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

Download this book: [ ASCII ]

Look for this book on Amazon


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

Title: A Trip to Scarborough; and, The Critic
Author: Sheridan, Richard Brinsley
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 "A Trip to Scarborough; and, The Critic" ***

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



A Trip to Scarborough

and

The Critic

by Richard Brinsley Sheridan

Contents

 A Trip to Scarborough
 The Critic

A Trip to Scarborough

_A COMEDY_

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ

AS ORIGINALLY ACTED AT DRURY LANE THEATRE IN 1777


LORD FOPPINGTON     _Mr. Dodd._
SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY _Mr. Moody._
COLONEL TOWNLY      _Mr. Brereton._
LOVELESS            _Mr. Smith._
TOM FASHION         _Mr. J. Palmer._
LA VAROLE           _Mr. Burton._
LORY                _Mr. Baddeley._
PROBE               _Mr. Parsons._
MENDLEGS            _Mr. Norris._
JEWELLER            _Mr. Lamash_
SHOEMAKER           _Mr. Carpenter._
TAILOR              _Mr. Parker._
AMANDA              _Mrs. Robinson._
BERINTHIA           _Miss Farren._
MISS HOYDEN         _Mrs. Abington._
MRS. COUPLER        _Mrs. Booth._
NURSE               _Mrs. Bradshaw._

Sempstress, Postilion, Maid, _and_ Servants.

SCENE—SCARBOROUGH AND ITS NEIGHBOURHOOD.

PROLOGUE SPOKEN BY MR. KING

What various transformations we remark,
From east Whitechapel to the west Hyde Park!
Men, women, children, houses, signs, and fashions,
State, stage, trade, taste, the humours and the passions;
The Exchange, ’Change Alley, wheresoe’er you’re ranging,
Court, city, country, all are changed or changing
The streets, some time ago, were paved with stones,
Which, aided by a hackney-coach, half broke your bones.
The purest lovers then indulged in bliss;
They ran great hazard if they stole a kiss.
One chaste salute!—the damsel cried—Oh, fie!
As they approach’d—slap went the coach awry—
Poor Sylvia got a bump, and Damon a black eye.
But now weak nerves in hackney-coaches roam,
And the cramm’d glutton snores, unjolted, home;
Of former times, that polish’d thing a beau,
Is metamorphosed now from top to toe;
Then the full flaxen wig, spread o’er the shoulders,
Conceal’d the shallow head from the beholders.
But now the whole’s reversed—each fop appears,
Cropp’d and trimm’d up, exposing head and ears:
The buckle then its modest limits knew,
Now, like the ocean, dreadful to the view,
Hath broke its bounds, and swallowed up the shoe:
The wearer’s foot like his once fine estate,
Is almost lost, the encumbrance is so great.
Ladies may smile—are they not in the plot?
The bounds of nature have not they forgot?
Were they design’d to be, when put together,
Made up, like shuttlecocks, of cork and feather?
Their pale-faced grandmammas appeared with grace
When dawning blushes rose upon the face;
No blushes now their once-loved station seek;
The foe is in possession of the cheek!
No heads of old, too high in feather’d state,
Hinder’d the fair to pass the lowest gate;
A church to enter now, they must be bent,
If ever they should try the experiment.

 As change thus circulates throughout the nation,
Some plays may justly call for alteration;
At least to draw some slender covering o’er,
That graceless wit, which was too bare before
Those writers well and wisely use their pens,
Who turn our wantons into Magdalens;
And howsoever wicked wits revile ’em,
We hope to find in you their stage asylum.



ACT I.

SCENE I.—_The Hall of an Inn_.

_Enter TOM FASHION and LORY, POSTILION following with a portmanteau_.

TOM FASHION.
Lory, pay the postboy, and take the portmanteau.

LORY.
[_Aside to TOM FASHION_.] Faith, sir, we had better let the postboy
take the portmanteau and pay himself.

TOM FASHION.
[_Aside to LORY_.] Why, sure, there’s something left in it!

LORY.
Not a rag, upon my honour, sir! We ate the last of your wardrobe at New
Malton—and, if we had had twenty miles further to go, our next meal
must have been of the cloak-bag.

TOM FASHION.
Why, ’sdeath, it appears full!

LORY.
Yes, sir—I made bold to stuff it with hay, to save appearances, and
look like baggage.

TOM FASHION.
[_Aside_.] What the devil shall I do?—[_Aloud_.] Hark’ee, boy, what’s
the chaise?

POSTILION.
Thirteen shillings, please your honour.

TOM FASHION.
Can you give me change for a guinea?

POSTILION.
Oh, yes, sir.

LORY.
[_Aside_.] So, what will he do now?—[_Aloud_.] Lord, sir, you had
better let the boy be paid below.

TOM FASHION.
Why, as you say, Lory, I believe it will be as well.

LORY.
Yes, yes, I’ll tell them to discharge you below, honest friend.

POSTILION.
Please your honour, there are the turnpikes too.

TOM FASHION.
Ay, ay, the turnpikes by all means.

POSTILION.
And I hope your honour will order me something for myself.

TOM FASHION.
To be sure; bid them give you a crown.

LORY.
Yes, yes—my master doesn’t care what you charge them—so get along, you—

POSTILION.
And there’s the ostler, your honour.

LORY.
Psha! damn the ostler!—would you impose upon the gentleman’s
generosity?—[_Pushes him out_.] A rascal, to be so cursed ready with
his change!

TOM FASHION.
Why, faith, Lory, he had nearly posed me.

LORY.
Well, sir, we are arrived at Scarborough, not worth a guinea! I hope
you’ll own yourself a happy man—you have outlived all your cares.

TOM FASHION.
How so, sir?

LORY.
Why, you have nothing left to take care of.

TOM FASHION.
Yes, sirrah, I have myself and you to take care of still.

LORY.
Sir, if you could prevail with somebody else to do that for you, I
fancy we might both fare the better for it. But now, sir, for my Lord
Foppington, your elder brother.

TOM FASHION.
Damn my eldest brother.

LORY.
With all my heart; but get him to redeem your annuity, however. Look
you, sir; you must wheedle him, or you must starve.

TOM FASHION.
Look you, sir; I would neither wheedle him, nor starve.

LORY.
Why, what will you do, then?

TOM FASHION.
Cut his throat, or get someone to do it for me.

LORY.
Gad so, sir, I’m glad to find I was not so well acquainted with the
strength of your conscience as with the weakness of your purse.

TOM FASHION.
Why, art thou so impenetrable a blockhead as to believe he’ll help me
with a farthing?

LORY.
Not if you treat him _de haut en bas_, as you used to do.

TOM FASHION.
Why, how wouldst have me treat him?

LORY.
Like a trout—tickle him.

TOM FASHION.
I can’t flatter.

LORY.
Can you starve?

TOM FASHION.
Yes.

LORY.
I can’t. Good by t’ye, sir.

TOM FASHION.
Stay—thou’lt distract me. But who comes here? My old friend, Colonel
Townly.

_Enter_ COLONEL TOWNLY.

 My dear Colonel, I am rejoiced to meet you here.

COLONEL TOWNLY.
Dear Tom, this is an unexpected pleasure! What, are you come to
Scarborough to be present at your brother’s wedding?

LORY.
Ah, sir, if it had been his funeral, we should have come with pleasure.

COLONEL TOWNLY.
What, honest Lory, are you with your master still?

LORY.
Yes, sir; I have been starving with him ever since I saw your honour
last.

TOM FASHION.
Why, Lory is an attached rogue; there’s no getting rid of him.

LORY.
True, sir, as my master says, there’s no seducing me from his
service.—[_Aside_.] Till he’s able to pay me my wages.

TOM FASHION.
Go, go, sir, and take care of the baggage.

LORY.
Yes, sir, the baggage!—O Lord! [_Takes up the portmanteau_.] I suppose,
sir, I must charge the landlord to be very particular where he stows
this?

TOM FASHION.
Get along, you rascal.—[_Exit_ LORY _with the portmanteau_.] But,
Colonel, are you acquainted with my proposed sister-in-law?

COLONEL TOWNLY.
Only by character. Her father, Sir Tunbelly Clumsy, lives within a
quarter of a mile of this place, in a lonely old house, which nobody
comes near. She never goes abroad, nor sees company at home; to prevent
all misfortunes, she has her breeding within doors; the parson of the
parish teaches her to play upon the dulcimer, the clerk to sing, her
nurse to dress, and her father to dance;—in short, nobody has free
admission there but our old acquaintance, Mother Coupler, who has
procured your brother this match, and is, I believe, a distant relation
of Sir Tunbelly’s.

TOM FASHION.
But is her fortune so considerable?

COLONEL TOWNLY.
Three thousand a year, and a good sum of money, independent of her
father, beside.

TOM FASHION.
’Sdeath! that my old acquaintance, Dame Coupler, could not have thought
of me, as well as my brother, for such a prize.

COLONEL TOWNLY.
Egad, I wouldn’t swear that you are too late. His lordship, I know,
hasn’t yet seen the lady—and, I believe, has quarrelled with his
patroness.

TOM FASHION.
My dear Colonel, what an idea have you started!

COLONEL TOWNLY.
Pursue it, if you can, and I promise you shall have my assistance; for,
besides my natural contempt for his lordship, I have at present the
enmity of a rival towards him.

TOM FASHION.
What, has he been addressing your old flame, the widow Berinthia?

COLONEL TOWNLY.
Faith, Tom, I am at present most whimsically circumstanced. I came here
a month ago to meet the lady you mention; but she failing in her
promise, I, partly from pique and partly from idleness, have been
diverting my chagrin by offering up incense to the beauties of Amanda,
our friend Loveless’s wife.

TOM FASHION.
I never have seen her, but have heard her spoken of as a youthful
wonder of beauty and prudence.

COLONEL TOWNLY.
She is so indeed; and, Loveless being too careless and insensible of
the treasure he possesses, my lodging in the same house has given me a
thousand opportunities of making my assiduities acceptable; so that, in
less than a fortnight, I began to bear my disappointment from the widow
with the most Christian resignation.

TOM FASHION.
And Berinthia has never appeared?

COLONEL TOWNLY.
Oh, there’s the perplexity! for, just as I began not to care whether I
ever saw her again or not, last night she arrived.

TOM FASHION.
And instantly resumed her empire.

COLONEL TOWNLY.
No, faith—we met—but, the lady not condescending to give me any serious
reasons for having fooled me for a month, I left her in a huff.

TOM FASHION.
Well, well, I’ll answer for it she’ll soon resume her power, especially
as friendship will prevent your pursuing the other too far. But my
coxcomb of a brother is an admirer of Amanda’s too, is he?

COLONEL TOWNLY.
Yes, and I believe is most heartily despised by her. But come with me,
and you shall see her and your old friend Loveless.

TOM FASHION.
I must pay my respects to his lordship—perhaps you can direct me to his
lodgings.

COLONEL TOWNLY.
 Come with me; I shall pass by it.

TOM FASHION.
I wish you could pay this visit for me, or could tell me what I should
say to him.

COLONEL TOWNLY.
 Say nothing to him—apply yourself to his bag, his sword, his feather,
 his snuff-box; and when you are well with them, desire him to lend you
 a thousand pounds, and I’ll engage you prosper.

TOM FASHION.
’Sdeath and furies! why was that coxcomb thrust into the world before
me? O Fortune, Fortune, thou art a jilt, by Gad! [_Exeunt._

SCENE II.—LORD FOPPINGTON’S _Dressing-room._

_Enter_ LORD FOPPINGTON _in his dressing-gown, and_ LA VAROLE.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
 [_Aside._] Well, ’tis an unspeakable pleasure to be a man of
 quality—strike me dumb! Even the boors of this northern spa have
 learned the respect due to a title.—[_Aloud._] La Varole!

LA VAROLE.
 Milor—

LORD FOPPINGTON.
 You ha’n’t yet been at Muddymoat Hall, to announce my arrival, have
 you?

LA VAROLE.
 Not yet, milor.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Then you need not go till Saturday [_Exit_ LA VAROLE] as I am in no
particular haste to view my intended sposa. I shall sacrifice a day or
two more to the pursuit of my friend Loveless’s wife. Amanda is a
charming creature—strike me ugly! and, if I have any discernment in the
world, she thinks no less of my Lord Foppington.

_Re-enter_ LA VAROLE.

LA VAROLE.
 Milor, de shoemaker, de tailor, de hosier, de sempstress, de peru, be
 all ready, if your lordship please to dress.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
 ’Tis well, admit them.

LA VAROLE.
 Hey, messieurs, entrez!

_Enter_ TAILOR, SHOEMAKER, SEMPSTRESS, JEWELLER, _and_ MENDLEGS.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
 So, gentlemen, I hope you have all taken pains to show yourselves
 masters in your professions?

TAILOR.
I think I may presume, sir—

LA VAROLE.
Milor, you clown, you!

TAILOR.
My lord—I ask your lordship’s—pardon, my lord. I hope, my lord, your
lordship will be pleased to own I have brought your lordship as
accomplished a suit of clothes as ever peer of England wore, my
lord—will your lordship please to view ’em now?

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Ay; but let my people dispose the glasses so that I may see myself
before and behind; for I love to see myself all round. [_Puts on his
clothes_.]

_Enter_ TOM FASHION _and_ LORY. _They remain behind, conversing apart_.

TOM FASHION.
Heyday! what the devil have we here? Sure my gentleman’s grown a
favourite at court, he has got so many people at his levee.

LORY.
Sir, these people come in order to make him a favourite at court—they
are to establish him with the ladies.

TOM FASHION.
Good Heaven! to what an ebb of taste are women fallen, that it should
be in the power of a laced coat to recommend a gallant to them?

LORY.
Sir, tailors and hair-dressers debauch all the women.

TOM FASHION.
Thou sayest true. But now for my reception.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
[_To_ TAILOR.] Death and eternal tortures! Sir—I say the coat is too
wide here by a foot.

TAILOR.
My lord, if it had been tighter, ’twould neither have hooked nor
buttoned.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Rat the hooks and buttons, sir! Can anything be worse than this? As Gad
shall jedge me, it hangs on my shoulders like a chairman’s surtout.

TAILOR.
’Tis not for me to dispute your lordship’s fancy.

LORY.
There, sir, observe what respect does.

TOM FASHION.
Respect! damn him for a coxcomb!—But let’s accost him.—[_Coming
forward_.] Brother, I’m your humble servant.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
O Lard, Tam! I did not expect you in England. Brother, I’m glad to see
you. But what has brought you to Scarborough, Tam!—[_To the_ TAILOR.]
Look you, sir, I shall never be reconciled to this nauseous
wrapping-gown, therefore pray get me another suit with all possible
expedition; for this is my eternal aversion.—[_Exit_ TAILOR.] Well but,
Tam, you don’t tell me what has driven you to Scarborough.—Mrs. Calico,
are not you of my mind?

_Semp_.
Directly, my lord.—I hope your lordship is pleased with your ruffles?

LORD FOPPINGTON.
In love with them, stap my vitals!—Bring my bill, you shall be paid
tomorrow.

_Semp_.
I humbly thank your worship. [Exit.]

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Hark thee, shoemaker, these shoes aren’t ugly, but they don’t fit me.

SHOEMAKER.
My lord, I think they fit you very well.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
They hurt me just below the instep.

SHOEMAKER.
[_Feels his foot_.] No, my lord, they don’t hurt you there.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
I tell thee they pinch me execrably.

SHOEMAKER.
Why then, my lord, if those shoes pinch you, I’ll be damned.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Why, will thou undertake to persuade me I cannot feel?

SHOEMAKER.
Your lordship may please to feel what you think fit, but that shoe does
not hurt you—I think I understand my trade.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Now, by all that’s good and powerful, thou art an incomprehensive
coxcomb!—but thou makest good shoes, and so I’ll bear with thee.

SHOEMAKER.
My lord, I have worked for half the people of quality in this town
these twenty years, and ’tis very hard I shouldn’t know when a shoe
hurts, and when it don’t.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Well, pr’ythee be gone about thy business.—[_Exit_ SHOEMAKER.] Mr.
Mendlegs, a word with you.—The calves of these stockings are thickened
a little too much; they make my legs look like a porter’s.

MENDLEGS.
My lord, methinks they look mighty well.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Ay, but you are not so good a judge of those things as I am—I have
studied them all my life—therefore pray let the next be the thickness
of a crown-piece less.

MENDLEGS.
Indeed, my lord, they are the same kind I had the honour to furnish
your lordship with in town.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Very possibly, Mr. Mendlegs; but that was in the beginning of the
winter, and you should always remember, Mr. Hosier, that if you make a
nobleman’s spring legs as robust as his autumnal calves, you commit a
monstrous impropriety, and make no allowance for the fatigues of the
winter. [_Exit—_MENDLEGS.]

JEWELLER.
I hope, my lord, these buckles have had the unspeakable satisfaction of
being honoured with your lordship’s approbation?

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Why, they are of a pretty fancy; but don’t you think them rather of the
smallest?

JEWELLER.
My lord, they could not well be larger, to keep on your lordship’s
shoe.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
My good sir, you forget that these matters are not as they used to be;
formerly, indeed, the buckle was a sort of machine, intended to keep on
the shoe; but the case is now quite reversed, and the shoe is of no
earthly use, but to keep on the buckle.—Now give me my watches [SERVANT
_fetches the watches_,] my chapeau, [SERVANT _brings a dress hat_,] my
handkerchief, [SERVANT _pours some scented liquor on a handkerchief and
brings it_,] my snuff-box [SERVANT _brings snuff-box_.] There, now the
business of the morning is pretty well over. [_Exit_ JEWELLER.]

TOM FASHION.
[_Aside to_ LORY.] Well, Lory, what dost think on’t?—a very friendly
reception from a brother, after three years’ absence!

LORY.
[_Aside to_ TOM FASHION.] Why, sir, ’tis your own fault—here you have
stood ever since you came in, and have not commended any one thing that
belongs to him. [SERVANTS _all go off._]

TOM FASHION.
[_Aside to_ LORY.] Nor ever shall, while they belong to a
coxcomb.—[_To_ LORD FOPPINGTON.] Now your people of business are gone,
brother, I hope I may obtain a quarter of an hour’s audience of you?

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Faith, Tam, I must beg you’ll excuse me at this time, for I have an
engagement which I would not break for the salvation of
mankind.—Hey!—there!—is my carriage at the door? You’ll excuse me,
brother. [_Going_.]

TOM FASHION.
Shall you be back to dinner?

LORD FOPPINGTON.
As Gad shall jedge me, I can’t tell; for it is passible I may dine with
some friends at Donner’s.

TOM FASHION.
Shall I meet you there? For I must needs talk with you.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
That I’m afraid mayn’t be quite so praper; for those I commonly eat
with are people of nice conversation; and you know, Tam, your education
has been a little at large.—But there are other ordinaries in town—very
good beef ordinaries—I suppose, Tam, you can eat beef?—However, dear
Tam, I’m glad to see thee in England, stap my vitals! [_Exit_, LA
VAROLE _following_.]

TOM FASHION.
Hell and furies! is this to be borne?

LORY.
Faith, sir, I could almost have given him a knock o’ the pate myself.

TOM FASHION.
’Tis enough; I will now show you the excess of my passion, by being
very calm.—Come, Lory, lay your loggerhead to mine, and, in cold blood,
let us contrive his destruction.

LORY.
Here comes a head, sir, would contrive it better than both our
loggerheads, if she would but join in the confederacy.

TOM FASHION.
By this light, Madam Coupler! she seems dissatisfied at something: let
us observe her.

_Enter_ MRS. COUPLER.

MRS. COUPLER.
So! I am likely to be well rewarded for my services, truly; my
suspicions, I find, were but too just. What! refuse to advance me a
petty sum, when I am upon the point of making him master of a galleon!
but let him look to the consequences; an ungrateful, narrow-minded
coxcomb.

TOM FASHION.
So he is, upon my soul, old lady; it must be my brother you speak of.

MRS. COUPLER.
Ha! stripling, how came you here? What, hast spent all, eh? And art
thou come to dun his lordship for assistance?

TOM FASHION.
No, I want somebody’s assistance to cut his lordship’s throat, without
the risk of being hanged for him.

MRS. COUPLER.
Egad, sirrah, I could help thee to do him almost as good a turn,
without the danger of being burned in the hand for’t.

TOM FASHION.
How—how, old mischief?

MRS. COUPLER.
Why, you must know I have done you the kindness to make up a match for
your brother.

TOM FASHION.
I am very much beholden to you, truly!

MRS. COUPLER.
You may be before the wedding-day, yet: the lady is a great heiress,
the match is concluded, the writings are drawn, and his lordship is
come hither to put the finishing hand to the business.

TOM FASHION.
I understand as much.

MRS. COUPLER.
Now, you must know, stripling, your brother’s a knave.

TOM FASHION.
Good.

MRS. COUPLER.
He has given me a bond of a thousand pounds for helping him to this
fortune, and has promised me as much more, in ready money, upon the day
of the marriage; which, I understand by a friend, he never designs to
pay me; and his just now refusing to pay me a part is a proof of it.
If, therefore, you will be a generous young rogue, and secure me five
thousand pounds, I’ll help you to the lady.

TOM FASHION.
And how the devil wilt thou do that?

MRS. COUPLER.
Without the devil’s aid, I warrant thee. Thy brother’s face not one of
the family ever saw; the whole business has been managed by me, and all
his letters go through my hands. Sir Tunbelly Clumsy, my relation—for
that’s the old gentleman’s name—is apprised of his lordship’s being
down here, and expects him tomorrow to receive his daughter’s hand; but
the peer, I find, means to bait here a few days longer, to recover the
fatigue of his journey, I suppose. Now you shall go to Muddymoat Hall
in his place. I’ll give you a letter of introduction: and if you don’t
marry the girl before sunset, you deserve to be hanged before morning.

TOM FASHION.
Agreed! agreed! and for thy reward—

MRS. COUPLER.
Well, well;—though I warrant thou hast not a farthing of money in thy
pocket now—no—one may see it in thy face.

TOM FASHION.
Not a sous, by Jupiter!

MRS. COUPLER.
Must I advance, then? Well, be at my lodgings, next door, this evening,
and I’ll see what may be done—we’ll sign and seal, and when I have
given thee some further instructions, thou shalt hoist sail and be
gone. [_Exit_.]

TOM FASHION.
So, Lory, Fortune, thou seest, at last takes care of merit! We are in a
fair way to be great people.

LORY.
Ay, sir, if the devil don’t step between the cup and the lip, as he
used to do.

TOM FASHION.
Why, faith, he has played me many a damned trick to spoil my fortune;
and, egad, I am almost afraid he’s at work about it again now; but if I
should tell thee how, thou’dst wonder at me.

LORY.
Indeed, sir, I should not.

TOM FASHION.
How dost know?

LORY.
Because, sir, I have wondered at you so often, I can wonder at you no
more.

TOM FASHION.
No! what wouldst thou say, if a qualm of conscience should spoil my
design?

LORY.
I would eat my words, and wonder more than ever.

TOM FASHION.
Why faith, Lory, though I have played many a roguish trick, this is so
full-grown a cheat, I find I must take pains to come up to’t—I have
scruples.

LORY.
They are strong symptoms of death. If you find they increase, sir, pray
make your will.

TOM FASHION.
No, my conscience shan’t starve me neither: but thus far I’ll listen to
it. Before I execute this project, I’ll try my brother to the bottom.
If he has yet so much humanity about him as to assist me—though with a
moderate aid—I’ll drop my project at his feet, and show him how I can
do for him much more than what I’d ask he’d do for me. This one
conclusive trial of him I resolve to make.

Succeed or fail, still victory is my lot;
If I subdue his heart, ’tis well—if not,
I will subdue my conscience to my plot.


[_Exeunt_.]



ACT II.

SCENE I.—LOVELESS’S _Lodgings_.

_Enter_ LOVELESS _and_ AMANDA.

LOVELESS.
How do you like these lodgings, my dear? For my part, I am so pleased
with them, I shall hardly remove whilst we stay here, if you are
satisfied.

AMANDA.
I am satisfied with everything that pleases you, else I had not come to
Scarborough at all.

LOVELESS.
Oh, a little of the noise and folly of this place will sweeten the
pleasures of our retreat; we shall find the charms of our retirement
doubled when we return to it.

AMANDA.
That pleasing prospect will be my chiefest entertainment, whilst, much
against my will, I engage in those empty pleasures which ’tis so much
the fashion to be fond of.

LOVELESS.
I own most of them are, indeed, but empty; yet there are delights of
which a private life is destitute, which may divert an honest man, and
be a harmless entertainment to a virtuous woman: good music is one; and
truly (with some small allowance) the plays, I think, may be esteemed
another.

AMANDA.
Plays, I must confess, have some small charms. What do you think of
that you saw last night?

LOVELESS.
To say truth, I did not mind it much—my attention was for some time
taken off to admire the workmanship of Nature in the face of a young
lady who sat at some distance from me, she was so exquisitely handsome.

AMANDA.
So exquisitely handsome!

LOVELESS.
Why do you repeat my words, my dear?

AMANDA.
Because you seemed to speak them with such pleasure, I thought I might
oblige you with their echo.

LOVELESS.
Then you are alarmed, Amanda?

AMANDA.
It is my duty to be so when you are in danger.

LOVELESS.
You are too quick in apprehending for me. I viewed her with a world of
admiration, but not one glance of love.

AMANDA.
Take heed of trusting to such nice distinctions. But were your eyes the
only things that were inquisitive? Had I been in your place, my tongue,
I fancy, had been curious too. I should have asked her where she
lived—yet still without design—who was she, pray?

LOVELESS.
Indeed I cannot tell.

AMANDA.
You will not tell.

LOVELESS.
Upon my honour, then, I did not ask.

AMANDA.
Nor do you know what company was with her?

LOVELESS.
I do not. But why are you so earnest?

AMANDA.
I thought I had cause.

LOVELESS.
But you thought wrong, Amanda; for turn the case, and let it be your
story: should you come home and tell me you had seen a handsome man,
should I grow jealous because you had eyes?

AMANDA.
But should I tell you he was exquisitely so, and that I had gazed on
him with admiration, should you not think ’twere possible I might go
one step further, and inquire his name?

LOVELESS.
[_Aside_.] She has reason on her side; I have talked too much; but I
must turn off another way.—[_Aloud_.] Will you then make no difference,
Amanda, between the language of our sex and yours? There is a modesty
restrains your tongues, which makes you speak by halves when you
commend; but roving flattery gives a loose to ours, which makes us
still speak double what we think.

_Enter_ SERVANT.

SERVANT.
Madam, there is a lady at the door in a chair desires to know whether
your ladyship sees company; her name is Berinthia.

AMANDA.
Oh dear! ’tis a relation I have not seen these five years; pray her to
walk in.—[_Exit_ SERVANT.] Here’s another beauty for you; she was, when
I saw her last, reckoned extremely handsome.

LOVELESS.
Don’t be jealous now; for I shall gaze upon her too.

_Enter_ BERINTHIA. Ha! by heavens, the very woman! [_Aside_.]

BERINTHIA.
[_Salutes_ AMANDA.] Dear Amanda, I did not expect to meet you in
Scarborough.

AMANDA.
Sweet cousin, I’m overjoyed to see you.—Mr. Loveless, here’s a relation
and a friend of mine, I desire you’ll be better acquainted with.

LOVELESS.
[_Salutes_ BERINTHIA.] If my wife never desires a harder thing, madam,
her request will be easily granted.

_Re-enter_ SERVANT.

SERVANT.
Sir, my Lord Foppington presents his humble service to you, and desires
to know how you do. He’s at the next door; and, if it be not
inconvenient to you, he’ll come and wait upon you.

LOVELESS.
Give my compliments to his lordship, and I shall be glad to see
him.—[_Exit_ SERVANT.] If you are not acquainted with his lordship,
madam, you will be entertained with his character.

AMANDA.
Now it moves my pity more than my mirth to see a man whom nature has
made no fool be so very industrious to pass for an ass.

LOVELESS.
No, there you are wrong, Amanda; you should never bestow your pity upon
those who take pains for your contempt: pity those whom nature abuses,
never those who abuse nature.

_Enter_ LORD FOPPINGTON.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Dear Loveless, I am your most humble servant.

LOVELESS.
My lord, I’m yours.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Madam, your ladyship’s very obedient slave.

LOVELESS.
My lord, this lady is a relation of my wife’s.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
[_Salutes_ BERINTHIA.] The beautifullest race of people upon earth, rat
me! Dear Loveless, I am overjoyed that you think of continuing here: I
am, stap my vitals!—[_To_ AMANDA.] For Gad’s sake, madam, how has your
ladyship been able to subsist thus long, under the fatigue of a country
life?

AMANDA.
My life has been very far from that, my lord; it has been a very quiet
one.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Why, that’s the fatigue I speak of, madam; for ’tis impossible to be
quiet without thinking: now thinking is to me the greatest fatigue in
the world.

AMANDA.
Does not your lordship love reading, then?

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Oh, passionately, madam; but I never think of what I read. For example,
madam, my life is a perpetual stream of pleasure, that glides through
with such a variety of entertainments, I believe the wisest of our
ancestors never had the least conception of any of ’em. I rise, madam,
when in town, about twelve o’clock. I don’t rise sooner, because it is
the worst thing in the world for the complexion: not that I pretend to
be a beau; but a man must endeavour to look decent, lest he makes so
odious a figure in the side-bax, the ladies should be compelled to turn
their eyes upon the play. So at twelve o’clock, I say, I rise. Naw, if
I find it is a good day, I resalve to take the exercise of riding; so
drink my chocolate, and draw on my boots by two. On my return, I dress;
and, after dinner, lounge perhaps to the opera.

BERINTHIA.
Your lordship, I suppose, is fond of music?

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Oh, passionately, on Tuesdays and Saturdays; for then there is always
the best company, and one is not expected to undergo the fatigue of
listening.

AMANDA.
Does your lordship think that the case at the opera?

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Most certainly, madam. There is my Lady Tattle, my Lady Prate, my Lady
Titter, my Lady Sneer, my Lady Giggle, and my Lady Grin—these have
boxes in the front, and while any favourite air is singing, are the
prettiest company in the waurld, stap my vitals!—Mayn’t we hope for the
honour to see you added to our society, madam?

AMANDA.
Alas! my lord, I am the worst company in the world at a concert, I’m so
apt to attend to the music.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Why, madam, that is very pardonable in the country or at church, but a
monstrous inattention in a polite assembly. But I am afraid I tire the
company?

LOVELESS.
Not at all. Pray go on.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Why then, ladies, there only remains to add, that I generally conclude
the evening at one or other of the clubs; nat that I ever play deep;
indeed I have been for some time tied up from losing above five
thousand paunds at a sitting.

LOVELESS.
But isn’t your lordship sometimes obliged to attend the weighty affairs
of the nation?

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Sir, as to weighty affairs, I leave them to weighty heads; I never
intend mine shall be a burden to my body.

BERINTHIA.
Nay, my lord, but you are a pillar of the state.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
An ornamental pillar, madam; for sooner than undergo any part of the
fatigue, rat me, but the whole building should fall plump to the
ground!

AMANDA.
But, my lord, a fine gentleman spends a great deal of his time in his
intrigues; you have given us no account of them yet.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
 [_Aside_.] So! she would inquire into my amours—that’s jealousy, poor
 soul!—I see she’s in love with me.—[_Aloud_.] O Lord, madam, I had
 like to have forgot a secret I must need tell your ladyship.—Ned, you
 must not be so jealous now as to listen.

LOVELESS.
[_Leading_ BERINTHIA _up the stage_.] Not I, my lord; I am too
fashionable a husband to pry into the secrets of my wife.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
 [_Aside to_ AMANDA _squeezing her hand_.] I am in love with you to
 desperation, strike me speechless!

AMANDA.
[_Strikes him on the ear_.] Then thus I return your passion.—An
impudent fool!

LORD FOPPINGTON.
God’s curse, madam, I am a peer of the realm!

LOVELESS.
[_Hastily returning_.] Hey! what the devil, do you affront my wife,
sir? Nay, then—[_Draws. They fight._]

AMANDA.
What has my folly done?—Help! murder! help! Part them for Heaven’s
sake.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
[_Falls back and leans on his sword._] Ah! quite through the body, stap
my vitals!

_Enter_ SERVANTS.

LOVELESS.
[_Runs to_ LORD FOPPINGTON.] I hope I ha’nt killed the fool, however.
Bear him up.—Call a surgeon there.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Ay, pray make haste. [_Exit_ SERVANT.

LOVELESS.
This mischief you may thank yourself for.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
I may say so; love’s the devil indeed, Ned.

_Re-enter_ SERVANT, _with_ PROBE.

SERVANT.
Here’s Mr. Probe, sir, was just going by the door.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
He’s the welcomest man alive.

PROBE.
Stand by, stand by, stand by; pray, gentlemen, stand by. Lord have
mercy upon us, did you never see a man run through the body
before?—Pray stand by.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Ah, Mr. Probe, I’m a dead man.

PROBE.
A dead man, and I by! I should laugh to see that, egad.

LOVELESS.
Pr’ythee don’t stand prating, but look upon his wound.

PROBE.
Why, what if I don’t look upon his wound this hour, sir?

LOVELESS.
Why, then he’ll bleed to death, sir.

PROBE.
Why, then I’ll fetch him to life again, sir.

LOVELESS.
’Slife! he’s run through the body, I tell thee.

PROBE.
I wish he was run through the heart, and I should get the more credit
by his cure. Now I hope you are satisfied? Come, now let me come at
him—now let me come at him.—[_Viewing his wound._] Oops, what a gash is
here! why, sir, a man may drive a coach and six horses into your body.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Oh!

PROBE.
Why, what the devil have you run the gentleman through with—a
scythe?—[_Aside_.] A little scratch between the skin and the ribs,
that’s all.

LOVELESS.
Let me see his wound.

PROBE.
Then you shall dress it, sir; for if anybody looks upon it I won’t.

LOVELESS.
Why, thou art the veriest coxcomb I ever saw!

PROBE.
Sir, I am not master of my trade for nothing.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Surgeon!

PROBE.
Sir.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Are there any hopes?

PROBE.
Hopes! I can’t tell. What are you willing to give for a cure?

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Five hundred paunds with pleasure.

PROBE.
Why then perhaps there may be hopes; but we must avoid further
delay.—Here, help the gentleman into a chair, and carry him to my house
presently—that’s the properest place—[_Aside_.] to bubble him out of
his money.—[_Aloud_.] Come, a chair—a chair quickly—there, in with him.

[SERVANTS _put_ LORD FOPPINGTON _into a chair_.]

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Dear Loveless, adieu; if I die, I forgive thee; and if I live, I hope
thou wilt do as much by me. I am sorry you and I should quarrel, but I
hope here’s an end on’t; for if you are satisfied, I am.

LOVELESS.
I shall hardly think it worth my prosecuting any further, so you may be
at rest, sir.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Thou art a generous fellow, strike me dumb!—[_Aside_.] But thou hast an
impertinent wife, stap my vitals!

PROBE.
So—carry him off!—carry him off!—We shall have him into a fever
by-and-by.—Carry him off! [_Exit with_ LORD FOPPINGTON.] Enter COLONEL
TOWNLY.

COLONEL TOWNLY.
So, so, I am glad to find you all alive.—I met a wounded peer carrying
off. For heaven’s sake what was the matter?

LOVELESS.
Oh, a trifle! he would have made love to my wife before my face, so she
obliged him with a box o’ the ear, and I ran him through the body, that
was all.

COLONEL TOWNLY.
Bagatelle on all sides. But pray, madam, how long has this noble lord
been an humble servant of yours?

AMANDA.
This is the first I have heard on’t—so I suppose, ’tis his quality more
than his love has brought him into this adventure. He thinks his title
an authentic passport to every woman’s heart below the degree of a
peeress.

COLONEL TOWNLY.
He’s coxcomb enough to think anything: but I would not have you brought
into trouble for him. I hope there’s no danger of his life?

LOVELESS.
None at all. He’s fallen into the hands of a roguish surgeon, who, I
perceive, designs to frighten a little money out of him: but I saw his
wound—’tis nothing: he may go to the ball tonight if he pleases.

COLONEL TOWNLY.
I am glad you have corrected him without further mischief, or you might
have deprived me of the pleasure of executing a plot against his
lordship, which I have been contriving with an old acquaintance of
yours.

LOVELESS.
Explain.

COLONEL TOWNLY.
His brother, Tom Fashion, is come down here, and we have it in
contemplation to save him the trouble of his intended wedding: but we
want your assistance. Tom would have called but he is preparing for his
enterprise, so I promised to bring you to him—so, sir, if these ladies
can spare you—

LOVELESS.
I’ll go with you with all my heart.—[_Aside_.] Though I could wish,
methinks, to stay and gaze a little longer on that creature. Good gods!
how engaging she is!—but what have I to do with beauty? I have already
had my portion, and must not covet more.

AMANDA.
Mr. Loveless, pray one word with you before you go. [_Exit_ COLONEL
TOWNLY.

LOVELESS.
What would my dear?

AMANDA.
Only a woman’s foolish question: how do you like my cousin here?

LOVELESS.
Jealous already, Amanda?

AMANDA.
Not at all: I ask you for another reason.

LOVELESS.
[_Aside_.] Whate’er her reason be, I must not tell her true.—[_Aloud_.]
Why, I confess, she’s handsome: but you must not think I slight your
kinswoman, if I own to you, of all the women who may claim that
character, she is the last that would triumph in my heart.

AMANDA.
I’m satisfied.

LOVELESS.
Now tell me why you asked?

AMANDA.
At night I will—adieu!

LOVELESS.
I’m yours. [_Kisses her and exit_.]

AMANDA.
I’m glad to find he does not like her, for I have a great mind to
persuade her to come and live with me. [_Aside_.]

BERINTHIA.
So! I find my colonel continues in his airs; there must be something
more at the bottom of this than the provocation he pretends from me.
[_Aside_.]

AMANDA.
For Heaven’s sake, Berinthia, tell me what way I shall take to persuade
you to come and live with me.

BERINTHIA.
Why, one way in the world there is, and but one.

AMANDA.
And pray what is that?

BERINTHIA.
It is to assure me—I shall be very welcome.

AMANDA.
If that be all, you shall e’en sleep here tonight.

BERINTHIA.
Tonight.

AMANDA.
Yes, tonight.

BERINTHIA.
Why, the people where I lodge will think me mad.

AMANDA.
Let ’em think what they please.

BERINTHIA.
Say you so, Amanda? Why, then, they shall think what they please: for
I’m a young widow, and I care not what anybody thinks.—Ah, Amanda, it’s
a delicious thing to be a young widow!

AMANDA.
You’ll hardly make me think so.

BERINTHIA.
Poh! because you are in love with your husband.

AMANDA.
Pray, ’tis with a world of innocence I would inquire whether you think
those we call women of reputation do really escape all other men as
they do those shadows of beaux.

BERINTHIA.
Oh no, Amanda; there are a sort of men make dreadful work amongst ’em,
men that may be called the beau’s antipathy, for they agree in nothing
but walking upon two legs. These have brains, the beau has none. These
are in love with their mistress, the beau with himself. They take care
of their reputation, the beau is industrious to destroy it. They are
decent, he’s a fop; in short, they are men, he’s an ass.

AMANDA.
If this be their character, I fancy we had here, e’en now, a pattern of
’em both.

BERINTHIA.
His lordship and Colonel Townly?

AMANDA.
The same.

BERINTHIA.
As for the lord, he is eminently so; and for the other, I can assure
you there’s not a man in town who has a better interest with the women
that are worth having an interest with.

AMANDA.
He answers the opinion I had ever of him. [_Takes her hand_.] I must
acquaint you with a secret—’tis not that fool alone has talked to me of
love; Townly has been tampering too.

BERINTHIA.
[_Aside_.] So, so! here the mystery comes out!—[_Aloud_.] Colonel
Townly! impossible, my dear!

AMANDA.
’Tis true indeed; though he has done it in vain; nor do I think that
all the merit of mankind combined could shake the tender love I bear my
husband; yet I will own to you, Berinthia, I did not start at his
addresses, as when they came from one whom I contemned.

BERINTHIA.
[_Aside_.] Oh, this is better and better!—[_Aloud_.] Well said,
innocence! and you really think, my dear, that nothing could abate your
constancy and attachment to your husband?

AMANDA.
Nothing, I am convinced.

BERINTHIA.
What, if you found he loved another woman better?

AMANDA.
Well!

BERINTHIA.
Well!—why, were I that thing they call a slighted wife, somebody should
run the risk of being that thing they call—a husband. Don’t I talk
madly?

AMANDA.
Madly indeed!

BERINTHIA.
Yet I’m very innocent.

AMANDA.
That I dare swear you are. I know how to make allowances for your
humour: but you resolve then never to marry again?

BERINTHIA.
Oh no! I resolve I will.

AMANDA.
How so?

BERINTHIA.
That I never may.

AMANDA.
You banter me.

BERINTHIA.
Indeed I don’t: but I consider I’m a woman, and form my resolutions
accordingly.

AMANDA.
Well, my opinion is, form what resolutions you will, matrimony will be
the end on’t.

BERINTHIA.
I doubt it. But ah, Heavens! I have business at home, and am half an
hour too late.

AMANDA.
As you are to return with me, I’ll just give some orders, and walk with
you.

BERINTHIA.
Well, make haste, and we’ll finish this subject as we go—[_Exit_
AMANDA.]. Ah, poor Amanda! you have led a country life. Well, this
discovery is lucky! Base Townly! at once false to me and treacherous to
his friend!—And my innocent and demure cousin too! I have it in my
power to be revenged on her, however. Her husband, if I have any skill
in countenance, would be as happy in my smiles as Townly can hope to be
in hers. I’ll make the experiment, come what will on’t. The woman who
can forgive the being robbed of a favoured lover, must be either an
idiot or a wanton. [_Exit_.]



ACT III.

SCENE I.—LORD FOPPINGTON’s _Lodgings. Enter_ LORD FOPPINGTON, _and_ LA
VAROLE.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Hey, fellow, let thy _vis-à-vis_ come to the door.

LA VAROLE.
Will your lordship venture so soon to expose yourself to the weather?

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Sir, I will venture as soon as I can expose myself to the ladies.

LA VAROLE.
I wish your lordship would please to keep house a little longer; I’m
afraid your honour does not well consider your wound.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
My wound!—I would not be in eclipse another day, though I had as many
wounds in my body as I have had in my heart. So mind, Varole, let these
cards be left as directed; for this evening I shall wait on my future
father-in-law, Sir Tunbelly, and I mean to commence my devoirs to the
lady, by giving an entertainment at her father’s expense; and hark
thee, tell Mr. Loveless I request he and his company will honour me
with their presence, or I shall think we are not friends.

LA VAROLE.
I will be sure, milor. [_Exit_.]

_Enter_ TOM FASHION.

TOM FASHION.
Brother, your servant; how do you find yourself today?

LORD FOPPINGTON.
So well that I have ardered my coach to the door—so there’s no danger
of death this baut, Tam.

TOM FASHION.
I’m very glad of it.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
[_Aside_.] That I believe a lie.—[_Aloud_.] Pr’ythee, Tam, tell me one
thing—did not your heart cut a caper up to your mauth, when you heard I
was run through the bady?

TOM FASHION.
Why do you think it should?

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Because I remember mine did so when I heard my uncle was shot through
the head.

TOM FASHION.
It, then, did very ill.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Pr’ythee, why so?

TOM FASHION.
Because he used you very well.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Well!—Naw, strike me dumb! he starved me; he has let me want a thausand
women for want of a thausand paund.

TOM FASHION.
Then he hindered you from making a great many ill bargains; for I think
no woman worth money that will take money.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
If I was a younger brother I should think so too.

TOM FASHION.
Then you are seldom much in love?

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Never, stap my vitals!

TOM FASHION.
Why, then, did you make all this bustle about Amanda?

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Because she’s a woman of insolent virtue, and I thought myself piqued
in honour to debauch her.

TOM FASHION.
Very well.—[_Aside_.] Here’s a rare fellow for you, to have the
spending of ten thousand pounds a year! But now for my business with
him.—[_Aloud_.] Brother, though I know to talk of any business
(especially of money) is a theme not quite so entertaining to you as
that of the ladies, my necessities are such, I hope you’ll have
patience to hear me.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
The greatness of your necessities, Tam, is the worst argument in the
waurld for your being patiently heard. I do believe you are going to
make a very good speech, but, strike me dumb! it has the worst
beginning of any speech I have heard this twelvemonth.

TOM FASHION.
I’m sorry you think so.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
I do believe thou art: but, come, let’s know the affair quickly.

TOM FASHION.
Why, then, my case, in a word, is this: the necessary expenses of my
travels have so much exceeded the wretched income of my annuity, that I
have been forced to mortgage it for five hundred pounds, which is
spent. So unless you are so kind as to assist me in redeeming it, I
know no remedy but to take a purse.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Why, faith, Tam, to give you my sense of the thing, I do think taking a
purse the best remedy in the waurld; for if you succeed, you are
relieved that way, if you are taken [_Drawing his hand round his
neck_], you are relieved t’other.

TOM FASHION.
I’m glad to see you are in so pleasant a humour; I hope I shall find
the effects on’t.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Why, do you then really think it a reasonable thing, that I should give
you five hundred paunds?

TOM FASHION.
I do not ask it as a due, brother; I am willing to receive it as a
favour.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Then thou art willing to receive it anyhow, strike me speechless! But
these are damned times to give money in; taxes are so great, repairs so
exorbitant, tenants such rogues, and bouquets so dear, that the devil
take me I’m reduced to that extremity in my cash, I have been forced to
retrench in that one article of sweet pawder, till I have brought it
down to five guineas a maunth—now judge, Tam, whether I can spare you
five paunds.

TOM FASHION.
If you can’t I must starve, that’s all.—[_Aside_.] Damn him!

LORD FOPPINGTON.
All I can say is, you should have been a better husband.

TOM FASHION.
Ouns! if you can’t live upon ten thousand a year, how do you think I
should do’t upon two hundred?

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Don’t be in a passion, Tam, for passion is the most unbecoming thing in
the waurld—to the face. Look you, I don’t love to say anything to you
to make you melancholy, but upon this occasion I must take leave to put
you in mind that a running horse does require more attendance than a
coach-horse. Nature has made some difference twixt you and me.

TOM FASHION.
Yes—she has made you older.—[_Aside_.] Plague take her.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
That is not all, Tam.

TOM FASHION.
Why, what is there else?

LORD FOPPINGTON.
[_Looks first on himself and then on his brother_.] Ask the ladies.

TOM FASHION.
Why, thou essence-bottle, thou musk-cat! dost thou then think thou hast
any advantage over me but what Fortune has given thee?

LORD FOPPINGTON.
I do, stap my vitals!

TOM FASHION.
Now, by all that’s great and powerful, thou art the prince of coxcombs!

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Sir, I am proud at being at the head of so prevailing a party.

TOM FASHION.
Will nothing provoke thee?—Draw, coward!

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Look you, Tam, you know I have always taken you for a mighty dull
fellow, and here is one of the foolishest plats broke out that I have
seen a lang time. Your poverty makes life so burdensome to you, you
would provoke me to a quarrel, in hopes either to slip through my lungs
into my estate, or to get yourself run through the guts, to put an end
to your pain. But I will disappoint you in both your designs; far, with
the temper of a philasapher, and the discretion of a statesman—I shall
leave the room with my sword in the scabbard. [_Exit_.]

TOM FASHION.
So! farewell, brother; and now, conscience, I defy thee. Lory!

_Enter_ LORY.

LORY.
Sir!

TOM FASHION.
Here’s rare news, Lory; his lordship has given me a pill has purged off
all my scruples.

LORY.
Then my heart’s at ease again: for I have been in a lamentable fright,
sir, ever since your conscience had the impudence to intrude into your
company.

TOM FASHION.
Be at peace; it will come there no more: my brother has given it a
wring by the nose, and I have kicked it downstairs. So run away to the
inn, get the chaise ready quickly, and bring it to Dame Coupler’s
without a moment’s delay.

LORY.
Then, sir, you are going straight about the fortune?

TOM FASHION.
I am.—Away—fly, Lory!

LORY.
The happiest day I ever saw. I’m upon the wing already. Now then I
shall get my wages. [_Exeunt_.]

SCENE II.—_A Garden behind_ LOVELESS’S _Lodgings. Enter_ LOVELESS _and_
SERVANT.

LOVELESS.
Is my wife within?

SERVANT.
No, sir, she has gone out this half-hour.

LOVELESS.
Well, leave me.—[_Exit_ SERVANT.] How strangely does my mind run on
this widow!—Never was my heart so suddenly seized on before. That my
wife should pick out her, of all womankind, to be her playfellow! But
what fate does, let fate answer for: I sought it not. So! by Heavens!
here she comes.

_Enter_ BERINTHIA.

BERINTHIA.
What makes you look so thoughtful, sir? I hope you are not ill.

LOVELESS.
I was debating, madam, whether I was so or not, and that was it which
made me look so thoughtful.

BERINTHIA.
Is it then so hard a matter to decide? I thought all people were
acquainted with their own bodies, though few people know their own
minds.

LOVELESS.
What if the distemper I suspect be in the mind?

BERINTHIA.
Why then I’ll undertake to prescribe you a cure.

LOVELESS.
Alas! you undertake you know not what.

BERINTHIA.
So far at least, then, you allow me to be a physician.

LOVELESS.
Nay, I’ll allow you to be so yet further: for I have reason to believe,
should I put myself into your hands, you would increase my distemper.

BERINTHIA.
How?

LOVELESS.
Oh, you might betray me to my wife.

BERINTHIA.
And so lose all my practice.

LOVELESS.
Will you then keep my secret?

BERINTHIA.
I will.

LOVELESS.
Well—but swear it.

BERINTHIA.
I swear by woman.

LOVELESS.
Nay, that’s swearing by my deity; swear by your own, and I shall
believe you.

BERINTHIA.
Well then, I swear by man!

LOVELESS.
I’m satisfied. Now hear my symptoms, and give me your advice. The first
were these; when I saw you at the play, a random glance you threw at
first alarmed me. I could not turn my eyes from whence the danger
came—I gazed upon you till my heart began to pant—nay, even now, on
your approaching me, my illness is so increased that if you do not help
me I shall, whilst you look on, consume to ashes. [_Takes her hand._]

BERINTHIA.
O Lord, let me go! ’tis the plague, and we shall be infected.
[_Breaking from him._]

LOVELESS.
Then we’ll die together, my charming angel.

BERINTHIA.
O Gad! the devil’s in you! Lord, let me go!—here’s somebody coming.

_Re-enter_ SERVANT.

SERVANT.
Sir, my lady’s come home, and desires to speak with you.

LOVELESS.
Tell her I’m coming.—[_Exit_ SERVANT.] But before I go, one glass of
nectar to drink her health. [_To_ BERINTHIA.]

BERINTHIA.
Stand off, or I shall hate you, by Heavens!

LOVELESS.
[_Kissing her_.] In matters of love, a woman’s oath is no more to be
minded than a man’s. [_Exit._]

BERINTHIA.
Um!

_Enter_ COLONEL TOWNLY.

COLONEL TOWNLY.
[_Aside_.] So? what’s here—Berinthia and Loveless—and in such close
conversation!—I cannot now wonder at her indifference in excusing
herself to me!—O rare woman!—Well then, let Loveless look to his wife,
’twill be but the retort courteous on both sides.—[_Aloud_.] Your
servant, madam; I need not ask you how you do, you have got so good a
colour.

BERINTHIA.
No better than I used to have, I suppose.

COLONEL TOWNLY.
A little more blood in your cheeks.

BERINTHIA.
I have been walking!

COLONEL TOWNLY.
Is that all? Pray was it Mr. Loveless went from here just now?

BERINTHIA.
O yes—he has been walking with me.

COLONEL TOWNLY.
He has!

BERINTHIA.
Upon my word I think he is a very agreeable man; and there is certainly
something particularly insinuating in his address.

COLONEL TOWNLY.
[_Aside_.] So, so! she hasn’t even the modesty to dissemble! [_Aloud_.]
Pray, madam, may I, without impertinence, trouble you with a few
serious questions?

BERINTHIA.
As many as you please; but pray let them be as little serious as
possible.

COLONEL TOWNLY.
Is it not near two years since I have presumed to address you?

BERINTHIA.
I don’t know exactly—but it has been a tedious long time.

COLONEL TOWNLY.
 Have I not, during that period, had every reason to believe that my
 assiduities were far from being unacceptable?

BERINTHIA.
Why, to do you justice, you have been extremely troublesome—and I
confess I have been more civil to you than you deserved.

COLONEL TOWNLY.
 Did I not come to this place at your express desire, and for no
 purpose but the honour of meeting you?—and after waiting a month in
 disappointment, have you condescended to explain, or in the slightest
 way apologise for, your conduct?

BERINTHIA.
O heavens! apologise for my conduct!—apologise to you! O you barbarian!
But pray now, my good serious colonel, have you anything more to add?

COLONEL TOWNLY.
 Nothing, madam, but that after such behaviour I am less surprised at
 what I saw just now; it is not very wonderful that the woman who can
 trifle with the delicate addresses of an honourable lover should be
 found coquetting with the husband of her friend.

BERINTHIA.
Very true: no more wonderful than it was for this honourable lover to
divert himself in the absence of this coquette, with endeavouring to
seduce his friend’s wife! O colonel, colonel, don’t talk of honour or
your friend, for Heaven’s sake!

COLONEL TOWNLY.
[_Aside.]_ ’Sdeath! how came she to suspect this!—[_Aloud._] Really,
madam, I don’t understand you.

BERINTHIA.
Nay, nay, you saw I did not pretend to misunderstand you.—But here
comes the lady; perhaps you would be glad to be left with her for an
explanation.

COLONEL TOWNLY.
 O madam, this recrimination is a poor resource; and to convince you
 how much you are mistaken, I beg leave to decline the happiness you
 propose me.—Madam, your servant.

_Enter_ AMANDA. COLONEL TOWNLY _whispers_ AMANDA, _and exit_.

BERINTHIA. [_Aside._] He carries it off well, however; upon my word,
very well! How tenderly they part!—[_Aloud_] So, cousin; I hope you
have not been chiding your admirer for being with me? I assure you we
have been talking of you.

AMANDA.
Fy, Berinthia!—my admirer! will you never learn to talk in earnest of
anything?

BERINTHIA.
Why this shall be in earnest, if you please; for my part, I only tell
you matter of fact.

AMANDA.
I’m sure there’s so much jest and earnest in what you say to me on this
subject, I scarce know how to take it. I have just parted with Mr.
Loveless; perhaps it is fancy, but I think there is an alteration in
his manner which alarms me.

BERINTHIA.
And so you are jealous; is that all?

AMANDA.
That all! is jealousy, then, nothing?

BERINTHIA.
It should be nothing, if I were in your case.

AMANDA.
Why, what would you do?

BERINTHIA.
I’d cure myself.

AMANDA.
How?

BERINTHIA.
Care as little for my husband as he did for me. Look you, Amanda, you
may build castles in the air, and fume, and fret, and grow thin, and
lean, and pale, and ugly, if you please; but I tell you, no man worth
having is true to his wife, or ever was, or ever will be so.

AMANDA.
Do you then really think he’s false to me? for I did not suspect him.

BERINTHIA.
Think so? I am sure of it.

AMANDA.
You are sure on’t?

BERINTHIA.
Positively—he fell in love at the play.

AMANDA.
Right—the very same. But who could have told you this?

BERINTHIA.
Um!—Oh, Townly! I suppose your husband has made him his confidant.

AMANDA.
O base Loveless! And what did Townly say on’t?

BERINTHIA.
[_Aside_.] So, so! why should she ask that?—[_Aloud_.] Say! why he
abused Loveless extremely, and said all the tender things of you in the
world.

AMANDA.
Did he?—Oh! my heart!—I’m very ill—dear Berinthia, don’t leave me a
moment. [_Exeunt_.]

SCENE III.—_Outside of_ SIR TUNRELLY CLUMSY’S _House_.

_Enter_ TOM FASHION _and_ LORY.

TOM FASHION.
So here’s our inheritance, Lory, if we can but get into possession. But
methinks the seat of our family looks like Noah’s ark, as if the chief
part on’t were designed for the fowls of the air, and the beasts of the
field.

LORY.
Pray, sir, don’t let your head run upon the orders of building here:
get but the heiress, let the devil take the house.

TOM FASHION.
Get but the house, let the devil take the heiress! I say.—But come, we
have no time to squander; knock at the door.—[LORY _knocks two or three
times at the gate._] What the devil! have they got no ears in this
house?—Knock harder.

LORY.
Egad, sir, this will prove some enchanted castle; we shall have the
giant come out by-and-by, with his club, and beat our brains out.
[_Knocks again._]

TOM FASHION.
Hush, they come.

SERVANT.
[_Within._ ] Who is there?

LORY.
Open the door and see: is that your country breeding?

SERVANT.
Ay, but two words to that bargain.—Tummus, is the blunderbuss primed?

TOM FASHION.
Ouns! give ’em good words, Lory,—or we shall be shot here a fortune
catching.

LORY.
Egad, sir, I think you’re in the right on’t.—Ho! Mr.
What-d’ye-call-’um, will you please to let us in? or are we to be left
to grow like willows by your moat side? SERVANT _appears at the window
with a blunderbuss._

SERVANT.
Well naw, what’s ya’re business?

TOM FASHION.
Nothing, sir, but to wait upon Sir Tunbelly, with your leave.

SERVANT.
To weat upon Sir Tunbelly! why, you’ll find that’s just as Sir Tunbelly
pleases.

TOM FASHION.
But will you do me the favour, sir, to know whether Sir Tunbelly
pleases or not?

SERVANT.
Why, look you, d’ye see, with good words much may be done. Ralph, go
thy ways, and ask Sir Tunbelly if he pleases to be waited upon—and dost
hear, call to nurse, that she may lock up Miss Hoyden before the gates
open.

TOM FASHION.
D’ye hear, that, Lory?

_Enter SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY, with SERVANTS, armed with guns, clubs,
pitchforks, &c_.

LORY.
Oh! [_Runs behind his master_.] O Lord! O Lord! Lord! we are both dead
men!

TOM FASHION.
Fool! thy fear will, ruin us. [_Aside to LORY_.]

LORY.
My fear, sir? ’sdeath, Sir, I fear nothing.—[_Aside_.] Would I were
well up to the chin in a horse-pond!

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
Who is it here hath any business with me?

TOM FASHION.
Sir, ’tis I, if your name be Sir Tunbelly Clumsy.

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
Sir, my name is Sir Tunbelly Clumsy, whether you have any business with
me or not.—So you see I am not ashamed of my name, nor my face either.

TOM FASHION.
Sir, you have no cause that I know of.

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
Sir, if you have no cause either, I desire to know who you are; for,
till I know your name, I shan’t ask you to come into my house: and when
I do know your name, ’tis six to four I don’t ask you then.

TOM FASHION.
Sir, I hope you’ll find this letter an authentic passport. [_Gives him
a letter_.]

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
Cod’s my life, from Mrs. Coupler!—I ask your lordship’s pardon ten
thousand times.—[_To a SERVANT_.] Here, run in a-doors quickly; get a
Scotch coal fire in the parlour, set all the Turkey work chairs in
their places, get the brass candlesticks out, and be sure stick the
socket full of laurel—run!—[_Turns to TOM FASHION_.]—My lord, I ask
your lordship’s pardon.—[_To SERVANT_.] And, do you hear, run away to
nurse; bid her let Miss Hoyden loose again.—[_Exit SERVANT_.] I hope
your honour will excuse the disorder of my family. We are not used to
receive men of your lordship’s great quality every day. Pray, where are
your coaches and servants, my lord?

TOM FASHION.
Sir, that I might give you and your daughter a proof how impatient I am
to be nearer akin to you, I left my equipage to follow me, and came
away post with only one servant.

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
Your lordship does me too much honour—it was exposing your person to
too much fatigue and danger, I protest it was: but my daughter shall
endeavour to make you what amends she can: and, though I say it that
should not say it, Hoyden has charms.

TOM FASHION.
Sir, I am not a stranger to them, though I am to her; common fame has
done her justice.

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
My lord, I am common fame’s very grateful, humble servant. My lord, my
girl’s young—Hoyden is young, my lord: but this I must say for her,
what she wants in art she has in breeding; and what’s wanting in her
age, is made good in her constitution.—So pray, my lord, walk in; pray,
my lord, walk in.

TOM FASHION.
Sir, I wait upon you. [_Exeunt_.]

SCENE IV.—_A Room in_ SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY’S _House_. MISS HOYDEN
_discovered alone_.

MISS HOYDEN.
Sure, nobody was ever used as I am! I know well enough what other girls
do, for all they think to make a fool o’ me. It’s well I have a husband
a-coming, or ecod I’d marry the baker, I would so. Nobody can knock at
the gate, but presently I must be locked up; and here’s the young
greyhound can run loose about the house all the day, so she can.—’Tis
very well!

NURSE.
[_Without opening the door_.] Miss Hoyden! miss, miss, miss! Miss
Hoyden!

_Enter_ NURSE.

MISS HOYDEN.
Well, what do you make such a noise for, eh? What do you din a body’s
ears for? Can’t one be at quiet for you?

NURSE.
What do I din your ears for? Here’s one come will din your ears for
you.

MISS HOYDEN.
What care I who’s come? I care not a fig who comes, or who goes, so
long as I must be locked up like the ale-cellar.

NURSE.
That, miss, is for fear you should be drank before you are ripe.

MISS HOYDEN.
Oh, don’t trouble your head about that; I’m as ripe as you, though not
so mellow.

NURSE.
Very well! Now I have a good mind to lock you up again, and not let you
see my lord tonight.

MISS HOYDEN.
My lord: why, is my husband come?

NURSE.
Yes, marry, is he; and a goodly person too.

MISS HOYDEN.
[_Hugs_ NURSE.] Oh, my dear nurse, forgive me this once, and I’ll never
misuse you again; no, if I do, you shall give me three thumps on the
back, and a great pinch by the cheek.

NURSE.
Ah, the poor thing! see now it melts; it’s as full of good-nature as an
egg’s full of meat.

MISS HOYDEN.
But, my dear nurse, don’t lie now—is he come, by your troth?

NURSE.
Yes, by my truly, is he.

MISS HOYDEN.
O Lord! I’ll go and put on my laced tucker, though I’m locked up for a
month for’t. [_Exeunt_.
MISS HOYDEN _goes off capering, and twirling her doll by its leg._]



ACT IV.

SCENE I.—_A Room in_ SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY’S _House._

_Enter_ MISS HOYDEN _and_ NURSE.

NURSE.
Well, miss, how do you like your husband that is to be?

MISS HOYDEN.
O Lord, nurse, I’m so overjoyed I can scarce contain myself!

NURSE.
Oh, but you must have a care of being too fond; for men, nowadays, hate
a woman that loves ’em.

MISS HOYDEN.
Love him! why, do you think I love him, nurse? Ecod I would not care if
he was hanged, so I were but once married to him. No, that which
pleases me is to think what work I’ll make when I get to London; for
when I am a wife and a lady both, ecod, I’ll flaunt it with the best of
’em. Ay, and I shall have money enough to do so too, nurse.

NURSE.
Ah, there’s no knowing that, miss; for though these lords have a power
of wealth indeed, yet, as I have heard say, they give it all to their
sluts and their trulls, who joggle it about in their coaches, with a
murrain to ’em, whilst poor madam sits sighing and wishing, and has not
a spare half-crown to buy her a Practice of Piety.

MISS HOYDEN.
Oh, but for that, don’t deceive yourself, nurse; for this I must say of
my lord, he’s as free as an open house at Christmas; for this very
morning he told me I should have six hundred a year to buy pins. Now if
he gives me six hundred a year to buy pins, what do you think he’ll
give me to buy petticoats?

NURSE.
Ay, my dearest, he deceives thee foully, and he’s no better than a
rogue for his pains! These Londoners have got a gibberish with ’em
would confound a gipsy. That which they call pin-money, is to buy
everything in the versal world, down to their very shoe-knots. Nay, I
have heard some folks say that some ladies, if they’ll have gallants as
they call ’em, are forced to find them out of their pin-money too.—But
look, look, if his honour be not coming to you!—Now, if I were sure you
would behave yourself handsomely, and not disgrace me that have brought
you up, I’d leave you alone together.

MISS HOYDEN.
That’s my best nurse; do as you’d be done by. Trust us together this
once, and if I don’t show my breeding, I wish I may never be married,
but die an old maid.

NURSE.
Well, this once I’ll venture you. But if you disparage me—

MISS HOYDEN.
Never fear. [_Exit_ NURSE.]

_Enter_ TOM FASHION.

TOM FASHION.
Your servant, madam; I’m glad to find you alone, for I have something
of importance to speak to you about.

MISS HOYDEN.
Sir (my lord, I meant), you may speak to me about what you please, I
shall give you a civil answer.

TOM FASHION.
You give so obliging an one, it encourages me to tell you in a few
words what I think, both for your interest and mine. Your father, I
suppose you know, has resolved to make me happy in being your husband;
and I hope I may obtain your consent to perform what he desires.

MISS HOYDEN.
Sir, I never disobey my father in anything but eating green
gooseberries.

TOM FASHION.
So good a daughter must needs be an admirable wife. I am therefore
impatient till you are mine, and hope you will so far consider the
violence of my love, that you won’t have the cruelty to defer my
happiness so long as your father designs it.

MISS HOYDEN.
Pray, my lord, how long is that?

TOM FASHION.
Madam, a thousand years—a whole week.

MISS HOYDEN.
Why, I thought it was to be tomorrow morning, as soon as I was up. I’m
sure nurse told me so.

TOM FASHION.
And it shall be tomorrow morning, if you’ll consent.

MISS HOYDEN.
If I’ll consent! Why I thought I was to obey you as my husband.

TOM FASHION.
That’s when we are married. Till then, I’m to obey you.

MISS HOYDEN.
Why then, if we are to take it by turns, it’s the same thing. I’ll obey
you now, and when we are married you shall obey me.

TOM FASHION.
With all my heart. But I doubt we must get nurse on our side, or we
shall hardly prevail with the chaplain.

MISS HOYDEN.
No more we shan’t, indeed; for he loves her better than he loves his
pulpit, and would always be a-preaching to her by his good will.

TOM FASHION.
Why then, my dear, if you’ll call her hither we’ll persuade her
presently.

MISS HOYDEN.
O Lud! I’ll tell you a way how to persuade her to anything.

TOM FASHION.
How’s that?

MISS HOYDEN.
Why tell her she’s a handsome comely woman, and give her half a crown.

TOM FASHION.
Nay, if that will do, she shall have half a score of ’em.

MISS HOYDEN.
O gemini! for half that she’d marry you herself.—I’ll run and call her.
[_Exit._]

TOM FASHION.
So! matters go on swimmingly. This is a rare girl, i’faith. I shall
have a fine time on’t with her at London.

_Enter_ LORY. So, Lory, what’s the matter?

LORY.
Here, sir—an intercepted packet from the enemy; your brother’s
postilion brought it. I knew the livery, pretended to be a servant of
Sir Tunbelly’s, and so got possession of the letter.

TOM FASHION.
[_Looks at the letter_.] Ouns! he tells Sir Tunbelly here that he will
be with him this evening, with a large party to supper.—Egad, I must
marry the girl directly.

LORY.
Oh, zounds, sir, directly to be sure. Here she comes. [_Exit_.]

TOM FASHION.
And the old Jezebel with her.

_Re-enter_ MISS HOYDEN _and_ NURSE. How do you do, good Mrs. Nurse? I
desired your young lady would give me leave to see you, that I might
thank you for your extraordinary care and kind conduct in her
education: pray accept this small acknowledgment for it at present, and
depend upon my further kindness when I shall be that happy thing, her
husband. [_Gives her money._]

NURSE.
[_Aside_.] Gold, by the maakins!—[_Aloud_.] Your honour’s goodness is
too great. Alas! all I can boast of is, I gave her pure and good milk,
and so your honour would have said, an you had seen how the poor thing
thrived, and how it would look up in my face, and crow and laugh, it
would.

MISS HOYDEN.
[_To_ NURSE, _taking her angrily aside_.] Pray, one word with you.
Pr’ythee, nurse, don’t stand ripping up old stories, to make one
ashamed before one’s love. Do you think such a fine proper gentleman as
he is cares for a fiddlecome tale of a child? If you have a mind to
make him have a good opinion of a woman, don’t tell him what one did
then, tell him what one can do now.—[_To_ Tom FASHION.] I hope your
honour will excuse my mis-manners to whisper before you. It was only to
give some orders about the family.

TOM FASHION.
Oh, everything, madam, is to give way to business; besides, good
housewifery is a very commendable quality in a young lady.

MISS HOYDEN.
Pray, sir, are young ladies good housewives at London-town? Do they
darn their own linen?

TOM FASHION.
Oh no, they study how to spend money, not to save.

MISS HOYDEN.
Ecod, I don’t know but that may be better sport, eh, nurse?

TOM FASHION.
Well, you have your choice, when you come there.

MISS HOYDEN.
Shall I? then, by my troth, I’ll get there as fast as I can.—[_To_
NURSE.] His honour desires you’ll be so kind as to let us be married
tomorrow.

NURSE.
Tomorrow, my dear madam?

TOM FASHION.
Ay, faith, nurse, you may well be surprised at miss’s wanting to put it
off so long. Tomorrow! no, no; ’tis now, this very hour, I would have
the ceremony performed.

MISS HOYDEN.
Ecod, with all my heart.

NURSE.
O mercy! worse and worse!

TOM FASHION.
Yes, sweet nurse, now and privately; for all things being signed and
sealed, why should Sir Tunbelly make us stay a week for a
wedding-dinner?

NURSE.
But if you should be married now, what will you do when Sir Tunbelly
calls for you to be married?

MISS HOYDEN.
Why then we will be married again.

NURSE.
What twice, my child?

MISS HOYDEN.
Ecod, I don’t care how often I’m married, not I.

NURSE.
Well, I’m such a tender-hearted fool, I find I can refuse you nothing.
So you shall e’en follow your own inventions.

MISS HOYDEN.
Shall I? O Lord, I could leap over the moon!

TOM FASHION.
Dear nurse, this goodness of yours shall be still more rewarded. But
now you must employ your power with the chaplain, that he may do this
friendly office too, and then we shall be all happy. Do you think you
can prevail with him?

NURSE.
Prevail with him! or he shall never prevail with me, I can tell him
that.

TOM FASHION.
I’m glad to hear it; however, to strengthen your interest with him, you
may let him know I have several fat livings in my gift, and that the
first that falls shall be in your disposal.

NURSE.
Nay, then, I’ll make him marry more folks than one, I’ll promise him!

MISS HOYDEN.
Faith, do, nurse, make him marry you too; I’m sure he’ll do’t for a fat
living.

TOM FASHION.
Well, nurse, while you go and settle matters with him, your lady and I
will go and take a walk in the garden.—[_Exit_ NURSE.] Come, madam,
dare you venture yourself alone with me? [_Takes_ MISS HOYDEN _by the
hand.] Miss Hoyd._ Oh dear, yes, sir; I don’t think you’ll do anythink
to me, I need be afraid on. [_Exeunt._]

SCENE II.—AMANDA’s _Dressing-room._

_Enter_ AMANDA _followed by her_ MAID.

_Maid._ If you please, madam, only to say whether you’ll have me buy
them or not?

AMANDA.
Yes—no—Go, teaser; I care not what you do. Pr’ythee, leave me. [_Exit_
MAID.]

_Enter_ BERINTHIA.

BERINTHIA.
What, in the name of Jove, is the matter with you?

AMANDA.
The matter, Berinthia! I’m almost mad; I’m plagued to death.

BERINTHIA.
Who is it that plagues you?

AMANDA.
Who do you think should plague a wife but her husband?

BERINTHIA.
O, ho! is it come to that?—We shall have you wish yourself a widow,
by-and-by.

AMANDA.
Would I were anything but what I am! A base, ungrateful man, to use me
thus!

BERINTHIA.
What, has he given you fresh reason to suspect his wandering?

AMANDA.
Every hour gives me reason.

BERINTHIA.
And yet, Amanda, you perhaps at this moment cause in another’s breast
the same tormenting doubts and jealousies which you feel so sensibly
yourself.

AMANDA.
Heaven knows I would not.

BERINTHIA.
Why, you can’t tell but there may be some one as tenderly attached to
Townly, whom you boast of as your conquest, as you can be to your
husband?

AMANDA.
I’m sure, I never encouraged his pretensions.

BERINTHIA.
Psha! psha! no sensible man ever perseveres to love without
encouragement. Why have you not treated him as you have Lord
Foppington?

AMANDA.
Because he presumed not so far. But let us drop the subject. Men, not
women, are riddles. Mr. Loveless now follows some flirt for variety,
whom I’m sure he does not like so well as he does me.

BERINTHIA.
That’s more than you know, madam.

AMANDA.
Why, do you know the ugly thing?

BERINTHIA.
I think I can guess at the person; but she’s no such ugly thing
neither.

AMANDA.
Is she very handsome?

BERINTHIA.
Truly I think so.

AMANDA.
Whate’er she be, I’m sure he does not like her well enough to bestow
anything more than a little outward gallantry upon her.

BERINTHIA.
[_Aside._] Outward gallantry! I can’t bear this.—[_Aloud._] Come, come,
don’t you be too secure, Amanda: while you suffer Townly to imagine
that you do not detest him for his designs on you, you have no right to
complain that your husband is engaged elsewhere. But here comes the
person we were speaking of.

_Enter_ COLONEL TOWNLY.

COLONEL TOWNLY.
 Ladies, as I come uninvited, I beg, if I intrude, you will use the
 same freedom in turning me out again.

AMANDA.
I believe it is near the time Loveless said he would be at home. He
talked of accepting Lord Foppington’s invitation to sup at Sir Tunbelly
Clumsy’s.

COLONEL TOWNLY.
 His lordship has done me the honour to invite me also. If you’ll let
 me escort you, I’ll let you into a mystery as we go, in which you must
 play a part when we arrive.

AMANDA.
But we have two hours yet to spare; the carriages are not ordered till
eight, and it is not a five minutes’ drive. So, cousin, let us keep the
colonel to play at piquet with us, till Mr. Loveless comes home.

BERINTHIA.
As you please, madam; but you know I have a letter to write.

COLONEL TOWNLY.
 Madam, you know you may command me, though I am a very wretched
 gamester.

AMANDA.
Oh, you play well enough to lose your money, and that’s all the ladies
require; and so, without any more ceremony, let us go into the next
room, and call for cards and candles. [_Exeunt._]

SCENE III.—BERINTHIA’S _Dressing-room._

_Enter_ LOVELESS.

LOVELESS.
So, thus far all’s well: I have got into her dressing-room, and it
being dusk, I think nobody has perceived me steal into the house. I
heard Berinthia tell my wife she had some particular letters to write
this evening, before she went to Sir Tunbelly’s, and here are the
implements of correspondence.—How shall I muster up assurance to show
myself, when she comes? I think she has given me encouragement; and, to
do my impudence justice, I have made the most of it.—I hear a door
open, and some one coming. If it should be my wife, what the devil
should I say? I believe she mistrusts me, and, by my life, I don’t
deserve her tenderness. However, I am determined to reform, though not
yet. Ha! Berinthia!—So, I’ll step in here, till I see what sort of
humour she is in. [_Goes into the closet_.]

_Enter_ BERINTHIA.

BERINTHIA.
Was ever so provoking a situation! To think I should sit and hear him
compliment Amanda to my face! I have lost all patience with them both!
I would not for something have Loveless know what temper of mind they
have piqued me into; yet I can’t bear to leave them together. No, I’ll
put my papers away, and return, to disappoint them.—[_Goes to the
closet_.]—O Lord! a ghost! a ghost! a ghost!

_Re-enter_ LOVELESS.

LOVELESS.
Peace, my angel; it’s no ghost, but one worth a hundred spirits.

BERINTHIA.
How, sir, have you had the insolence to presume to—run in again; here’s
somebody coming. [LOVELESS _goes into the closet_.]

_Enter_ MAID.

MAID.
O Lord, ma’am, what’s the matter?

BERINTHIA.
O Heavens! I’m almost frightened out of my wits! I thought verily I had
seen a ghost, and ’twas nothing but a black hood pinned against the
wall. You may go again; I am the fearfullest fool! [Exit MAID.]

_Re-enter_ LOVELESS.

LOVELESS.
Is the coast clear?

BERINTHIA.
The coast clear! Upon my word, I wonder at your assurance.

LOVELESS.
Why, then, you wonder before I have given you a proof of it. But
where’s my wife?

BERINTHIA.
At cards.

LOVELESS.
With whom?

BERINTHIA.
With Townly.

LOVELESS.
Then we are safe enough.

BERINTHIA.
You are so! Some husbands would be of another mind, were he at cards
with their wives.

LOVELESS.
And they’d be in the right on’t, too; but I dare trust mine.

BERINTHIA.
Indeed! and she, I doubt not, has the same confidence in you. Yet, do
you think she’d be content to come and find you here?

LOVELESS.
Egad, as you say, that’s true!—Then for fear she should come, hadn’t we
better go into the next room, out of her way?

BERINTHIA.
What, in the dark?

LOVELESS.
Ay, or with a light, which you please.

BERINTHIA.
You are certainly very impudent.

LOVELESS.
Nay, then—let me conduct you, my angel!

BERINTHIA.
Hold, hold! you are mistaken in your angel, I assure you.

LOVELESS.
I hope not; for by this hand I swear—

BERINTHIA.
Come, come, let go my hand, or I shall hate you!—I’ll cry out, as I
live!

LOVELESS.
Impossible! you cannot be so cruel.

BERINTHIA.
Ha! here’s some one coming. Begone instantly.

LOVELESS.
Will you promise to return, if I remain here?

BERINTHIA.
Never trust myself in a room again with you while I live.

LOVELESS.
But I have something particular to communicate to you.

BERINTHIA.
Well, well, before we go to Sir Tunbelly’s, I’ll walk upon the lawn. If
you are fond of a moonlight evening, you’ll find me there.

LOVELESS.
I’faith, they’re coming here now! I take you at your word. [_Exit into
the closet_.]

BERINTHIA.
’Tis Amanda, as I live! I hope she has not heard his voice; though I
mean she should have her share of jealousy in her turn.

_Enter_ AMANDA.

AMANDA.
Berinthia, why did you leave me?

BERINTHIA.
I thought I only spoiled your party.

AMANDA.
Since you have been gone, Townly has attempted to renew his
importunities. I must break with him, for I cannot venture to acquaint
Mr. Loveless with his conduct.

BERINTHIA.
Oh, no! Mr. Loveless mustn’t know of it by any means.

AMANDA.
Oh, not for the world—I wish, Berinthia, you would undertake to speak
to Townly on the subject.

BERINTHIA.
Upon my word, it would be a very pleasant subject for me to talk upon!
But, come, let us go back; and you may depend on’t I’ll not leave you
together again, if I can help it. [_Exeunt_.]

_Re-enter_ LOVELESS.

LOVELESS.
So—so! a pretty piece of business I have overheard! Townly makes love
to my wife, and I am not to know it for all the world. I must inquire
into this—and, by Heaven, if I find that Amanda has, in the smallest
degree—yet what have I been at here!—Oh, ’sdeath! that’s no rule.

That wife alone unsullied credit wins,
Whose virtues can atone her husband’s sins,
Thus, while the man has other nymphs in view,
It suits the woman to be doubly true.
[_Exit_.]



ACT V.

SCENE I.—_The Garden behind_ LOVELESS’s _Lodgings_.

_Enter_ LOVELESS.

LOVELESS.
Now, does she mean to make a fool of me, or not! I shan’t wait much
longer, for my wife will soon be inquiring for me to set out on our
supping party. Suspense is at all times the devil, but of all modes of
suspense, the watching for a loitering mistress is the worst.—But let
me accuse her no longer; she approaches with one smile to o’erpay the
anxieties of a year.

_Enter_ BERINTHIA. O Berinthia, what a world of kindness are you in my
debt! had you stayed five minutes longer—

BERINTHIA.
You would have gone, I suppose?

LOVELESS.
Egad, she’s right enough. [_Aside._]

BERINTHIA.
And I assure you ’twas ten to one that I came at all. In short, I begin
to think you are too dangerous a being to trifle with; and as I shall
probably only make a fool of you at last, I believe we had better let
matters rest as they are.

LOVELESS.
You cannot mean it, sure?

BERINTHIA.
What more would you have me give to a married man?

LOVELESS.
How doubly cruel to remind me of my misfortunes!

BERINTHIA.
A misfortune to be married to so charming a woman as Amanda?

LOVELESS.
I grant her all her merit, but—’sdeath! now see what you have done by
talking of her—she’s here, by all that’s unlucky, and Townly with
her.—I’ll observe them.

BERINTHIA.
O Gad, we had better get out of the way; for I should feel as awkward
to meet her as you.

LOVELESS.
Ay, if I mistake not, I see Townly coming this way also. I must see a
little into this matter. [_Steps aside_.]

BERINTHIA.
Oh, if that’s your intention, I am no woman if I suffer myself to be
outdone in curiosity. [_Goes on the other side_.]

_Enter_ AMANDA.

AMANDA.
Mr. Loveless come home, and walking on the lawn! I will not suffer him
to walk so late, though perhaps it is to show his neglect of me.—Mr.
Loveless, I must speak with you.—Ha! Townly again!—How I am persecuted!

_Enter_ COLONEL TOWNLY.

COLONEL TOWNLY.
Madam, you seem disturbed.

AMANDA.
Sir, I have reason.

COLONEL TOWNLY.
Whatever be the cause, I would to Heaven it were in my power to bear
the pain, or to remove the malady.

AMANDA.
Your interference can only add to my distress.

COLONEL TOWNLY.
Ah, madam, if it be the sting of unrequited love you suffer from, seek
for your remedy in revenge: weigh well the strength and beauty of your
charms, and rouse up that spirit a woman ought to bear. Disdain the
false embraces of a husband. See at your feet a real lover; his zeal
may give him title to your pity, although his merit cannot claim your
love.

LOVELESS.
So, so, very fine, i’faith! [_Aside_.]

AMANDA.
Why do you presume to talk to me thus? Is this your friendship to Mr.
Loveless? I perceive you will compel me at last to acquaint him with
your treachery.

COLONEL TOWNLY.
He could not upbraid me if you were.—He deserves it from me; for he has
not been more false to you than faithless to me.

AMANDA.
To you?

COLONEL TOWNLY.
Yes, madam; the lady for whom he now deserts those charms which he was
never worthy of, was mine by right; and, I imagine too, by inclination.
Yes, madam, Berinthia, who now—

AMANDA.
Berinthia! Impossible!

COLONEL TOWNLY.
’Tis true, or may I never merit your attention. She is the deceitful
sorceress who now holds your husband’s heart in bondage.

AMANDA.
I will not believe it.

COLONEL TOWNLY.
By the faith of a true lover, I speak from conviction. This very day I
saw them together, and overheard—

AMANDA.
Peace, sir! I will not even listen to such slander—this is a poor
device to work on my resentment, to listen to your insidious addresses.
No, sir; though Mr. Loveless may be capable of error, I am convinced I
cannot be deceived so grossly in him as to believe what you now report;
and for Berinthia, you should have fixed on some more probable person
for my rival than her who is my relation and my friend: for while I am
myself free from guilt, I will never believe that love can beget
injury, or confidence create ingratitude.

COLONEL TOWNLY.
If I do not prove to you—

AMANDA.
You never shall have an opportunity. From the artful manner in which
you first showed yourself to me, I might have been led, as far as
virtue permitted, to have thought you less criminal than unhappy; but
this last unmanly artifice merits at once my resentment and contempt.
[_Exit_.]

COLONEL TOWNLY.
Sure there’s divinity about her; and she has dispensed some portion of
honour’s light to me: yet can I bear to lose Berinthia without revenge
or compensation? Perhaps she is not so culpable as I thought her. I was
mistaken when I began to think lightly of Amanda’s virtue, and may be
in my censure of my Berinthia. Surely I love her still, for I feel I
should be happy to find myself in the wrong. [_Exit_.]

_Re-enter_ LOVELESS _and_ BERINTHIA.

BERINTHIA.
Your servant, Mr. Loveless.

LOVELESS.
Your servant, madam.

BERINTHIA.
Pray what do you think of this?

LOVELESS.
Truly, I don’t know what to say.

BERINTHIA.
Don’t you think we steal forth two contemptible creatures?

LOVELESS.
Why, tolerably so, I must confess.

BERINTHIA.
And do you conceive it possible for you ever to give Amanda the least
uneasiness again?

LOVELESS.
No, I think we never should indeed.

BERINTHIA.
We! why, monster, you don’t pretend that I ever entertained a thought?

LOVELESS.
Why then, sincerely and honestly, Berinthia, there is something in my
wife’s conduct which strikes me so forcibly, that if it were not for
shame, and the fear of hurting you in her opinion, I swear I would
follow her, confess my error, and trust to her generosity for
forgiveness.

BERINTHIA.
Nay, pr’ythee, don’t let your respect for me prevent you; for as my
object in trifling with you was nothing more than to pique Townly, and
as I perceive he has been actuated by a similar motive, you may depend
on’t I shall make no mystery of the matter to him.

LOVELESS.
By no means inform him: for though I may choose to pass by his conduct
without resentment, how will he presume to look me in the face again?

BERINTHIA.
How will you presume to look him in the face again?

LOVELESS.
He, who has dared to attempt the honour of my wife!

BERINTHIA.
You who have dared to attempt the honour of his mistress! Come, come,
be ruled by me, who affect more levity than I have, and don’t think of
anger in this cause. A readiness to resent injuries is a virtue only in
those who are slow to injure.

LOVELESS.
Then I will be ruled by you; and when you think proper to undeceive
Townly, may your good qualities make as sincere a convert of him as
Amanda’s have of me.-When truth’s extorted from us, then we own the
robe of virtue is a sacred habit.

Could women but our secret counsel scan—
Could they but reach the deep reserve of man—
To keep our love they’d rate their virtue high,
They live together, and together die.

[_Exeunt_.]

SCENE II.—_A Room in_ SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY’S _House. Enter_ MISS HOYDEN,
NURSE, _and_ TOM FASHION.

TOM FASHION.
This quick despatch of the chaplain’s I take so kindly it shall give
him claim to my favour as long as I live, I assure you.

MISS HOYDEN.
And to mine too, I promise you.

NURSE.
I most humbly thank your honours; and may your children swarm about you
like bees about a honeycomb!

MISS HOYDEN.
Ecod, with all my heart—the more the merrier, I say—ha, nurse?

_Enter_ LORY.

LORY.
One word with you, for Heaven’s sake. [_Taking_ TOM FASHION _hastily
aside_.]

TOM FASHION.
What the devil’s the matter?

LORY.
Sir, your fortune’s ruined if you are not married. Yonder’s your
brother arrived, with two coaches and six horses, twenty footmen, and a
coat worth fourscore pounds—so judge what will become of your lady’s
heart.

TOM FASHION.
Is he in the house yet?

LORY.
No, they are capitulating with him at the gate. Sir Tunbelly luckily
takes him for an impostor; and I have told him that we have heard of
this plot before.

TOM FASHION.
That’s right.—[_Turning to_ MISS HOYDEN.] My dear, here’s a troublesome
business my man tells me of, but don’t be frightened; we shall be too
hard for the rogue. Here’s an impudent fellow at the gate (not knowing
I was come hither incognito) has taken my name upon him, in hopes to
run away with you.

MISS HOYDEN.
Oh, the brazen-faced varlet! it’s well we are married, or maybe we
might never have been so.

TOM FASHION.
[_Aside_.] Egad, like enough.—[_Aloud_.] Pr’ythee, nurse, run to Sir
Tunbelly, and stop him from going to the gate before I speak to him.

NURSE.
An’t please your honour, my lady and I had better, lock ourselves up
till the danger be over.

TOM FASHION.
Do so, if you please.

MISS HOYDEN.
Not so fast; I won’t be locked up any more, now I’m married.

TOM FASHION.
Yes, pray, my dear, do, till we have seized this rascal.

MISS HOYDEN.
Nay, if you’ll pray me, I’ll do anything. [_Exit with_ NURSE.]

TOM FASHION.
Hark you, sirrah, things are better than you imagine. The wedding’s
over.

LORY.
The devil it is, sir! [_Capers about_.]

TOM FASHION.
Not a word—all’s safe—but Sir Tunbelly don’t know it, nor must not yet.
So I am resolved to brazen the brunt of the business out, and have the
pleasure of turning the impostor upon his lordship, which I believe may
easily be done.

_Enter_ SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY. Did you ever hear, sir, of so impudent an
undertaking?

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
Never, by the mass; but we’ll tickle him, I’ll warrant you.

TOM FASHION.
They tell me, sir, he has a great many people with him, disguised like
servants.

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
Ay, ay, rogues enow, but we have mastered them. We only fired a few
shot over their heads, and the regiment scoured in an instant.—Here,
Tummus, bring in your prisoner.

TOM FASHION.
If you please, Sir Tunbelly, it will be best for me not to confront
this fellow yet, till you have heard how far his impudence will carry
him.

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
Egad, your lordship is an ingenious person. Your lordship, then, will
please to step aside.

LORY.
[_Aside_.] ’Fore heavens, I applaud my master’s modesty! [_Exit with_
TOM FASHION.]

_Enter_ SERVANTS, _with_ LORD FOPPINGTON

_disarmed_.

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
Come, bring him along, bring him along.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
What the plague do you mean, gentlemen? is it fair time, that you are
all drunk before supper?

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
Drunk, sirrah! here’s an impudent rogue for you now. Drunk or sober,
bully, I’m a justice o’ the peace, and know how to deal with strollers.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Strollers!

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
Ay, strollers. Come, give an account of yourself. What’s your name?
where do you live? do you pay scot and lot? Come, are you a freeholder
or a copyholder?

LORD FOPPINGTON.
And why dost thou ask me so many impertinent questions?

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
Because I’ll make you answer ’em, before I have done with you, you
rascal, you!

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Before Gad, all the answer I can make to them is, that you are a very
extraordinary old fellow, stap my vitals.

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
Nay, if thou art joking deputy-lieutenants, we know how to deal with
you.—Here, draw a warrant for him immediately.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
A warrant! What the devil is’t thou wouldst be at, old gentleman?

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
I would be at you, sirrah, (if my hands were not tied as a magistrate,)
and with these two double fists beat your teeth down your throat, you
dog, you! [_Driving him_.]

LORD FOPPINGTON.
And why wouldst thou spoil my face at that rate?

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
For your design to rob me of my daughter, villain.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Rob thee of thy daughter! Now do I begin to believe I am in bed and
asleep, and that all this is but a dream. Pr’ythee, old father, wilt
thou give me leave to ask thee one question?

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
I can’t tell whether I will or not, till I know what it is.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Why, then, it is, whether thou didst not write to my Lord Foppington,
to come down and marry thy daughter?

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
Yes, marry, did I, and my Lord Foppington is come down, and shall marry
my daughter before she’s a day older.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
 Now give me thy hand, old dad; I thought we should understand one
 another at last.

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
The fellow’s mad!—Here, bind him hand and foot. [_They bind him._]

LORD FOPPINGTON.
 Nay, pr’ythee, knight, leave fooling; thy jest begins to grow dull.

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
Bind him, I say—he’s mad: bread and water, a dark room, and a whip, may
bring him to his senses again.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
 Pr’ythee, Sir Tunbelly, why should you take such an aversion to the
 freedom of my address as to suffer the rascals thus to skewer down my
 arms like a rabbit?—[_Aside._] Egad, if I don’t awake, by all that I
 can see, this is like to prove one of the most impertinent dreams that
 ever I dreamt in my life.

_Re-enter_ MISS HOYDEN _and_ NURSE.

MISS HOYDEN.
[_Going up to_ LORD FOPPINGTON.] Is this he that would have run—Fough,
how he stinks of sweets!—Pray, father, let him be dragged through the
horse-pond.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
 This must be my wife, by her natural inclination to her husband.
 [_Aside._]

MISS HOYDEN.
Pray, father, what do you intend to do with him—hang him?

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
That, at least, child.

NURSE.
Ay, and it’s e’en too good for him too.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
 Madame la gouvernante, I presume: hitherto this appears to me to be
 one of the most extraordinary families that ever man of quality
 matched into. [_Aside._]

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
What’s become of my lord, daughter?

MISS HOYDEN.
He’s just coming, sir.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
 My lord! what does he mean by that, now? [_Aside._]

_Re-enter_ TOM FASHION _and_ LORY. Stap my vitals, Tam, now the dream’s
out! [_Runs._]

TOM FASHION.
Is this the fellow, sir, that designed to trick me of your daughter?

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
This is he, my lord. How do you like him? Is not he a pretty fellow to
get a fortune?

TOM FASHION.
I find by his dress he thought your daughter might be taken with a
beau.

MISS HOYDEN.
Oh, gemini! is this a beau? let me see him again. [_Surveys him_.] Ha!
I find a beau is no such ugly thing, neither.

TOM FASHION.
[_Aside_.] Egad, she’ll be in love with him presently—I’ll e’en have
him sent away to jail.—[_To_ LORD FOPPINGTON.] Sir, though your
undertaking shows you a person of no extraordinary modesty, I suppose
you ha’n’t confidence enough to expect much favour from me?

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Strike me dumb, Tam, thou art a very impudent fellow.

NURSE.
Look, if the varlet has not the effrontery to call his lordship plain
Thomas!

LORD FOPPINGTON.
My Lord Foppington, shall I beg one word with your lordship?

NURSE.
Ho, ho! it’s my lord with him now! See how afflictions will humble
folks.

MISS HOYDEN.
Pray, my lord—[_To_ FASHION]—don’t let him whisper too close, lest he
bite your ear off.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
I am not altogether so hungry as your ladyship is pleased to
imagine.—[_Aside to_ TOM FASHION.] Look you, Tam, I am sensible I have
not been so kind to you as I ought, but I hope you’ll forgive what’s
past, and accept of the five thousand pounds I offer—thou mayst live in
extreme splendour with it, stap my vitals!

TOM FASHION.
It’s a much easier matter to prevent a disease than to cure it. A
quarter of that sum would have secured your mistress, twice as much
cannot redeem her. [_Aside to_ LORD FOPPINGTON.]

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
Well, what says he?

TOM FASHION.
Only the rascal offered me a bribe to let him go.

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
Ay, he shall go, with a plague to him!—lead on, constable.

_Enter_ SERVANT.

SERVANT.
Sir, here is Muster Loveless, and Muster Colonel Townly, and some
ladies to wait on you. [_To_ TOM FASHION.]

LORY.
[_Aside to_ TOM FASHION.] So, sir, what will you do now?

TOM FASHION.
[_Aside to_ LORY.] Be quiet; they are in the plot.—[_Aloud_.] Only a
few friends, Sir Tunbelly, whom I wish to introduce to you.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Thou art the most impudent fellow, Tam, that ever nature yet brought
into the world.—Sir Tunbelly, strike me speechless, but these are my
friends and acquaintance, and my guests, and they will soon inform thee
whether I am the true Lord Foppington or not.

_Enter_ LOVELESS, COLONEL TOWNLY, AMANDA, _and_ BERINTHIA.—LORD
FOPPINGTON _accosts them as they pass, but none answer him. Fash_.
So, gentlemen, this is friendly; I rejoice to see you.

COLONEL TOWNLY.
My lord, we are fortunate to be the witnesses of your lordship’s
happiness.

LOVELESS.
But your lordship will do us the honour to introduce us to Sir Tunbelly
Clumsy?

AMANDA.
And us to your lady.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Gad take me, but they are all in a story! [_Aside_.]

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
Gentlemen, you do me much honour; my Lord Foppington’s friends will
ever be welcome to me and mine.

TOM FASHION.
My love, let me introduce you to these ladies.

MISS HOYDEN.
By goles, they look so fine and so stiff, I am almost ashamed to come
nigh ’em.

AMANDA.
A most engaging lady indeed!

MISS HOYDEN.
Thank ye, ma’am.

BERINTHIA.
And I doubt not will soon distinguish herself in the beau monde.

MISS HOYDEN.
Where is that?

TOM FASHION.
You’ll soon learn, my dear.

LOVELESS.
But Lord Foppington—

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Sir!

LOVELESS.
Sir! I was not addressing myself to you, sir!—Pray who is this
gentleman? He seems rather in a singular predicament—

COLONEL TOWNLY.
For so well-dressed a person, a little oddly circumstanced, indeed.

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
Ha! ha! ha!—So, these are your friends and your guests, ha, my
adventurer?

LORD FOPPINGTON.
I am struck dumb with their impudence, and cannot positively say
whether I shall ever speak again or not.

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
Why, sir, this modest gentleman wanted to pass himself upon me as Lord
Foppington, and carry off my daughter.

LOVELESS.
A likely plot to succeed, truly, ha! ha!

LORD FOPPINGTON.
 As Gad shall judge me, Loveless, I did not expect this from thee.
 Come, pr’ythee confess the joke; tell Sir Tunbelly that I am the real
 Lord Foppington, who yesterday made love to thy wife; was honoured by
 her with a slap on the face, and afterwards pinked through the body by
 thee.

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
A likely story, truly, that a peer would behave thus.

LOVELESS.
A pretty fellow, indeed, that would scandalize the character he wants
to assume; but what will you do with him, Sir Tunbelly?

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
Commit him, certainly, unless the bride and bridegroom choose to pardon
him.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
 Bride and bridegroom! For Gad’s sake, Sir Tunbelly, ’tis tarture to me
 to hear you call ’em so.

MISS HOYDEN.
Why, you ugly thing, what would you have him call us—dog and cat?

LORD FOPPINGTON.
 By no means, miss; for that sounds ten times more like man and wife
 than t’other.

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
A precious rogue this to come a-wooing!

_Re-enter_ SERVANT.

SERVANT.
There are some gentlefolks below to wait upon Lord Foppington.
[_Exit._]

COLONEL TOWNLY.
 ’Sdeath, Tom, what will you do now? [_Aside to_ TOM FASHION.]

LORD FOPPINGTON.
 Now, Sir Tunbelly, here are witnesses who I believe are not corrupted.

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
Peace, fellow!—Would your lordship choose to have your guests shown
here, or shall they wait till we come to ’em?

TOM FASHION.
I believe, Sir Tunbelly, we had better not have these visitors here
yet.—[_Aside_.] Egad, all must out.

LOVELESS.
Confess, confess; we’ll stand by you. [_Aside to_ TOM FASHION.]

LORD FOPPINGTON.
 Nay, Sir Tunbelly, I insist on your calling evidence on both sides—and
 if I do not prove that fellow an impostor—

TOM FASHION.
Brother, I will save you the trouble, by now confessing that I am not
what I have passed myself for.—Sir Tunbelly, I am a gentleman, and I
flatter myself a man of character; but’tis with great pride I assure
you I am not Lord Foppington.

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
Ouns!—what’s this?—an impostor?—a cheat?—fire and faggots, sir, if you
are not Lord Foppington, who the devil are you?

TOM FASHION.
Sir, the best of my condition is, I am your son-in-law; and the worst
of it is, I am brother to that noble peer.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Impudent to the last, Gad dem me!

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
My son-in-law! not yet, I hope.

TOM FASHION.
Pardon me, sir; thanks to the goodness of your chaplain, and the kind
offices of this gentlewoman.

LORY.
’Tis true indeed, sir; I gave your daughter away, and Mrs. Nurse, here,
was clerk.

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
Knock that rascal down!—But speak, Jezebel, how’s this?

NURSE.
Alas! your honour, forgive me; I have been overreached in this business
as well as you. Your worship knows, if the wedding-dinner had been
ready, you would have given her away with your own hands.

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
But how durst you do this without acquainting me?

NURSE.
Alas! if your worship had seen how the poor thing begged and prayed,
and clung and twined about me like ivy round an old wall, you would
say, I who had nursed it, and reared it, must have had a heart like
stone to refuse it.

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
Ouns! I shall go mad! Unloose my lord there, you scoundrels!

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Why, when these gentlemen are at leisure, I should be glad to
congratulate you on your son-in-law, with a little more freedom of
address.

MISS HOYDEN.
Egad, though, I don’t see which is to be my husband after all.

LOVELESS.
Come, come, Sir Tunbelly, a man of your understanding must perceive
that an affair of this kind is not to be mended by anger and
reproaches.

COLONEL TOWNLY.
Take my word for it, Sir Tunbelly, you are only tricked into a
son-in-law you may be proud of: my friend Tom Fashion is as honest a
fellow as ever breathed.

LOVELESS.
That he is, depend on’t; and will hunt or drink with you most
affectionately: be generous, old boy, and forgive them—

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
Never! the hussy!—when I had set my heart on getting her a title.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Now, Sir Tunbelly, that I am untrussed—give me leave to thank thee for
the very extraordinary reception I have met with in thy damned,
execrable mansion; and at the same time to assure you, that of all the
bumpkins and blockheads I have had the misfortune to meek with, thou
art the most obstinate and egregious, strike me ugly!

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
What’s this! I believe you are both rogues alike.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
No, Sir Tunbelly, thou wilt find to thy unspeakable mortification, that
I am the real Lord Foppington, who was to have disgraced myself by an
alliance with a clod; and that thou hast matched thy girl to a beggarly
younger brother of mine, whose title deeds might be contained in thy
tobacco-box.

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
Puppy! puppy!—I might prevent their being beggars, if I chose it; for I
could give ’em as good a rent-roll as your lordship.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Ay, old fellow, but you will not do that—for that would be acting like
a Christian, and thou art a barbarian, stap my vitals.

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
Udzookers! now six such words more, and I’ll forgive them directly.

LOVELESS.
’Slife, Sir Tunbelly, you should do it, and bless yourself—Ladies, what
say you?

AMANDA.
Good Sir Tunbelly, you must consent.

BERINTHIA.
Come, you have been young yourself, Sir Tunbelly.

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
Well then, if I must, I must; but turn—turn that sneering lord out,
however, and let me be revenged on somebody. But first look whether I
am a barbarian or not; there, children, I join your hands; and when I’m
in a better humour, I’ll give you my blessing.

LOVELESS.
Nobly done, Sir Tunbelly! and we shall see you dance at a grandson’s
christening yet.

MISS HOYDEN.
By goles, though, I don’t understand this! What! an’t I to be a lady
after all? only plain Mrs.—What’s my husband’s name, nurse?

NURSE.
Squire Fashion.

MISS HOYDEN.
Squire, is he?—Well, that’s better than nothing.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
[_Aside_.] Now I will put on a philosophic air, and show these people,
that it is not possible to put a man of my quality out of
countenance.—[_Aloud_.] Dear Tam, since things are fallen out, pr’ythee
give me leave to wish thee joy; I do it _de bon coeur_, strike me dumb!
You have married into a family of great politeness and uncommon
elegance of manners, and your bride appears to be a lady beautiful in
person, modest in her deportment, refined in her sentiments, and of
nice morality, split my windpipe!

MISS HOYDEN.
By goles, husband, break his bones if he calls me names!

TOM FASHION.
Your lordship may keep up your spirits with your grimace, if you
please; I shall support mine, by Sir Tunbelly’s favour, with this lady
and three thousand pounds a year.

LORD FOPPINGTON.
Well, adieu, Tam!—Ladies, I kiss your, hands!—Sir Tunbelly, I shall now
quit this thy den; but while I retain the use of my arms, I shall ever
remember thou art a demned horrid savage; Ged demn me! [_Exit_.]

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
By the mass, ’tis well he’s gone—for I should ha’ been provoked,
by-and-by, to ha’ dun un a mischief. Well, if this is a lord, I think
Hoyden has luck on her side, in troth.

COLONEL TOWNLY.
She has, indeed, Sir Tunbelly.—But I hear the fiddles; his lordship, I
know, has provided ’em.

LOVELESS.
Oh, a dance and a bottle, Sir Tunbelly, by all means!

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
I had forgot the company below; well—what—we must be merry, then, ha?
and dance and drink, ha? Well, ’fore George, you shan’t say I do these
things by halves. Son-in-law there looks like a hearty rogue, so we’ll
have a night on’t: and which of these ladies will be the old man’s
partner, ha?—Ecod, I don’t know how I came to be in so good a humour.

BERINTHIA.
Well, Sir Tunbelly, my friend and I both will endeavour to keep you so:
you have done a generous action, and are entitled to our attention. If
you should be at a loss to divert your new guests, we will assist you
to relate to them the plot of your daughter’s marriage, and his
lordship’s deserved mortification; a subject which perhaps may afford
no bad evening’s entertainment.

SIR TUNBELLY CLUMSY.
Ecod, with all my heart; though I am a main bungler at a long story.

BERINTHIA.
Never fear; we will assist you, if the tale is judged worth being
repeated; but of this you may be assured, that while the intention is
evidently to please, British auditors will ever be indulgent to the
errors of the performance. [Exeunt omnes.]



The Critic

 OR, A TRAGEDY REHEARSED _A DRAMATIC PIECE IN THREE ACTS_ TO MRS.
 GREVILLE

MADAM,
    In requesting your permission to address the following pages to
    you, which, as they aim themselves to be critical, require every
    protection and allowance that approving taste or friendly prejudice
    can give them, I yet ventured to mention no other motive than the
    gratification of private friendship and esteem.  Had I suggested a
    hope that your implied approbation would give a sanction to their
    defects, your particular reserve, and dislike to the reputation of
    critical taste, as well as of poetical talent, would have made you
    refuse the protection of your name to such a purpose. However, I am
    not so ungrateful as now to attempt to combat this disposition in
    you. I shall not here presume to argue that the present state of
    poetry claims and expects every assistance that taste and example
    can afford it; nor endeavour to prove that a fastidious concealment
    of the most elegant productions of judgment and fancy is an ill
    return for the possession of those endowments. Continue to deceive
    yourself in the idea that you are known only to be eminently
    admired and regarded for the valuable qualities that attach private
    friendships, and the graceful talents that adorn conversation.
    Enough of what you have written has stolen into full public notice
    to answer my purpose; and you will, perhaps, be the only person,
    conversant in elegant literature, who shall read this address and
    not perceive that by publishing your particular approbation of the
    following drama, I have a more interested object than to boast the
    true respect and regard with which
    I have the honour to be,
        Madam,
            your very sincere
                and obedient humble servant,
                    R. B. SHERIDAN.

DRAMATIS PERSONAE
AS ORIGINALLY ACTED AT DRURY LANE THEATRE IN 1779

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY. _Mr. Parsons_.
PUFF. _Mr. King_.
DANGLE. _Mr. Dodd_
SNEER. _Mr. Palmer_.
SIGNOR PASTICCIO RITORNELLO. _Mr. Delpini_.
INTERPRETER. _Mr. Baddeley_.
UNDER PROMPTER. _Mr. Phillimore_.
MR. HOPKINS. _Mr. Hopkins_.
MRS. DANGLE. _Mrs. Hopkins_.
SIGNORE PASTICCIO RITORNELLO. _Miss Field and the Miss Abrams_.

Scenemen, Musicians, _and_ Servants.

CHARACTERS OF THE TRAGEDY

 LORD BURLEIGH. _Mr. Moody_.
GOVERNOR OF TILBURY FORT. _Mr. Wrighten_.
EARL OF LEICESTER. _Mr. Farren_.
SIR WALTER RALEIGH. _Mr. Burton_.
SIR CHRISTOPHER HATTON. _Mr. Waldron_.
MASTER OF THE HORSE. _Mr. Kenny_.
DON FEROLO WHISKERANDOS. _Mr. Bannister, jun_.
BEEFEATER. _Mr. Wright_.
JUSTICE. _Mr. Packer_.
SON. _Mr. Lamash_.
CONSTABLE. _Mr. Fawcett_.
THAMES. _Mr. Gawdry_.
TILBURINA. _Miss Pope_.
CONFIDANT. _Mrs. Bradshaw_.
JUSTICE’s LADY. _Mrs. Johnston_.
FIRST NIECE. _Miss Collett_.
SECOND NIECE. _Miss Kirby_.

Knights, Guards, Constables, Sentinels, Servants, Chorus, Rivers,
Attendants, &c., &c.

 SCENE—LONDON: _in_ DANGLES _House during the First Act,
and throughout the rest of the Play in_ DRURY LANE THEATRE.

 PROLOGUE
BY THE HONOURABLE RICHARD FITZPATRICK

The sister Muses, whom these realms obey,
Who o’er the drama hold divided sway,
Sometimes by evil counsellors, ’tis said,
Like earth-born potentates have been misled.
In those gay days of wickedness and wit,
When Villiers criticised what Dryden writ,
The tragic queen, to please a tasteless crowd,
Had learn’d to bellow, rant, and roar so loud,
That frighten’d Nature, her best friend before,
The blustering beldam’s company foreswore;
Her comic sister, who had wit ’tis true,
With all her merits, had her failings too:
And would sometimes in mirthful moments use
A style too flippant for a well-bred muse;
Then female modesty abash’d began
To seek the friendly refuge of the fan,
Awhile behind that slight intrenchment stood,
Till driven from thence, she left the stage for good.
In our more pious, and far chaster times,
These sure no longer are the Muse’s crimes!
But some complain that, former faults to shun,
The reformation to extremes has run.
The frantic hero’s wild delirium past,
Now insipidity succeeds bombast:
So slow Melpomene’s cold numbers creep,
Here dulness seems her drowsy court to keep,
And we are scarce awake, whilst you are fast asleep.
Thalia, once so ill-behaved and rude,
Reform’d, is now become an arrant prude;
Retailing nightly to the yawning pit
The purest morals, undefiled by wit!
Our author offers, in these motley scenes,
A slight remonstrance to the drama’s queens:
Nor let the goddesses be over nice;
Free-spoken subjects give the best advice.
Although not quite a novice in his trade,
His cause tonight requires no common aid.
To this, a friendly, just, and powerful court,
I come ambassador to beg support.
Can he undaunted brave the critic’s rage?
In civil broils with brother bards engage?
Hold forth their errors to the public eye,
Nay more, e’en newspapers themselves defy?
Say, must his single arm encounter all?
By number vanquish’d, e’en the brave may fall;
And though no leader should success distrust,
Whose troops are willing, and whose cause is just;
To bid such hosts of angry foes defiance,
His chief dependence must be, your alliance.



ACT I.

SCENE I.—_A Room in_ DANGLE’s _House_. Mr. _and_ MRS. DANGLE
_discovered at breakfast, and reading newspapers_.

DANGLE.
[_Reading._] Brutus to Lord North.—Letter the second on the State of
the Army—Psha! _To the first L dash D of the A dash Y.—Genuine extract
of a Letter from St. Kitt’s.—Coxheath Intelligence.—It is now
confidently asserted that Sir Charles Hardy_—Psha! nothing but about
the fleet and the nation!—and I hate all politics but theatrical
politics.—Where’s the Morning Chronicle?

MRS. DANGLE.
Yes, that’s your Gazette.

DANGLE.
So, here we have it.—[_Reads._] Theatrical intelligence
extraordinary.—We hear there is a new tragedy in rehearsal at Drury
Lane Theatre, called the Spanish Armada, said to be written by Mr.
Puff, a gentleman well-known in the theatrical world. If we may allow
ourselves to give credit to the report of the performers, who, truth to
say, are in general but indifferent judges, this piece abounds with the
most striking and received beauties of modern composition.—So! I am
very glad my friend Puff’s tragedy is in such forwardness.—Mrs. Dangle,
my dear, you will be very glad to hear that Puff’s tragedy—

MRS. DANGLE.
Lord, Mr. Dangle, why will you plague me about such nonsense?—Now the
plays are begun I shall have no peace.—Isn’t it sufficient to make
yourself ridiculous by your passion for the theatre, without
continually teasing me to join you? Why can’t you ride your hobby-horse
without desiring to place me on a pillion behind you, Mr. Dangle?

DANGLE.
Nay, my dear, I was only going to read—

MRS. DANGLE.
No, no; you will never read anything that’s worth listening to. You
hate to hear about your country; there are letters every day with Roman
signatures, demonstrating the certainty of an invasion, and proving
that the nation is utterly undone. But you never will read anything to
entertain one.

DANGLE.
What has a woman to do with politics, Mrs. Dangle?

MRS. DANGLE.
And what have you to do with the theatre, Mr. Dangle? Why should you
affect the character of a critic? I have no patience with you!—haven’t
you made yourself the jest of all your acquaintance by your
interference in matters where you have no business? Are you not called
a theatrical Quidnunc, and a mock Maecenas to second-hand authors?

DANGLE.
True; my power with the managers is pretty notorious. But is it no
credit to have applications from all quarters for my interest—from
lords to recommend fiddlers, from ladies to get boxes, from authors to
get answers, and from actors to get engagements?

MRS. DANGLE.
Yes, truly; you have contrived to get a share in all the plague and
trouble of theatrical property, without the profit, or even the credit
of the abuse that attends it.

DANGLE.
I am sure, Mrs. Dangle, you are no loser by it, however; you have all
the advantages of it. Mightn’t you, last winter, have had the reading
of the new pantomime a fortnight previous to its performance? And
doesn’t Mr. Fosbrook let you take places for a play before it is
advertised, and set you down for a box for every new piece through the
season? And didn’t my friend, Mr. Smatter, dedicate his last farce to
you at my particular request, Mrs. Dangle?

MRS. DANGLE.
Yes; but wasn’t the farce damned, Mr. Dangle? And to be sure it is
extremely pleasant to have one’s house made the motley rendezvous of
all the lackeys of literature; the very high ’Change of trading authors
and jobbing critics!—Yes, my drawing-room is an absolute
register-office for candidate actors, and poets without character.—Then
to be continually alarmed with misses and ma’ams piping hysteric
changes on Juliets and Dorindas, Pollys and Ophelias; and the very
furniture trembling at the probationary starts and unprovoked rants of
would-be Richards and Hamlets!—And what is worse than all, now that the
manager has monopolized the Opera House, haven’t we the signors and
signoras calling here, sliding their smooth semibreves, and gargling
glib divisions in their outlandish throats—with foreign emissaries and
French spies, for aught I know, disguised like fiddlers and figure
dancers?

DANGLE.
Mercy! Mrs. Dangle!

MRS. DANGLE.
And to employ yourself so idly at such an alarming crisis as this
too—when, if you had the least spirit, you would have been at the head
of one of the Westminster associations—or trailing a volunteer pike in
the Artillery Ground! But you—o’ my conscience, I believe, if the
French were landed tomorrow, your first inquiry would be, whether they
had brought a theatrical troop with them.

DANGLE.
Mrs. Dangle, it does not signify—I say the stage is ‘the mirror of
nature’, and the actors are ‘the Abstract and brief Chronicles of the
Time’: and pray what can a man of sense study better?—Besides, you will
not easily persuade me that there is no credit or importance in being
at the head of a band of critics, who take upon them to decide for the
whole town, whose opinion and patronage all writers solicit, and whose
recommendation no manager dares refuse.

MRS. DANGLE.
Ridiculous!—Both managers and authors of the least merit laugh at your
pretensions.—The public is their critic—without whose fair approbation
they know no play can rest on the stage, and with whose applause they
welcome such attacks as yours, and laugh at the malice of them, where
they can’t at the wit.

DANGLE.
Very well, madam—very well!

_Enter_ SERVANT.

SERVANT.
Mr. Sneer, sir, to wait on you.

DANGLE.
Oh, show Mr. Sneer up.—[_Exit_ SERVANT.]—Plague on’t, now we must
appear loving and affectionate, or Sneer will hitch us into a story.

MRS. DANGLE.
With all my heart; you can’t be more ridiculous than you are.

DANGLE.
You are enough to provoke—

_Enter_ SNEER. Ha! my dear Sneer, I am vastly glad to see you.—My dear,
here’s Mr. Sneer.

MRS. DANGLE.
Good-morning to you, sir.

DANGLE.
Mrs. Dangle and I have been diverting ourselves with the papers. Pray,
Sneer, won’t you go to Drury Lane Theatre the first night of Puff’s
tragedy?

SNEER.
Yes; but I suppose one shan’t be able to get in, for on the first night
of a new piece they always fill the house with orders to support it.
But here, Dangle, I have brought you two pieces, one of which you must
exert yourself to make the managers accept, I can tell you that;
for’tis written by a person of consequence.

DANGLE.
So! now my plagues are beginning.

SNEER.
Ay, I am glad of it, for now you’ll be happy. Why, my dear Dangle, it
is a pleasure to see how you enjoy your volunteer fatigue, and your
solicited solicitations.

DANGLE.
It’s a great trouble—yet, egad, it’s pleasant too.—Why, sometimes of a
morning I have a dozen people call on me at breakfast-time, whose faces
I never saw before, nor ever desire to see again.

SNEER.
That must be very pleasant indeed!

DANGLE.
And not a week but I receive fifty letters, and not a line in them
about any business of my own.

SNEER.
An amusing correspondence!

DANGLE.
[_Reading_.] _Bursts into tears and exit_.—What, is this a tragedy?

SNEER.
No, that’s a genteel comedy, not a translation—only taken from the
French: it is written in a style which they have lately tried to run
down; the true sentimental, and nothing ridiculous in it from the
beginning to the end.

MRS. DANGLE.
Well, if they had kept to that, I should not have been such an enemy to
the stage; there was some edification to be got from those pieces, Mr.
Sneer!

SNEER.
I am quite of your opinion, Mrs. Dangle: the theatre, in proper hands,
might certainly be made the school of morality; but now, I am sorry to
say it, people seem to go there principally for their entertainment!

MRS. DANGLE.
It would have been more to the credit of the managers to have kept it
in the other line.

SNEER.
Undoubtedly, madam; and hereafter perhaps to have had it recorded, that
in the midst of a luxurious and dissipated age, they preserved two
houses in the capital, where the conversation was always moral at
least, if not entertaining!

DANGLE.
Now, egad, I think the worst alteration is in the nicety of the
audience!—No _double-entendre_, no smart innuendo admitted; even
Vanbrugh and Congreve obliged to undergo a bungling reformation!

SNEER.
Yes, and our prudery in this respect is just on a par with the
artificial bashfulness of a courtesan, who increases the blush upon her
cheek in an exact proportion to the diminution of her modesty.

DANGLE.
Sneer can’t even give the public a good word! But what have we
here?—This seems a very odd—

SNEER.
Oh, that’s a comedy on a very new plan; replete with wit and mirth, yet
of a most serious moral! You see it is called _The Reformed
House-breaker_; where, by the mere force of humour, house-breaking is
put in so ridiculous a light, that if the piece has its proper run, I
have no doubt but that bolts and bars will be entirely useless by the
end of the season.

DANGLE.
Egad, this is new indeed!

SNEER.
Yes; it is written by a particular friend of mine, who has discovered
that the follies and foibles of society are subjects unworthy the
notice of the comic muse, who should be taught to stoop only to the
greater vices and blacker crimes of humanity—gibbeting capital offences
in five acts, and pillorying petty larcenies in two.—In short, his idea
is to dramatize the penal laws, and make the stage a court of ease to
the Old Bailey.

DANGLE.
It is truly moral.

_Re-enter_ SERVANT.

SERVANT.
Sir Fretful Plagiary, sir.

DANGLE.
Beg him to walk up.—[_Exit_ SERVANT.] Now, Mrs. Dangle, Sir Fretful
Plagiary is an author to your own taste.

MRS. DANGLE.
I confess he is a favourite of mine, because everybody else abuses him.

SNEER.
Very much to the credit of your charity, madam, if not of your
judgment.

DANGLE.
But, egad, he allows no merit to any author but himself, that’s the
truth on’t—though he’s my friend.

SNEER.
Never.—He is as envious as an old maid verging on the desperation of
six and thirty; and then the insidious humility with which he seduces
you to give a free opinion on any of his works, can be exceeded only by
the petulant arrogance with which he is sure to reject your
observations.

DANGLE.
Very true, egad—though he’s my friend.

SNEER.
Then his affected contempt of all newspaper strictures; though, at the
same time, he is the sorest man alive, and shrinks like scorched
parchment from the fiery ordeal of true criticism: yet he is so
covetous of popularity, that he had rather be abused than not mentioned
at all.

DANGLE.
There’s no denying it—though he is my friend.

SNEER.
You have read the tragedy he has just finished, haven’t you?

DANGLE.
Oh, yes; he sent it to me yesterday.

SNEER.
Well, and you think it execrable, don’t you?

DANGLE.
Why, between ourselves, egad, I must own—though he is my friend—that it
is one of the most—He’s here—[_Aside_.]—finished and most admirable
perform—

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY. [_Without_.] Mr. Sneer with him did you say?

_Enter_ SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.

DANGLE.
Ah, my dear friend!—Egad, we were just speaking of your
tragedy.—Admirable, Sir Fretful, admirable!

SNEER.
You never did anything beyond it, Sir Fretful—never in your life.

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
You make me extremely happy; for without a compliment, my dear Sneer,
there isn’t a man in the world whose judgment I value as I do yours and
Mr. Dangle’s.

MRS. DANGLE.
They are only laughing at you, Sir Fretful; for it was but just now
that—

DANGLE.
Mrs. Dangle!—Ah, Sir Fretful, you know Mrs. Dangle.—My friend Sneer was
rallying just now:—he knows how she admires you, and—

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
O Lord, I am sure Mr. Sneer has more taste and sincerity than
to—[_Aside_.] A damned double-faced fellow!

DANGLE.
Yes, yes—Sneer will jest—but a better humoured—

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
Oh, I know—

DANGLE.
He has a ready turn for ridicule—his wit costs him nothing.

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
No, egad—or I should wonder how he came by it. [_Aside_.]

MRS. DANGLE.
Because his jest is always at the expense of his friend. [_Aside_.]

DANGLE.
But, Sir Fretful, have you sent your play to the managers yet?—or can I
be of any service to you?

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
No, no, I thank you: I believe the piece had sufficient recommendation
with it.—I thank you though.—I sent it to the manager of Covent Garden
Theatre this morning.

SNEER.
I should have thought now, that it might have been cast (as the actors
call it) better at Drury Lane.

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
O Lud! no—never send a play there while I live—hark’ee! [_Whispers_
SNEER.]

SNEER.
Writes himself!—I know he does.

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
I say nothing—I take away from no man’s merit—am hurt at no man’s good
fortune—I say nothing.—But this I will say—through all my knowledge of
life, I have observed—that there is not a passion so strongly rooted in
the human heart as envy.

SNEER.
I believe you have reason for what you say, indeed.

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
Besides—I can tell you it is not always so safe to leave a play in the
hands of those who write themselves.

SNEER.
What, they may steal from them, hey, my dear Plagiary?

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
Steal!—to be sure they may; and, egad, serve your best thoughts as
gypsies do stolen children, disfigure them to make ’em pass for their
own.

SNEER.
But your present work is a sacrifice to Melpomene, and he, you know,
never—

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
That’s no security: a dexterous plagiarist may do anything. Why, sir,
for aught I know, he might take out some of the best things in my
tragedy, and put them into his own comedy.

SNEER.
That might be done, I dare be sworn.

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
And then, if such a person gives you the least hint or assistance, he
is devilish apt to take the merit of the whole—

DANGLE.
If it succeeds.

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
Ay, but with regard to this piece, I think I can hit that gentleman,
for I can safely swear he never read it.

SNEER.
I’ll tell you how you may hurt him more.

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
How?

SNEER.
Swear he wrote it.

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
Plague on’t now, Sneer, I shall take it ill!—I believe you want to take
away my character as an author.

SNEER.
Then I am sure you ought to be very much obliged to me.

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
Hey!—sir!—

DANGLE.
Oh, you know, he never means what he says.

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
Sincerely then—do you like the piece?

SNEER.
Wonderfully!

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
But come, now, there must be something that you think might be mended,
hey?—Mr. Dangle, has nothing struck you?

DANGLE.
Why, faith, it is but an ungracious thing for the most part, to—

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
With most authors it is just so, indeed; they are in general strangely
tenacious! But, for my part, I am never so well pleased as when a
judicious critic points out any defect to me; for what is the purpose
of showing a work to a friend, if you don’t mean to profit by his
opinion?

SNEER.
Very true.—Why, then, though I seriously admire the piece upon the
whole, yet there is one small objection; which, if you’ll give me
leave, I’ll mention.

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
Sir, you can’t oblige me more.

SNEER.
I think it wants incident.

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
Good God! you surprise me!—wants incident!

SNEER.
Yes; I own I think the incidents are too few.

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
Good God! Believe me, Mr. Sneer, there is no person for whose judgment
I have a more implicit deference. But I protest to you, Mr. Sneer, I am
only apprehensive that the incidents are too crowded.—My dear Dangle,
how does it strike you?

DANGLE.
Really I can’t agree with my friend Sneer. I think the plot quite
sufficient; and the four first acts by many degrees the best I ever
read or saw in my life. If, I might venture to suggest anything, it is
that the interest rather falls off in the fifth.

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
Rises, I believe you mean, sir.

DANGLE.
No, I don’t, upon my word.

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
Yes, yes, you do, upon my soul!—it certainly don’t fall off, I assure
you.—No, no; it don’t fall off.

DANGLE.
Now, Mrs. Dangle, didn’t you say it struck you in the same light?

MRS. DANGLE.
No, indeed, I did not.—I did not see a fault in any part of the play,
from the beginning to the end.

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
Upon my soul, the women are the best judges after all!

MRS. DANGLE.
Or, if I made any objection, I am sure it was to nothing in the piece;
but that I was afraid it was on the whole, a little too long.

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
Pray, madam, do you speak as to duration of time; or do you mean that
the story is tediously spun out?

MRS. DANGLE.
O Lud! no.—I speak only with reference to the usual length of acting
plays.

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
Then I am very happy—very happy indeed—because the play is a short
play, a remarkably short play. I should not venture to differ with a
lady on a point of taste; but on these occasions, the watch, you know,
is the critic.

MRS. DANGLE.
Then, I suppose, it must have been Mr. Dangle’s drawling manner of
reading it to me.

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
Oh, if Mr. Dangle read it, that’s quite another affair!—But I assure
you, Mrs. Dangle, the first evening you can spare me three hours and a
half, I’ll undertake to read you the whole, from beginning to end, with
the prologue and epilogue, and allow time for the music between the
acts.

MRS. DANGLE.
I hope to see it on the stage next.

DANGLE.
Well, Sir Fretful, I wish you may be able to get rid as easily of the
newspaper criticisms as you do of ours.

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
The newspapers! Sir, they are the most
villainous—licentious—abominable—infernal.—Not that I ever read
them—no—I make it a rule never to look into a newspaper.

DANGLE.
You are quite right; for it certainly must hurt an author of delicate
feelings to see the liberties they take.

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
No, quite the contrary! their abuse is, in fact, the best panegyric—I
like it of all things. An author’s reputation is only in danger from
their support.

SNEER.
Why, that’s true—and that attack, now, on you the other day—

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
What? where?

DANGLE.
Ay, you mean in a paper of Thursday: it was completely ill-natured, to
be sure.

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
Oh so much the better.—Ha! Ha! Ha! I wouldn’t have it otherwise.

DANGLE.
Certainly it is only to be laughed at; for—

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
You don’t happen to recollect what the fellow said, do you?

SNEER.
Pray, Dangle—Sir Fretful seems a little anxious—

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
O Lud, no!—anxious!—not I—not the least.—I—but one may as well hear,
you know.

DANGLE.
Sneer, do you recollect?—[_Aside to_ SNEER.] Make out something.

SNEER.
[_Aside to_ DANGLE.] I will.—[_Aloud_.] Yes, yes, I remember perfectly.

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
Well, and pray now—not that it signifies—what might the gentleman say?

SNEER.
Why, he roundly asserts that you have not the slightest invention or
original genius whatever; though you are the greatest traducer of all
other authors living.

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
Ha! ha! ha!—very good!

SNEER.
That as to comedy, you have not one idea of your own, he believes, even
in your commonplace-book—where stray jokes and pilfered witticisms are
kept with as much method as the ledger of the lost and stolen office.

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
Ha! ha! ha!—very pleasant!

SNEER.
Nay, that you are so unlucky as not to have the skill even to steal
with taste:—but that you glean from the refuse of obscure volumes,
where more judicious plagiarists have been before you; so that the body
of your work is a composition of dregs and sentiments—like a bad
tavern’s worst wine.

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
Ha! ha!

SNEER.
In your more serious efforts, he says, your bombast would be less
intolerable, if the thoughts were ever suited to the expression; but
the homeliness of the sentiment stares through the fantastic
encumbrance of its fine language, like a clown in one of the new
uniforms!

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
Ha! ha!

SNEER.
That your occasional tropes and flowers suit the general coarseness of
your style, as tambour sprigs would a ground of linsey-woolsey; while
your imitations of Shakspeare resemble the mimicry of Falstaff’s page,
and are about as near the standard as the original.

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
Ha!

SNEER.
In short, that even the finest passages you steal are of no service to
you; for the poverty of your own language prevents their assimilating;
so that they lie on the surface like lumps of marl on a barren moor,
encumbering what it is not in their power to fertilize!

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
[_After great agitation_.] Now, another person would be vexed at this!

SNEER.
Oh! but I wouldn’t have told you—only to divert you.

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
I know it—I am diverted.—Ha! ha! ha!—not the least invention!—Ha! ha!
ha!—very good!—very good!

SNEER.
Yes—no genius! ha! ha! ha!

DANGLE.
A severe rogue! ha! ha! ha! But you are quite right, Sir Fretful, never
to read such nonsense.

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
To be sure—for if there is anything to one’s praise, it is a foolish
vanity to be gratified at it; and, if it is abuse—why one is always
sure to hear of it from one damned good-natured friend or other!

_Enter_ SERVANT.

SERVANT.
Sir, there is an Italian gentleman, with a French interpreter, and
three young ladies, and a dozen musicians, who say they are sent by
Lady Rondeau and Mrs. Fugue.

DANGLE.
Gadso! they come by appointment!—Dear Mrs. Dangle, do let them know
I’ll see them directly.

MRS. DANGLE.
You know, Mr. Dangle, I shan’t understand a word they say.

DANGLE.
But you hear there’s an interpreter.

MRS. DANGLE.
Well, I’ll try to endure their complaisance till you come. [_Exit_.]

SERVANT.
And Mr. Puff, sir, has sent word that the last rehearsal is to be this
morning, and that he’ll call on you presently.

DANGLE.
That’s true—I shall certainly be at home.—[_Exit_ SERVANT.]—now, Sir
Fretful, if you have a mind to have justice done you in the way of
answer, egad, Mr. Puff’s your man.

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
Psha! sir, why should I wish to have it answered, when I tell you I am
pleased at it?

DANGLE.
True, I had forgot that. But I hope you are not fretted at what Mr.
Sneer—

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
Zounds! no, Mr. Dangle; don’t I tell you these things never fret me in
the least?

DANGLE.
Nay, I only thought—

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
And let me tell you, Mr. Dangle, ’tis damned affronting in you to
suppose that I am hurt when I tell you I am not.

SNEER.
But why so warm, Sir Fretful?

SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY.
Gad’s life! Mr. Sneer, you are as absurd as Dangle: how often must I
repeat it to you, that nothing can vex me but your supposing it
possible for me to mind the damned nonsense you have been repeating to
me!—let me tell you, if you continue to believe this, you must mean to
insult me, gentlemen—and, then, your disrespect will affect me no more
than the newspaper criticisms—and I shall treat it with exactly the
same calm indifference and philosophic contempt—and so your servant.
[_Exit.] Sneer_.
Ha! ha! ha! poor Sir Fretful! Now will he go and vent his philosophy in
anonymous abuse of all modern critics and authors.—But, Dangle, you
must get your friend Puff to take me to the rehearsal of his tragedy.

DANGLE.
I’ll answer for’t, he’ll thank you for desiring it. But come and help
me to judge of this musical family: they are recommended by people of
consequence, I assure you.

SNEER.
I am at your disposal the whole morning!—but I thought you had been a
decided critic in music as well as in literature.

DANGLE.
So I am—but I have a bad ear. I’faith, Sneer, though, I am afraid we
were a little too severe on Sir Fretful—though he is my friend.

SNEER.
Why, ’tis certain, that unnecessarily to mortify the vanity of any
writer is a cruelty which mere dulness never can deserve; but where a
base and personal malignity usurps the place of literary emulation, the
aggressor deserves neither quarter nor pity.

DANGLE.
That’s true, egad!—though he’s my friend!

SCENE II.—_A drawing-room in_ DANGLE’S _House._ MRS. DANGLE, SIGNOR
PASTICCIO RITORNELLO, SIGNORE PASTICCIO RITORNELLO, INTERPRETER, _and_
MUSICIANS _discovered_.

INTERPRETER.
Je dis, madame, j’ai l’honneur to introduce et de vous demander votre
protection pour le Signor Pasticcio Ritornello et pour sa charmante
famille.

SIGNOR PASTICCIO RITORNELLO.
Ah! vosignoria, not vi preghiamo di favoritevi colla vostra protezione.

FIRST SIGNORA PASTICCIO RITORNELLO.
Vosignoria fatevi questi grazie.

SECOND SIGNORA PASTICCIO RITORNELLO.
Si, signora.

INTERPRETER.
Madame—me interpret.—C’est à dire—in English—qu’ils vous prient de leur
faire l’honneur—

MRS. DANGLE.
I say again, gentlemen, I don’t understand a word you say.

SIGNOR PASTICCIO RITORNELLO.
Questo signore spiegheró—

INTERPRETER.
Oui—me interpret.—Nous avons les lettres de recommendation pour
Monsieur Dangle de—

MRS. DANGLE.
Upon my word, sir, I don’t understand you.

SIGNOR PASTICCIO RITORNELLO.
La Contessa Rondeau è nostra padrona.

THIRD SIGNORA PASTICCIO RITORNELLO.
Si, padre, et Miladi Fugue.

INTERPRETER.
O!—me interpret.—Madame, ils disent—in English—Qu’ils ont l’honneur
d’être protégés de ces dames.—You understand?

MRS. DANGLE.
No, sir,—no understand!

_Enter_ DANGLE _and_ SNEER.

INTERPRETER.
Ah, voici, Monsieur Dangle!

ALL ITALIANS.
Ah! Signor Dangle!

MRS. DANGLE.
Mr. Dangle, here are two very civil gentlemen trying to make themselves
understood, and I don’t know which is the interpreter.

DANGLE.
Eh, bien! [_The_ INTERPRETER _and_ SIGNOR PASTICCIO _here speak at the
same time_.]

INTERPRETER.
Monsieur Dangle, le grand bruit de vos talens pour la critique, et de
votre intérêt avec messieurs les directeurs à tous les théâtres—

SIGNOR PASTICCIO RITORNELLO.
Vosignoria siete si famoso par la vostra conoscenza, e vostra interessa
colla le direttore da—

DANGLE.
Egad, I think the interpreter is the hardest to be understood of the
two!

SNEER.
Why, I thought, Dangle, you had been an admirable linguist!

DANGLE.
So I am, if they would not talk so damned fast.

SNEER.
Well, I’ll explain that—the less time we lose in bearing them the
better—for that, I suppose, is what they are brought here for. [_Speaks
to_ SIGNOR PASTICCIO— _they sing trios, &c.,_ DANGLE _beating out of
time._] _Enter_ SERVANT _and whispers_ DANGLE.

DANGLE.
Show him up.—[_Exit_ SERVANT.] Bravo! admirable! bravissimo!
admirablissimo!—Ah! Sneer! where will you find voices such as these in
England?

SNEER.
Not easily.

DANGLE.
But Puff is coming.—Signor and little signoras obligatissimo!—Sposa
Signora Danglena—Mrs. Dangle, shall I beg you to offer them some
refreshments, and take their address in the next room. [_Exit_ MRS.
DANGLE _with_ SIGNOR PASTICCIO, SIGNORE PASTICCIO, MUSICIANS, _and_
INTERPRETER, _ceremoniously._]

_Re-enter_ SERVANT.

SERVANT.
Mr. Puff, sir. [_Exit_.]

_Enter_ PUFF.

DANGLE.
My dear Puff!

PUFF.
My dear Dangle, how is it with you?

DANGLE.
Mr. Sneer, give me leave to introduce Mr. Puff to you.

PUFF.
Mr. Sneer is this?—Sir, he is a gentleman whom I have long panted for
the honour of knowing—a gentleman whose critical talents and
transcendent judgment—

SNEER.
Dear Sir—

DANGLE.
Nay, don’t be modest, Sneer; my friend Puff only talks to you in the
style of his profession.

SNEER.
His profession.

PUFF.
Yes, sir; I make no secret of the trade I follow: among friends and
brother authors, Dangle knows I love to be frank on the subject, and to
advertise myself _viva voce_.—I am, sir, a practitioner in panegyric,
or, to speak more plainly, a professor of the art of puffing, at your
service—or anybody else’s.

SNEER.
Sir, you are very obliging!—I believe, Mr. Puff, I have often admired
your talents in the daily prints.

PUFF.
Yes, sir, I flatter myself I do as much business in that way as any six
of the fraternity in town.—Devilish hard work all the summer, friend
Dangle,—never worked harder! But, hark’ee,—the winter managers were a
little sore, I believe.

DANGLE.
No; I believe they took it all in good part.

PUFF.
Ay! then that must have been affectation in them: for, egad, there were
some of the attacks which there was no laughing at!

SNEER.
Ay, the humorous ones.—But I should think, Mr. Puff, that authors would
in general be able to do this sort of work for themselves.

PUFF.
Why, yes—but in a clumsy way. Besides, we look on that as an
encroachment, and so take the opposite side. I dare say, now, you
conceive half the very civil paragraphs and advertisements you see to
be written by the parties concerned, or their friends? No such thing:
nine out of ten manufactured by me in the way of business.

SNEER.
Indeed!

PUFF.
Even the auctioneers now—the auctioneers, I say—though the rogues have
lately got some credit for their language—not an article of the merit
theirs: take them out of their pulpits, and they are as dull as
catalogues!—No, sir; ’twas I first enriched their style—’twas I first
taught them to crowd their advertisements with panegyrical
superlatives, each epithet rising above the other, like the bidders in
their own auction rooms! From me they learned to inlay their
phraseology with variegated chips of exotic metaphor: by me too their
inventive faculties were called forth:—yes, sir, by me they were
instructed to clothe ideal walls with gratuitous fruits—to insinuate
obsequious rivulets into visionary groves—to teach courteous shrubs to
nod their approbation of the grateful soil; or on emergencies to raise
upstart oaks, where there never had been an acorn; to create a
delightful vicinage without the assistance of a neighbour; or fix the
temple of Hygeia in the fens of Lincolnshire!

DANGLE.
I am sure you have done them infinite service; for now, when a
gentleman is ruined, he parts with his house with some credit.

SNEER.
Service! if they had any gratitude, they would erect a statue to him;
they would figure him as a presiding Mercury, the god of traffic and
fiction, with a hammer in his hand instead of a caduceus.—But pray, Mr.
Puff, what first put you on exercising your talents in this way?

PUFF.
Egad, sir, sheer necessity!—the proper parent of an art so nearly
allied to invention. You must know, Mr. Sneer, that from the first time
I tried my hand at an advertisement, my success was such, that for some
time after I led a most extraordinary life indeed!

SNEER.
How, pray?

PUFF.
Sir, I supported myself two years entirely by my misfortunes.

SNEER.
By your misfortunes!

PUFF.
Yes, sir, assisted by long sickness, and other occasional disorders:
and a very comfortable living I had of it.

SNEER.
From sickness and misfortunes! You practised as a doctor and an
attorney at once?

PUFF.
No, egad; both maladies and miseries were my own.

SNEER.
Hey! what the plague!

DANGLE.
’Tis true, i’faith.

PUFF.
Hark’ee!—By advertisements—. Oh, I understand you.

PUFF.
And, in truth, I deserved what I got! for, I suppose never man went
through such a series of calamities in the same space of time. Sir, I
was five times made a bankrupt, and reduced from a state of affluence,
by a train of unavoidable misfortunes: then, sir, though a very
industrious tradesman, I was twice burned out, and lost my little all
both times: I lived upon those fires a month. I soon after was confined
by a most excruciating disorder, and lost the use of my limbs: that
told very well; for I had the case strongly attested, and went about to
collect the subscriptions myself.

DANGLE.
Egad, I believe that was when you first called on me.

PUFF.
In November last?—O no; I was at that time a close prisoner in the
Marshalsea, for a debt benevolently contracted to serve a friend. I was
afterwards twice tapped for a dropsy, which declined into a very
profitable consumption. I was then reduced to—O no—then, I became a
widow with six helpless children, after having had eleven husbands
pressed, and being left every time eight months gone with child, and
without money to get me into an hospital!

SNEER.
And you bore all with patience, I make no doubt?

PUFF.
Why yes; though I made some occasional attempts at _felo de se_, but as
I did not find those rash actions answer, I left off killing myself
very soon. Well, sir, at last, what with bankruptcies, fires, gout,
dropsies, imprisonments, and other valuable calamities, having got
together a pretty handsome sum, I determined to quit a business which
had always gone rather against my conscience, and in a more liberal way
still to indulge my talents for fiction and embellishment, through my
favourite channels of diurnal communication—and so, sir, you have my
history.

SNEER.
Most obligingly communicative indeed! and your confession, if
published, might certainly serve the cause of true charity, by rescuing
the most useful channels of appeal to benevolence from the cant of
imposition. But, surely, Mr. Puff, there is no great mystery in your
present profession?

PUFF.
Mystery, sir! I will take upon me to say the matter was never
scientifically treated nor reduced to rule before.

SNEER.
Reduced to rule!

PUFF.
O Lud, sir, you are very ignorant, I am afraid!—Yes, sir,. puffing is
of various sorts; the principal are, the puff direct, the puff
preliminary, the puff collateral, the puff collusive, and the puff
oblique, or puff by implication. These all assume, as circumstances
require, the various forms of Letter to the Editor, Occasional
Anecdote, Impartial Critique, Observation from Correspondent, or
Advertisement from the Party.

SNEER.
The puff direct, I can conceive—

PUFF.
O yes, that’s simple enough! For instance,—a new comedy or farce is to
be produced at one of the theatres (though by-the-by they don’t bring
out half what they ought to do)—the author, suppose Mr. Smatter, or Mr.
Dapper, or any particular friend of mine—very, well; the day before it
is to be performed, I write an account of the manner in which it was
received; I have the plot from the author, and only add—characters
strongly drawn—highly coloured—hand of a master—fund of genuine
humour—mine of invention—neat dialogue—Attic salt. Then for the
performance—Mr. Dodd was astonishingly great in the character of Sir
Harry. That universal and judicious actor, Mr. Palmer, perhaps never
appeared to more advantage than in the colonel;—but it is not in the
power of language to do justice to Mr. King: indeed he more than
merited those repeated bursts of applause which he drew from a most
brilliant and judicious audience. As to the scenery—the miraculous
powers of Mr. De Loutherbourg’s pencil are universally acknowledged. In
short, we are at a loss which to admire most, the unrivalled genius of
the author, the great attention and liberality of the managers, the
wonderful abilities of the painter, or the incredible exertions of all
the performers.

SNEER.
That’s pretty well indeed, sir.

PUFF.
Oh, cool!—quite cool!—to what I sometimes do.

SNEER.
And do you think there are any who are influenced by this?

PUFF.
O Lud, yes, sir! the number of those who undergo the fatigue of judging
for themselves is very small indeed.

SNEER.
Well, sir, the puff preliminary.

PUFF.
O, that, sir, does well in the form of a caution. In a matter of
gallantry now—Sir Flimsy Gossamer wishes to be well with Lady Fanny
Fete—he applies to me—I open trenches for him with a paragraph in the
Morning Post.—It is recommended to the beautiful and accomplished Lady
F four stars F dash E to be on her guard against that dangerous
character, Sir F dash G; who, however pleasing and insinuating his
manners may be, is certainly not remarkable _for the constancy of his
attachments_!—in italics. Here, you see, Sir Flimsy Gossamer is
introduced to the particular notice of Lady Fanny, who perhaps never
thought of him before—she finds herself publicly cautioned to avoid
him, which naturally makes her desirous of seeing him; the observation
of their acquaintance causes a pretty kind of mutual embarrassment;
this produces a sort of sympathy of interest, which if Sir Flimsy is
unable to improve effectually, he at least gains the credit of having
their names mentioned together, by a particular set, and in a
particular way—which nine times out of ten is the full accomplishment
of modern gallantry.

DANGLE.
Egad, Sneer, you will be quite an adept in the business.

PUFF.
Now, Sir, the puff collateral is much used as an appendage to
advertisements, and may take the form of anecdote,—Yesterday, as the
celebrated George Bonmot was sauntering down St. James’s Street, he met
the lively Lady Mary Myrtle coming out of the park:—‘Good God, Lady
Mary, I’m surprised to meet you in a white jacket,—for I expected never
to have seen you, but in a full-trimmed uniform and a light horseman’s
cap!’—‘Heavens, George, where could you have learned that?’—‘Why,’
replied the wit, ‘I just saw a print of you, in a new publication
called the Camp Magazine; which, by-the-by, is a devilish clever thing,
and is sold at No. 3, on the right hand of the way, two doors from the
printing-office, the corner of Ivy Lane, Paternoster Row, price only
one shilling.’

SNEER.
Very ingenious indeed!

PUFF.
But the puff collusive is the newest of any; for it acts in the
disguise of determined hostility. It is much used by bold booksellers
and enterprising poets.—An indignant correspondent observes, that the
new poem called Beelsebub’s Cotillon, or Proserpine’s Fête Champêtre,
is one of the most unjustifiable performances he ever read. The
severity with which certain characters are handled is quite shocking:
and as there are many descriptions in it too warmly coloured for female
delicacy, the shameful avidity with which this piece is bought by all
people of fashion is a reproach on the taste of the times, and a
disgrace to the delicacy of the age. Here you see the two strongest
inducements are held forth; first, that nobody ought to read it; and
secondly, that everybody buys it: on the strength of which the
publisher boldly prints the tenth edition, before he had sold ten of
the first; and then establishes it by threatening himself with the
pillory, or absolutely indicting himself for _scan. mag._

DANGLE.
Ha! ha! ha!—’gad, I know it is so.

PUFF.
As to the puff oblique, or puff by implication, it is too various and
extensive to be illustrated by an instance: it attracts in titles and
resumes in patents; it lurks in the limitation of a subscription, and
invites in the assurance of crowd and incommodation at public places;
it delights to draw forth concealed merit, with a most disinterested
assiduity; and sometimes wears a countenance of smiling censure and
tender reproach. It has a wonderful memory for parliamentary debates,
and will often give the whole speech of a favoured member with the most
flattering accuracy. But, above all, it is a great dealer in reports
and suppositions. It has the earliest intelligence of intended
preferments that will reflect honour on the patrons; and embryo
promotions of modest gentlemen, who know nothing of the matter
themselves. It can hint a ribbon for implied services in the air of a
common report; and with the carelessness of a casual paragraph, suggest
officers into commands, to which they have no pretension but their
wishes. This, sir, is the last principal class of the art of puffing—an
art which I hope you will now agree with me is of the highest dignity,
yielding a tablature of benevolence and public spirit; befriending
equally trade, gallantry, criticism, and politics: the applause of
genius—the register of charity—the triumph of heroism—the self-defence
of contractors—the fame of orators—and the gazette of ministers.

SNEER.
Sir, I am completely a convert both to the importance and ingenuity of
your profession; and now, sir, there is but one thing which can
possibly increase my respect for you, and that is, your permitting me
to be present this morning at the rehearsal of your new trage—

PUFF.
Hush, for heaven’s sake!—_My_ tragedy!—Egad, Dangle, I take this very
ill: you know how apprehensive I am of being known to be the author.

DANGLE.
I’faith I would not have told—but it’s in the papers, and your name at
length in the Morning Chronicle.

PUFF.
Ah! those damned editors never can keep a secret I—Well, Mr. Sneer, no
doubt you will do me great honour—I shall be infinitely happy—highly
flattered—Dang. I believe it must be near the time—shall we go
together?

PUFF.
No; it will, not be yet this hour, for they are always late at that
theatre: besides, I must meet you there, for I have some little matters
here to send to the papers, and a few paragraphs to scribble before I
go.—[_Looking at memorandums._] Here is _A conscientious Baker, on the
subject of the Army Bread; and a Detester of visible Brick-work, in
favour of the new invented Stucco_; both in the style of Junius, and
promised for tomorrow. The Thames navigation too is at a stand. Misomud
or Anti-shoal must go to work again directly.—Here too are some
political memorandums—I see; ay—

_To take Paul Jones and get the Indiamen out of the Shannon—reinforce
Byron—compel the Dutch to_—so!—I must do that in the evening papers, or
reserve it for the Morning Herald; for I know that I have undertaken
tomorrow, besides, to establish the unanimity of the fleet in the
Public Advertiser, and to shoot Charles Fox in the Morning Post.—So,
egad, I ha’n’t a moment to lose.

DANGLE.
Well, we’ll meet in the Green Room. [Exeunt severally.



ACT II.

SCENE I.—The Theatre before the Curtain.

_Enter_ DANGLE, PUFF, and SNEER.

PUFF.
No, no, sir; what Shakspeare says of actors may be better applied to
the purpose of plays; they ought to be the abstract and brief
chronicles of the time. Therefore when history, and particularly the
history of our own country, furnishes anything like a case in point, to
the time in which an author writes, if he knows his own interest, he
will take advantage of it; so, sir, I call my tragedy The Spanish
Armada; and have laid the scene before Tilbury Fort.

SNEER.
A most happy thought, certainly I Dang. Egad it was—I told you so. But,
pray now, I don’t understand how you have contrived to introduce any
love into it.

PUFF.
Love! oh, nothing so easy! for it is a received point among poets, that
where history gives you a good heroic outline for a play, you may fill
up with a little love at your own discretion: in doing which, nine
times out of ten, you only make up a deficiency in the private history
of the times. Now, I rather think I have done this with some success.

SNEER.
No scandal about Queen Elizabeth, I hope?

PUFF.
O Lud! no, no;—I only suppose the governor of Tilbury Fort’s daughter
to be in love with the son of the Spanish admiral.

SNEER.
Oh, is that all!

DANGLE.
Excellent, i’faith! I see at once. But won’t this appear rather
improbable?

PUFF.
To be sure it will—but what the plague! a play is not to show
occurrences that happen every day, but things just so strange, that
though they never did, they might happen.

SNEER.
Certainly nothing is unnatural, that is not physically impossible.

PUFF.
Very true—and for that matter Don Ferolo Whiskerandos, for that’s the
lover’s name, might have been over here in the train of the Spanish
ambassador, or Tilburina, for that is the lady’s name, might have been
in love with him, from having heard his character, or seen his picture;
or from knowing that he was the last man in the world she ought to be
in love with—or for any other good female reason.—However; sir, the
fact is, that though she is but a knight’s daughter, egad! she is in
love like any princess!

DANGLE.
Poor young lady! I feel for her already! for I can conceive how great
the conflict must be between her passion and her duty; her love for her
country, and her love for Don Ferolo Whiskerandos!

PUFF.
Oh, amazing!—her poor susceptible heart is swayed to and fro by
contending passions like—

_Enter_ UNDER PROMPTER.

UNDER PROMPTER.
Sir, the scene is set, and everything is ready to begin, if you please.

PUFF.
Egad, then we’ll lose no time.

UNDER PROMPTER.
Though, I believe, sir, you will find it very short, for all the
performers have profited by the kind permission you granted them.

PUFF.
Hey! what?

UNDER PROMPTER.
You know, sir, you gave them leave to cut out or omit whatever they
found heavy or unnecessary to the plot, and I must own they have taken
very liberal advantage of your indulgence.

PUFF.
Well, well.—They are in general very good judges, and I know I am
luxuriant.—Now, Mr. Hopkins, as soon as you please.

UNDER PROMPTER.
[_To the_ Orchestra.] Gentlemen, will you play a few bars of something,
just to—

PUFF.
Ay, that’s right; for as we have the scenes and dresses, egad, we’ll go
to’t, as if it was the first night’s performance,—but you need not mind
stopping between the acts— [_Exit_ UNDER PROMPTER.—Orchestra _play—then
the bell rings_.] Soh! stand clear; gentlemen. Now you know there will
be a cry of down! down!—Hats off!—Silence!—Then up curtain, and let us
see what our painters have done for us. [_Curtain rises_.]

SCENE II.—_Tilbury Fort_. _Two_ SENTINELS _discovered asleep_.

DANGLE.
Tilbury Fort!—very fine indeed!

PUFF.
Now, what do you think I open with?

SNEER.
Faith, I can’t guess—

PUFF.
A clock.—Hark!—[_Clock strikes_.] I open with a clock striking, to
beget an awful attention in the audience: it also marks the time, which
is four o’clock in the morning, and saves a description of the rising
sun, and a great deal about gilding the eastern hemisphere.

DANGLE.
But pray, are the sentinels to be asleep?

PUFF.
Fast as watchmen.

SNEER.
Isn’t that odd though at such an alarming crisis?

PUFF.
To be sure it is,—but smaller things must give way to a striking scene
at the opening; that’s a rule. And the case is, that two great men are
coming to this very spot to begin the piece; now it is not to be
supposed they would open their lips, if these fellows were watching
them; so, egad, I must either have sent them off their posts, or set
them asleep.

SNEER.
Oh, that accounts for it. But tell us, who are these coming?

PUFF.
These are they—Sir Walter Raleigh, and Sir Christopher Hatton. You’ll
know Sir Christopher by his turning out his toes—famous, you know, for
his dancing. I like to preserve all the little traits of character.—Now
attend. _Enter_ SIR WALTER RALEIGH and SIR CHRISTOPHER HATTON.

SIR CHRISTOPHER HATTON.
True, gallant Raleigh!

DANGLE.
What, they had been talking before?

PUFF.
O yes; all the way as they came along.—[To the actors.] I beg pardon,
gentlemen, but these are particular friends of mine, whose remarks may
be of great service to us.—[_To_ SNEER _and_ DANGLE.] Don’t mind
interrupting them whenever anything strikes you. _Sir Christ_.

TRUE, GALLANT RALEIGH
But oh, thou champion of thy country’s fame,
There is a question which I yet must ask
A question which I never ask’d before—
What mean these mighty armaments?
This general muster? and this throng of chiefs?

SNEER.
Pray, Mr. Puff, how came Sir Christopher Hatton never to ask that
question before?

PUFF.
What before the play began?-how the plague could he?

DANGLE.
That’s true, i’faith!

PUFF.
But you will hear what he thinks of the matter.

SIR CHRISTOPHER HATTON.
Alas I my noble friend, when I behold
Yon tented plains in martial symmetry
Array’d; when I count o’er yon glittering lines
Of crested warriors, where the proud steeds’ neigh,
And valour-breathing trumpet’s shrill appeal,
Responsive vibrate on my listening ear;
When virgin majesty herself I view,
Like her protecting Pallas, veil’d in steel,
With graceful confidence exhort to arms!
When, briefly, all I hear or see bears stamp
Of martial vigilance and stern defence,
I cannot but surmise—forgive, my friend,
If the conjecture’s rash—I cannot but
Surmise the state some danger apprehends!

SNEER.
A very cautious conjecture that.

PUFF.
Yes, that’s his character; not to give an opinion but on secure
grounds.—Now then.

SIR WALTER RALEIGH.
O most accomplish’d Christopher!—

PUFF.
He calls him by his Christian name, to show that they are on the most
familiar terms.

SIR WALTER RALEIGH.
O most accomplish’d Christopher! I find Thy staunch sagacity still
tracks the future, In the fresh print of the o’ertaken past.

PUFF.
Figurative!

SIR WALTER RALEIGH.
Thy fears are just.

SIR CHRISTOPHER HATTON.
But where? whence? when? and what The danger is,—methinks I fain would
learn.

SIR WALTER RALEIGH.
You know, my friend, scarce two revolving suns, And three revolving
moons, have closed their course Since haughty Philip, in despite of
peace, With hostile hand hath struck at England’s trade.

SIR CHRISTOPHER HATTON.
I know it well.

SIR WALTER RALEIGH.
Philip, you know, is proud Iberia’s king!

SIR CHRISTOPHER HATTON.
He is.

SIR WALTER RALEIGH.
His subjects in base bigotry And Catholic oppression held;-while we,
You know, the Protestant persuasion hold.

SIR CHRISTOPHER HATTON.
We do.

SIR WALTER RALEIGH.
You know, beside, his boasted armament, The famed Armada, by the Pope
baptized, With purpose to invade these realms—

SIR CHRISTOPHER HATTON.
Is sailed, Our last advices so report.

SIR WALTER RALEIGH.
While the Iberian admiral’s chief hope, His darling son—

SIR CHRISTOPHER HATTON.
Ferolo Whiskerandos hight—

SIR WALTER RALEIGH.
The same—by chance a prisoner hath been ta’en, And in this fort of
Tilbury—

SIR CHRISTOPHER HATTON.
Is now Confined—’tis true, and oft from yon tall turret’s top I’ve
mark’d the youthful Spaniard’s haughty mien Unconquer’d, though in
chains.

SIR WALTER RALEIGH.
You also know—Dang. Mr. Puff, as he knows all this, why does Sir Walter
go on telling him?

PUFF.
But the audience are not supposed to know any-thing of the matter, are
they? Sneer. True; but I think you manage ill: for there certainly
appears no reason why Sir Walter should be so communicative.

PUFF.
’Fore Gad, now, that is one of the most ungrateful observations I ever
heard!—for the less inducement he has to tell all this, the more, I
think, you ought to be obliged to him; for I am sure you’d know nothing
of the matter without it.

DANGLE.
That’s very true, upon my word.

PUFF.
But you will find he was not going on. _Sir Christ_.
Enough, enough—’tis plain—and I no more Am in amazement lost!—

PUFF.
Here, now you see, Sir Christopher did not in fact ask any one question
for his own information.

SNEER.
No, indeed: his has been a most disinterested curiosity!

DANGLE.
Really, I find that we are very much obliged to them both.

PUFF.
To be sure you are. Now then for the commander-in-chief, the Earl of
Leicester, who, you know, was no favourite but of the queen’s.—We left
off—_in amazement lost!_ _Sir Christ_.
Am in amazement lost. But, see where noble Leicester comes supreme in
honours and command.

SIR WALTER RALEIGH.
And yet, methinks, At such a time, so perilous, so fear’d, That staff
might well become an abler grasp.

SIR CHRISTOPHER HATTON.
And so, by Heaven! think I; but soft, he’s here!

PUFF.
Ay, they envy him!

SNEER.
But who are these with him?

PUFF.
Oh! very valiant knights: one is the governor of the fort, the other
the master of the horse. And now, I think, you shall hear some better
language: I was obliged to be plain and intelligible in the first
scene, because there was so much matter of fact in it; but now,
i’faith, you have trope, figure, and metaphor, as plenty as
noun-substantives. _Enter_ EARL OF LEICESTER, GOVERNOR, MASTER OF THE
HORSE, KNIGHTS, &c.

EARL OF LEICESTER.
How’s this, my friends! is’t thus your new-fledged zeal,
And plumed valour moulds in roosted sloth?
Why dimly glimmers that heroic flame,
Whose reddening blaze, by patriot spirit fed,
Should be the beacon of a kindling realm?
Can the quick current of a patriot heart
Thus stagnate in a cold and weedy converse,
Or freeze in tideless inactivity?
No! rather let the fountain of your valour
Spring through each stream of enterprise,
Each petty channel of conducive daring,
Till the full torrent of your foaming wrath
O’erwhelm the flats of sunk hostility!

PUFF.
There it is—followed up! _Sir Walt_.

No more!—the freshening breath of thy rebuke
Hath fill’d the swelling canvas of our souls!
And thus, though fate should cut the cable of
[_All take hands._]
Our topmost hopes, in friendship’s closing line
We’ll grapple with despair, and if we fall,
We’ll fall in glory’s wake!

EARL OF LEICESTER.
There spoke old England’s genius!
Then, are we all resolved?

ALL.
We are—all resolved.

EARL OF LEICESTER.
To conquer—or be free?

ALL.
To conquer, or be free.

EARL OF LEICESTER.
All?

ALL.
All.

DANGLE.
_Nem. con_. egad!

PUFF.
O yes!—where they do agree on the stage, their unanimity is wonderful!

EARL OF LEICESTER.
Then let’s embrace—and now—[_Kneels._

SNEER.
What the plague, is he going to pray?

PUFF.
Yes; hush!—in great emergencies, there Is nothing like a prayer.

EARL OF LEICESTER.
O mighty Mars!

DANGLE.
But why should he pray to Mars?

PUFF.
Hush!

EARL OF LEICESTER.
If in thy homage bred,
Each point of discipline I’ve still observed;
Nor but by due promotion, and the right
Of service, to the rank of major-general
Have risen; assist thy votary now!

GOVERNOR.
Yet do not rise—hear me! [_Kneels._]

MASTER OF THE HORSE.
And me! [_Kneels._]

KNIGHT.
And me! [_Kneels._]

SIR WALTER RALEIGH.
And me! [_Kneels._]

SIR CHRISTOPHER HATTON.
And me! [_Kneels._]

PUFF.
Now pray altogether.

ALL.
Behold thy votaries submissive beg,
That thou wilt deign to grant them all they ask;
Assist them to accomplish all their ends,
And sanctify whatever means they use
To gain them!

SNEER.
A very orthodox quintetto!

PUFF.
Vastly well, gentlemen!—Is that well managed or not? Have you such a
prayer as that on the stage?

SNEER.
Not exactly.

EARL OF LEICESTER.
[_To_ PUFF.] But, sir, you haven’t settled how we are to get off here.

PUFF.
You could not go off kneeling, could you?

SIR WALTER RALEIGH.
[_To_ PUFF.] O no, sir; impossible!

PUFF.
It would have a good effect i’faith, if you could exeunt praying!—Yes,
and would vary the established mode of springing off with a glance at
the pit.

SNEER.
Oh, never mind, so as you get them off!—I’ll answer for it, the
audience won’t care how.

PUFF.
Well, then, repeat the last line standing, and go off the old way.
_All_.
And sanctify whatever means we use To gain them. [_Exeunt_.]

DANGLE.
Bravo! a fine exit.

SNEER.
Well, really, Mr. Puff—

PUFF.
Stay a moment! _The_ SENTINELS _get up._

FIRST SENTINEL.
All this shall to Lord Burleigh’s ear.

SECOND SENTINEL.
’Tis meet it should. [_Exeunt_.]

DANGLE.
Hey!—why, I thought those fellows had been asleep?

PUFF.
Only a pretence; there’s the art of it: they were spies of Lord
Burleigh’s.

SNEER.
But isn’t it odd they never were taken notice of, not even by the
commander-in-chief?

PUFF.
O Lud, sir! if people who want to listen, or overhear, were not always
connived at in a tragedy, there would be no carrying on any plot in the
world.

DANGLE.
That’s certain.

PUFF.
But take care, my dear Dangle! the morning gun is going to fire.
[_Cannon fires_.]

DANGLE.
Well, that will have a fine effect!

PUFF.
I think so, and helps to realize the scene.—[_Cannon twice_.] What the
plague! three morning guns! there never is but one!—Ay, this is always
the way at the theatre: give these fellows a good thing, and they never
know when to have done with it.—You have no more cannon to fire?

UNDER PROMPTER.
[_Within_.] No, sir.

PUFF.
Now, then, for soft music.

SNEER.
Pray, what’s that for?

PUFF.
It shows that Tilburina is coming!—nothing introduces you a heroine
like soft music. Here she comes!

DANGLE.
And her confidant, I suppose?

PUFF.
To be sure! Here they are—inconsolable to the minuet in Ariadne! [Soft
music.] _Enter_ TILNURINA _and_ CONFIDANT.

TILNURINA.
Now has the whispering breath of gentle morn
Bid Nature’s voice and Nature’s beauty rise;
While orient Phoebus, with unborrow’d hues,
Clothes the waked loveliness which all night slept
In heavenly drapery I Darkness is fled.
Now flowers unfold their beauties to the sun,
And, blushing, kiss the beam he sends to wake them—
The striped carnation, and the guarded rose,
The vulgar wallflower, and smart gillyflower,
The polyanthus mean—the dapper daisy,
Sweet-William, and sweet marjoram—and all
The tribe of single and of double pinks!
Now, too, the feather’d warblers tune their notes
Around, and charm the listening grove. The lark!
The linnet! chaffinch! bullfinch! goldfinch! greenfinch!
But O, to me no joy can they afford!
Nor rose, nor wallflower, nor smart gillyflower,
Nor polyanthus mean, nor dapper daisy,
Nor William sweet, nor marjoram—nor lark,
Linnet nor all the finches of the grove!

PUFF.
Your white handkerchief, madam!—

TILNURINA.
I thought, sir, I wasn’t to use that till _heart-rending woe_.

PUFF.
O yes, madam, at _the finches of the grove_, if you please.

TILNURINA.
Nor lark,
Linnet, nor all the finches of the grove! [Weeps.]

PUFF.
Vastly well, madam! _Dang_.
Vastly well, indeed!

TILNURINA.
For, O, too sure, heart-rending woe is now
The lot of wretched Tilburina!

CONFIDANT.
Oh!—it’s too much.

SNEER.
Oh!—it is indeed.

PUFF.
Be comforted, sweet lady; for who knows,
But Heaven has yet some milk-white day in store?

TILNURINA.
Alas! my gentle Nora, Thy tender youth as yet hath never mourn’d Love’s
fatal dart. Else wouldst thou know, that when The soul is sunk in
comfortless despair, It cannot taste of merriment.

DANGLE.
That’s certain. _Con_.
But see where your stern father comes It is not meet that he should
find you thus.

PUFF.
Hey, what the plague!—what a cut is here! Why, what is become of the
description of her first meeting with Don Whiskerandos—his gallant
behaviour in the sea-fight—and the simile of the canary-bird?

TILNURINA.
Indeed, sir, you’ll find they will not be missed.

PUFF.
Very well, very well!

TILNURINA.
[_To_ CONFIDANT.] The cue, ma’am, if you please.

CONFIDANT.
It is not meet that he should find you thus.

TILNURINA.
Thou counsel’st right; but ’tis no easy task For barefaced grief to
wear a mask of joy.

_Enter_. GOVERNOR.

GOVERNOR.
How’s this!—in tears?—O Tilburina, shame! Is this a time for maudling
tenderness, And Cupid’s baby woes?—Hast thou not heard That haughty
Spain’s pope-consecrated fleet Advances to our shores, while England’s
fate, Like a clipp’d guinea, trembles in the scale?

TILNURINA.
Then is the crisis of my fate at hand! I see the fleets approach—I see—

PUFF.
Now, pray, gentlemen, mind. This is one of the most useful figures we
tragedy writers have, by which a hero or heroine, in consideration of
their being often obliged to overlook things that are on the stage, is
allowed to hear and see a number of things that are not.

SNEER.
Yes; a kind of poetical second-sight!

PUFF.
Yes.—Now then, madam. _Tilb_.
I see their decks Are clear’d!—I see the signal made! The line is
form’d!—a cable’s length asunder! I see the frigates station’d in the
rear; And now, I hear the thunder of the guns! I hear the victor’s
shouts—I also hear The vanquish’d groan!—and now ’tis smoke-and now I
see the loose sails shiver in the wind! I see—I see—what soon you’ll
see—

GOVERNOR.
Hold, daughter! peace! this love hath turn’d thy brain The Spanish
fleet thou canst not see—because—It is not yet in sight!

DANGLE.
Egad, though, the governor seems to make no allowance for this poetical
figure you talk of.

PUFF.
No, a plain matter-of-fact man;—that’s his character. _Tilb_.
But will you then refuse his offer?

GOVERNOR.
I must—I will—I can—I ought—I do.

TILNURINA.
Think what a noble price.

GOVERNOR.
No more—you urge in vain.

TILNURINA.
His liberty is all he asks.

SNEER.
All who asks, Mr. Puff? Who is—

PUFF.
Egad, sir, I can’t tell! Here has been such cutting and slashing, I
don’t know where they have got to myself.

TILNURINA.
Indeed, sir, you will find it will connect very well. —And your reward
secure.

PUFF.
Oh, if they hadn’t been so devilish free with their cutting here, you
would have found that Don Whiskerandos has been tampering for his
liberty, and has persuaded Tilburina to make this proposal to her
father. And now, pray observe the conciseness with which the argument
is conducted. Egad, the _pro_ and _con_ goes as smart as hits in a
fencing match. It is indeed a sort of small-sword-logic, which we have
borrowed from the French.

TILNURINA.
A retreat in Spain!

GOVERNOR.
Outlawry here!

TILNURINA.
Your daughter’s prayer!

GOVERNOR.
Your father’s oath!

TILNURINA.
My lover!

GOVERNOR.
My country!

TILNURINA.
Tilburina!

GOVERNOR.
England!

TILNURINA.
A title!

GOVERNOR.
Honour!

TILNURINA.
A pension!

GOVERNOR.
Conscience!

TILNURINA.
A thousand pounds!

GOVERNOR.
Ha! thou hast touch’d me nearly!

PUFF.
There you see-she threw in _Tilburina_.
Quick, parry Carte with _England_! Ha! thrust in tierce _a
title_!—parried by _honour_.
Ha! _a pension_ over the arm!—put by by _conscience_.
Then flankonade with _a thousand pounds_—and a palpable hit, egad!

TILNURINA.
Canst thou—Reject the suppliant, and the daughter too?

GOVERNOR.
No more; I would not hear thee plead in vain: The father softens—but
the governor Is fix’d! [_Exit_.]

DANGLE.
Ay, that antithesis of persons is a most established figure.

TILNURINA.
’Tis well,—hence then, fond hopes,—fond passion hence; Duty, behold I
am all over thine—

DON FEROLO WHISKERANDOS.
[_Without_.] Where is my love—my—

TILNURINA.
Ha!

_Enter_ DON FEROLO WHISKERANDOS.

DON FEROLO WHISKERANDOS.
My beauteous enemy!—

PUFF.
O dear, ma’am, you must start a great deal more than that! Consider,
you had just determined in favour of duty—when, in a moment, the sound
of his voice revives your passion—overthrows your resolution—destroys
your obedience. If you don’t express all that in your start, you do
nothing at all.

TILNURINA.
Well, we’ll try again.

DANGLE.
Speaking from within has always a fine effect.

SNEER.
Very.

DON FEROLO WHISKERANDOS.
My conquering Tilburina! How! is’t thus We meet? why are thy looks
averse? what means That falling tear—that frown of boding woe? Ha! now
indeed I am a prisoner! Yes, now I feel the galling weight of these
Disgraceful chains—which, cruel Tilburina! Thy doting captive gloried
in before.—But thou art false, and Whiskerandos is undone!

TILNURINA.
O no! how little dost thou know thy Tilburina!

DON FEROLO WHISKERANDOS.
Art thou then true?—Begone cares, doubts, and fears, I make you all a
present to the winds; And if the winds reject you—try the waves.

PUFF.
The wind, you know, is the established receiver of all stolen sighs,
and cast-off griefs and apprehensions.

TILNURINA.
Yet must we part!—stern duty seals our doom Though here I call yon
conscious clouds to witness, Could I pursue the bias of my soul, All
friends, all right of parents, I’d disclaim, And thou, my Whiskerandos,
shouldst be father And mother, brother, cousin, uncle, aunt, And friend
to me!

DON FEROLO WHISKERANDOS.
Oh, matchless excellence! and must we part? Well, if—we must—we
must—and in that case The less is said the better.

PUFF.
Heyday! here’s a cut!—What, are all the mutual protestations out?

TILNURINA.
Now, pray, sir, don’t interrupt us just here: you ruin our feelings.

PUFF.
Your feelings!—but, zounds, my feelings, ma’am!

SNEER.
No, pray don’t interrupt them. _Whisk_.
One last embrace.

TILNURINA.
Now,—farewell, for ever.

DON FEROLO WHISKERANDOS.
For ever!

TILNURINA.
Ay, for ever! [_Going_.]

PUFF.
’Sdeath and fury!—Gad’s life!—sir! madam! if you go out without the
parting look, you might as well dance out. Here, here!

CONFIDANT.
But pray, sir, how am I to get off here?

PUFF.
You! pshaw! what the devil signifies how you get off! edge away at the
top, or where you will—[_Pushes the_ CONFIDANT _off_.] Now, ma’am, you
see—

TILNURINA.
We understand you, sir. Ay, for ever.

BOTH.
Oh! [_Turning back, and exeunt.—Scene closes_.]

DANGLE.
Oh, charming!

PUFF.
Hey!—’tis pretty well, I believe: you see I don’t attempt to strike out
anything new—but I take it I improve on the established modes.

SNEER.
You do, indeed! But pray is not Queen Elizabeth to appear?

PUFF.
No, not once—but she is to be talked of for ever; so that, egad, you’ll
think a hundred times that she is on the point of coming in.

SNEER.
Hang it, I think it’s a pity to keep her in the green-room all the
night.

PUFF.
O no, that always has a fine effect—it keeps up expectation.

DANGLE.
But are we not to have a battle?

PUFF.
Yes, yes, you will have a battle at last: but, egad, it’s not to be by
land, but by sea—and that is the only quite new thing in the piece.

DANGLE.
What, Drake at the Armada, hey?

PUFF.
Yes, i’faith—fire-ships and all; then we shall end with the procession.
Hey, that will do, I think?,

SNEER.
No doubt on’t.

PUFF.
Come, we must not lose time; so now for the under-plot.

SNEER.
What the plague, have you another plot?

PUFF.
O Lord, yes; ever while you live have two plots to your tragedy. The
grand point in managing them is only to let your under-plot have as
little connection with your main-plot as possible.—I flatter myself
nothing can be more distinct than mine; for as in my chief plot the
characters are all great people, I have laid my under-plot in low life,
and as the former is to end in deep distress, I make the other end as
happy as a farce.—Now, Mr. Hopkins, as soon as you please.

_Enter_ UNDER PROMPTER.

UNDER PROMPTER.
Sir, the carpenter says it is impossible you can go to the park scene
yet.

PUFF.
The park scene! no! I mean the description scene here, in the wood.

UNDER PROMPTER.
Sir, the performers have cut it out.

PUFF.
Cut it out!

UNDER PROMPTER.
Yes, sir.

PUFF.
What! the whole account of Queen Elizabeth?

UNDER PROMPTER.
Yes, sir.

PUFF.
And the description of her horse and side-saddle?

UNDER PROMPTER.
Yes, sir.

PUFF.
So, so; this is very fine indeed!—Mr. Hopkins, how the plague could you
suffer this?

_Mr. Hop_.
[_Within._] Sir, indeed the pruning-knife—

PUFF.
The pruning-knife—zounds!—the axe! Why, here has been such lopping and
topping, I shan’t have the bare trunk of my play left presently!—Very
well, sir—the performers must do as they please; but, upon my soul,
I’ll print it every word.

SNEER.
That I would, indeed.

PUFF.
Very well, sir; then we must go on.—Zounds! I would not have parted
with the description of the horse!—Well, sir, go on.—Sir, it was one of
the finest and most laboured things.—Very well, sir; let them go
on.—There you had him and his accoutrements, from the bit to the
crupper.—Very well, sir; we must go to the park scene.

UNDER PROMPTER.
Sir, there is the point: the carpenters say, that unless there is some
business put in here before the drop, they sha’n’t have time to clear
away the fort, or sink Gravesend and the river.

PUFF.
So! this is a pretty dilemma, truly!—Gentlemen, you must excuse
me—these fellows will never be ready, unless I go and look after them
myself.

SNEER.
O dear, sir, these little things will happen.

PUFF.
To cut out this scene!—but I’ll print it—egad, I’ll print it every
word! [_Exeunt_.]



ACT III.

SCENE I.—_The Theatre, before the curtain._

_Enter_ PUFF, SNEER, _and_ DANGLE.

PUFF.
Well, we are ready; now then for the justices. [_Curtain rises._]
JUSTICES, CONSTABLES, &c., _discovered_.

SNEER.
This, I suppose, is a sort of senate scene.

PUFF.
To be sure; there has not been one yet.

DANGLE.
It is the under-plot, isn’t it?

PUFF.
Yes.—What, gentlemen, do you mean to go at once to the discovery scene?

JUSTICE.
If you please, sir.

PUFF.
Oh, very well!—Hark’ee, I don’t choose to say anything more; but,
i’faith they have mangled my play in a most shocking manner.

DANGLE.
It’s a great pity!

PUFF.
Now, then, Mr. justice, if you please.

JUSTICE.
Are all the volunteers without?

CONSTABLE.
They are. Some ten in fetters, and some twenty drunk.

JUSTICE.
Attends the youth, whose most opprobrious fame And clear convicted
crimes have stamp’d him soldier?

CONSTABLE.
He waits your pleasure; eager to repay The best reprieve that sends him
to the fields Of glory, there to raise his branded hand In honour’s
cause.

JUSTICE.
’Tis well—’tis justice arms him! Oh! may he now defend his country’s
laws With half the spirit he has broke them all! If ’tis your worship’s
pleasure, bid him enter.

CONSTABLE.
I fly, the herald of your will. [_Exit._]

PUFF.
Quick, sir.

SNEER.
But, Mr. Puff, I think not only the justice, but the clown seems to
talk in as high a style as the first hero among them.

PUFF.
Heaven forbid they should not in a free country!—Sir, I am not for
making slavish distinctions, and giving all the fine language to the
upper sort of people.

DANGLE.
That’s very noble in you, indeed. _Enter_ JUSTICE’S LADY.

PUFF.
Now, pray mark this scene. _Lady_ Forgive this interruption, good my
love; But as I just now pass’d a prisoner youth, Whom rude hands hither
lead, strange bodings seized My fluttering heart, and to myself I said,
An’ if our Tom had lived, he’d surely been This stripling’s height!

JUSTICE.
Ha! sure some powerful sympathy directs Us both—

_Enter_ CONSTABLE _with_ SON. What is thy name?

SON.
My name is Tom Jenkins—_alias_ have I none—Though orphan’d, and without
a friend!

JUSTICE.
Thy parents?

SON.
My father dwelt in Rochester—and was, As I have heard—a fishmonger—no
more.

PUFF.
What, sir, do you leave out the account of your birth, parentage, and
education?

SON.
They have settled it so, sir, here.

PUFF.
Oh! oh! _Lady_.
How loudly nature whispers to my heart Had he no other name?

SON.
I’ve seen a bill Of his sign’d Tomkins, creditor.

JUSTICE.
This does indeed confirm each circumstance The gipsy told!—Prepare!

SON.
I do.

JUSTICE.
No orphan, nor without a friend art thou—I am thy father; here’s thy
mother; there Thy uncle—this thy first cousin, and those are all your
near relations!

JUSTICE’S LADY.
O ecstasy of bliss!

SON.
O most unlook’d for happiness!

JUSTICE.
O wonderful event! [_They faint alternately in each other’s arms_.]

PUFF.
There, you see, relationship, like murder, will out.

JUSTICE.
Now let’s revive—else were this joy too much! But come—and we’ll unfold
the rest within; And thou, my boy, must needs want rest and food. Hence
may each orphan hope, as chance directs, To find a father—where he
least expects! [_Exeunt_.]

PUFF.
What do you think of that?

DANGLE.
One of the finest discovery-scenes I ever saw!—Why, this under-plot
would have made a tragedy itself.

SNEER.
Ay! or a comedy either.

PUFF.
And keeps quite clear you see of the other. _Enter_ SCENEMEN, _taking
away the seats_.

PUFF.
The scene remains, does it?

SCENEMAN.
Yes, sir.

PUFF.
You are to leave one chair, you know.—But it is always awkward in a
tragedy, to have your fellows coming in in your play-house liveries to
remove things.—I wish that could be managed better.—So now for my
mysterious yeoman. _Enter_ BEEFEATER.

BEEFEATER.
Perdition catch my soul, but I do love thee.

SNEER.
Haven’t I heard that line before?

PUFF.
No, I fancy not.—Where, pray?

DANGLE.
Yes, I think there is something like it in Othello.

PUFF.
Gad! now you put me in mind on’t, I believe there is—but that’s of no
consequence; all that can be said is, that two people happened to hit
upon the same thought—and Shakspeare made use of it first, that’s all.

SNEER.
Very true.

PUFF.
Now, sir, your soliloquy—but speak more to the pit, if you please—the
soliloquy always to the pit, that’s a rule.

BEEFEATER.
Though hopeless love finds comfort in despair, It never can endure a
rival’s bliss! But soft—I am observed. [_Exit_.]

DANGLE.
That’s a very short soliloquy.

PUFF.
Yes—but it would have been a great deal longer if he had not been
observed.

SNEER.
A most sentimental Beefeater that, Mr. Puff!

PUFF.
Hark’ee—I would not have you be too sure that he is a Beefeater.

SNEER.
What, a hero in disguise?

PUFF.
No matter—I only give you a hint. But now for my principal character.
Here he comes—Lord Burleigh in person! Pray, gentlemen, step this
way—softly—I only hope the Lord High Treasurer is perfect—if he is but
perfect! _Enter_ LORD BURLEIGH, _goes slowly to a chair, and sits._

SNEER.
Mr. Puff!

PUFF.
Hush!—Vastly well, sir! vastly well! a most interesting gravity.

DANGLE.
What, isn’t he to speak at all?

PUFF.
Egad, I thought you’d ask me that!—Yes, it is a very likely thing—that
a minister in his situation, with the whole affairs of the nation on
his head, should have time to talk!—But hush! or you’ll put him out.

SNEER.
Put him out; how the plague can that be, if he’s not going to say
anything?

PUFF.
There’s the reason! why, his part is to think; and how the plague do
you imagine he can think if you keep talking?

DANGLE.
That’s very true, upon my word! LORD BURLEIGH _comes forward, shakes
his head, and exit_.

SNEER.
He is very perfect indeed! Now, pray what did he mean by that?

PUFF.
You don’t take it?

SNEER.
No, I don’t, upon my soul.

PUFF.
Why, by that shake of the head, he gave you to understand that even
though they had more justice in their cause, and wisdom in their
measures—yet, if there was not a greater spirit shown on the part of
the people, the country would at last fall a sacrifice to the hostile
ambition of the Spanish monarchy.

SNEER.
The devil! did he mean all that by shaking his head?

PUFF.
Every word of it—if he shook his head as I taught him.

DANGLE.
Ah! there certainly is a vast deal to be done on the stage by dumb show
and expressions of face; and a judicious author knows how much he may
trust to it.

SNEER.
Oh, here are some of our old acquaintance. _Enter_ SIR CHRISTOPHER
HATTON _and_ SIR WALTER RALEIGH.

SIR CHRISTOPHER HATTON.
My niece and your niece too! By Heaven! there’s witchcraft in’t.—He
could not else Have gain’d their hearts.—But see where they approach
Some horrid purpose lowering on their brows!

SIR WALTER RALEIGH.
Let us withdraw and mark them. [_They withdraw_.]

SNEER.
What is all this?

PUFF.
Ah! here has been more pruning!—but the fact is, these two young ladies
are also in love with Don Whiskerandos.—Now, gentlemen, this scene goes
entirely for what we call situation and stage effect, by which the
greatest applause may be obtained, without the assistance of language,
sentiment, or character: pray mark! _Enter the two_ NIECES.

FIRST NIECE.
Ellena here! She is his scorn as much as I—that is Some comfort still !

PUFF.
O dear, madam, you are not to say that to her face!—Aside, ma’am,
aside.—The whole scene is to be aside. _1st Niece_.
She is his scorn as much as I—that is Some comfort still. [_Aside_.]

SECOND NIECE.
I know he prizes not Pollina’s love; But Tilburina lords it o’er his
heart. [_Aside_.]

FIRST NIECE.
But see the proud destroyer of my peace. Revenge is all the good I’ve
left. [_Aside_.]

SECOND NIECE.
He comes, the false disturber of my quiet. Now vengeance do thy worst.
[_Aside_.]

_Enter_ DON FEROLO WHISKERANDOS.

DON FEROLO WHISKERANDOS.
O hateful liberty—if thus in vain I seek my Tilburina!

BOTH NIECES.
And ever shalt! SIR CHRISTOPHER HATTON _and_ SIR WALTER RALEIGH _come
forward_.

SIR CHRISTOPHER HATTON and SIR WALTER RALEIGH.
Hold! we will avenge you.

DON FEROLO WHISKERANDOS.
Hold _you_—or see your nieces bleed! [_The two_ NIECES _draw their two
daggers to strike_ WHISKERANDOS: _the two_ UNCLES _at the instant, with
their two swords drawn, catch their two_ NIECES’ _arms, and turn the
points of their swords to_ WHISKERANDOS, _who immediately draws two
daggers, and holds them to the two_ NIECES’ _bosoms_.]

PUFF.
There’s situation for you! there’s an heroic group!—You see the ladies
can’t stab Whiskerandos—he durst not strike them, for fear of their
uncles—the uncles durst not kill him, because of their nieces.—I have
them all at a dead lock!—for every one of them is afraid to let go
first.

SNEER.
Why, then they must stand there for ever!

PUFF.
So they would, if I hadn’t a very fine contrivance for’t.—Now
mind—_Enter_ BEEFEATER, _with his halbert_.

BEEFEATER.
In the queen’s name I charge you all to drop Your swords and daggers!
[_They drop their swords and daggers_.]

SNEER.
That is a contrivance indeed!

PUFF.
Ay—in the queen’s name.

SIR CHRISTOPHER HATTON.
Come, niece!

SIR WALTER RALEIGH.
Come, niece! [_Exeunt with the two_ NIECES.]

DON FEROLO WHISKERANDOS.
What’s he, who bids us thus renounce our guard?

BEEFEATER.
Thou must do more—renounce thy love!

DON FEROLO WHISKERANDOS.
Thou liest—base Beefeater!

BEEFEATER.
Ha! hell! the lie! By Heaven thou’st roused the lion in my heart! Off,
yeoman’s habit!—base disguise! off! off! [_Discovers himself by
throwing off his upper dress, and appearing in a very fine waistcoat._]
Am I a Beefeater now? Or beams my crest as terrible as when In Biscay’s
Bay I took thy captive sloop?

PUFF.
There, egad! he comes out to be the very captain of the privateer who
had taken Whiskerandos prisoner—and was himself an old lover of
Tilburina’s.

DANGLE.
Admirably managed, indeed!

PUFF.
Now, stand out of their way. _Whisk._ I thank thee, Fortune, that hast
thus bestowed A weapon to chastise this insolent. [_Takes up one of the
swords_.]

BEEFEATER.
I take thy challenge, Spaniard, and I thank thee, Fortune, too! [_Takes
up the other sword_.]

DANGLE.
That’s excellently contrived!—It seems as if the two uncles had left
their swords on purpose for them.

PUFF.
No, egad, they could not help leaving them. _Whisk_.
Vengeance and Tilburina!

BEEFEATER.
Exactly so—[_They fight—and after the usual number of wounds given_,
WHISKERANDOS _falls_.]

DON FEROLO WHISKERANDOS.
O cursed parry!—that last thrust in tierce Was fatal.—Captain, thou
hast fenced well! And Whiskerandos quits this bustling scene For all
eter—

BEEFEATER.
—nity—he would have added, but stern death Cut short his being, and the
noun at once!

PUFF.
Oh, my dear sir, you are too slow: now mind me.—Sir, shall I trouble
you to die again? _Whisk_.
And Whiskerandos quits this bustling scene For all eter—

BEEFEATER.
—nity—he would have added,—

PUFF.
No, sir—that’s not it—once more, if you please.

DON FEROLO WHISKERANDOS.
I wish, sir, you would practise this without me—I can’t stay dying here
all night.

PUFF.
Very well; we’ll go over it by-and-by.—[_Exit_ WHISKERANDOS.] I must
humour these gentlemen! _Beef_.
Farewell, brave Spaniard! and when next—

PUFF.
Dear sir, you needn’t speak that speech, as the body has walked off.

BEEFEATER.
That’s true, sir—then I’ll join the fleet.

PUFF.
If you please.—[Exit BEEFEATER.] Now, who comes on? _Enter_ GOVERNOR,
_with his hair properly disordered_.

GOVERNOR.
A hemisphere of evil planets reign! And every planet sheds contagious
frenzy! My Spanish prisoner is slain! my daughter, Meeting the dead
corse borne along, has gone Distract! [_A loud flourish of trumpets_.]
But hark! I am summoned to the fort: Perhaps the fleets have met!
amazing crisis! O Tilburina! from thy aged father’s beard Thou’st
pluck’d the few brown hairs which time had left! [Exit.]

SNEER.
Poor gentleman!

PUFF.
Yes—and no one to blame but his daughter!

DANGLE.
And the planets—

PUFF.
True.—Now enter Tilburina!

SNEER.
Egad, the business comes on quick here.

PUFF.
Yes, sir—now she comes in stark mad in white satin.

SNEER.
Why in white satin?

PUFF.
O Lord, sir—when a heroine goes mad, she always goes into white
satin.—Don’t she, Dangle?

DANGLE.
Always—it’s a rule.

PUFF.
Yes—here it is—[_Looking at the book_.] Enter Tilburina stark mad in
white satin, and her confidant stark mad in white linen. _Enter_
TILBURINA _and_ CONFIDANT, _mad, according to custom_.

SNEER.
But, what the deuce! is the confidant to be mad too?

PUFF.
To be sure she is: the confidant is always to do whatever her mistress
does; weep when she weeps, smile when she smiles, go mad when she goes
mad.—Now, Madam Confidant—but keep your madness in the background, if
you please. _Tilb._ The wind whistles—the moon rises—see, They have
kill’d my squirrel in his cage: Is this a grasshopper?—Ha! no; it is my
Whiskerandos—you shall not keep him—I know you have him in your
pocket—An oyster may be cross’d in love!—who says A whale’s a bird?—Ha!
did you call, my love?—He’s here! he’s there!—He’s everywhere! Ah me!
he’s nowhere! [_Exit_.]

PUFF.
There, do you ever desire to see anybody madder than that?

SNEER.
Never, while I live!

PUFF.
You observed how she mangled the metre?

DANGLE.
Yes,—egad, it was the first thing made me suspect she was out of her
senses!

SNEER.
And pray what becomes of her?

PUFF.
She is gone to throw herself into the sea, to be sure—and that brings
us at once to the scene of action, and so to my catastrophe—my
sea-fight, I mean.

SNEER.
What, you bring that in at last?

PUFF.
Yes, yes—you know my play is called _The Spanish Armada_; otherwise,
egad, I have no occasion for the battle at all.—Now then for my
magnificence!—my battle!—my noise!—and my procession!—You are all
ready?

UNDER PROMPTER.
[_Within._] Yes, sir.

PUFF.
Is the Thames dressed? _Enter_ THAMES _with two_ ATTENDANTS.

_Thames_.
Here I am, sir.

PUFF.
Very well, indeed!—See, gentlemen, there’s a river for you!—This is
blending a little of the masque with my tragedy—a new fancy, you
know—and very useful in my case; for as there must be a procession, I
suppose Thames, and all his tributary rivers, to compliment Britannia
with a fête in honour of the victory.

SNEER.
But pray, who are these gentlemen in green with him?

PUFF.
Those?—those are his banks.

SNEER.
His banks?

PUFF.
Yes, one crowned with alders, and the other with a villa!—you take the
allusions?—But hey! what the plague!—you have got both your banks on
one side.—Here, sir, come round.—Ever while you live, Thames, go
between your banks.—[_Bell rings._] There; so! now for’t!—Stand aside,
my dear friends!—Away, Thames! [_Exit_ THAMES _between his banks._]
[_Flourish of drums, trumpets, cannon, &c., &c. Scene changes to the
sea—the fleets engage—the music plays—Britons strike home.—Spanish
fleet destroyed by fire-ships, &c.—English fleet advances—music plays,
Rule Britannia.—The procession of all the English rivers, and their
tributaries, with their emblems, &c., begins with Handel’s water music,
ends with a chorus to the march in Judas’ Maccabaeus.—During this
scene,_ PUFF _directs and applauds everything—then_

PUFF.
Well, pretty well—but not quite perfect. So, ladies and gentlemen, if
you please, we’ll rehearse this piece again tomorrow. [_Curtain
drops._]





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Trip to Scarborough; and, The Critic" ***

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

We also ask that you:

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

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

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

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



Home