cure Sir George of his
 extravagance.

 BLUNTLY.
 It will then be by taking away the means.--Why, Lady Caroline is as
 extravagant as himself.

 EVANS.
 You are mistaken.--She never gives routs, masquerades, balls, or
 entertainments of any kind.

 BLUNTLY.
 But she constantly goes to them whenever she is invited.

 EVANS.
 That, I call but a slight imprudence.--She has no wasteful
 indiscretions like Sir George. For instance, she never makes a lavish
 present.

 BLUNTLY.
 No, but she _takes_ a lavish present, as readily as if she did.

 EVANS.
 And surely you cannot call that imprudence?

 BLUNTLY.
 No, I call it something worse.

 EVANS.
 Then, although she loves gaming to distraction, and plays deep, yet
 she never loses.

 BLUNTLY.
 No, but she always wins--and _that_ I call something worse.

       [_A loud rapping at the street-door._

 EVANS.
 Here's the company. Will you permit me, Mr. Bluntly, to stand in one
 corner, and have a peep at them?

 BLUNTLY.
 If you please. (_Rapping again._) What spirit there is in that, Rat,
 tat, tat, tat.--And what life, frolic, and joy, the whole house is
 going to experience except myself. As for me, I am ready to cry at the
 thoughts of it all. [_Exit._

      _Enter_ LADY CAROLINE.

 LADY CAROLINE.
 Here, the first of the company. I am sorry for it. (EVANS _comes
 forward_.) Evans, what has brought you hither?

 EVANS.
 I came, my lady, to see the preparations making on _your_ account--for
 it is upon your account alone, that Sir George gives this grand
 _fête_.

 LADY CAROLINE.
 Why, I do flatter myself it is.--But where is he? What is it
 o'clock?--It was impossible to stay at the stupid opera.--How do I
 look? I once did intend to wear those set of diamonds Sir George
 presented me with the other morning--but then, I reflected again,
 that if----

 EVANS.
 Ah, my lady, what a charming thing to have such a lover--Sir George
 prevents every wish--he must make the best of husbands.

 LADY CAROLINE.
 And yet my father wishes to break off the marriage--he talks of his
 prodigality--and, certainly, Sir George lives above his income.

 EVANS.
 But then, Madam, so does every body else.

 LADY CAROLINE.
 But Sir George ought undoubtedly to change his conduct, and not be
 thus continually giving balls and entertainments--and inviting to his
 table acquaintance, that not only come to devour his dinners and
 suppers, but him.

 EVANS.
 And there are people malicious enough to call your ladyship one of his
 devourers too.

 LADY CAROLINE.
 As a treaty of marriage is so nearly concluded between us, I think,
 Mrs. Evans, I am at liberty to visit Sir George, or to receive his
 presents, without having my character, or my delicacy called in
 question. (_A loud rapping._) The company are coming: is it not
 strange he is not here to receive them. [_Exit_ EVANS.


      _Enter two Ladies and a Gentleman, who curtsy and bow to_
      LADY CAROLINE.--SIR GEORGE _enters at the opposite door,
      magnificently dressed_.

 SIR GEORGE.
 Ladies, I entreat your pardon; dear Lady Caroline excuse me. I have
 been in the country all the morning, and have had scarce time to
 return to town and dress for your reception. [_Another rapping._

       _Enter_ MR. LUCRE, LORD HAZARD, LADY BRIDGET SQUANDER, &C.

 SIR GEORGE.
 Dear Lucre, I am glad to see you.

 MR. LUCRE.
 My dear Sir George, I had above ten engagements this evening, but they
 all gave place to your invitation.

 SIR GEORGE.
 Thank you.--My dear Lady Bridget--

 LADY BRIDGET.
 It is impossible to resist an invitation from the most polished man
 alive. (_Sir_ GEORGE _bows_.) What a superb dress! (_in his hearing,
 as he turns away_) and what an elegant deportment.

 MR. LUCRE. [_After speaking apart with_ SIR GEORGE.
 No, I am not in a state to take any part at Pharo--I am ruin'd.--Would
 you believe it Sir George, I am not worth a farthing in the world.

 SIR GEORGE.
 Yes, I believed it long ago.

 MR. LUCRE.
 Now we are on that subject--could you lend me a hundred pounds?

 SIR GEORGE. [_Taking out his pocket-book._
 I have about me, only this bill for two hundred.

 MR. LUCRE.
 That will do as well--I am not circumstantial. (_Takes it._) And my
 dear Sir George command my purse at any time--all it contains, will
 ever be at your service.

 SIR GEORGE.
 I thank you.

 MR. LUCRE.
 Nay, though I have no money of my own, yet you know I can always raise
 friends--and by heaven! my dear Sir George, I often wish to see you
 reduced to my circumstances, merely to prove how much I could, and
 _would_, do to serve you.

 SIR GEORGE.
 I sincerely thank you.

 MR. LUCRE.
 And one can better ask a favour for one's friend than for one's-self,
 you know: for when one wants to borrow money on one's own account,
 there are so many little delicacies to get the better of--such as I
 felt just now.--I was as pale as death, I dare say, when I asked you
 for this money--did not you perceive I was?

 SIR GEORGE.
 I can't say I did.

 MR. LUCRE.
 But you must have observed I hesitated, and looked very foolish.

 SIR GEORGE.
 I thought for my part, that I looked as foolish.--But I hope I did not
 hesitate.

 MR. LUCRE.
 Nor ever will, when a friend applys to you, I'll answer for it--Nor
 ever shall a friend hesitate when you apply.

 LORD HAZARD. [_Taking_ SIR GEORGE _aside_.
 The obligations I am under to you for extricating me from that
 dangerous business--

 SIR GEORGE.
 Never name it.

 LORD HAZARD.
 Not only name it, Sir George, but shortly I hope to return the
 kindness; and, if I do but live----

 SIR GEORGE. [_To the company._
 Permit me to conduct you to the next apartment.

 LADY CAROLINE.
 Most willingly, Sir George. I was the first who arrived; which proves
 my eagerness to dance.

 SIR GEORGE. [_Aside to her._
 But let me hope, passion for dancing was not the only one, that caused
 your impatience.

      [_As the company move towards the ball-room_, Mr. LUCRE
      _and_ LORD HAZARD _come forward_.

 MR. LUCRE.
 Oh! there never was such a man in the world as the master of this
 house; there never was such a friendly, generous, noble heart; he has
 the best heart in the world, and the best taste in dress.

      [_The company Exeunt, and the music is heard to begin._


SCENE II. _An Apartment, which denotes the Poverty of the
Inhabitants._ HENRY _and_ ELEANOR _discovered_.


 ELEANOR.
 It is very late and very cold too, brother; and yet we have neither of
 us heart to bid each other good night.

 HENRY.
 No--beds were made for rest.

 ELEANOR.
 And that noise of carriages and link-boys at Sir George
 Splendorville's, next door, would keep us awake, if our sorrows did
 not.

 HENRY.
 The poor have still more to complain of, when chance throws them thus
 near the rich,--it forces upon their minds a comparison might drive
 them to despair, if--

 ELEANOR.
 --If they should not have good sense enough to reflect, that all this
 bustle and show of pleasure, may fall very short of happiness; as all
 the distress _we_ feel, has not yet, thank Heaven, reached to misery.

 HENRY.
 What do you call it then?

 ELEANOR.
 A trial; sent to make us patient.

 HENRY.
 It may make you so, but cannot me. Good morning to you. [_Going._

 ELEANOR.
 Nay, it is night yet. Where are you going?

 HENRY.
 I don't know.--To take a walk.--The streets are not more uncomfortable
 than this place, and scarcely colder.

 ELEANOR.
 Oh, my dear brother! I cannot express half the uneasiness I feel when
 you part from me, though but for the shortest space.

 HENRY.
 Why?

 ELEANOR.
 Because I know your temper; you are impatient under adversity; you
 rashly think providence is unkind; and you would snatch those favours,
 which are only valuable when bestowed.

 HENRY.
 What do you mean?

 ELEANOR.
 Nay, do not be angry; but every time you go out into this tempting
 town, where superfluous riches continually meet the eye of the poor, I
 tremble lest you should forfeit your honesty for that, which Heaven
 decreed should not belong to you.

 HENRY.
 And if I did, you would despise and desert me?

 ELEANOR.
 No: not desert you; for I am convinced you would only take, to bring
 to me; but this is to assure you, I do not want for any thing.

 HENRY.
 Not want?--Nor does my father?

 ELEANOR.
 Scarcely, while we visit him. Every time he sees us we make him happy;
 but he would never behold us again if we behaved unworthy of him.

 HENRY.
 What! banish us from a prison?

 ELEANOR.
 And although it is a prison, you could not be happy under such a
 restriction.

 HENRY.
 Happy!--When was I happy last?

 ELEANOR.
 Yesterday, when your father thanked you for your kindness to him. Did
 we not all three weep with affection for each other? and was not that
 happiness?

 HENRY.
 It was--nor will I give up such satisfaction, for any enticement that
 can offer.----Be contented, Eleanor,--for your sake and my father's, I
 will be honest.--Nay, more,--I will be scrupulously proud--and that
 line of conduct which my own honour could not force me to follow, my
 love to _you_ and _him_, shall compel me to.--When, through necessity,
 I am tempted to plunder, your blushes and my father's anguish shall
 hold my hand.--And when I am urged through impatience, to take away my
 own life, your lingering death and his, shall check the horrid
 suggestion, and I will live for you.

 ELEANOR.
 Then do not ever trust yourself away, at least from one of us.

 HENRY.
 Dear sister! do you imagine that your power is less when separated
 from me? Do you suppose I think less frequently on my father and his
 dismal prison, because we are not always together? Oh! no! he comes
 even more forcibly to my thoughts in his absence--and then, more
 bitterly do I feel his misery, than while the patient old man, before
 my eyes, talks to me of his consolations; his internal comforts from a
 conscience pure, a mind without malice, and a heart, where every
 virtue occupy a place.--Therefore, do not fear that I shall forget
 either him or you, though I might possibly forget myself. [_Exit._

 ELEANOR.
 If before him I am cheerful, yet to myself I must complain. [_Weeps_]
 And that sound of festivity at the house adjoining is insupportable!
 especially when I reflect that a very small portion of what will be
 wasted there only this one night, would be sufficient to give my dear
 father liberty.

      [_A rapping at the door of her chamber, on the opposite
      entrance._]

 ELEANOR.
 Who's there?

 MR. BLACKMAN.
 Open the door. [_Without._

 ELEANOR.
 The voice of our landlord. [_Goes to the door._
 Is it you, Mr. Blackman?

 BLACKMAN.
 Yes, open the door. [_Rapping louder._


      [_She opens it:_ BLACKMAN _enters, followed by_ BLUNTLY.]

 BLACKMAN.
 What a time have you made me wait!--And in the name of wonder, why do
 you lock your door? Have you any thing to lose? Have not you already
 sold all the furniture you brought hither? And are you afraid of being
 stolen yourself?

     [ELEANOR _retires to the back of the Stage_.

 BLUNTLY.
 Is this the chamber?

 BLACKMAN.
 Yes, Sir, yes, Mr. Bluntly, this is it.

      [BLACKMAN _assumes a very different tone of voice in
      speaking to_ BLUNTLY _and_ ELEANOR; _to the one he is all
      submissive humility, to the other all harshness._]

 BLUNTLY.
 This! [_Contemptuously._

 BLACKMAN.
 Why yes, sir,--this is the only place I have left in my own house,
 since your master has been pleased to occupy that next door, while his
 own magnificent one has been repairing.--Lock yourself up, indeed!
 (_Looking at_ ELEANOR.)--You have been continually asking me for more
 rooms, Mr. Bluntly, and have not I made near half a dozen doors
 already from one house to the other, on purpose to accommodate your
 good family.--Upon my honour, I have not now a single chamber but what
 I have let to these lodgers, and what I have absolute occasion for
 myself.

 BLUNTLY.
 And if you do put yourself to a little inconvenience, Mr. Blackman,
 surely my master--

 BLACKMAN.
 Your master, Mr. Bluntly, is a very good man--a very generous man--and
 I hope at least he has found me a very lucky one; for good luck is all
 the recommendation which I, in my humble station, aspire to--and since
 I have been Sir George's attorney, I have gained him no less than two
 law-suits.

 BLUNTLY.
 I know it. I know also that you have lost him four.

 BLACKMAN.
 We'll drop the subject.--And in regard to this room, sir, it does not
 suit, you say?

 BLUNTLY.
 No, for I feel the cold wind blow through every crevice.

 BLACKMAN.
 But suppose I was to have it put a little into repair? That window,
 for instance, shall have a pane or two of glass put in; the cracks of
 the door shall be stopt up; and then every thing will have a very
 different appearance.

 BLUNTLY.
 And why has not this been done before?

 BLACKMAN.
 Would you have me be laying out my money, while I only let the place
 at a paltry price, to people who I am obliged to threaten to turn
 into the streets every quarter, before I can get my rent from them?

 BLUNTLY.
 Is that the situation of your lodgers at present?

 BLACKMAN.
 Yes.--But they made a better appearance when they first came, or I had
 not taken such persons to live thus near to your master.

 BLUNTLY.
 That girl (_looking at_ ELEANOR) seems very pretty--and I dare say my
 master would not care if he was nearer to her.

 BLACKMAN.
 Pshaw, pshaw--she is a poor creature--she is in great distress. She is
 misery itself.

 BLUNTLY.
 I feel quite charmed with misery.--Who belongs to her?

 BLACKMAN.
 A young man who says he is her brother--very likely he is not--but
 that I should not enquire about, if they could pay my rent. If people
 will pay me, I don't care what they are. (_Addressing himself to_
 ELEANOR) I desire you will tell your brother when he comes in, that I
 have occasion for the money which will be due to me to-morrow--and if
 I don't receive it before to-morrow night, he must seek some other
 habitation.

 BLUNTLY.
 Hush, Mr. Blackman--if you speak so loud, you will have our company in
 the next house hear you.

 BLACKMAN.
 And if they did, do you think it would spoil their dancing? No, Mr.
 Bluntly.--And in that respect, I am a person of fashion.--I never
 suffer any distress to interfere with my enjoyments.

 ELEANOR. [_Coming to him._
 Dear sir, have but patience a little while longer.--Indeed, I hope you
 will lose nothing.

 BLACKMAN.
 I _won't_ lose any thing. [_Going._

 ELEANOR. [_Following him._
 Sir, I would speak a single word to you, if you will be so good as to
 hear me?

 BLUNTLY.
 Ay, stay and hear her.

 ELEANOR. [_Looking at_ BLUNTLY.
 But I wish to speak to him by ourselves.

 BLUNTLY.
 Then I'll withdraw.

 BLACKMAN.
 What have you to say? [_In anger._

 BLUNTLY.
 Hear her, Mr. Blackman--or may none of her sex ever listen to you.
 [_Exit._

 BLACKMAN.
 If it is only to entreat me to let you continue here, I am gone in an
 instant.----Come, speak quickly, for I have no time to lose.--Come,
 speak, speak.

 ELEANOR.
 But are you resolved to have no pity? You know in what a helpless
 situation we are--and the deplorable state of my poor father.
 [_Weeping._

 BLACKMAN.
 Ay, I thought what you had to say--farewel, farewel.

 ELEANOR. [_Laying hold of him._
 Oh! do not plunge us into more distress than we can bear; but open
 your heart to compassion.

 BLACKMAN.
 I can't----'tis a thing I never did in my life.

      [_Going, he meets_ BLUNTLY, _who stops him_.

 BLUNTLY.
 Well, have you granted her request?

 BLACKMAN.
 I would do a great deal to oblige you, Mr. Bluntly--and if you will
 only give your word for the trifle of rent owing, why, I am not so
 hard-hearted but I will suffer her to stay.

 BLUNTLY.
 Well, well,--I will give my word.

 BLACKMAN.
 But remember, it is not to be put down to your master's account, but
 to your own.--I am not to give credit.

 ELEANOR.
 Nor am I to lay my brother under an obligation of this nature. (_To_
 BLUNTLY) I thank you for your offer, sir, but I cannot accept it.

 BLACKMAN. [_In extreme anger._
 What do you mean by that?

 BLUNTLY.
 Perhaps she is right.

 ELEANOR.
 My brother would resent my acceptance of a favour from a stranger.

 BLACKMAN.
 Your brother resent! A poor man resent! Did you ever hear of any
 body's regarding a poor man's resentment?

 ELEANOR.
 No--nor a poor woman's prayers.

 BLACKMAN.
 Yes, I will regard your prayers, if you will suffer this gentleman to
 be your friend.

 ELEANOR.
 Any acquaintance of your's, Mr. Blackman, I must distrust.

 BLACKMAN.
 Do you hear with what contempt she treats us both?

 BLUNTLY.
 But perhaps she is right--at least, in treating one of us so, I am
 sure she is--and I will forgive her wronging the one, for the sake of
 her doing justice to the other.

      _Enter_ HENRY: _he starts at seeing_ BLACKMAN _and_ BLUNTLY.

 HENRY.
 Who are these?

 BLACKMAN.
 "Who are these?" Did you ever hear such impertinence? (_Going up to
 him_) Pray who are you, sir?

 HENRY.
 I am a man.

 BLACKMAN.
 Yes--but I am a lawyer.

 HENRY.
 Whatever you are, this apartment is mine, not your's--and I desire you
 to leave it.

 BLACKMAN.
 But to-morrow it will be mine, and then I shall desire _you_ to leave
 it, and force you to leave it.

 HENRY.
 Eleanor, retire to the other chamber; I am sorry I left you. [_Leads
 her off._

 BLACKMAN.
 And I am sorry that I and my friend should come here to be affronted.

 BLUNTLY.
 Mr. Blackman, I won't be called names.

 BLACKMAN.
 Names, sir! What names did I call you?

 BLUNTLY.
 Did not you call me your friend? I assure you, sir, I am not used to
 be called names. I am but a servant whose character is every
 thing--and I'll let you know that I am _not_ your friend.

 BLACKMAN.
 Why, you blockhead, does not your master call himself my friend?

 BLUNTLY.
 Yes, my master is a great man, and he can get a place without a
 character,--but if I lose mine, I am ruined; therefore take care how
 you miscal me for the future, for I assure you I won't bear it. I am
 not your friend, and you shall find I am not.

      [_Exit (in great anger)_, BLACKMAN _following_.

END OF THE FIRST ACT.



ACT II.


SCENE I. _An Apartment at_ SIR GEORGE SPLENDORVILLE'S.

_Enter_ SIR GEORGE, _followed by_ BLUNTLY.


 SIR GEORGE.
 What's o'clock? [_Rubbing his eyes._

 BLUNTLY.
 Just noon, sir.

 SIR GEORGE.
 Why was I waked so early?

 BLUNTLY.
 You were not waked, sir--You rung.

 SIR GEORGE.
 Then it was in my sleep--and could not you suppose so?----After going
 to bed at five, to make me rise at noon! (_in a violent passion_) What
 am I to do with myself, sir, till it is time to go out for the
 evening?

 BLUNTLY.
 You have company to dinner you know, sir.

 SIR GEORGE.
 No, it is to supper--and what am I to do with myself till that time?

 BLUNTLY.
 Company again to supper, Sir?

 SIR GEORGE.
 Yes, and the self-same company I had last night--I invited them upon
 Lady Caroline's account--to give her an opportunity of revenge, for
 the money she lost here yesterday evening--and I am all weariness--I
 am all lassitude and fretfulness till the time arrives.--But now I
 call to mind, I have an affair that may engage my attention a few
 hours. You were giving me an account, Bluntly, of that beautiful girl
 I saw enter at Blackman's?

 BLUNTLY.
 Yes, sir, I saw her late last night in Mr. Blackman's house--she
 lodges there.

 SIR GEORGE.
 Indeed? In Blackman's house? I am glad to hear it.

 BLUNTLY.
 And he has assured me, sir, that she and her family are in the
 greatest poverty imaginable.

 SIR GEORGE.
 I am glad to hear it.

 BLUNTLY.
 They have been it seems above a twelvemonth in London, in search of
 some rich relations; but instead of meeting with them, the father was
 seen and remembered by an old creditor who has thrown him into prison.

 SIR GEORGE.
 I am very glad to hear it.

 BLUNTLY.
 But the young woman, Sir, has been so short a time in town, she has,
 seemingly, a great deal of modesty and virtue.

 SIR GEORGE.
 And I am very glad to hear of that too--I like her the better--you
 know I do--for I am weary of that ready compliance I meet with from
 the sex.

 BLUNTLY.
 But if I might presume to advise, sir--as you are so soon to be
 married to her ladyship, whom you love with sincere affection, you
 should give up this pursuit.

 SIR GEORGE.
 And I _shall_ give it up, Bluntly, before my marriage takes
 place--for, short as that time may be, I expect this passion will be
 over and forgotten, long before the interval has passed away.--But
 that brother you were mentioning----

 BLUNTLY.
 I have some reason to think, that with all his poverty, he has a
 notion of honour.

 SIR GEORGE. [_Laughing._
 Oh! I have often tried the effect of a purse of gold with people of
 honour.--Have you desired them to be sent for as I ordered.

 BLUNTLY.
 I have, Sir.

 SIR GEORGE.
 See if they are come. [_Exit_ BLUNTLY.] Ah! my dear Lady Caroline, it
 is you, and only you, whom I love with a sincere passion! but in
 waiting this long expected event of our marriage, permit me to indulge
 some less exalted wishes.

      _Enter_ BLUNTLY.

 SIR GEORGE.
 Are they come?

 BLUNTLY.
 The young man is in the anti-chamber, sir, but his sister is not with
 him. (_Speaking to_ HENRY _who is without_) Please to walk this
 way--my master desires to see you.

 SIR GEORGE.
 No, no, no--I do not desire to see him, if his sister is not
 there.--Zounds you scoundrel what did you call him in for?

      _Enter_ HENRY, _and bows_.

      [SIR GEORGE _looks at him with a careless familiarity_--BLUNTLY
      _leaves the room_.]

 SIR GEORGE.
 Young man, I am told you are very poor--you may have heard that I am
 very rich--and I suppose you are acquainted with the extensive meaning
 of the word--generosity.

 HENRY. [_After an hesitation._]
 Perhaps not, sir.

 SIR GEORGE.
 The meaning of it, as I comprehend, is, for the rich to give to the
 poor.--Have you any thing to ask of me in which I can serve you?

 HENRY.
 Your proposal is so general, I am at a loss what to answer--but you
 are no doubt acquainted with the extensive meaning of the word,
 _pride_,--and that will apologize for the seeming indifference with
 which I receive your offer.

 SIR GEORGE.
 Your pride seems extensive indeed.--I heard your father was in prison,
 and I pitied him.

 HENRY.
 Did you, Sir?--Did you pity my father:--I beg your pardon--if I have
 said any thing to offend you pray forgive it--nor let my rudeness turn
 your companion away from him, to any other object.

 SIR GEORGE.
 Would a small sum release him from confinement? Would about a hundred
 pounds----

 HENRY.
 I have no doubt but it would.

 SIR GEORGE.
 Then take that note.----Be not surprised--I mean to dispose of a
 thousand guineas this way, instead of fitting up a theatre in my own
 house.--That (_giving him the note_) is a mere trifle; my box at the
 opera, or my dinner; I mean to dine alone to morrow, instead of
 inviting company.

 HENRY.
 Sir George, I spoke so rudely to you at first, that I know no other
 way to shew my humility, than to accept your present without
 reluctance.--I do therefore, as the gift of benevolence, not as the
 insult of better fortune.

 SIR GEORGE.
 You have a brother, have not you?

 HENRY.
 No, Sir--and only one sister.

 SIR GEORGE.
 A sister is it? well, let me see your father and your brother--your
 sister I mean--did not you say?--you said a sister, did not you?

 HENRY.
 Yes, Sir.

 SIR GEORGE.
 Well, let me see your father and her; they will rejoice at their good
 fortune I imagine, and I wish to be a witness of their joy.

 HENRY.
 I will this moment go to our lawyer, extricate my father, and we will
 all return and make you the spectator of the happiness you have
 bestowed.

 Forgive my eagerness to disclose your bounty, sir, if, before I have
 said half I feel, I fly to reveal it to my father; to whom I can more
 powerfully express my sensations--than in your presence. [_Exit._

 SIR GEORGE.
 That bait has taken--and now, if the sister will only be as grateful.

      _Enter_ BLUNTLY.

 BLUNTLY.
 Dear sir, what can you have said to the young man? I never saw a
 person so much affected!

 SIR GEORGE.
 In what manner?

 BLUNTLY.
 The tears ran down his cheeks as he passed along, and he held
 something in his hand which he pressed to his lips, and then to his
 heart, as if it was a treasure.

 SIR GEORGE.
 It is a treasure, Bluntly--a hundred Guineas.

 BLUNTLY.
 But for which, I believe, you expect a greater treasure in return.

 SIR GEORGE.
 Dost think so Bluntly?--dost think the girl is worth a hundred pounds?

 BLUNTLY.
 If she refuses, she is worth a thousand--but if she complies, you have
 thrown away your money.

 SIR GEORGE.
 Just the reverse.

 BLUNTLY.
 But I hope, sir, you do not mean to throw away any more thus--for
 although this sum, by way of charity, may be well applied, yet indeed,
 sir, I know some of your creditors as much in want as this poor
 family.

 SIR GEORGE.
 How!--You are in pay by some of my creditors I suppose?

 BLUNTLY.
 No, Sir, you must pay them, before they can pay any body.

 SIR GEORGE.
 You are impertinent--leave the room instantly, and go in search of
 this sister; now, while the son is gone to release his father.--Tell
 her, her brother is here, and bring her hither immediately.

 BLUNTLY.
 But, sir, if you will only give me leave to speak one word--

 SIR GEORGE.
 Do, speak; [_Goes to the chimney-piece and takes down a pistol_] only
 speak a single syllable, and I'll send a ball instantly through your
 head.

 BLUNTLY.
 I am dumb, Sir--I don't speak indeed, Sir--upon my life I don't. I
 wish I may die if I speak a word.

 SIR GEORGE.
 Go on the errand I told you; and if you dare to return without the
 girl this is your fate. [_Holding up the pistol._

 BLUNTLY.
 Yes, Sir. [_Exit._

 SIR GEORGE. [_Laying the pistol on the table._
 Impertinent puppy; to ruffle the temper of a man of fashion with hints
 of prudence and morality, and paying his debts--all this from a
 servant too. The insolent, chattering----

      _Enter_ BLUNTLY.

 BLUNTLY.
 May I speak now, sir?

 SIR GEORGE.
 What have you to say?

 BLUNTLY.
 Mr. Blackman, sir.

 SIR GEORGE.
 Bid him come in.

       _Enter_ BLACKMAN. _Exit_ BLUNTLY.

 SIR GEORGE.
 Good morning, Mr. Blackman; come, sit down.

 BLACKMAN. [_Bowing respectfully._
 I am glad, Sir George, I have found you alone, for I come to speak to
 you on important business.

 SIR GEORGE.
 Business!----no--not now if you please.

 BLACKMAN.
 But I must, sir--I have been here ten times before, and have been put
 off, but now you must hear what I have to say.

 SIR GEORGE.
 Don't be long then--don't be tedious, Mr. Blackman--for I expect a,
 a--in short, I expect a pretty woman.

 BLACKMAN.
 When she comes, I will go.

 SIR GEORGE.
 Very well, speak quickly then. What have you to say?

 BLACKMAN.
 I come to speak upon the subject of your father's will; by which you
 know, you run the hazard of losing great part of what he left behind.

 SIR GEORGE.
 But what am I to do?

 BLACKMAN.
 There is no time to be lost. Consider, that Mr. Manly, the lawyer,
 whom your father employed, is a man who pretends to a great deal of
 morality; and it was he who, when your father found himself dying,
 alarmed his conscience, and persuaded him to make this Will in favour
 of a second person. Now, I think that you and I both together, ought
 to have a meeting with this conscientious lawyer.

 SIR GEORGE.
 But I should imagine, Mr. Blackman, that if he is really a
 conscientious man, you and he will not be upon good terms.

 BLACKMAN.
 Oh! people of our avocation differ in respect to conscience. Puzzle,
 confound, and abuse each other, and yet are upon good terms.

 SIR GEORGE.
 But I fear----

 BLACKMAN.
 Fear nothing.--There are a vast number of resources in our art.--It is
 so spacious, and yet so confined--so sublime, and yet so profound--so
 distinct, and yet so complicated--that if ever this person with whom
 your fortune is divided should be found, I know how to envelope her
 in a labyrinth, where she shall be lost again in a hurry.----But your
 father's lawyer being a very honest--I mean a very particular man in
 his profession,--I have reason to fear we cannot gain him over to our
 purpose.--If, therefore,--

      _Enter_ BLUNTLY.

 SIR GEORGE.
 My visitor is come, as I told you.

 BLACKMAN. [_Rising._
 And I am gone, as I told you. [_Going._

      _Enter_ ELEANOR.

 BLACKMAN. [_Aside._
 My lodger! ah! ah! (_To her in a whisper_) You may stay another
 quarter. [_Exit._

 SIR GEORGE.
 (_To_ Eleanor) I am glad to see you.--Bluntly--

      [_Makes a sign to him to leave the room._

 BLUNTLY.
 Sir?
      [SIR GEORGE _waves his hand and nods his head a second
      time_.

 BLUNTLY.
 Sir?----

      [_Still affecting not to understand him._

 SIR GEORGE.
 I bid you go. [_Angrily._

 BLUNTLY.

 You bid me go, sir?--Oh yes, sir.--Very well, sir.--But indeed, sir, I
 did not hear you before, sir.--Indeed I did not.

      [_Bows, and exit with reluctance, which_ ELEANOR _observes_.

 ELEANOR.
 Pardon me, sir.--I understood my brother was here, but I find he is
 not.

 SIR GEORGE.
 He is but this instant gone, and will return immediately.--Stay then
 with me till he comes. (_Takes her hand._) Surely you cannot refuse to
 remain with me a few moments; especially as I have a great deal to say
 to you that may tend to your advantage.

 Why do you cast your eyes with such impatience on that door? (_Goes
 and locks it._) There, now you may look at it in vain.

 ELEANOR.
 For heaven sake, why am I locked in?

 SIR GEORGE.
 Because you should not escape.

 ELEANOR.
 That makes me resolve I will--Open the door, sir. [_Going to it._

 SIR GEORGE.
 Nay, listen to me. Your sentiments, I make no doubt, are formed from
 books.

 ELEANOR.
 No, from misfortunes--yet more instructive.

 SIR GEORGE.
 You shall never know misfortune more--you, nor your relations.--But
 this moment I presented your brother with a sum of money, and he left
 me with professions of the deepest gratitude.

 ELEANOR.
 My brother!--Has he received money from you? Ah! he promised me he'd
 not disgrace his family.

 SIR GEORGE.
 How! Family, indeed!

 ELEANOR.
 I cannot remain here a moment longer. Open the door, sir--open it
 immediately. [_Raising her voice._

 BLUNTLY. [_Without._
 Sir, sir, sir,--open the door, if you please--you are wanted, sir.

 SIR GEORGE.
 S'death! who can want me in such haste? [_Opens the door, and appears
 confounded._

      _Enter_ BLUNTLY.

 SIR GEORGE.
 Well, sir!

 BLUNTLY.
 ----Did you call, sir?

 SIR GEORGE.
 It was _you_ who called, sir.

 BLUNTLY.
 Who, I, sir?

 SIR GEORGE.
 Yes, sir, you--Who wants me?

 BLUNTLY. [_Looking at_ ELEANOR.
 Perhaps it was _you_ that called, Ma'am.

 ELEANOR.
 It _was_ I that called: and pray be so kind as to conduct me to my own
 lodgings.

      [BLUNTLY _offers her his hand_.

 SIR GEORGE.
 Dare not to touch her--or to stay another moment in the room.--Begone.

      [BLUNTLY _looks at_ ELEANOR _aside, and points to the
      pistol; then bows humbly, and retires_.

 SIR GEORGE.
 And now, my fair Lucretia----

      [_He is going to seize her--she takes up the pistol and
      presents it._

 ELEANOR.
 No, it's not _myself_ I'll kill--'Tis you.

 SIR GEORGE. [_Starting._
 Nay, nay, nay, lay it down.--Lay that foolish thing down; I beg you
 will. (_Trembling._) It is charged--it may go off.

 ELEANOR.
 I mean it to go off.

 SIR GEORGE.
 But no jesting--I never liked jesting in my life.

 ELEANOR.
 Nor I--but am always serious.--Dare not, therefore, insult me again,
 but let me go to my wretched apartments.

      [_Passes by him, presenting the pistol._

 SIR GEORGE.
 Go to the----

      [_She turns short at the door, and presents it again._

 SIR GEORGE.
 What would you do?--Here Bluntly! Bluntly! [_Exit_ ELEANOR.

      _Enter_ BLUNTLY.

 BLUNTLY.
 Did you call or no, sir?

 SIR GEORGE.
 Yes, sir, I did call now. (_In a threatening accent._) Don't you think
 you have behaved very well this morning?

 BLUNTLY.
 Yes, sir, I think I have.

 SIR GEORGE.
 I am not joking.

 BLUNTLY.
 Nor am I, sir.

 SIR GEORGE.
 And do not you think I should behave very well, if I was to discharge
 you my service?

 BLUNTLY.
 As well as can be expected, sir.

 SIR GEORGE.
 Why did you break in upon me just now? Did you think I was going to
 murder the girl?

 BLUNTLY.
 No, sir, I suspected neither love nor murder.

 SIR GEORGE.
 What then did you suspect?

 BLUNTLY.
 Why, sir, if I may make bold to speak--I was afraid the poor girl
 might be robbed: and of all she is worth in the world.

 SIR GEORGE.
 Blockhead! I suppose you mean her virtue? [_Smiling with contempt._

 BLUNTLY.
 Why, to say the truth, sir, virtue is a currency that grows scarce in
 the world now-a-days--and some men are so much in need of it, that
 they think nothing of stopping a harmless female passenger in her road
 through life, and plundering her of it without remorse, though its
 loss, embitters every hour she must afterwards pass in her journey.

      _Enter_ HENRY.

 HENRY.
 Sir George, my father, liberated from prison by your bounty, is come
 gratefully to offer----

      _Enter_ WILLFORD _and_ ELEANOR.

 ELEANOR.
 [_Holding her father by the hand, to prevent his going forward._
 Oh, my father! whither are you going? Turn back--turn back.

 HENRY. [_To his father._
 This is your benefactor--the man whose benevolence has put an end to
 your sufferings.

      [ELEANOR _bursts into tears and retires up the stage_.

 WILLFORD.
 How, sir, can I ever repay what I owe to you?--or how describe those
 emotions, which your goodness at this moment makes me feel?

 SIR GEORGE. [_In confusion._
 Very well--very well--'tis all very well. (_Aside_) I wish it
 was.--(_To him_) I am glad I have been of service to you.

 WILLFORD.
 You have been like mercy to us all. My daughter's gratitude overflows
 in tears.--But why, my child, do you keep apart from us? Can you be
 too timid to confess your obligation?

 SIR GEORGE.
 Let her alone--let her indulge her humour.

 WILLFORD.
 Speak, Eleanor.

 SIR GEORGE.
 No, I had rather she would be silent.

 WILLFORD.
 You offend me by this obstinacy.

 ELEANOR. [_Going to_ WILLFORD _and taking his hand_.
 Oh, my father!--Oh! I cannot----I cannot speak.

 WILLFORD.
 Wherefore?--Explain this moment, what agitates you thus.

 ELEANOR.
 You must return to confinement again.

 WILLFORD.
 How?

 ELEANOR.
 The money that has set you free, was given for the basest
 purposes--and by a man as far beneath you in principle, as you are
 beneath him in fortune. Disdain the obligation--and come my father,
 return to prison.

 WILLFORD.
 Yes.--And with more joy than I left it. (_To_ SIR GEORGE) Joy, in my
 daughter's virtuous contempt of thee. (_To his children_) Leave the
 house instantly.

      [_Exit_ HENRY _and_ ELEANOR.

 WILLFORD. [_Addressing himself to_ SIR GEORGE.
 Your present is but deposited in a lawyer's hands, whose word gained
 me my liberty--he shall immediately return it to you, while I return
 to imprisonment.

 SIR GEORGE.
 If the money is in a lawyer's hands, my good friend, it may be some
 time before you get it returned. [_Going._

 WILLFORD.
 Stay, Sir George--(_he returns_) And look me in the face while you
 insult me. (SIR GEORGE _looks on the floor_.) You cannot.--I therefore
 triumph, while you stand before me abashed like a culprit.--Yet be
 assured, unthinking, dissipated man, that with all your insolence and
 cruelty towards me and mine, I have still the charity to rejoice, even
 for your sake, at seeing you thus confounded. This shame is at least
 one trait in your favour; and while it revenges my wrongs, gives me
 joy to find, you are not a _hardened_ libertine. [_Exeunt._

END OF THE SECOND ACT.



ACT III.


SCENE I. _The apartment at_ SIR GEORGE SPLENDORVILLE'S, _where the
night has been passed at play--Several card-tables with company
playing_--SIR GEORGE _and_ LADY CAROLINE _at the same table_. SIR
GEORGE _rises furiously_.


 SIR GEORGE.
 Never was the whole train of misfortunes so united to undo a man, as
 this night to ruin me. The most obstinate round of ill luck----

 MR. LUCRE. [_Waking from a sleep._
 What is all that? You have lost a great deal of money, I suppose?

 SIR GEORGE.
 Every guinea I had about me, and fifteen thousand besides, for which I
 have given my word.

 MR. LUCRE.
 Fifteen thousand guineas! and I have not won one of them.--Oh,
 confusion upon every thing that has prevented me.

 SIR GEORGE. [_Taking_ LADY CAROLINE _aside_.
 Lady Caroline, you are the sole person who has profited by my
 loss.--Prove to me that your design was not to ruin me; to sink me
 into the abyss of misfortune,--prove to me, you love me in return for
 all my tender love to you. And (_taking up the cards_) give me my
 revenge in one single cut.

 LADY CAROLINE.
 If this is the proof you require, I consent.

 SIR GEORGE.
 Thank you.--And it is for double or quit.--Thank you. [_She shuffles
 and cuts._

 SIR GEORGE.
 Ay, it will be mine--thank you.--I shall be the winner--thank you.
 (_He cuts--then tears the cards and throws them on the floor._)
 Destraction!--Furies of the blackest kind conspire against me, and all
 their serpents are in my heart.--Cruel, yet beloved woman! Could you
 thus abuse and take advantage of the madness of my situation?

 LADY CAROLINE.
 Your misfortunes, my dear Sir George--make you blind.

 SIR GEORGE. [_Taking her again aside._
 No, they have rather opened my eyes, and have shown me what you
 are.--Still an object I adore; but I now perceive your are one to my
 ruin devoted.--If any other intention had directed you, would you have
 thus decoyed me to my folly?--You know my proneness to play, your own
 likelihood of success, and have palpably allured me to my destruction.
 Ungrateful woman, you never loved me, but taught me to believe so, in
 order to partake of my prodigality.--Do not be suspicious, madam; the
 debt shall be discharged within a week.

 LADY CAROLINE. [_With the utmost indifference._
 That will do, sir--I depend upon your word; and that will do. [_Exit
 curtsying._

 SIR GEORGE.
 Ungrateful--cruel--she is gone without giving me one hope.--She even
 insults--despises me.

 MR. LUCRE. [_Coming forward._
 Indeed, my dear friend, I compassionate your ill luck most feelingly;
 and yet I am nearly as great an object of compassion on this occasion
 as yourself; for I have not won a single guinea of all your losses: if
 I had, why I could have borne your misfortune with some sort of
 patience.

 LADY BRIDGET.
 My dear Sir George, your situation affects me so extremely, I cannot
 stay a moment longer in your presence. [_Goes to the door, and
 returns._] But you may depend upon my prayers. [_Exit._

 LORD HAZARD.
 Sir George, if I had any consolation to offer, it should be at your
 service--but you know--you are convinced--I have merely a sufficiency
 of consolation--that is, of friends and of money to support myself in
 the rank of life I hold in the world. For without that--without that
 rank--I sincerely wish you a good morning.

      [_Exit_ LORD HAZARD.

 SIR GEORGE.
 Good morning.

      [_The company by degrees all steal out of the room, except_
      Mr. LUCRE.

 SIR GEORGE. [_Looking around._
 Where are all my guests?--the greatest part gone without a word in
 condolence, and the rest torturing me with insulting wishes. Here!
 behold! here is the sole reliance which I have prepared for the hour
 of misfortune; and what is it?--words--compliments--desertion--and
 from those, whose ingratitude makes their neglect still more poignant.
 [_Turns and perceives_ Mr. LUCRE.] Lucre, my dear Lucre, are not you
 amazed at what you see?

 MR. LUCRE.
 No, not at all--'tis the way of the world--we caress our acquaintances
 whilst they are happy and in power, but if they fall into misfortune,
 we think we do enough if we have the good nature to pity them.

 SIR GEORGE.
 And are you, one of these friends?

 MR. LUCRE.
 I am like the rest of the world.--I was in the number of your
 flatterers; but at present you have none--for you may already
 perceive, we are grown sincere.

 SIR GEORGE.
 But have not you a thousand times desired me, in any distress, to
 prove you?

 MR. LUCRE.
 And you do prove me now, do you not?--Heaven bless you. [_Shaking
 hands with him_] I shall always have a regard for you--but for any
 thing farther--I scorn professions which I do not mean to keep.
 [_Going._

 SIR GEORGE.
 Nay, but Lucre! consider the anguish in which you leave me!--consider,
 that to be forsaken by my friends is more affecting than the loss of
 all my fortune. Though you have nothing else to give me, yet give me
 your company.

 MR. LUCRE.
 My dear friend I _cannot_. Reflect that I am under obligations to
 you--so many indeed that I am ashamed to see you.----I am naturally
 bashful; and do not be surprised if I should never have the confidence
 to look you in the face again. [_Exit._

 SIR GEORGE.
 This is the world, such as I have heard it described, but not such as
 I could ever believe it to be.--But I forgive--I forget all the world
 except Lady Caroline--her ingratitude fastens to my heart and drives
 me to despair. She, on whom I have squandered so much--she, whom I
 loved--and whom I still love, spite of her perfidy!

      (_Enter_ BLUNTLY.)

 Well, Bluntly--behold the friendship of the friends I loved! This
 morning I was in prosperity and had many--this night I am ruined, and
 I have not one.

 BLUNTLY.
 Ruined, sir?

 SIR GEORGE.
 Totally: and shall be forced to part with every thing I possess to pay
 the sums I owe.----Of course, I shall part with all my servants--and
 do you endeavour to find some other place.

 BLUNTLY.
 But first, sir,--permit me to ask a favour of you?

 SIR GEORGE.
 A favour of me? I have no favours now to grant.

 BLUNTLY.
 I beg your pardon, sir--you have one--and I entreat it on my knees.

 SIR GEORGE.
 What would you ask of me?

 BLUNTLY.
 To remain along with you still.--I will never quit you; but serve you
 for nothing, to the last moment of my life.

 SIR GEORGE.
 I have then one friend left. (_Embracing him._) And never will I
 forget to acknowledge the obligation.

      _Enter_ BLACKMAN.

 BLACKMAN.
 Pardon me--sir--I beg ten thousand pardons--pray excuse me, (_In the
 most servile manner_,) for entering before I sent to know if you were
 at leisure--but your attendants are all fast asleep on the chairs of
 your antichamber.--I could not wake a soul--and I imagined you
 yourself were not yet up.

 SIR GEORGE.
 On the contrary, I have not yet been in bed. And when I do go there, I
 wish never to rise from it again.

 BLACKMAN.
 Has any thing unexpected happened?

 SIR GEORGE.
 Yes.--That I am ruined--inevitably ruined--Behold (_Shewing the
 cards_) the only wreck of my fortune.

 BLACKMAN.
 (_Starting._) Lost all your fortune?

 SIR GEORGE.
 All I am worth--and as much more as I am worth.

      [BLACKMAN _draws a chair, sits down with great familiarity,
      and stares_ SIR GEORGE _rudely in the face_.

 BLACKMAN.
 Lost all you are worth? He, he, he, he! (_Laughs maliciously._) Pretty
 news, truly! Why then I suppose I have lost great part of what I am
 worth? all which you are indebted to me?--However there is a way yet
 to retrieve you. But--please to desire your servant to leave the room.

 SIR GEORGE.
 Bluntly, leave us a moment. (_Exit_ BLUNTLY.) Well, Mr. Blackman, what
 is this grand secret?

 BLACKMAN.
 Why, in the state to which you have reduced yourself, there is
 certainly no one hope for you, but in that portion, that half of your
 fortune, which the will of your father keeps you out of.

 SIR GEORGE.
 But how am I to obtain it? The lawyer in whose hands it is placed,
 will not give it up, without being insured from any future demand by
 some certain proofs.

 BLACKMAN.
 And suppose I should search, and find proofs? Suppose I have them
 already by me?--But upon this occasion, you must not only rely
 implicitly on what I say, but it is necessary you should say the same
 yourself.

 SIR GEORGE.
 If you advance no falsehood, I cannot have any objection.

 BLACKMAN.
 Falsehood!--falsehood!--I apprehend, Sir George, you do not consider,
 that there is a particular construction put upon words and phrases in
 the practice of the law, which the rest of the world, out of that
 study, are not clearly acquainted with. For instance, _falsehood_ with
 _us_, is not _exactly_ what it is with other people.

 SIR GEORGE.
 How! Is truth, immutable truth, to be corrupted and confounded by men
 of the law?

 BLACKMAN.
 I was not speaking of truth--that, we have nothing to do with.

 SIR GEORGE.
 I, must not say so, however, sir.--And in this crisis of my
 sufferings, it is the only comfort, the only consolatory reflection
 left me, that truth and I, will never separate.

 BLACKMAN.
 Stick to your truth--but confide in me as usual.--You will go with me,
 then, to Mr. Manly, your father's lawyer, and corroborate all that I
 shall say?

 SIR GEORGE.
 Tell me, but what you intend to say?

 BLACKMAN.
 I can't do that. In the practice of the law, we never know what we
 intend to say--and therefore our blunders, when we make them, are in
 some measure excusable--and if I should chance to make a blunder or
 two, I mean any trivial mistake, when we come before this lawyer, you
 must promise not to interfere, or in any shape contradict me.

 SIR GEORGE.
 A mere lapse of memory, I have nothing to do with.

 BLACKMAN.
 And my memory grows very bad; therefore you must not disconcert me.

 SIR GEORGE.
 Come, let us begone--I am ready to go with you this moment.

 BLACKMAN.
 I must first go home, and prepare a few writings.

 SIR GEORGE.
 But call to mind that I rely upon your honour.

 BLACKMAN.
 Do you think Bluntly, your servant, is an honest man?

 SIR GEORGE.
 I am sure he is.

 BLACKMAN.
 Then, to quiet your fears, I will take him along with us; and you will
 depend on what he shall say, I make no doubt?

 SIR GEORGE.
 I would stake my being upon his veracity.

 BLACKMAN.
 Call him in, then, and bid him do as I command him.

 SIR GEORGE.
 Here, Bluntly. (_Enter_ BLUNTLY.) Mr. Blackman has some business with
 you--listen to him with attention, and follow his directions. [_Exit._

 BLACKMAN.
 You know, I suppose, the perilous situation of your master?

      [BLUNTLY _shakes his head, and wipes his eyes._

 BLACKMAN.
 Good fellow! good fellow!--and you would, I dare say, do any thing to
 rescue him from the misery with which he is surrounded?

 BLUNTLY.
 I would lay down my life.

 BLACKMAN.
 You can do it for less. Only put on a black coat, and the business is
 done.

 BLUNTLY.
 What's that all? Oh! if I can save him by putting on a black coat,
 I'll go buy mourning, and wear it all my life.

 BLACKMAN.
 There's a good fellow. I sincerely thank you for this attachment to
 your master.

      [_Shaking him by the hand._

 BLUNTLY.
 My dear Blackman, I beg your pardon for what I am going to say; but as
 you behave thus friendly on this unfortunate occasion, I must confess
 to you--that till now I always hated you.--I could not bear the sight
 of you.--For I thought you (I wish I may die if I did not) one of the
 greatest rogues in the world. I fancied you only waited on, and
 advised my master to make your market of him.--But now your attention
 to him in his distress, when all his friends have forsaken him, is so
 kind--Heaven bless you--Heaven bless you--I'll go buy a black coat.
 [_Going._

 BLACKMAN.
 I have something more to say to you.--When you have put on this coat,
 you must meet your master and me at Mr. Manly's, the lawyer; and when
 we are all there, you must mind and say, exactly what I say.

 BLUNTLY.
 And what will that be?

 BLACKMAN.
 Oh! something.

 BLUNTLY.
 I have no objection to say something--but I hope you won't make me say
 any thing.

 BLACKMAN.
 You seem to doubt me once more, sir?

 BLUNTLY.
 No, I am doubting you now for the first time; for I always thought I
 was _certain_ before.

 BLACKMAN.
 And will you not venture to say yes, and no, to what I shall advance?

 BLUNTLY.
 Why--I think I may venture to say yes to your no, and no to your yes,
 with a safe conscience.

 BLACKMAN.
 If you do not instantly follow me and do all that I shall propose,
 your master is ruined.--Would you see him dragged to prison?

 BLUNTLY.
 No, I would sooner go myself.

 BLACKMAN.
 Then why do you stand talking about a safe conscience. Half my clients
 would have been ruined if I had shewn my zeal as you do. Conscience
 indeed! Why, this is a matter of law, to serve your master in his
 necessity.

 BLUNTLY.
 I have heard necessity has no law--but if it has no conscience, it is
 a much worse thing than I took it for.--No matter for that--come
 along.--Oh my poor master!--I would even tell a _lie_ to save him.
 [_Exeunt._


SCENE II. _A lawyer's study._

MR. MANLY _discovered at his writing-desk--a Servant attending_.


 MANLY.
 Who do you say wants to speak with me?

 SERVANT.
 Mr. Lucre, sir.

 MANLY.
 And who else?

 SERVANT.
 A person who says his name is Willford, he looks as if he came from
 the country, and seems in mean circumstances.

 MANLY.
 Show him to me directly. And take Mr. Lucre, or any other person of
 fashion that may call, to my clerks. [_Exit Servant._] But for the
 poor, let them be under _my_ protection.

      _Enter_ WILLFORD _and_ ELEANOR.

 MANLY.
 Come in--walk in, and let me know what I can do to serve you.

 WILLFORD.
 I deposited, sir, in your clerk's hands, a sum of money to set me free
 from confinement for debt.--On his word, I was discharged--he owns he
 has not yet paid away this money, still he refuses to restore it to
 me, though in return I again render up my person.

 MANLY.
 And why would you do this?

 WILLFORD.
 Because my honour--I mean my conscience--for that's the poor man's
 honour--is concerned.

 MANLY.
 Explain yourself.

 WILLFORD.
 A son of mine, received this sum I speak of, and thought it _given_
 him; while it was only meant as a purchase--a purchase of what we had
 no right to sell--and therefore it must be restored to the owner.

 MANLY.
 And who is he?

 WILLFORD.
 Sir George Splendorville--I suppose you have heard of him?

 MANLY.
 He, you mean, who by the desire of his father's will, lately changed
 his name from Blandford?

 WILLFORD.
 Sir!

 MANLY.
 The name, which some part of the family, while reduced, had taken.

 WILLFORD.
 Good Heaven! Is there such a circumstance in his story?

 MANLY.
 Why do you ask with such emotion?

 WILLFORD.
 Because he is the man, in search of whom I left my habitation in
 the country, to present before him a destitute young woman, a near
 relation.

 MANLY.
 What relation?--Be particular in your answer.

 WILLFORD.
 A sister.

 MANLY.
 I thank you for your intelligence. You have named a person who for
 these three years past, I have in vain endeavoured to find.--But did
 you say she was in poverty?

 WILLFORD.
 I did.

 MANLY.
 I give you joy then--for I have in my possession a deed which conveys
 to a lost daughter of Sir George's father, the other half of the
 fortune he bequeathed his son--but as yet, all my endeavours have been
 in vain to find where she, and an uncle, to whose care she was
 entrusted in her infancy, are retired.

 WILLFORD. [_Turning to_ ELEANOR.
 Now, Eleanor, arm yourself with fortitude--with fortitude to bear not
 the frowns, but the smiles of fortune. Be humble, collected, and the
 same you have ever been, while I for the first time inform you--you
 are not my daughter.--And from this gentleman's intelligence add, you
 are rich--you are the deceased Blandford's child, and Splendorville's
 sister.

 ELEANOR.
 Oh! Heavens! Do I lose a father such as you, to gain a brother such as
 he is?

 MANLY. [_To_ WILLFORD.
 There can be no mistake on this occasion--And you, if I am not
 deceived, are the brother of the late Mr. Blandford. Your looks, your
 person, your very voice confirms it.

 WILLFORD.
 I have writings in my care, shall prove it beyond a doubt; with the
 whole narrative of our separation when he with his son, then a youth,
 embarked for India; where I suppose, riches, soon succeeded poverty.

      _Enter_ SERVANT.

 SERVANT.
 Lady Caroline Seymour, sir, is at the door in her carriage, and will
 not be denied admittance. She says she must see you upon some very
 urgent business.

 MANLY. [_To_ WILLFORD _and_ ELEANOR.
 Will you do me the favour to step for a moment into this room? Lady
 Caroline will not stay long. I'll not detain you.

      [_Exit_ WILLFORD _and_ ELEANOR.

      _Enter_ LADY CAROLINE.

 LADY CAROLINE.
 Dear Mr. Manly, I have a thousand apologies to make--And yet I am sure
 you will excuse the subject of my visit, when you consider----

 MANLY.
 Your ladyship will please to sit down.

      [_He draws chairs and they sit._

 LADY CAROLINE.
 You cannot be ignorant, Mr. Manly--you must know, the terms of
 acquaintance on which Sir George Splendorville and I have been, for
 some time past?--you were his father's agent; his chief solicitor; and
 although you are not employed by Sir George, yet the state of his
 affairs cannot be concealed from you--Has he, or has he not, any
 inheritance yet to come?

 MANLY.
 Pardon me, madam--though not entrusted by Sir George, I will,
 nevertheless, keep his secrets.

 LADY CAROLINE.
 That is plainly telling me he is worth nothing.

 MANLY.
 By no means--Sir George, in spite of his profusion, must still be
 rich. He has preserved his large estate in Wales; and as to money, I
 do not doubt but he has a considerable sum.

 LADY CAROLINE.
 Not a guinea. I won it all from him last night.

 MANLY.
 You? You, who are to become his wife?

 LADY CAROLINE.
 I might, had I not been thus fortunate. But why should I marry him,
 when his riches are mine, without that ceremony.

 MANLY.
 Inconsiderate man!--what will be the end of his imprudence! Yet,
 Heaven be praised! he has still that fine estate, I just now
 mentioned.

 LADY CAROLINE.
 Indeed he has not--that has belonged to me these three months.

 MANLY.
 To you!

 LADY CAROLINE.
 Yes--Bought for me under another name by agents; and for half its
 value.

 MANLY.
 Madman!--Yet your ladyship must excuse me. I know your income stinted,
 and till the death of the Earl, your father, where could you raise
 sufficient to make even half the purchase.

 LADY CAROLINE.
 From Splendorville's own prodigality--from lavish presents made to me
 by him.

      _Enter_ SERVANT.

 SERVANT.
 Sir George Splendorville, sir, desires to speak with you--he is at the
 door with Mr. Blackman.

 LADY CAROLINE.
 Oh Heavens! do not let him see me here.

      [_She is hastening to the room where_ WILLFORD _and his
      daughter are._

 MANLY.
 I have company there--walk in here, if you Please.

      [_Shows her another door and she enters._

 MANLY. [_To the servant._
 Desire Sir George to walk in.

      _Enter_ SIR GEORGE _and_ BLACKMAN.

 MANLY.
 Sir George, do me the favour to sit down.

      [_He looks coolly on_ BLACKMAN, _and pointing to a chair
      says_ Good morning. _They sit._

 SIR GEORGE.
 Mr. Manly, my attorney will let you know the business on which I am
 come.

 BLACKMAN.
 Why yes, Mr. Manly, it is extremely hard that Sir George has for so
 long a time been kept out of a very large part of his fortune;
 particularly, as he has had occasion for it.

 SIR GEORGE.
 I have had occasion for it I assure you Mr. Manly; and I have occasion
 for it at this very time.

 MR. MANLY.
 But so may the person, sir, from whom you would take it. In a word,
 Sir George, neither your lawyer nor you, shall prevail on me to give
 up the trust reposed in me by your father, without certain evidence,
 that your sister will never come to make her claim.

 BLACKMAN.
 You are not afraid of ghosts, are you?

 MANLY.
 No, nor of robbers either:----you cannot frighten me, Mr. Blackman.

 BLACKMAN.
 Then depend upon it, the sister of Sir George can never appear in any
 other manner than as a spirit. For, here, sir, (_taking from his
 pocket a parcel of papers_) here are authentic letters to prove her
 death. (SIR GEORGE _looks confused_.)

 MANLY.
 Her death!

 BLACKMAN.
 Yes, her death. Here is a certificate from the curate of the parish in
 which she was buried.

 MANLY.
 Buried too!

 BLACKMAN.
 Yes, sir, buried. Here is also an affidavit from the sexton of the
 said village, signed by the overseer and churchwardens, testifying the
 same.--You see, (_shewing him the paper, and reading at the fame
 time_) "Died Anno Domini, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine,
 the seventeenth of June----"

      [_Mr._ MANLY _takes the paper, and while he is reading_,
      SIR GEORGE _says apart_----

 SIR GEORGE.
 How near to the brink of infamy has my imprudence led me! And s'death,
 my confusion takes from me the power to explain, and expose the
 scoundrel.

 Mr. Manly, I will leave you for the present; but you shall hear from me
 shortly,--when this matter shall be accounted for clearly--perfectly
 to your satisfaction, you may depend upon it.--(_Going._)

 MANLY.
 Stay, Sir George, and----

 BLACKMAN.
 Aye, Sir George, stay and see Mr. Manly's objections wholly removed.
 He seems to doubt the evidence of paper; I must, therefore, beg leave
 to produce a living witness--the gentleman whom I appointed to meet me
 here.

 MANLY.
 And who is he?

 BLACKMAN.
 The apothecary, who attended Sir George's sister in her dying illness.
 [SIR GEORGE _starts_.

 MANLY.
 Desire him to walk in by all means. What is the matter, Sir George,
 you look discomposed?

 BLACKMAN.
 Sir George is something nervous, Mr. Manly; and you know the very name
 of a medical gentleman, will affect the nerves of some people.

      [BLACKMAN _goes to the door, and leads on_ BLUNTLY,
      _dressed in mourning_.

 SIR GEORGE. [_Aside._
 Bluntly!--But I will see the end of this.

 MANLY.
 (_Bowing to him_). You are an apothecary, I think, sir?

     [BLUNTLY _looks at_ BLACKMAN]

 BLACKMAN.
 Yes, sir.

 BLUNTLY.
 (_After seeming inclined to say_, No). Yes, sir.

 MANLY.
 Pray sir, what disorder took the young lady, on whose account you have
 been brought hither, out of the world?

     [BLUNTLY _looks at_ BLACKMAN.]

 BLACKMAN.
 Oh! the old disorder, I suppose.

 BLUNTLY.
 The old disorder.

 MANLY.
 And pray what may that be, sir? (BLACKMAN _offers to reply_). Mr.
 Blackman, Please to let this gentleman speak for himself.--What is it
 you mean, pray sir, by the old disorder?

 BLUNTLY.
 I--I--mean--Love, sir.

 MANLY.
 You will not pretend to say, that love, was the cause of her death?

 BLUNTLY. (_Confused and hesitating_).
 That--and a few fits of the gout.

 MANLY.
 I fear, sir, you are not in perfect health yourself--you tremble and
 look very pale.

 BLACKMAN.
 That is because the subject affects him.

 MANLY.
 Do you then never mention the young lady without being affected?

 BLUNTLY.
 Never, sir--for had you seen her as I did--um--Had you seen
 her.----She was in very great danger from the first; but after I
 attended her, she was in greater danger still.--I advised a physician
 to be called in; on which she grew worse.--We had next a consultation
 of physicians; and then it was all over with her.

 SIR GEORGE.
 (_Rising from his chair_). Blackman, this is too much--all my
 calamities are inferior to this--Desist, therefore, or----

 BLACKMAN.
 (_To_ BLUNTLY.) Desist--He cannot bear to hear the pathetic
 description. Consider the lady was his sister--and though he had not
 the pleasure of knowing her--yet, poor thing--(_affecting to
 weep_)--poor young woman! he cannot help lamenting her loss.

 BLUNTLY.
 No more can I--for though she was not my relation--yet she was my
 Patient. (_pretending to weep also_).

 SIR GEORGE.
 I can bear no more.--Mr. Manly, you are imposed upon. But think not,
 however appearances may be against me, that I came here as the tool of
 so infamous a deceit.--Thoughtlessness, Mr. Manly, has embarrassed my
 circumstances; and thoughtlessness alone, has made me employ a villain
 to retrieve them.

 BLACKMAN.
 Mighty fine!

 SIR GEORGE.
 I have no authority, sir, to affirm, that my sister is not alive; and
 I am confident the account you have just now heard, of her death, is
 but an artifice. My indiscretions have reduced me nearly to beggary;
 but I will perish in confinement--cheerfully perish--rather than owe
 my affluence to one dishonourable action.

 BLACKMAN.
 Grief has turned his brain.

 MANLY.
 Sir George, I honour your feelings; and as for the feelings of these
 gentlemen, I am extremely happy, that it is in my power to dry up
 their tears, and calm all their sorrows.

 SIR GEORGE.
 Sir!

 BLACKMAN.
 How? In what way?

 MANLY.
 (_Going to the door where_ WILLFORD _and his niece are_.) Come forth,
 young lady, to the arms of a brother, and relieve the anguish of
 these mourners, who are lamenting your decease. (ELEANOR _and_
 WILLFORD _enter_)--Yes, Sir George, here is that sister, whom those
 gentlemen assure us, is dead;--and this is the brother of your
 father.--These are proofs, as convincing, I hope, as any Mr. Blackman
 can produce.

 SIR GEORGE.
 She, my sister! Her pretended father my uncle too! (_Aside_) Blackman,
 you would have plunged me into an anguish I never knew before; you
 would have plunged me into shame.

 BLUNTLY.
 And so you _have_ me.

 BLACKMAN.
 Pshaw.--Mr. Manly, notwithstanding you are these people's voucher,
 this appears but a scheme.--These persons are but adventurers, and may
 possibly have about them forgeries, such as an honest man, like
 myself, would shudder at.

 MANLY. [_Going to the door._
 Who's there? [_Enter Servant._] Shew that--that Mr. Blackman, out of
 my house instantly; and take care you never admit him again.

 BLACKMAN.
 Sir George, will you suffer this?

 SIR GEORGE.
 Aye, and a great deal more.

 BLUNTLY.
 Look'ee Blackman.--If you don't fall down upon your knees, and beg my
 pardon at the street door, for the trick you have put upon me, in
 assuring me my master's sister was really dead, and that I could do
 her no injury, by doing him a service--if you don't beg my pardon for
 this, I'll give you such an assault and battery as you never had to do
 with in your life.

 BLACKMAN.
 Beat me--do, beat me--I'll thank you for beating me--I'd be beat every
 hour of the day, to recover damages. [_Exit with_ BLUNTLY.

 SIR GEORGE.
 My sister--with the sincerest joy I call you by that name--and while I
 thus embrace you, offer you a heart, that beats with all the pure and
 tender affection, which our kindred to each other claims.--In you
 (_embracing his uncle_) I behold my father; and experience an awful
 fear, mingled with my regard.

 WILLFORD.
 Continue still that regard, and even that fear--these filial
 sentiments may prove important; and they shall ever be repaid with my
 paternal watchings, friendship, and love.

 ELEANOR.
 My brother----

 SIR GEORGE.
 I have been unworthy of you--I will be so no more, but imitate your
 excellence. Yet, when I reflect----

      [LADY CAROLINE _comes softly from the inner apartment, and
      attends to the discourse_.

 ELEANOR.
 My brother, do not imagine----

 SIR GEORGE.
 Leave me, leave me to all the agonies of my misconduct.--Where is my
 fortune? Now _all_ irrecoverably gone--My last, my only resource is
 now to be paid to another--I have lost every thing.

 LADY CAROLINE. [_Coming forward._
 No, Sir George, _nothing_--since I possess all that was yours.

 SIR GEORGE.
 How!

 LADY CAROLINE.
 Behold a friend in your necessities--a mistress whom your misfortunes
 cannot drive away--but who, experiencing much of your unkindness,
 still loves you; and knowing your every folly, will still submit to
 honour, and obey you.

 I received your lavish presents, but to hoard them for you--made
 myself mistress of your fortune, but to return it to you--and with it,
 all my own.

 SIR GEORGE.
 Can this be real? Can I be raised in one moment, from the depths of
 misery to unbounded happiness?

      _Enter_ SERVANT.

 SERVANT.
 A young man, who says he is Mr. Willford's son, is called to enquire
 for him.

 MANLY.
 Shew him in.

      [SIR GEORGE _and_ LADY CAROLINE _retire to the back part of
      the stage_.

      _Enter_ HENRY.

 WILLFORD.
 Come, Henry, and take leave of your sister for ever.

 HENRY.
 How so, sir?--What do you mean? To be parted from her, would be the
 utmost rigour of fortune.

 MANLY.
 The affection with which you speak, young gentleman, seems to convey
 something beyond mere brotherly love.

 WILLFORD.
 I some years since revealed to him she was _not_ his sister.

 ELEANOR.
 And he, some years since, implied it to me. Yet, in such doubtful
 terms, I knew not which of us had the sorrow not to be your child.--I
 now find it is myself--and I aver it to be a sorrow, for which, all
 the fortune I am going to possess will not repay me.

 SIR GEORGE.
 Then, my dearest sister, indulge the hope you may yet be his daughter.
 This young man's merit deserves a reward, and in _time_ he may learn
 to love you by a still nearer tie than that, you have so long known to
 exist between you; nay, even by a nearer tie than that of brother.

 HENRY.
 I am in doubt of what I hear--Eleanor, since our short separation,
 there cannot surely have been any important discovery--

 MANLY.
 Be not surprised--great discoveries, which we labour in vain for years
 to make, are frequently brought about in one lucky moment, without any
 labour at all.

 SIR GEORGE.
 True--for till this day arose, I had passed every hour since my birth,
 without making one discovery to my advantage--while this short, but
 propitious morning, has discovered to me all my former folly--and
 discovered to me--how to be in future happy.

THE END.



EPILOGUE,

BY T. VAUGHAN, ESQ.

SPOKEN BY MRS. KEMBLE.


    "Long before the beginning of this Play,"
  I heard some DEEP ones in the Green-Room, say,
  They had their fears and doubts--whilst some did quake--
  And others wish'd it bed-time for her sake.
  Do you, our best Physicians, ever kind,              }
  Prescribe our true Cephalic for the Mind,            }
  Of these our Neighbours, and _kind Friends_--behind, }
  And with it, give a cordial of the best,
  To one, with deepest Gratitude imprest.
  For some there are--I have them in my eye--
  Will sicken and turn pale with jealousy,
  Whene'er we scribbling Women wield the Pen,
  Or dare invade the Rights of scribbling Men;
  And fir'd with zeal, in dread array appear--
  With Tenets from the _learned_ Hemisphere;
  Thence cry (_kind Souls_) "Invention is the only Art,
  And mere Translation but a second Part;
  Besides--_we Men of Taste_--can ne'er withstand
  E'en Nature's GARRICK thus at second Hand!
  Then why do Comic Writers live on Theft,
  When such Ragouts and Dainties still are left?
  Not richer were, in CONGREVE'S days or BEHN,
  For now, the Males are Females--Women, Men--
  Nay some so _manly_, and so orthodox,
  Will drive you four in Hand--or hold the Box;
  And if perchance the fatal Die is thrown,
  Will storm and swear, like any Lord in Town."

    But might I whisper in this Censor's ear,
  I'd prove his observations too severe--
  And urge--"Translation to hit off with skill,
  Is not the province of each common Quill;
  But by improving what was writ before,
  Tho' Genius may be less, our Judgment's more;
  And whilst we paint with energy from Life,
  The gallant Husband, or _more gallant Wife_,
  With Tints from living Portraits from the Spot,
  It matters not by whom related--or begot;
  And thus, much surer shall we reach the Heart,
  Than all the _lifeless_ pomp of _boasted_ Art."
  As such, deny her not--at least the merit
  Of giving _Gallic Froth_--true BRITISH SPIRIT.

    And as for you, ye Fair, how blooms the Cheek,
  How sweet the Temper which those eyes bespeak?
  No Midnight Oil has e'er destroy'd a Grace,
  Or Gaming's Horrors found with you a place;
  But Cupid lent you all those winning Arts,
  Which at a glance--can warm the coldest Hearts.

    Check then with me these Censors as unjust,
  Who form their judgments--_as they live_--on Trust.
  Nor ever credit what they dare to say,
  Unless with you they join, and like our Play.

    Use for a signal then--your Magic Fan,
  And all the House will follow to a Man;
  Or should there be a disaffected few--
  _A Counter Revolution_--rests with you.



TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE

Contemporary spellings and hyphenation have been retained even where
inconsistent. Two obvious spelling errors were corrected (reception
for receptiou; demand for emand).

A single misspelling of WILLFORD as WILLORD was corrected.

In ACT 2, Scene 1, "then" was changed to "than" in Henry's sentence:

     I know no other way to shew my humility, than to accept your
     present

In ACT 3, Scene 1, "your" was changed to "you" in Sir George's sentence:

     Still an object I adore; but I now perceive you are one to my
     ruin devoted.

On two occasions where the same word appeared at the end of one line
and the beginning of the next, the superfluous word was deleted. They
were:

 ACT 2, Scene 1, Sir George:

     You were giving me an
     an account, Bluntly (...)

 ACT 3, Scene 1, Sir George:

     Lucre, my dear Lucre, are not you amazed at
     at what you see?





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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.



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