A1r A1v

A
School For Greybeards;

or, The
Mourning Bride:

A
comedy,
in five acts.

as performed at the
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

By Mrs. Cowley

London:
Printed for G.G.J. and J. Robinson, PaterNoster-Row.
1786MDCCLXXXVI.


Price One Shilling and Six-pence

A2r

An
Address

I offer the following Comedy to the
public, under a circumstance which has
given my mind the most exquisite uneasiness.
On the morning after the first representation,
it was observed by the papers that there had
been persons present at the Theatre the preceding
evening, who went there determined to
disapprove at all events. From such a determination
it is hard indeed to escape! And
the opposition intended, was justified it seems,
by the indecency of some of the expressions.
—From such a charge I feel it impossible to
defend myself; for against an imputation like
this, even vindication becomes disgraceful!

A2 As A2v [ iv ]


As I was not at the Theatre, I should have
had some difficulty in understanding at what
passages the objections were levelled, had not
one of the papers recorded them, with many
cruel remarks. The particulars which were
thus pointed out, will, I trust, be a sufficient
apology for themselves. In the following
pages they are all restored; that the public
at large may have the power to adjudge
me, as well as that small part of it, confined
within the walls of a Theatre.


These passages have not been restored from
any pertinacious opinion of their beauty—
for other expressions might have conveyed my
intention as well; but had I allowed one line
to stand as altered for the stage, what might
not that reprobated line have been supposed
to express? I shrink from the idea! And
therefore most solemnly aver, that the Comedy,
as now printed, contains every word which
was opposed the first night, from the suspicion
of indelicacy; hoping their obvious meaning
only will be attended to, without the coarse
ingenuity of strained explanations; which have A3r [ v ]
have been made, by persons who seem desirous
to surround my talk of dramatic writing, with
as many difficulties as possible.


A celebrated Critic, more attended to for
the discrimination and learning which appear
in his strictures, than for their lenity; in his
observations on the Greybeards, has the following.


“When Mrs. Cowley gets possession of
the spirit and turn of a character, she
speaks the language of that character better
than any of her dramatic cotemporaries.”


This, I confess, I hold to be very high
praise; and it is to this very praise, which
my cotemporaries resolve I shall have no
claim. They will allow me, indeed, to draw
strong character, but it must be without
speaking its language. I may give vulgar or
low bred persons, but they must converse in
a stile of elegance. I may design the coarsest
manners, or the most disgusting folly, but its
expressions must not deviate from the line of politeness. A3v [ vi ]
politeness. Surely it would be as just to exact
from the Artists who are painting the Gallery
of Shakespeare, that they should compleat
their designs without the use of light and
shade.


It cannot be the Poet’s mind, which the
public desire to trace, in dramatic representation;
but the mind of the characters, and
the truth of their colouring. Yet in my case
it seems resolved that the point to be considered,
is not whether that dotard, or that
pretender, or that coquet, would so have given
their feelings, but whether Mrs. Cowley
ought so to have expressed herself.


This is a criterion which happily no author
is subjected to, but those of the drama.
The Novelist may use the boldest tints;—
seizing Nature for her guide, she may dart
through every rank of society, drag forth
not only the accomplished, but the ignorant,
the coarse, and the vulgar-rich; display them
in their strongest colours, and snatch immortality
both for them, and for herself! I, on the A4r [ vii ]
the contrary, feel encompassed with chains
when I write, which check me in my happiest
flights, and force me continually to reflect,
not, whether this is just? but, whether
this is safe?


These are vain regrets, which I hope my
readers will pardon me, for having a moment
indulged. I now hasten to that part of the
Comedy which will be found in the following
sheets, as altered for the second representation.


The idea of the business which concerns
Antonia, Henry, and Gasper was presented
to me in an obsolete Comedy; the work of
a poet of the drama, once highly celebrated.
I say the idea, for when it is known that in
the original the scene lay amongst traders in
the city of London—and those traders of the
lowest and most detestable manners, it will
be conceived at once, that in removing it to
Portugal, and fixing the characters amongst
the nobility, it was hardly possible to carry
with me more than the idea. The circumstance
which most particularly interested me; 6 and A4v [ viii ]
and fixed itself in my mind, was that of
snatching a young woman from a hateful
marriage, the moment before that marriage
became valid—that is to say, after the ceremony.
This very circumstance to which the
Comedy owes its existence, was that, which
some of the audience found discordant to
their feelings. An event which had in the
last century been stampt with the highest
applause, (tho’ surrounded by many repulsive
circumstances) was found in this, to be illconceived.
I did not, however, dispute the
decision of my Critics,—and the marriage
has been in course dissolved.


The manner in which the Comedy has
since been received, gives room to suppose
that the alteration is approved. It has struggled
with many oppressive circumstances: the
chasm in the performance, occasioned by the
repeated illness of Mr. Parsons, was sufficient
to have sunk it;—but neither that, nor the
sterile month of December, always against
the Theatres, has prevented its being distinguished
by many brilliant and crouded nights. A5r [ ix ]
nights. I now resign it to the closet, where
without the aid of fine acting, or the fascinations
of beauty, and deriving all its little
force from the pen which composed it, it
hopes still to amuse;—the innocent flame of
Seraphina’s coquetry may still shed rays of
delight on her readers, and the affecting situation
of Antonia interest them.

H. Cowley.

Pro- A5v [ x ]

Prologue.

By Mr. Cobb.

Spoken by Mr. Bannister, Jun.

Prologues, like mirrors, which opticians place,

In their shop windows, to reflect each face

That passes by—still mark how fashion varies;

Reflecting Ton in all her wild vagaries:

Point out when hats and caps are large or small,

And register when collars rise or fall.

Caricature the fashionable hobby;

And tell if boots or shoe-strings grace the lobby:

Nay, bolder grown, have fought for your applause,

With many a naughty joke on cork and gauze.

Yet howsoe’er the saucy comic muse

Delights fantastic fashion to abuse,

From pert Thalia’s wit let’s try to save her,

And see what can be said in fashion’s favour.

How many own immortal Handel’s sway,

Since fashion to the Abbey led the way!

There taking long neglected nature’s part,

She hail’d him Shakespeare of th’ harmonic art.

In vain had warbled Galatea’s woe,

If fashion had not bid the tear to flow.

“Hailstones and fire” had spent their rage in vain;

You might as well have heard a shower of rain.

But now, awaken’d to his magic song,

Folks wonder how the deuce they’ve slept so long.

3 His A6r [ xi ]

His tortur’d airs, all voices made to suit,

His chorusses adapted for a flute.

Hand organ, hurdygurdy, tambourine;

In Handel’s praise all join the general din.

When Miss is teiz’d to sing by every guest;

And fond Mamma, too, joining with the rest,

Cries, “Get the new guittar Papa has bought you;

Play the last lesson Mr. Tweedle taught you.”

Miss hems and simpers—feigns a cold of course;

After the usual “Dear Sir, I’m so hoarse,”

Instead of a cotillon from her book,

Where favour’d Handel triumphs o’er Malbrouk.

By way of prelude to the charming squall,

Thrums like a minuet the March in Saul.

Papa too, who a connoisseur now grows,

Accompanies divinely—with his nose.

Since music is so universal grown,

Shall not our Mourning Bride its influence own?

Sure ’tis the wish of ev’ry female breast—

That harmony may soothe her cares to rest.

Guided by harmony’s enchanting laws,

Her sweetest music will be your applause.

Dra A6v

Dramatis Personæ.

Don Alexis, Mr. King.

Don Gasper, Mr. Parsons.

Don Octavio Mr. Palmer.

Don Henry, Mr. Kemble.

Don Sebastian,Mr. Bannister, Jun.

Donna Seraphina, Miss Farren.

Donna Antonia, Mrs. Crouch.

Donna Viola, Mrs. Brereton.

Donna Clara, Mrs. Cuyler.

Rachel, Mrs. Wrighten.

Cartola, Mrs. Wilson.


Bride Maids, Ladies, Servants, &c.

Scene, Portugal.
B1r

School For Greybeards;

or, The
Mourning Bride.

Act I.

Scene, An Apartment at Don Sebastian’s.


Enter two Servants, on opposite sides.

Pedrillo.

So our Master is dressing, to dine with Don Gasper
to-day, previous to the wedding ceremony.

Jaquez.

Yes—Gad the bride will be well
match’d! there’s hardly a richer man in Lisbon.

Pedrillo.

Well married you mean;—as to the
match, you might have made a better, between a
canary bird and a jack-a-lantern. Sixty-five and
eighteen, is a union full as vapoury and unnatural.

Jaquez B1v 2

Jaquez.

Now you have done it! Prithee who
can that stranger be, so muffled up, without?

Pedrillo.

I know not—he takes as much pains
to hide his face, as tho’ he had stol’n it.

Jaquez.

Silly!—stol’n faces are always shewn off
the most boldly; witness our Ladies, after they
have been robbing the rouge pots. But as to this
stranger! he says he comes from our Master’s
friend, Don Henry.

Pedrillo.

Hah! does he so? What that Don
Henry
who was obliged to fly, for having fought a
duel?

Jaquez.

The same. Hang me if I’d be playing
at hide-and-seek in foreign lands, for drawing a
little blood. I’d go boldly to court, and ask to
speak to the Queen’s Majesty, and fall upon my
knees, and say—

Pedrillo.

Hist; here comes Don Sebastian.
Enter Sebastian.
Here is a stranger waiting without Sir.

Sebas.

Who is he?

Pedrillo.

Truly, Sir, I can’t discover. I have
question’d and cross question’d him to no purpose
—he’s as dexterous at shifting an answer, as
tho’ he was foster-brother to a lawyer.

Jaquez.

But he says, Sir, he came from Don
Henry
,—he who was oblig’d to fly his country for
challenging the—

Sebas.

Hah! Where is he? going to the wing
No, bring him hither—bring him instantly! The
brave unfortunate Don Henry! This hour will
be to him, the heaviest of his life. he enters
Welcome, Sir! the friend of Don Henry cannot
find a house in Portugal, where he would be
more joyfully received.

3 Henry. B2r 3

Henry.

What, Sir! dare you thus receive the
friend of a banish’d man?—of a man, who were
he seen in Lisbon, would have his head claimed
the next hour, by the executioner? If thus you can
receive his friend, how will you receive himself?


Throwing open his cloak.

Sebas.

In my arms, and in my heart! I re—
no, I do not rejoice. Oh Don Henry, what imprudence!
How dare you venture hither before
your pardon has been obtained?

Henry.

Could you suppose the intelligence of
Antonia’s marriage, would suffer me to rest in any
other spot, that the proud sun visits? Had I been
beneath the zone from whence he pours his broadest
rays, or in the dusky regions of Cimmeria, such
intelligence must have impell’d me hither!

Sebas.

And to what purpose? Surely this is a
sort of Quixotism, that must end, like the sublime
Knight’s contention with the windmills.

Henry.

I care not how it ends. The displeasure
of my sovereign, and my heart torn by the ingratitude
of the woman on whom it doats—the
sooner the end approaches, the better!

Sebas.

I am not now to learn, how hard it is, to
stem the torrent of your passions—yet if you would
be patient, all might be well.—At least I trust so;
tho’ my visit to England, at that period, prevented
my knowing precisely the ground of your quarrel.

Henry.

Quarrel! with contempt Do you then
suspect it was a fray in which I fought; or that
my sword is drawn in tavern brawls; or to support
the insolence, or perfidy of an abandoned
wanton? Duels of that sort, a soldier stoops not
to!

Sebas.

Pray then inform—

B2 Henry. B2v 4

Henry.

I fought to punish the slanderer of him,
who taught me how to fight—the brave D’Almeida;
that once conquering hero!

Sebas.

I knew him well.

Henry.

’Twas he first plac’d a sword upon my
youthful thigh; and drawing forth the burnish’d
blade, never my Henry, said the hoary general
“never be its lustre stain’d, except to
serve your king, or vindicate your friend! These
are the outlines of a soldier’s duty;—would you
be a perfect soldier? Labour to be an exemplary
man!”
; with that sword—I thank it! holding
his sword, and bending over it
I punish’d his
traducer!

Sebas.

Surely you cannot doubt of pardon.

Henry.

But, whilst I wait for pardon in another
kingdom, my Antonia’s lost—oh!

Sebas.

Is she not already lost?

Henry.

No, she is not—and by heaven she shall
not! She’s my contracted wife;—no power on
earth can make her another’s, whilst I live.

Sebas.

All this, my friend, only proves the bitter
excess of your disappointment—have you any
settled scheme?

Henry.

I have.—At Madrid it chanc’d that Don
Julio
, nephew to old Gasper my rival, conceived
a warm attachment for me.—From him I learnt
the news of this abhorr’d marriage—the agonies it
threw me in, he compassionated; and formed a
scheme, which wears a face of success.

Sebas.

Alas!—it is—well, but pray go on.

Henry.

Learning that my person was unknown
to Don Gasper, whose retired life throws him out
of all public circles, Julio conceived the resolution
to make me pass for himself.

Sebas B3r 5

Sebas.

You to pass for Don Gasper’s nephew—
well!

Henry.

With this view he pretended an ardent
desire to visit Portugal. His father has in course
written to Don Gasper; we both arrived last night,
and Julio has given me the letter, which will fix
me in the house of my rival; to prevent, by whatever
means that may offer themselves, the design
upon my honour—the robbery of my wife!

Sebas.

My dear unhappy Henry, summon your
fortitude whilst I tell you, that Don Julio’s friendship,
united with your own temerity, cannot save
your honour—if your honour is to be wounded
by— shaking his head.

Henry.

What’s that? oh speak Sebastian—my
apprehensions choak me!

Sebas.

I cannot give sound to words so cruel—
but fly, and save that life, which if you are discovered
here, must be forfeited.

Henry.

Hah—I understand you—she’s married!
she’s married! Antonia is another’s! Oh, Sebastian
—let me breathe! throwing himself on
Sebastian.

Sebas.

Courage man! if you would but swear a
little now, and give all the sex, black, brown, and
yellow, to the devil, I should have some hopes of
you.

Henry.

Oh!

Sebas.

There’s no bearing this! a fine young
fellow yielding himself to despair, at the very moment
his perfidious mistress is giving herself to
another! This very day she weds Don Gasper.

Henry.

This very day said’st thou?—oh, speak it
again Sebastian—bless me with the sound! is it
this very day?

Sebas.

Alas! he’s mad.

Henry. B3v 6

Henry.

Oh, no; if it be but this day, there yet
are hopes.—

Sebas.

She is now in the house of your rival.
According to the custom of our country, she this
morning went there, attended by her bride-maids;
and in the evening old Gasper receives her vows.

Henry.

They are mine!—in the face of heaven,
and before witnesses they are mine;—if she has
given them to another they cannot be valid, but
by my assent. I’ll fly instantly to the house—,

going.

Sebas.

Nay, suffer me to attend you; for tho’ I
have dear and tender cares of my own, I shall
scarcely be awake to them, whilst my friend is in
such danger!

Don Henry.

Oh, Sebastian! the bliss or misery
of all my years to come, must be determined before
the approaching night hath told out half its
hours. The enterprize is difficult—is full of
danger! but what danger can be formidable to a
wretch, who, precipitated on a gulph, must leap it,
or be lost?

Exeunt.

Scene changes to Don Gasper’s.

He enters, meeting Rachel.

Don Gasper.

Well Rachel, how is my little
girl? how is the bride? Are her spirits got up?
What does she do?—What does she say?

Rachel.

Oh lord, Sir, she says but little; and
as to doing, a half stifled sigh pops out now and
then, or else she’s as still as an ivory statute.

Don Gasp.

Statute! but why don’t you talk to
her then, Mrs. Statute; and tell her how happy she B4r 7
she is? You should say d’ye see ma’am what a fine
house you are mistress of?—d’ye see ma’am how
many servants are at your command?—and this
rich casket of jewels ma’am, which my master presents
to you—how many ladies will envy you these
jewels!—Did not her eyes sparkle when she found
e’m on her toilet?

Rachel.

No, Sir; but they glitter’d—for there
was a tear in each.

Don Gasp.

Tear! ay tears of joy, to be sure!

Rachel.

The bride-maids and the rest of the
ladies endeavour’d all they could to divert her,
but to no purpose—so I up, and said—says I,
“laws! ma’am, you are the happiest lady in Portugal.—
My master is the most aggreeablest man for an
old—I mean a middle-aged gentleman”
—that was
the word indeed, Sir! “for a middle-aged gentleman
in all the world. He’s never out of temper,
nor peevish, except when he has got the gout.”

Don Gasp.

Pshaw!

Rachel.

“Then” says I, “Ma’am, as to wrinkles—
Lord, what signifies minding a few wrinkles?
Why, in forty years, Ma’am, you’ll be as wrinkley
as he is.”

Don Gasp.

What the devil did you talk to her
of wrinkles for? Wrinkles! to be sure I have the
crow’s feet about my eyes; but many men have
them before they are thirty.

Rachel.

That’s true. “Then” says I, “as to my
Master’s teeth, Ma’am, they are as white, and
even, and polish’d—ay, as your Ladyship’s!”

And so they are you know, Sir—they have been
home but a fortnight.

Don Gasp.

Zounds! Get into the kitchen, and
go near your Lady no more. Was there ever
such a stupid chattering—

Rachel. B4v 8

Rachel.

It’s nuts to me to sting him, for I pity
the poor young creature from my soul.

Exit.

Don Gasp.

I don’t know whether it is stupidity
or archness in the wench—I am afraid she means
to laugh at me. Hang me if I would have married
at all, if my son would have married; but
families must be kept up; and nothing can persuade
that young dog into the trammels—he’d rather
turn monk than turn to matrimony. Enter
servant
Well, you saw your Lady, honest Peter?

Peter.

Yes, Sir.

Don Gasp.

Ah—well—well—isn’t she a pretty
tight thing? Look in the garden—there she trips
—there she trips.

Peter.

With submission, Sir, I wish the trip
mayn’t have been your’s. I am afraid this marriage
is one of the falsest steps your worship ever
made.—And here’s my young master—I am out,
if he does not think so too, for all he looks so full
of spirits.

Don Gasp.

What care I for what your young
master thinks, or you either, you old—

Exit servant.
Enter Octavio.

Octavio.

Joy to you, Sir! joy on this festive
morn! but by the way it is very ill dress’d for a
bridal morn—the same dusky blue it has worn
this fortnight; nor has the sun been at the expence
of one ray extraordinary! All nature should have
been in gala, on such an event as your nuptials.
—But where is my mother? I came eagerly to
pay my duty.

Don Gasp.

Mother! Gad it will look odd, to
esee such a strapper as you, call her mother.

Octavio. C1r 9

Octavio.

Shall it be mamma, Sir?

Don Gasp.

No. Madam—that’s grave and
comely. Madam has a distant sound in it—you
shall call her madam. But instead of coming dutifully
to congratulate me Sir, why did you not
dutifully marry yourself?

Octavio.

Faith, Sir, of all the duties fate has
imposed upon a man, I think that the hardest.

Don Gasp.

’Tis an imposition that some hundred
dozen of your great-grandsires, as wise and as
witty as your worship, have submitted to.

Octavio.

’Tis devilish strange, that it was necessary
for so many great men to play the fool, to
bring me into existence!

Don Gasp.

There’s Don Alexis d’Alva has been
half mad to give you his daughter—ever since
your return from Italy.

Octavio.

Ay; had I had the grace to humour
him, Sir, how happy for your fair Antonia! She
might have become at the same moment a virgin
bride, and a grandmamma. Drawling.

Don Gasp.

Pshaw—nonsense!

Octavio.

However, Sir, let her not despair—she
may hope for the honour of being a grand-mother
yet. I refused the daughter of Don Alexis, without
having seen her; but now that I have seen her,
I think I could venture to exchange my dear
prized liberty, for captivity with her.

Don Gasp.

Say you so my boy? Its the happiest
news that I have heard. But where could you
see her? for Don Alexis is so nicely jealous,
that if his stone walls had eyes, he’d never suffer
either his wife or daughter to unveil before
them.

Octavio.

I saw her at church with her father.
The sermon was on Christian charity, and to shew C how C1v 10
how well she could illustrate the doctrine, she lifted
her veil on that side next me—for she saw me
hungering, and thirsting, for a view.

Don Gasp.

Memorandum—My wife never goes
to church.

Octavio.

You shock me, Sir—What is my
dear mamma to turn heathen?

Don Gasp.

No, Sir—I’ll read homilies to her,
and she shall have prayers at home.


Enter Servant.

Serv.

Don Alexis de Alva, Sir, is come to pay
his compliments to you on your wedding.

Octavio.

’Tis a happy presage!—Pray recommend
my suit Sir, and in the mean time I’ll go
and ask blessing of the young lady in the garden.

Exit.
Enter Don Alexis.

Don Alexis.

So my old friend, you’re going to do
a wise deed to day; Soloman and the child was
nothing to it! Give ye joy—I give ye joy!

Don Gasp.

You have a happy knack in your civilities.
You wish me joy, as tho’ you hoped it
would be sorrow; and congratulate with an air of
reproach.

Don Alexis.

Air of a fiddle-stick’s end! Why
didn’t ye ask my advice? Could any body have
given ye better? Have I not done the same thing
—have I not made an old ass of myself, by marrying
a girl?

Don Gasp.

Never mind that, if your girl does
not transform your ass-ship’s ears to horns.

Don Alexis.

Ay, that’s a blessed fear to be
goaded with, in the last stage of one’s mortal journey!ney! C2r 11
I wish the day I left my bed to marry, I
had been confined in it with a gout, an asthma,
and a dropsy. Oons man, there’s no end of your
plagues from this moment!

Don Gasp.

Pray keep your temper now—keep
your temper. ’Tis a very bad one; but pray keep
it however!

Don Alexis.

Why, you’d find it easier to spin
cables out of cobwebs; or to pierce thro’ the
earth, and swim out at the Antipodes, than to
manage a young rantipole wife, and so your servant
—I give ye joy—much good may it do you.


going.

Don Gasp.

Stay, stay, a moment, man! and
tell me which is the greatest torment, a young
wife, or daughter?

Don Alexis.

Oh lord! why a daughter is a
seventh day ague, and a wife is a frenzy fever.

Don Gasp.

Well, come, I’ll recommend ye a
physician for your ague.

Don Alexis.

A physician—What d’ye mean?

Don Gasp.

Why a lover to take your daugher
off your hands.

Don Alexis.

Who’ll be the bold man to do that?

Don Gasp.

An impudent young rascal six feet
and a half high; who upon such authority as
husbands are obliged to take, calls me father; if
you like it, he may call you so.

Don Alexis.

What Octavio! Will he be my
doctor!—Octavio marry my daughter!—But perhaps
this is a wedding day joke of yours, old
Signor! Gad you’ll find this day’s work no joke
believe me.

Don Gasp.

If its a joke you have it but at
second hand; the original inventor is now in the C2 house, C2v 12
house, and has just desired me to employ all my
interest in his favour.

Don Alexis.

Interest—let him use his own interest
—bid him come. Oh the stout rogue!—
Your interest! you have no more than a corkcutter
with an archbishop. Bid him come, I say! I’ll
hurry home and prepare my daughter. Ay,
ay, let boys and girls marry, my old friend, but
as for—well I’ll say no more—much good may it
do ye! Exit.

Don Gasp.

By Saint Jeffery the old fellow has
made me feel chilly upon the business!—What
brought him here to throw cold water upon all my
ardors, and all the pretty little loves that were
springing up, and warming the Lapland region
about my heart. In one’s wintry age those gleams
require to be cherish’d, and not—Gad I’ll go to
little Tony—the baggage has never yet given me
one kiss; the warm touch of her lips will be an
antidote to his cold poison, or I’m—going.


Enter Servants.

Serv.

Sir, here’s one Don Julio from Spain.

Don Gasp.

Hey!

Serv.

Your worship’s nephew, Sir, from Madrid.
He has brought you a letter from his father,
Don Henriques; and desires you’ll admit him to
pay his duty.

Don Gasp.

Hah! my own sister’s son—my poor
Olivia’s boy, of whom she died in childbed. Let
him come in. Don Henry introduced. My dear
nephew, why I am as glad to see thee as if—how
dost do? Grown up a man! dear, dear, how time
slips! ’Twas but yesterday that your mother came
out of the Convent to be married.—Like her too C3r 13
too—very like her indeed! Well, and how dost
do Julio? how is thy father?

Don Henry.

Don Henriques was well, Sir, when
I left Madrid—that letter will inform you of his
wishes. Scarcely can I contain my feelings! I am
now under the roof with the perfidious Antonia
and this wretch will call her his wife! Let him beware
how he shews the slightest fondness! by
heaven if he should—

Don Gasp.

Ay, very well—very well. Your
father desires you may be reciev’d as my guest;
and adds, that you are of a remarkable sober serious
turn. I am glad of it Julio—never be wild
my boy! I suppose you can see a pretty woman
without wishing her husband at the devil; or endeavouring
to persuade her, that you are a finer
fellow than he is.

Don Henry.

Those are not my habits, Sir.

Don Gasp.

I believe ye—there’s something in
your look that confirms what you say. Well you
are come in happy time—you are going to have
a new aunt—I’ll present ye to her. But she is
very rigid;—Remember that! she’ll expect ye
to treat her with the most distant respect. She’s
not so young as she looks; no—no—a sedate
person. Some women will look young in spite of
years.

Don Henry.

True, Sir; as some men will be
fools in spite of wrinkles.

Don Gasp.

Ay, you are right nephew—’tis a
vile foolish age!—Now I’ll carry ye to your aunt
—hah, here she comes;—but not so pretty a woman
I assure you, when examined; as at the first
glance—some women strike at first, you know—

Don Henry.

Aside Hypocritical slanderer!
How shall I contain my emotions? Antonia enters with C3v 14 with ladies Hah! she doth not look happy—some
consolation to my rack’d heart!

Don Gasp.

Come deary, cheer up, cheer up!
What all these trinkets, and rich laces, and finery,
not brighten ye? Had you married a young fellow,
he’d have made you no such presents—his
money would have been lavish’d on his mistresses
—I’ll keep no mistresses; no naughty women shall
seduce thy nown old man.

Antonia.

Aside Nauseous! Oh Clara, my fate
seems to open on me at this moment with a horror
I never yet conceived!

Clara.

’Tis a moment too late sweet cousin!
You have submitted to your fate, think now how
to make your fate sumbit to you.

Gasp.

Out, out, no whispering till you grow
old enough to turn backbiters! Now call up your
smiles patting Antonia’s cheek, and your pretty
roguish leers! Come ladies your spirits, your wit!
I thought every woman was happy on a weddingday,
whether ’twas her own or her neighbour’s.

Lady.

The bride’s pensiveness infects us, Sir.
Mirth seems to be impertinent.

Antonia.

Oh pardon me! Were my spirits obedient
to my wishes, your reproach would have
been undeserved; but tho’ we can determine how
to act, I find we cannot determine how to feel.

Don Gasp.

Feel, feel! When I was a youngster,
women had no such word in their vocabulary.
Can’t you leave your feelings alone? Never mind
’em; and then like neglected guests they’ll be in
no hurry to repeat their visits. I have not regarded
my feelings many years; and now they
have learnt manners, and don’t interrupt me.

Don Henry.

Aside Not one chance look this way! C4r 15
way! and yet I can forgive the sweet averted
eye, because it speaks disgust to all around her.

Antonia.

You know the cause I have for sorrow,
and have allowed it; yet my pensiveness ought
not to throw a weight upon the day;—I will be
better.

Don Gasp.

Yes, yes, we shall be as happy, and
as faithful as two turtle-doves—shan’t we, Pet?

Antonia.

I hope to prove my duty, Sir. He
never ask’d my love! aside.

Don Gasp.

Ud! I had forgot—here, here’s
a nephew of mine—a nephew of yours now; pray
receive him. Don Julio Cavallo.

She curtsies without regarding him.

Don Henry.

aside Where then is the secret
sympathy of love, which should instruct her that
her Henry’s near? She shall observe me.—May
this day be happy to you, lady; and to him, whom
most you wish to bless!

She starts at his voice, looks, and shrieks.

Don Gasp.

Heyday little Pet, what ails ye?—
why do you start and shriek?—he’s my own flesh
and blood.

Antonia.

Surprize, Sir. Your nephew so much—
he so much resembles—

Don Gasp.

Ay, like me, mayhap you think. I
believe there is a family likeness, but that need
not have scared you so.

Antonia.

No, Sir, it was not that—his resemblance
is to—to a most belov’d relation, whom
I have lost.

Don Gasp.

Oh, what your cousin I suppose;
that fine young man who went to Mexico, and
was drown’d—ay, poor fellow he was drown’d!

Antonia.

Were Don Henry living, I should believe
the stranger him; but oh ’tis impossible— C4 the C4v 16
the grave will not give back its prey; no, not to
agonizing love!

Don Gasp.

Come, come, little Pudsey, what d’ye
cry for? your cousin that was drown’d, went to
Mexico to make his fortune, did’nt he?

Antonia.

Yes, Sir.

Don Gasp.

Well, he got his end there—what
would you have? Come, let us go to the musicroom.
There you, who have husbands, will find
them; and you who have none, may make snares
for them. Come, Pet! leading her you are already
snared; and egad! he must look sharp who
gets you out of my net.

Exeunt all but Don Henry.

Don Henry.

Yes I will look sharp, and get her
out of thy net, closely as thou hast entangled her.

Donna Clara returns, and twitches his arm.

Donna Clara.

Turn, young man, I pray! he
starts
Good Don Julio, tell Don Henry we did
not expect to find him in masquerade to grace Antonia’s
nuptials.

Don Henry.

I am discover’d then—Oh Donna
Clara!
your faithless cousin.

Donna Clara.

Faithless, has she been?

Don Henry.

Is she not this day to be married?

Donna Clara.

Truly I think so, Signor, or I am
not a bridemaid; but how far faithless I know
not—for I return’d from Arragon last night, after
more than a year’s absence. We met but an hour
since in the church, nor have we yet had time for
conversation.

Don Henry.

Then I entreat you let this discovery
rest with yourself.—It is of the last importance
to me, that I should not be known to
Don Gasper; and at present, I would be equally
concealed from Antonia.

Donna D1r 17

Donna Clara.

You must give me reasons for this
request; for I am not certain that I ought not
instantly to betray you. It is true, you have been
her lover, but she is now to be the wife of Don
Gasper
;—her duties to him will be of the most
sacred sort, and she must fulfil them scrupulously.

Don Henry.

Think me not a seducer! I have
lov’d Antonia for her purity and virtue; and to
destroy her honour, would be to trample on my
own. Oh Clara! few have lov’d as I do. My
passion is mingled with the tender protecting affection
of a brother; and violation is impossible!

Donna Clara.

Pray then tell me—

Don Henry.

You shall know all;—and should
Antonia’s marriage be voluntary, I will take no
revenge but to leave her;—but if, as her melancholy
allows me to hope; she has been deceiv’d
into it, there’s not a power on earth that can
divide us.

Donna Clara.

If your design is not contrary to
rectitude, be assured I shall not oppose it. Follow
me to a more distant room—a new secret is
almost as delightful as a new lover.

Exeunt.

End of the First Act.

D Act D1v 18

Act II.


An Apartment at Don Alexis’s.

Enter Seraphina, pulling in Alexis.

Seraphina.

Come along, my charming husband! Bless me,
what eloquence and fire, considering you are
fifty-nine! I protest, a man thirty years younger
could hardly have found such a variety of things
to have said on so trivial a subject. One might
mistake you for an English senator, instead of a
Portugueze privy counsellor, you can say so much
upon nothing.

Alex.

Nothing! what is it nothing that whenever
I go out of the door, your head is directly
out of the window—like the sign of Queen Jezebel?
’Tis known to all the impudent young face-hunters
in Lisbon, who saunter about my gates, like wolves
before a sheep-fold—d’ye call that nothing?

Seraph.

Oh no; Heaven forbid I should be so
ungrateful towards the grand pleasure of my life!
Nothing! ’tis every thing—my happiness! I wait
for sunset every day with impatience, because ’tis
known that I then mount my throne—that is,
I enter my balcony, and see new prostrate subjects
adoring, and deifying me.

1 Alex. D2r 19

Alex.

Zounds! what a vile custom it was to
build houses with windows! I’ll have them all
block’d up. Sky-lights are the only things for a
Christian country.—Windows and balconies!—
they are fit only for Turkish baths, and public
brothels.

Seraph.

Listen, Deary! and I’ll bless ye with a
secret. Blind your windows, and nail your doors,
but if your honour curtseying has no better security
than these, you’ll be soon in the herd, whose
ideal ornaments touching his forehead are so
terrific to you.

Alex.

The devil’s in it if stone walls won’t keep
ye! What stronger security could my honour
have?

Seraph.

My honour! Rely on that, and I swear
to you by every thing sacred, that no vestal’s life
shall be more blameless. It is due to my own
feelings to be chaste—I dont’’t condescend to think
of yours in the affair. The respect I bear myself,
makes me necessarily preserve my purity—but
if I am suspected, watch’d, and haunted, I know
not but such torment may weary me out of principles,
which I have hitherto cherish’d as my life.

Alex.

If all this is true, what the devil makes ye
so fond of admiration?

Seraph.

I can’t tell what devil makes me so fond
of admiration; but I know I love admiration, and
I will have it; till he, whom you represent, says no.

Alex.

Whom I represent! who’s that?

Seraph.

Mercy! who can it be, but old, shrivell’d,
grey-pated Time? To his negative I shall yield—
but with a very ill will, I assure you. If the
passion we have for admiration is wrong, let nature
look to it—’twas she impress’d it on our hearts; D2 and D2v 20
and it is her law, that to tyrannize over the peace
of man, is to woman consummation of happiness!

Alex.

And yet you every one of ye pretend
to be tender-hearted, and compassionate, and all
that.

Seraph.

Why to say truth, one is a sort of
a paradox. At a tale of woe, I melt like Niobe;
and am agoniz’d at distress, if I cannot relieve it;
—yet a lover’s misery is delightful! I would not
abate a man who adored me a single sigh; and
should have no rest at night, if I thought he was
sleeping quietly.

Alex.

Lord have mercy! muttering to himself.

Seraph.

Now I hope you feel yourself very
much honour’d, that I take you so far into my
confidence.—If you have a grain of sense, you’ll
be charm’d with it.

Alex.

I don’t know what the devil to make of
ye. Sometimes I think one thing, and sometimes
another.


Enter a Servant.

Serv.

Don Octavio, Sir. exit

Alex.

Better he, than Cesar! I’ll wait upon
him directly.—Well, I am in the way at last,
to have one plague less however! Don Octavio is
come to offer himself to Viola—Pray step, and
send her here to receive him; for I am oblig’d
to go instantly to council. I shall but just speak
to Octavio, and send him up;—charge her to receive
him well—she shall be married in less
than a week. exit.

Seraph.

I shall give his daughter no such charge,
poor girl! How can she receive Octavio well,
with her heart devoted to Sebastian? I wonder what D3r 21
what sort of a thing this Signor is—some wrinkled
privy counsellor, like himself, I suppose. ’Tis
very odd now, that those antients should take it
into their venerable noddles, that a youthful bride
is a proper appendage to their dignity; or to
fancy that it requires no more talents to please a
pretty wife, than to govern a stupid nation. Lord!
if my deary would but speak the truth now, and
warn his wise brethren—Heyday! is this the
Octavio? Handsome, I vow! young! bold! He
a privy counsellor! Mercy, how could I slander
him so? Enter Octav. Welcome, Don Octavio!
for I am inform’d that here you must have welcome.
The man I saw at church, I protest.

Octav.

That cruel must, checks the transport
your welcome gave me! May I not hope that
without a must, you would have given me welcome?

Seraph.

Oh yes! pray hope it; for as I think
the season of hoping, the most delightful in our
lives, I should be sorry to shorten yours.

Octav.

If you mean to shorten my hope by
disappointment, ’tis kind to protract it; but there
is a way of ending hope, enchanting Viola! without
giving despair.

Seraph.

Viola, did he call me?

Octav.

Oh permit me to believe, that the honour
your father allows me, of telling you I adore you,
is not displeasing to you.

Seraph.

Mercy, he takes me for my husband’s
daughter—delightful!

Octav.

From the moment I beheld you at vespers,
your image has never left me.

Seraph.

I vow I won’t undeceive him. I take it
very ill of my image, to follow a young man about,
and keep such bad company without my leave.

Octav. D3v 22

Octav.

Whilst your displeasure is thus playful,
I can support it.—Oh how charming, to find the
information of your face did not deceive me.

Seraph.

Why what did it promise you?

Octav.

Elegance, liveliness, frankness, and understanding!

Seraph.

Oh dear! how our self-love operates
on every occasion. Had I receiv’d you with
frowns, and given you room to believe the commands
of Don Alexis unpleasant to me, you would
have thought me intolerably stupid, and wonder’d
why nature gave intelligent eyes to an ideot.

Octav.

I will not defend myself; to be the
object of your raillery is an enviable distinction—
pray go on.

Seraph.

Nay then I have done. An enemy
who won’t resist, is not worth combating.

Octav.

If you will not combat an unresisting
enemy, I hope you will condescend to rank him
with your slaves.—Consent to give me your
chains.

Seraph.

Oh, by all means—I like to increase my
captives. There! making as though she flung
something over his neck
there are my chains—do
you feel them?

Octav.

Yes, as rosy wreaths—they delight me!

Seraph.

That’s not what I intend. I would
have you sigh under them—aye, in downright
earnest too.

Octav.

It is impossible for me to sigh in earnest,
unless you tell me the hopes Don Alexis has given
me, make you sigh in earnest.

Seraph.

What were those hopes, I pray?

Octav.

That I should have the transporting joy
of calling you mine.

Seraph.

Indeed—I can hardly think it.

Octav. D4r 23

Octav.

By all the tempting witch’ries of your
face, and the soft Cupids in your graceful air, ’tis
true!

Seraph.

So pretty an oath deserves a civil reply,
and I therefore protest to you, the moment Don
Alexis
consents to my being yours, I’ll yield you
my hand without reluctance. But after this frank
engagement, Don Octavio, I expect you to leave
me for the present—I have a peculiar reason to
request this favour. Some one will come in a
moment, and spoil my roguery. aside

Octav.

Your commands shall ever govern me;
but when may I again presume—

Seraph.

I cannot tell you exactly now—be at
the gate in the evening. Adieu!—adieu!

Running off.

Octav.

At the gate in the evening! How sweetly
that would sound, if the little villain had not matrimony
in her head. Well, if I must be a slave
at some time in my life, e’en let it be now—a
desperate action should be done as soon as resolved
on.

Exit.

Scene, Don Alexis’s Garden.


Sebastian and Viola seated on a garden chair in
the front. He throws flowers at her, then rises
hastily.

Sebas.

No, I swear it Viola—I’ll love thee no
more. No more from this instant—I am fix’d!

Viola.

Coming forward. Won’t you indeed?
Let me look in your face, whilst you make that
wicked oath.

Sebas.

I could cuff you this instant for looking
so pretty. Heavens! what a horrible length of time D4v 24
time is before you to do mischief! Sixteen!—The
fire of those eyes can’t be quench’d, nor that alabaster
skin shrivell’d, in less than twenty years—
oh, ’tis dreadful!

Viola.

You are mistaken. The small pox may
fret it, the jaudice may tarnish it—you’ve many
chances to behold me frightful yet.

Sebas.

Would to heaven some of them would
arrive! You to continue so lovely, and your father
so cruel!

Viola.

But suppose the change should happen
to my father, and he should favour our wishes;—
will you then allow me to keep my charms?

Sebas.

Ay, then indeed—oh, how I would doat
on them! Not one but should have its separate
share of passion divided and subdivided.—I’d
give to each a twelvemonth, and then begin
again.

Viola.

Inventive love! ever the same, and yet
for ever new!


Enter Carlota.

Carl.

Bless me, madam, Don Alexis is returned;
—the council is put off—he is asking for you,
and will be in the garden directly.

Sebas.

’Tis impossible! scarcely have I had
time to vent half the malice of my tenderness—I
have been here but three minutes.

Carl.

Three minutes! Oh dear—how every
woman the noon side of twenty would rejoice,
if time measured out his minutes as love does!
You have been here one hour and a quarter, by
the great dial at the end of the walk.

Viola.

Be it hours, or minutes, you must leave
me my Sebastian—Should my father surprize us, I could E1r 25
could expect nothing less than six months imprisonment
in a garret; with the lives of the saints
for my study, and bread and water for my banquet.

Sebas.

Oh, I would embrace the punishment, if
at the end of the period, he would allow you to
give me a new imprisonment.

Carl.

Now you might as well have put off those
two speeches and a half to the next opportunity
see the consequence! here comes the old gentleman.
Well, I’ll not be in the mess I assure ye
—take it all to yourselves— going.

Viola.

Oh stay—stay, my dear Carlota! he can’t
discern at this distance who we are—let me run
away—I’ll go into the house thro’ the close walk,
and Sebastian shall stay and pass for your lover;—
it must be so—the danger will be less to you than
me.—

Exit.

Carl.

Upon my word—so I must be the scapegoat!
But I won’t be blamed I vow—I’ll pretend
I don’t know you.—’Tis very extraordinary, Sir,
raising her voice that the gard’ner could not leave
the wicket open, whilst he threw out his rubbish,
but you must throw yourself in for more rubbish.
—If you don’t go this minute, I’ll call him to bring
his basket, and fling you out again with the rest.

Sebas.

I detest the subterfuge, but I must submit
to it.—Oh Carlota, I feel that Viola must be
mine!—

Exit.

Carl.

She feels it too.—Ay, pray get you gone,
and don’t mistake your neighbour’s gardens again.
—There—there,—that’s your way. Going with
him thro’ the wing.

E Enter E1v 26
Enter Alexis.

Alexis.

Oh you traitress—artful slut! this must
be all a feint. I clearly heard she feels it too!
that she must concern my wife, or my daughter—
oh my blood burns!—“She feels it too!”

Carl.

re-entering I wonder people are not
ashamed of themselves, I swear, to pretend—Oh,
dear Sir, are you here?

Alex.

Am I here—cunning gentlewoman! who
was that spark, hey? Speak thou powder-puff—
thou snip of gauze—thou black pin! Who was
he?—Tell me truth, for I have a touchstone to
try thee by, that thou canst not evade.

Carl.

I never thought of asking who he was.
The careless gard’ner left the door open—he’s
some curious stranger walking about the streets
of Lisbon.

Alex.

Ay; seeking whom he may devour. But
come—what were the curious stranger and you
talking about—What were his parting words?

Carl.

Aside. The devil is surely prompting
him! Why, Sir, they are not worth repeating,
he was saying ’twas—he asked if it was past
twelve o’clock.

Alexis.

Aside Is it past twelve? going a little
off
“She feels it too!” that fits like custard and
cucumber. Those were not the words mistress—
try again! I mean his expression just before you
said, pray get ye gone.

Carl.

Oh that, Sir—then he said—what he said
just then was—that’s a fine poplar! pointing
to a tree.

Alexis.

Aside“A fine poplar,” she feels it
too.”
That does not meet a bit closer than t’other. E2r 27
t’other. Come, once more comb-brush, recollect!
or by St. Anthony

Carl.

Now I have it, Sir; I have recollected
now the very words—what the gentleman said at
going away, was—oh, you little black-ey’d
rogue!

Alexis.

Aside“You little black-ey’d rogue”
she feels it too!” As wide as Lisbon harbour,
from the Irish channel. Now by our lady, if
thou dost persist in giving me the trouble to question
thee again, this cane and you shall be better
acquainted than your skin and your bones, hussey!
shaking her.

Carl.

Oh how you gripe my arm! devil take
it, if you will have it, hear it then! He said, “I
feel that Viola must be mine.”
Bawling. Now
are you satisfied?

Alexis.

“I feel that Viola must be mine”
she feels it too!” H—h—h—m!—that fits like
the two shells of an oyster. Aside. Now minx, I
feel that I have the truth; and I feel a violent
desire to make you feel this cane. And so that
curious stranger must have been Don Sebastian,
whom I have order’d her never to think of—
never—never!—

Carl.

Why, Sir, she has ordered herself never
to think of him: but lord, her thoughts mind her
no more than a conclave of Cardinals would you—
they will gallop towards him in spite of her.—

Alexis.

Will they? but I’ll cripple their speed—
they shall have a check rein before she’s aware.
I’ll go this moment, and—oh here madam comes!


Enter Viola.

Viola.

Bless me Carlota, where have you been?

Alex.

Oh dear, why she has been so kind to E2 entertain E2v 28
entertain one of your lovers without doors, madam,
whilst you were engaged with another
within.

Viola.

I do not understand you, Sir.

Alex.

You don’t! Come troop mistress to Carlota
you little black-ey’d rogue!

Viola.

To be sure my father’s bewitch’d.
Aside.

Alexis.

I’ll fit ye! you shall pack up your wardrobe
in your pocket handkerchief you little black
ey’d rogue! and beat your march before you are
three hours nearer your wrinkles.—

Carl.

I hope I shall never overtake my wrinkles
if they are to make me so suspicious and tyrannical,
as your’s have made you.

Exit.

Alexis.

Well innocent ones, what sort of entertainment
did you give Octavio?

Viola.

Sir!

Alexis.

How did you like him?

Viola.

Bless me, what has he got in his head?

Aside.

Alexis.

Did you coquet, and give yourself only
the allow’d airs on these occasions; or was your
stubborn mind so full of Sebastian, that you gave
him no hopes?

Viola.

My dear father, if you’ll be pleas’d to
speak in a way that I can understand—

Alexis.

Don’t provoke me! What encouragement,
I say, have you given Don Octavio? have
you dar’d to throw cold water on his hopes? Why
how you stand—if you don’t answer me—


Enter Seraphina, hastily.

Seraph.

Bless me, my dear, what is all this
noise?

Alexis. E3r 29

Alexis.

Why I can’t get her to say a word about
Octavio;—I know no more than my shoe-string
whether she behav’d decently to him or not.

Seraph.

To be sure she did—how can you
question it? But you are really very coarse; allow
something to her delicacy!

Viola.

I believe they are both beside themselves.
Aside.

Seraph.

Leave her with me—I’ll get out all
that past—she’ll be undisguis’d to me.

Alexis.

Gad I’ll go to Octavio himself—that’s
the shortest way. I’ll ask him what past—if he is
content, I shall be so. I’ll go to Octavio!

Exit.

Seraph.

Ha, ha, ha, my dear Viola, this is a
web of my weaving—how I shall puzzle thro’ it,
I know not. And your poor father—ha, ha, ha,
how you stare! be pleas’d to know then that I have
just been receiving the most violent love in the
name of your ladyship—actually personating
you!

Viola.

Personating me?

Seraph.

Your father went out this morning,
my dear, and either begg’d, borrow’d, or stole a
lover for ye.—The poor youth was introduced to
my apartment—took it for granted that I was
Viola; and begun (as I suppose he promis’d your
father he would) to adore, and die for me, in
very good form.

Viola.

Oh, now the mystery is clear’d—this is
the Don Octavio

Seraph.

Yes, yes—now you have the nut—shall
we crack it, or throw it away?

Viola.

Pray let us get at the kernel. If you
can contrive to keep my father in the dark some
little time, it will allow me to concert measures with E3v 30
with Don Sebastian. You do him the honour to
approve his addresses, I know.

Seraph.

Oh, if you can make any thing of the
incident, it is quite at your service. I’ll listen to
Octavio’s love-tales with all the condescension
imaginable; and let him adore me, for a month
to come, if it will be of use to you and Sebastian.

Viola.

How very grateful he will be!

Seraph.

Well, let us go then and settle matters.
We must take Carlota into our council, or the
thing can’t go on.

Viola.

My father has discharged her.

Seraph.

Pho, I’ll manage that. It would be
hard, indeed, to marry an old man, and not make
him do as one likes. Young husbands we are
content to submit to, but when we marry Greybeards,
it is with the pious design to have our
way in every thing.

Exeunt.

End of the Second Act.

Act E4r 31

Act III.


An Apartment at Don Gasper’s.

Enter Don Henry, hastily, followed by Don Sebastian.

Henry.

Oh ’tis too much!

Sebas.

Too much! ay, so it is, that they should
be all so blind to your starts, your angry blushes,
and your ill conceal’d confusion. I drew you from
the company the moment dinner ended, lest when
they had done eating they should begin to observe.
Do you reflect that Don Philip has only to betray
you to the minister, to get rid of his rival for ever?

Henry.

It is more than I can bear—the old
dotard’s fondness, which I dare not yet oppose,
distracts me! Oh that I could speak to her alone!
—’tis plain amidst all the bridal gaiety her heart is
not at ease.

Sebas.

Your wish is half answered, for here
comes her half—the worst half indeed by forty
years.

Henry.

Half! thou a lover, and able to speak
thus to a lover? Speak of them as one!

Sebas.

Forgive me! for faith I am so much a
lover at this moment, that I scarcely know what I
am saying. In a word, I am summon’d by my
mistress’s maid, who has some new information—
in an hour I am again at your service.

Exit. 3 Enter E4v 32
Enter Don Gasper.

Don Gasp.

Why how now Julio! What stole away?
—run from the guests—hide in corners—
how’s this?

Henry.

I am not in spirits for company, Sir; or
to be sure this joyful occasion—

Don Gasp.

Not in spirits on your uncle’s weddingday
—out upon it!—But tell me boy what do you
think of the bride?—Am I not a happy man—
hey?

Henry.

If it turns out so, Sir.

Don Gasp.

Oh, I fear no turns. She is virtuous
and modest, and you know a modest woman is
above all price—but perhaps you do not know
that; for the observation is made in a book not
much read now a days.—But what d’ye think
help’d me to get her?

Henry.

Ay; Sir, what did?—I long to be inform’d.
Wine perhaps will make him communicative.
Aside.—A splendid jointure probably.

Don Gasp.

Jointure! she minds a jointure no
more than a jointed doll—guess again!

Henry.

I am not fortunate in guessing.

Don Gasp.

Then I’ll tell ye—half a sheet of
paper got her. Ay, you may well stare. ’Twas
but half a sheet of paper—in which I procured it
to be said, that one Don Henry, whom she lov’d,
was shrouded and buried—that got her my boy!
slapping him on the shoulder—there’s a contriving
uncle for you!

Henry.

Is it possible?

Don Gasp.

Possible, why I did it—I did it. And
where’s the harm? A banish’d man is a dead man in F1r 33
in the eye of the law, and a dead man can be no
husband. He fought a duel and was forced to fly.

Henry.

And how, Sir, could you take advantage

Don Gasp.

Why those young rascals take every
advantage over us, with nature to back ’em; and
we have a right to make reprisals when we can by
the help of art.

Henry.

And so the lady believed your intelligence?

Don Gasp.

Yes, yes, she believ’d—and swoon’d
—and raved—and took to her bed. Faith the
doctor gave her up; but I still determined when
it came to the last gasp, to tell her the truth, rather
than have her death to answer for—but it
never came to that.

Henry.

No, no! female grief, tho’ sometimes
obstinate, is seldom fatal. Why, my dear uncle,
you are a perfect Machiavel at a plot. I shall
try if I can’t out-plot you though. Aside. It
will be amusing to see Antonia’s astonishment,
when she finds her Henry is still living—ha, ha—
but then she’ll be your’s, ha, ha, ha.

Don Gasp.

Yes, then she’ll be mine—she’ll be
mine! ha, ha, ha, You must know the chit had
no fortune, tho’ of a noble family—was pester’d
with youthful profligate lovers, and at length to
get rid of them, agreed to give herself to me—
there’s a stroke of prudence in a girl!

Henry.

Aside. Oh, ’twas more;—I feel it was
a stroke of love to me! But what will Don Henry
say to this pretty jest, which you and I find so
laughable?

Don Gasp.

What care I what a man says a
thousand miles off.

F Don F1v 34

Henry.

But if he obtains his pardon, he’ll return,
and then—

Don Gasp.

Pardon! Oh, you don’t know how
deep I am.—I leave no loop-holes for my schemes
to drop through. Hark in your ear—but be secret
—I have bought his pardon.

Henry.

How, Sir—bought his pardon!

Don Gasp.

Hush! that’s all under the rose—
you understand me—it cost me a good lump of
moidores!

Henry.

You astonish me!—Strange kindness to
a man whom you could rob of his wife!

Don Gasp.

Kindness—tut! I got his pardon for
myself, that nobody else should have it;—so
that if he gets any one to ask for it, it will be
answered, “the pardon has been already granted”
—but for want of my appearance, he’s defunct depend
on’t;—ay, as much out of the world, as tho’
the sexton had cover’d him with green-sod.

Henry.

And are you actually in possession of his
pardon?

Don Gasp.

As good;—the money is paid, and
I shall receive it from the broad-seal office tomorrow.

Henry.

What a discovery is here! Aside.


Don Alexis enters, pulling in Octavio.

Alex.

Come in here; come into this room, my
dear Octavio! So, here’s the young bridegroom.
Now prithee be so kind to leave the apartment to
me and Octavio.

Octav.

Let us not disturb my father, Sir.

Alex.

Disturb—a feather! Will you leave us?

Gasp.

Yes, yes, I’ll leave ye—but first let me pre- F2r 35
present my nephew to you. The son of my sister
Victoria—you knew her.

Alex.

Knew her—ay, as well as your nose does
its spectacles. So, young gentleman, what you
are come to dance at your uncle’s wedding? and
’twas worth while to come post from Madrid on
purpose;—you won’t cut capers at so wise a wedding
every day, I can tell you.

Gasp.

Come, come, a truce to your sneers.
Don’t you think he resembles his poor dear mother?

Alex.

Not a bit.

Gasp.

No! the eyes are the very same.

Alex.

Eyes!—why, her’s were blue, and his
are black.

Gasp.

That’s nothing—they’ve just the same
look with ’em.

Alex.

Yes. I grant ye as to the look, his look
as much like eyes as her’s did. Then she was
round favour’d.

Gasp.

What signifies that—a long face,
and a short face, may have the same air.

Alex.

But his hair is dark, and her’s was light.

Gasp.

Oons! how you talk—Why all hair must
be light, or dark, or some colour. Come along,
nephew—When people get old, they grow so
obstinate, there’s no convincing them of any thing.
Come along—come along. Exit with Don Henry.

Alex.

Don’t take him to your Antonia, lest she
should have the odd notion, that he’s a fitter bridegroom
for her, than you are. Bawling after him.
Well, my dear boy, I am come on purpose to ask
how you manag’d to-day with my daughter. The
young slut is so mealy-mouth’d, I could get nothing
out of her. Was she kind—did she shew a
proper sense of the favour?

F2 Octav. F2v 36

Octav.

Sense of the favour, Sir! She permitted
me to implore the favour of being allow’d to hope.

Alex.

Well, well, that’s the point I would come
to—hang phrases! Was you contented with your
reception—was she no more than decently coy?

Octav.

She was all goodness, Sir. Why what
an old fellow’s this! aside

Alex.

All goodness—well, that’s in generals.
Tell me—come now tell me honestly, did she
let you kiss her?

Octav.

Heavens! I dared not let such a thought
exist. Had any man but her father ask’d me—

Alex.

You’d have said yes;—you would, I know
you would! Boasted of the sweetness of her lip,
and of the pressure of her white hand, but I—
I must know nothing—I am an old father.

Octav.

aside What can be the meaning of all
this? Is it his suspicion, or his folly?

Alex.

Come, why won’t you tell me now?—
Tell me at once.

Octav.

What shall I tell you, Sir?

Alex.

What!—why that she treated ye kindly—
that you liked her pouting lips; and that—

Octav.

Believe me, Sir, I dared not attempt
such a liberty.

Alex.

No! why had you not my permission?

Octav.

I did not so consider it, Sir; but if
you’ll lay your commands on the lady, when I
have the honour to wait on her again—

Alex.

Ay, that I will, never fear me. But
pray where’s the foundation of your great content,
if nothing kind past? I fear the slut has deceiv’d
him. aside

Octav.

Kind! she was all angelic sweetness,
Sir!

Alex. F3r 37

Alex.

Pho! don’t tell me of angelic sweetness;
a young fellow should be content with nothing less
than mortal sweetness, when with a blooming girl.

Octav.

She had the condescension to promise—

Alex.

What—what?

Octav.

That when you should order her to
bestow her hand on me, she would obey you without
reluctance.

Alex.

She promis’d that, did she?

Octav.

She did; and my delighted soul hath
dwelt on the sound from that moment.

Alex.

Well, well, come again this evening, and
your soul shall have something else besides sound
to dwell upon, or I’ll understand why.

Octav.

Good Sir, you would be very convenient
I perceive, but it unfortunately happens, that
I chuse the sweet trouble of getting over my love
difficulties myself.

Alex.

Oh, to be sure—above being oblig’d I
see! but I tell you these young baggages have all
their arts to make a man half mad, and I know
’em—I’ll manage her my little Octy; never fear!
Sound indeed!

Octav.

Allow me, Sir, with all humility, to request
that you’ll give yourself no trouble in the
business. S’death! If I don’t take care I shan’t
have the pleasure of running down my own game.
If you wish to make a son-in-law of me, Sir, you
must permit me to travel the road of love in my
own manner.—No bearing him!

Exit.

Alex.

Zounds! what a heat you’re in! Why,
so you may travel the road of love in your own
manner—I only mean humbly to open the turnpike
gates for ye.—See what one gets by one’s
good nature! Exit.

Scene. F3v 38

Scene. Don Gasper’s Garden.


Enter Henry.

Don Henry.

looking; as tho’ uncertain. Surely
’tis herself—yes, ’tis Antonia! Like the soft lilly
press’d by the dewy robe of night, she bends her
lovely head. Oh Clara! lead her—lead her to her
Henry! Hah—accordant to my wish they come!
But how may I be master of her thoughts? Perhaps
to her friend, she will unveil her inmost heart.
I’ll seem to sleep—yes; but whilst I appear to
slumber, my ear will hang on every sound she utters,
and my whole soul be suspended on herbreath.
He reclines on a bank. Some shrubs prevent
his being immediately seen.


Enter Antonia and Clara.

Cla.

This is the strangest whim! seeking shades
and solitude, instead of company and mirth,
What will Don Gasper say?

Ant.

Oh name him not; the arrival of the
young stranger his nephew, has renewed all my
miseries. But here my sorrows have a short cessation.
Oh, how those lonely shades will sooth
my sadness! Each day I’ll seek the soft recess, and
opening all the treasures of remembrance, live on
my Henry’s image.

Clara.

Come, come, that’s a sort of image worship
we don’t allow. It would be more catholic
to live in lonely shades with himself. “This soft
recess”
would be at least more poetical my dear,
with a handsome young man in it, even tho’ he
should be uncivilly asleep. pointing to Henry.

1 Ant. F4r 39

Ant.

Not regarding her. Oh, I’ll call back
each sacred hour which blest our wedded souls;
trace each fond scene that chasten’d love made
pure, and in the dear review, forget that I’m a
wretch.

Cla.

Ay, do forget it pray, and look behind
those shrubs—there’s a youth as much like Don
Henry
, as ever one impudent rogue was like
another.

Ant.

Hah! ’tis Don Julio—let us retire before
he wakes. And yet—Oh Clara! I could wish his
sleep lengthen’d to eternity; and myself immortal,
to stand thus and gaze on him!

Clara.

One might almost fancy it Don Henry
himself; only unhappily ’tis not the custom for
people to leave their family mansions in the churchyard,
to repose on violets for their mistresses to
gaze on them.

Ant.

The resemblance is stronger now he sleeps.
When awake, this stranger has a scorn—a severity
in his eye—something that made me fear; but
Henry’s eye talk’d only love! Oh, I have seen a
volume in a single glance;—one look has said,
what eloquence and learning might try to imitate
in vain.


Sings.

Sweet rosy sleep! Oh do not fly,

Bind thy soft fillet on his eye,

That o’er each grace my own may rove,

And feast my hapless, joyless love!

For when he lifts those shading lids,

His chilling glance such bliss forbids—

Then rosy sleep oh do not fly,

But bind thy fillet on his eye!

Clara. F4v 40

Clara.

I say on the contrary open your eyes!
Who knows but they may by this time have acquired
a softer expression?

Ant.

Fie, Clara! let us go this instant—you
will surely wake him. going hastily.

Exit Clara.

Henry.

Starting up. Yes, he is awakened indeed!
Oh my Antonia, turn! Turn sweet traitress,
and look upon the man you’ve injured!

Ant.

Shrieking. Oh, I shall sink! What art
thou? Is Henry then alive in Julio? Oh tell me
whilst I yet can breathe—Say, art thou both, or
nothing?

Henry.

Convince thyself. Embracing her. Oh,
my Antonia!

Ant.

No! ’tis not air—my arms return not
empty to my bosom, but meet a solid treasure!

Henry.

A treasure you have lightly priz’d.

Ant.

Alas, my Henry, I believ’d thee dead!
Oh let me touch thee yet again! taking his hand
These veins are warm with life! health blushes
on thy cheeks; and this soft pressure darts thro’
my nerves, and is new life to me. Oh my Henry!
it is—it is thyself!

Henry.

Can this joy be real? You thought me
dead, Antonia, and chose in bridal pomp to
celebrate my obsequies!—The Ephesian story
will be always new.

Ant.

Think not my heart perfidious. Had
I chose a youthful husband, you might have
term’d me fickle—but from those I fled—abhorr’d
a second love, and fix’d where venerable age
secured my heart from every tender impulse. A
guardian ’twas I ask’d, and not a husband.

Henry.

Nature made women false, to see how
well they would excuse their crimes.

Ant. G1r 41

Ant.

’Tis well you treat me thus, to check the
transport of beholding thee; which else might be
too much! But think, reproachful man! consider
my high birth; and slender fortunes—Behold me
a lonely orphan, haunted by a train of lovers—
some too high in rank to make them fear to act,
what’er their wishes prompted. ’Twas to escape
all these—

Henry.

Oh, was it that indeed, which forced
thee to this marriage?

Ant.

It cannot be a marriage since my Henry
lives! My vows were given to thee—the solemn
contract sign’d; and heaven, by its holy priest,
invoked to bless the engagement!

Henry.

And in heaven ’tis recorded!

Ant.

I do acknowledge it: and death alone
could give Antonia right to make herself another’s.
Base artifice deceiv’d me, and virtuous art must
free me from the deceiver.—But, oh, thy life’s
at stake! Where shall we fly?—At what blest
altar solemnize our vows?

Henry.

Wilt thou then follow my sad fortunes?

Ant.

Yes—to the utmost boundaries of the
earth!

Henry.

Oh, my sick soul needed a cordial of
this mighty strength to cheer it! Know then,
Antonia, we need not fly—my pardon’s promis’d
—I have important secrets to communicate—
to-morrow thou’lt be mine.

Ant.

To-morrow!

Henry.

Transporting hour! And wilt thou yet
be Henry’s? Oh bind the promise on thy knee;
—invoke the sacred powers to witness it.

Ant.

Thus then! kneeling and hear me, heaven!

Henry.

And thus I listen to thee. kneeling

G Enter G1v 42
Enter Don Philip, followed by Alexis.

Gasp.

Tony! my little Tony, where art? Hey!


starting

Alex.

’Sblood! what’s all this?—Ah—didn’t I
warn ye of the bride’s odd notions?—didn’t I
warn ye?

Henry.

We are undone!

Ant.

Trust to me. apart Thus then I invoke
the sacred powers to witness my resolve—Never
to know another love! never to hold myself bound
by any vows, but those made to the lord of my
affections, the contracted husband of my heart!

Phil.

Her contracted husband—mark that
now. to Alexis

Henry.

And thus do I invoke the same gracious
powers, to bless you, as you’re true; and to preserve
thee and that husband in a sweet eternity
of love! —Don Philip runs to help them up.

Phil.

Thank ye, my dear children! There—
there, what d’ye say now to my choice? Had ever
man such a wife, and such a nephew?

Alex.

No faith, I believe not; and may I be
hanged if I believe it now, though I have seen it.

Phil.

Envy—sheer envy! You see when I
marry a girl, I know how to chuse one. Come
along, my pigeons. going off with one under each
arm.

Exit Philip and Antonia.

Alex.

Hark ye, Don Julio—give me a minute.
twitching him back Come, I know there’s some
jest in this. You must trust me; and egad if you
will. I’ll—do trust me, I know ’tis some jest.

Henry.

I admire your penetration.

Alex.

I love a jest to my soul, and gad if you’ll
trust me—here—here’s a seal ring taking it off
’twas worn by my great grandfather fifteen generations5 rations G2r 43
back. I value it beyond the great ruby in
the throne at Delhi.—Egad I have a great mind
to give it ye. Putting it on again, and throwing
his hand behind him.

Henry.

An idea darts upon me!—yes, by heaven
it shall be done! this is the critical instant of
Antonia’s fate. Aside. A ring valued by you
so highly, Don Alexis, ought to grace no finger
but your own—I refuse to accept it; but if you’ll
entrust it to me, I swear when you next see it you
shall know the jest.

Alexis.

Shall I indeed?

Henry.

Yes—and I’ll venture to promise that
you shall enjoy it too!

Alexis.

There’s my ring. I pant for the hour
of its being restored, as much as a girl does to
unburthen her first love secret.

Henry.

I too pant for the hour; for if I mistake
not, I shall mean time make such a use of your
great grandfather’s seal ring, as must make that
and every future hour blissful to me!

Exit.

Alexis.

What can he mean to do with it? that
seal ring make all his future hours blissful! May
be there’s some conceal’d witchcraft in it, and he
has had wit enough to find it out; or if rightly
turn’d it may make a man invisible, or something
of that sort—there have been such things formerly
—Gad I’ll follow him tho’—if my ring has any
properties of that kind, how snugly I shall be
able to watch my wife!

End of the Third Act.

G2 Act G2v 44

Act IV.

Scene, Seraphina’s Apartment.


Enter Seraphina, followed by Octavio.

Seraphina.

It is in vain, and so—

Octav.

Charming Viola, why are ye so barbarous?
Is it not by your own permission I attend
you?

Seraph.

Yes, I know it is; but what of that?
When the sun shone I liked you, and now by
candle light I hate you—do go, I will not be
teazed.

Octav.

This is so singular!

Seraph.

What, that a woman should change her
mind since morning? You, I suppose, are so
wonderfully constant, that you change your’s only
with the moon.

Octav.

Do not suspect me of fickleness—permit
me to prove my constancy.

Seraph.

Impossible—impossible.

Octav.

How so?

Seraph.

I see I must tell you, to avoid altercation.
Be pleased to know then, Sir, that there
is nothing on earth I detest like this sober, quiet, prudent G3r 45
prudent method of loving. Your vows have a
father’s approbation;—you are expected;—you
enter the house without difficulty;—you yawn
through an hour of common-place;—the wedding-day
is fixed, and we go to church to be married,
in the same hum-drum stupid way, that millions
of dull couples have done before us. No,
no, this I can’t submit to, believe me!

Octav.

Ah, ’tis plain we were born for each
other, we think so exactly alike! aside. These
I confess are misfortunes; but how in our case
are they to be avoided?

Seraph.

If you are really in earnest in your
love, you must contrive to make Don Alexis hate
you. Let him throw a thousand difficulties in the
way, and then I’ll throw myself—into your arms!

Octav.

Oh, that extatic promise! But your
father is unhappily attach’d to our marriage—What
the devil can I do to make him set his face against
it? I fear it is impossible.

Seraph.

Poor Don Octavio! then you have no
hopes—for I do swear by every thing that can
bind me, whilst Don Alexis approves of our
nuptials, I never will be your’s.

Octav.

I’ll bribe fellows to slander me! was ever
so unhappy a dilemma? I thought his approbation
till this moment a blessing; but now I would willingly
make him shut his doors against me, and
confine you to a grated room, with a dozen smoakdried
Duennas to guard you.

Seraph.

Ay, then indeed things would go on
gloriously! You would be sighing and groaning
without, and I should be weeping and wailing
within. Then for plots and contrivances—then
for bribes and scaling ladders—then for escapes and G3v 46
and pursuits—Oh, what would I not do for a man
who should bring me into such blissful difficulties!

Octav.

I swear you shall be obey’d, whatever I
hazard. Who knows but an elopement may
finish the affair short of marriage! Aside. A
bustle without—the door opens a little, and discovers
Carlota struggling to keep out Alexis.

Alexis.

I tell you, Mrs. Brazen, I will be
amongst ’em.

Carl.

Bless me, Sir, how can you be so barbarous
to disturb the young people?

Seraph.

There’s Don Alexis! now begin your
talk directly—prevent his coming in; if he entters,
I never will be your’s.

Alexis.

Let me in I say.

Octav.

Pardon me, Sir, you must not come in.
Going to the door.

Alexis.

Must not come in—why you young
dog! Well, well, tell me then, is she kind—
hey my little Octy! is she kind?

Octav.

Not quite so kind as I wish her to be.

Alexis.

Oh, a jade! You slut you—you perverse
baggage! I will have you kind to Octavio.

Octav.

Devil take him, why does he not bid her
dismiss me? then she’d fly to my bosom. Aside.

Alexis.

Octy! Octy! struggling with Carlota
have you kiss’d her yet?

Octav.

No! loud—in passion.

Alex.

Then you shall—I will see you kiss her,
by Jove!

Carl.

Lord Sir! How can you be so rumbusterous?

Alex.

Come in, I will.

Seraph.


aside Then go out I must.

Exit.

Alex.

So! what’s she off! bursting in.

Octav. G4r 47

Octav.

Off! yes, and now I’ll be off. What
woman of delicacy could bear to be thus treated?
Or what father but you—going.

Alex.

Now dear Octy do not be angry—do not
be angry! You have the character of one of the
civilest, politest, discreetest—

Octav.

The character lies, Sir—I am none of
these. I am rude, ill-natured, unjust, fickle, and
full of extravagance!

Alex.

Hey day! Why I believe you are full of
wine too.

Octav.

I am every thing you ought to dread.
You could not in all Lisbon have picked out so
hopeless a husband for your daughter.

Alex.

Oh Lord! no—you are a very hopeful
young gentleman—The character you have given
of yourself, would suit ye all I doubt;—but you
seem so intimate with your faults, that like a stale
acquaintance, they’ll soon disgust ye—therefore
fickle, drunk, or mad, my daughter shall be
your wife.

Octav.

Are you so obstinate Sir!

Alex.

Ay—and if she dares demur—

Octav.

Oh I am ruin’d—if you persist I am
ruin’d. Dear Don Alexis pardon me! I see my
scheme was ridiculous—a better strikes me. In
one word—stay, let’s take care we are not heard—
in one word, you and I must both be in a plot,
against your lovely capricious daughter.

Alex.

How now!

Octav.

Her vivacity renders a stupid, formal,
allow’d courtship, intolerable to her. If you
persist in countenancing my addresses she will
hate me; but if you order her to see me no more,
and allow me to steal her out of a window, or over G4v 48
over the garden wall, she’ll be the happiest bride
in Portugal.

Alex.

D’ye say so? Oh a perverse baggage—
but I’ll fit her! Won’t love ye, merely because
I order her to do it! that she had from her
mother!

Octav.

You must conceal your knowledge of
that.

Alex.

Pho! d’ye imagine I don’t see your whole
drift now? If you was to continue talking a
Lapland winter, you could not make the hint
clearer. Gad she’s coming, and my wife with
her! So d’ye hear you Signor Don Octavio,
speaking loud you are—I say you are—you shall
know what you are another time; for the present
that’s your way, Sir, that your way out; and I’ll
be sworn you shall never know the way in. Pushing
him out.


Enter Seraphina and Viola.

Seraph.

Why my dear husband, is so mere a
gudgeon—there’s no credit in deceiving him.
Now remember your lesson. to Viola

Alex.

So mistress—I have dispatch’d your lover.

Viola.

Have you, Sir?

Alex.

A young rakeshame! your not liking
him proves you have your father’s penetration.
Notwithstanding his modest front, there’s not
such a desperate fellow this side the Ganges; no
nor ’tother side the Black Sea.

Seraph.

My sweet love, are you speaking of
Don Octavio?

Alex.

Yes, I am. Take care you give him no
encouragement, d’ye hear girl? No whisperings
from your balcony; no private correspondences; no H1r 49
no billets dropt by your officious maid, on pretence
they are meant for some carotty-pated
country cousin!

Viola.

Dear Sir!

Alex.

No pencil’d assignations on the back of
your fan; or cards in lemon juice—to be call’d
on detection secret orders to your perfumer, for
pearl powder, and bloom of Circassia.

Seraph.

How can you put such things in the
girl’s head, deary?

Alex.

aside That her fingers may put them
in practice, to be sure; but you are not up to me
there, deary! aside.

Viola.

But a few minutes since, you were fearful,
Sir, that he was not received with sufficient
favour.

Alex.

That was—that—well, no matter. That
was, perhaps, to try how far things had gone.

Seraph.

Oh I beg your pardon! the curtain
rises, and we see the sun! Now I understand your
policy—how admirable! You middle-aged gentlemen
are so deep, that ’tis difficult to sift ye.

Alex.

Ay, and when we are sifted—

Seraph.

You are found to be chaff. Poor dear
Don Octavio! Send him a garland of willows,
Viola.

Viola.

Rather of myrtles—he’s too handsome
for willows.

Alex.

Handsome is he, that handsome does—
remember that.

Viola.

Why Sir, he does handsomely. He has
travell’d handsomely, has a handsome estate, has
brought home a handsome character, and now
wishes for a handsome wife.

Alex,

Ay, but he must go further a field to
catch her though. He’ll find neither wives nor
widgeons in my orchard.

H Seraph. H1v 50

Seraph.

No, our widgeons are all within doors.

Viola.

Unfortunate that I am! just made up my
mind to dismiss Sebastian, nay absolutely to dislike
him, and now—

Alex.

And now! why now you must make up
your mind t’other way. Perhaps in my present
humour, of the two fools, I like Sebastian best.

Viola.

But that humour must change, for I can
never think of those two young men as you do, my
dear father.

Alex.

Thoughts are free, daughter! Gad I
could hug her. aside.

Seraph.

You see your father generously leaves
your thoughts unshackled, my dear; he only desires
to controul your actions—pray oblige him,
and take Sebastian.

Alex.

aside Zounds! she knows nothing of
our plot, and gives that advice seriously.

Seraph.

He is a most accomplish’d young man.

Alex.

Wife!

Seraph.

Engaging in his manners, and resistless
in his form.

Alex.

My dear, I say. spitefully.

Seraph.

His eyes are expressive, and his tongue
is eloquent.

Alex.

The devil’s in your tongue! aside. You
don’t know what you are talking of.

Seraph.

I do indeed—perfectly. In short, Viola,
he is so amiable, so captivating, and loves you
with such unbounded fondness, that if you marry
any other, your misery ought to equal your ingratitude.

Alex.

Gad she speaks with an air of too much
conviction—this must be managed more nicely.
To your chambers, hussey, and try to forget Octavio.

pushing off Viola. Seraph. H2r 51

Seraph.

And remember your Sebastian. Let
him be present to you waking, and sleeping; let
him—

Alex.

Zounds let him alone! driving her off
on the other side
you may be doing mischief all this
while. I dare not let her into my plot, lest her perverseness,
or her folly should mar it. And yet, I
think—no hang it I won’t—I won’t. The only plot
that ever had a woman in it came to nothing. I’ll
conduct this solely by my own sagacity, and have a
hearty laugh at the poor fools, when all is over.

Exit laughing.

Scene, An elegant Apartment at Don Gasper’s,
illuminated.


Rachel enters first; followed by Gasper, Antonia,
Clara, and a number of Ladies.

Rach.

looking back Bless us! the approach of
the ceremony has made my master half out of his
senses. The poor bride too seems half out of
her’s—but not with joy—if I may guess.

Don Gasp.

capering in, and singing.

Tired of dance, of song, and play,

Now we end our wedding day.


Yes, yes, now for the ceremony! Come my
pretty Pet, the Priest is waiting in the next room
to make thee the happiest girl in Portugal. In
ten minutes thou wilt be the wife of Don Gasper
de Frontado
! strutting.

Ant.

Aside Oh heaven! where is Henry?
Rachel, my soul sinks within me.

Rach.

Truly, mine is not very high.

H2 Gasp. H2v 52

Gasp.

Heyday! what’s all this about? What!
she must be coax’d now I warrant—they all love
coaxing. Come now, my pretty Tony, my nown
little Tony. Taking her under his arm.

Ant.

breaking from himHenry! Henry!
Where art thou? Oh, he mocks me!

Gasp.

Come, let us to the priest, and tie the
knot, which even Alexander who cut the gordion
will never be able to destroy.

Henry.

without. Where is he—the bridegroom!
the happy bridegroom!

Ant.

Oh my heart—he is come!

Gasp.

Here he is—here is the happy bridegroom.
Henry enters Come, you are just in
time to witness the ceremony.—The priest waits to
join us in his rosy bands. Look at her! h-u-m!
Oh, you sweet little—There are smiles and
blushes for ye! Look at her!

Henry.

They are like those of Aurora, when
she flies before the jolly god of day!

Gasp.

And I the jolly god of day pursue her.

Henry.

But charming Antonia, the blissful fate
which awaits you must be postponed a few hours.
Oh, Sir, I am sent—

Gasp.

Sent—about what! from whom?—who
has sent you to postpone Antonia’s bliss?

Henry.

It is happy I have a token to convince
you. Here, Sir,—do you know this great seal
ring? the impression is—stay, can you see it?
taking a candle the impression is a satyr; look
at his horns.

Gasp.

The devil’s in such luck! A man on the
wrong side of fifty or so, can’t marry but at every
turn he has horns in his teeth. If he’s invited to
a tavern, the dinner is sure to be at the horns:
They’ll wake me with horns to-morrow morning 8 —nay, H3r 53
—nay, I am even kept from the ceremony tonight,
to be regaled with the sight of horns.

Ant.

to Clara. What can be the purport of
the ring? I can hardly breathe thro’ terror!

Henry.

Do you know them, Sir?

Gasp.

Know them! Yes—they are Don Alexis’s
horns, not mine—it is his ring;—but what have
I to do with it, any more than with the ring of
Saturn, or the belt of Jupiter? If you are for
rings, you shall see one presently taking Antonia’s
hand
on this waxen finger, that—

Henry.

You will not hear me, Sir. This is a
token from Don Alexis—observe me, Sir, a
token; by which you are required, as a counsellor
of the realm, to meet Don Alexis immediately at
his own house, on affairs of imminent importance.

Gasp.

Meet Don Alexis! What is he mad? or
are you mad? or does he think me mad? Go,
prithee—I’ll meet him to-morrow. seizing Antonia’s
hand
My service to his night cap! going.

Henry.

To-morrow! Why, all our throats may
be cut by to-morrow.

Gasp.

Hey! throats cut!

Hen.

Why Sir, there’s a plot—a plot.

Gasp.

A plot!

Clara.

to Ant. Now I have his design. My
dear Don Gasper, at a juncture so important, every
selfish consideration must be annihilated. Should
our discontented citizens take arms—

Hen.

Nay, for aught I know they are in arms
already.

Gasp.

Arms! well what can I do? Fight dog
fight bear—I’ll be married. going.

Rachel.

dropping on her knee Oh dear Sir,
there’ll be nothing but rapes and murder! Oh
take pity on us poor virgins, Sir, and go.

Gasp. H3v 54

Gasp.

Don’t be a fool! striving to get free.

Clara.

Consider, Sir, the good of the nation.

Rach

Ay, Sir, the good of the nation;—what
wouldn’t a body do for the good of the nation?

Gasp.

Good of the nation!—’twould be a shame!
Go—go Julio, and vote for me; I’ll make you
my proxy.

Hen.

Your proxy there, Sir! No, no, excuse me.
But hasten;—whilst you dally, all Lisbon may be
fired.

Gasp.

If there’s such danger, I am safest here—
an’t I, duck? to Ant.

Ant.

Oh Sir, if you can resist the calls of honour,
do not resist me. To marry in the midst of such
horrible apprehensions, is impossible—and my fears
are so great, they will destroy me. Sweet Don
Gasper
, go!

Gasp.

Nay then—come, my dear Nephew,
let us go together; not a step will I move without
you.

Hen.

aside Oh miserable, to be thus circumvented.
Had I not better stay here to guard
the—

Gasp.

Stay here!—Oh you are a dutiful Nephew.
No, Sir, you shall guard me, if I stir—but I won’t
stir by all—

Ant.

Fye, Don Julio! surely you will not desert
your uncle. Leave him in the street, and return
instantly! apart Adieu, sweet bridegroom, helping
to get him out
speed quickly back, looking
after them
but find Antonia gone! Dear liberty,
I hail thee! Oh Rachel, now I claim thy promise;
—assist my flight, and make thy terms and fortune.
Follow—follow me!

Exit. Rachel. H4r 55

Rachel.

I will—but let me consider first what I
have engaged to do, to make my fortune. Why
I am to assist a pretty girl to run away from an
old husband to a young one; from age, gout, and
petulance, to youth, health, and glowing love.
Ay, that I will, or may I never arrive at higher
honour than to attend misses in their bibs, and
antient maidens in their spectacles!

End of the Fourth Act.

Act H4v 56

Act V.


An Apartment at Don Alexis’s.

A Table with Candles and Chairs.

He enters, followed by a Servant.

Alexis.

Hey dey! why what’s the meaning of all
this? The family are all up, though it is past
twelve o’clock, and my wife’s apartments in a
blaze—illuminated! as though it was some grand
anniversary. What’s the meaning of all this,
I say?

Serv.

Donna Seraphina has ladies with her,
Sir—they have been playing.

Alex.

Playing! go, get along and let me know
when they break up. Exit Servant. There’s no
having any rest in this world.—No, or at least
not for the husbands of this world.—This custom
of letting one’s wives receive female company, is
like shutting your gates upon the enemy, and
then helping them over the wall. Not a woman
but has her head full of projects, and her pockets
of billets-doux. Well, if at last Don Octavio
should really marry my daughter, I shall then
hope—


Enter Servant.

Serv.

Don Gasper de Frontado is without, Sir.

Alex. I1r 57

Alex.

Don GasperDon Gasper! it can’t be.

Serv.

He is indeed, Sir, attended by most of
his servants, with drawn swords and torches.

Alex.

Swords and torches—why he’s mad! the
near approach of matrimony has turn’d his brain.
Well, no great wonder. It is Gasper sure enough!
looking through the wing What a figure!—

Gasp.

Speaking as he enters Bless me, why all
is quiet—all is quiet, my dear nephew! ah
looking back what’s he gone? Not a voice in
the street, but two old women quarrelling about
a string of sausages.

Alex.

Aside. Ay it is so—he’s certainly crazy.
I am very sorry Don Gasper gravely taking off his
hat
that any thing should have happen’d to call
you from your house, at this time.

Gasp.

My house—that’s nothing! From my
bride—from my little Tony—from the very altar,
my friend. But that is nothing—the good of the
nation must be minded. Come let us sit and to
business.

Alex.

As soon as you please. Zounds, what a
time for him to think on the good of the nation!
aside.


They both draw chairs, and sit looking at one
another, waiting for each to begin.

Gasp.

Be brief—my good friend, be brief!

Alex.

Brief—why we hav’nt begun yet.

Gasp.

Then why the devil don’t we? How
long am I to wait, before the mighty matter is
brought upon the carpet? Do you consider that
I am on the point of being married, Sir?

Alex.

Pray, Sir, what would you be at?

Gasp.

I be at—I want to know what you would
be at.

I Alex. I1v 58

Alex.

Ha, ha, ha,—why this is the strangest
thing! to see an old fellow, high in the state, the
night he should be married, forsake his bride,
and come with a train arm’d cap-à-piè, to disturb
another old fellow, and ask him what he would
be at! What’s your business once more?

Gasp.

My business, with whom?

Alex.

With me, Sir—with me! What the devil
do you do here?

Gasp.

That’s what I want to know, Sir, and
you’d best be quick in the relation! You seem
to think time of no more value to me than straw.

Alex.

rising Ay, straw—there it is! I thought
he was mad; they never think of any thing but
straw. I am sorry you are thus disturbed, Don
Gasper
.

Gasp.

Pursuing him The disturbance is nothing,
if you would but come to the point—
What is the plot—Where are the conspirators,
and what do they aim at?

Alex.

Poor soul—poor soul! My dear friend
you really shock me very much—tho’ I knew
your marriage was a mad action, I did not think
it would have taken effect so soon.

Gasp.

Oons! this is beyond all bearing! making
a motion as tho’ to his sword, and seems disappointed
no sword—meet me to-morrow, Sir—
meet me to-morrow!

Alex.

With all my heart. By that time you’ll
be in a strait waistcoat, and I shall be safe.
Aside.

Gasp.

I am cooler. Such old men as we are
can afford to waste no blood—but there’s your
ring, Sir; and let that be the last token of good,
or ill will, you ever send me. Flinging the ring
from him.

Alex. I2r 59

Alex.

My ring! taking it from the floor why,
how came you—who gave you this ring? who
gave it you?

Gasp.

Why did not,—did not—oh, my mind
misgives me!

Alex.

You had it from your nephew—eh?

Gasp.

Ye—y-e-s. Trembling.

Alex.

Ha, ha, ha,—oh, a young rogue—oh, a
plotting young villain! ha, ha, ha—

Gasp.

What then I have—oh, shame to my
years—I have been made a jest of.

Alex.

A jest—Heaven grant you may be
made nothing worse of! Hurry home my dear
friend; you know what I said to-day about your
bride’s odd fancies. Hurry home, and be thankful
if it is a jest!

Gasp.

What do you imagine—do you conceive
—oh, my dear, dear friend! But hold, you
are in the plot—the ring is your’s—you are
in the plot! Ragefully.

Alex.

Believe me Don Gasper

Gasp.

Oh, what a beetle, what a bat, I have
been! but I’ll repay your jest with interest. In
the first place—and that’s only for a beginning
mind me, only for a beginning—my Octavio
shall never marry your daughter. How d’ye like
that jest? Oh what a blind—blind—oh! Going
off stamping.

Alex.

going after him My dear Don Gasper,
my friend, my worthy friend, I entreat—Zounds!
he’s gone! If it had not been for his choak-pear
about Octavio, how I could laugh. Why, what
the plague did that impertinent Don Julio take
such a liberty with my ring for? how dared he
haul me head and ears into his scheme, to laugh
at his worthy uncle? But zooks it is a good laugh I2 after I2v 60
after all—ha; ha, ha—but if Gasper now, thro’
spite, should prevent Octavio’s marriage! What’s
to be done? hang me if I go to bed to night—
I’ll find out Octavio wherever he is, make him
steal my daughter, conclude the marriage, and then
I’ll laugh with Julio, ’till my old sides crack.

Exit.

Scene changes to the Street, before Don
Gasper’s
.


Enter Don Henry.
He knocks gently at the door.

Hen.

I dare not be louder; but sure the ear of
love can catch the gentlest sound!

Rach.

from the balcony Oh, are you come,
Sir—I’ll call my lady down.

Hen.

Oh haste! the minutes fly; I have secur’d
a safe retreat—leave all behind, and bring
Antonia only to my arms. A noise of people
advancing
Hah! what noise is that? and lights
too! they come this way—surely ’tis Don Gasper’s
voice—I am breathless with my fears.

Gasp.

without Put out your lights—extinguish
your torches, and be silent.

Hen.

Ay, ’tis he—shall I plunge this sword into
his bosom, or my own? oh, either way I’m lost!
Don Gasper enters, and knocks loudly.

Gasp.

Yes, yes, I’ll be a match for his great
grandsires, ring, trust me! Knocks again.

Rachel.

from the balcony We are just ready,
Sir—have a moment’s patience.

Gasp.

Just ready for what? Oh I am arrived in
the very nick of some cursed scheme! Keep your
swords drawn. to his servants Come, I’ll not give 5 way I3r 61
way to suspicions—she shall have fair play—appearances
may deceive.


The door opens. Antonia enters.

Henry.

Hah! by Heaven, Antonia—we are
ruin’d!

Ant.

Where are you, my best wishes? lord of
my vows, and charmer of my soul, where are you?

Henry.

Oh heavens! half drawing his sword.

Gasp.

Well, well, that may be all meant for me.

Ant.

Give me your hand, my love, my life,
and guide me to your bosom—the home for which
I pant!

Gasp.

Hum—that is rather too much, too! I’m
afraid that’s too sweet a morsel to be meant for my
chops.

Ant.

groping about Oh, are you here indeed?
you frighten’d me with your silence. Here take,
these jewels, and let us haste away.

Gasp.

H-a-h, are you thereabouts, madam? between
his teeth
then I’m cozen’d.

Henry.

aside To attempt to force her off
would be in vain.

Ant.

Will you not speak? do you repent already?
before possession are you cold, and false?

Gasp.

Before—ah, ah!—well that’s great
comfort. Whatever is design’d, I am beforehand
with the mischief, however.

Ant.

Am I not to be your wife?—this very day
did we not invoke Heaven to bless our vows?

Gasp.

Now then ’tis clearly me, and I’ll be
mute no longer.

Ant.

Oh Henry! Henry! mournfully.

Gasp.

starting Who dost thou take me for—
Henry? Oh thou perfidious wretch!

I3 Ant. I3v 62

Ant.

Don Gasper—what will become of me?
Why—why are you so angry, Sir, at my naming
one who in the cold grave cannot rival you? I
was only going to say, that Henry would not have
been so unkindly silent.

Gasp.

Was that all indeed, my little Tony?
but ’twas wrong to think upon a young man.
Never let your thoughts run upon a young man,
whether in a grave, or a garret.

Ant.

Never, Sir, be assured. Neither in one
place, or the other, will my thoughts ever seek a
lover. But why did you not speak?

Gasp.

Faith, you prattled love so prettily, I
could have heard your little tongue run for ever.
But how came you out so late, and with these
jewels, and parcels?

Ant.

Sir!—I was—why Sir—

Rachel.

Alas, Sir, we thought the city was in
arms, and pack’d up our things to secure ’em.
Lord, Sir, we were so scared! about plots, and
robberies, and—

Ant.

Yes, Sir, terrified to death.

Gasp.

Oh it’s all quell’d now—’tis all over, my
pretty chuck. As soon as I appear’d amongst ’em,
and threaten’d ’em, and harangued ’em on their
duty, they were as silent as the soft tread of a
thief on a dark stair-case. I am resolv’d she shan’t
know what a gull I was. aside Come now let’s
in, and join our tender hearts in one.

Ant.

Pardon me, Sir. Day is on the point of
breaking—dear welcome day! and I am resolv’d
to pass it unbound by any vows, but those of love.

Gasp.

How!

Ant.

In this one point, Sir, I must govern, or
here I vow most solemnly, never to be yours.

Gasp. I4r 63

Gasp.

Oh its a rash vow—a most unjustifiable
vow!

Rach.

Not so rash a vow as that you want her
to make.

Gasp.

What’s that, minx?

Rach.

Why Sir, with submission, I say its most
rash and unjustifiable, for eighteen to rise out of
bed, and go to church, to vow to love sixty-five—
and I’ll maintain it.

Gasp.

But the vow was made, hussey, and all
vows must be kept—religiously kept! and therefore,
though it goes against me, even this last shall
be kept. So come in, my little Tony, and learn
of your nown Hubby, never to break a vow.

all go in.

Henry.

That secures me! Her delicacy is safe
from insult, and when I see her next, it shall be
with powers to suppress his audacious, fancied
rights, and close the necessity for these degrading
acts for ever.

Exit.

Scene changes to Don Alexis’s Garden.


He enters, leading in Octavio.

Alex.

Gad I am glad I found ye—’twas devilish
lucky! Viola is certainly somewhere in the garden
—both my wife and Carlota assured me that
she was.

Octav.

And the ladder of ropes is suspended
from the place you pointed out.

Alex.

Exactly there—I help’d to fix it myself—
’tis very secure.

Octav.

The dear little madcap must have her
way; but ’tis strange she prefers scaling a wall at
midnight, to walking quietly thro’ the gate in the
sunshine. Hist!—I hear the tread of gentle feet.

Alex. I4v 64

Alex.

Then I’m off. If she should find us together,
the perverse baggage would suspect our
intelligence, and that would spoil all—so I’m
off! lowering his voice.

Exit.

Octav.

In a few hours, expect us at your feet
asking pardon and blessing. A pause. Charming
Viola, appear! I hear you not; yet by the soft
influence about me, I am sure you are near.
What delightful faculty is this, which allows us to
be conscious of the presence of the object we adore,
without the vulgar intervention of the senses?—
It must be the privilege of purest love!

Seraph.

entering. The privilege of fancy—
all mere fancy; tho’ you would exalt it into a
faculty!

Octav.

Hah, my charmer! catching her in his
arms
faculties, and fancies, are now equally nothing;
—all lost in transport, at finding thee in
my arms.

Seraph.

I protest I begin to believe you very
dangerous. I insist on your quitting me this instant.
breaking from him Heavens what a situation!
in the arms of a man—alone—in a garden,
at two o’clock in the morning? Aside.

Octav.

What dost think of, sweet angel?

Seraph.

That the sooner we are out of this
place the better.

Octav.

Aside. Suppose I secure her mine! I
almost fear some new caprice—and if I mistake
not, her little heart flutters at this moment, in
unison with my own. Dear bewitching woman,
let me once more taste—

Seraph.

Hold, Sir! or by all that’s good—
breaking from him I never knew till now what
resistance meant. Aside.

Octav. K1r 65

Octav.

By heavens I will not lose this charming
moment!

Seraph.

Then you lose me for ever—make
your election!

Octav.

This moment is presented to us by love
—let us prove ourselves worthy of the boon!

Seraph.

How? by disgracing love?

Octav.

We’ll argue that point hereafter; but
now—

Seraph.

Hold, Sir—I am neither blind to your
intention, nor to my own danger—but know you
are meditating an irremediable crime!

Octav.

How irremediable? Love itself shall remedy
the crimes it makes.

Seraph.

Hah! you know not what you speak
of, nor can I explain myself—but let us fly!

Octav.

Then we will fly my little trembler, and
Hymen shall—

Seraph.

Yet stay—I cannot go with you alone
—you must consent that a lady accompanies us.

Octav.

Who?

Seraph.

No matter. You must promise me,
without asking questions, to conduct her safely to
Don Sebastian; and then to conduct me in safety
to your father’s.

Octav.

To my ghostly father you mean—to a
priest?

Seraph.

No, to Don Gasper—on those terms I
scale the wall with you, and on no other.

Octav.

It is odd, and mysterious; but I’ll scale
walls with you on any terms. Where is the lady?

Seraph.

We shall find her in the next walk—
oh, no, she is hast’ning hither. Enter Viola,
veil’d.
Come fair damsel, this is the valourous
knight who is to conduct us thro’ all the intervening
dragons, and giants, to the quiet and sober K pale K1v 66
pale of matrimony—where we shall grow good,
and stupid: drawling and recollect the kind action
of this night, with matronly thankfulness and
decency.

Octav.

Aside. ’Tis a vile thought, and sticks most
indigestibly! Why must love be thus shackled? I
feel I shall repent, and leap the pale;—but I am
fairly caught now, and must submit. Come my
little fawns! take each an arm.—Egad, let us
make haste, or some unlucky ideas, which are
growing rather ponderous, will prevent my flight
over the wall!

Seraph.

I’ll be hang’d if it is not the idea of
matrimony you find so heavy!—but be of good
comfort, Signor, and make speed—your fate has
prepared a consolation you little expect.

Exeunt. Scene, Don Gasper’s. He enters.

Gasp.

Well, day at last is broad awake; and
the vile night, which cloaks so many schemes, and
villainous plots, against the peace of wary husbands,
is pass’d away—and all hath gone well! yes, all
hath gone well, except with my poor aching bones,
and sleepless eyes. Spent all these hours upon a
mat at Antonia’s chamber door—dared not leave
it. Truly she is a treasure, but if to secure it I
must fag out the remnant of my life in these alarms,
and fears, and misgivings.—Well, well,
’tis too late now to think about that; my hour is
come! Dolefully.


Enter a Servant.

Serv.

Don Octavio, and a lady, Sir.

Exit. Octavio enters, leading Seraphina, veil’d.

Octav.

Permit me, Sir, to ask your protection for K2r 67
for this lady for a few hours;—if you knew her,
you would think she had a right to claim it.

Gasp.

To claim it—why, who is she?

Octav.

That I am forbid to tell—do you release
me from my promise, madam?

Seraph.

No, certainly;—and yet if I did, it
were much the same thing, for you do not know
me.

Gasp.

Not know the lady!

Seraph.

Believe me he does not; and yet if
you ask him, he’ll swear he does.

Octav.

Surely, tho’ you are veil’d, I can swear
you are the same sweet melting creature, who in a
certain garden—

Seraph.

Found herself in your arms; and afterwards
leapt the wall with you—that you may safely
swear.

Octav.

Yet I know you not—ha, ha, ha, permit
me apart—Perhaps you’ll deny being her,
whom I am to marry to day?

Seraph.

Oh, no—I swear I will marry you to
day, if Don Alexis gives consent.

Octav.

We have more than his consent—his
ardent wishes.

Seraph.

Yet I shall not be your’s.

Octav.

Why, what a sweet enigmatical charmer
you are!

Seraph.

to Don Gasper If I mistake not, Sir,
this house has a mistress—may I be permitted to
wait on Donna Antonia?

Gasp.

Madam—ma—Octavio! Whispers.

Octav.

Oh yes, of rank and reputation—but a
little capricious.

Gasp.

Pardon me, madam! I will wait on you K2 to K2v 68
to Antonia’s apartment.—I shan’t care to leave
them together tho’! Aside.

Exit, leading Seraphina.

Octav.

What can she mean with her riddle-merees?
I am perplex’d Sebastian enters with Viola.
Hah Don Sebastian! What the weighty ceremony
so lightly over? Madam, I wish you all the joys
which belong to your new state. Dear Sebastian
taking him aside tell me—how dost feel?

Sebas.

Feel!

Octav.

Ay;—in a few hours I shall be in the
same class, and I want to guess how it is.

Sebas.

If you love as I do, you’ll feel as I
do—blest!

Octav.

I fear all you married rogues are so
many decoy ducks; you look up with envy, and
cry “quake, quake”, to your fellows at large; and
when you have coax’d us into the snare, clap your
wings, and exult.

Viola.

running to Sebastian. Oh, I hear my
father’s voice—I would not have him see you at
this instant. Apart. Pardon my freedom Don
Octavio
, but it will be infinitely kind if you’ll both
leave me.

Sebas.

Those fears are idle my charmer—the
moment must arrive.

Viola.

Nay, do not stay to argue, but oblige
me!

Octav.

What, Sir, so much of a husband in
half an hour, as to dispute a command? I’ll take
him to task, madam, and give him a lesson on
obedience.

Exeunt.

Alexis.

withoutOctavio, and a lady veil’d?
entering then all is right! Hah Viola! well,
tell me, is it all over—are you married?

Viola.

Yes, Sir.

Alex. K3r 69

Alex.

Yes, Sir—enough said! ha, ha, ha,—now
I can laugh at Gasper, and enjoy Don Julio’s
joke—ha, ha, ha—and you too—you have been
finely nick’d—I have been oblig’d to cheat you
into marrying the man you liked—ha, ha, ha—

Viola.

Oh, Sir, forgive what I have done!

Alex.

Forgive thee, my girl! ay that I will—
here’s my hand upon’t.—Hah Don Gasper! he
enters
your most obedient very humble servant!
How do you find yourself after your last night’s
whim, Sir?—My seal-ring is at your service, at
any time, Don Gasper—ha, ha, ha,—two jokes
at once—I shall laugh now, ’till I am a grandfather.

Gasp.

If you laugh till my Octavio makes you
a grandfather, it will be a very long fit I promise
ye.

Alex.

D’ye think so? I’ll trust him!

Gasp.

He is now in the next room, at the feet
of a young lady, whose charms are sufficient, I
trust, to blot those of your daughter from his heart.

Alex.

What’s that? Octavio at the feet of a
lady! d’ye hear that, Viola?

Gasp.

Your daughter—Pardon me, fair lady!

Alex.

Ay, Sir, and your daughter too—your
daughter! Let me see you encourage her husband
to kneel to other women in your house.

Gasp.

Her husband—ha, ha, ha.

Alex.

Zounds, Sir, this is no laughing matter
—how dare you, Sir—Why, Viola, why don’t
you rave and storm, as women do on these occasions?

Viola.

Alas, Sir! I have no right.

Alex.

No right! I shall see that. Here Don
Octavio
, I say! The very day of his marriage—
nay within the hour!

Enter Octavio. Octav. K3v 70

Octav.

Don Alexis—your pleasure?

Alex.

My pleasure, Sir, is, that—Zounds!—
that your pleasure shall be with my daughter.

Octav.

’Tis very kind—nothing can make me
so happy.

Alex.

Then what the devil do you mean by—
by—your father says you were at the feet of a lady.

Octav.

I was.

Alex.

You was!

Octav.

Why should that offend you? Do you
not wish me to love your daughter?

Alex.

Love my daughter, and kneel to another!

Octav.

All mistake, Sir—another! I’ll convince
you that Viola alone going to the wing
here she comes! the dear lively girl! who leapt
a garden wall, to give a sober marriage the air
of a romance.

Alex.

Oons! where am I? are not you my
daughter? twitching off Viola’s veil yes. Did
you not leap the wall with him?

Viola.

Yes, Sir.

Alex.

And are you not married?

Viola.

I am indeed! curtseying.

Alex.

And did you, Madam, leap a wall?

Seraph.

Yes, Sir.

Alex.

And are you married too?

Seraph.

I am, indeed! throws up her veil, and
curtseys.

Alex.

My wife—Oons—my wife!

Octav.

Amazement! his wife!

Gasp.

His wife leap the wall with my Octavio
—ha, ha, ha. I’ll add another five hundred moidores
to your yearly allowance, for that my boy!
Prithee, dear Don, indulge your laugh; you were
in a very fine vein a minute ago—ha, ha, ha—
now laugh till you’re a grandfather!

1 Seraph. K4r 71

Seraph.

Don Octavio, I have used you ill; but
I trust your generosity will pardon my taking advantage
of your partiality for me, to serve two
amiable and faithful lovers.

Octav.

You have used me ill, indeed! yet hang
it, come, I am not married—I am not married
however! aside Yes, Madam, I can forgive you;
but how shall I forgive myself? I had you—oh,
distraction! I had you alone—amidst the conscious
shades of night—and in my power!

Seraph.

Pardon me, Sir! no woman can be
alone, nor in the power of any man, whilst she
respects herself, and is guarded by a sense of her
duty. You see, Don Alexis, what benefits arise
from plotting without a woman. Ha, ha, ha.

Alex.

Oh, I shall be mad! so it was my wife,
then, to whom you were kneeling? and it was
you whom I press’d yesterday to grant him some
small favours?

Seraph.

Just so, my sweet Hubby!

Alex.

Oh!

Gasp.

Come, be merry, old Gentleman.—A
companion for your seal ring—two jokes at once,
ha, ha, ha.

Alex.

Ay, you have it all to nothing now. And
you have the impudence to love my wife? to
Octavio

Octav.

More than ever, now there’s no danger
of matrimony.

Alex.

And you are now considering when you
shall make me a—a satyr, eh? come, be frank—
where is it to be?

Octav.

Faith, I wish I could tell.

Seraph.

I will answer for him!—it shall be
never; whilst you repose a generous confidence in
me, and allow to be the guardian of my own
honour. Don Gasp. goes out

Octav. K4v 72

Octav.

Now I intreat you, my dear Don Alexis,
be a very tyrant! suspect her, watch her, and
confine her—will you be so much my friend?

Alex.

I don’t know what I shall be yet;—both
as husband and father, I have ingeniously contrived
to bite myself most d—n—bly! As for you,
Madam, to Viola bread and water, and a dark
chamber, shall be your lot—

Sebas.

entering No, Sir,—I am the arbiter of
her lot;—however, I confirm half your punishment;
and a dark chamber she shall certainly have.
This is the expression, I am told, which had nearly prov’d
fatal to the Comedy. I should not have printed it, but from
the resolution I have religiously kept, of restoring every thing
that was objected to.

Alex.

What then, thou art really married—and
married to Sebastian!

Viola.

Dear, Sir, you assured me, that of the
two fools you preferred him.

Alex.

Yes, but I depended on your perverseness,
hussey?

Gasp.

Leading in Antonia Come, you, who
have not seen my little pet, behold her—Nay, I
present her to ye all, as the pattern of meekness
and perfect love—Oh its a sweet pudsey.

Ant.

Meekness, alas! you should not answer
for; you know I am a woman. My perfect love,
indeed you may—the world has not a heart so
truly wedded as Antonia’s—behold its master—
its lawful lord, my husband! Pointing to the
opposite door.

Don Henry.

entering Come, my Antonia, to
his arms! Yes, I am thy husband—now I stand
boldly forward, and proclaim my title—I am thy
husband! that dear distinction which heaven has
blest me with, heaven only shall reclaim!

Octav.

What! am I to lose my mother as well
as my wife?

Alex. L1r 73

Alex.

To Gasp. Your nephew! why is this
full moon? We are all going to run out of our
wits.

Seraph.

Don’t be dishearten’d—tho’ it should
be so—You’ll not have far to run!

Gasp.

Why Julio, what in the name of—

Henry.

No, Sir—not Julio, but Don Henry.
That Don Henry whom you so basely reported
to be dead; that you might dishonour him in
security.

Gasp.

How!—why—why you are dead—as
good as dead; you are dead in law—you are
outlaw’d, banish’d—

Henry.

No, Sir, neither—restored to my
country! Behold my pardon! Shews a paper.

Gasp.

Your pardon!—hum! Now, then I see
the whole;—I must be telling my secrets, with a
devil to it! Well you got it through me you
know—you may thank the music of my moidores
for that dance!

Henry.

No, Sir! throwing down a purse there
is the gold you basely barter’d for the pardon
you solicited. My pardon I obtain’d from the
hands of majesty itself—from our gracious queen!
Oh, when her kingdom’s foes provoke correction
from her subjects arms, then shall my sword
again be drawn, nor ask forgiveness for its ardent
duty!

Gasp.

Well, very well—but what has your
pardon to do with my wife? putting her behind
him
What have you to do with Tony?

Henry.

She is my wife; made mine by contract,
before you destin’d her the bliss of being your’s.
Pardon me then, my sweet Antonia! taking her
from Gasper
if I deprive you of this venerable
charmer, and give you in his place a husband!

L Alex. L1v 74

Alex.

Hum! hum!

Sings.

Once I was a merry old man,

But now the case is chang’d!

Who could have thought that my old seal ring
would ever have been a talisman to make lovers
happy, and save a Greybeard from folly?

Seraph.

Come Don Gasper, let me advise you
to think your loss a gain—you see in your humble
servant, what mischievous creatures young wives
are;—she’d plague your heart out, as I do my old
husband’s.

Alex.

Faith she says true. A minute ago I
thought the laugh on my side; but ’tis still on your
own. You have lost a young wife, and I have
found one.

Gasp.

Why, to say truth, if it were not that at
present I feel a little aukward, and don’t know
very well which way to look.—As to your contract
I might perhaps dispute its powers, but as
here is a stroke or two of mine, which may be, I
shan’t be sorry to have drop’d, e’en go to church
i’gad’s name; and when ye come home beware of
plots and seal rings!

Ant.

This is generous! The sentiments you
profess’d for me I see will be converted to a more
decent regard, and we shall all be united in the
bands of charming friendship.

Alex.

Gad this looks like a sort of general
amnesty—so let the frolick go round! But dare
my faults hope forgiveness here? to the house
Yes;—I am on this spot an old offender; and
have so often gratefully experienced the candour
of my judges, that I trust now to meet their pardon
—and invoke the gracious sign!

Finis.

L2r

Epilogue,

By Mr. Cobb.

Spoken by Miss Farren.

A Mourning Bride!—that wou’d be something new—

(That I’m a Mourning Husband is too true,

Cries old Sir Testy in his gouty chair,)

Ah could I wedlock’s fatal slip repair!

But young wives are a sort of flying gout,

Torments for which no cure was e’er found out;

Both old men’s plagues, to punish youthful tricks,

Equally difficult, I fear, to fix.

Of wife and gout alike I stand in dread,

For both, alas! sometimes affect the head.

Thus rail old cynics, striving to disparage

The charming silken ties of modern marriage.

In former times, when folks agreed to wed,

The silent bride by silent bridegroom led,

Up to the altar march’d in solemn state,

All was demure, and stupidly sedate.

Impress’d with awe, while neither dar’d to speak,

A wedding was a mere Ballet Tragique.

Thank Heav’n we’re past the ages of romance;

Wedlock is now a kind of country dance,

Where man and wife with smiles each other greet,

Take hands, change sides, and part as soon as meet;

Pleasure’s soft accents ev’ry care dispel,

While Hymen fiddles Vive la Bagatelle.

Blest age! when ceremony’s chains are worn,

Like bracelets, not to fetter, but adorn.

When we assume deep mourning’s sable shew,

’Tis etiquette prescribes the form of woe:

Whate’er our loss, we must have fashion’s leave,

Ere we can venture decently to grieve.

Blameless

Blameless the heir o’er the dear parchment chuckles,

If he’s unpowder’d, and puts on black buckles,

Till the grey frock speaks his first anguish o’er,

And he’s but half as wretched as before.

Ere the gay widow first abroad is seen,

Deck’d in exhilarating bombazeen,

While the dear Col’nel visits unsuspected,

And she’s as well as could have been expected;

Custom’s indulgence wisely does she borrow,

In cards of compliments exhausts her sorrow;

Of tears her black-edg’d paper fills the place,

Mourns as her proxy, and preserves her face.

Our Mourning Bride, who with no sorrow labours,

And mourns but in appearance, like her neighbours,

Tho’ forc’d by etiquette, good humour loves, as well
as any here,

Blest in the fate which these kind smiles decree her,

She hopes her friends will often come to see her.

The following New Pieces, written by Mrs. Cowley,
may be had of Messrs. Robinson, Pater-noster-Row.

  • 1.

    The Runaway, a Comedy, Price 1s. 6d.
  • 2.

    Albina, a Tragedy, 1s. 6d.
  • 3.

    Who’s the Dupe? a Farce, 1s.
  • 4.

    Belle’s Stratagem, a Comedy, 1s. 6d.
  • 5.

    Which is the Man? a Comedy, 1s. 6d.
  • 6.

    Bold Stroke for a Husband, a Comedy, 1s. 6d.
  • 7.

    More Ways than One, a Comedy, 1s. 6d.
  • 8.

    First Part of The Maid of Arragon, a Poem, 4to.
    2s. 6d.
  • 9.

    The Scottish Village, a Poem, 4to. 2s.