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´╗┐Title: 'Wanted, A Young Lady' - A Farce, in One Act
Author: Suter, William E.
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 "'Wanted, A Young Lady' - A Farce, in One Act" ***

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

by the University of California, Davis, and with special
thanks to the Victorian Plays Project.


_A Farce_,





The Pirates of the Savannah, Idiot of the Mountain, Syren of Paris,
Angel of Midnight, Old House on the Bridge, Outlaw of the Adriatic,
Sarah's Young Man, A Quiet Family, John Wopps, Rifle Volunteer,
Brother Bill and Me, Highwayman's Holiday, Accusing Spirit, First
Love, Our New Man, Fan-fan, the Tulip, &c., &c.






FRANK MITCHELL (_First Comedy_)

SIMON SNOOZLE (_Low Comedy_)


FRANK. _First Dress_--Travelling suit. _Second_--Old lady's hood, silk
gown, shawl, spectacles, and stick. _Third_--Same as first.

SIMON. _First Dress_--Half livery. _Second_--Velvet cap and silk
dressing gown.

ADELAIDE. _First Dress_--Travelling dress. _Second_--Silk bonnet,
veil, spectacles, shawl, and stick.

_Time in Representation_--40 _Minutes._


SCENE.--_Interior of an old Country Mansion; door, C.; door, R.; door
L.; easy chairs; couch, L.; fire-place, R.; clock, C.; chairs, &c.;
table, R., on it a lighted lamp; closet at back, L._

SIMON. (_entering, door C._) Yes, yes, godfather, make your mind easy,
you may sleep quietly on both sides of your face. (_advancing_) That's
a saying in our parts; but I have tried it, and I couldn't do it.
(_looking at clock_) Seven o'clock! what a litter this room is in.
(_placing chairs, &c._) And look here. (_indicating clothes scattered
over an easy chair_) What's all this? Oh, old master's morning gown.
(_places it in the closet_) I have an idea that this place of mine
suits me very well. I am boarded and lodged and washed, eight pounds a
year, and the key of the cellar. I fancy I shall soon get my nose red
in this house. (_sits_) This here easy chair is uncommon comfortable.

FRANK. (_entering, C. door, a portmanteau in his hand_) I don't see a
soul about. (_seeing SIMON_) Eh! halloa, my friend! (_shaking him_)
What are you doing there?

SIMON. (_all aback_) Me, sir! I--I'm a doing my work.

FRANK. Doing what?

SIMON. (_rising_) What do you please to want?

FRANK. I wish to see Mr. or Mrs. Mitchell.

SIMON. Oh! either of them would do, then?

FRANK. (L. C.) Yes.

SIMON. (R. C.) That's lucky, for they are both gone out.

FRANK. Out! then I will await their return.

SIMON. I don't think you will, sir.

FRANK. How do you mean?

SIMON. Why, when master and missus went away this morning, they said
they were going on a visit, and should be away nine or ten days--and
the same number of nights too, no doubt.

FRANK. (_aside_) Pleasant information! all this distance from London,
and not a shilling in my pocket. (_to SIMON_) Are you alone here?

SIMON. Yes, I'm quite alone in the house, except my godfather, who
lives at the bottom of the garden.

FRANK. The surly old brute I met in the park?

SIMON. Yes, that's godfather.

FRANK. Agreeable society! Well, I must teach myself resignation.
(_offering portmanteau_) Go and prepare a chamber for me.

SIMON. You are labouring under a mistake, sir; the Golden Lion is on
the other side of----

FRANK. Ah, true! you do not know me. I am Fra----(_checking himself_)
No, I mean Harry Mitchell, your master's grandson.

SIMON. Really! well, how lucky! I have a letter for your brother.

FRANK. For my brother Frank?

SIMON. Yes, here it is. (_drawing a letter from his pocket_) I have
been ordered to post it.

FRANK. (_aside_) I know what are its contents--the old story--you are
a good-for-nothing fellow, and I shall not give you a sixpence.
(_aloud, taking letter and putting it into his pocket_) All right, I
will take care he has it.

SIMON. And so you are Master Harry, eh? You are the favourite, you

FRANK. How did you learn that?

SIMON. Godfather has made me acquainted with all the family matters,
for I am quite fresh, I am.

FRANK. You are quite fresh! what do you mean?

SIMON. I mean I was quite new this morning. Godfather brought me here
and showed me to your grandmother just as she was stepping into the
old family coach; she had only just time to say, "Oh! this is the
stupid animal you have told me about." You see, she is so old that she
doesn't always know what she is talking about.

FRANK. I think, though, her faculties were pretty clear this morning.
But, as you say, she is rather old--eighty-two. Considerably wrinkled,
I should think.

SIMON. Her face is just like a little apple that has been dried in the

FRANK. And my grandfather?

SIMON. He is like a little pear that has been baked in an oven.

FRANK. I am certain I should not recognize them; they must be very
dull here, all by themselves.

SIMON. Godfather says that they sometimes yawn till they get a
lock-jaw; that's why they have just advertised in the papers for
somebody to read to them.

FRANK. Read to them!

SIMON. Yes, a young lady.

FRANK. (_quickly_) Ah, there is a young lady here?

SIMON. No, sir, she hasn't come yet.

FRANK. What a pity!

SIMON. And they won't want a young lady now they have engaged me.

FRANK. (_laughing_) But you are not a young lady.

SIMON. No, and I can't read, but----

FRANK. Idiot! go and prepare my chamber.

SIMON. (_going, L._) Yes, Master Harry.

FRANK. Stop a moment; is there anything to eat in the pantry?

SIMON. I saw the plate chest there; but I'll go and see, Master Harry.
Ah! if you were Mr. Frank.

FRANK. Well?

SIMON. I shouldn't be able to find anything. (_confidentially_)
Godfather says that you are a pet, and that your brother is a bad lot;
old folks won't have him at any price.

FRANK. (_aside_) I know it but too well. (_aloud_) You will find some
cigars in my portmanteau, with my pipe and tobacco. Stay; have you got
the keys of the cellar?

SIMON. Yes, sir.

FRANK. Then bring me some champagne.

SIMON. I will. (_aside_) He'll help me, I can see, to redden my nose!

_Exit, with portmanteau, door, L._

FRANK. Have I done well to present myself here under my brother's
name, because I know their great preference for him, and that they
treat me like a Cinderella of the male sex. This is the way I
discovered that I was no favourite; one day I wrote to them for money,
and didn't get it: while Harry, who had also written for some, did:
then I questioned myself as to what I had done, and as to what I had
not done. I said to myself, it is nearly twelve years since Harry and
I quitted the old people; we are of the same figure, considerably
resemble each other; I could easily impose upon my grandmother, who is
nearly blind, and ditto upon my grandfather, who is quite deaf, and so
I will go to them and say here is your darling Harry, and express my
willingness to receive as much money as they choose to give me; if my
brother were to write I should be there to suppress his letters.
Wasn't that a clever idea? not particularly honest, but remarkably
clever; that will teach parents to have a preference, to all
respectable grandfathers one grandson is as good as another.

_Enter ADELAIDE, door, C., a cloak over her arm, a small carpet bag in
her hand._

ADELAIDE. Mrs. Mitchell, if you please, sir.

FRANK. (L. C.) Yes, this is her house, but she is gone from home for
nine or ten days.

ADELA. (R. C.) How unfortunate! And Mr. Mitchell?

FRANK. That's me. I am Mr. Mitchell; Fra----I mean Harry Mitchell.

ADELA. (_aside_) Harry! It is he!

FRANK. Will you have the goodness to take a seat?

ADELA. I thank you. But the Mr. Mitchell of whom I asked you is the
husband of Mrs. Mitchell, and I do not suppose that----

FRANK. No, certainly; I have not married my grandmother, that sort of
thing is not allowed, you know. (_aside_) She is deucedly pretty.
(_aloud_) Will you have the goodness to take a seat?

ADELA. Then your grandfather is also absent.

FRANK. For nine or ten days. I am quite alone here, but that makes no
difference. (_again offering chair_) Will you have the goodness to----

ADELA. No, thank you. I believe I cannot do better than make my way
back to the railway station, and return to London. (_going up_)

FRANK. (_following and bringing her back_) But, excuse me, may I be
allowed to enquire----

ADELA. I believed I had been recommended to them by Mr. Dunstable, as
a companion to----

FRANK. Certainly, quite correct. (_aside_) She mustn't go, I want a
companion, dreadfully. (_aloud_) They are expecting you, madam, very
impatiently, I assure you!

ADELA. Well, but, since they are not at home----

FRANK. Certainly, will you allow me to--(_he takes her cloak and
carpet bag_) They are in the park, they take a little walk there every
evening, but they will be back directly; will you have the goodness
to-- (_taking a chair and seating himself close beside her_)

ADELA. (_shifting her chair, aside_) This Mr. Harry is very forward.
(_aloud_) And you think, sir, that I shall suit your grandmother?

FRANK. Certainly, you will suit her nicely--and you will suit my
grandmother capitally--and you will suit my grandfather capitally--and
you suit me beautifully--and you will suit my brother deli----

ADELA. Ah, you have a brother?

FRANK. Yes, Harry--hem, no--I mean, Frank--I am Harry.

ADELA. But, according to what Mr. Dunstable told me, one of you is a
very bad fellow.

FRANK. It isn't me; I assure you, it's my brother.

ADELA. Are you quite certain?

FRANK. Quite certain that I am not my brother--oh, yes. But, after
all, Frank is really a capital fellow; he is, I assure you, I like him
very much; I do, indeed--may have been a little wild, but----

ADELA. Pardon me, sir, but your grandmother does not return.

FRANK. She is taking a little walk in the park, and perhaps her corns
are troublesome--she has several, besides two or three bunions! but
perhaps she has come in and gone to bed--she is subject to--to--to the
whooping cough----

ADELA. The what, sir?

FRANK. (_aside_) Confound it! I can't think of--(_aloud_) I mean the
gout--and she always goes to bed early when--but you will see her

ADELA. (_taking her portmanteau from FRANK'S hand_) To-morrow? in
that case I will go to the Golden Lion Hotel, which is near the
railway station.

FRANK. (_again taking portmanteau from her hand_) No, no--grandmother
would be so angry--she has caused a chamber to be prepared for you.

ADELA. Indeed!

FRANK. Yes, and supper, for she thought you would arrive late.

_Enter SIMON, L. door._

SIMON. The chamber is ready, sir.

FRANK. (_to ADELAIDE_) There, you hear! what did I tell you? (_to
SIMON_) Very well.

SIMON. (_L., aside_) Eh? that woman is a female!

FRANK. (_to SIMON_) And the supper?

ADELA. Thank you, but I am not hungry.

SIMON. The supper is ready, too. (_aside to FRANK_) But, sir--

FRANK. (_giving him a sly kick_) Be quiet!

ADELA. (_taking her cloak and portmanteau from FRANK_) I will go to my
apartment. (_L., to SIMON_) I beg you will let me know immediately
that Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell have returned from their walk?

SIMON. (_C., astonished_) Eh, returned from their walk?

FRANK. (_kicking as before, and crossing to L. C._) Hold your tongue.
(_to ADELAIDE_) Oh, yes, directly they return, you may depend on that.

_Exit ADELAIDE, L. door._

SIMON. (R. C.) But, sir, if that young lady is going to wait till the
old people return----

FRANK. (C.) Hold your tongue. (_aside_) She mustn't go, she is a
charming creature, and I have fallen head over ears in love with
her--she, the companion of a couple of old fogies--I mean, my honoured
grand-parents. (_aloud_) Simon!


FRANK. I want my grandfather's morning gown.

SIMON. His morning gown?

FRANK. Yes; don't say he doesn't wear one, all old
fogies--grandfathers, I mean--wear a morning gown.

SIMON. (_going to closet_) Very well, sir. (_bringing morning gown
forward_) Here it is, sir!

FRANK. Very well! try it on directly.


FRANK. Yes, you--make haste!

SIMON. (_putting on morning gown_) Perhaps you are going to make me a
present of one like it, and want to see if it will fit.

FRANK. Perhaps.

SIMON. I'd rather have a coat, with nice long tails.

FRANK. (_hunting in closet_) Here, now put on this cap. (_giving him
morning cap_)

SIMON. Well, but----

FRANK. No observations; put the cap on, or I discharge you. (_pulls
the cap down over SIMON'S eyes_)

SIMON. Don't--I will!

FRANK. Now, muffle your face up--good--turn about, walk, not like
that, stoop--bend your back--that's it! Now, where is grandmother's
chamber? (_seeing ADELAIDE--who enters, door, L._) Hush! here she is!

SIMON. (_R. C.--frightened_) Your grandmother?

FRANK. (C.) Don't stir!

ADELA. (_aside_) I know not why, but I felt frightened while in that
great apartment. (_seeing SIMON_) Ah!

FRANK. Miss--hem--miss--ah! here is my grandfather, he has just

SIMON. (_aside--looking about_) His grandfather, where is he?

ADELA. (_L. C.--curtseying_) Sir!

FRANK. (_making signs to SIMON_) Grandfather, this is the companion of
whom I have just told you.

SIMON. (_astonished--to FRANK_) What, me!

FRANK. (_aside--to him_) Hold your tongue, or I'll break your back.
(_shouting_) The female companion. (_to ADELAIDE_) He is dreadfully
deaf; but that is not astonishing at his age--ninety-three--yes, I
assure you, he is ninety-three!

SIMON. Oh! really, sir----

FRANK. Hold your tongue, or be killed! (_shouting_) You are very
tired, sit down, dear grandfather. (_to ADELAIDE_) The very shortest
walk fatigues him, and no wonder, for as I said before, he is
ninety-seven, and--(_pushing SIMON violently into easy chair_) Sit
down, dear grandfather! (_aside to him_) Sit down, you brute, and say
your wife will be back directly!

SIMON. (_astonished_) My wife will be back directly.

FRANK. (_to ADELAIDE_) He says his wife will be back directly.

ADELA. Very well, sir; I will wait.

FRANK. She is still in the park--grandfather's legs are so weak--to
say nothing that he has the rheumatism; but, you know, an old

SIMON. (_aside_) Now I am an old soldier!

ADELA. Ah! your grandfather has served in----

FRANK. Certainly! (_to SIMON_) Grandfather, the young lady asks if you
have served. (_aside--to him_) Why don't you answer?

SIMON. Oh! yes, yes! I'm in service now!

FRANK. (_punching him slyly_) You jackass!

ADELA. What did he say?

FRANK. Oh! nothing--don't mind him--he isn't always quite right in his
head--rather idiotic sometimes.

ADELA. Poor old gentleman.

SIMON. (_aside_) Now I'm an idiot!

FRANK. His great age, as I said before, ninety-nine, you know! (_to
SIMON_) As you say that grandmother is on her way home, you had better
go and meet her.

ADELA. How! fatigued as he is, and at his age to go alone----

FRANK. Exactly! Surely, at his age, he is old enough to go alone!

ADELA. No, no; go you, and I will stay here and bear your grandfather

FRANK. (_aside_) The devil! leave them together. (_aloud_) Why, you

ADELA. I entreat you, the air is so chilly, and as he is suffering
with the rheumatism----

FRANK. Ah, true! (_shouting to SIMON_) Don't stir! this young lady
will keep you company----

SIMON. (_aside to FRANK_) And I shouldn't at all mind keeping company
with her.

FRANK. (_punching him slyly_) Must I murder you?

SIMON. No, you mustn't.

FRANK. (_aside to him_) Mind that to everything she says, you answer
only, "My wife will be back directly."

SIMON. Yes, sir.

FRANK. (_to ADELAIDE_) Now I'm off to fetch grandmother.

_Exit, C. door._

ADELA. (_looking after FRANK_) That, then, is the Mr. Harry of whom I
have heard so much from my sister. He is not at all bad-looking; but
with all his good looks, he is a very worthless fellow.

SIMON. (_coughing_) Hum! hum!

ADELA. Oh! I was quite forgetting the old gentleman. (_going to
SIMON_) There, place your feet on that. (_giving him a footstool_)
Now, are you comfortable?

SIMON. My wife will be back directly.

ADELA. You are not cold?

SIMON. (_taking a pinch of snuff_) My wife will be back directly.

ADELA. There is a draught from this side--ah! this cushion. (_places a
cushion at his back_)

SIMON. (_aside_) Isn't she tucking me up nicely! it's rather pleasant
to be old--atchieu! (_sneezing_)

ADELA. Heaven bless you!

SIMON. My wife will be back directly.

ADELA. He is deaf as a post. (_to herself_) Yes, Mr. Harry is a scamp:
but luckily, we had for neighbour that good man, Mr. Dunstable.
(_shouting to SIMON_) Your friend Dunstable.

SIMON. My wife will be----

ADELA. (_interrupting him_) Yes, yes, I know! And when he learned Mr.
Harry's conduct to my dear sister Jane, the idea occurred to him to
send me here as a companion to--"Go to their house," he said, "you
will see Mrs. Mitchell, not her husband, he----"

SIMON. My wife will be----

ADELA. (_turning towards SIMON_) "He counts for nothing, but his

SIMON. Back directly.

ADELA. "You will tell her all, and I have no doubt she will arrange
the marriage, and----"

SIMON. (_aside_) What is she going on about? (_aloud_) Hem! hem!

ADELA. Did you speak?

SIMON. My wife will be back directly.

ADELA. Poor old gentleman! his intellect appears quite shattered.
(_shouting_) I suppose you retire to rest very early?

SIMON. My wife will be back directly.

FRANK. (_without, in an assumed voice_) Very well, I shall find her.

ADELA. That voice! Mrs. Mitchell, no doubt.

SIMON. (_aside, frightened_) Grandmother! then I'm booked! (_about to
bolt off, R. door, is met by FRANK, who enters, C. door, dressed as an
old lady_)

FRANK. (_stopping SIMON_) Eh! where are you hobbling to? (_aside to
SIMON, in natural voice_) If you don't keep still----

SIMON. (_R., aside, amazed_) Eh! Mr. Harry!

ADELA. (_L., curtseying_) Madam----

FRANK. (_C., to ADELAIDE_) Ah! there you are, little darling; my
grandson told me just now that----

SIMON. (_sinking again into easy chair, R. C._) My wife will be back

ADELA. I am sorry, madam, to have interrupted your walk.

FRANK. I was coming home, for the dew is beginning to fall.

SIMON. (_aside_) I wish my wages were falling due--I can't stand this.

FRANK. (_patting ADELAIDE'S cheeks_) Ah! what a pretty little
creature--ah! what is your name, poppet?

ADELA. Adelaide.

FRANK. Ah! my name is Selina Matilda. You found Mr. Mitchell very dull
company, didn't you? Wait a minute--I'll send him to bed. (_shouting_)
Philomel! Philomel! (_aside to SIMON, and giving him a sly punch_) Why
don't you answer, you brute?

SIMON. Oh, is that me?

FRANK. Go to bed, my cherished love. (_aside to him_) Be off, you
beast! (_aloud_) I will assist you as far as your chamber. Come, dear
love. (_raising SIMON from chair_)

SIMON. (_aside to him_) Do you mean it?

FRANK. Of course I do. (_kicking him slyly_) Idiot!

SIMON. Oh! I say, that hurts, you know.

FRANK. (_leading him towards door, R._) Come, cherished husband of my
youth--worshipped of my old age. (_seeing ADELAIDE is not looking_)
Get out, you hippopotamus! (_giving him a violent kick and bundling
him off violently, door, R._)

ADELA. (_turning at the noise_) What was that?

FRANK. Nothing--my poor husband knocked his head against the door
post, that's all. (_aside_) What a charming little creature she is!
Now, tell me, my love, who sent you here?

ADELA. Oh, you know perfectly well, your friend, Mr. Dunstable.

FRANK. Ah, to be sure. I hope Mr. Constable is quite well.

ADELA. Dunstable--yes, madam.

FRANK. And his wife?

ADELA. His wife! Why he has been a widower for the last fifteen years.

FRANK. (_aside_) Phew! (_aloud_) Ah, to be sure, she is dead, then she
is quite well.

  (_singing_) When we are dead it's for a long time,
          Says the old adage with wisdom rife;
        When we are dead it's for a long time,
          And we're cured of the tooth-ache for all our life.

(_laughing_) He, he, he! you will soon see, my dear, that I am a very
gay old lady.

ADELA. I see that already!

FRANK. My duck, I suppose you have a sweetheart?

ADELA. A sweetheart?

FRANK. You needn't mind telling me, I'm an old woman, you know; you
are young and pretty. Ah, when I was your age, I pledge you my word I
was a beauty.

ADELA. No doubt of it, madam.

FRANK. Ah, on the day of my marriage with Mr. Mitchell--and that
reminds me, I want my supper.

ADELA. The table is already laid yonder. I will bring it to this room.

_Exit, door, L._

FRANK. Wait for me, my love; I'll assist you. (_toddles to door, L.,
and he and ADELAIDE bring on table ready served; they place the table,
C., and sit; ADELAIDE is moving the lamp nearer to FRANK_)

FRANK. (_R. of table_) No, no, don't do that, my dear, my eyes are so
weak; why here is only one plate and knife and fork.

ADELA. (_L. of table_) It doesn't matter, I have no appetite.

FRANK. Nor I. (_filling glasses_) But a glass of wine----

ADELA. No, thank you.

FRANK. I must. (_drinks_) I require several glasses to cheer the
cockles of my aged heart. (_fills again and drinks_)

ADELA. (_aside_) What a strange old lady. (_aloud, seeing them on
table_) Eh! a pipe and tobacco!

FRANK. Yes, my love; my medical man orders me to smoke, because my
poor husband has got the rheumatism. (_filling his pipe_) But if you

ADELA. Oh, dear, no; not at all.

FRANK. (_lighting his pipe and smoking_) Ah, it's a great comfort for
an aged creetur! (_rising_) Come here, my love.

ADELA. (_rising and going to him_) Yes, madam.

FRANK. I like you, my dear, and I'll be a mother to you--kiss me, my
darling. (_putting his arm round her waist and kissing her_)

ADELA. (_starting_) Eh?

FRANK. What's the matter?

ADELA. (_hesitating, and rubbing her cheek_) 'Tis very strange,

FRANK. (_aside_) Oh, I forgot I hadn't shaved to-day.

ADELA. One would really think--oh, how you open your eyes and

FRANK. (_resuming his natural voice_) The better to see you with, my

ADELA. (_frightened_) That voice!

FRANK. The better to tell you that I love you--my dear--

ADELA. A man! who are you?

FRANK. One who adores you! I am Frank--I mean Harry Mitchell.
(_advancing to her, she eludes him and runs over to R._)

ADELA. Oh, wretch, villain! oh, oh, oh! I am very ill--oh, oh! (_falls
into chair_)

FRANK. (_running about_) Oh, curse it! here's a mess I've made of it.

ADELA. Oh, oh!

FRANK. What must I do?--bite her finger, I suppose!

ADELA. Oh, salts, vinegar!

FRANK. Yes, yes--oh, I wonder where grandmother keeps her salt and

_Runs off, L. door--ADELAIDE jumps up, runs to the door and bolts it
behind him--SIMON enters, R. door, tipsy, a bottle in his hand, and
still wearing the morning gown and cap._

SIMON. (_singing_) Grief is a folly,
                   We'll sing and be jolly!

ADELA. Mr. Mitchell, in that dreadful state!

SIMON. Where are you, Mr. Sir? it's me, Simon--you must wait upon
yourself--I'm going to bed.

ADELA. (_aside_) Simon! the servant, ah, I understand. (_aloud, to
SIMON_) Oh, it is you, is it?

SIMON. (_aside_) The young lady! (_dropping into easy chair and acting
the old man again_) My wife will be back directly--

ADELA. (_pulling him from chair_) Yes; and Mr. Mitchell will also be
back directly.

SIMON. (_frightened and placing the bottle on easy chair_) Mr.

ADELA. (C.) And I will tell him all!

SIMON. (_on his knees_) Don't! I shall lose my place, before I have
had time to redden my nose--'tisn't my fault--it's the keys of the
cellar did it--and Mr. Harry----

ADELA. It was he who made you thus disguise yourself--confess and I
forgive you!

SIMON. (_rising_) Yes; he arrived this evening, on a visit to his
grandfather and grandmother, whom he hasn't seen for twelve years; and
as they went away this morning----

ADELA. He hasn't encountered them?

SIMON. How was he to do it, I should like to know.

ADELA. And you say that 'tis twelve years since----


ADELA. 'Tis well! now you go to the park gate, and you will ring as if
your mistress had returned.

SIMON. My wife will be back directly--but as she is gone away----

ADELA. No matter; obey me, or I tell all. (_door, L., is violently
shaken_) There he is--open yonder door--now, Mr. Harry, we shall see!
(_runs off, door, R.--shaking at door, L., continues_)

SIMON. (_staggering across_) Don't be in a hurry--don't be in a hurry!
(_unbolts door, L.--FRANK darts on with scent bottle, which he rams
against SIMON'S nose_)

FRANK. Sniff--sniff! and then swallow it--eh? (_looking round_) Where
is she?

SIMON. Here I am, sir.

FRANK. (_crossing to R._) The young lady that I left here fainting.

SIMON. (_looking round_) Eh? yes, she _is_ gone.

FRANK. (_trying R. door_) Fastened! (_looking at SIMON_) Go to bed,
wretch! (_placing scent bottle on table_)

SIMON. (_taking cushion from easy chair_) Let me get my pillow.

FRANK. Horribly drunk!

SIMON. I was just now, but it's evaporating.

FRANK. Go out into the air.

SIMON. (_going_) Yes, I'll go to the park gate, and go to bed.

FRANK. Be off!

SIMON. (_returning_) Stop a bit--I haven't got my nightcap. (_takes
bottle from easy chair_)

FRANK. (_pushing him off_) Begone, drunken brute!

_SIMON goes off, C. door, carrying cushion and bottle._

I have behaved like a ruffian to that charming creature--I must obtain
her forgiveness, for I doat upon her--never was in love before, and
the novel sensation is so delightful that--(_tapping at R. door_)
Adelaide--Miss Adelaide--charming Adelaide! if you would but pardon
me--if you would but hear me! (_gate bell rings without_) What's that
about at this time of night? Oh! it's that idiot Simon; he said he was
going to the park gates. Luckily there is no one to be disturbed here.

_ADELAIDE enters, C. door, as an old lady._

ADELA. No, no, I don't want anybody to accompany me.

FRANK. (_turning_) Who's that?

ADELA. (_aside_) You will know presently. (_aloud_) Eh! a woman! what
do you want here? who are you?

FRANK. For that matter, ma'am, who are you?

ADELA. Who am I! you ask me that! Don't you know I am the mistress of
this house?

FRANK. (_aside_) My grandmother--phew! I should never have known her.

ADELA. And I should be glad to know what you are doing in my house at
this hour of the night.

FRANK. (R. C.) Well, the fact is--(_aside_) The devil, though, I can't
tell her in this dress that I am her grandson.

ADELA. (_going up_) If you don't answer, I shall call Simon to bundle
you out.

FRANK. (_aside_) Ah! (_aloud_) I am the companion.

ADELA. You a companion at your age?

FRANK. Yes, ma'am, I am a widow.

ADELA. But Dunstable wrote to me that she was young and pretty; and
you are as old as the hills.

FRANK. Oh, no! but I have seen so much trouble.

ADELA. And you are ugly--downright ugly.

FRANK. Well, beauty is all a matter of opinion.

ADELA. And look here, what is this? (_taking FRANK by the arm and
making him pass before her_) Wine, cigars, a pipe, in my house!
gracious goodness!

FRANK. (L. C.) I was going to tell you--it's your grandson.

ADELA. (R. C.) My grandson?

FRANK. Yes, Harry--he is here--and the pipe-- (_aside_) I shall bolt.
(_aloud_) I will inform him of your arrival.

ADELA. (_clutching his arm_) No, never mind, I shall see him
to-morrow. (_looking at him and starting_) Why, can I believe my eyes?
that's one of my gowns you have on.

FRANK. (_aside_) Oh, lord!

ADELA. And that is my bonnet.

FRANK. I'll tell you how it happened----

ADELA. And that mantle is mine, too.

FRANK. Well, as to the mantle----

ADELA. You are a pretty companion--you are a thief.

FRANK. A thief!

ADELA. Yes, one of the female swell mob. I'll send Simon for the

_FRANK runs off, C. door._

(_laughing_) Now, Mr. Harry, I think we are equal. It is too late
to-night to go to the Golden Lion; so I will stay here, retain this
costume, and----

FRANK. (_without_) My grandmother arrived!

ADELA. Ah! he is returning. I did not bargain for that. (_going over
to L._) But he will not suspect, and----

FRANK. (_running on, door C._) Grandmother, grandmother, embrace your
little grandson--let me kiss you, grandmother!

ADELA. (_retreating_) No, no, certainly not.

FRANK. Then you no longer love your little grandson?

ADELA. You are a wicked boy.

FRANK. Oh, grandmother!

ADELA. Poor Jane!

FRANK. (_aside_) Who is she, I wonder?

ADELA. After having been so long engaged to marry her, everything
prepared, the wedding day fixed, all at once you write that you have
altered your mind, and don't intend to marry yet awhile, leaving poor
Jane to break her heart and die.

FRANK. Really, I am very sorry for poor Jane--though, 'pon my soul, I
don't know who she is.

ADELA. Oh, Harry, Harry!

FRANK. Ah! I see how it is; you think I am Harry.

ADELA. Well?

FRANK. (_aside_) I am not going to answer for his evil deeds.
(_aloud_) Well, I happen to be Frank.

ADELA. You are Frank!

FRANK. I am free to confess that I am, and the proof (_drawing papers
from his pocket_) see--no, that is my tailor's bill; 'tis not at
present receipted, but I depend on your liberality, grandmother----

ADELA. (_aside_) What does this mean?

FRANK. (_finding letter that has been given him by SIMON_) Yes, here
it is; look at that; the letter which you wrote to me. (_reading_) "My
dear Frank," you see, "your brother Harry is a bad fellow; tell him
from us that unless he becomes within a week, the husband of poor
Jane, we have done with him for ever."

ADELA. (_aside_) What do I hear?

FRANK. "For yourself, if you wish that I should still love you----"
(_hugging ADELAIDE_) Oh, my dear grandmother.

ADELA. There, there; that will do.

FRANK. "You will also get married." Do you really wish to see me

ADELA. Well--I--that is----

FRANK. Well, grandmother, you won't have to wait long; there is now in
this house a charming young creature, she arrived but this evening,

ADELA. (_astonished_) And it is she?

FRANK. Yes, grandmother.

ADELA. You know her, then?

FRANK. Know her----

_SIMON staggers on, door, L., still drunk, and wearing morning gown,
&c., and carrying cushion and bottle._

SIMON. Sir, sir, your grandmother is returned.

FRANK. (R.) I know that, you fool, for here she is.

SIMON. (L.) Oh, but I mean the real 'un.

FRANK. The what?

ADELA. (C.) Can it be possible?

SIMON. Godfather has just seen them; the old coach broke down, the
roads were so bad; so they have come back, and I was in the park, just
going to bed----(_staggering, and trying to pull off morning
gown--Exit, door C._)

ADELA. (_hastily snatching off her old woman's dress_) Oh, heaven!

FRANK. Ah! you!

ADELA. Let me go, for now that I know your brother will really marry
my sister----

FRANK. Poor Jane is your sister?

ADELA. Jane Stirling, yes.

FRANK. Oh, well, of course, it's a family arrangement, altogether--and
you and I are bound to get married immediately.

ADELA. What do you say?

FRANK. The two weddings will make but one.

ADELA. Well, by-and-bye, we shall see, perhaps. (_bell rings_)

_Enter SIMON, L., door._

SIMON. (_down, L._) There they are, do you hear that?

FRANK. Simon, if you say a word about this night's proceedings, I will
tell grandfather that you have been wearing his morning gown.

SIMON. Oh, sir, it was you that----

ADELA. (_crossing to SIMON_) And I will tell him you were tipsy.

SIMON. Oh, mum!

FRANK. Now, let us prepare to receive them.


SIMON. Oh, you needn't be in a hurry, they don't walk very fast, you
will have time to get married, and to ask pardon for all your sins.

ADELA. (_to AUDIENCE_) More indulgence is always shewn to venerable
age than is bestowed on giddy youth, and our great age, we think,
deserves your consideration.

FRANK. (_as old woman_) Think of my eighty years, and be good
children. Simon, 'tis now your turn to implore!

SIMON. My wife will be back directly!

  FRANK.       ADELAIDE.       SIMON.
R.                                    L.


Printed by Thomas Scott, Warwick Court, Holborn.

Transcriber's Note

This transcription is based on images digitized from a microform copy
made available by the University of California, Davis. These images
have been posted on the Internet Archive at:


Because of the quality of the images, this transcription was compared
with the text posted by the Victorian Plays Project at:


In general, this transcription attempts to retain the formatting,
punctuation and spelling of the source text, including variant
spellings such as "atchieu," "doat," and "shewn."

The following changes were made:

-- p. 3: Deleted "[Mr. Lacy's List.]" at the top of the page. This
appears to be a typesetting error.

-- p. 3: SCENE.--_Interior of an old Country Mansion; door, C; door,
R;_--For consistency, added a period after "C" and "R".

-- p. 8: FRANK. (_to ADELAIDE_) He says his wife will be back
direcctly.--Changed "direcctly" to "directly".

-- p. 12: FRANK. Nor I. (_filling glasses_) but a glass of
wine--Capitalized "but" after the parenthesis.

-- p. 12: my poor husband has got the rheumatism. (_filling his pipe_)
but if you object--Capitalized "but" after the parenthesis.

-- p. 13: (_runs off, door, R.--shaking at, door, L.,
continues_)--Deleted comma after "_at_".

-- p. 14: FRANK. (R. C ) Well, the fact is--Inserted a period between
"C" and the closing parenthesis.

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