CC4r

A Bold Stroke For a Husband.

A Comedy.

CC4v 392

The Author had hitherto confined herself within the
range of English manners; but now, for Variety, she
takes her flight to other realms, and customs differing
from our own.

This play came out in the year 17831783. Its schemes
are so numerous, that almost every Character forms a
plot. It has certainly considerable whim and fancy,
to give an air of Probablility to which, distance of Time
or distance of Place was requisite; the Author has
chosen the latter, and the Scene is laid in Spain, where
to the romantic the mind readily gives credit.

It was intended that Victoria, amiably employed in
reclaiming her Husband, and Carlos should be the
Leading Characters in this Drama, the vivacious adventures
of Julio and Olivia enlivening the serious
business in which the Moral of the Play is enforced.
This is clear from the Prologue, and from the Play
itself. On the Stage the Author’s intention ought to be
fulfilled; but, from the way in which the Comedy is
sometimes cast, that intention is controuled, the piece is
thrown into the class of comedies merely lively, and
deprived of half its Strength.

This arises from the frequent custom, whilst the most
brilliant talents of the theatre are called forth in Julio
Olivia and Minette, of allotting Carlos Victoria
and Laura to inferior performers. Yet there are situations
enough of great Interest, throughout the adventures
of Carlos and Victoria, to bear out any talents
that may be exerted in them. And no inferior performer
can do Justice to the strongly drawn character CC5r 393
of the degraded Laura; particularly in the first scene
of the Fifth Act, at the moment when she is deluded to
destroy the Deed, and thereby to preserve Victoria and
her Children from destruction.

At the Theatre generally the Third Scene of the
Third Act, to the end of the act, is omitted for brevity,
and Don Cæsar, in the Second Scene of the Fourth
Act, comes in without Marcella, and commences with
the fifth speech. Marcella, who is only introduced
by the author in these two scenes, in the latter of which
she speaks but once, and Vasquez her Father who
is only introduced in the first of them, form thus no
part of the Dramatis Personæ on the Stage. But
this causes no Confusion; for the Letter in the
Second Scene of the Fourth Act explains to the audience
every thing contained in the matter omitted. And
though old Vasquez and Marcella his Daughter are
not unentertaining in the closet, at the Theatre their absence
is advantageous; because, on account of the slight
importance of the characters, none but very inferior
performers can be expected in them, by whom the current
of the action is checked.

In their absence the adventures of Olivia and her
Lovers proceed, as they should to give them their full
effect, in one unbroken current of Vivacity

CC5v 394


Prologue.

By all my sanguine hopes, our Author cries,

Whilst expectation sparkles in her eyes,

I see none here to dread, be fear resigned,

Each man seems candid, and each woman kind.

But still, a word or two I’ll briefly say

The Bold Acts vindicating of our Play.

Of human conduct, in each varied scene,

Th’ extreme succeeds beyond the patient mean;

If eminence in Rank your bosom fires,

If merit to Preferment bold aspires,

Be not contented with the formal part,

But—“snatch a Grace beyond the Rules of art.”

Bold Strokes, by powerful Genius firmly struck,

Attract success that governs turns of Luck.

’Tis thus, we see, still England’s genius breathes,

And numerous brows are deck’d with Laurel wreathes,

Bold Hits in War are England’s loftiest pride,

View how our Heroes live—how other Heroes died!

In Vice, ’tis true Bold Hits may close renown;

The Spendthrift turned a Swindler on the town,

When Cheating fails, performs a bolder part,

And steals a Purse—a Bold Stroke for the Cart!

The Gamester, careless of each tender tie,

His last Purse ventures on a single die,

And ruined, quite impatient of the evil,

Destroys himself—a Bold Hit for the Devil!

Shall Spirit to the vicious be confined?

Shall Virtue live inactive in the mind?

CC6r 395

Our Play shall show Recovery of a heart

By one Bold Hit of female virtuous art.

A female pen calls female virtue forth,

And fairly shews to man her sex’s worth.

Did men all know what Woman’s sense can do,

How apt their wit, their constancy how true,

The Marriage vow no more would rakes revile,

To Vice, from virtue, hoping to beguile.

Husbands, beware! from Satire not exempt,

You’ll find exposed your vices to contempt;

Our sanction’d aim, to rectify the age

By bringing rising folly on the stage.

CC6v


Characters.


Don Cæsar,Mr. Quick.


Olivia, His Daughter.Mrs. Mattocks.


――Don Julio,Mr. Lewis.


――Don Vincentio, Her Lovers.Mr. Edwin.


――Don Garcia,Mr. Whitfield.


Minette,Olivia’s Servant.Mrs. Wilson.


Don Carlos,Mr. Wroughton.


Victoria, His Wife.Mrs. Robinson.


Inis, Her Servant.Miss Platt.


Laura,Mrs. Whitfield.


Pedro, Mr. Stevens.


Her Servants.


Sancha, Mrs. Davenett.


Gaspar, Don Cæsar’s Steward.Mr. Wilson.


Vasquez,Mr. Fearon.


Marcella, His Daughter.Miss Morris.


Scene.—Madrid.
CC7r 397

A Bold Stroke For a Husband.


Act the First.

Scene I.

A street in Madrid. Sancha comes out of a House, advances, then runs
back and beckons to Pedro within.

Sancha

Hist! Pedro! PedroEnter Pedro.
there he is—dost see him? just turning by St. Antony
in the Corner. Now, do you tell him that your
mistress is not at home; and, if his jealous Donship
should insist on searching the house, as he did yesterday,
say that somebody is ill—that the Black has
got a fever, or that—

Ped.

Pho! pho! get you in. Dont I know that
the Duty of a Lacquey in Madrid is to lie with a
good grace? I have been from the Country a whole
week, and have been studying nothing else the whole CC7v 398
time—I’ll defy Don or Devil to surprise me into a
Truth. Get you in, I say—here he comes. Exit Sancha. Enter Carlos.

Ped.

strutting up to himDonna Laura is not at
home, Sir!

Car.

Come, Sir, what have you received for telling
that Lie?

Ped.

Lie! lie!—Signor!

Car.

It must be a lie by your Eagerness to deliver
it. An undesigning Varlet would have waited till he
was asked; but thou bawlest that she may hear how
well thou obeyest her—“Donna Laura is not at home,
Sir!”

Ped.

Hear!—what from the Grotto to the Street!
I’m no fool!—

Car.

Ah! seizes him Sir, your ears shall soon
have more than even their natural length—if you
dont tell me who is with her in the Grotto.

Ped.

The Grotto, Sir—the Grotto Sir!—I only
meant—

Car.

Fool! dost trifle with me?—who is with her? Pinching his Ear.

Ped.

Oh!—why nobody, Sir—Cries out—only
the pretty young Gentleman’s Valet waiting for an
answer to a Letter he brought.—There! I have saved
my ears at the expense of my Place! I have worn
this fine coat but a week, and shall be turned off as
a very bad Servant, for not being able to lie completely!

Car.

If thou wilt promise to be faithful to me, I’ll
not betray thee; nor at present enter the house.

Ped.

Oh, very well Sir, then I must change my
Ally, that’s all.

Car.

How often does the pretty young Gentleman
visit her? CC8r 399

Ped.

Every day, Sir; if he misses, Madam’s stark
wild.

Car.

Where does he live?

Ped.

Truly—I know not, Sir!

Car.

How!—menacing.

Ped.

Indeed I dont—but she calls him Florio.

Car.

You must acquaint me when he is next here.

Ped.

But now—Conscience misgives me, Sir—
suppose blood should be spilt!

Car.

Promise!—or I’ll lead you by the Ears to the
Grotto.

Ped.

I promise—I promise—Oh!

Car.

There—gives him money take that. If thou
art faithful, I’ll treble it. Now, go in and be a good
lad, and—d’ye hear?—you may tell lies to every
body else, but remember, you must always speak
Truth to me.

Ped.

I will Sir—I will—upon my Conscience!

Exit— looking at the money.

Car.

’Tis well my Passion is extinguished, I can
now act with coolness. I’ll wait patiently for Discovery
—but, if ever I trust to Woman more, may
every—eh! why surely here comes my quondam
friend Julio. Enter Julio.

Julio.

Don Carlos? Yes, by all the sober gods of
Matrimony! Why what business—goodman Gravity
—canst thou have in Madrid? I understood you
were married, and quietly settled with your family
in your pastures, and—ha! ha! the instructive Companion
of Country Vine dressers.

Car.

I have forsworn the Country—left my family
—and run away from my Wife!

Julio.

What then, really, Matrimony has not totally
destroyed thy Free-will?

Car.

’Tis with Difficulty I have preserved it
though; for Women thou knowest are most unreasonable CC8v 400
beings. As soon as I had exhausted my
Stock of love tales, which, with management, lasted
beyond the honey-moon, Madam grew sullen. I
found home dull, and amused myself in the neighbourhood:
—worse and worse! we had now nothing
but Faintings, Tears, and Hysterics, for four and
twenty honey-moons more. So, one morning, I gave
her in her sleep a farewell salute, to comfort her
when she should awake, and, posting to Madrid
escaped from thraldom to bound in Freedom.

Julio.

Were it not for the clog at your heel!

Car.

Unfortunately musing in my state of Freedom,
I have contrived to hobble into a Scrape. In
that house is a woman of Beauty—who pretends to
Character and Fortune. She appeared devoted to
me—but has proved perfidious.

Julio.

Perfidious! give her to the winds.

Car.

Ah! but she holds me by Bonds Julio! I
have been a fool—a Woman’s fool. In a state of
Intoxication she wheedled, or rather cheated, me
out of a Settlement.

Julio.

Pshaw! is that all?

Car.

Oh! but you know not its extent!—a settlement
of lands that both Honour and Gratitude ought
to have preserved sacred from such base alienation.
In short, if I cannot recover them I am a ruined
man!

Julio.

Why, in your attempt at Freedom, you have
got a worse clog than t’other!—Poor Carlos! so bewived
and be—

Car.

Prithee have compassion! Enter Servant with a Letter to Julio, who reads it,
and nods to the Servant, who goes out.

Car.

An Appointment I’ll be sworn, by that
double air of Mystery and Satisfaction. Come, be
friendly, and communicate. DD1r 401

Julio.

Putting up the Letter You are married
Carlos!—that’s all I have to say—you are married.

Car.

Pho! that’s past, and ought to be forgotten.

Julio.

The time has been, when thou might’st
have been entrusted with such a dear secret: when
I might have opened the billet, and feasted thee
with the sweet meandering lines at the bottom which
form her name, when—

Car.

What, ’tis from a Woman then?

Julio.

It is.

Car.

Handsome?

Julio.

Humph! not absolutely handsome; but
she’ll pass with one who has not had his taste spoilt
by—Matrimony.

Car.

Malicious dog!—Is she young?

Julio.

Why—under twenty—fair Complexion,
azure eyes, red lips, teeth of pearl, polished neck,
fine turn’d shape, graceful—

Car.

Hold, Julio, if thou lov’st me!—Is it possible
she can be so bewitching a creature?

Julio.

’Tis possible for any thing I know to the
contrary; for I never saw her. But, Hope is in me
so vivid—that I could fancy that, and ten times more.

Car.

What star does she inhabit?

Julio.

Irradiate, thou should’st have said, after
such a description;—but, in truth, I know not. My
orders are to be in waiting at Eight at the Prado.

Car.

Prado! Why Julio can’t you take me with
you? for, though I have forsworn the sex myself,
yet I may be of use to you, against some jealous Rival,
you know.

Julio.

Why as you are a poor woe-begone married
mortal, I’ll have compassion and suffer thee to come.

Car.

Then, I am a man again! Wife, avaunt!
Mistress, farewell!—At Eight you say?

Julio.

Exactly.

Car.

The Ghost of what I was—I’ll meet thee at
Philippi!

Exeunt, severally.
Vol. I. DD DD1v 402

Scene II.


A spacious garden, belonging to Don Cæsar.
Enter Minette, and Inis.

Min.

There, will that do, Inis? My Lady sent me
to make up a Nosegay. The Orange flowers, how
sweet?

Inis.

Poh! What signifies wearing sweets outside
her Bosom, unless they could sweeten her Temper
within? ’Tis amazing you can be so much at your
ease; one might think your Lady’s tongue, Minette,
was a Lute, and her morning scolds an agreeable
serenade.

Min.

So they are—Custom you know. I have
been used to her music now these two years, and I
dont believe I could relish my breakfast without it.

Inis.

I would rather never break my fast, than do
it on such terms.—What a difference between your
mistress and mine! Donna Victoria is as much too
gentle, as her cousin is too harsh.

Min.

Aye, and you see what she gets by it. Had
she been more spirited, her husband would not have
forsaken her.—Men enlisted into matrimony, like
those in the King’s service, will now and then run
away—if Fear does not keep them in dread of desertion.

Inis.

If making a husband afraid is the way to keep
him faithful, I believe your Lady will be the happiest
wife in Spain.

Min.

Ha! ha! ha!—how people may be deceived!
—nay, how people are deceived!—but time will discover
all things.

Inis.

What!—what is there a Secret in the business
Minette? if there is—hang time, let’s have it
immediately. DD2r 403

Min.

Now, if I dared tell you—lud! lud! how I
could surprise ye— Going.

Inis.

Stopping her.—Dont go!

Min.

I must! I am on the very brink of betraying
my Mistress. I must leave you. Mercy upon
me! it rises like new bread.

Inis.

If you stir till I know all—I hope it will
choak ye!

Min.

Will you never breathe a Syllable?

Inis.

Never!

Min.

Will you strive to forget it the moment you
have heard it?

Inis.

To forget it shall be constantly in my Memory!

Min.

You are sure you will not let me stir from
this spot, until you know the whole?

Inis.

Not so far as a thrush hops.

Min.

So!—now then—in one word here it goes.
Though every body supposes my Lady an errant
Scold, she’s no more a— Don Cæsar. (Without.)

Cæs.

Shame to her—shame to her—an incessant
Scold!

Min.

Oh, St. Jerome, here’s her Father, and his
Privy Counsellor Gaspar. I can never communicate
a Secret in quiet. Well! come to my chamber, for,
now my Tongue’s set, you shall have the whole.—I
wouldn’t keep it another day, to be Confidante to an
Infanta! Exeunt. Enter Don Cæsar, and Gaspar.

Gasp.

Take Comfort, Sir—take Comfort!

Cæs.

Take it! Why I am very ready to take it, if
I can get it. Say, take Physic Sir, and take Poison
Sir, they are to be had; but what signifies bidding DD2 DD2v 404
me take Comfort, when I can neither beg it, buy it,
nor steal it?

Gasp.

But, Patience will bring it you, Sir.

Cæs.

’Tis false, Sirrah. Patience is a Cheat, and
the man that ranked her with the Cardinal Virtues
was a fool. I have had Patience these three long
years, but, as to her introducing Comfort, she has
never prevailed upon her to look in upon me with a
single—Cheer up!

Gasp.

Aye Sir, but you know the Wise-ones say,
the twin Sister of Comfort is Good-humour. Now,
if you would but entertain Good-humour, her Sister
Comfort will soon follow in her train.

Cæs.

Then let my Daughter discard perverse humour;
’tis a more certain bar to marriage than ugliness
or folly. My death is hastened by the idea that
The Honours of my Family will be extinct.—How
many have laid siege to her! but that Temper of
her’s, of late, since she is grown up to womanhood,
is as impreganble to every man in Spain—as
the Rock of Gibraltar!

Gasp.

Aye, well, though Troy held out ten years,
let her once tell her Beads over, unmarried, at five
and twenty, and, my life on it, she ends the rosary
with a hearty prayer for a good husband.

Cæs.

And am I to wait, in hopes the horrors of
Old-Maidenism will frighten her into Civility? No,
no; I’ll shut her up in a Convent, and marry myself.
There’s my neighbour Don Vasquez’s Daughter,
she is to be sure but Nineteen, but—

Gasp.

I was just turning such an adventure in my
mind, Sir! You are but a young gentleman I take it
of Sixty Three; and a husband of Sixty three, who
marries a wife of nineteen, will lead a life of rare
mental comfort take my word for it.

Cæs.

Do you joke, Sirrah!

Gasp.

Why, Sir, I really think it would be one of
the pleasantest things in the world.—Madam would
bring a new Stile into the Family; and when you DD3r 405
are above stairs in the Gout, the music of her Concerts,
and the spirit of her Converzationes, would
reach your sick bed, and be a thousand times more
enlivening than flannels and panada.

Cæs.

Aye, I understand ye. But, this daughter
of mine—I shall give her but two chances more.
Don Garcia, and Don Vincentio, will both be here
to day, and, if she plays over the old game—I’ll
marry tomorrow morning, if I hang myself the next.

Gasp.

You reason consequentially, Signor, the natural
alliance of the two events should always be considered.

Cæs.

There’s Don Garcia!—there he is, coming
through the Portico. Run to my daughter, and bid
her remember what I have said—Exit Gaspar
though she has had her lesson, another memento
mayn’t be amiss. A young Gipsey! pretty and witty
and rich—a match for a Prince, and yet—but hist!
not a word to my young man; if I can but keep him
in ignorance until he is married, he must make the
best of his bargain afterwards, as other honest men
have done before him— Enter Garcia.
Welcome, Don Garcia! Why you are rather before
your time.

Gar.

Gallantry forbid I should not be, when a fair
Lady is concerned. Should Donna Olivia welcome
me as frankly as you do, I shall think I have been
tardy.

Cæs.

When you made your overtures, Signor, I
understood it was from inclination to be allied to my
family; not from any particlar passion for my daughter.
Have you ever seen her?

Gar.

But once—that transiently; yet sufficiently
to convince me she is charming.

Cæs.

Why yes, though I say it, there are few
prettier women in Madrid; and she has enemies DD3v 406
amongst her own sex accordingly—who pretend to
say that—I say, Sir, they have reported that she is
not blessed with that kind of Docility and Gentleness
that a—now though she may not be so very insipid
as some young women, yet, upon the whole—

Gar.

O, fie Sir! not a word. A Beauty cannot
be ill-tempered; gratified Vanity keeps her in good
humour with herself and every body about her.

Cæs.

Yes, as you say—Vanity is a prodigious
sweetner; and Olivia, considering how much she
has been humoured, is gentle and pliant as— Enter Minette.

Min.

Oh, Sir, shield me from my Mistress! She
is in one of her old Tempers—the whole house is in
an uproar. I cant support it!

Cæs.

Hush!!

Min.

No, sir, I cant hush—a Saint could not bear
it. I am tired of her tyranny—and must quit her
Service.

Cæs.

Then quit it in a moment—go to my Steward
and receive your wages—go—begone!—’Tis a Cousin
of my Daughter’s she is speaking of.

Min.

A Cousin, Sir!—No ’tis Donna Olivia, your
Daughter—my Mistress. Oh, Sir! you seem to be
a sweet tender-hearted young Gentleman—’twould
move you to Pity if—

Cæs.

I’ll move you, hussy, to some purpose, if you
dont move off!

Gar.

I am really confounded—can the charming
Olivia

Cæs.

Spite, Sir—mere Malice! My daughter has
refused her some cast gown, or some— Olivia, without.

Oliv.

Where is she!—Where is Minette?

Cæs.

Oh, ’tis all over!—the Tempest is coming! DD4r 407 Enter Olivia.

Oliv.

Oh, you vile creature!—to speak to me! to
answer me!—am I made to be answered?

Cæs.

Daughter!—Daughter!
During the following conversation, he
shows the most anxious impatience.

Oliv.

Because I threw my work-bag at her, forsooth
she had the Insolence to complain; and, on
my repeating it, said—she would not bear it.—
Servants chuse what they shall bear!

Min.

When you’re married, Ma’am, I hope your
Husband will bear your humour more patiently than
I have done.

Oliv.

My Husband!—dost think my husband shall
deprive me of my Will? I long to set a Pattern to
those milky wives, whose mean compliances degrade
the sex.

Gar.

Aside. Vastly opportune, this!

Oliv.

The only husband on record who knew how
to behave to a Wife was Socrates; and, though Zantippe
his Lady was a Grecian, I have reason to believe
that some of a Colony of her Descendants matched
into our family—and never shall my tame Submission
disgrace my Ancestry.

Gar.

Wonderful! Why have you never curbed this
intemperate Spirit Don Cæsar?

Oliv.

Starting Curbed Sir! talk thus to your
Groom.—Curbs and Bridles for a Woman’s tongue!

Gar.

Not for your’s Lady truly! ’tis too late. The
torrent, now so over-bearing, should have been taken
at its spring, it might then perhaps have been stem’d,
and turned in gentle streamlets at the Master’s
pleasure.

Oliv.

A Mistake, friend!—my Spirit, at its spring,
was too overwhelming to be meanly master’d.

Gar.

Indeed! Perhaps, gentle Catherine, you may
meet with a Petruchio yet.

Oliv.

But no gentle Catherine will he find me, believe DD4v 408
me.—Why, she had not the Firmness of a roasted
chesnut; a few big words, an empty oath, and a
scanty Dinner, made her as submissive as a Spaniel.
—My Lofty Spirit shall resist big words, oaths, or
starving.

Min.

I believe so, indeed. Help the poor Gentleman,
I say, to whose lot you fall!

Gar.

Don Cæsar, Adieu! The resentment I should
otherwise feel at your endeavouring to deceive me
into such a marriage, my Commiseration of your
Fate subdues!

Oliv.

Marriage!—Oh Mercy, is this Don Garcia? Apart to her Father.

Cæs.

Yes, Termagant!

Oliv.

What a Misfortune! Why did you not tell
me it was the gentleman you designed to marry me
to?—Oh, Sir, all that has passed was in sport; a
contrivance between my Maid and me. I have no
spirit at all—I am patient as Poverty.

Gar.

This mask sits not easily on your features
fair Lady. I have seen you without Disguise, and
rejoice in your ignorance of my Name, since, but for
that, my peaceful home might have become the seat
of perpetual discord.

Min.

Aye, Sir, you would never have known what
a quiet hour—

Oliv.

Slaps her on the shoulder Impertinence!—
Indeed, Sir, I can be as gentle and forbearing as a
Pet Lamb.

Gar.

I cannot doubt, Madam, what you give such
striking Proofs of. But—adieu—though I shall pray
for your conversion—rather than have the honour of
it, I’d turn Dominican, and condemn myself to perpetual
celibacy. Exit.

Cæs.

Now Hussy!—now Hussy!—what do you
expect?

Oliv.

Dear me, how can you be so unreasonable!
Did ever Daughter do more to oblige a father? I
absolutely begged the man to have me! DD5r 409

Cæs.

Yes, Vixen! after you had made him detest
you. What, I suppose he didn’t hit your Fancy
Madam—though there’s not in all Spain a man of
prettier conversation.

Oliv.

Why, he has a convenient kind of conversation
enough—’tis like a Parenthesis.

Cæs.

Like a parenthesis!

Oliv.

Yes, it might be all left out—and no loss of
Sense the consequence. However, I really think him
a likely young man, and that he would have made a
good sort of a husband; for, notwithstanding his
Blustering, had I been his Wife, in three months he
should have been as complaisant as—

Cæs.

Aye, there it is—there it is! That Spirit of
your’s, Hussy, you can neither conquer nor conceal;
but—I’ll find a way to tame it, I’ll warrant
me! Exit. Olivia, and her Maid, watch him
out, and then burst into a Laugh.

Min.

Well, Ma’am, I give you Joy! had other
Ladies as much Success in gaining Lovers, as you in
getting rid of them, what smiling faces we should
see!

Oliv.

But, to what purpose do I get rid of them,
whilst they rise in Succession like monthly pinks?
Was there ever any thing so provoking?—After some
quiet, and believing the men had ceased to trouble
themselves about me, no less than two proposals have
been made to my inexorable father this very day.—
What will become of me?

Min.

Why what should become of you? You’ll
chuse one from the pair I hope.—Believe me, Ma’am,
the only way to get rid of the impertinence of Lovers
is to take one of them for a Husband—and make him
a Scare-crow to all the rest.

Oliv.

Oh—but I cannot!—Invention, assist me
this one day!

Min.

Upon my word, Ma’am, Invention is not in DD5v 410
arrear to you; I’m afraid you can draw on it no
longer. You must trust to the effect of your established
character of Vixen.

Oliv.

But, that wont frighten them all, you know,
though it did the business of sober Don Gracia. The
brave General Antonio would have captured me, in
spite of every thing, had I not luckily discovered his
antipathy to Cats, and so scared a Hero—by pretending
an immoderate passion for young Kittens!

Min.

Yes, but you was more resolutely beset by the
Castilian Count, with his engraved Genealogy from
Noah.

Oliv.

Oh, he would have kept his post—as immoveably
as the Griffins at his Gate, had I not very
seriously imparted to him, in confidence, that my
Mother’s Great Uncle sold Oranges in Arragon.—
Ha! ha! ha! and my little Spark too, who washes
in Rose water, and whose dress is scented with
violets, would never have dismissed himself, notwithstanding
all my scoldings, had I not mixed Asafœtida
with my Mareschall Powder!

Min.

And pray, Ma’am, if I may be so bold, who
is the next Gentleman?

Oliv.

Oh, Don Vincentio, who distracts every body
with his Skill in Music. He ought to be married to
a Viol de Gamba.—I thank my stars that I have
never had a Miser in my list;—on such a Character
all Art would be lost—nothing but an Earthquake to
swallow up my estate could save me!

Min.

Well, if some one did but know!—how
happy would some one be, that, for his sake—

Oliv.

Now dont be impertinent, Minette! You
have several times attempted to slide yourself into a
secret which I am resolved to keep to myself. Continue
faithful, and suppress your Curiosity! Exit.

Min.

Suppress my Curiosity, Madam! Why—I’m
a Chambermaid! and a sorry one too it should seem,
to be in your confidence two years, and never have DD6r 411
got the Master-Secret yet! I never was six weeks
in a family before, but I knew every secret they had
had in it for three generations. Aye, and I’ll know
this too, or I’ll blow up all her plans, and declare to
the world, that she is no more a Vixen—than other
fine Ladies.

DD6v 412


Act the Second.


Scene I.


An apartment at Donna Laura’s.
Enter Laura, followed by Carlos.

Car.

Nay, Madam, you may as well stay where
you are; for I will follow you into every apartment
until you hear me. Seizing her hand.

Lau.

This constant intrusion is not to be endured;
within my own walls to be thus—

Car.

The time has been, when within your house
I might be Master.

Lau.

Yes, for you were then master of my Heart;
that gave you a right which—

Car.

You have now transferred to another. Flinging away her hand.

Lau.

Well Sir!

Car.

“Well Sir!”—Unblushing acknowledgment!

Lau.

This complaint is merely because I have the
start of you! In a few weeks I should have been the
Accuser, and you the false and fickle.

Car.

Oh, what you prudently looked out in time
for another Lover forsooth—merely to secure yourself
from Disgrace!

Lau.

Your Sneer is excusable, Sir, for you are
mortified.

Car.

Mortified!

Lau.

Yes, mortified to the Soul; for the vainest
female, Carlos, in the hour of her exultation and DD7r 413
power, is still out-done by man in Vanity;—it is more
your ruling passion than our’s. It is wounded Vanity
that makes you thus tremble with rage at being
deserted!

Car.

Madam! Madam!

Lau.

Instead of this Rage, you would have been
all cool insolence, had I waited for your change—the
crime which now appears so black in me. Then, if,
with all my sex’s weakness, I had knelt at your feet,
and reproached you only with my tears, how composed
would have been your feelings! Scarcely
would you have deigned to form for me a phrase of
pity; would have bid me forget a man no longer
worthy of my attachment, and recommended me to
Hartshorn and my Women.

Car.

Has any hour of my existence given cause
for such unjust—

Lau.

Yes Carlos, I bring thee to the test!—You
saw me, you loved me; was no fond trusting woman
deserted for the transient passion? Yes, one blest
even with beauty, gentleness, and youth; one, who
made thee rich, and whom thou mad’st thy Wife!

Car.

My Wife!—here’s a turn! So, to revenge
the quarrels of my Wife—

Lau.

No. To the list of my demerits I will not
add Hypocrisy. What I have done was determined
on without more regard to her feelings, than you had
for them. I, like you, thought but of myself.

Car.

And you dare avow to my face that you have
a passion for another?

Lau.

I do, without disguise. I confess, so tender
is my love for Florio, it has scarcely left a trace of
that I once avowed for Carlos.

Car.

Well Madam, if I hear this without brooding
vengeance, thank the annihilation of that passion,
whose remembrance is as dead in my bosom as in
your’s. Let us, then, part Friends—and with a
mutual acquittal of every obligation. The natural
consequence is, that you give up the Settlement of DD7v 414
that Estate, the conveyance of which left me almost
a beggar.

Lau.

Give it up!—ha! ha! No, Carlos; you
consigned me that estate as a proof of real love. Do
not imagine I’ll give up the only result of our intimacy
of which I am not ashamed.

Gar.

Base Woman! You know it was not a voluntary
gift; after having in vain practised upon my
Fondness, you prevailed on me, whilst in a state of
intoxication, to sign the Deed which you had artfully
prepared for the purpose;—you must restore it.

Lau.

Never—never.

Car.

That word is ruin! Call it back, Madam—
or I’ll be revenged on thee through thy heart’s
dearest object—thy minion Florio!—he shall not riot
on my fortune.

Lau.

Ha! ha! ha! Florio is safe. In another
country we shall enjoy the blessings of thy fond
passion, whilst thou indulgest but in Hatred and
Execration. Exit.

Car.

Following. My vengeance shall first fall on
her—No, he shall be the first victim, or ’twill be incomplete.
Reduced to Poverty, I cannot live.—
Folly whither are flown the gilded prospects of my
guiltless youth? Had I—’tis too late to look back,
remorse attends the past;—in looking onward—I
shrink with horror from the scene of ruin!

Exit.


Scene II.


Don Cæsar’s.
Victoria enters, perusing a Letter. Enter Olivia.

Oliv.

speaking as entering To be sure. If my
father should enquire for me, tell him I am in Donna
Victoria’s
apartment.—Smiling I protest! my dear
gloomy Victoria, whence have you obtained that
sun-shiny look? DD8r 415

Vict.

It is but an April sunshine I fear; but, who
could resist such an excitement to smile?—a Letter
from Donna Laura, my husband’s Mistress, stiling
me her dearest Florio! her Life! her Soul! and complaining
of a twelve hour’s absence, as of the bitterest
misfortune.

Oliv.

Ha! ha! ha! Most doughty Don! pray let
us see you in your Feather and Doublet! As a
Cavaleiro, it seems you are striking. So suddenly
to have robbed your husband of his Charmer’s heart
you must have used some Witchery!

Vict.

Yes, powerful Witchery—the knowledge of
my sex.

Oliv.

Oh, I suppose, Flattery of her Person not
being necessary as the Creature is not ugly—you
praised her Understanding, was captivated by her
Wit, and absolutely struck dumb by the amazing
beauties of—her Mind.

Vict.

Oh, no,—that’s the mode prescribed by the
Essayists on the female heart—ha! ha! ha! How
many are there who, from fifteen to fifty, would not
rather have a compliment to the tip of their ear, than
a volume in praise of their intellects?

Oliv.

So Flattery paid to her Charms then is your
boasted Nostrum.

Vict.

No, that’s only an occasional ingredient;
but, ’tis in vain to attempt a Description—of what
changed its nature with every moment. I was now
attentive—now gay—then tender—then careless. I
strove rather to convince her that—I was charming,
than that I myself was charmed; and whenever I
saw Love’s arrow quivering in her heart, instead of
attentive assiduity, I sang a triumphant air—and remembered
a sudden engagement.

Oliv.

But, can all this be worth while, merely to
defeat a fickle husband with one woman, whilst he is
setting his feather perhaps at others?

Vict.

Merely to defeat him was not my first motive.
As the Portuguese robbed me of his heart, I DD8v 416
concluded her mind had fascinations which were unpossessed
by me. It was impossible to visit her as a
Woman; I have therefore assumed the character of
a Cavalier of shattered fortunes who offers her Marriage,
that, in my visits I may so study her as to
imitate the perfections he found in her, and lure him
from the degrading situation of remaining within the
power of such a being—seeking for happiness where
there is the absence of all Principle.

Oliv.

Pretty humble creature!

Vict.

But, I have another object of the uttermost
import to my Children! My (what Dishonour and
what Cruelty!)—my husband has given this woman
an Estate, almost all that his dissipations had
left us.

Oliv.

Indeed!

Vict.

To make it more culpable, it was my estate!
it was that fortune which my lavish Love had made
his without restriction.

Oliv.

How could you be so improvident?

Vict.

Alas! without restraint I trusted him with
my Heart, with my Happiness. Should I have
shown a greater solicitude for lesser objects?

Oliv.

Why the Event proves that Advice should
have been sought from the experienced.—But pray
how, under all circumstances, can you be thus passive?
having assumed the Man, I dont know whether
I should not make him feel a man’s resentment.

Vict.

Oh, Olivia! what resentment could I wish to
gratify against him I have vow’d to honour; and
whom both my Duty and my Heart compel me yet
to love?

Oliv.

Why, really now—I think;—positively
there’s no thinking about these arcana of married
life.

Vict.

You, who know me, can judge how I have
suffered in prosecuting my plan! I have discarded,
for a season, the natural reserve of my sex, and have
worn the mask of love—to the destroyer of my Felicity! EE1r 417
But, the Object is too great to be abandoned
—nothing less than to save my Husband from Ruin,
and to restore him to me and to his Children.

Oliv.

Well Victoria, I hardly know whether most
to blame or praise you; but, with the rest of the
world—I suppose the Result will determine me. Enter Gaspar.

Gasp.

to Olivia Pray, Madam, are your wedding
shoes ready?

Oliv.

Insolence!

Apart.

Olivia[Speaker label not present in original source]

—I can scarcely ever
keep up the Vixen to this fellow.

Gasp.

You’ll want them tomorrow morning Ma’am,
that’s all;—so I came to prepare ye.

Oliv.

I want wedding shoes tomorrow! If you are
kept on water gruel till I marry—that strange face
of your’s will be chap-fall’n I believe.

Gasp.

Yes truly I believe so too. Lackaday, did
you suppose I came to bring you News of your own
wedding? no such glad tidings for you, Lady, believe
me. You married! I am sure the man who
allies himself to you, ought, like a Salamander, to
be able to live in fire.

Oliv.

What marriage then is it you do me the honour
to inform me of?

Gasp.

Why, your Father’s marriage! You’ll have
a Mother in law tomorrow, and then having, like a
dutiful daughter, danced at the wedding, will be
immured in a Convent for Life.

Oliv.

Immured in a Convent! then I’ll raise Sedition
in the Sisterhood, depose the Abbess, and turn
the Confessor’s chair into a Go-cart.

Gasp.

So, the threat of the Mother-in-Law then,
which I thought would be worse than that of the
Abbess, does not frighten you!

Oliv.

No, because my father dares not give me
one.—Marry without my consent! no, no, he’ll never
think of it, depend on’t. However, lest the fit Vol. I. EE EE1v 418
should grow strong upon him, I’ll go and administer
my Volatiles to keep it under. Exit.

Gasp.

Administer them cautiously then—too
strong a dose of your volatiles would make the fit
stubborn.—Who’d think that pretty arch look belonged
to a Termagant? What a Pity! ’twould be
worth a thousand Ducats to cure her.

Vict.

Has Inis told you I wanted to converse with
you in private, Gaspar?

Gasp.

Oh, yes, Madam; and I took particular
notice that it was to be in private. Sure, says I,
Mrs. Inis, Madam Victoria has not taken a fancy to
me; determined on a Divorce, can she be going to
break her mind?

Vict.

Whimsical!—ha! ha! Suppose I should
Gaspar?

Gasp.

Why, then, Madam, I should say Fortune
had used you scurvily, to give me both Grey-Locks
and a Livery.—Some young Ladies have given themselves
to Grey Locks in a gilt Coach, and others
have descended to worsted-lace, in each case the
Objects of their choice had their excuse; but, if you
were to form an alliance with me—pardon me, Madam,
I could not stand the ridicule.

Vict.

Well, will you perform a much greater service
for me?

Gasp.

Any thing you’ll order, Madam, except
capering a fandango.

Vict.

You have seen my rich old Uncle in the
Country?

Gasp.

What, Don Sancho, who, with two thirds
of a Century in his face, affects the misdemeanors
of youth; conceals his baldness with amber locks;
and complains of the tooth-ache—to make you believe
that the two rows of Ivory he carries in his head
grew there?

Vict.

Oh, you know him, I find. You already resemble
him in some degree, could you personate him
for an hour, and make love for him? Since he can EE2r 419
make himself so ridiculous, he excites no Respect to
prevent us from making free with his Character.—
You know it must be in the stile of Don Roderigo
the First
.

Gasp.

Hang it! I am rather too near his own age.
Distinctly to perceive the degree, in which those are
ridiculous who have grown old in Absurdity, requires
the clearness of youthful perception.

Vict.

Pho! You might pass for Juan’s Grandson!

Gasp.

Nay, if you condescend to flatter me, you
secure me.

Vict.

Then follow me; for Don Cæsar is approaching.
In the Garden I’ll make you acquainted with
my Plan, and impress on your mind Don Sancho’s
Character. If you can hit him off, the Arts of Laura
shall be foiled and Carlos be again Victoria’s! Exit. Enter Don Cæsar, followed by Olivia.

Cæs.

No, no, ’tis too late—no Coaxings; I am resolved
I say.

Oliv.

But it is not too late; and you shan’t be resolved
I say. Indeed now, I’ll be upon my Guard
with the next Don—what’s his name? not a trait of
the Xantippe left;—I’ll study to be charming.

Cæs.

Nay, you need not study it, ’tis only of late
that your temper has sour’d; you are always charming,
if you will but hold your tongue.

Oliv.

Do you think so? then, to the next Lover I
wont open my lips. I’ll answer every thing he says
with a Smile, and, if he asks me to have him—drop
a curtesy of thankfulness.

Cæs.

Pshaw! that’s too much ’tother way; you are
always either below perfection, or guilty of Excess.
You must talk, but talk with Goodhumour. Cant
you look gently and prettily now—as I do? and say
speaks fast.“Yes, Sir,” and “No, Sir.—’Tis very
fine weather, Sir.—Pray Sir, were you at the Ball last
night?—I caught a sad Cold the other evening;”
and EE2 EE2v 420
“Bless me! I hear Lucinda has run away with a footman;
and Don Philip has married his house-maid.”

That’s the way fine Ladies talk—you never hear any
thing else!

Oliv.

Ha! ha! Well then—You shall see me exactly
as agreeable as the best of them, if you wont
give me a Mother-in-law to snub me, and set me
tasks, and take up all the fine apartments, and send
up your poor little Livy to lodge next the stars.

Cæs.

Aye, if thou wert but always thus soft and
good-humour’d, no Mother-in-law in Spain, though
she brought the Castiles for her portion, should have
power to snub thee. But, Livy, the trial’s at hand,
for, at this moment, do I expect Don Vincentio to
visit you. He is but just returned from England, I
have never seen him; probably he has yet only heard
of your Beauty and Fortune—I hope it is not from
you that he will learn the rest of your Character.

Oliv.

This moment expect him! two new Lovers
in one day? impatiently.

Cæs.

Beginning already, as I hope to live! Aye,
I see ’tis in vain; I’ll send him an excuse, and
marry Marcella to-morrow.

Oliv.

Oh, no! upon my Obedience, I promise to
be—just the soft civil creature you have described to
a Word! Enter Servant.

Ser.

Don Vincentio is below, Sir.

Cæs.

I’ll wait upon him. Well, go and collect all
your Smiles and your Simpers, and remember all I
have said to you. Be gentle, and talk pretty small
talk to him, d’ye hear; and if you please him you
shall have the portion of a Dutch Burgomaster’s
daughter, and the Pinmoney of a Princess, you
Gipsey you. Aside. I think at last I have done it;
the fear of this Mother-in-law will keep down the
fiend in her if any thing can.)

Exit. EE3r 421

Oliv.

Ah! my poor Father, your Anxieties will
never end, until you bring Don Julio! Command
me to surrender my Petulance, my Liberty, to him,
and Iphigenia herself could not be a more willing
sacrifice. But what shall I do with this Vincentio?
—I hear he is so perfectly harmonized, that to put
him into an ill temper will be impracticable. I’ll
try however; if it is possible to find a Discord in
him I’ll touch the string.

Exit.


Scene III.


Another apartment.
Enter Vincentio and Cæsar.

Vin.

Presto! presto, Signor! where is Olivia? Not
a Second to spare. I have been in all the Fury of
Composition; Minums and Crotchets have been
battling it through my head the whole day, until,
trying a Semibreve in G. Sharp, I fell into thorough
flat.

Cæs.

Sharp and Flat!—trying a Semibreve!—oh
—excuse me Sir—I had like not to have understood
you! But, a Semibreve is part of a Demi-culverin I
take it, and you have been practising the Art Military.

Vin.

Art Military Sir!—are you unacquainted with
Music!

Cæs.

Music! Oh I ask Pardon! then you are fond
of Music— (Aside.—’Ware of Discords!)

Vin.

Fond of it! devoted to it. I composed a
thing to day in all the Gusto of Sachini, and the
Sweetness of Gluck.—But, this recreant Finger fails
me in compassing a passage in Octaves: if it does
not gain more elastic vigour in a week, I shall be
tempted to have it amputated—and supply the Shake
with a Spring.

Cæs.

Amputate a Finger to supply a Shake! EE3v 422

Vin.

Oh, that’s a Trifle in the road to Reputation;
to be talked of is the Summum Bonum of this life.
A young man of Rank should not glide through the
world without a distinguished Rage, or as they call
it in England—a Hobby Horse.

Cæs.

A Hobby Horse!

Vin.

Yes; that is, every man of Figure in that
land of Liberty freely determines, on setting out in
life, in what way to ruin himself—and that choice
is called his Hobby Horse. One, makes a Race-
Ground his scene of action; another drives his Phaeton
so as to peep into his Neighbour’s Garret-windows;
and a third rides his Hobby-Horse in that
Parliament of their’s that you have heard of, where
it jerks him sometimes on one Side, and sometimes
on the other, sometimes in, and sometimes out, until
at length his steadiness is overset, and his Constituents
are jerked out of their Welfare.

Cæs.

What! do those ride Hobby-Horses, who
outride all the World in the race of Glory!—I wish
we had a few of ’em to jerk Spain into some consideration!

Vin.

This is all Contabile; nothing to do with
Donna Olivia—the Subject of the piece. Pray, give
me the Key-Note of her Heart.

Caes.

Upon my word, Signor, to speak in your own
Phrase, I believe that Note has never yet been
sounded.—Ah! here she comes!—look at her! isn’t
she a charming Girl?

Vin.

Touching!—Musical I’ll be sworn—her very
Walk is an harmonious Passage!

Cæs.

(Aside. I wish thou may’st get one from her
Tongue!)— Enter Olivia, makes a low curtesy to each.
Daughter, receive Don Vincentio. His Rank, Fortune,
and Merit, entitle him to the Heiress of a
Grandee;—he is contented to become my Son-inLaw EE4r 423
—if you can be pleasing in his eyes! she curtesies
again.

Vin.

Pleasing! she entrances me! Her presence
thrills me like a Cadenza of Pachierotti, and every
Nerve vibrates to the Music of her looks—


Her step andante true to art,

Pianos glance from either eye;

Oh! how largetto were the Heart

That Charms so forté. could defy!

Donna Olivia! will you be pleased to note me as your
Lover?

Olivia.

curtesying Yes Sir—No Sir!

Vin.

Yes Sir, no Sir—bewitching Timidity!

Cæs.

Yes, Sir, she’s remarkably timid. (Aside.
She’s in the right cue now I see!)

Vin.

’Tis clear you have never travelled; had you
been in the Country from whence I arrive—England,
your Timidity would have been banished; you
would have acquired a marked Character, and maintained
it at all Hazards.

Oliv.

’Tis a very fine day, sir. Speaking very
fast.

Vin.

Madam!

Oliv.

I caught a sad cold the other evening.—
Pray, Sir, were you at the Ball last night?

Vin.

What Ball, fair Lady?

Oliv.

Bless me! they say Lucinda has run away
with a footman, and Don Philip has married his
house-maid! (Apart to Cæsar.

Olivia[Speaker label not present in original source]

Now am I not as
agreeable as other Fine Ladies?

Cæs.

Oh, such perverse obedience!

Vin.

Really, Madam, I have not the Honour to
know Don Philip and Lucinda—nor am I happy
enough entirely to comprehend you.

Oliv.

No!—I only meant to be agreeable! But— looking at her Father I am afraid we are mistaken
in your taste for pretty little small-talk! EE4v 424

Vin.

Pretty little small-talk!

Oliv.

But—a marked Character you may perhaps
admire—oh, very well, so do I, I doat on it.—I
would not resemble the rest of the world in any
thing.

Vin.

My Taste to the fiftieth division of a Crotchet!
—We shall accord admirably when we are married.

Oliv.

Ah, how charmingly then we shall be unlike
the rest of the world! (Aside. I must carry my Particularity
to great Excess, I see.)

Cæs.

Aside. It will do! I have hit her Humour at
last—Why didn’t this young dog offer himself before?

Oliv.

I believe I have the Honour to carry my
Taste for particularity farther than you, Don Vincentio.
Pray, now, what is your usual Stile in
living?

Vin.

My Winters I spend in Madrid, as other people
do. My Summers I drawl through at my Castle—

Oliv.

As other people do! and pretend to Singularity
—ha! ha! ha! Good Don Vincentio, never talk
of a marked Character again.—Go into the Country
in July to smell Roses and Woodbines—when every
body
regales on their fragrance! Now I would rusticate
only in Winter; and my bleak Castle should
be decorated with Verdure and Flowers—amidst the
Zephyrs of January.

Cæs.

(Aside. —Oh!—she’ll go too far!)

Oliv.

I would hang artificial foliage on the leafless
trees—my rose shrubs and myrtles should be scented
by Perfumers.

Vin.

Oh, charming!—You beat me where I thought
myself the strongest.—Would they but paragraph
our Singularites in the Newspapers here as they do
abroad, we should be the most envied couple in
Spain.

Cæs.

(Aside. —By St. Anthony, he is as mad as she
is!)

EE5r 425

Vin.

What say you, Don Cæsar? Olivia and her
Winter-Garden, and I and my Music?

Oliv.

(Aside. —Music!—thanks for another topic
—there are hopes we may yet differ!) Music did
you say! Music! I am peculiar in my attachment
to it.

Cæs.

Aside. She has saved my Life!—I thought
she was going to knock his Hobby Horse on the
head.

Vin.

You enchant me! I have the finest Band in
Madrid. My first Violin draws a longer bow than
Giardini; my Clarinets, my Viol de Gamba—Oh, you
shall have such Concerts!

Oliv.

Concerts! Pardon me there—that’s in the
common routine.—My passion is a Solo.

Vin.

That is singular! I love a Crash; so does
every body of goût.

Oliv.

My Taste you know, isn’t like every body’s!
My Nerves are so particularly fine that more than a
Solo overpowers them. (Aside.I must contrive to
name something monstrously absurd now—or I am
ruined!)

Vin.

Charming Olivia, which is the object of your
preference? I will study to become its master that I
may woo you with its music—Is it the Guitar? the
Piano forté? the Harp—

Oliv.

—You have it—you have it!—a Harp—yes.
But then it is a particular Species of Harp, of which
perhaps you have not yet been fond; my peculiar
Taste is—a Jew’s-Harp.—How delightful the
charming h-r-r-r-m of its Bass! running on the ear
like the distant rumble of a Stage-coach. It presents
the Ideas of Vastness and Weight to the mind.
I’ll give you my hand—the moment you are its
Master.

Vin.

Da Capo, Madam, da Capo!—a Jew’s-Harp!!

Oliv.

Bless me, Sir—dont I tell you so? Violins
chill me—Clarinets by Sympathy hurt my Lungs;
and, instead of maintaining a Band under my roof, I EE5v 426
would not keep a Servant who knew a Bassoon from
a Flute, or could tell whether he heard a Jigg or a
Canzonetta.

Cæs.

In great Agitation Thou perverse one! you
know you love Concerts, you know you do!

Oliv.

I love them! It is indiscriminate Custom
that attaches people to the Jumble of fifty different
instruments at once; ’twould be as well to hold a
Conversation in fifty different languages. A Band!
’tis a mere Chaos of sound—I had rather listen to a
three stringed Guitar—serenading a Sempstress in
a neighbouring Garret.

Cæs.

Oh you!—Don Vincentio, this is nothing but
Perverseness.—Hussy! didn’t you shake when
you mentioned a Garret! didn’t Bread and Water,
and a Step-mother, come into your head at the instant?

Vin.

Piano, piano, good Sir! Spare yourself all
further trouble. Should the Princess of Guzzarat
with all her diamond-mines offer herself, I would not
accept them in lieu of my Band—a Band to collect
which has half effected my Ruin. I would have allowed
your daughter a blooming Garden in Winter
—I would even have procured Barrenness and Snow
for her in the Dog-days; but—to have my Band insulted!
—to have my knowledge in Music slighted!
—to be brought down from all the Energies of Composition
by the D-r-o-n-e of a Jew’s-Harp!—I cannot
breathe under the Idea.

Cæs.

Then—then you refuse her, Sir?

Vin.

I cannot utter a sound so harsh!—we are
arrived at our Finale! Adieu Madam, I leave you
to enjoy your Solos—whilst I betake myself to the
Raptures of a Crash! Exit. Don Cæsar goes up to her, and looks fiercely in her
face. Then goes out without speaking.

Oliv.

Mercy! that silent Anger is terrifying—I EE6r 427
read a young Mother-in Law, and an old Lady
Abbess, in every line of his face— Enter Victoria.
Well, you heard the whole I suppose—heard poor
unhappy me scorned and rejected!

Vict.

I heard you in imminent Danger; and expected
Signor Da Capo would snap you up, in spite
of your caprice and extravagance.

Oliv.

Oh they charmed, instead of scaring him.
—I soon found, that my only chance was, to fall
across his Caprice. Where is the Philosopher who
could withstand that!

Vict.

But what, my dear Olivia, does all this lead
to?

Oliv.

I dare say you can guess! Penelope had never
cheated her Lovers with a never ending web, but—
for her Ulysses.

Vict.

Her Ulysses? what, are you married?

Oliv.

Oh no, not yet! But, believe me, my design
is not to lead apes; nor is my heart absolutely
an Icicle! If you choose to know more, put on your
veil, and slip with me through the Garden to the
Prado.

Vict.

I can’t indeed. I am this moment going to
dress en homme, to visit the impatient Portuguese.

Oliv.

Send an excuse, for positively you go with
me. I want a Chaperon—for I’m going to meet a
man! whom I have been fool enough to think of
these three years, and I dont know that ever he
thought of me in his Life!

Vict.

Three years in discovering that?

Oliv.

He has been abroad. The only time I ever
saw him was at the Dutchess of Medina’s. There
were a thousand people—and he was so careless, so
elegant, so interesting amidst them—In a word,
though he went off for France the next morning, by
some Witchcraft or other—he has been before my EE6v 428
eyes ever since! and has made my heart adamant to
every Lover!

Vict.

Was the impression mutual?

Oliv.

He hardly noticed me. I was then a trembling
Miss, just out of a Convent, and shrinking
from observation.

Vict.

Why, how is it then that you are going to
meet him!

Oliv.

How! why I sent him this morning a command
to be at the Prado! My object in this is to
find out whether his heart is engaged, and if it is—

Vict.

You’ll cross your arms, and crown your
brow with Willows!

Oliv.

No positively, not whilst we have Myrtles.
’Tis but with him that I at present feel my Heart
could share all the sacred ties of Marriage, I therefore
prefer Julio, as a duty, to all his sex. But, if he
is stupid enough to be insensible to me, I shall not
for that reason pine and die of silliness! No no, in
that case I shall form a new plan, and treat future
Lovers with more civility.

Vict.

You are the only woman in Love that I ever
heard talk reasonably!

Oliv.

Come, prepare for the Prado!

Exeunt.
EE7r 429

Act the Third.

Scene I.

A long street. Julio and Garcia enter from the further end of it.
As they come down, Vincentio meets them from the
Side.

Vin.

Julio, Garcia, congratulate me!—Such an
Escape!

Julio.

What have you escaped?

Vin.

Matrimony!

Gar.

Nay then our Congratulations may be mutual
—I have had a matrimonial escape too, this very day.
Happily the Ladies, though they veil their faces,
cannot always veil their Tempers! I was almost on
the brink of the Ceremony with the veriest Xantippe!

Vin.

Oh, that was not my case—mine was a sweet
creature, all life, all Elegance!

Julio.

Then, where’s the cause of Congratulation?

Vin.

Cause—why she’s ignorant of Music! prefers
a Jigg to a Canzonetta, and—faith whether I ought
to believe my own ears startles me—a Jew’s-Harp to
a Pentachord!

Julio.

Jew’s-Harp! Poh, prithee.

Gar.

Had my Nymph no other fault, I would
pardon that, for she is rich and lovely.

Vin.

Mine too is rich and lovely, and I’ll be sworn EE7v 430
too as ignorant of Scolding as of the Gamut. But—
not to know Music!

Julio.

Gentle, lovely, and rich,—and ignorant only
of Music?

Gar.

A venial crime indeed! If the sweet creature
will marry me, she shall be as regularly followed
by a Jew’s-Harp in her Train, as a Scotch Signor is
said to be by his Player on Bagpipes. I wish you’d
give me your Interest.

Vin.

Oh, most willingly, if thou hast so tasteless
an Inclination. I’ll name thee as a dull-soul’d largo
fellow to her Father—Don Cæsar.

Gar.

Cæsar! what Don Cæsar?

Vin.

De Zuniga.

Gar.

Impossible!

Vin.

So much is De Zuniga her Father—that he
does not know a Semibreve from a Culverin.

Gar.

The Name of the Lady?

Vin.

Olivia.

Gar.

Why you must be mad—that’s my Termagant!

Vin.

Termagant! ha! ha! ha! Thou hast certainly
some vixen of a Mistress, who infects thy ears towards
the whole sex.—Olivia is elegant and timid.

Gar.

By Juno, there never existed such a Scold.

Vin.

By Orpheus, there never was a gayer temper’d
creature. Spirit enough to be charming that’s all.
If she understood Music—I’d marry her to-morrow.

Julio.

Ha! ha! what a ridiculous Jangle! ’Tis
evident you speak of two different women.

Gar.

I speak of Donna Olivia—Heiress to Don
Cæsar de Zuniga
.

Vin.

I speak of the Heiress of Don Cæsar de
Zuniga
—her name Donna Olivia.

Gar.

Sir, I perceive you mean to insult me!

Vin.

Your perceptions are very rapid—but, if you
chuse to think so, I’ll settle that point Sir with you
immediately. But—for fear of Consequences, I’ll EE8r 431
fly home, add the last bar to my Concerto—and then
meet you where you chuse.

Julio.

Poh! this is evidently Misapprehension.
To clear the Matter up, I’ll visit the Lady, if you’ll
introduce me Vincentio. But you shall both promise
to be governed in this dispute by my decision.

Vin.

I’ll introduce you with Joy—if you’ll persuade
her of the charms of Harmony.

Gar.

She’ll need that—You’ll find her all Jar.

Julio.

Come, no more Garcia;—thou art but a
sort of Male-Vixen thyself.—Melodious Vincentio,
when shall I expect you?

Vin.

This Evening.

Julio.

Not this evening; I have engaged to meet
a Goldfinch in a Grove—then, I shall have Music,
you rogue.

Vin.

It never sings in the evening.

Julio.

Why then I’ll wait ’till morning, and hear it
pour out its Matins to the rising sun.—Call on me
tomorrow, I’ll then attend you to Donna Olivia, and
declare, faithfully, the Impression her Character
makes on me.—Come Garcia, I must not leave you
together, lest his Minums and your Crotchets should
fall into a Crash of Discords!

Exeunt opposite sides.

Scene II.

The Prado. Enter Carlos.

Car.

All hail to the powers of Burgundy! Three
flasks to my own share.—What sorrows can resist
three flasks of Burgundy? This morning I was a mere
melancholy fellow, going to shoot myself to get rid
of my troubles—Where are my troubles now?—gone
to the moon to look for my Wits. And there I hope
they’ll remain together—if one cannot come back EE8v 432
without the other. But where is this indolent dog,
Julio? He fit to receive appointments from Ladies!
—Surely I have not missed the hour—No—but Eight
yet—looking at his Watch Eight’s the hour by all
the Joys of Burgundy! The rogue must be here—
let’s reconnoitre. Enter Victoria and Olivia from the top, veiled.

Oliv.

Positively, mine’s a pretty spark, to let me
be first at the place of appointment. I have half
resolved to go home again, to punish him.

Vict.

I’ll answer for it that it is but half resolved—
to fully resolve would be to punish yourself.—There’s
a solitary man—is not that he?

Oliv.

I think not. But if he would please to turn
this way—

Vict.

That’s impossible whilst the load-stone is the
other. He is looking at some one in the next walk.
Can’t you disturb him?

Oliv.

Screams Oh! a frightful frog! Carlos turns.

Vict.

Heaven! ’tis my Husband.—I cannot speak
to him, though my Soul greets him!

Oliv.

Ah! what, is that then your truant Knight?
—Judging from his Appearance he has more taste
and feeling than his conduct gains him credit for.
He moves this way.

Car.

Pray, Lady, what occasioned that pretty
Scream—was it a decoy cry?

Oliv.

Decoy! ha! ha! what—for you!

Car.

Why not, Madam? one with three flasks of
Burgundy in his head, and—his perception—not—
over clear! may be worth the chance of decoying.

Oliv.

Unless he happens to be already decoyed!
’tis about two years since you was caught I take it.
Do keep further off from me good Married Man;
perhaps the other Lady will think more favorably
of you—than you merit! FF1r 433

Car.

Hey-dey! Is it posted up under every Saint
in Madrid that I am married?

Oliv.

No, you carry the Look about you;—that
rueful Phiz could never belong to a Bachelor!

Car.

By all the Thorns of matrimony—if—

Oliv.

Poor man! how natural to swear by what
one feels—Ha! ha!—but why were you in such
Haste to encounter them? Bless us! had you but
looked about a little, what a market might have been
made of that engaging air of your’s.

Car.

Confound thee, confound thee! If thou art
a Wife, may thy husband plague thee with jealousies,
and if thou art a maiden—may’st thou be an old one.
Going. Meets Julio Oh Julio, look not that way
—there’s a Tongue will stun thee!

Julio.

Oh, I greet it—I love female prattle. A
Woman’s tongue can never scare me!—a female
without prattle is like Burgundy without Spirit.
From which of these two Goldfinches comes the
sweet Music?

Car.

Taking Victoria’s hand—This is as silent as
a Turtle, only coos now and then—

Pensive as the plaint of Dove

Calling on her absent Love.

perhaps you dont hate a Married Man, sweet one?

Vict.

Ah! you have guessed right—I love a married
man!

Car.

Ah, say’st thou so?—wilt thou love me?

Vict.

Are you sure you will let me?

Car.

Let thee, my Charmer!—how I’ll cherish thee
for it.—What would I not give for thy Heart!

Vict.

I demand a price you cannot give; I ask
Love unbounded—but you have a Wife!

Car.

Will you assist my Efforts to forget her?

Vict.

Will you never love another, and love me
ever?

Car.

Ever! yes ever, till we find each other dull Vol. I. FF FF1v 434
company, and yawn, and talk of our Neighbours for
Amusement.

Vict.

Farewell! I suspect your heart is divided! Going.

Car.

Nay—but move this way; I am fearful of
that Wood-pecker at your elbow. Should she begin
again, her Noise will scare all the pretty loves that
are playing about my heart. He Leads her to the back of the Stage.

Julio.

I really believe, though you deny it, that
you are the Destiny that fated me hither. See, is
not this your Mandate? Taking the Letter from his pocket.

Oliv.

Oh, delightful! the scrawl of some Chambermaid,
or, perhaps of your Valet, to give you an air.
What is the signature—Marriatornes?—Tomasa?

Julio.

Since you abuse it, I am convinced the Letter
is your’s. So you may as well confess.

Oliv.

Suppose I should—you cant be sure that I
do not deceive you.

Julio.

True; but there is one respect in which I
will not be deceived; therefore the Preliminary is
that you throw off your Veil!

Oliv.

My Veil!

Julio.

Positively! If you reject this Article, our
Negotiation ends.

Oliv.

Nay, if you offer Articles, you admit yourself
conquered.

Julio.

I own myself in danger of capture; but, I
have a right to make the best Terms I can. Do you
accede to the demand?

Oliv.

Certainly not.

Julio.

You had better.

Oliv.

I protest I will not.

Julio.

(Aside. My Life upon it I make you!) Why,
Madam, how absurd this is—’tis reducing us to the
situation of Pyramus and Thisbe talking through a
wall. Yet—’tis of no consequence—I know your
features as well as though as I saw them. FF2r 435

Oliv.

How can that be?

Julio.

I judge of what you veil, by what I see. I
could draw your Picture!

Oliv.

Charming! Pray begin the Portrait.

Julio.

Imprimis, a broad high Forehead, rounded
at the top—like the Arch of an old-fashioned Gateway.

Oliv.

Oh, horrid!

Julio.

Little grey Eyes, sharp Nose, and Hair—the
colour of rusty Prunella.

Oliv.

Odious!

Julio.

Pale Cheeks, thin Lips and—

Oliv.

Hold, hold thou vilifier. throws off her veil,
he sinks on one knee.
Yes, yes, kneel, in Contrition
for your malicious Slanders.

Julio.

Oh no, in adoration!—What a charming
creature!

Oliv.

Now—for lies on the other side!

Julio.

A Forehead formed by the Graces; hair,
which Cupid would be stealing for his Bow-strings,
were he not engaged, in shooting through those
sparkling hazel circlets which nature has given you
for Eyes; Lips! ’twere a sin to call them so—they
are fragrant rose-leaves.

Oliv.

Is that extemporaneous, or ready cut for
every woman that takes off her veil?

Julio.

It is not absolutely new; Nature, as she
finished you, formed the Sentiment in my heart,
where it has lain dormant—until you called it into
Words.

Oliv.

Suppose I were to understand, from all this,
that you have a mind to fall in Love with me;
wouldn’t you at last be finely caught?

Julio.

Charmingly caught! if you’ll let me understand,
at the same time, that you have a mind to fall
in love with me.

Oliv.

In love with a man! I never loved any thing
but a Squirrel! FF2 FF2v 436

Julio.

Let me be your Squirrel! I’ll put on your
Chain—and gambol and play for ever around you!

Oliv.

But suppose you should have a mind to break
the chain?

Julio.

Then loosen it; if once that humour seizes
me restraint wont banish it. Let me spring and
bound at liberty, and, when I return to my lovely
rightful owner, tired of all but her, fasten me again
to my chain, and kiss me whilst you chide!

Oliv.

By way of Reward, I suppose, for playing
Truant. Carlos is seen struggling for Victoria’s
veil in the back ground—she unveils.

Julio.

Why so silent?

Oliv.

I am debating whether to be pleased, or displeased,
at what you have said.

Julio.

Well?

Oliv.

You shall know when I have determined. My
friend and your’s are approaching this way; she is a
woman of honour, and this moment is of the highest
Importance to her, they must not be interrupted.

Julio.

’Twould be barbarous—we’ll retire as far
off as you please.

Oliv.

But, we retire separately, Sir. To draw you
however from them, you may conduct me hence, on
condition that you leave me instantly! Exeunt. Carlos advances, followed by Victoria.

Car.

Looking back on her.—My Wife!

Vict.

I will veil myself again! I will hide my face
for ever, if you will now feast my ear with those vows,
which a moment since you poured forth so earnestly.

Car.

My Wife!—making Love to my own Wife!

Vict.

Why should one of the dearest moments of
my life be to you so displeasing?

Car.

So, I am caught in this snare—by way of
pleasing Surprise I suppose. FF3r 437

Vict.

Would you could think so.

Car.

But, ’tis a surprise fatal to every hope with
which you may have flattered yourself.—What, am I
to be followed, haunted, watched!

Vict.

Not to upbraid you—I followed you but because
our Domain, without you, seemed a dreary
Desart. It was not to—I never will—upbraid you.

Car.

Generous assurance!—Never upbraid me?—
I’ll take care you never shall!— (Aside.—Though she
has touched my Soul, I dare not yield to the impression.
—Her tenderness is worse than Death to
me!)

Vict.

Would I could find words to please you!

Car.

You cannot; therefore suffer me to go without
attempting to follow.

Vict.

Is it possible you can be so barbarous?

Car.

Do not expostulate; your first vow’d duty is
Obedience—that word so grating to your sex.

Vict.

To me, it was never grating—to obey has
been my Joy; even now I will not dispute your Will,
though I feel, for the first time, obedience hateful. Going—turns back Oh, Carlos!—my dear Carlos!
I go—but my mind rests upon you. Exit.

Car.

This is dreadful!—yet, had I not enforced
relief from her presence, my perturbation must have
destroyed me; for—how could I tell her that I have
made her a Beggar! Better she should hate, detest
me, than that my tenderness should give vain hopes
of felicity—which now she can never taste. Ah!
where is now the Bravado with which Wine inspired
me?—Distraction return to me again—for Reason
presents me nothing but Despair! Enter Julio.

Julio.

Carlos, in the name of all Wonder, who can
they be? my charming inflexible little witch was quite
inscrutable—I hope your’s was more communicative.

Car.

Folly! Nonsense! Exit. FF3v 438

Julio.

Folly Nonsense—a pretty woman’s smile?
ha! ha! ha!—it has more Persuasion, and therefore
more Reason than Logic; but these married fellows
lose all Taste.—Humph!—suppose my Fair-one
should want to bring me into such a state!—she
cant have so much tyranny in her disposition. And,
yet, if she should? pho! it wont bear thinking about.
—If I dare so mad a thing, it must be as cowards
fight—without venturing to reflect on the danger.


Scene III.


An apartment in the house of Don Vasquez,
Marcella’s father.
Enter Cæsar and Vasquez.

Cæs.

Well, Don Vasquez, and—you—then I say
—you have a mind that I should marry your
Daughter?

Vas.

It is sufficient, Signor, that you have signified
to us your intention;—my daughter shall prove her
Gratitude, in her attention to your Felicity.

Cæs.

(Aside. —Hem! My Fate, for the remnant
of my days, seems at its Crisis!) but just Nineteen
you say.

Vas.

Exactly, the eleventh of last month.

Cæs.

Pity it was not Twenty.

Vas.

Why a year can make no great difference, I
should think.

Cæs.

Oh yes it does, a Year’s a great deal; they
are so wild at Nineteen.

Vas.

Marcella is very grave, and a pretty little
fair—

Cæs.

Aye, fair, again! Pity she isn’t brown or
olive. I like your Olives!

Vas.

Brown, and olive! you are very whimsical
my old friend. FF4r 439

Cæs.

Why these fair girls are so stared at by the
men; and the young fellows, now-a-days, have a very
impudent stare with them! very abashing.

Vas.

Come I’ll send Marcella to you, and she will—

Cæs.

No, no, Stay my good Friend—you are in a
violent hurry!

Vas.

Why, truly, Signor, at my time of Life I
have no time to lose.

Cæs.

Why, that’s very true—and so— (Aside. St. Anthony! this is an anxious moment!—but—
there can be no harm in just looking at her—a Look
wont bind us for better for worse!)—Well, then, if
you have a mind, I say you may let me see her. Exit Vasquez.

Cæs.

Puts on his Spectacles. Aye, here she comes,
I hear her—trip trip trip! I dont like that Step! a
Woman should always tread gracefully, with Pride
and Dignity, it awes the Men. Enter Vasquez, leading Marcella.

Vas.

There, Marcella, behold your future Husband;
and remember, your Attention to him will be
the test of your Duty to me! Exit.

Mar.

(Aside. Ah! how shall I support this Interview!)

Cæs.

Somehow, I’m afraid to look round.

Mar.

Surely, he does not know that I am here. coughs gently.

Cæs.

So! she knows how to give a hint, I find.

Mar.

Signor, what are your Commands for me?

Cæs.

Humph!—not non-plus’d at all. Looks
round
Oh! that eye, I dont like that eye.

Mar.

My Father commanded me—

Cæs.

Yes, I know—I know. (Aside.Why now I
look again, there is a sort of a modest—Oh that
Smile! that Smile will never do.)

Mar.

I understand, Signor, that you have demanded
my hand in Marriage. FF4v 440

Cæs.

(Aside. Upon my word—plump to the point!)
Yes, I did a sort of—I cant say but what I did—

Mar.

I am not insensible of the Honour, Sir, but
—but—

Cæ.

But!—What, dont you like the thoughts of
the Match?

Mar.

Sir, I ought to. (Aside.I dare not say no!)

Cæs.

What, perhaps, Child your head is full of
Jewels, and Finery and Equipage!

Mar.

No indeed, Sir.—Oh pardon me! my situation
constrains me to repose in you, that my Heart is
secretly pledged to another;—if I obey my Father,
and marry you Sir—indeed I shall be most wretched!

Cæs.

Say that again!—shall you indeed? pleased.

Mar.

There is not a Fate I should not prefer—
ah! pardon me!

Cæ.

Go on, go on—I never was better pleased!

Mar.

Pleased at my Reluctance! what may this
mean?

Cæs.

Never, never better pleased in all my life.
So you had really now, you young Baggage, rather
have me for a Grand-Father than for a Husband?

Mar.

Forgive my Frankness Sir—a thousand
times!

Cæs.

My dear Girl, let me kiss your hand. You’ve
let me off charmingly. I was frightened out of my
wits, lest you should have taken as violent an inclination
to the match as your Father.

Mar.

Dear Sir!—you charm me now.

Cæs.

But hark ye. You’ll certainly incur your
Father’s anger if I dont take the refusal entirely on
myself; which I will do, upon condition that you
assist me in a little Scheme I have in hand.

Mar.

Any thing to show my Gratitude.

Cæs.

You must know I cannot prevail upon my
Daughter to marry any one. There’s nothing on
earth will compel her, but the dread of a Motherin-law.
Now, if you will let it appear to her that FF5r 441
you and I are in the regular course to Matrimony—
I believe that will do. What say you? shall we be
Lovers in play?

Mar.

If you are sure it will be only in play.

Cæs.

Oh, depend on it. But we must be very
fond you know!

Mar.

To be sure—ha! ha! exceedingly tender!

Cæs.

You must smile upon me now and then cunningly,
and let me take your hand when we are sure
she sees us.

Mar.

Nay, all that cant be necessary.

Cæs.

Why I begin to take a fancy to your rogue’s
face—now I’m in no danger. May’nt we salute
once or so, to make the courtship seem regular?

Mar.

Never! Such an attempt would make me
fly off at once!

Cæs.

Well, you must be Lady Governess in this
business. I’ll go home, and fret Madam about her
young Mother-in-law!—By’e Sweeting!

Mar.

By’e charmer.

Cæs.

Oh, bless its pretty eyes! Exit.

Mar.

Bless its pretty Spectacles! ha! ha! ha!—
Enter into a league with a cross old Father against
a Daughter! why how could he suspect me of such
treachery? I could not answer it to my conscience.
No, no, I’ll write to Donna Olivia and impart the
Plot to her, and, as in duty bound—we’ll turn our
arms against Don Cæsar!

Exit.
FF5v 442


Act the Fourth.


Scene I.


Donna Laura’s.
Enter Laura and Pedro.

Lau.

Well, Pedro, hast thou seen Don Florio?

Ped.

Yes, Donna.

Lau.

How did he look when he read my Letter?

Ped.

Mortal well, I never spied him looking
better, for he’d got on a new cloak, and a—

Lau.

Pho, Blockhead! did he look pleased? was
it warmly received?

Ped.

It seem’d so—it was put into the fire.

Lau.

How!

Ped.

Yes—but then it was read first;—but when
I spoke he started with an air as though he did not
know that I was by. Upon that says he, go home
and tell Donna Laura I’m coming to her instantly. She waves her hand for him to go.Exit.

Lau.

So contemptuously destroy the Letter in
which my whole Heart overflowed with tenderness?
But, why do I question it? has he ever treated me
but with the most mortifying Coldness even whilst
pretending to be sensible to my charms?—I feel myself
on the brink of Hatred. Conscience tells me
that my Mind has at length become but a change of
Passions—without the intermediate reign of Principle FF6r 443
or Judgment. By all the Agonies I have felt,
should Revenge be once aroused—How idly I talk!
he is here, and his very voice changes my Will.—
But, I dare not meet his eye in this state of Agitation.
Exit. Enter Victoria, in a Spanish Male Dress, preceded
by Sancha.

Sanc.

I will inform my mistress that you are here,
Don Florio; I thought she had been in this apartment.
Exit.

Vict.

Now must I, with a mind torn by Anxieties,
once more assume the character of the Lover of my
husband’s mistress—of the woman who has robbed
me of his heart, his Children of their Fortune. My
task is hard!—Oh Love—married Love! assist me.
If I can, by any Finesse, obtain from her that fatal
Deed—I shall save my little ones from ruin! and
then—But I hear her step—Pressing her hand on
her bosom in agitation
—There! I have hid my Griefs
within my heart; and now, for all the Boldness of
an accomplished Cavalier? Sings an Air, and arranges at the Glass the Feather
in her Hat. Dances a few steps, &c. then runs to
Laura and seizes her hand.

Vict.

My lovely Laura!

Lau.

That look speaks Laura loved as well as
lovely.

Vict.

To be sure! His Laura Petrarch immortalized
by his Verse, and mine shall be immortal in
my Passion.

Lau.

Pray how keep you alive this immortal passion
during our long absences?

Vict.

By thinking of you, and reading your Letters,
and—

Lau.

My Letters! Pray how often read you them?

Vict.

A dozen times an hour! As my lip sips FF6v 444
Chocolate, with my eye I drink each dear line, and
place them every night under my pillow.

Lau.

Unless you have first—thrown them into the
Fire!

Vict.

Madam!

Lau.

Oh, Florio, what deceit! I know not what
enchantment binds me to thee.

Vict.

Playing carelessly with her Feather. Me,
my dear, all this to me?

Lau.

Yes, Ingrate, thee!

Vict.

Positively, Laura, you have these extravagances
so often, I wonder my Passion can stand
them. It was by these you cured Don Carlos of his
love.

Lau.

Cured Don Carlos! Oh, Florio! did’st thou
but love as he does!

Vict.

eagerly Why, you dont pretend he loves
you still, after all your treatment of him?

Lau.

Yes most ardently and truly.

Vict.

Ah!

Lau.

If thou wouldst persuade me that thy passion
is real, borrow his Words, his Looks;—be a hypocrite
one dear moment, and speak to me in all the
frenzy of that love which warms the heart of Carlos.

Vict.

The heart of Carlos!

Lau.

(Aside. —Ah! that seemed a jealous pang—
it gives my hopes new life!) Yes, Florio, he indeed
does love. For me he forsook a beauteous Wife;
and with me would forsake his Country.

Vic.

Ah! is this so!

Lau.

Nay, let no jealous feeling distress you thus;
Carlos I despise—he is the weakest of mankind.

Vict.

Laura! you cannot despise him—Carlos the
weakest of mankind! Persuasion springs from his
lips, and love, almighty love, is triumphant in his
eyes.

Lau.

This is strange! you speak of your Rival
with the admiration of a Mistress.

Vict.

What!—why—it is the fate of Jealousy, as FF7r 445
well as of Love, to see the Charms of its object increased
and heightened.—I am jealous—really jealous
to distraction of Don Carlos! and cannot in
truth taste peace, unless you determine never to see
him more. (Aside.How nearly had I been betrayed!)

Lau.

I vow joyfully never to behold or speak to
him again.—When shall we retire dear youth for our
Marriage in Portugal? we are not safe here.

Vict.

You know I am not rich. Observing her
with earnestness.
You must first, you know, sell
the Lands my Rival gave you!

Lau.

Oh! I have found a purchaser; and tomorrow
the transfer will be finished.

Vict.

(Aside. Ah! then I have now nothing to
trust to, but the ingenuity of Gaspar!) There is—
perhaps—be not too much alarmed—reason to fear
that Don Carlos had no Title to that estate, of which
you suppose yourself safely possessed.

Lau.

No Title! what can have given you such a
suspicion?

Vict.

In a conversation between Juan his Steward
and me, he agreed to a statement that his master
never had an estate in Leon.

Lau.

Never! what not by marriage?

Vict.

You hear what Juan says.

Lau.

Ah! how my frame is chilled! Can I have
taken pains to deceive myself—could I believe this,
I should be mad!

Vict.

These Doubts may soon be annihilated—or
confirmed to Certainty.—I have lately seen Don
Sancho
, the Uncle of Victoria; perhaps you may
soon see him in Madrid. You have told me that
many years ago he was very much inclined to fall in
love with you.

Lau.

Oh, to excess; but, I had another object.

Vict.

Have you conversed with him much?

Lau.

I never saw him nearer than from my Balcony,
as he used to ogle me through a Glass suspended FF7v 446
by a ribbon like an Order of Knighthood.
He is weak enough to fancy it gives him an air of
Distinction—ha! ha!—But, where can I find him?
I must see him.

Vict.

Write him a Billet, I will take care it shall
be conveyed.

Lau.

Instantly! Exit.

Vict.

Base woman! How can I pity thee, or regret
the steps which my Duty obliges me to take? Yet,
even against such a one as thee, I would not surround
myself with the shadows of Deceit merely for
myself.—But, for my Children! Is there a Parent’s
heart that will not pardon me?

Exit.


Scene II.


Don Cæsar’s.
Enter Olivia and Minette.

Oliv.

Well, here we are in private. What is this
charming Intelligence of which thou art so full this
morning?

Min.

Why, Ma’am, as I was in the Balcony that
overlooks Don Vasquez’s garden, Donna Marcella
told me that Don Cæsar had last night been to pay
her a visit previous to their marriage, but—

Oliv.

Their Marriage! How can you give me the
intelligence with such a look of Joy? Their Marriage!
’tis ruin to me.

Min.

Dear Ma’am! if you’ll but have patience.—
She says that Don Cæsar and she are perfectly
agreed—

Oliv.

Still with that smirking face! I cannot have
patience.

Min.

Then, Ma’am, if you wont let me tell the
story, please to read—here’s a Letter from Donna
Marcella
herself.

Oliv.

Why did you not give it me at first—reads FF8r 447
—Oh! Minette! I give you leave to continue your
smirking—listen—“I am more terrified at the idea
of becoming your father’s Wife, than you are in the
expectation of a Mother-in-law; and Don Cæsar
would be as loth as either of us. He only means to
frighten you into Matrimony, and I have on certain
conditions, agreed to assist him; but, whatever you
may hear or see, be assured that nothing is so impossible
as that he should become the husband of—
Donna Marcella.”

Oh delightful Girl! how I love her for this.

Min.

Yes Ma’am, and if you’d had patience, I
should have told you that they are now in grave debate
how to begin the attack which must force you
to take shelter with a Husband.

Oliv.

Ah, let them amuse themselves in raising
batteries, my reserved fire shall tumble them about
their ears in the very moment when my poor father
is ready to shout his Victory. But—here he comes. Enter Don Cæsar, leading Marcella.

Cæs.

(Apart. H-r-r-mph! Madam looks very placid
—we shall discompose her, or I am mistaken.) So
Olivia, here’s Donna Marcella come to visit you—
though, as matters are, that respect was due from
you.

Oliv.

I am sensible of the condescension—my
dear Madam how very good this is! Taking her hand.

Cæs.

(Aside. —Yes, you’ll think yourself wonderfully
obliged, when you know all!) Pray, Donna
Marcella
, what do you think of these Apartments?
the furniture and decorations are my Daughter’s
taste; would you wish them to remain, or will you
give Orders to have them changed?

Mar.

Changed undoubtedly! of course I shall
wish that nobody’s taste may govern my apartments
but my own. FF8v 448

Cæs.

You understand Olivia I suppose, by this
time, how every thing is determined upon between
Donna Marcella and me.

Oliv.

Yes Sir! and I assure you I have great Pleasure
in understanding it!

Cæs.

Eh! pleasure!

Oliv.

Pleasure, Sir!

Cæs.

Hey-dey!—aye that wont do—that wont do!
—You cant hide it; you are frightened out of your
wits at the thoughts of a Mother-in-law, especially
a young gay handsome one.

Oliv.

Pardon me, Sir, the thought of a Motherin-law
was disagreeable, but her being young and
gay qualifies it;—we have been very dull—we shall
now have Balls, and the most spirited Parties!

Cæs.

Eh, eh, eh? what’s the meaning of all this?
Why, Hussy, dont you know you’ll have no apartment
but the Garret?

Oliv.

’Tis charming to sleep in an elevated situation;
by mending my Health—it will benefit my
Complexion!

Cæs.

Here! here’s an obstinate plague!

Oliv.

Bless me Sir, are you angry that I look forward
to your Marriage without murmuring?

Cæs.

Yes I am—yes I am—you ought to murmur,
and you ought to—to—to—

Oliv.

Dear me! I find Love, taken up late in life,
has a bad effect on the temper—I wish my dear
Papa, you had been inspired by Donna Marcella’s
charms somewhat sooner.

Cæs.

You do! you do!—why this must be all put
on. This cant be real.

Oliv.

Indeed now I protest your engagement with
that Lady has given more pleasure than I have
tasted ever since you began to teaze me about a
Husband. You seem determined to have a marriage
in the family; and I hope now I shall live in quiet
with my dear, sweet, young, Mother-in-law.

Cæs.

Oh—oh! walking about Was there ever—
Not to care for a Mother-in-law! GG1r 449

Oliv.

Surely my Fate is very peculiar; that being
pleased with your choice, and submitting with
humble Duty to your will, should be the source of
offence!

Cæs.

Hussy! I dont want you to be pleased with
my choice—I dont want you to submit with humble
duty to my will. Where I do want you to submit,
you rebel—You are—you are—But I’ll mortify that
wayward Spirit yet! Exit Don Cæsar and Marcella.

Min.

Well truly Don Cæsar is in a piteous passion
—he seems more angry at your liking his marriage,
than at your refusing to be married yourself.
Wouldn’t it have been better, Madam, to have affected
discontent?

Oliv.

To what purpose? but to lay myself open to
fresh solicitations to get rid, by my own marriage, of
the evil I pretended to dread.—Oh! nothing can be
more easy than for my father to be gratified, if he
were but lucky enough to chuse the right Lover.

Min.

As much as to say, Ma’am, that there is—

Oliv.

Why, yes, “as much as to say”—I see you
are resolved to have my secret Minette, and so— Enter Servant.

Serv.

There is a Gentleman at the door, Madam,
called Don Julio de Melessina. He waits on you
from Don Vincentio.

Oliv.

Who? Don Julio! it cannot be;—art thou
sure of his name?

Serv.

The Servant repeated it twice. He is in a
splendid carriage, and seems to be a Noble.

Oliv.

Conduct him hither. Exit, Servant. (Aside.I am astonished! I cannot see him. I would not
have him know the Incognita to be Olivia!—There
is but one way—) Minette, ask no questions, but do
as I order you. Receive Don Julio in my name,
pass yourself off for the Heiress of Don Cæsar, and Vol. I. GG GG1v 450
on no account suffer him to believe that you are not
so. Turning from her. I am amazed and confused!
It is impossible that he can have discovered me.—
Perhaps, without having recognized me, he too comes
with offers to my Father, in the common routine;—
then my interview of last night did not give him
those Impressions I hoped:—I am jealous of myself!
If it is so, his Incognita never shall pardon Addresses
to—the daughter of Don Cæsar! Exit.

Min.

So then! this is some new Lover in whom
she is determined to create disgust, and fancies that
making me pass for her will effect it! Perhaps her
wisdom may be mistaken though. Looking through
the door
Upon my word, a charming man! Oh law,
my heart beats with the very Idea of his making
Love to me even though he takes me for another. Arranges her Dress.
Stay, I think he sha’nt find me here; standing in the
middle of the room gives one’s appearance no Effect.
I’ll enter upon him with an easy Swim, or an engaging
trip, or a something that shall strike—the
first Glance is every thing! Exit. Enter Julio, preceded by a Servant, who retires.

Julio.

Not here! This ridiculous dispute between
Garcia and Vincentio must now be determined—it
gives me irresistible curiosity!—Though, if she is
the character Garcia describes, I expect to be cuff’d
for my Impertinence—Here she comes!—a pretty
smiling girl, in truth, for a Vixen. Enter Minette, very affectedly.

Min.

Sir, your most obedient humble Servant.
You are Don Julio de Melessina. I am extremely
glad to see you, Sir.

Julio.

(Aside. A very courteous reception!) You
honour me infinitely Donna Olivia.—I must apologize
for waiting on you without a better Introduction. GG2r 451
Don Vincentio promised to attend me, but a
Concert called him to another part of the Town at
the moment I prepared to come hither.

Min.

A Concert—yes, Sir, he is very fond of
Music.

Julio.

He is, Madam; and you, I suppose, have
a Passion for that charming science?

Min.

Oh yes—I love it mightily.

Julio.

(Aside. This is lucky!) But, I think I have
heard, Donna Olivia, that your taste that way is peculiar
—you are fond of a (Aside.I can hardly speak
it!) —of a—Jew’s Harp. Smothering a Laugh.

Min.

A Jew’s-Harp! Mercy! What, do you think
a person of my Birth and Figure can have such fancies
as that? No, Sir, I love Fiddles, French-horns,
Tabors, and all the chearful noisy instruments in the
world.

Julio.

(Aside. Vincentio must have been mad;
and I as mad as he to mention it.) Then, you are
fond of Concerts, Madam?

Min.

Doat on ’em! (Aside.I wish he’d offer me
a Ticket!)

Julio.

Aside.Vincentio, is clearly wrong. Now,
to prove how far the other was right in supposing
her a Vixen.

Min.

There is a Grand Public Concert, Sir, to be
tomorrow. Pray do you go?

Julio.

I believe I shall have that pleasure, Madam.

Min.

My Father, Don Cæsar, wont let me purchase
a Ticket. I think its very hard.

Julio.

(Aside. Oh, now for it!) Pardon me, I
think it perfectly right.

Min.

Right! what to refuse me a trifling expence
that would procure me a great pleasure?

Julio.

Yes, doubtless. Ladies are too fond of
Dissipation. I think Don Cæsar a pattern for Fathers.

Min.

Law, Sir, you’d think it very hard, if you GG2 GG2v 452
were me, to be locked up all your life, and know
nothing of the world but what you could catch
through the bars of your balcony.

Julio.

Perhaps I might. But, as a Man, I am
convinced ’tis right; Daughters and Wives should
be equally excluded from the destructive haunts of
dissipation. Let them keep to their Embroidery,
nor ever presume to show their faces but at their
own fire sides. (Aside.This will bring out the Xantippe,
surely!)

Min.

Well, Sir, I dont know—to be sure Home,
as you say, is the fittest place for Women; for my
part, I could live for ever at Home if I was married. (Aside.I am determined he shall have his own way;
who knows what may happen!)

Julio.

(Aside. By all the powers of Caprice, Garcia
is as wrong as the other!)

Min.

I delight in nothing so much as in sitting by
my Father, and hearing his tales of Old Times—and
I fancy, when I have a Husband, I shall be quite as
happy to sit and listen to his stories of present times.

Julio.

Perhaps your husband, fair lady, might not
be inclined to while time away with you. Men have
a thousand avocations that call them abroad, and
probably your chief amusement would be counting
the hours of his absence, and giving a tear to each
as it passed.

Min.

Well, he should never see them, however.
I would always smile when he entered, and, if he
found my eyes red, I’d say I’d been weeping over
the history of the unfortunate Damsel, whose truelove
hung himself at sea, and appeared to her afterwards
in a jacket covered with salt sea-water.— (Aside.Surely this will catch him!)

Julio.

I am every moment more astonished! Pray,
Madam, permit me a Question—Are you really—
yet I cannot doubt it—are you really Donna Olivia,
the daughter of Don Cæsar, to whom Don Garcia GG3r 453
and Don Vincentio, had lately the honour of paying
their addresses?

Min.

Am I Donna Olivia!—ah! ah! ah! what a
Question! Pray, Sir, is this my Father’s house? are
you Don Julio?

Julio.

I beg your pardon; but, to confess, I had
heard you described—as a lady who had not quite so
much Sweetness, and—

Min.

Oh, what you had heard that I was a Termagant
I suppose.—’Tis all Slander, Sir!—There is
not in Madrid, though I say it, a sweeter Temper
than my own; and, though I have refused a good
many Lovers, yet, if one was to offer that I could
like—

Julio.

You would take Pity, and reward his passion.
Lovely Donna Olivia, how enchanting is this frankness!
(Aside.’Tis a little odd though!)

Min.

Why I believe I should take pity; for it always
seemed to me to be a very hard-hearted thing,
cruelly to refuse to accept a Lover that one likes.

Julio.

(Aside. What Enigma is all this! is this
Garcia’s sour fruit?)

Cæsar.

Without.Olivia! Olivia!

Min.

Bless me, I hear Don Cæsar! Now, Sir, I
have a peculiar Fancy that you should not tell him,
in this first visit, your design.

Julio.

Madam! my design! They rise.

Min.

Yes, that you will not speak out, till we have
had a little further conversation, of which I’ll take care
to give you an opportunity very soon.—He’ll be here
in a moment; now pray Don Julio go; if he should
meet you, and ask you who you are, you can say
that you are—you may say that you came on a visit
to his Daughter’s Maid you know! Exit.

Julio.

Aloud. I thank you Madam— (Aside. for
your Departure!) I never was in such Peril in my
life.—I believe she has a Licence in her pocket, a
Priest in her closet, and the Ceremony by heart!

Exit.
GG3v 454


Act the Fifth.


Scene I.


An apartment in the house of Don
Carlos.
Carlos, discovered writing.

Car.

Tearing paper, and rising. It is in vain!
Language cannot furnish me with terms to soften to
Victoria the ruinous transaction! Could she see the
compunctions of my soul, her gentle heart would
pity me!—But what then?—she is ruined! my
Children are undone! Ah! the Artifices of a base
woman, and my villainy to a most amiable one, have
made me unfit to live—I am a wretch that ought to
be driven from Society. Enter Pedro, hastily.

Ped.

Sir, Sir!

Car.

Well!

Ped.

Sir, I have just met Don Florio; he asked
if my mistress was at home, so I surmise he is going
to our house; and so I ran to let you know—for I
love to keep my word!—Though I think some mischief
will follow!

Car.

You have done well. Go home, wait for me
at the door, and admit me without noise. Exit
Pedro.
At least I shall have the pleasure of
Revenge! I’ll punish her by sacrificing her paramour
before her face—and then—what sickening
prospect then!

Exit.
GG4r 455


Scene II.


Donna Laura’s.
Enter Laura with precipitation, followed by Victoria.

Lau.

’Tis Don Sancho’s Carriage!—How succesful
was my Letter! This, my Florio, is a most important
moment.

Vict.

It is indeed! and I will leave you, to secure
the result of it. If I am present, I must witness
conduct in you that I shall not be able to endure,
though I know it to be but affected— (Aside.Now
Gaspar, play thy part well, and save Victoria!)

Lau.

This tender Jealousy is grateful to me!
Stay without in the Saloon. Exit Victoria. Here
comes the Dotard! Enter Gaspar, dressed as an Old Beau.
Two Servants follow, and take off a rich Cloak.

Gasp.

Take my cloak; and, d’ye hear Ricardo, go
home and bring the eider-down cushions for the
Coach, and tell the fellow not to hurry me post
through the streets of Madrid. I have been jolted
from side to side like a Pippin in a Mill-stream!
Drive a man, of my Rank, as he would a city vintner
and his fat wife going to a Bull-fight!――Aye, there
she is! looking through a Glass suspended by a
Ribbon
—there she is! Charming Donna Laura, let
me thus at the shrine of your beauty—makes an
effort to kneel, and falls on his face; Laura assists him
in rising
—Fie, fie, these new shoes! they have made
me skate all day like a Dutchman on a canal; and
now—well you see how profound my adoration is GG4v 456
Madam—When common lovers would but kneel, I
was prostrate.

Lau.

You do me infinite honour. (Aside.Disgusting
Wretch!)

Gasp.

But, how could you be so barbarous; to
leave me at Valencia, without granting me one interview
nearer than your Balcony!

Lau.

Ah! you dont understand woman’s artifice!
I knew you would follow; and, could I resist the
triumph of shewing that I led in my train the illustrious
Don Sancho?

Gasp.

Oh, you dear, charming—But stay—searching
his Pockets
Bless me, what a careless fellow I
am! I had a Casket with some Diamonds in it—a
Necklace, and a few trifles which I meant to have
had the honour to—Left it at home—Oh, my giddy
pate!

Lau.

You are always elegant I have no doubt Don
Sancho
—I’ll send my Servant—Pedro! calling.

Gasp.

No, no, tomorrow. It will be an excuse for
me to come tomorrow.

Lau.

My wishes might be your excuse; but, tomorrow
be it then. You look thinner to me now
than when I saw you from my window, Don Sancho.
—I protest, now I observe you, you are much altered.

Gasp.

Aye, Madam—Fretting! Your absence
raised rather a fever that lowered my bloom. You
see, I begin to look almost a middle aged man, now.

Lau.

No really; far from it, I assure you! (Aside.The Fop is as wrinkled as a baboon.)

Gasp.

My health was disturbed too by a strange
report, that Victoria’s husband Don Carlos was my
Rival. If this has been, I take my leave—My blade
will hardly keep in its scabbard when I think of him.

Lau.

Think no more of him. I merely permitted
him to have hopes of favour, until I had preserved
what would have been squander’d on others. I
wonder you gave your Niece to him with such a
Fortune! GG5r 457

Gasp.

Gave! Donna Victoria gave herself; and
as to Fortune, she had not a Pistole from me.

Lau.

’Twas indeed unnecessary, with so fine an
Estate as she had in Leon.

Gasp.

My Niece an Estate in Leon! Not enough
to give shelter to a field mouse; and, if he has told
you so, he is a Braggart.

Lau.

Told me so—I have the Writings; he has
made over the lands to me.

Gasp.

Made over the lands to you—Oh a deceiver!
Ah! here’s a plot. Pray, let me see this extraordinary
Deed—She runs to a Cabinet a plot, I’ll be
sworn.

Lau.

Here is the Deed which made that Estate
mine for ever—No, Sir, I will intrust it in no hand
but my own—Yet look over me, and read the description
of the Lands.

Gasp.

Reading through his Glass. H-r-r-r “in
the vicinage of Rosalva, bounded on the West by the
river—h-r-r-r—on the East by the forest”
Oh,
treacherous dog! I need read no further; I see how
the thing is.

Lau.

How, Sir!—but hold.—Stay a moment—I
am breathless with fear.

Gasp.

Nay, Madam, dont be afraid! The estate is
not his—that’s all;—he pretend the Castle is his!
the very Castle where his Uncle was born! and which
I never did, nor ever will, bestow on any Don in the
two Castiles.—Contriving rogue! Bribe you with a
title to that estate—ha! ha!

Lau.

Vengeance follow him! The villain I employed
must have been his creature—his reluctance
all Art—his anxiety to get the deeds into his hands
again must have been but from a wish to cancel the
proofs of his fraud.

Gasp.

Could you suppose I’d give Carlos such an
estate for running away with Victoria? No, no, the
Vineyards, and the Corn fields, and the Woods of
Rosalva are not his.—I’ve somebody else in my eye GG5v 458
—in my eye, observe me—to give my Right in them
to—cant you guess who it is?—Looks through his
Glass.

Lau.

No, indeed!— (Aside.He gives me a glimmering
that saves me from Despair!)

Gasp.

I wont tell you, unless you’ll bride me. I
wont indeed kisses her cheek There, now I’ll tell
you—All my estate shall be your’s.—I’ll give you
Deeds—I am uneasy that you possess the others!
The sooner you get rid of fictitious titles the better—
they are dangerous!

Lau.

Can you be serious?

Gasp.

I’ll sign and seal within an hour if you require
it. Seats himself.

Lau.

Noble Don Sancho!—Thus then I annihilate
the proof of his Perfidy, and of my Weakness! Thus,
I tear to Atoms his detested name—destroys the
Deeds
—and as I tread on these—so would I on his
Heart! Victoria. (Rushing in.)

Vict.

Transporting moment! my Children then
are saved!

Lau.

Apart. Oh, Florio, ’tis as thou said’st—
Carlos was a villain and deluded me. Ah! why this
strange air?—I see the cause!—you think me ruin’d
—thou wouldst abandon me! I perceive it by thy
averted face—thou darest not meet my eyes—If I
misjudge thee, speak!

Vict.

I cannot. You little guess the Emotions of
my heart—Heaven knows I pity you!

Lau.

Pity! Villain—and has thy Love already
sunk to Pity! Carlos (without.)

Car.

Stand off, quit your weak hold. I am come
for Vengeance!—Enters, his sword drawn. where GG6r 459
is this youth? where is this blooming rival? Hold
me not base woman!—Victoria retires to the back
of the Stage
in vain the stripling flies me, for
my sword shall within his bosom—atchieve my revenge!

Vict.

Advancing takes off her hat, and drops on her
knee.
Strike, strike here! Plunge it deep into
that bosom already pained by a hundred wounds
keener than your sword can give;—for there is the
corroding anguish of Love betrayed, there are felt
the pangs of disappointed hope—hope sanctified by
holiest Vows written in the book of Heaven!—Ah!
he sinks!—He seems faint, she springs towards him
—Oh! my Carlos! My beloved! my Husband!—
forgive my too severe reproaches—thou art dear, yet
dear as ever, to Victoria’s heart!

Car.

You know not what you do—or what you are!
Oh, Victoria, you are now—a beggar!

Vict.

No, we are rich, we are happy! See there
the fragments of that fatal Deed; had that not been
cancelled, we had indeed been undone, yet still not
wretched—could my Carlos think so!

Car.

The fragments of the Deed! the Deed which
that base woman—

Vict.

Speak not so harshly.—Madam, notwithstanding
my Duties as Wife and Mother, I am uneasy
at having practiced Artifice, and will make you
amends.—Be not afraid of poverty; a Woman has
deceived, but she will hope your reform, and will not
desert you!

Lau.

Is all this real? Can I be awake!

Vict.

May’st thou indeed awake to Virtue! You
have talents; be no longer unworthy of such precious
gifts, by exerting them but to atchieve dishonour.
Virtue is our first, our awful Duty; bow, Laura, bow
to her dictates, and deeply mourn that you e’er forgot
her heaven-sent precepts.

Lau.

And so! by a smooth speech on Virtue, you GG6v 460
think to drive from my memory the Injuries I sustain!
—Thou know’st not to appreciate my mind! Love
is less sweet to my heart than Revenge!—and, if
there is a Law in Spain to gratify that passion, your
“Virtue” shall have another field for exercise. Exit.

Gasp.

Calls after her You’ll find no help in the
Law of Spain—Charmer!

Car.

My hated rival—and my charming Wife!—
how many sweet Mysteries have you to unfold. Oh
Victoria! my soul thanks thee; but I dare not yet
say I love, ’till acts of watchful tenderness have
proved how deeply the sentiment is engraved in my
heart.

Vict.

Can it be true that I have been unhappy?
But the Mysteries, my Carlos, are already explained
to you—Gaspar’s resemblance to my Uncle—

Gasp.

Yes, Sir, I was always apt at resemblances.
In our plays at home I am always Queen Cleopatra
you know she was but a Gypsy Queen, and I hit her
off to a nicety.

Car.

My Victoria! To gaze on thee, to love, and
to listen to thee, seems a foretaste of the bliss of repentent
sinners—to whom cheering angels minister! Exit with Victoria.

Gasp.

Their wits help ’em—how easily are Women
taken in!—Here’s a wild rogue has plagued her heart
these two years; and a whip syllabub about ministering
Angels clears scores! ’Tis a pity that a little
masculine mental strength—though now I think on’t,
the number of such gentle Fair-ones is not over large!
—if it were at all lessened—the mind masculine would
be nearly universal!

Exit.
GG7r 461


Scene III.


The Prado.
Enter Minette, in a Mantle.

Min.

Ah! after I have been sauntering in sight
of his lodgings these two hours, here comes the man
at last. Now, if my Scheme takes, how happy shall
I be! Surely, as I was Donna Olivia before, to please
my Lady, I may be Donna Olivia now, to please myself.
I’ll address him as the maid of a Lady who
wishes to try his heart—convey him to our house—
then retire, come in again, and, with vast Confusion,
confess my tenderness, and that I sent my Servant.
If he should dislike my forwardness, the censure will
fall on my Lady’s character; if he should be pleased,
the advantage will be mine. But, perhaps he is here
on some frolic or other—I’ll watch him at a distance
before I speak. Exit. Enter Julio.

Julio.

—Not here! though she gave me last night
but a faint refusal, which I had a right, by all the
rules of gallantry, to construe into Assent!—then
she’s a jilt. Hang her, I feel I am uneasy! The first
woman that ever gave me pain. I feel with shame
that this spot has attractions for me because it was
here I conversed with her. ’Twas here the attractive
Syren, conscious of her Charms, unveiled her fascinating
face. ’Twas here— Enter Garcia and Vincentio.

Vin.

’Twas here—that Julio, leaving Champaigne GG7v 462
untasted, and Songs unheard, came to talk to the
whistling branches!

Gar.

’Twas here—that Julio, flying from the young
and the gay, was found in doleful meditation—on
Love for a hundred ducats!

Vin.

Who is she?

Julio.

Not Donna Olivia Gentlemen—not Donna
Olivia
!

Vin.

We have been seeking you, to ask—without
listeners—the event of your visit to her.

Julio.

The event has proved that you have been
most grossly duped.

Gar.

I knew that—ha! ha! ha!

Julio.

And you likewise—ha! ha! ha!—The fair
lady, so far from being a Vixen, is the very Essence
of Gentleness. To me, so much Sweetness in a wife
—would be downright maukish. I like the little
Poignancies which flow from quick Spirits and a
consciousness of Power!—one may as well marry a
looking glass, as a woman who constantly reflects
back one’s own sentiments and whims.

Vin.

Well, but what say you to an ear—that can
listen to a Jew’s-harp!

Julio.

Detests it; it would as soon listen to a Jew.

Gar.

Poh, poh! this is a game at Cross-purposes;
let us all go to Don Cæsar’s together, and settle
opinions on the spot.

Julio.

I shall go then with a Grace—as the only
man of the Sett not imposed upon! All going, arm in arm. Enter Minette, veil’d.

Min.

Gentlemen, my Lady has sent me for one of
you; pray which is it?

Julio.

Returning Me, without doubt, child.

Vin.

I dont know that yet.

Gar.

Look at me, my dear, dont you think I am
the man? GG8r 463

Min.

To Garcia Let me see—a good air, and
well formed, you are the man for a Dancer. To
Vincentio
Well dressed, and nicely made up—you
are the man for a bandbox. To Julio Handsome
spirited and graceful—you are the man for my Lady.

Julio.

My dear little Iris—here’s all the Gold in
my pocket.—Gentlemen, your most obedient—
humble—stalking by them, with his arm round
Minette.

Gar.

Pho, prithee, dont be a fool. Are you not
going to Donna Olivia?

Julio.

Donna Olivia must wait, my dear boy; we
can decide upon her tomorrow. Come along, my
little dove of Venus! Exit.

Gar.

What a rash fellow it is! Ten to one but
he’ll be robbed and murdered;—they take him for a
Stranger.

Vin.

Let’s follow, and see where she leads him.

Gar.

That’s hardly fair; however, as there seems
to be Danger, we’ll venture!

Exeunt.


Scene IV.


An apartment at Don Cæsar’s.
Enter Olivia, and Servant.

Oliv.

Bring my veil, and follow me to the Prado. Exit Servant. Julio will certainly be there; his
knowledge of the world ensures that he is too well
acquainted with the facility with which Spanish manners
admit of a Veiled adventure, not to translate my
denial into assent;—at least I must convince myself.
If I see him compleatly vanquished, I can drop
a chance card with my Name, and my Father hears
of him of course tomorrow. Exit. GG8v 464 Enter Minette and Julio.

Min.

There Sir—please to sit down ’till my Lady
is ready to wait on you—she wont be long. (Aside.—I’m sure she’s out, and I may effect much before
she returns.) Exit.

Julio.

Now, what species of adventure am I likely
to have? Is it some young Miss who takes advantage
of the Sanction of which the freedom of our Duenna
adventures admits, to let me know I may ask her
Papa?—or some different species of female, grown
bold in her Guilt?—Through fifty back Lanes, a long
Garden, and a narrow stair-case, into a superb apartment
—all that’s in the regular way.—One adventure
is sadly like another! most probably presently in
comes a stately dame with a Veil on, tells me she
fears I have but a slight opinion of her virtue, I make
her an answer about her Beauty, and, after a dozen
or two of entreaties and denials off comes the veil—
a fat Dame perhaps of Forty! The Freedoms of
life produce but a maukish sort of life, that’s the
truth on’t; if enlivened, it is but by being obliged to
leap from a window, or crawl like a cat along the
Gutters!—Ah, ah! but this promises Novelty—looking
through the door
a young girl and an old man—
wife or daughter?—they are coming this way.—My
lovely Incognita by all that’s propitious! Why did
not some kind Spirit whisper to me my happiness!
but hold—she cant mean to treat the old Gentleman
with a sight of me! Goes behind the Sofa. Enter Cæsar and Olivia.

Cæs.

No no Madam, no going out!—give me the
Veil;—that will be useless till you put it on for Life!
There Madam, this is your Apartment, your House,
your Garden, your Assembly, till you go to your
Convent! Why, how impudent you are to look thus
unconcerned—hardly forbearing to laugh in my face! HH1r 465
—Very well—very well! Exit, double locking the door.

Oliv.

Ha, ha, ha! I’ll be even with you my dear
father, though you treble lock it. I’ll stay here two
days, without once asking for my Liberty, and you’ll
come the third, with tears in your eyes, to take me
out. He has forgot that door leading to the garden
—but I vow I’ll stay; sitting down on the Sopha I
can make the time pass pleasantly enough.

Julio.

I hope so! Looking over the back of the
Sopha.

Oliv.

Screams. How is this? I am all amazement!

Julio.

My dear creature, why are you so alarmed?
—am I here before you expected me? Coming round.

Oliv.

Expected you!

Julio.

Oh, this pretty Surprise! Come, let us sit
down—your Father was very obliging to lock us in
together.

Oliv.

Calling at the door Sir! Sir! my Father!

Cæs.

Without Aye, ’tis all in vain—I wont come
near you. There you are, and there you may stay.
Make as much Noise as you will, I shan’t return.

Julio.

Why are you not ashamed, that your Father
has so much more consideration for your Guest than
you have!

Oliv.

My Guest! (Aside.How is it possible he
can have come hither!)

Julio.

Pho! this is carrying Reserve further than
is useful—if there were a third person here it might
be prudent.

Oliv.

Why this Assurance, Don Julio, is really—

Julio.

The thing in the world you are the most
ready to pardon.

Oliv.

Upon my word, I dont know how to treat
you.

Julio.

Consult your Heart.

Oliv.

I shall consult Delicacy and Reserve. Vol. I. HH HH1v 466

Julio.

Very pretty words; but really, when spoken
with that very grave face, after having sent your
Maid to bring me hither, they are rather more than
I expected. I shall be in an ill humour presently—I
wont stay if you treat me thus!

Oliv.

Well, this exceeds all preceding Impudence!
I have heard that men will, privately to each other,
slander women, but to utter it to one’s face!—I sent
for you, did I!

Julio.

Ha! ha! ha! Well, if it obliges you, I will
fancy that you did not send for me, that your Maid
did not conduct me hither, nay, that I have not now
the supreme happiness—catching her in his Arms. Enter Minette, re-dressed, screams, and runs out.

Julio.

Donna Olivia de Zuniga!—by what Enchantment
came she here?

Oliv.

(Aside. That’s lucky!) Olivia, my dear
friend, why do you run away? Minette re-enters. Apart to her. Keep the Character I charge you.
Be still Olivia!

Min.

Oh! dear Madam, I was—I was so frighten’d
when I saw that Gentleman.

Oliv.

Oh, my dear, it is the merriest kind of Gentleman
in the world—he pretends that I sent my Maid
for him—ha! ha!

Julio.

Aye, always tell a thing your own way, if
you wish it not to be believed.

Min.

It is an ingenious pretence, under which to
intrude on a Lady, however! (Aside.—It must not
be discovered that I know any thing of the matter!)

Oliv.

Now I think it a miserably poor one; he
has certainly not had occasion to invent reasons for
such Impertinences often. (Apart.

Olivia[Speaker label not present in original source]

Tell me that he
has made love to you, to day! HH2r 467

Min.

I fancy he has had occasion to excuse impertinences
very often;—his impertinence to me to
day—

Julio.

To you Madam?

Min.

Making Love to me, my dear, all the morning;
—could hardly get him away when Don Cæsar
was coming in, he was so very desirous to speak to
him for me.—Nay, Sir, I dont care for your impatience.

Oliv.

Nay, then, this accidental meeting is fortunate.
Pray, Don Julio, dont let my presence prevent
your conversing about any marriage settlements you
intend to offer to my friend—I should leave you
together?

Julio.

Apart. To contradict a Lady on such an
assertion would be too gross; but, upon my honour,
Donna Olivia is the last woman upon earth who could
inspire me with a tender thought! Find an excuse
to send her away, my Angel, I entreat you. I have
a thousand things to say, and the moments are too
precious to be given to her.

Oliv.

One can’t be rude, you know! Come, my
dear, sit down. Seating herself Have you brought
your work? They sit.

Julio.

Distraction! what can she mean? placing
himself between them.
Donna Olivia, I am sorry to
be obliged to inform you that my Physician has just
been sent for to your Father Don Cæsar—The poor
Gentleman is seized with a Vertigo.

Oliv.

Vertigo! Oh, dont go, he has one frequently
you know.

Min.

Yes, and he always then drives me from his
sight!

Julio.

Really, Madam, I cannot comprehend—

Cæs.

Without It is impossible—impossible, Gentlemen!
Don Julio, cannot be here.— unlocks the door.

Julio.

Ah! who’s that? HH2v 468 Enter Cæsar, Garcia, and Vincentio.

Gar.

There! did we not tell you so? We saw him
enter a Garden with which we were unacquainted,
and led, with an alarming mystery, by one unknown
to us and veiled. Olivia looks at Minette.

Cæs.

What can be the meaning of all this? a Man
in my Daughter’s apartment! Attempts to draw.

Gar.

Prevents him. Hold Sir! Don Julio is of
the first rank in Spain, and will unquestionably be
able to satisfy your Honour, without troubling your
Sword.— (Apart.

Gaspar[Speaker label not present in original source]

We have done mischief Vincentio!

Julio.

To Olivia. They have been unaccountably
impertinent! but never fear, I’ll bring you off by
pretending a Passion for your busy Friend there!

Cæs.

Satisfy me in a moment! speak one of you.

Julio.

I came here, Sir, by some accident. The
Garden door was open, and—I can hardly tell how I
was led to this Apartment—I knew not it was your
Daughter’s. You came in a moment after, and, very
civilly, lock’d me in with this Lady!

Cæs.

Lock’d you in! why then did you not, like a
Man of Honour, cry out?

Julio.

The Lady cried out, Sir, and you refused to
relieve her. But, when Donna Olivia de Zuniga
entered—for whom I have conceived a most serious
Passion—

Cæs.

A Passion for her! You may as well entertain
a passion for domesticating an untameable
Hyæna! I’ll hear of no more Addresses to her.

Gar.

There Vincentio! what think you now?
Xantippe, or not!

Vin.

I am afraid you are right—but so am I!
Pray Don Cæsar satisfy Garcia—has not the Lady a
fond passion for the tone of—a—particular species of
—Harp? HH3r 469

Cæs.

Fond! She’s fond of nothing but playing the
Vixen, there is not another such Fury upon earth!

Julio.

(Aside. All these are odd Liberties though,
with a person that doesn’t belong to him!)

Cæs.

I’ll play the Hypocrite to get her off no more;
the World shall know her true Character, they shall
know—but, ask her Maid there! Pointing to Minette.

Julio.

Her Maid!

Min.

Why—yes—Sir, to say Truth, after all—I
am but Donna Olivia’s Maid!

Oliv.

(Apart.

Olivia[Speaker label not present in original source]

Dear Minette! speak for me, or I
am ruined!

Min.

I will Madam! I must confess Sir going up
to Julio.
there never was so bitter a temper’d creature
as my Lady is. I have borne her tempers for two
years—Olivia pulls her sleeve—I will, I will! to
Olivia.
and this I am sure of, that if you marry her,
you’ll rue the day every hour the first month, and
hang yourself the next!— (Aside.I have done it
roundly now!) Exit.

Oliv.

(Aside. I am caught in my own Snare!)

Cæs.

After this true character of my Daughter, I
suppose Signor we shall hear no more of your Vows;
so let us depart, and leave Madam to begin her
Penance! Going.

Julio.

My ideas are in the utmost Chaos! My
IncognitaDonna Olivia de Zuniga! and the person
I took for you, your Maid! something too flattering
darts across my mind!

Cæs.

Oh, if you have any Marriage Settlements to
propose to her Maid, I have nothing further to say;
but as to that violent creature—

Julio.

Oh! do not profane her thus! Where is that
boisterous Spirit you tell me of? Is it that which
speaks in those conscious blushes on her cheeks? is
it that which bends her lovely eyes to Earth?

Cæs.

Aye, they are only bent on how to afflict me HH3v 470
with some new Obstinacy—she’ll break out in some
new character in a moment.

Julio.

It cannot be—are you, enchanting Being,
such a creature?

Oliv.

To all men—but one. Looking down.

Julio.

But one! Oh, might that excepted one be me!

Oliv.

Would you not fear to trust your fate, with
her you have cause to think so hateful?

Julio.

No, I should hold in grateful remembrance
the hour that made my fate and her’s one. Permit
me, Sir, to pay my vows to this fair Vixen?

Cæs.

Are you so bold a man! But, if you are, ’twill
be only lost time. She’ll contrive, some way or
other, to return your vows upon your hands.

Oliv.

If they have your Sanction Sir, I will return
them—only with my own.

Cæs.

What’s that! what did she say? my head is
giddy with Surprise!

Julio.

And mine with rapture! Catching her hand.

Cæs.

Dont make a Fool of me, Olivia.—Wilt
marry him?

Oliv.

If you command me, Sir!

Cæs.

My dear Don Julio thou art my guardian
angel!—Shall I have a Son-in-Law at last? Garcia,
Vincentio, could either of you have foreseen this?

Gar.

Sir, if we had, we should have saved that
Lady much trouble; ’tis pretty clear now, why she
was a Vixen.

Vin.

Yes, yes, all is clear enough. I beg your pardon,
Madam, for the share of trouble I gave you.
The only favor I have now to ask is that you will tell
me your sincere Opinion of the Science to which
I am devoted?

Oliv.

I love Music, Don Vincentio, I admire your
Skill, and you will delight me when you give me a
Concert! 471

Vin.

Marrying me would have enchanted me less!
I am satisfied with a union in Taste—and congratulate
Julio. Enter Carlos and Victoria.

Oliv.

Ah!—here comes Victoria and her Carlos.—
My friend, you are happy—’tis in your looks, we
need not ask the event.

Cæs.

Don Carlos, you come in a happy hour!

Car.

I do indeed, for I am most happy.

Julio.

Why Carlos! what has made thee thus since
morning?

Car.

A Wife! Marry, Julio, marry!

Julio.

This Advice from you?

Car.

Yes, and when you have married an Angel,
when that angel shall have done for you so much, as
to make your Gratitude almost equal to your Love,
you may then guess something of what I feel in calling
this angel mine.

Oliv.

So, Don Julio, I suppose if I should bestow
on you the honour of my hand, you will, on this
hint, behave with cruelty, that I, like my exemplary
Cousin—

Vict.

Hold, Olivia! It is not necessary that a
Husband should be faulty to make a Wife’s character
exemplary;—your gratitude displayed for his tender
watchfulness will give you sufficient Graces, whilst
the purity of your Manners, and the nice Honour of
your life, will gain you applause—where Approbation
is Fame.

Oliv.

Pretty and matronly! thank you my Dear!
We have each made a bold hit to day; your’s has
been to reclaim a Husband, mine to gain one.—Shall
we venture now to make a bold claim—on the Approbation
of our Judges!

End of the First Volume.